The Kelso School Board is giving its approval to one of the first projects connected to the recent passage of a $98.6 million bond measure, voting to move ahead with installation of FieldTurf at Ed Laulainen Stadium at Schroeder Field. Scott Westlund is the district Chief Financial and Operations Officer, and he says that this long-term goal was completed with a lot of community input. Depending on the results of geotechnical studies, the installation is projected to cost between $901,000 and $1,025,000. The project also includes lighting upgrades, estimated to cost about $200,000. Westlund says that district officials, athletic representatives and community members met with the three companies that do this work, and they selected the FieldTurf product. The field will be the traditional green, with a large “K” at midfield; the end zones will be blue, with “Kelso Hilanders” in 15-foot letters. The lights will be replaced with brighter and more energy-efficient LED’s, using the poles and stadium mounts that are already in place. Final costs should be available next month. Westlund says work will start as soon as school lets out, and they’re projecting that the field should be ready for Fall 2018 sports teams.
Archive | May, 2018
Students at Rose Valley Elementary School will soon be working on new Chromebooks, thanks to a donation from local resident Randy Zmrhal. At last night’s meeting, the Kelso School Board approved the acceptance of a $7,500 donation from Zmrhal, which will help to pay for a “class set” of Chromebooks. District officials say that this will go a long way in enhancing the education, research and assessment of the kids at Rose Valley. They also say that this continues a long-time involvement and donations from the Zmrhal family and Rose Valley Elementary.
It wasn’t all great news at last night’s Kelso School Board meeting, as Chief Financial Officer Scott Westlund says that the district could go bankrupt if the Legislature doesn’t get the school funding plan fixed. In making the budget report at last night’s meeting, Westlund says that district revenues are NOT increasing, and without additional funding, the district will be in the red to the tune of between $1.5 million and $2 million per year. At that rate, Westlund says that the district will be bankrupt by the 2021-22 school year. Westlund blames the revenue shortfall on the so-called “McCleary Fix,” saying that levy dollars are being reduced under that plan, to the point where Kelso could run out of money. It’s noted that other districts in this area and around the state are in the same boat, and Westlund says that he doesn’t think that the Legislature will let all these districts go under. Still, he says that action is needed in Olympia, or big trouble is on the way.
At least one local teen will be heading to court after a dangerous stunt that was reported yesterday afternoon in Lexington. Shortly after 4 pm, a 911 call came in from the 100 block of Garden Street in Lexington, reporting that a car was speeding through the neighborhood, with a teenage boy riding on the top. The car was seen speeding through the neighborhood; the 911 caller also claims that the carload of teens flipped him off as they drove by. The car was also seen speeding through Riverside Park. Deputies did catch up with the car; they report that a citation was issued, and then the group was released. Names and ages were not disclosed.
Major construction proceeds in downtown Rainier, as Dollar General announces that its new store is now opening, at the same time that a new store is also opening in Clatskanie. The Rainier store is located at 221 West B Street in Rainier, right behind the CC Rider Transit Stop. Official grand opening ceremonies are planned for this Saturday at 8 am at both stores, with prize giveaways and special deals available. The first 100 adult shoppers will receive a $10 Dollar General gift card, and the first 200 shoppers through the doors will get a Dollar General goodie bag. You can register to win a “free year” of shopping at Dollar General, valued at $520, and there will also be complimentary hot dogs, chips and drinks for all shoppers. The Dollar General in Clatskanie is located just off of Highway 30, next to the Safeway store. The Rainier Dollar General is part of a project to replace the old J&R Sales building, which operated for 32 years. Grocery Outlet is in the midst of construction of a new store on the footprint of the old J&R building, and that store should be open in the next few months.
