The man killed Sunday night when he was hit by a train near Castle Rock is being identified as Phillip Matthew Hix, 31, a local transient. County Coroner tim Davidson released autopsy results on Hix yesterday afternoon, reporting that he died from blunt force injuries to his head, neck and chest. His body was found at about 7:15 pm Sunday night, after the crew on a northbound Amtrak train reported that they’d hit someone in the area of Cowlitz View Drive near Castle Rock. The train was traveling at almost 70 miles an hour when Hix was hit; they also report hitting their brakes and blowing their horn prior to the collision. Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office and Amtrak are still going over video from the train, to try and determine if Hix intentionally stepped in front of the train. Toxicology tests are also being done, to see if he may have been impaired. It’s reported that Hix has family in Idaho, and local authorities were able to make contact with those people yesterday morning.
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Two young children are in protective custody and Amanda Marie Carlson, 22, is under arrest after an incident reported late yesterday afternoon at a fast food restaurant near I-5 in Kelso. Restaurant employees called 911 at about 5:30 yesterday afternoon, reporting that a woman was unconscious. They said that she was breathing, but was completely unresponsive. It was also noted that the woman had spent an inordinate amount of time in the restroom at the facility. Kelso Police and aid personnel responded to the scene, and were eventually able to revive the woman, eventually identified as Carlson. Further checking shows that she was wanted on a third-degree theft warrant, so she was arrested, while the three and four year-old children were turned over to CPS. Police say that they didn’t find any illegal drugs, but it’s noted that Carlson was in possession of a ziplock bag that contained a large number of both used and new hypodermic needles. The investigation continues.
Additional details are now coming out about Aaron Ogden Newman, Jr., 55, of Longview, the man arrested on Monday, for allegedly practicing law without a license in King County. Documents from King County Superior Court allege that Newman was practicing law without a license between September first of 2009 and December 31st of 2010. It’s claimed that Newman was involved in an outfit called “Parents Against Parental Alienation,” supposedly offering advice to clients involved in divorce and custody battles. Newman’s name also shows up on a consumer advocacy website, with people complaining about “PAPA,” also mentioning his name in connection with a group called “Inventor Support Corporation.” Newman was arrested Monday at a home on Westover Drive in Longview, and is now being held on a $30,000 warrant, charging him with two counts of unlawful practice of law, and two counts of first-degree theft. He’s also being served with other warrants from Seattle and Longview. The investigation into his alleged activities is continuing.
The public comment period on the updated plan for cleaning up the old Reynolds Metals site in West Longview is now open. The plan is dubbed “Agreed Order Number 8940,” and replaces a similar “Agreed Order” from 2007. Highlights from this new order are as such: Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview is added as a “potentially liable person” for the site cleanup, requires investigation and sampling of ten new sites on the property, and sets up an enforceable schedule for completion and submission of a revised Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study for the cleanup of the site. It’s planned that the updated RI/FS, detailing the site’s contamination and feasibility of cleanup options will be submitted by the end of March. It’s noted that the full site cleanup will NOT be delayed by other development plans at the site, Ecology is holding Northwest Alloys and Millennium legally responsible for the cleanup, and that Millennium will pay for most of that cleanup work. The new Agreed Order is now available on the Department of Ecology website; comments will be accepted until the 9th of next month.
Williams Northwest Pipeline is holding an open house this evening, looking to provide information on the proposed “Kalama Lateral,” a natural gas pipeline that would serve the Kalama Energy Center, a gas-fired power plant that’s being proposed for development at the Port of Kalama. Williams is proposing to construct a 16-inch pipeline that would go 2.4 miles from the existing main line east of Kalama, down to the plant that’s being proposed by Veresen US Power. Officials with Williams say that they’ll have a project presentation and a panel discussion, along with information stations and a review of possible alternate routes for the line. The open house is scheduled to run from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center in Kelso, and is open to all who are interested.
For the third year in a row, the Fish Commissions in Washington and Oregon are recommending a reduction in the allowable catch of White Sturgeon in the Lower Columbia River. Last Saturday, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission called for reducing the combined sport and commercial catch by 38 percent, 13 percent above the 25 percent reduction that the Oregon Fish Commission is advising. Fishery managers says that the evidence is clear, that the abundance of “legal-size” sturgeon in the Lower Columbia has declined by nearly 50 percent over the past four years. They trace the drop-off to increased predation by sea lions, and a severe drop in diet for the sturgeon, particularly smelt and lamprey. Any cuts to the sturgeon harvest would come after a 30 percent reduction last year, and a 40 percent reduction in 2010. The current quota being projected between Wauna and Bonneville Dam is being estimated at 2,080 fish, with a quota of 4,160 fish below Wauna to the river mouth. It’s planned that the sturgeon quotas and seasons will be set at the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Olympia on the 3rd and 4th of next month.
There’s a special session planned for today over at the Kelso Senior Center, where Jack Schloss will present a seminar entitled “How to Use a Kindle.” Schloss will provide information on buying, using and enjoying the technology of a Kindle. He’ll also show how you can download free books, magazines and newspapers, along with information on how to purchase and-or transfer nominally-priced books to the devices. Today’s free seminar starts at noon. The Kelso Senior Center is located at Catlin Hall in West Kelso, right across 8th Avenue from the Twin City Center.
Arnold Ogden Newman, Jr., 55, of Longview is under arrest, picked up yesterday morning by Cowlitz County Deputies, at the request of detectives from the King County Sheriff’s Office. Around 8:30 yesterday morning, a detective called Kelso, reporting that he had a $30,000 warrant for Newman’s arrest, charging him with the unlawful practice of law. The detective says that they’d learned that Newman was living at a home in the 100 block of Westover Drive. Cowlitz County Deputies went to that home, and arrested Newman around 9 am. They also say that there was a second King County warrant for civil contempt, along with three misdemeanor warrants from Longview. Locally, Newman was wanted for driving while suspended, failure to transfer the title of a car, and for making false statements to police. He’s now being held in the Cowlitz County Jail on these warrants.
The name of the victim in Sunday night’s fatal mishap on the train tracks near Castle Rock still has not been released. A man in his 30′s, thought to be a transient, was hit and killed by a northbound Amtrak train was struck around 6:40 pm on Sunday night. It took about a half-hour to find the man’s body, located near the end of Cowlitz View Drive. The body was turned over to the Cowlitz County Coroner for an autopsy, which has been performed. The Sheriff’s Office says that they do expect to release the victim’s name later today. The investigation into the collision is continuing.
An investigation is under way after a Rainier man was killed this past Friday, in a tree-falling incident that took place on some property outside of town. Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson says that Michael Earlywine, 44, was killed shortly after 1 pm on Friday, as he was cutting a tree on some property in the 74000 block of DeBast Road. Dickerson says that Earlywine was helping a contractor on the property when he was hit in the head, killing him almost instantly. Emergency personnel were called to the scene, but Earlywine was beyond help at that point. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration is following up, along with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.