Archive for the ‘News briefs’ Category

News brief: Hear from local expert on police misconduct

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Washington Hall, the building that also holds Corbet Theater, sits north of Pear Street and west of Washington Avenue.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A criminal justice program instructor will be giving a lecture today that’s free and open to the public at Centralia College on police misconduct and excessive force.

Professor Gregory Gilbertson is a licensed private investigator, international police trainer and nationally recognized expert witness in police practices and procedures, according to the college. He is currently consulting with criminal defense and civil rights attorneys as an expert witness on over 30 active cases in 14 states.

Gilbertson will share his experience and perspective on what he describes as the epidemic of police misconduct and police excessive force cases currently plaguing our nation. He will also share insights and strategies on how to effectively interact with law enforcement officers in adversarial situations by explaining our fundamental rights and responsibilities under the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments to the United States Constitution.

The lecture is part of the college’s Spring Lyceum series.

The event will be held in Washington Hall Room 103 and runs from 1 p.m. until 1:50 p.m.

Washington Hall, the building that also holds Corbet Theater, sits north of Pear Street and west of Washington Avenue.

News brief: 100,000 salmon escape pen at Mayfield Lake

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Someone vandalized a net pen setting free 100,000 fall Chinook salmon into Mayfield Lake over the weekend.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office this morning is asking for the public’s help to find information about the incident that occurred sometime between 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and noon yesterday.

Two net loops were cut at the water reservoir on the 100 block of Cove Lane near Mossyrock, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown.

The reservoir belongs to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Brown said it’s going to cause problems as the fish are expected to overwhelm fish traps belonging to Tacoma City Light when the fish head out to sea.

Deputies are checking with the Mayfield Lake Dam to see if any clues may have been captured on security video, according to Brown.

News brief: Rochester teen airlifted following two-car crash

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Three young people were injured when a 16-year-old driver from Rochester crossed the centerline on state Route 507 just east of Tenino yesterday.

The 16-year-old was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and his 16-year-old male passenger, from Wyoming, was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, according to the Washington State Patrol

Troopers and aid called just after 10:30 a.m. to the scene near Old Military Road found both cars totaled, according to the state patrol.

The Honda Accord had been traveling westbound and struck an oncoming Honda Civic, according to the investigating trooper.

The driver of the Civic was also injured. Brandon C. Eygabroad, 24, from Rainer, was also taken to St. Peter Hospital, the trooper reports.

The collision is blamed on speed. The roadway was blocked for five hours.

News brief: Driver from fatal Centralia wreck recovering

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Rochester mother whose 8-year-old daughter was killed when their van wrecked on Monday afternoon remains hospitalized, but is listed in satisfactory condition this morning.

Maria Cebrero-Herrera, 42, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries following the collision near Galvin and Gallagher roads in Centralia.

Centralia police say Cebrero-Herrera was traveling westbound when her van crossed the center line and struck a large parked pickup truck, head on.

The child had been seat-belted in the back seat, but was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. The mother was conscious and in an ambulance when police arrived, but then put into a helicopter that landed in a nearby field, according to Sgt. Carl Buster said.

Both vehicles sustained extensive damage, Buster said.

The rare in-city fatality crash occurred on a two-lane road where the speed limit is 35 mph.

“It’s just sad,” Buster said. “I can count on one hand the number of fatals I’ve been to in 20 years, in town.”

Buster said why it happened, he did not know.

There were people in the area who heard the crash, but none who saw it occur, he said of the initial investigation. Buster said he was not aware of any reports the driver was speeding.

Because of the death, the Centralia Police Department requested assistance from the Washington State Patrol’s major accident team.

They sent a technician to collect evidence and map the scene. The state patrol will take statements, and once all the reports are compiled, forward them to Centralia police, state patrol spokesperson Trooper Will Finn said.

The coroner said yesterday Jaredsi Torres died from head injuries. The Rochester School District is asking the community to keep the second grader and her family in its thoughts and prayers.

For background, read “News brief: Vehicle accident child victim was from Rochester” from Tuesday May 17, 2016, here

News brief: New charge lodged for convicted burglar of prosecutor’s home

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Janet L. Gleason, center right, is brought before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia woman who missed her sentencing hearing last week in connection with breaking in to the county prosecutor’s house last year was charged today with bail jumping.

Janet L. Gleason, 43,  pleaded guilty in March to numerous felonies and is facing a recommended prison term of seven years. She was free on $45,000 bail on two combined cases and didn’t show up to court on Wednesday.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dan Riordan said the bail bondsman found her and picked her up. He got a call Saturday night, he said.

