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Toledo School Bond

Voters in the Toledo School District will be voting on a $14.2 million bond early next year, as the district looks toward upgrading the High School. Toledo School Board President Heidi Buswell tells the Centralia Chronicle that Toledo High School was built in 1975, “when a calculator was a novelty and personal computers were science fiction.” She says that upgrades are needed to help get students ready for the 21st century. In November of 2014, voters in Toledo rejected a $23.5 million bond, geared toward the same goals. If the bond is passed in February of next year, then the state will also kick in another $8.2 million in matching money. Full details on the bond measure are available on the Toledo School District web page.

Water Flushing

This week, Longview Water Department workers will be flushing Area #4 of the city, which is the area bordered by 15th Avenue, Ocean Beach Highway and Lake Sacajawea. Work is planned from 7 to 11 pm, tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday night. Advisory signs will be posted. Be sure to flushing the pipes in your own home after the flushing work is done. Call the City of Longview at 442-5700 if you need more help.

KLOG Friday Sports

The Mariners begin a three game set at Minnesota tonight, KLOG 4:00 pm…..It’s week four of the high school football season with Centralia at Kelso (FM 101.5 The Wave), Mark Morris at Washougal (FM 105.5 KUKN) and Columbia River at R.A. Long…..The LCC volleyball team hosts Grays Harbor tonight at 7 pm…..In prep volleyball last night, River beat MM 3-0 and Washougal downed RAL 3-1. MM hosts the Monarch Challenge all day Saturday at MM and LCC…..In prep soccer, Abby Anderson’s OT goal gave RAL a 1-0 win at Washougal, Kaylee Murray with three goals as Kelso blanked Bay 6-0 and River beat MM 3-0…..The LCC soccer team hosts Bellevue Saturday at 12 pm…..The Huskies are at Arizona tomorrow night at 7:30 pm, FM 101.5 The Wave.

Westside Shopper Torched

Longview Police are working with Longview Fire on the investigation into the fire did substantial damage to the vacant Westside Shopper convenience store in the 1800 block of Washington Way, a fire that is suspected to be arson. Fire crews were called to the boarded-up store at about 9:20 last night, hearing reports that smoke was pouring from the building, and that glass was breaking. Firefighters also say that bystanders were yelling “get out,” leading the responders to believe that someone might be inside. A quick search of the building showed it was vacant, while they determined that the fire started in the front corner of the building, then extended into the attic. It took about 20 minutes to get the fire under control; during that time, by-standers told the responders that the fire had been intentionally set. Police did take two juvenile females into custody on second-degree arson charges, after getting a tip from a family member. The damage to the building is estimated to be in the area of $300,000. The store has been closed for some time; the storefront had been boarded up, and hasn’t had electricity for more than a year. Authorities are still working to identify the building owner, while this joint investigation continues.

Lewis County Phone Scam

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is out with an alert, saying that local citizens have been receiving scam phone calls from people claiming to be from the office. Several residents report getting calls from persons claiming to be from the “Warrants Division” at the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, and they tell the person that they have a warrant for missing “federal jury duty.” The caller says that there’s only “one way” to resolve the situation, which involves a visit to the Sheriff’s Office after going through a “procedure.” The “procedure” involves the purchase of Green Dot pre-paid credit cards; the caller is then supposed to provide the security code information to the caller before they go downtown. Chief Deputy Dusty Breen says that they are actively investigating the source of these calls, and they’re asking the public to be vigilant.

Female Flasher

A woman is undergoing mental health evaluations and treatment after an indecent exposure incident that was reported yesterday afternoon in the area of 7th and Hudson in Longview. Around 3:30 pm, calls started coming in about a woman sitting on the corner with her shirt off. Callers also reported that she was trying to take her pants off, and was also fondling herself. They also say that she was waving at the cars at they were driving by. Longview Police responded, along with Emergency Mental Health. The woman was taken into custody as a precaution.

Trains Delayed

Train traffic was slowed early yesterday morning in the Kalama area, after a car got stuck on the railroad tracks in the area of Toteff Road and Hendrickson Drive. At about 1:40 yesterday morning, the Sheriff’s Office got a call about a car being stuck on the tracks north of Elevator Drive. The driver said that he was out of the car, and was safely off to the side. Kalama Police also responded, saying that two sets of tracks were blocked, but two other sets were still open. Train traffic was slowed down and eventually was stopped for a short time, while a tow truck was brought in to remove the car. Police also did some sobriety tests on the driver, and reportedly found that he was over the legal limit. Miranda rights were read to the driver, whose name has not been released.

Moratorium Extended

The Longview City Council is extending the moratorium on the siting of emergency shelters inside the city limits for another six months, while work continues on the zoning changes and ordinance amendments that city officials say are needed to deal with these facilities. Council member Mike Wallin says this is no time to be rushed…shelterordinance…The moratorium on new emergency shelters is now extended to April 15th of next year, while City Council members Steve Moon and Scott Vydra chair an ad-hoc committee that will work on the zoning code amendments. The city is also inviting members of agencies and organizations that are also connected to the emergency shelter issue to the committee, while additional public input is also sought. The city plans to hold a public hearing on the moratorium extension at its meeting on October 13th.

Other Council Business

In other business last night, the Longview City Council approved its portion of the 2017 budget for the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso, approving the full $76,000 requested. They also approved a zoning code amendment to allow bowling centers to be sited in the Mixed Use-Commercial/Industrial District, a move that clears the way for development of a new bowling center in the 1200 block of California Way. They also approved the Consultant Contract for wayfinding signs in Longview and Kelso, along a contract for engineering on the retaining wall for the Columbia Heights Road slide area. That’s being paid for through a $425,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

Manufacturing Rank

A group called SmartAsset claims to have assessed manufacturing centers around the country, and now ranks Longview as #5 on the list of “Best Places to Work in Manufacturing.” SmartAsset says that they looked at 389 different statistical areas and compared them on six metrics, looking at employment growth over one year and five years, income growth over one year and five years, the ratio of manufacturing workers to the total workforce, and income left over after housing costs. Longview is listed high because of its long tradition in manufacturing, and the presence of companies like KapStone and Weyerhaeuser. They say that 21 percent of Longview workers are in manufacturing; between 2009 and 2014, there was an 8.3 percent growth in manufacturing jobs in this area, along with an average income growth of 22 percent for manufacturing workers. Richmond-Berea, Kentucky, is listed as the #1 manufacturing location in the country.