The Trail Blazers road trip continues today with a matchup at the Chicago Bulls, KLOG 3:05 pm…..The LCC basketball teams open tournaments today. The Red Devil women are at the Everett Classic taking on Bellevue today at 4 pm. The LCC men travel to Eugene for a tourney at Lane CC. The Devils play Spokane at 6 pm…..R.A. Long’s game at Hockinson was postponed due to wind. Four coaches who were teammates at UPS in Tacoma return to Tacoma for a double header tonight. Mark Morris takes on Cascade Christian at 7 pm ( FM 101.5 The Wave) followed by R.A. Long against Brewster at 8:30 pm. The Kelso boys host Heritage tonight (KLOG 6:55 pm)…..The Kelso girls are at Heritage tonight, while Mark Morris hosts Hudson’s Bay and Hockinson at the RAL Lumberjills.
After years of doom, gloom and “cutting to the bone,” City of Longview officials are expressing optimism as the 2015-2016 biennial budget is finalized. Finance Director Curt Sacha tells the City Council that the financial picture is brighter than it has been in years. The total 2015-2016 City of Longview budget comes in at just less than $208 million, which is actually about $3 million less than the 2013-2014 budget. Sacha says that’s due to smaller capital projects in the next two years. Sacha says that revenues are up, especially on the sales tax side. The increase in revenues will allow the city to fund several new police officers, will help pay for increased indigent defense costs, and will restore funding for street maintenance materials. Sacha says that this is the best financial picture since before the 2007-2008 recession; he also says that the outlook is brighter than it has been in years, pointing to downtown development and other business improvements in the city. Final adoption is planned on the 23rd of this month.
With Bob Gregory’s retirement right around the corner, and the process of finding his successor still ongoing, the Longview City Council is moving ahead with the appointment of Curt Sacha as the Interim City Manager. The City Council met for two hours prior to last night’s meeting, going over applications for the position. No names were announced after that executive session, but it’s possible that a list of finalists will be announced as possible candidates are contacted. Gregory’s last day on the job is the 31st of this month.
The woman who was at the wheel of an SUV that was involved in a fatal crash on Tennant Way back in February is pleading guilty to charges of vehicular homicide, DUI and vehicular assault. Today’s Daily News reports on the plea agreement involving Nicole DiFuria McCaslin, 33, of Portland, who was driving in the wrong lanes on the evening of February 21st, when she collided with three other cars, including a car driven by Brett Dawdy of Longview. He died in the crash, while his wife and daughter were seriously injured. McCaslin works in Longview, and admitted to drinking prior to the collision. Prosecutors tell the paper that the plea agreement had been in the works for several weeks, prior to Monday’s scheduled trial. They’re recommending the maximum sentence available, which would be more than 11 years in prison. Sentencing is set for next Wednesday morning at 9 am.
The couple from Vader that are accused of homicide by abuse in the October 5th death of a three year-old boy that had been left in their care are pleading not guilty. Danny Wing, 26, and Brenda Wing, 27, were arraigned yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court, and both entered “not guilty” pleas. The couple is accused of homicide by abuse, or the lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter, in the death of Jasper Henderling-Warner. The boy’s mother says that she left him with the Wings while she looked for housing in the Vancouver area. The boy was found unconscious and not breathing at the couple’s home; they claim to have tried CPR, but an autopsy shows that there were multiple bruises and other signs of abuse. The couple’s trial is currently set to begin on January 26th of next year.
After it was reported that copper thieves took hundreds of feet of wire from the light poles at Stan Rister Stadium at Tam O’Shanter Park in Kelso, Coleman Cellular Communication in Kelso is stepping up to try and raise money to help pay for repairs. For every phone that they sell during the month of December, will donate $5 to help replace that wire. And if the customer matches the donation, then they will also get another $5 credit toward accessories for that phone. Coleman Cellular Communication is located in the Riverway Plaza on Kelso Drive, next to the Rite Aid store.
At this weekend’s meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, the proposed Willapa Bay Salmon Management Plan will be a major topic of discussion. Since October, fishery managers have been working with a citizen committee on the proposed plan, also soliciting input from the public in a series of meetings. During the meetings today and tomorrow, managers will provide a briefing on the draft policy options, along with an outline for additional public input. Also at this weekend’s meeting, they’ll consider the adoption of a statewide Game Management Plan, along with proposed changes to the sportfishing rules in the Columbia River basin. The meeting will be start at 8:30 am in the Capital Events Center in Tumwater.
The annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” DUI emphasis patrols being tonight and will continue into the new year. Local law enforcement agencies are teaming up with the State Patrol for the extra monitoring of area roadways, starting with this evening’s “Night of 1000 Stars.” State Patrol Trooper Will Finn says that this term represents the concept of a thousand officers’ badges shining through the night, casting light on the issue of impaired drivers. This year, there’s also an emphasis on finding and getting drivers who are high on marijuana off of area roadways. This is all connected to the “Target Zero” effort, the statewide traffic safety plan that has a goal of reducing traffic fatalities to zero by the year 2030.
