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News / Clark County News

Top Stories: Murder verdicts; Seton-Stevenson game; homeless seniors

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: September 30, 2023, 6:05am

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

1. Raya Leon guilty of first-degree murder in fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown

A jury on Tuesday convicted a Salem, Ore., man of aggravated first-degree murder in the 2021 fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown.

The Clark County Superior Court jury also convicted Guillermo Raya Leon, 28, of first-degree trafficking in stolen property, first-degree burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and two counts of possession of a stolen firearm.

2. New GOP contender — a Camas city councilor — complicates Republican attempt to win back WA congressional seat

CAMAS — Republicans are desperate to recapture the southwest Washington congressional seat they lost in 2022. But first they must settle who will carry the GOP torch into battle against Democratic U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez next year.

Joe Kent, a conservative adherent of former president Donald Trump, who Gluesenkamp Perez defeated in the 3rd Congressional District, is bidding for a rematch. He’s piled up money and secured early endorsements from the state Republican Party and several county GOP parties as well.

3. Incident in Seton-Stevenson football game brought to WIAA’s attention

Officials from Seton Catholic and Stevenson high schools are looking into an incident on video from last Friday’s football game — and now have gotten the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association involved.

The video appears to show a Seton assistant coach knocking down a Stevenson player after the player walked into the coach leading with his helmet.

4. Splash dams’ legacy is one of scars and damage, but a Lower Columbia group is trying to change that

KELSO — A legacy of obsolete logging practices popularized more than a century ago remains etched in the way the Coweeman River moves.

Long before rail lines and logging roads existed, massive tree stands were transported on waterways — like the Coweeman — throughout Western Oregon and Washington.

5. Homeless population grays in Clark County as more seniors end up on the street

Chris Muntean, 70, feels lucky he had a heart attack.

He had lost everything before, but never his housing. In 2017, after developing colon cancer and paying for chemotherapy treatment, the former truck driver was struggling to pay the rising rent of his Vancouver apartment.

He sold everything he could, including his truck, to pay his rent. By age 65, he was broke and on food stamps. Eventually, his rent increased to $1,364.

Muntean remembers the exact day he became homeless: July 3, 2023.