The Columbia River PUD says that a lawsuit filed by the former General Manager of the utility has been settled, saying that the case has been resolved without going to court. Last year, Kevin Owens filed suit against the PUD, claiming that a PUD official made “disparaging comments” about the former GM, which he claimed was a violation of the separation agreement he signed in 2014. That agreement says that neither side would have negative or disparaging comments in the media. Further study showed some improprieties in the agreement, and that Owens had also made “disparaging comments.” The PUD filed a counter claim, citing at least one incident where Owens made such comments. Late last week, a settlement was reported, with Owens agreeing to pay the PUD $5,000. All parties also agree to release all claims against the other. Other details were not released.
Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category
As the rain continues to fall in the local area, the Department of Natural Resources is lifting the outdoor burn ban west of the Cascades, effective at 12:01 this morning. Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark says that the fall weather pattern shows that it’s time to lift the ban; conditions are also improving east of the mountains, and they say that campfires will be allowed in established pits in designated campgrounds on the east side of the Cascades. There are some restrictions; there are some portions of Northeastern Washington that still have a ban. There are also local restrictions that could stifle your outdoor burning plans. Check with your local fire agency to get the most current regulations.
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Work is now under way on a roadway improvement project on Yew Street in Kelso, working between South Pacific Way and South 7th Avenue. The City of Kelso is contracting with Nutter Corporation of Vancouver, for a project to improve the roadway on Yew, along with the installation of a stormwater utility system along South 7th and Walnut. Work will be done during daylight hours, and is expected to take between three and five months. Local access will be maintained for local residents and guests, but they also say that short delays are possible. Some of this work is weather-dependent, and could extend the project. The city says that every attempt will be made to reduce delays. Call 577-3322 if you have questions.
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This is the last day to get your pressure canner lid tested this year. The WSU Extension will be doing that testing from 10 to 11:30 this morning, helping you to make sure that your canner is working properly, and insuring that your canned foods will be properly sealed. There’s a small cost for each lid that’s tested. Call 577-3014 for more information.
The Longview Public Library is offering another Basic Computer Class today, going from 1 to 3 pm today in the Library Auditorium. This is for people who have little to no computer experience, helping you to improve that literacy, and to help folks become more comfortable with these devices. There’s no need to bring a laptop or other device, as they’ll be using the library’s laptops for the class. There is a limit of ten students, so you should call 442-5300 to sign up.
This evening’s Business After Hours event will take place at SERVPRO of Longview, running from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. They’ll have great food and beverages, along with raffles and great information about this cleanup and restoration company. You do need to register before you attend; go to the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce web page, or call 423-8400 to sign up.
The King Brothers will play at The Sock Hop that’s being put on tonight by the Longview Pioneer Lions. Tonight’s event is a benefit for the Lions’ Scholarship Program, Camp Leo for diabetic kids, and other community project. Your ticket will also include a nacho/taco snack bar. The doors open at 6 at the Elks lodge on Ash Street in Kelso, and then the program will run from 7 to 10 pm. Contact the Elks for tickets.
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The Longview School Board meets in special workshop this afternoon, where they plan to discuss concepts for dealing with the master plan for dealing with district facilities. Recent reports shows that the district has upwards of $200 million in capital needs over the next 30 years, and needs to figure out a way to pay for this needed upkeep and repair. Right now, three main ideas are jelling; the “Conservative Plan” would cost a projected $81 million, would work over five years, and would delay a decision about Longview’s high schools until after that five years. The “Mid-Range” Plan would go five to 15 years, would cost between $160 million and $234 million; all elementary schools would get lunchrooms, Mint Valley would be replaced, and options for the high schools would be considered. The “Long-Range” plan covers 30 years at a cost of $194 million. This plan would close four or five buildings, and would also look at options for the high schools. This afternoon’s meeting starts at 5:30 pm in Longview School Board meeting room, and it open to the public. No action will be taken at this evening’s meeting.
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The Fall Quarter opens today at Lower Columbia College, and the college is hoping to make things a bit easier and more welcoming for new students. From 7:30 to 11:30 am today, LCC staff will be set up in the Outdoor Pavilion next to the Student Center, serving coffee and hot apple cider, while also handing out campus maps and coupons for the LCC Bookstore. They will also be available to answer questions, and provide information to new students trying acclimate themselves to the college. LCC also has answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the start of classes posted on the college Facebook page.
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Skamania County Search and Rescue helped a hiker who got into some trouble Saturday afternoon near Mount St. Helens. Around 4:20 Saturday afternoon, a man was able to connect with Cowlitz County 911, saying that he was stranded in the valley below the Johnston Ridge Volcano Observatory. The man says that he had been dropped off by June Lake on Friday, and was hiking toward Johnston Ridge when he started getting disoriented. The man said that he was lost, it was cold and raining, and he didn’t really have rain gear. The man says that he could see the observatory, but he was on the valley floor, unable to make the climb. The man was able to pitch his tent and get inside, while authorities worked to pinpoint his location. Skamania County Search and Rescue was activated, and came in to get the man from the Windy Ridge side of the mountain. He was reported to be cold, wet and hungry, but was unhurt otherwise.
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An autopsy confirms that the victim in Friday morning’s fatal house fire on Burcham Street in Kelso died from smoke inhalation. Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue reported last Friday morning that the male resident at 2410 Burcham Street died in the blaze that destroyed the house, and they identify that man as Robert Earle Sieglitz, 45. His ex-wife says that he had been living in the basement of the house, and he was asleep when the fire broke out. The ex-wife, Delilah Wolfe, says that she tried to rouse Seiglitz, but she was forced back by the heavy smoke. Wolfe was also treated for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is still be researched; the house is considered to be a total loss, valued at $162,000.
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Longview Police report that an arrest has been made in connection with the robbery of the Freedom Market marijuana store on 14th Avenue. LPD detectives say that citizen tips held lead to the arrest of Paul Frederick Neth, 36, of Kelso, some three days after the event. At about 8:30 Tuesday night, a man with a bandana over his face came into a store with a bag over his hand, implying that he had a gun. The suspect ran off, after getting about $500 cash. LPD posted screen captures from the store security video, which led to this weekend’s arrest. They say that he will have his first appearance in Cowlitz County Superior Court later today. Longview Police are thanking the people for their help in identifying this suspect.
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Longview Police is going to Facebook again this week, looking for help in finding the person or persons who have been using a BB gun or a pellet gun to shoot windows out of cars on the west end of Longview. They say that this is happening late at night or early in the morning, with incidents reported on Curtis Drive, the 4200 block of Pennsylvania Street, Virginia Way, Laurel Road and Memorial Park Drive. If you can help out with this case, you’re asked to leave a private message on the LPD Facebook page, or call Community Service Officer Cindy Turpen at 442-5800.
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