Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Stand Down 2014

October 20th, 2014

A 40-foot-by-40-foot tent has been set up, pallets full of supplies have been unloaded, and the volunteers are set up for the 2014 Cowlitz County Veterans Stand Down, which will take place today at the Washington National Guard Armory on Vandercook Way in Longview. Opening ceremonies for this event will be held at 9 am, open to all veterans in the area and their families. Veterans will be able to access hot meals and snacks, clothing and supplies, showers and haircuts, along with other services. Participants will also be able to register for claims with the Veterans Administration, get health screenings, learn about housing assistance, and connect with employment services. River City Transit will also be providing free transportation for veterans going to and from today’s Stand Down. Get more information on the Cowlitz County Veterans Stand Down Facebook page.

Kalama Vandalism

October 17th, 2014

Kalama Police are investigating a multitude of vandalism incidents that apparently took place Wednesday night and Thursday morning, with nearly 30 commercial and residential victims reported. The calls on this started coming in shortly before 5 yesterday morning, when some illegal dumping was reported in the 300 block of Military Road. Reports continued through the morning, with damage to mailboxes, dumping of political and real estate signs and one incident involving a pumpkin being smashed on top of a car. There was also a report from Kalama Hardware Warehouse, where the vandals got up onto the roof, ripped new roofing off of the building, and then they rolled three pallets of roofing insulation off of the building and into a neighboring parking lot. At this time, no suspects have been identified, but Kalama Police are following up on some leads. If you have information on this incident, call Kalama Police at 673-2165, or leave an anonymous tip on the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 577-1206.

Hash Oil Bust

October 17th, 2014

Two people are under arrest and possible charges are being reviewed against a third person after a Wednesday bust by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. They served a search warrant on a warehouse in Winlock on Wednesday, wrapping up an investigation into alleged drug sales. Chief Criminal Deputy Stacy Brown says that undercover operatives made several controlled buys of prescription drugs and marijuana from Brett Watkins, 37, and Gabriela Watkins, 40, of Winlock, helping to set the stage for Wednesday’s search warrant. Deputies went to some property in the 200 block of West Walnut Street, and claim to have found materials for making hash oil in a shed on that property. They also claim to have found ten pounds of marijuana, prescription drugs and guns. The Watkins are being charged with possession, manufacture and delivery of narcotics, and possession of more than 40 grams of marijuana. Information on the third possible suspect is being sent to the Lewis County Prosecutor for a charging decision.

Scappoose Chief

October 17th, 2014

The embattled Scappoose Police Department has a new Chief, as City Manager Larry Lehman stays in-house in promoting Norman Miller to the top spot. Miller had been serving as a Lieutenant in the department prior to being named as the Acting Police Chief in August of 2013. This came after Doug Greisen was suspended, and eventually terminated in a cloud of controversy. Miller has been with the Scappoose Police Department since 1999; he moved up through the ranks, with promotions in 2001, 2004 and 2006. Miller was chosen out of 12 applicants for the position. Miller is a life-long native of Scappoose, graduating from Scappoose High School in 1985. Miller says that it’s his goal to continue the smooth operation of the department, to keep moving forward, to be involved with the community and to have the community be involved with the Police Department.

Ballots Out

October 17th, 2014

The Cowlitz County Elections Office has a lot in its outbox today, as more than 58,000 ballots for the November 4th General Election go out in the mail. Local voters will help to elect a Representative to Congress, along with Representatives to the State House in Districts 19 and 20. Locally, contested races for Cowlitz County Commission, Prosecuting Attorney and Sheriff will be decided. There’s also an advisory vote on fluoridation of the water supply in Kalama, and voters in Cowlitz Fire District 6 are being asked to approve a maintenance and operations levy for that agency. Ballots must be postmarked by 8 pm on Tuesday, November 4th to be valid for counting, or they can be dropped off at any of the drop box locations that are open around the county. If you have questions about your ballot or need some help, get in touch by the Cowlitz County Elections Office at 577-3005, or go to their web page at

Election Rally

October 17th, 2014

You have a chance to hear from the contenders in the November 4th General Election at an “old-fashion political rally” that’s planned for tomorrow afternoon in downtown Kelso. Bill Ammons from the Pacific Barber Shop says that this will be a rain-or-shine event that will start at 1 pm at 308 South Pacific Avenue. All of the candidates on the General Election ballot have been invited, and all will get a chance to speak; it’s even reported that current State Supreme Court Justice Charles Johnson will also be coming down from Seattle to take part. In addition, they’ll be taking time to honor former Prisoner-of-War Howard Monroe, and will thank Elton Strange for helping to raise more than $21 million in support of veterans. The “Get Ready to Vote Rally” starts at 1 pm; bring your chair and whatever rain gear you might need to be comfortable, and get educated about this season’s candidates.

Energy Open House

October 17th, 2014

You can get some information on how to make your home more energy-efficient at tomorrow’s Energy Awareness Open House that’s being offered by the Cowlitz PUD. This runs from 10 am until 2 pm in the John Searing Auditorium at the Cowlitz PUD Building on 12th Avenue in Longview. You can learn about the “energy hogs” in your house, find out about energy-saving programs that are available through the PUD, and get other information, as well. They’ll also be handing out free LED light bulbs, while supplies last. The Energy Awareness Open House is free and open to anyone interested.

