Longview Police had to use lethal force to finally subdue a cow that escaped from the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds yesterday afternoon. Around 3:30, calls started coming in that there was a large bovine running loose in the 700 block of Ocean Beach Highway. The brown and white cow was seen near Grocery Outlet, still trailing a leash. The animal continued west through town, eventually making its way to the 3100 block of Pacific Way. The owner tried to regain control of the cow, but the cow charged; the cow rammed one Longview Police Officer in the chest, while another officer hurt their foot, trying to keep the cow out of traffic. The Humane Society and Wildlife Officers were called in, and a Taser was deployed to try and get the cow under control. After that failed, the decision was made to shoot the cow; two rounds were used to do that. The owner of the cow and the officers that were injured got checked out by medical personnel; the one that got rammed went to the hospital for treatment. A post-mortem exam is planned, to see if the cow had some sort of medical issue.
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Longview Police say that they were able to safely take a suicidal man into custody late yesterday afternoon. At about 10 minutes to 6 pm, a 911 call came in about a man who was armed, and was threatening to commit suicide. They say that the man had been aggressive to officers in the past, so they approached him with caution. Officers negotiated with the man, who was barricaded inside his car, armed with a knife. It took about an hour to talk the man down, and he was safely taken into custody at about 6:45 pm. The man was taken in for a mental health evaluation; no injuries were reported.
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Kids playing with fire was reported to be the cause of a shed fire that was reported last night in the 500 block of South 4th in Kelso. Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue was called out at about 8:15 pm, when black smoke and flames were seen coming from the shed in the back yard. It’s also reported that the fire was threatening other structures. It took only three minutes to get the fire knocked down; once that was done, an eight year-old reportedly admitted to starting the fire, while playing with a barbecue lighter. The shed and its contents are considered to be a total loss, estimated at about $750. No injuries were reported.
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A suspicious Craigslist ad reportedly led to the arrest of a wanted Longview woman. Sheriff’s Detectives say that their suspicions were raised when an ad for an iPhone 5S was spotted, being offered for a price that was considerably below market value. Detectives thought that the phone might be stolen, so they made arrangements to meet with the seller. When Deputies met with Michelle Lynn Sears, 34, of Longview, they learned that the phone was NOT stolen, but they also found out that she had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court on a fourth-degree domestic violence assault charge. Sears is now being held in the Cowlitz County Jail on that no-bail warrant.
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It was a traffic mess at the Kelso-Longview border for much of the day yesterday, after the traffic signal at one of the major intersections in town was down. Kelso Police say that the signal at Washington Way, Ocean Beach Highway, Catlin Street and Cowlitz Way went down at about 4:30 yesterday morning; it was also reported that one of the poles at the intersection had been hit, with the light hanging over the street. The intersection became a four-way stop as officials tried to determine who should come and fix it; it was finally determined that the lights belong to the Washington Department of Transportation, who finally got a crew on the scene shortly after 11 am. The lights were put on flash at about 11:30 am, and repairs went from there. It’s still not known who hit the pole that got knocked down.
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Cowlitz County is putting a measure on the November ballot, asking citizens to approve a one-tenth-of-one-percent sales tax, with the proceeds helping to support Cowlitz County 911. 911 Supervisor Jerry Jensen says that this is a dismal situation, working in a totally inadequate location…911measure…Deanna Wells with Cowlitz County 911 reports that the infrastructure in the 911 Center is failing, with poor phones, inadequate security, and a burned-out workforce. It’s also noted that the 911 Center is located in an area that’s actually below the flood plain, in a building that has poor earthquake resistance. The Commissioners voted to put this measure on the November ballot; if it’s approved, then the proceeds from the sales tax increase would be dedicated to support Cowlitz County 911 Emergency Communications and Facilities. Get more information on the Cowlitz County web page.
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You’re invited to come out and tour the Baker’s Corner Fire Station this evening, while Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue begins the process of educating the citizens inside its service area about the need for an 11 million-dollar bond to replace this station and the one in Lexington. The informational Open House will run from 6 to 9 pm; officials with Cowlitz 2 say that the goal is to educate the public on costs associated with firefighting equipment and gear, replacement of apparatus, and future station expansions to meet population growth. Station 25 in Lexington will have to be torn down, as the building is actually failing, while the 51 year-old building at Baker’s Corner is obsolete and inadequate. The Cowlitz 2 Board of Commissioners plan to take action on the resolution to put a 20-year, 11 million-dollar bond on the November ballot their business meeting, which is also being held out at Baker’s Corner. That meeting is open to the public, along with today’s open house. Get more information at c2fr.org.
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With a theme of “The Best of Town ‘n Country,” the 2016 Cowlitz County Fair opens today and runs through Saturday. The fair is open from 11 am to 11 pm each day, with free entertainment all day on the stage next to the main commercial buildings, farm animal displays, and the entries in the 4-H, photography and floral competitions. Today’s headline act hits the stage on the Rodeo Grounds at 7 pm; Kelso native Cort Carpenter comes home to perform tonight, opening the show for country music star Chase Bryant. Tickets for that show will be available at the gate, located on the fairgrounds itself. Admission to the fair is free, but a ticket for the concert will be needed. Get more information on cowlitzcountyfair.com.
Remember that the weekly Produce Sale at Northlake Elementary School runs from 10 am to 1 pm today, featuring veggies and flowers that were grown at the Lower Columbia School Garden facilities around the area. Northlake Elementary is located at 2210 Olympia Way in Longview.
Wednesday Night Summer Fun also continues at the Kelso United Methodist Presbyterian Church, with puppet show performances planned, coming up after last week’s work in developing and writing a puppet show. You’re invited to come by and have dinner at 5:30 this afternoon, followed by the puppet shows at 6 pm. This is free, and is open to all area families. The Kelso United Methodist Presbyterian Church is located at 206 Cowlitz Way; call 423-7480 if you need more information.
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You may run into a traffic issue at the Kelso-Longview border, as the traffic light at Ocean Beach Highway-Washington Way and Cowlitz Way went out this morning at about 4:30 am. It’s also reported that a light pole and signal equipment may have been damaged in some sort of collision. Utility crews are on the scene, working to make repairs. Until the light is restored, treat the intersection as a four-way stop. You should also work out other routes, as this intersection will be extremely congested.
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The damage done to the Chamber Way overpass in Chehalis is so severe, the Washington Department of Transportation says that the bridge will need to be demolished and replaced. That process will get under way tonight, starting at 8 pm, and they hope to have the work done by 6 am tomorrow morning. Last Friday afternoon, a truck hauling two over-height excavators hit the underside of the overpass on the southbound freeway. Two cars were damaged and a driver suffered minor injuries when chunks of concrete rained onto the freeway. WashDOT officials say that an inspection shows that the damage is too severe to repair, so the overpass will be demolished. Starting tonight at 8 pm, both directions of the freeway will be reduced to one lane; at 10 pm, all traffic will be diverted off of the freeway at exit 79, going around the work zone. Anticipate heavy traffic through that area all night long; you’ll need to budget extra time or develop alternate routes to try and deal with this traffic. A special meeting of the Chehalis City Council is planned for Thursday afternoon, to discuss short and long-term solutions for the overpass.
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