Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Friendly Scammer

December 2nd, 2016

A Longview woman reports a twist in the phone scam calls that local residents get all the time, saying that the scammer tried to put a move on her during yesterday morning’s call. The woman contacted the Sheriff’s Office at about 11:40 yesterday morning, saying that a man had called and told her that she had been awarded a “grant.” The woman told the caller that she had not applied for any grants, and she wasn’t going to give him any information for “processing” her grant. After hearing this, the caller reportedly asked the woman to marry him. The woman declined, and she reported the exchange to the Sheriff’s Office for information.

Fishing Guide Pleads

December 2nd, 2016

A man who guides fishing trips on the Cowlitz River is pleading guilty to a violation of the Endangered Species Act, admitting in U. S. District Court that he “knowingly and willingly” possessed two wild Coho Salmon. The violation dates back to October of 2014, during a strong Coho run on the Cowlitz. Wild fish were returning with the hatchery fish, while Bill J. Swann was running trips under the “Swanny’s Guided Fishing” name. It’s reported that Swann had told his clients that it was legal to keep wild Coho on the Cowlitz, but he learned later in the trip that it was not legal. They say that Swann used a knife to remove the adipose fins from two fish that had been landed, and then he directed his clients to mark the catch on their Catch Record Cards as hatchery fish. In court, Swann’s attorney says that his client made a “dumb mistake,” and that he’s “highly embarrassed” by the case. Sentencing is being set for March of next year; prosecutors are recommending probation and a fine of between $5,000 and $10,000.


December 2nd, 2016

Community Home Health and Hospice is announcing the hiring of Kendra Zern as the new Human Resources Director for the agency. They say that Zern will be overseeing the needs of more than 300 employees across Southwest Washington, specializing in organizational culture, employee relations and HR compliance, while also focusing on operational excellence. Community President and CEO Greg Pang says that Zern has the professional expertise and compassionate spirit that exemplifies the care provided by the agency.

Weekend Events–12/2-4/16

December 2nd, 2016

They’re cutting the ribbon on the Salvation Army Christmas Center at noon on Friday, open in the old Korten’s building at Broadway and Commerce Avenues in downtown Longview. Salvation Army Captains Darryk and Sierra Dwelle invite you to come by for an Open House that will go from 11:30 am until 3 pm, and then the Christmas Center will be available to local low-income families; hours of operation are 9:30 to 11:30 am and from 1 to 3 pm Monday through Friday. Donations to support the Christmas Center can be made at businesses and public agencies that have Giving Trees at their locations. Call the Salvation Army Christmas Center at 636-4522 for more information.

The Port of Longview says that the closure of the Willow Grove Boat Launch is being extended, as dredging and repair work is completed. They had planned to re-open the launch today, but it will now remain closed through tomorrow, and will re-open on Sunday, the 4th. They say that this extra day will be used to ensure maximum accessibility, safety and usability of the facility. Contact the Port of Longview if you have questions.

You’re invited to take part in the Downtown Longview Holiday Walkabout on Friday, going from 3 to 7 pm. Start at the Columbia River Reader offices on 14th Avenue, where you’ll pick up a map and a cup of hot cider. Then, visit the 13 shops on the “Walkabout” list, where they’ll have special discounts, treats and giveaways. Get you form stamped at each shop, then drop if off at the last stop by 7 pm; completed forms will be included in prize drawings that will be held on Tuesday, December 6th. Contact the Columbia River Reader for details.

The 5th annual Festival of Nativities runs Friday through Sunday at the LDS Church on 11th Avenue in Longview. They’re going to re-create a marketplace from Bethlehem, along with having hundreds of Nativity displays from all around the world. Living Biblical scenes will be presented, and local musical groups will also perform. Hours are 4 to 9 pm each day at the church, located at 900 11th Avenue in Longview. Admission is free.

The City of Kelso opens the holiday season Friday night, with the annual Tree Lighting Festival at the Kelso Train Depot. This will run from 6 to 9 pm, going with the theme of “Christmas in Toyland.” Mayor David Futcher will light the tree at 6:10 pm, there will be Christmas music, a hayride, crafts and cookie-making stations, and prize giveaways. Santa will also be making a pre-Christmas Eve visit, looking to update his “Naughty and Nice List.”

Angel Closet invites local young ladies to come by for a Dress Giveaway for Winter Ball or other formal events, going from 3 to 6 pm on Friday and 10 am to 1pm on Saturday. All dresses are donated by members of the community; local girls can get two dresses per school year. Angel Closet is located at 1811 Washington Way in Longview, and is a ministry of Valley Christian Fellowship. Call 560-1312 for more information.

