Vancouver school board OKs budget after weeks of contention

By Craig Brown and Susan Parrish August 27, 2015 9:39 p.m.

It’s unusual for a school board to be greeted by a round of applause for passing a motion, but that’s what happened when the Vancouver Public Schools board approved the 2015-2016 budget Thursday morning, paving the way for classes to begin on time Wednesday.

Hough goes from pool to school

By Susan Parrish August 26, 2015 10 a.m.

A Tyrannosaurus rex waited patiently with its herd of plastic dinosaur buddies. Crayons stood at attention in plastic cups, waiting for chubby hands to create masterpieces. Primary-colored math links and cubes were ready to teach preschoolers about numbers. The childhood classics "Goodnight Moon" and "Is Your Mama a Llama?" stood by to enchant kids during storytime.

Vancouver school board fails again to OK budget

By Susan Parrish August 25, 2015 10:35 p.m.

With only one week until school begins, Vancouver Public Schools still does not have a budget.

A WSUV welcome on first day of school

By Susan Parrish August 24, 2015 8:16 p.m.

Old friends met at the main entrance of Washington State University Vancouver on Monday morning to wave crimson Cougar flags and welcome students on the first day of fall semester.

GeoGirls take on science at Mount St. Helens

By Susan Parrish August 24, 2015 6 a.m.

MOUNT ST. HELENS — Mai Brodniak crouched on the bank of Coldwater Lake while Cynthia Gardner, a U.S. Geological Survey research geologist, showed her how to stack sieves with various sizes of screens to separate the lake's gravel by size.

Stuffing the Bus for needy students

By Susan Parrish August 20, 2015 7:25 p.m.

Digging through a plastic bag bulging with school supplies, Zaryn Hunt loaded her arms with colorful markers, walked down the school bus aisle and dropped them into a box of markers on a bus seat. Next, she gathered notebooks.

Festival ensures Vancouver students Go Ready to school

By Susan Parrish August 19, 2015 9:02 p.m.

Nellie Mae Mitchell, 6, an incoming first-grader at Minnehaha Elementary School, and her brother Cedric John Mitchell, 2, received free immunizations and haircuts at Wednesday's Go Ready Festival at Hudson's Bay High School.

Vancouver school board still at impasse

By Susan Parrish August 19, 2015 8:59 p.m.

With only two weeks remaining until school starts, Vancouver Public Schools still does not have an operating budget and is no closer to having a fifth school board member. During a 2½-hour work session and special meeting Wednesday morning, the four school board members remained in gridlock.

How did our kids do? Standardized test scores are out

By Susan Parrish August 17, 2015 8:46 p.m.

The results of most standardized testing were released by the state Monday. Statewide, about half of students from grades 3 to 8 were considered proficient in English language arts and math.

Programs help with back-to-school necessities

By Susan Parrish August 16, 2015 6 a.m.

It takes parents with deep pockets to pay for everything that children need to go back to school in September. Each school has a detailed list of required school supplies, divided by grade level. Although notebook paper and No. 2 pencils are still on the list, many students are required to buy scientific calculators, USB memory sticks and a stylus for an electronic tablet.

Local educators see court's sanctions as call to quick action

By Marissa Harshman and Susan Parrish August 13, 2015 8:06 p.m.

Local school superintendents said Thursday that the state Supreme Court's sanctions against the state over education funding are a call for legislators to quickly come up with a plan to fully fund basic education. However, local legislators said they doubt a special session on education funding will happen this year.

Student researchers get feet wet

By Susan Parrish August 13, 2015 6 a.m.

CAMAS — Standing at the end of a dock, Kate Perkins and Matt Perry lowered what looked like a giant butterfly net into Lacamas Lake on Tuesday afternoon. The plankton net's mesh squares are so fine they can capture aquatic organisms measuring about 1 millimeter.

Shirtless man wanders onto Interstate 5

By Susan Parrish August 12, 2015 9:07 p.m.

A shirtless man who seemed to be impaired walked in and out of traffic Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 5 in southwest Vancouver, according to police.

Man wanders onto Interstate 5

By Susan Parrish August 12, 2015 5:51 p.m.

At about 2:49 p.m. a shirtless man who seemed to be drug impaired was walking in and out of traffic on Interstate 5.

Vehicle fire spreads to brush along Highway 14

By Mark Bowder and Susan Parrish August 12, 2015 9:05 p.m.

A vehicle fire on state Highway 14 near the border of Vancouver and Camas sparked a brush fire that burned uphill and disrupted traffic before it was extinguished shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Vancouver school board fails to pass budget

By Susan Parrish August 11, 2015 9:51 p.m.

