Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Shooting Response at LCC

October 2nd, 2015

At 11:30 this morning, the Lower Columbia College Campus Christian Club will be holding a “time of prayer” for the students and faculty at Umpqua Community College, as that community deals with the aftermath of yesterday’s mass shooting, and event that left ten dead and seven wounded. This gathering is being held in Room 119 of the Main Building at LCC, and the community is invited to participate.

The faulty, students and staff at LCC are sending their empathy, their prayers and support to the victims of the mass shooting and the Roseburg community as a whole, while also reviewing their own security procedures. Vice President Nolan Wheeler issued a statement yesterday, saying that “We are deeply saddened” by the events at UCC. In addition to a close examination of campus security and safety procedures, Wheeler also says that the college has a Behavioral Intervention Team in place, working to provide a “proactive approach to distressed student behavior,” using an interactive information-sharing system to identify and engage students who might be showing patterns of behavior that show a possible risk or threat. Wheeler says that they’re reviewing the college’s policies regarding possible threats, also asking staff to review videos and other procedures regarding active shooters. Additional detailed training is planned, and an active shooter training session for local law enforcement is being set up for early next year.

Fuel Theft

October 2nd, 2015

Woodland Police are going over video from a gas station in Battle Ground, working to identify the person who used a company fuel card from a stolen vehicle to steal fuel in two locations. Glacier Contracting reports that a company vehicle was stolen a few days ago, and they also say that the suspect used a fuel card that was inside the vehicle. It’s now reported that the suspect used the card in two locations, one in Battle Ground and one near Ridgefield. Nearly $700 of fuel was stolen in the two incidents. No arrests have been reported.

Hatfield Meeting

October 2nd, 2015

The Democrat Precinct Committee Officers from the 19th Legislative District plan to meet tomorrow morning at Naselle High School, where they’ll work to select three candidates for the position of 19th District Senator. That position came open when Brian Hatfield took a position in Governor Jay Inslee’s office. Current Representative Dean Takko is reportedly the only announced candidate for Hatfield’s position. J. D. Rosetti of Longview, Jim Sayce of Seaview and Tiffany Turner of Seaview have announced that they intend to seek the House seat, if Takko is appointed to the Senate. Party officials say that they’re getting wind of a possible fourth candidate, but that person hasn’t yet come forward. The names of the three candidates will then be presented to the County Commissioners in the 19th District, and they will select a replacement. Tomorrow’s meeting is open to the public.

Give More 24 Wrapup

October 2nd, 2015

The Community Foundation of Southwest Washington says that this year’s “Give More 24!” online giving marathon resulted in nearly $700,000 in donations, with more than 2,300 people making donations. Donors from 37 states and nine countries took part in this year’s event, making 3,640 gifts totaling $696,000. In this area, about two dozen local organizations received donations; the Southwest Washington Symphony got the largest local response, receiving 68 donations totaling more than $12,000. The Longview Outdoor Gallery got more than $10,000, while the Lower Columbia School Gardens received nearly $7,000. The full list of organizations and donation totals are available on the Give More 24! Web page.

Willow Grove Dredging

October 2nd, 2015

Maintenance dredging at the Willow Grove Boat Launch is scheduled to get under way early this month, and could continue into December. The Port of Longview says that this dredging will address shoaling in the boat basin, which is making for difficult navigation in the basin. They also say that the silt makes it difficult to access the launch from land or water. Port officials also say that the current conditions could damage park facilities, due to grounding of floating structures. It’s planned that about three thousand cubic yards of material will be removed, restoring the Boat Launch to its previous navigation depths. Existing floats may be removed and replaced as a footprint of approximately seven-tenths of an acre is dredged. Dredged material will be disposed of near Barlow Point. The total project time is expected to last about 20 days. Contact the Port of Longview if you have other questions.

Burn Ban Lifted

October 2nd, 2015

The Cowlitz County Fire Marshal is lifting the outdoor burn ban for the unincorporated county. Private landowners can now burn brush, yard waste and other debris, as long as they comply with local regulations. This come some two weeks after the Department of Natural Resources lifted the ban on DNR-protected lands in Western Washington. If you need more information on outdoor burning in Cowlitz County, get in touch with the Fire Marshal by calling 577-3052.

Halloweentown Opens

October 2nd, 2015

A month-long celebration is under way in Saint Helens, harkening back to the town’s starring role in the 1998 made-for-TV Disney movie “Halloweentown.” A full month of celebration and activity is now under way, starting with the city-wide Scarecrow Contest. Organizers say that the celebration just keeps getting bigger, and it’s now collecting nation-wide attention from places like “E Entertainment,” MTV and other media organizations. Next weekend, Kimberly Jean Brown, who played “teenage witch Marnie Piper” in the three “Halloweentown” movies, will come in to take part in the annual “Pumpkin-lighting ceremony.” The Plaza Square will have “enhanced decorations” this year, with holographic ghosts, “The Walking Dead Experience,” and other activities. The full list of Halloweentown events and activities is available on the web page, or on the “Spirit of Halloweentown” Facebook page.

Weekend Events–10/2-4/15

October 2nd, 2015

Friday, Saturday and Monday, the Friends of the Kelso Library are holding a Used Book Sale, running from 10 am to 5 pm at the Three Rivers Mall. Monday is also “Clearance Day,” with special prices on bags of books. Proceeds from the Used Book Sale will help support children’s programs and other library services.

You can help Chris Nelson and his family as they deal with the medical costs and care connected to the recent injury that caused his quadriplegia. The Nelson Family is hosting a 21-and-over fundraiser at the Kelso-Longview Elks Lodge on Friday night. The social hour opens at 6, dinner will start at 6:30, and then they will have live music and an auction after that. Contact the Elks for ticket information, or you can donate directly to Chris Nelson at Columbia Bank.

