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Filing Update

With just one more day for would-be candidates to officially file for the 2017 election, we’re starting to see more races shaping up. Kent Preston of Castle Rock is filing to run against incumbent Doug Averett for a seat on the Port of Longview Commission.

Mike Reuter is now challenging Rosemary Brinson Siipola for the Mayor’s position in Kalama.

Rick Roberson has a race for the Kelso City Council seat that he currently occupies, as Jeffrey McAllister files for that position. There could also be a husband-wife team on the Kelso Council, as Lisa Knight Alexander files for the seat that Todd McDaniel is leaving; her husband Larry already serves on the Kelso City Council.

Chet Makinster filed for another term on the Longview City Council, where he’s being challenged by Diane Quast.

There’s now a three-way race to Scott Neves’ spot on the Commission for Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue, as Patrick Ryan joins Curtis Hart in challenging for that position.

Nate Cook and Keith Bellisle are vying for the Woodland City Council position that’s currently being held by Marilee McCall; she has yet to file for another term. Those wanting to run for an elected position in 2017 have until 5 pm to file; you can do that in person at the County Auditor’s Office, or you can go on-line and file through the Auditor’s web page.

LPD Reserve Testing

Testing for men and women who would like to be Reserve Officers with the Longview Police Department happens tomorrow at Mark Morris High School. LPD officials say that this is a great way to serve the community, while also starting to learn the skills that a full-time officer needs. Reserve Officers are unpaid volunteers, but they have the same responsibilities and duties as a regular police officer. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, and pass a background check. Candidates will need to pass written and physical exams, and then will need to commit to Reserve Officer Academy. After completion of the Academy, Reserve Officers are required to donate at least 12 hours per month to the department. Things get started at 9 tomorrow morning at Mark Morris; call 442-5800 if you need more information, or if you have other questions.

Forest Road Damage

As the sun comes out and it looks more like summer, some of us will be thinking about heading into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for some recreation. The Forest Service says that it’s a really good idea to check on road conditions before you head out, as some forest roads suffered significant damage during the winter. Some roads and road shoulders have been super-saturated, and could give way, trees and other debris could be blocking some roads, and plugged culverts could also cause problems. Forest Road 54 has had a major washout, and Forest Road 60 has been blocked by downed trees. The Forest Service says that crews are working to remove these materials, but they are still learning about damage, as snowmelt continues and that damage is revealed. You should go to the Gifford Pinchot web page or call a Ranger Station to check on road conditions; if you go out and find damage on a forest road, you’re asked to note the location and then report that to the Forest Service, so it can go on the repair list.

Nurses Honored

PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center took time to honor its nurses earlier this month, presenting the 2017 Nursing Excellence Awards in a ceremony held on the 10th of this month. Emergency Department Nurse Jodie Mason received the “Nurse as Advocate” Award, while Vascular Lab Nurse Tessa Makaiwi was presented with the award for “Nurse as Clinician.” Jeff Johnson works in Employee Health, and he was recognized as this year’s “Nurse as Collaborator.” Tamara Wheeldon is another Emergency Department Nurse, and she was presented with the award for “Nurse as Educator.” Wayne van Hamme also works in the ED, and he received the “Nurse as Innovator” award; Karla Houk with the Cancer Program got the award for “Nurse as Leader.” The awards were presented in celebration of National Nurses Week.

Friday KLOG Sports

Guillermo Heredia singled in the 9th inning, bringing Jarrod Dyson home for a 5-4 win over Chicago. Dyson and Jean Segura both had HR’s in the game, as Seattle squandered a 4-0 lead. The M’s and Chisox get after it again this evening, KLOG coverage starts at 6 pm…..The LCC Lady Devils open the NWAC softball tourney with a 10 am tilt against Walla Walla, and then will play again at 2 pm, win or lose. Jessica Gibson gets the start for LCC…..The Kelso Lassies open the 3A Bi-District softball tourney this morning in Tacoma, starting off with a game against Shelton. KHS is also taking a strong contingent to Sumner today, as the 3A Bi-District Track Meet takes place…..Toutle Lake lost to Napavine 3-2 in the 2B District, and will play a loser-out game tomorrow.

Weekend Events–5/19-21/17

Find some extra-special pieces for the house or get some unique gifts at the LCC SLIP Club Pottery Sale, happening this Friday and Saturday in Room 104 of the Main Building at LCC. Hours are 10 to 4 on Friday and from 10 until 2 pm on Saturday.

