Security at one of the businesses along Industrial Way reports finding a suspicious individual in one of the ponds behind their facility. The security personnel contacted Longview Police at about 1:30 yesterday morning, saying that the man was wearing pajama pants; he was also claiming that he had been beaten up and thrown in the pond by “tweakers.” Those on the scene noted that the man had obvious injuries, but his story also kept changing. The unidentified man was allowed to take a shower and get warmed up; he met with officers afterward, and it was learned that the man had been a passenger in a car crash earlier in the evening. The injuries were apparently not serious, and the man was eventually allowed to leave the scene on foot.
Archive | January, 2016
An attempted burglary case that landed Louis Marcel Patterson, 33, of Longview in prison for more than two years is heading back to the Cowlitz County Prosecutor’s Office, after the Washington Court of Appeals reversed the conviction. Back in April of 2014, a Cowlitz County jury convicted Patterson of attempted burglary, in connection with a case involving a house under construction up on Columbia Heights Road. In the 2-1 decision from the Washington Court of Appeals, the judges say that Deputy Prosecutor Mike Nguyen “violated judicial standards” when he expressed his personal opinion on the case during closing arguments. In making its ruling, the Appeals Court cited several cases regarding personal opinions regarding the possible guilt or credibility of a defendant. They say that Nguyen’s remarks constitute “misconduct” under these previous rulings. The Prosecutor’s Office will now review the case to see if it will be re-tried.
Plans to develop a marijuana growing and processing operation on ten acres of land near Kalama is running into opposition, as several local residents file suit against the facility. Today’s Daily News reports on the lawsuit being filed by two individuals and two married couples, claiming that they didn’t get the proper notice prior to action by the Kalama City Council. A company called All Natural Products, LLC is making the application, and got the 10-acre parcel rezoned in November of last year. The people filing suit claim that the Kalama Planning Commission failed to file the proper notice; the attorney for the plaintiffs say that they oppose an industrial use right next to a residential area. They also contend that the city violated its own Comprehensive Plan, and violated the right of these residents to comment. Backers of the project say that they plan to move ahead regardless. It’s not yet known when the case might be heard.
As it stands now, there will be one day of smelt dipping on the Cowlitz River, set for 7 am to 1 pm on Saturday, February 6th. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission set the one-day season yesterday, as the bi-state Columbia River Compact met to review projected returns for smelt and for Spring Chinook. Guy Norman with Fish and Wildlife says that this year’s smelt run is expected to be smaller than the runs in the last two years, but they still want to provide at least one day of “meaningful” dipping in the Cowlitz. Depending on the numbers of fish in the river on the 6th, another day of dipping may be considered. Commercial smelt dipping will be allowed on the main stem of the Columbia only, which will be open from February 1st to the 25th, downstream of the Lewis River. Legal commercial dipping hours are 7 am until 2 pm, Mondays through Thursdays.
Spring Chinook seasons were also set at yesterday’s meeting of the Columbia River Compact, adopting a season of March 1st through April 9th, with the river open from Buoy 10 to Beacon Rock for boat anglers, and up to Bonneville Dam for bank anglers. The river will be closed to sport fishing on March 29th and April 5th, to allow for commercial net fishing on those days. Fishery managers are tempering their expectations, after the large fall Coho run came in well below the predictions. Right now, they’re predicting a Spring Chinook run of about 110,000 fish for rivers and streams below Bonneville Dam, along with another 188,000 fish heading above the dam. Full details are available from Washington and Oregon Fish and Wildlife.
After months of non-movement, a strike and continued negotiations, members of Local 153 of the Associated Pulp and Paper Workers are now voting on a new contract offer from KapStone Paper and Packaging. TDN reports that the two sides met on the 8th of this month to review an “updated company offer,” which apparently had enough in it to go to the union membership for a vote. The contract between Local 153 and KapStone expired back in May of 2014, and three previous contract offers have been rejected by the union membership. After a 12-day strike last fall, the company opted to impose its last offer. Health care and seniority rules have been the main sticking points. Voting on this new offer will run through 8 pm Friday.
