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News / Clark County News

Top Stories: New drug law lauded, Clark College powwow; Mount St. Helens landslide

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: May 20, 2023, 6:00am

It’s gonna be hot, hot, hot this weekend. Check out our local weather forecast before you head outside.

Here are the top stories on columbian.com this week:

1. Clark County officials praise Legislature’s passage of new drug law

Clark County criminal justice officials were pleased with the Washington Legislature’s passage Tuesday of a new drug-possession law, but they said it will take time to see how enforcement and treatment will look locally.

The new law, known as the Blake fix, follows a 2021 state Supreme Court ruling striking down Washington’s felony drug-possession law.

2. Tribal dancer takes charge of Clark College powwow event

At a powwow earlier this month in Portland, Ed Wulf appeared in full regalia to dance. At a powwow this weekend in Vancouver, he’ll be working behind the scenes.

For the past 15 years or so, the 61-year-old Vancouver resident has served as arena director for the annual powwow organized by the Native American Parent Association of Southwest Washington. That makes him the man in charge.

3. Evergreen Public Schools unveils Skilled Trades Center

Though the school year ends in just a few weeks, a new opportunity opened its doors for students in Evergreen Public Schools on Tuesday.

Dozens of school officials, local dignitaries and students joined in celebration for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the district’s new Skilled Trades Center at Evergreen High School. The facility, located between Evergreen and Cascade Middle School, will expand the district’s Career and Technical Education programs, with a focus on residential construction.

4. Debris slide could block Mount St. Helens access for months

LONGVIEW — Officials say it could be months before the road to the Mount St. Helens overlook reopens after a landslide washed out the bridge on that section of Spirit Lake Memorial Highway east of Coldwater Lake, said Washington State Department of Transportation regional spokesperson Kelly Hanahan.

The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office reports 12 people and a dog has to be airlifted from the other side of the slide Monday morning using a rescue helicopter from King County. No one was injured.

5. New law blocks Washington employers from testing for pot when hiring

Many employers will be prohibited from discriminating against job applicants for using cannabis legally outside of the workplace, under a law Gov. Jay Inslee signed Tuesday.

The bill passed in the state House of Representatives 57-41 and the state Senate 28-21.