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KLOG Wednesday Sports

The Blazers beat the Bucks 107-95 behind the 30 points of CJ McCollum. Portland has won five straight and nine of 11…..The Huskies host Arizona State tonight, while the Cougars are at home against Arizona. The LCC teams have a bye tonight as they get ready to host Pierce on Saturday…..Prairie had a big second half in an 80-43 win over the Kelso boys last night. Also, Ridgefield defeated R.A. Long 50-45…..The Kelso girls will be at Prairie tonight, KLOG 6:55 pm. Last night Brooke Walling scored 25 to lead Mark Morris over Hudson’s Bay 53-24…..Rainier defeated Mark Morris 51-38 in wrestling last night…..The 3A boys swimming Sub-District is in Vancouver this afternoon.

State of the County

Cowlitz County employees are going to get their first raises in more than four years, as Cowlitz County Commission Chair Mike Karnofski delivers the annual “State of the County” address. Karnofski also says that there will be no service reductions in the year ahead…2016stateofthecounty…While Cowlitz County’s budget picture has improved, Karnofski says that initiatives to reduce costs and to improve efficiency will continue, promoting the “Lean” program that the county has been involved in. Karnofski says that efforts to reduce costs will continue, promoting the “culture of Lean.” He says the push toward a “paperless” county will continue, focusing this year on the County Prosecutor’s Office and Superior Court. He says that efforts to expand mental health care services will continue, with hopes of expanding the Mental Health Court and Drug Court. It’s noted that new housing starts were up substantially in the county over the past year, while Commissioner Joe Gardner says that they now have a Facilities Plan that will help to guide both short and long-term capital project expenditures. Major capital projects this year include a new roof on the Hall of Justice, and development of a new Morgue for the County Coroner. The Commissioners also say that the county’s joining in the Great Rivers Behavioral Health Organization will help improve delivery of mental health services throughout Cowlitz County.

BK Grease Fire

Fire crews were scrambled this morning after a grease fire was reported at the Burger King restaurant on Ocean Beach Highway. Units from Longview and Cowlitz 2 were scrambled at about 4:50 am, when employees reported the incident. A few minutes after the initial 911 call, they also reported that the fire was under control, but they still wanted firefighters to check the building. One crew from Longview responded to that request, while the other units were sent back to their quarters. It’s not yet known how much damage was done, or if the restaurant will be open this morning.

Lovingfoss Sentenced

The owner of the Monticello Hotel is now starting to serve a jail term connected to his last DUI conviction, spending time in the Wahkiakum County Jail and doing community service as part of that sentence. The Daily News reports that Phil Lovingfoss was recently in Cowlitz County District Court, where he pleaded guilty to DUI counts from March 30th and December 18th of last year, along with a negligent driving count from June 5th of 2013. Lovingfoss was sentenced to 95 days in jail, followed by another 120 days of electronic home monitoring. TDN says that Lovingfoss started serving his sentence last week; he’s being allowed to work during the day, and then he’s being ferried to Cathlamet. They say that Lovingfoss requested to serve his sentence in Wahkiakum County. After his jail and house arrest, Lovingfoss will be on probation for five years; he’s also being required to attend chemical dependency treatment, DUI victims’ panels, and DUI education courses. Fines and court costs total $3,400. Lovingfoss still faces a March 21st court date, where he’s accused of felony harassment, allegedly threatening to harm a local judge.

Jail Assault

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating an apparent inmate-on-inmate assault that took place yesterday morning in the Cowlitz County Jail. This incident was reported at about 10:15 yesterday morning, when an altercation was reported between Phillip Buck and Tyrone Clifford Hancock, 41. Jail staff reports that the scuffle started when Buck began throwing things around the cell he was sharing with Hancock. Both men eventually fell during the struggle, with Buck striking his face on the sink. That impact broke his jaw. Buck was transported to St. John Medical Center, released on his own recognizance for medical transport and treatment. Clifford continues to be held in the jail on three separate drug counts, while the investigation into the fight continues.

Task Force Bust

Two people are under arrest after action reported yesterday by Woodland Police and the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force. The Department of Corrections and Immigration and Customs Enforcement also took part in the operation, serving a search warrant at a home in the 12 hundred block of Goerig Street. They claim to have seized four grams of meth, $665 cash and drug packaging materials. Albert Kloehn, 67, and Pamela Benburg, 50, are both being held for possession of illegal drugs with intent to deliver, along with delivery of a controlled substance. They also face school zone enhancements on those counts. The investigation continues as part of an ongoing partnership between the Task Force and Woodland Police.

Child Rape Charges

James Eldon Breedlove, 71, of Longview is in custody this morning, booked into the Cowlitz County Jail on charges of child rape and child molestation. Today’s Daily News reports that Breedlove was arrested on the 18th of last month, acting on a report from a couple who claims that Breedlove has been molesting their daughter for some time. It’s also alleged that Breedlove gave a false name to authorities apparently in an attempt to hide his background as a registered sex offender. Breedlove entered a “not guilty” plea at his arraignment, and a trial date was set for March 21st. He continues to be held on bail of $750,000.

St. Helens Vandals

St. Helens Police are asking for the public’s help in finding the person or persons who were involved in some vandalism incidents that were reported over this past weekend. Chief Terry Moss says that someone used blue, black and red paint to scrawl graffiti on the restrooms at Campbell Park, along with the side of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Sykes Road. Moss says that the incident took place some time over this past weekend, and he also says that it looks like the same person or persons did both incidents. Pictures of the graffiti are being released, to see if their “style” might be recognized. Call St. Helens Police at 503-397-1521 if you can help out.

Dickerson Files

Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson is announcing his intent to seek another term. Late last week, Dickerson filed the paperwork with Columbia County Elections, officially declaring his intent to run for a third term. Dickerson was first elected to the position in 2008, following the retirement of Phil Derby. In May of 2008, Dickerson won a three-way race over Gerry Simmons and Robert Crain. He was re-elected in 2012, defeating Deputy Dave Fuller for that second term.

Smelt Are In

Judging by the bird activity and by the smell coming off of the water, there are definitely smelt in the Cowlitz River, as recreational dippers prepare for their single day of dipping on Saturday. Washington Fish and Wildlife reports that commercial dippers reported “good numbers” of smelt in the Columbia, and the numbers of seals and sea lions in the river also indicate that smelt are in. Right now, recreational dipping for smelt will be allowed on Saturday only, starting at 7 am and going until 1 pm. Dippers will be allowed ten pound per person, or about a quarter-full five-gallon bucket. Dipping will need to be done from shore; no dipping from boats will be allowed. No license is required, but remember that game wardens will be out and about, making sure that dippers are observing the bag limit rules