The Sheriff’s Office says that charges of DUI and vehicular assault could be filed against Michael Grothen, 41, of Longview, who’s suspected of being impaired while at the wheel of a car that crashed last night on West Side Highway. State Troopers say that Grothen was southbound at about 7:20 pm, in the area of Waters Road. Grothen’s SUV went off the road to the left, going through a guard rail before rolling over, eventually coming to rest some 30 feet off of the highway. Grothen was injured in the collision, along with Adam Nicholas, 40, of Longview and two 15 year-old males. Their names are not being released at this time; one of those teens was taken by LifeFlight to PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver. The other three were taken to St. John Medical Center. The crash investigation is continuing.
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The victim in a home burglary reported yesterday afternoon on Harmony Drive reportedly had a big role in helping to catch the two suspects in the case, picking those suspects up from the side of the road and delivering them into town. The Sheriff’s Office says that the case got started around 5:15 yesterday afternoon, when a break-in was reported at a home in the one thousand block of Harmony Drive. The resident reported seeing a male and a female suspect leaving the area, heading into the nearby woods. Deputies checked the area for some time, but it was the victim that helped to resolve the case. Around 9:20 pm, that person called in again, reporting that they had the suspects in the back of their pickup, heading toward Baker’s Corner. The victim says that he encountered the suspects along the side of the road; he also says that they were unaware that he knew who they were. Deputies met the victim and then arrested Baron Lohner, 29, of Longview and Julianne Marie Vanas, 44, of Kelso on a charge of first-degree burglary; Vanas is also being served with two outstanding warrants.
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The Longview City Council meets this evening, starting with a 6 pm workshop where they will discuss and may take action on the creation of an Economic Development Coordinator position. This position was approved in the 2015-2016 budget, with the intent of strengthening economic conditions and creating new opportunities by facilitating economic development in the city. It’s recommended that the City Council give the City Manager the authority to fill this position. The regular meeting starts at 7, and on that agenda will be action on the filling of the Council position that was opened up by the passing of Tom Hutchinson. Both the workshop and the regular meeting are open to the public.
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A boost in state funding is allowing for an expansion of services provided by Columbia County Transit, better known as CC Rider. The additional dollars from the Oregon Department of Transportation will allow CC Rider to initiate inter-city service between Union Station in Portland and the Astoria Transit Center. This new service will require adjustments to other lines being run right now, including Line 5 into Kelso. The adjustments add service to the Kelso run, along with Line 1 into Portland and Line 4 into Clatskanie. They’re also adding weekend service on all three of those lines. The Portland-Astoria run is expected to go live on Saturday, August 1st. Get more information on columbiacountyrider.com.
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The stage and the “Party Corral” have been cleared out of the Grandstand Arena at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds, making way for tonight’s opening of the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo at the Cowlitz County Fair. Performances are planned for tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at 7 pm; tickets are available at the Fair office, or you can buy them on-line at thundermountainprorodeo.com, or cowlitzcountyfair.com. Along with all of the other exhibits, displays, rides and games, you’re reminded to stop by the historic Bush Cabin, where the Cowlitz County Historical Society will have activities for the kids, wood carvers and local history displays. The gates open at 11 am; admission into the Cowlitz County Fair is free, but you will need a ticket to get into the rodeo.
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The Kirkpatrick Family Care Summer Concerts at the Lake continue this evening, where “Pop meets Americana” when The June Bugs come in for a free show. The concert starts at 6 pm at Martin’s Dock, and will also feature some giveaways and other community organization displays. Bring your blankets, your low-back chairs and your picnic dinner for this evening’s show; there will also be food and drink available for purchase.
Down in St. Helens, 21 Horses will be playing at tonight’s installment of 13 Nights at the River. The open-air market on the waterfront in historic Saint Helens will be open at 3 pm, and then the free concert is set to begin at 6. Food and beverage vendors will also be set up at this venue.
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The Washington Incident Management Team #5, set up at Castle Rock Elementary School, is now calling the series of fires burning in this region the “Pacific Cascade Complex” of fires, and they say that most of those fires are now in “patrol status.” The Colvin Creek Fire east of Woodland is still active, and is currently listed as 40 percent contained. 248 firefighters are working on this complex of fires, along with four helicopters. Yesterday’s plan was to extend and strengthen control lines, using hand tools and heavy equipment. Air support from helicopters is expected again today. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, though a human cause is suspected.
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A 14 year-old Longview boy is being referred to Juvenile Prosecutors on a felony harassment charge, after he allegedly used a knife to threaten a ten year-old neighbor girl, allegedly threatening to slash her throat. The incident was reported last night around 7:30 pm, at an apartment in the 200 block of 28th Avenue. The woman who called 911 claims that the boy has been pestering the girl for the past couple of weeks, leading up to yesterday’s alleged incident. After questioning several people, the teen was booked and then was turned over to his parents, while the case is referred to the Prosecutor’s office for further review.
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Scott Vanskike, 49, and Kenneth Gene Davis, 67, are both under arrest on meth possession charges after the Street Crimes Unit served a search warrant at 297 26th Avenue in Longview. The warrant was served shortly before 9 yesterday morning, with detectives claiming to have found meth and drug packaging material. Both men are being held without bail at this time, awaiting their first court appearances.
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It’s being reported that the 16 year-old Centralia boy who’s under arrest in connection with Saturday’s shooting of a 20 year-old woman near a park in Winlock will be tried as a juvenile. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher tells the Centralia Chronicle that they now believe that the teen should be charged with unlawful possession of a gun and tampering with evidence, charges that would NOT elevate the case to adult prosecution. The teen has since been returned to the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center. Meanwhile, Joseph Lowery, 20, of Winlock is under arrest on an attempted murder charge, accused of shooting the woman in the back with a .22 pistol. She was not seriously injured. In court documents, it’s claimed that Lowery sot his ex-girlfriend because she “disrespected” followers of the Insane Clown Posse. Lowery continues to be held on bail of a half-million dollars. He’s scheduled for arraignment tomorrow morning.
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