Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

City Manager Reception

January 28th, 2015

A reception involving the finalists for the Longview City Manager position is planned this evening at 7 pm in the Longview City Hall, but one of those five men will probably not be available. The storm that’s been battering the northeastern United States has complicated the travel plans of Dana Reed of Tremont, Maine, so he may not be able to get into town for tonight’s meet-and-greet. David Campbell of Longview, John Williams of Battle Ground, Curtis Calder of Elko, Nevada and James Patrick of Storm Lake, Iowa are expected to be at tonight’s public reception, where you will have a chance to meet with each candidate, and ask any questions that may be on your mind. Reed is expected to arrive later this evening, and should be able to participate in tomorrow’s tours and interviews. The Longview City Council is hopeful of choosing a successor to Bob Gregory shortly after this process is completed.

Haven Update

January 28th, 2015

According to officials with the Port of Longview, they’re close to finalizing a lease agreement with Haven Energy of Houston, Texas, a deal that would clear the way for development of a $275 million propane and butane export facility at the Port’s Berth 4. A public meeting is now planned for 6 pm on February 4th at the Cowlitz County Conference and Events Center, where the Port and Haven will jointly announce the terms of the lease agreement. Arrangements are also being made for a public comment session, which is being scheduled for 6 pm on Thursday, February 19th, also at the Conference and Events Center. If all continues to go are planned, the Port Commissioners will take formal action on the lease agreement at a meeting that will be held at will be held at 9:30 am on Tuesday, March 10th; that meeting is also being moved to the Event Center.

County Commission

January 28th, 2015

One of the first upgrades at the Headquarters Landfill is complete, as the Cowlitz County Commissioners close out the $2.2 million Cell 6 and Haul Road improvement project. Commissioner Dennis Weber says that this project is part of the plan to extend the life of this facility, and also came in well under budget. The Commissioners delayed action on a couple of items, one regarding a $25,000 expenditure on engineering for an extension of the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, along with a $6.300 expense for “Tip411,” a web-based community engagement tool that’s being requested by the Sheriff’s office. The Commissioners did approve an ordinance that will allow the use of golf carts on the streets of Ryderwood.

Heroin Bust

January 28th, 2015

Andrew Everton, 21, of Longview is under arrest after action reported yesterday by the Longview Police Street Crimes Unit. Detectives served a search warrant on one of the units at a trailer park on Tennant Way, where they claim to have found heroin, drug packaging material, and prescription drugs. Everton was taken into custody on three counts of heroin delivery, delivery within a school zone and possession of heroin. He’s also being held on charges of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault, as the investigation into his activities continues.

Portland Arrest

January 28th, 2015

U. S. Marshals were able to track down and arrest a man from Ariel who is wanted in the local area for alleged drug crimes and threats to kill police officers. Earlier in the month, Longview Police Street Crimes Unit went to the Thurman Avenue home of Tony Allen Ibsen, 42, who had been identified as the suspect in multiple drug deliveries in Cowlitz County. Based on threats made by Ibsen, Lower Columbia SWAT was called in to serve the warrant, but he was not at the home. The investigation continued, and Marshals were able to locate and arrest Ibsen last Friday in Portland. He’s now being held in the Multnomah County Jail on charges of third-escape, two counts of identity theft, furnishing false information to a police officer and interfering with a peace officer. He now awaits extradition back to Cowlitz County.

December Jobless Numbers

January 28th, 2015

December’s unemployment rate in Cowlitz County ticked up slightly over November, but state officials say that the overall employment picture in the local area is continuing to improve. The December jobless rate in Cowlitz County came in at 8.9 percent, slightly above November’s 8.8 percent. Nonfarm employment dropped by 100 positions in December, but over the past 12 months, there has been an increase of 1,900 jobs. That’s a year-to-year increase of more than five percent. The labor force has increased by 510 people, and the number of employed residents has increased by 590. The number of unemployed residents has dropped by 80 people. Officials with Employment Security also say that the number of initial and continuing unemployment claims continues to be at “very low” levels.

JHB News

January 28th, 2015

Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler is joining with Democrat Kurt Schrader of Oregon to sponsor the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, a bill they say will help to improve the survival of endangered salmon, steelhead and other native fish species in the Columbia River system. Beutler and Schrader both say that this bill would provide tribal members and fishery managers with additional tools to remove sea lions and harbor seals from specific area where they are posing problems to migrating fish. The Congressional members say that this bipartisan bill has the support of a wide spectrum of conservation groups, tribes and state fishery management agencies.

Beutler is also announcing that a package of 12 bills intended to help control sex trafficking in the United States is through the House, and is on its way to the Senate for action. Beutler is a co-sponsor on 11 of the 12 bills, saying that sex trafficking is now one of the largest forms of organized crime, and that we need to be aggressive in fighting it. Beutler says that this package will help to close legal loopholes, will make sure that the law is on the side of the victims, and will give law enforcement the tools they need to go after these modern-day slave traders.

More Scam Victims

January 27th, 2015

Following last Tuesday’s arrest of Chris M. McNicholas, 44, of Woodland on charges that he defrauded a 91 year-old woman out of $2,500 for window repairs that were never done, the Sheriff’s Office now reports that other victims are coming forward. A 79 year-old Kelso man claims that he advanced McNicholas more than $300 for home repairs that were never completed, a case that dates back to 2009. The man produced receipts from a couple of businesses that McNicholas claimed to be running, and both are now defunct. A 75 year-old Vancouver woman also that McNicholas tried to pressure her into giving him cash in advance for home repairs, but she never gave him any money. A search warrant was served on a vehicle owned by McNicholas, reportedly producing a large amount of evidence showing that there may be numerous victims. It’s also being reported that McNicholas is the subject of investigations from the Washington Attorney General, Longview Police and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Additional charges could be filed.

Trucks Recovered

January 27th, 2015

The pickup trucks stolen in last week’s burglary at Wayron in Longview have been recovered, but the suspects in the case still remain at large. A few minutes after 5 yesterday morning, a newspaper carrier called the Sheriff’s Office, reporting that she had been looking for a delivery box for a home on Woodard Road near Castle Rock. As she was going along the road, the woman says that she spotted two “Wayron” trucks parked on some property in that area. Deputies responded and found the stolen trucks parked next to a shop on some property in the 100 block of Woodard Road. The trucks were recovered by the company, driven back to the Wayron property on California Way. No arrests have been reported, but the investigation is continuing.

Jail Changes

January 27th, 2015

Cowlitz County Corrections says that upcoming changes to the visiting and commissary procedures, also announcing that inmate visiting will close at the end of this month. The shutdown will be in place until the changeover is complete. Corrections officials say that new visiting equipment is being installed, and the commissary is also being changed. The exact length of time for this switchover isn’t known, but they say that inmate visiting, both in person and online, will end on the 31st of this month. Visiting and commissary service will resume after the installation is completed, but the date for that isn’t yet known. The Cowlitz County Jail will also end its relationship with InmateCanteen.com on January 31st; you can still use that service until that date; the website for the new service provider will be linked to the jail once the new systems are in place. Contact Cowlitz County Corrections if you have other questions.