Chuck Hendrickson with Love Overwhelming is announcing that they now have no plans to try and open a homeless shelter in a building that they recently rented on 14th Avenue in Longview. In a statement sent out late last week, Hendrickson says that Love Overwhelming “will not pursue” a shelter at the 14th Avenue property. While pointing out the need for shelter in the local community, Hendrickson says that they are still dedicated to helping people become “less dependent on the social and emergency service system.” He says that Love Overwhelming will continue to provide services, including housing services, intensive case management, coordinated entry and assessment, along with employment and job skill development. Hendrickson says that their case management team has been able to get housing for 16 households, while also obtaining help in getting eight more people in getting housing outside of Cowlitz County. They still note that the shelter in Kelso was housing 45 people a night when it closed, while also keeping another list of more than 60 local people that are in need to housing.
Kelso Police are looking into a theft from the County Public Works facility in the 16 hundred block of 13th Avenue in Kelso. This was discovered shortly before 8 on Friday morning, when workers found a gate open. A check of the property showed that batteries had been stolen from a number of vehicles, along with something called a “combo box.” No suspects have been identified.
Portland Police continue to investigate the shooting death of a man that turns out to be from St. Helens. The shooting happened Saturday afternoon near Menlo Park Elementary School, in the northeast part of Portland. Gunshots were heard at about 12:45 pm on Saturday, where a large recreation field connects to the school. Witnesses reported hearing several shots, and then they found a man with multiple gunshot wounds. Life-saving efforts were made, but the man was dead when paramedics arrived on the scene. The victim is now being identified as Larry Edwin Van Dolah, Jr., 38, of St. Helens. It’s also reported that several young males were seen running from the area around the time that the shots were fired. Portland Police are asking residents of the area to check their home security video, and to call PPD if they see anything.
Executive updates continue at PeaceHealth, as the Vancouver-based health care provider announces the hiring of Richard DeCarlo as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. DeCarlo comes to PeaceHealth from the University of California-San Francisco, where he worked at a children’s hospital for the past seven years. DeCarlo starts his new job with PeaceHealth on May 30th.
The Port of Longview is marking an accomplishment at the port, marking the handling of the longest-ever wind turbine blades. Port officials say that they used both of their Liebherr mobile cranes in removing the 177-foot blades from the ship, moving those directly onto rail cars on the port’s internal rail system. ILWU Local 21 members were also able to secure the blades to the rail cars, using specialized swiveling bases that lock the blades down, but still allow for the blades to go through turns on the rail line. The blades are on their way to a wind power project in Illinois. The Port of Longview is the only port on the West Coast that is doing this ship-to-rail transfer of these wind turbine blades. They say that loads are coming in the near future that will also involve using both mobile cranes in making ship-to-rail offloads.
The Kelso School District is reporting details on a program that’s starting up at Coweeman Middle School, where students are teaming up to form a peer helping group called the “Cougar Ambassadors.” 24 8th-graders and 20 7th-graders are involved in this initial group, with the kids broken into three groups, Peer Mediators, Natural Helpers and Change Agents. Peer Mediators help solve problems between students; this group has already mediated 30 student conflicts so far. Natural Helpers are working to help make students feel welcome, and like they belong, while Change Agents generate positivity and encouragement through inspiring posters and events. The students involved were chosen by other students and by school staff, for being supportive, encouraging and influential. The Cougar Ambassadors have been active since January.
Golden State finished strong in a 121-109 victory over Portland in game one of the best-of-seven NBA Playoff series. CJ McCollum had 41 to lead the Blazers. Game two is Wednesday in Oakland…..Nelson Cruz drove in the game winner on an infield single in the 9th as the Mariners rallied to beat Texas 8-7 yesterday. The M’s sweep the three game set as they get ready to host Ichiro and the Miami Marlins tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm…..The LCC baseball team took two games from Grays Harbor on Sunday 13-1 and 8-5. The Devils swept four from the Chokers over the weekend…..In prep baseball today, Evergreen is at Kelso, Hockinson at R.A. Long and Mark Morris at Washougal…..In softball, MM hosts RAL in a Civil War matchup at 7th Avenue Park, 4 pm.
PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center is reacting to a report presented last night on KGW Channel 8 in Portland, where the station presented statistics showing that the hospital in Longview had the worst rate of MRSA infections in the entire state. The station reported on statistics from between 2013 and 2015, saying that they found an upward trend in the number of MRSA cases. They say that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stepped in, saying that the hospital had to improve its performance, or Federal funding could be threatened. They say that Medicare actually put the hospital on a “90-day Termination Track,” giving them just three months to turn things around. In response, officials with Saint John say that they have taken steps to keep MRSA infections from happening, claiming that there were NO MRSA infections at the hospital in 2016. St. John Chief Medical Officer Eleen Kirman says that they hired a new Infection Specialist in 2015, along with other reforms to prevent MRSA infections.
The Mariners will send Felix Hernandez to the mound tonight against Texas, KLOG 6:00 pm…..UW snapped OSU’s 23-game baseball win streak with a 3-2 win last night…..The LCC baseball team will host Grays Harbor tomorrow afternoon in a 1 pm double header…..In prep baseball, Mountain View downed Kelso 10-4. Today, R.A. Long is at Woodland and Ridgefield at Mark Morris…..The LCC softball team hosts Clackamas tomorrow in a 4 pm DH at Tam O’Shanter…..In prep softball, Kelso blanked Fort 10-0. Today, River is at RAL and Heritage at MM…..The Kelso track teams are at the Canby Invite today while both MM and RAL compete in the Ingram Invite at River…..In boys soccer today, Kelso is at Bay and RAL at Washougal, both at 7 pm. MM hosts Hockinson at 5 pm.
Kim Clay Oviatt, 55, is under arrest after he allegedly pulled a knife and threatened people in the lobby of a business in the 700 block of Ocean Beach Highway. Employees called Longview Police at 5:20 yesterday afternoon, claiming that Oviatt was threatening to “knife” other staff members. The employees stayed behind a counter, while Oviatt eventually left the building after screaming some obscenities, then he started walking to the west. Officers arrived and took Oviatt down at gunpoint. He’s now being held without bail, awaiting his first appearance in Cowlitz County Superior Court.