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United Way Allocations

The shoe dropped yesterday for a number of local social service agencies, as the United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum announced its allocations for the coming year. The Daily News reports that only $37,000 dollars is being distributed among the 23 member charities, a small fraction compared to allocations from previous years. Last year, approximately $700,000 was divided between the member agencies. United Way Board President J. D. Rosetti tells the paper that there’s another $50,000 to $100,000 that they’re planning to distribute in June. He also says that they’re hoping to name a new agency Executive Director in the next couple of weeks. The last director, Kalei LaFave, was terminated after it was discovered that the local United Way had over-allocated in recent years, making financial commitments that drastically affected this year’s disbursals.

KSD Hires

The Kelso School District is announcing some administrative staff moves. Len Hiatt is being appointed to the Assistant Principal position at Kelso High School, replacing Lacey DeWeert, who served this year in an interim capacity in that post. Hiatt has been with Kelso Schools since 2012, most recently working in Leadership, Computers and Yearbook at Huntington Middle School. He previously worked in the Kalama School District.

Christine McDaniel is being appointed as the new Principal at Barnes Elementary School, succeeding Kim Yore. McDaniel is a Kelso High School graduate, who then returned home after college and started teaching in the Kelso School District in 1996. Yore is leaving the post at Barnes to take on the role as the district’s Associate Director of Teaching and Learning. The appointments become effective on July 1st.

DECA Competition

Students from Kelso and Longview are among the tens of thousands who are descending upon the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, this morning, as the annual DECA International Career Development Conference gets under way, and runs through Sunday. Kelso High School has a seven-member delegation, including a Marketing-Community Service project from seniors Tiara Waldron and Gabe Nichols called “ShelterBox.” This is a disaster relief charity that bring emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to help families begin the process of rebuilding in the aftermath of a disaster. Julia Hallowell, Lauri Lehti, Tyler Ward, Kyle Birdsell and Ricky Davis are also with the Kelso delegation, competing in individual events. The DECA Conference runs through next Wednesday.

Counters Stolen

County road workers report that someone stole a pair of traffic counters that had been set up at Carlon Loop Road and Coal Creek Road. Road workers contacted the Sheriff’s Office shortly before 8 yesterday morning, saying that the suspects had to cut chains to remove the boxes, also cutting the rubber tubes that are used to go across the road and count the cars. It’s speculated that the thefts took place some time Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The boxes are valued at about $700 apiece. No suspects have been identified.

Salmon Creek Hospice

Community Home Health and Hospice invites you to come and tour their newest facility, a 10-bed building that will soon open in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver. An open house at the 8-point-7 million-dollar building is planned today, going from 2 to 6 pm. You’ll be able to take a self-guided tour, and they’ll also be serving refreshments. The facility will not be allowed to accept patients until they receive certification from the Washington Department of Health, but Community CEO Greg Pang says that they hope to get that approval in the near future. This is in addition to the 12-bed facility that Community will continue to run here in Longview.

PCT Trek

Morgen Glessing, 22, of Woodland is planning to start the journey of a lifetime today, starting his own trek along the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Glessing says that his interest in the PCT started several years ago, when he was a Boy Scout. After completing his two-year Mormon mission, the Brigham Young University student says that this is probably his best shot at getting it done. With some special high-tech, ultra-light-weight equipment, Glessing says that he hopes to average about 25 miles a day, hoping to team up with other hikers that he meets along the route. Starting today from the California-Mexico border, Glessing thinks that he’ll hit the Oregon border by early July, and then will get to the Bridge of the Gods by August.

Bass Scholly

There was a special letter of intent-signing ceremony held last week at R. A. Long High School, but this wasn’t for one of the traditional sports that we normally see around the area. The Daily News reports that senor Cully Scroggins his going to go to Bethel University in Tennessee on a Bass Fishing scholarship. Scroggins and teammate Jordan Plank only got into competitive fishing a year ago, and they won the Washington State B.A.S.S. Competition, held on Banks Lake in eastern Washington. That qualified them for the National Competition, where they finished 11th out of 60 teams. It’s reported that there are at least 300 competitive college fishing teams, though most are located in the east. Scroggins plans to pursue a degree in marketing, while he’s not involved with competitive fishing.

