Lower Columbia SWAT helped with the arrest of a man who was firing a handgun into the air last night at a home on Castleman Street in Longview. Longview Police were called to the home in the 2400 block of Castleman at about 9:30 last night, as neighbors of Peter Christopher Johnson, 48, reported that he was shooting his gun. Longview Police registered at least a dozen shots being fired, with Johnson allegedly going in and out of his house between rounds. Witnesses also reported that Johnson appeared to be intoxicated, pulling his pants down and “mooning” the neighborhood before firing another round. The SWAT Bearcat was called up to the house, as officers continued to monitor the situation. Johnson was finally taken into custody at about 10:20 pm, after he came into the front yard. A handgun was recovered. Johnson is now being held on charged of reckless endangerment, illegal discharge of a firearm inside the city limits, and felon in possession of a gun. No injuries were reported.
The Sheriff’s Office is still working to identify the rider of a motorcycle that was involved in a pursuit that wound through Longview last night. This chase got started a few minutes after 8 pm, when a Sheriff’s Deputy spotted a Honda dirt bike speeding on 32nd Avenue at Ocean Beach Highway; he also said that the bike didn’t appear to have a license plate. The Deputy says that he activated his lights, but the rider kept going. The chase went at high rates of speed on Oak Street, 30th, Glenwood and Virginia Way, finally losing sight of the rider near West Beacon Hill Drive. Later in the evening, the motorcycle was found in the driveway of a home in the 2300 block of 46th Avenue. The bike was impounded, while several people were questioned about who was riding it. So far, no arrests have been reported.
The City of Longview will NOT be going back to the Cowlitz River for its water supply. That’s the decision of the Longview City Council and the Beacon Hill Water and Sewer District Commission, after test results showed that water quality at sites along the Cowlitz had no better quality than the current Mint Farm Water Treatment Plant. Longview Public Works Director Jeff Cameron says that the data is quite clear to him…waterreport…Test wells drilled at Riverside Park and at Rocky Point showed the potential to produce enough water to supply the city, but the testing also showed levels or silica, iron and manganese that were the same or were even higher than that coming out of the Mint Farm. There was consensus that they should continue with installation of Dissolved Oxygen injectors in the system, a move that should help to alleviate some of odor and taste issues that customers are reporting. It’s currently estimated that addition will add another 70 cents per month to the average Longview water bill. Both panels also have consensus that efforts to deal with the silica continue, though it’s noted that whatever remedy is developed for silica removal will be expensive. Testing and review of possible solutions for silica will continue, with reports to be presented at future meetings.
The West Main Street Revitalization Project apparently has run into a bit of a snag. City of Kelso Senior Engineer Tim Shell says that work was suspended earlier this week, after issues were found with the concrete road surface that was underneath the pavement that was ground out. Shell says that they found that additional work will be needed on some underground utilities, starting with construction of some concrete manholes. The quality of the concrete surface turned out to not be as good as first hoped, so the city is reformulating the project, to now include an asphalt overlay. Work is suspended as the project is re-worked and updated, while this other material is fabricated and delivered to the job site. Shell says that work is expected to resume in a couple of weeks. Shell says that they don’t yet know how this will affect the project cost, which was put in the million-dollar range, prior to these issues arising.
The Red Cross is providing assistance to two adults, a child and a pet that were displaced by a fire that took place early yesterday morning in Woodland. The fire in the 200 block of CC Street in Woodland was reported at about 3:30 yesterday morning. Other details about the fire haven’t yet been released, other than to say that they are providing temporary housing, food, clothing and other support services for the family. Additional information should be out from Woodland Fire later today.
The Department of Natural Resources is expanding the Outdoor Burn Ban statewide, starting today. DNR officials say that the Outdoor Burn Ban will start today, and will run through September 30th. The ban went into effect on the east side of the state back on the 2nd of this month. Starting today, outdoor burning is prohibited on all forest lands protected by DNR, with fines possible for violations. Some prescribed burns could be allowed, if they’re expressly approved by DNR Commissioner Peter Goldmark. At this time, recreational fires will still be allowed in approved firepits in designated campgrounds. The burn ban currently does NOT apply to federal lands, and there could also be additional local or county fire restrictions. Contact your local fire agency if you have questions.
Fishery managers are predicting a big run when the Fall Chinook Salmon fishery opens on the Columbia River on August 1st. Washington Fish and Wildlife says that approximately 960,000 Fall Chinook are expected, well above the 10-year average for the Columbia. WDFW says that there are some new regulations that anglers need to be aware of. Because of low projections on wild steelhead returns, anglers will be allowed only one hatchery steelhead below Bonneville Dam. This restriction will be extended to McNary Dam on September 1, and up to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco on November 1.
It’s estimated that nearly 48,500 fish will be caught in the wildly popular Buoy 10 fishery, which will open on Monday and should run through Labor Day. In the Buoy 10 area, anglers will be required to release wild Chinook on Sundays and Mondays, to meet Federal conservation guidelines under the Endangered Species Act.
Anglers will be allowed to keep Chinook that have either a clipped adipose fin or a clipped left ventral fin, a rule that will go through December 1st, covering the river from Buoy 10 to Bonneville Dam.
