The Weather Service says that this weekend’s weather system could cause local rivers and streams to rise, with a potential for flooding in some spots. They say that a system with heavy rain is expected to slide through Saturday evening and Sunday morning, with the heaviest precipitation expected in the Coast Range, and in the South Washington and North Oregon Cascades. The exact track of the storm isn’t yet known; between 5 and 8 inches of rain is expected in the mountains out of this system, while the valleys could see 2 to 5 inches. It’s also noted that snow levels will be well above pass levels, so this will all fall as rain, heading straight into local streams. Forecasters continue to monitor the situation.
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Traffic was shut down on the PH 10 Bridge over the Cowlitz River in Castle Rock yesterday afternoon, as authorities dealt with a distraught woman who was saying that she planned to jump into the river. The Sheriff’s Office brought a negotiator to the scene, while Cowlitz County Dive Rescue moved to activate a team with a boat. The woman eventually backed away from the bridge rail after about 20 minutes, and was taken in for mental evaluations and treatment. Other details are not being released at this time.
Longview Police continue to investigate an alleged assault that occurred over the weekend, where Mikayla Mae Smith, 18, of Longview allegedly ran over a male companion intentionally. Detectives say that the original incident took place shortly before 10 pm last Saturday, in the parking lot of a business in the 32 hundred block of Ocean Beach Highway. Smith’s boyfriend was in the passenger seat of the car, and claims that she started punching him in the face. At a red light, the boyfriend jumped out of the car, but he says that Smith looped through the parking lot and ran him over. The boyfriend was taken to St. John Medical Center, while Smith was booked into the Cowlitz County Jail on charges of vehicular assault, DWI and fourth-degree domestic violence assault. Smith is currently being held on bail of $10,000.
Authorities in Lewis County are on the lookout for Phillip Austin Pinotti, 22, of Chehalis, after he allegedly escaped from Centralia Municipal Court. Centralia Police say that Pinotti was in court yesterday morning for arraignment on a DUI charge, and another warrant for theft popped up from Chehalis. The judge ordered Pinotti’s arrest on the warrant, and as a security officer went to handcuff him, he took off on foot. Pinotti jumped into a SUV and sped off, heading toward the court officer that was trying to stop him. As Pinotti was bearing down on the officer, he drew his gun and fired one round, which hit the vehicle. Pinotti put it in reverse, spun the rig and then took off. It’s not known if Pinotti was hit; he remains at large. The court officer has been placed on administrative leave as the shooting investigation proceeds. Pinotti remains at large.
It’s now being reported that the fuel spill that was discovered Monday night in South Kelso is quite a bit smaller than first estimated, but it also covers a much larger area than first reported. The spill was first reported around 10 pm on Monday in the 3000 block of Talley Way, and it was reported that as much as 500 gallons had spilled. Additional investigation shows that the spill was caused when a fuel tank on the locomotive was overfilled during a refueling stop in Vancouver, and then spilled out of that tank on their way to Vancouver. An analysis of went into the locomotive and what was left shows that only about 200 gallons spilled, mostly on curves in the track between Kelso and Vancouver. Officials with BNSF say that plans are under way to clean up the spilled fuel in spots where larger amounts leaked out.
A man who’s being accused of trying to hire another inmate at the Cowlitz County Jail as a hit man may be planning to claim that he was entrapped by law enforcement officials. In today’s Daily News, they have details of the case involving Bradley David Knox, 59, who is now being charged with trying to hire two men to kill three other people. He’s been in jail since August 23rd on a number of charges, and allegedly tried to hire two men to kill the people he blames for getting him arrested. At a Tuesday court hearing, Knox’s attorney claimed that prosecutors have yet to turn over evidence connected to the case, and which might show proof of entrapment. A judge has ordered that all materials be turned over by January 6th. Knox is currently scheduled to go on trial early in February of next year.
The leading law enforcement personnel in Lewis County are taking a stand against the recently-passed I-594, announcing yesterday that they don’t plan to prosecute local citizens for violating the law. The voter-sponsored initiative that boosts gun registration requirements is scheduled to go into effect in 12 days, but Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathon Myers and Sheriff-elect Rob Snaza jointly issued a statement yesterday, saying that they don’t plan to arrest or prosecute inadvertent violations. In yesterday’s statement, Meyer says that they wanted the citizens of Lewis County to know that they’re not looking to make criminals out of ordinary citizens. Both men say that I-594 is “over-reaching” and confusing; however, backers of the initiative say that it sounds like Myers and Snaza plan to do exactly what the law requires. Last weekend, an estimated 1,000 people attended an open-carry rally in Olympia, with many people carrying signs saying “I will not comply.”
If you missed out on the blood drives that were held yesterday in the local area, there’s another chance available today, as the Southwest Washington Red Cross hold a special blood collection event at the Fibre Federal Credit Union main branch on Commerce Avenue. This special blood drive will run from 9 am until 2 pm today, and if you take part, the Red Cross will give you a Limited Edition potholder/oven mitt as a special thank you gift. You can give blood if you’re at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 105 pounds, and are in good general health. Get more details on the Red Cross web page.
Students at Rainier High School are using some special tokens to encourage others to “do the right thing,” called “Clothespins of Encouragement.” The Clothespins are the brainchild of the Kindness Committee of Rainier’s Leadership Class, primarily from juniors Kylee Bamford, Makenzie Jahn and Jamie Tow. They started handing out the Clothespins of Encouragement randomly, each with a message like “compliment someone,” “tell someone they’re awesome,” or similar encouraging phrases. Once the action has been completed, then the Clothespin is given to the person who received the encouragement, who is then obliged to follow through and pass it on. School officials say that the effort is getting high marks from the students and staff so far.
Burlington Northern-Santa Fe is bringing in a cleanup team, so they can deal with a large spill of diesel fuel that took place last night in South Kelso. The Washington State Department of Emergency Management contacted local authorities shortly after 10 pm last night, reporting that at least 500 gallons of diesel had leaked from a fuel tank on locomotive, going into the rail ballast below the train. This took place in the three thousand block of Talley Way, near the Park-n-Ride. The Department of Ecology has also been notified, along with Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue. So far, the cause of the spill isn’t known.