Riordan didn’t offer details of her apprehension, but said he was thinking it wasn’t in Lewis County, as it took the bondsman quite awhile to arrive.

Gleason was booked into the Lewis County Jail around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.

A conviction for bail jumping can bring a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Gleason’s bail for that charge was set at $25,000, but she is being held with a no bail hold for her recent convictions of residential burglary, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and second-degree malicious mischief as well as a separate possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Her arraignment is scheduled for Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court.

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

News brief: Vehicle accident child victim was from Rochester

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office indicated today the 8-year-old girl who died in yesterday afternoon’s traffic collision in Centralia is Jaredsi Torres, from Rochester.

She was a passenger in a vehicle that struck a parked pickup truck near Galvin and Gallagher roads, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Troopers with the Washington State Patrol’s major accident team are conducting the investigation.

Centralia police responded to the approximately 2:45 p.m. wreck and indicated yesterday the female driver was seriously injured and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.

The identity of the driver has not been released, nor have any updates on her condition.

Centralia police referred media questions to the Washington State Patrol. A spokesperson for the state patrol said he only knew what had already been released yesterday and referred reporters back to the police department for information.

Trooper Will Finn added that he was aware a prosecutor responded to the scene yesterday and he understood a trooper was sent to try to interview the driver.

Police yesterday said the child died at the scene. Coroner Warren McLeod said today her cause of death was blunt impact head injuries and the manner is accidental.

The Rochester School District announced on its web site it is mourning the loss of a sweet second grade girl who died in a tragic auto accident Monday afternoon.

“Please join us in keeping her family in your thoughts and prayers,” the notice reads. “Click here for resources on helping your child cope with the loss of a classmate.”

For background, read “News brief: Girl dead, driver airlifted following Centralia wreck” from Monday May 16, 2016, here

News brief: Homeless man’s tent burned by acquaintance

Monday, May 16th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Law enforcement officers are looking for a Centralia woman who allegedly pulled a knife on her companion and lit his tent on fire early yesterday morning  near the Chehalis River in Centralia.

Centralia police were contacted about 4:30 a.m. by the 36-year-old victim at Mellen Street and Old Airport Road, who subsequently reported to deputies what had occurred.

Deputies were told the two got into an argument and that 29-year-old Kayleigh S. McDaniel set his tent on fire and grabbed him by the neck, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s Cmdr. Dusty Breen said this morning the 36-year-old man was able put the fire out and get away, but then McDaniel produced a knife. He disarmed her and they parted ways, according to Breen.

The man’s tent, where he resides, was in an area west of Interstate 5 near milepost 81, according to Breen.

Law enforcement has been unable to locate McDaniel, Breen said.

The sheriff’s office is referring a case for first-degree assault and first-degree arson to prosecutors, according to Breen.

The tent is valued at $50.

Read about Salkum man faces charges after death of beloved elk named Bullwinkle …

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Yakima Herald-Republic reports a 76-year-old Lewis County resident has been charged with second-degree unlawful hunting of big game in connection with allegedly shooting the biggest bull elk in the Kittitas Valley near Ellensburg, in a location closed to such hunting and moving it to a private field where it would have been legal.

News reporter Scott Sandsberry writes that Tod Reichert, 76, of Salkum, has a pre-trial hearing in Lower Kittitas District Court on May 31, despite his Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s special eastside elk auction tag for which he paid $75,000.

Read more about it here

Coroner report: Zero homicides for last year

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Compiled from information contained in Lewis County Coroner’s Office annual report

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office has released its annual report showing that last year 33 individual’s deaths here were accidental, 11 of them were suicide and none were found to be homicide.

Of the 767 deaths occurring in Lewis County during 2015, most of them were labeled as natural, meaning they occurred from the natural disease process.

The coroner’s office serves the county by investigating sudden, unexpected, violent, suspicious and unnatural deaths.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod is responsible for finding the cause and manner of death. He was elected to the half-time position at the end of 2010 and since has been authorized into a full-time position.

In past years, the coroner has generally been unable to determine the manner of death for five or fewer people annually. At the end of 2015, McLeod had 13 cases in which he could not say why the person died, according to the report.

The majority of the eight-page report primarily describes the coroner’s office’s purpose, mission and methods.

McLeod’s summary does not offer any data on the causes of death predominant in Lewis County.

News brief: Wildland fire threatens house near Cinebar

Friday, May 13th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Two times in as many days it appears outdoor burning has ignited out-of-control brush fires in Lewis County.

Firefighters from four departments spent several hours yesterday afternoon attacking flames on the side of a steep hill east of Onalaska.

Underbrush and trees caught fire, consuming approximately one acre, according to Lewis County Fire District 1.

