News Briefs for July 11, 2019

Toxic algae advisory downgraded; Highway 14 closures; and arrest made in Skamania County kidnapping case

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Toxic algae advisory downgraded at Vancouver Lake

Clark County Public Health officials this week downgraded the toxic algae advisory at Vancouver Lake from warning to caution. Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are still present at the lake, but results from recent water samples indicate low levels of toxins in the water.

Similar advisories in Camas’ Lacamas and Round lakes were lifted in time for the July 4 holiday.

As long as algae are present, toxin levels could increase as conditions at the lake change. Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with water in areas with floating blue-green-colored scum. The toxins produced by blue-green algae can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets.

Health officials recommend people not swim or water ski in areas with scum, avoid drinking the lake water and make sure animals have no contact with the water in areas that have scum.

Officials replaced warning signs at the lakes with caution signs, which will remain in place as long as the blooms are present. Public Health will continue to monitor the lake and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels.

Nighttime road closures on Highway 14 through July 19

Travelers who use state Route 14 (Highway 14) between Southeast 164th Avenue and Northwest Sixth Avenue in east Clark County should be prepared for overnight delays through July 19 due to repaving work.

During construction, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will repave the highway, smooth ruts, seal cracks, restripe and remove and replace guardrails throughout the work zone. Performing this work will extend the useful life of the highway, improve safety and provide a smoother ride for travelers.

During construction, travelers should expect nighttime, single and double-lane closures, as well as intermittent on- and off-ramp closures. Travelers should plan to use an alternate route when one of the on- or off-ramps are closed. The speed limit will be reduced to 50 miles per hour through the work zone during construction hours.

Single- and double-lane closures will be in place nightly, between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., Monday through Friday, along portions of both directions of Highway 14, between mileposts 8.5 and 12.1. Intermittent ramp closures are possible nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the following locations: eastbound on-ramp and westbound off-ramp at Northeast 164th and 192nd avenues.

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Arrest made in Skamania County kidnapping case

An arrest has been made in a Skamania County kidnapping case.

On June 30, around 4 p.m., the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare check in Stevenson. A business owner called to report a 14-year-old female had come into the business stating she was waiting for a ride and then stated she was from Aberdeen, Washington, and “was on the run.”

Deputies responded and contacted the girl and verified she was a 12-year-old listed as a missing and endangered juvenile out of Hoquiam, Washington.

Law enforcement reported that, during the interview, the girl revealed that she had been sexually assaulted and kidnapped by an adult male she had met through friends on social media, who she had gotten a ride with, thinking the man was going to take her home.

Instead of driving her home, the man is accused of driving the girl to Stevenson, committing a burglary and then sexually assaulting her near McCleary, Washington.

The girl was taken to a local hospital for treatment and eventually released to her family. Sgt. Ryan Taylor and Deputy Summer Scheyer worked with Sgt. Jeremy Mitchell of the Hoquiam Police Department to identity the residence burglarized, which was also the scene of one of the alleged assaults.

Police identified the suspect as Jeremiah D. Shallow, 21, of Tacoma, Washington. Then, on July 3, a Carson, Washington resident reported her 16-year-old granddaughter as a runaway. A deputy was dispatched and learned the teen had contacted a man on social media and he had stopped by to visit her on June 30. She was last seen in the early morning hours of July 1 with a man thought to be Shallow.

A statewide law enforcement notification was relayed in an attempt to locate Shallow and the 16-year-old from Carson.

On the evening of July 3, Deputy Chris Helton got a call saying the teen was at a library in Graham, Washington, and learned Shallow was heading to the library to pick the teen up again.

Taylor called the librarian and positively identified the missing teen. The librarian was told to call 911. Pierce County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded, located the runaway teen and took Shallow into custody on a multiple-count felony warrant associated with the 12-year-old’s abduction and sexual assault.