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Archive | ‘Local News’

Vydra Seated

Posted on 24th July 2015 at 09:10

The Longview City Council moved faster than expected last night, voting to install Longview business owner Scott Vydra on the panel, succeeding Tom Hutchinson, who recently passed away from cancer. Vydra says last night’s appointment took him by surprise, but he’s ready to get to work. Vydra says that his first priority will be to get the city’s water issues fixed, and then he would like to work on getting Longview’s streets fixed. Vydra owns Pets, Pawns and Instruments on Commerce Avenue in downtown Longview, and he had been the only person to file for Hutchinson’s position earlier this year. Vydra’s name will still appear on the November ballot.

In other action last night, the City Council also directed City Manager Dave Campbell to move ahead with the hiring of an Economic Development Coordinator. They also approved the dissolution of the agreement that had Longview supplying a part-time Commander for the Narcotics Task Force. Chief Jim Duscha says that the position is taking too much time for the Captain who’s filling that position, while Longview doesn’t have any detectives on the Task Force. Duscha says that they will continue to work with the Narcotics Task Force through the Street Crimes Unit.

Move Those Cars!

Posted on 24th July 2015 at 09:09

The City of Longview has been getting numerous calls in recent days, with citizens complaining about vehicles that appear to be abandoned on city streets. The Longview Police Department is out with a reminder that if your license tabs are expired for more than 45 days and if your vehicle is parked on a public street or in a city-owned lot, then the car is subject to impoundment without notice, under state law and local ordinances. LPD says that they’re now in an emphasis mode on these laws, in response to an uptick in complaints about unlicensed vehicles on downtown city streets and parking lots. Get more information on parking in downtown Longview by going to

Bond Road Rollover

Posted on 24th July 2015 at 09:09

Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue says that it took about a half-hour to free a woman after a Wednesday night rollover crash on Bond Road near Castle Rock. The collision took place around 7:30 pm on Wednesday; fire officials say that the woman’s car was entangled with the guard rail, trapping her inside. Firefighters had to cut the roof off of the car to be able to free her; the unidentified woman did have some soft tissue injuries to one of her legs, so she was taken to Saint John Medical Center to be checked out. No other injuries were reported. The accident is still being investigated by the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.

Coho Cutoff

Posted on 24th July 2015 at 09:07

Fishery managers are announcing a rule change on the Columbia River, announcing that all Coho salmon caught must be released. They say that this year’s Coho run is early; the current fishing rules didn’t anticipate seeing any Coho in July, so they didn’t make any provisions for them. Effective immediately and going through August 1st, anglers must release all Coho salmon, going from the mouth of the river to a point nearly 300 miles upstream. A different set of rules goes into effect on that date, rules that will allow for retention of some Coho salmon. Get full details on the Washington Fish and Wildlife web page, or get in touch with your local outfitter.

Port Tours

Posted on 24th July 2015 at 09:07

There’s still time to get signed up for tours of the Port of Longview that will be offered Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of next week. This is the second year of the tours, which the Port says was extremely successful. More than 150 people took part last year. Participants will get an up-close look at the Port’s Mobile Harbor Cranes, log stackers, cargo vessels and other operations around the Port. You’ll also get a chance to go through the 88 year-old Continental Grain facility, before it’s torn down next year. Tours are planned at 10 am and 2 pm this next Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. There is a limit of 60 people for each tour, so you’ll want to pre-register for your preferred time. Call 360-703-0231 to register, or you can sign up on-line through the Port’s web page.

Visitor Center Groundbreaking

Posted on 24th July 2015 at 09:06

A ceremony is planned this afternoon in Castle Rock, where ground will be broken on the new Visitors Center, just off of I-5 at Exit 49. The ceremony will be conducted at the site of the facility, which will go in at the Park and Ride on the west side of the freeway at Exit 49. The City of Castle Rock plans to use a portion of its “Big Idea” allocation to help pay for the facility, which is estimated to cost about 96 thousand dollars. Contact the City of Castle Rock if you have other questions.

Rascal Rodeo

Posted on 24th July 2015 at 09:05

This year’s Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo features a special event at 10 tomorrow morning, as they host this region’s first-time-ever “Rascal Rodeo.” More than 30 special needs people between the ages of 2 and 60 are expected to take part, where they will able to rope calves and steers, milk a cow, ride “bucking barrels,” take part in a stick-horse barrel race, and they’ll also have a chance to ride ponies and horses. Rascal Rodeo is a non-profit based out of Pasco, which was started in 2011, growing out of Ann-Erica Whitemarsh’s senior project for high school. This organization now puts on about 15 of these events each year. You can get more information and you can register as a participant or a volunteer by going to Volunteers are asked to be at the Rodeo Arena by 9 tomorrow morning, and then the Rascal Rodeo will go from 10 to 11:30 am. It’s free to take part.

Speaking of the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo, tonight is “Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night,” intended to raise awareness about breast cancer and funding for research to battle the disease. Tonight’s go-round starts at 7 pm, and it does require an admission ticket to get in. Those are available at the Cowlitz County Fair, or you can get them on-line at, or at the Cowlitz County Fair web page.

