Kelso Police met with a man who decided to exercise his Second Amendment rights yesterday afternoon, choosing the Catlin Spray Park in West Kelso as the place to openly carry a handgun. Several calls about a man with a gun came in around 4 pm yesterday; the callers reported that the man had a pistol in his waistband, sitting at one of the park’s tables with several small children. Officers arrived and met with the man, finding that he was in possession of a valid Concealed Weapons Permit; the man also told the officers that he was taking advantage of his right to “open carry” of a firearm. Officers did advise the man that he was within his rights, but they also advised him that concealing the weapon was probably a better idea at a place like a spray park with a bunch of kids around.
Archive | June, 2014
It appears that the sudden death of a three month-old girl hit at least one member of a Woodland family very hard, as the man fired a gun and was involved in a short standoff with Sheriff’s Deputies at a home on Pinkerton Drive near Woodland. The death of the little girl was reported around 11 am; the parents of the baby called 911 after they found her “blue and cold” in her bed. The parents said that they didn’t know how long the baby hadn’t been breathing, because they thought she was sleeping. Infant CPR was attempted, without success. The County Coroner and Sheriff’s Detectives are following up.
Deputies were called back to the home at about 5:25 pm, when it was reported that the girl’s grandfather was outside of the house, armed with a pistol. It was also reported that he was intoxicated, and had fired at least one round. The man wasn’t pointing the gun at anyone, nor was he making any threats. Deputies returned to the house and attempted to make contact with the man, but he declined to respond. Additional resources were called in, and a four-man tactical team was set up to enter the house. They made other attempts to contact the man, eventually making that contact just after 6 pm. The man was safely taken into protective custody, and a 9-millimeter pistol was taken for safe keeping.
Cabe Nathaniel Susuga, 27, of Longview is under arrest after a car chase and manhunt that took place last night. Longview Police say that this all got started shortly after 10 pm, when a car was seen running red lights in downtown. The driver reportedly went through lights on Commerce, 12th and Hudson. When Officers attempted a traffic stop, the suspect headed down 11th Avenue, eventually crashing into a fence and the canopy of a closed auto dealership near 11th and New York. They say Susuga ran from the crash site, jumping over fences to get away. A short time later, officers went to the 17 hundred block of 10th, where Susuga allegedly had tried to break into a house. The woman living there claims that Susuga broke a window on the back door; she screamed and then yelled that she had a gun before running out the other door. Susuga was arrested while sitting on the back porch of the house. After he was treated for injuries from the crash and from going through a barbed-wire fence, Susuga was booked without bail on charges of attempted first-degree burglary, felony eluding, resisting arrest and obstructing an officer. It’s also being reported that the car Susuga was driving was supposedly stolen from a site in Kelso, so additional charges are possible.
Announcements are being posted by Cowlitz County, as the search begins for a new Public Works Director. Kent Cash is announcing his resignation after 21 years with Cowlitz County Public Works, leaving to take over the Chief Operating Officer position with the Port of Vancouver. Cash says that he’s very fortunate to have worked with people who are committed to providing exceptional public service each and every day. He also says that there have been many important projects completed during his tenure. County Commission Chair Mike Karnofski says that Cash has been a valuable member of the management team, and has provided great leadership for the Department of Public Works. Former County Commissioner George Raiter is being appointed as the Interim Director of Public Works, a position he also assumed for a short time last year. The process for finding Cash’s successor is now under way.
You can still get signed up for today’s “State of Cowlitz County” presentation, an event that’s being arranged for the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Luncheon event. All three County Commissioners are scheduled to be on hand, discussing everything from the budget to parks, challenges that the County still faces, and new businesses that are moving in. They’ll also talk about how county employees are working together to get through these difficult economic times. The State of Cowlitz County Quarterly Luncheon is being held at the Cowlitz Regional Conference Center, starting at 11:45 am. Call the Chamber of Commerce at 423-8400 to get signed up.
Several events connected to local libraries are planned for today. As part of the “Fizz, Boom, READ!” summer reading program for area kids gets under way, there’s a story and crafts event planned for today at the Kelso Public Library, starting at 11 am.
Also connected to the summer reading program, the Longview Library is bringing people in from the Missoula Children’s Theatre for a workshop called “Acting 1-2-3,” a program that’s intended for kids in 1st and 2nd grades. That program is scheduled to start at 3 pm at the Longview Library. Both of those events are free, with no library cards needed.
From 6 to 8 pm, The Friends of the Kelso Public Library are holding a Potluck Picnic at the Kelso Rotary Park, right next to the Rotary Skate Park off of Minor Road and Burcham. You’re invited to bring your favorite dish to share, and then join in the discussion over future plans for the Friends of the Kelso Library. Contact the Kelso Library for additional information.
The Mariners win streak is now at five games after an 8-2 victory over Boston last night. Kyle Seager slugged a three run homer. The M’s look for the sweep over the Red Sox tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm…..The Cowlitz Black Bears snapped a six game losing streak with a 5-2 win over Kitsap last night. Jake Dahlberg got the win. The teams play the series finale tonight, 6:35 pm at Story Field…..Max Tilton of Mark Morris was a 2A All-State baseball selection, while R.A. Long’s Tanner Hulings and Tanner Ruffe were second team picks…..In Senior Babe Ruth, JH Kelly defeated Rightline Equipment 14-7 yesterday…..The Seahawks will open 12 of their training camp practices to the public from July 25 to August 12. On line registration begins tomorrow morning at 10 am.
Oregon State Police are now identifying the dead suspect in Tuesday’s shooting of Rainier Police Officer Russ George as Christopher Eugene Elliott, 30, of Waitsburg, Washington, which is a small town near Walla Walla. An autopsy conducted by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office reportedly shows that Elliott died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, while George is still listed in fair condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. Lieutenant Gregg Hastings says that a handgun was found near Eillott’s body, thought to be the same weapon used to wound Officer George. The shooting took place at about 12:30 Tuesday afternoon on Highway 30 near Veteran’s Way, when George and a female reserve officer attempted to make a stop on an erratic driver. They say that Elliott got out of the car and shot at George; the officer made a defensive reaction, with the bullet passing through his hand and then hitting him in the chest. George was wearing a protective vest, and the round did not penetrate ay further. The 45 year-old George has been with Rainier Police since 1993, when he started at a Reserve Officer; he also worked with Scappoose Police and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office before returning to Rainier in January of last year. The name of the female reserve officer hasn’t been released; she joined the department in September of last year.
Installation of the new traffic signal at 1st Avenue and West Main Street in West Kelso is under way this morning, work that could affect an already congested area. This is the final set of signals being installed as part of the West Main Street Realignment project, coming in after the installation of signals at 2nd and Catlin and 5th and Catlin. The signals at West Main and Cowlitz Way and Ocean Beach Highway and Catlin have also been updated, with the traffic movements at those intersections altered, as well. Be aware that law enforcement officers are keeping an eye on these intersections, handing out several tickets for drivers that made improper turns. This is the final portion of the first phase of the West Main project, but city officials haven’t said yet when these new lights will be activated.
A sidewalk near the intersection of 12th and Broadway in downtown Longview is taped off, restricting pedestrian use, after a large section of the building’s second-floor brick façade collapsed yesterday morning. The incident was first reported at about 7:25 yesterday morning; no injuries were reported, but a couple of air conditioning units were damaged. Longview Police did respond to the scene, setting up caution tape to set up a safety perimeter in the event additional bricks fell. Longview Building and Planning is making contact with the owner of the building to assess the situation and to determine next steps for repair.