Upwards of 1,000 high school students from across the state of Washington are converging on this area through this weekend, taking part in the Association of Washington Student Leaders Conference. The conference starts today and runs through Sunday, but one of the big events is planned for tomorrow at Kalama High School, where the students plan to assemble 100,000 dried meals for local food banks. This is planned to happen between 2 and 4 pm tomorrow in the Large Gym at Kalama High, with the students working in two 45-minute waves. After completion, the meals will be distributed to local food banks. Additional volunteers are needed to help these kids meet their goal; call the United Way of Cowlitz County at 423-5320 if you would like to help out.
The Kalama Lions are holding a Sight and Hearing Rally on Friday, running from 9 am to 4 pm at the Chevron station, located at First and Fir Streets in downtown Kalama. They will be collecting donations of glasses, hearing aids and cash, supporting the Lions Sight and Hearing programs.
The Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities has its Annual Caregiver Conference on Friday, an event called “Beyond the Physical: Caring for the Needs of the Spirit.” This will run from 10 am until 2 pm at the McClelland Arts Center, featuring nationally-known author Wendy Lustbader. Call 577-4929 for registration information, or go to helpingelders.org.
There are a couple of book sales this weekend; the Friends of the Kalama Library will selling books from 9 am to 4 pm both Friday and Saturday. The sale will be held in the REMAX building in downtown Kalama. The Friends of the Woodland Library will have their book sale at the Woodland Community Center, running from 10 am to 4pm on Friday, and from 10 am until 2 pm on Saturday.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Southwest Washington Symphony is presenting a free Pops Concert this Friday night at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. Guest violinist Jenny Oaks Baker will also perform in a Disney-themed concert that will begin at 7 pm. Call 575-TIXX or go to the Columbia Theatre web page for ticket information.
Presented by Hometeam 1490, Cookin’ Country 105.5 and 101.5 The Wave, the area’s newest Haunted House opens this weekend in the old Triangle Mall Cinema building. The doors of the “Cinema Of Horrors” will creak open at 7 pm Friday night, with the scares continuing until 11 pm Friday and Saturday nights through Halloween. This is recommended for families with kids age 13 and older, with two separate Haunted Houses included with your admission. Find out more at cinemaofhorrors.com.
The Beaver Homes Grange Haunted House opens this weekend, going from 6:30 to 9:30 pm Friday and Saturday night. Along with the Haunted House, they’ll have games for the kids and more. The Haunted House will be open each weekend through Halloween. The Beaver Homes Grange is located off of Highway 30 on Nicolai Road. Just follow the signs.
The “Spirit of Halloweentown” continues this weekend in St. Helens, kicked off with the Haunted House that’s open from 5 pm to midnight, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, along with special VIP tours at 1 am each night. The “Mystery Hour Radio Theatre, featuring ‘The Shadow’” will run Friday and Saturday night at St. Helens High School, with performances at 7 pm each night. There’s a Mask Making Workshop from 10 am until 2 pm on Saturday at the St. Helens Public Library, Carved Pumpkin judging at the Courthouse Plaza from 11 am until 3pm, and the Severed Heads Tractor Rides start at noon. The Haunted Hot Rod and Hearse Rally goes from noon to 4pm, and “The Very, Very, Very, Good Variety Show” happens at 2 pm. The Howl at the Moon Bonfire happens at 4 pm, and the Four-Legged Friends Costume Contest takes place at 1:30 on Sunday. Get details on the St. Helens Chamber of Commerce web page.
The Sons of Norway invite you to come and learn more about their lodge at the Oktoberfest Cultural Program that they’ll be presenting on Saturday, starting at noon. At 1 pm, they’ll show a historical movie called “Where the Home Fires Burn,” and they’ll also be serving an Oktoberfest lunch of sausage dogs, sauerkraut, macaroni salad, red cabbage and apple crisp. The Sons of Norway Hall is located at 224 Catlin Street in Kelso.
Celebrate National Fire Prevention Week at one of the Open Houses that’s happening on Saturday. Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue will hold an Open House from 11 am until 2 pm at the Main Station on Vine Street in Kelso. They’ll have hot dogs, drinks, snacks and cotton candy, an inflatable obstacle course, and the ARR Pirates will be putting on temporary tattoos. Smokey Bear will be there, along tours and demonstrations.
The Longview Fire Department will be holding an Open House from 10 am until 2 pm on Saturday at the Main Station on Commerce Avenue. Smokey will be there, along with Sparky the Fire Dog, activities for the whole family, a Junior Firefighter Hose Challenge and a lot more. They will also be serving refreshments.
The 5th annual Infant Through kindergarten Conference takes place on Saturday; “Let’s Shake, Rattle and Roll” will take place from 9 am until 4 pm on Saturday in the Wollenberg Auditorium at Lower Columbia College. Pre-registration is required, with check-in opening at 8 am. Find out more on the LCC web page.
Celebrate “50 Years with Ken” at the Castle Rock Pharmacy on Saturday, with music, food and fun from noon to 3pm. You should wear your favorite hat, and you’ll get a picture with Ken. The Castle Rock Pharmacy is located at 117 1st Avenue SW in Castle Rock.
There’s a benefit comedy show, silent auction and bake sale being held Saturday evening at the Kelso Theatre Pub, being held in support of 15 year-old Tessica Fisher, who has been battling Cystic Fibrosis since she was 6 years old. The doors open at 8 pm on Saturday, and the show will start at 8:30.
The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market continues on Saturday through October, offering fresh produce, baked goods, honey and more from 9 am until 2 pm on Saturdays and Tuesdays in the 7th Avenue parking lot, across from the County Fairgrounds.
