Archive for the ‘News briefs’ Category

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

News brief: Weed woes

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – He said it wasn’t his and even though it was discovered inside his vehicle after impound, troopers were unable to make a clear enough connection to arrest the 24-year-old Tacoma man for possession of marijuana.

So they didn’t.

Zequane J. King was stopped early last week in Lewis County and was found to be driving with a suspended license, so he was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Washington State Patrol. Trooper Will Finn said a subsequent search of the vehicle turned up roughly one and a half ounces of marijuana.

2015.0123.mj_.photo_.jpgKing was adamant it didn’t belong to him, according to Finn.

Under the new law, it’s lawful for a person 21 or older to have up to one ounce.

Since troopers couldn’t establish ownership, the marijuana was put into safekeeping, the same way the state patrol would for a purse or other valuables from any impounded car, according to Finn.

Yesterday however, King arranged to meet up with the state patrol evidence custodian at the office in Chehalis, to retrieve his property, Finn said.

“He explained to the custodian he was calling to make arrangements to get possession of his marijuana that had been placed into safe keeping,” Finn said in a news release.

Once King signed paperwork stating the marijuana was his and took possession of it, he was arrested once again, this time for possessing a felony amount of marijuana, Finn said.

He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

This time, the marijuana was placed in to the state patrol’s evidence system as evidence, according to Finn.

Read about judge sets high bail for woman who allegedly threatened to kill school children …

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a Thurston County woman who allegedly threatened to shoot up a school full of children – via a rambling, profanity-laced message to the FBI – was ordered held on $100,000 bail yesterday.

Karin Michele Kibler’s public defender, John Hansen, told a judge that Friday’s incident did not show criminal intent, but mental health concerns, according to news reporter Rolf Boone.

Boone writes Kibler told arresting deputies she had been diagnosed with a delusion disorder.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office was notified at 6:19 a.m. on Friday of Kibler’s message and immediately went to her home in the the Steam Boat Island area outside Olympia and arrested her for felony harassment.

Sheriff’s Lt. Cliff Ziesemer indicated they didn’t know at the time if she had a particular school in mind but would be investigating further.

•••
For background, read “Sheriff’s Office: Thurston County woman threatens to shoot school full of children” from Friday January 16, 2015, here

This day in Lewis County history

Monday, January 19th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – On Jan. 19, 1995, a local group helped kick off a crime fighting program to collect anonymous tips regarding crimes in the Lewis County area.

The information would be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency, and if police made an arrest and/or cleared the case, the tipster would be eligible for a cash reward.

Crime Stoppers of Lewis County, a non-profit organization, has continued to work over the past 20 years, leading to the arrests of more than 333 individuals, according to the group.

2015.0118.logo.crimestoppers“The program works, the organization states in a news release. “It works because of strong community support, media advertising and hard work by the police agencies.”

In two decades, the tips have cleared more than 411 cases and recovered stolen property and drugs exceeding $3 million, according to the group.

A board of directors made up of Lewis County volunteer citizens administer the Crime Stoppers program. The board establishes policy, is responsible for fund raising and authorizes rewards.

It’s funded entirely from individuals, corporations, service clubs and business donations.

The way it works is, the group publishes a “Crime of the Week” each week. The information can be found on its web site and is also highlighted by local media partners.

People with information may call 1-800-748-6422 with their tip, and are given a tip number unique to them. Once the board authorizes any reward, the tipsters are notified (via that number) to phone Crime Stoppers of Lewis County.

Tipster are eligible for a reward up to $1,000.

In early 2013, Student Crime Stoppers was created for middle and high school students. School districts in Chehalis have been participating since then and Adna School District joined last year.  The group is hoping to add more school districts to the program this year.

Crime Stoppers signs have been erected throughout the county and more locations are being sought where the owner would allow a sign to be placed.

The organization is also involved in what’s called My ID Club, which creates a laminated card that contains identification with a child’s photo, fingerprint and identifying information and is given to the parent or guardian to put in a safe place in the event it is ever needed.

The group says while its board has worked hard, new members and volunteers are always needed to make the program a success.