Weekend Events–7/24-26/15

Posted on 24th July 2015 at 09:05

The Cowlitz County Fair continues Friday and Saturday, headlined by the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo each night at 7 pm. Friday night is “Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night,” highlighting breast cancer awareness and research. Saturday will also feature the “Rascal Rodeo” at 10 am, providing those with mental or physical disabilities to take part in rodeo-type events, scaled down for those who have challenges. It’s free to participate, and all are welcome to attend. Get more information at

The 8th annual Hot Summer Nights Concert series is under way in Woodland, with concerts planned for each Friday evening through August 14. “Silver Rose” performs at 7 pm on the Hoffman Plaza in Woodland. Admission is free, and this is a non-alcohol family event. Go to for more information.

The annual Rod Run to the Rock Car Show will be held this Saturday in Castle Rock. Dozens of classic, custom and collector cars will be on display in downtown Castle Rock, going on all day long. Get more information by calling the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Starting at 9 am on Saturday, free tours of the Just-a-Mere Tree Farm outside of Rainier will be offered. After a short presentation with coffee and pastries, visitors will be driven around the combination timber, Christmas Tree and contract logging farm. There’s a picnic lunch being offered, and the Oregon Department of Forestry will also have a presentation on fire season safety. You’re asked to RSVP to 503-397-3462 prior to heading out.

You can help out the local Salvation Army by attending Saturday’s “Christmas in July” fundraiser, which is being held at the Longview Eagles. There’s a dinner and a silent auction; dinner will be served at 6, followed by dessert, a live auction and dance music from 8 to 10 pm. Get more information by going to the Christmas in July Dinner Facebook page.

There’s a fundraising show planned for Saturday evening in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts, called “Laughter is the Best Medicine, Part 2.” This is the 3rd year for this event, working to raise awareness about cancer and survivorship. Musician John Henry will perform, along with comedy, dance, improv and a one-act play; local medical care professionals will also be making presentations. The show starts at 7:30 pm Saturday night; donations will be accepted at the door.

The second of this year’s “Music on the Mountain” concerts is planned for Saturday night at the Johnston Ridge Observatory Amphitheatre, featuring a “folk-punk group” out of Portland, called Casey Neill and the Norway Rats. This show runs from 6:30 to 8:30 pm Saturday night, and admission is free. Food and drink will be available for purchase at the venue.

Farmers Markets:
The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market will be open on Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm, set up in the 7th Avenue parking lot across from the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. They’ll have plants and plant starts for sale, along with fresh produce, hand-crafted gifts and garden items, honey, baked goods and more. Admission is free.

The Clatskanie Farmer’s Market is open from 10 am until 2 pm on Saturdays on the lawn at Cope’s Park. Vendors of fresh fruits and veggies, plant starts, hand-crafted gifts and other merchandise will be joined by special events, cooking and tasting demonstrations, carnival games and chances to win prizes. Find out more on their web page, or on their Facebook page.

The Puget Island Farmer’s Market is open each weekend through October 16th at Stockhouse’s Farm on Birnie Slough Road near Cathlamet. Along with the fresh produce, local beef, fruits, baked goods and other items, Lulu LaFever will be performing, and they’ll also have an open mic. Hours are 3 to 6 pm on Saturday.

The Kelso Bridge Market is open on Sunday in its new venue at the Three Rivers Mall. This year, the Bridge Market is operating in the space across from the new Three Rivers Cinema, open from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday near the Southwest door of the mall. They’ll have fresh Rainier Cherries, blueberries and Marionberries for sale this weekend, along with fresh produce and plant starts, hand-made craft items and other special trinkets.

Contract Rejected

Posted on 23rd July 2015 at 09:13

Officials with Local 153 of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers report that their membership has once again rejected a contract offer from KapStone Paper and Packaging. Voting on this latest contract offer took place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; union officials say that this latest offer was rejected by 68 percent of the members who voted. Just over 81 percent of the local’s 800 members voted against this offer, with few details about the offer being discussed. It’s believed that health care contributions are still a major bone of contention between the company and the union. It’s not exactly clear what will happen next; union officials said previously that rejection of the contract would not automatically trigger a strike

Fire Update

Posted on 23rd July 2015 at 09:13

They’re now reporting that the Colvin Creek Fire near Woodland is about 60 percent contained, while other wildfires being managed under the “Pacific Cascade Complex” are still being monitored closely. The cooler weather and higher humidity has helped fire crews gain ground on containment, while they keep an eye on fires that are under “patrol status” near Yacolt, west of Longview, and two other small fires east of Woodland. It’s noted that the Germany Creek fire is in extremely steep terrain, with smoldering stumps and logs that can’t be safely mopped up. Those stumps and logs are well within the fire lines, and are just being allowed to burn out inside those lines.

You also need to be aware that the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso is being used as the center of operations for the aerial resources being used in the Pacific Cascade Complex of fires. Airport officials say that at least five helicopters are being used, including a crane helicopter. They’re using the north tarmac for staging and fueling, along with temporary offices. They say that the airport in Kelso is in a “strategic location, in an ideal spot to be used for natural disaster agency coordination.