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Unreplaced guard rail blamed when car wreck went undetected off Leonard Road

Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm
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The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro sits about 10 feet below Leonard Road at Burchett Road on Oct. 18, 2016. / Photo Lewis County Sheriff’s Office case file

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A $1.2 million claim has been filed against Lewis County for wrongful death in the case of a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran whose car wasn’t discovered for nearly 90 minutes after he traveled down an embankment where a guard rail was missing and struck a tree in the Onalaska area.

The Chevrolet Camaro with its flashers on was spotted by a pair of Lewis County Public Works employees driving by, more than 40 feet off the west end of Burchett Road and down more than 10 feet, only because the county utility truck happened to sit high enough to see it, according to authorities.

Morris L. Johanson was conscious when responders arrived and told them he had been on his way to a doctor’s appointment at the VA hospital. Law enforcement noted Johanson was seat belted in and his airbags deployed and they could see his lower leg was broken and his forehead cut. He was on oxygen and had oxygen tanks on the floorboard beside him.

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Morris Leland Johanson

The two county employees had broken a window so they could talk with him.

The two-time Purple Heart recipient who lived less than five miles away told the arriving deputy he’d run the stop sign for Leonard Road at 6:30 a.m., that he hadn’t realized where he was and hadn’t noticed it.

The wreck had been reported at 7:55 a.m.

Johanson stopped breathing during the move from his vehicle to the ambulance. CPR was conducted and the ambulance headed to meet an airlift helicopter, but when a second deputy responded to Onalaska High School’s football field, he found the helicopter with its engine shut off and was told Johanson was deceased.

The guard rail had not been repaired or replaced following a collision at the T-intersection about a month earlier, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the wrongful death claim.

Portland attorney Jon Zbinden wrote that Johanson endured pain and suffering until his demise from blunt force trauma – to his chest according to the coroner. Zbinden wrote that the Onalaska man was not discovered for approximately one and a half hours because his vehicle traveled down the embankment as a result of a missing guard rail.

The collision occurred the morning of Oct. 18. The claim – on behalf of Johanson’s daughter, Cherie Johanson – was received by Lewis County Risk Management on April 10. A claim was filed against the Washington State Department of Transportation as well.

Johanson had lived in Onalaska about 10 years and previously owned a long haul trucking business, according to his obituary.

Earlier this week, the risk and safety administrator for the county, Paulette Young, informed the Board of (Lewis) County Commissioners that their attorney handling the case recommended they deny the claim.

“Most likely if we deny, we’ll see a lawsuit,” Young told them.

The three member board voted unanimously to deny the claim.

The Washington State Patrol analyzed the scene and concluded the orange 2014 Camaro, with a Washington Purple Heart specialty plate had been traveling approximately 43 mph when it left the roadway.

There were no marks to suggest any braking for the stop sign and pieces of the previous guard rail were still scattered on the slope.

There had been orange traffic cones placed along Leonard Road where the guard rail previously was, according to one of the investigating troopers.

The Lewis County Coroner’s Office found Johanson died of of blunt force injuries to his chest, with two diseases contributing: arteriosclerotic cardiovascular and chronic obstructive pulmonary. He had multiple rib fractures and internal bleeding collapsed both his lungs, according to the autopsy report.

A service with full military honors was held at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland where he was laid to rest.

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I-5 Chehalis: One arrested after multi-vehicle collision

Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Three out of the four vehicles were totaled, two people were hurt and the alleged causing driver ran away on foot from the scene yesterday afternoon on Interstate 5 in Chehalis.

Troopers called about 4:50 p.m. to the northbound lanes near milepost 77 report that the man initially behind the wheel of the blue Chevrolet pickup was later located blocks away at Northwest Division Street and Hawthorne Place.

