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News Releases
Clark County and City of Vancouver Formalize Collaborative Policy Group to Address Homelessness - 10/29/20

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council and the Vancouver City Council this week  approved a memorandum of agreement between the two jurisdictions that establishes Clark County as the lead agency on regional homeless response and creates a joint executive group on homelessness to enable leaders from both organizations to collaborate on projects and initiatives that will address homelessness and its impacts within the county.

“Establishing this policy group is a much-needed step in the right direction on the issue of homelessness in our community,” said Interim County Manager Kathleen Otto. “I’m confident that working together with our partners at the city is the best approach to develop strategies to fight the devasting problem of homelessness in Clark County.”

“Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis that has been increasing across the country and in our region,” said City Manager Eric Holmes, “We are extremely pleased to be a significant supporting partner in addressing and reducing homelessness in our region and look forward to collaborating with Clark County and many other partners on solutions to this critical issue.”

Representatives from Clark County and the City of Vancouver met four times from July through September 2020 to discuss the formation of this joint executive group, which is comprised of two elected officials each from the County and City along with the County Manager and City Manager or their designee. With the County’s lead, the group will function as a policy forum to consider homelessness comprehensively and holistically with the goal of identifying gaps and opportunities for further coordination and investment.

The joint executive group is expected to hold its first meeting in early November 2020. A framework will be established for the group to grow over time to include other public agencies, local governments, non-profits, and individuals with lived experience with homelessness. The group also expects to work with all organizations providing homeless support services within the two jurisdictions. A focus will be on enabling regional discussions on homelessness that can go beyond the scope of the Continuum of Care to look at addiction, mental illness, and other root causes of housing instability.

The City of Vancouver’s full Resolution and the Memorandum of Agreement and Charter are available on the City’s website. The Agreement and Charter also are on the County’s website.

Changes to ordering requirements for birth, death certificates coming Jan. 1 - 10/29/20

Vancouver, Wash. – A new state vital records law that goes into effect on Jan. 1 will change the ordering requirements for birth and death certificates. The new law includes changes to increase the security of personal information, make historical vital records available, add a non-binary sex designation option, and increase the fee for certificates.

Beginning Jan. 1, only individuals with specific relationships to the person on the record being requested – birth or death certificate – can receive a certified copy. Qualifying relationships include spouse/domestic partner, child, sibling, parent, grandparent and legal representative, among others. Identity and proof of relationship documentation will be required.

The new law also creates a new short-form death certificate that does not contain cause or manner of death information or social security number in order to protect the decedent’s sensitive personal information. The law allows the release of noncertified short-form death certificates, as well as noncertified copies of birth certificates, to the public. Noncertified copies of records cannot be used for legal purposes.

Beginning Jan. 1, the fee for birth and death certificates and noncertified copies of these records increases from $20 to $25. The fee for certificates has not increased since 2009. The fees help support the vital records system across the state, including Clark County Public Health Vital Records, and help fund the death investigations account – a fund operated by Washington State Patrol to pay for the state toxicology lab, investigations and training.

Additional service fees help to maintain the level of service in the Vital Records office, allowing customers to expedite orders or receive a certificate the same day for in-person orders. Orders placed by telephone or online will include an $8.50 VitalChek fee. Orders placed in person at the Public Health Vital Records office will include a $3.50 kiosk usage fee.

An additional fee of $10 will be added to each order. This fee allows the Vital Records program to better cover its costs and rely less on a county general fund subsidy.

The new vital records law authorizes the Washington State Department of Health to issue one birth certificate at no cost to individuals living homeless and who were born in Washington. These requests must be submitted to the state Department of Health by a government agency or homeless services provider on behalf of the individual living homeless.

Beginning Jan. 1, vital records will also have a non-binary “X” sex designation option, and historical vital records will be available at State Archives after specified timeframes (100 years for births and fetal deaths; 25 years for deaths, marriages and divorces).

The Public Health Vital Record’s office is currently closed to in-person services. The Public Health website has information for ordering birth and death certificates online or by mail.

Additional information about the new vital records law is available on the state Department of Health website.

Clark County Public Works opens play structures at all county parks - 10/28/20

Vancouver, Wash. –The Clark County Public Works department is re-opening all play structures across the county parks system following guidance from Public Health and state guidelines.

Public Works closed playgrounds in late March in accordance with the early public health guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Clark County joins a growing list of jurisdictions that are re-opening play structures in accordance with local and state public health guidelines.

