Longview Firefighters asked Longview Police to help deal with a “very strange man” who was at the 7th Avenue Walmart store yesterday evening. At about 9:30, a man reportedly called LPD, asking for help in rolling up the fireworks tent that was in the store parking lot. Officers declined the request. Around 10:45 pm, Longview Firefighters responded to a report of a small brush fire near the store; when they responded, the man who had called for assistance with the tent was still there, saying that he’d set the fire for “training purposes. He once again asked for help with the tent; it was noted that he had nothing to do with the facility, but had simply taken it upon himself to disassemble this structure. Longview Police report that the incident was “settled by contact,” with no charges reported at this time.
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Summertime means road work around the area, and there are a few projects that might affect your travels. Starting today, you can expect single-lane closures on 3rd and 1st Avenue between Tennant Way and Lincoln Street in Kelso, as deteriorating concrete panels along that portion of West Side Highway are repaired and replaced. This work is scheduled to run from 9 am to 4 pm, today through Friday.
The City of Longview Water Division is doing some repair work on water distribution lines, working in the 700 and 800 blocks of Broadway Street. That work is set to begin at 7 am today, and should be complete by 5 pm on Thursday of next week. Starting today, the westbound, inside lane of Broadway between 7th and 8th will be closed to through traffic, a closure that will be in place until Thursday, the 18th. Use alternate routes to avoid possible congestion.
The Washington Department of Transportation is also kicking off a series of projects to repair and resurface aging pavement on I-5 between Woodland and the Clark County Fairgrounds. Starting tonight, single and double-lane closures are planned in both directions of I-5, while crews grind out the old pavement, and replace it with fresh asphalt. These nighttime closures are expected to continue into the fall. Crews will also be doing repairs at the Ridgefield Weigh Station, will replace roadway traffic sensors, and will pave the ramps at the La Center Interchange. If you’re traveling through this area t night over the next few months, be sure to budget some extra time, or plan an alternate route.
Your kids can learn all about how to grow their own food at a Gardening Camp that’s planned for this week, courtesy of the WSU Master Gardeners. “Camp Luqal Luqal” will start this morning and will run through Friday; sessions for kids in grades 1 through 3 will go from 8 to 11 am each day, and sessions for kids in grades 3 to 5 will go from 1 to 4 pm. Gary Fredericks with the Master Gardeners says that this will be a hands-on experience, giving kids a chance to explore the worlds of bugs, plants and weather. There is a fee to attend, and there’s a limit of 25 kids per class. Sessions will be held in the Floral Building on the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. Call the Master Gardeners at 577-3014, extension zero for more information.
The first of two day camps being offered by WSU 4-H Extension opens today and runs through Thursday. The Rocketry Day Camp for kids in 3rd grade and above will be held from 4 to 7:30 pm at the WSU Extension Offices, located at 1946 3rd Avenue in Longview. Kids will be building and launching their own rockets, under adult supervision. The deadline to register for that camp has passed, but you still have time to get your kids signed up for the Bread Baking Day Camp that’s planned for a little later this month. Again, this is for kids in 3rd grade and above, and there’s a limit of six kids. This day camp will start on Monday, the 15th, and will run through the 18th; adult involvement is required, but the kids will be doing the baking of the bread. If you need more information, call Michelle Parker at 577-3014, extension 6.
The Go 4th Festival Committee is out with the first listing of winning button numbers; button number 12351 is the winner of this year’s grand prize, eligible to pick up $600 in gift certificates at local restaurants. 05158 is the number two button, winning $500 in Shilo Inns scrip, and button 06172 wins a Weight Loss Clinic membership. The full list is printed in today’s Daily News, and will also be listed on the Go 4th website, at gofourthfestival-dot-org. We’ll also have a link on the KLOG-KUKN-The Wave websites. If your button isn’t listed, don’t throw it away, as a second drawing for unclaimed prizes will be held next Monday. www.gofourthfestival.org
Travis Mark Hunter, 29, of Vancouver is being charged with DUI and vehicular assault after a two-car crash that took place last night in the 4000 block of Dike Road near Woodland. Around 9:30 pm, Deputies, aid crews and Woodland Police responded to a pickup-versus passenger car collision near Austin Point. It was also reported that they had to break up a dispute between the two drivers. Deputies eventually determined that Hunter was under the influence; two female passengers in his pickup suffered wrist and thumb injuries. The women were treated for their injuries, while Hunter’s truck was impounded and he was booked into the Cowlitz County Jail.
