The Morning Press: Fatal accident, $700 tip, food stamps, Camas football



Caran Johnson tweets as ScanCouver.

Rosie Salice, a 22-year-old restaurant server, stands Monday in the dining room of Mint Tea bistro in Vancouver, where she received a $700 check Sunday from a stranger to start her own jewelry-making business. "I've never felt so cared about by a stranger before," she said.

Registered nurse Kristina Kinnunen works in the pediatric unit at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center during a recent 12-hour shift. She was one of 61 selected from nearly 700 applicants for Legacy's registered nurse residency program.

Sgt. Randon Walker

Battle Ground newcomer Stacy Pfeifer, 32, steers her children -- from left, Benjamin, 4, Caeden, 2, and Dalin, 1 -- through the North County Community Food Bank. Pfeifer said she and her husband are both disabled military veterans; on Nov. 1 their government food benefits dropped by $50 a month.

Jason Vailea leads the Camas football team through a pre-game Haka to get fired up to play Bellarmine Prep at the Tacoma Dome (Steven Lane/The Columbian)

After yesterday’s snow, check out the weekend’s weather forecast for Clark County here.

This week’s top stories and news you may have missed:

Vancouver woman learns husband killed while live tweeting about crash

In an achingly sad unfolding of events, a Vancouver woman unwittingly live-tweeted the fatal crash that killed her husband Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 205.

After the collision was reported at 1:41 p.m., The Columbian started reporting the crash in the southbound lanes on Twitter based on emergency scanner traffic. Caran Johnson, using the Twitter handle @scancouver, responded to the tweets and started reporting on the crash as well:

“i hate that section of I205 S. too many on ramps, speeders and too few lanes.”

“@troyglidden @Col_cops this accident sounds horrible.”

The mother of two regularly listens in on emergency scanner traffic through an application downloaded on her computer. Wednesday afternoon was no exception. She expressed sympathy after the Washington State Patrol confirmed that one person died in the two-car collision near Milepost 33.

Read the full story here.

Waitress receives more generosity after $700 tip

The generosity is continuing for Rosie Salice, the restaurant server who received a $700 check Sunday from a customer she’d never met before.

Since the news broke about the good deed, Salice, a 22-year-old student and jewelry-maker, has been contacted by a few television news stations and a woman who wants to sell Salice’s jewelry in her salon. A woman commenting on The Columbian’s website also offered to donate jewelry-making supplies to Salice.

“It’s amazing,” Salice said of the public’s reaction to her story. After the $700 she received, “I’m shocked that anyone else would be further interested in helping.”

Salice was waiting tables on Sunday afternoon at Vancouver’s Mint Tea bistro when a customer noticed her raw crystal necklace, which Salice made by hand. The customer complimented the necklace and said Salice should start her own jewelry-making business. Salice told the customer she’s tried to sell her jewelry without much success.

Read the full story here.

Young RN grows at Legacy medical center

Kristina Kinnunen always envisioned working in the medical field, she just didn’t know she’d get her start in a hospital housekeeping department.

But that’s how the 24-year-old Battle Ground woman began her young nursing career at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center.

In November 2007, Kinnunen was hired as a housekeeper at the medical center. She had recently graduated from Hockinson High School and knew she wanted to work in health care, but she wasn’t sure which profession she wanted to pursue.

Her mother had been hired as a hospital housekeeper a few months earlier and told Kinnunen the job was a good way to see different positions at the hospital and get her foot in the door.

Read the full story here.

County shapes panhandling response

The sheriff’s office hopes to curb aggressive panhandling through an ordinance that would restrict where panhandling occurs and how it’s done. Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Randon Walker hosted an informal public forum Tuesday evening to explain the draft ordinance and get feedback.

“We are agents for change and we’re going to change what Clark County looks like,” he said. The meeting was at the Public Safety Complex in Ridgefield.

The ordinance would bar panhandlers from soliciting people at ATMs, pay phones, gas stations, self-serve car washes, and building exits and entrances. It also would ban begging from people using or waiting for public transportation, and other locations considered isolated where panhandlers would have a captive audience.

Read the full story here.

Food stamps cut hits families hard in Clark County

BATTLE GROUND — Nutrition and human development is what Stacy Pfeifer wants to study in school. But here’s a more pressing task: the nutrition and development of her three young children, her husband and herself.

On Monday morning, Pfeifer, 32, shepherded her hungry kids through a chilly line and into the tight, busy North County Community Food Bank.

“We use the food bank to help us make it to the end of the month,” she said. “By the end of the month, what I can put on the table gets pretty skimpy.”

Skimpy has gone skimpier. As of Nov. 1, the Pfeifer family took a cut of $50 in its monthly SNAP benefit — generally known as food stamps. The family of five now gets $420 a month, down from $470. “We got cut big time,” Pfeifer said.

More than 47 million Americans rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and every one of them is feeling some form of that cut, which was a scheduled reduction to a recession-driven rise in benefits. The rise began in 2009 and — adjusted for inflation — disappeared again just last month.

Read the full story here. And don’t forget to put food out for today’s Knock & Walk Campaign.

Rite of Camas: Pre-game Haka dance fires up Papermakers

CAMAS — His expression exudes passion, intensity.

His words and his actions inspire.

Jason Vailea stands before his teammates, before every game, and leads the Camas football team in The Haka, a war chant with roots that go back a couple hundred years.

No result in a football game can be compared to the realities of The Haka’s origins — preparing oneself for war — but in the proper context, the Camas Haka does provide a lift to the team and its fans.

“It’s getting yourself ready for whatever is going to be thrown at you, to go in fearless, to take what’s coming at you,” Vailea said. “It’s supposed to be toward the other team, or the other tribe, to let them know you would do anything to protect the family.”

Read the full story here. For coverage of tonight’s state championship game, visit