St. John Medical Center could be the beneficiary of a Federal earmark, provided by U. S. Senator Patty Murray. Murray announced yesterday that there’s an allocation of $100,000 for the St. John Medical Center Foundation in the Fiscal Year 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill. The money would be directed to the purchase of a programmable “family” of simulation mannequins, which would then be used for training and education. Hospital officials say that these mannequins will allow staff to work on high-risk, low-volume procedures, so that providers have sharp and current skills to handle all types of medical situations. Murray says that they simulation education will help to increase patient safety and promote workforce development in a rural, medically underserved area. The bill now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee, prior to action by the full Senate.
Archive | July, 2010
CUBS continues its series of Community Input sessions, asking for your ideas and input on potential service enhancements for the local public transit system. Today’s session will run from 10 am until noon at the CUBS Transit Center, located at 1135 12th Avenue in Longview. Additional sessions are set for tomorrow at St. John Medical Center and at Wal-Mart, and on Sunday at the Kelso Bridge Market.
Saying that demand is waning while costs are rising, the Cowlitz County Health Department is announcing that its weekly immunization clinic will close after next Tuesday. Clinical Services Manager Hillary Gillette-Walch says that they’ve had only a few attendees in the past few weeks, and that attendance has been declining over the past few years. Gillette-Walch says that with the current budget strains, there’s no real sense in keeping it open. The Health Department had been providing immunizations on a walk-in basis on Tuesday afternoon, but only provided about one percent of all the vaccinations provided in the county. She says that these numbers show that kids are getting their shots from their primary doctors, and that those providers are doing a good job of making sure kids are vaccinated. She says that the immunization clinic is a duplication of effort, and that be ending the clinic, staff and resources will be available for other needs. Gillette-Walch says that other options are available for immunizations, and the Health Department will still be available to provide vaccines in emergencies or times of outbreaks. Call the County Health Department at 414-5599 for more details.
Officials with Cowlitz County say that they’re pleased with the results of a lawsuit that was brought by Equachlor, challenging the chemical company’s property tax assessment. Chief Civil Prosecutor Ron Marshall and County Assessor Terry McLaughlin discussed last Friday’s Superior Court decision, upholding the county’s assessment that had been developed several years ago. Marshall says that the case goes back to 2006, when Equachlor built some new facilities on their land that was being leased from Weyerhaeuser. McLaughlin’s office put a value of $69 million on the completed equipment, an assessment that wasn’t challenged until 2008, when the company paid its tax bill under protest. They filed suit the next year, asking for relief, going back to 2006. If the company had been successful, the county would have had to refund about $1.5 million in property tax payments, having to raise that money from all of the other taxpayers in the county. A rough estimate put that bill at about $46 per household.
The White Sox beat the Mariners 6-1 as Felix Hernandez was not sharp in taking the loss. The M’s and Chisox play again tonight, KLOG 4:00 pm…..There will be plenty of familiar faces at tonight’s Black Bears game against Wenatchee. The defending champion Apple Sox features LCC players Eric Lane, Tim Culligan, Todd Griffiths and Jeff Ames as well as pitching coach Rob Hippi. Game time is 6:35 pm. Last night Kitsap defeated Cowlitz 9-2 in Bremerton…..The Pacific Tech Legion team will leave today for Selah and the State tournament. Pac Tech opens with Centralia tomorrow morning at 9 am…..Seahawks CEO Todd Leiweke resigned in order to become CEO and part owner of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Leiweke is a life long hockey fan.
11:00 am update: Incident Commander Jim Shank now says that the Speelyai Fire is about 95% contained, and he now has crews starting work on the mopup of the fire. Shank puts the mopup percentage about 20% at this time. He says that they had extremely good success with the crews that laid down explosive cord to help create fire lines, using that cord to line out about 2,100 feet of fire line in steep and hazardous ground. He says the mopup should take several more days, and work is also continuing to try and determine the cause of the fire. He says that they haven’t yet pinpointed the cause, but he says that it looks like the fire was human-caused. Shank says there wasn’t any lightning in the area prior to the fire’s discovery on Saturday afternoon. More than 200 firefighters are currently involved in battling the fire.
