Archive for the ‘News briefs’ Category

News brief: Griel Road residents plead not guilty in marijuana case

Thursday, February 19th, 2015
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James and Laveta Arnold, left, appear before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Onalaska couple charged with growing lots and lots of marijuana at their rural property pleaded not guilty today.

James L. Arnold and Laveta L. Arnold were arrested on Feb. 10 following an investigation by Centralia Police Department’s Anti-Crime Team and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office into alleged money laundering.

Prosecutors allege they generated about $136,000 a year selling what initially was grown as personal medicinal marijuana.

Police seized more than 40 pounds of marijuana and 614 plants from an indoor garden, along with  cars, trucks, firearms and a den full of mounted animal heads from their home on Griel Road.

The couple were accompanied this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court by Kent attorney Bradley G. Barshis. At least 11 friends, family and supporters sat behind them.

They are free on bail.

In the brief hearing, they pleaded not guilty to manufacture of marijuana, possession with intent to to deliver and with money laundering.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello said he and their lawyer agreed to modify their conditions of release to allow for travel in all of Washington and also northern Oregon, as they have business and ill family to tend to.

Both the Arnolds and their attorney declined to comment outside the courtroom.

A trial was scheduled for the week of May 4.
•••

For background, read “Onalaska arrests: Big medical marijuana enterprise funded African safaris, say police” from Friday February 13, 2015, here

Read about changes at Medic One, Toledo Fire Department …

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Winlock’s Town Crier reports the board of Lewis County Medic One eliminated the position held by Grant Wiltbank, who has long been the face of the shared ambulance service.

Reporter-editor Stephen Floyd writes the move came at a Tuesday regular meeting amidst funding challenges and a lettering detailing a no confidence vote from the medics’ union members.

The group, originally the Interlocal Organization of Lewis County Fire Districts 2, 7 and 15 serving the areas of Toledo, Vader-Ryderwood and Winlock, grew to provide services in central Lewis County. Recently Lewis County Fire District 5 in Napavine began contracting with AMR instead.

Floyd also writes Wiltbank was terminated in December as chief of Toledo’s Lewis County Fire District 2.

For more, read “Medic One eliminates role of operations chief” from Tuesday Thursday February 17, 2015, here

News brief: Three men on the short list for Centralia police chief

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Three police chief hopefuls were interviewed yesterday in Centralia as the city continues its work to replace outgoing Chief Bob Berg.

The men include Centralia Police Department Cmdr. Jim Rich, Capt. Carl Nielsen of the Turlock (California) Police Department and  Lt. Maury Richards of the Chicago Police Department.

Centralia City Manager Rob Hill said this morning he will probably make an offer to one of them early next week.

Twenty applications from the nationwide search that began in December were narrowed down to five finalists who were interviewed by city department heads and select community members on Tuesday.

Berg is retiring in May.

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs has been assisting with the recruitment and hiring process.

•••

For background, read “Police chief hopefuls undergo two days of questioning in Centralia” from Wednesday February 18, 2015, here
•••

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James Rich

 

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Carl Nielsen

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Maurice Richards

News brief: Oakville house burns, no one hurt

Thursday, February 19th, 2015
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Smoke billows from single-story house near Oakville. / Courtesy photo by Grays Harbor Fire District 5

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Four fire departments battled a blaze that broke out yesterday outside of Oakville, destroying a single story home and its contents.

“No injuries, just an extremely broken up family,” Grays Harbor County Fire District 1 spokesperson Shawn Burdett said.

The fire at Southbank Road and Craftdale Road about four miles northwest of town was reported by a neighbor about 12:48 p.m., Burdett said.

It spread throughout the house rather quickly, he said.

The cause is not yet known, he said.

The department was assisted by Grays Harbor Fire District’s 5, 2, 12, West Thurston Regional Fire Authority and Riverside Fire Authority hauling water with a half dozen tenders.

“I just want to say we all are tremendously thankful to the other agencies,” Burdett said. “Without their help, this would have been much worse.”

Burdett said he hoped to have more information later to release.

Chehalis fiscal analyst in trouble for tax evasion

Monday, February 16th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Charging documents in the case of a Lewis County business accused of stealing for failing to remit $46,000 in sales taxes suggest the company’s troubles began when it fell into default on its tax obligations.

BK Rife Enterprises LLC opened in 2002, specializing in pole barns, garages and cement work, and over time got behind on its taxes, so in September 2008, the Washington State Department of Revenue revoked BK’s certificate of tax registration, according to the documents.

