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Jim and Pam Clark are named to the Camas Days Royal Court

Jim and Pam Clark have been selected as Camas Days royalty this year. During a recent interview at their Washougal home, Jim said he was surprised and quite honored to be chosen. "So am I, very humbled," his wife Pam said. They are enjoying getting "ribbed" by friends about their new titles. "She is our royal highness, and I'm the lowness," Jim said. "We've given most of them permission to stay seated when we enter the room."

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Different generations are speaking the same language

A Washougal senior citizen recently provided information about Japan to local students based on his personal experiences. Wendell Heim, 87, was a guest speaker in the Japanese class at Washougal High School. The class is taught by Fuchigami Parker. “He is a great man who cares about a multicultural education for teens,” she said. Heim served in the U.S. Army from February 1944 to January 1965. During World War II, he was in India and Northern Burma.

Washougal defers decisions on ballot items

The Washougal City Council is expected to consider putting a 10 cent levy lid lift before voters, as early as the Nov. 5 General Election. If approved, the lift would be expected to generate $129,000, which could be identified for fire and emergency medical services. The annual cost to the owner of a house valued at $250,000 would be $25.10. The city can contemplate a levy lid lift of up to 24 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That would cost the owner of a $250,000 house $60 per year, and it could generate $309,000. Finance Director Jennifer Forsberg has said, with current assumptions, the city could face a $303,651 deficit in 2014. That is based on projected revenue of $10.8 million and expenditures of $11.1 million.

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Focus Designs opens office in downtown Camas

A Camas company is increasing its exposure on a regional, national and global level. Focus Designs Inc. owners Daniel Wood, David Martschinske and Rick Johannessen have opened an office in downtown Camas. "All the creative stuff happens here," Martschinske said. Research and development occurs in Camas, while manufacturing of the Self Balancing Unicycle happens in China. "Right now, the unicycle encompasses a majority of our efforts," Martschinske said. "We are, however, spending about 20 percent of our time expanding new ways to repackage this technology."

Washougal reviews levy lid lift options

Washougal voters could decide as early as November, whether to approve a levy lid lift to offset financial challenges faced by the city. The preliminary options discussed during the June 24 City Council meeting included an extra 10, 17.5 or 24 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, to be paid by property owners. Finance Director Jennifer Forsberg said, with current assumptions, the city could face a $303,651 deficit in 2014. That is based on projected revenue of $10.8 million and expenditures of $11.1 million.

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Two Rivers Heritage Museum volunteer guides have years of local knowledge

A lifelong resident of the Camas-Washougal area is among the people who provide information and assistance at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum. Bob Peake, 82, has volunteered there for 25 years. One of the areas he is most fascinated with is the “tool shed.”

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Microbrewing entrepreneurs and enthusiasts are attracted to Camas and Washougal

Three local breweries are creating some excitement among area beer drinkers.Rail Side Brewing, Ltd., provides assorted beers in WashougalMike and Anka Davis opened Rail Side Brewing, Ltd., in August 2012.

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Camas-Washougal companies support community causes

The Camas-Washougal area offers a variety of businesses, where customers are very likely to encounter the owners while shopping or eating. Children are appreciated at Dairy Queen There are a lot of memories captured on the walls of the Dairy Queen in Camas.

Independence Day activities are planned

Area Fourth of July festivities will feature music, food and fireworks.

Chemicals found at former Hambleton site

Several contaminants have been found in the soil of the previous Hambleton Lumber Sales LLC location. They include total petroleum hydrocarbons, carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, poly-chlorinated biphenyls, lead and mercury. In 2012, the level of benzo(a)pyrene was .232 mg/kg and TEC was .327 mg/kg, at 335 S. "A" St., Washougal. Cleanup levels for both are 0.1 mg/kg. The highest concentration of total petroleum hydrocarbons was 7,920, compared to a cleanup level of 2,000. Other levels include PCBs (1.869 mg/kg, with a cleanup level of 1); lead (438 mg/kg, with a cleanup level of 250); and mercury (9.53 mg/kg, with a cleanup level of 2).

