Archive for the ‘News briefs’ Category

News brief: Randle woman’s death remains under investigation

Friday, April 29th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Authorities have released no new information regarding the death of a Randle woman on Tuesday night.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said today it’s an active death investigation, and they are waiting to find out what caused it.

Candy Core, 46, was unresponsive when deputies and aid arrived after being called about 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday to Peters Creek Road North in Randle. CPR was performed and she was transported to Morton General Hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to authorities.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said the next day it was kind of an unusual situation, but Brown revealed nothing further.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod indicated this afternoon he won’t know what caused Core’s death until he gets the results from toxicology tests. That can take 10 to 12 weeks, according to McLeod.

Core was one of three individuals at a Mossyrock area home a week ago when 61-year-old James C. Long allegedly barged in the back door with an ax. She and her husband Gerald Core were staying the night with Long’s girlfriend because the girlfriend knew he was getting released from jail and was worried.

There’ no indication in the court documents from that case anyone was injured other than Gerald Core, who had marks on his arms as well as his chest, presumably from fighting Long back out of the house.
•••

“News brief: Death of Randle resident under investigation” from Wednesday April 27, 2016, here

Coroner determination: Tower children suffocated from smoke

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Updated at 5:38 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County coroner today said he has concluded the three children who died in the Centralia house fire last month died from smoke inhalation.

Benjamin D. Tower, 12; Madeline R. Tower, 10; and Samuel J. Tower, 7, never made it out of their upstairs bedrooms when fire broke out during the night on March 4 at the split-level home on Ham Hill Road, according to Coroner Warren McLeod.

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Ben, Maddy, Sam and Sue Tower

McLeod said asphyxiation from smoke and carbon monoxide blocked their breathing and it’s more likely than not they did not suffer.

Their manner of death is currently labeled undetermined, because McLeod has not not received the results of the investigation into cause of the fire itself.

A joint investigation into the cause of the blaze is being conducted by the Centralia Police Department and Riverside Fire Authority.

Their mother Sue Tower escaped to safety from her bedroom on the lower level of the home.

The Centralia Police Department indicated today they expect to complete their investigation within the next two weeks.

They will notify the family of the results and then hold a press conference, according to detective Patty Finch.

News brief: Death of Randle resident under investigation

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Sheriff’s detectives are conducting a death investigation involving a woman from Randle today.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning it’s kind of an unusual situation so they are not releasing much information.

Deputies and aid were called to the 100 block of Peters Creek Road North in Randle last night, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman was not responsive, CPR was performed and she was transported to Morton General Hospital where she was pronounced dead, Brown said.

“We’re not sure what we have,” Brown said.

The investigation is continuing today and Brown said she hoped to learn more later this afternoon from detectives.

News brief: Multiple wrecks clog up I-5

Sunday, April 17th, 2016
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Interstate 5 near Thurston-Lewis county line / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Six people were transported to area hospitals following a pair of wrecks on Interstate 5 in south Thurston County this morning that included an ambulance.

The first incident around 9:30 a.m. was a serious accident involving a rolled over car in the northbound lanes near milepost 86, according to authorities.

A responding emergency unit and a truck collided shortly after and a southbound lane became blocked, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority and the state Department of Transportation.

Four patients were taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia and two were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, WTRFA reported.

Firefighters at about 12:30 p.m. noted the scene was not yet cleared and they were called for yet another accident.

“Please slow down and have patience,” WTRFA posted on its Facebook page.

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Traffic cam near Interstate 5 near Thurston-Lewis county line / Department of Transportation

News brief: Mock DUI Crash at Winlock High School

Friday, April 15th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Don’t be alarmed about the emergency response vehicles at Winlock High School today, the fire department is there for educational purposes.

The school and public safety agencies are conducting a mock crash with a full agenda of speakers in a program about the consequences of driving under the influence and distracted driving, according to Lewis County Fire District 15.

“The goal of this event is to highlight dangerous driving behaviors and support safe driving choices as part of a grant funded program through Lewis County Fire District 15,” Fire Lt. Patrick Jacobson stated in a news release.

News brief: Firefighters practice burn south of Chehalis

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Firefighters are conducting live fire training today at a house in the area of 2325 Jackson Highway.

The practice burn is expected to go until 7 p.m., according to Lewis County Fire District 6.

News brief: One booked for Winlock knife incident

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 58-year-old man was arrested last night for the incident at a Winlock home last week in which responders found two people with knife wounds.

Gregory L. Trujillo was one of the pair hurt at the 300 block of Cedar Court last Friday.

He was picked up at a motel in Chehalis yesterday by Chehalis police, Toledo Police Department Chief John Brockmueller said this morning.

“The evidence showed he was the one that needed to go to jail,” Brockmueller said.