In an unusual move, the Vancouver school board failed to pass an operating budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year Tuesday night.

Stalemate on Vancouver school board

By Susan Parrish August 9, 2015 6 a.m.

The Vancouver school board is gridlocked 2-2 in appointing a replacement for a board member who resigned last month.

Superhero Adventure, FairCon attract fans of all ages

By Susan Parrish August 8, 2015 6:58 p.m.

RIDGEFIELD — When Alex Taylor, 7, saw Captain America, he made his wheelchair fly toward him.

Woodland prepares state-of-the-art high school campus

By Susan Parrish August 7, 2015 9:13 p.m.

When Woodland High School students enter their new school on Sept. 9, they will find multiple, welcoming places to gather both indoors and outdoors. In their old school, students congregated on the hallway floor by their lockers.

Woman pilots her way to happily balanced life

By Susan Parrish August 5, 2015 7:34 p.m.

Pilot Theresa Nelson gently set down the Cessna 172 on the airstrip at Pearson Field and said "home, sweet home."

Clark, Cowlitz school districts to be part of ESD 112 job fair

By Susan Parrish July 31, 2015 6 a.m.

Teachers, special education professionals and other education workers seeking jobs can find help at the Southwest Washington Education Job Fair organized by Educational Service District 112 from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the ESD 112 campus, 2500 N.E. 65th Ave.

Dragon boat races heat up Vancouver Lake

By Susan Parrish July 31, 2015 6 a.m.

Dragons will descend onto Vancouver Lake this weekend, but don't be alarmed. They aren't fire-breathing, airborne mythical creatures, but dragon boats, part of a fast-growing sport that originated in China 2,000 years ago.

Jump Start program gives kids a head start on kindergarten

By Susan Parrish July 29, 2015 5:52 p.m.

Some kindergartners are more ready to start school than others. Some attended preschool and have interacted with other children in a classroom setting. Some kids can write their first and last names and recite and write the alphabet. But others are not up to speed. Kindergarten Jump Start gives incoming kindergartners extra help to be ready to start school.

Live small to live large  

By Susan Parrish July 27, 2015 6 a.m.

Sometimes, smaller is better.

Growth key issue in Battle Ground schools race

By Susan Parrish July 21, 2015 6 a.m.

Providing school infrastructure for burgeoning growth in Battle Ground Public Schools is a key issue for three candidates vying to represent District 4 in the Aug. 4 primary election.

A crash course in roller derby

By Susan Parrish July 19, 2015 6 a.m.

Focused on skating into the turn, I didn’t know she was behind me until it was too late. She shoved my back and skated past as my wheels flew out from underneath me. Sailing through the air, I landed on my rear on the concrete floor with a thud. The impact forced the air from my lungs.

Living history at Fort Vancouver camp

By Susan Parrish July 18, 2015 6 a.m.

When Rose Bugel-Shunra visited Pompeii and gazed at the human remains entombed in the ash of Mount Vesuvius, she was hooked on history. But more than that, she had a revelation: She knew she wanted to become an osteoarchaeologist and study human remains from archaeological sites.

Vancouver Police Activities League holds free camp for Orchards Elementary kids

By Susan Parrish July 15, 2015 6 a.m.

Dribbling the basketball down the court, a boy passed the ball, but his teammate didn't catch it. The ball bounced out of bounds.

Vancouver schools chief gets $6,000 bump in pay

By Susan Parrish July 14, 2015 9:46 p.m.

Vancouver Public Schools board members on Tuesday narrowly approved giving Superintendent Steve Webb a $6,000 annual raise, plus a $7,398.78 cost-of-living adjustment.

Young Clark County woman is plumb inspiring

By Susan Parrish July 7, 2015 6 a.m.

CAMAS — Teeth gripping a plastic pipe fitting, Smokey Fritz climbed a ladder inside a house under construction. Fritz joined two lengths of flexible plastic pipe with the fitting, pulled a tool from her back pocket and crimped the pipe.

Seton Catholic High seeks permanent home

By Susan Parrish June 30, 2015 6 a.m.

Seton Catholic College Preparatory High School plans to break ground on a new school this fall. The new building is scheduled to open fall 2016.

Summer book sale 'like being in a candy store'

By Susan Parrish June 26, 2015 6:16 p.m.

Isaiah Tsikayi, 9, was so excited he wanted to set his alarm for 5:30 a.m. Friday so his family could arrive early.

Summer meal programs feed hungry kids

By Susan Parrish June 25, 2015 6 a.m.

The Kalahan kids sat around a table in the Fruit Valley Elementary School cafeteria eating lunch Wednesday.