Darren D. Cochran, 48, of Rochester, was arrested for third-degree driving with a suspended license, possession of a controlled substance and felony and hit and run, according to the Washington State Patrol. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

According to the investigating trooper, traffic had slowed but Cochran did not and his truck struck the rear of a Nissan Altima, shoving it into a Ford Windstar which was pushed into a Buick LeSabre. Only the LeSabre was able to be driven away from the collision, according to the state patrol.

Injured were a 40-year-old woman from Tumwater and a juvenile, according to the state patrol. Both were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital.

The cause of the multiple vehicle wreck was following too closely, according to the investigating trooper.

Trooper Will Finn tweeted just before 6 p.m. all were lanes were opened and the injuries were minor.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 21, 2017 at 1:35 pm
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•••

VEHICLE THEFT

• A red 2002 Honda Accord was stolen after its owner left it running in the parking lot of a restaurant while he went inside to get his food at the 900 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers called at 6:48 p.m. yesterday indicate the missing car has a dent near its passenger door, according to police.

• A Tacoma man returned to the dock after fishing yesterday and could not locate his truck and boat trailer at the 100 block of Beach Road in Mossyrock, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 72-year-old said he believed the 2003 Chevrolet Silverado had been locked although there was a spare key in it, according to the sheriff’s office. The missing 2003 boat trailer has a license plate reading 8167UX, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. The value is about $10,000. They disappeared between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to Breen.

COOK-WARE GONE

• A woman called Chehalis police just before 9 p.m. yesterday to report she returned home to her apartment on Southeast Washington Avenue to find a casserole dish in a silver stand was missing. There was no sign of forced entry and the door was locked when she got home, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

GUN GONE

• Deputies were contacted yesterday by a 35-year-old man who said his pistol was missing and the last he knew, it was put into his glove box on July 1 when he was moving between residences on the 100 block of Ryan Drive and the 100 block of Newaukum Village Drive in Chehalis, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The firearm is a Ruger SP101 .38 special, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is approximately $400, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

FORGERY

• A 34-year-old Onalaska woman was arrested after she allegedly tried to cash a check made out to her at a bank on the 200 block of West Main Street in Centralia and an employee found the signature on the check did not match the signature on file for the account holder. Sarah A. Chenoweth  was booked into Lewis County Jail for forgery following the approximately 11 a.m. report, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WEAPON AND WARRANT

• William D. Stephens, 36, of Chehalis, was arrested for “furtively carrying” dangerous weapons and an outstanding warrant after contact with police about 7 p.m. yesterday at the 1300 block of South Gold Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. Stephens was booked into Lewis County Jail, according to police.

DRUGS

• A 22-year-old Mossyrock resident who allegedly stole $20 from a person at a Centralia business yesterday morning was later located and found with suspected methamphetamine on his person, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case associated with the 100 block of South Tower Avenue led to Douglas A. Lee being booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of meth, according to police.

MAIL TAMPERING

• Centralia police were called about 8:10 a.m. yesterday to the 300 block of North Tower Avenue to take a report of damage to a set of mail boxes in the apartment complex entryway. No mail was initially reported as missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 46-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for driving under the influence after her vehicle ended up in a ditch along the 700 block of Bunker Creek Road last night. A deputy responding about 6:30 p.m. learned from Sheri M. Bobbitt she wasn’t aware of what happened, she just slid off the road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Bobbitt was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, probation violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, domestic malicious mischief, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances … and more among 154 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Police: Medical event may have preceded crash into house

Friday, July 21, 2017 at 11:56 am
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The intersection of Borthwick Street and Marsh Avenue in Centralia. / Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Responders found the driver unconscious after a sport utility vehicle ran into the side of a house in Centralia yesterday afternoon and police say she passed away at the hospital.

The residence was unoccupied at the time and a young boy in the vehicle was uninjured, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Police called at 3:56 p.m. to the scene at the intersection of Borthwick Street and Marsh Avenue report the vehicle was said to have struck the house at a high rate of speed after leaving the roadway after the driver may have suffered a medical event.

