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Jan. 29, 2023

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Morning Press: Surprise medical bill; vaccine bill; long school lunches

By , Columbian Web Editor

Will the rain stick around? Check our local weather coverage.

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

Vancouver woman gets surprise $22,000 medical bill

Melinda Tyler-Furniss, 60, remembers feeling severely bloated and on the verge of vomiting. She was worried about a bowel impaction.

It was last May, and her husband Bill, 63, rushed her from their Vancouver home to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where the couple was told there was a five-hour emergency room wait.

“I had to see someone right away. I couldn’t wait any longer. I was so sick,” Tyler-Furniss said. “Everything was wrong. I basically wanted to die I felt so bad.”

Divided Washington Senate panel backs end to personal exemption on MMR vaccine

OLYMPIA – A proposal to end the personal exemption for parents who don’t want their children vaccinated against measles was sent Monday to the full Senate with Republicans calling it an attack on personal freedom and Democrats defending it as good science.

The Legislature has wrestled for several months with efforts to narrow the exemption to childhood vaccines required for enrollment in public schools after a measles outbreak in Vancouver started in January.

Gurdwara will be a spiritual home for Sikhs in Vancouver

Above the front foyer of the nearly complete Sikh temple in northeast Vancouver is a mural of the stunning Golden Temple, formally known as Sri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar. Located in Pawneet Sethi’s hometown of Amritsar in Punjab, India, it’s essentially “the Vatican for Sikhs,” he said, the spiritual and cultural headquarters of Sikhism.

Sethi, spokesman for the local Sikh community, learned a lot of English talking with foreigners visiting the Golden Temple, which serves about 150,000 vegetarian meals daily to anyone who’s hungry. The new Guru Ramdass Gurdwara Sahib in Vancouver’s Landover-Sharmel neighborhood will similarly serve the local community (albeit on a much smaller scale).

Boutique winery announces plans for Vancouver tasting room

Downtown Vancouver will soon be home to not one, but two new wine tasting rooms. In addition to the long-planned Maryhill Winery tasting room opening later this month at the Waterfront Vancouver, another tasting room is set to debut on Main Street.

SuLei Cellars, a boutique winery based in Walla Walla, has announced plans for a satellite tasting room at 613 Main St. The owners are still in the process of securing all the necessary licenses, but interior work is already underway at the 900-square-foot location.

Vancouver family advocates for longer elementary school lunches

When Vancouver mom Caressa Milgrove would pick up her 8-year-old son Mark from school, he’d dive into his lunch box to chow down on the food left behind from earlier in the day.

At first, Milgrove thought her son was goofing off and chatting with his friends during lunch at Walnut Grove Elementary School. And to be fair, there is some of that going on. He is in third grade after all. But when Milgrove began to press her son, he told her he simply didn’t have enough time to finish his meal.