Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Shelter Opens

December 7th, 2016

With low temperatures dipping into the 20’s, a Cold Weather Shelter is opening at the Central Christian Church in Kelso. The shelter is open from 6 pm to 8 am today and tomorrow at 401 Crawford Street in Kelso. Stone Soup of Cowlitz County, Feed the Need, C-Hope, Love Overwhelming and other community groups are teaming up to open this shelter; they’re also accepting donations of food, blankets, socks and other winter weather gear. Volunteers are also needed to help staff the shelter during the night. It’s estimated that more than 100 people are currently living on the streets in Cowlitz County, including eleven families with children. Call 360-562-2280 or 430-8195 if you’d like to make donations, or to get more information.

Dogs Seized

December 7th, 2016

28 dogs that were being kept in a U-Haul and a mini-van that were parked near Castle Rock are now in the custody of the Humane Society. Around 5 yesterday afternoon, Deputies were called to the 200 block of Blue Mountain Road near Castle Rock, reporting that a suspicious vehicle had been parked in that area over the past five days. The vehicle was a large U-Haul box van, towing a car dolly with a mini-van aboard. When Deputies arrived, they found ten dogs inside the mini-van, and another 18 dogs inside the truck. Saying that the dogs were “in imminent danger” do to the freezing temperatures, along with a lack of food and water, the Humane Society was called in. They also had no idea who was responsible for the dogs. The owner eventually returned and complained, saying that she was on her way to Alaska, and had gone to the store to buy dog food. The woman is also upset about damage done to the U-Haul and the mini-van. She’s being advised to contact the Humane Society about the dogs, and to file a damage report with the Sheriff’s Office.

Gun Flashed

December 7th, 2016

The Sheriff’s Office is in contact with authorities in Washington County, after material stolen from stores in Beaverton was recovered as Deputies investigated a report of a gun being brandished. A call came into 911 at 1:45 yesterday afternoon, saying that three men in the car had actually shown handguns as they were passengers in a car being driven northbound from the Longview Wye. Deputies spotted the car near milepost 42 northbound, and got it stopped near milepost 50. The occupants were taken out of the car at gunpoint, but they were cooperative. A .40 handgun was found in the car, along with clothing that had security tags from stores in Beaverton. The driver was eventually cited for no valid operator’s license, and the suspects were eventually released. Beaverton Police and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are following up.

North Freeway Chase

December 7th, 2016

Speeds reportedly hit 118 miles an hour in a car chase that took place early yesterday morning on I-5 to the north of us. Castle Rock Police and Sheriff’s Deputies were put on alert shortly after 4 yesterday morning, as it was reported that Thurston County and Lewis County were in pursuit of a suspect. It was reported that the suspect was still speeding, event after running over several spike strips. They say that the suspect was driving on the rims, doing 75 miles an hour before crashing into the median barrier near milepost 60. A felony stop was performed at that location, but no other information on the suspect has been released.

Fire Fine

December 7th, 2016

The three Vancouver-area men who are accused of starting a 110-acre wildfire near Woodland in summer of 2015 are being ordered to pay $2.3 million in costs connected to fighting that fire. However, given the payment schedule, it’s unlikely that the fine will be fully paid. The fire took place in July of last year, after Nathan Taylor, 22, Adrian Taylor, 24, and Michael J. Estrada-Cardenas, 24, were using propane bottles and pop cans for target practice, and that the fire started after that. It took a full month to get the fire contained and extinguished. The Daily News reports that Nathan Taylor pleaded guilty to second-degree burning in March of this year, while Estrada-Cardenas pleaded guilty to second-degree burning in May. Both were sentenced to 240 hours of community service. Adrian Taylor pleaded guilty to the same charge in June, and will be sentenced later this month. All three men are also being ordered to pay no less than $25 per month in restitution, until the fine is paid off. According to calculations made by the paper, it would take more than 2,500 years to pay the fine.

New Contracts

December 7th, 2016

Employees with the City of Kelso are getting raises, as new and adjusted contracts are approved by the City Council. Collective bargaining agreements with the Teamsters and the ASCFME were approved at last night’s meeting, covering 28 city employees. The ASCFME contract covers 18 public works employees, and includes a three-percent raise this year, followed by two-percent raises in 2018 and 2019. The Teamsters, representing ten clerks and library employees, get two percent raises this year and next year, along with a 2.5 percent raise in 2019. City Manager Steve Taylor is also getting a raise, as the Council approves a 2.52 percent salary boost. The City Council also approved the Charter amendment that removes the in-city residency requirement for Taylor and for other city employees.

Clam Dig

December 7th, 2016

There’s one more chance to snag some razor clams for your holiday feasting, as Washington Fish and Wildlife announces a two-day season this weekend at Copalis and Mocrocks. Tests show that the clams are free of Domoic Acid and are safe to eat. Digging will be allowed on the afternoon tides this Saturday and Sunday, the 10th and 11th. You should be able to dig in the daylight, as Saturday’s low tide is at 3:30 pm, and Sunday’s is at 4:20 pm. Be sure to have your current shellfish license, and be sure to observe the bag and harvest limits.

Parade Awards

December 7th, 2016

The awards from Saturday’s 36th annual Home for the Holidays Parade are out; Superior Tire gets the Community Spirit Award, while Carl’s Towing gets the Best Use of Light. Best Retail float went to Fred Meyer, and Kelso High School receives the Athletic Entertainment award. Santa’s Pick went to Lakeside Industries, and Weather Guard got the Best in Show award. The Cowlitz PUD is working on the award plaques, and they say that those award will be delivered when they are finished.

Winter Weather

December 6th, 2016

We did see some snow falling in the Longview-Kelso area yesterday morning, along with some accumulation in the hills, but local roads are bare this morning. The Weather Service says that we’ll get a break from the wind, rain and snow today and tomorrow, but Thursday could be pretty messy. Later today, we should see clearing skies, going through tomorrow. The clouds are expected to return tomorrow night, with an increasing chance of snow, which could then be followed by sleet and freezing rain on Thursday. The exact track and size of Thursday’s storm is not yet known.

Cats Saved

December 6th, 2016

Firefighters with Cowlitz Fire District 6 in Castle Rock were able to revive a cat that had been overcome by smoke in a Sunday afternoon house fire on Burma Road. Fire crews were called out at about 7:30 Sunday morning, when it was reported that a travel trailer was on fire at 112 Burma Road. The trailer suffered serious damage, and firefighters were able to bring two cats out of the trailer. They say that one was unhurt, but the other was unresponsive. Firefighter/Paramedic Stacie Poff was able to adapt some breathing equipment, and was able to give some breathing assistance to the cat. The animal eventually revived, and was returned to its owner. The owner of the trailer was also evaluated for injuries, but she refused medical treatment. The owner tells fire officials that she suspects that an electrical problem led to the fire.