The Christmas JOY Telethon runs from 6 to 11 pm at The Electric Bean at 946 Washington Way in Longview. This is a fundraiser for Living Ministries, Hearts for Homeless Outreach and Canz 4Toyz. They’ll have live entertainment, face-painting, pictures with Santa, a Candy Cane hunt and other fun.
There’s a Christmas Tree Lighting planned for Friday evening at PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview. You can come and “gather” at the Delaware Street entrance at 5:30 pm, and the switch will be flipped at 6. They’ll have live holiday music and will be serving hot cocoa.
The 18th annual “Journey to Bethlehem” live-action re-creation of the Christmas story will be presented Friday through Sunday at the Kelso-Longview Seventh-Day Adventist Church off of West Side Highway in Lexington. Performances are planned form 6 to 9 pm Friday and Saturday, and from 5 to 9 pm on Sunday. Be sure to dress for the weather; all are invited to take part.
“Golden Bough” presents a Celtic Christmas show Friday night at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, starting at 7:30 pm. This group has been performing for more than 30 years, presenting traditional holiday arrangements from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the other Celtic area. Call 575-TIXX or go to the CTPA web page for ticket information.
The LCC Choirs present “Carols from Around the World” Friday night in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts. They’ll perform carols in several languages, including Italian, German, Russian and others. Curtain is 7:30 pm on Friday; tickets are available at the LCC Student Center, or at the Rose Center box office.
Starting this weekend and running through the 28th, Stageworks Northwest invites you to take part in their “Christmas Party” at the Longview Theatre; you’re asked to wear your “ugly sweaters” or other festive apparel, and bring an inexpensive White Elephant gift to “exchange.” Shows are at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, and at 2 pm on Sunday.
The traditional performances of Handel’s “Messiah” at the Longview Community Church are planned for 7 pm on Saturday and 3 pm on Sunday, featuring a 51-voice choir and a handbell ensemble. Admission is free, but they will be accepting donations for the Salvation Army and Community House on Broadway.
Castle Rock is holding its annual Festival of Lights in downtown on Saturday. Pictures with Santa will start at 4:30 pm in the old Castle Rock Exhibit Hall, and then the parade through downtown will start at 5:30 pm. After the parade, they’ll have the tree-lighting, along with holiday music.
There’s a “Christmas” dinner theatre planned for this Saturday at the Castle Rock United Methodist Church, as they present a musical comedy called “Christmas in Cricket County.” Dinner and a show is planned for 7 pm Saturday night. Call 274-4959 for ticket information.
It’s the weekend for the closest approach of the Christmas Ship Parade, coming to St. Helens Saturday night, and Scappoose on Sunday night. The lighted and decorated boats are scheduled to tour the docks in St. Helens and Columbia City at 6 pm on Saturday; they’re also scheduled for a two-hour cruise across the Columbia to Washington, near Woodland, before returning to St. Helens to dock for the night. Sunday’s tour past Scappoose is scheduled to start at 5 pm, arriving at Fred’s Marina near Linnton at about 8:30, heading across the Multnomah Channel to Portland. This is the 60th anniversary of the Portland Christmas Ships.
Saturday evening up in Centralia, they’re holding the 5th annual Lighted Tractor Parade through downtown. Organizers say that this could be their biggest one ever, with already more than 80 entries signed up. The Lighted Tractor Parade starts at 6 pm Saturday in historic downtown Centralia.
Castle Rock Woman’s Club Bazaar: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 13, 206 Cowlitz Ave. W., Castle Rock; sponsored by the Castle Rock Woman’s Club; to benefit the flooring fund of the clubhouse built in 1934.
Christmas Bazaar: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 13, Columbia Heights Assembly of God, 3609 Columbia Heights Road, Longview; sponsored by Columbia Heights Assembly of God; to benefit Celebrate Recovery.
The Three Rivers Mall continues its “Reel Pop-Up Movies” through the weekend with a Christmas theme. Free screenings of “Frozen,”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and “Home Alone 1 & 2” will be presented, along with matinee screenings of “Rudolf.” This will be near the SW corner of the mall, and you can get the current movie schedule on www.threeriversmall.com, or on the TRM Facebook page.
The Kelso High School Drama Club presents Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” on Friday and Saturday night in the KHS Auditorium. Performances are planned for 7 pm Friday and Saturday, along with a 2 pm matinee on Saturday. Tickets are available in the High School offices, or at the door.
Saturday morning, Kelso High School DECA is putting on the 5K COPD Christmas Run and Walk, looking to raise money and awareness for the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Foundation. The event starts at 10 am, heading out from Joe Stewart Track at Schroeder Field. They’ll also have prizes for the “most festive” runners, and Santa will also be available for pictures. Get details on registration from the Kelso High School main office, or on the KHS DECA Facebook page.
The 20th annual Holiday Concert for Seniors is planned for this afternoon at the Longview Public Library. This will get started at 2 pm in the Koth Memorial Gallery, in the lower level of the library. The Mark Morris After Hours Jazz Choir and the R. A. Long Choir will be the featured performers, singing all kinds of Christmas and holiday songs. While this is billed as the “Holiday Concert for Seniors,” the Friends of the Longview Library say that everyone is invited to attend, and refreshments will be served.