Woodland Police are looking into the possibility that additional charges could be filed against former Woodland Fire Chief Tony Brentin and his wife, Shari. Late last week, Shari Brentin was arrested on theft charges, accused of bilking an elderly woman out of $10,000. Early yesterday afternoon, that woman called Woodland Police, claiming that she’d learned that Brentin was supposed to be on her way to the house, apparently planning to take additional items. A short time later, a Woodland Police Detective indicated that he was looking into an allegation that Tony Brentin had cashed a $5,000 campaign check, and then used the money for personal expenses. A subpoena was served at the local Bank of America branch. No arrests have been made at this time.
Archive | December, 2011
The mental competency hearing for Daniel Butts, 22, of Kalama will wrap up next Tuesday afternoon. At 3 pm on Tuesday, the 3rd, closing arguments in the hearing will be presented to Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove, then he’ll decide if Butts is competent to stand trial. Butts has yet to enter a plea on the 24-count indictment filed against him in connection with the January 5th shooting death of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter. Testifying for the defense, psychiatrist Jerry Larsen contends that Butts has a personal and family history of mental illness, and that it would be almost impossible for him to “fake” the psychotic behavior that he’s been engaged in over the past year. Speaking for the prosecution, forensic psychologist Brooke Howard says that Butts behavior is “disruptive, not psychotic.” Detectives say that Butts seemed to be normal at the time of his arrest; District Attorney Steve Atchison says that Butts’ behavior changed around the time that the indictment was handed down. The purpose of this hearing is only to determine if is competent to stand trial. If it’s determined that he is not competent, then he’d been transferred to Oregon State Hospital in Salem for up to three years of treatment, to try and get him to a state of competency.
Memorial services for Army Specialist Mikayla Anne Bragg of Longview were held yesterday at Fort Knox, Kentucky. That’s where the 2008 Mark Morris High School graduate was stationed, serving as a Motor Transport Operator with the 201st Brigade Support Battalion, Third Brigade Combat team, First Infantry Division. She was shot and killed on the 21st of this month, while in a guard tower in southern Afghanistan. It’s reported that between 50 and 60 people attended yesterday’s service, including Bragg’s mother, father and stepmother. Bragg’s mother tells the Daily News that Army officials presented her with a quilt made from camouflage material, and there was a 21-gun salute in Bragg’s honor. They say that her remains are still at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, and it’s unclear exactly when she’ll be returned to this area. Plans are being made to hold a local memorial service some time next month, but the exact date, time and location still haven’t been set.
Mark Fielding Bishop of Castle Rock is spending his 29th birthday in jail, arrested last night after an alleged shoplifting incident at the 7th Avenue Wal-Mart in Longview. Around 6:30 pm, store security reported that a man had tried to leave the store with two TV’s and some other items. After a struggle, the man jumped into a waiting car, which then took off. Longview Police stopped that car at 11th and Tennant Way, and that’s where Bishop was arrested. Officers say that he’d been trying to hide by laying down on the passenger seat. A stolen leaf blower was also recovered at that time. Bishop is now being held without bail on charges of second-degree theft and third-degree assault. The driver of the car, Lagena Lee Crawford, 40, of Longview, was also arrested for driving while suspended, but she was released on her own recognizance. Officers are also checking to see if Bishop may be connected with Wednesday morning’s car chase and search in the Highlands, with no charges connected to that filed as of yet.
As the heavy rains continue, so the weather alerts around the area. Yesterday morning, PacificCorp sent out a notice, reporting that they were increasing the flow through Merwin Dam from 5,000 cubic feet per second to 16,500 cubic feet per second. Late last night, the Department of Ecology alerted Cowlitz County officials that they expected the Winlock Sewage System to overflow into Olequa Creek at some point during the night, flowing into the Cowlitz River. They did say that no significant impacts were expected, as any overflow would be diluted by the water flowing down the creek and the river. The Weather Service is continuing a flood watch for the Coast Range and northwest Oregon, reporting that three to four inches of rain has fallen out of this system so far, and another inch or so is expected. The Grays River in Wahkiakum County and the Nehalem River in Columbia County are among those being watched closely. The Cowlitz in Kelso is expected to rise above the “action stage” of 18 feet late tomorrow night, but is then expected to drop quickly after that. Snow levels are expected to drop to a thousand feet by tonight, so there’s also a Winter Storm Warning up for the Cascades. Rain is expected to switch to snow by this afternoon, with heavy snow and gusty winds possible at the pass levels.