Step back in time at The Madrigal Dinner, being presented this Friday and Saturday night by the Choir and Drama departments at R. A. Long and Mark Morris High Schools. You’ll get a great four-course meal and fabulous entertainment with your ticket purchase, with seatings at 7:30 each night in the cafeteria at R. A. Long. Tickets are available in the ASB offices at each high school.

“Elf the Musical Jr.” will be presented this weekend at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. This show is based on the hit movie with Will Ferrell, with song and dance numbers added in. The Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy of Vancouver is presenting “Elf the Musical Jr.” at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday nights, and at 2 pm Saturday and Sunday. Get there early, and you can get your picture taken with “Buddy the Elf.” Call 575-TIXX, or go to for ticket information.

“Metal Fest” happens this Friday night down in St. Helens, with four bands performing at Meriwether Place. This is being promoted by Resolute, presented as a “clean and sober, kid-friendly, family event.” Proceeds from the event will support the Columbia River Fire and Rescue Toy N Joy program. Meriwether Place is located at 1070 Columbia Boulevard in St. Helens; doors open at 6 pm.

Celebrate “Christmas in July” and Christmas traditions in the Southern Hemisphere at this year’s Winterfest celebration at the Cowlitz County Historical Museum in Kelso. Bring the kids by between 10 am and 4 pm on Saturday to make crafts and learn about holiday traditions in Chile, Argentina, South Africa and French Polynesia; the Lower Columbia Storytellers will be telling their tales, and the Lower Columbia Woodcarvers will also have a display. Admission is free.

Grand opening activities are planned tomorrow at the new Tractor Supply Company store, opening on Coweeman Park Drive in Kelso, right next to Dick Hannah Toyota. This is TSC’s 38th store in Washington, and will employ 12 people. A number of activities are planned, including a hot dog fund-raiser for 4-H, face-painting and balloon animals, along with in-store specials and prize giveaways. Regular store hours are 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday, and from 9 am to 7 pm on Sunday.

The 6th annual Gingerbread Haus Contest is being held this Saturday at the Broadway Gallery in downtown Longview, sponsored by the Longview Downtown Partnership. Prizes will be awarded in Youth, Adult and Professional categories; the houses will be on display from noon until 7 pm, with prizes awarded prior to the Longview Christmas Parade.

The 36th annual “Home for the Holidays” Christmas Parade starts at 5 pm on Commerce Avenue in downtown Longview. The parade will work its way over to the Civic Circle, where Santa Claus will flip the switch to light the Christmas display. They’ll also have Christmas Carols, cider and treats.

With a theme of “Starry Nights and Frosty Lights,” the annual Longview Junior Service League Festival of Trees happens this Saturday evening at the Longview Country Club, a benefit for a variety of local organizations, and Junior Service League scholarships. The social hour starts at 6 pm, and then the live auction, entertainment and the Dessert Dash starts at 7:30 pm. Call 636-1453 for more information.

Body Rock Dance Space is holding a Holiday Open House on Saturday, running from 5 to 8 pm at 1317 Hemlock Street in downtown Longview. They’ll be open during the parade, serving hot cocoa and coffee, cookies and other treats. Donations to support the Emergency Support Shelter will also be collected.

A number of events are planned on Saturday, including the first-ever “Celebrate Christmas in Clatskanie Day.” Kids can have Breakfast with Santa at Hump’s, and there’s a Clatskanie Community Christmas Celebration from 11 am until 3 pm at the Clatskanie Cultural Center. A Cookie-Baking competition will be judged at 2 pm, there’s a free holiday movie for the kids at 3 pm in the Birkenfeld Theatre, and the community Christmas Tree lighting is set for 5 pm. There’s a Holiday Bazaar at the Castle, and businesses all around town will have special things going on.

Saturday evening in Woodland, the Moose Lodge is putting on “Winterfest,” starting at 6 pm with the Christmas Tree lighting at Horseshoe Lake Plaza. Kids can visit with Santa down by the lake, and they’ll have hot dogs, hot chocolate, coffee and cookies.

The 34th annual Toy N Joy Dinner and Auction is set for this Saturday in St. Helens, presented by Columbia River Fire and Rescue. This year’s theme is “Santa’s Tropical Holiday,” and will run from 5 to 8 pm at the Columbia County Fairgrounds. The events helps to provide food and gifts for needy families in Columbia County; last year, 500 families were served through this event. Tickets are available at several locations in St. Helens.

This Sunday, they’ll be looking to gather up all of the booty, as the ARRR Pirates put on a Day of Giving. This is in support of the Shop with a Cop events that are held by the Sheriff’s Office, Kelso Police and Longview Police, along with the Salvation Army Christmas Center. This will run from 10 am until 4 pm on Sunday at 205 Oak Street in downtown Kelso. They’ll have free cider and popcorn, and kids can get their pictures taken with Santa. Those making donations will also be entered into raffles for prizes donated by local businesses.

