News Briefs for Sept. 5, 2019

Teacher of Year to be announced; NW Brady Road construction starts in Camas; 'State of Community' date set; hiker dies on PCT in Skamania County

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Amy Campbell Finalist for Teacher of the Year award (Post-Record file photo)

2020 Washington Teacher of the Year to be announced

Washington schools superintendent Chris Reykdal will announce Washington’s 2020 Teacher of the Year at an award ceremony in Seattle on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.

Robert Hand, the 2019 Washington Teacher of the Year, will speak at the Sept. 9 event.

Camas educator Amy Campbell, a special needs teacher at Helen Baller Elementary who has taught in the Camas School District since 2007, is one of nine finalists in the running for Washington Teacher of the Year.

“Amy exudes everything we believe possible for public schools,” Camas School District Superintendent Jeff Snell stated in a news release. “I have never seen a teacher be more devoted to ensuring the well-being of her students. Amy is simply the best.”

Campbell is part of the Structured Inclusion Support program at Helen Baller, which serves students with a broad spectrum of challenges such as physical, cognitive, neurological communication and social deficits.

“Sometimes we lose sight of the inherent value of educating everyone together,” Campbell said after the Educational Service District (ESD) 112 named her the area’s nominee for the state Teacher of the Year honor. “Intentional integration of every student is necessary for building a community and culture that values all learners. (I have) seen the beauty and benefit when all students achieve together.”

Construction on Northwest Brady Road in Camas to start Sept. 16

Construction of the Northwest Brady Road improvements from Northwest 16th Avenue to Pacific Rim Boulevard in Camas is scheduled to start Sept. 16 and run through the summer of 2020.

Work expected to occur this fall and winter includes relocation of the existing overhead utilities to a joint utility trench, installation of new underground utilities and retaining wall construction.

While the project will include the installation of a temporary lane on the west side of the existing pavement to facilitate two-way traffic during construction, motorists will likely experience delays when driving through the project. For this reason motorists are strongly encouraged to use alternate routes as available and to budget additional commute time.

The project was awarded to Rotschy, Inc., of Vancouver at the Aug. 19 Camas City Council meeting, for a bid price of $5.68 million.

The improvements will include one lane in each direction with a center left-turn lane or raised median, bike lanes, sidewalks, storm water collection, water and sewer system improvements, landscaping, lighting and other related improvements.

Camas State of the Community event set for Sept. 19

The annual Camas State of the Community address will be held the evening of Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Lacamas Lake Lodge.

Members of the public are invited to hear leaders from the city of Camas, the Camas School District and the Port of Camas-Washougal give highlights from the past year and speak about the community’s future.

Price Foundation donates to historical society

The Camas-Washougal Historical Society (CWHS) was presented a check for $5,000 from The Honorable Frank L. and Arlene J. Price Foundation on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at Two Rivers Heritage Museum in Washougal.

Price Foundation executive director Kay Dalke-Sheadel presented the funds to CWHS president Jim Cobb. The grant is the second received by CWHS by The Price Foundation and is earmarked for the Gathering Place at Washuxwal project, a Native American-inspired longhouse replica to be located on the south side of the museum.

“The building’s foundation is poured, cedar logs delivered, and we will begin structural construction soon,” Cobb said in a news release. “We know this outdoor pavilion will provide a beautiful new venue at our museum to tell important stories of our area. We are honored that The Price Foundation accepted our grant proposal and is helping to make our vision a reality.”

The Price Foundation was created to provide funding for education, health and historical preservation projects in Clark and Cowlitz Counties.

“It is exciting for me to see this money at work locally,” Dalke-Sheadel said in the news release. “Our giving supports education and historic preservation, and (the historical society) will be doing both with this grant.”

The CWHS launched its Gathering Place capital fundraising campaign in fall of 2017. So far, there has been more than $200,000 raised in in-kind gifts, grants and donations. Fundraising continues for the final stages of the project that include Native American carvings and artwork to adorn the pavilion, educational signage and landscaping.

“We are so grateful to the Price Foundation, our members and the community for their continuing support to help this project come to life,” Cobb said.

The Gathering Place is expected to help attract tourists, educational field trips and history lovers to the Two Rivers Heritage Museum and the community.

“We look forward to increasing our ability to share stories of our earliest history,” Cobb said.

Find more information on The Gathering Place at Washuxwal, visit Donations can be made online.

The Two Rivers Heritage Museum is located at 1 Durgan Street in Washougal and open March through October.

German hiker dies on Pacific Crest Trail

A German hiker traversing the Pacific Crest Trail died Aug. 27, near Trout Lake, after a falling tree struck him while he crossed a foot bridge.

The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for a search and rescue mission at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27, on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

The Sheriff’s Office was notified, by a broken cell phone call, of an injured hiker on the PCT, northwest of Trout Lake, Washington. The caller estimated their location as 1.5 miles north of the USFS 23 Road. The Sheriff’s Office later received a second call regarding an “SOS” activation from the same hiking group.

A Skamania County deputy search and rescue (SAR) coordinator was dispatched to the scene and requests for additional SAR resources, including an air asset with hoist capabilities, were made. While responders were en route, sheriff’s deputies received another cell call alerting them that the patient’s condition was deteriorating quickly and requesting emergency medical services. Due to the location, an ambulance and emergency medical crew from Dallesport, Washington, responded.

SAR personnel were able to access the injured hiker, identified as Finn Bastian, 28, of Preetz, Germany, and extricate him to the trailhead. Bastian was unable to be revived and died at the scene. His hiking partners, Larissa Stawicki, 27, of Lunburg, Germany, and Melanie Teek, 38, had hiked from Mexico along the PCT to the Trout Lake area. According to Stawicki and Teek, the group had reached a wooden bridge when a large tree fell, striking Bastian.

According to the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, the tree in question was located and appears to have rotted at the base, causing it to fall.

County seeks community input on housing needs

Clark County Community Services is seeking survey responses about the region’s housing needs. The confidential survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. All community members outside the city of Vancouver are encouraged to complete the survey.

The survey will be open through Thursday, Oct. 31. An online version is available at in English, Spanish and Russian. To receive a paper copy instead, contact Samantha Whitley at 564-397-7842 or

Community Services is responsible for submitting a 5-year consolidated plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development describing the needs and priority areas that Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships program dollars will be used in Clark County, outside the city of Vancouver. As part of this process, the county is asking for feedback from the community to help determine the housing and community development needs for low- and moderate-income households.

Volunteers provide disaster assistance after Hurricane Dorian

As Hurricane Dorian gained strength in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this week, the Red Cross Cascades Region, which serves Oregon and Southwest Washington, deployed 15 volunteers to assist in the massive response effort. That number could increase as the impact of the hurricane becomes clearer.

While the exact path of Dorian was still uncertain when this newspaper went to print, 19 million people live in areas that could be impacted and as many as 50,000 people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina may need emergency shelter. The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained volunteers, emergency response vehicles and more than 30 tractor-trailer loads full of relief supplies to help people in the path of Hurricane Dorian. The Red Cross has also pre-positioned additional blood products and stocked many hospitals to capacity in areas of the Southeast likely to be impacted by the storm.

Fifteen Red Cross disaster responders from Oregon and Southwest Washington responded to the region to help in the aftermath of the hurricane. In coordination with government and community partners, Red Crossers are preparing strategic shelter and warehouse locations and stocking food, cots, blankets and other relief supplies to help people affected by the hurricane.

In order to be ready to assist in the relief efforts related to disasters like this, the local Red Cross Cascades Region is always looking for volunteer disaster responders. People interested in volunteering for the Red Cross as a disaster responder are encouraged to visit for more information.