Kevin Robin Culp, 30, of Kelso is being charged with DUI, driving while suspended, reckless driving and harrassment by phone after an incident that took place last night in Longview. Just after 11 pm, a Longview Officer reported trying to make a traffic stop in the 1700 block of Alabama. He says that the driver tried to take off instead, but was stopped after just a few blocks. Culp and two others were held at gunpoint in an alley between 15th and 16th Avenues. Of the three, only Culp was booked into jail, while the pickup he was driving was also impounded. Culp was booked into the County Jail, and is currently free after posting bail of $1,750.
Archive | December, 2011
Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler is touting language in the recently-passed federal appropriations bill, which she says will continue to prevent the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service from breaching dikes in the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. Fish and Wildlife is wanting to remove dikes in the Lewis Point, Porter Point and Riekkola units in the refuge, as part of the process to return that area to its previous state as a salt marsh. Herrera Beutler says that she got a lot of public input, raising concerns about flooding these portions of the Refuge. She claims that local citizens knew very little about the plans to breach these dikes. Herrera Beutler says that this was a bipartisan coalition that helped to get this language through, working from citizens, through county and state officials before she was able to get the Salmon Recovery Funding Boar to cancel funding for the dike breach last May. The Army Corps of Engineers then rescinded the permits for the dike removal. She notes that Fish and Wildlife is still wanting to move ahead with this plan, but Herrera Beutler says she continues to hear from concerned citizens about this issue.
After a decade of involvement in the Operation Enduring Freedom conflict in Afghanistan, the first fatal casualty from Cowlitz County has been recorded, reportedly the first such incident since the Vietnam War. Family members are reporting that Army Specialist Mikayla Anne Bragg was shot and killed Wednesday, while on station in a guard tower. She was scheduled to come home on leave in just a few days. Bragg is a 2008 graduate of Mark Morris High School, then joined the Army. After basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Bragg was assigned to Fort Knox, working as a Motor Transport Operator with Company A, 201st Brigade Support Battalion, Third Brigade Combat team, First Infantry Division, Task Force Duke. The First Infantry Division is better known as “The Big Red One.” During her time in the Army, Bragg distinguished herself, earning a National Defense Service Medal, an Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon, a Global War on Terror Service Medal, a NATO Medal and an Army Service Ribbon. The Department of Defense hasn’t yet released details on the death, saying that an announcement will be published 24 hours after all family members are notified. Army officials confirm that memorials are being arranged at Fort Knox and in Afghanistan. On her Facebook page, Bragg’s stepmother says that her father has been flown to the Air Force base in Dover, Delaware, to identify the remains. The Army plans to conduct an autopsy, then the body will be flown back to Longview for burial. The date for a local memorial service hasn’t yet been set.
After two days of testimony, the mental competency hearing for the man accused of killing Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter is on hold for the holidays. Closing arguments will be presented early next month, with a ruling from Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove to follow. In yesterday’s testimony, a psychiatrist brought in by the defense team said that Daniel Butts, 22, of Kalama suffers from a “serious mental disorder,” also saying that those symptoms couln’t be faked. Doctor Jerry Larsen says that he bases his opinion on a number of factors, things like Butts’ refusal to speak for six months while in custody. He also points to the history of mental illness in Butts’ family. Meanwhile, detectives with Columbia County and Oregon State Police testified that Butts was “normal” after the shooting of Painter, both as he was taken to the hospital to be treated for a bullet wound, and the next day, as well. Testimony in the hearing concluded yesterday; the hearing will then resume early next month. If Butts is found capable to stand trial, then he could face the death penalty in the case. If not, he would be transferred to the Oregon State Hospital for up to three years of treatment. Following that, another hearing would be held to determine his mental state. He faces 24 separate counts in connection with the January 5th shooting death of Painter.
