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Vista Way Sinkhole

Apple Lane in Kelso is closed at the intersection with West Vista Way until further notice, after a sinkhole was reported in the intersection yesterday morning. This call came in around 8:15 yesterday morning, with the caller reporting that a three-foot-by-three-foot sinkhole was open in a corner of the intersection, going down one to two feet. The city currently has Apple Lane closed at the intersection with West Vista Way, which is now reduced to one lane of travel. These restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

Body Found

The Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office is looking for help in identifying a man, whose body was recovered last weekend near Pillar Rock. In a press release issued yesterday, they say that the remains were first spotted last Friday, seen by a local resident who was boating on the river. The remains were recovered later in the day; they say that the body was badly decomposed, after having been in the river for months, or possibly years. While the body has not been identified, they say that the remains are those of a Caucasian male between the ages of 30 and 60, about 5’8” in height. The man was wearing boots, a red button-down shirt, Levi’s and black gaiters. The man had a lens cleaner on his person, bearing the name of an optometrist from Seattle. Authorities say that it appears that this man died at least two years ago, so the exact cause of death may never be known. If you can help with this case, you’re asked to call the Wahkiakum County Prosecutor and Coroner at 795-3652.

April Unemployment

Cowlitz County’s April jobless rate ticked up just slightly from March, and held steady when compared to the same time last year. Washington Employment Security reports that the April unemployment rate came in at 7.5 percent, up from the March number of 7.4 percent. Federal officials report that non-farm employment increased by 300 jobs in April, and only 100 of those jobs was attributed to seasonal hiring patterns. The number of new and continuing unemployment claims continues at “very low levels.”

More Salmon

Salmon anglers will have more opportunities to catch Spring Chinook on the Columbia River, as fishery managers re-open the river for the Memorial Day weekend, and then again in June. Under this latest agreement, the main stem of the Columbia below Bonneville Dam will open for Chinook salmon from Friday through Monday, then the river will close for three days. The river will re-open on June 3rd, and then will be open for Chinook Salmon through June 15th, or until the catch quota is reached. The summer fishing season on the Columbia will then open on the 16th. Be sure to have your current license and catch record card.

Ariel Store Campaign

There’s a campaign under way on IndieGoGo connected to the legacy of DB Cooper, where local residents are trying to raise money to save the Ariel General Store and Tavern. The campaign is trying to raise $35,000, looking to re-open the store that closed in 2015, following the death of Dona Elliot. The building has been in place since 1929, serving as a gathering place for people living in Ariel, Amboy and the surrounding area; in 1972, the U. S. Army had its D. B. Cooper search headquarters set up in the back of the store. The Ariel General Store and Tavern also hosted the “D. B. Cooper Days” festival for 25 years, though that event had recently fallen by the wayside. Get more information and get enrolled for special prizes by making a contribution on Indiegogo.com.

KLOG Wednesday Sports

Leonys Martin hit a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th to give the Mariners a 6-5 win over the Oakland A’s. Robinson Cano’s two-run shot in the 8th set up Martin’s heroics. The M’s and A’s play again tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm…..On the eve of the NWAC Baseball Championships at LCC, the coaches for the final 8 will take part in a webcast interview show tonight at 6 pm on the nwacsports.org website…..Austin White of Mark Morris fired a two-over 74 at the State 2A golf tournament, good for second place. Troy Parrish of R.A. Long shot an 84 and made the cut to today’s second round…..Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski has been granted a final year of eligibility on a medical redshirt after back surgery. He played in five games will be eligible to return next season.

Bogus Bomb Threats

At least three schools in Southwest Washington were victims of an apparent world-wide scam robocall yesterday, where a bomb threat was called in, causing evacuations and lockdowns all over the place. Kessler Elementary School in Longview got one of these calls, coming in a few minutes after noon; school officials say that the person calling said things like “There’s not a lot of time,” and “It’s going to explode.” The school was evacuated as a precaution, while Longview Police and fire crews responded to the school. Students were taken to Longview Community Church to rendezvous with their parents, while a search of the school was set up. As that process was getting under way, the scope of the scam started becoming apparent, with schools all across the country and around the world also reporting that they got exactly the same call. Long Beach Elementary and York Elementary in Vancouver are two other area schools that got hit. A search of Kessler was done as a precaution, with nothing found. School will proceed as normal today.

Fake Skyward E-mails

The Kelso School District is also out with a scam alert, reporting that someone is sending fake e-mails through the Skyward student progress tracking program, apparently trying to mine personal information through those e-mails. Yesterday, morning, KSD posted on Flashnews that fake e-mails are going out on Skyward, claiming that there has been a security breach on Skyward; the e-mail requests personal information, including a Social Security number. School officials say that legitimate requests from Skyward NEVER ask for a Social Security number. At this point, it does not appear that anyone was victimized, but the district is sending out this information as a precaution for everyone else.

River Rescue

Two men are back on dry land this morning, after surviving a boat capsizing that took place yesterday on the Columbia River Slough, just west of Longview. Deputies were called to the area around 1 pm yesterday, when it was reported that two men were hanging onto a log in the water after their boat had flipped over. A sergeant found the men and communicated verbally that a boat was going into the water. They say that both the men were wearing life jackets; one of the men said that he can’t swim. It took about 50 minutes for the Sheriff’s Office to get their boat in the water and then rescue the two men. They also hooked up to the overturned boat and towed it to the Coal Creek boat launch, so it can be recovered. Names are not being released; Deputies do say that the safe recovery of these two men shows the value of wearing a life jacket when boating.

Sparna Leaves

The 623-foot bulk carrier that ran aground near Puget Island on March 21st is finally on its way to Japan, taking a piece of the Pacific Northwest with her. Back in March, the “Sparna” went out of the shipping lane and hit submerged rocks, with a large boulder actually going inside the hold of the ship. The Sparna was towed to the Port of Kalama for inspection and repairs; those temporary repairs are now complete, and the Sparna is now bound for Japan and a foreign shipyard, where permanent repairs will be made.