Weekend's top stories and news you may have missed:
Just weeks after the demise of the Columbia River Crossing project, a bipartisan group of Southwest Washington lawmakers is asking state transportation officials to regroup and discuss a new solution for updating the Interstate 5 Bridge over the Columbia River.
"It is time for all interested parties to come back to the table and put forward a plan that both meets the needs of the region and enjoys the support of our constituents," the letter states. "We remain committed to a long-term solution that will modernize and upgrade the current transportation corridor across the river."
The letter was sent Friday from U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, to Washington Department of Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. It included the signatures of six Republican and three Democratic state legislators from Clark County.
Read the full story and the letter here.
Bumper-to-bumper chrome and metal lined Main Street on Saturday in homage to the golden age of cruising in Vancouver.
Bob and Barbara Zozosky weren't going to miss a minute of it.
The couple set out a canopy at 8 a.m., two hours before the fifth annual Cruisin' the Gut was scheduled to begin.
The event drew thousands of people and cars to Main Street between Sixth and 28th streets. It's hard to know exactly how many attended, since the event is free to everyone.
"We came prepared this year," said Bob Zozosky, 47, in the shade of the canopy, surrounded by bags of food.
He and his wife would like to buy a classic car, but have yet to agree on what to purchase.
"We're window-shopping," he said. "This way, the cars come to us."
Read the story and see a photo gallery here.
MOUNT ST. HELENS -- Shovels pierced a soft hillside, peeling back the story of the Northwest's most active volcano. Each swipe revealed clearly defined layers of volcanic material, stacked like pages in a book.
Javier Pacheco paused for a moment.
"Two thousand years of history," he said. "Dos mil años."
The exercise would eventually uncover an even deeper range of eruptive activity on Mount St. Helens, capturing a snapshot of the mountain's entire modern stage. It also introduced the Northwest's best-known volcano to new eyes from around the world.
Read the story, see a photo gallery and watch a video here.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is urging the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and United Grain Corp. at the Port of Vancouver to settle their monthslong dispute, saying the bitter battle "has the potential of damaging the long-term reputation of Washington ports and has negatively impacted both the workers and the company."
In a July 11 letter obtained Friday by The Columbian, the Democratic governor expresses his concerns to Gary Schuld, CEO of United Grain, and Cager Clabaugh, president of the ILWU Local 4 in Vancouver. "While I appreciate the patience and restraint that both parties have shown to date, we need to have talks that lead toward developing an equitable, long-term solution to this dispute," Inslee wrote. "I strongly encourage both sides to renew a constructive dialogue on addressing the outstanding issues. Re-engaging the federal mediator would be an important first step in this regard."
The governor's letter underscores the gravity of the continuing standoff between local longshore workers and United Grain. The feud, part of a larger conflict in the Northwest, has attracted a review by the National Labor Relations Board, prompted letters similar to Inslee's from national and local political leaders, and triggered concerns on the part of Eastern Washington grain growers who worry about getting their products to overseas markets.
Read the full story here.
WASHOUGAL — The most popular motocross athlete in Washington and one of the best riders in the world can now say he has a victory in his home state.
To make it happen, Ryan Villopoto had to snap another rider's long Washougal winning streak Villopoto, winner of the 2011 motocross season championship and owner of 27 overall motocross titles coming into this weekend, had never won in Washougal, an annual stop in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
He has that victory now, and he continues to hold a commanding lead in the points race as he chases down his second outdoor championship.
Read the full story and see a photo gallery here.
Drive through Battle Ground in the next couple of weeks and you might do a double-take.
The police department is replacing its aging patrol fleet with new cop cars. The 2013-2014 budget paid for three new vehicles, each costing about $65,000: a Ford Interceptor sedan, a Ford Interceptor utility vehicle and a Chevy Tahoe.
The Interceptors will debut at today's Harvest Day Parade in Battle Ground and start patrol next week.
Read the full story here.
Many fans have gotten to know Phillip Phillips through his hit singles "Home" and "Gone, Gone, Gone." Those two folk-flavored anthems have propelled the 2012 "American Idol" to major stardom, but have also been criticized by some as attempts to mimic the arena-sized folk of the hit-making bands Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers.
Those who own Phillips' debut album, "The World From The Side Of The Moon," though, saw that there was another side to his sound. While the CD included a few other folk tunes, such as "Hold On" and "So Easy," it was equally defined by tracks such as "Wanted Is Love," "Get Up Get Down" and "Drive Me," punchy rockers with a bit of funk and jazz that sound more like the Dave Matthews Band than any sort of new school folk.
It turns out the rockers are closer to Phillips' musical heart than the songs that have put him on mainstream radio -- and a better indication of where Phillips would like to go musically on future albums.
Read our chat with him here.