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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Updated at 6:41 p.m.

BARK PLANT FIRE EXTINGUISHED

• Firefighters were called about 12:30 p.m. yesterday when fire broke out at a bark dust mill at the end of Central Boulevard in Centralia. Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Tim Adolphsen said it was inside the auger system of the Willamette Valley Company’s structure and was fairly mild in terms of how long crews were on scene extinguishing it. “It should be minimal damage,” Adolphsen said.

ONALASKA HOME BURGLARY

• Someone broke into a home on the 1800 block of Middle Fork Road in Onalaska and stole a 55-television, jewelry and other valuables totaling about $4,100 sometime between Friday and yesterday while the residents were away, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

CHEHALIS GARAGE BURGLARY

• A 53-year-old Chehalis man called police about 11 a.m. yesterday to report someone got into his garage in the early morning hours and stole a new $1,000 Mathews compound bow and an $800 set of four Toyo tires. It happened at the 1800 block of Snively Avenue, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

MORTON BUSINESS BURGLARY

• Morton police say they are investigating a break-in to a business on the 100 block of Westlake Avenue reported last Thursday in which someone during the previous two days stole a digital camera from the lost and found and about $68 in cash, which was mostly coins.

WRONG LICENSE PLATES

• A driver of unknown age and unknown hometown was arrested for third-degree possession of stolen property when during a traffic stop a deputy discovered the license plates on his vehicle were stolen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened about 6 p.m. on Friday at the 700 block of Leonard Road and when Joseph A. Vezirian was pulled over, he told the deputy he knew they didn’t belong on the vehicle but someone named Jen had given them to him, according to the sheriff’s office. The plates belonged to an Onalaska woman; Vezirian was cited and then released, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

DOMESTIC DISPUTE WINLOCK

• A 27-year-old Winlock man was arrested on Saturday after his wife’s boyfriend reported he had held her against her will at her home. Police contacted the couple separately who said earlier in the day he had put his hands on her shoulders and told her she couldn’t leave until they talked, according to charging documents. Robert M. Sutton told the officer they are going through a divorce, had a little argument and he was frustrated. Sutton was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged today with unlawful imprisonment and fourth-degree assault. Sutton, who has an honorable service record and last worked as a contractor in Afghanistan, is collecting unemployment benefits and attending college, defense attorney Bob Schroeter told a judge this afternoon. The judge agreed he could be released on a $5,000 signature bond.

DOMESTIC DISPUTE CHEHALIS

• A 35-year-old Chehalis man was arrested and jailed after his wife said he arrived at her house on Friday afternoon, yelled at her and threatened to kill her. A deputy called to the 100 block of Johnson Place about 2:45 p.m. learned there was a court order prohibiting Bert A. Holmes from going there and he was located several hours later and arrested for residential burglary, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.  Holmes was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with that, as well as with felony harassment and violation of a no-contact order. Because the construction worker has a misdemeanor assault from earlier this month pending in district court involving the same victim, prosecutors asked he remain held on $25,000 bail. Judge James Lawler set bail at $100,000.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CENTRALIA

• The man arrested over the weekend after allegedly partially entering a Centralia home through a window and assaulting a female inside was ordered held today on $500,000 bail. Juan E. Mejia, 32, of Centralia, was dating the woman briefly he’d known for several years; she ended the relationship and he didn’t want the relationship to end, according to charging documents. The documents say after he kept calling, texting and showing up to see her, she got a temporary protection order a week ago. The documents allege that on Friday night, she awoke to knocking on her bedroom window on George Anthony Lane, and when she got up, Mejia slid the window open. She screamed for her son to get her father and struck Mejia and he struck her back, splitting open her lip, according to charging documents. “He said he loved her, that he would kill her, and that he loved her,” charging documents state. He fled when her father arrived with a pool cue and he was arrested the following day, according to authorities. Mejia has been restrained by 13 prior no-contact orders and has five prior domestic violence felonies, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke told a judge when she asked for the high bail. Mejia is charged with first-degree burglary and violation of a court order.

YOGI BEAR ON THE LOOSE?

• Morton police were called after last weekend to Gust Backstrom Park by campers who said after they went to bed, someone got into their cooler and stole $50 worth of unspecified contents. And yesterday morning, another individual reported while they were away from the park, their three coolers full of food and beverages were taken.

PARACHUTER HURT IN TOLEDO

• Lewis County Fire District 2 Chief Grant Wiltbank said Toledo area firefighters were called just after 4:30 p.m. yesterday when a parachuter collided with a tree as she landed about a half mile west of the airport. The woman in her 20s came to rest in a sitting position about eight inches off the  ground, suspended by her parachute which was tangled in the tree, Wiltbank said. She wasn’t knocked unconscious, but suffered injuries that were serious but not life threatening, he said. She was flown by AirLift Northwest to a regional trauma center, according to the chief.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, disputes, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, report about scam phone call, rear end collisions on city streets, rollover accident on county road, dogs left inside parked vehicles … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 4:41 pm

UNRULY WITH POP CAN

• A 38-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday evening after allegedly throwing a full can of soda into traffic on Harrison Avenue near View Street and refusing to cooperate with police regarding the infraction. Willard Scott was cited and then released about 7:30 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.

