The town of Toledo is mourning the death of a long-time volunteer and scout for the Toledo High School football team. Gary Ike, 54, died Wednesday night after a fire at his home near Ethel, just off Highway 12. The fire was reported at about midnight on Wednesday, and when fire crews from Toledo arrived on the scene, the home was engulfed in flames. After the fire was finally out, Ike’s body was found inside. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and an autopsy is planned for today. Ike had been a volunteer with Toledo High School for more than 30 years; he did a lot of work as an advance scout for the football team, and also assisted with the basketball and baseball teams. Grief counselors were on hand in the Toledo schools yesterday, and a moment of silence is planned tonight at Castle Rock High School, where the Indians and the Rockets will play their final game of the regular season.
Archive | October, 2010
The man found dead after a Tuesday night shootout with Longview Police has been identified as William L. Kelly, 40, who reportedly had a last known address in the Vancouver area. Cowlitz County Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig also reports that the autopsy performed on Kelly shows that he took his own life. Longview Police also released the name of the officer involved in the shootout, identifying him as Nicholas Woodward, a three-year veteran of the force. Rosenzweig says that the investigation shows that Kelly had been hit by several shots fired by Officer Woodward, but the fatal shot to the chest was fired by Kelly himself. Per LPD policy, Woodward has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues. Rosenzweig says that detectives are continuing to examine evidence, conduct interviews and document findings connected to the case. At about 8:40 pm on Tuesday night, a man robbed Yoon’s Market on Pacific Way at gunpoint, then a few minutes later, Officer Woodward spotted the suspect and chased him for about three miles. The suspect’s pickup broke down near Coal Creek Road and Ocean Beach Highway, and when he got out, the suspect was firing a high-powered rifle. Woodward exchanged fire with the suspect, now identified as Kelly. Kelly ran off, and was found dead about two hours later, about 100 yards from the broken-down pickup.
Two men are under arrest after a car prowl, high-speed chase and attempted carjacking, an incident that started in Longview and ended in Woodland. Around 2:20 pm, a 911 call came in about an attempted car prowl in the are of 12th and Hudson. The suspect jumped into a nearby car and sped off. A short time later, a Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the suspect running a red light at Industrial Way and California Way. The pursuit started at that time, exceeding 100 miles an hour as they headed east on Tennant Way. The chase then went onto Old Highway 99, traveling at 70 miles an hour past Carrolls School. The suspects continued south, going onto I-5 at Kalama River Road. Deputies continued to check the area, then just before 3 pm, a report came in from Woodland, where witnesses said that two men were trying to steal a car from the Jehovah Witness Church parking lot. Deputies responded to the scene and tried to stop the suspects, who took off in the stolen car, crashing it into a ditch. The suspects then jumped back into their original car and tried to take off again. Another brief car chase ensued, ending when the suspect collided head-on with another car at Goerig Road and Atlantic. The driver of the car that was hit was seriously injured, eventually taken to the hospital with a broken arm and neck injuries. The driver of the stolen car was identified at Jeffrey R. Christie, 25; he allegedly got out, ran, and tried to steal another car that was driving by, but the driver fended him off. Deputies eventually Tased Christie to get him into custody. The other man, Bob Baumgarten, 52, was arrested without further incident. Both men were treated at St. John Medical Center, then were booked for felony eluding, car theft, possession of stolen property and attempted carjacking. Initial bail has been set at $150,000. Other charges are possible.
The 64th Civil War tonight is for the league championship as Mark Morris hosts R.A. Long at Longview Memorial. Gates on both sides open at 5 pm. Playoff bound Kelso gets a shot a league title tonight when go to Camas to take on the #2 ranked Papermakers, KLOG 7pm, pregame at 6pm…..The Huskies host Stanford tomorrow, KLOG 3 pm…..Mark Morris volleyball captured the #2 seed to District with a 3-1 win over Woodland. Also, Hockinson beat RAL 3-1 and Prairie downed Kelso 3-0…..In girls soccer, MM blanked Woodland 3-0 and Hockinson edged RAL 1-0…..The Kelso cross country team runs at the District meet tomorrow in Lakewood. The 2A meet is at Evergreen State in Lacey…..The Blazers take on the Knicks in New York Saturday then play the Bulls in Chicago Monday.
