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News / Clark County News

Top Stories: Band director tapped as Rose Fest parade grand marshal; WWII veteran’s remains return home

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: June 1, 2024, 6:05am

Will the rain return? Check out our local weather forecast before you head outside.

Here are some of the top stories of the week on columbian.com.

1. Battle Ground band director tapped as Portland Rose Festival grand marshal

BATTLE GROUND — Delegates from the Portland Rose Festival paid a surprise visit to Clark County on Wednesday morning to announce longtime Battle Ground High School band director Greg McKelvey as the 2024 Grand Floral Parade grand marshal.

McKelvey, who is set to retire at the end of this school year, said the news came as a bit of a shock.

2. Clark County election security petition falls about 20,000 signatures short

proposed initiative that sought to reform Clark County’s elections process failed to gather enough signatures to secure a spot on the November ballot.

“This was a very solid effort, but the restriction of only 120 days to gather signatures turned out to be more than our citizen-led effort could accomplish,” Rob Anderson, the initiative’s author, said on his website.

3. WWII veteran’s remains return to home: ‘It was nothing less than completely amazing’

La Center kid Herb March was 21 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1939. He wasn’t much older — just 24 years old — when he died of malnutrition and disease in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines during World War II.

Eighty-two years later, March’s surviving relatives welcomed him to his last resting place with joy, sorrow and wonder. In early May, accompanied by military escort, March’s remains were flown from a lab in Hawaii to Texas and then to Portland International Airport. The following day, March was interred alongside family at a Woodland cemetery during a highly ceremonial military burial.

4. Clark County experts: Time to buy a home is now, before dip in interest rates increases competition

High interest rates are making it harder for people to buy homes in Clark County’s already hot market. But buyers shouldn’t wait for interest rates to drop, real estate agents and mortgage brokers working in Clark County say.

“If you have the down payment, you should be buying today,” said Josh Fuhrer, a real estate investor and developer. “You’ll be kicking yourself later if you wait.”

5. La Center woman who co-owns businesses in Ridgefield, Woodland convicted of 11 felony counts of violating the Clean Air Act

The co-owner of two Clark County automotive businesses was convicted Thursday of conspiracy and 11 felony counts of violating the federal Clean Air Act, according to a statement from the United States Department of Justice.

Tracy Coiteux, 45, of La Center, co-owns Racing Performance Maintenance Northwest in Ridgefield and RPM Motors and Sales NW in Woodland.