WANTED MAN FOUND

• A 32-year-old man wanted for allegedly entering a Centralia home through a window and assaulting a female inside late Friday night was located yesterday and booked into the Lewis County Jail. Juan E. Mejia was arrested for  first-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• A judge disregarded a prosecutor’s recommendation an 18-year-old Chehalis resident should get 24 months in prison for stealing thousands of dollars from relatives and sent him away for five years. Dillan G. Gleason was arrested on April 10 after a burglary at his grandparents home 100 block of Alderwood Drive where he also reportedly lived. He pleaded guilty pursuant to an agreement and when he was sentenced in Lewis County Superior Court, the judge heard from his grandmother she believed there was close to $300,000 cash from her lottery winnings in a safe that went missing. Another relative who said Gleason stole thousands of dollars worth of alcohol told the judge he could not believe it when Gleason was the one arrested, but concluded since, that it was only the first time he’d gotten caught. Defense attorney Chris Baum conceded his client made grave errors in judgement and there were large amounts of money involved over the time period, but noted Gleason had not been in trouble before and asked he be sentenced as a first-time offender to zero to 90 days in jail. Baum said Gleason has a drinking problem. “He didn’t drink it all up, but he drank and he gambled some of it away,” Baum said. “We talked and he doesn’t remember; he’s a young guy who needs help.” Baum said his client had already signed back over $57,000 from a trust. Judge Richard Brosey on Friday responded by saying it was not a typical burglary and theft, it was a major economic crime. Because Gleason had pleaded guilty to the aggravating factor of a violation of trust, Brosey could have given him 10 years, but he gave him five.

• A pre-trial hearing for a 31-year-old man accused of continuing to head up a Lewis County-based drug trafficking organization primarily of Oxycodone from behind prison walls ended with the prosecutor dropping one of the two counts of leading organized crime and several gross misdemeanors. Forrest E. Amos, formerly of Napavine and Chehalis, was charged with 43 offenses after he was released from prison late last year. Defense attorney Don Blair and Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead went before a judge on Friday to deal with various issues before the Aug. 25 trial. Blair argued the state should have to split the case into two cases and hold two trials, one for Amos’s alleged activities before he went to prison and a second for his supposed activities while locked up. Judge Richard Brosey disagreed with Blair’s reasoning, but Halstead said he was filing a new “information” with just 36 counts instead of 43. He didn’t say why. Amos was additionally charged last month with four counts of intimidating a witness for allegedly hatching a plan from inside jail to get supporters to hurt or intimidate witnesses against him. Prosecutors allege he used the guise of legal mail to “continue his criminal intentions without detection”. Amos remains held in the Lewis County Jail on $1 million bail.

LITTLE WILDFIRE

• Firefighters were called about 12:35 p.m. yesterday to extinguish a grass fire along Interstate 5 near the northbound onramp at Harrison Avenue in Centralia. it grew to about 100 feet by 200 feet, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for collision on city street, window broken out of a vehicle, clothing stolen from business … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm

BRUSH FIRES IGNITE IN BUCODA, ROCHESTER

• Members of six fire departments were joined by crews with the state Department of Natural Resources yesterday when a four to six acre fire broke out in Bucoda. Crews were called around 4 p.m. to an area near Tono and Ohop roads, on timber property owned by Green Diamond Resources previously clearcut and then about two years ago replanted with seedlings, according to Bucoda Fire Department Assistant Chief Robert Gordon. It was not threatening any homes, Gordon said. As many as 75 firefighters were on the scene and it was contained when he left about 8 p.m., Gordon said. “The winds were five to seven miles per hour, and that’s probably what saved the fire from getting any bigger than it did,” he said. DNR planned to sit on the fire overnight and are conducting mop up today, according to Gordon. The incident followed another the day before in Rochester when about an acre and a half of scotch broom and brush caught fire, along with a fence and a shed at the 9000 block of 173rd Avenue Southwest. Gordon said his chief and about eight other individuals with the fire departments from Tenino to Gibson Valley are currently in Eastern Washington assisting with the large wildfires over there.

POLICE: MAN CRAWLS THROUGH WINDOW

• Centralia police say they are looking for Juan E. Mejia after an incident just before midnight in which he allegedly entered a residence through a window and assaulted the female inside. It happened at the 400 block of George Anthony Lane, according top police. Mejia, of Centralia, is 32 years old and wanted for first-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POLICE: MAN ASSAULTS MOM

• A 30-year-old Centralia man is being sought by police after breaking into a home on the 300 block of East Magnolia Street in Centralia and assaulting his mother. Officers responding about 5:45 p.m. yesterday say Isaiah M. Davis is wanted for first-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Police were called about 6:40 p.m. yesterday after a resident on the 1100 block of Ham Hill Road in Centralia returned home and found someone had broken in. Several items are missing and the case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PILLS MISSING

• Medication was reported stolen yesterday from the 900 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia and from the 1100 block of West Chestnut Street.

CAR PROWL

• Someone stole a Pioneer stereo from an unlocked vehicle parked at the 1200 block of Royal Avenue in Centralia during the night, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police responded just before 10 a.m. yesterday to the 1400 block of Oxford Avenue where several vehicles got their windows shot out with a pellet gun during the night.

BUMMING CIGARETTES

• Four people were arrested yesterday after they reportedly harassed a male as he walked down a Centralia street with his small children yesterday evening. Officers responding about 6:45 p.m. to the area of East Locust and South Buckner streets say the male was approached and asked for a cigarette, then threatened when they did not like the way in which they were told no. According to Centralia police, Dustin J. Scott, 31 of Bay City, was booked for obstructing as well as a felony warrant and Richard A. James, 20 of Centralia, was booked for several outstanding warrants. After police left, two others allegedly went back to the individual and began threatening him again, so, booked for disorderly conduct were Jalab L. Browing, 20 of Centralia and Tyler A. Reeves, 21 of Raymond, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CROSSING ARM BREAKS WINDSHIELD

• Centralia police responded about 2:55 p.m. yesterday to the area near East Maple Street and the train tracks after a driver attempted to cross the tracks as the crossing arm was coming down. It broke the windshield and the driver was cited for failing to yield to the arm, according to the Centralia Police Department.

