Our top stories of 2014

By Tom Vogt December 28, 2014 6 a.m.

News can happen in a couple of heartbeats. Other stories take years to play out.

Bird-watching by car at refuge's River 'S' Unit in Ridgefield

By Tom Vogt December 27, 2014 8:42 p.m.

RIDGEFIELD — Saturday's showers were no barrier to wildlife viewing.

Library video helps kids grasp lyrics to holiday song

By Tom Vogt December 24, 2014 2:36 p.m.

Here's the horse. Here's the sleigh.

Remembering mom with dazzling display

By Tom Vogt December 24, 2014 6 a.m.

With tens of thousands of Christmas lights razzling up one side and dazzling down the other, it's easy to overlook the simple symbols on the corner of Brandon Whitehead's garage roof.

Off Beat: Old-school approach to building pays off at Academy

By Tom Vogt December 22, 2014 6 a.m.

Talk about your old-school approach to architecture.

National trust acquires Academy building

By Tom Vogt December 16, 2014 10:07 p.m.

One of the most historic buildings in the Pacific Northwest has entered a new era, with Fort Vancouver National Trust acquiring the Academy building in downtown Vancouver.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church remodel opens doors

By Tom Vogt December 16, 2014 6 a.m.

Since 1825, the path of Washington's first Episcopal church has been influenced by a global trading empire, the U.S. Army and a devastating fire.

Fort Vancouver to re-create 1840s Christmas

By Tom Vogt December 11, 2014 6 a.m.

The sights and sounds of an 1840s Christmas will be re-created Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Longtime philanthropist, civic leader Hepola dies

By Tom Vogt December 8, 2014 8:30 p.m.

History and heritage weren't just armchair interests for Margaret Colf Hepola. Hepola's 97 years included some transformative chapters of Southwest Washington history, and she wanted younger generations to know what came before them.

Off Beat: Two cities, a bridge plan, and a full 'moon' with meaning

By Tom Vogt December 8, 2014 10 a.m.

Gerda McMillan has seen a lot of conflicts in her 90 years. In a recent story in The Columbian, she recalled the devastation of World War II; the post-war hostilities that split her native Germany into a free nation and a Communist state; and even a U.S. Army policy that defined Gerda and her future husband as enemies.

Local veterans share Pearl Harbor stories of survival  

By Tom Vogt December 7, 2014 6 a.m.

When Martin Knapp woke up 73 years ago today, he knew it was a Sunday he'd never forget.

Body recovered from Columbia River tonight

By Tom Vogt December 5, 2014 7:02 p.m.

Several agencies respond

Pearl Harbor veterans will speak Sunday at event

By Tom Vogt December 5, 2014 6 a.m.

Two men who jumped into action when the United States was launched into World War II are scheduled to speak at this year's Pearl Harbor observance.

Vancouver woman: 'I was the enemy'  

By Tom Vogt December 1, 2014 6 a.m.

In a life filled with remarkable journeys, a 14-year-old German girl was locked out of the house by her stepmother and had to set out on her own.

Off Beat: Things are looking up for family telescope

By Tom Vogt November 24, 2014 6 a.m.

For the last 10 years, Nick Giovanni's telescope saw a lot more garage dust than stardust.

Mural recalls 'The Forgotten War'

By Tom Vogt November 19, 2014 9:56 a.m.

As mural artist Guy Drennan's brush carefully applied paint to the corner of the concrete panel, a phrase came into clearer focus: "The forgotten war."

Off Beat: Freedom violated with tap on the shoulder

By Tom Vogt November 17, 2014 6 a.m.

A confluence of November events prompted a local legislator's speech at last week's Veterans Day observance.

Luepke Florist closing after 105 years

By Tom Vogt November 13, 2014 5:22 p.m.

After helping people mark weddings, births and deaths for 105 years, Luepke Florist is preparing for its own demise.

Ceremony honors Clark County veterans

By Tom Vogt November 11, 2014 8:02 p.m.

When World War II veterans were invited to stand Tuesday morning, two men rose to their feet: Art Schaeffer and Harry Sutherland.

Vancouver native served as WWII code-breaker  

By Tom Vogt November 10, 2014 6 a.m.

Mary Sparks was at a slumber party in the Officers Row home of a girlfriend, Mickey Ostrander, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Off Beat: Barracks quartermaster duties far from glamorous

By Tom Vogt November 10, 2014 6 a.m.

Lumber, laundry and lice. Not exactly the sort of wartime duty that comes to mind as we head into Veterans Day.

Company town celebrates 100 years

By Tom Vogt November 9, 2014 6 a.m.

WISHRAM — During part of their time as Wishram residents, Lewis Record and his family didn't just live in a railroad town, they lived in a railroad boxcar.

Veterans Day keynote speaker was Army Medical Corps officer

By Tom Vogt November 7, 2014 5:54 p.m.

A local Army veteran who commanded military medical centers across the nation and overseas will be the keynote speaker Tuesday at Vancouver's Veterans Day ceremony.

New libraries recommended for three communities

By Tom Vogt November 3, 2014 10 a.m.

Three new branches built in or near downtown have been recommended to improve library services in Ridgefield, Washougal and Woodland.

Strahan leaving Fort Vancouver National Trust

By Tom Vogt October 31, 2014 2:15 p.m.

No immediate plans, but retirement not in Strahan's plans

'Faces of World War II' return to Vancouver Barracks

By Tom Vogt October 29, 2014 5:44 p.m.

With a devil-may-care smile and his hat at a jaunty tilt, he looks proud to answer his country's call.

Zoo trains return following makeover

By Tom Vogt October 24, 2014 5:40 p.m.

