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Highlands Flasher

Two women report that a man exposed himself to them in separate incidents reported yesterday afternoon in the 200 block of 22nd Avenue. One woman called 911 at about 3:25 yesterday afternoon, claiming that the man stopped as he was walking down the street, dropped his pants and then grabbed his genitalia. She says this happened right in front of her window, and was directed right at her. The man then continued down the street. The woman was able to provide a description of the suspect, saying that he was a white male in his 20’s, wearing baggy pants and a sweatshirt. Four Longview Police officers responded to the area, but they didn’t find the man. During this check of the neighborhood, a second woman reported a similar incident. The suspect remains at large.

Fishing Shack Fire

There’s no word yet on the cause of a fire that destroyed a fishing shack last night on the banks of the Cowlitz River near Castle Rock. Around 11:30 pm, a person driving along Pleasant Hill Road reported seeing a large fire on the river bank. Cowlitz Fire District 6 from Castle Rock and Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, which turned out to be near Cook Ferry Road and Hoyer Road. They found a small fishing shack fully involved in fire; the firefighters got the fire put out quickly, but the shack was completely destroyed. Damage was limited to the shack itself, and the monetary damage is expected to be minor.

Lake Merwin Fire

Authorities in Clark County are still investigating a fire that destroyed a vacation trailer yesterday afternoon at the Lake Merwin Campers Hideaway in Amboy. Fire crews were called to the private campground at about 12:20 yesterday afternoon, when flames were seen coming out of the trailer. One of the trucks responding from Clark Fire District 10 got stuck on a muddy road, which forced other units to take another route, lengthening the response time. When firefighters finally arrived, flames were seen coming from the trailer, which also had an attached deck and room. Employees from the campground were also using a garden hose to keep a nearby 100-gallon propane tank cooled down. It took about 15 minutes to get the fire knocked down; the fire crews were able to keep things from spreading to other nearby trailers, though one of those trailers did suffer some heat damage to its windows. Investigators spent another three hours on the scene after the fire was out, but the possible cause hasn’t been disclosed.

Columbia Heights Update

As they continue to observe the slumping hillside that has Columbia Heights Road closed to through traffic, the City of Longview is once again asking for your “continued patience” with the road closure. The city is out with a reminder that Columbia Heights Road is closed until further notice to through traffic from Fishers Lane to Laurel Road, due to the slide near Maplewood Drive. Maplewood itself is open only to local residents, and should not be used as a through route. Alternate routes to the upper end of Columbia Heights are available via Laurel Road, Glenwood Drive and Virginia Way, and Nevada Drive.

Building Bridges Showcase

You’re invited to the Cowlitz County Regional Conference Center this afternoon and evening, as the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce hosts the “Building Bridges Regional Business Showcase.” This will run from 1 to 7 pm, and will feature displays from local businesses from all around the area. Bill Marcum with the Chamber says that this will be an opportunity for you to connect with these local businesses, along with an opportunity for the businesses to connect with each other. The “Building Bridges Regional Business Showcase” is free and open to all.

School Garden Talk

Ian Thompson of the Lower Columbia School Gardens will be speaking this evening at Lower Columbia College, talking about the “Successes, Challenges and Opportunities” that have come his way after starting this project. Over the past year, the Lower Columbia School Gardens have connected about 3,000 school kids all across the county in gardening activities, also helping to connect those school gardens to learning activities in the schools. Today’s program is being arranged by the LCC Sustainability Club and the Willapa Hills Audubon Society, starting at 6 pm in room 102 at LCC’s Physical Science building. The event is free and open to all.

Veggie Workshop

The WSU Master Gardeners are hosting a workshop on “Starting Vegetable Plants,” getting under way at 6 pm this evening in the Floral building at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. Pre-registration is required, and there is a cost of $20 to attend. Participants will choose seeds for 18 starts, for things like lettuce, tomatoes, basil, zinnias or other plants. They’ll plant those seeds in a mini-greenhouse that they’ll take home, along with pots, seed-starting mix and other helpful information. Call Gary Fredericks at 577-3014, extension 3, to see if you can still get signed up.

Spring Community Conversations

The spring Community Conversation lectures start today, checking out the rear-view mirror with the theme of “Looking Back to 1964.” LCC instructors will go over a wide range of topics, focused on the world of 1964 as compared to today. Transitional Studies Instructor Roy Staples will kick things off today with an examination of the iconic film “Doctor Strangelove.” Staples’ lecture is titled “Stanley Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove: How to Laugh at American/Russian Brinksmanship.” The free lecture starts at noon in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts, and will be presented each Thursday at noon through June 12th. Admission is free.

WellCity Award

For the seventh consecutive year, the City of Longview is being presented with a WellCity Award, one of just 96 cities and public entities across the state being so honored. The WellCity Awards come from the Association of Washington Cities Employee Benefit Trust, and are presented to those entities that have met a stringent set of standards that help to demonstrate a commitment to employee health. Along with the honor of receiving the award, there’s also a monetary benefit, as the city now receives a two-percent discount on medical insurance premiums.

KLOG Wednesday Sports

The Texas Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-0 last night. It’s a big pitching matchup tonight as Felix Hernandez goes up opposite Yu Darvish, KLOG 4:00 pm…..The Blazers close out the regular season with a home game against the L.A. Clippers, 6:35 pm on FM 101.5 The Wave…..In prep baseball, Kelso beat Bay 13-1, R.A. Long over Ridgefield 7-2 and Mark Morris defeated Washougal 11-1. Today, Kelso is at Prairie and Ridgefield visits MM…..Union downed Kelso 3-1 in softball. The Lassies visits Battle Ground today while RAL is at Hockinson and MM at Rainier…..In girls tennis today, RAL is at MM and River at Kelso. Fort beat Kelso yesterday 4-2…..The Kelso boys beat River in track, while the Lassies lost to River. Hockinson swept the MM teams and RAL boys beat Ridgefield.