While the play structures will be open, county officials urge visitors to be prepared by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after visiting a playground and avoid touching your face. Social-distancing guidelines remain in place at all county parks, meaning park goers should maintain at least six feet of distance from others and will need to wear a mask when around others from outside of the home. Masks are required in social settings for park visitors above the age of five, and are highly recommended for those between the ages of two and four.

Park users are expected to follow social-distancing and safety protocols including:

  • Do not use parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Park restrooms and washing facilities are not available at every park. Many park restrooms will close for the winterization as the weather gets colder. Park goers should be prepared with hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to visiting parks or trails.
  • Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass.
  • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended physical distancing of six feet from other persons not from your household at all times.
  • If you are not able to maintain social-distancing guidelines while visiting a county park, please go home and try to come again at another time.

More information about available accommodations at Clark County parks can be found on the Public Works website: https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/clark-county-parks. You can also find real-time information on the Public Works Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and on NextDoor.

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Public Facilities District board to hold online meeting Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 - 10/28/20

Vancouver, Wash. – The board of the Clark County Public Facilities District will hold a public meeting 3-4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.

The meeting will be on the Webex platform. Anyone wishing to attend the meeting can use this link and use the meeting password JQdRhBw7m46 or call 1.408.418.9388 and use the access code 146 852 9811#. 

The Public Facilities District was formed in 2002 for the purpose of participating in the study, planning and development of one or more regional centers that would promote tourism, such as the convention center in downtown Vancouver and exhibition hall at the Clark County Fairgrounds.

The five-member board is comprised of two people appointed by Clark County and two appointed by the city of Vancouver. Those four appoint the fifth member.

The board typically meets on the first Monday of February, May, August and November. 

Coupons for free leaf disposal available through the end of 2020 - 10/27/20

Vancouver, Wash. – The season is changing, which means leaves are falling from trees all around Clark County. Residents of Vancouver and Clark County can dispose up to five cubic yards of leaves for free with coupons provided by Clark County Public Works and the city of Vancouver. Coupons must be filled out to be eligible for free leaf disposal.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, coupons are not available for pickup at public facilities. Community members are encouraged to print-out, clip out or get coupons in advance.

Coupons can be downloaded from the Green Neighbors website, https://clarkgreenneighbors.org/en/green-blog/free-leaf-disposal-1, and used at four locations:

  • H & H Wood Recyclers, 8401 NE 117th Ave., 360.892.2805
  • McFarlane's Bark, 8806 NE 117th Ave., 360.892.6125
  • Triangle Resources, 612 SE Union St., Camas, 360.834.7253
  • West Van Materials Recovery Center, 6601 NW Old Lower River Road, 360.737.1727

Residents can call Vancouver Solid Waste at 360.487.7160 or email solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us to have a coupon sent to you by mail. Please plan ahead and allow additional time to receive the coupon after making your request.


Coupons must be presented at the drop-off site and are for leaves only. Regular disposal fees apply to leaves mixed with other yard debris.

Clark County reminds residents not to blow, rake, sweep or dump leaves onto streets, where they can block storm drains, cause flooding, and create driving hazards. Blowing, raking, sweeping or dumping leaves onto county roads is littering and violates county code.

To help prevent flooding on neighborhood streets with relatively light traffic, residents can clear clogged storm drains by standing on a safe location away from traffic and using a rake or other garden tool to pull leaves from the path of flowing water.

Residents should not try to clear storm drains on busy streets. Call Clark County Public Works at 564.397.2446 to report clogged storm drains or flooding on busy streets outside city limits.

 

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Voters must register in person beginning today; Elections open Saturday, Oct. 31 - 10/27/20

County Auditor urges voters to plan ahead to avoid long lines on election day

Vancouver, Wash. ??' Beginning today, Tuesday, Oct. 27, residents needing to register to vote must do so in person at the Clark County Elections Office at 1408 Franklin St., Vancouver. Anyone who needs to receive a ballot for their new address must do so at the Elections Office. Elections Office hours are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. On Tuesday, Nov. 3, office hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters can get a ballot sent to their new address by reaching out to the Elections Office. The last day Elections can mail ballots to voters is Wednesday, Oct. 28. After that, the Elections Office cannot guarantee the ballots would arrive in time for election day Tuesday, Nov. 3. Voters can contact Elections at 564-397-2345 or elections@clark.wa.gov.

Elections will be open Saturday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for voters wishing to register, update, or come and vote their ballot in person. In-person voting means voting a mailed ballot at the Elections Office. Elections does not have electronic equipment for in-person voting. However, there is accessible voting units for voters with disabilities, so they may vote independently.

