NEWS

The Army is among America’s top-grossing charities. In 2015, its 25,000 bell-ringers helped raise an all-time high of US$149.6 million. That was part of the year’s almost $3 billion revenue from bequests, grants, sales, in-kind donations and investments as well as direct contributions. Note: They are looking for volunteer bell ringers this season.

With the weather tilting toward winter, practicing safety on hiking trails is as important as ever. Temperatures are dipping below freezing, and snow can obscure trails at higher elevations. Thanks to daylight saving time, there are even fewer well-lit hours for outdoor adventures.

General fund revenues during 2017 and 2018 came in at a higher rate than expected, according to the city, but much of the increase was spurred by large one-time construction projects in city limits. The city expects the current economic conditions to continue through the next two years.

After working part-time as a personal trainer for almost a year, Rob Benson last week leaped fully into his passion for helping others build healthy lifestyles. The 39-year old Longview man quit his job at Georgia Pacific’s Wauna mill, says he sank most of his family’s savings into a large workout space and opened Train Together, a group training gym, on Nov. 12.

The City of Longview has declared a severe weather event because of forecasted low overnight temperatures, permitting Love Overwhelming to open its severe weather shelter Saturday night.

The drive, which is the biggest food-raising event of the year in Cowlitz County, takes place Saturday, Dec. 1. The collection day is always held on the first Saturday of December.

On Wednesday, the retired Cowlitz 2 firefighter made his 100,000th Meals on Wheels delivery to Longview resident Doug Havird. Neely said reaching the landmark was exciting and humbling.

A decade ago, 45 percent of the students who started high school at R.A. Long failed to finish. And in 2007, the school joined 22 others on John Hopkins University’s list of dropout factories, or schools where 40 percent or more of students enrolled as freshmen don’t make it to their senior year.

Not exercising poses a greater risk than smoking, diabetes or health disease, according to the study.

October 24, 2018

For details on these programs or any of the many classes offered at the YMCA, call 360-423-4770 or visit longviewymca.org. Online registration also is available. Find the Y on Facebook by searching for YMCA of Southwest Washington.

The Kelso School District unveiled the initial drawings for two of the three schools it is building with a $96.6 million capital bond voters approved in February. Construction of the new Wallace and Lexington elementary schools is scheduled to be completed by fall 2020.

A small but growing number of households are joining what has become a bona fide movement: Zero Waste. While their goal of producing no trash at all may remain elusive, some Zero Wasters do come close, winnowing their household waste down to a tiny collection of non-recyclable and non-compostable items, so little that a year's trash can fit into a shoebox or a Mason jar.

“Having a forum to give input is new to the school,” said Principal Jay Sparks, noting that Beacon Hill has not had a student council in the last decade, if ever.

On a 2-1 vote, the Cowlitz County commissioners on Tuesday created a “Community Court” program aimed at keeping low-level, mentally troubled offenders out of jail and ultimately saving taxpayers’ money.

Commissioners approved $26,600 to pay a community court coordinator through next year. The funds will come from the county’s mental health sales tax. Great Rivers Behavioral Health Organization is a partner and will pay the other 70 percent of the costs.

Every day the county can keep an offender out of jail saves $80.

School board Chairman Andy Ogden says the board decided to re-run the exact same bond this November because the district needs money to cover the “top priorities” of the schools. Lowering the amount would “not be a good deal for the taxpayers” because it would reduce the $17 million in state matching dollars the district would receive if the bond passes.

A $250 grant will help Cascade Middle School teacher Dena Enyeart combine math and art curriculum in the classroom.

Butler Acres promotes health, community connection with 'walk-a-thon'

October 11, 2018

The walk-a-thon raised money through “pledges” from community members willing to back students in the event. A pledger could donate as little as $1.

The South Kelso Neighborhood Association has been a registered nonprofit since late 2016, but it never had a permanent location, chairwoman Star Garcia said Wednesday.

Nearly $200,000 in grant monies from the U.S. Department of Education will enable Lower Columbia College to help many low-income students overcome a significant barrier: a lack of access to affordable, reliable child care.

Two businesses housed in the Port of Kalama’s new industrial building will open Friday, bringing nearly 30 jobs and opportunity for growth to the area, according to port and other officials.

The shifting science on omega-6s

September 26, 2018

You know the omega-3 fatty acids in foods like salmon and flaxseed are good for you, but what about their less-talked-about cousin, omega-6s? We get this polyunsaturated fat from nuts, seeds and plant-based oils. But while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, omega-6 fatty acids have a reputation for increasing inflammation. Now, several new studies suggest this decades-long bad rap may not be deserved.

Lower Columbia College gains high-tech microscope

September 27, 2018

Lower Columbia College recently unveiled its new scanning electron microscope, which can magnify samples up to 4,000 times the actual size.

New bill in Senate aims to thin forests, stem wildfires

September 27, 2018

The Eagle Creek wildfire burns on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge near Cascade Locks, Ore. After a summer wildfire season that blanketed Oregon and much of the West in smoke, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., has introduced a bill that would create a $1 billion fund to allow the Forest Service to increase the pace and scale of wildfire reduction projects, empower federal agencies to work with local communities to plan and prepare for wildfires, and permanently reauthorize a collaborative forest restoration program that brings stakeholders together to thin forests.

How should I prepare my home for fall drafts?

September 08, 2018

Conduct your own energy audit around your home. Pay special attention to drafts around windows or doors, especially if you haven’t installed new energy efficient windows. Add or replace worn weather stripping or caulk anywhere air is leaking in.

Cycling Cowlitz County: Six Rivers Trail to run north to south through community

July 29, 2018

For Kalama resident Colleen Neel, a bike trail spanning Cowlitz County from north to south would transform the way she travels through and sees the community.

Supporters of the proposed Six Rivers Trail say the 36-mile path linking Vader to Woodland would encourage healthy alternative commuting, draw cyclists to the area and help shrink the county’s collective midriff.

The trail would use existing city and county roads with the intention of widening and eventually separating the shoulders to protect cyclists and pedestrians from vehicles. Other, less expensive measures could involve signing and striping.

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