Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Drug Take Back Day

October 21st, 2016

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and several local police agencies are participating in the event. These Take-Back Days are arranged by the Drug Enforcement Administration, as part of the effort to get old and possibly dangerous drugs out of family medicine cabinets, with the goal of reducing thefts and abuse. There have been eleven DEA Take-Back Days in the Pacific Northwest, collecting more than 150 tons of old, expired and excess medications. If you have old prescription drugs hanging around the house, you can take them to the Longview Police Department between 10 am and 2 pm for proper disposal; Rainier Police will be set up at the Rainier Senior Center, the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office will be at the Cathlamet Pharmacy, and you can also go to the Scappoose Police Department. Go to if you need more information.

Health and Human Services Move

October 21st, 2016

Be aware that Cowlitz County Health and Human Services is closed today and Monday, as the department moves to a new location. The department is currently located in the Colonnade Building on Ocean Beach Highway, but they now plan to move back to the building at 1952 9th Avenue in Longview. They moved out of that building in 2012. Health and Human Services will continue to have two locations for Environmental Health programs; Environmental programs currently located at the Ocean Beach location will move to the 9th Avenue building, while those programs located at the County Administration building in Kelso will remain there. Regular operations will resume at 8:30 am on Tuesday, the 25th. Call County Health and Human Services at 414-5599 for more information.

Weekend Events–10/21-23/16

October 21st, 2016

Find out “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse” at the latest production from Stageworks Northwest, with a new production that’s being presented at the Longview Theatre on Commerce Avenue. “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse” runs this weekend and next weekend, with curtain at 7 pm Friday and Saturday night. There’s also a 2 pm matinee this Sunday, the 23rd. Call 636-4488 for ticket information, or go to

Presented by Hometeam 1490, Cookin’ Country 105.5 and 101.5 The Wave, the area’s newest Haunted House continues this weekend in the old Three Rivers Mall Cinema building. The doors of the “Cinema Of Horrors” will creak open at 7 pm Friday night, with the scares continuing until 11 pm Friday and Saturday nights through Halloween. This is recommended for families with kids age 13 and older, with two separate Haunted Houses included with your admission. Find out more at

The Beaver Homes Grange Haunted House also continues this weekend, going from 6:30 to 9:30 pm Friday and Saturday night. Along with the Haunted House, they’ll have games for the kids and more. The Haunted House will be open each weekend through Halloween. The Beaver Homes Grange is located off of Highway 30 on Nicolai Road. Just follow the signs.

The “Spirit of Halloweentown” continues in St. Helens, where it’s “Goth Weekend.” Things get kicked off with the Haunted House that’s open from 5 pm to midnight, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, along with special VIP tours at 1 am each night. Public judging of the Family Pumpkin Carving Contest will be held on Saturday, and there’s also a Halloween Cake Decorating Competition. The Severed Heads Tractor Rides start at noon, and “The Very, Very, Very, Good Variety Show” happens at 2 pm. The “I Scream Social” takes place at 1 pm on Saturday, and then Windermere Masquerade Ball happens at 5:30 pm on Saturday. There’s also a Teen Halloween Party at 7 pm on Saturday, followed by the “Bonfires and Bones Goth Extravaganza, going from 8 pm until 2 am. Get the full list of events on the St. Helens Chamber of Commerce web page.

Working with the Healthcare Foundation, Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue is offering a Low-Cost CPR and First Aid Class on Saturday, starting at 9 am until 5 pm at the Cowlitz 2 main station on Vine Street in Kelso. The classes are free for foster parents and low-income families, also for a nominal cost to the general public. Go to the Cowlitz 2 Facebook page for more information.

The Longview Fire Department is doing a “Burn to Learn” event on Saturday at 2851 30th Avenue, going from 8 am until 5 pm. Firefighters will start and stop the fire a number of times during the day, conducting live-fire training for firefighters from several agencies around the area. You can come by and watch if you would like.

You can get rid of those old tires at an “Amnesty Event” being held Saturday morning at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. The WSU Extension is working with Cowlitz County Environmental Health on the event, where Cowlitz County residents can dispose of old tires for free. No commercial sources will be allowed; car and pickup tires can be on rims, and you’ll need to unload the tires yourself. Call WSU Extension at 577-3014 for details.