“We want to urge voters to not wait until next Monday and Tuesday to come to the Elections Office, but to come this week or this weekend,” said County Auditor Greg Kimsey. “The lines will be very long, and the wait time could be significant. We also thank Clark County voters who have already voted. This is so important, because if there are issues with their signature, there is plenty of time of resolve them no later than the day before certification day which is Monday, Nov. 23.”

Voters who have not received a ballot yet have a couple of options: 

  • Come in person to the Elections Office
  • Request a replacement ballot be sent by mail no later than Wednesday, Oct. 28
  • Go to the voter portal and access their ballot electronically at votewa.gov

Commission on Aging to present its first Silver Citizen Award to Evelyn Hallett - 10/27/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County recognizes that older adults are valuable contributors to the vitality of this community. To encourage and support older adults for their contributions to their communities, the Clark County Commission on Aging established the Silver Citizen Award program to recognize older adults who go above and beyond in service.

The recipient of the 2020 Silver Citizen Award is Evelyn Hallett. Ms. Hallett is 93 years old, is a long-time resident of Vancouver, and has served as Commissioner on the Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) Board of Commissioners since 2014. Evelyn participates as an active member by engaging with other service providers and advocating for adequate housing for those in need. She uses her seat at the VHA Board to speak about the current lack of affordable housing and encourages the Board and management to stay engaged and help solve the housing crisis. Evelyn also volunteers with FISH, Meals on Wheels, is a hostess at Luepke Center, and does a lot of volunteer work with Veterans.

The award presentation will take place remotely via Webex at the commission’s Wednesday, Nov. 18 meeting at 4:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend virtually or by phone. Meeting details will be posted to the commission’s meeting page,  https://clark.wa.gov/community-planning/commission-aging-meetings, no later than a week before the meeting.

The award recognizes the valuable contributions older adults make to the vitality of the community and is open to any county resident 65 years or older who has enhanced the community through their life’s work, engagement of others, volunteerism and or selfless acts of service to the community for any age group. Service in any field of endeavor will be considered (e.g., education, radio, television, business, healthcare, art, music, journalism, faith-based, athletics, politics, volunteer service). A couple may receive the award jointly when both have been involved in service and various community endeavors.

The Commission on Aging, supported by the Clark County Council, is a nine-member volunteer group that implements the Aging Readiness Plan and provides leadership addressing needs of aging community members.

For more about the commission, visit www.clark.wa.gov/aging.

Treasurer to open drive-through property tax payment drop-off kiosk Oct. 30 and Nov. 2. - 10/26/20

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Treasurer’s Office announced that Treasurer Alishia Topper will be opening a drive-through tax payment drop-off window.

In response to the Joint Lobby being closed due to COVID-19, Topper is opening a convenient drive-through drop-off at the parking structure kiosk at the Public Service Center at 1300 Franklin St. on Friday, Oct. 30, and Monday, Nov. 2, from 9 am to 4 pm. The kiosk is near the Franklin Street entrance to the parking garage.

“In recognition of the health and safety challenges of in-person services due to COVID-19, I want taxpayers to have the option to drop off their payment without leaving their car,” Topper said.

The drive-through option is meant as a convenience and is for pre-written checks only, and no receipt will be provided. The Treasurer’s Office will not accept any other forms of payment at the drive through.

In addition to the kiosk, taxpayers can also seal their check payments into an envelope and drop them into a secured drop box located on the first floor of the Public Service Center at 1300 Franklin St. during the hours of 9 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.

Taxpayers may pay property taxes online using a credit or debit card or from their checking or savings account. E-Checks (from a savings or checking account) are free. Debit card transactions are a flat rate of $3.95 and credit card transactions fees are assessed a 2.39% vendor fee.

To make a payment, go to www.clark.wa.gov/treasurer/payment-options, or call 1.833.440.8685. To register to receive your tax statement electronically and manage your property taxes online, go to www.paydici.com/clark-county-wa/search/landing.

Tax payments can be mailed to the Clark County Treasurer, PO Box 35150, Seattle, WA 98124-5150. Taxpayers are encouraged to use the return envelope and payment coupon provided with their statement to mail their payments.

Tax payments must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, to avoid interest charges.

Public Health urges residents to avoid gatherings and take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19 - 10/23/20

Vancouver, Wash. – It has come to the attention of Clark County Public Health that multiple large public events have been planned for this weekend in Vancouver and Camas.  

Washington State Department of Health and Clark County Public Health do not condone these events and encourage all residents to take precautions to protect themselves and others against COVID-19.

COVID-19 cases in Clark County are increasing, and continued spread prevents our businesses, schools, and community events from reopening. Wearing cloth face coverings, practicing physical distancing, and avoiding gatherings, especially indoors, are proven ways to slow the spread of the virus.

