Morning Press: Commissioner Stuart, State of the City, Sausage Fest

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Stuart tapped for Ridgefield city manager job

photoCounty Commissioner Steve Stuart

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Ridgefield city councilors voted unanimously Thursday night to make Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart the city’s new top administrator.

Stuart, a 42-year-old Ridgefield native, will begin his job as Ridgefield’s next city manager on April 14. He has spent the last 10 years on the Board of Clark County Commissioners, where he’s currently the lone Democrat.

In January, Stuart announced that he wouldn’t seek another term on the board, expressing his frustration with the job. The announcement followed a stressful year of antagonism between Stuart and Republican commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke.

Stuart did not announce specific plans to step down from his position with the county. Mielke and Madore will have to choose his successor from a list provided by Clark County Democrats.

Stuart was selected over Assistant Vancouver Police Chief Chris Sutter for the city manager position. Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow said he and the councilors were impressed with the two finalists’ qualifications, but they especially liked that Stuart presented a 90-day plan for the city during his interview.

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State of the City: Leavitt calls CRC death 'a travesty'

photoVancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt gives the State of the City address at Fort Vancouver High School earlier this month.

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Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt delivered the annual State of the City address Wednesday at Fort Vancouver High School, and the 1989 graduate was at ease at his alma mater during what he promised would be a “brief and entertaining” speech.

At 35 minutes, it was relatively brief and included a video he filmed with students.

Leavitt opened with referencing his past, saying he’s a proud member of Trapper Nation. He closed with a quote about the future from former President Abraham Lincoln.

He had, however, harsh words about the present as he blamed unnamed state senators for the March 7 death of the Columbia River Crossing.

“The fact that today I must acknowledge the project has met an unfortunate fate is a travesty,” Leavitt said.

The death followed 15 years of public process, more than 1,000 public meetings and approval from nearly every local board of elected officials with a direct role in the project, Leavitt said. An estimated 1,000 jobs would have been created with the construction of a new bridge, new interchanges and light rail.

More than $190 million has been spent on public involvement, environmental assessment, design and independent expert reviews, he said. Backers included President Barack Obama, U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, state Sen. Annette Cleveland and state Reps. Jim Moeller and Sharon Wylie, as well as Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek.

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Tuttle gets 2 years juvenile detention in weapons case

photoTwelve-year-old Quincy Tuttle sits in court in January. He was arrested in connection with a weapons incident at Frontier Middle School.

Twelve-year-old Quincy Tuttle was sentenced Thursday to two years in a juvenile detention facility for attempting to assault two boys Oct. 23 when he brought a handgun and ammunition to Vancouver’s Frontier Middle School.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Tuttle pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of first-degree attempted assault and one count each of theft of a firearm, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possessing a dangerous weapon on school facilities. In exchange, Deputy Prosecutor Abbie Bartlett dismissed a charge of first-degree attempted murder.

Superior Court Judge Scott Collier also sentenced Tuttle to serve two years of probation and 40 hours of community service and to pay restitution, which may include the cost of counseling for the two victims.

Tuttle apologized Thursday for his actions, saying he wants to believe he wouldn’t have carried out his plan to shoot the two boys, who, along with Tuttle, were students at the school.

Tuttle said, in a statement read by his attorney, John Lutgens, that he was in a “very dark and angry place” at the time of the incident and has been working on his anger issues with counselors in the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center.

Tuttle has been in custody since his arrest in October.

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Papa Murphy's goes out for IPO

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Vancouver-based take-and-bake pizza chain Papa Murphy's International has filed an initial public stock offering to raise up to $70 million, according to a Tuesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.

Papa Murphy's Holdings Inc. has applied for the ticker symbol "FRSH," according to the filing.

As of Dec. 30, the chain had 1,418 stores system wide, including 1,349 franchise stores and 69 stores owned by the company. The stores on average generated positive sales growth in 35 out of 40 quarters through 2013, according to the regulatory filing. That translated to $80.5 million in total revenue for fiscal year 2013, up from $66.9 million in 2012. Those revenues were divided almost equally between company-owned and franchised stores.

The filing says Lee Equity Partners owns 65 percent of the outstanding capital stock in the company. The New York-based company purchased those shares from majority owner Charlesbank Capital Partners for an undisclosed price in 2010. The filing doesn't say whether Lee Equity or two other investors that own more than 5 percent of the company will be selling any shares of the company. Investors in the company in October received $31.5 million in dividends in addition to $36 million the previous year.

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2014 the final year for Vancouver Sausage Fest

photoAnjelica Bautista, 16, of Vancouver, grabs her sausage with sauerkraut at the Sausage Fest at St. Joseph's Catholic School in 2013. This year will be the festival's last.

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Say goodbye to Sir Links A Lot.

This is the last year of the lederhosen-clad mascot, the last year of sausages on a stick and festival rides.

The Vancouver Sausage Fest will sizzle away for good after its 43rd annual celebration in September.

The event, which helps raise funds for St. Joseph Catholic School and other charities, had a good run, but it’s time for something different, organizers said.

But first, it will go out in a fat-popping blaze of glory in honor of the school’s 60th anniversary, said Carrie Moschetti, pastoral assistant for administration at the school and parish.

“It was a decision made by the councils and the fathers,” Moschetti said. “It will still be the same time frame for the final event. And it will be part of the 60th anniversary celebration for the school this year.”

The festival, which draws between 25,000 and 30,000 people annually, had been a big money maker for the school for many years, but it wasn’t really keeping up with the need, she said.

“It made money, but not so much in recent years,” Moschetti said.

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Vancouver woman's Etsy business combines love of tortoises, crocheting

photoKatie Bradley makes and sells tortoise cozies from her Vancouver home. Since opening an Etsy shop last year, Bradley has sold an estimated 1,400 tortoise cozies. Top left: A baby marginated tortoise roams around Katie Bradley's yard while wearing a flower cozy. The tortoise cozies make it easier to spot the reptiles while they're outside. Top center: Two of Katie Bradley's baby marginated tortoises are dressed in popular cozies: the shark fin and the flower. Top right: The stegosaurus cozy is the most popular item on Katie Bradley's Etsy shop, Mossy Tortoise.

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People dress their dogs in rain jackets and tutus. They put their cats in hoodies and T-shirts. And come Halloween, there's no shortage of superhero costumes for pets.

So why not cozies for tortoises?

"People dress up their dogs, dress up their cats," said Katie Bradley, the Vancouver woman behind tortoise cozies. "It's a harmless thing to do to dress up their tortoise every now and then."

Sure, the crocheted sweaters don't actually keep the cold-blooded tortoises warm. But they do serve a practical purpose: It's easier to find a tortoise exploring the garden when it's wearing a shark fin cozy.

Bradley's tortoise cozy venture began in December 2012.

Bradley, 33, came across a funny photo of a tortoise with a doily on its shell. The longtime crocheter made her own version — a shell-shaped cap with a strap to slide over the tortoise's belly. She slipped the little sweater on one of her tortoises and posted the photo to an online tortoise forum.

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