On Wednesday evening, several parents, teachers, students and community members attended the Winlock School District Board Meeting. The number one topic during public comment was the reduction of Behavioral Specialist staff who work directly with students who have mental health issues. The school currently employs "Certified Counselors" in each school, but they do not have the time to handle all the issues plaguing our students today. They are looking to reduce staff by five employees, three of which are behavioral specialists.
On Monday, January 2 at 10:00 a.m., the Lewis County PUD held a Special Meeting in which they terminated General Manager Chris Roden's contract. The Lewis County PUD has served Lewis County residents for many years and recently there has been talk that their spending was out of control. The following day, January 3, they hired Chehalis resident David Plotz to fill the general manager role.
On Tuesday January 3, 2023, the Lewis County PUD Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution offering the general manager position to David Plotz of Chehalis. Plotz is a well-respected, long-standing member of the Lewis County community, a graduate of W.F. West High School, and actively involved in many community-based groups.
In November, the Lewis County News reported on a drug overdose death in Centralia that had ties to Winlock. After several months of investigation more information has come to light. This was an accidental drug overdose death which could have possibly been avoided had the LCSO acted on an email that was sent to them.
On June 17, 2020, Sheriff Snaza issued a letter to the Chief of Police for Chehalis, Glenn Schaffer and interim Chief of Police for Centralia, Stacy Denham. In the letter, Sheriff Snaza not only drops out of JNET but he also removes their commissions, stating, "As such, LCSO (Lewis County Sheriff's Office) no longer having a footprint in JNET, for accountability and liability reasons, we will have to rescind any of the Special Deputy Commissions for partner agencies assigned to JNET (i.e., DEA, DOC, et.) until such time we would have direct affiliation with JNET once again."
Cedric Ritchey is only 7 years old and he is living his dream of racing. Cedric, son of Jonathon and Mary has been racing since his 5th birthday and he has been having fun ever since. You can see it in his face when he talks about racing his cars, this is what he loves to do. He has been racing 120 cu, 160 cu and box stock cars. No matter which car he is in, he is winning races.
This past year was a year many of us will never forget from seeing gas prices hit $5 per gallon for the first time to interest rates climbing to the slow down of the housing market. Locally, we saw many changes, good and bad of course.
The Lewis County Public Utility District is a public utility therefore their commissioners must be elected. Last November, Lewis County elected a new PUD Commissioner position 3, Mike Hadaller. The Hadaller name is not new to Lewis County politics as his Dad, Denny Hadaller served as Lewis County Commissioner and was well thought of. Mike Hadaller is following in his father's footsteps by serving the people of Lewis County.
red a new Chief of Police, Duane Garvais Lawrence, and he knows the importance of community policing. Toledo has always been a special community, they have more volunteers than any other community in south Lewis County and Chief Garvais Lawrence understands how special Toledo is.
Christmas 2022 will be different for so many this year, prices have gone up while wages have not increased by the amount of inflation so the dollar stretches less. Does that mean that you can't have a great Christmas because you have less?
I can remember the Christmases after Dad was on strike or when I was first out on my own and didn't have any money for even decorations. I look back on those days as some of my best holidays. It wasn't the gifts under the trees. It wasn't how pretty my home was decorated. It was because of the love we all showed who were together on that day.
It has been an honor to serve the City of Toledo as Mayor for the past 7 years, through the changes and now through the growth. In recent months, there has been turnover within the City of Toledo that has caused many citizen concerns. While it is not unusual for the entire staff to leave when their manager does, it was not something that we thought would happen.
Winlock High and Middle Schools have an entirely new basketball team of coaches and what a team it is! Winlock Athletic Director Tia Frazier has proven once again that she is here to make sure our students get what they need for coaches and also coaches who are willing to work with the athletes.
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