The Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce is coming out in support of Millennium Bulk Terminals and its efforts to locate a coal export facility at the old Reynolds Metals Plant. 2015 Chamber Board President Diane Craft and 2016 Board President Julie Rinard jointly released a letter yesterday, saying that Millennium has “reinvested in an underutilized industrial facility,” with plans to “upgrade” that property. They note that Millennium is required to comply with a complex permitting process that involved local, state and federal agencies, each with strict regulations. The Chamber says that the coal export terminal will result in economic and fiscal benefits to the local area and to the state, while also helping to mitigate pre-existing environmental issues on the site. They also say that this is a great chance to “locate a world-class industrial facility on underutilized industrial land.” Chamber officials say that this will bring jobs, wages, output and tax revenue, mostly benefitting the local labor pool. The Chamber says that this project will “be good for the community,” due to the increase in wages and tax revenue, which will also help support local commerce and community services.
Archive | December, 2015
The skies are clearing around the region, and with overnight lows at or below the freezing mark, that’s led to some ice forming on area roadways. The Weather Service issued an alert around 5:20 am, warning of fog and freezing fog in Cowlitz and Columbia counties. Ice is forming on local roadways, leading to at least two collisions this morning on I-5 near Woodland. It’s also being reported that Highway 30 near Saint Helens is also very slick. You’re advised to back off on your speed, increase following distances, and exercise additional caution on local roads. Bridges, overpasses, underpasses and other wind-sheltered areas could be especially tricky today.
As we prepare for the coldest weather of the season so far, the Weather Service is warning that local air quality may degrade. Forecasters say that a high pressure system will build over the area, starting tomorrow, bringing an extended period of cold and dry weather. They also expect a “low-level subsidence inversion” to develop, trapping air near the ground. An Air Stagnation Advisory start at 10 pm tonight, and will be in place until 10 am next Monday morning. Wood smoke and automobile exhaust will be the main factors in the degradation of air quality, a situation that could cause problems for those who have respiratory issues. It’s possible that there could be some burn bans connected to this weather scenario. You’re asked to try and avoid use of fireplaces and wood stoves during these conditions, and to reduce your driving if at all possible.
Kelso Police report the arrest of a “serial burglar,” a man who suspected of breaking into at least eleven local convenience stores. KPD reports that Cody Iver Christianson, 37, of Kelso was taken into custody on the 23rd, charged in connection with at least ten successful store burglaries, along with two other attempted burglaries. They say that each of the break-ins went the same, with the suspect bee-lining to the cigarette cabinets. The loss of property is put in the area of $20,000, along with another $10,000 in damage to the businesses. Detectives continue to investigate possible connections to other crimes; it’s noted that Christianson has 20 prior burglary convictions in Washington. He’s now being held on charges of burglary, theft and malicious mischief. If you have information on Cody Iver Christianson, you’re asked to call Kelso Police Detective Rich Fletcher at 423-1270.
The new year will also bring us some changes to sport clam and oyster harvest seasons in the Puget Sound area. Belfair State Park will open to sport clam fishing on January 1st, along with Point Whitney Lagoon and the Point Whitney Tidelands. Season adjustments are also being made at Drayton West and Freeland County Park. Oyster seasons are also being adjusted at Drayton West and Freeland County Park. Check with Washington Fish and Wildlife for the latest on shellfish seasons and regulations.
Work continues on installation of wiring across the Lewis and Clark Bridge, work that also has had overnight traffic reduced to one lane. This week, one more nighttime closure is planned, starting at 9:30 pm and going until 5:30 tomorrow morning. Work will then be suspended through the holiday weekend, resuming Sunday night. Get more details on this project and the nighttime closure schedule by contacting the Washington Department of Transportation.
It might be a bit nippy, but the weather forecast is ripe for taking advantage of a new tradition being promoted by the State Parks Departments in Washington and Oregon. All around each state, “First Day Hikes” are being hosted to bring in the new year. New Year’s Day is a “free day” at state parks in both states, and they’re also holding guided hikes, bike rides, fun runs and other outdoor activities at parks all across the region. For instance, you can join an interpretive specialist for a tidepool hike at Cape Disappointment State Park near Ilwaco, or you can take part in a 5K fun run around Deep Lake at Millersylvania State Park near Yelm. Some close-by Oregon events include hikes at Fort Stevens and Cape Lookout State Parks, or guided hikes in the Columbia River Gorge. Go to the web pages for each park department for details on specific events.
If you still haven’t made plans for New Year’s Eve, you may want to check out the first-ever New Year’s Eve Ball that’s being put on by the Clatskanie Foundation, being held in the sparkling new Clatskanie Cultural Center. This is an adults-only, semi-formal event, that will also include dinner and dancing to a “big-band” ensemble. Seating is limited; call 502-728-3403 for ticket information.
North Idaho held off the LCC women 73-62 at the Lower Columbia Holiday Classic. The Devils play Lethbridge, Alberta at 1 pm today. Umpqua plays North Idaho for the title at 3 pm…..Austin Trafalet hit a three at the buzzer and scored 25 to lead the LCC Alumni team over the current Red Devils 85-83 in OT. The Devils will play at Clark tonight at 7 pm…..In boys hoops, Cabrillo beat Kelso 75-56 at the MaxPreps tournament in Palm Springs. Lake Stevens beat Mark Morris 62-45 at the San Diego Surf N Slam. R.A. Long hosts Mountain View tonight at 7 pm…..In girls hoops, Marymount downed Kelso 45-25 in Palm Springs. Astoria defeated RAL 46-30 at the Astoria tourney. Mark Morris beat Charles Best Academy 71-60. The Monarchs host Seattle Academy this afternoon at 3 pm.
You may want to head into the mountains west of town if you’re looking for some snow today. The Weather Service has a Winter Weather Advisory up from 9 am until 10 pm today in the Northern Oregon Coast Range, saying that up to three inches of snow could fall above 1,000 feet. The snow is expected to begin later this morning, and should continue through the evening. Be aware if you’re heading toward the coast, or into the higher hills around the area, as roadways could be covered with snow or ice.