At the beginning of Community Action Month, Cowlitz County is honoring the 50th anniversary of the Lower Columbia Community Action Program, recognizing that organization for the work that it has done in this community since the Economic Opportunity Act was signed by LBJ back in 1964. In a proclamation issued at Tuesday’s meeting, the Commissioners say that Lower Columbia CAP has made “significant contributions to the well-being of individuals and families through innovative and cost-effective programs.” The anniversary will be highlighted throughout the month of October, culminating in the 50th Anniversary Gala that’s planned for Saturday, October 25th at the Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center in Kelso. Contact CAP at 425-3430 or go to the Lower Columbia CAP web page for more information.
A second St. Helens High School student is being charged in connection with last Friday’s bomb scare at the school. Last Friday morning, the school was evacuated for more than two hours after it was learned that a 16 year-old male student brought a homemade explosive device to the school, and had placed it in his locker. The teen was confronted and he reportedly admitted to having the device, saying that he and some friends had made their own fireworks. That teen was arrested and booked into Cowlitz County’s Juvenile Detention Center; he’s now being charged with manufacture and possession of an explosive device. St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss says that the second suspect was arrested on Monday on similar charges; that teen is being released to live with his father during the week and with his mother on weekends. He’s also being ordered to comply with a number of conditions connected to his release. Moss says that the investigation into the case is continuing.
Word is getting out that Mike Moss is now declining the position as Cowlitz County’s next Director of Public Works, and will now remain in his current position as the County’s Event Center Director. Moss took the job on August 28th, but now, former County Commissioner George Raiter will continue as the interim Public Works Director while the Commissioners work with County Human Resources to re-start the process. The permanent position has been empty since the end of June, when Kent Cash resigned to take a position as the Chief Operating Officer for the Port of Vancouver.
The Ned Piper recall petition case is moving toward the next step, as the attorney for the men who filed the petition is filing a Notice of Appeal in regard to a court ruling that requires those three men to pay the PUD Commisisoner’s legal fees of about 30 thousand dollars. Attorney Timothy South filed the Notice of Appeal yesterday, on behalf of Bill Ammons, Chuck Wallace and Doug Irvine. Back in July, Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning ruled that the recall petition that was filed against Piper was a “sham,” and was not based on facts in any way. He declared that the three men were responsible for Piper’s legal fees as he fought the recall petition. This appeal goes directly to the Washington Supreme Court, but South notes that this is just the first step in the process. At this point, no hearings or other dates connected to the appeal have been set.
The Kansas City Royals scored two runs in the bottom of the 12th inning to beat the Oakland A’s 9-8 in the AL Wild Card game. The Royals advance to play the Angels in the ALDS. The Giants visit the Pirates in tonight’s NL Wild Card game, KLOG 4:30 pm…..R.A. Long defeated Mark Morris 3-1 in the Civil War volleyball matchup last night. Also, Tumwater defeated Kelso 3-0…..In Civil War girls soccer, Maddie Early scored in the second OT as MM outlasted RAL 2-1…..The LCC volleyball team hosts Clark in a league matchup tonight at the Mark Morris Gym, 7 pm…..Jeremy Aldrich and Kara Wood both finished first in Kelso’s cross country wins at Fort Vancouver yesterday…..In boys golf, MM beat Bay 177-183, Hockinson over Kelso 164-175 and Woodland beat RAL 155-171.
The MLB Postseason gets underway today as the Oakland A’s take on the Royals in Kansas City, KLOG 4:30 pm. The Giants are at the Pirates in the NL Wild Card game tomorrow…..The volleyball Civil War is tonight as R.A. Long hosts Mark Morris at 7 pm. Kelso is also at Tumwater tonight…..In girls soccer Civil War action, RAL hosts MM in a 6 pm matchup at Longview Memorial Stadium. Also in soccer, Kelso hosts Tumwater at 4 pm…..Prairie beat RAL 160-167 in boys golf at Mint Valley. Tyler Messinger was the medalist with a 35. Today the Jacks take on Woodland at Lewis River, MM is at Bay and Kelso visits Hockinson…..The Kelso cross country teams run against Fort Vancouver at David Douglas Park this afternoon at 4 pm..
Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove is reversing one of his previous rulings, now ordering that the man accused of shooting and killing Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter be returned to the Oregon State Hospital to receive anti-psychosis medications, against his will, if necessary. Painter’s family members say that they hope that this may finally signal the beginning of the end for their ongoing ordeal; Alan Painter, Chief Painter’s brother, says that this has been a terrible grind. Nearly four years have passed since Painter was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Rainier car audio shop. On January 5th, 2011, Painter responded to a theft report at the store, where he confronted Daniel Butts of Kalama. It’s alleged that the two men struggled; they say that Butts was able to get possession of Painter’s handgun, and then used it to shoot him. Butts was then wounded in a gun battle with other law enforcement officers, and was eventually arrested. Since that time, there have been a series of hearings on the mental competency of Butts. In a previous ruling, Grove determined that Butts was not incompetent, and was “gaming the system.” He ordered that Butts be held and treated without medication; that ruling was reversed in yesterday’s hearing. Butts is being returned to Salem, where he will be forcibly medicated. The next hearing in the case is currently scheduled for January 16th of next year.
Details on the incident are still coming in, but there are reports coming out of Scappoose this morning, saying that a man set his mobile home on fire, and then took his own life. Fire officials called law enforcement after it was discovered that the man had committed suicide after he had set the fire. We don’t yet have details on the circumstances that led to this result, nor do we have the victim’s name. Additional information should be out later this morning.
Cowlitz County Deputies and a K-9 were involved in helping out Lewis County Deputies in the search for a suspect that was trying to elude them yesterday evening near the county line. Just after 6 pm yesterday, Cowlitz County Deputies were called up to the area off of Barnes Drive and Imboden Road, asked to help try and track down a 30 year-old man that Lewis County Deputies were pursuing. The suspect is wanted on a warrant, and apparently went into the Cowlitz River in the effort to elude capture. A K-9 unit was also brought in to try and help locate the suspect, also without success. There’s some speculation that the man may have had help in leaving the area. The suspect has been identified, but at this time, it does not appear that an arrest has been made.
Several candidates on the upcoming General Election ballot plan to be at Lower Columbia College today, working to meet with students and to try and make sure that they’re registered to vote in the upcoming election. Bill Ammons with the Pacific Barber Shop in Kelso will also be helping to coordinate today’s event; he says that it’s intended to try and raise awareness with students at LCC, and to make sure that they’re involved in the electoral process. The deadline to register for the General Election on Tuesday, November 4th is Monday, October 6th. Ballots for the General Election will be mailed out on Friday, October 17th. Contact the Cowlitz County Auditor’s Office if you have any questions about registration, ballots or voting.