Longview Police are also investigating a rollover crash reported last night in the 3100 block of Pacific Way. Officers and aid crews were called to that location at about 9:45 pm, when a GMC Yukon went off the road, flipping onto its top. The 911 caller reported that the top of the SUV was crushed, and extrication was needed to get the single occupant out of that damaged vehicle. One person was transported to Saint John Medical Center after the incident; that person’s condition hasn’t been updated. LPD hasn’t yet released any other information on the crash.
The main descriptor used for the new Executive Director for the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments is “incredible,” as Scott Patterson of Amboy is chosen to succeed Steve Harvey in that post. Patterson was chosen yesterday in a unanimous vote of the COG; Board Chair and Woodland City Council member Susan Humbryd says that Patterson rose to the top out of a strong field of finalists…cogdirector…For the past ten years, Patterson has been working as the Director of Development and Public Affairs at C-Tran, the public transit agency for Vancouver and Clark County. Prior to that, he worked for the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Clark County Home Builders and Association of Realtors, and as a staff member for Congresswoman Linda Smith and Senator Slade Gorton. It’s reported that 26 people applied for the position; that group was eventually whittled down to four finalists, from which Patterson was selected. It’s planned that Patterson will take over his new position some time in June.
Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam and a two-run homer leading the Mariners to a 12-2 pounding of the New York Yankees. The M’s go for the series win today, KLOG 3:00 pm…..Tacoma defeated Lower Columbia 12-4 yesterday in the West Region baseball tiebreaker. The Devils go back to Tacoma for a best of three playoff series Saturday and Sunday, if necessary…..Play begins today at the 2A District softball tournament in Centralia. Mark Morris plays Aberdeen and R.A. Long takes on Tumwater, both at 4 pm. Yesterday Woodland won two games at the 1A District to punch a ticket to State. Kalama was ousted in two games. At the 2B District, Toutle Lake won two to advance to State…..The NBA Board of Governors voted to turn down the sale of the Kings that featured a move to Seattle.
It’s officially now a race for the Woodland Port Commission District number 2 position, as Gerald “Jerry” Peterson files for another term. Earlier in the week, current Woodland City Council member John “JJ” Burke filed to run for that post. In other filings from yesterday, Larry Hembree filed for the Kelso School Board position that’s currently held by Joan Tolby. As of 5 pm yesterday, 49 people had filed for the Cowlitz County positions on this year’s ballot. Filing continues until 5 pm on Friday.
At Monday’s Longview School Board meeting, results of a study regarding the possible development of a Cowlitz County Skills Center were discussed, and it was disclosed that such a center is not feasible. Longview Superintendent Suzanne Cusick says that it’s a result of the numbers once again; she says that a Skills Center would have severe impacts to Career and Technical Education programs all across the county…skillscenter…Working with LCC and local business leaders, the superintendents from all of Cowlitz County’s school districts participated in the study, similar to centers that have been long-established in Clark and Thurston Counties. They asked about the specific need for a Cowlitz County Skills Center, how can local students be best served, emerging needs for local business and industry, skills gaps, and the programs needed to best meet the needs of students and local industry. In the end, it was determined that there were not enough students to feed a Skills Center at this time, and that a Skills Center would have a negative impact on CTE offerings at schools all across the county. It was also noted that existing programs offer the opportunity to receive college credit and career readiness. Instead, they’re recommending that existing CTE offerings be strengthened in all Cowlitz County school districts; a Workforce Education Task Force is being developed, to help coordinate that effort between the school districts, along with local business and industry.
Work continues on the Front Avenue NW Improvement Project in Castle Rock, with installation of a new water main and sewer services to get under way on Front Avenue between Huntington Avenue North and Jackson Street Northwest. City officials say that no interruption of water services is anticipated; local residents will be notified when the switchover to the new main will be taken. Front Avenue NW will remain closed to vehicular traffic between Huntington Avenue North to Shintaffer Street Northwest. Access to Cowlitz River Dental and the Red Canoe Credit Union will be maintained. It was also disclosed this week that the work of Front Avenue is causing the cancellation of this year’s Mountain Mania festival. Organizers for that event say that they’ll take a break this year, with plans to be back bigger and better next year.
The Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce presented its annual Crystal Apple and Business Awards at last night’s “Pillars of Strength” award dinner.
Copies Today-Speedy Litho was honored as the Small Business of the Year, Fibre Federal Credit Union is the Large Business of the Year, and Marlene Johanson of Heritage Bank is the Business Person of the Year. Lower Columbia CAP is the Non-Profit of the Year, while Jason Meunier of Twin City Bank is the “Rising Star” award-winner. The Walt Naze Ambassador of the Year award went to Carrie Medack and Jeni Quircioni.
On the education side, Crystal Apples went to Renee Carney of LCC as the Classified Employee of the Year, Sean Scattergood of Beacon Hell Elementary is the Teacher of the Year, Dawn Draus of LCC was the Higher Education Teacher of the Year, and Jay Opgrande of Columbia Heights Elementary was Administrator of the Year. Lynnell Amundson of LCC received the individual Workforce Education award, and Red Canoe was honored for Workforce Education Best Practices. Kelso High School Career and Technical Education Director Cindy Wardlow of Kelso High School was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Crystal Apple.
The Maria Harris Scholarships went to Abie Hansen and Selena Zepeda of R. A. Long, Colleen Reynolds of Kelso, and Hailey Colwell of Mark Morris. The Lower Columbia Professionals Scholarships were awarded to MacKenzie Hastings of Mark Morris, Sofie Shulda of Mark Morris and Kennedy White of Kelso.
The New York Yankees rallied to beat Seattle 4-3 yesterday. The M’s were leading 3-1 when Felix Hernandez tweaked his back and was taken out of the game. He says he’ll be fine. The Yanks host the M’s again today, KLOG 3:00 pm…..The LCC baseball team is at Tacoma today at 4 pm in a West Region tie-breaker game. The winner will host a best of three playoff series this weekend…..In the Oregon baseball playoffs, Clatskanie edged Warrenton 6-5 in 8 innings to advance to State. The Tigers play at Rainier for seeding Thursday…..In softball, it was Warrenton over Clatskanie 8-7 in 8 innings, ending the Tigers season…..The 1A and 2B District softball tournaments are going on today at Fort Borst Park in Centralia.
The appointment of Don McMaster as the permanent General Manager of the Cowlitz PUD was finalized yesterday, completing the succession into the post after the firing of Brian Skeahan. PUD officials say that McMaster has more than 30 years of experience in the Northwest utility industry, having served with the Grays Harbor and Franklin PUD’s before coming to the Cowlitz PUD about six years ago. He had been serving as the Chief Operating Officer before being named as the interim General Manager back in January. During his time as COO, McMaster was responsible for day-to-day operations at the utility, interacting with department directors and taking action to implement the utility’s overall strategy. PUD Commissioner Kurt Anagnostou says that McMaster’s background and experience have been invaluable as this transition has taken place. McMaster says that he’s accepting this position with “all seriousness as to its responsibilities,” and he’s looking forward to working with the experienced and capable staff at the PUD.
In other action at yesterday’s PUD Commission meeting, the Commissioners voted to increase the utility’s Rate Stabilization Fund to $18.7 million, with a goal of reducing the impact of projected rate increases on customers. It was disclosed that better-than-expected power sales brought in another $9 million of revenue, so that money is being turned back into the Rate Stabilization Fund. The PUD is bracing for an anticipated wholesale rate increase from the Bonneville Power Administration, a hike that could be as much as ten percent. That number could be adjusted before the increase is finalized in the fall. The Commission will also take input from the PUD’s new Citizens Rate Advisory Committee before taking action on any rate adjustments.