Edward and Karina Rife were co-owners, but it was Karina who interacted with the state agency over the years, seeking to reinstate the certificate, according to authorities.

Karina Rife, 43, is charged with first-degree theft, second-degree perjury and engaging in business with a revoked tax registration. Her court file shows a Chehalis address.

The criminal charges were filed Jan. 29 and Karina Rife appeared before a judge on Friday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke told the judge her client is a state employee, working as a fiscal analyst for the investment board, bringing home about $3,000 per month which supports herself, her husband and her child. O’Rourke said the situation meant Karina Rife qualified for a court-appointed lawyer.

Charging papers state she was informed the process to get the certificate of tax registration reinstated included paying the back taxes due as well as posting a bond, and told more than once that operating without the certificate was a felony.

But she indicated the business was not operating, or that it had only done a few isolated jobs, according to the documents.

The state alleges she knowingly filed falsified tax returns between 2007 and 2013 to hide the company’s business activity.

Charging documents allege BK operated continuously until 2013, with most of its invoices showing sales tax charged to and collected from its customers. The information came from a tax examination after the state agency discovered building permits had been issued for contracting work done by BK.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg said Karina Rife is the only one of the two owners charged with the crimes, because the state has evidence she was put on notice of the various issues.

Local attorney Jacob Clark will represent her. Her arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Local builder faces theft charges for failing to remit sales tax to state” from Wednesday February 11, 2015, here

News brief: Chehalis man admits arson

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The retired Chehalis logger accused of a starting a fire at the house where his ex-wife and best friend were sleeping is off to prison to serve a 14 month sentence.

James R. Johnson, 65, pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree arson, second-degree burglary and first-degree malicious mischief, according to Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt also ordered Johnson to pay restitution.

Johnson was arrested in December following an investigation by police into the June 1 fire that heavily damaged the home on the 900 block of B Street in Centralia. Tamara Johnson and Clint Brown escaped without injury.

Investigators subsequently learned an accelerant had been used and there had been animosity between the parties. Authorities said a flashlight found at the scene carried DNA profile that matched Johnson’s.

When Johnson was first charged, his defense attorney said he and his ex-wife had reconciled, but Masiello said he was unable to reach her to talk with her about the sentencing.

After Johnson is released, he will be under the supervision, like probation, of the Department of Corrections for 18 months, Masiello said.
•••

For background, read “Flashlight at Centralia arson scene incriminates ex-husband” from Friday December 5, 2014, here

News brief: Centralia getting close to choosing new chief of police

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The city of Centralia is inviting the public to come and meet the five finalists for the position of police chief.

The candidates come from as far away as Illinois and as close as the Hub City. Current police Cmdr. James Rich is among them.

The open house will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, at the Centralia train depot, according to the city’s human resources director, Candice Rydalch.

“It’s just an opportunity for people to see the people, ask questions if they want,” Rydalch said.

Centralia Police Department Chief Bob Berg is retiring in May, after 11 years as chief.

Rydalch said the nationwide search brought in 20 applicants.

The five individuals will be interviewed on Tuesday, she said.

She expects the city manager will then narrow it down to one or two of them and conduct background checks before making a final selection. An announcement could come a week or two after that, she said.

The evening gathering will take place in the conference room at the south end of the depot, at 210 Railroad Avenue.

The following are the finalists:

• Rod Baker, from Sammamish
• James Held, from Libertyville, Ill.
• Carl Nielsen, from Ripon, Calif.
• James Rich, from Centralia
• Maurice Richards, from Chicago, Ill.

News brief: Trial for accused bicycling bank robber delayed

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The lawyer representing suspected bank robber Larry Gene Bailey told a judge today he needed to postpone his client’s trial, as he looks into a legal issue.

“There’s a legal issue, I need to basically interview the officers in the case,” defense attorney Chris Baum said today. “That would give us time to do the interviews and file the motion.”

Baum and Bailey were in Lewis County Superior Court  this morning for a scheduled brief review hearing.

Baum didn’t say what the issue was, only that he needed to speak with all the officers.

Bailey, 52, was arrested on the morning of Jan. 26, after ditching a BMX-style bicycle on the West Street overpass in Chehalis and trying to get away from a pursuing sheriff’s deputy through a barbed wire fence. Police found $36,000 cash in his backpack.

Chase Bank on South Market Boulevard had just been robbed about 45 minutes earlier.

