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SCU Bust

Three people are under arrest after action by the Street Crimes Unit earlier in the week. On Tuesday, detectives served a search warrant at 264 Colorado Street in Longview, where they claim to have found heroin and methamphetamine. Bobby R. Rather, 48, is now being charged with possession of meth and possession of heroin. Maria L. Saenz, 49, is in custody for possession of meth with intent to deliver within a school zone, and possession of heroin, and Matthew S. Sund, 27, is being held for alleged possession of meth. This is part of an on-going investigation by the SCU.

Mass Casualty Drill

A Mass Casualty Drill is planned for today in Wahkiakum County, going from 10 am until 5 pm, and they’re in need of “victims” for the event. The Wahkiakum County Department of Emergency Management says that they’re setting up for a major event, looking for as many as 125 people to aid in the event. Volunteers will be made up with gunshot wounds, broken bones, burns and other injuries, and then they will be given scripts and and instructions for the events. They say that there will be loud noises, “yelling” and a simulated fire/collapse situation. Local law enforcement, emergency medical services, mental health professionals and school district emergency response staff will be involved. Call Wahkiakum County at 795-7876 for more information.

Street Work

There’s some street work going on around the area that you need to know about, starting with a street closure in Longview. As part of the water line replacement that’s going on next to Lake Sacajawea, the City of Longview is closing 17th Avenue at Nichols Boulevard, as the installation and restoration work spans 17th. A detour will be posted; local access will be maintained from Cypress Street. 17th is scheduled to re-open on Monday.

Cowlitz County plans to do some striping work in the areas around Kalama and Woodland over the weekend, while the West Side Highway Paving Project has been completed ahead of schedule. Work is now under way on the Pacific Way Slide Repair Project, and should continue into October.

The City of Kelso plans to do striping work all across the city, starting at 7 am on Sunday.

KLOG Friday Sports

Russell Wilson went 16 for 21 for 192 yards and two TD’s as the Seahawks beat the Cowboys 27-17 in NFL Pre-Season football last night…..The Mariners gave up a 6-3 lead and lost to the Chicago White Sox 7-6 last night. Felix Hernandez goes up against Chris Sale in a big-time pitching matchup today, KLOG 4:00 pm…..The R.A. Long football Red-Black scrimmage is at 7 pm tonight at Longview Memorial Stadium. The Kelso Blue-Gold game is tomorrow morning at 10 am. The MM Blue-White scrimmage is tomorrow morning at 9 am…..The LCC volleyball team has six matches over Saturday and Sunday at the NWAC Fall Festival in Eugene. The LCC soccer team is also in Eugene with games Saturday and Sunday.

Weekend Events–8/26-28/16

“Putt With a Purpose“ this Friday at the 2nd annual Charity Care Challenge Golf Tournament, a benefit for Community Home Health and Hospice. This is a four-person scramble being played at Three Rivers in Kelso. Get signed up on the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce web page.

There’s a Blood Drive going on this Friday at St. John Medical Center. The Bloodworks NW Bloodmobile will be parked on 15th Avenue, taking donations between 11:30 am and 5:30 pm. There will be a break from 11:30 to 12:30 pm. Call 888-398-7888 to set up a donation appointment.

The “Get Hooked” Fall Salmon Derby runs Friday and Saturday, based out of the Elochoman Slough Marina in Cathlamet. This is a scholarship fundraiser for the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce, with prizes awarded in four groups, men, women, youth and kids. Weigh-in is from 2 to 8 pm each day. Get tickets at several locations in Cathlamet.

The Lummi Nation House of Tears Carvers will be in Longview on Friday, displaying their newest totem pole at Longview United Methodist Church. The totem pole will be on display from 10:30 am to 1 pm. Longview United Methodist is located at 2851 30th Avenue in Longview.

You’ll hear about some “very bad days” at Friday night’s Story Slam, being put on by Storyteller’s Network at Stageworks Northwest Longview Theatre. The theme for the Story Slam is “My Worst (blank)”, and will get started at 7pm. You’re invited to share a first-person account of “your worst whatever” in five minutes. Call 431-5332 for more information.

The 52nd annual Cowlitz Prairie Threshing Bee happens this weekend outside of Toledo. This takes place at 155 Buckley Road, off of Buckley Road, just past the airport. Gates open at 8 am each day, and will run through 4 pm on Sunday.

With a gorgeous sunrise behind them in the east, the first of more than a thousand teams are taking off from Timberline Lodge early this morning, kicking off the 35th annual Hood-to-Coast Relay. 12-member teams are making their way from Mount Hood to Seaside, and you could see some of those teams if you get onto the back roads through Columbia and Clatsop Counties. The race course turns off of Highway 30 in St. Helens, and then will use several back roads to get to Mist and Highway 202 to the coast. A highlight of this year’s race will be the entry of comedian Kevin Hart, who is participating with his “Run with Hart” collaboration with Nike. The Portland-to-Coast Walk will also be going on at the same time, with four hundred teams taking off from the east bank of the Willamette River, also making their way to Seaside. If you are heading into Columbia County this weekend, be aware that these walkers, runners and support teams will be on these back roads.

While state officials work to close the gap that allowed a hacker to get into the Washington Fish and Wildlife licensing system, the state is announcing that there will be “free fishing days” across the state through next Tuesday. Sales of hunting and fishing licenses were suspended earlier this week, after it was discovered that someone had hacked into the license system, stealing personal information. While the state Office of Cyber Security works on the system vulnerability, WDFW says that NO license will be needed to fish or gather shellfish anywhere in the state, through next Tuesday, the 30th. No vehicle pass will be needed at WDFW access sites, but you will still need to observe fishing seasons, size limits, bag limits and water closures. All of the rules will go back into effect on Wednesday, the 31st. Go to the WDFW web page, or check with your local outfitter for more information.

