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Panda Express Robbery

Longview Police are investigating a robbery that was reported late last night near the Triangle Shopping Center. The victim claims that the suspect implied that he had a handgun, as the suspect stole an E-cigarette. The suspect is described as a white male, about 24 years old, 5’9”, with a medium build. The suspect also had short red hair, and a five o’clock shadow. The suspect was last seen getting into the back of a car that sped off. No arrests have been reported.

N. 23rd Fire

As the Red Cross assists Gary Ellenbolt and his family with temporary housing and other support, the investigation into yesterday morning’s fire that destroyed their home is still being investigated. Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue fire crews were called to 800 North 23rd at about 1:30 yesterday morning; when they arrived, the house was already 50 percent involved in flames. The family had safely evacuated, but a dog and a car died in the fire. A defensive stand was taken, working to protect other nearby homes and structures. The loss is estimated to be in excess of $138,000.

Sea Lion Shot

A cash reward of up to $5,000 is now being offered for information that lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who shot a sea lion that eventually ended up on a sand bar in the Cowlitz River. The animal spent about a week on the sand bar just upstream from Gerhart Gardens Park, unable to move, eat or drink; the sea lion was eventually put down. A post-mortem examination shows that the sea lion had been shot in the head. The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust and the Humane Society of the United States announced the reward yesterday. It’s noted that the shooting is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act; the suspect or suspects could face up to a year in a federal prison, along with a criminal penalty of up to $100,000. Civil penalties of up to $11,000 could also be imposed. Call the Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964 if you have information on this incident.

False Report

Longview Police say that it looks like a woman was trying to get her ex-husband in trouble, when she called 911, claiming that he was trying to lure teenage girls into his van. Around 12:45 yesterday afternoon, a call came into the 911 Center, claiming that the man had actually gotten one girl to get into his rig. When Officers stopped and talked with the man, they learned that it was a company van, and the “girl” was actually a co-worker. The man says that he’d run into his ex-wife inside the store, and he suspected that she started the report, trying to get him arrested. Instead, the 911 caller was cited for filing a false report.

YMCA Safety Scans

The YMCA of Southwest Washington is using the latest technology to get visitors into the facility more smoothly, while also increasing security. Current YMCA Executive Director Janine Manny says that this “Raptor” scanning system is allowing them to get visitors in more quickly, while also helping to identify people who shouldn’t be in the building. Manny says that the old system of having people sign in when they were coming to watch things like indoor soccer, T-ball or basketball created a big bottleneck, and also did nothing to help identify people who are on sex offender registries. Using this scanner, YMCA staff will know in just a few seconds if the person is listed on the National Sex Offender Registry. All visitors to the building will be required to go through this scan, as will YMCA members who forget their member cards. Get more information by calling the YMCA at 423-4770.

Center Fee Approved

By an overwhelming margin, students at Lower Columbia College say that they will support a 25-dollar quarterly fee that will help to pay for operations and maintenance of the new Fitness Center at Myklebust Gym. ASLCC officials say that 16 percent of students participated in the vote, with 355 voting “yes” on the fee, while only 99 voted “no.” The $25 student fee and $50 staff fee could go into effect this summer.

LifeFlight Expands

LifeFlight is once again expanding its operations, announcing that they now have a base at the Warrenton-Astoria Regional Airport. This base will now bring air ambulance services to the people of the southern Washington and northern Oregon coastal areas, providing 24/7coverage to that area. The helicopter stationed in Astoria can fly from there to Portland in about 25 minutes. Local officials are applauding the move, saying that it will be a huge benefit to the citizens and emergency responders in that area.

Today’s Events

It’s a busy day in the area, starting with the Highlands Partners Awards Luncheon, starting at 11:30 this morning at the McClelland Arts Center. They’ll be celebrating the community’s generosity in helping to improve outcomes for kids and families in the Highlands. Call 442-0612 for more information.

Mark Morris Choir Director Brian Mitchell and local businessman Jeff Wilson are scheduled as the guests of honor at today’s meeting of the Lower Columbia School Retirees Association, starting at 11:30 am in the dining room at the Kelso Elks. Mitchell will be bringing some of his students in for a singing performance, while Wilson will talk about the Shay Locomotive restoration. Call 425-5428 if you need to know more.

At 6:30 pm, the Longview Citizens Water Supply Committee will meet to continue their work on identifying issues and possible repairs for the city’s water delivery system. At this evening’s meeting, the 14-member panel will review the evaluation criteria that have been developed, with a goal of identifying and ranking those criteria. Today’s meeting is being held in the second-floor training room at the Longview City Hall.

The Kelso High School drama department opens a production of a fairy tale musical called “Into the Woods,” starting tonight and tomorrow, and then continuing later this month. Showtime tonight and tomorrow night at 6 pm in the Kelso High School Auditorium. That time moves to 7 pm on the 28th and 29th, along with a 2 pm matinee on Sunday, the 30th.

Pathways 2020 will be presenting the 2015 Cowlitz Community Report Card at a dinner event planned for this evening at the Cowlitz County Expo Center. Along with the Report Card, six Community Champions will be honored, John Wiseman with the Washington Secretary for Health will be the keynote speaker, and LCC President Chris Bailey will also outline a “vision for the future. Things get started at 5:30 pm.

KLOG Tuesday Sports

The Mariners begin a nine game road trip later today in Baltimore, KLOG 3:00 pm. Brad Miller of the M’s was named the AL Player of the Week…..Kelso hosts a non-league baseball game today against Tumwater at 4 pm as they try to stay sharp before Saturday’s State playoffs…..The LCC baseball team has been busy with classes, practice and field work as they inch closer to hosting the NWAC Baseball Championships beginning Thursday. The Devils take on Everett Thursday night at 7:35 pm…..The Kelso softball team takes on Prairie today at Tam O’Shanter Park…..R.A. Long will travel to Everett for tomorrow’s State 2A soccer playoff at Archbishop Murphy, 5 pm……The District 2A girls golf tournament concludes today at the Tumwater Valley course.

KLOG Monday Sports

The Mariners closed out a home stand with a 5-0 win over Boston. James Paxton got the victory. The M’s have today off…..The NWAC Baseball championship field is set after weekend action. The host LCC Red Devils will take on Everett Thursday at 7:35 pm at Story Field…..The LCC softball team went 2-2 and finished 7th at the NWAC tourney Saturday…..The R.A. Long boys soccer team beat Washougal 5-2 Saturday to advance to State against Archbishop Murphy…..The Kelso baseball team will play O’Dea in the 3A State bracket Saturday at 10 am in Yelm…..RAL’s Reagan Swier beat MM’s Jamie Isaacson in the 2A tennis sub-district Saturday. Both advance to district along with RAL’s Natalie Wallace…..The 2A girls gold district is underway today at Tumwater Valley.