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Taser Deployed

Kelso Police say that they had to use a Taser during a theft arrest yesterday morning. Early yesterday morning, Cowlitz County Deputies relayed information on a car theft call, looking for a stolen Jeep. Around 6:30 am, Kelso Police spotted the stolen car at the Lexington Chevron station; they say that the Jeep was occupied by John Jacob Pfister, 36, a local transient. Officers approached the Jeep after they confirmed that it was stolen; it’s claimed that Pfister refused to get out, gripping the steering wheel while declining to comply with orders. After several warnings, one of the officers applied a Taser to Pfister’s shoulder; Pfister was stunned, and that allowed the officers to pull him out of the Jeep. He was cuffed, and then was booked into the Cowlitz County Jail on charges of possession of stolen property and resisting arrest. He’s currently being held without bail, awaiting his first appearance in Cowlitz County Superior Court.

Bogus Bills

Longview Police report that someone was passing counterfeit money in the local area yesterday. Employees of a restaurant in the 800 block of Washington Way report that some people came through the drive-through at about 2:30 pm, buying food for two separate transactions. The people in the car paid with two $20 bills, which were then found to be bogus. The employees were able to provide some information on the people in the car, saying that it was driven by a white female in her 30’s with blond hair. It’s also thought that the people could be from Oregon, as they were commenting about having to pay sales tax. The counterfeit bills were turned over to Longview Police; the suspects have not been identified.

Swanson Update

The retail shop at Swanson Bark and Wood Products will be open today, as it’s reported that the chip pile fire that shut down Tennant Way for several hours on Sunday is mostly out, and the situation is under control. The fire was first reported at about 5 pm on Sunday, as a passerby saw smoke coming from one of the large piles. The fire built in size, sending up a large plume of smoke; rail traffic was delayed for a while, as the fire spread into a grassy area next to the tracks. Fire officials turned the scene back over to Swanson employees yesterday morning, who will continue to monitor the pile for additional hotspots. It’s believed that the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion, the result of heat buildup from decay processes inside the chip pile. The company plans to use its sprinkler system and targeted extinguishers to keep any additional hotspots in check; they’re also considering the re-distribution of the chip piles, to try and reduce the possibility of additional fires.

Downtown Outage

Power was cut to the area on Tennant Way that was affected by the chip pile fire at Swanson Bark and Wood, but the effort to re-energize that area reportedly led to yesterday morning’s power outage in downtown. The Cowlitz PUD reports that power lines serving Swanson Bark were shut down Sunday night, while fire crews were battling the fire in the chip pile. When they tried to restore power to those lines, some sort of malfunction caused a breaker to open, shutting off power to a wide swath of the downtown core. 469 customers lost power at about 5:25 am, also affecting traffic lights along 15th Avenue. PUD officials say that the power was restored by 5:50 am.

Ocean Medevac

A Coast Guard helicopter was deployed yesterday morning, helping to evacuate a 50 year-old fisherman who was injured off of the entry to Grays Harbor. At about 8:15 yesterday morning, a distress call came in over the radio, reporting that a fisherman about the “Myrna Lynn” had a severe hand injury, and he was in shock. A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat was sent from Westport, meeting up with the Myrna Lynn about 13 miles offshore. The patient was transferred to the Motor Lifeboat at about 9 am, and then was taken back to Westport. From there, the man was taken to Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen. The man’s condition has not been updated this morning.

Landfill Open House

Republic Services, Incorporated will be touting its proposal for management and operation of the Headquarters Landfill at a pair of Open Houses that are planned for today. Republic Services is putting forward a proposal to operate the Landfill, reportedly assuming operational, financial and environmental liability, while Cowlitz County would continue to own the facility. Republic Services would also be making a large cash payment to the county each year. At today’s Open Houses, staff from Republic Services will be available to discuss their proposal; they also say that they will discuss the “unique capabilities” of the company, while also discussing the benefits to the County and the community. Open House sessions are planned today at the Cowlitz County Event Center, going from 10 am until 2 pm and from 4 to 7 pm. You’re invited to attend either sessions.

PUD Meeting

The Cowlitz PUD Commission is cancelling a day-long Strategic Planning Workshop that had been set for today, but the panel still plans to meet for a workshop on Community Involvement. The PUD Commission had been scheduled to meet from 8:30 to 4:30 pm today, but today’s session will run from noon until 2 pm instead, focusing on Community Involvement. The meeting is being held in the John Searing Auditorium at the Cowlitz PUD building on 12th Avenue in Longview, and the workshop is open to the public.

Active Transportation Meet

You can provide some input on “active transportation” inside Longview at a workshop that’s planned for this evening at the McClelland Arts Center. The City of Longview is hosting this evening’s event, billed as an “action-oriented” meeting, where participants will take a “deep dive” into several project areas. You’re asked to come prepared to join one of five project areas; there will be a Biking Group, a Walking Group, a table on Project Funding, Citywide Implementation and Citywide Influence. Participants will also have opportunities to provide input in other subject areas, as well. The one-hour session is set to begin at 6 pm this evening at the McClelland Arts Center, and is open to anyone interested. Get more information on the Longview Parks and Recreation Facebook page.

Lewis River Closes

Fishing rules are changing again on the Lewis River. Washington Fish and Wildlife reports that the river is reverting to “permanent rules,” closing for retention of adult Chinook Salmon until August 1st. WDFW also says that anglers can now use floating devices to fish for Steelhead on the stretch of the Lewis between Johnson Creek and the overhead power lines below Merwin Dam. Fishery managers say that they’re shutting the river down for Chinook because hatchery breeding goals have not yet been met; those goals have been met for Steelhead, so the river will remain open for those fish. There’s a bag limit of three Steelhead per day. Get full details from WDFW, or contact your local outdoor outfitter.

KLOG Tuesday Sports

Oregon State rallied after a four hour weather delay to defeat the Washington Huskies 14-5 at the NCAA College World Series in Omaha. The Huskies led 3-0 and 5-4 before the weather hit and OSU seemed rejuvenated by the long delay. OSU takes on either North Carolina or Mississippi State on Wednesday…..The Mariners begin a 10 game road trip today at the New York Yankees, KLOG 3:00 pm…..The Cowlitz Black Bears begin a five game home stand with the first of three against the Bellingham Bells tonight at Story Field. Game time is at 6:35 pm……The Seahawks announced that 12 training camp practice sessions will be open to the public. Free tickets will be on a first come, first served basis through their website seahawks.com beginning Thursday morning at 10 am.