When he was taken to Steck Medical Center to be treated for his injuries, Bailey allegedly told the nurse he had robbed a bank.

His trial was set for the week of March 23, but the court agreed today to move it to the week of May 18. Bailey has pleaded not guilty to first-degree robbery and possession of methamphetamine.

Prosecutors believe he has four previous convictions for bank robbery, in Kansas, Eastern Washington and Western Washington.
•••

For background, read “Chase bank robbery suspect facing possible third strike, pleads not guilty” from Thursday January 29, 2015, here

News brief: Local builder faces theft charges for failing to remit sales tax to state

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Criminal charges have been filed against the co-owner of a Lewis County business who allegedly collected and kept at least $46,000 in sales tax.

Karina J. Rife, who is also accountant for the builder BK Rife Enterprises LLC, is accused of knowingly filing falsified tax returns from 2007 to 2013 to hide the company’s business activity from the state.

The Washington State Department of Revenue said in a news release today theft charges have been filed in Lewis County on its behalf.

The Department of Revenue collects retail sales sales tax and makes sure it is properly distributed to local and state government.

Agency spokesperson Kim Schmanke states Rife admitted the business used the money to pay its bills. The state agency says BK Rife Enterprises was also doing business without a valid business registration during that period, which is a felony. The registration had been revoked for unpaid taxes.

Retail sales tax is the largest source of state revenues, supporting vital services that benefit Washington’s residents and the economy, according to Schmanke.

Businesses that collect retail sales tax do so “in trust” for the state and must remit those taxes to Revenue by the due date of the tax return for the reporting period. Failure to remit the taxes constitutes theft, Schmanke states.

Rife has been summonsed to appear before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court on Friday afternoon.

News brief: Voters: EMS levies in Ony, Toledo should continue

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Voters in the Onalaska and Toledo areas appear to overwhelmingly approve continuing their levies for emergency medical services for the fire departments.

Ballots tallied in yesterday’s special election show about 81 percent of those who voted in Lewis County Fire District 1, Onalaska, checked the “yes” box. That’s 525 people in favor compared with 122 opposed, according to the preliminary results from the Lewis County Auditor’s Office Election Department.

In Lewis County Fire District 2, Toledo, nearly 78 percent, or 755 people, voted yes compared with 214 voting no.

They only need 50 percent plus one vote to pass.

Elections Supervisor Mariann Zumbuhl estimates perhaps another 100 ballots will be counted before the vote-by-mail election is finalized.

More than 5,000 people cast ballots in the special election that also included money-raising measures in four school districts.

Each of the fire districts asked to continue for six years collecting property tax money for EMS programs at the same rate as the expiring levies.

For District 1, that is 35 cents per $1,000 of assessed value and for District 2, it is up to 50 cents per $1,000.

News brief: Fire consumes farm house, pet presumed deceased

Sunday, February 8th, 2015
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Firefighters send a stream of water into the flames at the 200 block of Taylor Road. / Courtesy photo by Newaukum Valley Fire and Rescue

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A two-story farm house south of Chehalis burned to the ground yesterday; the cause is under investigation.

“The house is a total loss,” Newaukum Valley Fire and Rescue Chief Gregg Peterson said. “We were there probably four hours on the scene, and returned throughout the night.”

Peterson said nobody was hurt and the residents were not home, but their dog was, and is presumed dead.

His crews were joined by members of Lewis County Fire District 6 and 1 in answering the approximately 4 p.m. call to the  200 block of Taylor Road, he said. Newaukum Valley Fire and Rescue is the new name for Lewis County Fire District 5.

They got numerous calls from neighbors and found the structure pretty well involved in flames when they arrived, Peterson said. Several explosions were presumed to be propane tanks and ammunition in the house going off, he said.

“There were no hydrants in the area, so it had to be done with tenders,” he said.

Peterson said he understood from the owner it was the original home on Taylor Road. The residents, who he believed to be three people, two of them brothers, lost everything, he said.

The residents and the Red Cross have been in touch with each other, he said.

News brief: Service station worker interrupts attempted theft of ATM machine in Adna

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A gas station employee arriving to open up early this morning outside of Chehalis discovered someone inside trying to bust open an ATM machine.

As she pulled into the parking lot, and noticed a broken window, a male jumped out the window and took off, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

It happened just before 3 a.m., Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

A search of the area and a track by the Chehalis police dog failed to turn up the burglar, according to Brown. Deputies are working on getting surveillance images, Brown said.

