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Fire Updates

Westbound I-84 is open to traffic once again between Hood River and Troutdale, re-opened yesterday evening after being closed by the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge. The Oregon Department of Transportation reports that the westbound freeway re-opened at 6:30 last night, but the eastbound lanes will remain closed indefinitely. It’s also noted that all ramps in that stretch of freeway remain closed, including the ramps in and out of Cascade Locks. They also say that stopping along this piece of freeway is prohibited. I-84 has been completely closed to traffic since September 4th, following the start of the Eagle Creek Fire.

The latest update on the Eagle Creek Fire shows that it’s now 17 percent contained, and now covers more than 37,000 acres. Four homes have been destroyed by the fire, but evacuation notices of varying levels remain in effect all along the Gorge. “Burnouts” are being used to remove fuel between the fire front and the town of Wyeth, which is currently in the path of the fire as it moves to the south and east. Firefighters are hoping that the weatherman is right in predicting rain for Sunday; there’s currently a 50-percent chance of rain for Sunday afternoon, going up to 90 percent for Sunday night.

The Eagle Creek Fire is causing a postponement of a festival in Hood River. The Hood River Hops Fest had been planned for next weekend, on Saturday, the 23rd, but the Hood River Chamber of Commerce now says that the Hops Fest will be moved to Saturday, October 7th. They say that the closure of I-84 and the evacuation advisories for local residents are factors in the decision; Chamber officials say that for an “optimal” experience, it makes more sense to not draw large numbers of people into an area where an active wildfire is working. They’re hoping that people will choose to “make a long weekend of it,” and come to Hood River on October 7th to support the local businesses that have been impacted by this fire.

The East Crater Fire is now listed at 490 acres in size, kicked up by low humidity and an increase in winds. Some of the firefighters were sent to another location yesterday, after a small fire cropped up in the area of Eckhart Point, about nine miles outside of Trout Lake. That small fire was quickly extinguished. Officials connected to this fire are also hoping that Sunday’s rain will help to get this fire put out.

Highway 12 was closed for about an hour near White Pass yesterday afternoon, as they deal with a brush fire. The Washington Department of Transportation announced a full closure of the highway at milepost 133, near Lake Creek, about a quarter after 1 pm. The highway re-opened about an hour later; details about the fire were not disclosed.

KLOG Friday Sports

The Mariners beat the Rangers 10-4 last night. Seattle moves on to Houston tonight, KLOG 4:00 pm…..The 70th Civil War football game is tonight at Longview Memorial Stadium, 6:45 pm on FM 105.5 Cookin Country. Kelso is at home against Lake Washington, FM 101.5 The Wave beginning with Football Friday pre game show at 6 pm…..The Seahawks home opener is Sunday at 1:25 pm against the 49’ers…..The Huskies host Fresno State tomorrow, 5:30 pm on The Wave. WSU hosts OU and the Ducks are at Wyoming…..In girls soccer, Kelso beat Aberdeen 3-1, Ridgefield over RAL 2-0 and Hockinson beat MM 4-0…..In volleyball, Kelso swept past Heritage 3-0, << beat Hockinson 3-2 and Ridgefield over RAL 3-0.

Kool Road Incident

The Sheriff’s Office is looking into an incident reported yesterday afternoon on Kool Road, where a 70 year-old man was injured. This was reported shortly before 1 pm yesterday, at a home in the 14 hundred block of Kool Road. Those on the scene said that a 70 year-old man had been “run over,” with injuries to his pelvis and leg. They also say that the man was bleeding from a minor wound to his head. The man reportedly complained that he “couldn’t feel his left leg.” LifeFlight was activated, but they called them off later on, as the man was taken by ambulance to St. John Medical Center. The man’s name has not been released, and his condition has not been updated this morning.

Judge Swearing

Cowlitz County’s fifth Superior Court Judge is due to be sworn in today. Cowlitz County Superior Court officials say that Anne Cruser will be sworn in this afternoon at 12:15 pm, a ceremony that will take place in Courtroom 2 at the Hall of Justice. Governor Jay Inslee appointed Cruser to the bench last month, filling a position that had been approved by the Legislature back in 2006. Today’s swearing-in is open to the public.

