Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Cowlitz Gardens Closure

March 23rd, 2015

Remember that the Cowlitz Gardens railroad crossing is closed again today, as Burlington Northern-Santa Fe continues some routine maintenance on the crossing. The closure was put in place at 4 this morning, and is expected to be in place until 3 pm. A similar closure is planned tomorrow and Wednesday on the Cowlitz Avenue crossing, again, starting at 4 am and continuing until 3 pm each day. Detours will be posted; use alternate routes to avoid possible congestion and delays. Get more information by calling Cowlitz County Public Works at 577-3030.

Main Flushing

March 23rd, 2015

Longview’s “Area #4” is the target area for water main flushing this week. This is the area between 15th Avenue, Ocean Beach Highway and Lake Sacajawea. Work is planned tonight through Thursday night, starting at 7:30 pm and going until 11:30 pm each evening. Advisory signs will be posted in the work areas; be aware that flushing could stir up sediment in your home plumbing, so you should flush your own pipes in a bathtub or through an outside faucet before using it for washing or cooking.

Kiwanis Centennial

March 23rd, 2015

Local Kiwanis are celebrating the centennial anniversary of the creation of the service group, and there’s a party planned for this afternoon and evening at the old Catlin Hall in West Kelso. From 4 to 7 pm today, the Kiwanis of Kelso and Longview invite you to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis International, with cake, coffee, tea and punch served by local Kiwanis member and Key Club members from local high schools. Catlin Hall is located at 106 Northwest 8th, next to the Kelso Spray Park. Locally, the Kiwanis have a long and storied history, with the first local chapter being established in 1926.

Willow Grove Death

March 20th, 2015

Autopsy results are pending on a man who apparently suffered a massive cardiac event and then died yesterday morning while he was out on the Columbia River. The victim’s wife called 911 from an aluminum boat out on the water at about 8:30 yesterday morning, saying that her husband was suffering from chest pains, and then quit breathing. The woman was able to guide the boat to the Willow Grove Boat Launch, where she was met by emergency responders from Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue and Longview Fire. Paramedics attempted life-saving techniques, but the man was declared dead a few minutes later. The body was turned over to the Coroner for additional post-mortem examination. The man’s name and age has not yet been released.

SCU Action

March 20th, 2015

Patricia Ann Tewalt, 41, of Longview is under arrest after Street Crimes Unit Detectives claim to have found meth and heroin in her house, the results of a search warrant that was served yesterday. Longview Police went to the home at 131 16th Avenue yesterday afternoon, where they claim to have seized meth, heroin, and other items related to the drug trade. Tewalt is now being held for possession of heroin and possession of meth with intent to deliver. That charge also has a school zone enhancement. The investigation continues.

State of Education

March 20th, 2015

LCC President Chris Bailey, Kelso School Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich and Interim Longview School Superintendent Greg Kirsch all say that local schools are continuing to make strides in improving student success, trying to make sure that their graduates are ready to participate in the workplace and in the world at large. All three men spoke at yesterday’s “State of Education” event at the quarterly meeting of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Board President Diane Craft says that these updates have value. Bailey says that LCC has some challenges as enrollment continues to decline, along with the amount of state funding. Still, Bailey says that the college has great things happening, pointing to the recently completed Health and Science building and the new Fitness Center as examples of creating a climate for student success. Gelbrich says that Kelso has a goal of graduating 100 percent of its students, remaining focused on the success of each and every child. Kirsch says that Longview Schools have a “good report card,” pointing to increased student learning, caring teachers and strong community support.

Fossil Fuel Failures

March 20th, 2015

There have been a couple of negative developments regarding the fossil fuel transport facilities that are in place and are being proposed for the Clatskanie area. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is fining Global Partners more than $102,000 for exceeding the permitted amount of crude oil that’s being transferred at Port Westward. The facility has a permit that allows 50 million gallons of crude to be transferred from rail cars to barges, but the company moved some 300 million gallons instead. DEQ says that this is a “serious violation,” but they only have the ability to say that the company “acted negligently.” The fine of $102,292 was actually reduced by some $15,000, after an appeal from Global Partners.

The proposed Port Westward coal transfer facility that’s backed by Ambre Energy took another hit yesterday, as the Oregon Transportation Commission once again declines to approve a $2 million grant application for dock upgrades. The OTC rejected the Port Westward application back in January, a move that eventually led to the firing of Transportation Commissioner Catherine Mater. The application came back yesterday, and was once again rejected. The Port of Saint Helens was pursuing the grant, looking for money to upgrade the dock, which was originally built in the 40’s, in support of the effort in World War Two.

Road Closure

March 20th, 2015

Cowlitz County once again has the Cowlitz Gardens rail crossing closed today, as a crew from Burlington Northern-Santa Fe does some maintenance. The crossing closed at 4 this morning, and will continue to be closed until about 3 pm. A similar closure is also planned for Monday on Cowlitz Gardens, followed by closures of Cowlitz Avenue on Tuesday and Wednesday. Detour signs are posted, and will be in place until this work is completed. Call Cowlitz County Public Works at 577-3030 if you have other questions.

Burn to Learn

March 20th, 2015

There’s a live-fire training burn planned for tomorrow just north of Kelso, an event that will serve as a kind of “graduation ceremony” for recent fire academy cadets. The house at 1111 West Side Highway has been donated by the Beacon Hill Water and Sewer District, with the cadets “responding” to the house and demonstrating the skills that they have learned in the academy, which started in January. It’s noted that firefighters need 200 hours of instruction to complete the fire academy, and then must continue to participate in “drill nights” or actual fire calls to maintain their status. Tomorrow’s Burn to Learn event will get started at 9 am and should conclude around 3 pm, with the complete destruction of the house. The public is invited to come by and view the event. Be aware that there could be some traffic congestion in this area as this event proceeds.

Mike New Memorials

March 20th, 2015

Tomorrow at 1 pm, a special memorial ceremony with full fire service honors will be held at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Longview, being held in honor of former Longview Fire Captain Mike New. The 17-year veteran of the Cowlitz 2 and Longview Fire Departments died last weekend at the age of 50. There will be a reception at the church following the service, and then that will be followed by a Celebration of Life that will take place at the Silver Lake Grange Hall, at 3104 Spirit Lake Highway, east of Castle Rock. Hamburgers, hot dogs and chips will be served, but organizers say that they will also accept other potluck dishes like salads, side dishes and desserts. The Celebration of Life will start around 3 pm, and will go until 7 on Saturday. They say that this will be a time of celebration, sharing, laughter and tears as everyone remembers Mike New and his life. All are welcome to attend.