Thursday, December 2, 2021
Dec. 2, 2021

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Morning Press: Herrera Beutler censured; Vaccine allocation; Pedestrian killed on I-5


What does the weather have in store this weekend? For details, check our local weather coverage.

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

Clark County Republican Party censures Herrera Beutler

Members of the Clark County Republican Party voted Tuesday to formally censure Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, over her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

In a rowdy gathering at a church Tuesday, the group pledged to withhold funds from Herrera Beutler’s future campaigns unless she appears in person at the next CCRP Central Committee meeting in May to “explain her action to this body.”

The resolution passed by a wide margin, to whoops and applause.

Data shows state is shorting Clark County vaccine allocation

Ever since the COVID-19 vaccine was unveiled in Washington in mid-December, Clark County’s vaccine administration has lagged behind the rest of the state, despite the fact that Clark County is the fifth-largest county in the state and the hub of Southwest Washington.

The lower administration rate, per capita, has confused and frustrated residents, according to dozens of emails and calls from residents to The Columbian in recent weeks. Until Tuesday, the reason for the low rate was somewhat murky, but data compilation from Clark County Public Health shows that low vaccine allocation from the state to Clark County is driving the vaccine administration issue Clark County has encountered.

According to a Public Health data analysis of the five Washington counties with the highest, lowest and median population sizes, Clark County ranks 14th out of 15 counties in the allocation of first doses per 1,000 residents and first-dose allocation as a percentage of the total county population.

• A group of legislators from Southwest Washington have secured a meeting with the state Department of Health on Saturday to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine allocation disparity that exists for Clark County.

• Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler said what has happened to Clark County is “completely unacceptable,” and challenged the state Department of Health to fix the disparity.

Clark County experts weigh in on value of BMI

If you’re trying to find your place in line for the COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll want to calculate your BMI. Shorthand for body mass index, it’s used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to define obesity, one of the underlying medical conditions that puts people at greater risk of complications from COVID-19. Under Washington’s vaccine rollout plan, anyone over the age of 16 who has at least two underlying medical conditions — a BMI greater than 30 would count — will be eligible during Phase 1B, Tier 3, expected to begin this spring or summer.

But what does BMI really tell us? On its own, not as much as you might think.

Vancouver Mall bucks retail trend with new businesses, interior redesign

Two major clothing retailers are about to set up shop at Vancouver Mall. Casual apparel chain Tillys and women’s fashion store Windsor will both join the tenant lineup later this year, the mall announced last week.

The two stores will be the latest in a string of big name outlets that have joined the mall in the past year, a growth trend that stands out prominently during a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted significant pain on the retail world.

In a December analysis, Susan Reda, vice president of education strategy for the National Retail Federation, declared that shopping malls “became an industrywide punching bag in 2020.”

“I just feel like we’re definitely bucking the trend,” said Vancouver Mall general manager Tracy Peters.

• Vancouver-based home exercise equipment maker Nautilus posted a record-breaking fourth quarter earnings report Monday, capping off a year that saw a dramatic reversal of the company’s fortunes as the COVID-19 pandemic fueled consumer demand for home fitness options.

Authorities identify pedestrian killed on I-5 near Ridgefield early Tuesday

A 20-year-old Portland man was killed early Tuesday morning when he was repeatedly struck by vehicles on Interstate 5 near Ridgefield, according to the Washington State Patrol.

A State Patrol bulletin released Tuesday evening said Damond L. Eidegrass was walking in the second lane of the freeway near Milepost 9 at about 3 a.m. when he was struck by a 2013 Kenworth truck driven by Hardip Singh, 32, of Puyallup and was subsequently struck by three other vehicles: a 2017 BMW driven by Derek L. Broetje, 37, of Milwaukie, Ore.; a 2020 Freightliner truck driven by Joy H. Price, 31, of Albany, Ore.; and a 2008 Honda Civic driven by Veronica Minjarez, 47, of Vancouver.