Get a great Spaghetti Dinner and help out Special Olympics of Washington by going to the Castle Rock Eagles this Friday. The lodge at 224 Huntington will be serving the pasta from 5 to 7 pm, and there will be also be karaoke.

Help out the family of a local baby girl that’s battling a life-threatening intestinal disorder at Friday night’s “Pull Up a Chair” paint and sip fundraiser at the Electric Bea on Washington Way in Longview. This will run from 7:30 to 9 pm Friday night; get more information on the event Facebook page.

The Mainstage Theatre at R. A. Long High School presents a comedy called “The Green Bird” this Friday and Saturday. Showtimes on the Dana Brown Mainstage are at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday night, along with a 1 pm matinee on Saturday. Proceeds from VIP ticket sales will help support the Dana Brown Mainstage Theatre Scholarship Fund.

The Drama Club at Kalama High School presents a production of the Prince Street Players version of “The Wizard of Oz” this weekend, with performances set for 7 pm Friday and Saturday night in the Kalama High School Auditorium. There’s also a matinee at 2 pm on Saturday.

The first cardboard distribution for the 9th annual Longview Cardboard Boat Regatta happens this Saturday in the Red Beef Building at the Cowlitz County Expo Center, between 9 am and noon. Make sure to bring gloves and wear long sleeves to help prevent paper cuts, and also be sure to bring tie-down materials.

The 2017 Lower Columbia Contractors Association Home, Garden and Leisure Show happens from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday at the Cowlitz County Expo Center. Along with the LEGO Bird House Building competition for the kids, they’ll have workshops, vendor booths, and other entertainment. Admission is $2 per person, or two cans of food.

Bob’s Sporting Goods in Longview celebrates 70 years in business on Saturday, starting at 9 am. The first 100 people coming in through the north entry door will receive a gift card, which could be worth as much at $100. They’ll have displays and demonstrations from local pros and manufacturers, along more than $10,000 in prizes and giveaways.

From 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, head to the McClelland Arts Center for a Spring Handcrafted Gifts and Vintage Sale. Along with the handcrafted itmes, they’ll also have unique and eclectic vintage and refurbished items. Admission is free.

Bikers Against Child Abuse plan to hold their annual 100-Mile Ride on Saturday, heading out from Uncaged Cycles on 14th Avenue. Registration opens at 9:30 am, and then the kickstands go up at 11. 100% of proceeds will go to helping to empower abused children.

The 2nd annual Blue Line Walk happens this Saturday at Lake Sacajawea, an event being put on by the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, to show support for local law enforcement. This will get started at 11 am on Saturday, heading out from the Covered Shelter near 17th and Nichols. Sheriff Mark Nelson invites everyone to take part in this zero-cost event.

The Kelso First Baptist Church hosts another “Soup’s On” Community Lunch on Saturday, served between 11:30 am and 1 pm. Everyone’s invited to come by and partake; they’re located at 214 S. 4th Street in Kelso.

The 32nd annual “In Honor of Our Children” Powwow happens this Saturday at Kelso High School, going from noon to 9 pm. Admission is free; grand entries of the tribes are set for 1 and 7 pm. There will be drum and dance competitions, along with Native American vendors and food. All are welcome to come by.

Learn about the history of the Southwest Washington YMCA on Saturday, where you’ll be able to “Spring Back into History.” Special events and presentations are planned for each hour between 1 and 4 pm. All are invited to come by and check things out.

No worries about the rain for the Lower Columbia School Gardens Bike Tour, which will happen this Saturday from 3 to 5 pm. The tour will start at Northlake Elementary School, and then will visit four other School Gardens. This will be a “casual ride” on city streets and trails, with light refreshments and snacks provided along the way. Sign up through the LCSG web page.

The weather should break nicely for the 33rd annual Great White Tail Run, being held at the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge, west of Skamakowa. There are 10K, 5K and 2-mile walk and run courses, with prizes for the top male and female finishers. The gun goes off at 10 am.

The monthly Friends of the Scappoose Library Book Sale happens on Saturday, going from 10 am until 4 pm in the basement of the Library in Scappoose.

There’s a Household Hazardous Waste Disposal event happening this Saturday in Rainier, going from 8 am until noon in the parking lot next to the Rainier Wastewater Treatment Plant. This is for Columbia County residents only.

The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market is now open for its annual run, set up on Saturdays and Tuesdays through October in the parking lot on 7th Avenue, right across from the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. Along with plant starts to get your garden off and running, they will have fresh baked goods, honey and hand-crafted items for sale. Hours are 9 am until 2 pm.