Crime Stoppers of Lewis County will mark its 20th anniversary on Tuesday and is showing its gratitude by holding an open house.

“Please stop by, look at the history of our program, enjoy the refreshments, and help us celebrate the success of this program,” the group states in its news release.

Where: Lewis County Law and Justice Building, in the training room on the first floor, at 345 W. Main Street, Chehalis
When: Tuesday, January 20th from noon until 6 p.m.

Napavine area business fire began somewhere around wood stove

Saturday, January 17th, 2015
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The charred commercial structure on the 300 block of state Route 508, just east of Interstate 5 is an uninsured loss. / Courtesy photo by Derrick Paul

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The cause of the fire that destroyed Fire Mountain Farms’ main building and its contents east of Napavine on Thursday night will go down as undetermined.

Fire Investigator Derrick Paul said the area of origin was near the wood stove inside the fabrication shop, but exactly what ignited first is unknown.

The large metal structure contained equipment and other items belonging to the diversified family business.

Fire Mountain raises cattle on other property, but tons of barley to feed them were ruined, along with hundreds of bales of hays which would have been sold, according to Ryan Thode, vice president of operations. Fire Mountain also recycles treatment plant biosolids and lost three dredgers used for clearing lagoons.

Paul said this morning the loss of the building and its contents is close to $1.8 million.

It wasn’t insured, according to Paul.

The fire on the 300 block of state Route 508 was reported just before 8 p.m. on Thursday, and arriving firefighters found the building filled with flames.

The building was large – 150 feet by 40 feet – with a lean-to attached shed on the back and a loft area. The wood stove heated the part of it where they handled their own fabrication needs, according to Paul.

Also inside the structure was his father’s motorcycle room, according to Thode. Two of eight or nine of those were insured, according to Paul. A recreational vehicle that was parked outside and burned also was insured, he said.
•••

For background, read “Napavine area business loses building, equipment in fire” from Friday January 16, 2015, here

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Equipment, stored livestock feed and all the contents of the large building lay in ruins. / Courtesy photo by Derrick Paul

News brief: Year-end report for Centralia area fire department

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Riverside Fire Authority announced today that its year end report shows it answered more than 4,200 calls for service in 2014, with about 87 percent of them involving emergency medical incidents.

“This continues a trend where the RFA has set new incident total record in each of the last four years consecutively,” the department’s spokesperson Capt. Scott Weinert writes.

There were 130 fires reported in their coverage area last year, according to Weinert.

The balance of the remaining responses consisted of fire alarms, hazardous conditions and other types of service calls (10 percent), Weinert notes.

Riverside provides services to the area from Centralia and the Hanaford Valley out to Garrard Creek.

To learn more about their stats, visit their web site.

News brief: Benefit dinner, bagpipes will help firefighters help Noah, and others

Saturday, January 17th, 2015
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Team Noah, working to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A group of firefighters from rural Chehalis are going to tackle the 69 flights of stairs at the Columbia Tower in Seattle in March, outfitted in their full gear to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

It’s an event that happens all over, but the Seattle stair climb is the largest of its kind, according to Mike Goodwillie, of Lewis County Fire District 6.

Goodwillie said he did it last year, but the newly formed team, mostly from his department, is contributing to the cause in other ways as well.

A cousin of one of the members has leukemia, he said.

“We’re like basically climbing for him” Goodwillie said. “He’s our honoree.”

Four-year-old Noah McDaniel was going to be in the hospital over the holiday, so the firefighters organized a Christmas for him and his family, according to Goodwillie.

Their fundraising effort includes a dinner, raffle and auction in downtown Chehalis on Jan. 31.

The evening will feature the Vancouver Pipes and Drums. Contact Goodwillie for tickets.

Where: Mackinaw’s Restaurant, 545 N. Market Blvd.
When: Jan. 31, 2015, at 7 p.m.
What: Firefighters Auction for a Cure
Why: For the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Who: All are welcome

Sheriff’s Office: Thurston County woman threatens to shoot school full of children

Friday, January 16th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 36-year-old Thurston County woman was arrested this morning after law enforcement was notified of a tip from the FBI of a message which stated in part, “I’m about to shoot up a school full of children just to be heard.”

