Saying that they had time to reflect and confer with citizens on the issue, the Longview City Council reversed course and voted to approve the ordinance that sets zoning rules for marijuana-related businesses in the city, passing those rules on a unanimous 7-0 vote. Mayor Don Jensen says that most of the concerns dealt with local control. He says that decisions should be made here, not in Olympia…lvpotzones…Council member Mike Wallin offered an amendment to the ordinance, asking to require special use permits for marijuana producers, processors and retail outlets, saying that such a requirement would install another layer of protection for the city and its citizens. That amendment failed; Council member Tom Hutchinson says that it was a thinly-veiled attempt to put additional roadblocks up in front of legitimate businesses that would be coming into town. With the passage of the ordinance, the moratorium on marijuana-related businesses in the city of Longview is lifted.
Archive | February, 2014
There was quite a show last night at the EconoLodge Motel on North Pacific Avenue in Kelso, as Kelso Police worked to arrest a possibly-armed man in one of the units at the motel. Just before 6 pm, KPD got a tip that Jeremy Lewellyn LeBeau, 31, of Longview was in one of the units. The caller reported that LeBeau was wanted on a felony warrant, and may have been armed. The caller didn’t know exactly which room LeBeau was in, saying that it was in between rooms 114 and 120. Officers cordoned off the area, and worked to evacuate the rooms around that area, including rooms on the second floor. They also made public address calls to try and get LeBeau to surrender on his own. Traffic on North 1st, Crawford and Columbia was shut down, and Lower Columbia SWAT was alerted. Shortly after 7 pm, detectives learned that LeBeau was in room 116, and attempted to call the room. A second attempt was made as SWAT was preparing to activate; LeBeau gave himself up around 7:30 pm. He’s now being held on a Department of Corrections warrant, along with DUI and driving while suspended charges. It’s not known if he was armed.
In a pair of 5-4 rulings, the Washington Supreme Court is throwing out a pair of convictions from Cowlitz County Superior Court, ruling that private text messages that detectives used to set up arrests were private conversations, and that police should not have been reading them. The cases date back to 2009, when Daniel Lee was arrested for heroin possession. Detectives also seized Lee’s phone, which was still receiving text messages. Detectives responded to those messages, setting up meetings that led to the arrests of Jonathan Roden and Shawn Daniel Hinton. Both men were eventually convicted of attempted heroin possession. Writing the majority opinion for both cases, Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez says that the men had an expectation of privacy in those text messages, the same as if they had sent a sealed letter through the mail. He says that those messages shouldn’t be read by police, unless they have a warrant. It’s unclear how these rulings will affect other convictions through similar means; local prosecutors say that those will have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Arguments in a similar case will be heard by the U. S. Supreme Court in April.
Formal charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault are being filed against Nichole D. McCaslin, 32, of Portland, the woman who’s accused of causing a fatal multi-car crash last Friday night. Today’s Daily News also reports that prosecutors plan to seek an exceptional sentence against McCaslin, also claiming that she was intoxicated at the time of the crash. It’s alleged that McCaslin was driving the wrong way on Tennant Way, eventually crashing into several cars. Brett Dawdy, 47, of Longview died in the mayhem, while his wife and daughter also suffered significant injuries. If convicted, the maximum penalty would be life in prison, but the actual sentence will be based on a complex formula. McCaslin is currently free on bail, and is due back in Cowlitz County Superior Court on Tuesday, where she will be formally arraigned on these charges.
It was a packed house at the annual meeting of the Cowlitz Economic Development Council, with upwards of 250 people coming in to hear from Vee Godley and Rick Desimone of Northwest Innovation Works, as they talked about the methanol production and export facilities being proposed for Kalama and Clatskanie. Godley says that people need to know that this is an “and” situation, not “either-or.” He says that the Chinese want all of the methanol that these plants would produce, plus more…nwinnovations…Godley says that they’re still in the site review and permitting stages for both facilities, but they still have a plan to break ground next year. The goal is to have the first phases at each facility completed and in production by 2018; as soon as production begins, construction on the second phases at each site would begin. The methanol produced at these plants would be taken by ship to an existing customer in China, where it would be converted to “olefins,” which are used in a wide ranges of manufactured products.
Tomorrow morning is the last chance for local smelt dippers to get out there, and if there indicators can be believed, they may have some success. Fish and Wildlife officials say that the prospects are “fair to good” for tomorrow morning, with large amounts of smelt just downstream of the Cowlitz River mouth. Seabird activity is picking up on the river, indicating that some of those fish are moving upstream. Dipping will be allowed from 6 am until noon on Saturday, with a ten-pound limit per person. No license is required.
Some water line work may cause some traffic issues on Pennsylvania Street in Longview. The City of Longview will be starting water service replacement work in the three thousand and 31 hundred blocks of Pennsylvania, starting at 8 this morning. Pennsylvania will be open to local traffic only between 30th and 32nd Avenues until this work is complete, which is expected by 4 pm on Tuesday, March 4th. Use alternate routes to avoid delays.
