A cash reward of $3,000 is now being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in last November’s killing of “Donny” Howard, 62, of Woodland. The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and Woodland Police jointly announced the reward yesterday, also releasing photos of collectible knives and watches that apparently were stolen from Howard’s home. Donald “Donny” Howard was found dead in this home on November 22nd of last year, which had also been set on fire. An autopsy shows that Howard died from blunt force trauma to the head. They also say that Howard was a collector of “eagle memorabilia,” and investigators say that numerous items were stolen from Howard’s home. If you have information about this crime, or if you know where some of this stolen property is located, you’re asked to call Detective Sergeant Brad Thurman at 577-3092, or Woodland Police Sergeant Rob Lipp at 360-225-6965.
The man who used to coach football at Woodland High School and Battle Ground High School could be facing charges, after he allegedly exposed himself to players at the school he’s now coaching in Spokane. The Vancouver Columbian reports that Jim Sharkey is now suspended, and is being investigated by officials in Spokane. This comes after players at Ferris High School reported that Sharkey exposed his penis to players during a camp last fall. District officials say that there are several versions of the story, where Sharkey was at the grill, then he allegedly placed his penis in a hot dog bun and said “you think that’s a big dog—take a look at this.” It’s reported that Sharkey received a written reprimand, while he denies the claims. On February 1st, Sharkey was suspended with pay, after additional players came forward about the incident. They say that other students are also reporting “questionable behavior” by Sharkey. Sharkey coached at Woodland High from 1999 until 2002, and then was at Battle Ground from 2003 to 2005.
After more than four decades of work on California Way in Longview, Wayron is shutting it down. Earlier this month, signs were posted on the buildings at Baltimore and California Way, announcing that a full liquidation of the company would be conducted by on-line auction. Tacoma-based Elhi Auctions conducted that auction on the 13th of this month; the company is now closed, though their web page is still active. Wayron first opened in 1974, eventually filling about 90,000 square feet of space in multiple buildings located at the intersection of California Way, Baltimore and 11th Avenues, building large steel fabrication projects. The Daily News says that they made repeated efforts to contact the current owners, without success. They say the fate of that property isn’t known, as the buildings were not included in the auction.
City of Longview officials are now reporting that someone stole an Earth Day banner from the Cowlitz County Expo Center. The banner had been installed on the north fence of the fairground complex, and apparently was stolen some time between the 13th and the 15th of this month. They didn’t say why the theft wasn’t reported earlier. The banner has a value of $250; no suspects have been identified.
The folks that run Treehouse Island Zipline Adventures at Silver Lake report that someone vandalized some of their facilities. The operators of the ziplines located on an island at the lake called the Sheriff’s Office at about 7:30 yesterday morning, reporting that someone had cut the lock to their dock, then cut the boat that they use to go to and from the island free. They also say that parts from the boat’s motor were stolen; material from other boats in the area was also found floating in the water. The boat has been recovered; there are no suspects at this time.
City of Longview officials report that the recent school zone safety measures that have been installed around the city are getting positive reactions, and they say that additional requests for upgrades are coming in. Mayor Don Jensen says that this has been extremely positive for the city and the schools, but they’re going to sit back and do some studying before more improvements are made. Early last year, the city helped to pay for and install school zone signage at eight schools around the city, putting up signs with flashing beacons and speed reminders. They also installed a traffic signal on 15th Avenue next to Mark Morris, replacing flashing overhead lights that had been at that crosswalk. Jensen says that the 15th Avenue light has been a huge success; city officials say that the light has helped with school bus access and reliability, has helped to reduce traffic congestion, and they say that students are complying with the pedestrian signal. They say that the elderly and others using River Cities Transit appreciate having the light, and there have been no adverse traffic impacts on 15th, coming in or out of the Triangle Shopping Center. They say that all the recommended improvements from a traffic study have been completed, and they now want to “wait and see” before committing to responding to other requests for upgrades around the city.
Wahkiakum County is getting ready to install a drop box for disposal of old, unwanted and expired prescription drugs. Undersheriff Gary Howell says that they have been working with County Health and Human Services on getting this set up, giving Wahkiakum County residents a permanent disposal location, rather than having to wait for the annual drug turn-in event. Howell says that it doesn’t matter if the drugs are legal or non-legal; disposal is anonymous. Howell says that they’re still working on the exact location, but they hope to have the box installed before the end of this week. A public drug collection event is also being planned next Saturday, the 29th, in the lobby of the Wahkiakum County Courthouse in Cathlamet. Call the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office at 795-3242 if you have any questions.
