If you’re heading to the beach for razor clam digging or other recreational opportunities, the Weather Service says that you need to keep an eye on the surf, as large waves are expected this weekend. Forecasters say that a building west swell could produce breaking waves of 16 to 18 feet in height. They also say that this “west swell” will have long “wave-periods” of up to 19 seconds, so there could also be long breaks in between these larger waves. These bigger waves could “sneak up” on beach visitors, particularly if you’re distracted by the search for clams or other items on the beach. Saturday has the highest potential for these “sneaker waves,” but heavy surf is expected through the entire weekend. You’re advised to watch the surf for about a half-hour before going onto the beach, looking for larger sets of waves. Never turn your back on the ocean, and beware of outcroppings, especially at low tide. Call 911 immediately if you see someone swept into the ocean, and DO NOT try to go in after them yourself.
Responding to high demand, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is hosting another Boating Certification Class, offered tomorrow at the Cowlitz County Search and Rescue building on Western Lane in Kelso. Anyone age 59 and younger is required to have a Washington State Boaters Education Card to operate a vessel in Washington state waters. All who complete the class will be presented with one of these Boater Education Card. The class is free, but there could be limitations on getting into the class. Contact Deputy Jordan Spencer at 577-3092 for more information.
On a 5-1 vote, the Longview City Council is permanently changing the city’s utility tax rate to 9.5 percent, doing away with language to “sunset” what was originally intended as a temporary hike. At last night’s meeting, Council member Ken Botero urged his colleagues to “fact facts”. A motion to retain the “sunset language” failed to get a majority of votes; the main motion to make the 9.5 percent rate permanent was opposed only by Council member Steve Moon. The city is planning to use the extra half-million dollars from the higher utility tax to hire a new Community Service Officer, two Narcotics Task Force officers, and an IT specialist dedicated to public safety.
National Fire Prevention Week wraps up tomorrow, with Open Houses planned at two main fire stations in the local area. The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives,” as local fire agencies remind us all about the importance of having working smoke detectors, and the need to test those devices on a regular basis. Those messages will also be emphasized at the Open Houses being held from 10 am until 2 pm at the Longview Fire Department main station on Commerce Avenue, and at the Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue main station at 701 Vine Street in Kelso. Both events will have special displays and demonstrations, including demonstrations of how car crash victims are extricated from damaged vehicles. Refreshments will be served, and they’ll also have some special giveaways. Bring the whole family down to either event.
Week six of the prep football season is tonight including W.F. West at Kelso (FM 101.5 The Wave), R.A. Long at Prairie and Mark Morris at Woodland (FM105.5 KUKN)…..The WSU Cougars have a Friday night Pac-12 football game at Stanford tonight. The Huskies are at Cal tomorrow, KLOG 2:00 pm…..The Seahawks hope to be ready when the Dallas Cowboys visit on Sunday…..In prep volleyball last night, Prairie defeated Kelso 3-0 and RAL took care of Washougal 3-0…..The LCC volleyball team hosts Centralia tonight, 7 pm at the MM Gym…..The LCC soccer team hosts Olympic in a 12 pm game Saturday at Northlake Field…..In prep soccer, Prairie edged Kelso 1-0 and Washougal blanked RAL 2-0…..The Utah Jazz beat Portland 109-105 last night in NBA pre-season action.
The Catlin Grange is raising money for its “Words for 3rd-Graders” dictionary project, holding a Huge Rummage Sale at the Catlin Grange Hall on Shawnee Street in North Kelso. Hours are 8 am to 5 pm Friday, 8 until 2 on Saturday.
“Halloweentown” opens up the “creepy season” with “St. Helens Haunted Tours,” being offered each weekend through November 1st. The tours of the “secret, creepy and spooky” history of St. Helens will start at Plaza Square at 7 pm, starting each half-hour until 9:30 pm. Get tickets at Bertucci’s Chocolates, or go to www.SSCPmusicals.com.
The Three Rivers Mall continues its “Reel Pop-Up Movies” through the weekend, with free screenings of “Star Wars I-VI,” and Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent movie classic ”Metropolis.” They’ll also have matinee screenings of “How to Train Your Dragon.” This will be near the SW corner of the mall, and you can get the current movie schedule on www.threeriversmall.com, or on the TRM Facebook page.
Friday evening and all day on Saturday, Calvary Baptist Church in Longview is hosting a live webcast of a program called “Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis.” The webcast runs from 6:30 to 9:30 pm on Friday, and then will go from 8 am until 4:30 pm on Saturday. Calvary Baptist Church is located at 1448 11th Avenue in Longview, and it’s free to take part.
Get your neon running clothes and glow sticks out for Friday evening’s Moonlight Run at the Mint Valley Golf Course. The gun goes off at 6:15 pm, with a lighted running path set up on the fairways of the golf course. Registration will include glow necklaces and bracelets; food and drinks will also be available. This event is being arranged by Longview Parks and Recreation, you can call them for more details.
Youth and Family Link continues with its Family Open Gym Nights on Friday, running from 6:30 to 8 pm. You’re invited to bring the whole family down for movies, crafts, bingo and other fun. Youth and Family Link is located at 907 Douglas Street in Longview.
