Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Sediment Plan

August 22nd, 2014

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is now looking for your input on a draft plan for managing flood risk in cities along the Cowlitz River through 2035. The draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and Mount Saint Helens Long-Term Sediment Management Plan looks at several alternatives for management of flood risk for Castle Rock, Lexington, Kelso and Longview, building on the original plan that was approved in 1985. In that plan, there was recognition that additional work would be needed, involving other actions besides dredging in the lower part of the Cowlitz. In addition to a “No Action” alternative, three other alternatives are being considered, including Cowlitz River dredging only, raising of the spillway and embankment of the Sediment Retention Structure, and a phased plan that would include raising of SRS spillway crest, grade-building structures and “as-needed” dredging. The phased plan is the preferred alternate of the Corps, who says that this plan includes the specific actions and necessary flexibility for managing the Cowlitz River flood risk. The full text is available on the Corps website; open houses on the proposed plan are planned for September 10th at the Cowlitz County Expo Center and on September 17th at Toutle Lake High School. Comments are being accepted through October 6th.

County Road Work

August 22nd, 2014

Cowlitz County road work moves into the Castle Rock-Toutle area this weekend, with striping planned on roads near Castle Rock today. Roads near Toutle will be striped tomorrow and Sunday. Work also continues on the Headquarters Road Leachate Transmission System Project, with the project contractor working into Kelso over the next week. Today and next Friday, crews will be patching pavement at various locations along North Pacific Avenue North, going up to Headquarters Road. You may also encounter work crews along Pacific Avenue North, Headquarters Road, South Silver Lake Road, Holcomb Road and inside the Kelso city limits, going along Manasco Drive. Watch for traffic management and detour signs.

Steelhead Distribution

August 22nd, 2014

This year’s huge summer Steelhead run continues to pay off for the Help Food Warehouse in Longview, as they once again prepare to distribute 250 fresh Steelhead being donated by the Lake Merwin Hatchery. Today’s distribution will begin at 12:30 pm, in the parking lot off of 12th Avenue, behind the CAP offices on Commerce. To receive a fish, you will need to present a USDA commodities card or a Washington EBT card, along with some sort of container for transporting the fish. Call the Help Food Warehouse at 425-3430, extension 252 for more information.

Pop-Up Movies

August 22nd, 2014

As construction continues on the new 12-screen Regal Cinema at the Three Rivers Mall, management at the facility is looking to pump up the excitement for the new movie complex by offering free “Reel” pop-up movies, starting next Friday and running through September 7th. A “bigger than life” high-def 200-inch screen is being brought in, and free feature films will be shown, starting next Friday. The first slate of films, running from the 29th to the 31st include “Spiderman II,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Mummy” and a matinee that will run “Despicable Me.” September 1st through the 7th, they’ll be showing “Galaxy Quest,” and both “Star Trek II” movies, “The Wrath of Khan” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.” The matinee will be “Toy Story.” An up-to-date schedule is being posted on the Three Rivers Mall website and Facebook page.

Unique Tin

August 22nd, 2014

For the 40th year in a row, the “Unique is what we seek, bizarre is what we are” gearheads of the Unique Tin Car Club will be bringing together hundreds of classic and custom cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles and other vehicles for a huge show and cruise through downtown Longview. Pre-registration at the Cowlitz County Expo Center runs from noon to six pm today, with those early arrivers able to take part in the pizza party and King Brothers concert that’s will be held this evening. The gates for the show itself open at 8 am tomorrow, with 600 cars or more expected to take part. The beer garden opens at 11, and they’ll be blowing up a car at noon. The pinup contest starts at 3 pm, and then the awards presentation and parade of winners will be held at 4. The cruise on 15th Avenue goes from 6 to 9 pm, and ONLY cars with permits will be able to take part. One of the highlights of this year’s Unique Tin will be the showing of the old “Bonnie and Clyde’s” 1936 Ford coupe, which has been taken off of its perch on Ocean Beach Highway, and is now in the process of being restored.

Weekend Events–8/22-24/14

August 22nd, 2014

Thousands of runners, walkers and support vehicles will be on the roads of Columbia and Clatsop counties over the weekend, as the 33rd annual Hood-to-Coast Relay goes from Timberline Lodge to Seaside. More than 1,000 teams will leave in waves from Timberline, starting at 6:30 Friday morning. The route comes up Highway 30 to St. Helens, and then uses several back roads to make its way to Highway 202 near Mist. Be aware of the participants and their support vehicles if you’re in those areas.

Pre-registration for the 40th annual Unique Tin Car Show and Cruise starts at noon on Friday at the Cowlitz County Expo Center, and will go until 6 pm. Registered guests can take part in Friday night’s pizza party and concert by the King Brothers. The show-and-shine, swap meet, and other displays open at 8 am on Saturday, the “blow up car” is at noon, the beer garden opens at 11 am, the pinup contest starts at 3, and the award presentations are at 4. From 6 to 9 pm on Saturday, the controlled cruise will take place on 15th Avenue. Only registered cars with permits will be allowed to participate.

The Mark Morris High School Class of 1984 is holding its 30-year Reunion this weekend, meeting at 7 pm Friday night at the Shamrock Tavern on 15th Avenue in Longview. The classes of ’83 and ’85 are also invited to take part.

