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News / Clark County News

Top Stories: Lewis and Clark Bridge; Camas church; Habitat loss and bears

By The Columbian
Published: May 6, 2023, 6:00am

There might be showers over the weekend. Check out our local weather forecast before you head outside.

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

1. Lewis and Clark Bridge to close July 16

The Lewis and Clark Bridge is closing for vehicles July 16 and could remain that way for up to eight days amid construction.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced the timeline for the closure and repairs Tuesday. The bridge closure will begin at 8 p.m., hours after participants in the annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic travel across the bridge during the two-day event’s final leg.

2. Camas church draws concerns

Fans of Camas Slices, downtown Camas’ only pizza joint, were dismayed to learn this month that the 2-year-old eatery would be closing its doors on April 23.

Eric Duensing, who had run a New York City-style pizza shop in Washington, D.C., before moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2014 and ran a wood-fired pizza food truck out of a 1930s Ford flatbed on the Washington Coast, opened Camas Slices in the heart of downtown Camas, at the former Mill City Brew Werks space, in January 2021.

3. 3 teens, two from Vancouver, arrested in Portland in armed carjacking

Three teenagers, two from Vancouver, were arrested Saturday in Portland in connection with an armed carjacking.

Portland police responded at 1:12 a.m. to a report of a stolen car in the area of Southeast Fifth Avenue and Southwest Hall Street. The car was reportedly stolen at gunpoint in Vancouver and tracked to the area, according to a Portland police news release.

4. Habitat loss brings bears, cougars closer to suburbs, cities in Southwest Washington

This is the time of year when Clark County starts receiving visits from huge bellies on hairy legs.

“Giant walking stomachs” is how black bears emerging from hibernation behave, said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife conflict specialist Todd Jacobsen.

5. PeaceHealth lays off another 99 employees based in Vancouver

Facing mounting financial losses, PeaceHealth said in a statement Thursday that 99 people were let go from the health care system’s Vancouver-based Shared Services Center. That’s in addition to the 51 laid off in its Columbia Network.

The service center supports PeaceHealth’s 16,000 caregivers, who operate in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. But the center is based here in Vancouver, as is the health care system.