Longview Police are checking into a vandalism incident reported yesterday at Gerhart Gardens Park. Someone called at about 11:20 yesterday morning, reporting that a trash can at the Dog Park had been “blown up,” along with damage that was done to a porta-potty at that location. An officer checked the park, finding evidence that someone had set some fireworks off, but the damage was not significant. No suspects have been identified.
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Two people are facing prosecution on multiple felony counts, after they allegedly impersonated police officers to gain entry into a home on Ocean Beach Highway in Longview, and then handcuffed the residents before stealing marijuana, cash and other items. The incident took place on the 7th of this month; detectives identified Scott Lavelle, 23, and Nikkea Marin, 26 as the suspects in the case. The pair went to the home wearing dark police-type clothing, including a badge, a duty belt, handguns, radios and a fake “search warrant.” After being identified, Lavelle and Marin stayed on the loose after evading authorities in a high-speed chase on the 12th, but authorities did seize the SUV they were driving. They say that Lavelle was arrested on the 25th, after a two car chases, two crashes and a carjacking in Vancouver; he’s now being held in the Clark County Jail on bail of a half-million dollars. Marin was booked into the Cowlitz County Jail on the 26th of this month, held on charges of robbery, burglary and unlawful imprisonment. Her bail is set at $250,000.
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Dozens came to yesterday’s Open House that was put on by the Longview Drinking Water Customer Advisory Committee, going over the work of the CAC, while also offering input of their own. Longview Public Works Director Jeff Cameron says that the people who came also seemed to be more interested in getting the problems fixed, rather than re-hashing the issues that have already been expressed. The consultants who are helping to facilitate the CAC and its work also say that there has been great interest in the survey that the city is conducting through next Monday. Many people filled out paper copies of the survey at yesterday’s Open House. You can still access that survey at the Longview City Hall, but it may be more convenient to go to longviewwater.org to access the survey on-line. The information gathered last night will be compiled and then will be presented to the CAC at its final scheduled meeting on the 16th of this month. The full report and recommendations of the CAC will be presented to the Longview City Council and the Beacon Hill Water and Sewer District Board of Directors at a workshop that’s currently scheduled for Thursday, August 20th.
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With the Summer Chinook returns now expected to be some 16 percent higher than first projected, fishery managers in Washington and Oregon are extending the fishing season through the end of this month. Summer Chinook angling on the main stem of the Columbia will now be open through the 31st of this month, and anglers will also be allowed to keep one wild fish. On Monday, the projection for the Summer Chinook return was increased from 73,000 to 85,000 fish, while the Sockeye return is being boosted from 394,000 to 450,000 fish. Starting this Friday, the daily bag limit will be set at two adult salmon or steelhead, but only one Chinook. All Steelhead must be “fin-clipped,” but ALL Chinook or Sockeye can be retained. Get more information from Washington Fish and Wildlife, or contact your local outfitter.
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A Celebration of Life honoring former Kelso school teacher and principal “Bill” Moulton is planned for this morning at the Kelso United Methodist Church. Moulton died on June 22nd at a local care facility, at the age of 84. Moulton was born in Hermiston, but he graduated from Kelso in 1949. After attending Western and Central Washington Universities, along with a stint in the Army, Moulton returned to Kelso. He taught at Huntington Junior High before becoming principal at Kelso High, a position he held for many years. Moulton was deeply involved in the community, serving on the Downtown Quarterbacks Club, the Rotary, the Kelso United Methodist Church, and other organizations. Today’s Celebration of Life starts at 11 am at Kelso United Methodist; in lieu of flowers, family members are asking that memorial contributions be made to the Moulton Scholarship Fund, in care of the Kelso Schools Foundation, or to the DTQ Scholarship Fund.
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There are still slots available for this weekend’s 5th annual St. Helens Arts and Cultural Commission Trash Can Painting Competition, with two prizes of 200 dollars cash up for grabs. Awards will be presented for the Most Artistic Merit and for Best Park Theme. The competition starts at 9:30 this Saturday morning, with judging planned at 5 pm. The Arts and Cultural Commission will supply trash cans, paints and supplies, though competitors are also free to bring their own paints and supplies. Get an application from the St. Helens City Hall, or download one from the City of St. Helens web page.
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As the ten-day strike notice from Local 153 of the Association of Western Pulp and Paperworkers passes, no settlement has been reached, but there has also been no strike call. Negotiators for the company and the union met yesterday for the first time since the notice was delivered. Union officials say that they are continuing to talk with KapStone, but they also say that strike preparations are also being made. It has also been confirmed that both sides have contacted federal mediators, but those people have not yet been called in. The union also sent a letter to its membership, saying that another negotiation session is planned for next Monday. Contract talks between KapStone and the AWPPW have been going on for more than a year, with health care benefits, seniority rules, disability and job transfers as the main points of contention.
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It’s time for you to come in and learn what the Longview Drinking Water Customer Advisory Committee has accomplished, as the CAC holds an Open House to present its current recommendations. The City of Longview and the Beacon Hill Water and Sewer District are jointly hosting today’s event, which will run from 4 to 7 pm in the John Searing Auditorium at the Cowlitz PUD building. You can come by at any time during the Open House, where you can learn about the work of the CAC, share opinions about water supply options, and get your questions answered about possible financial impacts, health and safety, next steps and other concerns. You’ll also be able to access the city’s online poll over the CAC’s recommendations. That poll will be available through next Monday, July 6th, and can also be accessed by going to longviewwater.org.
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Tara Mae Jones, 29, of Longview is in jail after a one-car crash that took place yesterday afternoon at Delaware Street and 20th Avenue. Longview Police and aid crews were called to that intersection at about 3:20 yesterday afternoon, where it was reported that a car had hit a tree. One person reported chest pain after the crash. After Officers checked everything over, Jones was arrested for DUI on drugs, possession of drugs with intent to deliver and felon in possession of a gun. She’s currently being held without bail in the Cowlitz County Jail.
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Specialized cleanup crews were called to the area of West Kalama River Road and Fisherman’s Loop Road, after a semi rolled over and leaked diesel fuel. The crash was reported shortly before 5 pm, as the truck hauling steel coils rolled onto its side. It was also reported that the truck had a full load of fuel, with at least 100 gallons on board at the time of the crash. Those on the scene report that an unknown amount of fuel leaked, but it did not reach any nearby water sources, particularly the Kalama River. They were able to get the leak stopped and contained before any fuel reached the water. The truck driver also asked to be taken to St. John Medical Center for a checkup. The Washington State Patrol is following up.
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