A fire that destroyed a home on 26th Avenue in Longview remains under investigation. Crews from Longview Fire and Cowlitz 2 were called out shortly after 1 am yesterday morning, when fire was reported at 527 26th Avenue. Fire officials say that 25 percent of the home was involved in fire when they got onto the scene. A neighbor had reported hearing a “loud boom” prior to the discovery of the blaze. Damage to the structure is currently estimated at $84,000, and they say that the contents of the home are a total loss. It’s noted that no one was home when the fire broke out. The Red Cross is assisting the residents of the home. The cause hasn’t been determined as of yet.
Archive | August, 2010
A 22 year-old man was treated for smoke inhalation after a semi fire that closed I-5 southbound between Kalama and Woodland for about a half-hour last night. The Sheriff’s Office says the fire was reported at about 8 pm near milepost 26, just north of the “supercurves.” By the time that crews from Cowlitz Fire District 5 in Kalama arrived, the truck was engulfed in flames. Witnesses reported that both fuel tanks on the truck exploded. No significant injuries were reported, but they did say that the one man needed treatment for smoke inhalation. The southbound freeway was completely closed until 8:37 pm; two lanes re-opened shortly after 9 pm, then all three lanes re-opened at about 10:15 pm. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Oregon State Police continue to investigate last Friday’s fatal head-on collision that happened on Highway 30 near Clatskanie. This happened shortly before 5 pm, when a pickup driven by Jeffrey Kimball, 60, of Portland crossed the center line and crashed into a car driven by Hans Sundqvist, 57, of Camas. Sundqvist died at the scene. Kimball was critically injured, and was taken by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. He’s still listed in critical condition this morning. The highway was closed for four hours after the collision; the reason for the collision still hasn’t been determined.
It’s planned that negotiators for Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging and AWPPW local 153 will be back at the bargaining table today. The union reportedly presented a counter-offer to the company on Friday, following the rejection of the company latest offer earlier in the week. It’s also expected that Fibre officials will make another offer today. The Daily News reports that the main sticking points at this time deal with health care benefits for both employees and retirees, along with employees’ pension plans. AWPPW area representative Ken Smith tells the paper that they’re getting closer on the issue of compensation. The union has been working under the old contract since it expired on May 31st of last year, and has served notice that they could strike. Smith says that they’re planning to continue working at this time. After years of losing money, Longview Fibre is once again turning a profit, and workers say that they’re entitled to a portion of those profits. A company spokesperson says that they have to be able to have a contract that’s consistent with the competition, to be able to keep the company on a competitive footing. Neither side is releasing any information about their latest offers.
The first in a series of community meetings on the BPA’s I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project is set for this afternoon and evening in Castle Rock. The Bonneville Power Administration is exploring possible routes for a new 500-kilovolt transmission line, looking at a route between Castle Rock and Troutdale, with a large substation at the northern end of the route. After an initial series of public input sessions, BPA officials say that they’ve made some adjustments, now looking at three sites for the substation, and refining the proposed route for the line itself. Several segments have been removed from consideration, moving the line further away from populated areas and difficult terrain. Still, some questions remain; the Cowlitz County Commissioners are asking for a formal response as to why a route called the “Pearl Option” isn’t being considered, saying that this route would do more to serve the southwest Washington area than the other routes under consideration. Today’s meeting runs from 4 to 7 pm at Castle Rock Elementary School. That will be followed by a meeting tomorrow at Skyview High School in Vancouver, on September 8th in Amboy, and on September 12th at Union High School. More information is also available on the BPA website.
They’re getting ready to swing open the doors of the school buildings around the area. Things get started tomorrow morning in the Winlock School District; then classes start Wednesday in Kelso, Longview, Woodland, Cathlamet and Toutle. Kalama starts on Thursday; Castle Rock, Rainier and Saint Helens all open classes next Tuesday. The fall quarter at Lower Columbia College starts on Monday, September 20th.
Longview’s Youth Services Librarian, Jan Hanson, is being honored by the Washington Library Association. The Library Association and the Pacific Northwest Library Association held a joint conference earlier this month in Victoria, British Columbia, and at that conference, Hanson was presented with the Award for Visionary Library Services to Youth. Longview Library Director Chris Skaugset nominated Hanson, noting her creative approaches to providing services for kids and young adults. In the nomination, they noted Hanson’s expansion of early learning programs, cooperation with other libraries around the area, and the development of teen programs. In accepting the award, Hanson thanks her parents, her teacher and mentors, and the local teens who have helped the program be a success.
The Mariners avoided a sweep by Minnesota by edging the Twins 2-1 yesterday. The M’s host the Los Angeles Angels tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm…..Peter Uhlien of Oklahoma State beat David Chung of Stanford 4 and 2 to win the 110th U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay near Tacoma. Bernhard Langer shot a final round 67 to win the Boeing Classic Champions Tour event at Snoqualmie Ridge…..High school football begins on Friday with matchups including Mark Morris at Kelso, Elma at R.A. Long and Kalama at Woodland…..The college season gets underway later this week including Saturday action featuring the Huskies at BYU, WSU at Oklahoma State, Oregon State at TCU and New Mexico at Oregon…..The Seahawks are looking at a roster cut tomorrow. The team has to get down to 75.
It’s been confirmed that the human remains found earlier this week on Mt. Hood are those of Anthony Vietti, 25, of Longview, and his climbing companion, Katie Nolan, 29, of Portland. The pair had been missing since December 11th of last year, when they became lost on a effort to climb Mt. Hood. The body of the third member of the party, Luke Gullberg of Des Moines, was recovered on December 12th, but Vietti and Nolan weren’t found. Members of Portland Mountain Rescue reported the discovery of the bodies earlier this week. Members of that group had been working for some time to find and recover the pair; it’s reported that the pair was buried in the snow, but they weren’t in a snow cave or a shelter. It’s also noted that they were still roped together. The cause of death hasn’t been determined, and rescuers were careful to document the scene, taking photographs of the area where the bodies were found, the gear they were wearing, and other aspects of the site. There is some speculation that they might have been involved in a fall. Family members declined to talk with the press, but they did release a statement, expressing deep gratitude to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, the recovery teams and others who were involved in the recovery. They express pride in those involved, and they appreciate the care, concern and compassion that has been shown. A memorial service for Vietti was held on December 21st of last year; there’s been no word yet about any other possible funeral services.
The City of Longview pilot project for the installation of red light violation detection cameras and school zone speed limit detection cameras is moving ahead. The City Council is approving a contract for a pilot project with Automated Traffic Systems of Scottsdale, Arizona. Mayor Kurt Anagnostou says that he initially opposed the proposal, but he now says his mind has been changed. The City Council approved a one-year pilot project, with ATS surveying nine arterial intersections to see where the cameras might be located. It’s planned that the cameras will be placed at four intersections. The city will be conducting speed studies of its own at nine schools, looking to determine where the speed limit detection cameras should be placed. Officials with ATS say that once all of the permits are in place, it should take them only about 45 days to get the cameras installed and running. Several council members say that they do have concerns, but they note that this is only a pilot project, and they say that if they don’t get the results intended, then they’ll vote to have the cameras removed.