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Archive | June, 2011

Saturday Bike Crash

Posted on 27th June 2011 at 08:02

An Astoria couple is recovering from serious injuries suffered in a Saturday motorcycle crash on Highway 47 near Vernonia. Oregon State Police say that the couple had been taking part in a group ride of about 80 motorcycles, riding north of Vernonia near Biggs Road. At about 12:30 pm, a brand-new Harley-Davidson driven by Markku Tila, 50, of Astoria went off the highway, hit a highway marker, then crashed in the ditch. Leslie Michele Tila, 42, was thrown from the bike and was critically injured. She was taken by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. Markku Tila was taken to the same hospital by ambulance, listed with only minor injuries. It’s noted that both were wearing helmets. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Shooting Verdict

Posted on 27th June 2011 at 07:45

Ronald Brady, 60, of Onalaska was acquitted on charges of murder and first-degree assault in connection with the fatal shooting of Thomas McKenzie of Morton, but they did convict him on a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter. The Centralia Chronicle reports that it took a little over three hours for the jury to decide after the five-day trial. Brady had been charged with murder and first-degree assault when he shot and killed McKenzie at his home back on April 19th of last year. He also fired several rounds in the direction of McKenzie’s wife, Johanna. Brady contended that he was defending his property, which had been burglarized several times. On the stand, Brady said that he “feared for his life” as the McKenzie’s shined flashlights in his face from outside the house. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office originally said that Brady would not be charged, but then after several months, manslaughter charges were filed, which then escalated to murder. Brady was acquitted on the most serious charges, but a guilty verdict was returned on the second-degree manslaughter count. Brady will remain free until his sentencing.

Slavery Plea

Posted on 27th June 2011 at 07:45

Edk Kenit, 29, and Choimina Lukas, 31, of Longview are pleading not guilty to federal charges of forced labor conspiracy, forced labor and attempted forced labor, along with document servitude. The Daily News reports that the indictment was filed on the first of this month in U. S. District Court in Tacoma, alleging that Kenit and Lukas conspired to bring an 18 year-old woman to their home from the island nation of Micronesia in March of last year. The woman was then forced to care for the couple’s household and their children, and was also forced to provide sexual favors. The woman escaped to a woman’s shelter in February of this year, then told her story. A trial is currently set for September 26th.

Hottowe Moves

Posted on 27th June 2011 at 07:44

They’re going to be looking for another high-level administrator in the Kelso School District, as Mark Hottowe, the current Executive Director of Supervision and Student Services is resigning to take the job as Superintendent of Schools in the Ocean Beach School District. Hottowe has been with the Kelso School District for 22 years, serving as Principal at Huntington Middle School and Wallace Elementary School before becoming Director of Student Services and Human Resources and then his current position. Hottowe will be changing jobs in short order; his current contract with Kelso runs out this Thursday, then he starts his new job with the Ocean Beach District on Friday.

Free Lunches

Posted on 27th June 2011 at 07:44

The free Summer Lunch program starts today in the Kelso School District, with lunches being services at Barnes Elementary School and at Kelso High School. Lunches will be provided for free to everyone age 18 and under from 11 to 11:15 am at Barnes, and from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm at Kelso High. Adults can also purchase lunches for $3.15. Milk is available for 35 cents. The free lunch program starts next week at Wallace Elementary, and in the Longview School District. Call 501-1807 for additional information.

Snow White Auditions

Posted on 27th June 2011 at 07:43

The Missoula Children’s Theatre is in town this week, getting ready for a production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” to be presented later this week. Auditions for all parts will run from 10 am until noon today, including Snow White, Queen Bella, the Seven Dwarves, “Forest Friends,” Black Forest creatures, a Magic Mirror, Bats, henchmen and The King. Students from grade 1 through grade 12 are encouraged to audition; no advance preparation is needed. Those planning to audition should be at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts by 9:45 this morning, and should plan to stay until noon. Some of those chosen for the cast will also be asked to take part in a rehearsal immediately after the audition. For those chosen to take part, rehearsals will run through the week from 10 am until 2:30 pm each day. The play will be presented this Saturday at 3 pm and 5:30 pm at the Columbia Theatre.Call 575-8499 or check the Columbia Theatre website for more information.

Art Show

Posted on 27th June 2011 at 07:43

A new exhibit opens today in the Art Gallery at the Rose Center for the Arts at LCC. Painter Leslie Peterson opens an exhibit that runs through July 26th; Peterson uses photographs as a basis for her inspiration, painting on wood panels in a blend of techniques. A reception to open the exhibit is set for today from 4 to 6 pm. The reception and the exhibit are free and open to all. The Rose Center Art Gallery is open from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday, 1 to 4 on Tuesdays, and from 10 am to 6 pm on Wednesdays.

Outdoor Camps

Posted on 27th June 2011 at 07:42

There are a couple of outdoor day camps that start today. Longview Parks and Rec is opening its Outdoor Adventures Day Camp today, and will run through Thursday. This is open for kids ages 9 to 12, and will take place at the Longview Women’s Club building on 21st Avenue, running from 1 to 4 pm each day. On Thursday, participants will need a ride Wake Robin outdoor education facility west of Longview. Call Longview Recreation at 442-5400 for registration information. The Southwest Washington YMCA Outdoor Adventure Day Camp also opens today, offering ten one-week sessions through September second. This is open to kids from age 6 to 13, and will be held on the Y’s property off of the Kalama River Road. Call the Southwest Washington YMCA at 423-4770 to get registered for this day camp.

Cowlitz Dedications

Posted on 27th June 2011 at 07:41

It was a big weekend for the Cowlitz Indians, as they held dedication ceremonies for the tribe’s new medical clinic in Longview, then also blessed their first-ever reservation. The clinic dedication was held on Friday afternoon, opening up their new $3 million, 12,000 square-foot building. The clinic will help to provide medical services to tribal members, with four exam rooms, and space to expand for dental services. The tribe currently has 1,400 active patient files. On Saturday, more than 150 tribal members and friends attended a blessing ceremony on the 152 acres of land near La Center that constitutes the tribe’s first-ever reservation. Tribal chairman Bill Iyall says that the reservation was a dream of their ancestors, and on Saturday, they were able to live that dream.

Advisory Vote

Posted on 24th June 2011 at 08:20

The Longview City Council is moving ahead with an advisory vote on the city’s red light cameras, approving resolutions that will actually have two ballot titles. One deals with the red light violation cameras, and the other covers the school zone speed limit cameras. Concerns were raised about the possibility of having three measures on the ballot if a judge declares that a citizen initiative is valid, but Mayor Kurt Anagnostou says that problem can be rectified if it arises. Council member Dennis Weber raised concerns about the possibility of voter confusion if the citizen initiative is validated, but he ended up voting to move ahead with the advisory votes. Chet Makinster voted against the resolutions, saying that citizens elected the Council to make tough decisions on things like the cameras, and he feels that the Council isn’t living up to its responbility. With the vote, an advisory vote will go on the November general ballot, asking if the cameras should remain in place past May first of next year, when the pilot project is concluded. The Council also approved the use of outside counsel in the upcoming hearing on the validity of the citizen initiative. The hearing on that issue has been set over until July 11th at 9:30 am, in order to give the defendants in the case the full statutory limit for time to respond.