Work stopped for 15 minutes yesterday morning at ports all along the west coast, from the Canadian border to San Diego, as International Longshore and Warehouse Union National President Robert McEllrath of Vancouver turned himself in to authorities in Cowlitz County. An arrest warrant had been issued previously for McEllrath, charging him with second-degree criminal trespass and obstructing or delaying a train, in connection with the large demonstration outside of the EGT grain terminal back on the 7th of this month. He was booked, then was released without bail. McEllrath joins a growing list of ILWU members being charged in connection with that incident. The ILWU also reports that Zakariah Wheeler, 30, of Longview, Mary Beth Stacy-Beam, 30, and Daniel Wallace, 31, of Toledo were also cited and released on similar charges. The ILWU reports that the “show of solidarity” for McEllrath was strong, with all machinery and equipment at all west coast ports shutting down between 11 and 11:15 yesterday morning. ILWU Coast Committeeman Leal Sundet says that the “stand-down” was an expression of anger over how McEllrath is being treated by local law enforcement.
Archive | September, 2011
It’s being reported that the National Labor Relations Board is seeking nearly $300,000 in fines from the ILWU, citing the union for damages and costs connected to violations of a Federal court order earlier this month. Today’s Daily News reports on the fines, citing nearly $140,000 in damage to the EGT terminal, along with $13,000 damage to Burlington Northern-Santa Fe. The NLRB cites about $76,000 in law enforcement overtime costs, and about $66,000 in agency attorney fees. Other overtime costs are still being assessed, and that number could still grow. The NRLB filed its claims yesterday in Federal court, and Judge Ronald Leighton currently has a hearing set for Friday to set a possible fine against the union. Along with the fine, the NLRB is asking Leighton to fined ILWU Local 21 President Dan Coffman in violation of the court’s previous restraining order, along with Treasurer Bryan Jacobs and Executive Board member Kelly Muller. Union officials claim that all of these damage assessments are still “allegations,” and contend that they’ll prevail in court, after having some time to review and respond to the claims.
The Cowlitz PUD is reporting no problems overnight from the gusty winds that blew through, causing a number of scattered power outages through the day yesterday. Three people are also recovering from minor injuries suffered when a city-owned tree broke apart on Commerce Avenue, with a large branch falling on them. Longview Police say that the Chanticleer Pear in front of Jan’s Ceramics broke nearly in half at about 1:50 pm, landing on an 18 year-old woman, a 35 year-old woman and a 72 year-old man. no one was trapped under the branch, but all three suffered cuts, and were taken to Saint John Medical Center for treatment. The 1200 block of Commerce was closed for about a half-hour, as a crew from the City of Longview responded, removing the branch and the rest of the damaged tree. Dave Andrew with the PUD says that they had a number of scattered outages through the afternoon, involving parts of Ryderwood, the Carlon Loop Road area, Bunker Hill Road, the upper end of the Spirit Lake Highway and in North Kelso. A total of 250 customers lost power, and all repairs were complete shortly after 4 pm. Yesterday’s peak gust came in at 31 miles an hour, recorded around 12:35 pm at the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso. The gusty winds are expected to subside today.
Train traffic between Vancouver and Chehalis was shut down for a while yesterday afternoon, after rail crews discovered that someone had tampered with the tracks. Gus Melonas with Burlington Northern-Santa Fe reports that around a dozen locations were discovered over a 60-mile stretch of tracks, with several located in Cowlitz County. Melonas says that they’re not going to describe the nature of the tampering, other than to say that the tracks have been inspected, and were cleared to resume traffic shortly before 5 pm. BNSF is working with local law enforcement on the incidents, and will continue to do so as needed.
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is following up on the discovery of human remains, found on some property near Randle. The remains haven’t yet been identified, but authorities say that they could be those of Trisha McKenzie-Fire, 58, who’s been missing since April second of this year. She was last seen at about 3 am on that date, after a social gathering at her home. The remains were found about a mile-and-a-half from where she was last seen. The remains have been turned over to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office for examination by a Forensic Anthropologist, where they hope to confirm the identity and determine a possible cause of death.
