County Treasurer Kathy Hanks is out with her office’s semi-annual reminder that property taxes are coming due. First-half Property Taxes are due into the Treasurer’s office by Monday, May 2nd. Taxes can be paid in person, by mail, on-line or over the phone. The Treasurer’s office now accepts debit and credit cards to be used for payment of property taxes. The Treasurer’s office is located at 207 North 4th in Kelso. Call 577-3060 for more information.
The United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties is announcing the latest allocations to its member agencies. The agency reports that $248,000 will be allocated to the 20 member agencies in United Way, which represents the total amount of cash collected as of March 31st of this year. They say that the total pledge amount received in 2016 was a little over $511,000, money that it continuing to come in, and which will be part of the 2017 grant awards. United Way Executive Director Dave Green says that the local United Way is showing some great progress, with more solid business practices in place. He says that trust is rebuilding in the community, and this will serve as a springboard for greater things in the future.
There’s no word yet on the total amount of damage done in a fire reported this morning at a strip mall on 15th Avenue in Longview. Fire crews were called out at about 5:35 am, when flames were seen next to the House of Smoke, just off of 15th and Florida. Those on the scene report that it looks like some cardboard next to the building had been set on fire, which then spread to the wall and the roof of the building. Longview Fire crews responded and got the fire knocked down in just a few minutes. They’re still checking the damage, while the investigation into the cause of the fire gets under way.
The investigation is continuing into yesterday afternoon’s fatal plane crash at the Woodland Airport. They say that one man died and two others were injured when the Mooney M20K overshot the end of the runway and crashed into a chain-link fence at about 3 pm yesterday. Witnesses say that the plane may have been trying to make an emergency landing. It’s reported that the plane was rented out of Woodinville, and reportedly was en route to Renton. Authorities have the names of those involved, but they haven’t released names. One man was declared dead at the scene, while two others were taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center for treatment. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are following up.
Two young men from Longview are recovering from injuries they received in a two-car crash that took place yesterday afternoon on Highway 12 near Mossyrock. At about 12:15 yesterday afternoon, Jack Cain, 18, of Longview was westbound on Highway 12, as Patricia Manville, 72, of Mossyrock was approaching the highway from a side road. Manville reportedly pulled out into the path of Cain, and their cars collided in the westbound lane. Manville was taken to Morton General Hospital, while Cain was taken to Centralia Providence for treatment. Christian Nelson, 22, was a passenger in Cain’s car; he was injured, but wasn’t taken to the hospital. Manville was cited for failure to yield, while Cain was cited for driving while suspended and for having no insurance.
The conviction of a Pacific County man who shot a State Trooper in the head back in 2010 is being reinstated by the Washington Supreme Court. In 2011, Martin A. Jones was convicted of attempted murder in the shooting of Trooper Scott Johnson, but that conviction was vacated in 2013. The Court of Appeals ruled that Jones’ right to a public trial was violated when a random drawing to select alternate jurors was held during a court recess. The Washington Attorney General petitioned for a review of that decision, which was accepted by the Washington Supreme Court in February. Yesterday, that court decided that Jones’ right to a public trial had NOT been violated. This decision reinstates Jones’ prison term of 50 years. It’s not yet known if any additional appeals will be filed.
County Commissioner Dennis Weber now has a challenger for that position, as Kevin Hunter announces his candidacy. The Longview resident says that he’s filing as an independent, saying that “politics has no role in county government.” Hunter says that he’s compelled to “step up and create a brighter future” for Cowlitz County. Hunter says he has three components in his “plan of action,” to focus on job growth, to “fix” the Building and Planning Department, and to protect local rights and freedoms. You can find out more about Kevin Hunter and his drive to become a County Commissioner by going to his web page at citizencommissioner.com, or by watching his YouTube video titled “The Future of Cowlitz County—By Kevin Hunter.”