Trujillo sustained wounds to his abdomen and taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The female involved was described as suffering minor lacerations to her upper extremities.

Police said at the time they believed the weapon was a small-bladed knife.

Trujillo was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault. He is scheduled to go before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Two in Winlock treated for knife injuries, investigation ongoing” from Monday April 4, 2016, here

Coroner: Beware of still-frigid outdoor swimming spots

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The coroner has a warning as outdoor temperatures are forecast to rise above 80 degrees today.

Basically, he says please don’t drown.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod issued a statement this morning to remind the public that that although our local rivers may look inviting, they are dangerous.

“Cold temperatures and fast moving water combine quickly to overpower anyone in the water,” McLeod stated.

The best way to stay safe is to wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets when people are going to be in, on or around the water, McLeod says.

News brief: Daring escapee apprehended in Centralia

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Updated at 2:33 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The wile 25-year-old man who was said to have hitched a ride beneath a semi to slip away from deputies last month at Gee Cees truck stop was captured in Centralia yesterday.

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Ruben A. Inman

Ruben A. Inman was contacted around 11 a.m. yesterday in the 1400 block of Crescent Avenue at the north end of town by the sheriff’s special enforcement team and Centralia officers, according to authorities.

“The suspect fled on foot from police during the initial contact and then once in handcuffs near the patrol car he tried to run away from police again,” Centralia police wrote in a brief summary of the incident.

Inman was booked into the Lewis County Jail for his warrant and also for second-degree escape, according to police.

Centralia police say he is from Chehalis. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office previously identified him as living in Centralia.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office on their Facebook page posted their thanks to Lewis County Crime Stoppers, and everyone, for the assistance.

Prosecutors today declined to file an escape charge.

Back on March 11, Inman and his companion were being questioned at the truck stop off Interstate 5 south of Vader when Inman bolted and vanished.

After viewing surveillance images, deputies realized he had crawled under a big rig which subsequently got stopped in Arlington. Only Inman’s cap was still aboard.

News brief: Two in Winlock treated for knife injuries, investigation ongoing

Monday, April 4th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Police are still investigating what took place at a Winlock home in which a man and a woman both were wounded from what was believed to be a small-bladed knife on Friday night.

“We believe it’s a (domestic violence) situation, both got injured, knife injuries,” Toledo Police Department Chief John Brockmueller said this morning. “We’re still trying to figure out who did what.”

Police and firefighters were dispatched about 9:30 p.m. on Friday to the 300 block of Cedar Court for a possible stabbing.

When they arrived, the woman was at a neighbor’s with minor lacerations to her upper extremities, according to Lewis County Fire District 15.

Brockmueller said the two are in their late 30s.

The man had some wounds to his abdomen and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Brockmueller said.

He has had surgery, but his injuries aren’t believed to be life-threatening, the chief said.

Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson indicated the woman was treated at the scene and declined to be transported by ambulance, but was going to go to the emergency room with a friend.

Police Chief Brockmueller said they got a search warrant and have not yet located the suspected weapon, but were told it was a small bladed knife.

He  said he was not certain yet of their relationship or even if both reside at the home.

“We should have more in a couple of days,” he said.

News brief: Brush fire breaks out west of Chehalis

Monday, April 4th, 2016
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Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 6

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Rural Chehalis firefighters were joined by three other fire departments yesterday in putting out a brush fire in the area of Ceres Hill and Meskill Road.

Lewis County Fire District 6 tweeted just before 6 p.m. the site was turned over to personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources.

Photos from the scene west of Chehalis show smoke rising from an area that appears to have been previously logged, with piles of wood debris.

District 6 was assisted by members of Fire Districts 11, 13 and 5, according to the tweets. Further information was not readily available this morning.

Chehalis home devastated by nighttime fire

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016
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Smoke billows from two-story residence along Pennsylvania Avenue early this morning / Courtesy photo by Cara Ebeling

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Crews spent all night battling a house fire in Chehalis.

Nobody was hurt, but the estimated $70,000 in damage means probably the two-story home will have to be rebuilt, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

Fire Capt. Kevin Curfman said they were dispatched just after midnight to the 700 block of Northwest Pennsylvania Avenue at Vine Street.

“The renters were just getting home, heard a detector, opened the door and saw smoke,” Curfman said. “They believed it was in the bathroom area.”

The arriving crew observed a heavy smoke column and just a little bit of flames showing from the eves, he said.

They found no flames inside and began to put people on the roof, but it began sagging and they had to be pulled off, Curfman said.

It turned out the fire was in a dead space behind a “knee wall,” Curfman said. It was attacked by cutting access holes on the gable ends of the building, he said.

Firefighters were joined by members of Lewis County Fire Districts 6 and 5, Riverside Fire Authority out of Centralia and West Thurston Regional Fire Authority from Rochester, he said.

