Biomass project nets $200k state grant

By Eric Florip August 27, 2014 5:37 p.m.

A $200,000 state grant will support a new biomass-fueled power plant near Stevenson expected to be operational next year, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday. The money will go to Wind River Biomass Utility, which has pursued the project will local, state and federal partners.

Leaders celebrate completion of Salmon Creek project

By Eric Florip August 27, 2014 7:17 p.m.

Seventeen years after planning began, state transportation officials and local leaders celebrated the end of the $133 million Salmon Creek Interchange Project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

BNSF executive: Oil train safety can improve  

By Eric Florip August 26, 2014 8:16 p.m.

As questions continue to swirl about the safety of transporting crude oil by rail, BNSF Railway’s top executive acknowledged Tuesday that the process can be safer, and said his company welcomes the regulatory push toward more modern tank cars.

Vancouver Lake group ponders merger

By Eric Florip August 23, 2014 4:38 p.m.

The Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership plans to explore joining forces with another organization as the group rethinks its role in supporting its namesake ecosystem.

Analysis: Oil terminal could have $2 billion impact

By Eric Florip August 22, 2014 12:15 p.m.

A proposed oil transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver could generate an estimated $2 billion in “economic value” to the local and regional economy, and 176 permanent on-site jobs once the facility is fully operational, according to a new analysis released today.

Vancouver oil terminal effort given new name

By Aaron Corvin and Eric Florip August 20, 2014 5:58 p.m.

The two companies proposing to build the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver plan to release a new economic analysis of the project during an invitation-only event Friday. Meanwhile, Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies are calling their joint venture by a new name: Vancouver Energy.

Getting a piece of the Bakken pie

By Eric Florip August 18, 2014 6 a.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. — Just off Highway 1804, a high grassy slope offers a sweeping view of the epicenter of North Dakota's oil boom.

Bakken oil boom echoes in Clark County

By Eric Florip August 17, 2014 6 a.m.

On a rare day off, Chris Piche reached into the bed of his pickup truck and pulled out a small plastic container holding his livelihood. The former Battle Ground resident opened it and poured its contents into an empty water bottle. The thin, dark orange-tinted liquid, about the consistency of water, flowed in as yellow bubbles formed on top. He held it up under the bright sunlight for a better view. “That’s crude oil,” Piche said.

Salmon Creek interchange scheduled to open Aug. 27

By Eric Florip August 17, 2014 6 a.m.

The wait is over: At the end of this month, drivers will have their first chance to use the new freeway interchange at Northeast 139th Street in Salmon Creek.

Hoops along rim of the park

By Eric Florip August 16, 2014 7:32 p.m.

The view was different, but the return of Hoops on the River on Saturday brought some familiar faces to downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver man dies, five others hurt, in morning crash

By Mark Bowder and Eric Florip August 16, 2014 6:09 p.m.

One person was killed and five others injured early Saturday in what the Washington State Patrol is calling an alcohol-involved rollover crash on Interstate 205.

Labor group resolution praises CRC effort

By Eric Florip August 15, 2014 7:25 p.m.

A local labor group on Friday passed a resolution expressing gratitude to hundreds of individuals and organizations that worked on the defunct Columbia River Crossing project.

C-Tran seeks to revisit TriMet contract

By Eric Florip August 12, 2014 10:20 p.m.

The C-Tran Board of Directors on Tuesday directed its staff to reach out to TriMet and revisit a controversial light-rail contract the two agencies signed last year.

C-Tran takes electric bus for extended test drive

By Eric Florip August 12, 2014 6 a.m.

An extended test drive this month will give some C-Tran riders a look at an all-electric bus.

Off Beat: Ross Complex lab on the grid, now on media's radar

By Eric Florip August 11, 2014 10 a.m.

When The Columbian featured Vancouver's Ross Complex substation in an article last December, the story described a high-voltage laboratory there as "little-known."

Bridge idea lacks Vancouver City Council's support

By Eric Florip and Stephanie Rice July 28, 2014 9:58 p.m.

A newly unveiled proposal to build a bridge across the Columbia River at Southeast 192nd Avenue doesn't have the necessary support from the Vancouver City Council.

