The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is out with an alert, saying that local citizens have been receiving scam phone calls from people claiming to be from the office. Several residents report getting calls from persons claiming to be from the “Warrants Division” at the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, and they tell the person that they have a warrant for missing “federal jury duty.” The caller says that there’s only “one way” to resolve the situation, which involves a visit to the Sheriff’s Office after going through a “procedure.” The “procedure” involves the purchase of Green Dot pre-paid credit cards; the caller is then supposed to provide the security code information to the caller before they go downtown. Chief Deputy Dusty Breen says that they are actively investigating the source of these calls, and they’re asking the public to be vigilant.
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A woman is undergoing mental health evaluations and treatment after an indecent exposure incident that was reported yesterday afternoon in the area of 7th and Hudson in Longview. Around 3:30 pm, calls started coming in about a woman sitting on the corner with her shirt off. Callers also reported that she was trying to take her pants off, and was also fondling herself. They also say that she was waving at the cars at they were driving by. Longview Police responded, along with Emergency Mental Health. The woman was taken into custody as a precaution.
Train traffic was slowed early yesterday morning in the Kalama area, after a car got stuck on the railroad tracks in the area of Toteff Road and Hendrickson Drive. At about 1:40 yesterday morning, the Sheriff’s Office got a call about a car being stuck on the tracks north of Elevator Drive. The driver said that he was out of the car, and was safely off to the side. Kalama Police also responded, saying that two sets of tracks were blocked, but two other sets were still open. Train traffic was slowed down and eventually was stopped for a short time, while a tow truck was brought in to remove the car. Police also did some sobriety tests on the driver, and reportedly found that he was over the legal limit. Miranda rights were read to the driver, whose name has not been released.
The Longview City Council is extending the moratorium on the siting of emergency shelters inside the city limits for another six months, while work continues on the zoning changes and ordinance amendments that city officials say are needed to deal with these facilities. Council member Mike Wallin says this is no time to be rushed…shelterordinance…The moratorium on new emergency shelters is now extended to April 15th of next year, while City Council members Steve Moon and Scott Vydra chair an ad-hoc committee that will work on the zoning code amendments. The city is also inviting members of agencies and organizations that are also connected to the emergency shelter issue to the committee, while additional public input is also sought. The city plans to hold a public hearing on the moratorium extension at its meeting on October 13th.
In other business last night, the Longview City Council approved its portion of the 2017 budget for the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso, approving the full $76,000 requested. They also approved a zoning code amendment to allow bowling centers to be sited in the Mixed Use-Commercial/Industrial District, a move that clears the way for development of a new bowling center in the 1200 block of California Way. They also approved the Consultant Contract for wayfinding signs in Longview and Kelso, along a contract for engineering on the retaining wall for the Columbia Heights Road slide area. That’s being paid for through a $425,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration.
A group called SmartAsset claims to have assessed manufacturing centers around the country, and now ranks Longview as #5 on the list of “Best Places to Work in Manufacturing.” SmartAsset says that they looked at 389 different statistical areas and compared them on six metrics, looking at employment growth over one year and five years, income growth over one year and five years, the ratio of manufacturing workers to the total workforce, and income left over after housing costs. Longview is listed high because of its long tradition in manufacturing, and the presence of companies like KapStone and Weyerhaeuser. They say that 21 percent of Longview workers are in manufacturing; between 2009 and 2014, there was an 8.3 percent growth in manufacturing jobs in this area, along with an average income growth of 22 percent for manufacturing workers. Richmond-Berea, Kentucky, is listed as the #1 manufacturing location in the country.
Country Financial in Longview is hosting its first-ever Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, a benefit for the United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties. They’re playing Mint Valley for this event, with the four-person teams heading out at 8 am. There’s more information available on the United Way web page.
Family STEM Night happens this Friday at Lower Columbia College, going from 4 to 8 pm. This is a hands-on event for the entire family, geared to kids from Pre-K to 8th grade. Families will be able to explore the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, taking part in hands-on activities and interacting with professionals in each field. Events for Family STEM Night are being held in the Student Center, and in the Health and Sciences Building.
For the first time in some thirty years, High School Rodeo will be going on this weekend in Longview. The Longview Junior and High School Rodeo happens Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Rodeo Grounds at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. This is open to all members of the Washington State High School Rodeo Association, with competitors in grades six through 12. The Rodeo will start at 5 pm Friday, with Junior High athletes competing; the Junior High competition continues at 9 Saturday morning, with the High School athletes to follow. The High Schoolers will continue the competition at 9 am Sunday morning. Go to wshra.org to get more information.
Friday night at Union Square on Washington Way in Longview, the Lower Columbia Professionals are hosting a Tailgate Party, with beer buckets and drink specials all night, indoor and outdoor activities (weather permitting), raffle games, and a chance to meet the LCP Steering Committee. Proceeds help to support the LC Scholarship Fund; they will also be taking donations of notepads and pens, going to Project Homeless Connect. This is a 21and over event.
Stageworks Northwest opens its season with a “cheeky” comedy called “Nana’s Naughty Knickers,” opening Friday night at the Longview Theatre on Commerce Avenue. The show runs each weekend through October 2nd; showtimes are 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday nights, along with a 2 pm Sunday matinee. Get ticket information and learn about the rest of the 2016-2017 season by going to stageworksnorthwest.org; tickets are also available at the door, one hour before curtain.
The 2016 Cowlitz Chaplaincy Golf Classic tees off Saturday morning at Three Rivers Golf Course in Kelso, “A benefit for those who support our communities’ first responders.” The shotgun start is set for 8:30 Saturday morning.