Working together, our community can slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Clark County seeks applicants for Clean Water Commission - 10/21/20

Vancouver, Wash. –Clark County is seeking applicants to fill one open position on the Clean Water Commission.

Terms for the open position begin January 2021 and end December 2023.

The nine-member advisory group makes recommendations to the Clark County Council about services, policies and financing needed to meet federal and state requirements for water quality and stormwater management improvements.

Applicants can live anywhere in Clark County. Unincorporated residents and people with analytical skills and/or experience with environmental issues are encouraged to apply.

The commission meets 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of every other month, beginning in January. Currently, public meetings are being held via WebEx video conferencing. Once in-person public meetings resume, they will be held in conference room 698 in the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

Interested residents must submit a letter and résumé to Jeff Schnabel, Clark County Clean Water Division, P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000 or by email at cleanwater@clark.wa.gov.

The application deadline is noon Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.

More information on the Clean Water Commission is available on the county’s website, www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/clean-water-commission.

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Clark County Sheriff's Office shooting range moves to Camp Bonneville - 10/20/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Following a discussion with the Clark County Council, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, or CCSO, will move its shooting range facility from English Pit to Camp Bonneville effective Jan. 1, 2021.

The current location of the Sheriff’s English Pit shooting range on Northeast 192nd Avenue has become less viable due to increased development in the area. CCSO’s second range facility at Camp Bonneville, located in east Clark County is an ideal facility for law enforcement training as it is in a rural area where the site of the firing range is a good distance away from the main gate and homes. The location also currently serves as a shooting range facility for FBI training. The remainder of the site, which is managed by Clark County Public Works is still closed to the public.

Camp Bonneville was originally used as a U.S. Army training facility. The Army closed Camp Bonneville in 1995, and several years later transferred ownership of the 3,840-acre property to Clark County.

The Camp Bonneville reuse plan approved in 1998 and revised in 2003 and 2005, includes firing ranges in one of nine approved elements. The reuse plan specifically offers the use of the site by CCSO and, if needed, additional range construction when the English Pit range site becomes unavailable due to increased development. CCSO, FBI and Clark County Public Works are working together to coordinate the move.

While the Sheriff’s firing range at English Pit will be closed, a second firing range on the site will remain open to the public.  

For more information, go to the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/2020-10/101420_CCSOShootingRange_0.pdf.

County reschedules virtual forums on 2019 Community Needs Assessment - 10/20/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Community Services has rescheduled four virtual feedback forums to discuss and hear thoughts from residents about its community needs survey conducted late last year.

The forums will be in three languages and registration is required. The updated dates are:

All forums will be two hours long and will have small group discussions.

The virtual forums: A Portrait of Clark County – Needs of a Community, were originally scheduled for late October. Anyone who signed up for the previously scheduled dates will receive an email notification regarding the new dates and what to do if they need to cancel.

The confidential survey asked residents who are low-income about their family’s needs. Community Services will share data from the survey, and participants will have a chance to provide feedback and share their opinions on the findings.

Community Services is required to conduct a community needs assessment every three years. The results are used to help prioritize which programs and services will be funded in our community with Community Service Block Grant awards.

For more information, go to https://clark.wa.gov/community-services/community-action.

UPDATE: County, Woodland, Camas seek applicants to serve on Clark County Arts Commission - 10/20/20

Please note the update to the email for the business position below.

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County and the cities of Woodland and Camas are accepting applications to fill three positions on the Clark County Arts Commission.

The county is looking for a volunteer to fill the position for a member of the business community. Camas and Woodland are looking to fill the seats representing their respective jurisdictions.

All terms are four years in length and begin immediately. The commission typically meets at 5:30 pm the first Tuesday of the month on the sixth floor of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. However, meetings are currently virtual due to the pandemic.

The Arts Commission is made up of 11 volunteer members. Each participating city appoints one member and the county manager appoints three members representing the arts, arts education and business communities.

The commission advises and collaborates with the county council and city councils and reports accomplishments to the community. Members advocate for the arts in the community, at public hearings, budget hearings and other public forums.

Here is how to apply for the open positions:

Application deadline is 5 pm, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.

Learn more about the Clark County Arts Commission at https://www.clarkcountyartscommission.com/.

Clark County Law Library offers new civil lawsuit self-help kit - 10/20/20

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Law Library has a new Starting a Civil Lawsuit self-help kit available for purchase. The kit is part of a series of form kits that include instructions on various court filings.

This new kit includes forms and instructions to start a civil lawsuit in Superior Court against a person. It does not cover procedures after the initial filing and is not intended for District Court.