The Hillcrest 76 Gas Station sits on the corner of state Route 6 and   Highway 603 in Adna.

Brown said the male ran west on state Route 6 and it is believed he may have jumped into the Chehalis River to get away.

Deputies found a sledge hammer and crowbar left behind, and concluded that when he could not break open the machine, he dragged it over to the broken window, on the state Route 6 side of the building.

That’s when the worker showed up, according to Brown.

Brown is asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the sheriff’s office or Lewis County Crime Stoppers.

News brief: State patrol concerned about crash photos posted online

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Troopers are asking social media users to think twice before sharing pictures or information about tragic incidents on the roadways.

Social media has become an important part of everyday life, but in the case of serious collisions the consequences of posting photos include the possibility someone may learn of the death of a family member under less than ideal circumstances, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Will Finn last month wrote of a case in which a Randle woman arrived at the scene of her husband’s fatal collision with a semi truck on U.S. Highway 12 after reading about the wreck on Facebook.

Troopers were stunned and extremely concerned for her emotional well being, according to Finn.

“Troopers were faced with the difficult task of telling Mrs. Sume her husband had died while she looked at the wreckage of the scene,” Finn wrote.

Trooper Finn is the designated spokesperson for the state patrol in Southwest Washington.

Finn says the task of notifying family members of a loved one’s passing is already difficult and painful and under ordinary circumstances, part of their job includes working to help bring comfort to a grieving family in various ways.

“The comfort may be given by staying with a wife who is home alone until a friend or family member can be with them,” Finn  writes. “The comfort may also be given by answering a specific question about the investigation.”

If a family learns of their loss via social media, those opportunities can be lost, according to Finn.

The Jan. 4 wreck near Randle in which 52-year-old Jay E. Sume was killed isn’t the first time social media has made a bad situation worse, according to Finn.

Roughly a year earlier, a Vancouver woman unknowingly tweeted her own husband’s death and subsequently began asking questions through social media to confirm her suspicions, Finn writes.

Last spring also in Vancouver, a motorist trying to capture images of troopers investigating a deadly wreck for social media caused a second accident that resulted in serious injuries.

Finn acknowledges the important role social media has, in informing the public of impending dangers and offering critical information during significant events. But he asks people to think before posting, to think of the family that could be affected by the words or photos shared.

His suggestion is that tweeting or posting just bare facts is sufficient, such as “Road closed, use alternate route.”

Finn says the state patrol at times shares pictures with the public via social media. He says they don’t post photos until families have been notified.

Read about former Montesano police chief off to prison …

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Aberdeen) Daily World reports a one-time finalist for the position of chief of police in Chehalis has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Ray Sowers, one of four finalists in Chehalis in 2006, resigned as the police chief in Montesano in 2010 in connection with theft of public money, according to news reporter Corey Morris.

Morris writes Sowers was removed from Pierce County Drug Court last fall, following his conviction for stealing liquor from a grocery store and his arrest when large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine were found in his apartment.

Read about it here

News brief: Low interest loans available for January flood victims

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  Low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available for those impacted by the flooding last month.

The SBA offers up to $200,000 for homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, according to the agency. Renters and homeowners both are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Also, businesses of any size and most non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

The SBA indicates in a news release that interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 1.938 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

The SBA acted under its own authority to make the disaster declaration last week, following a request from Gov. Jay Inslee.

The SBA can also lend additional funds to homeowners and businesses to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future. Other kinds of loans can help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster, and are available regardless of whether a business suffered any property damage.

The declaration makes assistance available for those affected by severe storms, flooding and landslides from Jan. 3 to Jan. 6 in Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston counties.

Heavy precipitation and rising snow levels caused minor flooding on January 5 around Lewis County.

The deadline for most of the applications is March 30. The following are several places to get information:

• Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

• A Disaster Loan Outreach Center was set to open yesterday in heavily impacted Aberdeen at Grays Harbor County District Court, 2109 Sumner Ave., where individuals can ask question and get help filling out applications.

• Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 1-800-877-8339. For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster

• Additional questions can answered by Lewis County Emergency Management at 360-740-1151.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Flood damage scattered and limited” from Friday January 9, 2015, here

Ony fire department aiming for new building, doubling number of EMTs

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Onalaska Fire Department wants members of the public to be able to ask questions about a new main fire station in the works on state Route 508 near Alexander Road.