Weyerhaeuser Security is reporting that someone has vandalized the Forest Learning Center east of Toutle, shooting a couple of windows and one of the doors on the building. This report came in shortly before 1 pm yesterday; they say that the building, which is closed for the season, was fine when it was checked earlier in the week. While one side of the front door was shattered, they say that it does not look like anyone got inside. No suspects have been identified.
You have some options for ringing in the new year, other than heading out to a bar or a club. The 30th annual Year-to-Year Run is set to start at 11:50 pm Saturday night, a family-friendly event being put on by Longview Parks and Youth and Family Link. The event starts and finishes at the Youth and Family Link building at 907 Douglas in Longview. They’ll actually get things started off at 9 pm Saturday night, with a three-on-three basketball tournament, then the 5-K fun run and walk will start at 11:50. You can register at the building, starting at 9 pm, or you can go to the Cowlitz Valley Runners website to pre-register.
Over at the Three Rivers Mall in Kelso, “Game On” is continuing a two-day Modern Warfare 3 tournament, going on during mall hours today. This tournament is a “free-for-all” format; the entry fee is $20, with prizes awarded for first, second and third places. Tomorrow night, they’ll be hosting an alcohol-free New Year’s Eve party at Game On, a “lock down” for teens that will feature all-night gaming, pizza, snacks, giveaways and mini-tournaments. Call Game On at 360-232-8891 for additional details.
Baylor outscores Washington 67-56 in a wild Alamo Bowl last night. The Bears rallied from 18 down in the second half to take the record setting offensive display…..The Blazers beat Denver 111-102 to go to 3-0 on the season. Wesley Matthews led the way with 23 points…..The Huskies beat OSU 95-80 to win the Pac-12 opener. Oregon downed WSU 92-75 in Spokane…..The LCC men lost to Mt. Hood 76-62 last night in Portland…..The LCC women’s team grabbed its first win of the year with a 66-57 win over Seattle at the LC Holiday Classic. The Devils play Yakima Valley at 1 pm today, KLOG 12:55 pm…..4th ranked Snohomish held off upset-minded Mark Morris 55-51 in the Mountlake Terrace boys tourney. The Monarchs play Marysville-Pilchuck at 5 pm today.
While last-minute work continues on Legislative district lines, the Washington Redistricting Commission is announcing that agreement has been reached on the boundaries for the state’s Congressional districts. The 3rd Congressional District will have some significant changes, removing most of Thurston County and placing that area in the state’s new 10th District. On the map released yesterday, the 3rd District would also pick up all of Klickitat County, with only a tiny sliver of Thurston County near Rochester remaining in the 3rd. All of Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, Clark, Lewis, Skamania and Pacific Counties would also be in the 3rd District, with the new 10th District being comprised of portions of Thurston, Mason and Pierce Counties. Other districts getting major changes include the 1st and 9th; the 9th would become the state’s first “majority-minority” district, meaning that its population would be comprised mostly of people of color. Once approved by the bi-partisan Redistricting Commission, the proposal will be sent to the Legislature for final approval. Under state law, they could only make minor adjustments, only after getting a supermajority vote to do so. The Redistricting Commission has only a few more days to get its work done, as these alterations need to be in place by January 1st. Otherwise, the state Supreme Court would take over the task.
The Weather Service says that another strong weather system is expected tonight, this time with dropping snow levels and heavy snows in the Cascades. There’s a winter storm warning starting at 6 pm tonight in the central and northern Cascades in Washington, running until midnight tomorrow night. Snow levels are expected to start at about 4,000 feet tonight, dropping to three thousand feet by tomorrow morning, and then to 2,000 feet by tomorrow night. The snow is expected to be heavy, with one to two feet possible at Paradise on Mt. Rainier, and on Mt. Baker. Stevens Pass could get up to 18 inches out of this system. To the west of us, snow levels could even get as low as 1,500 feet, affecting the Coast Range. Three to six inches is possible late tomorrow night. We should also continue to expect rain and wind in the local area, with the next big frontal system coming in tonight. On the coast, winds of 25 to 35 miles an hour are expected, with gusts of up to 55 miles an hour. The flood warning also continues on the Grays River at Rosburg, with the river running about two feet over flood stage at this time. They now say widespread flooding of lowland areas and roads around Rosburg is under way, including the approaches to the Altoona Bridge over the Grays River.