Calling it the “next logical step” in the company’s involvement with Millennium Bulk Terminals, Lighthouse Resource, Incorporated, is announcing its intent to secure 100 percent ownership of the company, starting with the purchase of Arch Coal’s 38 percent stake. In exchange, Arch Coal is getting long-term throughput rights and will remain closely involved in the project. Arch will be nominating a person that will serve on an advisory board that will provide strategic counsel and ongoing support to Millennium. Everett King is the president and CEO of Lighthouse Resources, and he says that they are pleased with the progress being made. They see the Draft Environmental Impact Statement as a major milestone in the project, and they have “growing confidence” in the future of the project. Lighthouse Resources calls itself a “leading provider of integrated supply chain solutions for the energy industry,” providing a trade route for Rocky Mountain coal to the Asian markets. Millennium CEO Bill Chapman says that this is an important development, saying that it shows the strength of the project’s long-term future.
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On a 6-1 vote, the Longview City Council is saying “no” to changing the rules on how money from the Traffic Safety Fund will be spent, declining to change the ordinance to allow that money to be spent on a remodel of the Longview Police Department. The city has had a goal of remodeling the old bank building that has served as the police headquarters since 1999, and staff had presented an option of dipping into the Traffic Safety Fund to help pay for the $1.3 million-dollar project. The bulk of the $2.4 million dollars in the Traffic Safety Fund comes from the School Zone Cameras, and the original ordinance that created the Fund says that the money can only be use for traffic safety improvements. Council member Mike Wallin voted for the change, saying that there’s an urgent need for this remodel, and that this also constitutes “public safety.” Others on the Council disagreed, saying that a promise was made when the original ordinance was passed. The other Council members voting against the change say that it’s now on them to find the money to pay for this remodel.
The Longview Police Street Crimes Unit is announcing three more arrests, after a search warrant was served at an apartment in the 1000 block of Allen Street in Kelso. Detectives say that they found heroin, meth, controlled prescription medications, a gun, drug paraphernalia and material connected to drug sales. Eddie Aaron Monk, 25, is now being held for possession of meth and possession of heroin, both with intent to deliver. He’s also being charged with felon in possession of a gun. Norman Michael Schmidt, 24, is charged with possession of meth and heroin; Codi Lanai Jacob, 20, has those same charges, along with possession of a controlled substance, and she is also being served with a contempt of court warrant. SCU Detectives say that this is part of an ongoing investigation, and additional arrests are possible.
Kalama is once again making a mark in the area, now being recognized as a destination on the Lower Columbia Scenic Water Trail. The Port of Kalama is announcing that they have been named as a “key destination” on the Water Tail, designated as Milemarker 75. The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership puts these milemarkers along the water trail, highlighting amenities for boaters and kayakers that are on the river trail. Port officials are also excited about the progress on the McMenamin’s development, along with other trail and park improvements along the Kalama waterfront. Port officials say that this type of development provides a “new destination” for travelers, and they expect an “economic boom” for the entire community.
The area’s top educators, school staff and business people were honored last night, as the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce handed out the 2016 Crystal Apple and Pillars of Strength Awards.
Kelso Schools Physical Education Teacher Jon Webb gets the Crystal Apple as the K-12 Teacher of the Year, while Kelso High School Principal John Gummel is the K-12 Administrator of the Year. There were co-winners in the K-12 Classified Person of the Year, with awards presented to Vicki White and Kelly Toftemark. Terry Skeie is the 2016 Higher Education Teacher of the Year.
The Lower Columbia School Gardens was honored as the Small Non-Profit of the Year, while Youth and Family Link is the Large Non-Profit of the Year. C’s Photography is the Small Business of the Year, Red Canoe is the Large Business of the Year, and Chris Roewe with Woodford Commercial Real Estate is the Business Person of the Year. Shawn Green with ServPro is the Rising Star of the Year, Carrie Medack is the Walt Naze Ambassador of the Year, and LCC Dean of Instruction Darlene De Vida was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
There’s a new event that you may want to add to your Memorial Day weekend festivities, a first-time-ever music festival up in Birkenfeld. The “Birkfoot Festival” is a three-day celebration and music festival at “The Birk,” a restaurant and music venue that has been built into the old Birkenfeld Store. Four bands are scheduled today, five bands are booked for tomorrow and then three more on Sunday. Organizers say that camping is available for $15 per night, and includes a family-style breakfast. A day pass is $10, while a three-day pass is $25. Go to “The Birk’s” Facebook page for more information.
PeaceHealth and Kaiser Permanente are out with a joint announcement, saying that they’re creating a partnership that’s “aimed at improving the health of the Cowlitz County community.” Yesterday morning, both health care organizations announced that they will be working together to “address the unique health challenges and opportunities of the Cowlitz County community.” Leaders of both organizations say that this new partnership will strengthen the health care delivery system for Cowlitz County residents. Along with increased access to hospital-based care, the two groups plan to “leverage their strengths” to improve the connections between physicians and providers all across the area, which will result in improved health care delivery all around the region. It’s also thought that this improved and aligned clinical community will help to attract “high-quality clinicians” to the area.
We have to make a correction on a story we had yesterday, due to incorrect information being provided by the Longview Police Department. The Street Crimes Unit put out a press release Tuesday afternoon, announcing the arrest of Brandi E. Hall, 39, in connection with a drug investigation. They now say that the woman who was arrested is Rebecca Jo Nance, 39, who is currently being held without bail on a single charge of possession of heroin. We apologize for the error.
Street Crimes Unit Detectives were at it again yesterday, serving a search warrant at 703 Bloyd Street in Kelso, where they claim to have seized more than 39 grams of methamphetamine. SCU officials say that this is part of an ongoing investigation into local drug sales; they also found drug paraphernalia in the house. Katie Michelle Cozad, 43, was arrested and is now being held without bail on a charge of possession of meth with intent to deliver; Tobias Ray Smith, 47, was also arrested, and is being held on three warrants for failure to appear in court, along with a no-bail Department of Corrections warrant.
Prior to being extradited to Oregon to stand trial for murder, a man who was involved in a carjacking, an home invasion and an assault near Ariel is being sentenced to prison for 13 years. Today’s Daily News reports on the plea agreement involving Matthew Reyes, 27, a transient from the Klamath Falls, who was involved in a spree that took place after he had allegedly slit the throat of another man early in January. On January 24th, Reyes and his girlfriend wrecked his car in Ariel. A man stopped to help, but Reyes pulled an Airsoft gun and stole the man’s pickup, drove to Cougar, and then broke into a house in that area. The couple threatened the elderly couple in the home, then they stole the woman’s car. Both were arrested after a high-speed chase that went back toward Woodland. Reyes is accepting a plea agreement, pleading guilty to first-degree attempted kidnapping, two counts of first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and attempting to elude; the woman, Kareesa Dean, is also taking a plea agreement, pleading to one count of first-degree robbery. Dean’s sentencing is set for June 20th; it’s not known yet when Reyes will be transferred to Oregon.