A Longshore union member arrested in connection with the July 25th demonstration outside of the EGT grain terminal is a winner in Cowlitz County District Court, getting an acquittal on fourth-degree assault charges that had been filed. The Daily News reports that Shelly Ann Porter, 39, of Longview was found to be “not guilty” of assaulting EGT manager Gerry Gibson on that day. A jury decided that Porter’s use of force against Gibson was justified. Porter admits to slapping Gibson’s hand on that day, but only to prevent him from using his cell phone to take a picture of her against her will. More than 100 ILWU members and supporters had gathered outside of the grain terminal on that day, protesting EGT’s decision not to hire ILWU member to operate the facility. Since that day, more than 200 union members and supporters have been arrested on a variety of charges, most of them misdemeanors that will go to trial in the early part of next year. There have also been ten felony arrests, which will be dealt with in Superior Court.
Sentences were handed down in two separate stabbings reported earlier this year. In today’s Daily News, they say that Robert Byron Lee, 48, of Longview was sentenced to 29 years in prison, after he’d been convicted of attempted first-degree murder in the near-fatal stabbing of his brother on June 22nd of last year. An insanity defense was rejected by the jury; Lee’s brother says the suspect apparently blamed him for the drowning of his son several years ago. Jason Jacob Michael Mack, 30, of Longview is also being sent to prison for 20 years, after his conviction for second-degree murder in the August, 2009 stabbing death of Brian Garner, 34. Mack was found guilty of fatally stabbing Garner during a fight outside of what was then the Cross Keys Pub on Oregon Way. He took off to Arizona, where he turned himself in to authorities and was extradited several weeks later.
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports making eight arrests in the Packwood-Morton area, wrapping up a three-month investigation into meth and drug sales dubbed “Operation Merry Christmas.” Several agencies were involved in yesterday’s operation, serving search warrants at two separate locations. Six of the eight suspects are charged with possession or delivery of meth, while the other two were taken into custody on outstanding felony warrants. All are now being held in the Lewis County Jail. Sheriff Steve Mansfield says that additional arrests related to this investigation are expected over the next two weeks.
If you’re still looking for a stocking-stuffer, today is the last day that you can get discounted bracelets for carnival rides at next year’s Cowlitz County Fair. The bracelets normally go for $27, but through 5 pm today, you get get those bracelets for only $18 each. The bracelets are available for purchase at the Cowlitz County Fair office between 9 am and 5 pm today. The Fair Office is located at 1900 7th Avenue in Longview. You can call 577-3121 if you need more information, or go to the Cowlitz County Fair website. Next year’s fair will run from July 26th to the 29th.
You’re invited to come be a part of “Christmas with Our Community,” running from noon to 4 pm tomorrow at the AWPPW Hall on 15th Avenue in Longview. Organizers say that this is a time to enjoy people and family, and to make new friends. Along with the home-cooked Christmas Eve dinner, Santa will visit with gifts for the kids, and they’ll also have a live jazz band. The event is open to all; around 300 people attended last year’s celebration.
The Kelso First Baptist Church is also holding a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, starting at 11 pm tomorrow night. The Kelso First Baptist Church is located at 214 South 4th in Kelso. All are welcome to attend.
Scappoose edged Kelso 69-62 in OT at the boys Capital City Classic. Aaron Adams had 35 for Kelso. Also, Mark Morris bounced Springfield 56-43…..In girls hoops, R.A. Long beat the Bobcats at Aberdeen 65-62…..In men’s college basketball, UW beat Northridge 74-51, WSU over Pepperdine 67-56, Oregon over Stephen F. Austin 55-45 and Gonzaga beat Air Force 70-60…..Kellen Moore won his 50th game as the Boise State QB as the Broncos downed Arizona State 56-24 in Las Vegas Bowl. The Huskies leave for San Antonio today as they get ready for next Thursday’s Alamo Bowl…..The Seahawks host the 49’ers tomorrow in NFL action. The Hawks need a win and a Chargers win over Detroit to stay alive in the playoff picture.