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office was notified at 6:19 a.m. today, and deputies went to her home and based on her demeanor and answers to their questions, believed she posed a threat, according to Lt. Cliff Ziesemer.

They took her into custody and booked her in to the Thurston County Jail for felony harassment, he said.

School had not yet started, so schools weren’t notified at that time, Ziesemer said. All law enforcement in Thurston County was notified of it, however, he said.

The lieutenant said details are not yet known, such as if the woman had a particular school in mind or if she had taken any substantial steps toward such action. She lives in the Steam Boat Island area outside Olympia, he said.

Ziesemer said Karen M. Kibler had access to weapons, but there were none in her home.

“It appears that she’s ‘mental’,” he said. “She’s been diagnosed with mental problems.”

The information came from the FBI’s Guardian Operations Unit, a group he hadn’t heard of until this morning, he said. The alert read as though Kibler had given the information about herself to them, he said.

The unit said it got the tip at 5:26 a.m. EST., according to Ziesemer.

The investigation will continue, he said.

Kibler’s first court appearance will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, in Thurston County Superior Court, according to the sheriff’s office.

News brief: Head-on crash in stolen car blamed on Vader man

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two people from Vader were injured when their stolen car crossed a centerline and hit a pickup truck head on yesterday on a Clark County highway.

Troopers responded about 5:15 p.m. to state Route 503 about seven miles north of Battle Ground where they observed both vehicles were totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Both Jeffrey D. Tester, 32, and his passenger, Heather A. Johnson, 26, were wearing their seat belts, as was the driver of the Ford F-150 pickup truck, James C. Davidson, 55, Yacolt, according to the state patrol.

All three were transported to  PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, in Vancouver, with unspecified injuries, the investigating trooper reports.

Tester is facing charges of driving under the influence, possession of a stolen vehicle and driving with a suspended license, according to the state patrol. The stolen vehicle is described as white 2004 Nissan Altima.

News brief: Fisherman who drowned on Chehalis River identified as Marysville man

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The victim from the boating accident on the Chehalis River on Monday is a 61-year-old man from Marysville.

Paul A. Philips drowned after he and his friend bailed out of their little fishing boat that began to sink when they ran into rapids and rocks, according to authorities.

It happened near Rainbow Falls State Park, off of state Route 6 west of Chehalis.

The survivor was able to find his friend, drag him to shore and performed CPR, but then had to swim across the river in search of help. He, a 43-year-old Chehalis area resident, was hospitalized for hypothermia.

The sheriff’s office estimates almost an hour passed from the time of the accident until he found a bicyclist on a trail to call 911 on a cell phone.

Philips was not wearing a life jacket, but his friend was, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Person posing as Thurston Sheriff Snaza trying to extort money

Friday, January 9th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Somebody is pretending to be Sheriff John Snaza, and its not his twin brother.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve had several complaints from citizens who have received a phone call from the sheriff, telling them there is a warrant for their arrest if they don’t pay taxes, in cash.

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Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza

He identifies himself as “Sheriff John Snaza”, according a department spokesperson. The caller ID even shows up as the sheriff’s office main number, 360-786-5500.

The phone calls follow within a few moments an initial call from someone claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service demanding the supposed back taxes, according to spokesperson Lt. Cliff Ziesemer.

Ziesemer says the public needs to know neither the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency would make phone calls asking for money.

“If you or anyone else you know receives these types of calls, know that it is a scam, and hang up,” Ziesemer writes in a news release.

Ziesemer asks folks to report any such calls to Thurston County Communications at 360-704-2740.

Sheriff John Snaza is the twin brother of Rob Snaza, who was just elected sheriff of Lewis County.

News brief: Flood damage scattered and limited

Friday, January 9th, 2015
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Guerrier Road off state Route 508 about two miles east of Interstate 5 is among those that flooded. / Courtesy photo by Jonah Nutt

Updated at 7:09 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Authorities have asked anyone with flood damage from earlier this week to phone in a report.

Those within the city of Centralia can call 360-330-7662. All others should phone 360-740-1152.

