The Wednesday Workshops at the Cowlitz County Historical Museum in Kelso continue today, giving local school kids a chance to connect with the facility on Allen Street. The topic for today’s workshop is “National Book Month and More,” and will run from 3:30 to 5 pm. The kids taking part will be involved in a number of hands-on activities. The Wednesday Workshops are free, and are open to all elementary school-are kids in the area. Pre-registration is required, and you can take care of that by going to the front reception desk, or by calling the Museum at 577-3119.
You’ll need the rain gear and you’ll need to make sure you keep an eye on the surf, but the next Washington razor clam dig opens today and runs through next Tuesday. Long Beach and Twin Harbors are open for digging on the evening tides all seven nights; tonight’s low tide is at 6:31 pm, and tomorrow night’s is at 7:07 pm. Mocrocks will be open for digging Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and Copalis will be open on Saturday. Be sure to have a current shellfish license, dress for the weather, and be sure to observe the bag limit regulations. Go to the Fish and Wildlife website or contact your local outfitter for more information.
They’re serving up some sweet treats tonight at Kelso High School, as the Husky Helpers at Huntington Middle School work to raise money to help the family of a recent Kelso High School graduate who is battling cancer. Hailey Spears recently graduated from Kelso, and is now undergoing cancer treatment at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Kelso School District Custodial Supervisor Gary Spears is traveling back and forth to be with his daughter, after he completes his duties at the school district. The expenses connected to this effort are mounting, so the Husky Helpers are putting on a Dessert Benefit that will be held this evening in the Kelso High School Commons. The doors will open at 5:30 pm, and tickets are $5 apiece. If you’re unable to attend, cash donations are also being accepted by the Husky Helpers at Huntington Middle School in North Kelso. Call 501-1700 if you need more information.
It’s going to be wet for the District cross country and boys golf events today. The Kelso teams will take part in the 3A District cross country meet at Lewisville Park. Mint Valley hosts the two-day 2A boys golf District starting today including R.A. Long and Mark Morris…..The LCC volleyball team hosts Green River tonight at 7 pm at MM…..RAL defeated Hudson’s Bay 3-0 in prep volleyball. Ridgefield defeated MM 3-1…..The LCC women’s soccer team dropped a 3-2 game at the Linfield JV’s yesterday…..In prep soccer, Kelso and Black Hills tied 3-3, RAL shutout Bay 2-0 and Ridgefield blanked MM 2-0…..The Giants got a great pitching performance from Madison Bumgarner in a 7-1 win over the Royals in game one of the World Series. Game two is tonight, KLOG 4:00 pm.
Kelso Police are investigating yet another fatal train-versus-pedestrian collision that took place shortly after 4 am in the 100 block of North 1st Avenue in downtown Kelso. Few details about the incident have been released, other than to say that an unidentified person was killed after being struck by a moving train. This is the second incident of this type in Kelso in the past two weeks, and the tenth fatality of this type this year in Washington state.
Longview Fire crews responded to a fire in an apartment above a detached garage, reported shortly before 8 am in the area of 25th and Nichols. So far, there hasn’t been any information released in regard to the cause of the fire, the amount of damage done, or if there were any injuries.
Several environmental groups are filing an appeal with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, asking that agency to reconsider its decision to allow a massive expansion of the Global Partners oil transfer facility at Port Westward near Clatskanie. The Clatskanie Chief reports on this development, saying that the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Neighbors for Clean Air, the Center for Biological Diversity, Columbia Riverkeeper and Sierra Club filed a “Petition for Reconsideration.” These groups claim that the DEQ ignored basic clean air provisions that are contained in state and federal law. Under the revised permit, Global Partners would be able to expand their facility to move more than 1.8 billion gallons of crude oil each year. The groups filing the appeal say that this proposal has “significant implications” from spills, rail traffic and air quality. A timeline for handling the appeal hasn’t been disclosed.
It’s time to batten down the hatches, as the Weather Service warns of a strong storm that’s expected to hit the region tonight and tomorrow. A High Wind Warning goes up at 3 pm today on the South Washington and North Oregon coastal areas, continuing until 9 tomorrow morning. Late this afternoon, winds are expected to pick up, with sustained winds of 35 to 45 miles an hour on the beaches and headlands, and gusts of up to 70 miles an hour. Heavy surf is expected, as well. Locally, winds are expected to pick up after midnight, with heavy rain, as well. Forecasters say that we could get more than three inches of rain in the Kelso-Longview area out of this system. The winds are expected to die down around 9 tomorrow morning, but the showers and rain is expected to continue through the rest of the week.
The operators of the U-Haul truck and trailer rental franchise on Oregon Way in Longview are asking for additional patrols from Longview Police, reporting that they are under almost constant barrage from gas thieves. Yesterday morning, employees at the facility called LPD to report that gas caps had been removed from several large trucks, with between 20 and 25 gallons of gasoline stolen. They estimate the loss at about $90. They figure that the theft took place some time between midnight Sunday and 7 yesterday morning. The manager at the facility claims that his trucks are being hit several times a week, going back several months. Many of those thefts have not been reported. Management at the facility says that they’re in contact with the corporate offices about ways to improve security, but in the meantime, they asking Longview Police to help out with closer monitoring of the property.
Washington Fish and Wildlife is announcing a reduction in Coho salmon production at the North Toutle and Kalama Falls hatcheries, due to a reduction in federal funding. Jim Scott lead the WDFW Fish Program, and he says that the Mitchell Act funding that helps pay for hatchery operations has been cut by about a half-million dollars. As a result, the number of Coho being released into the Kalama River and the Deep River net pens is being reduced by 600,000 fish, along with 24,000 fewer steelhead going into the lower Columbia tributaries, starting next year. Those 600,000 Coho are not going to waste, however; earlier this month, 600,000 hatchery Coho salmon were released into Riffe Lake, as a first step in bringing hatchery costs in line with reduced funding. Scott says federal funding for hatchery salmon production on the lower Columbia has been declining, resulting in fewer fish coming out of those hatcheries. Under the current funding scenario, seven percent fewer Coho will be released in the coming year, and nearly two percent fewer summer steelhead. Scott says that they’re working closely with the Northwest Congressional delegation on this issue, but without an increase in federal funding, we should expect to see additional reductions in the future.