The Morning Press: Election, Herrera Beutler challenger, fireball, candy

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Nov. 5 Election

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Herrera Beutler draws Republican challenger in 2014

photoFormer Washougal City Councilman Michael Delavar, left, and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas

A Republican has emerged to challenge U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in the 2014 election.

Washougal airline pilot Michael Delavar, a board member of the Clark County Republican Party and a former Washougal City Council member, announced over the weekend that he intends to run against the Camas Republican. He said he’s unhappy with Herrera Beutler’s voting record on budget issues and her support of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which affirmed President Obama’s authority to detain U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism involvement.

“I am tired of congressional representatives, like Herrera Beutler, playing political theater with the budget,” Delavar said in his announcement. “There are solutions to the budget dilemmas, but kicking the can down the road only increases the size of the correction.”

Delavar was one of 14 Clark County GOP board members to send a letter to Herrera Beutler earlier this month that criticized her vote to end the partial government shutdown and extend the nation’s borrowing limit. In the letter, the board said her vote was a disappointing surrender in the fight to reduce the nation’s debt.

Read the full story here.

Fireball blazes through Pacific N.W. skies

photoAP Photo/Nasha gazeta, www.ng.kz A dashboard camera in Russia caught this image of a magnitude -26 fireball in Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15. Research now shows that meteors about the size of the one in February — and ones even larger and more dangerous — are probably four to five times more likely to hit the planet than scientists believed before the fireball.

Remember the adage: The early bird catches the fireball.

At least that’s what early risers in Clark County and much of the Pacific Northwest can claim if they were looking at the sky at 5:55 a.m. Wednesday morning.

That’s when a brilliant, whitish-blue fireball streaked through the sky for about eight seconds, according to reports from across the region.

“I saw this! It was awesome. Couldn’t get to my phone quick enough though,” said Frank Decker, a commenter on The Columbian’s website.

OMSI and the American Meteor Society are hoping that those who saw it will report in with details on the Web at http://www.amsmeteors.org/.

“Those people who saw it, they’ll remember it for the rest of their lives,” said Jim Todd, OMSI’s director of space science education.

Read the full story here.

Oil terminal plan foes pack hearing

photoCager Clabaugh, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 4, speaks Tuesday during a rally against a proposed oil terminal in Vancouver. The local union opposes the project, Clabaugh said, despite the fact that it could benefit from the jobs it would provide.

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As state regulators prepare to vet a controversial plan to build the region's largest oil-handling terminal in Vancouver, hundreds of opponents on Tuesday delivered an overwhelming message:

The damage and risk from such an operation would reach well beyond Vancouver and Clark County, opponents said.

More than 300 people filed into Clark College's Gaiser Hall. The vast majority of them — many clad in red shirts — oppose the project for a variety of reasons. An hour and a half into the hearing, not a single person had spoken in favor of the proposal.

But Tuesday's hearing wasn't a popularity contest. The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council held the hearing as part of its "scoping" process, during which the group will decide what should and should not be included in the environmental review of the project.

Attendees urged council members to make that review as broad as possible, considering everything from local air quality affected by emissions from the facility itself, to compounding the implications of global climate change by eventually burning oil that's extracted from North Dakota. Opponents also highlighted environmental risks to the Columbia River ecosystem, and to the communities along the railroads that would bring oil through the region.

Read the full story here.

Local woman with high cancer risk wants to help others like her

photoBrandy McEllrath, center, tested positive last year for a gene mutation that puts her at significant risk for breast and ovarian cancers. The inherited gene may also put McEllrath's daughters, Gillian Stockwell, 14, left, and Sydney Stockwell, 19, at risk.

(/The Columbian)

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Brandy McEllrath hadn't been given a breast cancer diagnosis when she made the decision to undergo a double mastectomy. But by the time she went under the knife on April 19, 2012, that had changed.

An MRI before the surgery revealed a small mass. A biopsy proved it was cancerous. During the procedure, surgeons discovered a much larger mass growing against her chest plate. A tissue sample later revealed it, too, was cancerous.

"That one might have been the killer," McEllrath said.

McEllrath, of Vancouver, made the decision to undergo preventive surgery after learning she had an inherited gene mutation that put her at significant risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Earlier this year, actress Angelina Jolie made a similar decision after also testing positive for a gene mutation.

While the mutations are rare in the general population, they are inherited. A child of a person carrying the mutation has a 50 percent chance of inheriting it, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Read the full story here.

Fun size candy no laughing matter

photoKids may collect miniature candies while trick-or-treating, but local dietitians and pediatricians warn the calories in those smaller versions can quickly add up.

(/The Columbian)

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This Halloween, kids' trick-or-treat buckets will undoubtably be filled with all sorts of sweets — chocolate bars, sour candies, hard candies and gummies of all shapes.

But those fun-size candies come with some not-so-fun extras: calories, fat and sugar.

"There's that mind-set of, 'It's small. How bad can it be?'" said Sharla Wiest, a registered dietitian at the Center for Weight Management at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. "It does add up really quickly."

Wiest doesn't suggest parents ban their kids from trick-or-treating — she takes her three kids every year — but she does recommend setting some boundaries and being aware of exactly how much candy kids are eating.

While trick-or-treaters typically collect smaller versions of candy bars — labeled as "fun size," "snack size" or "miniatures" — after a couple houses, they've likely collected enough candy to equal a full-size candy bar.

Read the full story here.

Seth Aaron Henderson returns to 'Project Runway'

photoDesigner Seth Aaron Henderson of Vancouver.

When Vancouver's Seth Aaron Henderson competed on and ultimately won season seven of the Lifetime reality design show "Project Runway," he knew from the get-go that about two-thirds of the contestants weren't serious competition.

Now he's back competing on the third edition of "Project Runway All Stars," and it's a different world entirely. Though he's one of three past winners vying for a prize package worth nearly $1 million, all 11 competitors have a real shot at victory.

"There aren't designers coming into this competition who don't know what they're doing. This is really an all-star cast. No fillers there to make good TV. That is why I came to 'All Stars,'" Henderson said. That and the invaluable chance to capture widespread attention just as he's poised to launch a mass market 2014 spring/summer collection.

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