Woodland Police say that they had to Tase April Renee Taylor, 29, twice as they took her into custody early yesterday morning. Woodland Officers report making contact with Taylor shortly after 1 am yesterday, during a traffic stop in the 1400 block of the Dike Access Road. They say that she was not cooperative, and made threats with a knife that was on her person. Taylor was eventually subdued and booked into the Cowlitz County Jail on charges of making threats with a knife, resisting arrest, and a no-bail Department of Corrections hold. The vehicle that Taylor was driving has also been impounded.
An APB is out for David Serrano-Mosso, 20, of Centralia, after he was identified as the suspect in a shooting that took place yesterday afternoon. Lewis County Deputies responded to an apartment complex on Ives Road yesterday afternoon at about 2:40 pm, when it was reported that a man had been wounded. They say that a 19 year-old man was bleeding from a leg wound. The man says that he was standing outside of the building when Serrano-Mosso arrived as a passenger in an SUV. The victim claims that Serrano-Mosso called out to him, and when he approached, Serrano-Mosso pulled out a handgun, and shot at the victim, grazing his leg. They say that the victim and the suspect are acquainted. The SUV and the driver have been found, but Serrano-Mosso is still at large. Authorities say that he should be considered as “armed and dangerous”; call the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-748-9286 if you know where he might be.
A fine of nearly $125,000 is being levied against SSA Pacific, saying that some simple safety measures could have helped to prevent a fatal fall at the Port of Longview. In June of this year, 48 year-old Jim Meadows died after a fall while loading logs onto the “Forest Trader.” The Occupational Health and Safety Administration announced a fine of $124,709 against Seattle-based SSA Pacific, citing three “Willful” violations aboard the ship on June 21st and 22nd of this year, violations that exposed workers to fall hazards. Galen Blanton with OSHA says that “Meadows’ death was preventable, if only a few commonsense measures had been taken.” It’s also noted that SSA Pacific had been cited for similar violations in Oregon and in Florida over the past three years. In its response to the citation and notification of penalty, SSA Pacific cites a rule regarding the use of “spotters,” rather than physical barriers in certain situations. SSA Pacific has until January 18th to abate the violation.
The property tax reduction that the Port of Longview had been reviewing is now in place, as the Port Commission adopts the 2017 operating budget. In the budget that was adopted last week, the Port Commission approved a levy of 34 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation; that compares to the 43-cent levy that was collected in 2016. The Port of Longview tax bill on a $200,000 house will drop from $86 to $68 in the coming year. The Port will bring in about $600,000 less than 2016, so they will be dipping into reserves to balance revenues and expenses. Port officials report having about $11 million in reserves, so this will not pose a huge financial burden. It’s reported that future reductions are possible, depending on port income.
Measures backed by Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler are being included in a larger medical innovation and mental health reform package that’s moving through Congress. Beutler announced yesterday that her “Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act” is being included in a package called the “21st Century Cures Act.” Co-sponsored by Democrat Kathy Castor of Florida, the Safe Medications Act will help to identify research gaps regarding pregnant and lactating women who take prescription medication, along with detailing ways to promote safer meds for those women to use. Beutler says that the 21st Century Cares Act should get action by the full Congress, and should be signed into law by the end of the year.
If you’re heading into the mountains, be aware that there’s a Winter Weather Advisory up for the South Washington Cascades, remaining in effect through 6 pm today. The snow level is currently at about 3,000 feet, but they say that it could drop as low as 1,500 feet in Skamania County. Four to nine inches of snow is expected today in the South Washington Cascades, covering some of the higher elevation roads, like Forest Road 23 out of Trout Lake. Be ready for winter driving conditions if you’re going in that direction today.
The annual closure of Chinook and Cayuse Passes is now in place. There was a precautionary closure over the holiday weekend, put in place with an approaching storm, and the potential for several feet of snow falling. After that snow did some in, the Washington Department of Transportation is making the call to keep the closure in place through next spring. They say that heavy snowfall, compact snow and ice make the routes unsafe, coupled with limited access to emergency responders and spotty cell reception. Chinook Pass is now closed between Crystal Mountain Boulevard and Morse Creek, while Cayuse Pass is closed from Crystal Mountain Boulevard to Stevens Canyon Road. Both roads will re-open in the spring, after the snow thaws.
Amanda Hepler, 35, of Silver Lake is being charged with vehicular assault, reckless endangerment and DUI after she allegedly caused a two-car crash yesterday afternoon on the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway. The State Patrol says that the collision happened one mile east of Castle Rock, at about 1:15 pm. Hepler was eastbound when her Toyota Corolla crossed the center line of the highway, crashing into a Honda Accord driven by Janice Sparks, 69, of Castle Rock. Hepler and Sparks were both taken to St. John Medical Center to get treatment for unspecified injuries; a two year-old that was in Hepler’s car was unhurt. Hepler was cited at the hospital.
County Coroner Tim Davidson says that they are still working to identify the male body that was found floating in the Columbia River near Longview last Friday morning. The body was spotted by the crew of a tugboat that was working near the mouth of the Cowlitz River, and was recovered last Friday morning. Davidson says that the body is badly decomposed, and he says that “a lengthy forensic process” will be needed to make an identification. He says that the body appears to be that of an adult Caucasian male, possibly between his late 20’s and early 40’s. It looks like the man had brown-colored hair, with male pattern balding. The man was wearing denim blue jeans, black leather work boots and a black belt. Davidson says that an autopsy is being set up for later this week, and an update will be issued after that work is done. The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is also following up on this incident.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is renewing interest in a case that started in Longview 15 years ago. The Center is out with age-progressed photos of Agueda Arias, who disappeared in Longview back on November 26th, 2001. Arias was three years old when she disappeared, last seen with her mother, Guadalupe Barajas Castro, when they went shopping with an adult male. It’s also noted that Castro was pregnant at the time that Arias went missing. The car that Castro was in was later found abandoned in California. Agueda would now be 18 years of age; it’s reported that she also was called “Lizzie” or Elizabeth. If you have information on the whereabouts of Agueda Arias, call Longview Police at 442-5800, or call the center at 1-800-843-5678.