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Archive | October, 2015

KS Results

Posted on 29th October 2015 at 05:12

KapStone Paper and Packaging is out with third-quarter financial results today, reporting a profit in that three-month period, while also reporting that the strike by AWPPW Local 153 cost the company $14 million. The company also reports that union employees lost $2 million in lost wages and benefits; the company says “no one wins in a strike, and this strike was no exception.” Overall, the numbers are pretty decent, as KapStone reports net sales of $808 million, up 35 percent when compared to last year. Net income was down 20 percent for the quarter, but the company was still $34 million in the black. Chairman and CEO Roger W. Stone says that they had free cash flow of $73 million in the quarter, up 24 percent over the same period last year. Stone says mills in other parts of the country are setting all-time production records, but the continuing strength of the dollar overseas is negatively impacting export sales. Even with those challenges, Stone says that the company is “well positioned for the future.”

Bridge Delay

Posted on 29th October 2015 at 05:11

The end is in sight for the Washington Way Bridge Replacement Project, but the City of Longview says that the bridge will be opening a few days later than was first planned. They now say that the bridge opening is expected to happen during the week of November 23rd, about 20 days later than originally scheduled. Falsework and forms are being removed this week, along with “texturing” of the bridge deck. Painting of the bridge rail, fascia and abutment walls is taking place next week. Concrete demolition and roadway replacement on the Nichols side of the bridge is under way, with concrete pours planned during the first two weeks of November, weather permitting. Traffic signal detection loops will also be installed as that roadway work is completed. Landscaping, illumination, irrigation, striping and paving will also be completed next month.

Pham Identified

Posted on 29th October 2015 at 05:10

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office now confirms that the woman’s body recovered from the Cowlitz River earlier this week is that of Elizabeth Pham, 33, of Centralia. The body was discovered by some fishermen on Tuesday morning, about two miles downstream from where a woman matching Pham’s description had been seen on Saturday, October 10th. Family members say that Pham had been dealing with post-partum depression. The cause and manner of death have not yet been announced, as the Lewis County Coroner sends samples away for toxicology testing. The investigation into Pham’s last movements is continuing.

Rivers Rising

Posted on 29th October 2015 at 05:10

Weather forecasters say that we should see quite a bit of rain this weekend, starting tomorrow and going into Saturday. The first system is expected tomorrow, with as much as one to three inches of rain possible along in the coast and in the Coast Range. The track from that storm will move to the north Friday night, but a second system is also expected on Saturday. They say that a cold front will push the rain southward again on Saturday, with as much as four inches of rain possible in the Coast Range and the Cascades; in the lowlands, .75 inch to 1.5 inches of rain could fall. Snow levels are expected to remain high during this event, though they will drop as low as 6,000 feet on Sunday. You’ll need to be ready for the possibility of flooded intersections and roads, as storm drains get clogged with leaves and other debris.

Suspicious Fire

Posted on 29th October 2015 at 05:09

Authorities in Columbia County continue to investigate a fire that destroyed a vacant home near Rainier. The fire on Barker Road was actually reported back on the 19th, but investigators with Columbia River Fire and Rescue tell the South County Spotlight that they’re still working to pinpoint the cause. A neighbor reported the fire, which did more than $50,000 damage. The Sheriff’s Office says that there were a number of things inside the home that could have contributed to the fire, which is still being considered as “suspicious.” The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police Arson and Explosives Unit continue the investigation.

Longview Workshop

Posted on 29th October 2015 at 05:09

Longview Police and Longview Fire will be in front of the City Council this evening, making a presentation on Public Safety Facility Options and Needs. Longview Fire Chief Phil Jurmu and Police Chief Jim Duscha will talk about the history of housing each department, along with the current shortcomings of the facilities now being used. Jurmu and Duscha both say that the buildings now being used are strained to their limits, and are becoming inadequate for current operations. Several options for dealing with these facility needs will be presented, but we don’t yet know if a course of action will be developed. This evening’s City Council workshop starts at 6 pm in the City Hall second floor Training Room. The meeting is open to the public.

Community Conversations

Posted on 29th October 2015 at 05:08

The Community Conversations lecture series continues today, with Brian Magnusson of Cascade Networks continuing on the theme of “Jobs and the Environment: Imagine the Possibilities.” Magnusson will present a talk titled “Entrepreneurship and Environmentalism.” The free lecture starts at noon in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts. Admission is free, and anyone interested is invited to attend.

Pumpkin Contest

Posted on 29th October 2015 at 05:07

You and the kids need to bring your best-carved pumpkins down to the Hospice Thrift Shop in downtown Longview this morning, as they host a customer-judged contest to see which ones are best. The Hospice Thrift Shop is located at 1239 Commerce Avenue in downtown Longview, and they say that you need to have your entries down there by 10 this morning. The entries will be displayed in the front window, and will be judged by customers. Prizes will be awarded for scariest, funniest and best-in-show. They’ll also have trick-or-treating at the shop from 3 to 5 pm tomorrow, with treats for kids of all ages. Call 577-6292 if you need more information.

Body Recovered

Posted on 28th October 2015 at 09:08

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports that the body of a woman was recovered yesterday morning, and there are indications that the body is that of a Centralia woman who has been missing for more than a week. Around 10 yesterday morning, two men who had been fishing near Vader reported finding the body. Chief Stacy Brown says that the body is that of a female, and she says that the clothing on the body matches that of Elizabeth Pham, 33, of Centralia. She was reported as missing on October 10th, and a woman matching her description was seen sitting on the banks of the river near the I-5 crossing over the Cowlitz on that day. An extensive search effort was unsuccessful; this woman’s body was located about two miles from where Pham was last seen. An autopsy is planned for today.

Power Outages

Posted on 28th October 2015 at 09:07

Cowlitz PUD line crews were in the area of 30th and Ocean Beach Highway, dealing with a power outage that hit around 7:18 this morning. The PUD doesn’t have a lot of information on the outage, other than to say that it covers an area from Ocean Beach Highway to Washington Way, between 28th and 34th Avenues. The outage affects at least a portion of the commercial properties in that area, and may also involve traffic lights in that part of town. If you come upon a dark or a flashing traffic signal, be sure to treat it like a four-way stop. They say that power should be back on fairly soon.

Power was out a couple of times yesterday in the area of the Triangle Shopping Center, once when a transmission line failed, and then a second time when final repairs were made. The Cowlitz PUD reports that a bolt failed on an insulator, which then led to the failure of the transmission line, just after 5 pm. They say that 555 customers went down, going from Washington Way and Ocean Beach Highway to Cascade Way, also covering most of the mall. That outage was brief, as power was re-routed. There was a second, smaller outage that ran from 8:53 pm to 9:47 pm, as the circuit was taken down so repairs could be completed.