Leaf Bank Cancelled

October 17th, 2014

Since the trees haven’t cooperated by dropping their leaves, the first-ever “Leaf Bank” that was going to be held tomorrow and next Saturday by the Washington State University Extension is being cancelled. The plan was to collect leaves from people all around the area, which would then be used to make compost. Gary Fredericks with the WSU Extension says that the weather has been uncooperative, and there hasn’t been a significant amount of leaves dropped to be able to pull the event off. Planning is now under way for the 2015 Leaf Exchange, which is now being set up for early November of next year.

Miss Washington USA

October 17th, 2014

Evelyn Clark of Cathlamet and Starling Preston of Woodland are on their way to Burien this weekend, where she hopes to collect the crown as Miss Washington USA, with a goal of moving on to the national competition and the Miss Universe competition. Clark is currently a full-time student, and also has more than a thousand hours of community service under her belt. Tomorrow and Sunday, Clark will be competing with other women from around the state, taking part in interviews, swimsuit and evening gown competitions. Judges are also reviewing her community involvement as part of the judging criteria. The Miss Washington USA Pageant runs tomorrow and Sunday at the Highline Performing Arts Center in Burien. You can also participate by going to the Miss Washington USA web page, where you can vote for “Miss Photogenic” and “Peoples Choice.” Voting for those awards ends today. The Miss Washington Teen USA Pageant will also take place this weekend, at the same venue.

weekend Events–10/17-19/14

October 17th, 2014

The 10th annual Ryderwood Fall Arts and Crafts Fair is taking place Friday and Saturday, expanding to a full-blown quilt show at the Pioneer Hall, live music and a car cruise. This will run all day Friday and Saturday, also including a craft fair and a bake sale.

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington invite girls from all over the area to a free Swim Night that’s planned for Friday evening at Gaither Pool in Kelso. This will go from 6 to 8 pm at the pool inside Kelso High School, and is open to all girls between the ages of 5 and 18. Along with the fun events that are planned, you and your girls can get information on Girl Scouts and the ways that the group helps girls grow, learn and thrive. Call 1-800-541-9852, extension 2450 for more information.

Check out the latest offerings from Ashtown Brewing and “Happy Hour Tastes” from the Mill City Grill Friday evening at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, an event that will start at 5:30 pm. This will be held in the Ken Henderson Lobby at the CTPA, and there is a limit of 45 tickets available. Act fast by calling 575-TIXX, 575-8499.

“Halloweentown” continues the “creepy season” with “St. Helens Haunted Tours,” being offered each weekend through November 1st. The tours of the “secret, creepy and spooky” history of St. Helens will start at Plaza Square at 7 pm, starting each half-hour until 9:30 pm. Get tickets at Bertucci’s Chocolates, or go to

The Three Rivers Mall continues its “Reel Pop-Up Movies” through the weekend, with free screenings of “Sister Act,” “Mary Poppins” and “Grease.” They’ll also have matinee screenings of “Pocahontas.” This will be near the SW corner of the mall, and you can get the current movie schedule on, or on the TRM Facebook page.

The Beaver Homes Grange opens its Haunted House this weekend, going from 6:30 to 9:30 pm Friday and Saturday night. Military personnel get a dollar off of admission, and you can also shave a dollar off the entry price by bringing a food donation for the H. O. P. E. Warehouse. The Beaver Homes Grange is located off of Highway 30 near Goble, just follow the signs.

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.

Safe Kids Lower Columbia is holding a Car Seat Clinic on Saturday, going from 10 am until 2 pm at the Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue Main Station in Kelso. You can get your car seat checked for free by a certified technician, and you could even get some help in replacing outdated, obsolete or recalled car seats. You’ll need to bring the car seat that you’re using, the child that uses the seat, and ID or proof of income if you’d like to have your car seat replaced. Call 575-6280 for more information.

The monthly “Soup’s On” community lunch is planned for Saturday at the Kelso First Baptist Church on South 4th Street. The Doors open at 11:30 am, and lunch will be served until 1pm. For those who might have a need, there will also be a Clothes Closet available. Call the church at 423-2513 for more information, or if you would like to help out.

Watch out for the zombies running around the streets of St. Helens on Saturday, as the first-ever “Monster Dash” is held. This is being put on by the Rotary Club of Columbia County, looking to raise money to support local veterans. There will be 10K and 5K courses that will head out from Columbia View Park in Olde Towne St. Helens, along with a “Monster Mile” for the kids. The Shoestring Community Players is providing the “zombie talent,” also helping to do makeup for others who would like to be zombies. Check-in is at 3:30 pm, the 10K will start at 4:30 pm, and the 5K will start at 5. Following the run, Columbia County Brewing and Dockside is hosting a chili and cornbread feed.

Laura Ellis returns to the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts Saturday night, bringing a film noir-based show called “Femme Fatale” to the historic building on Commerce Avenue. This is a multi-media event, with Ellis singing in front of vintage film clips, weaving a story of ill-fated love. Curtain is set for 7:30 pm on Saturday. Contact the CTPA box office for ticket information.

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.