As the provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act start to fully kick in, officials with St. John Medical Center in Longview say that they’re preparing for an influx of new patients on January 1. Randy Querin with PeaceHealth St. John says that they have prepared a new website to help patients and families figure out the steps that they should take, in using what may be newly acquired health insurance coverage. The web address is www.peacehealth.org/HealthExchanges, and it offers advice for planning and obtaining health care coverage. Querin says that the site is intended for people who don’t have coverage, who can’t get affordable coverage through their work, who already buy their own coverage and want better options, and who might own a small business and employ 50 people or fewer. The site has information on who qualifies for financial assistance and what you will need to enroll, along with tips to choose coverage that includes PeaceHealth. Cowlitz and Wahkiakum County residents can also get help by calling 360-353-3256.
Archive for December, 2013
Charges of second-degree burglary and third-degree theft are being filed against Talmage Cecil Ferguson, 25, of Longview, after he was identified as the person who broke into the Four Corners Farm and Garden store back on December 22nd. Castle Rock Police say that someone broke into the building early on the morning of the 22nd, stealing a Traeger grill valued at $700. They say that the owner of the store identified Ferguson after viewing a security video, saying that Ferguson had been employed at the store several years ago. Ferguson was located and arrested last Friday, and is being held without bail, pending his first appearance in Superior Court. Ferguson reportedly has admitted to the theft, saying that “he only wanted to smoke a turkey for Christmas.”
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Jacob Glen Allen Dills, 20, of Longview is under arrest after a shoplifting incident reported last night at the Ocean Beach Highway Safeway store. Around 8:30 pm, store security reported that Dills had been caught trying to steal a number of items, including two bottles of liquor. Longview Police arrived on the scene, also finding out that Dills was wanted on a third-degree theft warrant out of Kelso. He’s now being held on that $500 warrant, but additional charges could be filed.
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Property managers at the Hidden Creek Apartment complex on Finch Drive in West Longview report that several cars were prowled. They called Longview Police around 9:30 yesterday morning, saying that several vehicles had been illegally entered. They didn’t elaborate on what was missing or might have been taken. No suspects have been identified.
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Standard and Poor is maintaining the City of Kelso’s bond rating at “AA-” on their 2010 A and B Water and Sewer Revenue bonds. The city also reports that Standard and Poor puts the city’s general outlook as “stable.” They say that the rating is based on Kelso’s very strong annual debt service coverage, very strong system liquidity and stable residential customer base. City Manager Steve Taylor says that “We are very pleased” with the continued backup from the bond rating agency, saying that this is yet another indication that the elected leaders and city staff have been fiscally responsible in managing limited resoures through tough economic times. Water and sewer ratepayers in Kelso benefit from this, as the city pays lower interests rates on its debt, which translates into more competitive utility rates. The report from S&P and the letter to the city can be viewed on the City of Kelso website.
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You can take a break from Bowl Week by heading out to the coast and digging some tasty razor clams. A week-long dig opened yesterday and runs through next Sunday. Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis are all open for digging on the evening tides tonight and tomorrow night. Copalis closes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but will re-open for digging on Saturday. Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Only Twin Harbors will be open next Sunday. Your best tides start tomorrow night and run through Friday; Tuesday and Friday, the low tides are minus 1.4 feet, and will run out at minus 1.7 feet on Wednesday and Thursday. Have a current shellfish license and be sure to dress for the weather.
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There are still four days of the YMCA Winter Break Day Camp available. The Winter Break Day Camp will run today, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, with dropoff at the facility on 15th Avenue from 7:30 to 8:45 each day. The Day Camp is open to kids from ages 6 to 14, and will include a wide variety of activities, including team sports, crafts, swim lessons, movies and snacks, and even some field trips. Pickup each day runs from 5 to 5:30. Full and partial scholarships are also available. Contact the YMCA at 423-4770 for more details.
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Longview Police are looking into the death of a man, found yesterday afternoon in one of the rooms at the Economy Inn Motel on Hemlock Street. Motel staff called 911 at about 5:15 yesterday afternoon, reporting that a 65 year-old man had been found deceased in his room. At that time, the staff was speculating that the man had fallen and broken his neck. Officers responded, along with the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office. They checked the scene over, and then removed the body. At this time, there don’t appear to be any signs of a crime or other foul play. An autopsy is planned; the man’s name has not yet been released.
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Officers responded to the 300 block of 22nd Avenue last night, after a man called 911, saying that he thought someone had shot at him. The man called a few minutes after 11 pm, reporting that he thought someone fired several rounds in his direction. The man says that he saw a muzzle flash, and also heard bullets hitting near him. Two other 911 calls came in a few minutes later, also saying that multiple gunshots had been heard. The follow-up callers also say that they heard a car speeding off, just after the shots had been fired. No injuries or property damage was reported; no suspects have been identified.
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Instead of being able to bask in the afterglow of Christmas, a 16 year-old boy from Toutle faces medical tests and possible preventative treatment, after being stuck by a hypodermic needle that had been stashed in the pocket of a sweatshirt that he’d been given as a present. Today’s Daily News reports on the incident, which took place at about 1 pm on Wednesday. The teen had put on a hoody that his parents had purchased at the 7th Avenue Walmart, and he put his hand in the front pocket. The teen yelled “ouch” and pulled out his hand, which still had the needle sticking in his finger. A second syringe was also found in the pocket; the teen’s mother and his stepfather say that the needles appear to have been used; they say one still had blood on it. They took the boy to Saint John Medical Center for blood tests, and he will also face additional testing over the next six months. The CDC says that infections from needle sticks are extremely rare, but they are possible. The mother says that she actually purchased the sweatshirt back in November. The Sheriff’s Office says that there’s little that they can do; the mother and stepfather plan to contact a lawyer and they’re also contacting Walmart corporate offices. When contacted by the paper, Walmart said that they’re taking the matter “very seriously,” and will be following up with the family.
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