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News / Clark County News

Top Stories: Totem Pole a Hazel Dell staple; Ley faces felony charges; retail theft measures see success

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: November 25, 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:

1. The Totem Pole was a Hazel Dell staple

A totem pole — several, in fact — once stood where a Starbucks Coffee stands near the corner of Northeast 78th Street and Northeast Highway 99 in Hazel Dell.

And next to those totem poles stood the Totem Pole, a landmark restaurant that served travelers and locals over eight decades before meeting its demise in 1999.

2. ‘We gather as a beloved community to say that we dare to be different’

Nikki Kuhnhausen. Brent Wood. Mac Ohana. Natalie Nguyen. Rikkey Outumuro. Summer Taylor. Zoella Rose Martinez. Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears. Chloe Sagal. Colin Smith. Gigi Pierce. Jessi Hart. Kenna Leigh Gillock. Loni Kai Okaruru. Oliver Taylor. Rani Baker. Serena Brenneman. Titi Gulley.

These are the names of the 18 transgender people from Washington and Oregon who have died due to transphobia and hate since 2001.

3. Former legislative candidate John Ley faces felony fraud charges in 2022 election case

Former legislative candidate John Ley of Camas is facing felony elections fraud charges after claiming he lived in Battle Ground and Hazel Dell, according to court filings.

Ley, who made those claims in 2022 during an unsuccessful bid to run in the 18th Legislative District, was ordered to appear before Superior Court Judge David Gregerson on Nov. 28 to respond to allegations of providing false information for voter registration and providing false information on a declaration of candidacy.

4. Clark County retailers add security measures to combat rise in thefts — and they are starting to see success

Over the years, shoppers have had to adjust. Gone are the days when you could just walk into a store, grab a bottle of shampoo and check out.

Now, you might pass armed security guards on the way in, wait for employees to take the shampoo out of a locked cabinet and have your receipts checked before you can leave.

5. Property owner says he’s rethinking adventure park in Skamania County; ‘we’ve done a complete reset’

A Skamania County property owner who this year proposed building an adventure park on his 150-acre site says he is rethinking the project after receiving criticism from West End neighbors.

“We had some ideas that we were exploring last summer, but we’ve done a complete reset … and there is no solid proposal for anything at this point in time,” Derek Hoyte told the Post-Record from the site of his zipline company in Maui, Hawaii. “All of it is in draft mode. We have obviously received a lot of feedback, which has impacted any potential plans that we were considering and put them in a different light.”