Port of Vancouver, Tesoro-Savage meeting raises questions

By Aaron Corvin and Erin Middlewood November 9, 2014 6 a.m.

The Port of Vancouver, already facing one lawsuit accusing it of violating Washington's open public meetings law, has left the public in the dark more than once in landing one of the largest financial deals in its history, an investigation by The Columbian has found.

Vancouver neighborhoods oppose oil terminal

By Erin Middlewood November 5, 2014 6 a.m.

Perhaps it's no surprise that the Fruit Valley Neighborhood Association, just next door to the Port of Vancouver, doesn't like the idea of an oil-by-rail terminal there.

Atkins elected to replace Lucas as Clark County sheriff

By Erin Middlewood November 4, 2014 10:53 p.m.

Experience trumped idealism in the race for Clark County sheriff. Retired sheriff's commander Chuck Atkins, a Republican, received 55.9 percent of the vote to nonpartisan Shane Gardner's 44.1 percent, according to early election returns.

Incumbents survive challenges in county races

By Erin Middlewood November 4, 2014 10:47 p.m.

Clark County's incumbent prosecutor, treasurer, assessor and clerk handily fended off challengers in Tuesday's election.

Region's oil disaster preparedness mired in controversy

By Erin Middlewood November 3, 2014 6 a.m.

A review of the region’s readiness for possible oil spills, explosions or other accidents that may result from the Northwest’s largest proposed oil-by-train terminal will be wrapped into an overall environmental assessment by the state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.

Oil terminal review process spurs complaint

By Erin Middlewood October 9, 2014 5:19 p.m.

The Washington State Auditor's Office is reviewing a complaint alleging conflict of interest in the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council's review of an oil terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver.

Foes see partiality in oil terminal review process

By Aaron Corvin and Erin Middlewood October 5, 2014 6 a.m.

Ever since Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies proposed an oil-by-rail terminal at the Port of Vancouver, company and port officials have said that the state energy facility siting panel's rigorous review would address threats to safety or the environment.

Coin a reminder of veterans court graduates' trials, triumphs

By Erin Middlewood September 24, 2014 4:34 p.m.

Jan "Jay" Couch has spent 47 of his 66 years in and out of jail. Now he carries a coin to remind him that he's done with all that.

Clark County lags behind in economic recovery

By Erin Middlewood September 17, 2014 10:01 p.m.

Five years of economic recovery did little for Clark County, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Wanted: Volunteer Stream Stewards

By Erin Middlewood September 12, 2014 7:31 p.m.

Alyson Day spent almost 40 hours in classes and then another 45 volunteering to become a Stream Steward.

Shooting spurs lawsuit against local SWAT

By Erin Middlewood and Stephanie Rice September 7, 2014 6 a.m.

A Ridgefield woman’s federal lawsuit calls into question the Southwest Washington Regional SWAT team’s training and operations.

SWAT: Under scrutiny, focused on safety

By Erin Middlewood and Stephanie Rice September 7, 2014 6 a.m.

The images of police in body armor and ballistic helmets clashing with protesters in Ferguson, Mo., in recent weeks have raised concerns about the militarization of law enforcement.

Cosplay is serious fun

By Erin Middlewood August 30, 2014 8:52 p.m.

As freewheeling as the anime festival Kumoricon may seem, it's actually a tightly organized affair and participants take it seriously, some working all year on their costumes.

Not much military equipment goes to Clark County police agencies

By Erin Middlewood August 21, 2014 6:01 a.m.

Law enforcement agencies in Washington have received $23.5 million worth of military equipment since 2006 under a Pentagon program criticized in light of what many observers have called heavy-handed policing in Ferguson, Mo.

Toytopia: A museum of play

By Erin Middlewood August 8, 2014 8:13 p.m.

Vancouver dad Don Luthardt pointed at G.I. Joe toys displayed behind glass.

Vancouver rental market remains tight

By Erin Middlewood July 29, 2014 4:21 p.m.

Jacinta Cox has been looking for a new house to rent since late May with no luck. She and her family have lived in the same place for eight years, but the landlord wants to sell the house. The Cox family would love to stay in Camas, but Jacinta has had to widen her search.

