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Ambre Energy Changes

At the same time that a new controlling interest in Ambre Energy North America is being announced, a new report is out, saying that the United States has too much coal export capacity, and that no new export terminals are needed. It was announced yesterday that a Denver-based hedge fund named Resource Capital Funds now has a 55-percent stake in Ambre Energy North America, taking over a controlling interest in the company that’s planning to build a coal export facility at the Millennium Bulk Terminals property in Longview. Also published yesterday was a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, saying that the U. S. is using only 34 percent of its current coal export capacity, and that NO new terminals are needed. In today’s Daily News, officials with Ambre Energy North America say that the sale is “good news,” but this new report wasn’t discussed.

Port Report

It’s full speed ahead at Cowlitz County’s three ports, as the Executive Directors for the Ports of Longview, Woodland and Kalama speak at the quarterly meeting of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce and the Cowlitz Economic Development Council. Ted Sprague with the CEDC says that we need to understand how important the ports are to the local economy. Jennifer Keene with the Port of Woodland, Mark Wilson with the Port of Kalama and Geir Kalhagen with the Port of Longview all say that significant developments are on the horizon, though there are still several hoops to go through before these projects will become reality. Along with the economic drivers, all three port directors say that they are dedicated to improving “quality of place,” with their organizations also committed to development of parks and other recreational facilities.

Burglary Arrest

A tip from a neighbor helped to put Jeremy James Dixon, 27, of Kelso behind bars, arrested in connection with a burglary reported yesterday morning at a home on Raven Ridge Road. At about 6 yesterday morning, Matt Franzen called 911, saying that he saw a suspicious car in his neighbor’s driveway. Deputies responded and caught Dixon after a short chase, reportedly finding him to be in possession of several items that had been stolen from the neighbor’s home. Dixon is now being held without bail on charges of residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, drug possession and felony theft. The Sheriff’s Office also says that it seized Dixon’s car, and plans to seek forfeiture of that vehicle.

Jewell Fatality

Oregon State Police now report that Edward Vaughn, 59, of Portland was killed Tuesday morning in a rollover crash on Oregon Highway 103 near Jewell. The crash happened around 6:10 am Tuesday morning, a few miles outside of Jewell. Evidence at the scene indicates that David Weiss, 68, of Forest Grove lost control of his pickup on an icy road, rolled over and then hit a tree. Vaughn died at the scene, and it’s noted that he was NOT wearing his seat belt. Weiss was not injured. At this point, no citations have been issued.

Chief Decision Delayed

Woodland Mayor Grover Laseke says that a decision on a new Chief of Police will be delayed for a couple more weeks. In this morning’s Vancouver Columbian, Laseke is quoted as saying that the vetting process is taking longer than had first been projected, so he won’t be able to announce a new Chief until December 1st at the earliest. This has been a long and protracted process, extending out for more than a year. This is the third go-round in the selection process, with the City Council rejecting two previous selections. Four finalists have been interviewed this time around, none from the local area. The City Council interviewed those four finalists in late September.

Suicide Vigil

At 8 pm tonight, there’s a Candlelight Vigil for Suicide Prevention, being held at Lake Sacajawea. Organizers say that the event is in loving memory of Jordan D. Griffith, who took his own life in September of this year. They say that tonight’s vigil is intended to bring awareness of suicide to the community, and to remember all who have been lost already. The vigil will be held at Kessler Boulevard and Ocean Beach Highway, and is open to all who are interested.

CRESA Test

People living in the Lewis River area and other portions of Woodland will be getting a phone call today from the Clark Regional Emergency Services Area, or CRESA, as part of a test of the Region Four Emergency Notification System. In partnership with Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Skamania counties, CRESA Emergency Management is working with Hyper-Reach, an emergency notification system provider, to help make sure that residents are informed in the event of an emergency. Test calls will be going out to all land lines, registered cell number and Voice over Internet Phones between Merwin Dam and Woodland, starting at 10 am and going until 2 pm. This is only a test; go to the CRESA web page for more information.

WDFW News

There’s a public meeting planned for this evening down in Cathlamet, where the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will talk about the process for development of steelhead management plans for several rivers and streams in Wahkiakum County. This plan would cover the Grays, Elochoman and Chinook Rivers, along with Skamakowa, Mill, Abernathy and Germany Creeks, an area that’s being called “the Coast Stratum.” WDFW is also looking for 10 to 15 people that will serve on a citizens work group that will be involved in the development of this plan. Additional details are available on the WDFW web page. Today’s meeting runs from 6 to 8 pm in the River Street Room in Cathlamet.

A seven-night razor clam dig opens tonight and runs through next Wednesday evening. Long Beach and Twin Harbors will be open for digging on the evening tides all seven nights. Mocrocks will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while Copalis will be open only on the Saturday night tide. Current shellfish licenses are needed, and be sure to dress for the weather.

LCC Events

There’s a lot going on today at Lower Columbia College, starting with the EWU@LCC Business Day. You’re invited to come by and celebrate the newest degree offering through the University Center at LCC, that being a Bachelor of Business Administration through Eastern Washington University. This program will open to new students in winter quarter of this year. There’s an information session on the new degree program from 10 to 11 am in the University Center; from noon to 4 pm, there’s an open advising session, and then Doctor Heidi Connole with Eastern will provide specific information on the degree in presentations planned at 1:30 and 3:30 pm.

Psychology instructor Michael Strayer continues the Community Conversation lectures at noon today in the Wollenberg Auditorium, presenting a talk entitled “The Monsters Among Us: Narcissists, Predators and Psychopaths, Oh My!” The free lecture is open to anyone interested.

The annual “Opera Gala Concert” is planned for this evening in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts. Curtain is set for 7:30 am, and admission is free.

Also at the Rose Center for the Arts will be the opening of the Center Stage production of “Sherlock Holmes, The Final Adventure. Tickets are available at the LCC Student Center, or at the Rose Center box office, one hour prior to the 7:30 pm performance time.

LNG Application

A 60-day comment period is now open on a Clean Water Act application submitted by Oregon LNG, which is proposing to build a Liquefied Natural Gas export facility at the mouth of the Columbia River, supplied by an 87-mile natural gas pipeline that would originate in the Woodland area. Full details on the application and the proposed route of the pipeline are now available on the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers web page; Oregon LNG is proposing to construct a ship-handling terminal, LNG vaporization facilities, LNG storage tanks and other equipment, along with the pipeline that would run through Columbia, Tillamook and Clatsop counties. Comments are being taken through January 17th of next year.