COLLISION

• A pickup truck and a car were totaled and the driver of the car was hospitalized when the pickup truck traveled into the oncoming lane yesterday evening on state Route 508 about three miles from Interstate 5. Brittney N. Dickinson, 18, from Winlock, was westbound when she drifted to the right, over corrected and crossed the centerline running into a 1993 Toyota Camry, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers called about 7:25 p.m. found the pickup on its side and cited Dickinson for improper lane travel, according to the state patrol. The car’s driver, Bruce A. Hood, 63, of Onalaska, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with unspecified injuries, according to the investigating trooper.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for driving under the influence; responses for bicycle stolen, collision on city street … and more.

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Sheriff’s Office: Fired corrections officer allowed inmates to suffer

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The lawyer for the fired Lewis County Jail sergeant shot back yesterday, issuing a press release criticizing Sheriff Steve Mansfield for attempting to try the case in the news media, reminding news reporters of Mansfield’s personal experience of being investigated for alleged criminal conduct.

Centralia attorney Shane O’Rourke said he represents Trevor S. Smith, who was terminated at the end of last month for mistreatment of two inmates and then arrested earlier this week for allegedly accessing secure jail computer records while he was still on the job.

“As a career corrections officer, my client respects the court system and the judicial process, and because of that we are not going to make any comments about the facts of the disciplinary proceedings or criminal case against my client other than to say that there are always more facts to a story than what only one side offers,” O’Rourke wrote. “We will allow those facts to come out through the legal process.”

Mansfield revealed on Wednesday that Smith was let go because he abused his authority in dealing with assaultive inmates, insinuating Smith moved beyond containing the situations and into punishing the individuals.

The sheriff called Smith’s actions disgusting and embarrassing, but didn’t go into much detail, citing a concern of jeopardizing a termination hearing.

However, a fulfilled public record request for the June 27 termination letter and other related documents show Smith was disciplined last year after directing that an inmate be kept in a restraint chair for approximately twelve hours without food, water, or restroom breaks.

And on Jan. 25, an inmate with mental health issues was not offered a wet towel, a shower or any “decontamination” for more than five hours after Smith had directed the discharge of OC-10 pepper spray into his closed cell, according to the sheriff’s office. There was no running water in the cell at the time, having been shut off the day before due to his attempt to flood the cell.

The termination letter from Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Staff Steven Walton noted that in both cases squad members approached Smith about attending to the inmates’ needs and Smith ignored them, allowing the inmates to suffer.

“Your conduct in this case screams of deliberate indifference to the care and well-being of those over whom you are responsible,” Walton wrote on behalf of the sheriff. “Indeed your conduct ‘shocks the conscience’ and could be viewed as violating basic civil rights possessed by all human beings regardless of status.”

Smith’s attorney O’Rourke pointed out Mansfield is an outgoing sheriff and that his office isn’t supposed to be involved in a large part of the investigation – Smith’s criminal case – because of a conflict of interest.

O’Rourke noted the sheriff has had firsthand experience as both being the subject of an investigation – in 2009 when allegations were made of Mansfield harboring a runaway; the 16-year-old girlfriend of his son, a case that ended with no charges filed – and contended he has before attempted to impose his own beliefs and try a case in the media before it was brought to court.

“(A)s was the case with the Ronald Brady homicide from a number of years ago, where his judgment was later proven to be incorrect by a trial court and appellate court,” O’Rourke stated.

O’Rourke was one of two Lewis County deputy prosecutors who tried the Brady case in 2011 and has since moved into private practice with the firm of Buzzard and Associates. Sheriff Mansfield refused to arrest Brady who shot at two intruders on his Onalaska property, saying it was self defense.

“My client and I hope that as this case moves forward, Sheriff Mansfield draws upon these experiences and discontinues any efforts to improperly taint this case and further prejudice my client,” O’Rourke wrote.

The June 27 letter did not name the two inmates, but did offer further details about the most recent incident.

The inmate with mental health issues was described as a man large in stature, 6-feet 9-inches tall and about 275 pounds, who had exhibited aggressive behavior since his incarceration. He was being held in the medical observation area when he reached through the cuff port in his cell and grabbed an officer’s keys, pulling the officer against the door, according to Walton.

The inmate got the keys, but returned them shortly after an entire three-ounce can of OC-10 was discharged into the cell, Walton wrote.

The decision to use force, the pepper spray, to gain compliance wasn’t questioned, according to Walton.

But leaving him to suffer without any relief was extremely serious and demonstrated unacceptable judgement and decision making, he wrote.

Walton left the sheriff’s office when on July 1 he took a position as Lewis County budget administrator, but has been designated to continue in the chief of staff-undersheriff role for the purposes of handling Smith’s case.

Smith was hired at the sheriff’s office in 2004 and promoted to jail sergeant in 2011.

Smith has filed a grievance through his union, asking to be reinstated, claiming his termination was not for just cause.