Task Force App Deadline

Today is the deadline to get applications in for the Athletic Facilities Task Force that the Longview School District is assembling. This ad hoc committee will examine and review all of the athletic facilities in the district, they’ll do a full inventory, and then will assess the condition of each of those facilities. They will research playing surfaces, documenting the pros and cons of each type of surface. The committee will make recommendations to the School Board, also providing information on cost projections, the priority sequence for dealing with the facilities, and possible funding sources and strategies. If you would like to serve on this committee, get your application into the Longview School District offices on Lilac Street by the close of business today.

Miss International 2017

2009 R. A. Long graduate Kelsey Craft will be back at her high school today, meeting with students and talking about her experiences in competing for Miss International 2017. Craft is now involved in the medical care field, recently completing her studies to become a Physician’s Assistant. Craft is already certified as a Nursing Assistant, is a former CPR instructor, and has a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. In May, Craft was named as Miss Florida International, and then she won the Miss International title last month. As part of her role as Miss International, Craft is promoting the “Blue Zones Project,” boosting the topic of healthy living. The Miss International competition promotes young women and their accomplishments, pointing to these young women as role models for other young women around the world.

Weekend Events–9/15-17/16

Friday:
They’re raising money for a mission to Haiti at an Estate Sale that’s being held at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Longview, going from 9 am to 5 pm this Friday, and from 9 to 3 on Saturday. Emanuel Lutheran is located at 2218 Kessler Boulevard, right next to Lake Sacajawea in Longview.

Head over to Delaware Plaza on Friday for “Cruizin’ to the Delaware,” going from 3 to 7 pm at the senior living facility across from the McClelland Arts Center. This is a benefit for the Dino Doozer Foundation, battling childhood cancer, along with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st and 2nd place. Awards will be presented at 6:30 pm, there’s a raffle and a barbecue, and there will also be live music from Alvin Jones and the Crystal Pool Revival.

Friday afternoon at 3 pm, there’s a “Senior Rodeo” at Prestige Senior Living Monticello Park, with barrel racing, pole bending and calf roping done “senior style.” Members of the National High School Rodeo Association will also be taking part, and the Ted Boursaw Band will be playing Classic Country. They’ll also be choosing Monticello Park’s “Rodeo Queen.” Space is limited, so you should RSVP by calling 360-575-1778.

The Washington State High School Rodeo Association is in town this weekend, with competitions for high school and junior high school students happening at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. Junior High competitions get under way at 6 pm, followed by their second go-round at 8 am on Saturday. The High School competitors will saddle up at noon on Saturday, and then their second go-round will start at 9 am on Sunday. There’s also a Pulled Pork dinner planned for Saturday night, looking to raise money to support Gena McNeil and Rodeo 4 a Cure; McNeil is currently battling Leukemia. Call 509-607-3640 to RSVP and to get other details.

The first-ever Cathlamet Art Festival happens this Friday and Saturday, starting at the Tsuga Gallery in downtown Cathlamet at 7:30 pm. There will be an Open Mic, live music, snacks and beverages on Friday night in several locations around town, then a number of events and activities on Saturday. The “Artist’s Market” will open at 7:30 Saturday morning, the Tsuga Art Walk starts at 10, and there will be activities all around town. Things wrap up with music and poetry form Krist Novoselic, Bob Pyle and Ray Prestegard at the Cathlamet Community Center. Contact the Tsuga Gallery for more information.

Saturday:
Supporters of the Longview School Bond plan to be doorbelling on Saturday, going from 10 am until 2 pm. There’s an orientation meeting set for 9:30 Saturday morning at Lake Sacajawea’s Martin’s Dock, then everyone will head out around the city. Materials, maps, instructions and a script will be provided; you should wear good shoes for walking, and be sure to bring water.

