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News / Clark County News

Top Stories: Murrah murder charge; Pika patrol; Fisher Investment HQ

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: April 1, 2023, 6:00am

Could we see hints of spring this weekend? Only if by hint of spring you mean spring rain. Check out out local weather forecast before you head outside.

Here are the top stories on columbian.com this week:

Upgraded murder charge filed in fatal stabbing of Monica ‘Star’ Murrah

Prosecutors have filed an upgraded murder charge against a Vancouver man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife in November 2021.

Michael Murrah, 47, pleaded not guilty March 24 to aggravated first-degree murder in Clark County Superior Court. If convicted, he would receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. He was previously charged with first-degree murder.

Volunteers needed for pika patrol in the Columbia River Gorge

If vast views of sublime scenery don’t lure you to the Columbia River Gorge, how about a little dose of irresistible cuteness? With a dollop of environmental virtue for good measure?

The tiny American pika looks like a cross between a fuzzy brown bunny and a potato, with an alarm cry like a squeak toy. Its usual habitat is the mountainside talus fields — those scenic, sloping patches of mossy boulders — that can be found at higher elevations on Mount Hood and other volcanic Pacific Northwest peaks.

L&I: Vancouver contractor owes $201,223 to 20 workers

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries found that Vancouver-based contractor 360 Sheet Metal violated state prevailing wage laws during construction projects at four schools in Clark County.

An investigation launched in 2020 found the company owes $201,223 in wages and interest to about 20 employees. The department also issued more than $115,000 in penalties against the company and owner Beverley Martin for failure to pay prevailing wages and file required reports during the construction process.

Salmon Creek resident shares ‘Hattie Barton’s famous brownie recipe’

Karen Lander, a Columbian reader from the Salmon Creek area, recently gave our family a priceless gift: her mom Hattie Barton’s famous brownie recipe. At least, it’s famous within Lander’s family. But now it’s famous in my family, too. These rich, chewy, super-chocolatey brownies are an instant cure for what ails you. I hesitate to say it, but these brown beauties are even better than my own mother’s homemade brownies. (Sorry, Mom. But maybe you and Mrs. Barton are already friends in the sweet hereafter, so there’s no hard feelings.)

Fisher Investments moving HQ from Camas to Texas

Fisher Investments announced the multibillion-dollar money management firm would be relocating is headquarters from Camas to a suburb of Dallas, but it remains unclear what — if any — impact the change will have on its local operations.

In a one-sentence statement released Friday, the company said the move was to take effect immediately in response to a Washington State Supreme Court ruling last week upholding a new 7 percent capital gains tax “and in recognition of whatever it may do next.”