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Archive | September, 2013

42nd Avenue Crash

Posted on 26th September 2013 at 15:58

Two women are recovering from minor injuries received in a one-car crash that took place yesterday afternoon on 42nd Avenue near Ocean Beach Highway. Longview Police say that Linda Sims, 68, of Longview lost control of her SUV, rolling the rig and sliding into a tree. It took about 20 minutes to extricate Sims and her passenger, Pauline Taylor, 87, of Longview. Both women were treated and released at St. John Medical Center. So far, no citations have been reported.

Meth Trucker

Posted on 26th September 2013 at 15:58

A female truck driver hauling frozen chickens from Yuba City, California to Longview apparently had some extra cargo, as the State Patrol arrests her for possession of methamphetamine. Around 4:15 yesterday morning, Katharine Simms, 50, was stopped at the Ridgefield Port of Entry, after it was determined that her truck was 1,100 pounds over weight. During that stop, a warrant from Oregon popped up on Simms, so she was arrested and her truck was searched. Troopers claim that they found what appears to be meth in Simms’ purse, along with smoking devices in the sleeping area of the tractor. Simms is now being held without bail in the Clark County Jail on a charge of possessing a controlled substance.

Cold Case Review

Posted on 26th September 2013 at 15:57

Cold case investigators are checking into three Lewis County homicides from the 80’s and 90’s, checking to see if those cases may be connected to the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway. The bodies were found near I-5 in August of 1984, May of 1985 and August of 1991. All three women were from the Pierce-King County area, and were either prostitutes or transients. This follow-up was reported over the weekend in the Centralia Chronicle. The body of Monica Anderson, 32, of Tacoma was found in the Chehalis River on August 12, 1984; a transient named Susan Krueger, age 41 or 42, was found near Toledo in May of 1985, and Mignon Hensley, 21, was found near Highway 12 in August of 1991. All three fit the profile of Green River Killer victims; Ridgway is currently serving multiple life terms in prison after admitting to killing 49 women over a multi-decade spree. He avoided the death penalty by agreeing to show authorities where he had dumped bodies, but he could once again face a death sentence if he’s convicted of a murder outside of King County. It’s speculated that Ridgway doesn’t remember all of the women he’s killed, or where he dumped all of the bodies.

Witt Announces

Posted on 26th September 2013 at 15:56

Brad Witt of Clatskanie, a representative for the 31st Legislative District, is announcing his plans to run for another term at that position. Witt made his announcement in Vernonia, a place that he helped secure funds for rebuilding after devastating floods. Witt says that he worked with Senator Betsy Johnson to help secure the final $4 million in funding that helped to pay for the relocation and reconstruction of the Vernonia Schools, helping to move those buildings out of the flood danger zone. Witt says that he’s working to support Career and Technical Education programs that will help provide local kids with skills for jobs in the future. He also says that he’s working tirelessly to get people back to work. More information on Witt’s run for another term is available on his website, www.votebradwitt.com. Witt has been serving in this position since 2005.

Chinook Rules Eased

Posted on 26th September 2013 at 15:55

As the record fall salmon run continues on the Columbia River, more of the angling restrictions are being lifted. Starting today, anglers will be allowed to keep ALL Chinook salmon, fin-clipped or not. This rule applies from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the river, up to the Warrior Rock line near Scappoose. Anglers can catch up to six fish, two of which can be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead, or one of each. You’ll have to release any salmon that are not Chinook or Coho. Downstream of Tongue Point near Astoria, anglers are still required to release all Chinook jack salmon, fish that are less than 24 inches in length. For more information, call Washington Fish and Wildlife at 360-696-6211, extension 10-10, or go to the WDFW website.

Censure Delayed

Posted on 25th September 2013 at 15:58

The possible censure of Cowlitz PUD Commissioner Ned Piper is being delayed for two weeks, after Piper threatened legal action if the other two Commissioners acted on a resolution presented at yesterday’s meeting. PUD Commission President Buz Ketcham says that the resolution came out of a number of complaints…ketcham…Ketcham says that there’s been a problem on the Commission since the termination of former PUD General Manager Brian Skeahan, with “all three Commissioners not rowing in the same direction.” Piper says that he had no time to review or respond to the accusations, and made his move after talking with an attorney…piper…Piper states flatly that the charges being made have no basis in fact, and claims that he’s completely innocent. Ketcham says that the censure has no punitive weight; there’s no fine or sanction that would result from the action. Ketcham says that he’s hopeful that the resolution would help to get Piper back on the same page as the other two Commissioners. The censure resolution was tabled to the next regular meeting, which is set for Tuesday, October 8th.

Garbage Rates

Posted on 25th September 2013 at 15:56

Looking to help pay for the acquisition of the Headquarters Landfill, the Cowlitz County Commissioners are approving a hike in the solid waste disposal fees, boosting those fees from $37.70 per ton to $49 per ton, starting on December 1st. County Solid Waste Manager Don Olson says that it’s a difficult, but necessary move…landfillrates…Even with this rate hike, Cowlitz County will continue to have some of the lowest solid waste disposal rates in Western Washington. The rate hike will help to pay the debt service on a $35 million bond that the county plans to take out in connection with the purchase of the landfill from Weyerhaeuser, along with construction of a pipeline that would take contaminated waste water from the landfill to the County Water Treatment Plant. This was actually the second time that the County Commissioners had taken this action; a previous vote was invalidated, when it was determined that they hadn’t held a public hearing, as is required by state law.

Coal Roadshow

Posted on 25th September 2013 at 15:54

The coal export roadshow lands in Spokane today, as the public hearings continue on the scoping process for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals facility in Longview. Cowlitz County Building and Planning, the Department of Ecology and the Corps of Engineers will be at the Spokane Convention Center from 4 to 8 pm today, taking public comment on what should be covered in the state and federal Environmental Impact Statements regarding the facility. This is the second of five planned meetings during the scoping process. At least two thousand people attended last week’s meeting in Longview. Today’s event is the second of five planned meetings; the next one is scheduled on Tuesday, October 1st in Pasco. The fourth meeting is set for Wednesday, October 9th at the Clark County Fairgrounds and the fifth will be in Tacoma on Thursday, October 17th.

August Unemployment

Posted on 25th September 2013 at 15:53

Cowlitz County’s unemployment rate dropped nearly a full percentage point in August, but state officials say that doesn’t mean that the labor picture is brightening in any way. Regional Economist Scott Bailey reports that the August jobless rate in Cowlitz County came in at 9.5 percent, down from the July rate of 10.4 percent. However, as has been the case for several months, the reduction is due almost entirely to people dropping out of the labor market, rather than any increase in the number of jobs. Cowlitz County lost 500 jobs over the past month, with 300 coming from seasonal layoffs in public education. Compared to last year at the same time, Cowlitz County has 200 fewer construction jobs and 800 fewer service sector jobs. Cowlitz County continues to trail the state quite badly in the number of job losses; while Washington State and the rest of the US are trending upward, Cowlitz County is continuing a downward trend. Statewide, the August unemployment rate came in at 6.8 percent, compared to 8.1 percent in August of last year.

Workforce Dollars

Posted on 25th September 2013 at 15:53

The Employment Security Department is announcing this year’s distribution of Workforce Development Funds, with $4.1 million coming to the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council. That total is about $231,000 less than last year. The funding for the 2013-2014 fiscal year comes from the federal Department of Labor through the Workforce Investment Act. The Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council and similar councils through the state use these dollars to provide counseling, skill assessments, job-search assistance and training to laid-off workers, low-income adults and disadvantaged young people. The total statewide allocation of $45 million is about $3.8 million less than last year.