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Washougal shows patriotic Pomp and Circumstance

The Washougal High School graduation ceremony Saturday included several opportunities to honor America and the veterans and students willing to defend it. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Schick-Ogle Post 4278 installed a new flag at the school, as the soon-to-be graduates who had enlisted to serve in the various branches of the military stood in front of the commencement stage. VFW Officer of the Day Gary Andreas played "To the Color" on a ceremonial bugle as the flag was raised, and the WHS band performed the "Star Spangled Banner," during the salute. The ceremony got underway at Fishback Stadium with the school band performing the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance," as the seniors joyfully entered Fishback Stadium two by two, giving each other hugs, high fives and fist pumps. Family and friends brought bouquets of roses and orange balloons to the stands, and a beach ball made an appearance twice.

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Lacamas Lodge construction contract approved

A Vancouver company has been awarded the contract to construct Lacamas Lake Lodge and Conference Center. Last night, the Camas City Council approved the $1.813 million contract with JWC Construction by a vote of 6-0. Councilwoman Melissa Smith had an excused absence. The city had received three other bids, ranging from $1.844 million to $2.124 million. The engineer's estimate was $1.787 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in July, and the lodge and conference center are expected to open to the public in early 2014.

Washougal’s form of government to be discussed

The next Washougal town hall will feature discussions regarding a potential public vote about the city's form of government. During the City Council workshop yesterday, Councilwoman Joyce Lindsay requested that the issue of changing from a strong mayor to a council-manager form of government be discussed and potentially placed on the Nov. 5 ballot. Councilman Paul Greenlee suggested city officials talk to Bill Ganley, who has been involved with council-manager government changes in Battle Ground.

Fireworks sales hours to be reduced in Washougal

There will be a reduction in the number of days that fireworks can be sold inside the city limits of Washougal, starting in 2014. The Washougal City Council unanimously approved amendments to the city’s Municipal Code on May 28. It is currently legal to sell fireworks from noon to 11 p.m., June 28, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., June 29 through July 4, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., on July 5, as well as from noon to 11 p.m., from Dec. 27 through Dec. 31.

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Freedom for Fido

A Camas resident is among the individuals improving the lives of dogs throughout the region. As a volunteer for Fences for Fido, Ken Alwine has helped build more than 30 fences. The mission of the 501(c) 3 non-profit organization is to improve the quality of life for dogs living outdoors by removing chains and building fences.

Bears are reported to wildlife officials

It is not Chicago, but “da bears” keep appearing. There have been multiple bear sightings in the Camas area within the past couple of weeks. According to Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Jeff Wickersham, they have included a bear -- described as larger than a cub -- that was seen May 25, at about 4:30 p.m., running north from Dorothy Fox Elementary School (1954 N.E. Garfield St.) The following day, at approximately 7:30 p.m., someone reported seeing a black bear running along the south side of the road by WaferTech (5509 N.W. Parker St.) A bear was also seen May 27, at about 8:30 p.m., at the 1400 block of Northeast 197th Avenue.

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Running with purpose

A local man is not letting a medical condition stop him from doing what he enjoys. Dr. Darren Smith, of Camas, has "foot drop" -- paralysis of his lower left leg and foot. He acquired the weakness of the tibialis anterior muscle in 2002, after he underwent a surgical procedure to help embolize a soft tissue mass on his back. After using braces that helped with lateral stabilization, Smith found the Allard USA ToeOFF brace in August 2010. His athletic accomplishments include winning the 2012 and 2010 Canadian National Paratriathlon championships and the 2012 PATCO/PanAm Paratriathlon Championship. The events include swimming, bicycling and running. "I feel incredible to have competed against some of the fastest in the world," Smith said. “Just because the word 'para' is used in front of a sport, does not make people slow. There are some fast people with missing limbs out there. The category I compete in includes below-the-knee amputees."

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Liberty Theatre lease includes new technology

The Liberty Theatre in downtown Camas is expected to get a new lease on life this summer — with 3D presentations on the main screen and an ice cream shop next door. Rand Thornsley, managing director of The Rootstock Capital Management LLC, has signed a five-year lease with Gary and Marilyn Webberley, owners of the Liberty building through Fourth Avenue Liberty LLC. The theater is located at 315 N.E. Fourth Ave.

