Passenger ejected from car wreck that sends two to hospital

Two young men were injured yesterday when their 2007 Mazda 3 collided with a utility pole on the East Agate road and ejected the passenger. The Washington State Patrol reports a 22 year old

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PSnP, Genesee & Wyoming respond to recent derailments with plans to invest in local line

We’re sorry, embarrassed, and fixing our recent purchase. That was the sentiment from Puget Sound and Pacific this week to Commissioners at the Port of Grays Harbor, after recent slow-speed derailments in Grays Harbor. “We’re in the business of moving freight, and we know that there is a lack of confidence in us to successfully move freight, and that’s what we do for a living.” Joel Haka, Senior VP of the Pacific Region railroads for Genesee & Wyoming, told Port Commissioners this week that the recent derailments are unusual, and unacceptable. “We don’t like to see derailments, and unfortunately we’ve had 3 pretty good sized derailments in the last month. We had a real small fourth one in Centralia about three weeks ago, in which nothing tipped over but it did leave the tracks and we had another issue.” Haka said the first two derailments in Aberdeen were caused by mud spots, where he said mud pushed through stone underneath the railroad ties, the third derailment, behind Central Park, was caused by a thermal misalignment of the rail or “sun kinks.” They purchased the local line from Rail America 18 months ago, Haka said they should have kicked the tires a little more, but “We believe in this railroad, we don’t have a lot of history with it quite frankly. We did not realize the state of the railroad and what it was , and now to insure that we don’t have any further derailments we have a real comprehensive 3-year plan.” Haka said the company plans to spend over 4.3 million this year, and nearly as much again next year on improvements to the line “That’s about three times the amount of money that Rail America put into this property. [in the two years prior]” The Puget Sound and Pacific Railroad operates about 150 miles of track from Centralia to the coast.

Public scoping begins on two proposals to export crude by rail

Over 120 attended the first of two public meetings last night to begin to shape Environmental Impact Statements being prepared for two companies that seek to export crude oil from Grays Harbor ports. Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp was one of the first to provide comment. “Quinault opposes oil in Grays Harbor. Fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants in Grays Harbor are central to the lives and culture of Quinault people. We oppose the sacrifice of our lives and culture for a few jobs.” Government and business leaders politely waited alongside concerned citizens from throughout the county, as they filed into a chair at the front of the Commons area at Hoquiam High School and gave their 2 minute statements. Retired teacher Wes Brosnan noted “This track is in such terrible condition that it could be sabotaged by a clever 12 year old.” Concerns ranged from catastrophic failure of the cars, or rail system, to increased overall traffic and emergency responses. Hoquiam business owner Garret Phillips added “I’m deeply concerned about the impacts of the proposed crude oil trains on traffic congestion in every community along the rail corridor, and the associated impacts to our economy, our health, and our public services.” So where do the comments go from there? Brendan McFarland with the Department of Ecology says “We take the comments and start studying them, the next public phase is when we put out a draft Environmental Impact Statement and the public gets a chance to comment on that. From there the Department of Ecology will make separate determinations on whether to permit the new, or increased petroleum exports at two sites in Hoquiam. The second, and final scoping meeting for this phase will be held April 29th in Centralia High School Commons, 813 Eshom Road. You can submit your comments without getting in front of a big crowd, either online or by mail, for details visit Public comment is open through May 27th to determine what should be studied in Impact Statements being prepared for Westway Terminal Company and Imperium Renewables in Hoquiam. Though the proposals are separate, the agencies are holding a joint scoping comment period. All comments received will be considered for both proposals.

Environmental reviews begin for two proposed expansion projects at Port of Grays Harbor

HOQUIAM – Environmental reviews begin next week for two separate proposals in Hoquiam to expand facilities and increase capacity to receive, store and ship bulk liquids like biofuels and

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Grays Harbor College named one of Washington’s 27 most military friendly

OLYMPIA, Wash. – On the heels of its ranking as top community college in Washington state last month, Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen has again made a national list.
Twenty-seven Washington community and technical colleges are among the top military friendly schools in the nation according to Victory Media, a media entity for military personnel that are transitioning to civilian life.

