Randall Eugene Ginger, 43, and Sherry Ann Reid, 35, of Longview are under arrest on charges of second-degree arson, after they allegedly threw a molotov cocktail at a boat owned by a Longview man. Around 9:20 least night, a man living on Ohio Street called 911, claiming that Ginger and Reid had come by, threatening to burn his house down. Apparently, this was over a debt owed to Ginger by the caller’s son. Deputies responded to the area, and started checking things out. Around 11:25 pm, they stopped a car driven by Reid in the area of 42nd and Pennsylvania. She was arrested at that time, then Ginger was arrested about a half-hour later. As they continued to investigate, Deputies say that they learned that the couple had thrown a lit Molotov cocktail at the 911 caller’s boat. Both were arrested on the arson charge; Ginger is also being held for being in possession of an incendiary device, while Reid is also being charged with driving while suspended. Both are being held without bail at this time.
Archive | March, 2011
Shane Robert Tautfest, 23, of Kelso is under arrest after several car prowls were reported yesterday morning in Kelso. This got started shortly after 10 am, when a woman called from the First United Methodist Church, reporting that her car had been broken into. She says that an air compressor and cash were stolen from the vehicle. About an hour later, Officer got a tip that identified Tautfest as a possible suspect. A few minutes later, a person who’d been staying at the Guesthouse Inn and Suites reported that his truck had been prowled, with a .45 pistol and ammo stolen. Police checked a security video, and were able to identify Tautfest at that time. They went to a home in the eleven hundred block of South 6th, and arrested Tautfest around 1:30 pm. Items stolen from two other car prowls were recovered at that time. Tautfest is now charged with car prowling, theft of a gun, felon in possession of a gun and malicious mischief. He’s being held without bail on those charges, and has also been served with a Lewis County warrant for driving while suspended.
The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force reports that a major local meth dealer was busted over the weekend, picked up last Friday in Kelso. Task Force Coordinator Kevin Tate says this got started at around 12:30 pm Friday, as agents were investigating a home in South Kelso. Steven Allen McCracken, 30, was seen driving away from the house, and agents asked that his car be stopped. A Kelso Officer tried to stop McCracken’s car on I-5, but he reportedly sped away, hitting 90 miles an hour on the freeway, then about 50 as he exited at the Wye. The chase continued onto the Harry Morgan Bridge, where McCracken allegedly slowed to a crawl, jumped out of the car, then threw a large bag into the river. It’s thought that he was planning to jump as Officers ran up and grabbed him. They were able to keep track of the bag, which was then recovered. Detectives say that they found about a quarter-pound of meth in the bag, but it’s speculated that a large amount dissolved in the water. Tate says that they believe that McCracken is one of the major meth dealers in the local area, bringing pound-type quantities into Cowlitz County on a regular basis. Currently, he’s being held without bail on a charge of felony eluding. Also connected to this investigation is the arrest of Korbi Ann Sorrell, 30, of Kelso. She’s being held without bail on a charge of drug possession. The investigation is continuing.
The Blazers lost at Oklahoma City 99-90 last night. Gerald Wallace had 40 points in the losing effort. Portland turns right around and plays at San Antonio tonight, KLOG 4:35 pm….Oregon and Creighton begin a best of three CBI tourney series tonight in Omaha…..Washington State will take on Wichita State in the NIT semi-finals tomorrow night in NYC…..The Gonzaga women can get to the Final Four if they can upset Stanford tonight…..The Mariners lost to the Rangers 5-4 in 10 innings yesterday. The M’s play the Rockies today, KLOG 12:55 pm…..The LCC baseball team will host Concordia in a 5 pm twin bill tonight at Story Field…..The LCC softball double header at Pierce College has been postponed due to wet grounds. The games have been rescheduled Wednesday at 3 pm.
Richard Scott Courtney, 62, of Vernonia is in the Columbia County Jail, arrested on 29 separate counts of sexual abuse of a child. Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson says that the arrest concludes a ten-month investigation into alleged sexual abuse, involving three kids under the age of 12. The case got started last June, when allegations first arose involving two members of Courtney’s extended family, along with one other child. Dickerson says that much of the evidence was found stored on a computer that was surrendered to authorities in June; a search warrant was executed on that computer in October. Dickerson says Federal child exploitation experts have been examining the evidence, and they say it’s possible Federal crimes have also been committed. Courtney was arrested at his home last Friday, and is now being held on 26 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, along with three counts of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct. Current bail exceeds $1.5 million. The two victims who’d been staying at Courtney’s home were placed in state custody back in June, when the investigation first commenced.
