Kelso Police are going to Facebook to solicit help in finding a runaway 16 year-old girl. Yesterday afternoon, KPD posted a photo of Mariah Dachtler, 16, saying that she ran away from home on June 26th, and they say that she’s still listed as an “active runaway.” Mariah Dachtler is a white female, 5’4”, with a thin build, long, dark hair, and with brown eyes. If you have any information on her whereabouts, call Kelso Police at 360-423-1270.
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It’s now being reported that the brush fire that started Monday near Kalama is under control, and has been turned over to the Department of Natural Resources. The fire was first reported at about 3 pm on Monday, burning in grass near milepost 33 on I-5 northbound. The fire grew to about 10 acres in size, heading in the direction of Bluff Road. DNR firefighters were joined by crews from Cowlitz Fire District 1, 2 and 5, along with a pair of helicopters that dipped water from Kress Lake. Old Pacific Highway was closed for several hours, along with one lane of the northbound freeway, and local residents were alerted that they may need to evacuate. No evacuations were needed, as fire officials reported that the conditions overnight gave firefighters the ability to gain control of the fire yesterday morning. No injuries have been reported, and no buildings have been damaged. The cause of the fire is still not known.
A couple of rail car derailments were reported in the local area yesterday, but there were no major impacts. Just before 5 yesterday morning, it was reported that a single freight car had gone off of the rails in the 1000 block of Industrial Way, after a rail switch had been changed. Those on the scene say that it may have been done by a person, or there may have been some sort of malfunction.
Around 11:15 am, a report was called in from the three thousand block of Talley Way in Kelso, where a single car had come off of the tracks. They say that the car was empty, and there were no leaks or spills. No injuries were reported and no significant damage was done in either incident.
Members of Woodworkers Local 536 have been voting over the past 24 hours on a contract offer from Weyerhaeuser. Earlier this week, union officials announced that they had completed two days of negotiations with the company, also saying that they had presented their “last, best and final offer.” The union says the offer includes substantial wage increases, changes to health care contributions, and contributions to the pension. They also say that there are “other improvements” from the offer that was recently rejected by the rank-and-file. Information meetings on the new offer were held yesterday, followed by membership voting through the day. Union officials say that they hope to have results of the voting by Saturday.
The City of St. Helens is bringing in a retired veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as the town’s new Chief of Police. It was announced earlier this week that Brian Greenway is the Police Chief, succeeding Terry Moss, who recently retired. Greenway was selected out of four finalists for the position, following interviews that were conducted by a panel of community members, partner agencies, City staff and City Council members. Greenway worked for the Las Vegas PD for 25 years, rising to the rank of captain as he supervised several divisions, bureaus, units and task forces inside that department. He was also the Incident Commander for the Mandalay Bay mass shooting that took place in October of last year. He also has national recognition in helping to create a “safer schools” program in the Las Vegas schools. Greenway says that he’s eager to bring his experience and knowledge to Saint Helens, but he also wants to mesh with the local community, businesses, the City Council and other agencies. Greenway starts his new job on August 13th, and will be formally sworn in at the St. Helens City Council meeting on August 15th.
Beaches in Clatsop County are now closed to razor clam digging, while Washington Fish and Wildlife officials are saying that clams could be sparse as we head to the fall razor clam season. A seasonal closure went into effect on beaches in Clatsop County over the past weekend, going from Tillamook Head to the mouth of the Columbia River. Officials say that the closure is enacted each year, to help protect young clams, and to establish themselves on the beach. Razor clam digging is still allowed on several beaches, but other beaches are currently closed, due to high levels of marine toxins. The beaches in Clatsop County account for 90 percent of the razor clams that are harvested in Oregon.