“The kits cost $15 which includes tax, we are selling them by mail while our office is closed,” said Law Librarian Maria Sosnowski. “Full cost is $27 including the kit, shipping and handling, credit card fee, and sales tax.”

To learn more about this kit and other self-help kits that are available, go to the self-help form kits page at https://clark.wa.gov/law-library/self-help-form-kits on the Law Library website.

To order a kit, call and leave a message and contact information at 564.397.2268 or email to rary@clark.wa.gov">lawlibrary@clark.wa.gov.

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 10/16/20

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding a death investigation by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office on October 12th, 2020 involving a pedestrian on SR500.

 

Decedent name: Campanale, Jack L.     

Decedent age:  30 Yrs                

Resident of:  Unknown

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

 

Cause of death: Blunt head injuries, including multiple skull fractures

Manner of death: Accident

How injury occurred: Pedestrian struck by vehicle

 

 

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105. No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Washington State Patrol.

 

 

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

Narcotics dealer linked to Vancouver overdose death pleads guilty to federal charges - 10/16/20

Vancouver, Wash. – An online narcotics dealer pled guilty on Thursday to charges related to the distribution of fentanyl analogues and synthetic opioids. Through the guilty plea, Chukwuemeka Okparaeke admitted to selling a synthetic opioid to an 18-year-old Vancouver man who died from an overdose after using the drug.

Okparaeke pled guilty to distributing U-47700, a controlled substance analogue of AH-7921, and other charges in U.S. District Court in White Plains N.Y. Through the guilty plea, Okparaeke admitted to selling U-47700 to Tim N. Teklinski of Vancouver.

Teklinski, 18, died on Nov. 10, 2016. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death accidental and determined the cause of death was U-47700 intoxication.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, from at least July 2016 through March 2017, Okparaeke imported fentanyl analogues, including acryl fentanyl and furanyl fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids, including U-47700, from Hong Kong and China into the U.S.

In November 2016, Okparaeke sold 3 grams of U-47700 to Teklinski using a darknet website. Prior to his death, Teklinski left a review on Okparaeke’s darknet vendor page confirming he received the drugs he ordered, according to the Department of Justice.

Okparaeke is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court on Dec. 17.

For more information, see the Department of Justice news release.

Public Health tips for a safe, healthy Halloween during COVID-19 pandemic - 10/16/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Many traditional Halloween celebrations could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. But residents can help keep themselves, their loved ones and the community healthy by making small changes to how they celebrate.

COVID-19 activity is increasing in Clark County. The safest way to celebrate Halloween is at home with the people you live with. Do a scavenger hunt with treats hidden around the house or outside. Decorate your living space or patio. Dress up in costumes and watch scary movies. Or host a virtual costume contest with friends.

Some Halloween celebrations pose a higher risk for COVID-19 to spread. Attending crowded Halloween parties, trick-or-treating in large groups, or going on hayrides or tractor rides with people you don’t live with are riskier activities.

“Halloween may feel a little different this year, but with a little care and creativity, we can all celebrate the holiday safely,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.

Trips to the pumpkin patch pose a higher risk for virus transmission than activities at home. If you plan to visit a pumpkin patch, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Wear a face covering.
  • Keep your distance. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.
  • Use hand sanitizer after touching shared surfaces, such as handrails and wheelbarrows.
  • Avoid crowded activities that don’t allow for physical distancing.
  • If you’re feeling sick, stay home.

Large groups of trick-or-treaters going door to door can pose a high risk for virus transmission. If you plan to take children trick-or-treating this year, take these steps to make the experience safer:

  • Keep the group limited to members of your household.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people in other groups.
  • Incorporate a snug cloth face covering into your costume. Plastic costume masks are not suitable replacements.
  • Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating. Bring hand sanitizer to use while trick-or-treating.
  • Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • If you’re feeling sick, stay home.

People who plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters can also take steps to make the visits safer:

  • Create grab bags of treats, rather than having kids dig through a communal bowl of treats.
  • Set treats on a table outside and greet visitors from a lawn chair at least 6 feet away. Or try a creative approach, like sliding candy down a long tube.
  • Use little pumpkins or other markers on the ground to help visitors stay at least 6 feet apart.

Additional resources:

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 10/16/20

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding a recent death investigation by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office at a fatal house fire that occurred on October 10th on Northeast 66th Avenue in Vancouver.

 

Decedent Name: McCarty, John E.        

Decedent Age:  75 Yrs               

Resident of:  Vancouver, WA

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

 

Cause of death: Pending

Manner of death: Pending

 

 

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105. No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.

