Cell phone technology helped the Sheriff’s Office locate a hunter who was lost in the woods west of Longview last night. A friend of Charles Buchanan, 28, relayed information to the Sheriff’s Office at about 8:45 pm, saying that Buchanan was up in the Abernathy Creek Road area, and was disoriented after he had fallen into a creek and knocked himself out. The Sheriff’s Office had intermittent cell phone contact with Buchanan over the next four hours, also working with the provider and military agencies to try and pinpoint the cell phone location. Locked timberland gates also hampered the search effort. Around 12:30 this morning, Buchanan called and said that he had made his way out to a paved road, and then Deputies caught up with him a short time later. Buchanan reported that he was sore and thirsty, but was OK otherwise. Deputies gave Buchanan a ride home, and he will return during daylight to retrieve his vehicle.
Three people are being charged in connection with a number of bomb threats that were phoned into the Columbia County Courthouse in St. Helens. Police Chief Terry Moss says that Kendra Ann Lee, 21, of Deer Island, Jo Anne Tillman, 41, of Scappoose and a transient, Johnnie Lee Gonzales, 25, were arrested late last week. They’re being charged in connection with bomb threats that were phoned in on May 1st, August 26th, and October 6th and 7th. All three suspects are being held on multiple counts of first-degree disorderly conduct, initiating a false police report, and obstructing governmental administration. It’s noted that two of the three suspects had pending court appearances when the threats were called in. Moss says that the first three calls were made to disrupt court operations and delay those court appearances, and then the fourth one was made to confuse the investigation. Bail for Lee and Gonzales is set at $30,000 apiece, while Tillman’s bail is set at $7,500.
A three-week closure of 32nd Avenue between Washington Way and Douglas Street starts today. The City of Longview is replacing water and sewer lines, and will also do pavement repairs in this area, starting this morning. 32nd Avenue will be closed to all traffic in the one-block stretch between Washington Way and Douglas Street, starting this morning and going until Monday, November 3rd. Detours will be posted, and access to local residences will be maintained. Contact the City of Longview if you have other questions.
The rotation of water main flushing in the City of Longview goes to “Area 3” this week, the area between 15th Avenue and the Cowlitz River, going from Ocean Beach Highway to California Way and Baltimore Street. Flushing of water mains in this area will start tonight and will go through Thursday night, with work scheduled between 7:30 and 11:30 pm each night. Advisory signs will be posted in the work area; you’re advised to refrain from using water while the flushing is going on in your area, and be sure to flush your own pipes after that work is done.
Longview’s Bits and Bots Robotics Team continues to perform well, scoring a pair of top-five placements in an early-season competition held over the weekend at Catlin Gabel School in Portland. Coach Bob Koenig says that four girls on this year’s team competed Saturday’s “Girls Generation” competition, playing in 12 matches and finishing with a 4th-place ranking among the 19 teams involved. Sunday was the “Rookie Rumble,” with the team’s rookies taking part in ten matches, and ending up with a 5th-place ranking. Koenig says that this was the first competition of the year, and was also the first time any of them had been able to drive this year’s robot “Phantom” in competition. Koenig says that it was a lot of fun, and a great way to start the year.
Two high schools in this region are among the state’s best, ranked in the top 25 by the Puget Sound Business Journal. The Business Journal recently published its “Top 25” list, basing the rankings on school performance statistics that are put out by the Washington State Board of Education. The SBE Index looks at student test scores, graduation rates, district growth and other factors. The Business Journal rankings are based on the 2012-2013 school year, and include only schools that make the highest-rated category. Hockinson came in at number 18, with an achievement score of 8.097, followed closely by Toledo High School at number 21; they had an achievement score of 8.014. The full ranking list and scoring criteria is available on the Puget Sound Business Journal web page.
They haven’t been in business for a very long time, but the Drop Anchor Brewery in Cathlamet is already working to give back to the community. Over the past two weeks, all tips collected at their brewery and restaurants in downtown Cathlamet are being donated to the Wahkiakum School District, in an effort to help pay for needed repairs of the football stadium grandstands. Cash donations were also collected, and were added in with the tips. The total collected hasn’t yet been announced. The grandstands have been closed since late August, when dry rot was discovered in the structure. Repairs are estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $20,000.
The Dallas Cowboys came to Seattle and manhandled the Seahawks 30-23. DeMarco Murray rushed for 115 yards and the Cowboys defense kept an ineffective Seahawks offense at bay. The 3-2 Hawks are at St. Louis next Sunday…..Kolten Wong hit a walk-off homer in the 9th to give the Cardinals a 5-4 win over the Giants, tying he NLCS at a game apiece. The Royals lead the Orioles 2-0 as game three is tonight at Kansas City, KLOG 4:00 pm…..Wesley Matthews scored 22 to lead the Blazers to a 119-114 NBA pre-season win over the Clippers…..Jesse Ehrlich and Matt Hartley combined for a two-day total of 131 to win the low gross title at the Bud Clary Subaru 2-man best ball tourney at the Longview Country Club. Gene Thomas and Mike Bauman took the low-net title with a 119.
The women killed yesterday morning when she stepped in front of a freight train in North Kelso is being identified as Chantal Ann Zimmerman, 55, of Kelso, who lived not too far away from the spot where she died. Zimmerman died at about 12:40 yesterday morning; the crew of the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe freight train says that she walked out in front of them, even as the crew was sounding the train’s horn. County Coroner Tim Davidson says that a dental plate registered to Zimmerman helped in confirming the identification, and he says that she died from “blunt force trauma.” Around 10:20 yesterday morning, family members reported Zimmerman as missing from her home in the 1100 block of North 3rd Avenue. They say that she went out with her dog during the night; the dog came home, but Zimmerman didn’t. The family also told Kelso Police that Zimmerman had been battling some mental health issues. BNSF officials say that Zimmerman’s death is the ninth train fatality so far this year in Washington state.
The Lewis County Coroner says that they’re going to have to wait several weeks for lab test results before they can confirm how a three year-old Vader boy died. The autopsy on the boy was performed on Wednesday, but Coroner Warren McLeod says that they’re going to have to wait eight to ten weeks for toxicology test results before they can issue a statement on the cause and manner of death. At this time, last Sunday’s death is being called “suspicious,” after the boy was found unconscious and not breathing at a home on Main Street in Vader. CPR was attempted and the boy was taken to Centralia Providence Hospital, but he was declared dead at that facility. Authorities are still trying to complete contacting next of kin before releasing the boy’s name.