Head to the Children’s Discovery Museum at the Three Rivers Mall on Sunday for “Castles Around the World,” an event being hosted by the LCC Early Childhood Education Department. Hours are 1 to 4 pm, and admission is free.

The Northwest Jazz Orchestra presents its “Spring Sampler” concert this Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Longview, located at 9th and Wheeler. The show starts at 3 pm; donations will be collected at the door.

The Stella Lutheran Church Handbell Choir invites you to a special show on Sunday, starting at 10 am. They’ll also be hosting a brunch after the service, with a baked potato bar, salad and a strawberry dessert. Free will offerings will be accepted. The historic church is located west of Longview, off of Germany Creek Road.

The Kelso Bridge Market continues this Sunday, starting at 10 am at the Three Rivers Mall. Local farmers and crafters will be set up with fresh items, artworks and specially-made crafts. Admission is free.

Morning Chase

Multiple police agencies were involved a pursuit that started in South Kelso, and then wound its way through Longview before heading back through towns this morning. The chase started at about 5:35 am, when Kelso Police tried to make a traffic stop on South Pacific Avenue. The driver sped up instead, exceeding 70 miles an hour while swerving into traffic and running red lights. The chase went through the Kelso industrial area, onto Tennant Way and into Longview. They say that the driver took dangerous evasive maneuvers as he headed to 38th Avenue, then cut back to Prudential Boulevard and Washington Way. The suspect came back to Ocean Beach Highway, heading back into Kelso, going around the Minor Road loop to get back to Allen Street. The pursuit continued back across the Allen Street Bridge, turning onto Washington Street and then onto Washington Way. A tire blew out, but the suspect continued before completely losing his tire. The suspect continued at 50 miles an hour or more, crashing into a Jeep before a second accident that ended the chase near 30th and Washington Way, just a few minutes ago. They have not yet released the suspect’s name.

No Transmission Line

The Bonneville Power Administration is announcing that the plans to build an 80-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line between Castle Rock and Troutdale are being scrapped. BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer announced this decision this morning, saying that the decision reflects the agency’s commitment to implement new planning and management of its transmission system and commercial business practices. The decision also comes after huge public reaction, mostly negative; Mainzer says that public input did play a role in the decision; he says that after getting a huge amount of information over the past nine years, the decision to not build is “the best decision for the region.” BPA says that it continues to identify upgrades to existing transmission facilities, along with new business and commercial practices that they say will preserve the value of the system, while meeting customer demands. A conference will be held within a month, where they will discuss “new ways” to meet customers needed. They also plan to initiate a two-year pilot project in the Portland-Vancouver area, targeting “congestion relief” through peak usage periods during the summer.

Filing Continues

As Filing Week continues, the shakeups continue on local boards and commissions. The Kelso School District announced yesterday that current School Board member Larry Hembree will NOT seek another term. In the announcement, the former Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue firefighter says that “I’m pursuing employment options that may make it difficult to best serve the district. Hembree served one term on the Kelso School Board, after more than 30 years with Cowlitz 2. So far, no one has filed for Hembree’s seat.

We now have three contenders for the Longview City Council position that Mary Jane Melink is leaving. Melink announced yesterday that she will not be seeking another term on the council; Megan Richie joined George Brajcich and MaryAlice Wallis in the race for that seat.

Internet celebrity Curtis Hart of Kelso is getting into the running, filing for the position on the Commission for Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue. That position is currently held by Castle Rock Police Sergeant and former firefighter Scott Neves, who has also filed for re-election.

Bruce Rader also filed for another term on the Kalama School Board; he’s currently being challenged by Sue Dennis-Langham for that seat.

Candidates have until 5 pm on Friday to file; the action could pick up dramatically over these next two days, as a number of positions on this year’s ballot have yet to attract any candidates.

Burglar Scoots

A Cloverdale Road resident says that he pulled a gun on a man that was breaking into his shed, but the suspect took a chance and ran off into the woods. The resident called from the one thousand block of Cloverdale Road at 11 last night; the man says that he pulled a pistol and tried to hold the suspect as he was calling 911, but the suspect bolted, running down the driveway and then going up Sauer Road. Sheriff’s Deputies responded with their K-9 unit, and they ran a track. The dog went down Sauer Road, onto Paradise Acres, and then back onto Cloverdale. The suspect was not found; the resident provided a description of the suspect, but no arrests have been reported.