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IRS Scam

A Kelso woman reports that someone claiming to be from the IRS tried to extort money from her early yesterday morning. The woman called from her home on Walker Road, shortly before 6 yesterday morning. The person who called said that the woman owed a tax debt, and unless she paid $2,900 immediately, then she would be arrested in the next 30 minutes. The woman asked for details about the debt, which the caller could not provide. The caller left a pair of phone numbers and a “badge number,” but when a Deputy called back and identified himself, the caller hung up. The Kelso woman did not provide any personal information, and there was no loss.

Sauvie Island Death Update

Oregon State Police now say that the investigation into the death of a man whose body was found Tuesday afternoon on Sauvie Island is being turned over to Portland Police. The man’s body was found in the Willow Bar area of the island, near the Columbia-Multnomah county line. OSP now says that the body has been identified, reporting that this is a man from Portland, who had been reported as missing. The man’s name is not being released, pending notification of next of kin and the completion of an autopsy. Information on the case should be relayed to Detective Sergeant Patti Rhodes at 503-731-3030.

Water Workshop

The Longview City Council has a workshop scheduled for this evening, where they plan to meet with representatives of the consulting firm that’s conducting the study of the city’s water source. The meeting comes after last week’s official release of the citizen survey that was done several weeks ago, where the city’s water got an overall rating of 4.5 out of ten. The city has contracted with CH2MHill to conduct this study, and will discuss the “scope of work” for that study at tonight’s workshop. City officials say that it’s necessary to evaluate a variety of options; after the survey, staff is looking for direction regarding the completion of the review, community outreach and other issues. Tonight’s workshop is scheduled to start at 6 pm in the City Hall Training Room, and will be open to the public.

Community Conversations

The “Monsters in Our Midst” Community Conversation lectures continue today, as Chemistry and Physical Science instructor Adam Wolfer presents “They Called Me MAD!!!: Mad Scientists as Monsters and Villains.” The free lecture starts at noon in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts, and is open to anyone interested.

Bunco Night

The 5th annual Lower Columbia Professionals “Bunc-Off” is planned for tonight at the Longview Eagles on 12th Avenue. This annual Bunco tournament is a “Fun-Raiser” for the LCP Scholarship Fund, and will also feature prizes, food and beverages. Signups start at 5:30 this afternoon, and then the dice start rolling at 6 pm. You can RSVP with the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, either by going to their website or by giving them a call at 423-8400.

KLOG Thursday Sports

The Blazers scored 84 points in the first half and went on to blow out the Nuggets in Denver 130-113. Damian Lillard led the way with 27 points. Portland hosts the Brooklyn Nets Saturday night…..More bad news on the injury front for the Seahawks as tight end Zach Miller has been placed on season-ending injury reserve with a bad ankle…..Mark Morris twins Karley and Kourtney Eaton made it official yesterday, signing a national letter of intent to play basketball at Cal-Davis…..LCC pitcher Tanner Olson signed his letter of intent to play for Sacramento State beginning next fall…..The LCC volleyball team rallied from two sets down to beat Centralia 3-2 last night. The Devils close out the season Friday night at home against Tacoma.

Weather Woes

The Cowlitz PUD says that they’re caught up after a number of scattered outages that were a result of yesterday’s gusty winds, but they’re also bracing for the possibility of additional problems tonight. At least four significant outages were reported yesterday, starting around 12:40 pm out on Ocean Beach Highway. 480 customers were affected, with repairs completed around 4. 398 customers along the Kalama River Road lost power a couple of times, and 87 customers in the area of South Goble Creek Loop Road were out when a tree went down shortly after 2 pm. The most recent outage affected 234 customers along the Lewis River Highway, going from 135 to 4:25 this morning. The peak gust of wind recorded in the local area came in at 32 miles an hour, picked up at the automated station on the Oregon side of the Lewis and Clark Bridge.

Today’s weather is expected to be decent, with mostly sunny skies, but a high of only 44 degrees. East winds of 10 to 20 miles an hour are also possible. Things change overnight, however, as clouds move in again and the chance of precipitation increases. The Weather Service says that there’s a 50 percent chance of freezing rain or even snow after midnight, continuing into tomorrow morning. Things are expected to warm up by tomorrow afternoon. High wind warnings also remain in effect until 3 pm today in the Portland-Vancouver area, along with a Winter Storm Watch tomorrow and Friday for snow and freezing rain in the Columbia River Gorge.

Sauvie Island Death

Oregon State Police say that they’re investigating a death that was discovered yesterday afternoon on a portion of Sauvie Island that extends into Columbia County. Around 1:30 pm, a man’s body was discovered at Willow Bark State Park, on the northern tip of Sauvie Island. OSP Detectives say that the body is that of a adult white male, but they haven’t yet said anything about the possible cause or manner of death. They say that the investigation is ongoing, and that details are limited, but they also believe that there’s no threat to the community at large. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

Beacon Hill Rollover

Deputies say that they have NOT been able to connect two men who were injured yesterday morning in a rollover crash to a series of car prowls that were reported up in the Beacon Hill Drive area. The crash took place shortly after 4 yesterday morning, about 100 yards south of the trestle on Beacon Hill. Several residents of the area reported that they had vehicles prowled, and as Deputies went up to check the area, a vehicle took off, heading down the hill at about 60 miles an hour. Just past the trestle, the driver lost control and rolled at least three times. The two occupants were held at gunpoint until an ambulance arrived and took the two men to St. John Medical Center. A check of the car didn’t turn up any stolen material, and the driver, Ellis Dale Ferguson, 31, of Longview, says that he took off because he had outstanding warrants. Both men were treated and released from St. John; Ferguson is now being held on those warrants. The investigation into the car prowls is continuing, but no suspects have been identified.

Crime Stats

The FBI is out with the 2013 Crime Statistics for Washington and Oregon, and it looks like major crime went up in all of the cities recorded in Cowlitz County. Kelso had 72 violent crimes in 2013, compared to 42 in 2012. Property crime went down slightly, with 681 incidents reported, compared to 707 in 2012. Longview had 170 incidents of violent crime; in 2012, that number at 156. Property crimes also increased; the number was 2,211 in 2102, and 2,421 in 2013. Violent crime in Castle Rock held steady between 2012 and 2013, but property crimes increased from 66 to 83. The number of violent crimes in Kalama went from 4 to 7, while property crime decreased from 47 to 44. Woodland went from 14 violent crimes in 2012 to 19 in 2013, and property crimes also increased, going from 221 to 240. The full listings, by individual categories, are available on the Portland FBI office webpage.