Friday, January 28, 2022
Jan. 28, 2022

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Morning Press: Benton lawsuit; The Sedgwick; COVID deaths; Det. Brown killing; Swiss Pie


Are you ready for the rain? Check out out local weather forecast before you head outside.

Here are some of the stories that were most popular this week with Columbian readers.

Settlement in Benton case ‘fully and finally’ resolves all claims

Clark County officials were mostly mum Thursday about a $1.4 million settlement agreement with former employees Don Benton, Christopher Clifford and Susan Rice, who claimed they were wrongfully terminated by the county after filing a whistleblower lawsuit in 2016.

County Manager Kathleen Otto did say that the settlement agreement will “fully and finally” resolve all pending claims by Benton, Clifford and Rice against the county.

In May, a jury agreed with the trio and awarded them $693,998.

The Sedgwick brings world of small-plate flavors to downtown Vancouver

Tim and Melissa McCusker, owners of Feast 316 in downtown Camas, opened their new restaurant, The Sedgwick, in downtown Vancouver on Sept. 9. The restaurant is named after Dr. Alice Isabel Sedgwick, a doctor and businesswoman who lived in Vancouver in the early 1900s and built the space in 1907.

The McCuskers spent two years seeking the right space for their small-plate, craft cocktail, wine and beer business. They signed a lease in July 2020 for the downtown Vancouver spot formerly occupied by Tommy O’s, at 801 Washington St., but the pandemic slowed down their plans.

Clark County records 24 deaths from COVID-19, the most on record, as hospitalizations rise

Clark County recorded 24 deaths from COVID-19 in the past seven days as new hospital admissions rose by 31 percent over last week’s levels.

The deaths bring the toll from COVID-19 to 373 deaths since the pandemic began, according to data from Clark County Public Health. The 24 deaths was the highest number of fatalities from COVID-19 reported in a seven-day period in Clark County that did not include adjustments to previous totals.

Bail set at $3M for alleged getaway driver in Clark County Det. Brown’s death

A judge set bail at $3 million Tuesday for the alleged getaway driver in the fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Detective Jeremy Brown.

Abran Raya Leon, 28, appeared via video in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree murder, possession of a stolen firearm and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Sept. 24.

His brother, Guillermo Raya Leon, 26, is accused of shooting Brown on the evening of July 23 as Brown conducted surveillance in an unmarked Jeep SUV at an east Vancouver apartment complex.

A Lewis County woman is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder after allegedly facilitating the sale of stolen firearms linked to an undercover investigation that led to the fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Detective Jeremy Brown.

Swiss Pie is swell, perfect dish for late-summer meals

If there’s a savory pie that cries out to be made in September, when the garden is practically catapulting forth zucchini and squash at a rate of one per hour, it’s Swiss Pie. It calls for zucchini or squash or a mixture of the two, as well as onions and parsley, which I also have in abundance. The only things the garden won’t give me are the cheese, eggs, Worcestershire sauce and pie crust, though at this point, the garden might well start growing Popsicles and paper towels and open its own grocery store.

Why is this pie Swiss? One can only assume it’s because of the Swiss cheese, though a substantial part of the pie’s heft comes from zucchini and squash. This is an ideal pie to serve during the waning days of summer when outdoor dining is still pleasant. If you’ve got some roasted potatoes and a green salad, you’ve got a hearty vegetarian meal. If you’ve got roasted potatoes and bacon, you’ve got breakfast.