The Mariners open a three game series at Toronto today, KLOG 3:00 pm…..The R.A. Long baseball team opens 2A District baseball action at home today, 4:30 pm against Black Hills…..The R.A. Long boys soccer team also has a playoff game tonight. The Jacks play at Tumwater at 7 pm…..The LCC softball teams final home games are today, 3 pm at Tam O’Shanter versus Chemeketa…..In prep softball yesterday, Woodland beat Mark Morris 7-1 and Ridgefield topped RAL 11-1. Kelso hosts Fort in a 4 pm game at Tam O #2…..Liz Dolan of Kelso fired an 80 yesterday, good for second place at the 3A District golf tourney. Round two is today. Josie Nickerson of RAL shot a 93 and took 4th at the 2A District…..In Civil War girls tennis today, Mark Morris is at R.A. Long at 3:30 pm.
Plans for improvements out at Willow Grove Park are getting a boost from the State of Washington, as the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office announces a half-million-dollar grant is being awarded to the Port of Longview. The State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board announced $12.6 million in grants to help pay for trails, waterfront parks and beach restoration. The Port of Longview is receiving $500,000, which will help to pay for a pedestrian loop path, picnic facilities, parking improvements, a new fishing pier and restroom renovations at the park. The Port is also putting more than $989,000 into the project, coming as a mix of cash, port labor and equipment, and other resources.
Some of the roads into Mount Rainier National Park are set to open this weekend, but the heavy snowpack and construction is delaying the opening of mountain passes, and some other popular destinations in the park. The southeast entrance to the park near Packwood is scheduled to open this Friday, followed by the opening of the northeast entry near Enumclaw on May 18. Work is now under way on the repair of a quarter-mile of SR 410 along the Mather Parkway, where a deep and slow-moving landslide is causing road damage. With this construction and the deep snow, the opening of Chinook Pass on SR 410 and Cayuse Pass on SR 123 is being backed up to June 11th. Construction work is projected to go into late June, with flaggers controlling traffic in both directions. It’s still hoped that the road to Sunrise will be open and available by the Independence Day holiday.
Longview City Council member Ken Botero continues his monthly Community Forums this morning, but there’s a change in subject matter. Botero had been planning to bring in representatives from the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, but they have to re-schedule. Botero says that today’s gathering will an open forum, where you can discuss current thoughts and concerns. The free Community Forum starts at 10 am today at the Longview Women’s Club, located at 835 21st Avenue. Coffee and doughnuts will be served.
The 2018 Senior Expo happens today at the Cowlitz County Conference and Events Center, going from 10 am until 2 pm. Organizers say that the event is intended to help connect local seniors, caregivers and community services, with a goal of promoting “better living.” There will be a session on Healthy Meal Prep from Lower Columbia CAP, and Doctor David Simonson will talk about “Resiliency, Compassion Fatigue and the Importance of Self-Care.” Admission is free; call 360-577-4929 to learn more.
“Adulting 101” kicks off this evening at the Longview Library, opening a series of classes intended to help young people with money management. This evening’s session is titled “Financial Basics: I have money! Now what?” This evening’s session will cover things like picking a financial institution, banks versus credit unions, opening an account, savings accounts and checking accounts, and the Do’s and Don’ts of Banking. Classes are also planned on the 15th and 22nd, dealing with credit and loans, and then on budgeting. The free classes run from 6 to 7 pm at the Longview Library; a gift card will also be raffled off at the end of each class. Call the Longview Library at 360-442-5300 for more information.
The Sheriff’s Office is working to find a woman who allegedly used a chisel in an attack on her boyfriend. Just before 6 am last Friday, a man called 911 from a location on Willow Grove Road, claiming that he had been stabbed in the arm and in the leg during a domestic dispute. The man says that the woman used a chisel in the attack, stabbing him at least twice before she left the residence. The woman left on foot, but the man says that she has friends that would give her a ride. During this contact, Deputies also turned up a warrant on the victim, charging him with first-degree criminal trespass. The man was treated for his wounds, then he was booked into the Cowlitz County Jail. Deputies say that they have probable cause to charge the woman with second-degree assault; she has been identified, but her arrest has not been reported.