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Local adoption agency is making a difference — one child at a time

A former counselor at J.D. Zellerbach Elementary School, in Camas, and her husband are among the newest parents of a child from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. April and Aaron Marvin, of Vancouver, adopted Kamble, 2, in December 2012. The Marvin's household also includes their son Carson, 3, and dogs Addy and Oakley. "They are best friends," April said, regarding Kamble and Carson. "They do everything together. They have been inseparable." For more information, call (602) 330-6337, email info@ourfamilyadoptions.org or visit www.ourfamilyadoptions.org.

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Home fire in Camas is a total loss

A house fire in Camas led to several temporary road closures, as firefighters worked to protect surrounding structures.

Camas Hotel to host open house Friday

The owners of the Camas Hotel will soon be ready to show the results of a third floor renovation project. Tom and Karen Hall will host an open house during the First Friday festivities, from 5 to 8 p.m. Snacks and tours will be available. The project has involved taking out six single "bachelor" rooms and adding one king and two queen rooms with bathrooms.

Grant & Elcock PLLC relocates to Washougal

Two attorneys have moved their offices from Vancouver to downtown Washougal. Donald Grant and Douglas Elcock have signed a lease for Executive Suite 245, in Washougal Town Square, 1700 Main St.

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Women nurture their love of soccer

Three local women older than 30 are enjoying the rewards and challenges of playing soccer. Rachel and Erin Bradstreet, along with Lea Phillips, are among the members of "Passin Thru," a team in the Lower Columbia Womens Soccer Association. For more information about the Lower Columbia Womens Soccer Association, email lcwsa@yahoo.com or visit www.lcwsa.info.

Local firefighter is treated for dehydration

A local firefighter was treated for fatigue and dehydration Wednesday afternoon, after assisting with a fire near the Vancouver-Camas border.

Washougal Council eyes changes to fireworks laws

There could be a reduction in the number of days that fireworks can be sold inside the city limits of Washougal, starting in 2014. Ron Schumacher, fire marshal and deputy chief of fire prevention for the Camas-Washougal Fire Department, is proposing the reduction. It is currently legal to sell fireworks from noon to 11 p.m., June 28, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., June 29 through July 4, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., on July 5, as well as from noon to 11 p.m., from Dec. 27 through Dec. 31. The proposal would limit sales from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., July 2 through July 4, and from noon to 11 p.m., Dec. 29 through Dec. 31. The city's municipal code states fireworks may only be discharged on July 4, from 9 a.m. to midnight, and Dec. 31, from 6 p.m. to Jan. 1, at 1 a.m.

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Local residents help with the healing after storms hit

The former youth pastor of a Camas church recalls helping people affected by Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans. Ricky Ortiz coordinated the April 2-9, 2011, trip through Forward Edge International, of Vancouver. The team of 12 volunteers from River Rock Church ranged in age from 17 to 74. Ortiz said it caught everyone in the group off guard that the effects of the August 2005 hurricane were still "pretty bad" more than five years later.

WCGHS supporters plan to protest neighboring company Friday

The frustrations continue near the West Columbia Gorge Humane dog shelter. Jesse Hutton, owner of Northwest Underwater Construction, has been seen videotaping the shelter -- reportedly on the advice of his attorney. Hutton has previously expressed frustrations with the noise levels of dogs barking at the shelter.

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Camas' Teresa Lawwill volunteers with NW Association of Blind Athletes

A local resident is the newest board member for the Northwest Association of Blind Athletes. Teresa Lawwill, of Camas, recently agreed to join the board of directors. She previously served the association by volunteering on the auction committee. Lawwill, community relations director for the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, has experience in fundraising, event management and community outreach. She is impressed with Billy Henry, executive director of the association, and its progression.

Washougal prayer issue is postponed

The issue of allowing prayer at Washougal City Council meetings involved public comments last night, but there was no council discussion. Councilwoman Connie Jo Freeman, who has expressed support for allowing prayer at meetings, requested the issue be delayed until further notice. Councilwoman Jennifer McDaniel pointed out that some of the audience members were at the meeting to talk about the prayer issue.

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Edith Arndt and Annice Sampson walk for fitness & friendship

Two Camas women appreciate their five decades of friendship. Edith Arndt, 84, and Annice Sampson, 74, walk together four days a week through their neighborhood and into the downtown business core. Their round trip route is a little less than two miles. "Walking is the best exercise there is, but it takes discipline," Arndt said recently, during an interview in her home. "I miss it, if I don't walk. "It's good for your physical and mental well being," she added. "It clears your head. If you have any problems, you will feel better after walking."

