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7th Avenue Investigation Update

Longview Police now report that an arrest has been made in connection with the death of a woman at her apartment on 7th Avenue, charging that man with murder and other counts. Shortly after 9 this morning, LPD reported on the arrest of Lucas Robert Dale Rasmussen, 36, saying that he’s now being charged with murder, burglary and sexually violating human remains. He was arrested early this morning, after a woman’s body was found in her apartment in the 800 block of 7th Avenue. Officers say that a witness arrived and found the victim’s body, along with Rasmussen. He was detained at the apartment, and then was arrested after an interview. The victim’s name is still not being released at this time. The investigation is continuing, and anyone with information is being asked to call LPD Detective Steve Dennis at 442-5800.

Generator Stolen

Organizers of a bicycle race that was held yesterday morning down in the Woodland area say that someone stole a generator that they had rented. Employees of Zone 5 Promotions reported the theft at about 9 yesterday morning, in the area of Whalen Road and Dike Road. The Honda S2000i suitcase-type of generator had been left unattended between around 7:30 and 8:30 am, when someone noticed that it was missing. The generator is valued at $850; those on the scene say that a black Subaru Forester or a similar vehicle was seen in the area around the time of the theft. No arrests have been reported.

United Way Support

As controversy continues to swirl at the top of the local United Way chapter, the 23 partner agencies of the United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum are out with a joint letter, expressing their support for the local organization. In the letter, the partner agencies say that they are “essential providers” of services that comprise the local safety net, and they collectively carry out the United Way mission each and every day. They share in the commitment to nurturing local youth, strengthening families, promoting heath and providing basic needs. The partner agencies thank the United Way for its generous support over the years, and say that they will continue to support the United Way, while continuing to mobilize the “caring power” of the community. The letter is signed by all 23 partner agencies.

FHC/DAPC Merger

Additional details about the announced merger of the Family Health Center and the Drug Abuse Prevention Center are coming out. Current Family Health Center CEO Dian Cooper will remain as the CEO, while DAPC CEO Gus Nolte will become the Deputy Director. Staff administrators and both governing boards have participated in due diligence, and are committed to making the merger a success. All locations for both organizations will remain in place for the time being, but there could be some integration of services at certain sites in the future. Clients under the merged organizations will continue to be served, regardless of their ability to pay, while corporate re-branding will take place at a later date. Cooper and Nolte say that this merger is a logical next step in a strategic alliance that was started back in 2004, working to leverage core strengths of each organization to provide more effective and efficient care.

No Censure

The Clark County Republican Party is backing off plans to censure current 3rd District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, but they still plan to keep an eye on our local Representative. This past weekend, the Vancouver Columbian reported that the censure measure that had been pushed by Precinct Committee Officer Joseph Wagner was taken off the table, replaced by a substitute resolution that supports the monitoring of all votes by all elected officials. Wagner originally had wanted to chastise Beutler for votes that he claims were in support of Democrats, helping to increase spending, increase the federal debt, and increase regulations. GOP officials say that this new resolution will help them judge how all of the area’s legislators are performing.

Adjusted Office Hours

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler is expanding her Mobile Office Hours in Kelso, adding regular time on Monday to the house already set up. Starting this morning, staff members from Beutler’s office will be available on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, going from 11 am to 1 pm at the Kelso City Hall. This is a shift from the Thursday Mobile Office Hours that had previously been offered. You’re invited to come by and ask your questions about Social Security, the IRS, Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies. Get full details on Jaime Herrera Beutler’s Congressional web page.

Sauvie Island Plan

A series of Multnomah Planning Commission meetings on the possible future plan for land use management on Sauvie Island continues this evening. This evening’s meeting will be focused on the topic of floating homes and marinas, and will be held from 6 to 9 pm in the Sauvie Island Academy, which is located on Northwest Charlton Road. Get more details on the Multnomah County Planning Commission website.

WDFW News

As the main stem of the Columbia River opens for spring Chinook fishing, other changes are also going into effect on local tributaries. Starting yesterday, the Lewis River is closed to Chinook Salmon fishing, as the estimated return to the river is put at about 1,100 fish. That’s below the 1,350 fish needed to reach the hatchery escapement goal. Hatchery returns on the Lewis are being closely watched.

Meanwhile on the Kalama, the daily bag limit for Steelhead is being increased to three adult fish, open until further notice. Fish and Wildlife managers say that the hatchery escapement for Steelhead has been met, and surplus fish are now available for harvest. Spring Chinook fisheries on the Kalama remain as they were previously stated in the 2014-2015 Fishing Rules.

Saying that there’s a continuing abundance of razor clams, another season opens today and goes through Thursday at Long Beach and Twin Harbors. Digging will be allowed on the evening tides tonight through Thursday; tonight’s tide is set for about 4:50 pm, while Thursday’s low tide is at 6:30 pm. There’s also another big dig coming up between the 16th and the 24th. That will also include the switch to digging on the morning tides, starting on Saturday, the 21st. Get full details on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife web page.

Blood Drive

As “Red Cross Month” gets under way, there’s a special blood drive coming up today at the Pacific Surgical Center on 9th Avenue in Longview. The American Red Cross helps to supply blood and blood products to hospitals and other facilities throughout the country, so your donations are extremely important. Today’s American Red Cross blood drive at the Pacific Surgical Center will run from 9 am until 1:45 pm, located at the clinic on 9th Avenue off of Tennant Way, across from the new Napa Auto Parts store. Call Nancy Stone at 501-3444 to set up an appointment, or to get more information.

KLOG Monday Sports

The LCC Red Devil men’s basketball team needs a playoff win tonight to advance to the NWAC tournament. The Devils travel to Auburn to play Green River tonight, KLOG 6:55 pm…..The Blazers beat the Kings in Sacramento yesterday 110-99. Damian Lillard led the way with 31 points…..The draws are out for the WIAA State tournaments beginning Thursday. The Mark Morris boys will play Anacortes in the 9 am game at the Sundome. The MM girls will take on White River at 3:45 pm. The Castle Rock boys will play Zillah at 5:30 pm Thursday. The Wahkiakum girls drew Mabton at 7:15 followed by Toutle Lake versus LaConner at 9 pm…..The LCC baseball team opened the season splitting a four game series with Spokane. The LCC softball team won three of five games in Richland.