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In case you missed them, here are some of the top stories from the week:
Joe’s Crab Shack on Vancouver’s waterfront has closed permanently, its parent company announced Monday.
The popular seafood eatery at 101 S.E. Columbia Way is the latest victim in a string of closures of local restaurants wiped out by the novel coronavirus, including Sweet Tomatoes in east Vancouver, Low Bar in downtown Vancouver, The Hockinson Cafe in Battle Ground and Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground.
• The buildings that house Joe’s Crab Shack and its neighbor, Who Song and Larry’s, are set to be demolished as part of Kirkland Development Group plans to build two nine-story mixed-use buildings on the property.
Clark County is still firmly in Phase 1 of Washington’s gradual reopening plan, but local officials have begun to brainstorm ideas for how to handle Phase 2, which will include a partial reopening of restaurant dining spaces.
One option under consideration: Parklets, an urban planning concept in which street parking spaces in front of restaurants are turned into semi-permanent outdoor seating areas. Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle floated the idea in a Facebook post on Monday, asking users to weigh in.
• A parklet project would likely raise questions about parking availability, since every added parklet would come at the cost of at least one parking space.
Three intensive care unit nurses at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center significantly altered their home lives in April as they figured out how to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
The Columbian interviewed and photographed the nurses over the course of several weeks. Medical personnel across the U.S. have moved into hotels, sent children away, or altered their living situations to protect themselves and others.
These three nurses work at the local hospital that has seen the most coronavirus patients, and in the unit that has the sickest patients. PeaceHealth Southwest has treated more than 50 patients. These nurses have been on the front line of the pandemic response — at least 86 medical workers in Clark County have contracted the virus, although some of those people may have been infected outside their workplaces.
Amid the pandemic, there seems to be only one game being played these days — the waiting game.
But when making plans for her college future, Skylar Bea saw no point in waiting.
Last month, the Washougal High School junior made a verbal commitment to play basketball at Idaho.
“Obviously with the coronavirus pandemic, we don’t know if we will have this last AAU basketball season, and that kind of limits how many coaches can see you play,” Bea said. “And I already pretty much knew that I wanted to go to Idaho, so I just thought ‘Why not commit now?’ ”
Bea did have a little inside information on the Vandals basketball program, her sister Beyonce Bea, who is completing her freshman year at Idaho.
The state Auditor’s Office has alleged that a former Camas mayor and executive director of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association misappropriated $19,311 by using the association’s funds for personal expenses.
The allegations — summarized in reports issued Thursday — come in findings that say Paul Dennis spent the money between Feb. 15, 2013, and Feb. 12, 2019, on an advanced home air system and vehicle costs. They also allege that he used an association debit card on a personal computer, hotel accommodations, fuel and meals.
• Dennis told The Columbian last month that the situation is unfortunate and stems from a civil dispute over pay.