Local law enforcement agencies are now stepping up their DUI patrols, with extra officers on the road through January 2nd. Police from Longview, Kelso, Castle Rock, Kalama, Woodland are taking part in the “Team Effort” to prevent drunk driving, along with Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputies and the State Patrol. Last year, 42 people were arrested for DUI during these emphasis patrols, which are also connected to the Washington Strategic Highway Safety Plan. That plan has a goal of reducing the state’s traffic fatalities to zero by the year 2030. Local coffee shops are also joining in the education effort, as custom-made cup sleeves are being distributed with your hot cup of joe. Paid for through a mini-grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the sleeves say “WAKE UP and SMELL THE COFFEE! Drunk driving is against the law. Extra DUI patrols are on NOW in Cowlitz County.” 4,500 of the sleeves will be distributed to local coffee outlets over the next six weeks.
Archive | November, 2011
Along with your Black Friday shopping, you’ll also be able to help out the Muscular Dystrophy Association, as firefighters from Cowlitz Fire District 2 in Kelso, District 5 in Kalama and the City of Woodland will be out working to “Fill the Boot.” The firefighters will be set up at the intersection of Allen Street and Three Rivers Drive between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm today, collecting donations for the MDA. A similar effort in September netted just over $6,500. Money raised will help support more than eleven hundred local residents and families.
You can get out and get some razor clams, with four beaches open for digging on the evening tides today and three beaches open tomorrow. Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks are all open today; tomorrow, only Long Beach Twin harbors and Mocrocks will be open. The tides should be extremely favorable, with a low tide of minus 1.9 feet around 6:30 tonight and minus 1.8 feet around 7:15 tomorrow night. Fish and Wildlife officials say that the best digging starts about an hour or so before the lowest tide. Be sure to have your current shellfish license, lights for the dark, and be sure to dress for the weather.
If you’re looking for a break from the turkey this weekend, you can get out and get some breakfast, while also helping out the Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center. From 8:30 to 11 am tomorrow at the Cowlitz County Expo Center, they’re putting on the second annual “Buy a Stack for CJAC Pancake Breakfast.” Along with the pancake breakfast, your kids can get their picture taken with Santa, there will be other kids’ activities, and they’ll have raffle prizes. Call 577-3080 or 353-3933 for ticket information.
There’s also a Community Family Breakfast, starting at 10 am on Saturday at the Abundant Life Church of the Nazarene, located at 615 South 4th Avenue in Kelso. Breakfast will be served from 10 am to 1 pm, or until the food runs out. They’ll also be running fun videos for the kids while they’re serving.
The 4th annual “Stuff the Bus” toy and food drive will be held Saturday in the parking lot of the Three Rivers Mall. Kelso School District Classified Employees are coordinating today’s event, set up in the north parking lot of the mall, near J. C. Penney’s. They’ll be accepting donations of toys and non-perishable food from 8 am to 5 pm tomorrow, with the toy donations going to the Jumbo’s Memorial Toy Run, while the food donations will go to Community House on Broadway.
The 29th annual Jumbo’s Memorial Toy Run is set for this Sunday, with dozens of local motorcycle riders taking part in the parade. There’s a new site and a new route for this year’s run. This year’s Jumbo Toy Run will start and end at the Kelso-Longview Elks Lodge, just off Grade Street near the Three Rivers Mall. The Jumbo’s Toy Run will start at 1 pm on Sunday; the cost to take part is ten dollars, or a new toy of equal value. Net proceeds and the toys collected will go to benefit the children of Cowlitz County. Call 578-2002 or 749-3495 for additional information.