There’s a Community Cleanup planned for this Saturday in Cathlamet, being put on by the Pioneer Community Association. This is part of “National Make A Difference Day,” which is providing some funding for the event. Meet at the Pioneer Community Center at 9 am to get your assignment.

Cowlitz County is hosting another Household Hazardous Waste Collection event on Saturday, setting up their collection facilities in the eastside parking lot of the Woodland Safeway store. Hours are 9 am to 1 pm; call Waste Control at 425-4302.

There’s an “Introduction to Microsoft” class being offered this Saturday at the Longview Library, starting at 1 pm in the auditorium on the lower level of the Library. Aaron Dobbins can help you get more familiar with your computer, along with basic training on programs like Word, Excel and other Office software. Contact the Longview Library for more information.

The Longview Halloween “Glow Open 2016” Disc Golf Tournament will happen this Saturday on the course out at Roy Morse Park. This is being put on by the Cowlitz County Disc Golf Association, with registration opening at 1 pm. Get more information on the Longview Parks and Rec web page.

Mike Welch Motorsports brings the Monster Trucks back to the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds on Saturday, with his “Freaks of Freestyle” shows set for 2 and 7:30 pm. Along with the monster trucks, there will be Mud Bogs and Street Truck racing. Save money on admission by getting your advance tickets at Tire Factory on 3rd Avenue in Longview.

There’s a Halloween Homicide Mystery Dinner being put on this Saturday evening at the Olequa “Haunted” Senior Center in Winlock. Reservations are required, so you’ll need to call 360-785-4325 to get your tickets.

The first-ever “Through the Decades” Grandparents and Grandchildren Ball will take place from 6 to 8 pm this Saturday evening at the Red Lion in Kelso. This event is being put on by the Southwest Washington YMCA, as part of the GoodTymes Program for local teens and adults with special needs. Along with the dancing, fun and refreshments, there will also be raffles through the evening, with two weekend beach outings as the grand prizes. Contact the YMCA at 423-4770 for tickets.

Saturday night at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, the Pacific Northwest’s premier Neil Young tribute band will perform. Curtain time for The Neil Youngs and the Harvest Moon Band is at 7:30 pm Saturday night, call 575-TIXX for ticket information, or go to the CTPS website.

In Rainier, there’s a Harvest Dinner Dance planned at the Rainier Senior Center, starting at 6 pm. Call them at 503-556-3889 for ticket information.

The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market continues on Saturday through October, offering fresh produce, baked goods, honey and more from 9 am until 2 pm on Saturdays and Tuesdays in the 7th Avenue parking lot, across from the County Fairgrounds. It’s also “Pumpkin Day” this Saturday, with free pumpkins for the first 200 kids, or for those who are “young at heart.”

There’s a Benefit and a Celebration of Life in honor of former “Rode Hard” band member Ben Vanmatre being held this Sunday at the American Legion Post 155 in Longview, starting at 1 pm.

The St. Helens-based River City Singers are holding a special “Gospel Mass” on Sunday, as the group continues fundraising efforts for a Memorial Day trip to New York City, where they will join a larger choral group in Carnegie Hall for a performance of “Sunrise Mass.” Sunday’s “Festival of Gospel” will be held at 3 pm on Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in St. Helens, located at 560 Columbia Boulevard. Find out more on the River City Singers-Columbia Chorale Facebook page.

Settled in at a new venue, the Kelso Bridge Market runs from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday at the Three Rivers Mall, right next to the southwest entry.

Ballots Out

October 20th, 2016

The 2016 Election is now under way in Washington state, as more than 4 million ballots are mailed out by county election departments. The Washington Secretary of State’s Office says that some counties started mailing on Tuesday, and almost all of the rest are sending them out by the close of business today. That includes 62,027 ballots going out from Cowlitz County Elections. Along with the Presidential election, Washington voters are choosing a Senator and all ten U. S. House seats. All 98 State House seats are on the ballot, along with 26 of 49 Senate positions. That includes the 19th District Senate seat. Three Washington Supreme Court seats are on the ballot, along with six statewide initiatives.

The local ballot is massive, taking up six pages in the on-line Voter’s Guide, available on the Cowlitz County Elections website. Along with the local races for Congress and the Legislature, there are no fewer than nine local ballot measures, including sales tax measures to support Cowlitz County 911, Kalama Police, and a Transportation Benefit District in Woodland. The City of Kelso also has three Charter Amendment propositions. Ballots must be returned by 8 pm on Tuesday, November 8th to be valid for counting; they can be mailed, or you can drop them off at one of the Elections Drop Box locations that are set up around the county.

