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Spencer’s Law

The near-death event in September of 2012 involving Spencer Best of Longview has had some profound impacts, as the Longview School District takes action to implement provisions of a new law that was passed through the efforts of Best’s family and Spencer’s HeartStrong Foundation, dealing with Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Longview School Board President Jennifer Leach says that the Best family has made a real difference. The legislation backed by Spencer’s HeartStrong Foundation was signed into law in April, and requires that school districts enact policies that require all coaches to have completed an on-line training course in SCA prevention and response, along with a requirement that the on-line training be completed every three years. Districts are also required to provide pamphlets SCA to student athletes and parents, requiring a signature to be sure that they have been reviewed. Action was taken last night to put these new policies and procedures in place prior to the upcoming school year. Spencer Best collapsed from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest at an “open gym” event on September 9th of 2012, and it was the quick response by coaches and spectators that helped save his life. Since that incident, Best and his family have been working to get Automated External Defibrillators placed in local schools, gyms and other locations, while also working to raise awareness about this potentially deadly situation.

HVAC Heist

Longview Police are looking into a theft reported yesterday morning at an attorney’s office on 3rd Avenue, where scrap metal thieves did at least $30,000 damage. The theft was reported yesterday morning in the 1500 block of 3rd; an inspection of the HVAC systems on the building show that all of the copper and aluminum tubes, valves and coils were stolen from four units on the roof. While the repairs will run well into five figures, it’s estimated that the scrap value of the metal is between $60 and $70. Police took pictures and dusted for prints, but no suspects have been identified at this time.

Solar Deadline

Today is the deadline for citizens, businesses and other Kelso-based electricity customers to get their names in the lottery for the Kelso Community Solar Project. The city is contracting with Seattle-based Inovus Solar for development of the 46-kilowatt project, which will involve the use of city-owned utility poles as the base for solar power collectors. As many as 40 participants will be selected for the program, which should be installed and operational in the next few weeks. Those chosen to participate will see a slight reduction in their power bills, and will also be eligible for a substantial tax credit. To qualify, you must live and/or operate a business or non-profit inside the Kelso city limits, have an account with the Cowlitz PUD, prove that your address is connected to your PUD account, and complete an application prior to today’s 5 pm deadline. A random lottery is being set up for this Friday, where the 40 participants will be selected. Applicants will be notified if they won within ten days of the drawing. Contact the City of Kelso for more information.

Washington Counties Scholly

Barbara Carol Millward of Castle Rock is one of five students from across the state who are receiving a 2015-2016 Washington Counties Scholarship Fund award. Each year, the Washington Association of County Officials and the Washington State Association of Counties award five scholarships of $3,000 apiece, presented to dependents of county employees or elected officials. Millward, whose mother works as a judicial assistant for Cowlitz County, plans to attend PLU, with a dual major in Spanish and chemistry; Millward is a cancer survivor, and she has an ultimate goal of pursuing a career in medicine.

Colvin Creek Fire Arrests

Three young men from Vancouver are under arrest, accused of starting the Colvin Creek wildfire that’s burning near Woodland. The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office took Michael Estrada-Cardenas, 22, Nathan Taylor, 21, and Adrian Taylor, 23, into custody on Friday, saying that the trio inadvertently started the fire after they were using propane bottle for target practice. Deputy Lorenzo Gladson and an investigator with the Department of Natural Resources reportedly were able to piece things together, leading them to these three men. When questioned, the trio reportedly admitted going into the woods off of Fredrickson Road with four propane bottles and three weapons, a rifle, a pistol and a shotgun. They say that the fire started when they shot the bottles; the three say that they got the flames put out, but there were still some smoldering embers on the ground. All three are now being held without bail on charges of first-degree reckless burning.

Fire Update

The Department of Natural Resources reports that this weekend’s rain and cooler weather is helping in the fight on the Pacific Cascade Complex of fires, including the Colvin Creek Fire. They now say that the Colvin Creek Fire is 100 percent contained, and after this weekend’s rain, fire activity is considered to be “minimal” at this time. Crews are in mop-up mode along the fire perimeter, but the fire is still listed as “active.” The Germany Creek Fire is also 100 percent contained, while stumps or logs may still be smoldering inside the fire lines. Three other smaller fires are still listed as being under “patrol status.” Even with this weekend’s light rains, DNR officials say that forest fuels are still extremely dry, with hotter weather and higher fire danger expected through this week.

DUI/Road Rage?

Tammy Rosa Snell, 49, of Longview is in custody on charges of DUI, reckless driving and hit-and-run after a possible road rage incident that was reported last night. Shortly after 10 pm, a 911 call came in from a home on Ocean Beach Highway, where a neighbor of the victim was supposedly holding the suspect at gunpoint. Longview Police arrived on the scene, and they heard this story; the victim says that she was coming across the Lewis and Clark Bridge when the suspect, who was coming the opposite way, did a U-turn, and then started flashing her lights at the victim. The victim also claims that the suspect followed her all of the way home, supposedly trying to run her off of the road at one point. Those on the scene claim that Snell tried to take off after being confronted, backing into a bush and a barrel. Snell was eventually arrested and booked, and is now being held on bail of $2,500.

Saturday Night Crash

Ronald Hickey, 55, of Centralia is in critical condition after a Saturday night rollover crash on I-5, just south of Kalama. State Troopers say that Hickey was driving southbound on the freeway near milepost 26 when his car went off of the road to the right, went down an embankment and then caught fire. Hickey was extricated from the car and then was taken to Portland. The State Patrol continues to investigate the incident.

Shooting Plea

Joseph M. Lowery, 20, of Winlock is pleading “not guilty” to a charge of attempted first-degree murder by firearm, entering a plea in connection with the shooting of Lowery’s ex-girlfriend near a park in Winlock. The Centralia Chronicle reports on Lowery’s arraignment; in court documents, it’s claimed that Lowery shot the 20 year-old woman because she had “disrespected the Juggalo Family”; those people are avid followers of a band called the Insane Clown Posse, and some have been linked to violent and criminal activity around the country. Lowery continues to be held on bail of $500,000; a 16 year-old Centralia boy is also under arrest in connection with the shooting, charged with unlawful possession of a gun and tampering with evidence. Lowery is due back in court on Thursday, when trial dates will be set.

Child Porn Fine

Rex Calvin Wemmer, 64, of Rainier is going to jail for 90 days, and is being ordered to pay a $100,000 fine as he’s sentenced in connection with his conviction for promoting child pornography. The South County Spotlight reports that Wemmer was arrested earlier this year, indicted on 100 counts of encouraging child sexual, abuse. They say that routine monitoring by the Child Protection System led to Wemmer’s arrest; they collect data from around the world, identifying internet addresses that are accessing child porn. Wemmer will avoid prison time by pleading guilty to six counts; he’s also being ordered to pay $100,000 to child abuse prevention organizations, to be paid in monthly installments of $2,000. Wemmer is also ordered to register as a sex offender, and is restricted from having internet access.