“It was very stubborn, but eventually we got it extinguished,” he said.

Curfman estimates about half the residents’ contents could be salvageable.

Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said the cause is under investigation.

News brief: Lengthy sentence expected for burglarizing prosecutor’s house

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia woman accused of breaking into Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer’s home is facing a recommended prison term of seven years after admitting her crimes to a judge yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court.

Janet L. Gleason, 43, pleaded guilty yesterday in two separate cases, one for drugs, the other for the Centralia burglary.

For the Feb. 10, 2015 offense on Mount Vista Road, she is convicted of residential burglary, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and second-degree malicious mischief.

For her Sept. 17, 2015 encounter with detectives, she is convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain was asked to handle her case, because of the conflict. She is represented by Michael Underwood.

Court documents indicate McClain will ask that she be sentenced to 84 months when she returns to court on May 11.
•••

For background, read “Role reversal: Lewis County prosecutor reflects on becoming a burglary victim” from Friday November 6, 2015, here

News brief: Elementary school employee released as ‘hug’ case progresses

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 36-year-old Chehalis man accused of hugging a 9-year-old year-old female student in an inappropriate manner went before a judge today where a prosecutor asked the charge of fourth-degree assault be modified to include a special allegation it occurred “with sexual motivation.”

James Denning was arrested yesterday and booked into the Lewis County Jail but was released prior to today’s hearing in Chehalis Municipal Court.

Chehalis police yesterday said the arrest followed an investigation of a March 14 report from staff at R.E. Bennett Elementary School on South Market Boulevard in Chehalis. Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said Denning was not a teacher, but was an employee who helped at recess.

The Chehalis School DIstrict announced on its web site Denning was a temporary playground assistant. He was placed on paid administrative leave March 14 pending further investigation and has resigned.

Assault in the fourth degree is a gross misdemeanor.

School authorities offered a small amount of detail on the incident.

“The school district has been asked if it is against school policy for employees to hug students,” the web site message stated. “The answer is: no, it is not generally inappropriate for employees to hug students. But, this case involved an allegation of an extended hug that went past the time when the student communicated a wish to break the contact.”

The court hearing was brief and Denning requested a court-appointed lawyer.

He said his next hearing is April 20.

News brief: Suspect in threat with knife, teeth at Chehalis home booked

Friday, March 25th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 26-year-old man was brought before a judge yesterday afternoon in connection with an incident in which he allegedly barged into a Chehalis apartment with a knife, blaming the resident for his sister getting beat up.

Talen C.A. Maddux allegedly punched the victim, held the weapon near his chest and throat and said at one point he might bite his ear off.

When police arrived to the home on the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue the evening of Jan. 26, they found Justin Steadham visibly shaken, with a bloody nose, according to court documents.

Maddux is charged with second-degree assault, first-degree burglary and attempted first-degree robbery. Court documents show him with a Chehalis address.

A judge yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court set his bail at $75,000.

The charges were filed on Feb. 29, after the victim and a witness identified Maddux from a photo montage, according to court documents.

Police were told Steadham heard a knock on his door and opened it, thinking it was a friend.

The visitor walked in, continued to hit the victim and pushed him onto a couch, the documents allege.

According to the charging documents, while there, Maddux put the knife down and told the victim to go in the bedroom with him to look for valuables. He fled when another individual arrived at the apartment.

Maddux was arrested and booked on Wednesday. The affidavit of probable cause stated he had two active warrants and multiple assault convictions.

His arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday.

News brief: Two freeway crashes, three injuries

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – One man was airlifted this morning and another transported to Providence Centralia Hospital following a single-vehicle collision on southbound Interstate 5 near Napavine.

Firefighters called about 5 a.m. to the scene near milepost 70 found the car off the road and in the tress, according to Newaukum Valley Fire and Rescue.

“One patient was trapped and had to be extricated, Firefighter Brad Bozarth said. “That patient was flown to a trauma center.”

The Washington State Patrol reported troopers did not know which man was driving the 2003 Lexis. They indicated Jonathan D. George, 19, of Everson, and Robert P. Olson, 26, from Maple Falls, were both taken to Providence.

The wreck follows by less than twelve hours another single-vehicle injury incident just five miles to the south.

Troopers and aid called just after 7 p.m. yesterday to the southbound lanes of the freeway northeast of Winlock found a teenager traveling with two children lost control of his car, headed through a ditch and struck a tree.

Marquis M. Rial, 18, of Centralia, was arrested for driving under the influence.

His 1-year-old passenger was reportedly uninjured but his 12-year-old passenger was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The 1991 Honda Accord was described as totaled.

Rial, who was reportedly unhurt, was booked into the Lewis County Jail also for reckless endangerment, according to the state patrol.