Tag Archive for: Washougal

Washougal, WA — Washougal High School released students for the day after experiencing a “small fire” in a bathroom in the building Thursday morning, according to a spokesperson for Washougal School District. 

After school activities are also canceled.

Students and staff were evacuated to a safe location due to a fire in the bathroom which was quickly contained. 

“Under the advisement of the first responders, it doesn’t appear we will be unable to resume school today,” the spokesperson said. 

The students were released from school at 11 am.

Students and staff are being asked not to re-enter the building. School administration will work with the fire department on a plan for students to collect car keys.

Buses were lined up for the transport of all students who usually ride the bus. Parents were asked to meet their children at their bus stop roughly 3 hours and 20 minutes before their usual drop off time. 

The spokesperson said they do not anticipate the school will be affected Friday but will provide more information Thursday afternoon.

Clean up and restoration crews at Washougal High School.

Washougal, WA — On Tuesday, November 23, Rochelle Ramos was sworn in as mayor at Washougal City Hall upon the certification of the general election. She received 82.52 percent of the votes. Ramos assumes her official duties immediately. The ceremony was livestreamed on Facebook and is now available on the city website at https://cityofwashougal.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=374.

“I am very honored to serve the citizens of Washougal,” said Ramos. “I look forward to engaging with the community and continuing to contribute to our bright future.”

Ramos’ first action was to administer the oath of office to former Mayor Molly Coston, who won the Council Position 5 seat in this month’s election.

“It has been my great honor to serve as Washougal’s mayor for the last four years,” said Coston. “It was my pleasure to administer the oath to Rochelle as my last official act as mayor. I am excited for our future and look forward to working with Mayor Ramos and the rest of the Council in my new role as a member of Council in Position 5.”

As a Washougal resident for 15 years, Ramos has an active history of community service. Most recently, she served on the Washougal Park Board of Commissioners and cofounded the nonprofit Lunchmoney Indoor Skatepark. She also is the webmaster for Camas Washougal Community Chest and previously was President and Marketing Chair of West Columbia Gorge Humane Society.

Professionally, Ramos works as a human resources director for a local aerospace & defense government contractor. She graduated from Eastern Oregon University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and has a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Golden Gate University. She is also completing a Graduate certificate in Aerospace & Defense from the University of Oklahoma.

Ramos plans to apply her HR skills to the mayor position by taking a teamwork approach to solve some of the city’s most pressing issues such as public safety, revitalizing the small business community and navigating the lingering effects of the pandemic.

“I know that solutions can only result from stepping up and bringing people together to reach our goals,” noted Ramos. “I am ready to take on that challenge.”

Certified results of the November 2 election are:

  • Rochelle Ramos – Council Position 1 & Mayor
  • David Stuebe – Council Position 3
  • Molly Coston – Council Position 5
  • Julie Russell – Council Position 6
Washougal Mayor Rochelle Ramos

Washougal, WA — Organized by the Camas-Washougal Business Alliance (CWBA), the annual Stuff The Bus campaign is under way through December 3, and has become our area’s largest local food drive.

“It’s always met annually with enthusiasm from both Camas and Washougal residents,” said Tabitha Shaffer, CWBA co-founder. “We utilize the Camas & Washougal school districts to help achieve our annual goals and encourage students to help support the event through community outreach and participation. We raise an average of 50,000 pounds of food and our beneficiaries are; The Children’s Home Society, The C.A.R.O.L Program and the American Legion.” 

This year, with kids back in school Stuff The Bus is hoping it allows for greater participation.

“All money and food donations go directly toward our program,” said Shaffer. “The Children’s Home Society is the main beneficiary and they serve over 600 local families per month with the food you can help provide. Our hope is that Stuff the Bus gives them the resources they need to distribute food for hungry families as well as support the Backpack Program, which sends food home with children throughout the school year. Any student who is in need receives a Backpack full of food on Fridays to help them through the weekend. Our other beneficiaries provide over 200 local families with food for the holidays including Christmas dinner and additional food to supplement the holiday season.” 

Students and businesses have been collecting non-perishable food items, including local grocery stores. On Wednesday, November 23, the Washougal Safeway and Camas QFC will have volunteers collecting food and place them into large bins.

The campaign runs through December 3, which is the last day the public can make donations. On December 3, each high school will have a parade to each of the schools and pick up all the canned food donations.

“It’s good to have community come together,” said Shaffer. “It’s great to feel that community spirit again. If anybody has time to donate or if they just want to donate cash or food they can do so at all the schools until December 3, and also any iQ Credit Union branch here. I want to thank our sponsors this year, which are Dan Jones Conveyor, The Asivido Team, and Angie Tauialo and Sativa Huddleston of Columbia River Realty, Jayson Obermiller, and Tabitha Shaffer and Angie Cherry of HomeTown Lenders.”

