Lower Columbia College, the Longview School District and the local Head Start program are announcing a new partnership, a joint effort that will result in a new Head Start Center on the west side of Longview. Head Start Director Sandy Junker says that this new Head Start Center will be open by September of this year, and will expand Head Start services to another 100 students. Junker also says that this new Head Start Center will free up space at the LCC Center, which will allow for even more program expansion. Junker says that everybody wins with this arrangement, making it possible to get services to local kids and families, while also helping to get those children ready, once they hit the regular classroom.
A Portland man with a history of indecent behavior is in the Cowlitz County Jail, arrested yesterday after he allegedly exposed himself to a woman that was driving on the freeway near Woodland. Shane Allen Boyd, 34, of Portland was arrested yesterday in Woodland, after a woman identified Boyd as the man who had been tracking her on the freeway, apparently exposing his genitals and fondling himself while driving. The woman claims that Boyd paced her for several miles, speeding up when she sped up and slowing down when she slowed down. The woman says that she tried to lose Boyd by leaving the freeway; she went into a store, but then she spotted Boyd’s truck as she was coming back out. She went back into the store and called police, who arrived and arrested Boyd for public indecency. He’s now being held without bail in the Cowlitz County Jail; it’s reported that he has three previous convictions for similar activity in the past four years.
Kevan Jermaine Waterman, 38, of Kelso is being charged with second-degree robbery, after he allegedly threatened to kill someone who was intervening in a shoplifting incident yesterday evening. Around 6:20 pm, it was reported that Waterman was trying to leave a grocery store with a basket full of items, heading in the direction of a nearby motel. When store employees tried to intervene, Waterman allegedly threatened to kill them. Longview Police responded and contacted Waterman nearby; along with the robbery charge, he’s also being charged with third-degree theft and drug possession. Waterman is also being served with a failure to appear warrant.
It’s being reported that the members of Local 153 of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers have once again rejected a contract offer from KapStone Paper and Packaging. Union leadership presented the latest offer to the rank-and-file late last week, an offer that apparently had enough new material to go for a vote. Late Friday night, however, word came out that this offer was also rejected, though the numbers were not released. Neither side has said anything about additional contract talks being scheduled; the union has been working under the last contract offer presented by KapStone, though that contract was rejected by the membership. KapStone declared an impasse, and opted to impose their last offer, under federal labor law. The last official contract between the company and the union expired back in May of 2014.
North Pacific Avenue is open again at Rocky Point, after being closed by a landslide. Cowlitz County Public Works announced that the road re-opened Friday afternoon, nearly three days after a slide came down onto the railroad tracks and the street. Patriot Rail cleaned up the material covering the tracks, while County Public Works dealt with the roadway. Traffic is moving normally through that area this morning.
After being altered by problems with high water and road debris for several weeks, two Kelso School District bus routes resume regular service this morning. District officials say that regular bus service resumes today on Route 19, serving Ross Road, and on Route 20, which covers Olsen Road. Contact the Kelso School District if you have other questions.
Office hour changes start today at Cowlitz County Building and Planning, and at the Environmental Health Unit at the County Health Department. Starting this morning, Building and Planning will be open from 7 am to 6 pm, Monday through Thursday. The office will be closed on Fridays.
The Environmental Health Unit will now be open from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Thursday. County officials say that these shifts are intended to expand the hours of service, and to better make staff available. It’s also expected that the two units will have some better continuity, being open for similar hours. Call 577- 3052 if you have other questions.
For the first time in more than a decade, Long Beach will be open for razor clam digging for an entire month. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says that the season will open this Thursday, and will remain open for digging on the evening tides through March 10th. No digging will be allowed before noon on any of these days. Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres says that the late start to the season and abundance of clams combined to make this opportunity available. Only Long Beach will be open at this time; Ayres says that they’re limiting access on other beaches, to ensure that those beaches can be opened later in the spring.
The United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties is announcing its third quarter allocations, reporting that $7,059 was distributed between nearly 30 agencies in the local area. Allocations ranged from a high of $1,175 to the St. James Family Center in Cathlamet to a low of $6.22 allocated to the Cowlitz Family Health Center. Executive Director Dave Green says that this distribution is “well above” the third-quarter distributions in recent year, coming in more than $2,000 higher than the previous year. The full list of payments is available from the United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties.
The Blazers beat the Timberwolves 96-93 last night. Portland has won eight of 10 games as they get set to host the Milwaukee Bucks tomorrow night…..USC defeated Washington 98-88 in Pac-12 hoops…..Both LCC basketball teams stayed unbeaten in league with wins at South Puget Sound on Saturday. The Devils men have won nine straight while the LCC women have won seven in a row. Both teams host Pierce Saturday evening…..In girls prep hoops tonight, Ridgefield visits R.A. Long at 7 pm…..Seahawks Russell Wilson and Michael Bennet were the MVP’s of the Pro Bowl yesterday in Honolulu. Wilson had three touchdown passes in the first half…..Both the Broncos and Panthers arrived in the Bay Area yesterday as Super 50 Week is underway.