Youth and Family Link continues with its Family Open Gym Nights on Friday, running from 6:30 to 8 pm. You’re invited to bring the whole family down for movies, crafts, bingo and other fun. Youth and Family Link is located at 907 Douglas Street in Longview.

The Castle Rock High School Class of 1994 plans to hold a 20-year Reunion on Saturday at the Toutle River RV Park, at exit 52, just north of Castle Rock. There’s a free family picnic during the day, followed by an adults-only event at night. Go to the CRHS Class of 1994 Facebook page if you need more information.

The 50th anniversary of the Cowlitz Prairie Grange Threshing Bee is planned for Saturday and Sunday at the Robert Herren Farm, 3 1/2-miles north of Toledo on the Jackson Highway. They’ll have hourly threshing demonstrations, 150 tractors signed up for the tractor pull, a flea market, an “old iron” display and more than 100 antique and craft vendors.

The weather should be pretty decent for the “Ride and Rock” Charity Event that’s going to benefit Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. Riders in the poker run will start at the Fibre Federal branch in Woodland at 11 am on Saturday, will head up to the Johnston Ridge Volcano Observatory, and then will finish at the Bethany Vineyards in Ridgefield. After the ride, there will be a BBQ dinner, and a concert from Raeann Phillips. Go to for full details.

At the Scappoose Airpark, “Wings and Wheels” returns for its fourth annual event. They’ll have free airplane rides for kids between the ages of 8 and 17, along with displays of classic and custom vehicles, a model train exhibit, arts and crafts, food and other fun. The gates open at 10 am on Saturday.

Come to the Cowlitz Community Farmer’s Market and find produce, plants, crafts, baked goods, eggs, entertainment, and fun! Come on down and join the fun there’s something good for everyone! Hours are 9 am until 2 pm on Saturday in the parking lot on 7th Avenue, across from the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds.

The Downtown Longview Farmers and Artisans Market is open from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday at 15th and Broadway in downtown Longview. Along with the locally grown produce, they’ll have all kinds of hand-made crafts, specialty foods, flower baskets and other items for sale. Find out more by calling 957-2515.

Oil Expansion Approved

August 21st, 2014

One day after coal export plans in the Pacific Northwest took a major hit, crude oil transport plans got a big boost, as the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality approves a key air quality permit for the Global Partners oil handling facility at Port Westward. The new permit from the DEQ allows for the facility near Clatskanie to move up to 1.8 billion gallons of crude oil from trains to barges, which then travel to refineries in Washington and California. That would equate to 50 mile-long unit trains moving through Columbia County each month, double the amount that the Pacific and Western railroad tracks can currently handle. Global Partners CEO Eric Slifka says that this new permit is a key component in an expansion of the facility at Port Westward, valued at $50 million to $70 million. Slifka says that this expansion would bring hundreds of construction jobs, along with a number of permanent jobs at the facility. He did not address the impacts of additional unit trains bisecting towns like Rainier, St. Helens and Scappoose.

Arson Fire

August 21st, 2014

A car fire reported late last night in the 300 block of 28th Avenue in Longview is being investigated as a possible arson. Longview Fire crews were called to 329 28th Avenue a few minutes before midnight, when the resident of the house reported hearing a “loud bang,” and then looked outside to see the fire. A neighbor tried to help contain the fire, using a garden hose. Firefighters arrived and got the fire put out in just a few minutes. Further checking of the scene shows that this fire had been intentionally set. So far, no suspects have been identified and no arrests have been reported.

Other Fires

August 21st, 2014

It was a busy day for Longview Firefighters, as they responded to three other fires around the city. A duplex was damaged by fire at about 2:30 pm, a fire reportedly spotted and battled by a passing ice cream truck driver. After seeing the fire in the 200 block of Douglas Street, the driver called 911 and then grabbed a garden hose to try and keep the fire minimized. Officials say that he was able to get the fire put out before any serious damage was done. It’s speculated that smoker’s carelessness was the cause of this fire.

Around 5:30 pm, a brush fire was reported near the River’s Edge condos on River Road, a fire that reportedly covered a 50-foot-by-50-foot area. Firefighters were able to get that fire put out in just a few minutes, with no significant property damage done. The cause of this fire is still unknown.

Earlier in the afternoon, Firefighters responded to the 600 block of California Way, where it appears that someone lost control of a campfire. This fire was also put out before any property damage was done. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents, but they also say that these incidents show the need to be extremely careful with fire and heat sources during these extremely dry conditions.

Wallace Incident

August 21st, 2014

A 53 year-old Kelso man is being banned from visiting Wallace Elementary School for at least a year, after an incident on Monday night, where a box knife was pulled and threats were made. Kelso Police say that this is an extremely convoluted incident, with conflicting stories being told by the kids that were involved. This got started shortly before 8 pm on Monday, when several kids claimed that the man had offered to smoke marijuana with them, and then pulled a knife. They say that the man had been coming to the playground for several days. After questioning several of the kids, it was learned that they had been taunting the man, who claims to suffer from a brain disease. He reportedly admitted to talking to the kids about smoking pot, and reportedly told one 14 year-old girl that she was “cute.” The man said that he had a box knife, but officers were never able to find that weapon. In the end, the man was turned over to his mother and he’s being banned from all Kelso school property for a year.