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News / Clark County News

Top Stories: Five dead in apparent murder-suicide; flooding, road closures; The Giving Closet saved

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: December 9, 2023, 6:00am

Will the weekend be cold and rainy or clear and bright? Check out our local weather forecast before you head outside.

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

‘Our hearts are shattered’: Five dead in apparent murder-suicide in Orchards identified as Rouse family

Family members confirmed the Rouse family as the five people killed Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide at an Orchards home.

An in-law, Anne Aquino, identified them in a text message to The Columbian as Stuart Rouse, 64, Cristina Rouse, 63, Ronald Eric Rouse, 57, Kristina Rouse, 33, and Melissa Rouse, 19.

Atmospheric river pushes through Clark County, causing flooding, road closures, record temperatures

An atmospheric river pushed through the region early this week, causing flooding, road closures and record-breaking temperatures.

The Washington State Department of Transportation on Wednesday closed state Highway 503 near Cougar at Milepost 35 in both directions due to a landslide. It tore away a chunk of pavement and carved a hollow space under the road. Maintenance crews are determining next steps. The agency does not have an estimate for how long the closure will last and asks drivers to use alternate routes.

Karreon Franks’ adoptive parents sentenced to decades in prison for his murder

With tears welling in her eyes, Judge Suzan Clark on Wednesday sentenced the adoptive mother and father of a 15-year-old boy they starved to death to 35 years and 30 years in prison, respectively.

“What happened to Karreon (Franks) is one of the saddest things I have seen in 37 years — a child with special needs in the condition he was in when he died,” Clark said at Wednesday’s sentencing.

‘We’ve been saved’: Community steps up for The Giving Closet in Vancouver, keeping store for low-income people open

A few months ago, Denise Currie thought her store with free items for people with low incomes, The Giving Closet, would close by Christmas. But after media outlets, including The Columbian, shared her plight, the donations came flooding in from community members.

Now, Currie says the store will stay open until at least March and likely beyond.

“I can actually breathe,” she said. “We’ve been saved.”

Looking for Christmas lights in all the wrong places? These are the light shows Clark County is dreaming of

Nothing brightens the holiday season like colorful, twinkling lights. Here’s where to find sparkle in Clark County and beyond.