Paul Wulff was let go as the WSU head football coach yesterday. A.D. Bill Moos says he will conduct the search and hopes to have a new coach hired within two weeks…..The Kelso Lassies opened the basketball season with a 54-46 loss to Chehalis last night. Kelso hosts Heritage tonight, KLOG 6:50 pm…..The Kelso boys open the hoop season tonight at Heritage while R.A. Long opens the season at home against Aberdeen. Last night, Toutle Lake edged Toledo 53-50 as Anthony Heintzman scored 25 for the Ducks…..In college hoops, Oregon downed UTEP 64-59…..Clark County Commissioners killed an 11-month effort to bring the Yakima Bears to Vancouver. The non-vote ended the attempt to build a $19.5 million stadium at Clark College.
Archive | November, 2011
Dozens of local Longshore Union workers are planning to be at the Hall of Justice this afternoon, asking that trespassing charges connected to a September 7th demonstration outside of the EGT grain terminal be dismissed. The hearing is currently set for 1 pm today in front of District Court Judge Ron Marshall. ILWU International President Robert McEllrath is among those leading the effort to get the charges dismissed, claiming that the workers were merely exercising their First Amendment rights. The union claims that the area where the workers were arrested had not been declared “off limits” by the Port of Longview. The union also contends that union supporters arrested while demonstrating on September 21st were on property that was “allegedly” leased to EGT, but was unmarked and not fenced. In a statement issued yesterday, McEllrath says that Longshore workers are trying to protect the rights of all working people by standing up to multinational corporations like EGT. He says that they hope that Judge Marshall remains neutral, and will intervene to protect the rights of citizens, not just the rights of corporate entities.
The Cowlitz County Commissioners are taking action on the 2012 Current Expense and Road Fund levies, action that also includes a one-year refund levy to replace revenue lost in the St. John Medical Center property tax reassessment. Commission Chair George Raiter says that the county government continues to be bogged down by reductions in revenue. In yesterday’s report, Finance Director Claire Hauge recommended that the county take the full one percent increase allowed by law for both the Current Expense Fund and the Road Fund. In addition, the Current Expense Fund includes the collection of just less than $250,000 for the refund levy. To balance the 2012 budget, Hauge is also recommending that the Road Fund levy be reduced by $958,000, with that capacity then shifted to the Current Expense Fund. Imposing the refund levy will cost property owners in the county just less than three cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The owner of a $150,000 home will pay a little over $4 extra because of that refund levy. For the third year in a row, the county’s total assessed valuation dropped, going down by more than $103 million. By law, the setting of the levies has to be complete by today; Hauge says that there’s still a LOT of work to do before they’re ready to adopt a 2012 budget next month, as they’re still more than $4 million away from arriving at a balanced budget. County officials say additional cuts will be necessary to get that budget balanced.
The City of Longview is inviting you to provide input on possible goals for water conservation in the city, along with more efficient use of water. It’s noted that water is a “precious and limited resource.” Across the state, the demand for safe drinking water competes with other needs, including agriculture, industry, recreation and fish survival. City officials say that their water use efficiency goals are intended to help ensure a reliable, long-term supply, promote good stewardship of the resource, ensure efficient operation of the system, and to reduce costs when possible. This public meeting starts at 6 pm at the city’s Utilities Operation Center, located at 1460 Industrial Way. There will be an open house and tours between 6 and 8 pm, with the Water Use Efficiency Meeting set to start at 7 pm. Input will be taken all night long. All who are interested are invited to come by.
Linzi Jordan Scott, 21, of Longview is under arrest, after she was identified as the person who was shoplifting items from the Woodland Wal-Mart store yesterday morning. Store security called for help from Woodland Police, after Scott allegedly tried to run off with a digital camera. Sheriff’s Deputies also responded to the scene. They say Scott took off through the parking lot, but then was stopped a few minutes later at a local convenience store. The camera was recovered, and Scott also showed where she stashed a bag with other items. Woodland Police say that a DVD player and a silver necklace were in the bag, both traced back to the Wal-Mart store. Officers also say that Scott gave them a false name when she was first stopped, so she’s being charged with organized retail theft, first-degree criminal impersonation and obstructing an officer. She’s being held without bail at this time.
Kelso Police report making an arrest in connection with a robbery that took place last month, where a man was hit in the head and his cell phone was stolen. On October 19th, a man reported that he was attacked by three juvenile males on Northwest 3rd in Kelso, with his phone and keys missing when he woke up. As the investigation continued, Longview Police say that they learned that the 14 year-old had been talking up his role in the incident. Investigators claim that they teen was telling others how he’d used a stick to hit the man in the head. Officers say that they’ve recovered the stolen cell phone, along with the stick that was allegedly used. The 14 year-old was arrested yesterday morning at a motel in West Kelso, and officers also report that the teen was carrying a weapon at that time. In addition to the robbery charge, the teen could also be charged with carrying an illegal weapon.
Cowlitz County Elections now reports that the Woodland City Council race between Scott Perry and Robert Ripp is dead even, with a hand recount to be conducted early next week. As the Canvassing Board was certifying the November 8th general election results, another vote for Ripp was found, giving each candidate 569 votes. Elections Supervisor Carolyn Myers says that the recount will be conducted on Monday and Tuesday of next week, with a canvas of that recount set for 4 pm next Tuesday. If things are still tied after the recount, then a coin flip will decide who gets the seat.
The first meeting of a group that’s trying to set up a triathlon in the local area is set for today. Organizers say that they plan to hold the triathlon on August 26th of next year, hosted by the Southwest Washington YMCA. The event will include a 500-yard swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 5K run. Today’s initial meeting is set to run from noon to 1:30 pm at the St. John Medical Center Women’s Pavilion, located at 17th and Delaware in Longview. Cowlitz on the Move is also involved in the organizational effort for this event. If you’d like to know more, contact Wellness Service Specialist John Schapman at 414-7372.
There’s a consensus on the Longview School Board that they got “blindsided” by the Washington Department of Revenue on the St. John Medical Center property tax reassessment. At the same time, they also say that the current financial state of the district requires them to impose the one-year refund levy that allows the district to recoup the money that they had to pay the hospital. Board President Skip Urling says that it’s a very difficult position to be in, but the community seems to understand. The move to refinance bonds that were issued in 2002 is helping to soften the blow to taxpayers. The savings from that refinancing is reducing the contribution from the Debt Service Fund by nearly $139,000. Instead of collecting $557,000 in the refund levy, the district now only needs to recoup a little less than $419,000. That reduces the refund levy rate from around 12 cents per $1,000 to about 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The bill for the owner of a $150,000 house in the Longview School District from about $19 to just over $14. It’s emphasized that this is a one-year situation, and this excess levy will expire at the end of 2012.
It’s being reported that private search experts are being brought in to search for Nikki Sherman, 19, of Rainier; she’s been missing since Sunday, November 13th, when she left her home on Meissner Road, then never arrived at a friend’s house a few miles away. In today’s Daily News, Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson says that they’re continuing to investigate the case, pursuing leads and checking out hunches. The family says that they’ve also hired Harry Oakes with the Longview-based International K-9 Search and Rescue Service to conduct a ground search in the area that they think Sherman may have covered. A fund to help the family pay for that ground search has been set up at U. S. Bank, and you can help out by donating to the “Find Nichole Sherman Fund.” Sheriff Dickerson says that they welcome the additional effort, but they still consider the disappearance “highly suspicious,” and are still working to find Sherman’s red 2001 Chevy Cavalier, Oregon license YCD-562. If you have information on this case, call Columbia County at 503-366-4698.