 

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

Local businesses, community members honored for commitment to individuals with developmental disabilities - 10/13/20

Vancouver, Wash. – The 20th Annual Disability Employment Awareness Month Celebration was held on Oct. 7. The event honored individuals and businesses for their commitment to employment and services for individuals with development/intellectual disabilities.

The following award winners were honored at the virtual celebration:

  1. Large Employer (50 or more employees) of people with developmental/intellectual disabilities – IQ Credit Union
  2. Small Employer (49 or less employees) of people with developmental/intellectual disabilities – Sonesta ES
  3. Employee with a developmental/intellectual disability – Chris Bergman
  4. Dennis Campbell Outstanding Service Award for outstanding service to improving the lives of individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities – Debbie Thompson
  5. David Hanawalt Service Award for an employment specialist who demonstrates service to their clients above and beyond the client’s expectations, exceeds the contractual expectations, and promotes client success and growth – April Burton

The awards event is part of celebrating October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The Clark County Disability Employment Awareness Month Awards honor the role people with developmental disabilities have in assisting us to achieve a dynamic, productive workforce and recognize the leadership of the business community. 

This event featured a keynote by Karen Gaffney and highlighted the role of essential workers. This event was recorded by CVTV and will be available for future viewing at www.cvtv.org.

We encourage residents to please support the businesses who hire people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Patricia McConaughy, program manager for Clark County Community Services. “We acknowledge and thank our sponsors for supporting this important event: CVTV, C-TRAN, Clark College and Clark County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board.”

For more information or future sponsorship opportunities, please contact Emily Harris at emily@gowise.org or (503) 750-9776.

Green Neighbors celebrates eight years of sustainability programs with a virtual birthday party - 10/09/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health’s Green Neighbors program is turning 8 this year, and the public is invited to celebrate in the program’s live virtual event!

Green Neighbors is throwing an online birthday party 3-4:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 17 on Zoom. Register to attend the free party on the Green Neighbors website.

Party attendees can enjoy environmentally themed stories from master storyteller Will Hornyak as he gives life to facts about sustainability, composting and healthy watersheds. Hornyak has provided hundreds of performances for Clark County schools, festivals and community gatherings as a professional storyteller and educator since 1994.

From Northwest Native American legends and Oregon tall tales to original stories and participation tales for all ages, Hornyak weaves a wide web of oral traditions into thoughtful and well-crafted educational storytelling performances.

Attendees can also expect to hear about the success of the Green Neighbors program as it pivoted to a virtual format for other celebrated sustainability events this year. The event will also feature a brief discussion of the future outlook for virtual events from the program.

The Green Neighbors program helps citizens create sustainable lifestyles. The program promotes green living through a variety of community events, such as WasteBusters, the Natural Garden Tour and the Recycled Arts Festival.

To stay up to date on green tips and local events, sign up for the Green Neighbors newsletter at: http://clarkgreenneighbors.org/newsletter-signup/modify.

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Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE (Photo) - 10/08/20

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding recent death investigations by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office is seeking the public’s help in confirming the identity of one of two victims of a fatal house fire last month. The fire occurred on Sept. 1 in a house on Northeast 149th Court in Vancouver.

 

Here is the information about the decedent whose identity has been confirmed:

Decedent Name: Francis, Wanda M.      

Decedent Age:  46 Yrs               

Resident of:  Vancouver, WA

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of death: Pending

Manner of death: Pending

 

Here is the information about the decedent whose identity has not yet been confirmed:

Decedent Name - Presumptive: Kovac, John E.          

Decedent Age - Presumptive:  83 Yrs              

Resident of - Presumptive:  Vancouver, WA

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of death: Pending

Manner of death: Pending

 

The Medical Examiner’s Office is asking for assistance in finding the decedent’s dentist and biological relatives in order to confirm his identity.

 

John E. Kovac, PhD, is reported to have been a professor of Political Science. He taught at McKendree University in Illinois. He moved to the Portland area in the early to mid 1980’s. He worked at a university in the Portland area. He reportedly has a son, David, and daughter, Laura, from his time in Illinois.

 

See attached photos circa 1980 and circa 2005.

 

Anyone with information about John E. Kovac please send to: medical.examiner@clark.wa.gov

 

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105. No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Vancouver Police Department.

 

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

Attached Media Files: Kovan 2005 , Kovac 1980
County manager seeks Telecommunications Commission applicants - 10/07/20

Vancouver, Wash. – The county manager is seeking applicants with an interest in government and educational access television and cable television franchising to fill a position on the volunteer city/county Telecommunications Commission. 

The position is for an unexpired three-year term that ends April 30, 2023. Applicants must be Clark County residents.