Residents ask city to hold the McDonald's in Uptown Village

By Erin Middlewood July 9, 2014 6 a.m.

The stretch of Main Street in Vancouver known as Uptown Village has become a destination for diners, with an array of options, including pasta, pizza, tamales and ice cream.

Family Circle: Camas a top town for families

By Erin Middlewood July 8, 2014 7:57 p.m.

People in Clark County have been saying it for years, and now Family Circle magazine is spreading the word: Camas is a great place to raise a family.

Hough Pool to become preschool

By Erin Middlewood June 25, 2014 9:11 p.m.

A building that houses a defunct swimming pool at Hough Elementary will become a preschool serving 60 children from low-income homes.

Today's playground equipment returns to roots

By Erin Middlewood June 22, 2014 6 a.m.

Anyone who thinks playground equipment is all fun and games should peruse the Consumer Products Safety Commission's 57-page handbook on playground safety.

Counts on oil trains dribble out

By Aaron Corvin and Erin Middlewood June 17, 2014 7:58 p.m.

About 7.2 million barrels of crude oil traveled by rail through Clark County in the year between July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, according to information newly released to The Columbian by Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency.

Growing number of Clark County residents are telecommuting

By Erin Middlewood June 15, 2014 6 a.m.

Tami Marshall's love of her job has only increased since she began telecommuting from her Hazel Dell home about six months ago.

Magazine: Vancouver is a great place to retire

By Erin Middlewood June 11, 2014 6 a.m.

The July/August issue of Where to Retire magazine will feature Vancouver as a top place for retirees to spend their golden years.

States, railroads at odds over oil-train information

By Aaron Corvin and Erin Middlewood June 6, 2014 6:44 p.m.

Anyone with time, patience and a sharp enough eye to make out the number 1267 on a small placard can spot a crude oil train rolling through town.

Colleges face new scrutiny

By Erin Middlewood May 12, 2014 6 a.m.

Rachael Mallet still owes $5,000 for her stint at Vancouver's International Air and Hospitality Academy in 2008.

Vancouver seeks oil spill risk assessment

By Aaron Corvin and Erin Middlewood April 19, 2014 11:41 p.m.

The city of Vancouver is seeking an independent assessment of the region's readiness for possible oil spills, explosions or other accidents that may result from the Northwest's largest proposed oil-by-train terminal.

Getting plugged in with electric cars  

By Erin Middlewood April 13, 2014 6 a.m.

Amid the minivans and SUVs in the parking lot at the soccer field, Jo Roberts' electric car stands out.

Analyst: Look at oil-by-rail big picture

By Erin Middlewood April 10, 2014 7:26 p.m.

As big as the oil terminal proposed for Vancouver would be, it should not be weighed in isolation, an environmental policy analyst told a gathering Thursday at WSU Vancouver.

Nustar wants to handle crude oil locally

By Erin Middlewood April 3, 2014 7:43 p.m.

The proposed Tesoro-Savage terminal, which would be the largest oil-by-rail facility in the Northwest, has overshadowed a smaller but significant crude oil proposal for Vancouver.

EFSEC plans broad review of oil terminal plan

By Erin Middlewood April 2, 2014 8:25 p.m.

The Washington state board reviewing what would be the Northwest’s largest oil-by-rail terminal will undertake a sweeping analysis of the facility’s environmental effects — from the extraction of the oil to its ultimate consumption.

Archdiocese's hunt for fraud goes on

By Erin Middlewood March 22, 2014 5:01 p.m.

Nearly two weeks after the Archdiocese of Seattle posted an urgent notice that the Social Security numbers of employees and volunteers had been used in a national tax-fraud scheme, details are still hard to come by.

Sifton residents clean up homeless camp, remain watchful

By Erin Middlewood March 19, 2014 6 a.m.

Homelessness leaves a trail across Clark County. These piles of moldy sleeping bags, flattened tents, broken coolers, picked-over garbage and dirty syringes bear witness to how the people who lived there scrounged to survive.

How did things go so horribly wrong?

By Erin Middlewood March 9, 2014 6 a.m.

Imagine you're driving on Interstate 5, barrelling along at 70 mph, when you see a car coming straight at you.

