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Sept. 24, 2020

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Morning Press: ilani to reopen; County applies for Phase 2; Car cruise; New Columbian publisher; Woody’s Tacos

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Do you have plans for the long Memorial Day weekend? Check our local weather forecast before you head out.

Here are some of The Columbian’s top stories this week that you might have missed.

ilani to reopen May 28

The Cowlitz Tribe’s ilani casino resort will reopen for business at noon on May 28, tribal officials said Monday evening. …

In a Monday press release, ilani officials stated that the casino would resume operations with enhanced safety protocols in place, including reduced and distanced seating at all restaurants, temperature checks for all guests at the entrances, face masks for team members and frequent sanitizing of high-touch surfaces.

Clark County approved to apply for Phase 2 of reopening

Clark County is preparing an application to move to the second phase of the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan, which would allow restaurants, barbershops, tattoo parlors and many other businesses to reopen with safety measures in place.

At a Tuesday press conference, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that Clark County and nine other counties are eligible to apply for a variance to move into Phase 2 sooner than expected.

Adams, Spokane, Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Clallam, Kitsap, Island and San Juan counties were also approved for an expedited return. Clark and Spokane counties are the two largest counties eligible for Phase 2 in Washington.

“There’s a variety of metrics on this, but given where we are, we feel pretty comfortable that if we apply for the variance, we have a pretty good shot at being able to move to Phase 2,” said Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick.

Gov. Jay Inslee has announced rules for Phase 2 of a multistep process to restart construction activity in Washington.

Crowded Vancouver car cruise generates concerns

The spontaneous convergence of cars and crowds along Vancouver’s Main Street on Friday has city officials worried that cruising may make a comeback as residents grow restless under COVID-19 stay-home orders.

An 18-year-old who said he just wanted to support Main Street businesses posted an invitation on Facebook May 13 to cruise on May 15. He expected maybe 20 cars.

An estimated 1,000 cars showed up, Assistant Police Chief Jeff Mori told Vancouver City Council members who raised concerns at their Monday meeting. Officers patrolled the scene, but didn’t write any tickets or make any arrests, he said.

The Columbian names Ben Campbell as new publisher

Ben Campbell has been named publisher of The Columbian, continuing a 99-year tradition of Campbell family ownership of the newspaper into its fourth generation.

The transition was made official today by Scott Campbell, who will become the company’s non-executive chairman of the board.

Longtime Columbian circulation executive Rachel Rose was named as the newspaper’s new circulation director, succeeding Ben Campbell.

Letter from Columbian Publisher Ben Campbell: Goal, mission still the same

Woody’s Tacos will return to downtown

Woody’s Tacos is returning to downtown Vancouver, but central Vancouver residents won’t have to say adios to their popular restaurant.

Owner Scott Holzinger said he plans to keep operating the restaurant’s current location at 7900 E. Mill Plain Blvd. and add a second restaurant at 809 Washington St.

The new Woody’s takes the spot previously held by Low Bar. The bar shut its doors at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and owner Tyler Garza announced earlier this month that the closure had become permanent.

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