The Coho limit is also being dramatically reduced; previously, anglers were allowed to keep up to six hatchery fish, but that limit is being dropped to two fish, as run projections for Coho are down some 27 percent. This new rule affects the Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis, Toutle and other local streams.
For the first time, anglers will also be allowed to keep hatchery Chinook and Coho during designated steelhead seasons on smaller Columbia River tributaries, an effort to keep stray hatchery fish from native spawning grounds.
Get full information on individual rivers and streams by picking up a copy of the 2016-2017 sportfishing regulations, available wherever you get your fishing license.
The Mariners and Cubs are underway today at Wrigley Field, KLOG 10 am…..The Bellingham Bells beat the Cowlitz Black Bears 3-1 last night. Cowlitz is off on the final road trip of the season beginning at Walla Walla tonight at 7 pm…..Jordan Kangas had two hits and three RBI’s leading the Longview Babe Ruth 13’s to an 8-7 win over Sedro Wooley yesterday at the Regional tournament in Spokane. Longview is 2-0 in pool play as action continues today. Meanwhile, the Kelso Babe Ruth 15’s get back into action today at the Regional in Camas. Kelso plays North Bend Oregon at 1 pm today. The Kelso 15’s are also 2-0 in pool play…..The Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo continues tonight and tomorrow night…..Motorcycle racing continues tonight and tomorrow night at the Castle Rock Race Park.
The Cowlitz County Fair continues on Friday and Saturday at the fairgrounds at 7th and Washington Streets; gates are open from 11 am to 11 pm each day, and admission is free. The Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo continues at 7 pm each night, and you will need to buy a ticket to get in there.
Find out who makes the best chili in town at the “Five Alarm Chili Cookoff,” which will run from 1 to 3 pm on Friday at the Delaware Plaza in Longview. Prizes will be awarded in spicy, old-fashioned and healthy categories; local dignitaries will serve as judges. They’ll be serving chili burgers, chili dogs or chili nachos, and all proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. Call 423-4333 to RSVP and to get more information.
With a theme of “My Finnish Memories,” the Finnish-American Folk Festival runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday out in Naselle. They’ll have exhibits, lectures, music, dance and Finnish food for sale. There’s also a special worship service and closing ceremonies on Sunday. Find out more on NaselleFinnFest.com.
There’s a Softball Tournament going on this Saturday at Roy Morse Park, an event that’s being held in support of five year-old Addy Jo Cliffton. She’s continuing to battle Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and recently received a bone marrow transplant. Along with the games, they’ll have a 50-50 raffle, a home run derby and other prize drawings. Proceeds from this event will help Addy Jo’s family ease the stress of hospital and living costs. Call 751-0431 if you have questions about the tournament; call 431-9218 if you have donation or raffle items.
The annual Citywide Yard Sale is being held on Saturday in Clatskanie. The Chamber of Commerce is helping to coordinate this event, and will have information by calling 503-728-2502. You can also get information by calling the Clatskanie Chief at 503-728-3350.
You’ll see a lot of bicycles in Columbia County over the next week, as Bicycle Rides Northwest bring the 2016 Oregon Bicycle Ride Tour to the area. As many as 300 riders are expected to take part, starting in Astoria on Saturday and converging on Clatskanie City Park on Sunday. The riders will then cover some 450 miles over the week, riding to Vernonia, Carlton, Tillamook and Jewell, before returning to Astoria on August 6th.
They’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Community Health Partners Free Medical Clinic at a Dessert Party that’s planned for Saturday night. They’re also planning an Open House from 7 to 9:30 pm on Saturday, in the main lobby of the Kaiser Permanente clinic on 7th Avenue in Longview. Call the Community Health Partners at 562-2986, or go to chpwa.org for more information.
Out in Long Beach, the annual Northwest Professional Rodeo Association will be at the Peninsula Saddle Club, with go-rounds scheduled on Saturday and Sunday. Find out about tickets by going to funbeach.com.
The Winlock Improvement Network and the Winlock Lions are hosting a Farmers Market that will run each Saturday through September 24th, starting this Saturday at the corner of State Route 505 and Highway 603.
There’s a Farmer’s Market open each Saturday in Clatskanie, going from 10 am until 2 pm at Cope’s Park on the Clatskanie River.
The Kelso Bridge Market is at a new venue this year, at the Three Rivers Mall. Hours are 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday next to the southwest entry to the Mall.
One of the GOP contenders for Governor will be in Longview on Sunday, continuing a “Whistle Stop Tour” around the state. Bill Bryant’s Big Blue Bus will be at the Cowlitz County Republican Party headquarters from 11 am until 2 pm on Sunday. He’ll present his stump speech, and also plans to take questions from voters. Following that, Bryant plans to team up with volunteers to have lunch and then hit the phone bank, urging people to return their ballots before next Tuesday’s deadline. The Cowlitz County GOP Headquarters are located at 1142 Washington Way.
Longview Parks and Recreation workers got an early wake-up this morning, after a large tree came down in the middle of Olympia Way. Longview Police responded to the 1900 block of Olympia Way a few minutes before 4 this morning, after it was reported that the street was blocked. They did find the street completely blocked, and requested that the city be contacted to coordinate removal. They haven’t said how long this process might take, so you could encounter a work zone if you’re going through that area this morning.