The commission serves in an advisory capacity to the County Council and Vancouver City Council on matters related to cable television and telecommunications issues. It makes reports, monitors compliance with city and county cable franchise agreements, and establishes rules and regulations regarding cable television and associated telecommunications issues. The commission also serves as an advisory body during cable franchise renewal negotiations with the cable operator.

The commission meets three to four times per year on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 415 W. 6th St. Meetings currently are being held virtually due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

To be considered, please submit a letter of interest and résumé to Michelle Pfenning, County Manager’s Office, P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000. Applicants also can send information by email to michelle.pfenning@clark.wa.gov.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, 2020.

To learn more about the commission visit www.cityofvancouver.us/tc.

Commission to hear about COVID-19's impact on older adults' access to food, supplies and medications - 10/07/20

Vancouver, Wash. – The Commission on Aging will hear from local community resource organizations that assist and/or provide older adults with their everyday needs, such as food, supplies and medications. The commission wants to hear how COVID-19 has impacted the older adults they serve and how they have modified their services during the pandemic.

The presentations will take place during the Commission on Aging’s monthly meeting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Until further notice, the Commission on Aging meetings will be held in a virtual format via WebEx. For information on how to join and participate in a commission Webex meeting, please visit https://clark.wa.gov/community-planning/commission-aging-meetings

The presenters include:

  • Mikayla Springob, Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities of SW Washington
  • Emily Kaleel, Clark County Food Bank
  • Jeananne Edwards, Human Services Council

The Commission on Aging, supported by the Clark County Council, is a nine-member volunteer group that implements the Aging Readiness Plan and provides leadership addressing needs of aging community members. For more about the commission, please visit www.clark.wa.gov/aging.

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 10/07/20

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding recent death investigation by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Date of death: 10/05/2020

Location: Vancouver, WA

 

Decedent Name: Williams, Andrew A.    

Decedent Age:  41 Yrs               

Resident of:  Portland, OR

 

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of death: Gunshot Wound of the Abdomen

Manner of death: Homicide

How injury occurred: Shot by law enforcement following altercation with other person(s).

 

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105. No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

County schedules virtual forums on 2019 Community Needs Assessment - 10/06/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County residents are encouraged to attend upcoming virtual forums: A Portrait of Clark County – Needs of a Community.

Clark County Community Services has scheduled four virtual feedback forums to discuss and hear thoughts from residents about its community needs survey conducted late last year.

The forums will be in three languages and registration is required.

All forums will be two hours long and will have small group discussions.

The confidential survey asked residents who are low-income about their family’s needs. Community Services will share data from the survey, and participants will have a chance to provide feedback and share their opinions on the findings.

Community Services is required to conduct a community needs assessment every three years. The results are used to help prioritize which programs and services will be funded in our community with Community Service Block Grant awards.

For more information, go to https://clark.wa.gov/community-services/community-action.

Public Health issues danger advisory for Lacamas Lake due to elevated toxin levels - 10/02/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has issued a danger advisory for Lacamas Lake after test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water.

Results from water samples taken Monday from Lacamas Lake at the Heritage Park boat launch revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. Danger signs are being posted at the boat launch, entry to Heritage Trail and other public access points to the lake. Public Health is advising against all recreating in the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, water skiing, and fishing.

Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are currently not visible from the water’s surface, however, toxins are still present.

“We’re concerned people may think the lake is safe for recreating because they don’t see any of the telltale blue-green scum,” said Alyssa Payne, Clark County Public Health environmental health specialist. “The water may look normal, but the toxin levels are high.”

Public Health has also upgraded the advisory at Vancouver Lake to warning. Results from water samples taken from Vancouver Lake on Monday show elevated toxin levels. Blue-green algae is visible at the swim beach and the flushing channel.

Public health advises against swimming or water skiing in Vancouver Lake. Those who are paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing should avoid areas of scum. Pets should not have any contact with the water, and people who are fishing should be sure to clean fish well and discard organs.

Toxins from blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with skin. Inhaled bacteria or toxins can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.

Public Health has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms and their toxicity at Lacamas Lake since April 9 and will continue to monitor the lake until the toxicity is below the Washington Department of Health’s recommended levels. As long as blooms are present or toxicity persists, Public Health will take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Lacamas Lake’s Heritage Park remains open. Water in park restrooms and shelters is not affected by lake water and remains safe to drink.

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website. To report algae blooms in other bodies of water, visit the Public Health website.

Flu shots are more important than ever during COVID-19 pandemic - 10/01/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Flu season is approaching, and this year it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot. While we don’t yet have a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, we do have a vaccine to prevent influenza.

