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AWPPW Offer/Machine Restart

Members of Local 153 of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers are now considering a proposal from the union leadership, saying that they have sent an “unconditional offer” to return to work at KapStone Paper and Packaging at 7 am tomorrow morning. The Daily News says that the union membership would go back to work under provisions of the last contract offer, but it does NOT mean that the offer has been ratified, and they might ask to re-start contract negotiations. In the Local 153 letter, union leaders say that they have consulted with several other officials in making this decision, which has the unanimous backing of the Bargaining Board, along with the International President and Vice President of the AWPPW. Company officials say that they’ll make a decision on the offer by the close of business today. Local 153 of the AWPPW has been on strike against KapStone for just over a week, after the company declared an impasse in contract negotiations, and moved to impose the last contract offer. Health care contributions, job transfer rules and seniority rule have been the main points of contention.

In a separate development, KapStone is announcing that the #11 paper machine is being restarted. Company officials say that this is in accordance with the strike contingency plan, and is the second of the five paper machines at the Longview mill. This comes after the restart of the #10 machine, which produces containerboard. The #11 machine makes a wide variety of kraft paper products, including KapStone’s proprietary “extensible kraft papers.” Paper Division President Randy Nebel says that they’re now starting to ship product out, while continuing to ramp up production. Nebel says that “employee teams” from across the country are helping to get things back up to full production, though some production is being shifted to other mills owned by KapStone.

MSH Shaker

No damage and no injuries were reported yesterday afternoon when a small earthquake happened near Mount St. Helens. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network reports that the magnitude 3-point-1 quake happened at about 3:30 pm, 14 miles south of Morton, and about 36 miles east-northeast of Longview. The quake was fairly shallow, happening just over seven miles below the surface. Scientists are continuing to examine data from the incident.

19th Avenue Arrest

Ricky Dixon Briggs, 38, of Longview is in the Cowlitz County Jail after a brief standoff that took place yesterday afternoon at a home on 19th Avenue in Longview. Acting on a citizen tip that a wanted person was at the home, officers went to 242 19th Avenue at about ten minutes after noon yesterday. The tipster reported that Briggs and two other people had just gone into the house. Police surrounded the home, and made public announcements that the people inside were under arrest. They confirmed that Briggs was in the home, but he said that he wasn’t coming out. A call went out for the K-9 unit, which arrived on the scene and was part of the entry team that went in shortly after 1 pm. They say that the dog found Briggs hiding in an attic, and was successful in forcing him out. Briggs was taken to St. John Medical Center to be treated for a dog bite, and then he was booked into the Cowlitz County Jail on a contempt of court warrant, along with new charges of obstructing an officer and resisting arrest. Two other women in the home were questioned and released.

Bike/Train Mashup

Kelso Police say that no one was hurt, but a bicycle was destroyed last night when it was hit by a train near the Cowlitz Way Bridge. They say that this happened around 11:30 pm, in the area of North 1st and Church Street. Officials with Burlington Northern-Santa Fe contacted KPD to report a trespasser near the bridge. An unidentified male was seen on the tracks, also with a bicycle. They say that the man was able to avoid being struck, but the train did hit the man’s bike. The train continued on; Kelso Police checked the area, but they were unable to locate the bike’s owner.

WSD Board Vacancy

Applications are now being taken for an open spot on the Woodland School Board, following last month’s resignation of Jeremy Stuart. The Woodland School District says that they’re looking for someone to serve in an interim role, filling the position until next year’s General Election. Applications are being accepted through September 25th; interviews will be held on Monday, October 12th, and they plan to appoint Stuart’s replacement on October 26th. Get details on the position and its responsibilities by going to the Woodland School District web page.

KLOG Friday Sports

Columbia River defeated R.A. Long 38-14 in the opening of the prep football season last night. Tonight, Kelso is at Mark Morris (on both FM 101.5 The Wave and FM 105.5 KUKN), Woodland at Kalama, Castle Rock at Ridgefield and Wahkiakum at Toutle Lake…..The UW Huskies open the season tonight at Boise State, KLOG 6:00 pm. Oregon State opens the season this afternoon (5pm) against Weber State…..The Seahawks closed out the pre-season with a 31-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders. The Hawks open the season a week from Sunday…..Yakima Valley defeated Lower Columbia 5-3 in women’s soccer. Katlyn Bigley had two goals…..The LCC volleyball team opens play today at the Green River tournament in Auburn.

Downtown Project

The Longview Downtown Improvement Project moves into its second phase next week, with work starting in the 1300 block of Commerce Avenue. The city’s contractor will be putting in new sidewalks, crosswalks, ADA ramps, streetlights, irrigation and stormwater gardens. Work will be sequenced, so as to minimize impacts. Work will start on the east side of the street at the Hudson intersection, working north to Broadway. If all goes as planned, this work should be done by early November. While this work is going on, Commerce Avenue will be reduced to one lane of traffic, going in the southbound direction. The city will also be making a trolley available every Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am to 2 pm during the month of September, and possibly longer. The trolley will run at the top and bottom of each hour, with designated stopped along Commerce, 12th and 14th Avenues. Get more information by going to the Community Spotlight page on mylongview.com.

