A three-day razor clam dig opens today and runs through Sunday, but one of the beaches that had been on the list for digging will now remain closed. Washington Fish and Wildlife says that Mocrocks will be open for digging on the evening tides tonight and on Sunday, and Copalis will be open tomorrow evening. Twin Harbors had been considered for this dig, but that came off the table when Domoic Acid levels spiked again. Long Beach also remains closed, due to high levels of Domoic Acid. WDFW officials are tentatively planning a four-day dig to start on the 30th, but approval of that dig depends on the results of upcoming toxin tests.
It’s “Flights, Bites, and Trivia Night” this Friday evening at Ashtown Brewing in Longview, as Longview Parks and Rec puts on its second “Date Night” event. This is billed as “an evening of educational culinary adventure,” which will then be followed by a test of your knowledge of random facts. This will run from 7 to 10 pm on Friday, and you’ll have to act fast, as there’s pace for only 25 couples. Get details and a link to tickets on mylongview.com.
The Clatskanie Bloom Open Art show continues this weekend, runining through the 26th. This is sponsored by the Clatskanie Farmers Market, and 30% of each art sale will go to FEAST, a local community food project. “Clatskanie Bloom” will be open from 1 to 7 pm on weekdays and from 1 to 5 pm on weekends at 136 N. Nehalem in Clatskanie. Go to clatskaniebloom.com for details.
The annual Spring Show of the Columbian Artists Association continues run through April 2nd at the Three Rivers Mall. The show will be open from 11 am to 5 pm in the mall space near the Macy’s store through April 2nd. Admission is free; find out more on Columbianartists.org.
Have a great breakfast while helping out Special Olympics, as they’re serving pancakes from 8 to 11 am this Saturday morning at the Faith Family Christian Center on 38th Avenue in Longview. All proceeds from the breakfast will be helping out local Special Olympics athletes. Faith Family is located at the corner of 38th and Ocean Beach Highway, right across from Walmart.
There’s a “Community Indoor Super Sale” planned for this Saturday out on the west end of Wahkiakum County, going from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday at the Grays River Valley Center at Johnson Park. The Grays River Valley Center is located just off of Ocean Beach Highway in Rosburg. Proceeds will help to support the Center and its community activities.
The Kelso High School Class of 1945 will be honored on Saturday at their alma mater. The Class of ’45’s 90th Birthday Party will run from 3 to 5 pm in the Kelso High School Commons, with food prepared by Hilander Catering, a high school club made up of students interested pursuing careers in the culinary arts. The Kelso High School Foundation is honoring the Class of 1945 for their generous support of student scholarship programs, with more than $61,000 in scholarships awarded over the past 15 years.
NanoCon Mark IV (four) lands at Lower Columbia College on Saturday, running from 5 to 10 pm in the Rose Center for the Arts. Things kick off with the NanoCon Mk. IV Science Fiction Film Festival, along with the NanoCon Mk. IV Sci-Fi Convention. You’ll be able to “meet cool speakers, play games, participate in a costume contest and win cool prizes. There is a separate admission for the Film Festival and the Convention. Get details on the LCC web page.
Help raise money for the Pioneer Lions scholarship programs while enjoying pasta, salad and garlic bread at the 15th annual “A Taste of Italy” dinner that’s being held Saturday afternoon and evening at the St. Rose Parish Center. Bring the whole family to this all-you-can-eat event, which will also have live entertainment and raffle prizes. Get your tickets at the door.
The 7th annual Dino Doozer Foundation Masquerade Ball happens this Saturday night, with this year’s theme of “A Venetian Carnival.” This is a 21-and over event, raising money for the Foundation that’s fighting against childhood cancer. This is happening at the Cowlitz County Conference and Event Center; the doors will open at 6 pm. Go to dinodoozerfoundation.org for ticket information.
Saturday night at the R. A. Long Gym, the 3rd annual Senior Buff Puff Showdown happens, with the senior boys from R. A. Long and Mark Morris will square off in a volleyball match. Along with the on-court action, they’ll have a 50/50 raffle, and T-shirts will be for sale. Proceeds will go to the 2017 Safe and Sober Senior Party. Things get started at 6 pm on Saturday.