While it isn’t the hugely anticipated event that it was in the past, tomorrow is still a big day for anglers of all ages in Washington state, as lowland lakes open for fishing. Washington Fish and Wildlife has been stocking lakes all across the state, putting millions of catchable trout into those water bodies. WDFW has a listing of trout stocking locations and dates posted on their web page. Be sure that everyone has renewed their fishing licenses before you head out, and be aware of the catch and bag limit rules for the lake that you head to.
It’s a Free Fishing Weekend in Oregon, with no license required to fish, clam or crab anywhere in the state. Connected to this weekend, Oregon Fish and Wildlife is hosting a Free Family Fishing event at the Trojan Ponds, a few miles upstream from Rainier. This will run from 9:30 am until 2 pm tomorrow; the pond is being freshly stocked with rainbow trout, and ODFW will provide free loaner gear, bait and instruction, while supplies last. This is open to all, and no pre-registration is required. This is the first of four Free Fishing Weekends in Oregon; other dates include June 3rd and 4th, November 25th and 26th, and New Year’s weekend.
The first-ever Family Fishing Night happens Friday evening at Bob’s Sporting Goods in Longview, going from 4 to 8 pm. You’re invited to bring the kids down to enjoy a full night of activities and fun. You can learn how to tie hooks and other fishing knots, they’ll have information on choosing the right bait, tackle, rods and reels, tips on safely handling and releasing your catch, casting demos and much more. It’s free and open to all.
This Friday at the Longview Eagles, a fundraiser in support of Robert Lawhead and his family will be held, serving a smoked tenderloin dinner, along with a silent auction, raffles and karaoke. Three year-old Robert “Boogie” Lawhead tragically lost his life earlier this month, in a trailer fire on 17th Avenue in Longview. Lawhead’s father was critically injured in the fire, along with three other family members and a neighbor. Friday’s Robert Lawhead Benefit is being held at the Longview Eagles, located at 1526 12th Avenue in Longview. Doors open at 4 pm.
Directed by Leslie Slape, Stageworks Northwest opens a production of the classic screwball comedy “The Philadelphia Story,” presented each weekend through May 7th. Curtain times are at 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, along with a 2 pm matinee on Sundays. Call 636-4488 for ticket information, or go to stageworksnorthwest.org to find out more.
Through Sunday, residents of the Winlock-Vader area have an opportunity to recycle tires for free. Residents of that area will be allowed to dispose of tires at the old Winlock Drop Box site, located at 1005 Winlock-Vader Road. This is open to Lewis County residents only.
You can help out Longview-Kelso Special Olympics by taking part in Saturday morning’s “Run for the Gold” 5K Fun Run and Walk, taking place at Lake Sacajawea. This year has a Dr. Seuss theme, titled “Why Fit in When You Were Born to Stand Out!” Registration at the Elks Building will start at 7 am on Saturday; kids 8 and under will start with the 1-mile run/walk at 9 am, and the 5K will start at 9:30. Top finishers will get “Top Medals,” while all participants will also get medals. Call 957-7485 for more information.
There’s a free Shred Day planned this Saturday on the back side of the main Fibre Federal branch on Commerce Avenue in Longview, being sponsored by the SW Washington Chapter of Credit Union. You can bring up to three boxes of documents for shredding between 10 am and 2 pm; donations for local food banks are also being collected. Go to fibrecu.com to find out more.
The annual “Tidy Up the Town” event is happening this Saturday in Cathlamet, an event connected to the annual Earth Day observance. You can meet at 9 am Saturday morning at the Cathlamet Community Center, located at 101 Main St. You should wear clothing appropriate for working outdoors; you should also bring gloves, hoes, rakes and other tools. Call 430-3771 to find out more.
You can celebrate Earth Day this Saturday at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center next to Silver Lake, where interpretive staff will be set up with interactive “Discovery Table Talks.” They will be talking about the animals and the plants that are found in that vicinity, they’ll have crafts for the whole family, and lessons on recognizing signs of spring throughout the area in and around Seaquest State Park. It’s free, and will run from 9a m to 4 pm on Saturday.
