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



The Evergreen High School Marching Band won the Sweepstakes Award as the best band in the Grand Floral Parade in Portland on Saturday.

A look back at some of the weekend’s top stories and news you may have missed:

Smooth ride for I-5 closure

Interstate 5 is flowing in Vancouver after work was completed about midnight.

“Our contractor did a brilliant job of planning this work so they could maximize every second the interstate was closed,” Heidi Sause said this morning. She is a public information officer for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

“Things went very smoothly. It was an incredible day.

“Northbound was open about 11:20 p.m. and both directions were fully opened just after midnight.”

Washington State Department of Transportation said Saturday afternoon its goal was to reopen Interstate 5 in time for the Monday morning work commute.

“But if everything goes well, it should be reopened for the Sunday drive to church,” said Allen Hendy, WSDOT project manager, standing on the empty stretch of the interstate on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

See the Saturday’s update on the work here.

Maintenance lifts planned for I-5 Bridge

Maintenance work on both spans of the Interstate 5 Bridge will cause intermittent delays and multiple bridge lifts during three nights this month, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Crews will be lubricating steel bridge cables by hand — a process they’ve carried out since the original span opened in 1917. The work requires bridge lifts and delays of up to 20 minutes at a time, according to ODOT.

The lifts will begin at 10 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, and Thursday, June 13, continuing until 5:30 a.m. the following mornings. Maintenance lifts will also occur starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, June 22, until 9 a.m. the next day.

Sheriff’s veteran announces candidacy

The campaign for 2014 has begun.

Almost 17 months before voters cast their ballots in the 2014 November election, which will decide several county races, a candidate has declared he’ll begin running to be Clark County Sheriff.

Chuck Atkins, a 35-year veteran of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and one year into retirement, says he’s ready to return to the job.

“I call it life two,” Atkins said. “I’m ready for it, and especially since it’s in a field that I love.

“The reason I retired and took that year off was to ask myself what I wanted to do. And I realized, throughout my career, I’m happiest when I do what I enjoy.”

See the full story here.

Larch’s Asian Pacific Islanders connect with culture

LARCH CORRECTION CENTER — Bouncing and chanting to the drum’s rhythm, the barefoot, bare-chested dancers in flower-print sarongs are greeted by the audience’s gasps of disbelief, giving way to cheering.

“Dancing in front of a group of people isn’t what a lot of us grew up learning how to do,” says Antonio Ruiz, or “Blue” as the other offenders at Larch Corrections Center call him. That didn’t stop Ruiz and about 30 other offenders from putting on an Asian Pacific Islander, or API, program for friends, family and a handful of other Larch inmates.

The prison’s mess hall served as an auditorium, and an upside-down trash can as a drum, but if you looked past the guards you might think you were inside a community center or church meeting room filled with families waiting to see a cultural event. A large papier-mache dragon, along with several paintings and other API-inspired artwork helped transport the audience beyond the razor wire and less-than-tropical surroundings.

“Larch Corrections Center, in the middle of a mountain, that actually took a little bit getting used to, to be honest, coming from Hawaii,” said offender Nainoa”Nine” Fontaine, who spearheaded the program and served as the choreographer. “We’re only initially allotted two days a week to practice dancing. We really had to push and push and they were able to give us four days a week for the past three weeks. So in three weeks we were able to get 12 practices in,” Fontaine said of the 25-minute program.

See the full story, photo gallery and video here.

Clark County entries shine at Grand Floral Parade

The Battle Ground community float won the Royal Rosarian Award for best craftsmanship and workmanship Saturday at the Portland Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade.

Sandy Helyer, president of Battle Ground Rose Float Board of Directors, said it was “very exciting” for the float to take the award.

“It’s the third-highest award we could possibly win,” Helyer said. “This was all a humongous community effort. There were at least 100 volunteers who helped out. And the parade was wonderful. There were a lot of people there on a beautiful day.”

Rich Jarvis, public relations manager of the parade, gave high praise to the Battle Ground contingent that arrived for the event.

“The Battle Ground court came out on the parade route last night,” Jarvis said. “They were walking around greeting people and we ran into them out there and we were absolutely tickled by that. I just think that’s really cool they did that. They are great ambassadors and we are very proud of our association with Battle Ground.”

See the full story here.

Barrett Business Services looks ahead

Barrett Business Services Inc. is on a roll.

In the first quarter of this year, the Vancouver-based supplier of staffing and outsourced human resources services hauled in $111.6 million in net revenue. That’s up 35 percent, year over year.

For all of 2012, it raked in a profit of $13.1 million.

It added a net 198 clients in the January-to-March period — the largest of any quarter since the company’s inception.

Inside a conference room at the company’s headquarters in a leafy office park off Northeast Parkway Drive, President and CEO Michael Elich, 48, looks relaxed in a crisp white shirt with pinstripes (no tie) and black slacks. One moment, he sounds like a hard-charging chief executive. Another, he waxes philosophical, noting the importance of allowing your mind some room to get hold of things.

He exudes pride in the company’s most recent financial results.

Read the full story here.