The first arriving emergency medical service units began CPR on the female driver and she was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital in critical condition, according to Fire Capt. Terry Ternan.

Ternan indicated the structure damage to the home left it unsafe to occupy.

The Washington State Patrol responded as well and the collision is under investigation. The cause of death is unknown as of this morning, according to the Centralia Police Department.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 10:26 am
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•••

DOMESTIC ASSAULT

• Kevan J. Waterman, 40, of Centralia, was arrested yesterday for second-degree assault in a case from days ago in which he allegedly choked his teenage son, according to the Centralia Police Department. Waterman was was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

AUTO THEFT

• A gold 2000 Toyota Camry was reported stolen from the 1500 block of Delaware Avenue in Centralia at about 12:15 a.m. today. The car has California plates reading 4HTV469, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A stolen Jeep Cherokee was recovered near Borthwick Street and Marsh Avenue in Centralia just before 1 p.m. yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Nichole R. Sellards, 34, Centralia, was arrested on Tuesday for theft of a motor vehicle in a case in which the owner had loaned a truck to her last month and was unable to get her to return it, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

FUEL STOLEN

• Centralia police were called about 11 a.m. yesterday to take a report of gasoline being stolen from a vehicle inside a fenced area at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue.

TRESPASSING

• Three teenage boys were contacted by Centralia police yesterday evening after getting kicked out of a pool at a motel on the 1000 block of Eckerson Road because they were not registered guests. Centralia police are investigating because of an accusation they damaged the hot tub there, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 28-year-old resident of Neah Bay was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after contact with police about 8:10 a.m. yesterday at the 600 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. Daren J. Akin, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Law enforcement called yesterday evening about a possibly intoxicated person laying next to a vehicle blocking the roadway at Seventh Street and Westlake Avenue in Morton eventually caught up to the suspect near U.S. Highway 12 and Leonard Road and arrested him for driving under the influence. Glenn E. Langenbach, 67, from Olympia, was was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, interfering with health care facility; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, vandalism, harassment, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances … and more among 167 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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News brief: Coroner names man killed by tree

Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 10:24 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office says it was Robert Becker who died during a tree clearing operation on Monday morning west of Napavine.

Becker, 63, of Chehalis, and his 68-year-old brother had been using a tree processor on the 800 block of Pleasant Valley Road when a tree fell in an unexpected trajectory, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said Becker tried to outrun the falling tree but was unable to do so and sustained severe injuries.

The sheriff’s office is conducting a death investigation.
•••

For background, read “Chehalis resident killed when tree falling task goes wrong” from Tuesday July 18, 2017, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 10:40 am
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•••

Updated at 11:03 a.m.

STRANGER DRAINS BANK ACCOUNT

• Deputies located and arrested a suspect yesterday in a case in which an Onalaska woman discovered someone was writing himself checks on her bank account. The victim reported it last week after she found her account was overdrawn and contacted her bank, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Approximately $1,100 was taken via checks written at businesses in Lewis, Cowlitz and Thurston counties, according to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office investigated, viewed video footage and yesterday arrested James D. Maloney, 30, from Winlock, for second-degree theft, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said this morning. Maloney was booked into the Lewis County Jail. Breen said there is no known relationship between the victim and suspect.

GARAGE BURGLED

• The victims said it appeared maybe someone had backed a vehicle into their garage door, but upon closer examination, found the latch was also cut and numerous valuables missing from the 4000 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia yesterday. A deputy determined it occurred between 1 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Among the stolen items are a Snap-On welder, a cutting torch, a Craftsman chainsaw, a tool box and Craftsman  tools, according to the sheriff’s office.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A Winlock resident reported about 7 a.m. yesterday he discovered his pickup had been prowled during the night and then noticed his 2000 Jeep Cherokee was missing from the 100 block of Conrad Road. It happened sometime after 11 p.m. on Monday night, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The maroon Jeep has a license plate reading AEN 0254, according to the sheriff’s office. Also missing is a wallet and a key to the Jeep, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called over to Wal-Mart about 4:50 p.m. yesterday where someone had spent a counterfeit $100 bill, one that was marked “For motion picture use only.” Police will investigate, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday from the 900 block of South Scheuber Road that $140 was stolen from a purse last week.

