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Laser Incident

A truck driver claims that he was hit in the eye by a laser that was being shined out of a room on the north end of the Motel 6 on Minor Road. The driver called Kelso Police at 1:35 yesterday morning, saying that he was zapped by someone that was on the ground floor of the motel, at the far north end of the building. Kelso Police checked the area, but didn’t find anyone. The driver didn’t say if he suffered any injury in the incident.

Road Work

Work is now under way on a paving project on Industrial Way, dealing with a seven-mile stretch of road that goes from 3rd Avenue to the intersection with Ocean Beach Highway. The Washington Department of Transportation plans to repair 60 broken panels in that stretch of roadway, which will then be followed by a new layer of pavement. Work is being done at night, to minimize traffic impacts. You do need to know that there are some nighttime lane closures. Last night, the westbound lanes of Industrial Way between Oregon Way and California Way were shifted into the center lane; those lane adjustments were scheduled to be removed by 6 this morning. Warning signs are set up at each end of the paving project; this project will take several weeks to complete. Use alternate routes to avoid delays.

FEMA Denial

It’s now being reported that the State of Oregon’s request for a federal disaster declaration from last January’s snow, ice and wind storms is being denied. Oregon Governor Kate Brown had made the request after more than a foot of snow fell in some places, followed by freezing rain and wind. The South County Spotlight reports that Columbia County would have received $670,000 to pay for repairs of power lines and other equipment. In its response letter, FEMA says that “the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of state and affected local governments.” Oregon’s Congressional delegation is upset with the decision, but local emergency management officials say that the decision isn’t all that unusual. They say that disaster requests are rejected on a fairly regular basis.

Rainier School Budget Woes

Budget shortfalls in the Rainier School District could lead to the closure of the Briarcliff Pool. The Clatskanie Chief has an update on the Rainier Schools budget work for next year, as districts across the state face significant budget issues. It’s reported that Rainier could save $150,000 in the annual budget by closing the pool; other possible spending cuts include reductions in spending for technology, and the elimination of a secretary’s position. Superintendent Michael Carter says that the other option is to cut staff, which could save up to $255,000. Carter says that they could keep the pool open this summer, then they would plan to close it on September 6th. He says that they need the community to step up and support the Briarcliff Pool, because “We can’t keep it up. Academics are out number one priority.”

Elk Meeting

The local chapter of the Roosevelt Elk Foundation is hosting the first in a series of Town Hall meetings this evening, where they are looking to inform and organize citizens about the Hoof Rot disease that’s infecting large numbers of elk in this area. Founding Member Steve Rader says that they want to inform people on what has taken place, and on what is planned. He says that the goal is to find solutions to the problem, with with state officials and the private sector in finding a solution to the problem. Tonight’s meeting runs from 6 to 8 pm at Bob’s Sporting Goods, located at 1111 Hudson Street in downtown Longview.

Roberson Withdraws

Just a few days after filing to run for another term on the Kelso City Council, Rick Roberson is withdrawing his name from the race, saying that he does not plan to run for re-election. In a statement to the Daily News, the 68 year-old Roberson says that he’s “lost some passion” since his wife recently passed away, and he says that it’s time for someone with new ideas to come in. Dan Vanelli and Jeffrey McAllister remain on the ballot, and will now automatically advance to the General Election in November.

Hungrytown Show

You’re invited to bring the family down to the Longview Library for a special concert event that’s planned for this evening. “Hungrytown” is a duo that features Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, who quit their day jobs in 2003, forming “Hungrytown” to perform both classic and original folk tunes. They’re been featured on a number of shows, including “Portlandia,” “The Daily Show” and Netflix’s “Lady Dynamite.” The free concert will be held in the main reading room at the Longview Library, and will start at 6 pm. Get more information on the Longview Library web page, or you can call 442-5300 during business hours.

KLOG Monday Sports

The Mariners are off today after losing three straight to the White Sox. Chicago won 8-1 yesterday. The M’s play the Nationals in Washington DC tomorrow…..The field is set for the NWAC Baseball Championships beginning Thursday at LCC’s Story Field. The Devils will play Mt. Hood Thursday night at 7:35 pm…..The LCC softball team went 2-2 and took 7th place at the NWAC Championships in Spokane…..The Kelso Lassies softball team took third at the 3A Bi-District. Kelso opens the State 3A tournament Friday at 12 pm in Lacey against Edmonds-Woodway…..Rainier will host a pair of State Oregon 3A playoff games on Wednesday. The Columbian softball team hosts Irrigon at 4 pm and then the Rainier baseball team hosts Taft at 5 pm.

I-5 Collision

Martin Jenkins, 54, of Woodland is recovering from injuries he received in a three-vehicle collision that took place yesterday afternoon on I-5 north of Woodland. State Troopers say that Jenkins was riding a motorcycle on the southbound freeway near milepost 26 at about 3:35 yesterday afternoon, and apparently tried to split cars in the middle and left lanes. They say Jenkins lost control, hitting two other cars. Jenkins then lost control, going off of the freeway to the right. He was ejected after hitting the guard rail, while the motorcycle continued on. It went back into the freeway, hitting a car driven by Starla Sawyer, 42, of Battle Ground a second time. Jenkins was taken to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver; no one else was hurt. Troopers blame the crash on improper passing, and they say Jenkins will be charged with negligent driving.

SR 504 Crash

State Troopers continue to investigate a two-motorcycle crash that happened Saturday afternoon on the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway east of Toutle, a crash that injured two people. The crash happened at about 12:45 on Saturday, 21 miles east of Toutle on the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway. Geoffrey Souza, 21, of Yelm failed to negotiate a curve at milepost 36, laying his bike down on its side. The motorcycle hit the guard rail and then skidded back onto the road, where it crashed into the bike being ridden by Ahmed Jenkins, 43, of Seattle. Sousa went to Vancouver for treatment, while Jenkins went to St. John Medical Center in Vancouver. Troopers blame the crash on “driving with wheels off of the roadway,” but they haven’t announced any citations as of yet.