Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

I-5 Snafu

July 21st, 2016

All lanes of I-5 southbound are open once again, but miles of backup remain after this morning’s crash on I-5 Bridge over the Columbia River. Two lanes of the freeway into Portland were closed until about 6:30 this morning, after an SUV rear-ended an “attenuator truck” that was blocking lanes for a work zone on the southbound span at about 3:30 am. Witnesses reported seeing the driver of the car get out and run away, as the car caught fire. One of the bridge workers broke a car window, and helped rescue a woman and a child that were left in the vehicle. Two lanes of the freeway remained closed until 6:30, backing freeway traffic up for miles. Heavy traffic will remain until that backup clears; you may want to use an alternate route into Portland this morning.

Missing Man Found

July 21st, 2016

Sean McTimmons, 72, of Onalaska is reported to be safe and sound, and is no longer considered to be a missing person. Tuesday morning, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office put out an alert, reporting that McTimmons had walked away from his home after an argument, and hadn’t been seen since. It was reported that he left his cell phone and his keys, taking only his wallet with him. Lewis County Chief Deputy Stacy Brown now reports that McTimmons was found around 8 yesterday morning, hitchhiking near The Dalles, Oregon. An Oregon State Trooper made contact with McTimmons, finding that he was coherent, and was acting on his own volition. Brown says that McTimmons is safe, and the case is closed.

HHS Board Changes

July 21st, 2016

Cowlitz County Health and Human Services is announcing the creation of a new advisory board and committee structure, combining several of those boards and committees into one, larger group. A special meeting is now scheduled for 1 pm on Wednesday, August 3rd, where the Mental Health Advisory Board, the Substance Abuse Advisory Board, the Public Health Advisory Committee, the Food Advisory Committee and the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board will meet and this new structure will be rolled out. Cowlitz County Health and Human Services Director Chris DesRosier says that the department “recognizes the benefits of the diverse knowledge and skills that advisory board members bring to the table.” DesRosier says that this background knowledge remains important to the strategic direction of County Health and Human Services, and their help is needed going into the future. Call Cowlitz County Health and Human Services at 414-5599 if you have questions.

Fun Stuff

July 21st, 2016

“19 Years” of the Summer Concerts at the Lake continues tonight, with Portland-based “Sugarcane” bringing its brand of “outlaw bluegrass” to Martin’s Dock. The free concert starts at 6 pm, and the kids from the Lower Columbia School Gardens will also be there to fix you a Garden Pizza. Bring your low-back chairs or blankets; the weather should be great.

13 Nights on the River will have a country band from Portland named “Crossfire,” performing in a free show in Olde Towne St. Helens. The open-air market on the St. Helens waterfront will open at 3, and then the show will start at 6.

The Columbia County Fair is now under way, and will run through Sunday. Fair officials say that attendance was up last year, and they’re looking to continue that trend; this year’s theme is “SUN-FUN and Pigs on the Run!” The gates open at 10 am each day, and the “Teddy Bear Picnic” will take place at 10:30 this morning. Cook’s Racing Pigs will be featured at 11 am and 5 pm each day, and there will also be a “Roving T-Rex.” The NPRA Rodeo starts at 7 pm tomorrow and Saturday night, and there will be live entertainment through the entire event. The Columbia County Fairgrounds are located off of Highway 30 in St. Helens; follow the signs when you get into town.

Bigfoot?

July 21st, 2016

They’re not exactly sure what was rooting around a home on Buena Vista Road near Castle Rock yesterday morning. A little after 11 yesterday morning, a man living in the 100 block of Buena Vista called 911, saying that they could see a “very tall dark shadow in the woods, and it’s making a deep, growling sound.” The man say that it did NOT sound like a bear. The man said that the creature was “very tall”; he also said that the animal was behind some trees, and he could only see a shadow. Deputies checked the area and didn’t find anything; they also checked with neighbors, who didn’t see anything.

Body Found

July 20th, 2016

The Sheriff’s Office is now reporting that the body found Sunday night on the banks of the Toutle River east of Castle Rock is that of a 61 year-old man, and they say that the man took his own life. The body was found at about 9 pm on Sunday, while another man had been out riding an ATV. It’s noted that the spot where the body was located is fairly remote, and is not easily accessible. An autopsy was performed on Monday, and the County Coroner confirms that this was a suicide. The name of the man is being withheld until next of kin notifications are completed.

Missing Man

July 20th, 2016

Authorities in Lewis County are asking for your help in finding a 72 year-old man who is missing from his home in Onalaska. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says that Sean McTimmons left his home on McCann Road shortly after 8 yesterday morning, after an argument inside the house. It’s reported that he left on foot, leaving his cell phone and his keys at the house. It was noted that he did take his wallet with his debit card, but there have been no recent transactions on that card. They say that there has been no contact with McTimmons since he left his house; he’s known to frequent local truck stops, especially the Loves Truck Stop in Napavine. Sean McTimmons is a white male, 6’3” and 220 pounds, with white hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a trucker-style ball cap, a faded tan Carhartt vest, a red and maroon plaid shirt, blue jeans and dark brown boots. If you have information on the whereabouts of Sean McTimmons, call the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-748-9286.

Suspicious Fire

July 20th, 2016

Longview Police are being called in on a fire investigation, after an incident that took place yesterday evening at a home in the 200 block of 17th Avenue in Longview. Longview Fire crews were called to an alley in the 200 block of 17th Avenue at about 6:40 pm, when it was reported that a van was on fire. The 911 callers reported that the fire was spreading quickly, getting to a nearby tree and also threatening a house. At least one explosion was reported. Bystanders helped to get the house evacuated before the fire got there, and also helped to keep the van fire contained. Firefighters got the situation under control within a few minutes. After getting the fire knocked down and examining the scene, Longview Police were also called in. This investigation is just getting under way.

IRS Scam

July 20th, 2016

A resident of the Woodland area reports that someone claiming to be from the IRS tried to scam them out of money. That person came home and found a voice mail message from a man claiming to be from the IRS, saying that the person needed to call to “avoid further penalties and jail.” On the callback, the “agent” claimed to have a badge number and a case number, saying that the resident owed nearly $12,000 in back taxes and penalties. The “agent” said that resolution could be “settled easily” if the person would simply provide their bank account information. The 911 caller didn’t fall for the scam, so there was no loss. Deputies attempted to contact the callback number, without success.

Airport Action

July 20th, 2016

Long-awaited improvements and upgrades at the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso are moving ahead, as the Kelso City Council accepts a $528,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, money that will help to complete three major projects. Questions were asked about the city’s “return on investment” in the Airport, but Kelso Mayor David Futcher says that this a rare case where the city actually does get a return on money spent…airportgrants…Futcher points to a $141,000 contract that was awarded to Anderson Environmental Consulting of Kelso as a partial return, a contract for demolition of the old Sullivan Hangars on the west side of the airport. Other projects include the Beacon Tower Replacement and the Talley Way Perimeter Fence Construction. 90 percent the funding for these projects from an FAA grant of $528,000; the Washington Department of Transportation is funding another five percent, and the remaining five percent will be matched by the proceeds of a County Rural Public Facility Grant of just over $29,000.