• Centralia police were called just after noon yesterday about the theft of a gallon of water proofing from the back of a truck at the 200 block of L Street.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 47-year-old man was arrested for hit and run as well as third-degree driving with a suspended license in a case associated with an approximately 1:20 p.m. call yesterday to First and K streets in Centralia. Joseph W. Bishop was cited and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, hit and run, motor vehicle theft, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, vehicle collision, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances … and more among 184 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Animal experts: No clear explanation for why Chehalis K-9 died

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 5:01 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The results of post-mortem tests were inconclusive as to the cause of death for Chehalis’s police dog.

The Chehalis Police Department received the reports yesterday from the Chehalis Centralia Veterinary Hospital and Washington State University’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

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Reign
Oct. 24, 2011 – June 27, 2017

K-9 Reign died suddenly and unexpectedly during routine training while on duty on June 27. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. He was taken to WSU for a necropsy.

The police department shared excerpts this morning from the reports that indicate causes for acute death in dogs under such circumstances as Reign’s include fatal arrhythmia, metabolic disturbances and certain toxins.

Department spokesperson Linda Bailey said it boiled down to basically, they just don’t know.

Reign and his partner Officer Warren Ayers had been practicing locating articles and persons that night, and it was, to her understanding, not a particularly strenuous or taxing activity, Bailey said.

While toxins was included as a potential issue, the report stated the length of time between the reported potential inhalation event was too prolonged to be considered a likely cause of the death.

The 5-year-old dog worked at both tracking and finding people, things and drugs. He had been on a call with the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team earlier in the evening on the date of his death, according to Bailey.

Bailey said she didn’t know anything further except that he had been doing a “sniff”.

Reign was 19-months-old when he was put into active duty in May 2013. Ayers introduced him to the city council as a German Shepherd and Malinois mix from the Czech Republic.

A public memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. on July 25 at  W.F. West High School in Chehalis.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Memorial service announced for Chehalis K-9” from Friday July 14, 2017, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 3:39 pm
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•••

DISORDERLINESS IN CHEHALIS

• A 27-year-old Cinebar resident was arrested in Chehalis last night following a call about 6:45 p.m. to the 400 block of Southwest William Avenue regarding a disorderly person. The individual fled but was contacted later in the night after allegedly running through yards and allegedly having made threats to two persons, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Joseph R. Rogers was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for two counts of harassment and an outstanding warrant, according to police. Prosecutors today declined to file the felony charges.

THEFT CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 3:20 p.m. yesterday to the 2000 block of Cooks Hill Road where an individual reported the theft of a fanny pack containing Canadian money.

• Centralia police were called about 12:35 p.m. yesterday to the 2000 block of Cooks Hill Road to take a report of the theft of cash from a wallet.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor  assault, unlawful transit conduct, driving with no license, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, barking neighbor dog … and more among 177 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Chehalis resident killed when tree falling task goes wrong

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 2:23 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 63-year-old Chehalis area man is dead after an accident during a tree clearing operation west of Napavine yesterday morning.

Multiple firefighters, EMTs and medics responded to the call just before 9 a.m. to residential property on the 800 block of Pleasant Valley Road.

The now-deceased man and his 68-year-old brother had been using a tree processor when a tree fell in an unexpected trajectory, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

“The victim tried to outrun the falling tree but was unable to do so,” sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said this morning.

The older brother said he cleared away the tree debris and began CPR which he continued until aid arrived, Breen said. The younger brother sustained severe injuries to his head and chest, Breen said.

Breen said both men are experienced loggers, but were doing the work on their own property.

The sheriff’s office is conducting a death investigation.