Information from Lewis County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of the Lewis County Emergency Operations Center noted four houses in the county reported water damage. Two of them were on Rosebrook Road. The other two were off of Jackson Highway near the Newaukum River, according to the sheriff’s office.

No injuries were reported due to flooding.

Lewis County Assessor Dianne Dorey reminds property owners they may file, if applicable, what’s called a a destroyed property claim for the purposes of valuation assessments which will affect taxes.

The forms can be obtained by calling or visiting her office in Chehalis – 360-740-1392 – or online by going to the Assessor’s Office homepage at www.lewiscountywa.gov/assessor

Many roads were closed during the worst of it on Monday, and some remained closed on Tuesday, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

In a news release,Tim Elsea, Lewis County public works director and county engineer stated he was proud of the work the road crews did, saying they were inundated.

“The crews worked tirelessly to get roadways opened as soon as possible for the traveling public,” Elsea wrote. “Crews worked into the night, graveling and grating Guerrier Road so residents, who were otherwise stranded, could travel to and from their homes.”

Several pockets of low areas in Centralia and Chehalis were inundated as well on Monday.

Forecasters on Sunday said heavy precipitation and rising snow levels were expected to cause problems, although probably not an episode of widespread major flooding. They initially predicted, however, the Newaukum River could rise to 13.67 feet, beyond its 1996 record of 13.54 feet.

The Newaukum River which winds through Onalaska, Napavine and Chehalis crested Monday afternoon just barely below that, at 13.1 feet, according to Brown.

The Skookumchuck River crested at 3 a.m. on Tuesday below minor flood stage.

The Chehalis River crested at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, also below minor flood stage.

Monitor conditions for yourself anytime a flood watch is issued, using links always available on the right-hand sidebar of this news site under “Other useful web links. Direct from the National Weather Service.

• “Weather alerts, forecasts“: Click on the map to find your current and forecast temperature and other weather information, as well as alerts for hazardous weather conditions.

• “River levels“: Graphs show you what level your river has been at, where it’s at right now and where it is projected to be.

• Also, quickly and easily get information directly from others in the community by viewing or joining Lewis County Sirens on Facebook.

 

News brief: Trials for battered child syndrome death postponed until spring

Thursday, January 8th, 2015
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Brenda Wing, left, talks with her lawyer while her husband Danny Wing speaks with his attorney.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Danny and Brenda Wing remain locked up as they await trial in the death of a 3-year-old boy they were caring for, and will be waiting a little bit longer after a hearing today.

The Vader couple went before a judge when lawyers in the case asked for more time to prepare.

The trials were scheduled for the week of Jan. 26, before separate judges, but now they are on the court calendar for the week of May 11.

The toddler, Jasper Henderling-Warner, died on Oct. 5 from what the coroner called chronic battered child syndrome.

The Wings were charged in early November with homicide by abuse or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter. The two crimes have widely different penalties. Each of the two are charged as either the principal or accomplice. Both have pleaded not guilty.

This afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, each consulted with their attorney for several minutes while the judge stepped off the bench.

Brenda Wing’s lawyer John Crowley is based in Seattle. Her husband’s layer Todd Pascoe,  is from Vancouver, Wash.

Prosecutors today filed a motion to join the two cases together for one trial. A decision on that has not been made.
•••

For background, read:

• “Coroner: Ongoing physical abuse led to Vader toddler’s death” from Friday November 7, 2014, here

• “Defendants in Vader toddler death case want out of jail until trial” from Monday November 10, 2014, here

• RCW 9A.32.055: Homicide by abuse, here

• RCW 9A.32.060: Manslaughter in the first degree, here

Crash victim: Thick fog, elk contributed to mystery collision

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 50-year-old Lewis County man was finally located at his home after law enforcement personnel discovered an unoccupied  pickup truck wrecked amongst the trees yesterday morning south of Chehalis off U.S. Highway 12.

Deputies summoned just before 9:30 a.m. believed the driver must have had severe injuries because of the enormous amount of damage to the 1993 Ford Ranger, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It appeared as though the vehicle was traveling on Meier Road and blew the stop sign at the highway, striking two trees and hitting a third tree head on, according to the sheriff’s office.

