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

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Benton critics stew, vent after public comments delayed

photoAn overflow crowd was present at a Clark County Commissioners meeting at the Clark County Public Services Center Tuesday.

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When the meeting ended at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart said he will ask the board to reconsider the appointment of state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, as it broke the board rules the three of them signed in January.

Stuart made a distinction that it did not break a law, but the rule to allow the county administrator to take lead on all hirings.

No decision was made Wednesday morning. Facing a meeting hall packed to capacity with people looking to comment on the hiring of Sen. Don Benton, Clark County commissioners chose to suspend the rules of the meeting and push the public comment period back nearly four hours on Tuesday night.

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Man fatally shot near Fruit Valley Road

A man shot Thursday evening in the yard of a house in Vancouver’s Fruit Valley neighborhood died of his injuries, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

The shooting occurred about 5:26 p.m. at a home at the intersection of West 27th Street and Northwest Fruit Valley Road. Two minutes before, emergency dispatchers had received a report of a dispute with weapons, according to dispatch logs.

Neighbors reported hearing between four to six shots fired.

The man was found in the yard of a house at 1927 W. 27th St. Police moved in, weapons drawn and protected by a shield, to secure the scene and allow medics to reach the man. He was allegedly shot and killed by the homeowner, said Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp. The two men knew each other.

The man was rushed by Vancouver Fire Department and American Medical Response personnel into a waiting ambulance.

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Vancouver teen dies after crash that split car in half

photoMolly Mayo, 19

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A Vancouver woman whose vehicle crashed into a light pole and split in two has died, police said Tuesday morning.

Molly Mayo, 19, was driving a Volkswagen Jetta east on Mill Plain Boulevard when she lost control and hit a light pole around 1:30 a.m. Monday, Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.

Her friend Britt Counts, 18, said she heard about Mayo’s death during work Monday afternoon.

“It’s very heartbreaking because Molly was such a kind soul,” Counts said.

Counts and Mayo met freshman year during choir at Union High School and graduated in 2012. Mayo was studying at Clark College this quarter. Counts last spoke to Mayo on Saturday.

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E-cigarette users say device vastly safer than smoking

A cigarette with nicotine, sans tobacco. A cigarette that emits vapor, not smoke. A cigarette that uses a battery, not a lighter.

They're not just cigarettes, they're electronic cigarettes, and they're gaining popularity.

But is "vaping" any less harmful than smoking? That depends on who you ask.

Public health officials argue the long-term effects of the unregulated products are unknown and require more research.

"It's probably a lesser amount of the toxic substances, but the research just isn't there to support it, and we would never say it's a safe product," said Theresa Cross, health educator for Clark County's chronic disease prevention program.

Electronic cigarette advocates counter that the product's vapor is far less hazardous to one's health than tobacco cigarette smoke and a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.

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Summer program gets big boost from generous family

photoCandace Young and her children — Peter Gorman and Margaret Gorman — donated $15,500 to pay for a summer program for elementary school-age children at Orchards Community Park.

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After experiencing an "aha" moment, Candace Young felt called to action.

During a Community Foundation for Southwest Washington board meeting, she heard about the need for a kids summer playground program at Orchards Community Park. However, due to budget cuts, the program couldn't be funded.

As a result, 50 kids — mostly from low-income households — might spend the summer cooped up indoors staring at television or computer screens instead of enjoying seven weeks of supervised outdoor fun with activities, games, crafts and a hot lunch.

"The parks programs have had some significant cuts in the last year or two," said Young, 65. "When I heard about this need in Orchards, I wanted to find out more. It's something that lit me up."

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