Kids age 10 and under are invited to the Norse Hall on Puget Island on Sunday, where their Christmas Party will run from 2 to 4 pm. Santa will make his annual visit, refreshments will be served, and they’ll have Scandinavian pastries for sale. Children are also encouraged to write notes to Santa, which will be delivered in a special letterbox. For each letter written, a one-dollar donation will be made to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

The Northwest Jazz Orchestra will present a “Big Band Christmas” this Sunday afternoon at the First Baptist Church in Longview, starting at 3pm.

Bunker Hill Fire

December 1st, 2016

Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue responded to a fire reported this morning in the 100 block of Bunker Hill Road. Local residents called 911 at about 5:10 am, after having heard an explosion. One resident reported seeing flames at a neighboring home; law enforcement officers were first on the scene, saying that a travel trailer had burned to the ground, and that the fire was spreading to a shop. It’s also reported that two people have been injured in this incident, including one person needing treatment for cuts and lacerations. There’s no word yet on the cause of this fire, or a dollar estimate on damage; The Red Cross is assisting two adults who were displaced by this fire.

Girl Dies

December 1st, 2016

Authorities in Oregon are now reporting that three year-old Emily Scarbrough has died from the injuries she received on November 22nd, when a limb fell on the girl as she was visiting her grandparents in Longview. The girl was at the home on Talkeetna Heights Road, as a commercial trimmer was working on a tree outside of the home. The limb fell and hit the girl in the head; family members tried to use their personal car to take Scarbrough to the hospital, but the little girl had trouble breathing as they were coming down the hill, so an ambulance met the family in West Kelso. Scarbrough was eventually LifeFlighted to Portland, where she died on the 24th. A GoFundMe account had been set up to help the family with medical expenses and costs of funeral services.

EPA EIS Comments

December 1st, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking aim at the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, claiming that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that the Corps has prepared for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export facility is “inadequate.” In a letter sent to the Corps earlier this week, EPA officials say that the study conducted by the Corps is “too narrow in scope,” and failed to adequately analyze possible impacts on air quality, transportation, noise, climate change, water quality and several other topics. The public comment period on the D-E-I-S ended on Tuesday, the day that the EPA’s letter was submitted. It’s reported that more than 3,300 comments have been submitted on the statement. The original schedule had the Corps releasing the Final E-I-S in the middle of next year, but the EPA is now suggesting that an entirely new study be done, with an additional public comment period. It’s not yet know how this letter might impact the Corps and the process of completing this environmental review. Cowlitz County and the Washington Department of Ecology are also completing a separate Environmental Impact Statement process.

Cellulose Fibers Sale Completed

December 1st, 2016

Weyerhaeuser is announcing the completion of the sale of its Cellulose Fiber segment, selling five pulp mills and two modified fiber mills to International Paper. The deal comes in at $2.2 billion in cash; it was first announced in May of this year, as Weyco made the move to sell off all of its paper businesses. The sale includes pulp mills in Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and Alberta, along with the modified fiber mills in Mississippi and Poland. President and CEO Doyle Simmons says that this sale “delivers compelling values for shareholders,” and marks a “significant milestone” in the journey to becoming the world’s premier timber, land and forest products company. Company officials say that they expect to use a “substantial portion” of the $1.6 billion in after-tax proceeds to pay down debt.

Gillnet Protest

December 1st, 2016

Several sportfishing groups are making an appeal to Oregon Governor Kate Brown, asking her to block the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife from altering rules regarding commercial gillnet fishing on the Lower Columbia River. Earlier this week, the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Northwest Steelheaders, the Coastal Conservation Association and the Northwest Guides and Anglers Association sent a “sternly worded” letter to Brown, threatening to hold support for ODFW if they proceed with their plans. Early last month, a proposal to allow some commercial gillnets between Sauvie Island and Beacon Rock were put forward. This will be a topic at Friday’s meeting of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, which will be meeting in Salem.

Gillnet Protest

December 1st, 2016

Several sportfishing groups are making an appeal to Oregon Governor Kate Brown, asking her to block the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife from altering rules regarding commercial gillnet fishing on the Lower Columbia River. Earlier this week, the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Northwest Steelheaders, the Coastal Conservation Association and the Northwest Guides and Anglers Association sent a “sternly worded” letter to Brown, threatening to hold support for ODFW if they proceed with their plans. Early last month, a proposal to allow some commercial gillnets between Sauvie Island and Beacon Rock were put forward. This will be a topic at Friday’s meeting of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, which will be meeting in Salem.