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Lincoln Creek Road: One airlifted after car, motorcycle wreck

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 9:04 am

Updated at 12:18 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – One person was critically injured when a car and motorcycle collided yesterday evening west of Centralia.

Firefighters called about 6 p.m. to the 600 block of Lincoln Creek Road report the male patient was transported by medical helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The Washington State Patrol and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office responded as well, according to Fire Capt. Casey McCarthy.

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said a 16-year-old Rochester girl was eastbound in a 2003 BMW 530 and began to make a left turn into a driveway when the westbound motorcycle hit her car, flipping its driver over the vehicle.

The 26-year-old Centralia man sustained major injuries to his head area leaving him unconscious, Breen said.

He was driving a 2002 Honda XL400. Her car had major front-end damage, according to the sheriff’s office.

As of 8 p.m., both lanes remained closed for the investigation, according to McCarthy.

Breen said this morning no criminal charges or citations have been issued at this point as the collision is still under investigation.

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‘Cereal burglar’ captured, hog tied for law enforcement in East Lewis County

Monday, July 17, 2017 at 4:44 pm
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Intruder detained by Glenoma family. / Courtesy photo by Gharrett Lamping

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Here’s just one reason to lock your doors at night.

A 29-year-old Glenoma man found a stranger in his house helping himself to breakfast at the crack of dawn today.

Lewis County sheriff’s deputies called at 5:20 a.m. to the 100 block of Glenoma Road were told a resident found the man standing in his kitchen.

“Basically, the suspect goes into the residence … and apparently pours himself some cereal, puts some milk in it and is eating it,” Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

The uninvited guest fled, but the 29-year-old and his father-in-law apprehended him about 500 feet away along the road and ordered him to the ground at gun point, according to Breen.

They remained with him until deputies arrived. “They did have him tied up,” Breen said.

Jerald L. Couch, 52, was arrested for residential burglary and booked into the Lewis County Jail.

Breen said the suspect talked about being out in the woods, using a new kind of drug and said he’d been in Florida a few hours earlier. He’s is listed as transient, out of Tampa, Florida.

The doors to the home had been unlocked, according to Breen.

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News brief: Fire danger leads to burning restrictions

Monday, July 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Make sure you’re finished with any outdoor brush pile burning when the clock strikes midnight tonight.

Restrictions will go into place for outdoor burning in unincorporated Lewis County because of potential fire danger beginning at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.

The Lewis County fire marshal, Lewis County Community Development director and Board of (Lewis) County Commissioners made the decision after careful review of the current and extended weather forecast

Lewis County Community Development Director Lee Napier indicates in a press release today that conditions have created substantial fire dangers.

The action means any current open burning permit expires at midnight, according to Napier.

Still allowed however are recreational campfires in designated campgrounds or in fire pits on private property that meet specific criteria.

The county’s restrictions will remain in effect until lifted by the Board of County Commissioners.

For further information concerning outdoor burning, Fire Marshal Doyle Sanford can be reached at 360-740-12696. The fire marshal’s office is in the Lewis County Public Services building, located at 2025 NE Kresky Avenue in Chehalis.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm
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•••

Updated at 3:34 p.m.

STRANGER INSIDE HOUSE

• Deputies were called about 5:45 a.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of North Fork Road east of Chehalis where a resident alerted by the family dog found a 45-year-old man standing in his living room, yelling, cussing and demanding keys to their vehicle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The resident tried to talk with him and calm him down and deputies arriving 10 minutes later arrested Stephen D. Cobb for residential burglary and attempted motor vehicle theft, according to the sheriff’s office. During the ordeal, Cobb had thrown a can of chewing tobacco outside, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. The Onalaska man was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Breen said. Prosecutors evaluated the case for non-felony charges.

