Cowlitz County’s share of $110 million in grants from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board comes to about $1.8 million, money that will go to recreation and wildlife habitat projects in the local area. The largest award goes to Washington Fish and Wildlife, just over $1 million that will be used to purchase 549 acres of land near Merrill Lake. The land contains lava beds with tree casts, high-volume springs that feed the Kalama River, waterfalls, old-growth tree stands and native plant communities. $474,000 will go to renovating the Martin River Access Site near Woodland, upgrading the boat launch and other improvements. $171,000 will pay for patrols of the Yacolt Burn State Forest, and about $70,000 will help expand shooting structures at the Cowlitz Public Shooting Range near Castle Rock.
Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category
Eric A. Caldwell, 40, of Portland is under 24-hour watch at St. John Medical Center, under the close eye of Sheriff’s Deputies after a car theft, a shooting and a two-state pursuit that ended on I-5 near Kalama. Just after 7 last night, a call came into Columbia County 911, reporting a car theft in the Dutch Canyon area near Scappoose. Columbia County Deputies and Scappoose Police started heading that direction, as the 911 caller reported that the suspect had gone up Raymond Creek, where he apparently encountered Scappoose Officers. They also say gunshots were exchanged, with the Scappoose officers losing the suspect. Around 7:30, the suspect was found at the Fred Meyer in Scappoose. A high speed pursuit ensued, eventually going into Cowlitz County and onto I-5 southbound. The chase ended near milepost 32, when Caldwell went into the median. He was found to have gunshot wounds to his chest and arm, wounds that are said to be “non-life-threatening.” A Cowlitz County Deputy’s car also caught fire during the chase. Caldwell is now in protective custody at St. John, and faces multiple felony charges in two states. The Columbia County Major Crimes Team and Oregon State Police are leading the investigation.
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The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the death of a 55 year-old male inmate at the Cowlitz County Jail. This death was reported yesterday afternoon, as the man was in the medical unit at the jail. They say that he was with several other inmates, when they noticed that the man was not breathing. Witnesses say that the victim appeared to be OK just minutes earlier. Jail staff attempted CPR, along with the use of an Automated External Defibrillator. Ambulance and aid units were also called in; they also attempted life-saving measures, with no success. The victim’s name is being withheld at this time, so family members can be notified. Additional tests are being done to try and determine the manner and cause of death. The Sheriff’s Office says that there are no signs of foul play at this time.
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A 14 year-old boy from the Kalama area is undergoing treatment at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, after the bike he was riding collided with an SUV driving on Modrow Road. Kalama Police say that the crash took place around 11:50 yesterday morning, near a home in the 100 block of Modrow. They say that the teen was riding a bicycle that had no brakes, coming down a steep driveway. Those on the scene say that the teen even tried to use his feet to slow down, without success. The teen crashed into an SUV that was driving on Modrow Road, and was thrown some 18 feet by the impact. LifeFlight was activated, and the teen was taken to Portland for treatment. His condition has not been updated this morning.
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Informational meetings are planned today, tomorrow and Wednesday for members of Local 153 of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers, as the rank-and-file votes on a new contract offer from KapStone Paper and Packaging. Almost at the same time as it was being announced that workers had overwhelmingly voted to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice strike, the announcement about the vote was made. Voting will run today, tomorrow and Wednesday from 7 am to 8:30 pm. Contract details have not been disclosed as of yet. Two previous contract offers have been overwhelmingly rejected by the union membership. Health care contributions, seniority and job transfer rules have been the main sticking points to date.
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After repairing the southbound lane of 30th Avenue between Field and Fir Streets in Longview, work shifts to the northbound lane this week. Starting at 7 this morning, northbound 30th Avenue will close, with traffic detoured to Fir, 28th and Field. Southbound traffic will not be affected. Use alternate routes to avoid delays. Cowlitz County is suspending paint-striping activities this week, but they will be chip-sealing in the Castle Rock and Toutle areas, today through Friday. Work also continues on the Hazel Dell Road Reconstruction Project.
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Fire crews have been busy all weekend, dealing with brush fires all around the region. One of the largest was a seven-acre brush fire near Fredrickson Road near Woodland, burning near the top of Davis Peak. Fredrickson Road is currently closed to all but local traffic. Crews from several local fire agencies are joining in the response. A small power outage was caused by a Saturday brush fire near the Three Rivers Golf Course, there was another small fire yesterday afternoon on South Toutle Road, along with Thursday afternoon’s three-acre fire off of Germany Creek. No significant property damages was reported in any of these incidents.
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LCC President Chris Bailey, his son Brennan and his daughter-in-law Ashley apparently have exceeded their fundraising goal as they rest their feet following a 500-mile walk from Orick, California to Chehalis. The trio had a goal of raising $5,000 for education, each with their own benefactor. Chris Bailey was walking for the LCC Student Success Fund, Brennan Bailey walked to raise money for a fifth-grader at Olympic Elementary School in Chehalis, while Ashley Bailey was raising money for a girl who’s graduating from W. F. West High School, and want to pursue a STEM degree, going after a career in science, math or technology. As of this morning, the family’s GoFundMe account was up to $5,346, and is still accepting donations. Get more information on GoFundMe.com.
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The East Fork of the Lewis River is among 30 rivers and streams that are being closed to all fishing, as drought conditions persist across the region. Fishery managers are also declaring a moratorium on all sturgeon fishing in the Columbia and Snake Rivers above Bonneville Dam. This step was taken after the carcasses of at more than 80 dead and dying sturgeon on the river banks in the past two weeks. It’s noted that most of these were large fish, at least five feet long. Warm water and low flows are suspected as stress factors that are leading to the die-off. Water temperatures above Bonneville are currently averaging 73 degrees, nearly ten degrees over the last five-year average.
Fishing restrictions are also going up on 30 other streams across the state, including the East Fork Lewis. The closures go into effect tomorrow, and will remain in effect until further notice. Downstream from Lewisville Park, the East Fork Lewis will be closed to fishing. Upstream from Lewisville, “Hoot-Owl Restrictions” will be in place, allowing fishing only from midnight until 2 pm each day. Fishing would NOT be allowed after 2 pm, going until midnight. Washington Fish and Wildlife has all of the details.
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There’s a Red Flag Warning up for SW Washington and NW Oregon, starting tonight and going through tomorrow night, as high temperatures once again approach 90. WDFW is also imposing fishing restrictions on streams throughout the state, as river flows continues to dwindle. All sturgeon fishing is being shut down above Bonneville Dam, starting tomorrow. The East Fork of the Lewis River is also being closed to fishing below Lewisville Park. “Hoot Owl Restrictions” will be in effect upstream of the park, with fishing allowed only from midnight until 2 pm each day.
Fire crews were up again this morning west of Longview, dealing with flareups connected to a brush fire reported yesterday afternoon near Germany Creek. The fire was reported around 4 pm, eventually growing to about 4 acres. 40 firefighters and a helicopter worked on the fire, with a goal of having containment by last night. Crews were sent out again this morning, after smoke was reported to be drifting across Ocean Beach Highway. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
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