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Here are some of the stories that were most popular this week with Columbian readers.
Jake Beals spent his Monday morning towing a Yahama Vino 125 scooter that was reported stolen out of Chehalis. It was the first call of the day at Triple J Towing’s Vancouver location, but there were sure to be more.
In April, Triple J Towing impounded 47 stolen vehicles at its three Clark County lots. Beals said that’s about double the calls compared with this time last year, and he knows other tow operators in the county are seeing a similar trend. The most common stolen vehicles the company has recovered lately are Ford pickups and Subarus, he said.
Clark County sheriff’s deputies responded to three separate incidents early Monday morning, in which the suspects evaded capture. The sheriff’s office blamed a lack of resources, as well as police reform laws and department policy regarding vehicle pursuits, for hampering their efforts.
Deputies responded at 1:54 a.m. to the 23000 block of Northeast 72nd Avenue for a crashed pickup. Upon arrival, they learned the driver and passengers ran from the scene. Deputies found a firearm inside the pickup and determined the vehicle was previously stolen in Vancouver and had stolen license plates, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
The past few years have been hard on Sweet Touch Cafe & Bakery owner Olga Mikhalets. She received a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. The pandemic hit. Russia invaded her native Ukraine, where her father still lives. International upheaval snarled supply chains for butter, wheat, yeast and other items essential to her business.
These hardships led Mikhalets to a renewal — one that began with 10 grams of sourdough starter.
The city of Vancouver is considering changing its downtown parking strategies, possibly putting less emphasis on cars in favor of foot traffic and multimodal access.
City officials and staff met with a parking consultant Monday to discuss Vancouver’s current parking plan, developed in 2006. That plan doesn’t meet the demands of new developments and the influx of people living and working downtown, said Patrick Quinton, Vancouver’s economic development director.
A late surge of “yes” votes won’t be enough to propel Ridgefield School District’s bond measure to passage, according to election results released Tuesday. Meanwhile, Evergreen Public Schools’ replacement operations and maintenance levy has officially passed.
Ridgefield’s proposed general obligation bond is set to fail with 59.15 percent voting to approve — less than 1 percentage point shy of the required 60 percent supermajority. It will be the fifth consecutive bond failure for Ridgefield since 2019.