The crowd was huge and motivated, but was also well-behaved, with at least a thousand people descending on the County Expo Center for the first of three public hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Coal Export Terminal that Millennium Bulk Terminals is proposing for construction. Those for the project wore blue, while opponents wore red; Millennium CEO Bill Chapman says that this is a good project, bringing good jobs to the area. Red-wearing opponents came from all around the region, including Aji Piper of Seattle, who says that the project is a hazard to the environment. The second of the three public hearings will be held tomorrow in Spokane, followed by a third hearing on Thursday, June 2nd in Pasco. All three hearings will have the same format, going from 1 to 9 pm. Presentations are planned at 1 and 5 pm, with public comment taken after each presentation. There’s a break from 4 to 5 pm, and there’s a two-minute limit on testimony. If you can’t make one of these hearings, written comments can be submitted on-line, or by mail.
Longview Police say that a suspect has been identified in connection with an incident at the Saint Helens Shopping Center, where a shoplifting suspect allegedly hit an employee, and then nearly ran over that person as they tried to intervene. This incident was reported at about 9:25 yesterday morning, as a store employee tried to stop someone that was suspected of shoplifting. The employee claims that the suspect hit her when she tried to stop the man, and then the suspect almost ran over the employee as he drove out of the parking lot. Using photos from the store security video, Longview Police say that they have been able to identify the suspect, but that person is still at large this morning.
Several arrests were reported yesterday by the Longview Police Street Crimes Unit. Around 12:20 yesterday afternoon, detectives served a search warrant at 3163 Hemlock Street, where they claim to have found heroin, meth and prescription drugs that didn’t have a valid prescription. Police also seized drug paraphernalia, scales and other items related to the drug trade. Duane Alan Todd, 48, is now being held on charges of possession of meth, possession of heroin and possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Brandi D. Hall, 39, was booked for possession of heroin.
SCU Detectives say that they seized meth and drug paraphernalia in a raid yesterday afternoon at 363 15th Avenue in Longview. Tommie-Raye Grundy, 26, is under arrest for possession of meth and possession of heroin, while Amber Diane Greene, 27, is being held for possession of meth and a misdemeanor failure to appear warrant. This is an ongoing investigation, with additional arrests possible.
Apple Lane in Kelso is closed at the intersection with West Vista Way until further notice, after a sinkhole was reported in the intersection yesterday morning. This call came in around 8:15 yesterday morning, with the caller reporting that a three-foot-by-three-foot sinkhole was open in a corner of the intersection, going down one to two feet. The city currently has Apple Lane closed at the intersection with West Vista Way, which is now reduced to one lane of travel. These restrictions will remain in place until further notice.
The Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office is looking for help in identifying a man, whose body was recovered last weekend near Pillar Rock. In a press release issued yesterday, they say that the remains were first spotted last Friday, seen by a local resident who was boating on the river. The remains were recovered later in the day; they say that the body was badly decomposed, after having been in the river for months, or possibly years. While the body has not been identified, they say that the remains are those of a Caucasian male between the ages of 30 and 60, about 5’8” in height. The man was wearing boots, a red button-down shirt, Levi’s and black gaiters. The man had a lens cleaner on his person, bearing the name of an optometrist from Seattle. Authorities say that it appears that this man died at least two years ago, so the exact cause of death may never be known. If you can help with this case, you’re asked to call the Wahkiakum County Prosecutor and Coroner at 795-3652.
Cowlitz County’s April jobless rate ticked up just slightly from March, and held steady when compared to the same time last year. Washington Employment Security reports that the April unemployment rate came in at 7.5 percent, up from the March number of 7.4 percent. Federal officials report that non-farm employment increased by 300 jobs in April, and only 100 of those jobs was attributed to seasonal hiring patterns. The number of new and continuing unemployment claims continues at “very low levels.”
Salmon anglers will have more opportunities to catch Spring Chinook on the Columbia River, as fishery managers re-open the river for the Memorial Day weekend, and then again in June. Under this latest agreement, the main stem of the Columbia below Bonneville Dam will open for Chinook salmon from Friday through Monday, then the river will close for three days. The river will re-open on June 3rd, and then will be open for Chinook Salmon through June 15th, or until the catch quota is reached. The summer fishing season on the Columbia will then open on the 16th. Be sure to have your current license and catch record card.
There’s a campaign under way on IndieGoGo connected to the legacy of DB Cooper, where local residents are trying to raise money to save the Ariel General Store and Tavern. The campaign is trying to raise $35,000, looking to re-open the store that closed in 2015, following the death of Dona Elliot. The building has been in place since 1929, serving as a gathering place for people living in Ariel, Amboy and the surrounding area; in 1972, the U. S. Army had its D. B. Cooper search headquarters set up in the back of the store. The Ariel General Store and Tavern also hosted the “D. B. Cooper Days” festival for 25 years, though that event had recently fallen by the wayside. Get more information and get enrolled for special prizes by making a contribution on Indiegogo.com.
Leonys Martin hit a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th to give the Mariners a 6-5 win over the Oakland A’s. Robinson Cano’s two-run shot in the 8th set up Martin’s heroics. The M’s and A’s play again tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm…..On the eve of the NWAC Baseball Championships at LCC, the coaches for the final 8 will take part in a webcast interview show tonight at 6 pm on the nwacsports.org website…..Austin White of Mark Morris fired a two-over 74 at the State 2A golf tournament, good for second place. Troy Parrish of R.A. Long shot an 84 and made the cut to today’s second round…..Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski has been granted a final year of eligibility on a medical redshirt after back surgery. He played in five games will be eligible to return next season.