It’s now reported that a wheel that came off of an RV was responsible for yesterday morning’s truck crash that closed lanes of Highway 30 near Trojan. Oregon State Police say that the crash happened shortly before 11 yesterday morning, when an auto parts truck going from Hillsboro to Castle Rock rolled over on an embankment near milepost 42. OSP says that an RV was coming in the opposite direction when they lost a wheel. The box van hit the wheel and then was sent over a guard rail. Heavy extrication equipment was needed to free the driver, who was taken to Portland by LifeFlight; his injuries were first described as “serious;” hospital officials said later that he wasn’t hurt that badly, and was held overnight for observation. Traffic backed up for miles as the highway was completely closed until about 3:30 pm. OSP should still have additional information out later today.
Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category
The Longview Police Department is joining the social media wave, announcing the rollout of the department’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts. Community Service Officer Cindy Lopez Werth says that both accounts are listed under LongviewPD, all one word. Lopez Werth says that “this is a great opportunity for the department to interact with the community and to share valuable information in a timely manner.” She’s one of the Public Information Officers that will help to manage the Facebook page, which will be used to post information and pictures, along with links to law enforcement and other partner agency pages. Lopez Werth says that they plan to use the Twitter account for more immediate and time-sensitive situations, like major road closures and emergency incidents. The Facebook page is listed under LongviewPD, NOT the Longview Police Department page from Longview, Texas, nor is it the unofficial Longview Police Department Police Station page, which was started back in 2011. Go to Facebook.com/LongviewPD to find out more.
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You’re invited to the Grand Re-opening of the Performing Arts Academy, located at 1215 and one-half Commerce Avenue in downtown Longview. From 11 am to 1 pm today, there’s a ribbon-cutting and registration; registration will also be open from 5 to 7 pm today through Friday evening. You can drop in during any of those times for a tour, dancing and crafts; it’s also noted that “the first class is always free.” First opened more than 30 years ago, the Performing Arts Academy bills itself as the “premier dance academy in the Pacific Northwest.” Find out more by going to their Facebook page, or by going to performingartsacademywa.com.
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After a smoke-filled weekend, onshore winds are expected to help clear the air in the local area, while thousands of firefighters continue to battle blazes all across the Northwest. At this time, traffic is being detoured off of the Sunset Highway near the Washington-Columbia County line, due to a wildfire that started yesterday about five miles west of Manning. The highway is closed to all traffic at this time, detoured onto Highway 47. The full closure of the road has been in place since at least 2 pm yesterday afternoon, and there’s no ETA yet on when it might re-open.
The fire that was responsible for the smoky skies and poor air quality in this area is currently listed at about 15 percent containment. Fire managers say that the Cougar Creek Fire near Mount Adams now covers more than 30 thousand acres, with more than 550 firefighters on the lines. There’s still “extreme” fire behavior along the northeastern flank of this fire, but the south and southeast flanks are holding well. Work continues to strengthen these fire lines.
Local residents are working to support the thousands of men and women who are on the fire lines, collecting bottled water, Gatorade and other sports drinks to help fuel these efforts. Donations of water, sports drinks and energy bars are being accepted today at Norco Medical on Vandercook Way in Longview, and at Valley Christian Fellowship in Longview. Norco Medical will be accepting donations from 9 am until 5 pm today and tomorrow, while donations are accepted from 9 am until noon today and tomorrow. Norco Medical is located at 925 Vandercook Way, while Valley Christian Fellowship is located at 2844 30th Avenue, on the corner with Pacific Way. Both groups are coordinating with disaster relief agencies to get these donations delivered.
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Autopsy results are pending on Jeffrey Allen Miller, 55, of Longview, who was found dead this past weekend. A clerk at the Economy Inn on Hemlock Street in Longview reported finding Miller dead in his room; Longview Police say that there didn’t seem to be any suspicious activity or signs of foul play connected to the death. Miller was an all-star athlete at R. A. Long High School in his youth, and had continued his connection to the local sports scene by working as an official in local sports leagues. Memorial services are also pending.
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Less than three weeks after being placed on paid administrative leave following alleged racist behavior, Clatskanie Police Chief Marvin Hoover is being “retired” by the City Council. The Clatskanie Chief reports on the action taken after an executive session that was held last Tuesday. On the 5th of this month, Hoover was put on leave, after it was learned that Hoover had made some “racial comments.” At last Tuesday’s executive session, the Council voted 5-1 to “allow” Hoover to retire, a move that would close the investigation into his alleged activities. Under this arrangement, Hoover will receive four month salary as a separation package, along with his PERS retirement package. The city is in the process of finding an interim chief; the search for a permanent chief is expected to take several months. Hoover has been the Clatskanie Police Chief since 2002.
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If you’re heading through the Woodland Bottoms during this week, you may encounter Cowlitz County road crews that are doing chip sealing in that area. A number of roads in that area will be chip-sealed, starting today and going through Thursday. County officials also say that work on Coal Creek Road and Hackett Road is finished, while the Hazel Dell Road Reconstruction Project continues. Work also continues on a slide repair project up in the 4300 block of Kalama River Road, along with a safety improvement project in the 2900 block of South Silver Lake Road.
In addition, the Harrison Avenue on-ramp to I-5 Northbound in Centralia will be closed at night for most of this week. Nighttime closures of the ramp will begin tonight and will run through Thursday, going from 10 pm to 5 am each night. Friday night, the closure starts at 10 pm and goes until 7 am on Saturday. Drivers trying to get on I-5 Northbound will actually need to go southbound to the Chamber Way exit, and then they can catch the northbound freeway at that point. Work on this project is expected to extend into next year.
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Starting this morning, anglers out at Buoy 10 are going to have to release wild Chinook salmon. The bi-state Columbia River Compact came to this decision after evaluating catch rates so far, saying that high angler turnout and “soaring catch rates” are pushing the fishery toward its quota of 34,800 salmon. They say that’s close to 70 percent of the total to be allowed. They say that this change is needed, to help insure that the fishery stays open through Labor Day. Under the new rules, anglers are now limited to one hatchery adult Chinook, with a clipped adipose fin as part of their two-fish limit. Wild, unmarked salmon and steelhead must be released. They’re maintaining the preseason forecast of more than 925,000 fall Chinook in this year’s run, along with more than 539,000 Coho. Both numbers are well above the ten-year averages.
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Weyerhaeuser and the North Pacific Paper Company are announcing the rollout of a new product, billed as an “environmentally-friendly office paper” called “Natural Choice.” This new paper comes after two years of testing, using Douglas fir fibers processed through the “ground wood” process, rather than the traditional chemical pulping process. NORPAC mill manager Craig Anneberg says that they’re aligning this product with a resource that’s available in this area; this ground-wood process also improves production; it’s reported that the more than half of the pulp is lost through the chemical process, when compared to the ground-wood process. They say that the average Doug fir can produce about 13 cartons of paper, or about 65,000 sheets. It is noted that the “Natural Choice” paper may appear to be slightly darker than what you might be used to, since the ground-wood paper is harder to bleach. Primary production is being done here in Longview, then large rolls are shipped to the Midwest for trimming and packaging.
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The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate a Wednesday afternoon motorcycle crash east of Rainier, resulting in the death of Stephen D. Pelfrey, 59, of Rainier. Sheriff Jeff Dickerson says that the crash happened around 4 pm on Wednesday, near the intersection of Nicolai Road and Orr Road. They say Pelfrey’s motorcycle left the road and went through a fence; Pelfrey was declared dead at the scene. Autopsy results are pending.
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