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CHOB Fire

Community House on Broadway clients are getting some extra attention this morning, after the building was evacuated for a dryer fire that was reported this morning. Fire alarms went off and sprinklers were activated when the fire was reported on the second floor of the building at around 8 am. Longview Fire responded while the residents were evacuated, and it took only a few minutes to get the fire put out. A routine search of the building, while efforts were made to minimize the damage done by the sprinklers. Firefighters report fire damage on the second floor, along with water damage to the first floor and the basement of the building. No injuries are reported.

Boat House Collapses

Two dogs are safe and sound after a boat house collapsed yesterday out at Willow Grove, rescued by Cowlitz County Dive Rescue when the dogs were trapped inside the sinking structure. The first call about this came in yesterday afternoon at about 4:30 pm, when it was reported that a “large building” was sinking in the water in the 6400 block of Willow Grove Road. The boat house had sunk about ten feet when Cowlitz County Deputies arrived with their boat, along with members of the Dive Rescue team. The owner was identified, but he wasn’t on the scene. Longview Police checked places that he was known to be, while divers went into the water, eventually rescuing both dogs. No people were inside. The cause of the sinking is now being investigated. There are no reports of fluid leakage or environmental exposure after the incident, while the investigation continues.

Permit Delay

The Washington Department of Ecology is asking for additional information before making a decision on the shoreline development permit that’s being requested for the Northwest Innovation Works methanol production and export facility at the Port of Kalama. Cowlitz County reports receiving a letter from DOE, saying that updated information about the project is needed; the agency also says that the carbon emission estimates need to be adjusted. In the permit that was approved and submitted to DOE by the Cowlitz County Hearing Examiner, they estimate 970,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. DOE puts that number at a little over a million tons per year. NWIW and the Port of Kalama now have until May 19th to provide the updated information to Ecology.

JHB Meeting

During this current Congressional recess, Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler plans to be in Morton today, talking about federal support for police, along with community development grants. Today’s meeting will also include a discussion about Community Development Block Grants. Today’s meeting with Lewis County law enforcement and elected officials will run from 10:30 to 11:15 am in the Lyle Community Center, located at 700 Main Street in downtown Morton.

Low-Barrier Shelter Bill

New 19th District Representative Jim Walsh of Aberdeen is coming to the defense of “sober living shelters,” introducing a bill amendment that he says would eliminate the prioritization of “no-barrier shelters” over sober living shelters. Walsh says that the current favoring of low or no-barrier shelters over sober living homeless facilities has tilted the playing field as these facilities compete for grants and other funding. House Bill 1570 would set up the Washington Housing Opportunities Act, helping to make sure that homeless people who are not addicts or are committed to drug or alcohol recovery get the same opportunity for shelter and support. Walsh says that “sober living clients should be first in line for our public resources.” The current legislative session is scheduled to end this coming Sunday, so it’s unclear how far this bill might advance.

New Woodland Chief

It’s being reported that the City of Woodland has selected a new Chief of Police. The Battle Ground Reflector reports that Jeffrey Cavender of Momence, Illinois was selected at the City Council meeting on the 3rd of this month, chosen out of four finalists for the position. Cavender currently works as the Police Chief in that city; he was chosen over Jim Kelly of Kelso, who currently works as a Washington State Patrol Trooper, Michael McDermott out of Maryland, and William Spears, the former Police Chief from Willows, California. They say that Cavender has 31 years of law enforcement experience, along with background as a certified firefighter and as a paramedic. A deep background check is now being conducted, and it’s hoped that Cavender can start his new job on May 1st. The City of Woodland has been looking for a Police Chief since Phil Crochet retired at the end of last year. Former Clark County Sherriff Garry Lucas has been serving as the interim Chief.

Clam Alert

A rise in Domoic Acid levels has the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife closing down the first two days of a razor clam dig that’s planned for next week at Long Beach. Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres says that they’re seeing an increase in the algae that’s responsible for the Domoic Acid, so they’re dropping the clam digs that had been scheduled for April 24th and 25th. Ayres says that they’re being cautious, but they’re reducing the number of days, while also doing some additional testing. WDFW will announce early next week if the rest of the razor clam dig that’s planned through next weekend will proceed.

Mint Valley Honored

Mint Valley Elementary School in Longview is being recognized as one of the 2016 Washington Achievement Award winners, honored by the Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction. Mint Valley is one of 280 schools across the state that are getting these awards this year, one of eleven in Educational Service District 112. Award winners are recognized as being top performers in one of seven categories, including Overall Excellence, High Progress, English Language Arts Growth, Math Growth, Extended Graduation Rate, English Language Acquisition and Achievement Gap. Mint Valley is being recognized for Closing the Achievement Gap for Students with Disabilities. State Superintendent Chris Reykdal says that Mint Valley and these other schools are helping to “lead the way in innovative education and access to high-quality learning.”

Today’s Events

If you or someone you know is planning to move from Lower Columbia College to a four-year college or university, you may want to attend today’s Spring Transfer Fair at LCC. This will run from 10 am until 1 pm in the LCC Student Center, with representatives from 17 colleges and universities from Washington and Oregon. It’s free and open to anyone interested.

The Seattle Shakespeare Company returns to Cathlamet today, presenting “Romeo and Juliet” at Wahkiakum High School. This is the third consecutive year that this theater group has visited Wahkiakum High School, where they will get an abridged version of the classic play. Curtain is set for 10 am in the Wahkiakum High School gym. The performance is open to the public and admission is free; they will accept donations to support the WHS Arts Fund.

The King Brothers perform tonight in a Mardi Gras Dance that will run from 6 to 10 pm tonight at the Longview Moose Lodge on Washington Way in Longview. This is a benefit for the Longview Senior Center; tickets are available at the center on Commerce Avenue, or at the door.

The Willapa Hills Audubon Society is presenting a program this evening at Lower Columbia College, talking about a partnership with Washington Fish and Wildlife regarding what they call a “Shared Value Alliance” with local citizens. WDFW officials say that this is a way to open a line of communications with citizens, helping to identify existing and potential problems, also connecting with local resource-based industries on conservation and awareness of game and environmental laws. This evening’s program runs from 7 to 8 pm in the Laufman Lecture Hall in the Health and Science Building at LCC. Call 200-4580 to find out more.

KLOG Wednesday Sports

The Mariners broke up a Marlins no-hit attempt in the ninth inning but still lost 5-0 last night. It’s a day game today, KLOG 11:35 am…..The Blazers are in Oakland for tonight NBA Playoff game two with Golden State, KLOG 6:35 pm…..Kelso edged Prairie 1-0 in girls softball yesterday. Also, Washougal got by R.A. Long 6-5. Today RAL is at Battle Ground and MM at River…..The LCC softball team hopes to play two at Centralia today after being rained out yesterday…..In prep baseball today, Kelso visits Evergreen, Hockinson at Mark Morris and R.A. Long at Washougal…..The Kelso track teams dominated Evergreen yesterday. Today, MM hosts Woodland…..Columbia River beat RAL 7-0 in boys soccer last night. Kelso hosts Mountain View at 7 pm tonight.