The Morning Press: A review of the week’s news



Robert Hedgers

Cheryl Honey

Supporters of the Battle Ground Public Schools levy erupt in celebration as election returns show 54 percent approval on Tuesday. They had gathered at Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground.

Photo Gallery

A look back at some of this week’s top stories:

Couple found dead were recently engaged

Vancouver police are investigating the deaths of a newly engaged couple whose bodies were found Wednesday evening in a residence in the Image neighborhood.

Robert G. Hedgers, 51, and Cheryl L. Honey, 57, were found dead at their Vancouver house, 3207 N.E. 135th Ave. Police were called to the residence at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“This is very shocking,” said Honey’s daughter, Emma Sims, 21, of Portland. “Its very hard for all of us.”

Brad Oiser, who lives across the street, said the couple had moved in just a month ago, but he hadn’t met them yet. Shortly after moving in, Hedgers proposed to Honey on her birthday, March 29, Sims said. They were really happy, she said, and the wedding was set for July 6.

The couple previously lived in Long Beach, where they started dating about a year and a half ago, and then moved to Vancouver when Hedgers got a job working maintenance for Christensen Yachts.

Before they met, Hedgers was charged with second-degree trespass in 2010. He also had a restraining order filed against him in 2002 for allegedly committing acts of domestic violence, including threatening to shoot the petitioner’s truck, according to Pacific County court documents.

Read the full story here.

Battle Ground levy appears to have passed

Only 13 minutes after the polls closed Tuesday night, volunteer Kelly -Hinton shouted, “Fifty-four -percent!”

Cheers and clapping erupted in the party room at Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground, where more than 80 school levy supporters had gathered to await results of Tuesday’s special election.

Voters in Battle Ground passed its four-year maintenance and operations levy by 54.01 percent, according to unofficial returns Tuesday night.

“To all the volunteers, we have a school district because of you!” said John Idsinga, school board chair.

Vicki Sparks, chair of Battle Ground Citizens for Better Schools, stood on a chair and said, “So she’s all gassed up for four years and ready to go!”

More cheers erupted.

Tuesday’s special election was the second try at the levy.

Read the full story here.

Brush Prairie man on trial in father’s shooting death

When Edward “Bud” Fisher of Brush Prairie didn’t respond to several voice messages left on his phone in early September 2011, his sister, Mary Jane Newman, knew something was amiss.

“His telephone was his lifeline, his connection to his business, his connection to everything, and he always answered,” Newman testified Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court.

His son, Troy Fisher, 43, who was staying at his father’s home at the time, told Newman that Bud Fisher had reunited with an ex-girlfriend and ran off with her on a cruise ship bound for Germany. The son said Bud had left him in charge of Bud’s forklift repair business and of selling Bud’s house, Newman said.

“Basically, he turned it over to him (Troy Fisher), which I did not believe,” Newman said.

In fact, Clark County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Camara Banfield said, Troy Fisher had shot his father, then 67, in the head and back and hidden the body. His trial on first-degree murder charges began Tuesday.

Clark County sheriff’s detectives questioned Troy Fisher on Sept. 19, 2011, after seeing Fisher remove carpet from his father’s house and serving a search warrant on the residence.

“Fisher began the story with his father going on a trip to Germany and ended the story with how he shot his father twice,” Banfield said Tuesday in an opening statement. “He said he didn’t know why he did.”

Troy Fisher, who is defending himself in his trial, did not give an opening statement Tuesday.

Read the full story here.

Some things you may have missed:

Making a fashion statement at Spring Couve Couture

Like spring in the Pacific Northwest, the growth of Couve Couture could be measured by the colorful Vancouver crowd of 575 filling the unfinished ground floor of Gravitate Design’s building at 1012 Washington St.

The former Koplan’s building space had been transformed by a team of caterers, volunteers and technicians. Behind a black curtain, more than 100 models, hairstylists and makeup artists were putting the finishing impact on the eight designers’ collections for the runway.

Headlined by Seth Aaron Henderson of “Project Runway” fame, Most Everything Vintage’s Alisa Ann Tetreault and Cathy Rae Kudla and Stephanie Lynn of Sweet Spot Skirts returned from October’s fashion show. Joining their spring collections were three up-and-coming Vancouver designers — Dawn Elise Waldal, Lydia Wagner and Kelsey Lovelle Jennrich — with special guest designer Bryce Black of Portland, a contestant on “Project Runway’s” season nine.

Some in the buzzing crowd traveled from Portland and Seattle for the April 13 event, drawn by the chance to see Seth Aaron’s work. Others were there to support friends and family, curious and excited to see what fashion in Vancouver could be.

“Every show that we’ve done, things have changed a bit, we’re trying to find the right niche,” said Brett Allred, one of the two driving personalities behind Couve Couture. If the fall fashion show was an experiment, the spring showcase was Couve Couture’s own fashion statement.

Read the full story here.

Trail Blazers final grades for 2012-13 season

After a season that produced both exhilarating and exhausting moments, the 2012-2013 Trail Blazers are ready for their report cards.

While some players received admission straight to summer school, others have deserved a pass.

Damian Lillard, who swept every Western Conference Rookie of the Month award, earned the distinction as the only Blazer to start and play all 82 games.

Lillard also joined elite company with Oscar Robertson and Allen Iverson as the only rookies in NBA history to finish with at least 1,500 points and 500 assists in their introductory season.

So, yeah, Lillard sits at the head of the class. Now, check out how the other Blazers rated.

Zip line course set to open at Skamania Lodge

The first step off the ledge, as your stomach plummets, is the scariest.

But, sometimes you have to trust in your harness, your helmet and your gut to bring on the adrenaline rush.

Skamania Lodge’s new zip line tour features seven “zips” that descend toward the Columbia River and around the golf course.

I crowded onto a wooden deck, perched 22 feet up a Douglas fir tree, with six other journalists and two zip line guides. Then, we took turns zooming down a metal cable through the forest canopy at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson. From the parking lot, one might mistake the cables for telephone wires. The zip line tour, however, is the newest addition to the lodge’s slew of outdoor recreation activities and the only tour in Southwest Washington.

It’s an unconventional view of the forest that you can’t experience from a trail or viewpoint.

People enjoy it because it’s a controlled risk, said operation manager Shayne Large. Riders are safely secured to 1/2 inch galvanized aircraft cable the entire time. The most dangerous part, Large said, is walking to the course with all the roots and rocks in the trails.

Read the full story here.

Skyview’s Colby Gilbert finds inspiration in his mother’s words, even after her death

There were so many tough days for Carolynne Gilbert in her eight-year battle against breast cancer, but rarely was it too tough for her to show her support for Colby.

Now that she is gone, Colby Gilbert is making sure his mom is still with him, at every race, at every training run, or just about at every other place in a busy high school senior’s life.

Run fast. Run hard. Run fearless.

“She always told me that before every race,” Colby said.

It’s now his motto in life.

Skyview’s Colby Gilbert, one of the best distance runners in the state, is racing in memory of his mother this season. Carolynne died Feb. 7 at the age of 41. Running is part of the healing process for Colby.

“It really helped me to stay on top of things,” he said. “When it happened, the little things like keeping my room clean or staying motivated in school, those were difficult. When I ran, it helped me get it back together. Running has helped me a lot through the whole process.”

Chris Gilbert met his wife in college. Both runners, they had a lot in common. Their children, Colby and Chanse, an eighth-grader, are athletes as well.

Read the full story here.