The Lower Columbia Woodcarvers Association holds its 32nd annual Woodcarving Show this weekend at the Cowlitz County Conference and Events Center. Fran Ladrow is this year’s Featured Carver, specializing in the carving of Gourds. They’ll have more than 40 booths with local and regional artists, displaying woodcarving and scroll art, which will also be for sale. They’ll also be having raffles, with great prizes being awarded. Hours are 10- am to 5 pm on Saturday, and from 10 to 4 on Sunday. Admission is free.
Get some laughs as the Autumn Area 83 Toastmasters hold a Humorous Speech Contest on Saturday. They’re also going to be putting some people on the spot, as the Toastmasters also hold an Impromptu speaking contest. This is going to run from 1 to 4 pm on Saturday in the John Searing Auditorium at the Cowlitz PUD Building in Longview. It’s free and open to all.
The kids will get to play with the REALLY big toys this Saturday at the second annual Extreme Machines event, happening from 10 am until 2 pm in the parking field across Seventh Avenue from the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. Kids of any age will be able to get in and check out more than 75 trucks, vehicles and machines of all kinds. Admission is free, but they’ll also be accepting donations to support after-school programs put on by Longview Parks and Recreation.
There’s a ShredFest being held this Saturday at Heritage Bank on Commerce Avenue in Longview. From 11 am until 2 pm, you can bring down your personal and sensitive documents to be shredded and recycled. Get more information on the Heritage Bank web page.
You can learn about dementia at a Community Event being held Saturday afternoon at Bethany Lutheran Church in Longview, going from 1 to 3 pm. Author, facilitator and speaker Jan Malone will be on hand to talk about dementia, and will also be available to answer questions. Bethany Lutheran Church is located at 2900 Parkview Drive in Longview; this is free and open to all. Due to limited space, preregistration is advised.
From 2 to 5 pm on Saturday in Woodland, the Love Street Playhouse will be holding auditions for “Nuncrackers, the Nunsense Christmas Musical.” You’ll need to arrive a few minutes early to fill out paperwork, and you should bring a head shot. There’s one male role, four roles for women, and four roles for kids. Callbacks are set for Sunday evening; performances are planned for early December. Get more information at lovestreetplayhouse.com.
They’re celebrating The Fabulous 50’s at Saturday night’s “Jeans and Jewels” gala at Life Works Northwest. This will be an incredible evening, while also helping to support disabled children and adults throughout the community. This a 21-and-over event, and will run from 6 to 9 in the Life Works building on New York Street in Longview; call 577-9093 for ticket information, or go to lifeworkswa.org.
Down in Clatskanie, they’re “kickin’ off” the 28th season of the Clatskanie Arts Commission with Tayla Lynn, the granddaughter of country music legend Loretta Lynn. She’ll be accompanied by Grammy-winning guitarist Eric Tingstad. Showtime is set for 7:30 pm in the Birkenfeld Theatre, locats at 75. S. Nehalem Street in Clatskanie. Tickets are available at Hump’s Restaurant, or by calling 503-728-3403.
The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market continues on Saturday, offering fresh produce, baked goods, honey and more from 9 am until 2 pm on Saturdays and Tuesdays in the 7th Avenue parking lot, across from the County Fairgrounds.
The Winlock Improvement Network and the Winlock Lions are hosting a Farmers Market that runs each Saturday through September 24th, starting this Saturday at the corner of State Route 505 and Highway 603.
The Saturday Farmer’s Market in Clatskanie goes from 10 am until 2 pm at Cope’s Park on the Clatskanie River.
Help to support the Cowlitz Pop Warner Varsity Cheer program at their first-ever Golf Tournament, planned for this Sunday at Three Rivers in Kelso. It’s a four-person scramble, with a shotgun start at 1 pm. Along with KP and long drive pots, there will be a Taco Bar dinner after golf, 50/50 and prize raffles, and prizes for the winning teams. Proceeds will help get the Cheer team to competitions in California and Florida.
Settled in at a new venue, the Kelso Bridge Market runs from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday at the Three Rivers Mall, right next to the southwest entry.
Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue is looking into a motor home fire that was reported early this morning north of Kelso. Firefighters were called out at about 3:40 am, when the fire was reported at 1706 West Side Highway. It took about 15 minutes to get the fire out. We haven’t heard anything yet about the cause of the fire, the amount of damage done, or a dollar estimate on the loss.
Things are getting back to normal at an apartment complex in the 1700 block of Hemlock Street, after a resident of that complex apparently attempted suicide Tuesday afternoon, an attempt that involved hazardous materials. A 911 caller reported that this person was posting suicidal messages on Facebook; they had tried to call the person, but the response was unintelligible. Longview Police arrived at about 4:45 pm, followed by Longview Fire. Firefighters went into the apartment, wearing breathing equipment, and they found a sign that said “Caution CO2.” They found the person on the floor of the bathroom, semi-conscious. That person was removed and taken to St. John Medical Center in serious condition, where that person underwent additional decontamination. During the check of the apartment, a police officer complained of a “burning sensation” on his arm, and also was decontaminated; the officer was eventually treated for chemical burns. Other firefighters underwent decontamination procedures. An analysis indicated the continued threat of hazardous materials, so the Cowlitz 2 HazMat team was called in. That team also found a fire danger in the apartment, so the building was evacuated and the electricity was disconnected. After hazardous materials were removed and neutralized, most of the residents were allowed to return. The responders that were affected have returned to duty, while the investigation continues. The condition of the apartment dweller hasn’t been updated.
Two people are recovering from injuries that they got in a two-car crash that took place yesterday afternoon on State Route 503 east of Woodland. State Troopers say that Kassandra Robello, 28, of Vancouver was northbound about 14 miles east of Woodland, when her car drifted over the center line and collided with a pickup being driven by Robert Bennett, 55, of Ariel. Robello was taken from the scene by a private party, while Bennett was taken to Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver. Robello is being cited for second-degree negligent driving.