With more than 200 firefighters on the line, the Department of Natural Resources continues to battle the Speelyai Fire near Lake Merwin. Incident Commander Jim Shank now says that the fire is about 30 percent contained, and has burned somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 acres. He says that the fire is burning in extremely steep and rocky terrain, burning on land that’s owned by DNR and by private companies. Because of the difficulty in the terrain, specialized crews have been brought in to use explosives to help dig the trenches needed to contain the fire. Shank now says that they expect to have the fire fully contained by tomorrow, but it may take a couple of weeks to get everything put out. He says that they also dealt with three small spot fires that spawned from the main fire; all three of those fires are out. Two forest roads, the 6600 and the A-1000, remain closed, so fire crews can freely move through the area. The cause of the Speelyai Fire, which was first reported Saturday afternoon, remains under investigation.
Spurred in part by the June disappearance of Kyron Horman from a school in Northwest Portland, the Kelso School District is taking steps to shore up how students are released from at least one elementary school. The Kelso School Board gave its approval to the changes in the dismissal policy at Beacon Hill Elementary School, requiring at least one hour prior notice, in writing, before a student’s home travel plans can be altered. Superintendent Glenys Hill says that keeping kids safe is the primary concern. Beacon Hill Elementary Principal Ron Hutchison says that they currently get an average of 50 calls per day, asking for students to be allowed to go “somewhere other than home.” Hutchison says that they’re currently counting on school secretaries recognized parents voices over the phone in approving those changes. In the policy adopted last night, change requests must come in at least an hour prior to dismissal, and must be in writing, either via handwritten note, e-mail or fax. Hill says that they know this will make some parents angry, but she says that student safety is more important, and that this also helps to establish a paper trail, in case something does go wrong. Hutchison says that they’ll be reaching out to parents to inform them about the new policy in a variety of ways. Hill says that they’ll be getting a report on the effectiveness of the new policy around the first of the year, and if it’s successful, could be expanded to other schools.
Ivan Samuel Anderson, 29, of Woodland faces a number of counts after he allegedly threw his girlfriend over an embankment in the 4500 block of the Lewis River Highway. The victim’s father called 911 shortly before 11 yesterday morning, making the claim. They say that the woman did suffer some injuries, but she refused medical aid. It was first reported that Anderson left the area on foot, but then at about 3:20 pm, the father reported that he drove up to the house in a van. He’d taken off again by the time Deputies arrived at the scene, but they set up containment, and shortly after 5 pm, Anderson was found and arrested in the 4600 block of the Lewis River Highway. he’s being charged with second and fourth-degree domestic violence assault, second-degree kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment and felony harrassment, with initial bail set at $75,000.
A load of dirt from the Longview Super Wal-Mart project apparently contained more than just topsoil, as a Kelso resident reported finding a World War Two-era hand grenade in the pile. Deputies were called to a home in the 2300 block of Mt. Brynion Road at about 7:15 pm, when a woman reported that she’d found the grenade in a load of dirt that had been delivered from the construction site about a month before. The woman says that her son was an Army veteran, and identified the device as a grenade. The Ordinance Disposal Team from Joint Base Lewis-McChord was called in, and they identified the item as a Mark One grenade, dating back to the 40’s. The grenade was moved to a rock pit in the 600 block of Hamilton Avenue, where it was detonated at about 1:20 am.
Memorial services are planned for 2 pm on Wednesday, August 4th, honoring the life of Jordan Connors, 24, of Silver Lake, who drowned Saturday in the Toutle River. In today’s Daily News, family members and friends reminisce about what a dynamic and hard-working man that Connors was. He’d worked several years as a horse wrangler at the Eco Park Resort, east of Toutle, and most recently was working as a supervisor at Railwork. Connors drowned as he was trying to swim across the river, about a half-mile from the Tower Bridge. Memorial services are planned for 2 pm on Wednesday, August 4th at Calvary Community Church in Longview.