There was some additional traffic congestion near Lake Sacajawea yesterday afternoon, but that wasn’t caused by anything going on at the Go 4th Festival. Around 3:45 pm, it was reported that a large tree branch had come down onto the sidewalk in the 1100 block of 23rd Avenue. Longview Police responded and found that the branch was blocking the sidewalk and had actually landed on a house and a parked car. Longview Parks workers were called in, and they discovered that the tree was still splitting. 23rd Avenue was closed down while the damaged tree was stabilized and the debris was removed. No injuries were reported. The extent of the damage done hasn’t been disclosed.
A collision involving two of the top contenders in the first turn of the final heat of this year’s Longview Cardboard Boat Regatta opened the door for the crew of the S. S. Scottie V, and the crew from Waite Specialty Machine took advantage, paddling home for the top prize in the Class 1 competition at this year’s race. 35 boats made it to the start line at this year’s event, sponsored by Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging and KLOG/KUKN and The Wave radio stations. After dominating in the early heats, the “Graybeard to the Rescue” boat of the Longview Bridge Club and the Hawaiian catamaran “Queen Lillioukalani” ended up second and third in the final heat. The push-pull paddlewheeler built by the LCC Engineering Club, “Ol’ Sawtooth Brady,” won the Class 2 heat. The “Mortar and Pestle Vessel” won the Titanic Award for the most spectacular sinking, and the “Schwimmwagen” won the Vogue award as the most attractive boat. The Best Dressed Team was “Toto II”, a Wizard of Oz-themed boat and crew, and the “Super Dads” won the Acorn Award. Queen Lillioukalani got the Pride of the Regatta, the S. S. Scottie V won for best Team Spirit, and Ol’ Sawtooth Brady received the People’s Choice award. The wins were special for the crew from Waite, as the boat was dedicated to Scott Vandenberg, a co-worker who died early last month after a motorcycle crash.
Forecasters are now backing off on the extreme heat predictions that they had been talking about, so the weather should be pretty much perfect as the 2013 Go 4th Festival opens today and runs through Thursday. This year’s theme is “Red, White and Unite!” The vendors are set up at Lake Sacajawea, and there’s live music at Martin’s Dock from 2 pm to 10 pm tonight. The bands will be taking a break between 5:30 and 8:30 pm, as today’s headline event gets under way. At last count, 59 vessels were registered for this year’s Longview Cardboard Boat Regatta, sponsored by Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging, KLOG, KUKN and The Wave. Admission is free, so bring the family, grab a spot on the lake bank and enjoy the competition.
Tomorrow, the Longview Firefighters Floating Hole-in-One opens, the Kids’ Festival runs from noon to 6 pm, there’s live entertainment from 5 to 10 pm at Martin’s Dock, and the Longview Pioneer Lions Spirits of Longview Beer Garden will run from 5:30 to 11 pm at the Cowlitz County Expo Center. This is a 21-and-over event that will feature fine wines, craft brews, live music and good eats from around the area. Admission is free.
Thursday is the big day, with the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast at the Lake, the Parade at 10 am, the Timber Carnival, Lions Kids Races at R. A. Long High School, live entertainment from noon until 10 pm, and the fireworks over the lake around 10 pm. The full list of events, performers and vendors is available on the Go 4th website, just log onto gofourthfestival.org.
There was a pretty common theme from the elected officials, agency directors and school district officials who met yesterday afternoon with Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, and that was to see if there’s any way that she can help cut the federal red tape. Herrera Beutler says that the federal rigmarole is stifling the area’s economic development…jhb…About 20 local community leaders were involved in yesterday’s roundtable discussion, and virtually all of the attendees had the same story. They say that excessive federal paperwork is using up staff resources and money that could be going back into local programs and projects, spent on busywork instead. Several also complained of specific agency personnel that seem to be sticking points in obtaining of permits or permission for certain projects to move ahead. Herrera Beutler is directing her staff to follow up on some of the concerns raised, and also plans to ask agency directors herself, as those people come to Congress for hearings on Capitol Hill.