Gorge panel raises oil, coal concerns

By Eric Florip July 18, 2014 10:05 p.m.

The Columbia River Gorge Commission this week raised a host of concerns about the transport of coal and oil by rail through the Gorge.

Project will conserve 9,000 acres near Klickitat River

By Eric Florip July 15, 2014 6 a.m.

When a huge swath of forestland along the Klickitat River is formally secured for conservation by next year, it won't just be environmental advocates celebrating.

Extended heat wave to stick to region

By Eric Florip July 11, 2014 8:42 p.m.

An extended heat wave starting Saturday is expected to bring a run of several consecutive 90-degree days to the region, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

Extended heat wave moves in today

By Eric Florip July 11, 2014 10:26 a.m.

An extended heat wave starting today is expected bring a string of several consecutive 90-degree days to the region, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

Volunteers target highway graffiti

By Eric Florip July 10, 2014 6 a.m.

When Cindy Franke sees graffiti along Interstate 5, she doesn't call to report it. She doesn't wait for someone else to take care of it.

C-Tran allocates $6.7 million for BRT line

By Eric Florip July 8, 2014 10:56 p.m.

The C-Tran Board of Directors on Tuesday authorized spending $6.7 million in local funds for a bus rapid transit system in Vancouver, clearing the way for the project to secure a crucial federal grant and begin construction as early as next year.

Mount St. Helens drilling foes claim victory

By Eric Florip July 8, 2014 6 a.m.

An environmental group fighting a proposed drilling operation near Mount St. Helens declared victory Monday after a federal judge in Oregon found earlier review and approval of the proposal to be deficient.

New Highway 502 taking shape

By Eric Florip July 7, 2014 8:21 p.m.

They may have seen it in plans already, but now motorists can see it in plain sight: They'll be driving a very different state Highway 502 between Interstate 5 and Battle Ground once crews finish expanding the corridor.

C-Tran board poised to act on BRT

By Eric Florip July 5, 2014 4:53 p.m.

More than three years after C-Tran first floated a proposed bus rapid transit system in Vancouver, the agency's board of directors could make the project all but a done deal on Tuesday.

Cottonwood Island fire fully contained

By Eric Florip July 3, 2014 11:10 a.m.

A small fire that started Wednesday on an uninhabited island on the Columbia River was fully contained this morning, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

Holiday street closures and detours planned

By Eric Florip July 3, 2014 6 a.m.

If you're among the tens of thousands of people expected to descend on the Fort Vancouver National Site for Friday's Fourth of July celebration, don't expect to snag a prime parking spot and stroll right in just as the fireworks start.

Police apprehend armed-robbery suspect in Camas

By Eric Florip and Emily Gillespie July 2, 2014 10:02 p.m.

Police arrested a Washougal man after a robbery injured a clerk at a Camas convenience store Wednesday.

Vancouver temperature hits 98

By Eric Florip July 1, 2014 6 p.m.

A one-day heat wave pushed temperatures into the upper 90s today in Clark County and elsewhere.

Gorge commission preps funding pitch

By Eric Florip June 29, 2014 6 a.m.

The Columbia River Gorge Commission is no stranger to tight budgets. The bistate agency has for years operated with limited cash and a bare-bones staff now equal to just six full-time employees.

Recent rainfall no match for early-season deficit

By Eric Florip June 27, 2014 7:36 p.m.

Friday's rainfall ensured that June will be the fifth straight month of above-normal precipitation in Vancouver.

Tanker car carrying asphalt derails in Vancouver

By Eric Florip June 27, 2014 11:35 a.m.

A single tanker car carrying 25,000 gallons of asphalt product derailed and tipped onto its side Friday morning in a Vancouver rail yard, according to BNSF Railway.

Railroads release new oil train data

By Aaron Corvin and Eric Florip June 24, 2014 8:27 p.m.

Data released Tuesday show that 18 loaded BNSF oil trains can roll through Clark County in a single week — a figure shedding new light on a subject that railroads and regulators have been reluctant to discuss publicly.

Banquet hall in path of new road

By Eric Florip and Stephanie Rice June 24, 2014 5:27 p.m.