Washougal, WA — Stop by early at 5 pm for photos with Santa. Starting at 6 pm, the parade will run along Main Street culminating with the tree lighting ceremony in Reflection Plaza. For those unable to attend, the event will be livestreamed on the City’s Facebook page (https://facebook.com/WashougalGov).

The City is accepting applications from local businesses, organizations, and community groups to participate in the parade. Entry is free and all floats or groups must be lighted in some fashion. Awards will be given for Best Use of Lights, Best Use of Music and Santa’s Choice. Applications are due by Monday, November 30 and can be found at City Hall and online at http://www.cityofwashougal.us/ParadeApplication.

“Entries include local clubs, businesses, organizations and others throughout the community,” said Rose Jewell, Community Engagement Manager and parade organizer. “Being a part of the parade is a wonderful way to let people know about your group and show support for our community. Enjoy the festivities with family and friends in Washougal’s downtown living room.”

During and after the parade, the City is serving complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. Entertainment will include performances from the Washougal High School band and choir.

Santa Claus is always the very special guest and will bring up the end of the parade. He will be passing out candy canes and will be available for photos with kids of all ages.

Other sponsors include Waste Connections, Riverview Community Bank and Washougal Coffee Company.

“This community holiday event is a great way to get into the spirit of the season!” Jewell added. “I hope everyone will come and join us after missing out last year!”

Washougal, WA — When Veronica Paredes moved to the United States, she looked into becoming a teacher, and didn’t see a way for her to complete the rigorous coursework required by many teaching programs while continuing to work.  After learning about the ESD-U teacher certification program from fellow staff, she realized the flexible schedule and opportunity to use her current work experiences could open the door to becoming a teacher.

The ESD-U teacher certification program, offered in partnership with ESD 112 and Washougal School District provides a pathway to earn a teaching certificate for WSD staff with a bachelor’s degree working in a classified instructional capacity such as a paraeducator. This residency-based program offers alternative routes to teacher certification, as well as a ‘retooling’ route for currently certified teachers seeking to add an endorsement in another education specialty.

“The program supports the idea of us ‘growing our own’ teacher staff from our talented classified employee base,” said Renae McMurray, WSD Assistant Superintendent. “It provides an opportunity for staff interested in pursuing an advanced career in education, and it lets the district invest in and retain these excellent employees as they build their skills.” 

Murray added that, “The alternative routes program supports a diverse set of staff who might otherwise not be able to complete the rigorous coursework required for a teaching degree, recognizing the need for flexible schedules and opportunities to use experiences in their current position.”    

Participation in the program includes attending courses, completing field experience hours in a classroom environment setting and passing a state-required assessment. Students in ESD-U can use their regular position to fulfill a majority of the field experience requirements if the position matches the endorsement pathway. For instance, a special education paraeducator getting a special education endorsement. Certificates include endorsements in areas like English Language Learners (ELL), Reading, Special Education, and Elementary Education.

Veronica Paredes participated in ESD-U to earn a certificate in ELL and Elementary Education and is currently a Dual Language Kindergarten teacher at Hathaway Elementary.

“I had a job as an ELL Paraeducator, and the ELL teacher told me about the classes at ESD-U,” explained Paredes. “I also heard about it from a student teacher, who studied there.  After that I asked the Washougal School District and Renae McMurray gave me more information and I started getting all the documents I needed to apply.”

Paredes saw benefits to participating in the ESD-U program as opposed to other teacher certification programs.

“I think to study in ESD-U is a good opportunity,” she said. “Their class schedules are accessible when you have a full-time job. All the instructors and staff have a lot of experience. They teach and guide you.”

The admission process begins each January, with successful candidates beginning instruction during the summer. When the public school year begins, students are placed in a residency with a district while they continue ESD-U courses and training.

“It is an amazing job and now I thank all the teachers for what they do, teaching all the children,” Paredes said.

ESD-U is operated by ESD 112 and has been approved by the Professional Educator Standards Board.  ESD-U offers a variety of payment plan options to provide financial flexibility for candidates as well as scholarships.Visit www.esd112.org/esd-u/ for information on the upcoming classes for 2022-23.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office believes they have the suspects who burglarized four downtown Camas businesses, and they released this report: 

At just after 4 pm on Monday, November 1, a Traffic Safety Team Deputy from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop a Jeep Wrangler for an equipment violation. The driver continued south on Lancaster Drive, running multiple stop lights and driving recklessly while attempting to get away. The Traffic Safety Team Deputy did not pursue the vehicle and radioed ahead to other deputies in the area.

As deputies monitored the direction the vehicle was traveling, they were able to successfully use spike strips on State Street near Cordon Road to deflate tires on the Jeep. The driver finally stopped the vehicle approximately 2 ½ miles away near Indiana Ave NE and Logan Ct NE.  The driver and several passengers ran from the Jeep, fleeing into the surrounding neighborhood.

