Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Attic Fire

November 25th, 2014

Repairs are under way at 2509 Northlake Avenue in Longview, after a Sunday night chimney fire did about $150,000 damage to the home. The owner of the home called 911 at about 11:30 Sunday night, reporting that the house was filling with smoke, but they couldn’t see any fire. Firefighters eventually had to use a “piercing nozzle,” pulled down ceilings and cut openings in the roof, where they found that a chimney fire had spread into the attic. They also say that it took some time to find and extinguish hot spots in the attic. No injuries were reported; ServePro has also been called in to help with cleanup and restoration in the home.

Church Damage

November 25th, 2014

David Andrew Norton, 43, of Longview is under arrest after he allegedly damaged a door at the House of Prayer Church on 11th Avenue. Longview Police were called to the church at about 8:35 pm, when it was reported that Norton was pounding on the front door, demanding to be let in. Witnesses reported that Norton smashed the glass in the door, and then eventually ripped it right off of the hinges. Officers were on the scene in a few minutes, and arrested Norton without further incident. Norton is now being held without bail on a charge of second-degree malicious mischief.

JHB Casino Challenge

November 25th, 2014

Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler is taking issue with an agency decision to take land near La Center into trust for the Cowlitz Indians, while court proceedings in the case are still under way. Beutler announced yesterday that she is sending a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, asking for clarification and justification on several issues, also wondering why such a decision would be announced prior to the court decision. Beutler says that local citizens and stakeholders have “gone through the proper channels,” and she says that they deserve to have that process play out before government agencies act. Last month, an assistant attorney general announced that just less than 152 acres of land would be taken into trust for the Cowlitz, a proposal that has been challenged by several local governments and other citizens in Clark County.

Teen Tuesday

November 25th, 2014

The final Teen Tuesday event of the fall is planned for this evening at the Longview Public Library, piggybacking on this weekend’s release of “Mockingjay-Part 1,” the opening part of the finale in the “Hunger Games” series of movies. This evening will feature a “Mockingjay Scavenger Hunt,” and winners of the hunt will receive a pair of tickets to go and see the movie. The Teen Tuesday event runs from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, and is open to all area middle and high school students. It’s free to take part, and no library card is needed.

Chinook and Cayuse Close

November 25th, 2014

Another hint that winter is on the way is the annual closure of Chinook and Cayuse Passes. The Washington Department of Transportation announced the complete closures yesterday, after temporary closures over the weekend. WashDOT says that the avalanche risk is too great to allow traffic over State Route 410-Chinook Pass and on State Route 123-Cayuse Pass. Approximately three feet of snow fell on these passes over the weekend, and additional precipitation in the forecast could bring additional safety issues. White Pass, Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass are still available as routes from western Washington to eastern Washington, along with the Columbia River Gorge.

Bridge Confusion

November 25th, 2014

There’s been some confusion about an upcoming bridge closure, with local chatter on social media identifying a local bridge for the work, when the closure will actually be out to the west of us. There’s been some talk on Facebook, wondering about a multi-month closure of the Lewis and Clark Bridge, starting on December 1st. There is a multi-month project starting on December 1st, but that work involves the Lewis and Clark RIVER Bridge on Highway 101 in Astoria. Bridge rehabilitation work is actually being on two bridges between Astoria and Warrenton, the bridge over the Lewis and Clark River and the Old Youngs Bay Bridge. Flaggers and detours will be posted around the construction area, and delays of up to 20 minutes at a time are possible. There is NO construction or closures of any sort planned for the Lewis and Clark Bridge between Longview and Rainier.

Weather News

November 24th, 2014

The National Weather Service says that we need to be on the alert for some possible flooding this week. Early this morning, the NWS published an outlook report, saying that a wet weather system will linger over the area this week, dumping three to six inches of rain on the west slopes of the Cascades by Wednesday. Snow levels are expected to hover between 6,500 and 7,500 feet, so most of the precipitation will fall as rain. They say that flooding is possible on a number of rivers, including the Cowlitz. If flooding occurs, it’s expected to begin tomorrow night and would continue through Wednesday. They do say that any flooding is expected to be minor.

Many of us were surprised to hear thunder rolling through the area yesterday morning, with a number of lightning strikes and heavy rain dumping on the region. The Weather Service reports that more than three-tenths of an inch of rain fell between 11 am and 1 pm. There were several instances reported of flooded streets and cogged storm drains, but all of those were quickly cleared. Damage was minimal, as well; the Cowlitz PUD reports only one significant outage, affecting about 2,000 customers at the west end of Longview. They say that the BPA line that feeds the Pacific Way substation failed, but they were able to quickly restore that power by re-routing around the damaged line.

Crash Arrest

November 24th, 2014

Michael Anthony Speck, 28, is under arrest after an alleged hit-and-run crash that took place yesterday morning in Woodland. At 11:25 am, several calls came about a collision that happened near the Shell station on Lewis River Road. Witnesses say that the car was traveling at a high rate of speed, jumped a curb and hit a utility pole. They also reported that the male driver and a female passenger were walking away. Speck and the woman were stopped a short distance from the crash site. A check of the license plate shows that the car had been stolen from Vancouver. Speck, who is listed as a transient, is now being charged with two counts of possession of stolen property, hit-and-run with injuries, driving while suspended and making false statements to police. The woman was questioned and released.

Friday I-205 Crash

November 24th, 2014

An eleven year-old girl is recovering from injuries she received in a two-car crash that took place Friday evening on I-205 in Vancouver. State Troopers say that Meagan Halleck, 28, of Kelso had stopped for traffic in the left lane of the freeway near Mill Plain. She was hit from behind by Christopher Chiriac, 45, of Battle Ground. Eyelina Chiriac, 11, was injured in the crash, and was taken to Southwest Washington Medical Center for treatment. Hallack was unhurt. Christopher Chiriac was cited for following too closely.

Feds Raid

November 24th, 2014

It’s being reported that the Internal Revenue Service has raided a business in Saint Helens for alleged non-payment of taxes. Newspapers in Columbia County are reporting on the incident involving Heller Enterprises on Milton Way. An attorney for the company is quoted as saying that a search warrant was served to obtain “records regarding federal excise tax on the manufacture of ammunition.” They say records and computer servers were seized; those materials have since been returned, and the business has re-opened. The attorney also says that owner Rob Heller will comply with a subpoena for additional records to be provided by December 9th. IRS officials have provided no details, other than to confirm that an official investigation is under way.