Rocky D. Briggs, 50, was finally found sleeping at his residence on the 300 block of Meier Road, with injuries to his face and chest, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Firefighters called to the home about 10:40 a.m. transported him to Providence Centralia Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Lewis County Fire District 15.

It’s not clear how he got home.

Briggs told deputies it was about 4:45 a.m. when he was driving through thick fog and had to swerve to miss elk, according to Brown. Briggs was cited for hit and run with property damage as well as first-degree driving with a suspended license, Brown said.

Centralia officials warn motorists about standing water

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Updated at 12:49 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The city of Centralia announced this morning the activation of its Emergency Operations Center because of high waters in downtown.

Numerous streets are shut down, and authorities remind the public that driving past a road closure sign can result in a $124 citation.

China Creek has overflowed its banks. A flood warning was issued this morning for the Skookumchuck River, with minor flooding expected in Bucoda. A flood watch remains in place in Lewis County.

Motorists are asked to slow down when driving through standing water on city streets. The wake from vehicles can push additional water into houses and adjacent property, Officer Patty Finch says.

It’s also not safe, according to Finch.

“Going too fast can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles,” Finch said in a news release.

Closed as of 12:15 p.m. are:

• Centralia College Boulevard – from Ash Street to Iron Street
• West Main Street – from Iron Street to Ash Street
• West Pine Street – from Pearl Street to Ash Street
• West Magnolia Street – from Pearl Street to Ash Street
• Maple Street - from Gold Street to Washington Avenue
• Center Street - from Railroad Avenue to Washington Avenue
• Hanson Street - from Railroad Avenue to Washington Avenue
• North Gold Street – from Gerard Road to Ham Hill Road
• Scott Johnson – from Kresky Avenue to Gold Street
• Fair Street – from Kresky Avenue to Gold Street

The city of Centralia has sandbags for its residents.

Shortly after noon, Finch said the water in China Creek – the primary problem today – appears to be receding, but levels on Salzer Creek may be increasing slightly.

Finch says those who live on or near a hill at risk for landslides should be aware of the following clues that could signal a problem

• Soil moving away from foundations
• Tilting or cracking of concrete floors and foundations
* Leaning telephone poles, tress, retaining walls or fences
• Faint rumbling sound that increases in volume as the landslide nears
• Unusual sounds, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together

Monitor the changing conditions for yourself, using links always available on the right-hand sidebar of this news site under “Other useful web links. Direct from the National Weather Service.

• “River levels“: Graphs show you what level your river has been at, where it’s at right now and where it is projected to be.

• “Weather alerts, forecasts“: Click on the map to find your current and forecast temperature and other weather information, as well as alerts for hazardous weather conditions.

• Also, quickly and easily get information directly from others in the community by viewing or joining Lewis County Sirens on Facebook.

•••

For more, read, “Officials offer early information regarding floodwaters” from Monday January 5, 2015, here

Officials offer early information regarding floodwaters

Monday, January 5th, 2015
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Authorities remind motorists not to drive through standing water; this is Rice Road near Stan Hedwall Park in Chehalis this morning.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office announced this morning the activation of the Lewis County Emergency Operations Center in preparation for impending flooding on the Newaukum and Chehalis rivers.

There is already water over the roadways in several areas along the Newaukum River, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Motorists are advised not to drive through deep standing water and obey all road closure signs, Brown states.

Citizens living in flood prone areas are advised to move their animals to high ground.

Brown reminds the public that winter storm event conditions can change rapidly. She suggests people monitor local radio stations for event updates.

Brown advises that sand bags for private residences can be purchased at several locations including Martin Sand and Gravel, Home Depot and Sunbirds Shopping Center.

The city of Centralia has sandbags for its residents.

Due to the flooding from China Creek, a sandbag station has been opened on Center Street between Pearl and Tower, according to the Centralia public works department. Sand, bags, and shovels will be available for use. There will not be anyone there to assist with the process. Questions?  Call the Public Works Department at 330-7512.

The sheriff’s office publishes river readings at http://rivers.lewiscountywa.gov/ and information about road closures at http://roads.lewiscountywa.gov/.

