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North Idaho Gig

Lower Columbia College President Chris Bailey didn’t get the job in Coeur d’Alene, as North Idaho College selects Richard MacLennan to be its next President. Bailey was one of six finalists for the position; MacLennan most recently has been working as the President of Garrett College in Maryland, but he worked for 12 years as a vice president of student services at Olympic College in OIympia, before moving back east.

Community Conversation

New technology in male contraception will be the subject of today’s Community Conversation lecture at Lower Columbia College. Alisha Williams is an instructor in Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training, and she will present “The Needle Goes Where? New Contraception Options for Men,” starting at noon in Room 101 at the Health and Science Building at LCC. This topic continues on the theme of “Birds, Bees and Sexualities”; remember that this is adult content, and may not be appropriate for children. Admission is free.

KLOG Thursday Sports

The Orioles beat the Mariners 5-2 last night as former Mariner Chris Tillman was the winning pitcher. The M’s and O’s are playing a day game today, KLOG 8:30 am…..The R.A. Long softball team begins 2A District play this afternoon in Centralia. The Jills play Washougal at 4 pm…..Aunica Rybar of Mark Morris took fifth at the girls 2A golf District at Mint Valley. Rybar qualifies for State and she’ll be joined by RAL duo Josie Nickerson and Sierra Norris who tied at 15th place…..Blazer assistant coach Jay Triano is leaving the team to become the lead assistant for the Phoenix Suns…..The Kelso baseball team opens the State 3A tournament in Mt. Vernon Saturday against Arlington, KLOG 9:55 am. The venue has been changed from Skagit Valley College to Mt. Vernon HS.

Eruption +36

It started at 8:32 am on a sunny Sunday morning, when a magnitude 5.1 earthquake triggered the biggest landslide in recorded history; that event also triggered the eruption of Mount St. Helens. The eruption killed 57 people, and devastated hundreds of square miles of forest land around the mountain. 36 years later, the mountain continues the process of regeneration, while special events are planned in commemoration of this event.

Two special programs are planned today at the Johnston Ridge Volcano Observatory, one focused on science, while the other involves the Cowlitz Indians. Ken Creager is with the Earth and Space Sciences program at the University of Washington, and he will present “Imaging Magma under Mount St. Helens Reveals New Insights into what Lies Beneath the Volcano.” Creager will present preliminary results from the “iMUSH” project at 11 am and 1 pm, talking about what scientists have learned as this project moves ahead. At 11:30 am and 1:30 pm, Cowlitz Indian Tribal Ecologist Nathan Reynolds will present “Mountain Goats, Mount St. Helens/Lawelat’la and the Traditional Culture of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.” It’s noted that mountain goats are once again populating the area around the mountain, and the Cowlitz Indians are once again gathering tufts of goat wool to see if the lost art of weaving that wool can be rekindled. Johnston Ridge is open from 10 am to 6 pm today.

Filing Update

On the second day of Candidate Filing in Washington, we have more local races shaping up. Recently-appointed 19th District Representative JD Rosetti now has two challengers for the seat; Jim Walsh of Aberdeen and Val Tinney of Castle Rock are both filing to run, also both filing as Republicans. The other 19th District Representative, Brian Blake, also has two challengers now; Jimi O’Hagan of Grayland filed to run as a Republican in that race on Monday, while Butch Stavrum of Nahcotta will provide a Primary Election challenge for Blake, filing as a Democrat. There’s another contender for the PUD Commission seat held by Ned Piper, as Lonnie Knowles of Castle Rock files for the position. Piper has yet to file. Long-time Representative Richard DeBolt of Chehalis has filed to run for another term in the 20th District. All four Superior Court Judges have now filed for re-election; Gary Bashor filed Monday evening, while Jill Johanson of Longview has filed for another term on the Washington Court of Appeals. Candidate filing continues through 5 pm on Friday.