Prayer is proposed at Washougal City Council meetings

An idea to have prayer at Washougal City Council meetings is drawing strong opinions. Allowing prayer has been supported by Councilwoman Connie Jo Freeman. “Invite clergy from established religions,” she has said.

Camas port-a-potty arson suspects arrested

Two men have been arrested for the recent port-a-pottie arsons in Camas. A third suspect is outstanding.

Washougal tables CRC resolution

The Washougal City Council could still consider a resolution opposing the Columbia River Crossing project, but the revised edition will be much shorter than the original version that was considered last night. The original three-page resolution was crafted by City Administrator David Scott, based on input from City Council members. Information in that resolution was obtained from similar resolutions adopted by the Clark County Commissioners and Oregon House Republicans. The CRC project, to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge, would include an extension of light rail 2.9 miles across the Columbia River to Vancouver. The extension would end near Clark College in the Central Park Neighborhood and include a station on Hayden Island, four stations in Vancouver and three new park and rides.

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Jerry Barber’s story is included in museum’s display

A local Navy veteran recalls when he received a “dolphin pin” and a tattoo — all on the same night. It was 1958, and Jerry Barber had returned from a trip to Pearl Harbor. He had just been promoted and was qualified as a submariner. In order to receive a submarine warfare insignia pin, Barber had to learn about water, air and hydraulic systems, as well as tracking a target and setting a torpedo. Contact: 993-5679 or visit www.cchmuseum.org.

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9-1-1 Driving School hires police officers as instructors

A recent addition to the 192nd Station development offers an assortment of driving courses as well as Department of Licensing knowledge and road tests. 9-1-1 Driving School has hired retired and off-duty police officers to serve as knowledge/skills examiners. Brenda Gardner, co-owner and office manager, said the police officers provide positive mentoring. "The primary focus is on teen driving and traffic safety education," she said. For more information, call 210-7146, email 911drivingschool.com or visit www.911DrivingSchool.com.

Former WPD Officer is found guilty of assaulting a suspect

A former local policeman was found guilty and sentenced Wednesday for assaulting a mentally ill suspect.

Camas port-a-potty arsons are under investigation

Arsons, involving five port-a-potties in Camas, are under investigation.

Former WPD officer charged with assault

A man who worked for the Washougal Police Department for more than 28 years is accused of repeatedly punching a mentally ill suspect involved in a domestic violence case. Former Officer Robert Ritchie, 53, is charged with fourth degree assault, a gross misdemeanor. Clark County District Court Judge Sonya Langsdorf is scheduled to announce a verdict Wednesday, at 2:30 p.m. Ritchie's case involved a non-jury, bench trial March 14.

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Brett Oppegaard is honored by the National Park Service

A local resident has received national recognition for his efforts to help make history more interesting for younger generations. Brett Oppegaard, of Camas, accepted the George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service, in Washington, D.C., in February. The award was presented to him by National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. Oppegaard received a crystal medallion, inscribed with the National Park Service logo. The award was presented in an engraved wooden box. The National Parks Foundation paid for his travel expenses to the nation's capital.

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Studio 2911 companies offer complementary services

Three friends and business associates have combined their efforts to showcase their event planning services. Studio 2911 is located at 421 N.E. Cedar St., in downtown Camas. It includes the offices of Wendy Sturm, owner of "We Plan It," Kristina Kuntz, event coordinator with Niella's Special Events, and Amy Brown, owner of Lacamas Flowers & Events. Niella's, owned by Kuntz and her husband Jonathon, is the parent company of Studio 2911. For more information about Niella's Special Events, call 953-0653, email kristinakuntz@niellas.com or visit www.niellas.com. Sturm can be reached at 597-5109, wendy@weplanit.com or www.weplanit.com. For additional information about Lacamas Flowers & Events, call 606-9164, email lacamasflowers@gmail.com or visit www.lacamasflowersandevents.com.

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Washougal to consider resolution opposing CRC

Several Washougal City Council members are eager to let state legislators know they are opposed to the Columbia River Crossing project.

