A multi-month effort to find a 17 year-old boy from St. Helens is over, with a sad ending to report. Authorities in Wahkiakum County report that the body of Marciano Sakhouen of St. Helens was recovered from the Columbia River over the weekend. The St. Helens High School senior had last seen alive on the evening of October 18th, as he was leaving his home. It’s reported that the body was found in the river near Cathlamet on Sunday, the 14th; damily members have confirmed that the body is that of their son. The Wahkiakum County Coroner says that autopsy results are still pending, so there’s no word yet on the cause of death. They say that there are no signs of foul play, and it’s noted that the teen was wearing the clothes that he had on when he left the house back in October. Family members tell the media that they had no red flags or warnings about Sakhouen’s behavior, and he had enlisted into the Marine Corps, through their delayed entry program. The investigation into his disappearance and death is continuing.
After months of work, the proposals for creating a separate Cowlitz County 911 Public Safety Answering Point Agency are being rolled out; the Kelso City Council voted unanimously to accept those recommendations. Council member Jim Hill says that it’s been a lot of hard work by a lot of people, and he sees big benefits to the whole county. This issue has been under study and development for the better part of two years; last week, the current 911 Communications Center Council presented its plan to the County Commissioners, who will eventually make the decision on this. The Council is suggesting that the PSAP be formed as a Public Development Authority, run by a nine-member board. The membership of that board would include a member of the Longview City Council, the City Manager, the Longview Police or Fire Chief, a County Commissioner, the Kelso City Manager, a representative of local police agencies, and a fire department representatives. Police and fire agencies would also have permanent Technical Advisory Committees that would provide input to the PSAP Board. The PSAP would be funded by a one-tenth-of-one-percent sales tax, which has already been approved by local voters. The plan is now being presented to other elected bodies in the county, and if they all approve, then the County Commission would be asked to form the agency. There’s a goal of having the 911 PSAP being a stand-alone county agency by January 1st of next year.
Washington Fish and Wildlife is setting up a meeting next week in Raymond, where they’re soliciting public input on priorities for sport and commercial salmon fishing in Willapa Bay. WDFW fish managers say that they’re looking for guidance on how to reconcile priorities for salmon-fishing opportunities that were set in the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy. Approved in 2015, the policy gives recreational fisheries the priority in Willapa Bay, while commercial fishers are being directed to Coho salmon runs. Both fisheries are being directed to release all wild Chinook, and seasons are being managed to reduce mortality of wild Chinook. WDFW officials say that they need more clarity on how to achieve those priorities, and they want input from Willapa Bay anglers before making final decisions. This next input session is being set up for 6 to 8 pm on Tuesday, the 23rd at the Raymond Elks Club. Comments from that session will be presented to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, which meets February 9th and 10th in Olympia.
The Cowlitz PUD is hosting a “Lunch and Learn” event today, inviting community members and PUD customers to come in and get the latest on wintertime energy usage. Alice Dietz with the PUD says that they will have staff available to answer questions about winter bills, and they’ll also have information on how you can discover the right energy solutions for your home. Today’s “Lunch and Learn” will run from noon to 1 pm in the John Searing Auditorium at the Cowlitz PUD; space is limited, so call 360-423-2210 to RSVP. A second “Lunch and Learn” event is being set up for Wednesday, February 7th.
Tales of survival after the eruption of Mount St. Helens will be part of a new series that marks the return of former “Today” host Ann Curry to the air. A new series called “We’ll Meet Again” will debut next Tuesday night on Oregon Public Broadcasting, chapters that follow the lives of people who had their paths meet during dramatic events in history. Curry is the Executive Producer of the show, a product of Curry’s new production company. The show debuts at 8 pm on Tuesday, the 23rd, with “Children of World War Two.” The second episode is titled “Rescued from Mount St. Helens,” and will feature the story of Sue Nystrom and Mike Cairns. Nystrom, who was Sue Ruff back in 1980, was in a group of six friends that were camping north of Mount Saint Helens on May 18th, 1980, outside of the so-called “Red Zone.” That campsite was devastated in the eruption; two of her friends were killed when a tree fell on their tent, and two others were seriously injured. Nystrom and her boyfriend, were trying to walk out, when Mike Cairns came out of the sky with his National Guard helicopter, rescuing both of them.