Trout Opener

It’s not quite the event that it used to be, but tomorrow is still one of the biggest days in the Washington outdoors for each year, as lowland lakes open up for trout fishing. Washington Fish and Wildlife has been stocking the lakes over the past few days, with thousands of catchable fish being put into Lake Sacajawea, Kress Lake, Horseshoe Lake and many other bodies of water around the area. All anglers age 15 and over must have a valid fishing license, and you’ll need to make sure that you observe bag limits regulations. Individual lakes may have special regulations, as well. Find out more by consulting the Washington Fishing Pamphlet, or go to the WDFW website and download those regulations.

Weekend Events–4/24-26/15

The Spring Town-Wide Garage Sales are planned up in Ryderwood this Friday and Saturday. Various homes all around the area will be taking part, open from 8 am to 4 pm each day. There’s also a big sale planned at Pioneer Hall, and the local VFW-AMVETS group will be serving lunch in the Community Hall. Head up to the end of SR 506 for some great bargains.

Students involved in the Mainstage Theatre group are presenting a show called “Mutually Assured Destruction,” a series of 10 comedy sketches about relationships between siblings, along with several musical numbers. The curtain at the Dana Brown Mainstage Theatre rise at 7:30 pm; admission is free, but donations will be accepted, helping students get to a national competition.

The River City Children’s Choir performs Friday evening at the First United Methodist Church in St. Helens, presenting a show called “A Night on Broadway.” The kids are in grades 2 through 8, and will perform a number of great Broadway show tunes, starting at 6 pm on Friday. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. The church is located at 560 Columbia Boulevard in St. Helens.

The Shoestring Community Players in St. Helens are presenting a comedy called “Motherhood Out Loud,” a show that the critics say “never fails to strike both the funny bone and the heart.”

Performances are planned at Deer Island Manor, the old Deer Island School, located just off of Highway 30 in Deer Island. Performances are set for 7 pm Friday and Saturday night. It’s also noted that this contains mature material and language, and the show is not recommended for kids age 18 and younger.

Earth Day events continue this weekend; the Friends of Fox Creek in Rainier are holding their annual Fox Creek Cleanup on Saturday, going from 9 am to 1 pm. Volunteers plan to remove invasive plants from the trail sides, along with spreading of bark chips and other cleanup activities. Volunteers should bring sturdy gloves, buckets and hand tools. The Friends of Fox Creek will host a barbecue lunch for volunteers after the work is done. Park on C Street between West 2nd and 3rd, and then meet just south of the trailhead.

Work parties are planned on Mt. St. Helens, one on the north side and one on the south side. Both events run from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday. The north side party is based out of the Mt. St. Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater Ridge, while the south side party will be run out of the Pine Creek Information Center. Get more information on the Mt. St. Helens Institute web page.

Longview Parks and Rec is teaming up with the Cowlitz Game and Anglers and Washington Fish and Wildlife to host a Kids’ Fish-In on Saturday at Lake Sacajawea. This is for kids ages 5 to 14, with specific 45-minute sessions being set up. Kids will need to pre-register to be able to take part. Forms are available at Bob’s Sporting Goods, or through Longview Parks and Red. Call 442-5400 for details, or go to the City of Longview web page.

There’s a “Family Fishing Event” planned for Saturday at Trojan Pond, next to Highway 30 just a few miles east of Rainier. Oregon Fish and Wildlife has stocked the pond with more than 3,000 rainbow trout for this event, which is intended to get kids and families interested in fishing. Rods, reels, bait and tackle will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s free to take part, but anyone age 13 and older will need a valid Oregon fishing license, and those licenses will NOT be available on-site.

