Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

SWWDC Adds

August 18th, 2014

In an effort to improve its collaboration with local industries and that training of the workforce for those industries, the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council is adding 12 new members, including several Cowlitz County business owners and representatives. Council Chair John Vanderkin says that having representatives from these different companies will help to give greater insight into the training and hiring needs for the entire spectrum of business around the region. A few of the new members include Keath Huff, who is a systems engineer and account manager for Utilize I. T. of Longview, Mike Lemmons, a mortgage loan officer with Republic Mortgage Home Loans, and Bruce Warrick, the Continuous Improvement Manager at Kapstone Paper in Longview. The Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council is a nonprofit organization that works to bring together funding, service providers, economic development and community groups to provide free training and employment services to local businesses, job seekers and youth. Get more information at www.swwdc.org.

Council Votes to Study a Possible Reverse Flow

August 15th, 2014

It’s going to cost about $217,000 to hire a consultant company to conduct a feasibility and cost study to find out what would be involved with going back to the Cowlitz River for Longview’s water supply. On June 26th, the City Council directed staff to develop a scope of work and cost estimate for the study, action that comes after continuing citizen complaints about water quality in the city. Last night, Mayor Don Jensen broke a 3-3 tie and voted to move ahead with the study. Following state law, staff is recommending that the company of CH2MHill be hired to conduct the study, which would involve a Citizens’ Advisory Committee, a study website, a statistically valid customer survey, open houses, public service announcements and other methods to inform the citizens. The cost of the study will be paid with dollars that remain in the Regional Water Supply Project budget.

Senator Murray in Longview

August 15th, 2014

Saying that this is another step in the revitalization of downtown Longview, Senator Patty Murray joined with county and city officials in helping to officially break ground on the Downtown Corridor Improvements Project on Commerce Avenue. Murray says that this project could really serve as a catalyst.

Work on the three blocks of Commerce going from Broadway to Washington Way has already commenced, and will go until the end of the year. The $2 million project will replace the sidewalks, improved ADA accessibility, and will also replace all of the street trees to improve sight lines. New historic-looking “acorn” street lights will be installed, along with rain gardens and other measures to help with stormwater management. To improve business access during construction, Commerce will be converted to one northbound lane between Broadway and Vandercook, with access maintained through the construction area, along with on-street diagonal parking. Get more details and updates on the project by going to the City of Longview website.

Accidental Shooting

August 15th, 2014

Longview Police Thursday afternoon were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of 26th Avenue for a report of a juvenile shot in the face. Officers arrived on scene and found a 14 year old boy inside the residence and bleeding from the head. The boy was transported by ambulance to St. John Hospital and then taken to OHSU Hospital by Life Flight.

A 15 year old resident of the house advised he had found the hidden key to the gun safe and accessed a handgun inside the safe. The 15 year old advised he and the victim had been handling the gun, and that it fired as the 15 year old was putting it back in the gun safe.

Both parents were at work when the incident occurred and the 15 year old boy had been told not to have friends over when the parents were away. The parents advised the key to the safe was hidden, and they did not think their children knew where the key was located.

The names of the involved parties are not being released since they are juveniles.

Stella Road Fire

August 14th, 2014

Fire crews are back on their way to a home on Stella Road that was seriously damaged by fire yesterday afternoon. A rekindle was reported at 518 Stella Road at about 5:20 this morning, with a neighbor of the house reporting flames on the second floor of the home. The initial fire call came in around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, when Zachary Garoutte, 12, heard smoke alarms. He went outside and saw flames on the northwest side of the home. After calling his mother and 911, the boy got out of the house. The fire spread quickly through the home, which was built in 1940. Despite the best efforts of the fire crews, the home is considered to be an total loss. Several pets were rescued, but it’s suspected that a bird may have died in the fire. The Red Cross is assisting the Garoutte family; it’s reported that the family does have insurance. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Alaska Death

August 14th, 2014

Authorities in Alaska report that Kenneth Butkovich, 51, of Castle Rock was killed earlier this week in a logging mishap near Ketchikan. The Alaska State Patrol reports that Butkovich was working Tuesday afternoon on a logging operation in an area called the Cleveland Penninsula. A tree uprooted, hitting and pinning him. Butkovich died at the scene; Alaska State Troopers say that there was no sign of foul play. Butkovich’s remains were transferred to the Alaska State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage, while his next of kin were notified.

