A meeting is planned this evening in Ariel, where Cowlitz County Emergency Management and the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office will talk about what’s going on with the slide that’s covering State Route 503. The Washington Department of Transportation will also be attending, along with representatives of the State Patrol and other fire agencies that serve the area. They’ll be giving an update on the status of the slide, and each agency will also report on what’s being done to provide services to the area. There will also be a report on what kind of actions are being planned to remove the mud and debris, while also stabilizing the slope above the highway. This evening’s meeting starts at 7 pm at Cowlitz-Skamania Fire District #7 in Ariel, located at 11670 Lewis River Road in Ariel. Call Emergency Management at 577-3130 for information, or get more on the Cowlitz DEM Facebook page.
Derek Scott Jones, 35, is being charged with felony eluding, hit-and-run and possession of a stolen vehicle after a car chase that took place yesterday morning in Woodland. The Sheriff’s Office says that this took place at about 2:50 yesterday morning, with a driver speeding on the southbound freeway. The suspect took the Dike Access Road exit, and was reported to be throwing stuff out of the rig. Deputies got the vehicle stopped near the Taco Bell next to the Walmart store, and that’s where Jones was arrested. The car he was driving turned out to be stolen out of Seattle. Along with the new charges, Jones is also being charged with driving while suspended. He’s now being held in the Cowlitz County Jail on bail of $7,500.
As Spring Chinook Salmon are starting to show up in the Columbia River, Washington Fish and Wildlife is announcing that there will be NO Spring Chinook fishing on the Chehalis River. WDFW officials say that the forecast for Spring Chinook returning to the Chehalis is less than the number needed to meet conservation objectives, so the river will NOT open for Spring Chinook on April 16th, which is printed in the 2016-2017 Sport Fishing Pamphlet. Other rules regarding Steelhead and other gamefish fisheries will remain in place. Get more information by calling Washington Fish and Wildlife Region 6 at 360-249-1205.
Legislators from the 19th and 20th Districts are planning to hold Telephone Town Hall meetings this evening. 19th District Senator Dean Takko and Representative Brian Blake place to meet telephonically with citizens between 6:05 and 7:05 this evening, with calls going out to thousands of homes in the 19th Legislative District. Takko and Blake both say that this will be an opportunity to ask questions on issues ranging from education funding, health care, public safety, transportation and more. If you don’t get a call, you can get in by dialing 877-228-8493, and enter the ID code 116278. The Town Hall will also be live-streamed at teleforumonline.com.
20th District Senator John Braun will be joined by Representatives Ed Orcutt and Richard DeBolt in a “community conversation” that’s set to run from 6 to 7 pm today. Braun, Orcutt and DeBolt will be available to answer questions, and will also provide their perspectives on the 2017 Legislative session. You can all 360-209-6593 to listen in, and then press the star key if you would like to ask a question. Anyone interested can take part.
Nearly 400 students from ten local high schools will be taking part in the 4th annual Financial Reality Fair, which starts today and runs through Thursday. This is being presented by Fibre Federal Credit Union, a hands-on budgeting simulation for high school students. Students will choose a career prior to the fair, and then they will receive a worksheet showing what they can expect to make in their first five years in that career. Everything else will be stripped away, and then the students will visit booths, where they will make decisions about housing, food, transportation, clothing, food and other living expenses. The idea is to show the students about the balance between “needs and wants”; after they go “shopping,” the students will meet one-on-one with a financial coach to assess the choices made. Get more information by contacting Fibre Federal.
From 6 to 7 pm today, the Apprenticeships and Trades Family Information Night will be held at Kelso High School. Organizers say that this is an opportunity to learn about apprenticeships, study the occupations involved, improve on basic skills, and meet with an Apprenticeship Coordinator. This evening’s Information Night will be held in the Kelso High School Library, and is open to anyone interested. Call the KHS Career Center at 501-1830 for more information.
