The winter term Community Conversation lectures are under way at Lower Columbia College, with this terms overall topic listed as “Turning Points in Science.” LCC Mathematics instructor Cary Rhode will be the featured speaker today, presenting a lecture titled “The Magic of the Transistor.” The free lecture starts at noon in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts.
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The people representing this area in our nation’s capitol seem to be generally supportive of the goals that were outlined in President Obama’s State of the Union address. Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler says that she hopes to work with the President to continue moving in an upward trajectory. Beutler says that she will support measures that will help residents of Southwest Washington keep more of their hard-earned dollars, working to reduce the costs of things like energy, education and groceries. She says that if the President is willing to work with Congress on finding the right solutions, then they can work to make life better for all Americans. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray both applauded the President’s plans to strengthen the middle class, and to support increased access to education. Murray and Cantwell both say that they stand ready to work across party lines to achieve the goals that were lined out in last night’s address.
The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is responding to a report of a possible suicide, reported early this morning near Castle Rock. Few details are available at this time, but it is known that a 911 call came in around 4:30 am from a home off of Si Town Road and the Spirit Lake Highway. The caller reported finding a person who was dead, from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Additional information may be released later today.
Longview Police are looking into an incident reported last night at a home in the 300 block of 16th Avenue, where a woman says that a window apparently was damaged by a gunshot. The woman called 911 at about 10:15 pm, saying that she found that her upstairs bathroom window was broken, apparently by a round that had been fired from the ground. Officers checked the area, and found two spent shell casings. They also found where the bullet had struck the window. The casings were taken as evidence, but no suspects have been identified.
Douglas Schaffner, 21, of Rainier is in the Columbia County Jail on a laundry list of felony counts after he allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house, assaulted her and tried to rape her. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office says that the crimes took place shortly before noon yesterday, when Schaffner allegedly broke into the woman’s home on Hirtzel Road, just outside of Rainier. The woman claims that Schaffner grabbed her by the throat, forced her into the bedroom and tried to rape her. He took off, but was located at his own home, just down the road from where the victim lives. Schaffner is now being charged with attempted rape, sodomy, strangulation, burglary, kidnapping and other counts. The investigation into the incident continues.
A man who was featured on the “Washington’s Most Wanted” TV show on the 9th of this month was arrested Monday in Winlock. It’s reported that Kyle Eugene Rogers, 33, was involved in a robbery incident that took place back in November at a home on SR 506 near Winlock. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says that Rogers and another man forced their way into the home, and then used a beer bottle and brass knuckles to threaten the occupants before leaving with several computers. Acting on a tip, Rogers was located at a home Byham Road in Winlock, was arrested after a half-hour standoff. He’s now in the Lewis County Jail on a second-degree robbery charge, with bail set at $50,000.
Kalama Police are still reviewing security video from Kalama High School, to see if they can identify the person or persons who burglarized the school over the three-day weekend. School officials reported the break-in at about 11:45 yesterday morning, saying that a number of schoolrooms had been entered. They’re still going over the equipment inventory to determine exactly how much stuff was taken. At this point, no suspects have been identified.
An on-line auction of unclaimed property at the Kelso Police Department begins today. The complete list of items being auctioned is available on the Kelso Police Department web page, and includes watches, jewelry, electronics, car stereo equipment and a variety of other items. If you would like to bid on any of these items, log onto petspawnsandimports.com, and click on their “online sales” button. All items are “as-is,” with no guarantee or warranty connected to any of these items. Contact Kelso Police if you have other questions.
Tickets are still available for this evening’s “Non-Profit Night” at Mark Morris High School, where you will have the opportunity to learn and interact with local non-profit organizations. A wide spectrum of local organizations will be set up to discuss their services, events and impacts that they have on the community. You can also learn about how you might be able to get involved with these groups. Teens can also get information on community service credits that can apply to their graduation. This event is being organized by the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Mark Morris DECA Club. Get ticket information by calling 423-8400 or go to the Chamber web page.
A public reception is being set up for Wednesday, the 28th, where you’ll have a chance to meet with each of the five finalists for the Longview City Manager position. The short list includes current Assistant City Manager Dave Campbell, who has been with the City of Longview since 2005. Curtis Calder has been the City Manager in Elko, Nevada since 2003, while James Patrick has been working as City Manager for Storm Lake, Iowa for the past five years. Dana Reed is the Interim Town Manager for Tremont, Maine, after having worked in Bar Harbor, Maine between 1986 and 2014, and John Williams has been the Battle Ground City Manager since 2009. Following the open reception on the 28th, the candidates will be involved in a full day of interviews on the 29th. The City Council is hoping to make a decision on the successor to Bob Gregory shortly after these interviews.