A high-energy Celtic music and dance show comes to the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts this Saturday night, as “The Young Irelanders” come in. The eight-member group has toured the world, performing with Michael Flatly and Riverdance, on PBS, and at private parties put on by Sting. Showtime is 7:30 pm Saturday night. Go to columbiatheatre.com for ticket information, or call 575-8499.
The Rainy Months Series continues on Sunday at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, with the Grammy Award-winning “kid-hop” group Secret Agent 23 Skidoo coming in for a special show. This group won the 2017 Grammy for Best Children’s Album, and they’ll be at the Columbia Theatre at 2 pm on Sunday. Prior to the show, there’s a free Kid’s Carnival that will get under way at 12:30 pm. Get more information on the CTPA web page.
The Zags and Ducks survive and move on after tough wins in the NCAA tournament. Gonzaga beat West Virginia 61-58 and will play Xavier in the Elite 8 tomorrow. Oregon held off Michigan 69-68 to advance against Kansas tomorrow…..The Blazers never trailed in a 110-95 victory over the Knicks last night…..Felix Hernandez pitched well in the M’s 9-2 win over the Giants yesterday…..The LCC baseball team is at Edmonds today at 1 pm then the teams come to Story Field tomorrow at 1 pm…..Kelso rallied to beat Prairie 13-12 in prep baseball last night…..The LCC softball team showed guts by rallying for a split at Clackamas, losing 16-5 and winning 9-6. The Devils are at Mt. Hood tomorrow at 12 pm…..In prep softball, Kelso beat Ridgefield 2-1 and RAL over Montesano 2-0.
LCC men’s basketball coach Jim Roffler has retired after 26 winning seasons. Roffler had an incredible 71% win total and a 541-273 record. A search for a new coach will begin soon…..Gonzaga takes West Virginia in the NCAA Sweet 16 today at 4 pm in San Jose. The Oregon Ducks play Michigan at 4:30 pm in Kansas City…..The Blazers host the New York Knicks tonight, KLOG 6:05 pm…..The LCC softball team opens league play at Clackamas today…..In prep softball, Rochester defeated Mark Morris 12-6. Montesano is at R.A. Long today…..In prep baseball, Chehalis beat Kelso 9-3. The Scotties take on Prairie in a 6 pm game at Story Field. Also, Mark Morris beat Hudson’s Bay 7-4…..In boys soccer, Kelso blanked Chehalis 4-0, RAL over Washougal 5-2 and MM beat Hockinson 3-2.
Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler is defying President Donald Trump, announcing this morning that she’s not going to vote for the American Health Care Act in its current form. In a statement that came out this morning, Beutler says that “I remain steadfast in my commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare with health care solutions that better serve all residents of Southwest Washington. But we can do better than the current House replacement plan, and I cannot support it in its current form.” Beutler says that she appreciates the work done by Paul Ryan and others, but she also says that this bill creates problems for millions of children. She’s also disappointed that an amendment she offered to strengthen the Medicaid safety net for kids will not be considered. She says that “In the final analysis, this bill falls short. We can’t give up on replacing Obamacare with a solution that provides affordable, high-quality health care to all Americans.” Beutler says that she will remain “active and engaged at every step until Congress gets this right.”
Cowlitz County Coroner Tim Davidson says that he needs your help in identifying the victim in yesterday’s fatal car-vs-pedestrian collision that took place on I-5 near Carrolls Bluff. We reported on this crash yesterday morning, taking place just before 5 am near milepost 35 on the southbound freeway, in the vicinity of Carrolls Bluff. Wanda Sampson, 43, of Kelso was southbound in the left lane, and hit a person who was also in the left lane. Sampson wasn’t injured, but the person that was on the freeway died instantly. It was first reported that the victim was male, but Davidson now says that the victim is a female who is in her teens or late 20’s. The physical description of the woman shows that she’s 5’5″ to 5’6″, and weighed between 150 and 160 pounds. The woman’s hair was approximately neck-length, and was brown in color, with burgundy highlights. The woman has some distinctive tattoos, located on her right shoulder, across the back of her neck, and an inscription on the top of her right foot, with the name “Kayden.” The woman was wearing a black hooded coat, with “Aero” on the back, a gray hoodie, and multi-colored sweat pants with a Marvel Comics character on the leg. If you can help identify this woman, call the Coroner’s office at 577-3079.