Deputies were able to locate and detain all six people who fled from the vehicle, recovering two stolen handguns.  Deputies learned the Jeep had been reported as stolen out of Tualatin several days earlier. In the stolen vehicle deputies found an AR-15 style rifle, meth, and cash.  Additionally, evidence believed to be related to a series of burglaries in Camas, Washington was recovered from the vehicle.  The investigation into the burglaries is being handled by detectives from the Camas Police Department.

All six people from the stolen Jeep were arrested, four juveniles and two adults:

  • Driver – 14 year-old male from Portland, charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Attempt to Elude Felony & Misdemeanor, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering x 7, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Criminal Trespass II, Delivery of Methamphetamine, and Theft I
  • Passenger – 11 year-old male from Happy Valley, charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Theft I, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Criminal Trespass II as well as an outstanding warrant for Robbery II, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle x 2, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm x 2
  • Passenger – 13 year-old male from Portland, charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Theft I, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Criminal Trespass II
  • Passenger – 16 year-old male from Portland, charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Theft I, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Criminal Trespass II
  • Passenger – Retonong, Zachary a 19 year-old male from Salem, charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Theft I, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Criminal Trespass II, and a Parole Violation.
  • Passenger – Johnmark, Arnes a 23 year-old male from Happy Valley, charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Theft I, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, False Information to a Police Officer, and Criminal Trespass II as well as outstanding warrants for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle x 2, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Identity Theft, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Attempt to Elude, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering x 2, and Assault IV

The juveniles were taken to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center, the adults were lodged at the Marion County Jail.

“I’m proud our deputies were able to help hold these young people accountable while getting the vehicle back to its rightful owner and taking three guns off the streets in Marion County,” said Commander Jeff Stutrud. “By holding these youth accountable, our goal is to change their behavior and connect them with people who can teach them the skills needed to stop engaging in criminal activity. This incident was a great example of the work our deputies do on a daily basis to address crime in our community while also minimizing the risk to the community.”

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Salem Police Department and Marion County Fire District #1 during this incident.

Stolen handguns.

Camas, WA — Continuing their 75 years of support to the community, the Camas-Washougal Community Chest is soliciting 2022 grant applications from non-profit 501 (c) (3) organizations serving the Camas and Washougal area. Grant applications must be received or postmarked no later than December 15, 2021. Grant awards will be announced in March 2022. Initial payments will be made at the time of the award. Larger grants will be funded in 2 to 4 installments, with payments made in November 2022. 

On October 1, 2021, the CWCC launched its 2021/2022 fundraising campaign and hopes to raise at least $125,000 to fund grants during 2022. The Camas Washougal Rotary Foundation, in partnership with CWCC, will fund an additional $12,000 in grants. The Camas-Washougal Community Chest has supported local non-profit organizations since 1946. The Community Chest relies on contributions from individuals and businesses and makes productive use of those funds by being a 100 percent volunteer organization. 

This means that more than 97 percent of the donated funds goes directly back to our community. CWCC urges Camas and Washougal residents and businesses to donate now to help fund 2022 grants. Donation information is available at: http://www.CamasWashougalCommunityChest.org 

In addition to being a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, grant applicants must demonstrate that their project or program benefits residents of Camas and Washougal and meets one or more of the following needs: 

  • Education
  • Youth activities
  • Aid to people with special needs
  • Natural resource conservation Health and welfare programs
  • Crisis and emergency services
  • Diversity, equity and inclusivity
  • Other similar charitable or civic objectives

Beginning with 2021 grants, CWCC has defined civic objectives to more specifically include 501 (c) (3) organizations that offer programs and services that address diversity, equity, and inclusivity issues in the local community.

Grant applications and detailed instructions for applying are available on-line at the website listed above. For further information please call Camas-Washougal Community Chest Board Past-President Joelle Scheldorf at 360-901-6607 or President-Elect Deanna Rusch at 360-980-1261 or send an email request to [email protected]

During 2021 CWCC and the Camas Washougal Rotary Foundation awarded 28 grants totaling $127,671 and delivering an estimated 19,500 individual services to local people. The 2021 grantees included such diverse non-profit organizations as the Inter-Faith Treasure House, Children’s Home Society (East County Family Resource Center in Washougal), Meals on Wheels People, Family Promise of Clark County, and Janus Youth Programs. Projects and programs included such diverse activities as emergency rent and utility assistance, purchase of food and service supplies for local emergency food programs, helping homeless families find permanent shelter and help to support at risk 9- to 17-year-old runaway children.

The Washougal Police Department confirmed today that Derik Ford, a former Washougal mayoral candidate and owner of 2 Rivers Bar & Grill, has died. His family was notified of his passing on Friday, and his cause of death has not been confirmed.