Damian Lillard with the Portland Trailblazers is coming to Longview for the fourth year in a row, looking to make some money for local groups at the fourth annual Threes 4 Threes event at Mark Morris High School. Lillard is coming to Ted Natt Court at Mark Morris on Saturday, sponsored by Dick Hannah Toyota. Over the past three years, more than $45,000 has been raised for groups like the YMCA of Southwest Washington, the Cowlitz County Humane Society and Mark Morris High School itself. The doors for the free event will open at 1 pm on Saturday, and then the event will start at 2 pm tomorrow. Along with Lillard’s dead-on shooting display, there will be other prize giveaways, and members of the Rip City Dancers. Threes 4 Threes is free, but seating will be limited. You can pre-register for a free ticket by going to the Eventbrite web page, and then click on Dick Hannah Toyota Three 4 Threes button.

The 13th annual Cowlitz Indian Tribal Health Walk happens on Saturday, doing a lap around Lake Sacajawea. Registration opens at 9 am at the Lions Shelter, and then the 5K fun run and walk starts at 10 am. They’ll also have a Health Fair set up between 9 and 11:30 am, and the first 300 people to sign up will get T-shirts. Call 360-219-3669 for find out more.

Auditions for the 2nd annual “Cinema of Horrors Haunted House” take place this Saturday morning, going from 10 am until 1 pm at the old Three Rivers Mall Cinema. This year’s themes are “Farmhouse” and “Dark Legends of New Orleans.” Tickets are also on sale for this spook show, which will open for business on October 13th. Get more information on the Cinema of Horrors web page, or on their Facebook page.

The 3rd annual North County Recreation Association Salmon Derby is being held on Saturday, based out of the Al Helenberg Memorial Boat Launch, next to the North County Recreation Center off of West Side Highway. Prizes will be awarded for Highest Weight Total, Biggest Fish and more. Entrants will get a T-shirt, and there’s also a beer garden and a barbecue after the Derby. Tickets are available at Four Corners Farm and Garden, or at the boat launch. Call 360-749-9769 to learn more.

Also up in Castle Rock, the 6th annual Bike Park Blowout happens. This gets under way at 9:30 Saturday morning at the Castle Rock Bike Park, with the pump track, jump lines and skills stations for bike riders of all ages and skill levels. They’ll have bike mechanics on hand to do safety checks and to do minor repairs, and there’s no cost for taking part. The Castle Rock Bike Park is located off of Exit 48 on I-5, on Dike Road next to the Cowlitz River.

A workshop called “Secrets to Starting the Best Business for You” is being offered on Saturday at the Longview Library. This will run from 10 am until 1 pm, offering advice from members of SCORE. You can also go through a profile-building exercise, which will help identify which business would be bset for you. It’s free to take part, but you do need to register by calling 360-442-5300.

The Southern Washington Mineralogical Society holds its 52nd annual Rock and Gem Show this weekend, being held at the Castle Rock Fairgrounds. Along with the displays, there will be a “Scavenger Hunt” for the kids, rock and gem dealers, a silent auction and a lot more. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, 10 to 4 on Sunday, admission is free.

The Cowlitz Indians invite you to their 18th annual Pow Wow, taking place from noon to 10 pm this Saturday at Toledo High School. There will be drumming, dancing, vendors and a traditional salmon dinner, which will start at 5 pm. Members of the military will be honored during the Grand Entry. Admission is free.

The Pacific Northwest Cavaliers semi-pro football team is holding a fundraising car wash this Saturday down in Woodland. They’re trying to raise money to pay for new gear and uniforms, going from noon to 6 pm on Saturday at the Woodland NAPA store, located at 1015 Pacific Avenue.

The WSU Master Gardeners are celebrating the season with the “Harvest Hoedown” Junior Gardener Workshop, going from 2 to 4 pm on Saturday in the Agricultural Building at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. The kids will learn how candles are made, they’ll do corn husk crafts and there will be snacks made from the fall harvest. Pre-registration is required; call 360-577-3014 to find out more.

