Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

“Big Event” Rally

July 22nd, 2014

About 100 people came to yesterday’s “Big Event” political rally, an event arranged by Kelso barber Bill Ammons as a way for people to hear from all of the candidates for all of the races that are on the August 5th primary election ballot. At least 20 candidates spoke at yesterday’s rally, which Ammons hopes will motivate people to be involved in the process…ammonsrally…While the highlights of the rally included speeches from contested races like County Sheriff, Prosecuting Attorney and County Commissioner, even office holders that are running unopposed took time to stop by and speak to the crowd. Ballots for the Tuesday, August 5th Primary Election were mailed out late last week, and should have already shown up in your mailbox. Contact Cowlitz County Elections at 577-3005 if you haven’t received your ballot by the end of this week. Ballots must be postmarked or dropped off by 8 pm on Tuesday, August 5th to be valid for counting. Additional information is available on the Cowlitz County Elections website.

PUD Hearing

July 22nd, 2014

The Cowlitz PUD Commission is holding a special meeting and a public hearing this evening, where they will take comments on a proposed residential rate hike. Tonight’s hearing follows the recommendations of the Electric Rate Advisory Committee, which said that the utility should raise the PUD’s “base rate” by $5. This is part of a three-year process to equalize the portion of rates paid by residential, commercial and business customers; a comprehensive study that was completed last year shows that commercial and business customers have been subsidizing residential customers, which is a violation of state law. After the report, PUD officials developed a multi-year process for equalization of the rates. Tonight’s hearing is set for 7 pm in the John Searing Auditorium at the Cowlitz PUD Building, and is open to anyone interested.

Library Programs

July 22nd, 2014

The Cowlitz County Health Department will be talking about some of the “less pleasant,” but natural processes that we all go through at this week’s Summer Reading Program presentation, putting on a show called “Grossology” at local libraries. They’ll be talking about burps, farts and other unpleasantries in programs that are set for 11 am today at the Kelso Library, and then at 2 pm in the Castle Rock Library. “Grossology” programs are also planned for 3 pm tomorrow at the Longview Library, and at 2 pm on Thursday at the Kalama Library. All area kids are invited to attend.

From 3 to 6 pm today, the Longview Public Library will be one of 14 sites in Washington state that will be hosting the “UNI Early Learning Kiosk.” The resources of this kiosk will be the centerpiece of today’s “Celebrating A STEM-tastic Community,” highlighting providers of science, technology, engineering and math programs around the area. The UNI program consists of cubes that create an attractive street-level public gathering space, also providing access to high-quality books and hands-on early learning activities. The concept is to boost the parent as the child’s first and most important teacher, while also sparking the child’s curiosity and imagination. Today’s “STEM-tastic” event is geared to children from zero to six years of age, and will also feature other activities and demonstrations. “Celebrating A STEM-tastic Community” is free, with no library card or registration required.

Fair Entries

July 22nd, 2014

We’re into the home stretch prior to Thursday’s opening of the 2014 Cowlitz County Fair. Entries in the Vegetables and Fruits competition are being accepted from 9 am until 9 pm today, along with Grange entries. Entries in the Floral competitions are being accepted from 6 to 9 pm this evening. The final deadline for Floral entries is from 7:30 to 9:30 tomorrow morning; your last chance to get Vegetable and Fruit entries and Grange entries is from 8 am until 9 pm tomorrow. Forestry and Natural Resources entries will be accepted from 9 am until 4 pm tomorrow. Get additional information by contacting the Cowlitz County Expo Center at 577-3121.

River Body

July 21st, 2014

The Cowlitz County Coroner and the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office are now working to identify a body found floating in the Columbia River near Woodland. A fisherman reported seeing the body floating in the water yesterday afternoon, drifting in the area of Lions Day Park. Shortly after the initial sighting, several other anglers reported seeing the body. Those on the scene reported that the body was extremely decayed, and appeared to have been in the water for an extended length of time. Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig reports that it does appear that the body had been in the water for several weeks or longer. Coroner Tim Davidson now has possession of the body, and is now working to identify the person, along with pinpointing the date, cause and manner of death. Witnesses reported seeing some specific characteristics, but Rosenzweig says that because of the extensive decomposition, they’re not speculating on the gender or age of this person. Additional information should be coming from the Coroner’s Office.