His arraignment on charges of computer trespass is set for next Thursday.
•••

For background, read “Lewis County Jail sergeant let go for mistreating inmates, then arrested for computer snooping at work” from Wednesday July 16, 2014, here

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Read about Thurston County ordered to pay millions in Maytown case …

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 7:31 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a Lewis County jury decided that the Thurston County commission illegally interfered with the sale of property near Maytown and awarded the Port of Tacoma $8 million and Maytown Sand & Gravel $4 million.

News reporter John Gillie writes the lengthy trial revolved around a commission decision to order additional environmental studies and hearings during a review of its already issued 20-year gravel mining permit for the site.

Read about it here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm

MOTORCYCLE MISSING

• A 42-year-old Toledo man who was spending time at a river returned to a parking area at the 100 block of Highway 603 last night to find his 2010 Harley Davidson Fatboy was no longer there. This is the Willapa Hills Trail crossing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened sometime after 7 p.m. and before 8:54 p.m. and the loss is $12,977, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown asks anyone with information to contact the sheriff’s office or Lewis County Crime Stoppers.

GARAGE THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, someone got into a garage on the 200 block of Bowen Road outside Mossyrock and stole about $1,800 worth of items including a 6HP Yamaha outboard motor, a shop vacuum and a Craftsman toolbox with tools.

SHED THEFT

• A deputy took a report yesterday from a 94-year-old Centralia man on the 2000 block of Graf Road that someone got into his locked garden shed and stole his chainsaw sometime between March 1 and July 1.

MOWER MISSING

• A black Craftsman lawnmower was stolen during the night from the 100 block of Washington Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday.

HANDBAG GONE

• Police were called about 1 p.m. yesterday regarding a purse getting stolen after it was left behind at a business on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia.

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown reported this morning that a 52-year-old Winlock man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend and violating a court order at the 300 block of Hawkins Road in Winlock. Rodney Dewolf was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday, according to the jail’s roster.

DRUGS

• Lewis County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 37-year-old Chehalis man in connection with a search conducted about 6 a.m. yesterday at the 400 block of Southwest William Avenue, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Corey D. Hamilton had allegedly sold methamphetamine to someone associated with the sheriff’s special investigations unit, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Evidence confiscated from the home and some found in Hamilton’s vehicle could lead to further charges, according to Brown. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail. The investigation is ongoing, she said.

VANDALISM

• Someone vandalized a motorcycle’s radiator and an air conditioner at the 1100 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, protection order violation obstructing a public servant, a pair of 17-year-old boys for having marijuana and unopened beer containers in their vehicle; responses for alarm, disputes, threatening phone call from the IRS, panting dog left alone inside parked vehicle … and more.

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Dad pulls pulseless son from pool in Centralia

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A toddler found unconscious and not breathing in a swimming pool at a Centralia home was revived by his father and rushed to the hospital this afternoon.

Aid called at 4:50 p.m. to the 600 block of G Street learned the dad discovered the 2-year-old boy and pulled him from the water. The child had no pulse and the dad started CPR, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

A paramedic unit from the Pearl Street station was the first unit on the scene and arrived in just under a minute and a half, according to Capt. Scott Weinert.

The boy was conscious and breathing but crying when they got there, Weinert said. Medics performed advanced life support measures to ensure the toddler continued to breathe and remained stable, he said.

It happened in a backyard built-in swimming pool, he said.

“We’re really happy he’s in stable condition and hopefully he continues to improve,” Weinert said.

When someone stops breathing for whatever reason, immediate and early intervention through CPR is key, according to Weinert.

“It’s important, that’s why it’s taught, because it can make a difference,” Weinert said.

But a traumatic event such as a near drowning could lead to a variety of physical issues or complications that still need to be evaluated by doctors and possibly treated, according to Paramedic Jade Gross.

The child was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital and then transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital for observation.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between the ages of 1 and 4 and it’s the third leading cause of death among children, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The department took the opportunity to remind adults to be mindful of the risks and familiarize themselves with water safety tips for little ones. Riverside recommends a resource with numerous tips called Safe Kids Worldwide.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm

DOMESTIC DISPUTE

• A Thurston County resident reported she was assaulted by her husband last night as they were driving along Harrison Avenue through Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Since her statement was given to a Thurston deputy after she arrived home, local police don’t yet have information about the incident, according to a department spokesperson.

BURGLARY

• A deputy took a report yesterday of a theft of approximately $3,000 worth of valuables from a residence at the 1000 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Ethel. Among the items taken sometime since the day before were a generator, an air compressor, a television and an empty guns safe, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

TRAIN PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 4:30 p.m. yesterday to the area at Northwest West Street and State Avenue where someone tried to steal the batteries from a caboose. A heavy-gauge cable was cut, the compartment was left open and the large container of batteries was removed but left behind, likely because it was very heavy, according to police.

DRUGS

• An 18-year-old Toledo resident was arrested for possession of methamphetamine about 5 o’clock today after a traffic stop in which he was found to be driving with a suspended license. An officer contacting Tavryn L. Lindsey turned up a smoking device under the driver’s seat, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

VEHICLE VERSUS BUILDING

• Centralia police say they were called about 4:20 p.m. yesterday to the 1200 block of Alder Street after a pickup truck hit a building. A department spokesperson said he didn’t think anyone was hurt and didn’t know anything further because the information was not filed in their regular reports.

WRECK

• Police and firefighters were called about 6 p.m. yesterday to a motorcycle accident at the 2600 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia in which the driver sustained what was described as minor road rash and an ankle injury.

WILDFIRE HELP FOR EASTERN WASH.