Wauna CU Donation

The people of Columbia County and the Wauna Credit Union are stepping up to help wildland firefighters around the region, as the credit union announces that is matching donations to support emergency personnel, going through the end of this month. Marketing Vice-President Mike Chapman says that they have established an in-person donation fund at each of their seven branches, along with a secure, on-line donation option on their website and Facebook page. Donors also have the option of sending their donation to help with the Chelan complex of fires in Washington, the John Day complex of fires in Oregon, or to a fund that supports all Northwest fire victims. Donations are being accepted through September 30, with Wauna Credit Union matching up to five thousand dollars. Call 1-800-773-3236 for more information, or go to waunafcu.org.

Weekend Events–9/4-7/15

Friday:
High school football kicks off this weekend, and at Friday night’s Kelso-Mark Morris season opener, the Mark Morris Foundation will be serving up a pre-game barbecue, with burgers, chips, cookies and sodas available for $6 per person. They’ll start serving at 5:30 pm, and will continue until about halftime. Proceeds will help support scholarships offered by the MM Foundation.

The re-scheduled screening of “Finding Nemo” at Lake Sacajawea is set for Friday night at Martin’s Dock. You’re invited to bring the family, along with your blankets, low-back chairs and picnic dinners for the free show, which should start around 8 pm. Get there a bit early to get your preferred spot.

Saturday:
They didn’t have enough entries to run the “Battle of the Bowls” chili and chowder competition, but there’s still plenty of other activity planned for Saturday’s Wooden Boat Festival at the Elochoman Marina in Cathlamet. There will be rubber duck races, sea chanties with the Skamakowa Swamp Opera, youth boat building, “shingle boat races” and a whole bunch more. Admission is free.

Out at the beach, the annual Chinook Art Festival starts on Saturday and runs through Monday with blown glass, photography, jewelry, oil & watercolors, pottery & more. This is free to attend, and is open to the entire family.

At Fort Stevens, the annual Civil War Reenactment will be taking place, with re-created battles, Union and Confederate camps, demonstrations of medicine, fashion and other aspects of the period. Activities are planned Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with the last battle planned for noon on Monday. Go to visitftstevens.com for more information.

Labor Day:
Starting at 10 am on Monday, the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Labor Council hosts its annual Labor Day Picnic, going from 10 am until 3pm at the Toutle River RV Park, just west of I-5 off of exit 52, north of Castle Rock. They’ll be serving all of the regular picnic goodies, along with swimming, a giant croquet tournament, a bouncy house, Simon Says games, face-painting and prizes for the kids. Call the RV Park at 274-8373 for additional information.

Monday afternoon in Clatskanie, the Astoria-based North Coast Big Band will perform in Clatskanie City Park. At 1 pm on Monday, the Clatskanie Arts Commission will start selling food as a fundraiser, and then the concert will run from 2 to 4 pm. The CAC will also be celebrating its anniversary, serving free cake at the band’s intermission. You can bring your own chairs and picnics, as well. Get in touch with the CAC if you need more help.

Farmers Markets:
The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market will be open on Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm, set up in the 7th Avenue parking lot across from the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. They’ll have plants and plant starts for sale, along with fresh produce, hand-crafted gifts and garden items, honey, baked goods and more. Admission is free.

The Clatskanie Farmer’s Market is open from 10 am until 2 pm on Saturdays on the lawn at Cope’s Park. Vendors of fresh fruits and veggies, plant starts, hand-crafted gifts and other merchandise will be joined by special events, cooking and tasting demonstrations, carnival games and chances to win prizes. Find out more on their web page, or on their Facebook page.

The Puget Island Farmer’s Market is open each weekend through October 16th at Stockhouse’s Farm on Birnie Slough Road near Cathlamet. Along with the fresh produce, local beef, fruits, baked goods and other items. Hours are 3 to 6 pm on Saturday.

The Kelso Bridge Market is open on Sunday in its new venue at the Three Rivers Mall. This year, the Bridge Market is operating in the space across from the new Three Rivers Cinema, open from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday near the Southwest door of the mall. They’ll have fresh Rainier Cherries, blueberries and Marionberries for sale this weekend, along with fresh produce and plant starts, hand-made craft items and other special trinkets.

KLOG Thursday Sports

The R.A. Long Lumberjacks open the prep football season tonight with a 7 pm home game against Columbia River…..The Seahawks final pre-season game is tonight at home against the Oakland Raiders. Don’t expect the starters to play much…..Rookie Shawn O’Malley had three hits including a tie-breaking RBI single in the 8th as the Mariners beat the Astros 8-3 last night. The M’s have the day off before a three game set at Oakland tomorrow…..Clark beat LCC 3-1 in volleyball action last night. The Devils play in the Green River tournament Friday and Saturday…..Columbia Basin blanked the LCC soccer team 7-0. The Devils play at Yakima Valley today…..In boys golf today, MM, RAL and Woodland take part in the Beaver Cup Jamboree at Lewis River.