Two women and a young boy are back at home this morning, after spending several hours stranded in the woods near the Ape Cave on Saturday. The Skamania County Sheriff’s Department says that they got the first call from the group at about 8 pm on Saturday; the two young women and the three year-old boy had hiked through the cave and were coming back down the trail when they got exhausted and found shelter in a tree well. Deputies advised them to walk down the trail a little ways, so they were easier to find, then it took about an hour for North Country EMS and the Volcano Rescue Team to reach them, using snowmobiles. All three were cold, wet and tired. One of the women was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Names were not released.
Deborah Varner, 48, of Silver Lake is now listed in serious condition at Southwest Washington Medical Center, after a Saturday afternoon mishap involving her 16 year-old son and a pickup truck. Deputies say that this happened around 5:30 pm on Saturday, at a home on Varner Road Spur #1. They say that Varner’s son had been backing the truck up when he accidentally backed over her. She was still trapped under the truck when rescue crews arrived. Varner was taken by LifeFlight to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver. Deputies say that they’ve investigated the incident, and no charges are anticipated.
Three people are recovering from injuries received in a two-car crash that closed I-5 northbound near Castle Rock on Saturday afternoon. State Troopers say that this happened around 2:15 pm on Saturday, at milepost 53 northbound. Guy Rostan, 26, of Rochester was driving in the right lane when his 1996 Nissan hydroplaned on the wet freeway. He lost control, shooting across all three lanes of the freeway, and running into the rear of a disabled car parked on the right shoulder. Rostan and the driver of the disabled car, Maria O’Brien, 50, of Portland, were taken to St. John Medical Center. A passenger in Rostan’s car, Michael Burleson, 27, of Rochester, was taken by LifeFlight to Southwest Washington Medical Center with a fractured skull, a broken neck and five broken ribs. He’s listed in serious condition this morning. Troopers blame the crash on excessive speed, and they say charges are pending. The freeway was closed for a little over an hour after the crash.
Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries is announcing plans to buy the Equa-Chlor plant in Longview, looking to gain a foothold in the Western US in the production of chlorine, caustic soda and muriatic acid. PPG announced the purchase plans one week ago. In a press release, PPG senior vice president Michael McGarry says that this plant will give them a strategic position on the west coast, and will be a “nice compliment” to their chlor-alkali and derivatives business. PPG plans to acquire Equa-Chlor’s manufacturing operations, which is capable of producing 220 tons of chlorine each day. they also plan to acquire Equa-Chlor’s rail cars, allowing them to optimize railcar usage throughout their company. It’s planned that all 65 of Equa-Chlor’s current employees will be retained, and PPG actually has plans to expand the production. The deal is expected to close in the first half of this year. Financial details are not being disclosed. Equa-Chlor operates on ten acres of land on Industrial Way, leased from Weyerhaeuser, which is located right across the road.
As the investigation into Wednesday’s deadly train-versus-van collision in South Kelso continues, the names of the victims are being released, and one local man is among them. Kelso Police say Steven Dean Sebastian, 60, of Castle Rock was the driver of the Coach America van that was hit at about 4:30 pm on Wednesday in the 3000 block of Talley Way. Two BNSF employees were killed, Thomas Joseph Kenny, 59, of Shoreline, and Christopher J. Loehr, 28, of Seattle. It’s also noted that Loehr grew up in Vancouver, and was a graduate of Skyview High School. A third BNSF employee, Dwight Leonard Hauck, 52, of Auburn, was taken by LifeFlight to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. They’re still describing him as being in critical condition after the crash, and his condition hasn’t been updated today. The collision happened when the van tried to cross the main rail lines, and was hit by a northbound freight train, hauling grain from Minnesota to Seattle. Kelso Police Chief Andy Hamilton says that they still don’t know how the van ended up in front of the train, which was leaving the Longview Switching Yard, taking the crew to a motel in Vancouver. Hamilton says that they’re continuing to work with BNSF on the investigation into the crash.