Archive for April, 2014

I-5 Wreck

April 28th, 2014

A couple vacationing from Hawaii took an unexpected side trip to the hospital when their rental car hydroplaned on I-5 near Kalama, skidding into a concrete barrier and then ending up wedged underneath a tank trailer. State Troopers say that the collision took place at about 7:50 yesterday morning, as Chul Lee, 29, of Waipahu, Hawaii, was southbound at milepost 30. Lee was driving in the left lance when he lost control on the rain-soaked freeway, sliding into the concrete barrier on the left shoulder. The rental car bounced back into the freeway, where it collided with a tank trailer being pulled by Steven Kawasaki, 39, of Buena Park, California. Lee and his passenger, Jessica Anderson, 28, were taken to St. John Medical Center, where both were treated and released. Two lanes of the freeway were shut down for about four hours. Officials with Cowlitz Fire District 5 in Kalama say that they also witnessed another high-speed collision as they were dealing with this crash. Lee was eventually cited for improper lane travel.

Mayfield Drowning

April 28th, 2014

Authorities in Lewis County report that the opening day of lowland lake fishing turned to tragedy up at Mayfield Lake, as a man drowned Saturday morning. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says that the victim had been in a boat on the lake near Ike Kinswa State Park, apparently fishing in that area. The victim and another man had gone to an island near the park, but while they were there, the 20-foot boat started to drift away. One of the men swam after the boat; he apparently was able to reach it, but wasn’t able to get in. As the victim started to struggle, the second man jumped in the water, but returned to shore when he started having problems staying afloat. A state park employee saw what was going on, and was able to snag the boat when it got close to shore. That person went out to where the victim was, and was able to recover the body. The victim was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead. The victim’s name has not been released. It’s noted that there were two life jackets in the boat, as required by law, but neither man was wearing one. It’s also reported that alcohol may have been a factor in the incident.

Centralia Death

April 28th, 2014

Centralia Police continue to investigate the discovery of a man found dead yesterday morning on the side of a street. The Centralia Chronicle says that the man did not die of natural causes, but it’s not known at this time if the death was a homicide or a suicide. They say that the body was found at about 6:20 yesterday morning, by a man who was passing through the 100 block of East Third Street in Centralia. It’s reported that the body is that of a man in his 60’s, but there’s no word yet on that man’s identity. Centralia Police also haven’t released any information on the cause or manner of death, though they do say that there were “signs of trauma” to the body. Additional information should be made available after an autopsy is performed and the person’s next of kin are notified.

Clatskanie Standoff

April 28th, 2014

Two people are under arrest after a weird Saturday night standoff in the Clatskanie area. Clatskanie Police had gone to the home of James Marco Bryan, 44, after he had been identified as a vandalism suspect, suspected of flattening tires on police cars, along with other incidents. Over the past few weeks, Bryan had repeatedly contacted Clatskanie Police, promising to turn himself in on outstanding warrants. Last Friday night, Bryan again had said that he was going to turn himself in, but Clatskanie Police Chief Marvin Hoover says Bryan “lost it,” when officers and deputies arrived at the house. Oregon State Police SWAT was also called in. Over eight hours, Bryan allegedly kicked windows out of the house, showed his private parts to the officers, and also “mooned” the officers. He reportedly demanded cigarettes, Mountain Dew and some marijuana. The standoff ended around 8:30 Saturday night, after tear gas was fired into the house. Bryan is now being held for resisting arrest, indecent exposure and first-degree criminal mischief. Carrie Hurley, 44, was also arrested for hindering prosecution. No injuries were reported.

Taser Arrest

April 28th, 2014

Second-degree assault charges are being filed against Austen David Epperson, 19, of Kelso, after he allegedly pulled and used a stun gun during a struggle with an off-duty Kelso Police Officer. Around 10:30 last Wednesday night, Officer John Croco, a 20-year veteran of the Kelso Police Department, was shopping at the Kelso Safeway when he saw a man heading for the emergency exit, carrying a hand basket full of alcohol. Croco says that the suspect was starting to move a display cart that had been in front of the exit, so he pushed it back, announced that he was a police officer, and told him he was going to jail. At that point, Epperson allegedly pulled a stun gun from his pocket, activated it and pointed it in Croco’s direction. Croco tried to grab Epperson, but he slipped out of his sweatshirt and went out the exit, dropping the alcohol. Croco scuffled with Epperson, being burned several times by the stun gun. Epperson was able to escape, but KPD was able to examine evidence left behind, and he was identified as the suspect in the case. Thursday night, they got a tip that Epperson was at home, and that’s where he was arrested. Police claim to have seized a stun gun from his room. Epperson is now being held for second-degree assault, MIP and third-degree theft, with bail set at $40,000.