FACE INJURED

• Chehalis police were called to the 500 block of Northwest Pacific Avenue about 10 p.m. on Saturday for an assault in which a man was struck and left with facial injuries. The incident is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ROCK THROWING

• The rock was somewhere between the size of a large jaw breaker and a baseball and a 60-year-old Ethel man who allegedly threw it at his nephew, operating a tractor, striking him in the back, was arrested on Saturday afternoon for third-degree assault, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies called about 1:25 p.m. to the 100 block of Tucker Road booked Jerry L. Larson into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

THEFT CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 12:25 a.m. today regarding plants, dishes and cash stolen from a house at the 1500 block of Grand Avenue during the past several days.

• Kimberly R. Terrell, 40 of Chehalis, was arrested and booked for second-degree burglary and an outstanding warrant in an approximately 2 p.m. case yesterday associated with the 100 block of South King Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called to the 1000 block of F Street in Centralia about 4:14 p.m. on Friday where an individual reported the theft of money from her bank account. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• A 2007 Kia Rio was reported stolen about 1:25 p.m. yesterday but was recovered later that night in a case associated with the 500 block of South Pearl Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 11:05 .m. on Saturday to take a report a gray 1990 Honda Accord had been stolen during the night from the 1100 block of South Pearl Street. It has a license plate reading BFD 5466, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called just before 8 a.m. yesterday about two vehicles prowled during the night at the 100 block of Southwest Fourth Street in which as much as $4,700 of valuables were removed. Among the stolen goods were a stereo, a Kerwood CD player, Milwaukee impact drill and hacksaw, an 8-inch SoundQubed subwoofer, a Rigid cube light package, a Hise light package, two 20-inch Auxbeam LED light bars and a 50-inch Rigid LED light bar, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called just before 6 p.m. on Friday to the parking lot at Wal-Mart after a woman spotted someone reach into her purse she had set in her car while she returned a shopping cart. Two hundred dollars was taken but witnesses got a license plate for a suspect who was subsequently located at the 700 block of South Market Boulevard, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Brandon S. Salice, 33, of Winlock, was for third-degree theft, according to police.

• Centralia police were called about 12:10 p.m. on Friday to take a report that approximately $150 worth of fuel had been stolen from two vehicles that were parked in the area of Grand and Kresky avenues.

• The Morton Police Department reported today they have no suspects in a vehicle prowl reported at 1:36 p.m. last Wednesday at the 200 block of Seventh Street. A backpack and some medications were stolen, according to police.

BRUSH FIRE

• A tree on a power line ignited a brush fire at the 700 block of Silverbrook Road in Randle on Saturday, spreading to about one and a half acres on a steep slope, according to Lewis County Fire District 14.

BATHROOM FIRES

• The Morton Police Department reported today they were informed last week there have been several attempts of someone starting fires in the women’s restroom at Gust Backstrom Park. The case is pending further information, according to police.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 62-year-old Toledo man was arrested for driving under the influence following a two-vehicle collision with minor damage at Antrim and North Military roads in Winlock. Deputies called to the scene about 2 p.m. yesterday found the suspect vehicle at the 700 block of North Military roads and booked Harold E. Reynolds into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Firefighters called about 5:45 p.m. on Saturday when a pickup truck began to smoke and stopped in the roadway off Wallace Road in Chehalis found the vehicle fully involved in flames and extinguished it, according to Lewis County Fire District 6. The truck was a total loss, Firefighter-EMT Mike Goodwillie said.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, third-degree theft, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, protection order violation; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, trespassing, misdemeanor theft, disorderly person, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances, barking neighbor dog … and more among 509 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 72-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Chehalis steam train strikes Curtis man’s pickup

Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 11:11 am
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Bystanders and pickup truck through window of steam train / Courtesy photo by Maria Castaneda

Updated 5:54 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An 82-year-old motorist was injured when his pickup truck collided with the steam train in Adna yesterday evening.

The Washington State Patrol reports that Jeremy W. Mullins was traveling eastbound on state Route 6 and didn’t see warning lights that a train was approaching. The train struck the 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, according to the state patrol.

