Local law enforcement agencies are still on the lookout for a wanted felon who evaded Sheriff’s Deputies yesterday morning after a car chase on West Side Highway. Shortly after midnight Monday morning, a van was seen leaving the Flying K parking lot in West Kelso, speeding and driving erratically. A Kelso Police Officer gave chase, with speeds hitting 90 miles an hour before the officer lost the suspect near Hazel Dell Road. A short time later, the crashed van was found in the 300 block of Cline Road, but no one was around. A check of the van shows that it was stolen out of Vancouver, and a wallet containing ID belonging to a local felon was found inside. A K-9 track was attempted, without success. The suspect has been identified, but remains at large.
Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod is now making a public appeal, looking for help in finding anyone who’s related to the woman whose skeletal remains were found last month off of Kresky Avenue in Chehalis. The Centralia Chronicle says that the remains have been identified as Sara Candice, 56, who lived in the Centralia-Chehalis area. Survey workers reported finding the remains, which were positively identified on the 5th. McLeod says that he still hasn’t been able to contact any family members, and the Sheriff’s Office has also been unsuccessful in finding any kin. Contact the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office or Chehalis Police if you can help out with this case.
After 87 years of operation, the 30-mile Weyerhaeuser Woods Railroad operation between Toutle and Longview is now quiet, closed down earlier this month for a lack of work. Today’s Daily News reports on the quiet end of the short-line, reporting that the current owner of the line, Patriot Rail, ran its last train on Monday, March 9th. Officials with Patriot Rail tell the paper that there’s simply nothing to run on the line, as the leachate tank runs from the Silver Lake Landfill are now being handled by the recently-completed pipeline to the water treatment plane. Weyerhaeuser first opened the line back in 1928, building more than 100 miles of track to haul logs, lumber, machinery and other materials to support their logging operations. Patriot Rail will continue to run through the Industrial Way corridor, serving the Weyerhaeuser mill and other facilities along that corridor, but the through-town trains are now a thing of the past.
If things go as they’re being proposed right now, secondary school students in the Kelso School District will start school ten minutes earlier in the 2015-2016 school year, while elementary school student will be in class ten minutes longer, as the district works to comply with state law. School Board President Patty Wood says that this might seem like a small thing, but it’s actually quite significant. State law now requires 1,027 instructional hours, effective in 2015-2016, up from 1,000 hours in the current school year. Business Director Scott Westlund says that a large and diverse group of teachers, classified staff, parents and others worked on this issue for more than a year, finally settling on this proposal to add ten minutes to the school day. Westlund and Wood also say that this slight tweak will also help to ease pressure on bus drivers, giving them more time to complete secondary school bus runs before having to transport elementary school kids. The recommendation was presented as an information item at last night’s Kelso School Board meeting; action is expected in the near future.
Music students from high schools all around the area will be spending quite a bit of time at Lower Columbia College during this week, taking part in regional competitions. Today, the Regional Band Competition will be going on all day long at the Rose Center for the Arts. Tomorrow is the Regional Orchestra Competition and Thursday will be the Regional Choir Competition. All three events are day-long competitions.
A class for adults who need help in learning how to use their personal computer, laptop or tablet may want to head over to the Longview Public Library this evening, as a Computer Class for Adults gets under way. The class starts tonight, and will be held Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the Library Auditorium. The classes are scheduled to run from 6 to 7:30 pm. You do NOT need a Longview Library Card to participate, but there is a limit of 18 participants. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call Elizabeth Partridge at 442-5321 for more information, and to get signed up.
Organizers of several fundraising events in support of a Winlock family who recently lost three family members in a house fire say that they raised more than $11,000 to help support the survivors. This past Saturday, there was a yard sale, a motorcycle poker run and a benefit lunch, all being held with the intent of raising money to help Felix Cuvreau and his two young sons. They survived a house fire in Winlock late last month, a fire that resulted in the deaths of Samantha Koehler, 31, Bethany Cuvreau, 4, and Tabitha Cuvreau, 2. The poker run reportedly brought in about $7,000, while the yard sale and lunch at Winlock Elementary School collected another $4,300. Donations for the Cuvreau family is still being accepted at any Umpqua Bank branch.
This past Friday, the Longview Fire Department held its first-ever Firefighter Awards and Recognition Banquet, honoring a number of firefighters for outstanding service and contributions. Master Firefighter Graham Lasee and Master Firefighter Luke Amos were presented with Community Service Awards, along with the team of Lieutenant Derek Stabell, Master Firefighter Kevin Broschat and Firefighter/Paramedics Dan Jones, Seth Cornelius, Aaron Flemens and Dave Lamb, honored for their work with the Spencer’s HeartStrong Foundation. Years-of-Service milestones also went to six members of the department. Firefighter/Paramedic Dave Lamb is the 2014 Firefighter of the Year, honored for his work as a firefighter and for his work in the community.
The Trail Blazers host the Golden State Warriors tonight, KLOG 6:35 pm. Golden State played last night and beat the Wizards 107-76…..The L.A. Angels shutout the Mariners 5-0 in spring training action yesterday. The M’s play the Padres today in Peoria…..The Seattle U. Redhawks defeated Colorado 72-65 in the College Basketball Invitational tournament last night. Seattle U. advances to the tourney semi-finals against ULM tomorrow night…..Kelso scored two second half goals to beat Woodland 2-1 in boys soccer…..The Kelso baseball team hosts Woodland today at 4 pm. The R.A. Long baseball teams is at W.F. West this afternoon…..In softball today, Kelso is at Skyview and RAL is at Heritage…..In girls golf today, Fort visits MM and RAL is at Heritage.
The American Red Cross reports that they’re assisting two adults and a dog after a Saturday night fire at a home in the 100 block of Burma Road, east of Castle Rock. Few details are being released at this time, other than to say that the Red Cross provided lodging, food, clothing, “comfort kits” and other information about disaster relief and mental health services. Additional information should be coming out later today from Cowlitz Fire Districts 3 and 6.