The national “March for Science” takes place on Earth Day, and there’s an event in St. Helens connected to this event. Marchers are supporting a national mission to publicly support science as a “pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” The march will start at 10:30 Saturday morning, at the intersection of Highway 30 and Columbia Boulevard. Anyone interested is invited to attend.
Bring your toddler and preschoolers to the Longview Library on Saturday for the “Messy Art Day,” starting at 10:30 am. They will be putting out rolls of butcher paper and tubes of paint; you should be prepared to “get messy” as you and your kids create paintings, prints, sculptures and other fun art projects. This is intended for kids from birth through age 6, and no registration is required. Call 442-5300 to find out more.
The theme for this year’s Cowlitz County CASA Dinner and Auction is “Journey of Hope,” and will be held this Saturday evening at the Cowlitz Regional Conference and Events Center. The doors will open at 5:30 pm on Saturday, there will be a social hour and dinner, along with live and silent auctions. Get ticket information on the Cowlitz County CASA web page, and on their Facebook page.
The YMCA of SW Washington is hosting a Kids Night out this Saturday night, a sleepover event that will start at 7 pm on Saturday, and will go until 10 am Sunday. There will be bowling and swimming, along with games, movies and other activities. This is for kids age 6 to 13, and is limited to the first 75 kids that get signed up. Call 423-4770 to get registered.
Get a “Rocky Mountain High” this Saturday evening at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, as Ted Vigil brings his stellar John Denver tribute show to Longview. Showtime at the CTPA is set for 7:30 pm; go to the theatre web page for ticket information, or call 575-8499.
The SW Washington Symphony wraps up its 50thAnniversary Celebration this weekend, presenting “Carmina Burana” on Saturday and Sunday. These are free performances, a gift to the community as the Symphony celebrates its 50th birthday. Performances are set for 7 pm on Saturday and 3 pm on Sunday in the Wollenberg Auditorium at LCC’s Rose Center for the Arts.
Saturday night at Ashtown Brewing in Longview, it’s “Hops for Hope,” an event being held in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This will run from 7 to 9 pm on Saturday, with live music and special brews on top. $1 from every pint sold going to the Hope Project, which provides free and confidential support to anyone affected by sexual violence. Ashtown Brewing is located on Hudson Street in Longview, between 11th and 12th Avenues, right next to Bob’s Sporting Goods. This is a 21-and over event.
Check out the chops of your friends and neighbors at Sunday’s “Got Talent” event at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, put on by the Kelso Kiwanis. This is an all-ages talent contest starting at 3 pm on Sunday, with cash prizes for the top performers. The first 200 people in the door will also be entered into a drawing for a pair of diamond earrings, and there will be other raffles and prize drawings. The money raised will help support local charities backed by the Kiwanis.
Help out “Gabriel’s Giant Journey” this Sunday, helping to raise money for the family of a 6 year-old Castle Rock boy who has some severe health issues. Local LuLaRoe dealers are hosting this event, with dresses, skirts, leggings and other clothing available for purchase. The money raised will help Gabriel’s family with the mounting expenses for his medical treatments. This will go from 1 to 3 pm at the Fresh Attitude Dance Studio at the Three Rivers Mall. Get more information on the Gabriel’s Giant Journey Facebook page.
Oakland beat Seattle 9-6 last night. The M’s and A’s play again tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm…..The LCC baseball team hosts Pierce today in a 1 pm double header at Story Field…..The LCC softball team takes on Grays Harbor today at 3 pm at Tam O’Shanter Park…..R.A. Long edged Mark Morris 2-1 in boys soccer last night. Tonight Kelso is at Prairie at 7:30 pm…..In prep baseball, Kelso is at Evergreen, R.A. Long at Columbia River and Montesano at Mark Morris…..In high school softball, Kelso hosts Evergreen, Woodland at Mark Morris and R.A. Long at Ridgefield…..The Kalama Twi-Light Track Meet is later today. The Kelso tracksters will be at the Cotton Invite at Grant High in Portland…..The voice of the Huskies Bob Rondeau will retire following the upcoming football season.