Morning Press: School gun incident, overturned rape conviction, 2013 election

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A sixth-grader who allegedly brought a handgun, ammunition and knives to Frontier Middle School has been identfied as Quincy J. Tuttle, 11.

Alan Northrop, left, and Larry Davis celebrate in July 2010 outside a Clark County courtroom after a Superior Court judge dismissed charges against them in a 1993 rape conviction on the basis of new DNA evidence that pointed to different assailants.

Brent McGregor The early morning sun lights up the lower entrance of Pure Imagination, a cave in the Sandy Glacier on Mount Hood. At top, after Jared Smith set up the rope system, Eddy Cartaya makes an early-morning descent as lights from an OPB-TV crew illuminate the interior of the moulin.

County traffic signal operations and engineering lead Rob Klug watches traffic flow and monitors traffic signal performance inside the Clark County Public Services building on Friday.

Will the morning fog and sunny afternoons continue through the weekend? Check the forecast here at Columbian.com’s weather page.

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

Boy, 11, arrested after weapon, ammunition found at Frontier Middle School

The 11-year-old boy accused of bringing a handgun and 400 rounds of ammunition to Frontier Middle School on Wednesday said voices told him to shoot another student in the arm to prevent him from bullying a friend, according to court records.

Sixth-grader Quincy J. Tuttle appeared in Clark County Juvenile Court Thursday on suspicion of multiple crimes in connection with Wednesday’s incident.

Quincy said the other student called his friend “gay,” according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.

“He stated a voice told him killing (the student) was a good idea,” the affidavit says.

However, he told police he only planned to shoot the student in the arm and then shoot himself in the head, the court document says.

Superior Court Dayann Liebman ordered Quincy to undergo a mental competency evaluation. He will remain in custody pending a review of that evaluation at 9 a.m. Friday, when his release will be considered. Liebman appointed Vancouver attorney John Lutgens to represent him.

Read the full story and see a timeline here.

County borrowing $10 million to pay pair wrongfully convicted of rape

Clark County will take out a $10 million loan to pay a settlement to two men who spent 17 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of rape.

Earlier, the county agreed to pay $10.5 million ($5.25 million apiece) to Larry Davis, 57, of Vancouver and Alan Northrop, 49, of Woodland, to settle a federal lawsuit.

On Tuesday, county commissioners approved a financing plan to take out a seven-year loan for $10 million from Banc of America Preferred Funding Corp. at 1.85 percent interest. Clark County Deputy Treasurer John Payne said the additional $500,000 will come out of the county’s general fund. Taking out a loan avoids having the general fund take such a large hit, as it pays for public safety and other essential county services that have already been budgeted.

The county has 30 days to pay the settlement, which was reached nine days into a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

The county will pay $711,183 in interest, said Larry Frueh, finance manager for the treasurer’s office.

The county filed a claim with its insurer, Washington Counties Risk Pool, but it was rejected because the county wasn’t insured in 1993.

Read the full story here.

PDC exempts Benton from some public disclosure rules

State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, can skip disclosing most of the top clients of his sales consulting business, the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission unanimously ruled Thursday.

Benton still must report clients paying him $10,000 or more a year, but only if those clients operate in Washington state, or if they are listed as a client anywhere in the public domain. Benton’s company’s website has included testimonials from a few of his clients, and Benton said Thursday that less than 1 percent of his clients are in Washington.

The PDC requires state elected officials to disclose financial information on an F1 report so the public can see whether they have any potential financial conflicts of interest. Benton has omitted a list of his top clients from his F1 reports since 1999.

The PDC took note of the lapse in Benton’s reporting after an inquiry from The Columbian. After being contacted by the PDC, Benton filed a request asking the commission to exclude him from the requirement.

Read the full story here.

Exploring cool beauty of Mt. Hood

Highlighted against a brilliant blue sky, the white-cloaked flanks of Mount Hood provide a dazzling spectacle.

A local mountaineer recently saw that ice from an even more spectacular perspective: underneath the glacier.

Jared Smith helped out when a public broadcasting crew recently documented a team of climbers who are exploring glacier caves.

“It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in my life,” said Smith, a member of the Yacolt-based Volcano Rescue Team.

“It’s definitely one of the most beautiful and dangerous places in North America,” Smith said. “They go together.”

That’s because the ice caves are created by the gradual deterioration of the Sandy Glacier, on the northwest face of Mount Hood.

Read the full story here.

Bluetooth can help local traffic flow

If you want to improve your travel time along some of Clark County’s busier roads, turn your Bluetooth device to “discoverable” mode.

Clark County traffic engineers — along with engineers from the state of Washington and the city of Vancouver — have in place a system that can detect Bluetooth devices in discoverable mode.

The program is being funded primarily through a $540,000 federal grant, with a small match from the local governments.

And with some 900 vehicles traveling through the Andresen corridor during peak travel times, even a small sampling is enough to give information on how quickly cars are moving along the roadways.

“Right now, we are seeing between 3 and 5 percent of traffic broadcasting in discoverable mode,” said Rob Klug, traffic signal operations and engineering lead at Clark County. “From that, we can track MAC addresses and … get a timestamp of when cars enter and exit the area we are scanning. From there, the next step, we can make traffic signal settings based on (the information).”

Read the full story here.

2013 Election

The election is less than 2 weeks away. Have you filled out your ballot? Visit www.columbian.com/news/politics/election/ for a closer look at the candidates and issues.