Harpers Tackle and Outdoor down in Woodland is hosting its 2nd annual Used Tackle Swap Meet, where you’ll be able to come down and get some great deals on fishing tackle and other outdoor gear. Hours are 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday; Harpers Tackle and Outdoor is located at 267 Millard Avenue in Woodland.

Saturday is “Spring Safe Kids Day” at the Southwest Washington YMCA in Longview, going from 10 am until 2 pm. Safe Kids Lower Columbia is helping to coordinate the event, working with PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center and Team Safe Kids. There will be a variety of safety demonstrations, health and nutrition tips and lots of “free stuff.” Everyone who participates will receive a prize, and you can also enter for the Grand Prize Drawing. You do not need to be present to win the Grand Prize. Contact the Y at 423-4770 for more information.

The 7th annual Amani Center Race Against Child Abuse is set for Saturday in St. Helens. They’re planning to have several running events, including a half-marathon, a 10K, a 5K, and a one-mile family walk. The first run goes off at 8 am, followed by staggered starts for the other events. Go to the Amani Center web page if you need more help.

The Kelso High School Class of 2017 Booster Club is putting on a Father-Daughter Dance Saturday night at Kelso High School, going from 6 to 9 pm. Pre-registration is required. Call Jenn at 360-355-6131 for more information.

The annual “Wordcatcher” writing event is going on this weekend in Kalama. Writing workshops and readings are planned through the day, with award-winning Portland author Rene Denfeld as the featured speaker. Things get started at 8 am at the Kalama Community Building, with sessions planned at different times through the day. Denfeld is scheduled to talk at 9 am. Registration forms are available on the City of Kalama web page, or at the Kalama Library.

Saturday night at the Cowlitz County Expo Center, they’re holding the annual “I Am For the Child” Cowlitz County CASA dinner and auction, raising money for the local organization that helps kids who are involved in the court system, through no fault of their own. They’ll have all kinds of fabulous items up for bid, including an Apple Watch, spectacular vacation trips and more. Go to for the link to get your tickets.

The Kelso Kiwanis are holding their annual Talent Show on Sunday, starting at 3 pm at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in Longview. Proceeds form the event will support Kiwanis scholarship programs, along with other projects. Tickets will be available at the door.

The 47th annual Cowlitz Coin Club Coin Show is set for this Sunday at the AWPPW Hall on 15th Avenue in Longview. Hours are 10 am to 4 pm, and admission is free. They’ll have all manner of coins, currency, tokens and medals to buy, sell and trade. They will also be raffling off a half-ounce American Gold Eagle coin, along with five one-ounce American Silver Eagles.

There’s a candlelight vigil planned on Sunday in Chehalis, marking five years since Kayla Croft-Payne went missing. Croft-Payne was last seen on April 28th, 2010, as she left her home to go and see some people in Cowlitz County. She was reported missing a few days later, and no sign of her has been seen since that day. Croft-Payne was 18 years old when she disappeared. Sunday’s vigil is scheduled to start at 2 pm at the Penny Playground on Southwest 13th Avenue in Chehalis. There’s also a Facebook page for the vigil, sponsored by the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation.

KLOG Friday Sports

It’s a Felix Friday as the Mariners host the Minnesota Twins tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm. Felix Hernandez will pitch for Seattle. Tomorrow the Twins will send Kelso’s Trevor May to the mound against Seattle…..The LCC baseball team hopes to stay unbeaten in league when they host Centralia in a 1 pm DH at Story Field…..In prep baseball today, Kelso hosts Tumwater and R.A. Long is at Hudson’s Bay…..The LCC softball team hosts a DH against SW Oregon tomorrow, 12 pm at Tam O’Shanter…..In prep softball today, Fort Vancouver is at Kelso, Hockinson at RAL and MM at Ridgefield…..The Kelso track teams are at the Elden Kellar Invite in Hillsboro today…..In boys soccer, Kelso is at Centralia at 7 pm tonight. Last night, Bay edged MM 1-0 and Ridgefield defeated RAL 4-2.