Morning Press: Christmas lights, Mount St. Helens, snow chaos




Is our wild weather over for now? Find out by checking our local weather coverage.

In case you missed them, here are some of the top stories of the week:

Snow creates chaos in Clark County

Wednesday’s snowstorm wreaked havoc on evening commutes in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, sending multiple vehicles off the roadway and adding hours to many southbound trips home.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn said the combination of inclement weather and the daily commute — snow began falling in earnest around 4 p.m. Wednesday — led to multiple minor crashes and sent vehicles sliding off the roadway, especially on state Highway 14 east of Interstate 205. Other trouble spots appeared to be on I-205 around Highway 14, he said.

Clark County bright with holiday lights

With snow in the forecast, it the perfect time for some Christmas cheer. As usual, Clark County residents are embracing the holidays with creative and even over the top lights displays. Check out our map to find the best lights in your neighborhood and around the county.

Mount St. Helens shakes 120 times within a week

In less than a week, four swarms of more than 120 earthquakes shook Mount St. Helens in late November. Although they were too small to be felt even by someone standing directly over their epicenters, scientists say they reveal the volcano is likely recharging.

“Each of these little earthquakes is a clue and a reminder we are marching toward an eruption someday,” said Weston Thelen, a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist with the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver.

Vancouver apartment complex tenant helps rescue others from fire

Rex Donaldson and his family had just eaten dinner and were out walking their Chihuahua, Gunner, a few minutes before 7 p.m. Saturday when his wife said she smelled smoke.

Donaldson, a 30-year-old Army veteran, looked up and saw that the sky was illuminated near their apartment complex, Fort Vancouver Terrace Apartments, 4710 Plomondon St. in Vancouver.

“Fire!” his wife yelled.

Father accused in attack on toddler enters insanity plea

The father facing attempted murder in the June beating of his 2-year-old daughter at a Salmon Creek motel has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Kyle Stephen Brian Holder entered the plea Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court following monthslong treatment to try to restore his competency.

He was ordered in July to undergo the restoration process after a court-ordered mental health evaluation found he could understand court proceedings but was unable to aid in his defense. Competency in the court system only addresses whether a defendant is able to assist in his defense.