Oregon State Police report that all traffic is being detoured off of Highway 30 for the next several hours, as the highway is blocked east of Rainier following a fatal two-car crash that happened about three miles out of town. Master Sergeant Larry Lucas says that the preliminary information shows that the crash happened around 6 am, when a northbound SUV driven by an adult male drifted off the road and onto the shoulder. The SUV driver over-corrected, going back into the southbound lane, where the SUV collided head-on with a large truck. The driver of the SUV was ejected and was killed. The driver of the truck was unhurt. Lucas says that they expect the highway to be closed for several more hours, for eastbound traffic is being directed across the Lewis and Clark Bridge to I-5. No names have been released as of yet.
Archive | November, 2010
The Cowlitz PUD Commission has a special meeting planned for 7 pm tonight, where they’ll conduct a public hearing on electricity rates for the coming year. PUD officials announced earlier this month that they’re projecting that a 10-percent rate increase will be needed on January first of next year, because of several factors. The BPA is announcing that wholesale power rates could go up as much at 8.5 percent next year. The PUD says that there’s been less revenue than expected from sales of excess hydro and wind power, debt service is coming due on a pair of wind projects, and revenues from retail power sales in 2009 and 2010 is also down. Dave Andrew with the PUD says that the exact amount of the increase hasn’be been finalized, but will be by tonight’s hearing. It’s estimated that a ten-percent increase would boost the average home electricity bill by $7.70 per month. Tonight’s hearing will be held in the PUD Auditorium, located at 961 12th Avenue in Longview.
The County Commissioners plan to resume their discussions and will possibly make a decision regarding the proposed acquisition of the Weyerhaeuser Landfill at Silver Lake. The Commissioners have been in discussion with Weyco about acquiring the facility, ever since the company announced that they were planning to divest themselves of the facility. Last week, details of the proposed offer from Cowlitz County were released, announcing that the County was offering $19 million for the landfill, contingent on a number of conditions. The Commissioners took public input for a couple of hours last week, and are now planning to resume those discussions this morning at 10 am.
There weren’t any local impacts from this latest weather system that’s working its way through the area. The Weather Service had warned of the possibility of high winds and heavy rains out of a storm system that’s coming through today. They still have a High Wind Warning up until 10 am today on the south Washington and north Oregon coasts, with wind gusts of up to 60 miles an hour possible. They expect things to start easing up after 9 am. The Winter Storm Warning for the south Washington and north Oregon Cascades continues until midnight tonight, with another one to two feet of snow possible out of this system. Two to four inches of snow is possible at pass levels today, with another one to two inches coming tonight. Be ready for very low visibility and extremely difficult driving conditions if you’re heading over a mountain pass today.
Longview Police are responding to two more burglaries reported in the downtown area, both incident reportedly taking place over the weekend. The Daily News reported that someone pried four doors open on the AWPPW Hall on 15th Avenue, then they went in and pried open file drawers. Union officials say that it didn’t appear that anything was taken. There was a second burglary reported at Interstate Brands, located at 725 Commerce Avenue. An exterior door was forced open, then a safe containing cash was stolen. No suspects have been identified in either incident. Police have been responding to a number of similar burglaries reported in the downtown area since early in November, but they haven’t determined yet if the incidents are related.
Oregon State Police are asking for your help in finding the people responsible for the shooting and wasting of three elk near the Columbia-Clatsop county border. OSP game wardens say that the incident happened on the 13th of this month; a group of hunters shot two cows and a calf, then left the animals in the area of Boeck Ranch Road. A witness reported seeing three vehicles in the area, with several individuals standing over the elk. It’s thought that the people seen may have been camping in the area. The vehicles are described as a newer-model white Dodge or Ford crew-cab pickup with company logos on the doors and tailgate. There was also an early-90’s Ford Explorer SUV, and a black Ford superduty crew cab pickup with a camper shell. If you have information on this incident, you should call the Turn In Poachers hotline at 1-800-452-7888, or call Oregon State Police at 503-325-5515.
There’s a special training session planned for this evening at the Kelso Public Works Building on 13th Avenue, where the Diking District for South Kelso will train Dike Patrol Leaders. Consolidated Diking District number 3 says they’re anticipating another bad year for rain and flooding, with this winter’s projected “La Nina.” CDID officials say that they need trained Dike Patrol Leaders prior to a flooding event, and with the more leaders that they have, the better chance that Kelso will be kept dry. Tonight’s Dike Patrol Leader training is set to start at 6:30 pm. Call 423-2642 for additional information.
Lower Columbia College will be closed from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Eve, a measure that college officials are calling an “efficiency closure.” Vice President for Administrative Services Ellen Peres says that the closure will enable the college to save on utility costs for ten consecutive days, during a time when there’s usually a higher demand for heat and building lights. The fall term ends on Friday, December 10th, and winter classes don’t start until January 3rd. Staff will take vacation or unpaid leave for the four previously-scheduled work days. A new student orientation that had been planned for Wednesday, December 29th has been rescheduled for Monday, December 20th. Online registration and bookstore services will remain in operation. Students who are on the tuition payment deferment plan are reminded that they need to have their final payment on-line or in person in the Admissions Building by 4 pm on Wednesday, the 23rd.
The Port of Longview is coming off of its third straight year of record activity and revenue, and is priming for yet another year of increased dollars. The Port Commission approved the 2011 budget yesterday, accepting a budget that projects $25,890,000 in revenue; that’s down just slightly from the 2010 projection of $26,213,000, but after expenses, they’re projecting net income of $1,047,000, more than $300,000 above 2010. Commission Chair Bob Bagaason says that they’re in a good place. In the capital budget for 2011, the Port is including a line item for a Loop Track Connection Project. Port officials price that project at about $858,000, and they say it will “close the loop” at the West Industrial Park, connecting a rail stub that currently dead ends. They say this will help to serve a portion of the port property that currently isn’t connected to rail. The Port Commission approved a $200,000 reduction in this year’s tax levy, and they also approved a two-percent increase in salaries for administrative staff at the Port. That comes after a freeze that had been imposed last year. The Port Commissioners say that the Port employees are deserving of a raise, given the hard work that’s gone into three straight years of record income at the facility.
The Lower Columbia College Jazz Ensemble performs tonight at the Rose Center for the Arts. Tonight’s concert will also feature the R. A. Long High School Jazz Band, with Claire Ouelette as the vocal soloist. Tonight’s concert will be held in the Wollenberg Auditorium at 7:30 pm; admission is free.