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Power Outage

The Cowlitz PUD is working to restore power to a large portion of Longview, after a “large bird” caused the Washington Way Substation to shut down at about noon today. They estimate that repairs are going to take about two hours.

Travis Arrested

One of two people who are suspected of taking an infant boy out of the local area is now in custody, arrested yesterday at the home in Longview that the couple had recently been evicted from. Around 4:40 yesterday morning, a woman living in the 11 hundred block of 8th Avenue called Longview Police, saying that someone with a flashlight was inside a neighboring home, which had recently been occupied by Andy William Travis, 34, and Cerena Barros, 25. Late last week, Oregon State Police issued an alert, saying that both people were wanted on charges of custodial interference. They’re suspected of taking 18 month-old Cash Travis out of the area, possibly to California. Travis was arrested yesterday at the home, and his vehicle was impounded. He’s now being held on a $2,000 fugitive warrant, while the effort to find Barros and the baby is continuing.

Crawl Space Arrest Update

The Sheriff’s Office is out with some additional information on Tuesday afternoon’s arrest of Jose Travis Allen Sanchez, 34, of Kelso. They say that Detectives had identified Sanchez as the one of the suspects in a January armed robbery, where three armed men had forced their way into a home near Castle Rock, and then stole money and medical marijuana. Detectives located Sanchez at a home in the 800 block of North 8th in Kelso, and found him hiding in a crawl space. Deputy Brent Harris and the K-9 “Fritz” were called in when Sanchez supposedly refused to come out. Fritz was sent in, and Sanchez allegedly kicked him twice in the nose, causing a small cut. Harris eventually deployed his Taser, and Sanchez was arrested. Sanchez is now being held on the robbery charge, a burglary warrant and a new charge of resisting arrest. Fritz was treated for his cut, and did not have to go to the vet. Sanchez reportedly said that he “didn’t like the dog or the Taser.” Detectives are still looking for the other two suspects.

Charges Reduced

It’s now being reported that the charges against Christopher Tyrone Everette, 23, of Kelso are being reduced. In this morning’s Daily News, they say that charges of second-degree murder are being reduced to first-degree manslaughter. Everette was arrested in September of 2012, accused of shaking and fatally injuring six week-old James Taylor Childers, his then-girlfriend’s baby. Lewis County Prosecutor Brad Meagher has been brought in on the case, after former defense attorney Ryan Jurvakainen was elected as Cowlitz County Prosecutor. Meagher says that the evidence didn’t rise to the level of a murder case, so the charge reduction makes sense. Everette is now scheduled to go on trial in October on counts of second-degree assault of a child with aggravating circumstances and first-degree manslaughter.

Teacher Rally

It’s estimated that three-quarters of the 400 members of the Longview Education Association took part in yesterday’s “It’s Time” rally on the steps of R. A. Long High School, part of a statewide effort to send a message to the Legislature in Olympia. Mary Sundberg is a 4th-grade teacher at Robert Gray Elementary School, and she says it IS time. Yesterday’s rally is part of a continuing effort by the Washington Education Association and local teacher unions to raise awareness and to try and send a message about current legislation that the teachers say will hurt schools and kids. The major issues involved deal with class size, the loss of COLA’s, health care costs, the loss of local control under a “levy swap” bill, and endless standardized testing. The teachers say that the Legislature is “late with its homework,” and needs to finally do what’s right for the school kids in Washington state.

Retirees Reception

As preparations for Graduation 2015 continue, the Longview School District plans to take time to say goodbye and “thank you” to another group that’s departing, the 27 teachers, administrators and classified staff that are retiring this year. District officials say that this group has more than 640 total years of experience in Longview schools. The Retirees Reception will run from 4 to 5:30 pm in the District Administration building on Lilac Street, with a special presentation scheduled at 4:30 pm. The event is free and open to all; refreshments will be served.

Community Conversations

The second-to-last Spring Term Community Conversation lecture is set for noon today in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts, featuring LCC Faculty Librarian Melinda Weatherford. Continuing on the theme of “A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words,” Weatherford’s talk is titled “Hidden Pictures: Subliminal Messages in Print Advertising.” The Community Conversation lectures are free and open to anyone interested.

Sister City Visit

A delegation from Kelso’s Japanese sister city of Makinohara is in town today, and you can meet with that group at a special reception that’s planned for 4 pm this afternoon at the Kelso City Hall. The delegation will be meeting with city officials, taking tours of Kelso and Longview, will have lunch at Kelso High School, and will also take a trip to Mount St. Helens. Makinohara has only been in existence since 2005, created when Kelso’s original sister city of Sagara merged with the city of Haibara. Kelso originally started the sister city relationship with Sagara back in 1994, and decided to continue after the merger. Mayor David Futcher was that these relationships nurture relationships that lead to valuable educational, business and cultural exchanges. Today’s reception is open to the public, and anyone interested is invited to attend.

Hospice Bingo

There’s Bingo Benefit planned for this evening at the Kelso Eagles, an event intended to help raise money to support Community Home Health and Hospice. Things will get started at 6:30 pm, but you can save $5 on admission by registering early. They’ll also have prize drawing and raffles for those who are taking part. Call 575-5725 or 414-4205 for ticket information.

2015 Scholar Winners

Congratulations to our 2015 Scholarship Winners for KLOG and KUKN Radio, with Kelso High School making a clean sweep. Kady Bruce is this year’s KLOG Scholar of the Year; she has maintained a 4-point GPA since she was in sixth grade. Bruce says it’s something that she’s been focused on. Bruce plans to use her $1,500 scholarship to attend Lewis and Clark College in Portland, where she will be pursuing a track in biology and physical therapy. She also plans to play softball while at school.

Christian Graff of Kelso High School is the 2015 KUKN Scholar of the Year, and he says that his family has helped him to persevere and succeed. Graff is heading down to Provo, Utah and Brigham Young University; Graff plans to spend a year in college before leaving on a two-year church mission. When he returns to school, Graff has a goal of seeking degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration.