Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

West Main Ribbon-Cutting

August 27th, 2014

The City of Kelso put a ribbon on the completion of phase one of the West Main Street Realignment Project yesterday afternoon, while also saying that more work remains to be done. At yesterday’s ribbon-cutting, City Engineer Mike Kardas says that phase 2 needs to be finished, along with work on the rest of West Main. Mayor David Futcher and officials with the Washington Department of Transportation have high praise for this project, saying that it not only solves some significant traffic flow and street quality issues, but also helps set the stage for future development. Futcher and Kardas both say that attention will now turn to completion of the final phase of the project, which will include right-of-way acquisition and extension of the five-lane Catlin Street between 4th and Ocean Beach Highway. Streetscape improvements along West Main are scheduled to get under way later this year. City officials expressed their thanks to the designers and contractors that helped to complete the project under budget and as quickly as possible, along with thanks to the West Kelso businesses that bore the brunt of problems and traffic snafus while that construction was going on .

Chehalis Plane Crash

August 27th, 2014

The investigation into a fatal plane crash that took place last night near the Chehalis-Centralia Airport is getting under way. The crash took place around 7 pm, when a “Midget Mustang” kit plane took off from the airport, and then immediately started having problems. Witnesses say that the plane took off, banked sharply, and then crossed I-5 before crashing at the Chehalis Collision Center, damaging two trucks that were parked there. Only the pilot was aboard the plane, and it has been confirmed that the pilot died in the crash. The name of the victim hasn’t yet been released. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are both sending investigators to conduct this investigation.

Arson Arrests

August 27th, 2014

Two girls from St. Helens are being charged with first-degree arson, being accused of setting a fire that burned more than a half-acre of land, and did about $10,000 damage to the Women’s Resource Center in Saint Helens. St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss says that the fire was reported at about 5 pm on Monday, when a grass fire was reported in between the Lincoln Square Apartments and the Resource Center on Shore Drive in St. Helens. The Center was evacuated as the fire spread and threatened two other homes. Firefighters from Columbia River Fire and Rescue were eventually able to get the fire put out, but not before the Women’s Resource Center was damaged. Witnesses reported seeing two young girls running from the area prior to the fire; police located and questioned two 12 year-old girls, who reportedly admitted that they had started the fire while playing with matches. The girls were arrested and taken to the Juvenile Services Center in Longview. The Red Cross is providing assistance to Center residents that were displaced by the fire.

Missing Man

August 27th, 2014

Rainier Police are looking for your help in finding Kennon Ray Leon Halverson, 33, who has been missing since last Thursday morning. They say that Halverson was last seen at 5 am on the 21st, when he dropped his kids off at the babysitter’s house. Yesterday, Halverson’s car was found in a remote location in Clark County, but there was no sign of him. Kennon Halverson is a white male, 5’7” and 130 pounds, with sandy brown hair, blue eyes and a goatee. On April 29th of this year, Halverson was arrested in Longview, after he allegedly tried to cash a bogus check, and was eventually charged with forgery. If you or someone you know has information on the current whereabouts of Kennon Havlerson, you’re asked to call Rainier Police at 503-397-1521 right away. You can also leave an anonymous tip on the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 577-1206.

Weyco Office Move

August 27th, 2014

The city of Federal Way got a big jolt yesterday afternoon, when Weyerhaeuser announced that it’s moving the company headquarters out of its 430-acre campus just off of I-5 to downtown Seattle. Weyco President and CEO Doyle Simons says that the complex in Federal Way is too large and too costly for the company’s needs, and by moving to downtown Seattle, they will have access to a larger talent pool. Weyerhaeuser plans to sell the land in Federal Way, though they will continue to maintain a tech center with 120 employees in that city. Weyerhaeuser is having a building constructed on Occidental Avenue South, which is scheduled for completion in 2016. It’s projected that the move will affect about 800 employees at the facility in Federal Way.

School Program

August 27th, 2014

You’re invited to a special presentation that’s being co-sponsored by the Kelso and Longview School Districts, a program talking about how strong adults can have positive impacts on kids and the community. Doctor Robert Brooks is scheduled to present a program called “The Role of Charismatic Adults in Our Community,” speaking on the themes of resilience, motivation, school climate, positive work environments and family relationships. Brooks has lectured around the nation and around the world on these topics, and he’s scheduled to speak from 1 to 2:30 this afternoon at the Cowlitz County Expo Center. The event is free and open to anyone interested; you are asked to RSVP to the Longview School District. Get more on that by going to the Longview Schools web page.

KSD Surplus Sale

August 27th, 2014

Today, tomorrow and Friday, the Kelso School District will be working to sell off surplus property. The sale of surplus equipment and materials is being held at Ed Laulainen Stadium at Schroeder Field, going from 10 am until 2 pm each day. Today, the sale is open to public and private schools, and students from the Kelso School District can come by and purchase old textbooks between 8 am and 2 pm today. The sale will be open to the general public tomorrow and Friday. The full list of surplus materials is posted on the Kelso School District web page; they also have two vehicles that will be sold via sealed bid. Those bids are due by 3 pm on Friday, September 19th.

Exhibit Hall Task Force

August 27th, 2014

The first meeting of a task force that’s going to try and figure out what to do with the old Castle Rock Exhibit Hall is set for this morning. The Castle Rock City Council is contracting with Nancy Chennault to facilitate this process, while also inviting citizens, community and business leaders, city officials, local organizations, community groups, churches and others to be part of the process. The building was closed earlier this year, and city officials say that the building is “not sustainable” in its current state. There’s a goal of having a preferred option for the building ready for presentation to the Castle Rock City Council in December. Today’s meeting is set to run from 7 to 9 pm this morning in the old Exhibit Hall building itself, and is open to anyone who would like to have input. You can call Nancy Chennault at 360-703-8174 if you need more information or if you have other questions.

Interchange Opens

August 27th, 2014

Years of construction work near the I-5/I-205 split concludes today when the ribbon is cut on the new Salmon Creek Interchange. This project started in August of 2010, replacing the old 134th Street interchange with a new and more efficient on- and off-ramp to both freeways. A ceremonial ribbon-cutting is planned for 11 this morning, near the Salmon Creek Park and Ride facility. The interchange itself will open to regular traffic by this afternoon’s commute, and is expected to handle as many as 88 thousand vehicles each day.

Pipe Attack

August 26th, 2014

Second-degree domestic violence assault charges are being filed against 60 year-old Javier Meza Aguilar of Kelso, after he allegedly used a pipe or some sort of metal bar to beat 35 year-old Joshua Morrison last night at an apartment on Florence Avenue in Kelso. Kelso Police and aid personnel were called to the apartment in the 100 block of Florence at about 8:20 pm, where it was reported that Morrison was bleeding from the head. Officers interviewed several people, eventually learning that Aguilar and his wife live in the apartment, along with Aguilar’s daughter and Morrison. Apparently an argument over “door-slamming” escalated, with Aguilar allegedly using the piece of metal to strike Morrison in the head. Aguilar is currently being held without bail in the Cowlitz County Jail, while Morrison was taken to St. John Medical Center for treatment.