The woman who was killed after she jumped out of a van driving along I-5 in Centralia on Friday night has been identified as Jamie Jacaway, 27, of Chehalis. She died shortly before 8 pm Friday night, when she jumped out of a van being driven by Robert Hicks, 49, of Chehalis. Hicks tells the State Patrol that they had both been at a church in Centralia, when Jacaway asked for a ride to Chehalis. Both got in Hicks’ van, entering the southbound freeway at Harrison Avenue. Near milepost 80, Hicks says that Jacaway opened the passenger door and jumped out, suffering massive injuries when she hit the ground at freeway speed. Troopers say that Hicks stopped his van immediately, and cooperated fully with investigators. WSP says that they’re continuing the investigation, but no charges are anticipated, as the evidence clearly suggests that Jacaway left the vehicle of her own accord.
Oregon State Police are asking for your help in finding the rider of a motorcycle that was involved in a high-speed chase Sunday morning on Highway 30 near Clatskanie, a pursuit that ended with the crash of a patrol cruiser and the injury of a State Trooper. OSP officials say that this got started around 6:30 Sunday morning, when Trooper Jennifer Spurlock spotted a motorcycle doing 74 miles an hour on the highway west of Clatskanie. She turned around and started chasing the bike, hitting speeds of 120 miles an hour as they left Clatskanie. Spurlock kept the bike in sight until she lost control of her Crown Victoria at milepost 59, where she crashed into an embankment. Spurlock was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria, where she was treated and released. OSP says that they’d like to speak with anyone who saw the pursuit, particularly two westbound cars that may have seen the crash, but failed to stop. If you have information on this incident, call Oregon State Police at 1-800-452-7888.
Ellen Rose is the newest member of the Castle Rock City Council, sworn in at last night’s meeting. The Daily News reports that she was a unanimous choice to succeed Mike Mask, who resigned just prior to the previous meeting of the Council. Mask says that health problems are preventing him from serving at this time. Rose was running against Mask in the upcoming election, and had outdistanced him badly in the primary election. Rose received 67 percent of the vote in the primary, with Mask collecting less than 30 percent. Other Council members say that they want a full panel as they head into a critical budget development season. Rose will serve in the appointed position through the end of this year, then the winner of the election in November will be sworn in early next year. Mask tells the paper that he’s not ruling out the possibility of serving if he’s re-elected; his resignation came too late to remove his name from the ballot.
You may see people out on street corners in Kelso and Longview today, tomorrow and Thursday, as volunteers help in the annual Bicycle and Pedestrian Count. The counts will be done between 7 and 9 am and from 4 to 6 pm at various locations in both cities. This is the fourth year of the count, which is organized by the Washington Department of Transportation. The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments is helping to coordinate the local effort. The data collected helps to track growth in biking and walking around the state, also helping to facilitate efforts to develop improved facilities for bicycling and pedestrians around the area.
Justin Smoak hit a three run homer to give the Mariners a 4-2 win over Oakland. Jason Vargas struck out 10 and collected his career high 10th victory. The M’s host the A’s in the second to last game of the season tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm…..Mickayla Mury’s goal gave Kelso a 1-0 soccer win over Columbia River yesterday. Today, Mark Morris is at Woodland and R.A. Long is at Hockinson…..River downed Kelso 3-1 in volleyball tonight. Tonight, MM has a big one at Woodland and RAL is at Hockinson…..The Jacks and Monarchs are hoping the weather clears for some Civil War boys tennis on the RAL Courts…..The Kelso cross country teams run against Prairie, Heritage and Battle Ground at Lewisville Park today…..In boys golf, Washougal beat RAL 168-213 at Orchard Hills.