The Port of Longview released first-quarter tonnage reports yesterday, and at this time, it looks like the Port is on track for another record year. An upswing in log and grain exports has revenues up 27 percent over the first quarter of last year. The report released yesterday shows operating revenues of $7.3 million, compared to $5.8 million in the first quarter of last year. Operating income is also up, reported at $1 million, compared to $780,000 in the same period last year. Exports for the quarter are up by huge amounts; log exports are up 256 percent, and bulk grain exports to the Asian mainland. After having none of those exports in the first quarter last year, the Port has moved more than 427,000 tons this year. Total imports are down slightly, and wind energy movements are also down substantially. Last year, the port move nearly 22,000 tons of wind components in the first quarter; this year, that number is less than 9,000 tons. It’s hoped that the increase in log and grain exports will continue to fill the gap before the EGT Grain Terminal is completed late next year.
Archive | May, 2010
A man who’d been arrested in October of 2008 by the Narcotics Task Force has apparently resolved his case in court. Today’s Daily News reports on the case involving Kuldeep Singh Clar, 30, who used to live in Kalama. He was arrested along with his father, Sarbjit Clar; it was claimed that Sarbjit Clar was dealing marijuana out of his store in Kalama, and it was first thought that Kuldeep Clar was a player in that enterprise. Yesterday in court, prosecutors said that the evidence actually shows that Kuldeep Clar was more of a “peripheral person,” and wasn’t really involved in the marijuana sales end of things. In the plea agreement settled yesterday, Kuldeep Clar will pay $2,300 in restitution, but won’t serve any jail time. Prosecutors says that Clar’s father was the “principal perpetrator” in the case, and he’s already been sentenced to prison. Clar’s attorney says that prosecutors didn’t really have enough evidence to convict him, but looking at the possibility of significant prison time in the event of a guilty verdict, he says that this was the best resolution. Clar apologized to the court, and pledges that he won’t be in this situation again.
The Board of Commissioners for Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue will be holding their regular meeting this afternoon, holding that meeting out at Station 25 in Lexington. The meeting is set to begin at 5:30 pm, and a major component of the meeting is expected to be the public hearing on the proposal to create a Local Improvement District to help pay for a new fire station in Lexington. Cowlitz 2 is looking into the possibility that a special assessment be levied against each property owner in the Station 25 service district, raising the money needed to pay for that new building. Earlier this week, the Commission announced that they’ll put off a final decision on the LID until July, after an advisory vote of the that area is held. That decision was announced after public input received in two Open Houses that were held earlier this month. The Commission is still planning to move ahead with today’s Public Hearing. The meeting is open to the public at large.
The fifth installment of the “Reshaping Local Government” summits will be held this evening at the Cowlitz County Expo Center. This is set to run fro 6 to 8 pm in the Loowit Room at the Regional Conference and Events Center. It’s expected that some action plans might be presented at tonight’s summit; the event is open to the public, and there will be opportunity for public input.
Candidates for the 18th District House seat being vacated by Jaime Herrera are scheduled to take part in a forum that’s planned for tonight in Battle Ground. This event is being put on by a group called Campaign for Liberty, and is intended to be an open-mike, town hall-style event. It’s set to run from 6 to 8 pm at Battle Ground High School.
There’s a Celebration of Life planned for this morning at 11 am, honoring the life of Jim Clevinger of Longview. He died last week at the age of 64, after a life of work as a local businessman. Most recently, he and his wife had purchased and were operating The Works Restaurant and Catering on 14th Avenue in Longview, the old Spaghetti Works restaurant. Clevinger was also extremely involved in the community, as a charter member of Compassionate Friends, a member of the Knights of Columbus at Saint Rose, Habitat for Humanity, and the Lower Columbia Contractors Association. Today’s Celebration of Life at St. Rose Catholic Church is set to start at 11 am, and will be followed by a potluck reception. A memorial account in Clevinger’s name has been set up at the Red Canoe Credit Union.
Lower Columbia College is announcing the availability for a “fast-track” transfer degree for students who are looking to move onto four-year colleges and universities. Starting this fall, LCC will be offering a one-year degree program, giving highly-motivated students the opportunity to complete 90 credits in four quarters, rather than the traditional six-quarter timeframe. LCC officials call the program the “AA Transfer Express” program, and it’s said to be the first of its type in Washington state. They’re planning to run a pilot program with a cohort of 25 students, and upon completion, the students will graduate with a Associate in Arts-Direct Transfer Agreement degree, which can transfer to any public college or university in the state, along with many private schools. LCC Vice President of Instruction Laura Brener says that students selected for the program will need to commit full-time to college studies, and will also be required to attend mandatory study sessions, with supplemental instruction and tutoring from college staff. Bremer says that they developed this program as a proactive way to help students who are choosing a faster completion route. Students who are interested in the AA Transfer Express pilot program should call the LCC Entry Center at 442-2311.
A dedication ceremony is planned for 11 am this morning out in Ilwaco, officially cutting the ribbon on the new Beards Hollow Ocean Overlook. The overlook is located on State Route 100, between Ilwaco and Cape Disappointment State Park. Today’s event also marks the official opening of the recently-paved Ilwaco section of the Discovery Trail, along with the construction of multi-use trail that goes form the Beards Hollow parking lot to the North Head Road.
Mount Hood scored all of its runs in a fateful 4th inning as they downed Lower Columbia 8-5 in the NWAACC Softball Semi-Finals. The Devils end the season with a 3rd place trophy. Mount Hood beat SW Oregon 7-4 in the championship…..Castle Rock earned a 1A State softball berth with a 15-0 win over Rainier, WA. Toledo eliminated Kalama 3-2. The Rockets then beat Toledo 11-0 to take the #3 seed…..In Oregon 3A State softball playoff action today, Rainier hosts Nyssa and Rogue River is at Clatskanie…..In the Oregon 3A State baseball playoffs today, Grant Union is at Rainier and Clatskanie at Bandon…..The WIAA State golf tourneys are underway and go through tomorrow…..The Mariners host the Detroit Tigers tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm.
An investigation is under way after a log stacker crashed into a rail tank car yesterday morning at Weyerhaeuser’s new sawmill, causing a large spill of hydrogen peroxide. Company officials say that the incident happened at about 9 am; the rail car was moving toward the Norpac plant at a low speed, when it was hit by the stacker, causing a rupture. The tank car carried about 22 thousand gallons of peroxide, and it’s estimated that about two thirds of that material was spilled. Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, along with the Department of Ecology and the EPA. Fire and mill crews sprayed water on the peroxide to dilute it, and the diluted material was recovered for disposal. The spill was completely contained on the mill site, though they did detour traffic on Industrial Way for a short time, to avoid a steam cloud that was generated during the incident. The only injury reported was to a rail worker who jumped from the moving car just before the collision. His injury was reported to be minor. Weyerhaeuser will conduct the investigation into the collision.