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Fair Update

The stage and the “Party Corral” have been cleared out of the Grandstand Arena at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds, making way for tonight’s opening of the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo at the Cowlitz County Fair. Performances are planned for tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at 7 pm; tickets are available at the Fair office, or you can buy them on-line at thundermountainprorodeo.com, or cowlitzcountyfair.com. Along with all of the other exhibits, displays, rides and games, you’re reminded to stop by the historic Bush Cabin, where the Cowlitz County Historical Society will have activities for the kids, wood carvers and local history displays. The gates open at 11 am; admission into the Cowlitz County Fair is free, but you will need a ticket to get into the rodeo.

Summer Concerts

The Kirkpatrick Family Care Summer Concerts at the Lake continue this evening, where “Pop meets Americana” when The June Bugs come in for a free show. The concert starts at 6 pm at Martin’s Dock, and will also feature some giveaways and other community organization displays. Bring your blankets, your low-back chairs and your picnic dinner for this evening’s show; there will also be food and drink available for purchase.

Down in St. Helens, 21 Horses will be playing at tonight’s installment of 13 Nights at the River. The open-air market on the waterfront in historic Saint Helens will be open at 3 pm, and then the free concert is set to begin at 6. Food and beverage vendors will also be set up at this venue.

KLOG Thursday Sports

The Detroit Tigers scored eight runs in the third inning and went on for a 9-4 win over Seattle. Nelson Cruz had two homers for the Mariners…..Cal Neely had a no-hitter through six innings, but the Corvallis Knights rallied in the 7th to beat Neely and the Black Bears 3-2. The teams close out the series tonight in Corvallis…..Maui, Hawaii shutout Lewis River 15-0 at the Little League Senior regional in California. Lewis River Plays Nevada today…..The Kelso 12’s take on host Meridian at 11:30 am today in action at the Cal Ripken regionals in Idaho…..The two local Washington Illusion teams had tough losses at the ASA 18U Gold Nationals in Hillsboro. The Julie Harris coached Illusion lost to the Oregon Blaze 4-3 and the Lou Mendez coached Illusion lost to the Sacramento Breeze 5-2.

Fire Updates

The Washington Incident Management Team #5, set up at Castle Rock Elementary School, is now calling the series of fires burning in this region the “Pacific Cascade Complex” of fires, and they say that most of those fires are now in “patrol status.” The Colvin Creek Fire east of Woodland is still active, and is currently listed as 40 percent contained. 248 firefighters are working on this complex of fires, along with four helicopters. Yesterday’s plan was to extend and strengthen control lines, using hand tools and heavy equipment. Air support from helicopters is expected again today. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, though a human cause is suspected.

Knife Threat

A 14 year-old Longview boy is being referred to Juvenile Prosecutors on a felony harassment charge, after he allegedly used a knife to threaten a ten year-old neighbor girl, allegedly threatening to slash her throat. The incident was reported last night around 7:30 pm, at an apartment in the 200 block of 28th Avenue. The woman who called 911 claims that the boy has been pestering the girl for the past couple of weeks, leading up to yesterday’s alleged incident. After questioning several people, the teen was booked and then was turned over to his parents, while the case is referred to the Prosecutor’s office for further review.

SCU Bust

Scott Vanskike, 49, and Kenneth Gene Davis, 67, are both under arrest on meth possession charges after the Street Crimes Unit served a search warrant at 297 26th Avenue in Longview. The warrant was served shortly before 9 yesterday morning, with detectives claiming to have found meth and drug packaging material. Both men are being held without bail at this time, awaiting their first court appearances.

Juvenile Charges

It’s being reported that the 16 year-old Centralia boy who’s under arrest in connection with Saturday’s shooting of a 20 year-old woman near a park in Winlock will be tried as a juvenile. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher tells the Centralia Chronicle that they now believe that the teen should be charged with unlawful possession of a gun and tampering with evidence, charges that would NOT elevate the case to adult prosecution. The teen has since been returned to the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center. Meanwhile, Joseph Lowery, 20, of Winlock is under arrest on an attempted murder charge, accused of shooting the woman in the back with a .22 pistol. She was not seriously injured. In court documents, it’s claimed that Lowery sot his ex-girlfriend because she “disrespected” followers of the Insane Clown Posse. Lowery continues to be held on bail of a half-million dollars. He’s scheduled for arraignment tomorrow morning.

City Burglary

The City of Longview is reported to be looking into the installation of additional security measures, after a break-in was reported at the city facilities in the 1400 block of Industrial Way. City workers called Longview Police to the facility at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon, after discovering that someone had cut a hole in the fence to get onto the property. They say at least two city-owned trucks were entered; a set of bolt cutters and a cut-off saw were stolen. They also say that there was a similar hole-cutting incident a couple of weeks ago, but since nothing was stolen, it wasn’t reported. There are no suspects at this time.

Open Budget Kelso

The City of Kelso is opening up the books for all to see, announcing the rollout of “Open Budget Kelso,” an app that gives anyone and everyone access to Kelso’s budget revenues, expenses, capital project data and other financial information. Ben Verone is with Seattle-based Socrata, which is putting this program in place; he says that the software helps to bring the city’s budget into the sunlight. City Manager Steve Taylor says that Open Budget Kelso will help to “demystify” Kelso’s budget, allowing citizens to see where their tax dollars are going in near-real-time. They also say that this is an intuitive, user-friendly program, sifting through all of the columns and entries to present the city’s income and spending data in a consumer-friendly way. Open Budget Kelso is live now, and can be accessed by going to budget.kelso.gov.

ALS Environmental Penalty

Kelso-based ALS Environmental has reportedly come to an agreement with the Department of Ecology, settling a penalty of $16,667, a fine connected to violations found during a routine lab inspection that was conducted last yesterday. DOE found several violations, including illegal disposal of dangerous waste, repeated violations of dangerous waste container management, and lax training of employees in handling dangerous waste. The penalty was originally set at $25,000, but it was reduced through this settlement, while ALS Environmental gives up the right to appeal. Those involved say that this will save the company huge legal bills in dealing with the appeal, while the company “does the right thing” in correcting the violations and working to improve processes for handling dangerous waste.