The Port of Longview Commissioners are now going over a report from the consultants working on the Barlow Point Phase 1 Feasibility Study, taking a first look at possible development options for that 280 acres of land. Port of Longview CEO Geir Kalhagen says that it’s a really good start…barlowpoint…Principal goals for this study are to maximize the use of the land that is available for development, to identify a “best economical use,” job creation and to find opportunities that won’t damage or compete with existing revenue streams. This initial report indicates that the property should be developed for dry or liquid bulk commodity handling, with a rough cost estimate to the port of $200 million to $250 million. The consultants plan to finalize this Phase 1 document, with a goal of getting into the scoping process late next year or early in 2017. In other action, Jeff Wilson was sworn in as a new Commissioner, and the documents taking ownership of Willow Grove Park were approved.
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Longview Police say that tips from neighbors helped lead to a major drug bust yesterday morning, with a dozen people arrested yesterday morning. In the wee hours of yesterday morning, the Street Crimes Unit served a search warrant at 2311 West Castleman Street, eventually taking 12 people into custody. Detectives say that they recovered heroin, meth, scales and drug packaging materials in the house. Ten of the 12 suspects are now being held for possession of meth, possession of heroin, or both. Two others are being held on outstanding warrants. LPD says that residents of the area have been complaining about this house for about a year, and crime analysis shows 20 calls for service to this neighborhood in the past nine weeks. The investigation is continuing. The names of the suspects are as follows:
• 34 year old Raymond E. Chance was booked for possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
• 21 year old Ellen R. Buxton was booked for possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
• 34 year old David M. Meyer was booked for possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
• 35 year old Jennifer L. Bronson was booked for possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
• 35 year old Steven M. Bremer was booked for possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
• 45 year old Todd C. Olmstead was booked for possession of methamphetamine.
• 26 year old Christos J. Cheliodakis was booked for possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
• 51 year old Charles R. Harrison was booked for possession of methamphetamine.
• 31 year old Edmund H. Hardin was booked for possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
• 23 year old Tia L. Moyer was booked for possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
• 42 year old Cheri L. Olmstead was arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant.
• 29 year old Vasseli J. Cheliodakis was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant from Snohomish County Washington.
You’re invited to come and help develop the plan for the future of West Kelso at a workshop that planned for this evening at the Kelso Senior Center. Tonight’s workshop will include a recap of findings from the first workshop, a presentation of the vision statement and guiding principles, along with a discussion and survey of alternative design options and development regulations. Organizers say that the goal is to get input and feedback that will help to create a “preferred alternative” that will be folded into the plan, and will help guide decisions regarding future development in West Kelso. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t attend the first workshop; this evening’s event runs from 6 to 8:30 pm in the Senior Center, located in the old Catlin Hall at 106 Northwest 8th. Additional information is available on the City of Kelso web page.
The Longview City Council is expanding the consultant contract with CH2M, voting to move ahead with a feasibility study regarding the possible location of Ranney Well Collectors along the Cowlitz River, to supply Longview’s water. Longview Public Works Director Jeff Cameron says that the scouting for possible locations is already getting under way…waterstudy…At this time, the site investigation is looking at three general areas, North Lexington near Riverside Park, South Lexington near Rocky Point, and near the old Fishers Lane Water Treatment Plant. Last night’s vote expands the construct with CH2M, paying that company another 325 thousand dollars to conduct the feasibility study. The first step will be a “notice to proceed,” which will then be followed by the drilling of test wells; early next year, the Citizens Advisory Committee will be reassembled, with at least two meetings planned. An Open House is planned for next May, and the City Council could make a decision in early June.
The 20th annual Holiday Concert for Seniors is planned for this afternoon at the Longview Public Library. This will get started at 2 pm in the Koth Memorial Gallery, in the lower level of the library. The Mark Morris After Hours Jazz Choir and the R. A. Long Choir will be the featured performers, singing all kinds of Christmas and holiday songs. While this is billed as the “Holiday Concert for Seniors,” the Friends of the Longview Library say that everyone is invited to attend, and refreshments will be served.
