Two Longview School Board candidates will be the featured speakers at this month’s meeting o fthe Cowlitz County Democratic Women. C. J. Nickerson is running for the seat now held by Jerry Stinger, while J. D. Rosetti is going after the position now held by James Campbell. Nickerson is retired after spending 14 years in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; he also has many years of experience as a teacher at the elementary, secondary and university levels. Rosetti is an assistant for 19th District Representative Brian Blake, and also has a local design and consulting business. You can hear from the candidates at a no-host lunch event that’s set to start at 11:30 this morning at the Kelso Senior Center, located in Catlin Hall at 106 Northwest 8th Avenue in Kelso. Call 423-1312 or 423-8382 if you have other questions.
Archive | June, 2013
The Oregon Ducks avoided the hammer today. The NCAA has taken away a scholarship and placed the Ducks football program on probation for three years for recruiting violations under former coach Chip Kelly. Oregon avoided a bowl ban and other serious sanctions…..Starling Marte hit two of the Pirates fiver homers in a 9-4 win over Seattle last night. The M’s host Pittsburgh in a day game today, KLOG 11:30 am…..The Klamath Falls Gems beat the Cowlitz Black Bears 6-5 in 10 innings last night. Devyn Bolasky had four hits for the bears. The series finale is tonight at 6:35 pm…..Former Kelso athlete and former LCC assistant baseball coach Seth Johnson has been hired as head baseball coach at Hudson’s Bay High School. Johnson was assistant for state 4A champ Skyview this past season.
Unemployment in Cowlitz County bumped back up in May, rising to 10.2 percent, up from April’s rate of 9.8 percent. Scott Bailey from Employment Security says that nonfarm employment dropped by 100 jobs in the month of May, compared to a rise of 400 jobs in May of last year. Bailey says that Cowlitz County has lost a total of 600 jobs over the past 12 months, including 200 retail trade jobs, 100 jobs in health care and 100 jobs in the hospitality field. Bailey says that it’s possible that this might be a temporary downturn, but he says that the most likely scenario is a “no-growth” situation over the next few months. He does look at the sale of Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging to KapStone as a positive development, citing KapStone’s praise of the mill and the possibility of new investment. Statewide, the unemployment rate is at 6.8 percent, down from April’s rate of 7 percent, and well below the 8.4 percent in May of last year.
They’re still not sure exactly what the Legislature is going to do, but it looks like the Longview School District will be able to balance the upcoming school year’s budget without having to make any layoffs or significant cuts. In fact, the district is planning to restore several positions, and has plans to start all-day kindergarten at the elementary schools. Superintendent Suzanne Cusick says that this is a huge development…lsdbudget…At this time, district expenditures still outpace revenues by nearly $2.6 million in the 2013-2014 school year, a gap that they plan to cover through the use of reserves. Cusick and District Finance Director Larry Mayfield say that that blow could be softened through action from Olympia, including about a half-million dollars to support the full-day kindergarten. The District also has plans to add a half-time counselor in the elementary schools, restore the “BECCA” coordinator, and will also hire a journeyman painter. On the down side, the student drain continues, with a reduction in student numbers of about 2.2 percent projected, or about 137 fewer students next year. The finalized preliminary will be available to the public on July 17th. The School Board plans to review that budget on August 12, and then will hold a public hearing and adoption on August 26th.
Word is coming out of Olympia that a long-time administrator at Lower Columbia College died suddenly over the weekend. It’s being reported that former Vice-President of Administrative Services Hilmar Kuebel died Sunday at St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia, after having suffered a ruptured cerebral aneurysm. Kuebel worked at LCC for more than 17 years; his wife, Helen, also served as the Dean of Nursing at LCC for many years. A celebration of Kuebel’s life is planned for this Saturday afternoon, starting at 1 pm in the chapel at the Westwood Baptist Church in Olympia.
Woodland Police are working to find a woman in connection with a serious domestic violence incident reported last night, where it was reported that she had used a bottle to hit a man in the head. Officers were called to the fire station in Woodland at about 10:30 last night, after a 30 year-old man was brought in, bleeding from a severe laceration to his head. A friend had transported the victim to the station; when he was questioned, the victim said that he’d been hit at a home in the 900 block of Hoffman Street, where he lived with the 30 year-old suspect. That woman was not at the home when officers checked, nor did her mother know where she was. The suspect has been identified, but no arrests have been reported.
A man wanted in Washington County on multiple counts of sexual assault is now in the Cowlitz County Jail, picked up yesterday afternoon at an RV park east of Woodland. Just before 1 pm, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office put out an “attempt to locate” on Orlando William Gentilini, 26. They say that he’s wanted for multiple charges of sexual assault, thought exact details on the nature of those crimes haven’t yet been disclosed. Deputies went to the Lewis River RV Park, eventually taking Gentilini into custody a few minutes after 5 pm. He was arrested without incident, and is now being held on the fugitive warrant from Hillsboro. Bail totals $75,500.
Law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Columbia River from Kalama to Astoria are being asked to keep an eye out for debris or bodies that might be connected to a capsized sailboat found floating down the Columbia River yesterday afternoon. Shortly after 2 pm yesterday, a boating merchant at the Port of Astoria pier reported seeing what appeared to be a sinking sailboat; the Coast Guard responded and found debris that appeared to have been from a capsized vessel. No one was found in the vicinity of where the debris was located, and there’s been no report of lost vessels. Around 5:30 yesterday afternoon, the Coast Guard sent an alert to law enforcement, asking them to be on the lookout for materials that might be related to this incident.
The Spencer’s HeartStrong Foundation is continuing its work, kicking off a new program called Cowlitz County Heart Smart. Working with LifeWorks and the Family House Academy, Spencer’s HeartStrong Foundation is now working to place one new Automated External Defibrillator each month at locations all around the county. Yesterday, a brand-new AED was placed with the Longview Youth Soccer Club. Along with the new defibrillator, they’re also going to provide training for personnel at each organization, to insure that they’re able to use the devices properly. Richard Best with Spencer’s HeartStrong Foundation says that they have a goal of placing one new AED each month for 12 months, and hopefully longer, if they are successful. Best says that the program is open to any community organization in Cowlitz County; if you’re interested in applying, e-mail Richard Best by going to rich@StopYouthSCA.org.
The Summer Reading Program for kids all across Cowlitz County kicks off today, starting with a teen event at the Longview Public Library. Al middle and high school students from around the area are invited to the Longview Library for pizza and a “Toxic Underground” concert, starting at 6 pm. Tomorrow at 3 pm, “Dig Into Reading” kicks off at the Kelso Public Library, with musician Nancy Stewart presenting a show called “I Dig Dinosaurs,” billed as a musical journey exploring the lighter side of dinosaurs. Other events are planned through the summer at the libraries in Kelso, Longview, Kalama and Castle Rock; they’re all free and are open to kids throughout Cowlitz County. Find out more by getting in touch with your local library.