The show will also talk with Mindy Brugman, who says that geologist David Johnston saved their lives before he was killed in the eruption. Brugman was in a group of scientists that had been studying glaciers on the mountain, and they were planning to camp at an observation point, not far from where Johnston was set up. Brugman says that Johnston came to their site, telling them “You wouldn’t be safe here, and I do think you should go.” Brugman, Carolyn Dreidger and Harry Glicken packed up and drove back to Vancouver, and then the volcano erupted the next morning. The TV project brings Brugman together with the Johnston family, and she’s able to share his last moments alive with them. “We’ll Meet Again” premieres next Tuesday night at 8 pm on Oregon Public Broadcasting, channel 10 out of Portland.
The man who was into coffee way before there was a Starbucks on every corner has passed away. Word is getting out about last weekend’s passing of Ken Guse, the creator of Guse’s Gourmet Coffee in downtown Longview. Guse and his family have been roasting and serving coffee and espresso for decades, underneath the mustachioed sign on Commerce Avenue. Sporting his trademark handlebar mustache, Guse was also known for his love of the University of Oregon, backing the Ducks at every opportunity. It’s reported that Guse passed last Saturday, at the Hospice Care Center. Memorial services are pending; the Cascade Northwest Funeral Chapel at the Green Hills Memorial Garden and Crematory is handling the arrangements.
WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The news has hit the WSU community hard. Hilinski, 21, was due to be the Cougars starter next season……The Blazers beat the Suns 118-111 last night, snapping a three game losing streak. Damian Lillard had 31…..The LCC basketball teams host Pierce tonight, women at 6 pm and the men at 8 pm, both on KLOG. Red Canoe Credit Union members get free admission by showing their RCCU debit or credit card…..Shaw Anderson scored 29 to lead Kelso over Prairie 58-45 last night. In boys play tonight, Mark Morris is at Ridgefield (101.5 The Wave) and R.A. Long is at Hockinson…..The Prairie girls team beat Kelso 62-39 , Mark Morris over Ridgefield 61-45 and Hockinson downed R.A. Long 63-36.
The MLK Tribute at Lower Columbia College featured six high school basketball games yesterday. In girls play, Mark Morris defeated Kelso 46-36 in overtime. Clallam Bay beat Naselle 51-43. In boys play, Kelso dominated Nathan Hale 83-59, W.F. West defeated Mark Morris 61-46, Ridgefield edged Napavine 63-61 and Mountlake Terrace beat Clover Park. Tonight in boys play, Prairie visits Kelso at 5:30 pm. In girls action, Prairie is at Kelso, Mark Morris hosts Ridgefield and Hockinson is at R.A. Long, all at 7 pm…..The Kelso wrestling team is at Prairie tonight at 7 pm…..The Portland Trail Blazers host the Phoenix Suns tonight, KLOG 6:05 pm…..Two former Seahawks coaches return. Ken Norton Jr. has agreed to be defensive coordinator and Mike Solari returns as O-Line coach.
The Red Cross is providing assistance to residents of a home that caught fire yesterday morning on Bloyd Street in Kelso. The fire was reported at 9:11 yesterday morning, when smoke and flames were seen inside the house at 1701 Bloyd Street. Six people were inside the house when the fire was discovered; one resident reports that she woke up and smelled smoke, and then she roused everyone else in the house. It’s reported that two children had to go through a window to escape. Firefighters helped to treat two people for smoke inhalation, but no one went to the hospital. It took about a half-hour to get the fire knocked down, but they’re not sure yet about the cause. The investigation is continuing, but the evidence is pointing to a portable heater that was being used in one of the bedrooms. The fire did an estimated $105,000 damage to the house and its contents. It’s also reported that a dog survived the fire, found hiding underneath a couch after the fire had been put out.
Three local fire agencies responded to the TEMCO grain-handling facility at the Port of Kalama yesterday morning, after a fire was reported in a conveyor belt. Employees called 911 shortly after 9 yesterday, after several people reported the smell of burning rubber. Cowlitz Fire District 5 out of Kalama responded, along with District 1 out of Woodland and Tower number 29 out of Clark County. The fire was located and extinguished quickly, but firefighters remained on the scene until around noon, to make sure that there weren’t any other hot spots or re-kindles. It’s speculated that a bearing overheated, which then caused the rubber conveyor to catch fire. Officials with TEMCO say that a portion of the facility will be closed while an investigation is done and repairs are completed; they also say that overall operations should not be affected.