KSD Hires

April 28th, 2014

Kelso School District officials are announcing some personnel moves, as Ron Hutchison retires from his position as Principal at Beacon Hill Elementary School. Tim Yore is accepting the position at Beacon Hill, moving up from the position of Dean of Students and Instructional Coach at the same school. Yore has been with the district for 14 years, starting as a 5th-6th blend teacher at Barnes Elementary. Yore has also taught 4th, 5th and 6th grades at Beacon Hill. Brook Henley is accepting the position as Beacon Hill’s new Assistant Principal, after completing her Administrative Internship at Mill Plain Elementary in the Evergreen School District. Lori Hibbard is also accepting the Assistant Principal position at Huntington Middle School, coming to Kelso from the Tigard-Tualatin School District.

Clam Dig

April 28th, 2014

The spring razor clam seasons are coming to an end, but you’ll have the opportunity all through this week to get out and get after the tasty bivalves. Twin Harbors and Long Beach are open for digging on the morning tides, today through Friday. This coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks will all be open for digging. The best low tides are tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, with runouts of more than a foot predicted. You’re reminded that you will need to have your current shellfish license on your person when you go digging, and be sure to observe the bag limit rules. Fish and Wildlife officials also say that you need to be aware of endangered Snowy Plover nesting areas, and you’ll need to avoid those areas. Warning signs showing those areas are posted.

Street Closure

April 28th, 2014

Be aware that 20th Avenue in Longview is closed today between Kessler and Nichols Boulevards, as repairs are done to the south bridge approach. The bridge over Lake Sacajawea will be closed to vehicular traffic for the next three weeks, but at least one of the sidewalks will remain open while these repairs are completed. You should use alternate routes to avoid delays.

Bits and Bots at Worlds

April 28th, 2014

They didn’t come home with any awards, but Bits and Bots Team 3812 advisor Bob Koenig says that the team of local high school students competed well and learned a lot at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis. Koenig says that the community stepped up with tremendous support, helping to raise the $30,000 needed to get the team and their robot to the World Championships. Competing in the “Curie” division, Bits and Bots had four wins, five losses and one tie in the qualifying matches, including a victory over one of the teams that was part of the World Champion alliance. Koenig says that the four-team alliance that took the Championship came out of the Curie division. 400 teams competed, divided into divisions of 100 teams each. Koenig says that the trip provided invaluable experience to the kids involved, and he thanks the entire community for their support.

Franklin Arrested

April 25th, 2014

He’s been on the Kelso City Council for only a few months, but the remaining term of 34 year-old Jared Franklin could be in jeopardy after his arrest Wednesday afternoon on charges of hit-and-run and Driving while suspended. The arrest stems from a two-car crash that took place at about 4:45 Wednesday afternoon, at the intersection of 15th and Hemlock; Ansel Webster, a student at LCC, says that this started getting fishy when Franklin offered to pay cash for the damage that was done. Longview Police say that Webster had been eastbound on Hemlock, and was waiting at the light as Franklin was southbound on 15th. As Franklin tried to make a turn, he reportedly lost control of the truck he was driving, and crashed into Webster’s Jeep. The two men pulled into the O’Reilly’s parking lot, and that’s where Franklin allegedly made his cash offer. After Webster said that he needed to call the Police, Franklin reportedly asked him not to do that, also pointing out that he was on the Kelso City Council. At that Franklin supposedly left his phone number and drove away. Longview Police say that Franklin left no other information, which is a violation of state law. Longview Police did get information on the rig that Franklin was driving, which apparently was owned by his girlfriend, who lives in Longview. Officers went to that house, where the woman said that Franklin had been driving her rig. Franklin was spotted walking nearby, but when Officers asked to talk with him, he allegedly denied that’s who he was. They say that there was a brief scuffle before Franklin was arrested. Franklin spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning in the Cowlitz County Jail, and is now free after posting bail of 15 hundred dollars. The incident may or may not affect Franklin’s service on the Kelso City Council, as the City Charter directs that Council members convicted of crimes of “moral turpitude” be removed, but that term hasn’t been clearly defined.