They’re kicking off the Christmas season this weekend down in Cathlamet, with the Festival of Trees, and a “Walk Down Christmas Lane,” starting tomorrow. Starting at 3 pm tomorrow, the “Walk Down Christmas Lane” will start, part of a Shop Local and Win promotion in downtown. Local businesses will be offering festive treats as an enticement, you’ll be able to find your holiday gifts, then if you get your cards stamped, you’ll be entered into a drawing for special prizes. At 5 pm, they’ll going to light the Christmas Tree and Santa will arrive on a fire truck. Entry forms for the Festival of Trees will also be available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Bank of the Pacific. You’ll then have until December 15th to build your best tree, wreath or Christmas swag, with judging planned for December 15th. Entries will be on display in the Bank of the Pacific lobby. Contact the Chamber of the Bank of the Pacific for details.
It’s been a busy night for utilty and road crews, as they deal with the impacts of the storm that’s been stalled over the area since yesterday morning. PUD crews have been chasing outages all night long, including two separate outages in the South Kelso industrial area, the last one going from around 2 to 2:50 am. KLOG 1490 was off the air for most of the night, due to the impacts of those outages. Overnight power outages affected more than 1,000 PUD customers, mostly in the northern end of the county. Two separate outages were reported up on the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, one affecting the South Silver Lake-Studebaker Road area, then another up in the Highway 505-Kid Valley area, extending up to the end of the highway. The 900 customers in the Gardner’s Corner-Studebaker Road area around Castle Rock were restored just before 5:30, while work continues to restore the outage further up the highway. 120 customers down on Green Mountain Road were also out around 5 am. Another small outage was also reported in the Harris Street area of Kelso. All of the outages are due to trees and limbs being knocked down by the high winds.
Three Northwest college basketball teams were in action last night. Seattle University beat Montana State 85-73, Eastern Washington downed Hawaii 89-72 and UC Santa Barbara defeated Portland 83-69…..Men’s college basketball hits Longview Friday with the Red Devil Classic at LCC, an eight team, three day event. The Devils take on Southwestern Oregon Friday night at 8 pm…..63,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s Apple Cup game at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field…..Rainier continues preparation for Saturday’s Oregon 3A football semi-final with Dayton. The game is slated for 11 am Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium…..The Cowlitz Colts Pee Wee Pop Warner football team is holding a two-band, benefit concert tonight at Los Rochos in Longview from 6 to 9 pm tonight.
Rainfall amounts have been prodigious over the past day or so. Kelso’s automated station at the airport is off-line, so there’s no report from there. The Water Treatment Plant in Longview reports that more than 3 inches of rain fell over the past 36 hours. Castle Rock reports nearly three inches of rain, Kalama had 2.57 inches, Woodland had 2.17 inches and St. Helens had just less than two inches. Longview had a peak wind gust of 33 miles an hour, 25 in Castle Rock, 38 in Kalama and 22 down in Woodland. There’s a lot of standing water on area roadways; Alpha Drive was also closed at West Side Highway for about an hour and a half yesterday evening. No road closures are reported this morning in the county, but there could be areas of standing water. The Cowlitz in Kelso is currently running at about 19.7 feet, above the “action stage,” but below the flood stage of 21.5 feet. The river is expected to crest early this afternoon at 20.5 feet. A wind advisory remains in effect until 7 am for the local area, with occasional south winds of 20 to 30 miles an hour, with gust of up to 45 possible. The high wind watch on the south Washington coast remains in place until this afternoon, with gusts of up to 60 miles an hour still possible.
Two men are under arrest as Kelso Police investigate a report of suspicious individuals outside of a home in North Kelso. A person living in the eleven hundred block of North 4th Avenue called 911 shortly after 6 yesterday morning, saying that the two men had passed by their house at least four times. Officers responded, contacting one of the subjects outside of 1117 North 4th. They say that Shawn Stephen Wagoner, 30, had two warrants, one for driving while suspended and another for making false statements to police officers. As he was being arrested, police say that they also found that Wagoner was in possession of illegal drugs. Police also claim that the second suspect barricaded himself in the attic of the house, but he was eventually brought out at about 6:50 am. Michael Dean Sturm, 40, is now being held for making false statements to officers and for obstructing an officer, with bail set at $1,000. He’s also being held on a no-bail fugitive warrant out of Laurens County, Georgia. The nature of that warrant hasn’t been disclosed.