Monitor the changing conditions for yourself, using links always available on the right-hand sidebar of this news site under “Other useful web links. Direct from the National Weather Service.

• “River levels“: Graphs show you what level your river has been at, where it’s at right now and where it is projected to be.

• “Weather alerts, forecasts“: Click on the map to find your current and forecast temperature and other weather information, as well as alerts for hazardous weather conditions.

• Also, quickly and easily get information directly from others in the community by viewing or joining Lewis County Sirens on Facebook.

•••

For background, read yesterdays heads-up, “Record-breaking flooding possible on Newaukum River” from Sunday January 4, 2015, here

News brief: Wreck with semi on U.S. Highway 12 leaves one dead

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Washington State Patrol is investigating a fatality collision a few miles east of Randle.

The wreck involved a compact car and a semi truck hauling a trailer, which was empty, according to the state patrol.

Lt. Shane Nelson said he believed it occurred around 11 a.m., but he is not the primary officer.

One lane of the roadway was still closed this afternoon on U.S. Highway 12 near Davis Creek Road, he said.

The truck driver, a male, was uninjured, according to Nelson.

The sole occupant of the car, 52-year-old Jay E. Sume of Randle, died at the scene, according to the Washington State Patrol.

According to the investigating trooper, Sume was heading eastbound and crossed the centerline; the oncoming 2010 Freightliner swerved to the right to avoid the car, but the car struck its trailer.

Sume’s 1993 Ford Escort was totaled.

The Freightliner had to be towed. It was driven by Michael J. Humphrey, 39, from Kelso, according to the state patrol.

The reason for the collision is unknown, and it’s unknown if any citations of charges may be filed.

News brief: Fire breaks out at Centralia mill

Friday, January 2nd, 2015
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Firefighters contain fire to hopper at mill. / Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Spontaneous combustion of compacted sawdust material inside a large hopper is suspected in an overnight fire at a mill in north Centralia.

Firefighters called at 3:50 a.m. to the plant at the end of Central Boulevard pulled their hoses but were able to flood the hopper instead by diverting water from plant piping, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The fire did not spread to the rest of the structure, but the damage, including to insulation outside the hopper, is estimated at $25,000, according to Capt. Scott Weinert.

Nobody was injured. Crews were on the scene a couple of hours, Weinert said.

News brief: Centralia police dog earns high praise as work life comes to close

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg announced the retirement earlier this week of Kayo the police dog, ending what the chief called a stellar nine year career.

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Kayo

The 10-year-old German Shepherd from Slovakia came to Centralia as a youngster, underwent basic canine training and was placed into service with his partner Officer Brian Warren in early 2006.

Berg said the decision for retirement came because of Kayo’s age, and because the time has come for him to relax and enjoy the remaining years of his life.

The K-9 will be declared “surplus” and sold to now-Sgt. Warren for $1, according to Berg.

In his December community newsletter issued on Monday, Berg wrote that Kayo has amassed quite a record.

Among the police service dog’s many accomplishments, Berg lists approximately 250 “deployments”, 91 arrest assists, 131 drug finds and 50 evidence recoveries.

Berg notes Officer Ruben Ramirez’s dog Lobo is still on the job and another handler and police service dog are expected to be selected this coming summer.

Kayo worked his last shift on Saturday.

Investigator: No explanation for Boistfort house fire

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A fire investigator couldn’t determine the cause of a blaze that destroyed a Boistfort Valley home and most of its contents on Tuesday evening.

Investigator Derrick Paul said this morning he would let the insurance inspector to dig a little deeper to perhaps find out what started it.

Lewis County Fire District 13 Chief Kyle DePriest said the double-wide manufactured home is a total loss. Paul said the couple did have a fire safe and a couple of dressers with clothing were salvaged.

Approximately 20 firefighters with three districts fought the fire on the 1100 block of Boistfort Road; crews spent more than six hours at the scene, according to DePriest.

The residents are staying with family in the area, according to DePriest.
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For background, read “Couple displaced by fire in Boistfort Valley” from Wednesday December 31, 2014, here

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Smoke rises from home on the 1100 block of Boistfort Road on Tuesday evening. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 13