Columbia County Results

There are going to be some new faces on the Columbia County Commission, as one incumbent trails in the early tally, while Margaret Magruder leads a wild five-way race for an open seat. Alex Tardif currently leads incumbent Tony Hyde by more than three percentage points, 51.43 percent for Tardif to 47.97 percent for Hyde. Magruder is currently in first place of that five-way race to succeed Earl Fisher, who is retiring at the end of his term. Magruder edged past Wayne Mayo in the late run of ballots last night, and she currently leads Mayo by just over a single percentage point, 28.69 percent to 27.43 percent. Magruder and Mayo will square off in the General Election.

There were also several measures being decided by Columbia County voters. A measure to annex the “Julian Property” into St. Helens is passing with more than 73 percent approval, but a measure to form the Columbia County Rider Transportation District is getting drilled, with more than 63 percent “no” votes. The Scappoose Fire local option levy is getting 55 percent approval at this time, while the Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District five-year levy is leading 51 percent to 49 percent, with a separation of just 18 votes.

Filing Update

On the second day of Candidate Filing in Washington, we have more local races shaping up. Recently-appointed 19th District Representative JD Rosetti now has two challengers for the seat; Jim Walsh of Aberdeen and Val Tinney of Castle Rock are both filing to run, also both filing as Republicans. The other 19th District Representative, Brian Blake, also has two challengers now; Jimi O’Hagan of Grayland filed to run as a Republican in that race on Monday, while Butch Stavrum of Nahcotta will provide a Primary Election challenge for Blake, filing as a Democrat. There’s another contender for the PUD Commission seat held by Ned Piper, as Lonnie Knowles of Castle Rock files for the position. Piper has yet to file. Long-time Representative Richard DeBolt of Chehalis has filed to run for another term in the 20th District. All four Superior Court Judges have now filed for re-election; Gary Bashor filed Monday evening, while Jill Johanson of Longview has filed for another term on the Washington Court of Appeals. Candidate filing continues through 5 pm on Friday.

Meter Audit

The Cowlitz PUD is releasing the results of an independent audit that was done on the electronic meters now being used by the utility. That audit reportedly shows that the meters are accurate, and are working properly. A Facebook furor kicked up during the past summer, with customers being upset over extremely high power bills. There was speculation that the new “smart meters” weren’t functioning properly, and were sending erroneous information to the PUD for billing. Several months ago, the PUD contracted with National Metering and Technical Services out of Wenatchee for an independent audit. 200 residential meters were randomly selected from across the county and were tested. Out of that, only one meter was found to be defective, and the defect would have been to the benefit of the customer. Nine others were identified for maintenance issues that did nothing to affect the recording of electrical usage. PUD officials say that they hope this information will help to alleviate customer concerns. They also say that additional outreach will be set up, to try and help customers understand why their bill goes up and down, along with steps that they can take to reduce usage and save money during high-demand times of year.

KLOG Wednesday Sports

Anacortes broke up a scoreless duel with three late goals to defeat R.A. Long 3-0 in the 2A State boys soccer playoffs. The Jacks fine season ends at 13-6-1…..The top 31 made the cut to today’s final round of the 2A girls golf District at Mint Valley. Aunica Rybar of MM was the best local score of 86, good for second place…..The Mariners blasted the Orioles 10-0 last night as Nelson Cruz led the way with a homer and five RBI’s. The M’s and O’s play again today at Camden Yards, KLOG 3:00 pm…..The LCC softball team was seeded sixth into the 16-team NWAC Championships. The Devils play Everett in the first round Friday at 10 am. The tourney is at Delta Park in Portland.

No Infections

PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center reports that there’s no evidence that there were any infections of Hepatitis or HIV in sleep apnea patients who may have been vulnerable during tests conducted at the hospital. Last month, the hospital disclosed that 260 patients who were fitted for dental devices to help treat sleep apnea may have been exposed to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV, due to issues with sterilizing equipment. The hospital offered testing and possible treatment to those patients; they say that close to 90 percent of those people have participated in that testing, with NO infections reported. St. John Chief Administrative Officer Kirk Raboin says that they always thought that the risk was low, but they were going with an “abundance of caution” in this instance. He says that these results are encouraging, but he still apologizes to patients and families for any inconvenience or concerns that this may have raised.