The Port of Longview Commissioners are taking formal action to appoint Norm Krehbiel as the Interim Chief Executive Officer for the facility. Krehbiel is the current Chief Operating Officer of the Port, first arriving in 1993 as the Director of Facilities and Engineering; he continued to hold that role as he was promoted to Deputy Executive Director in 2008, a position that eventually became the COO. Port Commission President Bob Bagaason says that Krehbiel is a “steadying influence with a strong track record.” He succeeds Geir Kalhagen, who was fired from the position earlier in the month. Other details on the process for finding a permanent CEO are also being discussed.
The Port of Longview Commission plans to change its meeting time, moving that to Tuesday afternoons, rather than the morning. Starting in March, the Port of Longview Commission will meet at 5:30 pm on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.
They just can’t keep the “Oscar B” on the river between Cathlamet and Westport, Oregon; seven weeks after the ferry went into drydock to get the cooling system and its intakes replaced, the ferry went back on the shelf yesterday, when leaking seals were found on the drive shaft for the boat. Wahkiakum County officials say that the ferry will be shut down until further notice, as those seals are replaced. It’s not known at this time if the boat will have to go back into drydock for that work. Users of the ferry will need to continue traveling to Longview or Astoria to cross the Columbia until this work is complete.
The 4th annual Cowlitz County Project Homeless Connect event is planned for today, running from 10 am until 3 pm at the National Guard Armory on Vandercook Way in Longview. River Cities Transit is providing free transport to and from the event; organizers say that this is a “one-day, one-stop” event, intended to help provide services to people in the community who are homeless or are at-risk of becoming homeless. A wide range of services and support will be available. Call 577-3041 for more information.
Retired and “legendary” LCC anthropology instructor Dennis Shaw will be back on campus today, presenting today’s installment of the Community Conversation lectures. Continuing on with the theme of “Music: The Rhythm of Societies,” Shaw’s speech is titled “Can the Blues Cure What’s Wrong with White People?”, and will start at noon in the Laufman Lecture Hall at the Health and Science Building on the LCC campus. It’s free and open to anyone interested.
The Lower Columbia Professionals plan to gather tonight at the Triangle Tavern on Washington Way, continuing efforts to raise money for their scholarship program. Last year, the LCP group presented nine thousand dollars in scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Cowlitz County. You can learn more about this group and can get involved in their efforts by going to tonight’s event, which will run from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. There’s no cost to attend; food and drink will be available.
Up at Toledo High School, there’s a “Coffee House” planned from “7 to 9ish,” being held in the high school commons. Along with the coffee and desserts that will be available, there will also be performances by “local and area talent.” This is a fundraiser for the Toledo High School Cheer squads.
The Kelso wrestling team won another league championship as they defeated Prairie 30-26 last night. The RAL wrestlers host Washougal tonight at 6 pm…..The LCC basketball teams both stayed unbeaten in league with wins last night. The LCC women beat Grays Harbor 66-51 and the Red Devil men blasted Grays Harbor 102-72. Both teams will be at South Puget Sound Saturday afternoon…..The Kelso boys basketball team will be at Fort Vancouver tonight, KLOG 6:55 pm…..In girls hoops tonight, Mark Morris is at home against Ridgefield, FM 101.5 The Wave 6:45 pm. The R.A. Long Lumberjills travel to Hudson’s Bay…..Pro Bowl captain Michael Irvin used his first pick to select Russell Wilson for his Pro Bowl team. The Pro Bowl will be Sunday in Honolulu.
North Pacific Avenue is closed in the Rocky Point area, after a landslide came down onto the roadway last night. This report came into Cowlitz County 911 at about 6:30 last night, reporting that the northbound lane was completely blocked, and that rocks were covering the southbound lane. A second caller reported that a car got stuck on the rocks in the southbound lane, but no injuries were reported. The slide has been reported to Patriot Rail and to Burlington Northern-Santa Fe, but they haven’t said if there’s any impact to rail traffic in the area. North Pacific Avenue is now closed between Cowlitz Gardens and Pacific Avenue Spur; Cowlitz County Roads plans to be out at the scene this morning, to assess the situation and to start determining their repair options. Use alternate routes to avoid delays.