The Sheriff’s Office now says that it was a Navy helicopter out of Whidbey Island that assisted with yesterday’s successful rescue near Elk Rock; they originally stated that the Air Force had sent the chopper from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to help rescue Casey Wassell, 42, of Toutle and his 11 year-old son, Fisher. The pair got stuck Sunday night on a steep slope, as they were elk hunting across from the Elk Rock Viewpoint. Cold, wet and exhausted, the pair reported that they were in danger of “tipping over” off of the cliff face. After maintaining cell phone contact through the night, Deputy Ryan Cruser made voice contact with the pair at about 6 yesterday morning, and the chopper from Whidbey finally lifted them out at about 8 am. Father and son were taken to Centralia Providence Hospital to be treated for hypothermia and other “non-life-threatening” injuries.
The annual Beacon Hill Extreme Team Garage Sale is planned for tomorrow at Beacon Hill Elementary School. The Extreme Team is a group of Beacon Hill students that performs on unicycles, juggling and double-dutch jump-roping at events all around the region, including parades and Blazer basketball games. Donations for the event are being accepted today form 4 to 7 pm at the school. You can either deliver the items, or call 749-7245 to arrange a pickup. All items should be clean and in working order. The Garage Sale itself will run from 8 am until 2 pm tomorrow in the school gym. They’ll also have a concession stand open. All proceeds from the sale will support the Beacon Hill Extreme Team.
The Tigers beat the Mariners 4-2 yesterday as Rick Porcello struck out 10 M’s in six innings. The teams play again today in the Motor City, KLOG 3:00 pm…..Seahawks tackle Russell Okung’s toe injury will keep him out of action Sunday against Jacksonville. Further tests could determine if he’ll miss an extended amount of time…..The R.A. Long volleyball team had an easy romp over Astoria 3-0. Tonight the Kelso Lassies visit Mark Morris…..The LCC volleyball team takes on Umpqua at 4 pm at Clark College in Vancouver…..Mt. View beat R.A. Long in girls soccer. Today, Kelso hosts Ridgefield at 4 pm and Battle Ground is at MM at 5:30 pm…..In golf, Tyler Messinger’s 35 led RAL over Battle Ground and Prairie beat Kelso. Today, Heritage is at Kelso and RAL at Ridgefield.
If the Cowlitz PUD Commission follows the recommendation of the Electrical Rates Advisory Committee, residential power rates will go up an average of five percent on September first, with additional five percent raises planned in the next two years, as well. The ERAC made its report to the PUD Commission yesterday morning, and Commission President Buz Ketcham says that it’s clear that the group took its role seriously…ratecommittee…The Electrical Rates Advisory Committee first met in May, including representatives from the community at large, low-income citizens, senior citizens, and several levels of commercial and industrial users. After several months of study, it was determined that residential rates are being subsidized by commercial and industrial ratepayers. In doing their Cost of Service Analysis, or COSA, a majority of the Rate Advisory Committee came to the conclusion that rates should be adjusted over three years, to bring all rate categories to more or less the same percentage. It’s being suggested that the equalization be phased over three years, with some of the blow softened by the utility’s Rate Stabilization Fund. The Commissioners accepted the report, while asking the industrial members of the committee if a reduction in electrical rates will translate into more jobs. Those in attendance say that there will be a definite impact on economic development. No formal action was taken at yesterday’s workshop, though the PUD Commission will need to act at one of their August meetings, to have the proposed rate schedule in place by September 1. The proposed rate hike will boost the average residential power bill by an average of $5, basically due to a hike in the monthly “basic charge”, rather than boosting the rate paid for each kilowatt-hour.
The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is now reporting that the two girls who told a story about an attempted kidnapping made everything up. On Monday, the girls told the Sheriff’s Office that a black van pulled up beside them in the 1600 block of North 2nd; the door opened and the man inside ordered them into the van, or he would kill them. They also said he had a gun on his hip. On Tuesday, the mother of one of the girls called the Sheriff’s Office to report that the story was not true. One of the girls says that the other girl had concocted the story, and then got her to go along. She says that the girl who made up the story got the idea after a blue van had driven by them; that van didn’t stop, and no one talked to them. The girl who made the story up is reportedly sticking to her claim, but the Sheriff’s Office says that they do not believe that the story is credible.