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News / Clark County News

Morning Press: I-5 Bridge bill; New police officers; Packy the elephant

By The Columbian
Published: February 11, 2017, 6:02am

What’s on tap for this weekend’s weather? Check our local weather coverage.

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

Lawmakers introduce bill on Interstate 5 Bridge replacement

Southwest Washington lawmakers have introduced a bill in Olympia to address the region’s most divisive topic: how to replace the 100-year-old Interstate 5 Bridge.

The measure introduced Thursday, if passed, would declare replacing the piece of aging infrastructure a project of statewide significance, a move that could expedite the permitting process and construction of a new bridge.

Read more about the new talks about an Interstate 5 replacement bridge.

Vancouver police department to add 61 positions

The Vancouver City Council has approved a package of tax and fee hikes to increase funding for the city’s police department, a move that will add 61 positions to the department by 2020.

The money will allow the police department to fill gaps that were created during the recession when cuts were made.

Learn more about the plan to add more officers.

Spills cause slippery situation for Vancouver businesses

Back-to-back spills of liquid substances in an alleyway in Uptown Village recently left some neighborhood businesses fuming.

Bryan Shull, owner of Trap Door Brewing, called it a “nightmare” when, in November, a sheen of oil coursed across the floor of his newly built grilled cheese sandwich food cart connected to his brewery at 2315 Main St.

Read more about the hazardous spills.

Benton staying at EPA as senior White House adviser

Former Washington state Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver will be staying on at the Environmental Protection Agency as the agency’s senior White House adviser.

Stay informed on what is happening in Clark County, WA and beyond for only

The EPA’s acting administrator, Catherine McCabe, announced the news in a video message to employees this week. However Benton told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday that he knew from the beginning that his post with the administration would be beyond the transition period, though he noted he serves “at the pleasure of the president for the time being.”

Learn more about Benton’s new role.

Oregon Zoo mourns Packy the elephant

Portland lost one of its most beloved residents Thursday, as the Oregon Zoo announced it euthanized Packy, the 54-year-old elephant who captivated locals in the lead-up to his 1962 birth and in the decades since.

Packy was the oldest male of his species in North America. In 1962, he was the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere in 44 years. Although he was born at the zoo, he was bred in Southwest Washington, according to Columbian files, as H. Morgan Berry raised zoo and circus animals on a 76-acre farm outside Woodland.

Read more about the region’s favorite elephant.