Low-cost summer fun for kids

By Susan Parrish June 24, 2015 6 a.m.

Kids have about nine weeks of summer vacation ahead — and keeping them engaged and active can get pricey.

Lunch Buddy trio, mentor break bread once more

By Susan Parrish June 19, 2015 7:56 p.m.

Steve Runyan and three old friends met Friday to talk over lunch at a reunion of sorts.

Long road for single dad to Clark College degree

By Susan Parrish June 18, 2015 10:43 p.m.

RIDGEFIELD — About 740 students crossed the stage to collect their diplomas at the 79th Clark College commencement ceremony Thursday night at the Clark County Events Center at the Fairgrounds.

Bay teacher's death was caused by heart disease

By Susan Parrish June 16, 2015 6:30 p.m.

A Hudson's Bay High School teacher and coach died of coronary artery disease, according to a report released by the Clark County medical examiner Tuesday.

Hudson's Bay teacher, coach dies

By Susan Parrish June 15, 2015 11:28 a.m.

A longtime biology teacher and football coach at Hudson’s Bay High School died over the weekend. Grief counselors will be available at the school Monday and Tuesday. Bill Brown, 52, had taught in Vancouver Public Schools since 1989. He first taught at Shumway Junior High. He began teaching at Hudson’s Bay in 1992.

Curt Warner to address Clark College graduates

By Susan Parrish June 15, 2015 6 a.m.

Former Seattle Seahawks running back and local businessman Curt Warner will share his inspiring message at the 79th Clark College commencement at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds. The free, public event does not require tickets. Parking is free.

5 adventures to kick off summer in Clark County

By Susan Parrish June 14, 2015 6 a.m.

Schools in Clark County will release for summer vacation this week. It's time to celebrate summer, which officially begins June 21. Here are five fun ways to get your summer started.

Science: The Next Generation

By Susan Parrish June 14, 2015 6 a.m.

BRUSH PRAIRIE — In a century-old forest, teacher Mark Watrin led students along a downhill path and deeper into a thick stand of Douglas fir and Western red cedar.

Goodbye to classes, hello to summer fun

By Susan Parrish June 10, 2015 8:09 p.m.

GREEN MOUNTAIN — Clutching a snake in its talons, a red-tailed hawk rose above the Lewis River. Tall spikes of deep pink foxglove grew along the road, where a four-wheeler and an orange tractor pulling farm equipment were the lone vehicles. Two horses nibbled grass in a field. Farther down the road, another hawk lifted from its hunting perch on an enormous, round bale of hay.

Boundary to change for popular Vancouver elementary school

By Susan Parrish June 10, 2015 10 a.m.

The Vancouver Public Schools board approved a boundary adjustment Tuesday night that effectively will send 37 students from Benjamin Franklin Elementary School to the Fruit Valley Community Learning Center.

Inmates learn on their own time  

By Susan Parrish June 7, 2015 6 a.m.

YACOLT — When Bruce Music opened the hood of a gray sedan in the auto shop, students wearing khaki pants and shirts gathered around and peered under the hood. Music, a Clark College automotive instructor, talked about the significance of the serpentine belt.

Centers help VPS aid poor students

By Susan Parrish May 21, 2015 8:53 p.m.

When a group of students at Discovery Middle School consistently missed school, adult mentors met with the students to find out why the kids were absent.

Battle Ground teachers picket for better funding

By Susan Parrish May 20, 2015 7:51 p.m.

BATTLE GROUND — About a dozen Battle Ground teachers picketed before and after school Wednesday to proclaim their unhappiness with state education funding.

Battle Ground teachers to picket

By Susan Parrish May 19, 2015 1:18 p.m.

Battle Ground teachers will wave signs and do informational picketing before and after school Wednesday.

Vancouver schools move managers for 2015-2016

By Susan Parrish May 18, 2015 6 a.m.

Vancouver Public Schools has announced several administrative changes for the 2015-16 school year. Assignments are subject to school board approval.

Parade of Bands fills Hazel Dell with music, fun, families

By Susan Parrish May 16, 2015 8:30 p.m.

Families lined the streets of Hazel Dell on Saturday to partake in an annual tradition: the Hazel Dell Parade of Bands. This year’s theme, the Wild, Wild West, was rendered with hay bales, cowboy hats and cowboy boots galore.

La Center teen identified in Hockinson fatality

By Emily Gillespie and Susan Parrish May 16, 2015 2:12 p.m.

A 17-year-old boy killed in a single-vehicle crash south of Hockinson early Friday morning has been identified as Adam C. Karlsen of La Center. The cause of death was blunt head trauma, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner's Office.