“Flu shots are the best way to prevent influenza illness and hospitalizations,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “By getting a flu shot, we will all do our part to ensure our health care system isn’t overburdened while influenza and COVID-19 are circulating in our community.”

Flu can occur in any month, but transmission primarily occurs October through May. It can take up to two weeks for protection from the flu shot to build up. Getting immunized now ensures you’re protected once flu activity intensifies, and you’ll remain protected throughout flu season.

The flu shot is safe and recommended for everyone 6 months and older. Immunization not only protects the person receiving the shot, but higher immunization rates also help to protect those most vulnerable to complications. Young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older and people with asthma, diabetes, heart disease and long-term health conditions are at greatest risk of complications from flu.

While most people with the flu do not need to seek medical are, flu symptoms can be severe and typically include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue. Those who have flu symptoms and are in a high-risk group, or who are worried about their illness, should contact their health care provider.

Flu vaccine is widely available in Clark County. To get vaccinated, call your health care provider or pharmacy. You can also find locations offering flu vaccines at www.vaccinefinder.org.

In addition to immunization, everyday practices can reduce the chance of catching or spreading influenza. These practices can also help slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • Stay home when sick and limit contact with others.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cough or sneeze into your arm or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Throw away the tissue and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an alternative when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when around people you don’t live with.

For information on the similarities and differences between flu and COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Clark County offers financial support to food establishments impacted by COVID-19 - 10/01/20

Clark County is offering financial support to food establishments impacted by the public health measures implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Clark County Public Health will disburse federal CARES funding to eligible food establishments in the amount paid for their 2020 retail food permit. The permit fees range from $258 to $1,835. Permit fees for 2021 will still apply.

Food establishment owners can use the CARES funding at their discretion toward any operational expenses.

“Local restaurants have been operating in a limited capacity for months or have closed their doors completely. And caterers, mobile food carts and event vendors have lost business due to event cancellations,” said Brigette Bashaw, food safety program manager. “We hope this funding will help food establishments recoup a small portion of the losses they’ve endured over last six months.”

Eligible food establishments must submit an application on the Public Health website to receive CARES funds. Applications are being accepted through Oct. 31, and all funds will be disbursed by Nov. 30.

Eligible food establishments include:

  • Level 1, 2, and 3 restaurants
  • Level 1, 2, and 3 mobile units
  • Level 1, 2, and 3 multiple event vendors
  • Caterers
  • Bed and breakfasts

Food establishments must also have annual revenues of less than $1 million and must hold a valid Public Health food permit or be enrolled in a COVID-19 deferred permit program to be eligible.

Visit the Public Health website for additional information. Food establishment owners without internet access can call 564.397.7257 to apply by phone.

Local businesses, community members to be honored for their commitment to employment and services for individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities - 10/01/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Businesses and individuals who are making a difference in the lives of people with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities will be honored at the Disability Employment Awareness Awards. The event takes place 5-6 pm Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.

Five Community Awards will be presented at the event which will take place virtually this year. The event also celebrates October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. To register to attend the event, go to https://qrgo.page.link/5UCQN.

Awards will go to a large employer, small employer and an employee with a developmental or intellectual disability as well as people being honored for their extraordinary service to those with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

The Clark County Community Awards honor the role people with developmental disabilities have in helping achieve a dynamic, productive workforce and recognize those in the business community who have demonstrated leadership in employing people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

This year’s event is sponsored by Clark County in conjunction with Clark College, CVTV, CTran, and the Clark County Development Disabilities Advisory Board.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Emily Harris at 503.750-9776 or Emily@gowise.org.

Fire Marshal lifts countywide burn ban - 09/30/20

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Interim Fire Marshal Dan Young announced today he is lifting the ban on recreational and land clearing burning in unincorporated Clark County, effective midnight Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Residents must follow all local outdoor burning regulations and burning permit requirements. Recreational campfires are allowed if built in improved fire pits in designated campgrounds, such as those found in local, county and state parks. On private land, recreational fires must be built according to the following regulations:

  • Fires must be built in a metal, stone or masonry-lined pit such as those seen in approved campgrounds or in portable units sold in home and garden stores. Fires must not exceed 3 feet in diameter by 2 feet in height.
  • Fires must be attended at all times by a responsible person at least 16 years old and with the ability to extinguish the fire using a shovel, five gallons of water or a connected and charged water hose.
  • Completely extinguish recreational fires by pouring water or moist soil on them and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch.

Young reminds residents that the use of burn barrels is illegal.

For more information, go to www.clark.wa.gov/code-administration/outdoor-burning.