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Archive | ‘Local News’

Exhibit Hall Task Force

Posted on 27th August 2014 at 08:41

The first meeting of a task force that’s going to try and figure out what to do with the old Castle Rock Exhibit Hall is set for this morning. The Castle Rock City Council is contracting with Nancy Chennault to facilitate this process, while also inviting citizens, community and business leaders, city officials, local organizations, community groups, churches and others to be part of the process. The building was closed earlier this year, and city officials say that the building is “not sustainable” in its current state. There’s a goal of having a preferred option for the building ready for presentation to the Castle Rock City Council in December. Today’s meeting is set to run from 7 to 9 pm this morning in the old Exhibit Hall building itself, and is open to anyone who would like to have input. You can call Nancy Chennault at 360-703-8174 if you need more information or if you have other questions.

Interchange Opens

Posted on 27th August 2014 at 08:40

Years of construction work near the I-5/I-205 split concludes today when the ribbon is cut on the new Salmon Creek Interchange. This project started in August of 2010, replacing the old 134th Street interchange with a new and more efficient on- and off-ramp to both freeways. A ceremonial ribbon-cutting is planned for 11 this morning, near the Salmon Creek Park and Ride facility. The interchange itself will open to regular traffic by this afternoon’s commute, and is expected to handle as many as 88 thousand vehicles each day.

Pipe Attack

Posted on 26th August 2014 at 08:49

Second-degree domestic violence assault charges are being filed against 60 year-old Javier Meza Aguilar of Kelso, after he allegedly used a pipe or some sort of metal bar to beat 35 year-old Joshua Morrison last night at an apartment on Florence Avenue in Kelso. Kelso Police and aid personnel were called to the apartment in the 100 block of Florence at about 8:20 pm, where it was reported that Morrison was bleeding from the head. Officers interviewed several people, eventually learning that Aguilar and his wife live in the apartment, along with Aguilar’s daughter and Morrison. Apparently an argument over “door-slamming” escalated, with Aguilar allegedly using the piece of metal to strike Morrison in the head. Aguilar is currently being held without bail in the Cowlitz County Jail, while Morrison was taken to St. John Medical Center for treatment.

Pipeline Theft

Posted on 26th August 2014 at 08:48

A contractor working on the Headquarters Road Landfill Leachate Pipeline project is reporting a theft from their jobsite just north of Kelso. The theft was reported around 11:30 yesterday morning, saying that a “safety box” had been broken into. Managers say that two air supply packs were stolen, along with miscellaneous tools. The value of the items stolen is put at about $2,000. No suspects have been identified.

Longview School Budget

Posted on 26th August 2014 at 08:48

The 2014-2015 operating budget for the Longview School District is now in place, adopted at last night’s meeting of the Longview School Board. Board President Jennifer Leach says that it’s a solid budget, that also looks into the future. The general fund budget comes in at $73.7 million, slightly larger than last year’s budget of $69.4 million. Part of the increase comes from an unexpected rise in student enrollment, which is expected to go up by about 300 full-time-equivalents. That will also lead to an increase in allocations from the state. After several years of cuts and staff reductions, the district is also increasing the number of teachers and classified staff in the next school year. The teaching staff will be increased by more than 32 FTE, while classified staff is being increased by just less than 29 FTE.

Other Board Actions

Posted on 26th August 2014 at 08:47

In other action last night, the Longview School Board announced the names of the individuals that will be interviewed for the open School Board position that was opened up by the resignation of Skip Urling, and also set the timeline for the Superintendent search. The School Board says that six people applied for Urling’s seat, and three were selected for interviews. That includes Roberta Alba-Estrada, who has four kids in school and serves as a classroom and parent organization volunteer; Carl Degner, whil has served on the Strategic Plan Review Committee, the Superintendent Search Committees and on the board of the Longview Schools Foundation; and James Mossman, who recently ran for School Board, and has served on several district committees. All three candidates will be interviewed in a special School Board meeting set for 5 pm on Monday, September 8th, just prior to the regular school board meeting.

The timeline for selection of a permanent Superintendent was also settled on at last night’s meeting, starting next month when the School Board will meet with the consultants who will conduct the search. That meeting is tentatively planned for Monday, September 22nd. The position will be advertised from October through mid-December, with plans to “share the applicants and publish the short list” in mid-January. Interviews would be conducted in late January, and it’s planned that the job would be offered to the preferred candidate in late January or early February.

CVG Principal

Posted on 26th August 2014 at 08:46

It was also announced that Aaron Whitright is being appointed as the new Principal at CVG Elementary School in Longview. Whitright has been with the Longview School District since 1993, when he was hired on as a math teacher at Cascade Middle School. He worked there until 2012, when he was named Dean of Students at Mount Solo. In 2013, he was appointed to be the Instructional Coach at Mt. Solo. This year, Whitright will be the Principal at CVG, starting on the first rung of the Management Team Salary Schedule.

West Main Ribbon Cutting

Posted on 26th August 2014 at 08:46

A special ceremony is planned for 1 pm today at 2nd and West Main in Kelso, where the city plans to officially open the West Main Street Realignment. City Manager Steve Taylor says that this ten million-dollar project is “regionally significant,” helping to enhance safety and relieve congestion through West Kelso, while also setting up opportunities for redevelopment of West Main as a pedestrian-friendly retail corridor. Today’s ceremony will be held at Red Leaf Coffee, located at 209 West Main, and all are invited to come and take part.

Yale Lake Drowning

Posted on 25th August 2014 at 09:06

Memorial arrangements are now being made for a 22 year-old Vancouver man who drowned Saturday in Yale Lake at the Beaver Bay Campground. Cowlitz County Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig says that this incident got started at about 11:40 Saturday morning, when Steven A. Rilea, 22, was swimming in the lake near the campground. Witnesses say that he went under the water about 50 feet from shore, and didn’t re-surface. A Clark County Sheriff’s Office boat responded to the scene, along with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and Cowlitz County Dive Rescue. Two separate dives on Saturday were unsuccessful in finding Rilea. Yesterday morning, Skamania County sent six divers, Cowlitz Dive Rescue sent two divers, and Clark County sent up a support boat. They found Rilea’s body at about 1:30 pm, and were then able to complete the recovery.

Accidental Shooting

Posted on 25th August 2014 at 09:05

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is checking into an incident reported early this morning, where a man showed up at St. John Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his leg. Hospital staff contacted local law enforcement at about 12:45 this morning, reporting that they had a 22 year-old man in one of their treatment rooms, being treated for what he says was an accidental incident. The man reportedly told authorities that he had been “down by the river,” handling a firearm of unknown type and caliber, and accidentally shot himself in the leg. The man says that he dropped the gun, and then made his way to the hospital. It was eventually determined that the incident happened near Castle Rock, so the case was turned over to the Sheriff’s Office. The victim was treated and released from the hospital. So far, no charges are being reported.