Niemi Road Update

August 14th, 2014

The investigation continues into yesterday morning’s shooting incident at a home on Niemi Road, an incident that left Miguel Angel Milian, 30, dead, and his estranged wife seriously wounded. The incident got started just after midnight on Wednesday morning, when a 10 year-old called 911 to report that his mother had been shot in the abdomen, and that his father was still shooting the gun inside the house. Chante Marie Milian, 27, and several children were safely evacuated from the home; Chante Milian was eventually taken to a hospital in Portland, where she is being treated for her gunshot wound. After several hours, a SWAT robot was sent into the house, where the body of Miguel Milian was found. After a search warrant was obtained, Detectives went into the house, where they found a small-caliber handgun near his body. An autopsy is being done to confirm the cause and manner of death. Chante Milian is in stable condition this morning; the children were unhurt, and are staying with other family members.

Baby Located

August 14th, 2014

The Sheriff’s Office is reporting that the baby that they had been trying to get from Christina Char Moore, 30, of Longview is now in protective custody. Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig says that an unidentified woman dropped Diamond Lily Moore off at the house of a family friend yesterday afternoon, who then turned the baby over to Child Protective Services. They say that Diamond Moore is in good health, but Christina Moore is still at large. She’s now wanted on a warrant for failing to appear in court, in response to a court order. Rosenzweig says that Moore’s whereabouts are unknown. Christina Char Moore is a white female, 5’5” and 145 pounds, with light hair and brown eyes; call the Sheriff’s Office at 577-3092, or leave an anonymous tip on the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 577-1206.

St. Helens “Pipe Bomb”

August 14th, 2014

The Pathways Residential Treatment Facility in St. Helens was evacuated for about three hours yesterday afternoon, after a patient at the facility brought what was thought to be a pipe bomb that he had found into the building. St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss says that his officers were called to the facility on North 4th Avenue at about 1:35 pm, when it was reported that a resident of the center brought the device inside. The building was evacuated while the Oregon State Police Bomb Squad was called in to evaluate the device. Their examination shows that the “bomb” was actually a large, unexploded illegal firework. The Bomb Squad removed the item, and residents were allowed to return around 4:30 pm. Moss says that no further action is anticipated by his agency.

Jaime H. Beutler News

August 14th, 2014

3rd District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler says that she knew that the bureaucracy inside the Veterans Administration was bad, but she was still shocked by some of the stories shared yesterday morning by about a dozen local veterans in a roundtable discussion in Kelso. Beutler says that there are clearly some priorities that need to be defined inside the VA. Most of those who spoke expressed their frustration at the length of time and lack of communication from the VA in trying to get claims processed. Beutler says that the bill recently passed through Congress and signed by the President should start to help provide some small improvements, but she also says that it’s clear that additional changes are needed to help make sure that the VA is meeting the needs of all American veterans. U. S. Senator Patty Murray has a similar meeting planned for this afternoon in Vancouver, where she will tour the Vancouver VA facility, and will meet with top VA officials from Portland, Vancouver and Seattle to discuss wait times and care access for Northwest veterans. That meeting is set to start at 2:30 this afternoon.

During the current Congressional recess, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler is conducting a couple of other local events over the next two days. Today, Beutler is hosting a Roundtable discussion in Napavine, inviting owners and representatives of small businesses to discuss today’s challenges and opportunities. This event is scheduled to start at noon at Ramblin’ Jack’s RibEye Restaurant, just of I-5 at exit 72 in Napavine.

Tomorrow, Beutler plans to meet with U. S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe, planning to tour several sites in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Prior to the tour, Beutler will be in Stevenson for a Roundtable discussion, inviting community members to talk about the actions needed to bring forests back to health for the benefit of local wildlife and local communities. The Roundtable is scheduled to start at 9:30 tomorrow morning in the Stevenson Community Library, and then the tour is scheduled to begin at 11 am. Due to space and time limitations, these are both invitation-only events.