An investigation into the cause of a fire that did severe damage to a home in the area of 6th and Harris Street in Kelso is continuing. Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue was called out shortly before 6 pm, when flames and smoke were seen coming from a single-story home. It was reported that a second home may have been threatened by the fire, which was burning vigorously in the rear of the house. Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue reports that it took just over 20 minutes to get the fire out, and about $70,000 damage was done. No injuries were reported, while the investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing.
Longview Police report that two motorcycle riders were seriously injured in separate crashes that took place Saturday. Just after 5 pm, Longview Police and aid personnel were called to the 4400 block of Constitution Lane, where a male motorcycle rider had crashed. It was noted that the rider was having some trouble breathing, and was not fully conscious. LifeFlight was called in, and the unidentified man was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center. It was noted that the man was wearing a “half-helmet” at the time of the crash. Longview Police continue to investigate the incident.
The State Patrol is joining in the second crash investigation, which took place around 11:30 pm Saturday night in the 500 block of Tennant Way. 911 callers reported seeing the motorcycle rider driving erratically before losing control and hitting another vehicle. The rider was ejected, while the motorcycle continued down the road for several hundred feet. The bike also burst into flames after the crash. They say Henry Li, 28, of Longview was wearing a full face helmet, and was taken to St. John Medical Center. State Troopers blame the crash on excessive speed, and they say charges are pending.
Oregon State Police are asking for your help in finding a suspect in a road rage incident that took place Saturday afternoon on Highway 30 near Cornelius Pass Road. Around a quarter after 5 pm on Saturday, an incident that involved at least two motorcycles and two passenger cars. OSP says that a 2008 Pontiac sedan swerved out of its lane and collided with a motorcycle driven by Kelly R. Snyder, 41, of Portland. The Pontiac and a Camaro reportedly sped away from the scene, reportedly driving recklessly as they were pursued by the second bike. Both cars were stopped in downtown Scappoose. Brandon Goodson, 34, of Portland was arrested for reckless driving, and is being cited for driving while suspended and uninsured. Justin M. Willard, 28, of Portland faces multiple counts of third-degree assault and reckless driving, along with injury hit-and-run and reckless endangerment. Both men are free after posting bail. OSP is looking for the rider of a third red motorcycle as a material witness. Call 503-397-3131 if you can help out.
If you’re heading up to or through the Chehalis area, be aware that the Chamber Way overpass on I-5 is closed indefinitely, after an over-height load hit the bridge over the weekend. Last Friday at about 11:45 am, a semi carrying two excavators on the southbound freeway scraped along the underside of the overpass, sending a rain of softball-sized chunks of concrete onto the road. Two other vehicles were damaged in the incident, and one person went to the hospital. Due to the amount of damage done, and for public safety, the overpass is closed until further notice. WashDOT officials say that they know that this will be a major inconvenience, but they also say that these repairs are going to take time, due to each damaged piece being unique and integral to the strength of the bridge. Citations were issued to the truck driver, who was unhurt. Authorities also say that they will work to recover emergency response and repair costs from the responsible parties.
The 27 year-old girlfriend of Brent Ward Luyster, 35, of Longview is now in custody, as authorities now claim she was present when Luyster shot and killed three people at a home in Woodland, and then drove him away from the scene. It’s reported that Andrea Sibley of Woodland had her first appearance Clark County Superior Court on Friday, where probable cause was found to hold her on charges of first-degree rendering criminal assistance. Bail for Sibley is set at $400,000, and arraignment is set for Monday, August 1st. It’s alleged that Sibley and Luyster went to the home on Northwest 417th at about 10:30 pm on Friday, July 15th. They say Luyster shot and killed two men in the driveway, and then went to the house, where he shot two women. One survived after being shot in the face, while the second woman died. Luyster and Sibley were arrested on the afternoon of the 16th, at a campsite off of Abernathy Creek. He’s being held without bail in the Clark County Jail on three counts of first-degree murder, along with other charges.
Anthony Kenneth Dow, 24, was taken into custody for his own safety this past Friday, after he was reportedly involved incidents on both the Lewis and Clark and Allen Street Bridges. Traffic across the Columbia River was shut down for about a half-hour Friday morning, after Dow allegedly climbed over the railing of the Lewis and Clark Bridge. Authorities talked him down from there, but they were back with him about three hours later, when Kelso Police found Dow walking on the railing of the Allen Street Bridge. Dow was arrested for disorderly conduct, but the Daily News reports that Dow was eventually released on his own recognizance. Dow was picked up again on Saturday morning, booked for allegedly driving while suspended and for reckless driving, with bail set at $1,500.
Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler says that funding for repairs of Forest Road 23 has been secured, after she sent a letter to the U. S. Department of Transportation, asking that the money be “expeditiously released.” They say that repairs for the major route through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest was severely damaged by floods during the past winter; assessments show that additional armoring is needed to prevent future washouts and to preserve reliability. Beutler says that this move by the U. S. DOT will help get this badly-needed repairs done during this year, rather than being pushed back to next year.
Lower Columbia College is announcing that Spin Classes are now open to the public at the Fitness Center at Myklebust Gym. Spin classes involve a stationary bike, with instructors guiding the classes through various levels of speed and intensity. The classes are being offered at 7 pm on Mondays and Wednesday in the Fitness Center; there is a fee to take part. You can register on the LCC web page, or by calling 442-2602.
Local kids will be learning about the basics of Floral Design at a class that’s being conducted this evening by Cowlitz County Master Gardener Marge Lippencott. Students will learn how to combine form, color, style, and balance in a beautiful display. The class starts at 6 pm in the Cowlitz County Training Center, located next to the Hall of Justice. Pre-registration is required, and class size is limited. Call WSU Extension at 577-3014 for more information.
Ken Griffey Junior gave an emotional speech as he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday. He ended his speech by flipping his HOF hat backwards, his signature look…..The M’s meanwhile could muster just one hit in a 2-0 loss to Toronto yesterday. Seattle is off today before playing two at Pittsburgh starting tomorrow…..The Cowlitz Black Bears blanked Bend 6-0 last night as Jacob Worrell and Dustin Wells combined on a two-hitter. The Bears and Elks play again tonight at 6:35 pm…..Hilander Dental smacked Baseball Beyond Borders 18-1 at the State Senior Legion tournament. HD needs a win against Twin City at 1 pm today to advance to bracket play…..At the Junior Legion State in Spokane, Competitive Athletics beat Shadle Park 9-1.