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Altman Pleads

David Altman, 53, is pleading guilty to the killing of his father in August of 2016, admitting that he stabbed and beat Bernie Altman, 92, at the older man’s home. The Daily News reports on the plea in Cowlitz County Superior Court, where David Altman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Altman admits that he beat and stabbed his father while in the kitchen of the older man’s home on the evening of August 26th, 2016. Bernie Altman died from those injuries two weeks later. The guilty plea comes after the son was initially found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial. Following treatment and medication, David Altman was declared competent in February of last year, and the process for setting a trial was set. In the documents filed in court, Altman says that he “acted with intent, but without premeditation” when he attacked his father. Sentencing has been scheduled for March 6th in Superior Court; the projected sentence ranges from 11 years to life in prison.

Clatskanie Shooting

Three men are now under arrest in connection with a shooting that took place on January 20th in Clatskanie. A local resident reports that his pickup was hit by several rounds that were fired, while the pickup was parked at the man’s home on Cedar Grove Drive. The man wasn’t in the truck at the time of the shooting, and wasn’t injured; he was able to provide some information on possible suspects. On January 28th, multiple law enforcement agencies were involved when search warrant was served at the suspects’ home near Clatskanie, where several guns were seized, including the gun supposedly used in the shooting. The case went to a grand jury, and indictments were handed down. On Wednesday of this week, Seth Makinson , 21, Tyson Lorentson, 21, and Trask Hill, 20, were taken into custody. Hill is suspected of being the shooter, but all three men are now being charged with attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault with a firearm, unlawful use of a gun, menacing, and other charges. Each man is now being held in the Columbia County Jail on six-figure bail amounts.

KLOG Friday Sports

Kelso defeated North Thurston 67-58 to advance to the 3A Bi-District championship. Shaw Anderson had 32 points to lead the way. Kelso plays Lincoln tomorrow at 12 pm at Puyallup HS, KLOG 11:55 am. The Mark Morris boys take on Columbia River for the boys 2A District title tonight at the St. Martins Pavilion in Lacey, 7:45 pm on FM 101.5 The Wave…..The Kelso Lassies play Peninsula for seeding at the girls 3A Bi-District tonight at Rogers HS in Puyallup, 5:55 pm on KLOG…..10 Hilanders and six Lassies are on hand at Mat Classic XXX at the Tacoma Dome starting today. The Kelso wrestlers trying to get that elusive team title for legendry head coach Bob Fruend…..The State boys swimming championships begin today at the King County Aquatic Center.

Castle Rock Burglary

Castle Rock Police are looking into a burglary reported early yesterday morning at a home on Front Avenue. About 2:45 yesterday morning, a woman called 911 from her home on Front Avenue, reporting that a man was inside of her house. The woman says that she was awakened by the intruder as he came into her bedroom. She says that the man ran away after he realized that she was there; she says that the man was 5’8” to 5’10”, wearing a stocking cap with strings on the sides. It was initially thought that there was no forced entry, but the woman called back later, saying that she found that the screen on her bathroom window had been cut up, and there was dirt on the window seal. Further checking also showed that the detached garage had been broken into, with several items stolen. No suspects have been identified at this time.

The S Word

The Weather Service says that we need to get ready for the coldest weather of the season, with the possibility of low-level snow by Sunday. Snow levels are dropping in the Cascades; there’s a warning about severe driving conditions, starting today. Forecasters say that between three and seven inches of show is expected to fall above 3,000 feet today. Tomorrow, the snow level goes up to 4,000 feet, but eight inches of snow is expected between 4,000 and 5,000 feet. Between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, as much as 16 inches of snow could fall. Another four to eight inches of snow is expected above 3,000 feet on Sunday.

They also say that snow levels could fall as low as 1,000 feet on Sunday, coming in the afternoon and evening. The Weather Service says that only light accumulations are expected, but they don’t know exactly where the snow will fall. The bigger issue could be black ice, as overnight lows drop into the 20’s on Sunday and into early next week. They say that black ice could be “problematic” Sunday night and into Monday morning. More accurate predictions are possible as we move closer to Sunday.

WDFW News

It’s possible that anglers on the Columbia River will be allowed to catch and retain White Sturgeon a little later this spring. At last week’s meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, they directed the WDFW staff to open discussions with Oregon fishery managers, to develop a “limited retention fishery” for sturgeon, similar to the short season that was allowed last year. At last week’s meeting, staff presented information that shows that the number of adult Sturgeon in the lower river has increased, while the number of juvenile fish is going down. It’s now estimated that there are about 199,000 adult White Sturgeon in the Lower Columbia, an 18 percent increase over last year’s estimate. In June of last year, five days of fishing was allowed in the Lower Columbia, and about 15,000 anglers took part. Records show that about 3,200 fish were caught and kept. At least one more meeting will be held before a season is announced; it’s expected that an announcement will be made in March or April.

Washington Fish and Wildlife is announcing eight more days of razor clam digging, coming up in March and April. It’s currently being proposed that Mocrocks will open for digging on March 2nd and 3rd, followed by another dig on March 16th and 17th. Various beaches will be open on that weekend. Digs are also being proposed in mid-April; those digs will also mark the switch to morning tides. Final announcements will be made about a week before each dig.

