Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Missing Man

August 27th, 2014

Rainier Police are looking for your help in finding Kennon Ray Leon Halverson, 33, who has been missing since last Thursday morning. They say that Halverson was last seen at 5 am on the 21st, when he dropped his kids off at the babysitter’s house. Yesterday, Halverson’s car was found in a remote location in Clark County, but there was no sign of him. Kennon Halverson is a white male, 5’7” and 130 pounds, with sandy brown hair, blue eyes and a goatee. On April 29th of this year, Halverson was arrested in Longview, after he allegedly tried to cash a bogus check, and was eventually charged with forgery. If you or someone you know has information on the current whereabouts of Kennon Havlerson, you’re asked to call Rainier Police at 503-397-1521 right away. You can also leave an anonymous tip on the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 577-1206.

Weyco Office Move

August 27th, 2014

The city of Federal Way got a big jolt yesterday afternoon, when Weyerhaeuser announced that it’s moving the company headquarters out of its 430-acre campus just off of I-5 to downtown Seattle. Weyco President and CEO Doyle Simons says that the complex in Federal Way is too large and too costly for the company’s needs, and by moving to downtown Seattle, they will have access to a larger talent pool. Weyerhaeuser plans to sell the land in Federal Way, though they will continue to maintain a tech center with 120 employees in that city. Weyerhaeuser is having a building constructed on Occidental Avenue South, which is scheduled for completion in 2016. It’s projected that the move will affect about 800 employees at the facility in Federal Way.

School Program

August 27th, 2014

You’re invited to a special presentation that’s being co-sponsored by the Kelso and Longview School Districts, a program talking about how strong adults can have positive impacts on kids and the community. Doctor Robert Brooks is scheduled to present a program called “The Role of Charismatic Adults in Our Community,” speaking on the themes of resilience, motivation, school climate, positive work environments and family relationships. Brooks has lectured around the nation and around the world on these topics, and he’s scheduled to speak from 1 to 2:30 this afternoon at the Cowlitz County Expo Center. The event is free and open to anyone interested; you are asked to RSVP to the Longview School District. Get more on that by going to the Longview Schools web page.

KSD Surplus Sale

August 27th, 2014

Today, tomorrow and Friday, the Kelso School District will be working to sell off surplus property. The sale of surplus equipment and materials is being held at Ed Laulainen Stadium at Schroeder Field, going from 10 am until 2 pm each day. Today, the sale is open to public and private schools, and students from the Kelso School District can come by and purchase old textbooks between 8 am and 2 pm today. The sale will be open to the general public tomorrow and Friday. The full list of surplus materials is posted on the Kelso School District web page; they also have two vehicles that will be sold via sealed bid. Those bids are due by 3 pm on Friday, September 19th.

Exhibit Hall Task Force

August 27th, 2014

The first meeting of a task force that’s going to try and figure out what to do with the old Castle Rock Exhibit Hall is set for this morning. The Castle Rock City Council is contracting with Nancy Chennault to facilitate this process, while also inviting citizens, community and business leaders, city officials, local organizations, community groups, churches and others to be part of the process. The building was closed earlier this year, and city officials say that the building is “not sustainable” in its current state. There’s a goal of having a preferred option for the building ready for presentation to the Castle Rock City Council in December. Today’s meeting is set to run from 7 to 9 pm this morning in the old Exhibit Hall building itself, and is open to anyone who would like to have input. You can call Nancy Chennault at 360-703-8174 if you need more information or if you have other questions.

Interchange Opens

August 27th, 2014

Years of construction work near the I-5/I-205 split concludes today when the ribbon is cut on the new Salmon Creek Interchange. This project started in August of 2010, replacing the old 134th Street interchange with a new and more efficient on- and off-ramp to both freeways. A ceremonial ribbon-cutting is planned for 11 this morning, near the Salmon Creek Park and Ride facility. The interchange itself will open to regular traffic by this afternoon’s commute, and is expected to handle as many as 88 thousand vehicles each day.

Pipe Attack

August 26th, 2014

Second-degree domestic violence assault charges are being filed against 60 year-old Javier Meza Aguilar of Kelso, after he allegedly used a pipe or some sort of metal bar to beat 35 year-old Joshua Morrison last night at an apartment on Florence Avenue in Kelso. Kelso Police and aid personnel were called to the apartment in the 100 block of Florence at about 8:20 pm, where it was reported that Morrison was bleeding from the head. Officers interviewed several people, eventually learning that Aguilar and his wife live in the apartment, along with Aguilar’s daughter and Morrison. Apparently an argument over “door-slamming” escalated, with Aguilar allegedly using the piece of metal to strike Morrison in the head. Aguilar is currently being held without bail in the Cowlitz County Jail, while Morrison was taken to St. John Medical Center for treatment.

Pipeline Theft

August 26th, 2014

A contractor working on the Headquarters Road Landfill Leachate Pipeline project is reporting a theft from their jobsite just north of Kelso. The theft was reported around 11:30 yesterday morning, saying that a “safety box” had been broken into. Managers say that two air supply packs were stolen, along with miscellaneous tools. The value of the items stolen is put at about $2,000. No suspects have been identified.

Longview School Budget

August 26th, 2014

The 2014-2015 operating budget for the Longview School District is now in place, adopted at last night’s meeting of the Longview School Board. Board President Jennifer Leach says that it’s a solid budget, that also looks into the future. The general fund budget comes in at $73.7 million, slightly larger than last year’s budget of $69.4 million. Part of the increase comes from an unexpected rise in student enrollment, which is expected to go up by about 300 full-time-equivalents. That will also lead to an increase in allocations from the state. After several years of cuts and staff reductions, the district is also increasing the number of teachers and classified staff in the next school year. The teaching staff will be increased by more than 32 FTE, while classified staff is being increased by just less than 29 FTE.

Other Board Actions

August 26th, 2014

In other action last night, the Longview School Board announced the names of the individuals that will be interviewed for the open School Board position that was opened up by the resignation of Skip Urling, and also set the timeline for the Superintendent search. The School Board says that six people applied for Urling’s seat, and three were selected for interviews. That includes Roberta Alba-Estrada, who has four kids in school and serves as a classroom and parent organization volunteer; Carl Degner, whil has served on the Strategic Plan Review Committee, the Superintendent Search Committees and on the board of the Longview Schools Foundation; and James Mossman, who recently ran for School Board, and has served on several district committees. All three candidates will be interviewed in a special School Board meeting set for 5 pm on Monday, September 8th, just prior to the regular school board meeting.

The timeline for selection of a permanent Superintendent was also settled on at last night’s meeting, starting next month when the School Board will meet with the consultants who will conduct the search. That meeting is tentatively planned for Monday, September 22nd. The position will be advertised from October through mid-December, with plans to “share the applicants and publish the short list” in mid-January. Interviews would be conducted in late January, and it’s planned that the job would be offered to the preferred candidate in late January or early February.