The Oregon Department of Transportation reports that Highway 30 near the St. Johns Bridge is open to traffic once again. The road just east of the bridge re-opened to traffic this morning, just a few minutes past midnight. That was almost 24 hours after a large cottonwood tree fell into the highway, also taking down six utility poles and several spans of overhead lines. Traffic was detoured while the debris was removed, the poles were re-set and the hillside above the highway was inspected. ODOT officials say that traffic is now moving normally again, though there is still some cable work that needs to be done. They say those repairs will be completed at a later date.
Archive | May, 2013
Work continues on the Front Avenue Northwest Improvement Project in downtown Castle Rock, with work being wrapped up on the installation of a new water main and service connections. The switchover to the new main is expected to take place on Wednesday of next week. Over the next week, the project contractor is planning to start removing the street surface along Front Avenue, and will also continue with construction of retaining walls. Saturday morning, participants in the “I Topped the Rock” fun run are expected to go through the project area. Traffic closures and access measures remain in place; contact Castle Rock Public Works at 274-7478 if you have questions.
They’ll be talking about “making international connections” at this week’s Community Conversation lecture at Lower Columbia College. This week’s talk is titled “Longview Sister City Commission: Expanding Our Intercultural Connections.” The free lecture in the Wollenburg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts is set to start at noon, and it’s open to anyone who is interested.
In connection with Volcano Awareness Month, Cowlitz County Emergency Management is hosting a special presentation this evening, titled “Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard.” Tom Pierson with the U. S. Geological Survey is the featured speaker, talking about the unique challenges of disaster preparedness while living in the midst of several active volcanoes. Pierson will talk about different types of hazards, along with eruption probabilities. They’ll also have information on preparing for ash fall, lahars, volcano science and other topics. Refreshments will be served, and they’ll also have “disaster door prizes.” “Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard” runs from 6:30 to 8 pm this evening in the John Searing Auditorium at the Cowlitz PUD Building. It’s free and open to the whole family.
You can get the latest snapshot of the overall health of Cowlitz County at tonight’s Community Report Card event, starting at 5:30 pm at the Cowlitz Regional Conference Center. Pathways 2020 is putting on this evening’s presentation, which will also feature Doctor Dan Field of Kaiser Permanente Northwest. Kaiser is now a key sponsor for this the Report Card; following Doctor Fields’ remarks, Suk Rhee with the Northwest Health Foundation will talk about a new outlook on community health, based on a number of societal factors. In addition to the 2013 Report Card, Cowlitz on the Move will present five Champion for Healthy Lifestyles awards. Pre-registration for tonight’s event is advised, and you can do so by calling 423-8704, or by going to the Pathways 2020 website at www.pathways2020.org.
Seven couples will be competing tonight at R. A. Long High School, as the annual “Mr. and Mrs. Lumberjack Pageant” is held. The pageant is held each year at R. A. Long, usually working to raise money for a specific charity, but this year, the contestants have decided to devote this year’s proceeds to the family of Korbin Clark of Longview. The four year-old is suffering from a rare form of brain cancer, and recently had surgery to remove a large tumor from inside his skull. The students of R. A. Long High School are now committed to raising money to help Korbin’s family pay for medical and traveling expenses connected to his treatment and recovery. The Mr. and Mrs. Lumberjack Pageant is set to start at 7 pm in the Dana Brown Auditorium at R. A. Long High School. Admission is $4 per person, with all proceeds going to the Clark family. Voluntary donations are also being accepted at the door, in the ASB office and at businesses around town.
The M’s fall to the San Diego Padres in extra innings, dropping a 3-2, ten-inning decision. Will Venable did most of the damage, scoring the tying run in the 9th, and then driving in the game-winning RBI in the 10th. Seattle and SD wrap up the series with a day game, King Felix against Adam Cashman. KLOG coverage begins at 11:30 am…..Preliminary schedules have the Huskies and Cougars on national TV three times apiece in the upcoming football season. The Apple Cup is on Fox National, set for the day after Thanksgiving…..The Portland Timbers advance in the U. S. Open Cup with a 5-1 win over the Wilmington Hammerheads, but the Seattle Sounders are upset by the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL 1-0. Seattle won three U. S. Cups between 2009 and 2011.
If you use Highway 30 to get into Portland, you may need to consider an alternate route this morning, as the highway is completely closed in the area of the St. Johns Bridge. The Oregon Department of Transportation says that a large mudslide came down at about 12:30 this morning, dumping debris and tress across all lanes of the highway between the bridge and Northwest Kittridge Avenue. Power was also knocked out to about 430 customers in that area. They’re saying that the highway will definitely be closed through this morning’s commute, and could be closed for most of the day. The bridge is open to traffic, and a detour is available near the slide. Cornelius Pass and I-5 are also available as alternate routes into Portland.
A Cowlitz County employee says that someone took a potshot in his direction, as he was working yesterday morning out in the Willow Grove area. The Mosquito Control employee says that he was collecting samples in the 5500 block of Willow Grove Road at about 11 yesterday morning, when a brown or tan SUV pulled up on the road, and then a single round was fired. The employee wasn’t hit, and no other damage was reported as the SUV took off, heading in the direction of Industrial Way. The SUV was described as a late 90’s Jeep Cherokee or Ford Explorer-type of vehicle. Deputies checked along Industrial Way, while Longview Police also checked around. Nothing was found.
Correction: Tonight’s dinner meeting is at the Events Center, not Hoffstadt Bluffs.
The Cowlitz County Commissioners plan to huddle this evening with other elected officials and department heads, then will meet again all day on Friday, convening a “Leadership Retreat” in an effort to come up with some ways to solve the county’s budget issues. The county is spending up to $10,000 to bring in a Kingston-based consultant named Michael Pendleton to facilitate the retreat, which will start this evening with a dinner session at Hoffstadt Bluffs. Pendleton will open the retreat with a presentation called “The Asteroid is Upon Us,” followed by a detailed budget presentation from County Finance Director Claire. Hauge. The retreat will resume Friday morning at the County Expo Center, starting with a session on “understanding and overcoming barriers to fiscal sustainability.” The afternoon will be spent on working on solutions, including a comparison of targeted cuts versus across-the-board cuts, defining the budget-setting process, and possible identification of new revenues. The retreat is open to the public, but there is no time set aside for public participation.