Morning Press: County guns, Steakburger, Juvenile detention teacher, Fall chinook, High-speed chase

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Here are some of the week's top stories and news you may have missed:

Clark County could allow employees to carry guns

photoCounty Commissioners David Madore, left, Tom Mielke

In the wake of a workplace shooting at the Center for Community Health earlier in the month, Clark County commissioners are directing their legal staff to draft a new policy allowing county employees to carry concealed weapons.

Commissioners Tom Mielke and David Madore on Wednesday requested that Chris Horne, the county's chief civil deputy prosecutor, investigate what revisions could be made to the county's workplace violence policy to allow employees to carry concealed firearms. Commissioner Steve Stuart was absent from the meeting.

The county's current policy prohibits employees from bringing concealed firearms at work, even if they have a permit to do so. Other people, including elected officials and the public, are exempt from the policy and may bring weapons into some county buildings.

New language would address those discrepancies, the two commissioners said, and allow employees to properly defend themselves while on the job. Mielke and Madore say loosening the county's prohibition on employees carrying concealed guns would deter future acts of workplace violence and ensure equal rights.

Read the full story here.

Steakburger site to be redeveloped

photoAn artist's rendering shows the vision of a planned redevelopment of about 4.4 acres on the west side of Northeast Highway 99. The property now includes a McDonald's, the Steakburger restaurant and its miniature golf course and a building now occupied by the Salvation Army, but owned by Fred Meyer, all of which will be demolished. Currently, the Steakburger site sits between McDonads (the red building) and the gas station.

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Plans are moving forward for a summer start to demolish and redevelop the iconic Steakburger restaurant site and its adjoining miniature golf course.

The work will be part of several projects that make up a two-block makeover to construct four new commercial buildings, rebuild the McDonald's restaurant, add a new Dutch Bros. Coffee kiosk and replace a building with a Fred Meyer fueling station.

The new developments are earmarked for a swath of property wedged between Interstate 5 and Northeast Highway 99 from 71st to 73rd streets. The old Steakburger venue will be replaced by a $5 million project that includes the four buildings, two of which will be drive-through restaurants, said Mike Jenkins, of Vancouver-based MAJ Development Corp., the project's developer.

He credited the county's 100 percent waiver of traffic impact and permitting fees for making the project pencil out. The measure saved him about $1 million in county fees, said Jenkins, who expects to start demolishing the Steakburger in June.

Read the full story here.

Former juvenile detention center teacher remembered

photo Photos show William Andrews with his family. Williams, who taught at Clark County Juvenile Detention Center, died Jan. 30 at 76.

(/The Columbian)

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Good teachers not only teach, they inspire their students to push themselves to reach their potential. When the students are juvenile delinquents and the classroom is at the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center, the ripples of influence can be profound, turning lives around and reaching across decades and even generations.

William Alverett Andrews, known to his incarcerated students as "Mr. A," had that kind of far-reaching influence. Andrews died Jan. 30 at age 76, leaving behind a legacy of hope and changed lives.

"There are very few people in your life you can look back on and say, 'Wow! He really changed me. He really made a difference,'" said Kathleen Bowers, 41, who was in juvenile detention at age 14 for shoplifting and running away from home.

"Mr. A. never judged anybody for what crime you were in there for," Bowers said. "He'd shake your hand and say, 'Welcome to the university.'"

Read the full story here.

'Incredible' fall chinook run forecast for Columbia

photoGary Baker of Olympia with a small fall chinook salmon caught near the Astoria Bridge at Buoy 10.

(/The Columbian)

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A fall chinook run for the record books — 1.6 million salmon, the largest since counting began at Bonneville Dam — is forecast for the Columbia River in 2014.

State, federal and tribal biologists are predicting 1,602,900 fall chinook are headed for the Columbia, 26 percent better than the unexpected high of 1.26 million of 2013.

“If there is ever a year folks want to take time off and catch fish, this would be the year,’’ said Robert Moxley, a member of the bistate Columbia River Recreational Adviser Group. “I’m more excited than you can possibly imagine.’’

The fall chinook forecast comes on the heels of a prediction for a huge run of 964,000 coho salmon destined for the Columbia River.

Read the full story here.

High-speed chase through county ends in Vancouver

photoPolice take high-speed chase suspect in to custody after a pursuit through Vancouver on Wednesday that ended in a vehicle crash at West Fourth Plain Boulevard and Broadway in Vancouver's Uptown Village neighborhood.

(/The Columbian)

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A high-speed chase that started in the Salmon Creek area ended with a crash in Vancouver’s Uptown Village Wednesday. The suspect then fled on foot but was met with a police Taser and a bystander wielding a skateboard.

The chase began after a report of a disturbance and death threats at 2:48 p.m. in the 2400 block of Northeast 129th Street in Salmon Creek. Detectives are still pinpointing the suspect’s exact route, but the police pursuit appeared to begin near Northeast 50th Avenue and Salmon Creek Street by Washington State University Vancouver.

Deputies reported a red pickup hurtling down Northeast 50th Avenue. The fleeing pickup swerved into oncoming lanes and nearly struck a school bus as it fled from deputies on a route that took it south at speeds of 90-95 mph, according to radio traffic.

The chase moved onto St. Johns Road through Vancouver’s Minnehaha neighborhood and eventually passed over state Highway 500 and into the Rose Village neighborhood before reaching Fourth Plain Boulevard.

The driver eluded officers after turning west on Fourth Plain but drew attention moments later when his pickup collided with a black Jeep at the intersection of Fourth Plain and Broadway at about 3:13 p.m.

Read the full story here.