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Archive | ‘Local News’

Drowning Victim ID’d

Posted on 18th September 2014 at 09:01

The man who drowned in Mayfield Lake back on the second of this month is now being identified as 51 year-old Terence E. Murphy of Winlock. He had been missing and was presumed to be drowned after he jumped off of a 30-foot cliff near Ike Kinswa State Park, and then failed to resurface. Using a remote-controlled and camera-equipped submersible, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team located and recovered Murphy’s body on Monday, lodged between the cliff wall and a log, in about 65 feet of water. Authorities say that foul play is not suspected, but they do believe that alcohol may have been a factor in the death. An autopsy is reportedly planned for today.

State of the Cities

Posted on 18th September 2014 at 09:01

The Mayors and City Managers of Kelso and Longview will be featured at today’s Quarterly Meeting of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, where those men will deliver the annual “State of the Cities” report. David Futcher and Steve Taylor from Kelso will join Don Jensen and Bob Gregory from Longview in discussing the current projects and challenges that each city is dealing with. Another highlight from today’s event is that this will be the final “State of the Cities” event where Bob Gregory will speak as Longview’s City Manager. This is scheduled to go from 11:45 am to 1:30 pm today at the Cowlitz Regional Conference Center. Get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce at 423-8400 for registration information.

Reynolds Cleanup

Posted on 18th September 2014 at 08:45

The Department of Ecology is out with an updated on the cleanup of the old Reynolds Metals-Millennium Bulk Terminals facility in west Longview. Ecology reports that the comments received on the “Agreed Order Amendment” regarding Columbia River sediments have been reviewed, and they now say that the contaminated sediments should be removed. The Cleanup Action Plan will be amended to reflect this decision, and should be available for public comment early next year. The comments on the draft Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study have also been reviewed, and Ecology is now working on a “Responsiveness Summary,” dealing with the large number of comments that came in. They anticipate finalizing the RI/FS and the Responsiveness Summary in the next few weeks, and will be sending that out after its completion. Separate from the cleanup, Ecology is also engaged in the environmental review of the permit applications submitted by Millennium in regard to its coal terminal proposal. It’s emphasized that, regardless of the ultimate disposition of those permits, the cleanup of the property will still continue. Get full details on the Department of Ecology web page.

Martin’s Bluff Meeting

Posted on 18th September 2014 at 08:45

Work is progressing on the Martin’s Bluff Rail Improvement Project, with the Washington Department of Transportation announcing that the Environmental Assessment for “Tasks 5 and 6” is complete and ready for public comment. The Martin’s Bluff project is part of an effort all along the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Portland and Vancouver, B. C., looking at ways to better separate and improve passenger and freight traffic through that corridor. They’re looking at a bypass that would upgrade the track in the local area, along with a third “main track” between Kelso and the Longview Junction. You can review the latest on this project by going to an open house that’s planned for today from 4 to 6 pm in the John Searing Auditorium at the Cowlitz PUD building in Longview. Comments are being accepted until September 27th; get more details on these projects by going to the WashDOT website

LCP Bingo Party

Posted on 18th September 2014 at 08:44

You can become a member of the “Legion of Bingo” at tonight’s party that’s being put on by the Lower Columbia Professionals, hosted by the Longview American Legion Post 155. Things get started at 5:30 pm; your entry fee will get you ten Bingo cards, and food will also be provided. You’re asked to fly your team colors, and bring some extra cash for extra chances to win that will come up through the evening. This is a 21-and-over event; Contact the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Merit Scholar Semis

Posted on 18th September 2014 at 08:43

Two students from southwest Washington are among the 16 thousand that have been selected as semi-finalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. They’re now competing for one of the 76 hundred National Merit Scholarships that will be presented next spring, worth a total of about 33 million dollars. Luke Staley is a home-schooler from Cathlamet, and has been able to make the cut as a semi-finalist, as is Chloe Zimmerman of Naselle High School. About 1.4 million juniors from 22,000 high schools across the country applied for this years Merit Scholar program. About 15,000 of the 16,000semi-finalists are expected to advance to “finalist” status, with that announcement made in February. The scholarship awards will be presented in April.