Saturday afternoon, Fibre Federal Credit Union is joining the St. John Medical Center Foundation in presenting “An Afternoon of Hope and Healing,” a fundraising luncheon supporting the Breast Cancer Journey. This will run from 11 am until 2 pm at the Cowlitz County Expo Center; along with the great food, they’ll have the “Runway to Recovery” Survivor Fashion Show, and three-time breast cancer survivor Becky Olson will also speak. Go to the St. John Foundation web page for ticket information.
The 3rd annual Progress Center Beer and Wine Festival runs from 6 to 9 pm on Saturday at the Cowlitz County Conference and Events Center, raising money for the local center that provides educational services and family support for handicapped children. Admission to this 21-and-over event will include up to 10 samples of beer and wine, along with music from the Bob Nelson Jazz Combo. Call 425-9810 for ticket information, or go to www.theprogresscenter.org.
After you run the Mint Valley Golf Course Friday night, you can come back and play the course Saturday night, at the annual Moonlight Golf Tournament. This is a 9-hole best-ball scramble, with the shotgun going off at 6:30 pm. Longview Parks and Rec is using this event to raise money for its Therapeutic Programs. Call 442-5400 for registration information, or go to the Parks and Rec website.
Come to the Cowlitz Community Farmer’s Market and find produce, plants, crafts, baked goods, eggs, entertainment, and fun! Come on down and join the fun, there’s something good for everyone! Hours are 9 am until 2 pm on Saturday in the parking lot on 7th Avenue, across from the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds.
The Southwest Washington Symphony presents “The Music of Storytelling” at its Fall Pops Concert, presenting pieces from classical and contemporary composers that all “tell a story.” Rob Davis will direct the Symphony, which will also feature Gian Paul Morelli with the Columbia Theatre as the Guest Conductor for a performance of “76 Trombones.” Curtain for this show at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts is set for 3 pm on Sunday. Call 575-TIXX for ticket information, or go to the CTPA website.
The Downtown Longview Farmers and Artisans Market is open from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday at 15th and Broadway in downtown Longview. Along with the locally grown produce, they’ll have all kinds of hand-made crafts, specialty foods, flower baskets and other items for sale. Find out more by calling 957-2515.
Kelso Police and officials with Burlington Northern/Santa Fe are investigating a fatal train-versus-pedestrian collision that took place early this morning near the Cowlitz Way Bridge. Around 12:45 am, the crew of a northbound BNSF freight train reported seeing a pedestrian near the tracks, about a quarter-mile north of the bridge. The crew activated the train’s horn, but the pedestrian, described as an adult female, apparently walked into the middle of the tracks, directly in the path of the train. The woman was hit and killed instantly; the body was carried some distance by the train, finally located just before 1 am, underneath the train just south of Harris Street. The County Coroner was called in to take possession of the body, which has not yet been identified. The scene was cleared around 2:30 am, which allowed normal train traffic to resume. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.
Longview Police now report that the officer that was injured early Sunday morning while trying to apprehend a car chase suspect is back at home, nursing a laceration to his arm. The incident happened at the Triangle Shopping Center, as the unidentified officer and others were trying to arrest Anthony Mark Koopman, 44, of Mineral. Koopman allegedly led police on a car chase around the Civic Circle, out to Ocean Beach Highway and into the mall parking lot. Officers had to break the car windows and pull Koopman out, and the officer suffered a serious cut during that process. Sergeant John Reeves says that the officer was eventually transferred to a hospital in Portland, where he had surgery on the laceration. Reeves says that the officer has been released the hospital, and is recuperating at home. Koopman continues to be held in the Cowlitz County Jail on charges of felony eluding, second-degree assault and other counts.
The Longview-based producers of a marijuana-infused soda pop say that an issue with yeast is responsible for the exploding bottles that were shipped to a Bellingham retail marijuana store. Two days after Mirth Provisions of Longview celebrated the first shipment of “Legal,” the owner of Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham was wearing protective clothing and eye protection as he moved 300 bottles of the soda into a metal trash container. Employees at Top Shelf say that bottles continued to explode inside the dumpster for ten days afterward. In this morning’s Vancouver Columbian, Mirth Provisions owner Adam Stites says that they were able to pull product off of shelves in Vancouver after the problems were first reported, but they were not able to get to Bellingham. Stites says that they have also been working closely with the lab people, and identified “excess yeast” in the batch that went out. He now says that they have altered the manufacturing process to completely eliminate that yeast, which should also eliminate the explosion issue. Stites says that they’re confident that the problems have been solved, but they plan to do more testing before trying to ship again. He’s hoping to get bottles of “Legal” back on store shelves within a week or so.
You can hear from the contenders for County Sheriff and County Prosecutor at a forum that’s planned for this evening in the Third Floor General Meeting Room at the County Administration Building. Sheriff Mark Nelson and Deputy Darren Ullman are scheduled to be at the event, along with current County Prosecutor Sue Baur and her challenger, defense attorney Ryan Jurvekainen. Nelson and Ullman will be speaking and answering questions from 6 to 7 pm, which will then be followed by Baur and Jurvakainen, starting at 7:15. This evening’s event is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Cowlitz Couny and the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum County Bar Association, and is open to anyone interested in attending. Call 360-225-2294 if you have any other questions about this event.