A loud 'no' so far on oil terminal in Vancouver

By Erin Middlewood March 3, 2014 6 a.m.

Those who have commented on the proposal by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies to build the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail facility at the Port of Vancouver are overwhelmingly opposed to the project, according to a report released by the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council this week.

Fire District 5's dilemma

By Erin Middlewood March 3, 2014 6 a.m.

Glenwood, Sifton, Proebstel and Orchards lie miles outside Vancouver. Residents pay taxes to Clark County Fire Protection District 5 and vote for fire commissioners. Just the same, if a house catches fire there, it's a Vancouver truck that will answer the call.

Vancouver man dies in Polk County

By Erin Middlewood February 18, 2014 9:52 a.m.

30-Year-old man suffered medical emergency, Oregon Police say

Panel reviewing proposed oil terminal

By Aaron Corvin and Erin Middlewood February 16, 2014 6 a.m.

Mark Leed took time off work to drive two hours from his Vancouver home for a meeting of the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, only to get lost on the way.

Clark County to blend funds for parks

By Erin Middlewood January 28, 2014 5:41 p.m.

Clark County will blend money collected for buying parks with the money meant for building them, commissioners decided Tuesday.

Freeholders: Add two commissioners

By Erin Middlewood January 25, 2014 5:10 p.m.

Reformers who pushed for a new Clark County charter envisioned an elected county executive as the key to accountability. A majority of the freeholders elected to write the document, however, are leaning away from that approach.

Armed robbers strike twice in Vancouver

By Erin Middlewood January 26, 2014 3:26 p.m.

Two armed robberies separated by an hour early Saturday morning

Clark County streamlines cell tower rules

By Erin Middlewood January 14, 2014 2:34 p.m.

Placing cellphone antennas on barn silos or other existing structures should no longer require notifying neighbors, Clark County commissioners decided Tuesday.Placing cellphone antennas on barn silos or other existing structures should no longer require notifying neighbors, Clark County commissioners decided Tuesday.

County growth plan: Pick a number

By Erin Middlewood January 11, 2014 4:50 p.m.

Planning for new houses, businesses, roads and schools in Clark County over the next couple of decades first requires picking a number: Will Clark County grow by 24,000 or 240,000 between now and 2035?

Freeholders eye county executive or manager

By Erin Middlewood January 10, 2014 6 a.m.

A majority of the freeholders drafting a Clark County charter believe the existing form of government concentrates too much power in the three-member board of commissioners.

Clark County extends traffic impact fee freeze

By Erin Middlewood January 7, 2014 8:45 p.m.

Clark County commissioners say they hope to protect the housing recovery by again extending a freeze on residential traffic impact fees that reduces them by half in some cases.

Lingering inversion affecting air quality in Clark County

By Erin Middlewood December 27, 2013 6 a.m.

Smoky air hanging over Clark County may begin to circulate today but probably not for long, so you may want to postpone stoking flames in your fireplace out of courtesy for sensitive neighbors.

When cold can be comfort: A big fridge makes a big difference

By Erin Middlewood December 24, 2013 5:25 p.m.

What a difference a few cubic feet can make.

Digging into Clark County nonprofits' top earners

By Erin Middlewood December 8, 2013 6 a.m.

Wayne Garlington is the kind of guy who comes to mind when you think of a nonprofit executive.

Volunteers eager to lower euthanasia rate for feral cats

By Erin Middlewood December 4, 2013 6 a.m.

Those who live off 78th Street near St. Johns and Andresen roads north of Vancouver may notice less hissing and yowling in their neighborhood. Must Love Dogs NW recently rounded up 37 feral cats there.

Holiday patrol keeps watch on shoppers' cars

By Erin Middlewood November 29, 2013 11:57 p.m.

As eager shoppers streamed into Westfield Vancouver mall in search of Black Friday deals, Bob Kennedy raised the cabin of the Vancouver police Skywatch tower to overlook the cars they left behind.

Uneasy neighbors: Proposed oil terminal fuels concern about toxic air in Fruit Valley

By Aaron Corvin and Erin Middlewood November 14, 2013 6:37 p.m.

The last thing Fruit Valley resident Jacob Garcia needs to worry about is more air pollution.