Troopers and medics called to the scene near Twin Oaks Road about 6:40 p.m. found the truck totaled, according to the investigating trooper.

Members of the Chehalis Fire Department arrived first, as Lewis County Fire District 6 was just clearing a vehicle fire. They were joined by personnel from Lewis County Fire District 5.

Chehalis Fire Capt. Casey Beck said the patient was conscious and alert.

“His legs were pinned, not crushed, but we had to use the Jaws to relieve pressure and then pop the door open,” Beck said.

Mullins, from Curtis, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital. He was treated and then transferred, according to hospital spokesperson Chris Thomas.

Beck said there were as many as 70 people on the train, none were hurt and some said they didn’t even feel the collision. The train was traveling about 12 mph, he said.

Both Beck and District 6’s Firefighter-EMT Mike Goodwillie said they were pretty certain the pickup truck had been traveling westbound when it happened.

“I think the sun got in his eyes, and he wasn’t expecting a train there,” Beck said.

The state patrol blamed the wreck on Mullins’ failure to yield the right of way.

•••

CORRECTION: This news story has been updated to reflect that Jeremy W. Mullins was treated at Providence Centralia Hospital and was not released but was then transferred to an unspecified facility.

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News brief: Centralia house fire under investigation

Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 9:10 am
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Smoke rises from fire on West Reynolds Avenue. / Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Nobody was injured but a Centralia home is now uninhabitable after a fire broke out last night.

Firefighters called at 7:52 p.m. to the 1100 block of West Reynolds Avenue saw heavy involvement on the cedar shake roof, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Crews were joined by members of the Chehalis Fire Department, Lewis County Fire District 6 and West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

The fire was extinguished and mop up ongoing at 11 p.m., according to Fire Lt. Mark Stahl.

The house was heavily damaged, according to Stahl. The cause is being investigated.

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Doty resident killed in wrong-way I-5 crash

Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 7:50 am
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Traffic comes to a standstill on northbound Interstate 5 at Chehalis / Courtesy photo by Heather Bouck

Updated at 6:03 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A young man is dead and two others injured after he traveled the wrong way on Interstate 5 in Chehalis last night and hit an oncoming vehicle.

TJ L. Sinnott, 23, from Doty was headed south in the northbound lanes near milepost 77 when his car struck a northbound sport utility vehicle occupied by two women from Oregon, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Chehalis Fire Department Capt. Casey Beck said the engine compartment of the women’s vehicle caught fire.

“They had been pulled out, or self extricated,” Beck said. “It was right next to his car. Unfortunately, he passed right away.”

Chelsea R. Zigler, 24, Clackamas and Carrieann M. Zigler, 24, of Gresham, both were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol.

Troopers called at 11:12 p.m. to the scene report both vehicles were totaled and impounded.

Sinnott had been driving a 2003 Hyundai Accent and Chelsea Zigler was behind the wheel of a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse.

All had been wearing seat belts. It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved, according to the state patrol.

A hospital spokesperson this morning said Chelsea Zigler is listed in fair condition. Her passenger Carrieann Zigler was treated and has been released.

Washington State Department of Transportation reports the roadway wasn’t cleared until 2:20 a.m.

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News brief: Motorcycle wreck victim airlifted from Vader

Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 8:43 pm
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A LifeFlight helicopter picks up crash victim from post office in Vader. / Courtesy photo by Cowlitz-Lewis Fire District 20

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A motorcyclist in his 20s was injured when he lost control on a curve on state Route 506 west of Vader last night.

Cowlitz-Lewis Fire District 20 was called to the scene near Brim Creek Road just before 8 p.m.

Assistant Chief Ruth Crear said he sustained multiple injuries. No other cars were involved she said.

The patient was flown by LifeFlight to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver, according to Crear.

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News brief: Bogus ‘collection’ calls on the rise locally

Friday, July 14, 2017 at 5:34 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Local law enforcement is cautioning members of the public not to provide their credit card information to phone callers in light of a large number of reports about scammers.