• One firefighter from Lewis County Fire District 5 took a water tender to Eastern Washington last night to help fight one of the wildfires burning over there and two others who had been there since last week were almost home when they were redeployed to the fire in Twisp, according to District 5 Firefighter Maria Kennedy. Two more firefighters left yesterday from West Thurston Regional Fire Authority, joining others from the south Thurston County fire department already in Eastern Washington. The Toledo Fire Department has two units over there as well.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence; responses for disputes, hit and run, collision on city street, misdemeanor theft, dog locked inside parked vehicle … and more.

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Lewis County Jail sergeant let go for mistreating inmates, then arrested for computer snooping at work

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 7:43 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 10-year veteran of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has been fired over his manner of dealing with two assaultive inmates.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield said Trevor S. Smith worked in the jail where he was promoted to sergeant in 2011. He was terminated June 27 for an incident at the beginning of this year and another last year, Mansfield said.

The longtime corrections officer abused and exceeded his authority, Mansfield said.

It was the way they were treated, the way they were contained that was a problem, and how Smith handled it was inappropriate, the sheriff said without going into much detail.

“Both situations involved inmates who were acting out and assaulted staff, situations that needed immediate intervention,” he said. “That’s what it is; it’s disgusting and embarrassing for this organization.”

Mansfield said he is reluctant to say more, as Smith is appealing his firing, and the sheriff worries about jeopardizing any termination hearing that may come up.

Meanwhile, Smith was arrested on Monday at his home in Chehalis for a discovery made after he left, that he allegedly had been snooping into secure jail computer records.

“He had no business accessing administrative and personnel files,” Mansfield said. “There’s a reason for them being secure.

Mansfield said he used someone else’s password.

Some deleted files have been recovered but the primary issue is he should not have been reading them and collecting information, the sheriff said.

Smith was booked Monday into the Lewis County Jail for five counts of computer trespass, a class C felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison, according to the sheriff. He was housed at another jail until his hearing in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday and then released by the judge, Mansfield said.

The criminal allegations, investigation and arrest were handled by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The inmate treatment issues were investigated internally.

Mansfield said after the most recent incident, Smith was taken out of any role that involved contact with inmates and put on administrative duties, in an office next to the jail chief’s.

Mansfield spoke in general about the duty of care to the people housed in his jail. Feeding, housing and making sure they are safe is his obligation under the law, he said.

Corrections officer have a variety of ways to contain or isolate problem inmates, including using whatever level of force is necessary, but only until the point the situation is stabilized, he said.

“If they do something wrong, the judge decides the level of punishment, not me,” he said. “When people cross that line and make it their role to punish someone, you’ve got problems.”

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Updated at 6:14 p.m.

HIKING ACCIDENT

• A 27-year-old Portland man hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was retrieved by members of Packwood Search and Rescue yesterday after an injury sustained when he slipped on the edge of a snow field and fell about 50 feet. The hiker called 911 on his cell phone just before 5 o’clock yesterday morning and said it happened the evening before and he had made it back to his camp site planning to wait until morning then walk out, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s Cmdr. Steve Aust said the hiker found however he was in severe pain with a deep cut to his knee and realized he needed help. He was about two miles south of the White Pass Ski Area, Aust said. A sheriff’s office Search and Rescue coordinator and others brought the injured hiker down a ski lift and he was taken to the hospital by friends, according to Aust.

THEFT

• Centralia police responded about 10 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue to a report someone left the store with a cart-full of unpaid for groceries loaded them into a vehicle and drove away.

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday of money stolen from a business on Southwest Chehalis Avenue. The case is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 41-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested for third-degree theft after she was allegedly seen taking mail from a mailbox on the 2100 block of Southwest Salsbury Avenue in Chehalis. An officer responding about 8 p.m. booked  Cynthia Davis into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 25-year-old Winlock man was arrested for possession of suspected methamphetamine following a traffic stop about 4:30 a.m. today near the 300 block of South Market Street in Chehalis. Nicolas E. Dodrill was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THE WAL-MART BEAT

• Chehalis police were called about 9:25 a.m. yesterday to a report of a male hitting his child outside of Wal-Mart. An officer found no injury to the child and viewed video of the incident, concluding the individual did nothing criminal, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The child was acting out and was being given a “time out”, detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said.

• Chehalis police were called about 7 p.m. yesterday to a report of a male hitting his child outside of Wal-Mart. An officer was unable to locate the pair, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

OUCH

• Aid was called to Safeway in Centralia yesterday afternoon when an individual with a seriously cut hand came inside to get help. Someone had bought a beverage for the homeless man and when he tried to open in the parking lot by smashing it on the curb, he cut his right hand, Riverside Fire Authority Firefighter-paramedic Jennifer Ternan said. He was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, she said.

COLLISIONS

• Centralia police were called about 12:25 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of Harrison Avenue where a vehicle reportedly hit a dog and then backed up striking a vehicle and the drove away.

• A motorcyclist was hospitalized after slamming into the driver’s side of a mini van he said pulled out in front of him on the 3200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia yesterday afternoon. “He estimated he was going 40 to 50 mph, northbound,” Riverside Fire Authority Firefighter-paramedic Jennifer Ternan said. Responders called about 5:20 p.m. found the 40-year-old patient was wearing a helmet, but he sustained serious injuries to his chest and neck, Ternan said. Nobody in the van was hurt, she said. The 63-year-old Centralia woman driving the van was cited for failing to yield the right-of-way and not having auto insurance, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for misdemeanor assault, malicious mischief; responses for alarms, dispute, protection order violation, suspicious circumstances, hit and run, collision on city street, rollover accident off county road, dog locked inside parked vehicle, vehicle getting “egged”; complaints of barking dog, noisy neighbors … and more.

