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Child Burned

A child from Scappoose is at a hospital in Portland after suffering burns in an apartment fire that took place yesterday afternoon. The fire was reported at about 4:15 pm, at an apartment building on Southwest 4th Street. Fire officials say that a second-floor unit was filled with smoke and flames, but an adult and four children were able to escape. They do say that one child was burned, and was taken to a hospital in Portland for treatment. At this time, they’re speculating that a child playing with a lighter was responsible for the fire. The Red Cross is assisting the family with temporary housing, clothing and personal items.

Nichols Rollover

It’s now speculated that excessive speed may have been a factor in yesterday morning’s rollover crash at Northeast Nichols and Ocean Beach Highway, where the female driver was trapped for a short time. The crash took place at about 5:20 am, when Gail Ellis, 51, apparently lost control of her car, careening off the road and through a city-owned metal light pole. Longview Fire officials say that the pole was knocked into the street as the car rolled onto its top. Firefighters were able to extricate the woman, who was taken to St. John Medical Center to be treated for cuts and other minor injuries. She was released several hours later. At this point, no citations have been issued, but Longview Police continue to investigate the incident.

Weyco Training

The second in a series of training exercises at the Longview Weyerhaeuser mill site is planned for today. This will be similar to a drill that was held on the 2nd, where a simulated explosion and fire had “disabled” automatic fire sprinklers. Responders also had to deal with a victim that had been electrocuted, had fallen from an upper level in the mill, and required evacuation. LifeFlight was called in to help assist with that evacuation, and LifeFlight will also be involved in today’s drill. A similar exercise is also planned for the 16th of this month.

Longview Superintendent Search

The Longview School Board plans to meet in executive session this evening, where they plan to conduct a “paper screening” of potential candidates for the Superintendent’s position. Tonight’s executive session is scheduled for 6 pm in the Board Room at the Longview School District offices on Lilac Street. The board will be reviewing the applications submitted, and will be evaluating the qualifications of those applicants in regard to this post. This evening’s meeting will be followed by executive sessions on Monday, the 21st and Wednesday, the 23rd, where preliminary interviews will be held with candidates. These are all closed events, not open to the public. The full schedule and process for selecting the successor to Suzanne Cusick is available on the Longview School District website.

Bits and Bots Competition

The Longview High Schools Robotics team, “Bits and Bots 3812,” is heading to Portland today, starting its competition in the FIRST Robotics District Championship, which runs through Saturday. The Autodesk PNW Championship runs tomorrow through Saturday at the Memorial Coliseum, with 64 teams from all over the region coming in to compete. This year’s competition is called “Aerial Assist”; today will have the team taking its robot to Portland, where it will undergo an inspection. Qualification matches will be held tomorrow, Friday and Saturday morning, and then the finals will be held on Saturday. The matches are free and open to anyone to watch; you can also follow along on-line by clicking the link which is available on the Oregon FIRST Robotics Competition website.

West Main Update

Some of the barriers in West Kelso are coming down, as final paving of the West Main Street Realignment Project continues. Traffic is now moving in both directions on West Main, and a portion of 1st Avenue has been reopened. Cars are now using 1st Avenue from Fishers Lane to the intersection of West Main and Allen Street. Additional paving is still being done on Catlin Street, and access to West Main from some of the side streets is still being restricted. City officials are hoping to have the paving done and all of the new traffic patterns open by Friday. After that, traffic signals, sign placement and landscaping will be done to complete this phase of the project. That work is expected to extend into May.

Arbor Day Planting

The City of Longview continues its tradition of observing Arbor Day with a tree-planting ceremony that will be held this morning at the Longview City Hall. At 10 am, Parks Department workers will plant a Cherokee Brave Dogwood near the front parking lot entrance to the City Hall, just off of 15th Avenue. This is one of four standards that the city needs to complete to maintain its status as a “Tree City USA.” Along with the Arbor Day observance, the city maintains a “tree department,” has a tree-car ordinance and continues a community forestry program, spending at least two dollars per capita on that program. The city also recognizes the other benefits that trees provide, promoting a healthier environment by filtering air, helping to moderate the climate and reducing the “heat island” effect inside city limits, also helping to reduce energy use and increase property values. Today’s ceremony is open to the public; you’re invited to come by and participate.

KLOG Wednesday Sports

Corey Hart hit two homers to lead the Mariners to a 5-3 win over the Angels in the M’s home opener last night. Seattle hosts the Halos again tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm…..Sam Harris hit a two run homer to lead Mark Morris to a 4-2 win over R.A. Long in the Civil War baseball game at Story Field last night…..In prep softball, Bailey Ellis got the win and had three hits in Kelso’s 10-0 win over Mark Morris…..The LCC softball team has a key home double header today against Chemeketa. The first game at Tam O’Shanter begins at 3 pm…..MM beat Kelso 2-1 in boys soccer…..The Monarchs downed Kelso 5-1 in girls tennis…..The Kelso girls golf team downed MM 214-236…..The Blazers host the Sacramento Kings tonight, 6:05 pm on FM 101.5 The Wave.

Nichols Rollover

Longview Police and aid crews responded to Northeast Nichols and Ocean Beach Highway this morning, after a rollover crash that took place around 5:20 am. It was reported that a single female occupant was pinned in the car after the crash; they also say that she was conscious and breathing, with only minor cuts. Extrication equipment was needed to get her out of the car, a process that took about a half-hour. City crews were also called in to deal with a metal street light pole that was knocked down. Full details on the crash should be released later today.

I-5 Fatality

The Washington State Patrol continues to investigate yesterday’s fatal multi-vehicle crash that killed one person and injured two others. Troopers say that the crash happened just after 1 pm yesterday at milepost 12 northbound, about two miles south of Ridgefield. Wanda Dodd, 48, of Bellingham was northbound, at the same time as Eldon Ford, 33, of Ontario, Oregon. Ford slowed to pull onto the right shoulder, and was hit from behind by Dodd. The collision caused Dodd to lose control of her car, which went into the center lane and hit a motorcycle driven by Dennis Sarton, 60, of Vancouver. Sarton died at the scene, while Dodd and Ford were taken to hospitals in Vancouver for treatment, while traffic backed up to the Clark County Fairgrounds. Two lanes of the freeway were blocked until almost 3:30 pm. So far, no citations or charges have been reported.