The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list released this week honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that do the most to ensure the success of military service members, veterans, and spouses. Grays Harbor College offers many programs and support staff to help local military students be successful.

Victory Media compiled the list through research and data-driven analysis of surveys from more than 10,000 federal Department of Veterans Affairs-approved schools nationwide, along with a survey of more than 4,000 student veterans. The results were independently audited by national accounting firm Ernst & Young. Washington’s community and technical colleges were among 1,818 schools nationwide to make the list.

Double Homicide Suspect Arrested

SHELTON, Wash. - A man suspected of fatally shooting two people in Shelton is now in custody.

Police say 22-year-old Charles Longshore of Shelton was arrested around 2 a.m. Friday on a highway near Shelton. He's accused of killing 19-year-old Tyler Drake and 37-year-old Anitrea (Roxy) Leigh Taber over a debt. Their bodies were found Monday.

Two others accused of rendering criminal assistance are also in the Mason County Jail.

Les Watson with the Shelton Police Department tells us with the assistance of information developed by the US Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force and the Department of Corrections Community Response Unit, Charles Sydney Longshore was located and taken into custody around 1:45 Friday morning.
He is currently at the Shelton Police Department and will soon be transferred to the Mason County Jail.
The black Hyundai Santa Fe mentioned in an earlier press release was located in Centralia and stopped by Officers from the Centralia Police Department and Lewis County Sheriff’s Deputies. Although Longshore had been in the Hyundai for much of the past two days, he was not in it at the time that vehicle was located in Centralia.
Further information was developed that led Officers to believe that Longshore might be in a black Mitsubishi. The Mitsubishi was spotted traveling N/B on Hwy 101 just south of Shelton by a Mason County Deputy. Deputies, along with Troopers from the Washington State Patrol, affected a traffic stop on the Mitsubishi and took Longshore into custody without incident. The female driver of the Mitsubushi is being detained for questioning.
Watson said the successful apprehension of Longshore was accomplished with assistance and interaction by a number of agencies to include the US Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force, Department of Corrections Community Response Unit, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Shelton Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, Portland Police Bureau, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Centralia Police Department, Squaxin Island Police Department, McCleary Police Department, WESTNET and the Skokomish Department of Public Safety.

Child Drowns in Chehalis River

Boistfort, WA - Lewis County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 100 block of Ceres Hill Road, in Boistfort, at approximately 1636 hours on May 4, 2012, after an 8 year old boy’s mother reported him missing from their residence.
Deputies trained in swift water rescue located the boy approximately an hour later 1/4 of a mile down river on a gravel bar in the middle of the river. Lewis County Fire District's 6, 13, and AMR (American Medical Response) also assisted in the rescue.
CPR was immediately initiated and continued while the boy was transported to Centralia Providence Hospital. He was pronounced deceased at approximately 1905 hours.
An investigation into the incident is being conducted.

Federal High Speed Rail Funding Coming to Washington

OLYMPIA – Federal and state officials signed documents Thursday that guarantee Washington state will get $145 million in high-speed-rail funding originally intended for Ohio and Wisconsin.  Washington was initially awarded this portion of federal funding in late 2010 when the U.S. Department of Transportation redirected money returned by governors in Ohio and Wisconsin.


Thursday’s signatures by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) allow project teams to move forward and start work on improving and expanding Amtrak Cascades service in Washington.


The $145 million adds to $590 million already obligated by the FRA, bringing Washington state’s total to approximately $735 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) high-speed-rail funding. On April 4, WSDOT submitted an application for a $120 million portion of funds returned by Florida.

DNR sets open house meetings to discuss program that compensates small forest landowners for costs of regulation

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced three open house meetings around the state to discuss improvements and changes to the selection process for the Forestry Riparian Easement Program (FREP). DNR will take the input from these meetings to draft recommendations that it will present to the state legislature by October 1, 2010.

The Forestry Riparian Easement Program (FREP) compensates eligible small forest landowners for 50 percent to 80 percent of the marketable timber that they must leave unharvested due to state forest practices rules that protect forests and fish. The landowner still owns the property and retains full access, but has “leased” the trees and their important riparian functions, such as clean water and fish habitat, to the state.