The property across from Brenda’s Country Market has already been purchased, newly installed Fire Chief Andrew Martin said.

A special business meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, at the current main station, at 244 Carlisle Avenue, according to Martin.

“We’ll have the architect here and they can ask questions of him and the board,” Martin said.

The department serves more than 3,100 residents over an 82-square mile area in Lewis County Fire District 1.

The building on Carlisle Avenue is about 70 years old and has been through a fire, and when they looked at putting a new roof on, it appeared they would have to spend some $90,000, Martin said.

The department will be giving a presentation also on Tuesday at the Onalaska Alliance’s meeting, Martin said. But the board may take action at Thursday’s meeting, he said.

Martin, a volunteer chief who took over on Jan. 1, said the department has 24 volunteers, six of whom are also EMTs. Five more are currently in training to become EMTs, he said.

The district has a measure on the Feb. 10 ballot to continue its same EMS levy to support the program, he said.

Property owners have been paying 35 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for the past six years, and commissioners would like voters to agree to another six years at the same rate, according to Martin.

Money from the EMS levy covers supplies for three ambulances and purchased the third ambulance they placed at Station 1-3 at 3030 State Route 508 to ensure faster response time for occupants on the other side of the bridge, according to Martin. The levy also ensures that the residents who are critically ill receive advance life support care, he said.

Also on the ballot, Lewis County Fire District 2 in Toledo is asking voters to continue an EMS levy that would collect up to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for property owners.

Napavine dad will go to prison for shaking, injuring his baby

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Napavine area father who gave his 4-month-old daughter a bruised brain was sentenced today to 16 months in prison.

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Tyler C. Abair

Attorneys on both sides recommended 14 months, but Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt chose the top of the standard range.

Tyler C. Abair was convicted earlier this month of third-degree assault following a plea agreement.

Abair was arrested last spring, a month after an incident in which he said the infant choked on formula and stopped breathing. The 23-year-old father acknowledged that he shook her, but also said that he was terrified and didn’t know CPR, according to court documents.

The baby’s mother, in a letter read aloud to the judge today by the baby’s grandmother, asked that Abair be given the maximum amount of time.

“I fear for my children,” she said. “She nearly died and suffered a great amount of pain.”

Before his arrest, Abair stayed home and cared for their twins while the mother worked.

The grandmother told the judge the family is struggling to understand why Abair didn’t call 911 and didn’t take infant CPR classes as the mother had.

Court documents referenced a doctor who indicated the child exhibited classic but not severe signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Prosecutors have said the child has recovered.

Prosecutors initially charged Abair with first-degree assault  but as the case progressed, decided the evidence didn’t show first-degree assault.

He was also given eight months for an unrelated second-degree theft, with his time to be served concurrently, according to Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead.

Abair has already been locked up for eight months in the Lewis County Jail.
•••

For background, read “Father admits he shook his infant child, didn’t know CPR ” from Thursday January 15, 2015, here

News brief: Last year breaks record for safe disposal of old meds

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
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Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza, left and Undersheriff Wes Rethwill, pose with a drug drop off bin inside the lobby of the Lewis County Law and Justice Center.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Newly elected Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza is suggesting people bring in their drugs.

Expired and unwanted medications, that is.

The sheriff’s office in late 2010 set up drop off sites, in hopes of reducing the potential for unused meds to fall into the hands of children, teenagers or adults who might misuse them.

Since they began keeping the numbers early the following year, more than 1,500 pounds of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications have been properly disposed of, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown.

The amount of drugs safely disposed of through the Drug Drop Box Program has increased each year, according to Brown.

Last year, the sheriff’s office collected almost 483 pounds, compared with almost 243 pounds in 2011.

Snaza says, in a news release today: “By using secure drug drop boxes instead of leaving expired or unused medications lying around we keep them out of the hands of teens and people who shouldn’t have them. We are also avoiding contaminating water sources by not flushing them down the toilet.

This program has been very successful and we encourage people to continue to utilize the drop boxes.”

Between them, the sheriff’s office and other agencies have five of them around Lewis County.

Bins for safe disposal are located at:
• Lewis County Law and Justice Center, 345 W. Main St., Chehalis
• Centralia Police Department, 316 N. Pearl Street, Centralia
• Morton Police Department, 260 Main St., Morton
• Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Packwood substation, 12990 U.S. Highway 12, Packwood
• Winlock Police Department, 323 N.E. First Street, Winlock