Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Sunday Chase

April 14th, 2014

Thomas Henry Boyer, 25, of Vancouver is in the Cowlitz County Jail after a car chase that ended when the car that Boyer was reported to be driving crashed into a home in Woodland. Around 12:50 Sunday morning, Longview Police tried to stop a car, due to severe cracks that it had in the windshield. They claim that the driver took off instead, eventually getting over to Old Pacific Highway South in Kelso. Speeds on the old highway got over 80 miles an hour, as a Kalama Police Officer tried to deploy a spike strip near Kress Lake. Boyer avoided that, and was able to get onto I-5 southbound. The chase continued at speeds exceeding 100 miles an hour, where Boyer got off the freeway and started heading out the Lewis River Highway. Sergeant Joe Reiss says that Boyer eventually went through a six-foot cedar fence, and then ended up hitting the porch of a home on East Scott Avenue. Boyer and his female passenger took off on foot; a Longview Police K-9 found 30 year-old Tawnya Robertson in a drainage ditch some 600 feet from the crash scene. Boyer was also found in that drainage ditch. Both were taken to local hospitals, where both were treated and released. Boyer is being held on a number of charges, while Robertson was released. Damage to the home is estimated at about $5,000.

Bodies Recovered

April 14th, 2014

Authorities in Clatsop County report recovering the bodies of a man and a dog, found floating in the water near the Hammond Marina, near Fort Stevens. It’s believed that the body is that of Michael “Sean” Ohrenich, 62, who has been missing since March 30th, along with his small Corgi dog. They say that the bodies were found close to where Ohrenich’s car was found, reported in the water at about 1:40 yesterday afternoon. The Clatsop County Marine Patrol helped to recover Ohrenich’s body, and also found the dog during that process. The body is now in the possession of the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.

USPS Vandalism

April 14th, 2014

Employees of the Longview Post Office got hold of Longview Police early this morning, reporting that tires on several of their vehicles had been slashed. They didn’t say how many vehicles had been hit. At this time, no suspects have been identified. It’s not known at this time if they Postal Service has video security cameras pointed at the area where their vehicles are parked.

Phone Outage

April 14th, 2014

Just a few days after the statewide 911 outage in Washington state, Wahkiakum County reported another outage yesterday morning. The Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office contacted Cowlitz County at about 8:45 yesterday morning, reporting that “all phones were down.” 911 dispatching was transferred to Cowlitz County, until Wahkiakum County called back an hour later to report that things were back to normal. The cause of this outage isn’t yet known. Over the weekend, CenturyLink disclosed that Thursday morning’s outage was caused by a “technical error by a third-party vendor.” They say that the vendor worked with CenturyLink to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. They’re still analyzing this situation, to see if steps can be taken to prevent a repeat.

Still Closed

April 14th, 2014

The City of Longview says that it looks like Columbia Heights Road will remain closed for several more weeks. The road is currently closed between upper and lower Maplewood Drive, after the slope above Columbia Heights Road slid down on March 26th. Tarps currently cover the area that has failed, in an attempt to get that area to dry out. Public Works Director Jeff Cameron says that the geotechnical contractors hired by the city plan to bring a drill rig in on the 22nd, with the intent of drilling some holes to explore the depth and stability of the slope. After those drill samples are checked over, then the city will have an idea of the type and length of repairs that will need to be done. It’s currently speculated that the current closure and detour situation will remain in place until at least mid-June. People needing to get to the upper Columbia Heights area can still use Laurel Road, Glenwood Road and Virginia Way, and Nevada Drive.

Main Flushing

April 14th, 2014

“Area 3” will be flushed this week by City of Longview water department crews. This is the area between 15th Avenue and the Cowlitz River, going form Ocean Beach Highway to California Way. Work is planned tonight through Thursday night, going from 7:30 to 11:30 pm each night. Advisory signs will be posted in the work areas; remember that flushing may stir up sediment in your residential pipes, so you’re advised to flush your own pipes prior to using the water for brushing teeth, cooking or washing closures.

Clam Dig

April 14th, 2014

A week-long razor clam dig opens this morning and runs through next Sunday. Twin Harbors is open for digging on this morning’s low tide; Long Beach and Twin Harbors will be open for digging tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday. Add Mocrocks to the mix on Friday, and then on Saturday and Sunday, all four main clam beaches will be open, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks. Remember that you’re going to need a current shellfish license to be legal for digging. The 2013 licenses expired on March 31st. Next Saturday and Sunday is the second annual Long Beach Razor Clam Festival, and Saturday also marks the annual Washington Coast Cleanup Day. Fishery managers say that they’re nearing the end of the 2014 spring season, but they’re still hopeful of offering a digging opportunity in May.

Bits and Bots Qualifies

April 14th, 2014

It’s kind of a short turnaround, but it’s a big accomplishment for the Bits and Bots Team 3812, as the local high school robotics team qualifies for the World Championships, coming up later this month in St. Louis. Bits and Bots advisor Bob Koenig says that the team was one of 64 from Washington and Oregon that competed in the Pacific Northwest District Championships at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland over this past weekend. In 12 “Aerial Assist” qualifying matches, Bits and Bots went 8-4, placing them 8th heading into the championship rounds. Working in a three-team alliance, they won their quarterfinal matches, but then lost their first semi-final match. In their second semi-final, Bits and Bots hit a ten-point shot at the buzzer, good for a 122-117 win. In their third semi-final, a teammate’s robot broke, so they did not advance to the finals. In the end, however, Bits and Bots Team 3812 finished ranked 14th out of 153 teams, which qualifies for the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis. 400 teams from around the world are scheduled for that competition, which will be played from the 23rd to the 26th in the Edward Jones Dome.

Outage Investigation

April 11th, 2014

Now that Enhanced 911 services have been restored throughout the state, the investigation into the cause of the outage is under way. The outage first hit at about 1 am yesterday, traced to a computer glitch at a CenturyLink facility in Oregon. A portion of Oregon was also affected around that same time, but CenturyLink now says that outage was unrelated to the problems in Washington. Some sporadic service was restored by around 7 am, and then the system was fully functional again around 8 am. Washington Emergency Management says that the state E911 office is opening up an after-action review to try and determine the source, also working to find ways to mitigate future outages.

Delayed Response

April 11th, 2014

Officials with Cowlitz County 911 say that they’re not aware of any major incidents that took place during yesterday morning’s outage. However, there is a woman in Kelso who says that the outage did delay a police response to her home for about an hour, after someone allegedly threw a gas-filled bottle at the house. The woman was finally able to contact Kelso Police at about 4:20 am; she says that there was a small fire, but no significant damage was done. The woman also reports that the suspect smashed the windshield of a vehicle parked outside of the home. No injuries were reported, and no arrests have been reported at this time.