Washington Fish and Wildlife officials say that razor clam diggers could have to work harder for their catch this fall, as surveys of clam populations shows that “the number of adult clams on the beach is quite low.” More work needs to be done before the annual report on clam populations is completed and released to the public. It’s reported that a “modern record number” of clams was found during the 2016-2017 clam season, much of which was closed by a Domoic Acid outbreak. This year’s season has been toxin-free, but the number of clams was down, probably due to natural life cycles. There were an estimated 800,000 clams on the Long Beach Peninsula last year, down from an estimated 4.9 million the year before. They say that the Long Beach population is “rebuilding,” and they say populations should increase in the next few years.
The Cowlitz AmeriCorps Network is holding a Hiring Event today, working to recruit new members to the volunteer organization. This will run from 12:30 to 2:30 pm today at the Life Works building on New York Street in Longview. Host agencies will be set up to meet interested applicants; the Network is trying to recruit “service-driven individuals” that are willing to commit to an 11-month, full time position, starting in September of this year. AmeriCorps Network members receive a monthly stipend, and they also earn education benefits. LifeWorks is located at 906 New York Street in Longview, call 360-577-5859 to learn more.
Kelso native son Cort Carpenter has a new country music video coming out today, a video that will feature his home town quite prominently. The song is called “Holy Ground,” and harkens back to his hometown of Kelso, and what it means to him. Carpenter says that he wants others to be able to relate, and to remember their own “Holy Ground.” The video premieres at noon local time on YouTube.
Carpenter is also looking for your help in boosting his career, as he enters a national contest called “Nash Next.” The winner of the contest will have a chance at a record deal with “Big Machine Label Group,” and advancement to the next round depends on fan voting. Carpenter says that he needs your votes to advance. Get details on cortcarpenter.com, or go to nashfm1033.com to cast a vote.
The Castle Rock Fair is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, starting tonight and running through Saturday. This year’s theme is “Fun at the Fair,” and Nancy Chennault has been named as the Grand Marshal for the parade. The Fair gates open at 6 pm, and the parade through downtown Castle Rock starts at 6:30. The Fair officially opens at 7 pm, including the exhibits, the Quarter Arcade and the Archery lanes. “Cooper’s Money Band” will perform at 8:30 pm. The gates open at 8 am tomorrow and Saturday, with animal showings, the Quarter Arcade, live entertainment and other fun stuff. The Castle Rock Fairgrounds are located just west of town, next to the Cowlitz River and PH 10 Road.
The 2018 Columbia County Fair also opens today, and runs through Sunday. Hours of operation at 10 am to 10 pm each day, with a theme of “Fun for the Whole Herd!” There’s a monster truck show this year, along with a lot of live entertainment and midway fun. The Columbia County Fairgrounds are located just outside of Saint Helens, on Sausler Road. Go to columbiacountyfairgrounds.com to get full details.
“Eagle Eyes” will be performing tonight at Martin’s Dock, the second in the six-week Kirkpatrick Family Care Summer Concerts at the Lake. The Eagles tribute band from Vancouver, BC will perform at 6 pm this evening, and admission is free. Bring your low-back chairs and your picnic dinners and enjoy the show.
A man who reportedly walked away from a County Corrections work crew is back in custody, arrested yesterday afternoon in the back yard of a home in North Kelso. An alert went out to law enforcement a few minutes after 10 yesterday morning, after Monte Edward Huigens, 36, allegedly ran away from the Boat House, right next to the Hall of Justice. It’s reported that this was Huigens’ first day on the work crew. He was in custody on charges of second-degree theft and possession of a controlled substance, but new charges of fourth-degree domestic violence assault and violation of a protection order had recently been filed. Fellow work crew members say that Huigens ran off after he got “a bad phone call.” The victim in the DV crime was informed about the escape, while law enforcement checked with family members and friends. Around 3 pm, reports came in that Huigens had been seen in North Kelso, in the one thousand block of Harris Street. It was also reported that Huigens was armed with a real-looking air pistol, and that he may try to get police to shoot him. Kelso Police and Cowlitz County Deputies eventually found Huigens at a home on North Second, and he was arrested as he ran out the back door. A pellet gun was also recovered at that time. Second-degree escape charges are being added to the previous counts.