Columbia River Crossing will be among the topics

A project that could replace the I-5 bridge will be the featured topic of a Washougal town hall. The meeting with City Council members is scheduled for Saturday, at 9 a.m., in the council chambers at City Hall, 1701 "C" St. Comments about the proposed Columbia River Crossing project and other issues will be accepted from residents and property tax payers within Washougal or Washougal's urban growth area.

Local firefighter escapes injury in fire explosion

A Camas townhouse fire is under investigation, after a local firefighter escaped injury.

CWEDA highlights benchmark report

Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association President Paul Dennis has been involved in contacting a variety of companies that are interested in moving to or expanding within the local area. During a recent performance measure assessment presentation to the Washougal City Council, Eric Hovee said of 37 contacts in 2012, seven projects are complete. They include the relocation of CID Bioscience from the Camas Meadows area to the former American Legion building near downtown Camas. Other completed projects include Fastenal, Fisher II, Robertson & Olsen, Sapphire Materials, Sharp Solar and Universal Jiu Jitsu. The seven projects that are underway include Amnesia Brewing, Foods in Season, IMT Bodycote, InnoTech America and Mill City Brew Werks. The names of companies involved in "Brew Pub 3" and &"Biotech 1" are not yet disclosed. Sixteen projects are considered active, while five are listed as dormant and two are considered dead.

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Frank de la Rosa is enjoying retirement

Frank de la Rosa’s life story reads like a history lesson, including many familiar names in the music business. His career has taken him around the world, and he is quite content to reflect on the highlights from his home in Washougal. De la Rosa's love for music could be attributed to his father, a musician who played the bass. His mother did not encourage him to pursue it as a career, because she thought it provided an unstable lifestyle. When de la Rosa picked up a congo musical instrument at a Latin club, musicians told him he had a natural rhythm and encouraged him to pursue music.

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K & M Drive-In opens at former Old Fashion Maid site

A local husband and wife have teamed up to open a restaurant in Camas. K & M Drive-In, named after its owners Kevin and Melinda Bruzzone, is located in the building previously occupied by The Old Fashion Maid Restaurant. "We feature fresh ground beef hamburgers charbroiled to order, hand-cut french fries and hand-scooped ice cream shakes," Kevin said. "We also offer charbroiled chicken breast sandwiches and hot dogs." K & M Drive-In, 3414 N.E. Third Ave., is open daily, from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 210-5803.

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Have a heart this month

A Camas woman is an example of the importance of recognizing the warning signs of a heart attack. Pat King had a massive heart attack in July 2011. Prior to that, she was a smoker and she was often tired. King, 56, had been scheduled to have a thyroid test with her doctor that week. "I never made it to that test," she said. "I had shortness of breath and some swelling of the ankles. At work, they said I was pretty spacey. "The fatigue lasted for months or years," King added. "I had no energy."

Bi-Mart building, surrounding land is purchased

A limited liability corporation, East Village Investors, has purchased 15.97 acres of land in Washougal for $7.08 million. The sale, from DM Stevenson Ranch to East Village, includes the building occupied by Bi-Mart, at 3003 Addy St. and some of the surrounding land. Greg Goforth, a commercial real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial, Jenkins & Associates, represented the seller in the transaction. In documents filed with the Secretary of State's Office, Lone Wolf Investment LLC is listed as the governing member of East Village Investors LLC.

Financial deficits are forecast for Washougal

The City of Washougal is expected to face economic challenges, based on recent projections. During the City Council's annual planning conference Jan. 25 and 26, Finance Director Jennifer Forsberg and City Administrator David Scott talked about the long term financial status of the city's general fund. With the city's requirement that the annual budget include a minimum reserve equal to 16 percent of one year's operating expenses, options to make sure the general fund is balanced include slowing the rate of the growth of expenditures and/or increasing the rate of growth of revenues.

Dr. Allen Gabriel said cancer-free parties are important

A local doctor was recently featured in an ABC News report regarding “cancer-versary” celebrations. Dr. Allen Gabriel, of Camas, provided comments about parties that acknowledge overcoming cancer. He said celebrations are important psychologically. For more information, call 514-1010 or visit www.swplasticsurg.com/dr-allen-gabriel.