“Unique is What We Seek, Bizarre is What We Are,” that’s the theme for the 42nd annual Unique Tin Car Show, which goes on this Saturday at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. Hundreds of classic, custom and vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles will be on display, along with the Miss Unique Tin Pin-Up Contest, a beer garden, a swap meet and live entertainment. After the show, the annual cruise on 15th Avenue in Longview will run from 6 to 9 pm. A permit is required, and you can only get those at the Unique Tin event. Registration opens at noon on Friday, and the show opens at 9 am on Saturday.

The Kelso High School Theater Department is putting on a fundraising car wash this Saturday, going from 11am to 4pm at the Kelso Taco Time. Proceeds will help support upcoming programs and productions at the high school.

If you’re looking to preserve some of the bounty out of the family garden, the Columbia County Extension Service is putting on a Home Canning class. The class will run from 9 am to 1 pm at the Columbia Soil and Conservation District building, located just outside of St. Helens on Millard Road. Class size is limited, so you’ll need to call 503-397-3462 to register.

The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market continues on Saturday, offering fresh produce, baked goods, honey and more from 9 am until 2 pm on Saturdays and Tuesdays in the 7th Avenue parking lot, across from the County Fairgrounds.

The Winlock Improvement Network and the Winlock Lions are hosting a Farmers Market that will run each Saturday through September 24th, starting this Saturday at the corner of State Route 505 and Highway 603.

The Saturday Farmer’s Market in Clatskanie goes from 10 am until 2 pm at Cope’s Park on the Clatskanie River.

The Ryderwood Old-Timer’s Reunion Potluck Picnic is set for this Sunday, starting at noon on Sunday at the Ryderwood Community Buliding. At 1 pm, a narrated portion of the 1926 film on the Long-Bell mill will be shown, focusing on the Ryderwood portion of the film. Call 360-295-3217for more information.

The Kelso Bridge Market is at a new venue this year, at the Three Rivers Mall. Hours are 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday next to the southwest entry to the Mall.

Kitts Acquitted

Brian Del Kitts, 43, broke down in tears as a jury foreman announced a verdict of “not guilty” of first-degree murder in the February, 2000 murder of Shannon Cox. The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about two hours before returning the verdict. Kitts had been charged with the murder after Cox’s son, Donovan Allen, was freed after 15 years in prison; exonerated by DNA evidence that the Washington Innocence Project presented. Defense attorney Kevin Blondin made the case that as a close relative, one that visited Cox’s residence regularly. Kitts also testified that he had fired the .22 rifle that was used as the murder weapon on several occasions, so it wouldn’t be unusual for his DNA to be on that weapon. Kitts wept profusely after the verdict was announced, also thanking the jury from across the attorney’s desk. Family members say that this has been an eight-month ordeal, and they couldn’t be more pleased.

More Heat

Prepare for more high heat in the local area, as daytime highs once again go over the 90-degree mark. The Weather Service has a Heat Advisory going up at 2 pm today, and continuing through 8 pm tomorrow evening. There’s also a Red Flag Warning going up in the woods, starting at noon and going until 9 pm tomorrow night. Forecasters that these conditions will increase the risk for dehydration and heat-related illnesses, with those who work outside, the elderly, the very young and those without air conditioning. The Weather Service also warns of “significantly unstable conditions” in the woods around the area, so extreme care is needed in the woods. Humidity levels away from the coast are said to be as low as 16 percent. You’re advised to drink plenty of water, avoid the direct sun whenever you can, and exercise extra care with heat sources if you’re heading into the woods.

Burglary Arrest

Jack Dewayne Hogatt, 57, of Longview is under arrest after a burglary that was reported at a store in Kelso. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a burglar alarm at the store in the 2000 block of Pacific Avenue, turned in at about 5:40 yesterday morning. Deputies arrived and found that the front door of the business had been smashed, and they say that someone was still inside the store. The store owner was actually able to relay the position of the suspect to the Deputy, watching via webcam. Hogatt was found next to the coolers in the back of the store, and was arrested at gunpoint. Hogatt is now being held on a second-degree burglary charge.

Foot Chase Arrest

Xanthyny David Degenstein, 26, of Longview is in the Cowlitz County Jail on a list of charges, picked up last night after a foot chase in Longview. Longview Police report that this got started at about 10:30 last night, when an officer spotted Degenstein in the area of 9th and Michigan. The chase lasted for several minutes, with Degenstein reportedly jumping fences in his effort to evade police. Officers continued to monitor the area, and they eventually caught Degenstein in an alley in the 1500 block of 9th Avenue. He’s now being held on a felony drug possession count, along with misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, making a false police report, obstructing an officer, criminal trespass, driving while suspended and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Kitts Testifies

Brian Kitts took the stand in his own defense yesterday in Cowlitz County Superior Court. Kitts is being tried for the murder of Bridgegate Apartment manager Sharon Cox back in February of 2000. The Daily News reports on yesterday’s testimony, where Kitts denied any connection to her murder. Kitts, 43, claims that his aunt was cleaning floors, and was very much alive when he last saw her. Kitts said on the stand that “I loved my Aunt Sharon very dearly.” Defense attorney Kevin Blondin also worked to get some evidence admitted into the trial, including a statement from the cellmate of Cox’s son, Donovan Allen, claiming that Allen confessed to the killing. He also tried to get details of a phone conversation between Cox and her daughter, where Cox stated that Allen was threatening to kill her. It’s expected that closing arguments will be presented today after one final defense witness goes to the stand.