Morning Press: Vancouver fire investigation, snow days and Washougal lights

By Amy Libby, Columbian staff writer



What will the weekend bring for holiday weather? Find out by checking our local weather coverage.

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

Investigation finds gender bias at Vancouver Fire Department

Women firefighters in Vancouver faced greater scrutiny because of their gender and were criticized when they raised concerns about adult magazines left in the workplace and a lack of privacy in the restrooms, according to an investigation obtained by The Columbian.

The report highlighted the difficulty the women faced when trying to speak freely about their work environment. The report also states that the Vancouver Fire Department values “cohesion and conformity.”

Festive spectacle on Washougal’s 51st Street

WASHOUGAL — Travis Gibson and Grace Christensen puttered down 51st Street in a golf cart, giving commentary on the holiday displays lining the street.

“A really cool thing about this house: If you look, there’s a hologram in the window of Santa Claus. I think they’ve done it for the past two years,” said Gibson, 11.

Snow days will affect school year

Students in Clark County are in for a longer school year after this month’s flurry of snow days.

The three largest school districts — Evergreen Public Schools, Vancouver Public Schools and Battle Ground Public Schools — will all have to add extra days to the end of the school year after canceling classes for four days. Combined, the districts serve more than 63,000 students.

CuddleCot gives more time with the baby

Linda Nguyen had a lot of dark days in the weeks after the stillbirth of her son, Connor.

She didn’t leave her house for a month. She scoured the internet for information about stillbirths and pinched umbilical cords — the culprit in her son’s death. She felt alone.

“I was really depressed for that month,” Nguyen said.

But through her grief, the Vancouver woman found a purpose — a way to help other parents enduring the pain and loss she and her fiance, Sonny Mouy, felt. She found a way to turn her heartbreak into comfort for others and healing for herself.

Nguyen raised more than $2,000 to purchase a medical device that will allow parents to keep stillborn babies by their side in their hospital room for longer, giving them more time to mourn and say goodbye. The device, called the CuddleCot, arrived at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center’s Family Birth Center this month.

Bobcat’s catch of the day goes viral

Park ranger Lee Snook went looking for salmon and caught a bobcat.

Snook caught the action on video earlier this month as that bobcat stalked and snagged a salmon in Olympic National Park. The cat got lunch and Snook wound up with a viral video.

“The first person who saw it said that would go viral,” said Snook, a graduate of Columbia River High School and Clark College.