The Oregon Ducks run in the NCAA women’s tournament came to an expected end when UConn came away with a 90-52 victory, the Huskies 111th consecutive win…..The Trail Blazers host the Denver Nuggets tonight in a big NBA showdown, KLOG 6:05 pm. The teams are tied for the final playoff spot and a Portland win gives the Blazers the head-to-head tie-breaker…..The Mariners lost to the Padres 12-2 yesterday. The M’s take on the D-Backs today, KLOG 1:00 pm…..The LCC baseball team has moved the start time of today’s home game with Linn Benton to 11:00 am…..In prep baseball, Kelso rallied to beat Mt. View 5-4 yesterday…..Manual Cabrera scored three goals including the game winner in OT to give R.A. Long a 4-3 Civil War soccer victory over Mark Morris.
The Final Four is set and the Zags and Ducks are ready for Saturday’s games in Glendale. Gonzaga will play South Carolina at 3 pm followed by Oregon against North Carolina……The Trail Blazers beat the Lakers for the 12th straight time last night, final 97-81. Portland is now tied with Denver for the final playoff spot and the teams will meet at Moda Center tomorrow night…..The Mariners beat the Reds 7-6 yesterday. Seattle begins the final week of spring training with a game against the Padres today, KLOG 1:00 pm…..The LCC baseball team swept two games from previously unbeaten Edmonds on Saturday, 3-0 and 5-4…..The LCC softball team split a pair of games at Mt. Hood on Saturday, both scores 11-1…..In Civil War boys soccer today, RAL is at MM, 5 pm at Northlake Field.
Kelso Police are working to find a semi tractor and trailer that left a trail of destruction through the city, knocking down street signs and shearing off fire hydrants while going through town. Around 9:20 pm last night, a person living in the 500 block of North 9th Avenue reported that the truck and trailer had just gone by, knocking a utility pole into his yard. The tractor and the 40-foot trailer were last seen heading north on 7th Avenue; when Kelso Police arrived in the area, they found a stop sign down at 9th and Cowlitz Way; at 9th and Columbia, a stop sign was down and a hydrant was knocked over. A nearby utility pole was also sheared in half. Officers say that the trailer now has some pretty significant damage, as insulation from the trailer was found in several places along the path of damage. Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue was notified about the damaged fire hydrant, while CenturyLink is being called in to deal with the damaged pole. The truck has not been located.
Victor Howard Bliss, Jr., 25, of Longview is under arrest after he was allegedly involved in a car chase that ended with a crash that injured himself and two other men early this morning. State Troopers say that this took place on Ocean Beach Highway westbound, in the area of 15th Avenue at about 12:30 today. They say that Bliss was driving with no headlights, and when the trooper tried to stop him, he drove off instead. Bliss apparently tried to make a turn at 32nd Avenue, went off the road, and hit the guy wires for a utility pole. It’s claimed that Bliss tried to run from the scene, but he was apprehended after a short foot chase. Bliss, William J. Farnsworth, 44, of Kelso and Mark Dugger, 51, of Longview were all hurt in the crash; all three were treated and released at Saint John Medical Center. Bliss was arrested, and is now being held on charged of felony eluding, resisting arrest and driving while suspended. He’s waiting for his first court appearance.
Train traffic is running normally this morning, after having been held up for some time after an incident that took place Saturday night on the Ghost Bridge near Woodland. Burlington Northern-Santa Fe contacted Cowlitz County 911 at 8:10 Saturday night, reporting that a 20 year-old person and a child may have jumped or fallen off of the bridge as a train came through. Train crew members reported seeing the person and the child running and trying to get off of the bridge; they say that the people tried to jump onto a bridge pillar, but they’re not sure if there was enough room for the train to get by. They were also concerned about the vibration and wind knocking the people into the river. Train traffic was stopped while boats and divers were brought in to search the river. No one was found, and train traffic was allowed to resume shortly before 10 pm on Saturday.