After a four-month makeover in Ridgefield, a celebrity couple has returned home with all the bells and whistles.

Fighter pilot befriends Vietnam War foe

By Tom Vogt October 24, 2014 6 a.m.

Four decades after they met in jet-to-jet combat, U.S. Air Force veteran Dan Cherry and one-time North Vietnamese fighter pilot Nguyen Hong My will share a stage in Vancouver.

Mount St. Helens' glacier caves explored

By Tom Vogt October 21, 2014 7:18 p.m.

On a clear day, Mount St. Helens is the dominant feature on Clark County's northeast skyline. But hidden in its crater is a secret landscape that has been viewed by only a dozen people; they explored two glacier caves in June.

Clouds will beat moon during Thursday eclipse

By Tom Vogt October 20, 2014 7:28 p.m.

Skywatchers in the Vancouver-Portland area won't have much of a show Thursday during the fourth and final eclipse of 2014.

Off Beat: Pioneer had unique perspective on Fort Vancouver

By Tom Vogt October 20, 2014 6 a.m.

When a 94-year-old pioneer flew from Vancouver in 1924, retracing his Oregon Trail route in a DeHavilland biplane, it was an example of a historic figure going full circle.

Sprucing up Pearson: Scale model details 1918 mill

By Tom Vogt October 20, 2014 6 a.m.

Even in miniature, the mill is immense.

Overnight police standoff ends in arrest

By Craig Brown and Tom Vogt October 18, 2014 9:08 a.m.

An overnight standoff between police and a suspect barricaded in an east Vancouver garage ended safely at about 8 a.m. today.

Rare 1918 biplane to land at Pearson Air Museum

By Tom Vogt October 17, 2014 6 a.m.

Pearson Air Museum has acquired an extremely rare 1918 DeHavilland DH-4B airplane.

Off Beat: Paul Revere and the Raiders had several names

By Tom Vogt October 13, 2014 6 a.m.

Raiders? Riders? Really, what's the difference?

Habitat for Humanity home comes together

By Tom Vogt October 10, 2014 10:05 p.m.

Evergreen junior Ryan Newman was among dozens of students who worked on separate projects last year at Mountain View and Evergreen high schools.

Paul Revere's Vancouver-based manager pays tribute

By Tom Vogt October 9, 2014 7:56 p.m.

More than 50 years ago, Roger Hart walked out of a bank with an unexpected asset. It was the phone number for a rock 'n' roll musician with an ear-catching name.

Long time ago, name was fittingly nipped in the Budz

By Tom Vogt and Sue Vorenberg October 6, 2014 6 a.m.

Having the name Budz seems almost too fitting for the co-owner of a store that sells — among other items — marijuana buds.

Off Beat: Telling tales from 'The Roosevelts: Vancouver Edition'

By Tom Vogt September 29, 2014 6 a.m.

When members of America's most Burns-worthy family visited Vancouver 70 years ago, it was Page 1 news … even when the news wasn't reported for a week or so.

Former fire cadet welcomed home from hospital

By Tom Vogt September 27, 2014 8:55 p.m.

BATTLE GROUND — When his family brought him back home Saturday from a long hospital stay, Jack Fletcher had a slight detour. He rode the last few miles in a fire engine.

Down-home delights at Harvest Fun Day

By Tom Vogt September 27, 2014 8:23 p.m.

The annual Harvest Fun Day at 78th Street Heritage Farm was a chance to enjoy a range of down-home delights.

Vancouver scene of WWII landing-craft reunion

By Tom Vogt September 24, 2014 8:10 p.m.

One thing set LCI crewmen apart from just about everyone else in the Navy.

Gifford Pinchot to move headquarters

By Tom Vogt September 22, 2014 5:44 p.m.

Vancouver's national park will become the home of another federal agency when the Gifford Pinchot National Forest moves its headquarters to Vancouver Barracks.

Off Beat: Post-war dads, through eyes of their children

By Tom Vogt September 22, 2014 10 a.m.

Saturday's dedication of the community's POW/MIA memorial was a chance to honor American troops who wound up in enemy hands.

33 take oath of allegiance at Fort Vancouver

By Tom Vogt September 19, 2014 9:08 p.m.

After spending 19 years in a refugee camp, Anita Sarki has a place to call home. The Beaverton, Ore., resident became an American citizen on Friday. As she was surrounded by friends, Sarki echoed a verse from the Bible: "This is my promised land."

Ground broken at VA for local Fisher House

By Tom Vogt September 19, 2014 6:24 p.m.

Officials broke ground Friday on Vancouver's VA campus for the nation's 67th Fisher House — which means they've learned something since 1990 about building them.

Photos sought of Vietnam veterans from Clark County

By Tom Vogt September 17, 2014 8:44 p.m.

There are 58,286 names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., and Janna Hoehn wants a face to go along with every name.

WWII Vet Speaks for POWs

By Tom Vogt September 16, 2014 6:23 p.m.

As Dale Bowlin hunkered down in a trench, trapped between American lines and advancing German infantry, he considered his options: Surrender or die.

Off Beat: Another chance for Navy veteran and pet, Chance

By Tom Vogt September 15, 2014 6 a.m.

Thanks to two local Gold Star mothers, a veteran got his Chance … and Chance — a mixed-breed dog — got a second chance.

Wishram will celebrate centennial Saturday

By Tom Vogt September 14, 2014 6 a.m.

About 100 miles of steel track have linked Vancouver and Wishram for more than 100 years, which is why some Clark County residents will help the Columbia River Gorge community celebrate its centennial Saturday.