Plans for extending Columbia Way have drawn criticism for a lack of dedicated bike lanes, but an even bigger decision is needed before the primary east-west route to Vancouver's $1.3 billion waterfront development can be built.

Following in Sasha's paw prints

By Eric Florip June 23, 2014 10:25 p.m.

Harry Kiick had a certain expectation in mind when he began looking for a new service animal after the death of his beloved dog Sasha earlier this year.

Region shifting gears on transportation

By Eric Florip June 23, 2014 6 a.m.

When the Washington State Department of Transportation decided to tackle a problem spot on one of Vancouver's freeway interchanges last year, planners thought small.

Dry June gives fire season a jump

By Eric Florip June 23, 2014 6 a.m.

A drier-than-usual June has helped give wildfire season a fast start in Washington, according to regional fire officials.

Planned lane closures on I-5 Bridge moved up

By Eric Florip June 18, 2014 11:56 a.m.

Planned lane closures on the southbound Interstate 5 Bridge will begin 30 minutes earlier than previously announced tonight as crews continue maintenance work, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Army Corps plan proposes killing birds to protect fish

By Eric Florip June 12, 2014 5:41 p.m.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed killing nearly 16,000 double-crested cormorants at the mouth of the Columbia River to prevent the birds from eating threatened fish.

Gorge trails reopen as crews battle wildfire

By Eric Florip June 12, 2014 9:48 a.m.

A pair of Columbia River Gorge trails closed since Monday have reopened as crews battle a nearby wildfire, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

C-Tran plans new downtown bus rapid transit station

By Eric Florip June 11, 2014 8:33 p.m.

It's been seven years since C-Tran's Seventh Street Transit Center closed, but memories of the downtown Vancouver bus mall still leave a bad taste in the mouths of business owners who operated nearby.

C-Tran sued for wrongful death of boy in 2012 crash

By Eric Florip June 11, 2014 7:37 p.m.

The family of an 11-year-old boy who died in 2012 after a collision with a C-Tran bus has sued the transit agency in a wrongful death complaint.

C-Tran delays action on light-rail deal

By Eric Florip June 10, 2014 9:34 p.m.

The C-Tran Board of ­Directors has pledged to take a vote in July on whether to terminate a controversial light-rail contract the transit agency inked in 2013.

Columbia River Gorge trails closed by wildfire

By Eric Florip June 9, 2014 1:23 p.m.

Two popular trails in the Columbia River Gorge are temporarily closed due to a wildfire burning above state Highway 14 about 50 miles east of Vancouver, Gorge officials announced.

Light rail deal on C-Tran's radar

By Eric Florip June 9, 2014 6 a.m.

By all accounts, the Columbia River Crossing is dead. A controversial light-rail contract inked by C-Tran and TriMet last fall, however, doesn’t quite fall into the same category. The deal has been called “dormant.” Or “unenforceable.” But not dead.

El Niño could bring mild N.W. winter

By Eric Florip June 6, 2014 6 a.m.

Winter is still several months away, but a brewing El Niño could mean the Northwest is in for a mild one, federal forecasters said Thursday.

Madore escalates C-Tran offensive

By Eric Florip June 4, 2014 8:20 p.m.

Clark County Commissioner David Madore hasn't been shy about publicly criticizing C-Tran in recent months, often accusing the transit agency of misconduct or undue secrecy.

New garden rules cause outcry at Vancouver complex

By Eric Florip June 4, 2014 6 a.m.

In 17 years living at the Brandts, Mary Widerburg has called several different units home. Every time she moves within the central Vancouver complex, her flower garden moves with her.

Council approves resolutions opposing Tesoro-Savage project

By Eric Florip and Stephanie Rice June 3, 2014 1:38 a.m.

Close to 700 people attended a Vancouver City Council meeting Monday, and a majority of speakers urged councilors to fight an oil-handling facility at the Port of Vancouver.

Hockinson rolls out the beds for festival

By Eric Florip May 31, 2014 7:09 p.m.

HOCKINSON — Allen Bray didn't know exactly what "bed races" would entail when he first heard they'd be included in this year's Hockinson Fun Days.