One of the area’s musical luminaries passed away earlier this week; Dr. Marion Clark helped to found the Southwest Washington Symphony, and continued to perform with that group until he retired last year. The local urologist died this past Tuesday at the age of 93, leaving behind his wife of 71 years and six children. Marion Clark moved to the Longview area back in 1953, where he practiced as a urologist, while his wife Ruth, was involved in the Kelso School District. Clark helped to create the Southwest Washington Symphony in 1967, and played cello with that group until his retirement. The Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park and Crematory is handling the memorial arrangements.
It’s not quite the event that it has been in years past, but there’s still a lot of buzz and anticipation for tomorrow morning’s opening of the lowland lakes for trout fishing. Saturday morning marks the official opening of lowland lakes for trout fishing in Washington state; Washington Fish and Wildlife says that more than 3.8 million “catchable” trout have been planted across the state, along with almost 370,000 “one-pounders.” WDFW is also kicking off it’s first-ever “Fishing Derby,” featuring 700 specially-tagged fish. If you catch one of these fish with a special orange tag, you can call Fish and Wildlife at 360-902-2464 to collect a prize. The list of lakes with prize fish is listed on the WDFW web page. Be sure you have your current license, be aware of the regulations on the water that you’re fishing, and make sure that you observe the bag limitations.
Stageworks Northwest continues with a production of the classic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta “H.M.S. Pinafore,” running each weekend through May 1st. Showtimes at the Longview Theatre on Commerce Avenue are at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday nights, along with matinees at 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets are available at the door, or by going to stageworksnorthwest.com.
Volunteers are needed for Saturday’s Castle Rock Cleanup Day, which will start at 8 am, centered around the Castle Rock Senior Center. You should dress for the event, bringing your gloves, rakes, hoes and other tools; report to the Senior Center for an assignment, and then lunch will be provided after things wrap up at 1 pm. Call 274-7684 for more information.
The annual Columbia City Cleanup Day is being held this Saturday, running from 8 am until noon. Local residents can get rid of yard debris, scrap metal, old furniture and other items at the Columbia City School. Extra-bukly or hard-to-dispose of items will be accepted for a small fee.
The Hulda Klager Lilac Days continue through May 9th at the historic farm just outside of Woodland. Hours are 10 am to 4 pm daily, with tours of the farm house, a gift shop, plant sales and other entertainment. Get more information on www.lilacgardens.com.
There’s a Saturday Movie Marathon planned this weekend at the Longview Public Library, starting at 1 pm. They plan to show the first two segments of a movie series that has its third segment coming out this year. Admission is free, but seating is first-come, first-served; children must be accompanied by an adult. Contact the Longview Library for more information.
Shiver me timbers, tharr’s a Pirate Food Drive going on from 10 am until 4 pm this Saturday in the parking lot of the Skipper’s restaurant on 7th Avenue in Longview, next to the Walmart store. Along with free Pirate Ship rides for the kids, for every three food items donated, you’ll receive a raffle ticket for a Radio Control car being given away by Hooked Hobbies and RC.
The annual Robert Larson Scholarship Dinner is planned for this Saturday at the Kelso Eagles. The dinner will feature prawns on the menu, along with raffles and other entertainment. Call 560-2126 or 846-5592 for ticket information.
The Cowlitz County CASA “Hope Gala” is set for Saturday evening at the Cowlitz County Expo Center, starting at 5:30 pm. Along with the dinner and live entertainment, they will also have both live and silent auctions. Get more information by going to cowlitzcountycasa.org.
You can find out if your friends and neighbors really can sing and dance at Sunday’s “Got Talent” amateur show that’s being put on by the Longview and Kelso Kiwanis Clubs. This show is set for 3 pm on Sunday at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, and the first 200 people through the door will receive a raffle ticket, giving them a chance to win special diamond earrings and other prizes. Call 425-3696 for details.
The Clatskanie Arts Commission welcomes the Contrapunctus Brass Trio to the Birkenfeld Theatre on Sunday, presenting a special concert of brass and wind instruments. Sunday’s performance is presented by the Columbia County Cultural Coalition, the Oregon Cultural Trust and the National Endowment for the Arts. Tickets are available at Hump’s Restaurant, or at the door.