Cheers: To educational options. The Ridgefield School District is making its Wisdom Ridge Academy available to students throughout the state. The online alternative school previously enrolled only students living in the district or from select nearby districts.
Online schooling will play a significant role in the evolution of public education, and Ridgefield’s program represents a step toward the future. “There is an advantage to having online programs like this,” one official said. “It frees up classroom space, and students can continue working and learning at home.” Online education isn’t ideal for all students; many do not adjust well to not being surrounded by peers. But providing various options that allow students to find the best place for themselves can better serve a variety of students.
Jeers: To a brazen car thief. Vancouver police report four car thefts in recent weeks under similar circumstances. In each case, the suspect used a woman’s profile to contact people selling higher-end, newer vehicles on Facebook Marketplace. The suspect agreed to meet in a public parking lot, but then wrote that she would send her husband to look at the car.
The suspect met the sellers and requested a test drive. The sellers handed over the keys, and the suspect drove off before the seller could get in the vehicle. Police describe the suspect as a Black man in his 20s with a thin build and shoulder-length hair or dreadlocks. We hope the public will be aware of potential scams and that police can identify and arrest the perpetrator.
Cheers: To a bevy of beagles. The Humane Society for Southwest Washington is playing a part in a massive rescue of young beagles. The local organization has welcomed 15 of the nearly 4,000 dogs rescued this summer from a breeding and animal testing facility in Virginia.
“This is the largest rescue we’ve been a part of,” one local official said. “We’ve never worked with the Humane Society of the United States before on something of this scale, so this is big for us. We’re fortunate to have the space and the staff to do this.” Once the animals get acclimated and have their medical needs tended to, the floppy-eared pooches will be available for adoption.
Sad: The loss of Doug Ness. The Columbian’s retired chief financial officer, who spent 31 years with the company, died recently at the age of 77. “Doug was a fun guy with a great sense of humor. He was a really good chief financial officer,” said Scott Campbell, the newspaper’s owner, chairman and retired publisher.
Ness also served as a member of The Columbian’s Editorial Board until his retirement in 2016. Most important, he shepherded the company through difficulties brought about by the Great Recession. “We had to scramble to try to make it through that crisis,” Campbell said. “There were some pretty tough days. It was important to have a good financial guy.” Ness will be missed by his family, including his wife, Edna, and by his Columbian family.
Cheers: To Morgan Greco. The 16-year-old from Camas has earned the title of 2023 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, being crowned at a national pageant in Dallas. “There was a lot of crying that night,” Greco said. “It was just incredible.” In addition to school work and preparing for the event, she found time to design the evening gown she wore during the competition.
Greco has two years of high school remaining, but she plans to study operatic performance in college with help from $53,000 in scholarships through the Miss America organization. Outstanding, indeed.