The renovation of the old Reynolds Metals plant by a Utah-based coal company took another step forward yesterday, as the County Commissioners approve a reimbursement agreement for consulting and technical services connected to the state environmental review and permit applications connected to the property. Commission Chair George Raiter says that this project involving Millenium Bulk Terminals could be a real boost for that area. The Commissioners also approved a Professional Services Agreement with ESA Adolfson to conduct that SEPA review and processing of the permit applications for renovation, rehabilitation and redevelopment of the property. The county will be reimbursed at a cost not to exceed $300,000. Millenium Bulk Terminals is looking to acquire the property from Chinook Ventures, with a goal of converting the property into a coal export facility. County officials say that the project is on a “fast-track,” hoping to start work on a new dock and handling equipment in the next month.
Archive | October, 2010
The Commissioners also acknowledged the presentation of Citizenship Awards to Fire Cadet Ian McNew and Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Plank, marking their efforts to assist a hunter that was fatally wounded in a bowhunting accident near Toutle back on September 10th. Sheriff Mark Nelson says that McNew was on his way home after fire science class, then stopped to assist Plank as he attempted life-saving efforts on the injured hunter. Benny White, 50, of Kelso died after what’s being called a “freak accident,” when he was stabbed in the torso by a hunting companion. White, who was disabled, was walking in front of his hunting companion, and suddenly stopped. The companion’s arrow stabbed White from behind, causing a fatal injury. McNew was presented with a certificate and a medal for his efforts in helping to tend White; Plank was also presented with a certificate, and will also be presented with a medal.
The third in a series of workshops on the draft Cowlitz County Vision Statement will be held this evening at the Castle Rock Elementary School cafeteria. The Vision Statement is the result of several months of work by a citizens committee assembled by the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, interviewing hundreds of citizens and meeting with community members at schools, business meetings and other events. The Vision Statement is planned to help serve as part of the framework for the upcoming revision of Cowlitz County’s Comprehensive Plan; tonight’s workshop will run from 6 to 8 pm, and anyone interested is invited to attend.
Look for heavy traffic today over on 7th Avenue and California Way, as the new Super Wal-Mart opens next to Home Depot. Grand opening ceremonies are planned for 7:30 am, with a ribbon-cutting that will feature Longview Mayor Kurt Anagnostou, along with Alan Rose of Lower Columbia CAP. A number of other grand opening activities are planned, including a special booth from the Humane Society of Cowlitz County. As this store opens, the store on 38th Avenue is now closed, and will be closed for about nine months or so as the building is renovated into another Super Wal-Mart. The 280 employees from the 38th Avenue store are now staffing the new store, joined by another 100 workers.
The effort has resumed near Randle, working to find a twin-engine plane that apparently went down in rugged terrain yesterday morning. FAA officials say that the pilot of the Cessna 340A reported having some engine trouble about ten minutes after leaving the Chehalis Airport, heading toward Lewiston, Idaho. The plane tried to circle back, but then dropped off the radar at about 7:45 yesterday morning. The plane is owned by the Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute of Chehalis, using the aircraft to shuttle personnel between eye clinics all around the northwest. It’s being reported that three people were aboard the plane, pilot Ken Sabin, Dr. Paul Shenk of Woodland, and laser technician Rod Rinta of Lewis County. Loggers working north of Randle reported hearing a plane at about 7:45 yesterday morning, followed by a crash. Authorities also report getting a weak emergency locator signal, but haven’t been able to find the source of the beacon. Two helicopters attempted to search for the plane, but were hampered by rainy weather and rough terrain. Last night, a call went out from Washington Emergency Management, asking for at least 10 ground searchers available to work in steep and rocky terrain.
No injuries or serious damage was reported after four rail cars jumped the tracks south of Kelso yesterday afternoon. The derailment near Owl Creek was reported at about 2:35 yesterday afternoon. Burlington Northern-Santa Fe reports that the cars were loaded with sand. BNSF officials say that two of the cars rolled over, but the derailment did not disrupt rail traffic in the area. They didn’t say what caused the cars to derail.
It’s being reported that former Castle Rock Mayor Barbara Larsen has passed away at the age of 74. Today’s Daily News reports that Larsen died Sunday night, apparently having suffered complications from a cardiac condition. That condition was what had caused her to step down from her post as Mayor late last year. Current Mayor Paul Helenberg says that Larsen’s passing is a big loss for the Castle Rock community. Larsen first joined the Castle Rock School Board in 1963, and served on that panel for 20 years. She then moved onto the City Council in 1983, and served there for ten years. After taking a health break in 1993, Larsen returned as Castle Rock’s Mayor in 1995, and served in that capacity until last year. Along with her involvement with the town of Castle Rock, Larsen and her husband served as foster parents to more than 250 children, specializing in babies that were sick or had been exposed to drugs before birth. Memorial services are pending; the Hubbard Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Kelso Police are looking into a possible assault reported yesterday morning on South 8th Avenue. Officers were called to the 900 block of South 8th at about 9:15 yesterday morning, when it was reported that a man was down, bleeding from his head and mouth. After the man revived, he reported that someone had hit him, an incident that had taken place about 20 minutes prior. The man says that he’d “just been standing there” when an unknown person came up and hit him. The man says that he doesn’t know who hit him, or what he was hit with. The man was taken to St. John Medical Center for treatment, while the investigation continues.
Wahkiakum County Coroner Dan Bigelow says that they have confirmed that the body recovered from the Columbia River last Wednesday is that of Arlie Hoefling, 46, of Aurora. The body was recovered Wednesday afternoon near Coffee Pot Island, ten days after he fallen off of his 65-foot sailboat near Westport OR. Bigelow says that they weren’t able to pinpoint the cause of death in the autopsy, and will have to wait several weeks for toxicology tests to return.
Damage from yesterday morning’s two-alarm fire in the one thousand block of 3rd Avenue in Longview is put at about $200,000. Along with a large storage shed, several motor homes burned up in the blaze. Eric Brockett reported the fire just before 5 am, saying that the shop behind his home at 1007 3rd Avenue was on fire. Fire crews were on the scene within five minutes, but the shed was already 50 percent involved, with flames 30 to 40 feet in the air. The firefighters went into a defensive mode, working to prevent the fire from spreading to other nearby structures. One firefighter received minor injuries while battling the fire, which was declared out by 6 am. There’s still no word on the cause of the fire.