The Cowlitz PUD Commission has two public hearings scheduled for today, where they will take input on a proposed rate increase. The citizen-staffed Electric Rate Advisory Committee has been studying pending rate increases from the Bonneville Power Administration, and is recommending an increase of 2.5 percent to cover those increased power supply costs. There’s a rate hearing scheduled from noon until 2 pm today in the John Searing Auditorium, and then a second hearing will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Action by the PUD Commission will be taken at a future meeting.
Archive | ‘Local News’
Word is getting out that long-time local radio newsman W. Richard “Dick” Sybert has passed away. It’s reported that Sybert died last Friday at home, at the age of 80. For many years, Sybert wrote and produced news for KEDO and its sister stations, eventually retiring several years ago. He had been dealing with a number of health issues in recent years, passing away in the company of family and friends. Memorial services are pending; arrangements are being made by the Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park and Crematory.
Folks from Vernonia and St. Helens are among the 25 Red Cross volunteers from Oregon who are now on the ground in Texas and Florida, assisting in the relief efforts that are going on after the hurricanes that recently devastated those states. The volunteers are working in disaster relief shelters, they’re delivering food and water to affected neighborhoods, and they’re helping to reunify families. The volunteers are helping with emergency financial assistance, while also helping to deliver health and mental health services to storm victims. The Red Cross continues to provide assistance to victims of Harvey and Irma, and you can also help. Go to redcross.org, or you can text 90999 to make an automatic $10 donation.
There’s a special gathering planned for this afternoon and evening at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, an event called “Faith Over Fear: Standing with our Muslim Neighbors.” This is a tour that’s covering the entire state, with Christian and Muslim clergy combining for a program on the “Islamophobia industry,” talking about the divisiveness that this “industry” is promoting. Aneelah Afzali is with the American Muslim Empowerment Network, and Reverend Terry Kyllo is with The Catacomb Churches, a Lutheran and Episcopal congregation in Northwest Washington. Together, they will talk about the “Islamophobia industry” and the damage that it’s doing to the nation; they’ll also talk about how we can all work together to build a future “based on our shared values and vision for America.” Faith Over Fear will run from 3 to 6 pm today at Saint Stephen’s, and anyone interested is invited to attend.
Needles and thimbles are needed today at the Salvation Army facility today, as volunteers are needed to help dress dolls for the Salvation Army Christmas Center. This will go from noon until 2 pm today, recruiting sewers, knitters, crafters and those who crochet to help get these dolls ready for the Christmas Center. They’ll also be holding a “Swap Meet,” with yarn, fabrics, notions and other supplies being exchanged and traded. Demonstrations for making head bands, hats, string dollars and doll quilts are planned; admission is free, and you’re invited to help out. The Salvation Army is located at 1639 10th Avenue in Longview; call 360-577-6060 to get more information.
Business owners and human resource specialists are invited to the Port of Longview today for a free “Employer Presentation” from Lower Columbia College Career Services. From noon to 1 pm today, you can find out how to qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, you can learn about on-the-job trainings and internships, find out about proper background checks and screening techniques, and get some clarity about the proper and legal questions that you can put to applicants. Lunch will also be served. For more information, call 360-442-2330
The King Brothers will be “rockin’ and a boppin’” at the Sock Hop set for this evening at the Kelso-Longview Elks Lodge. The Longview Pioneer Lions are putting on this event, which is a benefit for Lions scholarship programs, Camp Leo for diabetic children, and other community projects. The doors will open at 6 pm, and then the Sock Hop will go from 7 until 10 pm. No early admissions will be allowed. Call 360-270-9519 if you need to find out more. The Elks Lodge is at 900 Ash Street, just off of Grade Street, next to the mall.
The State of Washington is part of a five-state study of voting records, to see if voter fraud is actually happening; the first report from that study shows that there were 74 instances of fraudulent voting in 2016, out of 3.35 million votes that were cast. This works out to .002% of all the votes that were cast in last November’s General Election; Secretary of State Kim Wyman says this confirms that there is NO widespread voter fraud in Washington, and she says that they also plan to forward this information to county prosecutors for possible enforcement action. That includes three cases in Cowlitz County; it’s noted that the majority of these cases involve people who are registered and then voted in two states. Cowlitz County had two “cross-state” voters, and one instance of a “deceased” voter. Wyman says that they are constantly working to protect the integrity of the voting rolls and the public confidence in elections. Oregon, Colorado, Maryland and Delaware also participated in the study, showing similar results.
Longview Police say that an appeal on Facebook helped to identify a suspect in a theft case that was reported over the weekend. Officer Shawn Close says that the theft took place on the 8th, when a laptop computer was stolen out of a woman’s car, while she was parked and was shopping at the Triangle Shopping Center. After being away from the car for 10 to 15 minutes, she got in to drive away, and then noticed that a rear door was ajar. She stopped to check the door, and then noticed that the bag containing her laptop computer had been stolen. Later, an employee of the nearby Muchas Gracias restaurant called LPD to report that her bag had been left on a table. Police went over the security video, and they got clear photos of the man and the bag. Those photos were posted Saturday morning; Close reported at 5 pm yesterday that the suspect had been identified and arrested. The suspect’s name has not yet been disclosed.
State Troopers say that there are indications that Valentin Reyes-Guitierrez, 51, of Vancouver was drunk or impaired in some way when he stumbled into traffic on I-5, then was hit and killed by a passing car. WSP reports that the collision took place at about 10:30 pm Saturday night, on the southbound freeway at milepost 15 near Ridgefield. Reyes-Guitierrez apparently had been walking on the shoulder of the freeway, stumbled, and then fell in the path of a car being driven by Robert Burris, 53, of Hillsboro. Reyes-Guitierrez died at the scene, while Burris and a passenger were uninjured. No charges are anticipated.
John Kenneth Lewis, 18, of Clatskanie is in the Columbia County Jail, accused of sexually abusing a six year-old neighbor boy. Lewis was arrested late last week, after the abuse allegations came up. Lewis is now being charged with first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of first-degree sodomy. It’s noted that Lewis has previous allegations of sexual abuse, and authorities believe that there could be additional victims. Lewis is currently being held in the Columbia County Jail on bail that totals $29,500, while the investigation continues. Call the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at 503-397-1521 if you have information regarding this case.
Be aware that a full closure of Highway 12 near White Pass starts this morning. The Washington Department of Transportation says that this work near the Rimrock Tunnel has been planned for a long time, set for the fall when traffic numbers are at their lowest. However, fire closures around the state have caused some traffic shifts, so the numbers are actually higher in the Highway 12 corridor. Starting today, there will be a 30-minute detour on the Tieton Reservoir Road, allowing through traffic to safely traverse the work area, where rock-scaling crews are removing unstable rocks above the road. This detour is expected to be in place for a considerable length of time, extending into November. WashDOT officials say that they do expect to be finished before Thanksgiving. Budget some extra time or explore an alternate route to avoid this work.