The WIAA State tournaments are underway. The defending champion Mark Morris girls play White River at 2 pm in the 2A tourney in Yakima. The Mark Morris boys take on Pullman in a 5:30 pm game, also at the Yakima Sun Dome…..The Trail Blazers blasted the Atlanta Hawks 102-78 last night. Portland begins a road trip at Dallas tomorrow night…..The Huskies host UCLA tonight, KLOG 5:30 pm. WSU is at home against USC. Last night Arizona beat Oregon State 74-69. Longview native Brady Bergeson coached Western Oregon to a 94-88 upset of Alaska-Anchorage in the men’s GNAC playoffs…..Cleveland scored seven runs in the last three innings to beat the Mariners 8-5 yesterday. The M’s play the White Sox at Camelback Ranch today.
Prepare yourself for another day of blustery weather, as one more strong Pacific storm blows through the region today. Sustained winds of 50+ mph were recorded this morning on the Naselle Ridge, with gusts of 80 mph also being clocked. 47 mph gusts were also being recorded at Abernathy Mountain. The overnight peak gust at the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso is 25 mph, and the Cowlitz PUD had a peak gust of just over 27 mph. They responded to one significant power outage overnight, when a tree fell into overhead lines along West Side Highway near Castle Rock. 482 customers were knocked off-line at 11:13 pm; repairs were complete just after 1 am.
A High Wind Warning remains in effect for the South Washington Coast until 1 pm today, with sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts up to 65 mph. The strongest winds are expected through 9 am, but strong gusts are possible into the early afternoon. The High Wind Warning extends into the Coast Range until 1 pm, with gusts of up to 70 mph possible. The strongest winds are predicted through about 10 am. Inland, there’s a Wind Advisory up until 3 pm, with sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts of up to 45 mph. We also have a report of water over the far west end of Ocean Beach Highway in Pacific County, affecting both directions of travel. Drivers need to be ready for some challenging driving conditions this morning.
Murder charges are pending against Stephen William Kovacs, 51, of Portland, who’s accused of stabbing and killing former Lower Columbia College instructor Peter John, 56. Portland Police say that John died Tuesday afternoon at his home in North Portland, where he had taken Kovacs in, trying to help the man “get on his feet. Apparently, John had planned to move to a new home in the country; when he told Kovacs that he couldn’t come with him, that set off the fatal encounter. John was a history instructor, having worked at LCC between 1989 and 1998. He also taught at San Diego State University before he moved to Portland. Kovacs was found and arrested about a block away from where the stabbing had taken place, and was arraigned yesterday on charges of murder and unlawful use of a firearm. He’s now being held without bail in the Multnomah County Detention Center.
Authorities in Wahkiakum County are looking for a couple from Rosburg that hasn’t been heard from for nearly a week. The Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office says that Lonnie Ray Chavis, 54, and Audrey Chavis, 53, were last seen leaving their home on the 27th of last month, at about 8 am. They were seen leaving with the black Pomeranian dog, named “Poncho,” leaving in their silver Kia Rio, Washington license number AJF-8540. It’s noted that they left all of their belongings and property behind; it’s also noted that Audrey Chavis suffers from Lupus and is in need of medical care. They have been known for going on short trips to Long Beach or Astoria, and they’re regular members of a local church. The Sheriff’s Office says that there are no indications of suicidal intent or other foul play. They say that this disappearance and lack of contact is “highly unusual.” If you have information on where Lonnie and Audrey Chavis of Rosburg might be, call Deputy Bill Tawater at the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office at 360-465-2202.
You can find out about the “State of Education” in the local area at today’s Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Luncheon. LCC President Chris Bailey is scheduled to speak, along with Kelso Superintendent Rob MacGregor and Longview Superintendent Suzanne Cusick. All three are expected to talk about the current progress, challenges and opportunities in the local education system. Today’s Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Luncheon is set to run from 11:45 am to 1:30 pm at the Cowlitz Regional Conference Center. Get registration information on the Chamber website, or by calling 423-8400.
The Kelso School Board meets in a special session today, where they will start work on the process for replacing Superintendent Rob MacGregor. The meeting will be held at 3 pm in the Ruth Clark Educational Services Center on Crawford Street in Kelso. The board is asking a couple of consulting firms to come in and make presentations on the fee structure and the process that they would use in assisting the board in finding MacGregor’s successor. Each firm will be presenting two proposals, one that might involve naming of an interim superintendent for the next school year only, and the other for finding a permanent Superintendent. The School Board plans to make a decision on which direction they will go at their regular meeting on Monday, March 10th.
The Longview City Council and the Longview School Board are scheduled to meet in a joint workshop session this evening, where they will review and discuss a School Zone Safety Study that the city has commissioned. The study will include identification of potential school zone safety treatments, information on the effectiveness of specific treatments, cost estimates, and recommendations for possible improvements at school zones all over town. This meeting had been scheduled for one month ago, but it got snowed out. This evening’s meeting is set for 6 pm in the second floor training room at the Longview City Hall, and is open to the public.
LCC Psychology Instructor Michael Strayer is the featured speaker at today’s Community Conversation lecture. Strayer’s talk is titled “Mental Health in America: Fighting the War on Depression.” The free lecture will be held in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts.
The South Kelso Neighborhood Association meets this evening at the Kelso Train Depot, starting at 6 pm. They’ll be discussing topics that concern the South Kelso area, along with possible projects that the South Kelso Neighborhood Association might be undertaking. This meeting is open to anyone who is interested.
Dr. Courtney Shah of Lower Columbia College will present “Pioneering Woman Suffrage: The Struggle for the Vote in the Pacific Northwest”. The LCC History instructor will be presenting an engaging review of the suffrage movement in the Pacific Northwest, starting at 7 pm at the Cowlitz County Historical Museum in Kelso, admission is free.