•••

CORRECTION: The item regarding the collision between the van and the motorcycle has been updated to reflect the correct age of the van’s driver.

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Port Orchard teen’s body remains lost to the Ohanapecosh River

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 10:02 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said yesterday the 17-year-old boy who was swept away in the Ohanapecosh River on the Fourth of July hasn’t turned up and no further searches are planned.

“We’re really going to have to rely on somebody recreating finding something,” sheriff’s Cmdr. Steve Aust said.

The Port Orchard teen was taking photos with friends slipped and fell into the cold, fast moving river near the Cedar Grove Campground off state Route 123 just south of the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, according to the sheriff’s office.

Searchers with the sheriff’s swift water rescue team and rangers from the national park searched for the boy over that weekend with no success.

Aust said it’s an especially treacherous waterway, with steep canyon walls and class five rapids, where the risks to personnel outweigh the likelihood of finding a body.

“It’s not a place where you can expect to walk along the bank and see anything much anyhow,” he said.

The sheriff’s office has a group of kayakers they are in touch with and had them look as they went down the river over the weekend, he said. For perspective, he recommended a You Tube video of the area shot last year by the same group when the water level was about four feet lower than it is now.

The Kitsap Sun reported several hundred people filled the bleachers at the high school stadium, when a gathering was held last week to remember Josh Osborn, a wide receiver for the football team.

It’s been a bad year for drownings in the area.

The same day Osborn drowned in the East Lewis County, an 18-year-old Tacoma resident,  Rashawn J. Hale-Moody, drowned in Alder Lake, at the intersection of Lewis, Thurston and Pierce counties.

Last month, another Tacoma teen drowned in the Chehalis River at Rainbow Falls State Park west of Chehalis. Seventeen-year-old Linsey Mike had only recently immigrated from Nigeria and told friends he wasn’t a good swimmer.

In May, a 5-year-old Tacoma boy riding a motorcycle next to the CIspus River near Randle lost his life when he was swept away. Drake Ostenson’s body was recovered four days later.

And in April, a 46-year-old Gary L. Rhoades of Mineral drowned in Lake Mayfield during a fishing outing when he jumped in the water to retrieve his boat as it drifted away.

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News brief: State says jailed firefighter can’t work as EMT

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The state Department of Health announced yesterday it has suspended the EMT license of the Onalaska firefighter and school bus driver accused of raping a teenage relative during spring break.

Richard L. Crumbliss was arrested in April.

The Office of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System Programs is alleging unprofessional conduct based on the three felony sex crime charges filed in Lewis County Superior Court, according to a news release.

“He has 20 days to respond to the charges and request a hearing, and cannot practice as an emergency medical technician until these charges are resolved,” the agency stated.

Crumbliss was charged on April 21 with two counts of third-degree rape of a child and one count of first-degree incest but denied the allegations.

He remains held in the Lewis County Jail on $100,000 bail, awaiting an October trial.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Updated at 2:35 p.m.

NOISY NEIGHBOR POULTRY AND A PELLET GUN

• A 52-year-old Toledo man and his teenage son were jailed yesterday for allegedly sneaking onto their neighbor’s property to silence their chickens’ squawking, with a pellet gun and death. At least six chickens from the 400 block of Toledo-Salmon Creek Road have been discovered either mortally wounded or dead since the end of March and beginning of April, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The owner, a 34-year-old Toledo woman, reported her suspicions they were being stolen on April 6 and a surveillance camera was set up in her barn area, according to the sheriff’s office. They captured images viewed yesterday of Michael L. Knight, 52 and Bryan M. Knight, 18, entering the barn in the night, armed with a pellet gun and shining flashlights on the poultry, detective Sgt. Dusty Breen said this morning. A deputy contacted the men yesterday, and the son reportedly said the reason they were killing the animals is they were getting tired of the noise, Breen said. Two more are missing and presumed deceased, according to Breen. The Knights were arrested for second-degree burglary and also malicious killing of livestock, he said. The sergeant didn’t know if the birds were pets, show animals or raised for food.

POLICE: SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD THREATENS 10-YEAR-OLD WITH KNIFE

• A dispute at a school playground in Centralia ended with the arrest of a teen after he allegedly pulled out a knife and scratched a boy’s wrist with it last night. There were several juveniles and one thought the other kids were talking bad about him, Officer John Panco said. Police called about 6:10 p.m. to Edison Elementary School on the 600 block of H Street arrested the 17-year-old boy from Winlock, Panco said. The 10-year-old victim thought he was going to be stabbed, but he wasn’t, he said. The teenager was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Justice Center for second-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department. The pocket-type knife valued at $5 was confiscated as evidence, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  shoplifting; responses for alarms, dispute, protection order violation, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, rollover on county road, vehicle getting “egged” in Centralia … and more.

•••

CORRECTION: This has been updated to reflect the correct school where the juvenile dispute took place.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Updated at 8:54 p.m.

NOT GOOD

• A 19-year-old Chehalis man was arrested after he reportedly ran over a woman who was trying to stop him from driving drunk early yesterday morning in Chehalis. Officers called just before 3 a.m. to the scene on Northwest State Avenue found Tyler J. Edwards was intoxicated and when he put his truck in reverse, it lurched and struck the inside right leg of the 19-year-old woman, according to the Chehalis Police Department. And then he backed over her ankle, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. Edwards was booked into the Lewis County Jail for vehicular assault and faces possible other charges, according to Wilson.