Settled in at a new venue, the Kelso Bridge Market runs from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday at the Three Rivers Mall, right next to the southwest entry.
The Lower Columbia College volleyball team swept South Puget Sound 3-0 last night to stay in first place in the West Division at 6-1…..In prep volleyball tonight, Kelso is at Hudson’s Bay and R.A. Long is at home against Woodland…..Tacoma scored three second half goals to complete a 4-0 win over the LCC soccer team yesterday…..In girls soccer today, Hudson’s Bay is at MM (4:30 pm) and RAL hosts Woodland (6 pm)…..The Trail Blazers are in Los Angeles for an NBA Pre-Season game with the Clippers tonight at 7:30 pm…..The Atlanta Falcons are practicing at the University of Washington this week in preparation for their game with the Seahawks on Sunday…..The Dodgers are at the Nationals tonight in the decisive game 5 of the NLDS, KLOG 4:30 pm.
The first in a series of strong storms is set to roll through the region tonight, with heavy rain and gusty winds expected later today. The National Weather Service has a High Wind Warning up on the coast and the Coast Range until midnight tonight, saying that they can expect sustained winds of 25 to 45 miles an hour and gusts of up to 65 miles an hour in coastal communities; gusts of up to 80 miles an hour are expected on the beaches and headlands. Inland, the strongest winds are expected tonight and tomorrow morning, with sustained winds of 15 to 25 miles an hour, and wind gusts of up to 40 miles an hour. These winds will be strong enough to break branches and topple weaker trees; loose objects could also be sent airborne in these winds. We’re already getting reports of limbs being knocked down in locations around the area. Power outages and road blockages are possible, so you’re advised to prepare for those possibilities.
Multiple police agencies were involved in yesterday’s arrest of a fugitive who’s identified as a violent offender. The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, Lower Columbia SWAT, Longview Police and Kelso Police were involved in yesterday’s operation, assisting the U. S. Marshal’s Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force with the arrest of Vincent Carl Woods, 25, of Kalama. They say that Woods is wanted on robbery and drug trafficking charges out of Clark County. SWAT was called in, due to Woods’ violent history, along with information that he was armed. The team went to a home in the 1500 block of Kalama River Road, where several people were contacted. Those people were questioned and released, while Woods refused to come out of the house. A robot was sent in to clear portions of the house, which was then followed by the entry of SWAT. They say that Woods was semi-conscious in the house, apparently the victim of a drug overdose. First aid was rendered, and then Woods was taken to Saint John Medical Center for treatment. He has been released from the hospital and is now being held without bail in the Cowlitz County Jail.
The Columbia Enforcement Narcotics Team reports making several arrests in the Clatskanie area earlier this week. CENT officials say that two search warrants were served on the 10th, wrapping up a two-week undercover investigation. They claim to have found meth, oxycodone, evidence of drug trafficking and cash in both locations. All four suspects are from Clatskanie; Randy Houle, 27, Crystal Hansen, 33, and Tashina Harris, 31, all face felony drug charges, while Anthony Campbell, 45, was picked up on a warrant from Multnomah County. Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson says that he’s pleased to see this work from the “reinvigorated” narcotics investigation team, saying that they haven’t had the ability to get after these drug trafficking networks for several years.
The two people who are accused in the murder of Howard Vinge, 71, of Newport are waiving extradition, and soon will be back in Oregon to face prosecution. Christian Wilkins, 37, and Adeena Copell, 40, were arrested earlier this month in Flagstaff, Arizona, driving a Lincoln that was owned by Vinge. His body was found about three miles east of Astoria on September 30th, wrapped up and dumped alongside Highway 30. An autopsy shows that he died from blunt force trauma to the back of the head. Copell and Wilkins were arrested on October 5th, and they’re being held on bail of $150,000 apiece. The investigation into Vinge’s death is continuing, while arrangements are made to return the suspects to Astoria.
The Longview City Council meets at 7 pm tonight, where they plan to hold a public hearing on the proposed extension of the moratorium on the construction of emergency shelters in the city. Action on a resolution to extend that moratorium is also planned. The Council is also scheduled to take action on a zoning change that would allow for the construction of bowling centers in the mixed use-commercial/industrial district in the city. The meeting is being held in the Council Chambers at Longview City Hall, and is open to the public.
The Washington State Committee on Geographical Names meets today in Olympia, and several locations in Wahkiakum County are on the agenda. Recently, proposals were submitted to change the names of Jim Crow Hill, Jim Crow Creek and Jim Crow Point. These locations are out in the Brookfield area of Wahkiakum County; Joe Budnick is a resident of that area, and he’s suggesting replacements for the old and racially-insensitive names. He’s suggesting that Jim Crow Creek be changed to Harlows Creek, Jim Crow Hill would become Beare Hill, and Jim Crow Point would become Brookfield Point. Today’s meeting is being held in the Department of Natural Resources building in Olympia, running from 10 am until 2 pm. If these name changes are approved, then the recommendations would be forwarded to the State Board on Geographical Names for final approval.
Local businesspeople will be going someplace that they may not have been for a while, heading to Kelso High School for “Business Back 2 School.” This is being set up by the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, giving local business operators a first-hand view of what’s going on in local schools. Today’s “pupils” will be bused to Kelso High School, where they will tour the Career and Technical Education facilities, and then they will attend four “class periods.” Future Business Back 2 School events are being set up for Mark Morris in February of next year, and at R. A. Long High School in May of next year. Get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce for more information.