Archive for October, 2013

Gun Ban Lifted

October 28th, 2013

The St. Helens School Board is reversing a previous decision, and will now allow guns to be carried as concealed weapons on school grounds. Back in March, the St. Helens School Board enacted a ban on all guns on school district property, even if someone had a concealed weapons permit. After some turnover on the School Board, the issue was re-visited at last Wednesday’s meeting, and the ban was rescinded on a 4-1 vote. Board member Ray Biggs says that he now feels that local kids are “more protected” now, citing the NRA mantra of “the only way you can stop a bad person with a gun is by having a good person with a gun.” Teachers and other school district personnel with concealed weapons permits will now be allowed to carry those weapons on school grounds in St. Helens.

Survey Presentation

October 28th, 2013

The Longview School Board meets this evening, with some long-awaited information to be presented at tonight’s meeting. Ben Pantinkin with Patinkin Research Strategies is scheduled to deliver the results of a scientifically-valid phone survey that the district conducted earlier this year, asking residents of the district about their opinion in regard to possible school consolidation. Since the beginning of this year, the School Board has been collecting information and soliciting input in regard to the possible closure and consolidation of facilities, as enrollment in the district continues on a downward trend.

The School Board is also scheduled to take action on a resolution to place a replacement levy on the February ballot, looking at a four-year levy to replace the Maintenance and Operations levy that expires at the end of next year. In conjunction with that, the School Board will be asked to approve a Technology and Capital Projects levy, also replacing a similar levy that expires at the end of next year. Tonight’s meeting starts at 7:30 pm, and is open to the public.

Jail Delay

October 28th, 2013

The Cowlitz County Corrections Department is announcing the indefinite suspension of inmate visitations, as equipment upgrades are installed at the County Jail. County Corrections officials say that inmate visitations will be suspended indefinitely, starting today. They also say that these upgrades will suspend commissary, phone debits and money additions to inmate accounts. Corrections Director Marin Fox Hight says that they apologize for the inconvenience and hope to have the upgrade completed in a timely manner. An update will be provided as the upgrade is completed. Call Cowlitz County Corrections at 577-3094 if you have other questions.

SKNA Meeting

October 28th, 2013

The second meeting of the South Kelso Neighborhood Association is planned for this evening, starting at 5:30 this afternoon in the Wallace Elementary School Gym. Organizers say that they’re planning to work on establishing the foundations of the organization and will work on identifying community projects. Everyone in South Kelso is invited to attend this evening’s meeting, and refreshments will be provided. If you have questions, or if you’d like more information, call the Kelso City Manager’s Office at 577-3301.

Bids Due

October 28th, 2013

You have only a few more days to get your bid in on the Park Model home that was hand-built by the Kelso High School Geometry and Construction class. The home is complete, with a full bedroom and loft, a full kitchen, bathroom and dining area; it also includes a ductless heat pump and a outdoor deck. There’s a minimum bud of $35,000 for the home, and bids must be in no later than noon on Thursday, the 31st. Bid packets are still available through the Kelso School District website, or you can call 501-1839 for more information.

Sprout Film Fest

October 28th, 2013

There’s a special film festival planned for today in the local area, with free screenings of films that highlight people with disabilities. The Sprout film Festival is a national film event, showcasing people with disabilities and their lives. The first showing is planned for 1 pm at the Rose Center for the Arts, and then the second screening will be held at the Kelso Theatre Pub, starting at 6:30 pm. Admission is free, though they will be accepting donations for the Arc of Cowlitz County at both screenings. Call 425-5494 for more information.

KLOG Monday Sports

October 28th, 2013

The 6-1 Seattle Seahawks take the national stage tonight as they play the Rams in St. Louis on Monday Night Football…..Also in St. Louis, the World Series continues tonight with game five. The Cardinals and Red Sox are tied 2-2 after Boston won 4-2 last night. Jonny Gomes 6th inning three run homer gave the Sox the runs they would need. Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright face off in game five tonight, KLOG 4:00 pm…..Family, fans, friends and former players all gathered at Hec Ed yesterday to honor the life on Don James. The former Husky head coach recently died of cancer at 80. There were several tributes with the message of James attention to detail and his ability to balance family life…..Pre-sale tickets for Friday’s Civil War game begin Wednesday at RAL and MM.

Water Update

October 25th, 2013

The Longview City Council is directing city staff to move ahead with several measures intended to help improve water system delivery, as well as starting to compensate citizens for some of the damage that they’ve suffered. Mint Farm Water Treatment Plant project manager Amy Blain says that the system is steadily improving…waterupdate…The City Council is also moving ahead with several recommendations in regard to the situation. Residents of the worst-affected area of town will now be able to apply for a 50-percent water rate reduction, retroactive to February 1st, when the complaints first started coming in. Businesses will also be able to apply for a rate reduction, based on consumption. The Council also declared an emergency, moving replacement of the Baltimore water main to the front of the list, also allowing the city to bypass regular bidding procedures to get that project started immediately. The cost of that project is put at about $1.9 million, and is expected to take about three months to complete. The city is also continuing some testing programs, expanding contracts with Confluence Engineering and Kennedy and Jenks for testing and design of phosphate injection equipment; introduction of those chemicals could help to prevent iron, manganese and other minerals from dropping out of the water, reducing the scale problem, along with staining, color and odor. Another update is planned in a couple of weeks.

Weyco Results

October 25th, 2013

Weyerhaeuser is out with third-quarter results today, and the news is pretty good. Weyco “beat the street” this morning, announcing net earnings of $157 million, up from $117 million in the same quarter last year. Net sales were also up 23 percent, coming in at $2.18 billion. Wall Street analysts had been predicting 21 cents per share in this quarter; the results came in at 27 cents per share. Better-than-expected home sales helped to move the report to the plus side, along with the acquisition of Longview Timber. Weyerhaeuser has been trying to sell its homebuilding business for some time, and reportedly is in “advanced talks” to sell that segment of the company to Tri Pointe Homes, Inc. for $2.7 billion.

Abduction Investigation

October 25th, 2013

A Castle Rock-area man got a surprise visit from the Sheriff’s Office yesterday afternoon, after someone who supposedly witnessed a crime in Seattle identified the man’s truck as the getaway vehicle. Seattle Police contacted the Sheriff’s Office at about 1:30 pm, saying that a child reported seeing an abduction at an elementary school in Seattle. The child says that she saw a man grab another child, put duct tape over her mouth, then put her in a pickup and drive off. The child gave police a license plate number, which came back to an address on Garlock Road. Deputies went out to the house and met with the homeowner, who was completely cooperative. He allowed the Deputies to inspect his home and his truck, which they said was stone cold and covered in leaves. They say that it did not appear to have been driven within the past 24 hours. Deputies say that the local resident wasn’t involved in the Seattle incident, and relayed that information north. The investigation in Seattle is continuing.