RIFLE TROUBLE

• A 22-year-old Centralia man was arrested for first-degree assault for trying to win an argument with his girlfriend by allegedly getting a rifle from a closet, loading it and pointing it at her last night in Centralia. Officers responding about 11 p.m. to the 1400 block of Lewis Street booked Enrique Ramirez-Perez into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Prosecutors declined to charge him.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 9:20 p.m. yesterday when a resident returned home to the 1900 block of Honeysuckle Lane to discover a burglary. A number of items were stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BREAK-IN CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called about 8 o’clock yesterday morning regarding someone breaking through the back door of a vacant rental home on Southwest Seventh Street near Market Boulevard and stealing tools.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police responded about 6:20 a.m. yesterday for a break-in to a business on the 700 block of North Tower Avenue. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Someone stole a reddish-orange 1989 Chevrolet pickup from the 3100 block of Ives Road outside Centralia yesterday sometime between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The approximately $5,000 truck was unlocked and missing its driver’s side mirror, according to the sheriff’s office. It has a license plate of B03935W, Cmdr. Steve Aust said.

PROWLING COUNTY BUILDING

• A 42-year-old woman who allegedly tried to break into her former boss’s office in Chehalis was arrested early Sunday morning, but not until after fleeing a police officer into some brush and then getting captured by a police dog. It was about 1:45 a.m. when an officer on patrol along the 2000 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue noticed a vehicle at a county building with its parking lights on and hatch open, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He spotted a person in dark clothing and told them to stop or he would send out his dog, detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said. Victoria A. Cheney was detained by the dog and taken to the hospital to be treated and then booked into the Lewis County Jail for attempted burglary, according to police. The vehicle belonged to her former boss and the window in the building that was shattered was to his office, WIlson said. It wasn’t immediately clear what she may have been doing, he said.

CAR PROWL

• A wallet was reported stolen from a vehicle at the 1200 block of West Main Street in Centralia yesterday.

• Chehalis police were called about 10:45 a.m. on Friday to a car prowl on Northwest Quincy Street in Chehalis in which a backpack was stolen.

TENINO HOUSE CATCHES FIRE

• A vacant bank-owned house in Tenino went up in flames early yesterday morning, drawing six fire departments at about 1:40 a.m. Thurston County Fire District 12′s Tina Vanderhoof said this morning she didn’t have information about the cause although the fire started outside. Nobody was injured, but the single-family home at the east end of Tenino City Park sustained major damage, she said. “They were able to put it out rather quickly, but stayed on the scene several hours mopping up and cleaning up,” she said.

VEHICLE VERSUS BUILDING

• An 89-year-old driver who ran into the side of Smith and Son Grocery in Mossyrock doesn’t know why she hit the building on Friday afternoon, but was uninjured, according to police. Morton Police Department Chief Dan Mortensen described the damage as significant, possibly knocking a wall off its foundation. It happened about 2:30 p.m. on the 200 block of East State Street and no citation was issued, but the collision remains under investigation, according to Mortensen.

TOO MANY DUIS

• A 46-year-old Centralia woman was arrested allegedly for her fourth DUI on Saturday after the owner of a Subaru saw her van run into his parked vehicle about 2:30 p.m. at the 500 block of Harrison Avenue and then drive away, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officer John Panco said police subsequently contacted Carrielynn Dodge on the 100 block of King Street and concluded she was under the influence of alcohol. Dodge was booked into the Lewis County Jail for felony DUI, as she has three previous DUI convictions, Panco said. Prosecutors are declining to file felony DUI.

HOT DOGS

• Police in Chehalis were called numerous times over the weekend for dogs left inside parked vehicles in the heat. There were no instances of serious issues but the violation is heavily enforced, Chehalis Animal Control Officer Angie Elder said. Elder said if they see them suffering they will go into the car and remove them, attempting first with a slim jim tool. The criminal citation for animal cruelty is $500, she said.

STP ROLLS THROUGH

• A lot of aid calls in Centralia on Saturday, some for heat-related situations including bicyclists with the STP event, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Just before 10 a.m., police and firefighters responded to the 200 block of Downing Road after a car pulling into a convenience store struck a male bike rider, causing minor injuries, according to responders. He was taken to the hospital to be checked out, Fire Capt. Casey McCarthy said.

FIRE DEPARTMENT LEVY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

• Riverside Fire Authority Chief Mike Kytta says there are two more public meetings to discuss the proposed new levy. A maintenance and operation levy will be on the coming ballot. Kytta will be available to answer questions at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night at the Stillwater Estates Club House at 2800 Cooks Hill Road in Centralia. The final gathering will be held the following Wednesday at the same time at the fire department headquarters, at 1818 Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to Kytta.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, misdemeanor theft, protection order violation, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, vehicles getting “egged” in Chehalis; complaints of neighbors lighting off fireworks … and more.

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Centralia police shooting case now in the hands of prosecutor for review

Monday, July 14, 2014 at 10:22 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news

Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg indicated this morning he’s certain his officer’s actions in fatally shooting a man following a shoplifting incident will be found as justified, after being briefed on findings of the outside investigation.

Berg and Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer met with a representative of the multi-jurisdictional team of law enforcement officers that looked into the June 29 incident late last week and were told of its conclusions, Berg said in a news release.

