Just a few days after the statewide 911 outage in Washington state, Wahkiakum County reported another outage yesterday morning. The Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office contacted Cowlitz County at about 8:45 yesterday morning, reporting that “all phones were down.” 911 dispatching was transferred to Cowlitz County, until Wahkiakum County called back an hour later to report that things were back to normal. The cause of this outage isn’t yet known. Over the weekend, CenturyLink disclosed that Thursday morning’s outage was caused by a “technical error by a third-party vendor.” They say that the vendor worked with CenturyLink to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. They’re still analyzing this situation, to see if steps can be taken to prevent a repeat.
Archive | ‘Local News’
The City of Longview says that it looks like Columbia Heights Road will remain closed for several more weeks. The road is currently closed between upper and lower Maplewood Drive, after the slope above Columbia Heights Road slid down on March 26th. Tarps currently cover the area that has failed, in an attempt to get that area to dry out. Public Works Director Jeff Cameron says that the geotechnical contractors hired by the city plan to bring a drill rig in on the 22nd, with the intent of drilling some holes to explore the depth and stability of the slope. After those drill samples are checked over, then the city will have an idea of the type and length of repairs that will need to be done. It’s currently speculated that the current closure and detour situation will remain in place until at least mid-June. People needing to get to the upper Columbia Heights area can still use Laurel Road, Glenwood Road and Virginia Way, and Nevada Drive.
“Area 3” will be flushed this week by City of Longview water department crews. This is the area between 15th Avenue and the Cowlitz River, going form Ocean Beach Highway to California Way. Work is planned tonight through Thursday night, going from 7:30 to 11:30 pm each night. Advisory signs will be posted in the work areas; remember that flushing may stir up sediment in your residential pipes, so you’re advised to flush your own pipes prior to using the water for brushing teeth, cooking or washing closures.
A week-long razor clam dig opens this morning and runs through next Sunday. Twin Harbors is open for digging on this morning’s low tide; Long Beach and Twin Harbors will be open for digging tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday. Add Mocrocks to the mix on Friday, and then on Saturday and Sunday, all four main clam beaches will be open, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks. Remember that you’re going to need a current shellfish license to be legal for digging. The 2013 licenses expired on March 31st. Next Saturday and Sunday is the second annual Long Beach Razor Clam Festival, and Saturday also marks the annual Washington Coast Cleanup Day. Fishery managers say that they’re nearing the end of the 2014 spring season, but they’re still hopeful of offering a digging opportunity in May.
It’s kind of a short turnaround, but it’s a big accomplishment for the Bits and Bots Team 3812, as the local high school robotics team qualifies for the World Championships, coming up later this month in St. Louis. Bits and Bots advisor Bob Koenig says that the team was one of 64 from Washington and Oregon that competed in the Pacific Northwest District Championships at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland over this past weekend. In 12 “Aerial Assist” qualifying matches, Bits and Bots went 8-4, placing them 8th heading into the championship rounds. Working in a three-team alliance, they won their quarterfinal matches, but then lost their first semi-final match. In their second semi-final, Bits and Bots hit a ten-point shot at the buzzer, good for a 122-117 win. In their third semi-final, a teammate’s robot broke, so they did not advance to the finals. In the end, however, Bits and Bots Team 3812 finished ranked 14th out of 153 teams, which qualifies for the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis. 400 teams from around the world are scheduled for that competition, which will be played from the 23rd to the 26th in the Edward Jones Dome.
Now that Enhanced 911 services have been restored throughout the state, the investigation into the cause of the outage is under way. The outage first hit at about 1 am yesterday, traced to a computer glitch at a CenturyLink facility in Oregon. A portion of Oregon was also affected around that same time, but CenturyLink now says that outage was unrelated to the problems in Washington. Some sporadic service was restored by around 7 am, and then the system was fully functional again around 8 am. Washington Emergency Management says that the state E911 office is opening up an after-action review to try and determine the source, also working to find ways to mitigate future outages.
Officials with Cowlitz County 911 say that they’re not aware of any major incidents that took place during yesterday morning’s outage. However, there is a woman in Kelso who says that the outage did delay a police response to her home for about an hour, after someone allegedly threw a gas-filled bottle at the house. The woman was finally able to contact Kelso Police at about 4:20 am; she says that there was a small fire, but no significant damage was done. The woman also reports that the suspect smashed the windshield of a vehicle parked outside of the home. No injuries were reported, and no arrests have been reported at this time.
A former Principal at Kelso High School is dead at the age of 92. Family members report that Bud Reschke died earlier this week, found in his car in the parking lot of the Wilco store. County Coroner Tim Davidson says that the death was due to natural causes. Reschke was first hired by the Kelso School District back in 1951, working as a social studies teacher and as a Vice-Principal at Kelso High until 1956. That was the year he was promoted to be the Kelso High School Principal, a position he held until 1972. In ’72, he was named as the district’s Director of Special Services and Vocational Education, which was then split to just Special Services in 1973. He continued in that position until his resignation in June of 1981. There’s no word out yet on when memorial services might be held.
Marine biologists are out on the beach near Ocean Park, working to identify a beached whale that turned up yesterday. The whale is about 25 feet long, which suggests that it may be a young whale. Pacific County officials also say that this is a “baleen whale,” which has a filter-feeding system in its mouth, as opposed to the large teeth that an Orca or a Sperm Whale have. The current speculation is that this may be a Gray Whale, but the advanced state of decomposition is delaying that identification at this time. The decomposition also shows that the whale died some time ago, and has been floating in the ocean for quite a while. The whale is lying on the beach about nine miles north of Ilwaco.
The Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund is stepping up with a significant donation for the Long-Bell Shay Locomotive Pavilion, announcing a gift of $5,000. Barry J. Dahl, the chair of the Friends of Longview, says that this donation will be directed toward the purchase of eight pressure-treated log columns, which will be used to support the roof of the pavilion. Brian Magnuson is volunteering his time to serve as the general contractor for the project, also helping to secure donations of labor and building materials. After more than a decade of restoration work by John Chilson, Jeff Wilson and others in the community, the Long-Bell Shay #5 is now back on the Longview Library grounds, covered with tarps until the Pavilion can be completed. So far, $25,000 has been collected from the community for the Pavilion, while the City of Longview has also provided $37,500. The full cost of the project is now put at $200,000, so additional donations are needed. If you would like to help out, you can drop money off at the Longview Community Development Department, or call 636-1129 for more information.