Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Community Conversations

October 16th, 2014

Continuing to riff on this term’s theme of “Monsters in Our Midst,” LCC philosophy instructor Dennis Shaw will be today’s presenter at the Community Conversation lectures. His lecture is titled “Dystopian Visions: Monstrous Consequences of Perceived Trends.” The lecture will start at noon in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts. Admission is free, and anyone interested is invited to attend.

Re:Voiced

October 16th, 2014

A special musical performance is planned for this evening at Rainier Junior-Senior High School, as the five-man a cappella vocal group Re:Voiced presents a concert to support the Rainier School Friends of Music. Re:Voiced performs a wide-ranging show that appeals to the entire family, including doo-wop, Motown hits and contemporary tunes from artists like Lady Gaga and Jason Mraz. Prior to tonight’s show, members of the group will be involved in a workshop with the Rainier High School Choir, and will also perform in school assemblies during the day. Curtain for tonight’s show is set for 7 pm; call 503-880-6331 for ticket information, or get your tickets at the door.

Harvest Festival

October 16th, 2014

They’re still celebrating the bounty that’s been grown at local schools, with another Lower Columbia School Garden Harvest Festival planned for today, this time at Saint Helens Elementary School in Longview. This is a day-long event, where every class in the school will cycle through a number of fun activities, including a apple cider press, a straw bale obstacle course, seed harvesting, corn shucking and of course, grilled vegetables that are fresh from the garden that the kids grew themselves. They’ll also have live music, and Steve the Rabbit will be there. Volunteers are always needed to help make these events a success. Go to the Lower Columbia School Gardens web page for more information.

Wauna Evacuation

October 15th, 2014

A power outage led to a chemical release that forced the evacuation of the Georgia-Pacific paper mill at Wauna yesterday morning. It’s reported that power to the mill was lost at about 8:15 am, when a transmission line that feeds the mill went down. Company officials say that the loss of power to the mill led to a release of chlorine dioxide, a chemical used in the paper bleaching process. This material is extremely caustic, with the ability to burn eyes, skin and lungs; exposure to this material can be fatal. It appears that the leak was contained on-site, with no exposure to the environment. A number of employees were sent home early as a precaution. Power was restored to the facility at about 10:30 yesterday morning. The Clatskanie PUD is still looking into the cause of the outage, while GP officials continue to investigate the leak itself.

Windy Weather

October 15th, 2014

The Weather Service says that we could see some gusty winds around the region, starting this morning and continuing through tonight. A low pressure system is moving north from the Central Oregon Coast, and a compression of the pressure gradient at the surface is increasing the wind velocities. Wind gusts of up to 45 miles an hour are expected along the Coast, in the Coast Range and in the Cascade Foothills. Higher gusts are possible on the beaches and on coastal headlands. As trees are still heavily loaded with leaves, wind speeds of this type have the possibility of knocking down limbs and trees. This type of damage could lead to power outages and blocked roadways. A Wind Advisory is up until 11 am for the Portland-Vancouver metro area, looking for sustained winds of 15 to 25 miles an hour, and gusts of up to 40 miles an hour. The strongest winds are expected by about 9 am. Theses winds could make for some challenging driving conditions, particularly for those of us driving high-profile vehicles.

Pickup Rollover

October 15th, 2014

Only minor injuries were reported in a pickup rollover reported yesterday afternoon on I-5 southbound between Castle Rock and Kelso. State Troopers say that the crash happened around 3:10 pm, at milepost 44 southbound. They say that a tire blew out, causing the pickup to roll several times. The driver of the pickup got out by himself, bleeding from his head and hands. The 56 year-old man from Castle Rock was taken to St. John Medical Center for treatment. His name has not been released. No citations were issued.

Amber Alert Cancelled

October 15th, 2014

Authorities in Clark County are cancelling an Amber Alert that went out last night, saying that a missing 9 year-old Vancouver boy has been recovered. Cell phones started pinging shortly before 10 last night, when an Amber Alert was issued for Andrey Vonorenko, 9, of Vancouver. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office says that he was taken by his estranged father yesterday afternoon, picked up without permission at Mill Plain Elementary School. Alexy Vonorneko, 38, had recently been arrested in Texas for domestic violence. During that time, Andrey’s mother left that state, moving to Vancouver. It’s also claimed that Alexy Vonorenko has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. At 4:25 this morning, the Amber Alert was cancelled, reporting that the boy had been safely located in Hood River, “camping” with his father. Other details haven’t been disclosed at this time.

Conviction Reinstated

October 15th, 2014

Division Two of the Washington Court of Appeals is reversing a ruling they made in May of 2013, reinstating the drug conviction of a Cowlitz County woman. In the decision issued late last week, the Appeals Court Judges say that they went back to a State Supreme Court ruling, where those justices ruled that police did not need to give a “Ferrier warning,” which is similar to a Miranda warning when the try to enter a home to serve an arrest warrant. That caused them to reconsider their decision from May 21st of last year, where they reversed the conviction of Christine Westvang for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Westvang was arrested and convicted in 2011, when authorities saw meth, marijuana and other items related to the drug trade on a desk in Westvang’s home, as they were looking for another wanted man. Westvang was convicted, but that conviction was reversed when the Appeals Court said that the “Ferrier warning” was needed. The Supreme Court granted a review of the case, based on a petition from the State, directing a review under a case called “State vs. Ruem.” Based on the ruling in that case, the Appeals Court says that this was not a “knock and talk” situation, which would have required the “Ferrier warning.” As a result, they say that Westvang’s conviction is now affirmed.

Cougar Sightings

October 15th, 2014

After a number of cougar sightings in areas of Columbia County, Oregon Fish and Wildlife is sending out information on how local residents can keep themselves, their children and their pets safe. Over the past couple of weeks, cougar sightings have been reported in Columbia City, Goble, Vernonia, Mist, Warren, St. Helens and Scappoose. In September, a St. Helens-area resident reported what they thought was the sound of a cougar attacking another animal, and it’s thought that a cougar killed a sheep near Goble. Rick Swart with ODFW says that there are only a few types of sightings that should cause concerns, and in most cases, a person can scare off a cougar by making noise and by “making themselves large.” Swart also says that these types of sightings come in flurries, and generally subside after a while. Contact Oregon Fish and Wildlife if you have concerns, or if you need more information.

Hoof Rot Meeting

October 15th, 2014

A meeting on hoof rot in Southwest Washington elk is planned for this evening in Cathlamet. This evening’s meeting is being arranged by Wahkiakum County Commissioner Dan Cothren; the Wahkiakum County Eagle reports that Cothren is extremely active on this issue, and is also challenging some of the findings that are being distributed by Washington Fish and Wildlife. WDFW is stating that a bacteria is responsible, similar to one that causes hoof problems in sheep. Along with Doctor Boone Mora, Cothren says that his research points to a malady called “leptospirosis” Cothren and Mora say that this disease is causing the problem “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” Cothren says that he wants to meet with elk hunters prior to the season, to help them recognize and understand the disease. Tonight’s meeting is set for 6 pm in the River Street Meeting Room in downtown Cathlamet.