Bridgewater Passes

July 21st, 2014

After dealing with heart problems for the past several years, former Cowlitz County Prosecuting Attorney and Washington State Court of Appeals Judge C. C. Bridgewater died over the weekend, passing away at the age of 70. Today’s Daily News reports on Bridgewater’s passing, saying that he died at home early yesterday morning. After several years in private practice, Bridgewater was first elected to be the Cowlitz County Prosecutor in 1986; he also won re-election in 1990. In 1994, he was appointed to the Appeals Court bench, a position he held until 2010, when he suffered a massive heart attack while vacationing in Germany. After missing the deadline to file for re-election, Jill Johanson was appointed to succeed him. Despite his cardiac issues, Bridgewater was still active in a number of local causes and organizations. It’s reported that Bridgewater was aware of his impending death, so he went home with his wife, Kay and asked for his favorite meal. After eating about half of his anchovy pizza, Bridgewater went to sleep, and peacefully passed away early yesterday morning. Memorial services are pending.

Children Moved

July 21st, 2014

Longview Police report that two children who allegedly had been left unattended were taken out of an apartment on 33rd Avenue yesterday morning, after their mother was arrested on an outstanding warrant. This got started around 7:40 yesterday morning, when residents of the 800 block of 33rd Avenue reported some “suspicious people” in their area. Officers responded and met with 34 year-old Kenneth Anthony Nestor of Longview and 30 year-old Vanessa Melissa Campbell of Longview. They say that Nestor had warrants for contempt of court and driving while suspended, while Campbell was also wanted on a contempt of court warrant. Officers also learned that Campbell’s two and nine year-old children had been left unattended at an apartment several blocks away. With assistance from Child Protective Services, those children were removed from the apartment, and were eventually turned over to relatives. Nestor and Campbell are now being held in the Cowlitz County Jail.

Vancouver Crash

July 21st, 2014

Levorne Akles, 53, of Kelso is being charged with negligent driving, no insurance and hit-and-run after a crash that took place early this morning on SR 500 in Vancouver. State Troopers say that the crash happened at about 3:20 am, on SR 500 at Thurston Avenue. Akles was reportedly driving eastbound, when his car swerved off the left side of the road, crashing into the concrete barrier. Akles did get shaken up in the crash, and was eventually transported to St. John Medical Center in Longview as a precaution. Troopers claim that Akles was not wearing his glasses, and reported that he was extremely tired prior to the collision. His car has been impounded as the crash investigation continues.

Self-Service Internet

July 21st, 2014

The Longview Library plans to fire up its self-service internet reservation system today. Starting this morning, people who come into the Longview Library to access the internet will be able to make their own appointments, using new kiosks that have been installed. Library officials say that the patrons will use their library cards to set appointments for the next available computer; they’ll also be able to reserve future slots, also using their library card. Card users will also be able to preview their print jobs prior to going to the payment kiosk, which should help to cut down on excess and unwanted pages being printed. Patrons who bring their own laptops or other devices running Windows software will also be able to print on Library printers, using the Wi-Fi signal in the building. Guest passes for use of the Library computers will also be available. Call the Longview Library at 442-5300 for more information, or go to the Longview Library website.

Teen Training

July 21st, 2014

A six-week strength training class for local teens is scheduled to start today at the YMCA of Southwest Washington in Longview. This course will run from 1 to 2 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through August 29th, taught by a certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach. The program is intended for 15 to 19 year-olds of any fitness level, working to teach safe training methods for a variety of strength-building regimens. Training will be offered in cardio, Nautilus, free weights and resistance training. They say that the goal is to provide quality training, which will help to build a solid foundation for sports, personal growth and life-long healthy living. A minimum of six students are needed to run the class, and there is one scholarship available. Call Fitness Director Lisa G. at 423-4770 for more information.