So many reports came during the month of June to the Centralia Police  Department, the Chehalis Police Department and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office that they jointly issued an advisory.

“The callers are identifying themselves as the IRS or warrant service companies,” Centralia police detective Patty Finch stated. “In most reports, the callers are telling the victims that a warrant has been issued for their arrest or they are being sued.”

They are coming from various long distance numbers and some have asked for credit card information, according to Finch.

The detective shared a statement from the Internal Revenue Service that notes the federal agency “does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action” and “will never ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.”

Finch advises people to never provide account information over the phone until after independently confirming it’s a legitimate reason.

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News brief: Memorial service announced for Chehalis K-9

Friday, July 14, 2017 at 4:58 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A memorial service has been scheduled to honor Reign, the Chehalis police dog who passed away late last month.

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Reign

K-9 Reign died suddenly and unexpectedly while training on duty with partner Officer Warren Ayers in Chehalis the night of June 27.

The dog’s body was taken to Washington State University where an exam was unable to ascertain the cause of death but it’s presumed related to an unknown medical condition, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

He was five years old and served four years with the department.

The service will take place at W.F. West High School beginning at 11 a.m. on July 25.

Any law enforcement wishing to participate in the processional should be to the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds at 9 a.m.

The fairgrounds are located at 2555 N. National Ave., Chehalis. The school is at 342 S.W. 16th Street, Chehalis.
•••

For background, read “Chehalis police dog passes away unexpectedly” from Wednesday June 28, 2017, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 14, 2017 at 3:25 pm
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•••

HEAVY EQUIPMENT VANISHES

• An officer was called about 9:45 a.m. yesterday to a business at the 1100 block of Northwest Maryland Avenue in Chehalis about a missing yellow and black Caterpillar 305.5 mini excavator with a bucket attachment. It disappeared sometime during May or June, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The loss is $67,465, according to police.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A 19-year-old Chehalis resident found inside a stolen Honda passenger car about 8:15 a.m. yesterday at the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue was arrested for possession of stolen property. The car was missing from Tacoma since May, according to the Centralia Police Department. Johnny Wright was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• Centralia police were called just after 9 p.m. yesterday to the 1400 block of Crescent Avenue in Centralia where an individual reported a house guest took her vehicle without permission. The vehicle was later returned,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called to the 200 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue about 8:15 a.m. yesterday where a Milwaukee High Life light-sign and a pool cue had been taken from the yard.

• Chehalis police took a report of a residential burglary just before noon yesterday from the 300 block of Northwest Georgia Avenue. Missing is a Snap-On ratchet with extension ($200) and an impact wrench ($500), according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Police responded about 4:45 a.m. today to the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia where several batteries had been stolen from vehicles parked behind a business.

• Centralia police were called about 6:40 p.m. yesterday to take a report of a vehicle prowl at the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia in which a cell phone was taken. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called just after 7 a.m. yesterday to take a report of an overnight vehicle prowl occurring on the 1200 block of West Main Street. A jack and cell phone accessories were missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A passenger during an overnight traffic stop was arrested after a piece of foil and a smoking device fell to the ground when he was asked to step out of the vehicle. The foil field-tested positive for meth, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened about 2:30 a.m. at South Market Boulevard and Fourth Street in Chehalis, according to the sheriff’s office. Logan P. Buholm was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen reported this morning.

LOST AND FOUND

• A bag of a white substance was found in a parking lot at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis about 4:40 p.m. yesterday. It was taken for destruction, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 19-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for hit and run after she allegedly struck another vehicle at the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue about 5:30 p.m. yesterday and left the scene. Adrianna M.R. Roberts was cited and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, no contact order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, displaying falsified trip permit; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, trespassing, third-degree theft, hit and run, vehicle collision, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, barking neighbor dog … and more among 177 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.