Crews from Longview Fire and the Department of Natural Resources spent yesterday mopping up the remnants of Tuesday’s fire that scorched 25 acres of empty land in the industrial area of town. DNR and Cowlitz 2 is also looking into the cause of the fire up on Highland Park Drive in Kelso
The Cowlitz County 911 Public Authority Board has selected Phil Jurmu as the new Executive Director. Jurmu has been the Longview Police Chief for the past five years and spent 25 years with LFD. The new 911 director will transition to the new standalone public authority by January
After five days alone in the woods near Mount St. Helens, wearing only sandals and a sweatshirt, Matthew Matheny of Warren, Ohio has been found alive. The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office reports that the 40 year-old was located in the search area off of the Blue Lake Trailhead, but they haven’t yet released details of how Matheny was found, or his condition. The recovery comes less than 12 hours after the Sheriff’s Office reported that they were coordinating cell phones record with modeling software, using that information to zero in on what would be probable search locations. Matheny has been evacuated by helicopter; the Sheriff’s Office plans to release more information later in the day.
The Oakland A’s beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 last night. Seattle starter James Paxton had to leave the game after being struck by a line drive in the first inning. He’s expected to miss a start. The teams play a day game today in Oakland, KLOG 11:30 am…..Tallahassee, Florida defeated Longview 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the Babe Ruth World Series last night. KWRL edged Concord, New Hampshire 2-1 in the other quarter. The semi-finals tonight feature Tallahassee against Albany, Minnesota at 5 pm followed by KWRL versus Mifflin County, Pennsylvania at 7:30 pm, both at Story Field…..Seahawks first round pick Rashaad Penny is going to miss 3 to 4 weeks with a broken finger…..Former MM and Gonzaga guard Rem Bakamus has been hired as a grad assistant ay Baylor University.
Fire danger continues to be an issue in the local area, as firefighters dealt with two separate brush fires yesterday. Fire crews have been monitoring the site of yesterday’s 25-acre brush fire that happened in the area that’s between California Way, Alabama Street and Baltimore Street. The fire was first reported early yesterday afternoon, and it quickly grew to nearly 25 acres in size; Longview Fire Chief Phil Jurmu says that this fire got out of control very rapidly. Traffic through the industrial area of Longview was brought to a standstill as 3rd Avenue, California Way, Industrial Way and 7th Avenue into Walmart were closed. That was necessary as a helicopter made water drops on the fire; Jurmu says that it’s the first time in some 20 years for air support on a local fire. Residents of the El Patio Mobile Home Park evacuated as a precaution. As many as 50 firefighters were engaged in fighting the fire. At 10 pm last night, the fire was reported to be about 85 percent contained, with fire crews maintaining a watch. Fire lines have been cut in critical areas, working to protect nearby structures. Full operations to confine and extinguish the fire will resume this morning; heavy equipment is being brought in to finish containment, which is expected by mid-morning. Work to completely extinguish the fire will continue through the day. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue is also dealing with a brush fire that was reported last night on the east side of Kelso, burning in brush and grass in the area of Highland Park Drive. Shortly after 10 last night, Kelso Police reported that the fire “has been knocked down quite a bit,” and they say that it is not threatening any structures at this time. The cause of this fire is also being investigated.
The Southwest Washington Clean Air Agency is posting an Air Pollution Advisory for the region, covering Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, Skamania, Lewis and Clark Counties. Agency officials say that intrusions of wildfire smoke into the local area is degrading the air quality, pushing fine particulate matter from those fires into the local airshed. They say that pollution levels are expected to worsen today, and then a wind shift should push the smoke away. Conditions are expected to improve by this afternoon, but higher elevation smoke will linger through the rest of the week. As of 4 am today, the Air Quality Monitoring station on 30th Avenue in Longview had an Air Quality number of 152. Any numbers between 151 and 200 are ranked as “unhealthy,” meaning that everyone should try to limit outdoor activity; you should also keep a close watch on people that are in “sensitive groups,” to make sure that they aren’t having trouble. Learn more at swcleanair.org.
Authorities in Oregon are reporting that a standoff involving an armed and barricaded subject in a house on Nicolai Road has ended peacefully. Alerts went out from Columbia County public safety agencies at about 6:30 yesterday evening, warning of heavy police activity in the area of Nicolai Road and Wasser Road. Residents were advised to shelter in place, while roadblocks were maintained by officers with rifles. After several hours, it was reported that the man had surrendered peacefully, and was in custody. Other details have not yet been released, including the name of the suspect, and the reasons behind the standoff. Oregon State Police and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to investigate.
The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office says that Matthew B. Matheny, 40, of Warren is still missing, but they are bringing in resources that could help to narrow the search. Sheriff Mark Nelson says that some new information “gives them hope” that there could be a positive result. Search coordinators have gone over cell phone records, indicating that the phone was in the area of the Blue Lake Trail. They have also had some witness reports come in, saying that they saw a man in gray clothing, matching the description of Matheny and consistent with the cell phone data. Search leaders are using special “virtual search” software that helps determine “most likely” areas for travel, which also helps to focus searchers on specific areas. Nelson says that they still need people to call in with tips, even if they are different than other reports. Deputy Zo Gladson has been assigned to the case, and all tips are being routed through him. Call the Sheriff’s Office at 360-577-3092 if you can help out.
The woman who is seen pushing Jordan Holgerson, 16, of Kalama off of the Moulton Falls Bridge has been identified as Taylor Smith, 18, and she could be facing charges after the incident. It’s now reported that Holgerson suffered six broken ribs, two punctured lungs and a bruised esophagus after plummeting 50 feet from the bridge, landing in the water face-first. The incident was captured on cell phone video, which has been circulated all over the internet. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office says that the case is now being forwarded to the Clark County Prosecutor “for appropriate charging,” and they say that Taylor has been cooperating with investigators. Holgerson continues to recover from her injuries.