There’s a special comedy show on Friday night at the Kelso Theatre Pub, with Tony Baker coming in for a special show at 9 pm. Baker has been featured on Comedy Central’s “Last Comic Standing.” Get ticket for the show at the KTP, or go to

Prior to tonight’s Homecoming game down in Woodland, you can pick up a pre-game meal and help to raise money for the Woodland YMCA construction project. From 5:30 to 6:30 pm, the Woodland Burgerville will be serving pulled pork sandwiches and chips, with the proceeds from those sandwich sales helping to support the Y project. Find out more on

The horn sounds at 8:30 Saturday morning for the 36th annual Harvest Classic 5K/10K Run through Longview. This is put on the by Early Edition Rotary, and is a USA Track and Field-sanctioned event. This year’s event will also feature a new competition involving local middle and high school runni gteams. The race will start and end at LifeWorks, located at 906 New York Street in Longview. The 10K starts at 8:30, followed by the 5K at 8:45. Go to the Harvest Classic website, or go to their Facebook Page for more information.

The Toledo ASB Pancake Breakfast is planned on Saturday morning, going from 8 to 10 am in the Toledo High School Commons. If you’re not into pancakes, they’re also serving omelets. The breakfast is being hosted by the Toledo High School Cheer Squad.

There’s a lot going on with the North Country Recreation Association on Saturday, starting with the Castle Rock Harvest Fair, which will run from 10 am until 2 pm at the NCRA facilities, located next to Castle Rock High School, just off of West Side Highway near the intersection with PH 10 Road.

Later in the day, the annual North County Recreation Association Dinner and Auction will be held at Parker’s Steakhouse. Organizers say that they have a lot of great items up for bid; the auction preview starts at 5 pm, dinner is at 5:30, and then the bidding will start at 6:30. Proceeds will help to support the NCRA and the programs they offer to youth in the Castle Rock area. Tickets are available at the Flower Pot, Four Corners Farm and Garden, or at the Four Corners General Store.

The 30th anniversary celebration for the St. James Family Center in Cathlamet is set for Saturday, going from 1 to 4 pm at the family support center on Columbia Street in Cathlamet. You can tour and learn about the facility in an Open House; they’ll have tours and other information displays, along with live music. It’s free and open to all.

Out on the west end of Wahkiakum County, they’re celebrating the Columbia River Country Days, with events going on around Wahkiakum County; there’s a “Slow Parade,” a pie social, the Farmer’s Market and then the 8th annual Grays River Covered Bridge Dinner. Local gillnetters will provide fresh salmon, along with special dishes created by local folks. Dinner gets started at 4:30 pm; a limited number of tickets are available at the Bank of the Pacific in Cathlamet and Naselle.

The Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts kicks off its Stage Door Concert series on Saturday, bringing in author, singer and songwriter Carrie Newcomer for a special and intimate show. Newcomer has traveled the world in her career, and expresses her insights through her songs. This show will be ON the Columbia Theatre stage, set up café-style with only 60 seats available; light hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar will be available. Go to the CTPA web page for ticket information.

There will be a “Blessing of the Animals” on Sunday at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Kelso. From 11 am until 2 pm on Sunday, you can bring your dogs, cats, parrots or other pets to have them blessed; you can also bring pictures of pets for blessing. Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is located at 402 Crawford Street in Kelso. More information is available by calling 577-1536.

The local gospel group “Cool Water” gathers again for a special benefit show on Sunday, helping to gather cash to replace the roof at the Kelso First Baptist Church. Admission to the show at 6 pm on Sunday is free, but they will be accepting donations to help with the “Raise the Roof Fund.” The Kelso First Baptist Church is located at 214 South 4th Avenue. Call 423-2513 if you have other questions.

Down in Columbia City, the Harvest Festival to support the Caples House Museum is being held on Sunday. The theme is “Celebrate Oregon, Rain or Shine,” and will run from noon to 5 pm on Sunday at the complex located just off of Highway 30. Admission is free; they’ll be harvesting apples, pressing cider, making candles, churning butter and other pioneer activities. They’ll have games for the kids, and tours of the historic complex. Food and other baked goods will also be available. Proceeds will help support continued operation of the historic complex.

School Schedule Revised

October 1st, 2015

The Kelso School District is sending notices home with all its kids, announcing revisions to the school year to make up the days lost during the recent work stoppage. District officials say that they have eight days to make up, with a goal of keeping graduation on June 11th of next year. The first make-up day is set for Friday, October 9th. This had previously been scheduled as a “non-attendance day.” They say the goal is to notify students, parents and the community as soon as possible, so that they have adequate time to make adjustments to keep kids in class. Along with the letters, copies of the revised calendars for the district and for Wallace Elementary are being sent along. The calendars are also posted the district web page. The School Board plans to formally approve the revisions at its meeting next Monday evening.

Chase and Search

October 1st, 2015

The Sheriff’s Office is still working to identify and locate the suspect involved in a high-speed chase in a stolen car, a pursuit that started in West Kelso, went up to Lexington, and then ended in North Kelso. This got started around 6:15 pm, initially coming in as a stolen car incident. Deputies spotted the car near 1st Avenue and West Main, and started chasing it north on West Side Highway. Speeds hit 80 miles an hour as the chase headed north to Lexington; they say that the suspect turned onto Sparks Drive, and then got onto I-5 southbound. Deputies lost the car as the suspect sped south, but things picked up again when the vehicle was spotted again, parked at a home on North Maple. A K-9 was brought in, the area was searched extensively, but the suspect was not found. The effort to identify and locate that suspect continues.