Highway 30 traffic is moving again this morning near Sauvie Island, after a fatal car crash closed the road for more than three hours yesterday morning. Oregon State Police report that the crash happened a few minutes before 10 am, a collision that involved five vehicles, one death and three injuries. OSP says that a pickup driven by Lewis Demar, 58,s of Scappoose started things off, when he went from the eastbound lanes to the westbound lanes, going into the path of westbound traffic. The pickup hit a car driven by Steven Richards, 46, of Vancouver, then went on to hit a van driven by Breckon Scott, 26, of Camas. Richards’ car then spun into a dump truck driven by Michael Williams of Portland; after that impact, Richards’ car went into the eastbound lanes, crashing into a car driven by Laurie Davis, 61, of Scappoose. Demars died at the scene, while Richards, Davis and Scott were taken to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. All traffic was shut down until about 1 pm, as OSP investigated the collision.
Work is beginning on the removal of the slide that’s blocking the Kalama River Road, but state officials say that it’s still too dangerous to approach the slide that’s covering State Route 503 near Ariel. Working on an emergency contract, Advanced Excavating Specialists of Longview started removing mud, trees and rocks from the 200-foot-wide slide that covered the Kalama River Road last week; full cleanup and road repair of that slide is still expected to take a couple of weeks.
The Washington Department of Transportation continues to monitor the slide that covers SR 503 near Speelyai Bay, but they say that the slide is still moving. They’re also concerned with a huge rock slab above the road, which is also poised to come down. WashDOT says that monitoring of the slide will continue, using drones and other visual aids. There’s still no estimate of when that slide will be removed, but the time frame being discussed covers several weeks. The data being gathered will be included in the cleanup contract, when they get ready to let that contract out.
Members of several local diking districts, county officials and local environmental engineers met with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, as they delivered the annual “State of the River” report on the Cowlitz River, updating those groups on the current status of flood protection and sediment management on the river. With all of the rain in 2016, there’s a lot more sediment in the river this year, and Project Technical Lead Paul Sclafani says that they are keeping a close eye on that. If you thought that there’s more sediment and debris in the Cowlitz River this winter, you would be right. Checking the data from the gauge at Tower Road, the sediment load is up substantially in 2016. In 2015, an estimated two million tons of sediment went past that gauge; in 2016, that number went up to six million tons. Sclafani says that this is the normal progression that they expected after the spillway on the Sediment Retention Structure was raised in 2012, and he says that it’s now time to take the “next steps” in that process. At this time, the Corps says that the level of flood protection in the diked areas along the last 20 miles of the river look really good, but they do need to look at those next steps in sediment retention. Monitoring will continue, while Corps officials start the process of securing funding from Congress for those next steps.
A public hearing is planned at tonight’s Longview City Council meeting, where they will take input and then will vote on a proposed extension of the moratorium on emergency shelters inside the city limits. The city’s Ad Hoc Committee on Zoning Regulations for Emergency Shelters met last night, where the discussions over the possibility of allowing shelters in R-4 zones resumed. No decision was made on that topic, but the committee does plan to recommend that the city should adopt a rule that extends the buffer between shelters and schools, moving that from 650 feet to a thousand feet.
Also on tonight’s agenda will be a public hearing on the proposed assumption of the Longview Transportation Benefit District, and proposed amendments to the city’s Urban Forest Management Plan, allowing the use of a pesticide for aphids on city-owned trees. Chief Jim Duscha will also present the annual report from the Longview Police Department. Tonight’s meeting starts at 7 pm in the Longview City Council Chambers.