The Mount St. Helens Institute is hosting the Sky and Star Party on Saturday, going from 3 pm until midnight at the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater. Along with presentations from an astronaut, a NASA ambassador and other astronomy experts, they’re planning to have both solar and star viewing, live music from “Jawbone Flats” and a lot more. Weather permitting, the Friends of Galileo and the Rose City Astronomers plan to have telescopes set up for viewing, and they also have contingencies in case the sky doesn’t cooperate. Get registration information on the Mount St. Helens Institute web page.

The annual “Jeans and Jewels” event in support of Life Works happens Saturday evening at the agency’s building on New York Street in Longview, going from 6 to 9pm. “Superheroes” is the theme for this year’s gala, and this is a 21-and-over event. Go to lifeworkswa.org, or call 360-577-9093.

Get down to the Cowlitz Community Farmers Market for the freshest locally-grown produce, berries, baked goods and other items. This happens in the parking lot on 7th Avenue across from the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds, on Saturdays and Tuesdays through October. Hours are 9 am until 2 pm.

Sunday:

Long-time choral and voice teacher Howard Meharg returns to Longview on Sunday, bringing the all-star singing group “Choir Anno” to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The concert begins at 2 pm on Sunday; admission is free, but they will also be accepting donations at the door.

The Kelso Bridge Market continues on Sunday, starting at 10 am at the Three Rivers Mall. Local farmers and crafters will be set up with fresh items, artworks and specially-made crafts. Admission is free.

KLOG Thursday Sports

Mike Zunino hit two homers to lead the Mariners to an 8-1 victory over Texas yesterday. The M’s welcome Felix Hernandez off the disabled list to pitch today against the Rangers, KLOG 4:00 pm…..Former Kalama star Averi Dyer had 23 kills to lead Bellevue over LCC 3-1 in college volleyball last night…..Tonight in prep V-ball, Kelso is at Heritage, Hockinson at Mark Morris and R.A. Long at Ridgefield…..LCC tied Tacoma 3-3 in college soccer as Emily McCoy had a goal and an assist to lead the way…..Tonight in high school soccer, Kelso is at Aberdeen, RAL at Ridgefield (both at 7 pm) and Hockinson visits MM (5 pm)…..Kelso QB A.J. Hoggatt will have knee surgery today and will miss 4-6 weeks…..Pre-Sale tickets for tomorrow Civil War are on sale today and tomorrow from 11 to 3 at RAL.

Jeep Recovered

A Jeep YJ Wrangler that had been stolen from a fire station near Kalama has bene recovered in Portland, apparently undamaged. Last week, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office reported the theft of the Jeep, which had been stolen from the Cowlitz Fire District 5 station on Todd Road. A pickup owned by the district was also stolen, along with other equipment and electronics. One of the items that had been taken is a 55-inch computer monitor that’s used for fire training, valued at $10,000; the total loss in the burglary is put in the area of $,100,000. The Jeep was unoccupied when it was found, and the rig did not appear to be damaged. Authorities say that a “person of interest” has been identified in the case, but no arrests have been reported. The Sheriff’s Office says that this is a “very active” investigation, and they say that detectives are following up on “solid leads.” Cowlitz 5 Fire Chief Vic Leatzow is expressing his appreciation for the public’s help and support in this case, and he urges people to continue to use the TIP411 smartphone app to report on this incident and to report other crimes in the area.

Child Porn Arrest

A Kelso man who had been arrested in June on child rape charges is in custody again, picked up on Tuesday for alleged possession of child pornography. The Daily News reports that Robert Wayne Munger, 68, was arrested back in June, accused of first-degree rape of a child. At that time, authorities seized electronic devices from Munger, reportedly finding numerous pornographic images. It’s also claimed that Munger attempted to contact the victim in the crime, a violation of his release conditions. TDN reports that Munger was arrested on Tuesday, and they say probable cause was found to charge Munger with six counts of first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit contact, second-degree possession of child pornography, and voyeurism. Munger is free again after posting bail; his trial on the charges from June is currently set to begin on October 10th.