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Morning Press: Dogs and fireworks; I-1639; Ridgefield fastest-growing; Pitch, Hit & Run girl

Will we have sunshine for the Fourth of July? Check our local weather coverage.

In case you missed them, here are some of the top stories from the weekend:

Dogs and fireworks: A match made in hell

On Thursday, the nation will celebrate its 243rd birthday. For many of Clark County’s more than 100,000 dogs, there will be no celebration, only a night full of fear. The cornucopia of bangs, booms and flashes that delights children and adults can terrorize the family’s beloved pet.

For a dog, a fireworks boom seems to come out of nowhere and can trigger an instinctive “flight or fight” response. Faced with repeated explosions, fleeing is the natural reaction.

Dogs have dragged themselves over fences or dug under them. Once free, they have been hit by cars or run for miles, to the point that all four paws become raw and bloody.

Dogs with noise sensitivity or anxiety show their distress by barking, whining, trembling, panting, pacing, freezing, drooling, yawning, hiding, urinating and defecating. They have broken through doors and windows, chewed through walls and even gnawed on themselves to the point of self-mutilation.

Read the full story: Dogs and fireworks: A match made in hell

I-1639: Five frequently asked questions, five answers

Owning certain kinds of firearms in Washington is about to get more complicated.

On Monday, much of Initiative 1639 will go into effect. Passed with 59 percent of the vote (54 percent in Clark County) in November, the initiative brings a series of wide-ranging requirements to how firearms can be obtained and stored.

Although it’s a new statewide law, it assigns a significant role to local law enforcement officials and prosecutors. The debate over I-1639 has continued after its passage as county sheriffs across the state balked at enforcing the new law, arguing it violates the constitution.

Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins faces a federal lawsuit from a local gun store owner after indicating he would enforce the law. Cowlitz County Sheriff Brad Thurman initially said he’d take a wait-and-see approach before enforcing the law. But now he said he’ll carry out I-1639 with the goal of “uninfringing” the constitutional rights of citizens to bear arms as much as possible.

There hasn’t been much to enforce until now. A provision making it illegal for individuals younger than 21 to obtain many types of firearms has been the central provision to go into effect so far.

With the rest of the initiative poised to kick in, opposition remains as some of the law’s more controversial provisions remain unsettled and uncertainty surrounds others. Here are some answers to five commonly asked questions.

Read the full story: I-1639: Five frequently asked questions, five answers

Ridgefield again fastest-growing city in Washington

The Washington State Office of Financial Management released its annual population figures Friday, and there’s one statistic that won’t surprise locals: Ridgefield was the fastest-growing city in the state.


The U.S. Census Bureau said Ridgefield’s population grew 13 percent between 2016 and 2017, the highest rate of any city in Washington. The city also claimed the fastest-growing crown from 2013 to 2014. Now, the small city’s estimated population stands at 8,895 people, having increased 15.44 percent from 2018, according to the Office of Financial Management.

Read the full story: Ridgefield again fastest-growing city in Washington

Ridgefield girl advances to national Pitch, Hit & Run competition

Since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2017, almost-13-year-old Elizabeth Peery continues to excel at most things she does. She’s an honor student at View Ridge Middle School in Ridgefield. She pitches for her traveling softball team.

Oh, and she made the national finals of the Major League Baseball Pitch Hit & Run competition at the upcoming MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland.

“I knew I had it in me,” said Elizabeth, who had tried the competition four years ago. “I didn’t make it then because I wasn’t as good as I am now.”

Elizabeth, who turns 13 in July, is a pitcher for the Shockwave U14 softball team. She also plays third base and some outfield. And really enjoys hitting.

All of which comes in handy when Pitch Hit & Run requires throwing balls into a designated strike zone, hitting a ball off a tee for distance and running as fast as you can from second base to home.

Read the full story: Ridgefield girl advances to national Pitch, Hit & Run competition


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