Matthew Steven Mattson, 29, of Longview is under arrest on an indecent exposure charge, after an incident reported last Friday in Kelso. At about 4:20 pm on Friday, someone called 911 from the Three Rivers Mall, reporting that a man was exposing himself, and had just gone into the women’s restroom. Mall security said that Mattson left the building before Kelso Police arrived, but they tracked him on video as he went through the mall parking lot. Mattson was tracked to the laundromat on Allen Street, where he was eventually arrested. Mattson is now being held on a single count of indecent exposure, and is awaiting his first court date.
Kara Justine Bragg, 23, of Kalama is under arrest, after she allegedly tried to pass counterfeit money at a local business. This happened early Sunday morning, at the Rebel Truck Stop off of the Todd Road exit. Around 4:45 am, workers at the truck stop called Kalama Police, saying that Bragg was trying to pass some fraudulent bills. Kalama Police responded and arrested Bragg; she’s now being charged with forgery, and is also being served with two outstanding warrants.
Longview Police are looking into an assault that was reported Friday night. Officers were called to the 200 block of 23rd Avenue at about 8:15 pm, where a man claimed that he had been “jumped” by four men. The victim also said that his ribs were broken after being hit with a baseball bat. The victim says that the suspects wore black and white ski masks and black clothing; they took off to the west after the attack. The victim was taken to St. John Medical Center for treatment, while police looked for the suspects. Those suspects have not been identified.
Longview Police are scratching their heads over a found property incident that was reported on Friday, an incident that has them climbing trees. Around 2:30 Friday afternoon, a woman who was walking her dog in the area of Crocker Avenue and Weber Avenue called Longview Police, saying that she found a bicycle, stuck up in a tree. An officer responded and confirmed that there was a ten-speed bike up in the tree, too high for the officer to reach. They left a note to have Longview Parks respond with a cherry-picker to come and remove the bike. Police don’t yet know who the bike belongs to, or how it got up into the tree.
19th District Representative Jim Walsh of Aberdeen plans to hold a Telephone Town Hall this evening, starting at 6 pm. Walsh says that the “community conversation” will be similar to a call-in talk radio show, and will last an hour. Walsh says that he’s looking forward to talking with his constituents, providing updates on the Legislative session, local issues, and the state as a whole. If you would like to take part, call 360-682-3579 before 6 pm, and then press the star key to get in to ask questions. Walsh says that he plans to hold in-person Town Halls later in the year, after the Legislative session is over.
The Missoula Children’s Theatre is in Cathlamet this week, recruiting local kids to be involved in an upcoming production of “Alice in Wonderland.” All K-12 students in the Wahkiakum School District are invited to audition for a role, with more than 50 students needed for the play. Tryouts will start at 3:15 pm this afternoon at J. A. Wendt Elementary School in Cathlamet; rehearsals will be held right after school through this week. Two performances are planned, at 3 and 5:30 pm on Saturday, the 25th. Get more information by getting in touch with the folks at J. A. Wendt Elementary School.
Longtime Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins, 47, has been named the new head men’s basketball coach at Washington…..The Oregon Ducks survive with a close 75-72 NCAA tournament win over Rhode Island yesterday…..Former Kelso coach Jeff Reinland’s Walla Walla team won the NWAC title with a 93-75 win over Tacoma yesterday. Walla Walla defeated LCC in the semi-final Saturday night. Spokane won the women’s title…..Damian Lillard scored 49 to lead Portland over Miami 115-104 on Sunday…..The Mariners lost to Texas 3-2 yesterday. The M’s are off today…..The LCC baseball team swept Skagit Valley 12-8 and 13-0 yesterday. The teams play two more today at 12 pm in Mt. Vernon…..In prep baseball today, Battle Ground at Kelso and RAL at W.F. West.
Cowlitz County Public Works reports that it could take a couple of weeks to clear that landslide that’s blocking the Kalama River Road. The slide came down in the 3000 block of Kalama River Road at about 9 am Wednesday morning, completely blocking the road and knocking out power to 127 Cowlitz PUD customers. Cowlitz PUD officials say that line crews went “cross-country” to string another power line around the slide, restoring electric service at about 8 pm Wednesday night. Weyerhaeuser has opened the gates on the 8100 Road, giving local residents and emergency vehicles access to the area above the slide. County officials say that this slide is “too big” for county crews to handle; it’s currently estimated that two acres of material moved in the slide. An emergency has been declared, and the county is now in the process of selecting a contractor to start on the slide removal and road repair.
The Washington Department of Transportation reports that SR 503 remains closed near Ariel, as the slide that came down in that region is also being called “too big” for state road crews to deal with. It’s reported that WashDOT used a drone to inspect the slide that covered the road on Monday, but there’s still no schedule as to when they might start working on debris removal and road repair. Detours remain in place, but drivers are still being advised to avoid this route until further notice.
Rail service is still shut down between Seattle and Portland, while Burlington Northern-Santa Fe works on a slide that covered the tracks between Kelso and Vancouver on Monday night. Amtrak hasn’t announced any update since the 15th, when they announced that a moratorium on rail traffic was being extended into today. At this time, it’s still expected that the rail lines between Portland and Seattle will open later today. You should expect heavy traffic on the main lines after they re-open, so you’ll need to be extra-alert at rail crossings with the temporary increase in train traffic.
The Weather Service says that we need to be on the alert for the increased chance of slides or debris flows in the local area tonight and into tomorrow. The Weather Service in Seattle says that persistent, wet weather in Western Washington has kept the soils near saturation, which also exceeds the landslide thresholds set by the U. S. Geological Survey. There’s now an “elevated threat of rain-induced shallow landslides” throughout the region; they also say that the rain that’s expected this weekend will lead to an increased threat of landslides.
It was another busy day for the Longview Police Street Crimes Unit, as the detectives serve three search warrants in the course of ongoing investigations. Four people were arrested, after officers claim to have found meth, heroin, a gun, drug packaging material, scales and drug paraphernalia. Around 1:20 pm, a warrant was served at 700 South 9th, where Mandy Lynn Clark, 35, and Maria Lydia Saenz, 49, were arrested on drug possession charges. Saenz is also being served with a warrant for contempt of court.
Around 4:20 pm, the SCU went to 3342 Olive Way, where Thomas Leroy Wakefield, 53, was booked for possession of meth.
At about 4:45 pm, police went to 800 Burcham Street in Kelso, where Michael David Patching, Sr., 49, was arrested for possession of meth with intent to deliver, possession of heroin and unlawful possession of a gun. Detectives say that these arrests are the result of separate investigations, and are not related to each other.
Longview Police are now going over security videos from the 7th Avenue Walmart store, to see if the suspect in a construction site burglary can be identified. A few minutes after 9 last night, a break-in to the construction trailer being used by the people working on store remodel was reported. Tools and computer equipment was stolen, with the theft happening sometime between 4:30 and 9 pm. So far, no suspects have been identified.