Kelly Karl Russell, 39, is under arrest after an incident from yesterday afternoon, where he was reportedly spotted carrying a rifle along 15th Avenue. An employee of the 15th Avenue Safeway store called Longview Police at about 5:20 yesterday afternoon, saying that a man with a rifle was heading north. Officers stopped Russell near the Jack in the Box, and found that the rifle was actually a BB gun. During the stop, they also turned up three felony contempt of court warrants on Russell. He’s now being held on those warrants, with bail set at $25,000.
Longview Police and State Troopers responded to an extensive diesel spill that was reported yesterday, starting on Tennant Way in the area of Talley Way, coming into town and going out Industrial Way to the Weyerhaeuser gate. This was first reported at about 12:20 yesterday afternoon, and it’s possible that at least one two-car crash was a result of the spill. Authorities tracked the spill from Talley Way to Third Avenue, then out Industrial Way to Weyerhaeuser. State Troopers were able to find the truck that they think was responsible. No citations have been reported as of yet.
The Longview City Council took formal action on 2011 utility rates last night, hiking water, sewer and solid waste rates. Starting January first, water rates go up ten percent, sewer rates go up six percent, and solid waste rates go up 2.5 percent. It’s noted that the large water and sewer rate hikes are related to costs connected to the huge capital projects that the city is currently involved. Stormwater utility rates are also going up 30 percent, but the Daily News reports that the Council declined a staff request that would have raised them by 60 percent, refusing to shift the city’s urban forestry program to the stormwater utility. That would have freed up $340,000 in the general fund for other city needs, but Council members say that the 65 cents per month that the shift would cost citizens was just too much. The Council also voted to extend the hike in utility taxes for another two years.
Weyerhaeuser is out with its third-quarter earnings report today, announcing a net profit of $81 million for the quarter, compared to a break-even report in the same quarter last year. The Federal Way-based timber company had a one-time gain of $1 billion on income tax adjustments, reporting net earnings in the quarter of $1.1 billion, along with sales of $1.7 billion. Even with this outstanding report, company officials remain cautious; President and CEO Dan Fulton says that the overall housing market remains uncertain, as the expiration of the housing tax credit led to a “precipitous” drop in prices and volumes for wood products.
The possible merger of Southwest Washington Medical Center with Bellevue-based PeaceHealth took another step forward, as the Board of Directors for Southwest Washington voted unanimously to move ahead with that merger. The vote was reported in this morning’s Vancouver Columbian, announcing that the action was taken in a board retreat on the 22nd and 23rd of this month. Southwest spokesman Ken Cole says that the vote doesn’t guarantee the merger, but it is an important step toward making it happen. The full boards of Southwest and PeaceHealth area expected to take final votes on completion of a merger agreement some time next month.
A long-time fixture for Longview shoppers will be gone around the end of the year, as Win Muffett announces that Olympic Drug will be closing. Muffett says that this is a business decision, saying that it’s become tougher and tougher to stay open as an independent operation. He says that a number of factors are affecting this move, including increased competition, and lower prescription reimbursements. Muffett says that another prescription provider recently made an offer for that portion of the business, and he decided to accept that offer. Muffett says that Olympic Drug’s prescriptions have been acquired by Safeway, in a transaction scheduled to be completed on December 7th. Pharmacy operations at Olympic Drug will continue as normal until December 7th, then those operations will be taken up by Safeway. At that time, Muffett says that they’ll then start liquidating the other merchandise in the front of the store. The satellite Post Office will also close on December 7th. Muffett says that this was a difficult decision, but given the current business climate, he says that it’s the right decision to make.