Just days after a forensic sketch was released to the public, Wahkiakum County Coroner Dan Bigelow says that they have been able to positively identify the man whose body was found last May near Altoona. Bigelow says that DNA comparisons confirm that the body is that of Richard Arneson of Seattle, who was 62 years old when he was last seen. The last contact that anyone had with Arneson was on Feburary 4th, 2015, when he sent a text to a friend saying “My luck has run out.” Due to the condition of Arneson’s body, it’s speculated that he was out in the elements since the time that he died, though the cause of death remains undetermined. Bigelow thanks the people who provided tips in the case, and he also thanks Doctor Kathy Taylor, the state’s Forensic Anthropologist, for her work in helping to identify the remains. Arneson’s body was found near Altoona last May, and there’s still no word as to how he ended up where he did. Seattle Police continue to investigate the circumstances of Arneson’s disappearance.
Archive | ‘Local News’
A special meeting of the Longview Planning Commission is set for this evening, where they will conduct a workshop on the update of the Longview Comprehensive Plan, and will also get an update on the process to develop zoning regulations for emergency shelters inside the city limits. This evening’s meeting starts at 7 pm in the second floor Training Room at the Longview City Hall. This meeting is open to the public.
Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler is announcing a new assignment, reporting that she has been appointed to the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. Beutler says that this appointment will allow her to focus resources to this area, dealing with priorities like opioid abuse, advancing work on cures for things like heart disease and diabetes, and bolstering workforce education. Beutler says that she’s excited about this appointment; while she loses her seat on the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee, Beutler says that she will stay connected to the issues going in front of that committee, dealing with things like salmon restoration, human trafficking, drug courts and similar topics.
The organizers of the first-ever meeting of the Lower Columbia chapter of “100 Women Who Care” say that their initial meeting was an outstanding success, raising more than $8,500 in one hour, money that will go to Janus Youth Programs, a program for local homeless youth. The premier event for the local “100 Women Who Care” chapter took place on January 10th at the Longview Country Club, with the membership of the group growing to 121 members. Each of the members is pledging a $400 annual commitment, $100 at each of four quarterly meetings. Nine local non-profits were considered at this initial gathering, and then the recipient was selected by a ballot of those in attendance. Janus Youth Services is a program from Cowlitz County, which is now involved in the development of a street outreach program for local homeless youth. The next meeting of “100 Women Who Care” is currently set for April 18th at 6 pm, at a location yet to be determined.
There’s a new local entry on the National Registry of Historic Places, as the John and Matilda Jackson House near Chehalis is added to the list. This announcement came last week from the Washington Department of Archeology and Historical Preservation. They say that the Jackson House was listed for several reasons, including its historic connection to the Chehalis community, along with its history as a rest stop for travelers while being an attraction for early motor travelers. They also say that the pioneering efforts of the Jacksons themselves factored into the decision. It’s also noted that the Jackson House was one of the first-ever targets for historic preservation in Washington state.
If the forecasters got this one right, it’s not going to be a very pleasant day on area roadways. The Weather Service says that a “major ice storm” is coming into the Columbia River Gorge and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and we could see some of the impacts. There’s a Freezing Rain Advisory up in the local area through 2 pm today; light rain is expected to begin this morning, and then should end this afternoon. Surface temperatures are still below freezing, and they’re not expected to get above freezing until late this afternoon. Today, the freezing rain is expected to extend down through the Willamette Valley, all the way to Eugene. Tonight, the Portland metro area is expected to get coated, and then it’s really supposed to sock the Gorge tomorrow. This area should only see about a tenth of an inch or so, but with the ice that’s already on the ground, difficult driving conditions will only become more difficult.
After a lull this afternoon, heavy rains are expected tonight and into tomorrow, with up to an inch-and-a-half in possible in the next 24 hours, and as much as 2.3 inches out of this storm event. They say that local rivers and streams will rise rapidly, making for the possibility of some flooding. Urban flooding is also possible, as ice and other debris may clog storm drains. Be ready for this strong weather, along with the challenging driving conditions.
The Longview Fire Department reports having to make a technical high-angle rope rescue on Sunday, after a man from Clatskanie got stuck while hiking. The man called 911 at about 5:30 on Sunday from a slope near the 2000 block of 38th Avenue, saying that he was stuck on a steep hillside. The man says that he had worked his way down about 200 feet from a ridgetop when the slope became “perilously steep.” The man tried to backtrack, but got stuck by the snow and ice. Firefighters arrived and were able to make verbal contact, then they got a four-wheel-drive rig up above the stranded man. Other agencies assisted in the rescue, including the Sheriff’s Office, Cowlitz County Search and Rescue, AMR, along with backup from Cowlitz Fire District 5 in Kalama and District 3 in Toutle. Acting Fire Lieutenant Brett Venneri was able to come down on a rope and assessed the man for injuries; additional ropes were deployed, and the man was eventually lowered to safety. The unidentified man was taken to St. John Medical Center, where he was treated for hypothermia; they say that he was uninjured otherwise. The man’s name is not being released.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has three men in custody, claiming that the trio had been stealing mail in Multnomah and Washington counties. Sheriff Jeff Dickerson says that they launched an investigation after checks from a woman living in Warren were stolen, and then were deposited through a U. S. Bank ATM in Saint Helens. Dickerson says that the checks ended up in the account of Rodney Oates of St. Helens, and further investigation showed that 20 checks had been illegally deposited in Oates’ account between December 3rd and January 3rd. Security videos reported showed Oates and three other men depositing the checks; search warrants were served on New Year’s Day at a home in Warren and at an apartment in St. Helens. Dickerson says that large amounts of stolen mail and check stubs were found, also in a stolen pickup that’s been connected to these three men. They say “large amounts” of mail stolen from locations in Columbia City, Saint Helens, Warren, Beaverton, Scappoose, Portland and Hillsboro was recovered. Along with Oates, Michael Welch and Charles Lockridge III are also being charged. Dickerson says that there’s a fourth suspect, but that person has not yet been identified.
Official memorial services for Kalama Police Chief Randall Gibson are now set. The City of Kalama now reports that the memorial service will take place this at 1 pm this Thursday at the New Life Church on 42nd Avenue in Longview. Prior to the service, there will be an exclusive procession of Kalama Emergency Response vehicle, honoring the Chief as they go through Kalama. The exact route and timing will be announced later. At the request of Gibson’s family, you’re asked to make memorial contributions to the Behind the Badge Foundation at behindthebadgefoundation.org. They’ve also set up the Chief Randall Gibson Memorial Fund has been established at Heritage Bank in Kelso and Longview; you can also drop donations off at the Kalama City Offices, located at 195 North First Street. City of Kalama offices will also close at 11 am on Thursday, for this Thursday’s memorial service. Gibson died last Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, having suffered respiratory distress after a “high-stress arrest.”
Wendy Denison of Kalama has a GoFundMe campaign under way, looking to raise money for Jimmy Grulkey, who needs money for a stem cell transplant. Grulkey, who’s known around the area as “Biker Jim,” has been getting treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis for several years, including a drug that has eventually damaged his kidneys. He’s now dealing with stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease, and apparently can be treated with stem cells. Denison says that they’re trying to raise $20,000 to cover the procedure, and they’re nearing the $1,000 mark after being up for only a couple of days. Get details and see how you can help by going to GoFundMe.com, and search for Jimmy Grulkey.