83 kids from Kelso are going to be up at Annie Wright Academy in Tacoma tomorrow, taking part in the Destination Imagination competition. The 3rd through 5th graders are in the district’s “Highly Capable” program; the 83 kids are in 16 teams, taking on challenges in a variety of fields. The challenges are developed by a team of educators and industry experts; this year’s challenges are in Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Improvisational and Structural areas. Each team from Kelso also has an adult team “manager”; those people help provide guidance, but each team is required to solve their challenge completely on their own. More than 125,000 students from across the country are involved in the Destination Imagination challenges. Winners at tomorrow’s competition will move on to a state competition in Wenatchee.
It’s the final weekend for the Stageworks Northwest production of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons”, an in-depth drama about the lingering horrors of war. The show won a New York Drama Critics Awards, along with three Tonys. Performances will be held in the Longview Theatre on Commerce Avenue through March 2nd, with curtain set for 7:30 Friday and Saturday, along with a 2 pm Sunday matinee.
In the Center Stage Theatre at LCC’s Rose Center for the Arts, they’re presenting Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” with performances set for 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday night. This production continues each weekend through March 15th. Tickets are available at the LCC Bookstore, Encore Concessions, and at the Rose Center Box Office.
“From Light Into Darkness: Seven Eclectic One-Act Plays” will open this weekend on the Dana Brown Main Stage at R. A. Long High School. This is a Mainstage Theatre community production, featuring local high school kids and other members of the community. Performances are planned for 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday nights, along with a 2 pm Sunday matinee. Tickets will be available at the door.
The local “Chapter P” of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association will be set up at the Three Rivers Mall Friday through Sunday, holding their annual Motorcycle Mall Show and Food Drive. There will be all kinds of road bikes on display, and if you would like to show your ride, you’re asked to bring a donation of non-perishable food. Call 636-0519 for additional information.
Up in Castle Rock, it’s “Uncle Charlie’s Amateur Hour” on Friday night at the Castle Rock United Methodist Church. The local talent show gets started at 6 pm on Friday, and admission is free.
It’s once again time to catch that “auction fever,” as the 29th annual KLOG-KUKN-The Wave Auction will be held on Saturday at the Cowlitz County Expo Center. More than $120,000 worth of brand-new merchandise will be up for bid, with no minimum and no reserve. The preview starts at 8 am, and the bidding starts promptly at 10. The full auction list is currently posted on the KLOG.com website.
The 4th annual “Ladies Day Out” is planned for tomorrow at Smart Start Early Learning Center, located at 2746 Ocean Beach Highway. This will run from 9:30 to 4 pm, with vendors, services and other activities planned through the entire day. There’s no fee to enter, but costs for specific services may vary. Door prizes will be awarded each half-hour. Tomorrow’s event is a fundraiser for Smart Start ELC; signups for the preschool will also be taken.
A series of writing workshops, book signings and other fun starts tomorrow afternoon at the Pacific Northwest Gift Gallery in Castle Rock. The first workshop will run from noon to 2 pm tomorrow. Additional workshops are also planned each Saturday through March 29th, covering a variety of topics related to the craft of writing. Each of the workshops will be held at the Pacific Northwest Gift Gallery, located just of exit 49 in Castle Rock. Seating is limited, so you will want to register early for each workshop. Call 274-8583 for more information.
The first “Rainy Months” event of the season is planned for Sunday at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, with “Foolz,” a display of music, comedy and juggling that will start at 2 pm on Sunday. This show is intended for the entire family, and is priced for the whole family to attend. Get tickets through the Columbia Theatre website, or by calling 575-TIXX.
On Sunday down in St. Helens, the Columbia County Bridal Expo will be held at St. Frederick’s Catholic Church. There will be a bridal fashion show, along with vendors dealing with all aspects of planning for your big day. The doors will open at 11 am on Sunday, and admission is free.
The WIAA State Regional basketball playoffs are tonight and tomorrow. The Mark Morris girls take on Renton tonight in a 6 pm game at Kent-Meridian HS. It’s a 1A boys twinbill tonight at MM with Toledo versus University Prep at 6 pm followed by Woodland and Cascade Christian at 8 pm. The Mark Morris boys take on Sehome tomorrow in a 4 pm match up at WF West in Chehalis. Kalama and 3 Rivers have boys playoffs tomorrow. In girls, Kalama, Woodland, Toutle Lake and Wahkiakum all play tomorrow…..The LCC hoop teams open NWAACC action tomorrow night, men at 8 pm and the women at 10 pm…..The LCC baseball tam host Clark Saturday at 12 pm, then hosts Concordia Sunday at 12 pm…..The LCC softball action in Richland this weekend was cancelled.