DECA Award

The DECA chapter at Mark Morris High School is being honored with a national award, being presented with “DECA Thrive Certification” for the current school year. Advisor Greg McCormick says that obtaining this “Thrive” certification requires the school to complete and report on three chapter campaigns. Mark Morris High School is being recognized for achievements in promotion, community service and successful alumni stories. McCormick says that this award honors schools like Mark Morris for their outstanding and diverse DECA programs.

Kelso and Castle Rock Schools Out

It’s a four-day weekend for students in the Kelso and Castle Rock School Districts, as the kids have today off, along with Monday’s Presidents Day observance. Today was built into the Kelso School schedule as a possible snow make-up day; in Castle Rock, this is listed as “Contingency Day #2,” also built in as a possible make-up day. School is out on Monday, scheduled as the Presidents Day holiday. Other local school districts have classes as normal today.

McMenamins Hiring

Your chance to become a part of the “McMenamins Kingdom” happens today in Kalama, as an Open Hiring Call for the new McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge take place. The Open Call happens between 11 am and 6 pm today at the Port of Kalama headquarters, located right next to the new brewpub and hotel that’s being built on the banks of the Columbia River. Officials with McMenamins say that they’re hiring for a variety of positions, including servers, bartenders, front desk staff, housekeepers, catering, sous chef, assistant managers and other positions. McMenamins bills itself as a “unique, fun environment,” with both seasonal and long-term employment and advancement opportunities. Benefits are also available. McMenamins says that the Kalama Harbor Lodge is on track to open on April 20th.

Weekend Events–2/16-18/18

Friday:
The Kelso Garden Club meets on Friday, starting at 9:30 am at the Central Christian Church, located at 401 Crawford St. Ian Thompson with the Lower Columbia School Gardens is scheduled to come by at 11 am, when he will provide an update on the program. The public is welcome to attend and to learn more about the club. Get details by calling 360-636-5981.

Stageworks Northwest continues a production of the Victorian thriller “Angel Street” this weekend, the play that was the basis for the classic film “Gaslight.” “Angel Street” is a psychological thriller, where a murdering husband works to drive his wife insane, so that he can obtain a long-lost cache of gems. “Angel Street” will be performed at the Longview Theatre on Commerce Avenue, with showtimes at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday nights, along with a 2 pm Sunday matinee. Get ticket information at stageworksnorthwest.org.

“The Vagina Monologues” return to Longview this Friday night, with local women performing the 18 scripted speeches that make up the classic play. A single performance is planned for 7 pm this Friday night in the Wollenberg Auditorium at LCC’s Rose Center for the Arts. The Rose Center Box Office opens one hour prior to curtain.

Saturday:

There’s a Volunteer Training session planned for this Saturday at Kelso High School, where they will be looking for people to help out with the Longview Tiger Sharks Special Olympics swim team. Anyone can come and help these special athletes as they train for competition; it would be helpful if you had some swimming experience, particularly at the competitive level. The volunteer training will run from 10 am until noon on Saturday.

Safe Kids Lower Columbia is holding another Car Seat Clinic on Saturday, running from 10 am until 1 pm in the truck bays at Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue. Anyone can get their car seats checked for free; only Cowlitz and Wahkiakum County residents are eligible for assistance in getting a new car seat. You’ll need to bring your car seat and the child that uses it, to insure that the child and the seat are properly fitted. Call 360-575-6280 for more information.

LongCon III happens this Saturday at the Longview Library, celebrating pop culture in all forms. This third annual “mini-fan convention” that will celebrate comic books, anime, gaming, fantasy and more. There’s a Costume Contest, with prizes awarded in three age categories, a panel discussion on “Anime 101,” and a lot more. LongCon III is free and open to all, going from 11 am until 3 pm on Saturday at the Longview Library.\

The Kelso First Baptist Church is hosting another “Soup’s On” community lunch on Saturday. The doors will open at 11:30 am, and lunch will be served until 1 pm. The Clothes Closet will also be open. Everyone is invited to come by and take part. The Kelso First Baptist Church is located at 214 S. 4th, call 360-423-2513 to learn more.

The Wahkiakum County Chamber of Commerce invites you out to the Norse Hall on Puget Island this Saturday, as the 33rd annual Crab and Oyster Feed takes place. Seatings are set for 3, 5:15 and 7:30 pm; seating is limited and all seats are reserved. Tickets for the feed are available at The Bank of the Pacific; raffle tickets and other fun stuff will happen at the event. Proceeds will help support the Bald Eagle Days fireworks show; this is also a 21-and-over event. Get more information on the Wahkiakum Chamber web page.

The Longview Eagles are smoking pork loins for a special dinner that’s being put on this Saturday; the doors open at 5 pm on Saturday for the dinner in support of Darrian Heath and his family. The young boy is battling a rare form of brain cancer, and is not expected to live a lot longer. His family has mounting medical bills; donations of children’s clothing are also being accepted, to help out Darrian and his siblings. They’ll also have a silent auction and raffles, along with a 50-50 drawing. The Longview Eagles are located at 1526 12th Avenue in Longview. Call 360-425-1444 to RSVP.

It’s a Free Fishing Weekend in Oregon, with no license required to fish, clam or crab on Saturday and Sunday. Rules about closures, bag limits and size restrictions remain in place, but it’s free to fish in the state otherwise. Contact Oregon Fish and Wildlife to learn more.