Arson Investigation

October 20th, 2016

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is still working to find the person who torched a vacant home out west of Longview this past weekend. At about 5 pm on Sunday, Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue responded to a 911 call about a fire at 153 Bunker Hill Road. The house, which had not been occupied for several months, ended up being a total loss. A person that was in the area reported seeing a red Toyota flatbed truck in the area at about the time the fire started; Detective Sergeant Brad Thurman says that they have located and talked with the owner of that truck, and he says that person is no longer considered to be a suspect in the case. If you can help out with the investigation into this arson incident, you should call the Sheriff’s Office at 577-3092; you can also text your tip anonymously by using TIP411; text your tip to 847411, and add “CCSOTIP.”

Shake Out Drill

October 20th, 2016

Lower Columbia College and local school districts plan to take part in today’s fifth annual “Great Washington Shake Out,” a statewide earthquake drill that’s taking place this morning at 10:20 am. LCC officials say that participation is optional, but at 10:20 this morning, text messages, flash alerts and website postings will go out, encouraging people to “Drop, Cover and Hold On!” Schools in Kelso, Longview, Toutle, Castle Rock and Woodland will also participate. Washington Emergency Management reports that more than 16,000 Cowlitz County residents have registered to participate, including individuals, families, schools and colleges, local governments, businesses, Indian tribes and some health care facilities. Find out more about this morning’s drill on the LCC web page, or on the Washington Emergency Management web page.

Columbia Closure

October 20th, 2016

Local anglers have only a couple more days of salmon and steelhead fishing on the Lower Columbia River, as fishery managers announce that the river will close on Saturday. Washington Fish and Wildlife reports that the sport and commercial non-Indian catch has been exceeded, and the river will need to close. Starting this Saturday, the Columbia River will be closed to salmon and steelhead angling, going from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the river, going up to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco. Biologists are also revising the size of this year’s run, which came in quite a ways below projections. The initial fall chinook prediction was put at 960,000 fish, but they’re now saying that just over 701,000 fish have been counted. Some tributaries remain open for fishing; check with WDFW for the latest regulations and open waters.

NWIW Upgrade

October 20th, 2016

Northwest Innovation Works is announcing a major redesign regarding the methanol production and export facility that they plan to build at the Port of Kalama, saying that the plant will implement a Zero Liquid Discharge system. They say that this ZLD technology eliminates any discharge of waste water into the Columbia River. NWIW says that ZLD uses a combination of technologies to remove contaminants from the wastewater stream; that wastewater will then be recycled and reused inside the facility. They also say that this technology will reduce water usage at the plant by more than 150 million gallons each year. NWIW President Vee Godley says that they are committed to protecting the environment, along with resource efficiency; he says that this ZLD technology, coupled with the Ultra Low Emissions technology to reduce carbon emissions, will continue to have this plant on the front lines of “environmentally responsible manufacturing.” Northwest Innovation Works is spending nearly $4 billion in the development of these methanol production facilities at Kalama and near Clatskanie, producing methanol that will be shipped to China for use in plastics manufacturing. There’s a goal of having the plant up and running by 2018.

Water Line Work

October 20th, 2016

Water line replacement work continues in Longview, with contract crews working today in the area of Baltimore Street, between 19th and 20th. Starting this morning, Baltimore Street will be closed to through traffic between 19th and 20th, as the crew completes water line installation and restoration work. Detours will be posted, and local access to private driveways will be maintained. This closure will be in place for several weeks, with a current completion date of November 11th. Use alternate routes to avoid congestion or delays.

OMSI Event

October 20th, 2016

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry helps to celebrate the 17th annual “Lights on After School” event in the local area, bringing a Traveling Exhibit to the Youth and Family Link building in Longview. OMSI will have displays of live bugs and animals, health and nutrition displays, and “brainteasers,” hands-on puzzles that will challenge your math and science skills, along with needing some “out-of-the-box thinking.” This will be open from 5 to 7 pm at the building on Douglas Street in Longview, and it’s free to all area families and children. Call 423-6741 for more information.