Longview Police are once again taking part in the annual Drug Take-Back Day, an event that’s sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Between 10 am and 2 pm tomorrow, Longview Police will be accepted drop-offs of unused, unwanted and expired prescription medications, no questions asked. Local police and the DEA say that these drop-off events are an excellent method for safely and properly disposing of these drugs, rather than having them be stolen, or be flushed into local water treatment systems. The police departments in St. Helens and Scappoose are also taking part in “Take-Back Day,” also going from 10 am until 2 pm tomorrow. If you’re unable to get to these events, drop-off bins are set up at the Hall of Justice, and at the police department buildings in Longview and Kelso.
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Saying that the store in Longview isn’t doing well, ProCaliber Motorsports is shutting the doors at the shop on Industrial Way at the close of business on Saturday. General Manager Travis Richards says that this is strictly a business decision, with the Longview store losing business to people who are heading to Oregon to avoid sales tax. Richards says that this was an extremely difficult decision, one that owner John Jabusch stewed over for a long time. Richards says that they will be moving the entire operation to the store in Vancouver, including all personnel. Richards says that the Vancouver store is going great guns, doing great business with additional product lines added. Richards says that this decision wasn’t made lightly, but it’s the right decision for the business. He says that they will still be able to serve Longview-area customers at the store in Vancouver, or through their strong on-line presence.
Multiple felony charges are being filed against 29 year-old Waldemar Gorski, Jr., of St. Helens, after he was involved in a Wednesday afternoon rollover crash near Clatskanie. Oregon State Police say that the crash took place a few minutes after 2 pm on Wednesday, as Waldemar was eastbound near Lindberg Road. Waldemar apparently failed to make a curve in the road, going into the ditch and rolling his car. Waldemar was unhurt, but a three year-old girl that was in the car was taken to St. John Medical Center. Troopers claim that Waldemar was drunk at the time of the crash, and was also driving while suspended. There’s also a no-contact order in effect, barring Waldemar from having contact with the little girl or her mother. Waldemar is now being held in the Columbia County Jail on charges of DUI, third-degree assault, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. Additional charges could be filed.
Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha says that drug arrests are up substantially in the past year, after full staffing of the LPD Street Crimes Unit was restored. Duscha presented the 2015 Police Department report at last night’s Longview City Council meeting, reporting that felony drug arrests are up 214 percent between 2014 and 2015; in 2014, 79 felony drug arrests were made, compared to 214 arrests in 2015. The amount of drugs seized also increased, up seven percent over the previous year. The Group A Offense Rate dropped by 11 percent between 2014 and 2015, but certain crime categories did increase. Robberies were up 30 percent in 2015, and domestic violence incidents were up 11 percent. Burglaries were down 25 percent, shoplifting incidents dropped by 32 percent, larceny went down 16 percent, and car prowls dropped by 13 percent. LPD also reports that 27,057 photo enforcement tickets went out in 2015, compared to 10,182 the year before. Calls for service continue at high levels, with nearly 49 thousand calls last year. Duscha reports that the number of calls for service has increased by 25 percent in the past two years.
Fire crews are responding to a house fire reported in the 200 block of Cowlitz Drive. The call came in at about 6:10 am, with Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue called out for the response. Fire officials say that the attached garage of the house was fully involved in fire when they arrived. No other information is available at this time. Be aware of this emergency response, and be ready for possible congestion in that area.
They’re still trying to figure out exactly what caused yesterday morning’s huge fire at Adeline Farms near Woodland, a blaze that killed eleven animals and did more than $300,000in damage. The fire was reported around 1 am yesterday; farm owner Jenny Stanton-Jones says that she woke up and found the farm’s animal pavilion and a storage shed were ablaze. Johnson’s pickup exploded in the fire, while a pig, seven piglets and three goats were killed. Fire crews responded to the property in the 3900 block of Lewis River Road within minutes, and they were able to keep the fire from spreading into a historic barn on the property. It’s reported that the fire started next to a wall where lumber had been stacked, and there’s some speculation that faulty wiring may have been a contributing factor. The farm’s owners say that only a portion of the loss is covered by insurance; it’s reported that a GoFundMe account is being set up to try and help raise money to cover other losses.
The race for the District 2 County Commission seat is started to fill up, as current Community House on Broadway Executive Director Frank Morrison announces his candidacy. In making the announcement, Morrison says that it’s more than the controversy over funding for homeless services that’s driving him. Morrison says that more needs to be done to draw jobs to the local community, while also saying that there needs to be a better way of managing homelessness and the local resources directed to that issue. Morrison says that he will be running as a Republican, the same as current incumbent Dennis Weber. Late last week, local business reporter Kevin Hunter announced his candidacy, saying that he will be running as an independent.
20th District Representative Ed Orcutt of Kalama says that he plans to run for another term in the Washington House. Orcutt first went into the Legislature in 2002, representing the 18th District before Kalama was moved into the 20th District in 2012. Orcutt owns a local forestry consulting company, and is involved in the Kalama Lions. Orcutt first went into the Legislature on a wave of conservativism, and has pushed those values throughout his tenure. Orcutt has been unopposed in the past two General Elections.
A specialty metal-making company is coming to the Port of Kalama. Today’s Daily News reports that the Kalama Port Commission signed a three-year lease with Aero-Vac Alloys, a company that produces parts for the aerospace and defense industries. It’s reported that the company plans to relocate from Orange County, California, for better access to the Seattle airplane and aerospace markets. The company plans to get up and running by next month, with a goal of being fully relocated and operational within three months.
The Sheriff’s Office says that they have probable cause to file second-degree robbery charges against a woman who took a phone from another woman yesterday afternoon. Deputies were called to the 2100 block of 46th Avenue at about 12:45 yesterday afternoon, when it was reported that two women were in a physical fight. They met with one woman when they arrived, who claims that the other woman had attacked her and grabbed her purse. The victim says that they fought over the purse, which she was finally able to wrestle away. She found out that a phone had been stolen out of the purse. Deputies have identified the other woman that was involved, and they say that they do have reason to arrest her.