Paul M. Edmundson, a 43-year-old Centralia man, died from a bullet wound to his chest in the parking lot of Anchor Bank, after, police said, he attempted to pull a gun from his pocket during a struggle with a police dog and Officer Ruben Ramirez. The officer had been called to a report someone stole a burrito from the gas station convenience store next door.

It happened at South Tower Avenue and Cherry Street.

The investigation is complete, and was submitted on Thursday to the prosecutor for formal review, according to Berg.

“I thank the regional team for their work in this investigation and look forward to the review by the Lewis County prosecutor,” Berg stated.  “Based on the information presented by the team at the briefing I remain confident that the actions of Officer Ruben Ramirez will be found as a justified response to the threat that officer faced on that Sunday morning.”

Ramirez was placed on paid administrative leave.

Once Meyer is finished with his part, an internal use-of-force review board will convene, according to Berg.

The board will consist of a command level officer from the Centralia Police Department and at least three other command level officers from other law enforcement agencies.

•••

For background, read “Coroner releases name of police shooting victim” from Wednesday July 2, 2014, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm
2014.0711.multiplecarwreck

Traffic was slowed up yesterday afternoon on Interstate 5 in Chehalis. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

BIG WRECK

• Two children were taken to the hospital to be checked out after a multiple vehicle collision on northbound Interstate 5 in Chehalis yesterday. The Washington State Patrol reports four cars were involved and the injuries were minor. The left lane was blocked just north of the 13th Street interchange beginning about 12:30 p.m. with one vehicle partially on the center median.

BAD WRECK

• A 31-year-old Vader woman was airlifted after a wreck last night along state Route 506 when her car ran through a wire fence, rolling and came to land on its top in a field. Troopers responding just after 9 p.m. to the scene about three miles east of Vader found Elizabeth Bridgman was injured and her Oldsmobile Aurora was totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol. She was reportedly driving too fast and was not wearing a seatbelt. The eastbound lane was blocked for about an hour and a half, according to the state Department of Transportation. Bridgman was flown to PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center, according to the investigating trooper.

SCREWDRIVER TO THE BACKSIDE

• Firefighters were called just before midnight to the 3100 block of Ives Road in Centralia for a stabbing victim. The 28-year-old man who was upright outside of an apartment complex had what appeared to be four mostly superficial wounds from a screwdriver in the middle of his back, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Medics bandaged him and he declined to be taken to the hospital, Fire Capt. Terry Ternan said.

BURN BAN EXPANDS

• As a heat wave rolls into Western Washington, the state Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday that all outdoor burning on DNR-protected forestlands is prohibited, with two exceptions: Recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds, and gas or propane stoves/barbecue grills are allowed. DNR-approved prescribed fires for ecological purposes may be permitted if expressly approved by the commissioner of public lands. Because of the potential wildfire danger, the ban will run through Sept. 30, according to the state agency. Always illegal on DNR-protected forestlands are fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition. Charcoal briquettes are not allowed. The hot, dry conditions prompted a ban on outdoor burning in unincorporated Lewis County that began at 12:01 a.m. today.

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Worker burned in Texas petroleum explosion just relocated from Adna

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 8:47 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news

CHEHALIS – An Adna native was seriously injured in a fiery explosion at a dormant oil well in central Texas.

Cameron McDonald, 25, is in a Houston hospital, with several broken bones and severe burns to his face, arm and legs, his Uncle Jim Harris said today.

2014.0712.cameron.mcdonald.deer

Cameron McDonald

“He doesn’t remember anything at all,” Harris said. “He still doesn’t know why he’s in the hospital.”

It happened on Wednesday at a work site in New Baden, Texas, about 100 miles northeast of Austin, Harris said.

He got a phone call from his sister, who flew down yesterday to be with her son, he said.

Harris has been scouring the news to find out what happened and said he learned his nephew was using a cutting torch to remove bolts from a catwalk above a 12,000 gallon storage tank.

Harris said he understands McDonald was wearing a harness and thrown clear, but then slammed face first into the hot metal of the tank. News accounts say he was critical when transported and describe pillars of smoke visible for miles.

The incident is under investigation by Texas regulatory authorities.

Harris said his nephew only recently took the out of state job with a company that dismantled well sites, as he understood it. Before that, he worked construction locally, he said.

“Cameron, he just went down there in December,” he said. “He decided he was going to go down there and get some of that big oil money and took off.”

Harris got the call from his sister about 2:30 p.m. the day it happened, shortly after his nephew’s employer called his sister, Janie Harris, also of Adna.

They’ve been keeping in close contact. She texted him yesterday with an update, he said.

She told him her son is pretty upset.

“They won’t let him see his face or the news yet,” Janie Harris texted her brother. “Both his eyes are black, all his teeth are gone. But he’s alive. Thank God he’s tough.”

He’s had some skin grafts, Harris said, but it’s not clear how long he might be hospitalized.

Today, his nephew was able to walk from his bed to the bathroom, a good sign, Harris said.

“I hope he pulls through, he’s burned pretty bad,” he said.

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Read about ruling in Centralia case reins in scope of police frisks …

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Seattle Times reports a state Supreme Court decision issued yesterday limits the scope of frisking by police to search someone for weapons in order to ensure officer safety.

News reporter Sara Jean Green writes the ruling focuses on warrantless searches of small containers, with the justices finding that such searches are generally unconstitutional.

The case involved the 2011 arrest of Tanner Zachary Roy Russell, stopped for riding his bicycle without a headlight, when a meth-filled syringe was found in a small container in his jacket, according to the Seattle Times.

Read about it here

Or read the document for yourself, here