A five-unit apartment building at 405 North Pacific Avenue in Kelso is being red-tagged by the City of Kelso after a fire that took place yesterday morning. Crews from Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue were called to the building at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon, when smoke and flames were seen coming from the building. Quick work by the firefighters contained the fire to one unit; one of the people who had been in that unit was taken to St. John Medical Center to get treatment for second-degree burns to his arm. Two other units were occupied at the time of the fire, and the people inside those apartments were evacuated safely. The fire is being listed as “accidental,” having been started by a lit match being dropped into a chair while the person was smoking. Damage to the building is put at about $7,000, along with another $25,000 damage done to the contents. The building is not habitable at this time; the Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.
Archive for December, 2013
Bail has been set at $200,000 for Ramon Luis Duran, 29, of Longview, as he’s being held in connection with a stabbing that took place Sunday in downtown Kelso. At about noon on Sunday, Juan Rodriguez, 36, called in on the phone outside of the Kelso Police Department, reporting that he had been stabbed in the arm. Officers found Rodriguez bleeding from a deep wound to his upper arm, so they gave him first aid, and then got him transported to St. John Medical Center. Rodriguez was able to identify Duran as the suspect; he says Duran approached him near South Pacific and Ash, where the two men got into a confrontation over a woman. Rodriguez reportedly turned down a challenge to fight Duran, and he claims that Duran lunged at him. Rodriguez says that he felt a pain in his arm, then found that he was bleeding. He then realized that Duran had stabbed him with a knife that had been concealed in a bandanna. Duran was located and arrested not long after the incident was reported; he’s now charged with first-degree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon. Duran is also being held on a no-bail Department of Corrections warrant. Rodriguez was treated and released from the hospital.
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Longview Police are looking for the man who snatched a purse from a shopping cart in the parking lot of Winco Foods. The theft was reported around 11:30 yesterday morning, as the 70 year-old victim was loading groceries into her car. Witnesses say that the suspect rode by on a chrome BMX-style bike, grabbed the purse and rode off. One witness attempted to chase the suspect, without success. Longview Police have a description of the suspect, but they haven’t reported any arrests.
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The Oregon Ducks beat the Texas Longhorns 30-7 in the Alamo Bowl. Marcus Mariota had 386 total yards, leading the Ducks to a fourth straight season with 11 wins…..The Portland Trail Blazers have lost two straight games for the first time this season. The New Orleans Pelicans beat Portland 110-108 last night. The Blazers play at Oklahoma City tonight, KLOG 4:05 pm…..Gonzaga opened up WCC play with an easy 69-41 victory over San Francisco…..The Kelso Hilanders defeated Yosemite 58-21 in their final game at the Sa Diego Surf ‘N Slam tournament. Seth Gillihan has 18 points to lead Kelso…..The Kelso Lassies close out the year with an afternoon game today, hosting Hockinson at 1:30 pm.
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Two people are recovering from minor injuries received in a two-car crash reported yesterday morning at 14th and Douglas in Longview. The collision took place at about 10:20 yesterday morning, as a small bus from the Koelsch Senior Communities was turning left from Douglas to 14th. Witnesses say that a purple pickup ran the red light, hitting the bus in the side. One person suffered a cut to an arm, while a second person complained of neck pain after the crash. Both were taken to St. John Medical Center for treatment. No names have been released, nor have the conditions of the patients been updated. Longview Police haven’t said if any citations were issued.
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Longview Police called in the Portland Police Bomb Squad to deal with items found in a car driven by William Streeter Hampton Sherrett, 27, of Longview, as he was being arrested by the Department of Corrections. DOC officers reported making contact with Sherrett around 7:30 yesterday morning, as he was driving near 18th and Beech. Sherrett was wanted on a no-bail warrant, so he was taken into custody. An initial check of the car turned up a gun underneath the seat; officers also reported finding items that required the acquisition of a search warrant, along with the Bomb Squad response. Sherrett is now being held on the DOC warrant, along with new charges of possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of drugs, food stamp trafficking and driving while suspended.