Fair Attendance

Posted on 18th September 2014 at 08:42

Attendance numbers from this year’s Cowlitz County Fair are now being disclosed, and fair officials say that they are “happy” with the final results. It’s reported that 60,815 people attended this year’s Cowlitz County Fair, up more than 2013’s total of 57,100. More importantly, fair officials also report that revenues at this year’s fair is up 9 percent over last year. Kathi Mattenen, the Cowlitz County Event and Fair Coordinator, thanks everyone who helped to make this year’s fair a success, and they’re already working to build on this year’s success as they start to prepare for next July’s Cowlitz County Fair.

Give More 24!

Posted on 18th September 2014 at 08:40

The first-ever “Give More 24!” online giving event starts at 7 this morning, and will continue until 7 tomorrow morning. This event is being arranged by the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington, intended as a way to empower people to give what they can, wherever they are, anywhere in the world. More than 80 local non-profits have registered to be a part of this event, listed in an easy-to-use directory, with secure donation forms for charitable giving. In addition, the “Give More 24!” web page allows users to encourage friends and family to join them in giving to these local groups, via sharing on social media. The Community Foundation is also raising money from individuals and businesses, to fund prizes connected to giving, along with a “stretch pool” that will multiply each donation. This model of fundraising is called peer-to-peer fundraising, crowdfunding or crowdraising, and uses the leverage of individual social networks and incentives to boost the fundraising atmosphere. Find out more about how you can participate by going to

Pot Bust

Posted on 17th September 2014 at 09:10

A traffic stop reportedly led to the discovery of a large marijuana production operation that was taking place at a home in South Kelso, also leading to the arrest of George Szerency, 62,of Kelso on a number of felony counts. Centralia Police say that this investigation actually started a couple of months ago, when investigators caught wind of an illegal and clandestine marijuana production operation, reportedly supplying large amounts of weed to Cowlitz, Lewis, Pierce and Thurston counties. They say that the suspects were using the cover of supplying marijuana to medical distributors, which is also illegal. The suspects were supposedly buying and selling used cars to launder the large amounts of money that they were making. A number of controlled buys were made. On Monday, Szerency was stopped about two blocks from his home on South 7th, and was reportedly in possession of a small amount of marijuana oil. He was arrested, and a search warrant was obtained for his home. Police claim to have found ten fully-mature, 9-foot marijuana plants in his back yard, guns, two cars, about 21 pounds of processed buds, 24 grams of oil, and just less than $51,000 in cash. Szerency is now being held on the Cowlitz County Jail on charges of unlawful delivery, conspiracy to deliver and possession with intent to deliver, along with school zone and gun possession enhancements. Three other people are also being referred for felony charges in connection with this case.

Morning Shakers

Posted on 17th September 2014 at 09:08

So far, no damage or injuries have been reported from a couple of earthquakes reported in the past day or so. Shortly after 3 this morning, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network recorded a magnitude 4.0 event that took place about 18 miles west of Bremerton, and about 20 miles west-southwest of Poulsbo. This took place at a depth of 10 miles, and was followed by a couple of much smaller aftershocks.

Yesterday morning, a magnitude 3.0 event was recorded 16-point-5 miles south-southwest of Morton and about 30 miles east-northeast of Longview. Cowlitz County Emergency Management relayed a report from the Washington Department of Emergency Management, saying that this earthquake took place at 5:43 yesterday morning. It was initially reported at magnitude 3.4, but that was eventually confirmed to be magnitude 3. This was also followed by a number of much smaller events, ranging from 0.1 to just over 1.0. This quake took place in a remote and undeveloped area, so there were no reports of damage or injury. The PNSN is continuing to monitor earthquake activity throughout the region.