The community is responding to the reported theft of special formula and feeding tubes from the family of a Longview boy with a rare medical condition. Noah Anderson, 3, was born with a hernia in his diaphragm, which led to improper development and placement of his internal organs. He spends most of his day on a ventilator, since only one lung was able to form, and has to be fed liquid meals, administered through a special tube. Noah’s mother, Jaelyn Anderson, says that a delivery of 14 cans of formula and 30 feeding tubes was stolen off of the front porch of the family’s home in Longview, as they were attending the Castle Rock Fair. It was going to cost about $500 to replace the stolen supplies, but after the story hit Facebook, the Andersons have received enough in donated formula and feeding tubes to get through the rest of this month. It’s still not known who stole the original delivery, but the Andersons are still hopeful that those materials might be returned.
An urgent call is going out from the American Red Cross, saying that there is an immediate need for blood and platelet donations. They say that donations are down about 8 percent over the past 11 weeks, totaling about 80,000 fewer donations than usual. They’re asking for blood donors of all types to step up, but there’s also a particular need for the O negative, B negative and A negative blood types. There’s an opportunity to help out today, with the regular blood collection event going on from 1 to 6 pm at the National Guard Armory on Vandercook Way in Longview. Go to the American Red Cross website, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule an appointment.
The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office is out with an alert, after a Vancouver man was robbed at gunpoint as he was fishing near Salmon Falls. Undersheriff Dave Cox says that the incident happened last Saturday, as the victim had stopped to use the restroom. As the man was returning to his rig, two men rode up on motorcycles. One of the riders approached the victim, brandished a gun, and got away with about 250 dollars in cash. The suspect and his companion then rode off on large “cruiser-type” motorcycles. Deputies and other law enforcement checked the area, but didn’t find the suspect. Cox says that this is an “unusual event” for this area, and he says that they are “extremely concerned.” They’re requesting anyone with information to call the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office at 1-509-427-9490.
A Longview resident reports that someone who was posing as an Animal Control Officer visited his home earlier this week. A real Humane Society Animal Control Officer relayed a call from a person living on Estate Drive, reporting that a man had come to their home on Monday, asking about dog licenses. It was noted that this person may have asked for money, but it doesn’t appear that any cash was given. The Humane Society of Cowlitz County says that they do have someone going door-to-door, but that person is driving a marked Humane Society vehicle, and is also dressed in a uniform, with a badge. The person involved in the incident on Monday was not wearing any kind of uniform. The callers were able to provide a description of the man to Longview Police. Humane Society officials say that if you have other questions, call their office at 577-0151. If you see or are approached by a suspicious person, try to get a license plate number, and call 911 right away.
The Mets snapped a three game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Mariners last night. The rubber game of the three game set is a day game at Safeco Field, KLOG 11:30 am…..Victoria shutout the Cowlitz Black Bears 6-0 last night. The Bears and HarbourCats meet again tonight at Story Field, 6:35 pm…..The sprinklers were left on at Clark College so the local teams at the Senior Babe Ruth Regionals played at Rister Stadium in Kelso yesterday. Kalama/Woodland/Ridgefield/La Center (KWRL) scored four in the bottom of the 7th to beat JH Kelly 6-5. JH Kelly takes on Lakeside Recovery at 12:15 pm and KWRL plays Klamath Falls at 5:45 pm…..The Babe Ruth 15 State tournament begins today in Chehalis. KWRL takes on Richland at 4 pm.
Lower Columbia CAP is handing out 200 summer-run salmon that are being donated from the Lake Merwin Salmon Hatchery, starting at 2:30 this afternoon. To be eligible to receive one of these fish, you’ll need to bring your USDA Commodities card or your EBT card, along with some sort of container for transporting the fish. The distribution will take place in the 12th Avenue parking lot behind the CAP offices in downtown Longview, right next to the Help Food Warehouse. Call Lower Columbia CAP at 425-3430, extension 252 if you have other questions.
It appears that there’s little public interest in the latest rate adjustment that’s being proposed for the Cowlitz PUD, as only one person who wasn’t with the PUD staff, the Energy Rate Advisory Committee or the media attended last night’s event. The ERAC is recommending that the “basic charge” for providing electricity be increased, effective September 1st. PUD General Manager Don McMaster says that the plan that was put into motion last year appears to be having the intended effect…pudrates…During the first meetings of the ERAC, it was disclosed that commercial and business customers were subsidizing residential customers, so a process for equalizing those rates was developed. It was also suggested that the process be spread out over three years. At last night’s hearing, PUD budget managers showed that the adjustments were moving the rate classes toward equity, also suggesting that the process should continue. It’s now being proposed that the “basic charge” for residential customers be raised from $12 to $17 per month, effective September first. No change to the rate per kilowatt-hour is being proposed. Basic charges for other PUD customer classes are also being adjusted upward, but their kilowatt-hour charge would be reduced slightly. The one person who attended the hearing expressed concerns about how this increase in the basic charge penalizes people who are conserving electricity. The PUD Commission plans to have the increase on its meeting agenda on August 12th at 2 pm.
Employment Security officials say that Cowlitz County’s unemployment picture is “like a see-saw,” rising one month and dropping the next. The June jobless numbers dropped more than a full percentage point in June, going down to 7.1 percent. That compares to 8.5 percent in May, 7.7 percent in April, and 9.4 percent in March. Regional Economist Scott Bailey says that employment in the county was flat in the month of June, virtually unchanged from May. Bailey says that Cowlitz County has 800 more jobs from June to June, but most of that job growth took place last summer. He also says that both employment and unemployment have been pretty stable in recent months, despite the see-saw swings in the monthly rates. Bailey says that those swings don’t accurately indicate what is actually happening on the ground in the local area.
After nearly a century of family ownership, the “Clatskanie Chief” newspaper is being sold. The publishers of the Chief and the St. Helens Chronicle are jointly announcing the sale of the weekly newspaper to Country Media, Incorporated, the parent company of the Chronicle. The Clatskanie Chief has been owned by the Steele and Hazen families for 92 years; Deborah Hazen says that it’s sad to let go of the paper, but they’re encouraged to know that it’s going to a family-run enterprise that also has a “proven affection” for Northwest Oregon. Country Media is owned by Steve and Carol Hungerford of Portland; they also own newspapers and other periodicals in Lincoln City, Tillamook and Manzanita in Oregon, along with similar publications in North Dakota and Montana. Chronicle publisher Don Patterson will also assume editor and publisher roles for the Chief. The sale is expected to become final by the end of this month.
A large brush fire along Ocean Beach Highway near Stella is causing a traffic backup as fire agencies respond and deal with that scene. Cowlitz County Emergency Management says that the fire was first spotted at about 2:05 pm, and was reported to be approaching an acre in size. The highway was shut down between Coal Creek and Mill Creek at about 2:45 pm, and then was re-opened to limited traffic flow at about 3. The fire was fully knocked down at about 3:30 pm. Even as traffic begins to move again, fire crews are still on the scene, so the flow is extremely slow. You’re advised to use an alternate route like Highway 30, or avoid traveling through that area for several hours.