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John Church, 38, of Longview is at Centralia Providence Hospital, after being hit by a van Saturday afternoon on I-5 near Vader. The State Patrol says that the incident happened a few minutes after 7 am on Saturday, near milepost 58 southbound. Church apparently entered the freeway from the center median, as Timothy Venvleck, 31, of Winlock was driving in the left lane. He saw Church, and swerved into the right lane. Church reportedly ran to the ditch on the side of the freeway, and then went back into the right lane, where he was hit by Venvleck’s van. Church’s injuries are reported to be “non-life-threatening.” No citations have been issued at this time.
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The Washington State Auditor’s Office is calling out Cowlitz County, reporting that the county “did not spend restricted funds appropriately” after the state conducted its latest review. The Auditor’s Office announced its findings yesterday, following up on a 2011 report that said that the county improperly spent more than $232,000 in Building and Planning revenues for legal costs connected to enforcement issues regarding a private landfill. County officials say that they will consider repayment of those funds, once the legal proceedings have concluded. State officials also say that they found that the county used more than $40,000 in Risk Management funds to help pay for construction of the County Shooting Range. They say those dollars should have come from the Public Shooting Range Fund. The county says that the state “mischaracterizes” the payment, and says that those funds were appropriately used to settle a claim. The Auditor takes issue with four loans taken out of the Solid Waste Fund, including $392,000 to the Public Facilities District and $245,000 to the Shooting Range, apparently with no plan for repayment. The county “respectfully disagrees” with the Auditor on this finding, saying that state law makes no reference to a payment schedule. The county also says that all loans have specified repayment dates, and they say that Cowlitz County has never failed to re-pay a loan. In its final remarks, the Auditor says that they “appreciate” the county’s perspective, but they re-affirm the findings, also planning to follow up in the next audit.
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There are a number of New Year’s Eve events going on around the area tonight. The Cowlitz Valley VFW is hosting a Bingo Party, looking to raise money to support the VFW Service Center and its assistance of local veterans. The Bingo Party starts at 6 pm, with 22 regular games and nine blackout games. The regular games will pay $20 apiece and the blackouts will pay at least $200 each. They’ll also have Christmas music, party favors and sparking cider. This is an alcohol-free event, so kids age 8 and above are welcome to attend, as long as they’re accompanied by an adult. The Cowlitz Valley VFW is located at 4311 Ocean Beach Highway.
They’ll be “puttin’ on the Ritz” at the Rutherglen Mansion tonight, as Stageworks Northwest hosts a Gatsby-themed party from 9 pm tonight until 1 am tomorrow. Tickets are $35 per person, with proceeds helping to benefit Stageworks Northwest. Costumes are REQUIRED for entry; they’ll have performances from Stageworks performers through the evening, food will be available for purchase, there will be a photo booth, a champagne toast at midnight and dancing from midnight to 1 am. Call 425-5816 for ticket information.
There’s also a healthy option, as Longview Parks and Rec holds its annual Year-to-Year 5K Run and Fitness Walk. This family-friendly event will get under way at 11:50 pm tonight, starting at the Youth and Family Link building on Douglas Street in Longview. You’re advised to arrive early, as a number of pre-race activities are planned. You can download a registration form from the Cowlitz Valley Runners website, or you can register in-person at the Youth and Family Link building, starting at 9 pm. You can also get more information on the Longview Parks and Recreation web page.
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The Seahawks wrapped up the NFC West title and the top seed in the NFC playoffs with a 27-9 win over the St. Louis Rams. The Hawks get the bye in the first round of the playoffs this weekend…..The Oregon Ducks take on Texas in the Alamo Bowl today, KLOG 3:30 pm…..The UW Huskies beat Hartford 73-67 in men’s college basketball Sunday. Also, Oregon downed Morgan State 97-76 and Oregon State over Quinnipiac 76-68…..The LCC men lost to Chemeketa 78-73 Sunday. The LCC women beat Yakima Valley 92-59 to take 3rd in the LC Holiday Classic in Centralia. Haley Hibbs had 22 and was named All-Tournament. Both LCC teams open league play Thursday at home against South Puget Sound…..The Blazers are in New Orleans for a game with the Pelicans tonight.
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