Ford had been running for mayor, but he suspended his campaign following a domestic violence arrest a month ago.

Ford had entered a rehabilitation center, and court records show he violated a no-contact order. He was in court earlier this week.

This is a developing story.

Washougal, WA — The sound of a steady drum beat and the singing of a blessing in Chinookan language filled the afternoon air at the dedication of the Gathering Place at Washuxwal pavilion held at its site at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum on Saturday, September 18. 

A small group of supporters and honored guests gathered to celebrate the project’s completion.  Four years ago, the Camas Washougal Historical Society (CWHS) Board of Directors decided to start an effort to recognize the contributions and tell the stories of the Native Americans who lived in this area of rushing waters. The Gathering Place at Washuxwal project was born. True to its name and intent, the Gathering Place will play host to a variety of interesting educational programs, as well as CWHS meetings and events.

The open pavilion design is inspired by traditional cedar plank houses used by local tribes living along the shores of the Columbia River.  It features Native-inspired wood carvings created by Adam McIsaac, project lead carver and advisor for the pavilion artwork, a respected expert in Native American art.

CWHS president, Jim Cobb, thanked supporters of the project at the event calling out three individuals for their significant roles. Michael Lewallen and Jason Ferrier of Lewallen Architects in Camas and Mark Albin of Able Hands Construction. 

“Without Michael’s help we could not have finished the project, or even got it started,” said Cobb.  “And Jason was our designer and architect and so much more. Mark was the one who set all of this up.  He cut the inserts, put in the posts, put on the roof, he is the one who literally screwed the place together.  Mark worked hard and I can honestly say I don’t know of anyone else who could have done it.”

The dedication highlight was the two blessings performed by Sam and Mildred Robinson.  Robinson, vice chairman of the Chinook Nation, told the group that long houses provided a lot for the people of this land.  

“You look around and notice one entrance,” he pointed out. “The step in would drop as much as three feet. People would ask how the elders got inside. Well, we would pack them. Our elders were very important to us. They carried our knowledge; they were like our libraries, so we took care of them at all times.”

Robinson went on to say that he refers to Chinook longhouses as the first colleges in the Pacific Northwest.  

“In these buildings is where people would sit in the winter by the fire and learn from their grandparents, their aunts and uncles. They would learn what it was like to be Chinook and how it was to be Chinook for tens of thousands of years on this Columbia River.”

As is the Chinook custom to give a gift to visitors, Cobb presented the Robinsons with Pendleton blankets from the CWHS.  

“We hope our relationship with the tribe can get solid and we can work together with educational programs and use this place to help bring back the local history and stories of the past,” Cobb said. 

The Two Rivers Heritage Museum is located at 1 Durgan Street in Washougal and open March through end of October on Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm.  Admission costs are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for students and free for children under 5 and all CWHS members.  Group tours are available any day of the week (by appointment only). Call Lois Cobb at 360-835-5449 for scheduling.

“We hope everyone will be interested in seeing this completed project and visit the museum before we are closed for winter maintenance starting in November,” said Cobb.  “Just because we have finished the plank house, doesn’t mean that we are done improving the Two Rivers Heritage Museum experience for the public and especially our local community.”

Camas, WA — The Camas Police Department reported today the arrest of Washougal mayoral candidate Derik Ford for one count of Assault IV-Domestic Violence during a Wednesday incident.

Initially, the Washougal Police were dispatched to the Ford residence following the report of an assault. Upon arrival, they learned the suspect was Derik Ford, owner of 2 Rivers Bar and Grill in Washougal, who had already left the scene. The report says the responding officers recognized Ford as a mayoral candidate and requested assistance from the Camas Police to eliminate any conflict of interest.

Camas officers interviewed Ford’s wife, and they reported a physical altercation had occurred and that she had been assaulted by Ford. Officers noticed red marks and scratches on his wife that corroborated her report. His wife declined medical treatment at the time of the report.

Camas officers contacted Ford at a different location and interviewed him. The report said he told officers there had been a “heated” argument but denied any physical confrontation. Officers noted marks on his wife that indicated otherwise. 

Following his arrest, Ford told officers that his wife had struck him but he didn’t want her to get into any trouble. 

Based on his wife’s statements, apparent injuries, and Ford’s inconsistent statements, officers determined there was probable cause to arrest Ford for Assault IV-DV. He was arrested and booked into the Clark County Jail for one count of Assault IV-Domestic Violence.

As of this morning, he was at Clark County Jail.

Ford has a history of domestic legal troubles. His former wife filed a temporary restraining order against him in May 2015 in Washington County, Oregon to prevent domestic abuse. Court documents show that Ford admitted to one count, and agreed to a two-year bench probation.