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Gadget Menagerie

The Washington State Library has a special program planned for this afternoon at the Cathlamet Public Library, called the “Gadget Menagerie.” State Library staff will be working with staff earlier in the day, training them in the use of eReaders, tablet computers and other electronic devices; at 2 pm, you will be able to come by and learn about these devices and how they work. They’ll offer tips and tricks on basic operations and troubleshooting, including information on how to download books. Following today’s “Gadget Menagerie,” A number of these devices will be left at the Library for one week, for patrons to check out before they’re returned to the State Library at the end of the month.

Weekend Events-1/23-25/15

The classic Robert Louis Stevenson story of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” has been turned into a pop-rock Broadway musical, and a national touring company will bring that production to the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts on Friday night. “Jekyll and Hyde” is set to begin at 7:30 Friday night; call 577-TIXX, or go to the CTPA website for ticket information.

Mainstage Theatre is presenting a one-act play festival on Friday and Saturday night on the Dana Brown Mainstage in the R. A. Long High School Auditorium. “Present Tense” and “Making the Move” are comedies, while “Bang, Bang, You’re Dead” is a drama based on the 1998 Thurston High School shooting in Oregon. The festival is set to begin at 7:30 pm each night.

As many as 50 local children will be involved in the Missoula Children’s Theater production of “Robin Hood” that will be presented at 7:30 pm Friday evening and at 3 pm on Saturday in the auditorium at Clatskanie Middle-High School. This is part of the 26th annual Clatskanie Arts Commission Performing Arts Series; tickets will be available at the door.

Each weekend through the end of this month, Gallery 505 in Toledo is hosting a Metal and Glass Artwork Show, featuring works from a dozen different local artists. Hours at Gallery 505 run from 2 pm to 6 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays. They’re located at 205 Cowlitz Street in downtown Toledo.

Friday Night Open Gym continues at Youth and Family Link on Douglas Street in Longview, starting at 6:30 pm. There is a charge of $3 per adult to take part in the open basketball sessions. Call Youth and Family Link at 423-6741 for more information.

You can learn about a plant-based diet and the possible health benefits for you and your family by heating to the Community Vegan-Vegetarian Potluck and Talk that’s planned for Saturday evening at Youth and Family Link. The potluck dinner will start at 6 pm, and then Renee Steelman will talk and answer questions at 7. Youth and Family Link is located at 907 Douglas Street in Longview.

If you’re up for a little road trip, the 7th annual Pie Day Auction and Feast is planned for this Saturday down in the Nehalem area, just east of Highway 101 at the White Clover Grange. The doors open at 2 pm, with sweet and savory pies up for bid and for sale. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Grange and Food Roots, a local community food organization.

Road Rage Incident

A woman says that she had to use pepper spray on a man who was apparently bothered by the way she was driving. The Vancouver woman called Cowlitz County 911 from the 100 block of Westover Drive at 10:45 last night, claiming that she had been followed from 30th and Ocean Beach Highway. She claims that the man was driving aggressively, and tailgated her. She says that she pulled over to “see what was going on,” and then she pepper-sprayed the man when he approached her car. The woman also speculated that the man may have been intoxicated. Based on information provided by the woman, Deputies have a line on who the man might be, but they haven’t reported making contact with that person.

Robbery Suspect Photos

Continuing to pursue three men who are suspected of robbing two Castle Rock-area women, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is releasing pictures that are thought to be the perpetrators in this case. Early Monday morning, the three men broke into the home of Amanda Dickerman, 21, and Yuni Hernandez, 28, stealing medical marijuana, cash and cell phones. Investigators now say that two of the suspects are white males, and one is black. In the photos, one suspect is wearing a black drawstring sweatshirt and jeans, one has a red or orange coat and a silver stocking hat with a black rim, and the black suspect is wearing a sweatshirt or coat with “1880” on it, and what looks like a camo stocking cap. The photos are now posted on, and on the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office web page. Call 577-3092 if you recognize any of these men, or leave a tip on the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 577-1206.

