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Mobile VA Services

Long-awaited services for veterans in southwest Washington are finally rolling in, starting next month, as the Veterans Administration announces that its Puget Sound mobile medical unit will be making a trip to Raymond from October 14th to the 17th. Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler says that she has been working for more than two years to bring this resource to veterans in this area, bringing primary health care services to veterans in rural areas. The VA will now being the mobile medical unit to Raymond once every quarter, starting with next month’s visit. Walk-up appointments will be available, and if there isn’t space available at that time, veterans will have the option to be scheduled for a later time or day. Services available will include primary care appointments, physical exams, flu shots and other immunizations, prescriptions, lab tests, and assistance in signing up for other VA benefits. The unit will be set up at the American Legion hall on Duryea Street in Raymond. Beutler says that she’s pleased by this first step, helping to get needed services to veterans in this area.

Registration Drive

Several candidates on the upcoming General Election ballot plan to be at Lower Columbia College today, working to meet with students and to try and make sure that they’re registered to vote in the upcoming election. Bill Ammons with the Pacific Barber Shop in Kelso will also be helping to coordinate today’s event; he says that it’s intended to try and raise awareness with students at LCC, and to make sure that they’re involved in the electoral process. The deadline to register for the General Election on Tuesday, November 4th is Monday, October 6th. Ballots for the General Election will be mailed out on Friday, October 17th. Contact the Cowlitz County Auditor’s Office if you have any questions about registration, ballots or voting.

Bike and Pedestrian Count

Today through Thursday, you may see people out with clipboards and clickers on corners in Longview and Kelso, as the Washington Department of Transportation conducts the seventh annual count of cyclists and walkers in the state. Over the past few months, WashDOT has been recruiting volunteers to help with the effort, counting people seen walking and cycling on paths, bike lanes, sidewalks and other routes, setting up at assigned locations around the state. Last year, nearly 66,000 riders and walkers were counted during the three-day event. Information from the survey will help WashDOT measure results of bike and sidewalk investments, helping to lay the groundwork for support of future projects.

Sewing Class Deadline

Today is the deadline to get signed up for an Adult Sewing Class that the Washington State University Extension plans to hold. The class will be held Tuesday afternoons, starting on October 7th and going through November 18th. Students will be involved in several projects, and will also get training in basic sewing tools, equipment and garment construction techniques. Participants will also need to supply their own sewing machine, in good condition. There is a fee to take part, which will include some materials, a pattern and some supplies. Proceeds from the class will support 4-H youth sewing programs. Call 636-0338 for more information.

Teen Tuesdays

The fall “Teen Tuesdays” start tonight at the Longview Public Library. From 6:30 to 7:30 this evening, local teens can take part in “Welcome to Night Vale,” a free podcast that’s described as “NPR meets the Twilight Zone.” Youth Librarian Jan Hanson says that it’s “Library Card Sign-Up Month at the Night Vale Public Library,” kids can play Night Vale Monopoly, and they’ll also have food. “Cosplay” is also encouraged, with prizes awarded to the teens showing up in the best costumes. Other upcoming events include a celebration of Teen Read Week, an anti-bullying program, “The Giver” Color Party, a life size “Ticket to Ride” game, and a Mockingjay Scavenger Hunt. It’s free for kids to take part, with no library card needed. Get more information by calling the Longview Library at 442-5301, or go to the Longview Library website.

Senior Citizens Prom

There’s a special event planned for this evening at the Kelso-Longview Elks Lodge off of Grade Street in Kelso, with the first-ever “Dancing Under the Stars Senior Citizens Prom” going on from 6 to 8 pm. The Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities is teaming up with Lower Columbia CAP and others to put on this evening’s special event, with live dance music from the 40’s to the 70’s provided by the Providence Hospital Stage Band. They’ll have appetizers and desserts, along with raffles, door prizes and other fun things planned. There is a limit of 250 tickets for tonight’s event; contact Lower Columbia CAP at 425-3430 for more information.

River Search

Both the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and the Coast Guard say that they couldn’t find the people that were sending out a “mayday” yesterday afternoon. Coast Guard officials in Portland say that they got the first “mayday” call at about 5:25 yesterday afternoon, but they weren’t able to pinpoint the exact location of the call. The call gave them a “line of bearing” that put the caller somewhere near the mouth of the Cowlitz River, so they asked for assistance from the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies drove the river banks and talked to fishermen and other boaters, who didn’t see any problems. The Coast Guard also sent a small boat up the Cowlitz to Lexington, also using a helicopter to check the Columbia from Kalama to Longview. Nothing was found, so the search effort was suspended. There was an incident that may have been connected, reported in Kelso at about 5:10 pm; a woman who was under the Cowlitz Way Bridge called 911 to report seeing life jackets, coolers, gas cans and other items floating down the river. Again, no boats in distress were found, and there haven’t been any reports of overdue boaters.

Naked Woman Arrested

Katherine Joan Sage, 38, of Longview is under arrest after an incident reported yesterday morning in the 2800 block of Field Street, where a resident reported that a nude woman was going into people’s yards. This was reported to Longview Police just before 5 yesterday morning; Officers responded and made contact with Sage, and found that she had several outstanding warrants. A portable breath test also showed a blood alcohol level of .187. Sage was arrested on warrants from District Court and from Longview Police for driving while suspended, DUI, and ignition interlock violation. Bail on those warrants total 15-hundred-50 dollars; so far, no charges for public indecency have been filed.

Victims ID’d

County Coroner Tim Davidson says that they have been able to confirm the identities of the man and woman that were killed in last Tuesday’s head-on crash west of Longview, also saying that both were killed instantly in the collision. The investigation shows that Nanette Lamie-Bupp, 63, of Cathlamet was at the wheel, and tried to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone when she collided with Russell Gilchrist, 68, of Longview. Davidson says Lamie-Bupp and her passenger, Michael Lee Howell, 51, of Cathlamet died from “traumatic blunt force injuries,” and also suffered “full-body deep tissue thermal defects” after their car burst into flames. Dental records, skeletal and bone comparisons were used to confirm the identities. Samples were taken for routine toxicology testing, and should be back in six to eight weeks. Gilchrist continues to recover from chest and leg injuries he received in the collision.

Embezzlement Sentence

A former employee of the Flying K gas station and convenience store in Toledo is going to prison for four years, and is also being ordered to pay $137,000 in restitution, after admitting that she had stolen thousands of dollars worth of lottery tickets from the store. The Centralia Chronicle reports on last week’s restitution hearing involving Katrina M. Bowen, 37, of Winlock. Back in January, she was arrested after it was discovered that she had been scratching as many as 500 tickets per shift, going back to October of last year. Bowen also admitted that she had been pocketing cash from beer sales, and entered a guilty plea in April. Supposedly, Bowen said that she was doing this in retaliation for not getting any raises over the nine years that she had worked at the store. It’s speculated that Bowen will actually pay back very little of what she admitted to stealing from the store.