Fraud Arrest

Chris M. McNicholas, 44, of Woodland is under arrest, accused of bilking a 91 year-old Woodland-area woman out of $2,500. Deputy Danny O’Neill says that McNicholas had made arrangements to repair a window that was leaking at the woman’s home, but never did any work. O’Neill says that McNicholas got a check for $1,200 up-front, but then came back a few days later and demanded another $300; that was followed by a second demand for another $1,000. The woman also paid that amount, but then a financial advisor stepped in, and helped to stop that last check. The advisor contacted a local window company, and found that the repair could be done for about $400. McNicholas never actually did any work on the leaking window, and was arrested yesterday on charges of second-degree and third-degree theft. After being booked into the Cowlitz County Jail, McNicholas is free after posting bail.

$2 Gas

As they are across the country, gas prices continue to drop in the local area, with three local stations now charging less than $2 per gallon. now reports that Miller’s Market at 32nd and Washington Way, Beachway Market on Ocean Beach Highway and the Minit Shop at 38th and Ocean Beach Highway all have unleaded regular for $1.99 per gallon. Six other stations have unleaded regular for $2.03 per gallon. That’s less than the current national average price of $2.04 per gallon, and well below the statewide average of $2.21. Just six months ago, that average was at $3.99 per gallon.

Hemp Bill

A bill that would help to clear the way for the legal farming, production and sale of industrial hemp in Washington state is out of a state Senate committee, one of the first bills to move this far in the 2015 legislative session. Senate Bill 5012 is prime-sponsored by 19th District Senator Brian Hatfield, who says that this bill is a no-brainer. Hemp is used to make a wide variety of products, including food, clothing, beauty products, building materials, biofuels, along with other applications. Hemp is a strain of the cannabis plant, but has minimal amounts of the intoxicating compounds of marijuana. Five other states have passed similar measures; the United States is currently the top importer of hemp in the world, while Canada and China are top exporters. At one point in our nation’s early history, hemp was considered to be so vital to the economy, that laws were enacted, requiring farmers to grow it. SB 5012 now moves onto the full Senate for consideration.

Whooping Cough Alert

After seeing a jump in the number of Whooping Cough cases early in the year, public health officials in Lewis County are stepping up their prevention efforts, looking to avoid a serious outbreak. Whooping Cough, or Pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is particularly dangerous to infants and young children. Extreme cases can prove to be fatal. The Centralia Chronicle reports that five cases of Whooping Cough have been recorded already this year in Lewis County, and that is catching the attention of the Health Department. They’re sending out reminders that free vaccinations against Whooping Cough are available for those who are 18 and younger, along with shots for people who don’t have health insurance. There was a significant outbreak of Whooping Cough all across the state in 2012, with more than 2,000 cases recorded. Last year, there were 510 recorded cases of Pertussis, including ten cases here in Cowlitz County. Contact the County Health Department or your personal health care provider if you need more information.

Community Conversations

The winter term Community Conversation lectures are under way at Lower Columbia College, with this terms overall topic listed as “Turning Points in Science.” LCC Mathematics instructor Cary Rhode will be the featured speaker today, presenting a lecture titled “The Magic of the Transistor.” The free lecture starts at noon in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts.

KLOG Thursday Sports

The Blazers took a late lead after being down by 25, but the Phoenix Suns pulled out a 118-113 victory last night.. Portland hosts Boston tonight, KLOG 6:05 pm…..#12 Utah defeated WSU 86-64 in men’s college ball. In local action, the LCC men defeated Tacoma 82-78. The LCC women beat Tacoma 82-45 to raise their league mark to 6-0…..The Kelso boys came up with a big road win last night, snapping Columbia River’s 24-game league win streak 58-53…..In girls hoops tonight, #1 Mark Morris hosts Woodland, 6:45 pm on 101.5 FM The Wave…..The R.A. Long wrestling team collected a pair of victories last night, 54-15 over Ridgefield and 55-19 over Woodland. Woodland edged Mark Morris 33-32.