Fire Chief Andrew Martin said the fire came within 100 yards of one home, so they assigned an engine to stand by there for structural protection.

District 1 was called about 2:45 p.m. to the area of the 100 block of August Road, just north of state Route 508, toward Cinebar, according to Martin.

They were assisted by personnel from Districts 8, 3 and 5 and notified the state Department of Natural Resources, Martin said.

The fire is believed to have been started by a yard trimmings pile that was being burned on nearby vacant property, according to Martin.

On Wednesday afternoon, crews responded to the 600 block of Centralia-Alpha Road east of Chehalis for a brush fire that most likely started with a land clearing debris pile that the owner believed was out when they left the property, according to Riverside Fire Authority. That fire was quickly contained.

Chief Martin said various fire departments around the county are planning to hold informational meetings on how property owners can prepare in advance to defend their homes from the threat of wildfires.

Onalaska, Salkum and Mossyrock are organizing a joint gathering for residents in their communities, he said.

“I encourage people to watch for and attend these short meetings,” Martin said. “It may make the difference between their house standing at the end of fire season or it not being there.”

News brief: Adna teen finds dead birds left on his windshield at school

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – No criminal charges will be filed against two Adna High School students implicated in defiling a fellow student’s vehicle with dead baby birds and derogatory messages.

The incident was investigated at the request of the victim’s grandfather, but the boy told a deputy yesterday he did not want to press charges, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The grandfather contacted the sheriff’s office at the beginning of last week to report someone had thrown birds against the vehicle and written “I love (the N word)” and “I love men” in blood, according to the sheriff’s office.

A deputy responded to the high school and found the rear window of the Toyota 4Runner dusty with a freshly cleaned area and was told dead birds had been found under the windshield wipers and on the ground, according to the incident report.

The deputy interviewed the principal, the two suspects and their parents and was told by one of the suspects they’d found an abandoned nest with four deceased baby birds in the dugout at the baseball field and that they “smeared” the birds on the 4Forerunner, the report relates. The second suspect admitted he wrote one message on the vehicle and then wiped it off.

The victim’s parents also told the deputy they did not want to pursue criminal charges, according to the deputy’s report.

The deputy noted the video footage he viewed was grainy and it wasn’t clear exactly what the two boys were doing at the vehicle and also that he couldn’t tell if the birds were actually thrown or if they were alive.

The incident report notes the school principal suspended one student for two days and the other student for three days.

News brief: Convicted burglar a no-show for her sentencing

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer came to court today, not to argue a case, but because he was the victim.

Meyer and his wife sat in the gallery in Lewis County Superior Court, to attend the sentencing hearing for the woman who pleaded guilty to breaking into their Centralia home last year.


Janet L. Gleason

Her lawyer as well as two prosecutors handling her case, and another one of which she has been convicted also, were present in Judge Richard Brosey’s courtroom for the afternoon hearing.

But Janet L. Gleason didn’t show up.

Defense attorney Michael Underwood stepped out of the room to try three different phone numbers he had for his client. One was disconnected, a second one is no longer a working number and a third call went to voice mail, he reported.

The 43-year-old Centralia woman pleaded guilty in March to numerous felonies and is facing a recommended prison term of seven years.

Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain asked the judge to issue a bench warrant and requested Gleason’s bail be forfeited. The amount in one case is $25,000 and in the other, a drug case, is $20,000.

McClain said Gleason could face an additional charge now of bail jumping.

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

News brief: One Rochester man killed, another hurt in separate crashes

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 21-year-old Rochester resident was injured when his pickup truck wrecked in Ocean Shores last night.

Devin R. Reed was traveling northbound on state Route 115 at Damon Road when his 1988 Nissan pickup struck a parked sport utility vehicle with such force both vehicles were pushed into a nearby garage, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers called to the scene about 8:40 p.m. noted both vehicles were totaled. Reed was transported to Community Hospital, according to the state patrol.

The cause of the collision is under investigation.

Meanwhile, another Rochester man died in a separate accident on the other side of the state.

The Spokesman-Review reports Walter H. Nuehring, 59, crashed his motorcycle just before 11 p.m. on Saturday 16 miles north of Wilbur in Lincoln County.

The Spokesman writes that Nuehring struck a ditch along state Route 174 and rolled his 2007 Harley-Davidson.

Read about ex-Olympia school bus driver from Centralia charged with molesting student …

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a 50-year-old Centralia man is charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy when he was a school bus driver in Olympia more than eight years ago.

News reporter Andy Hobbs writes Jimmy W. Wall pleaded not guilty yesterday in Thurston County Superior Court and his bail was set at $300,000.

Read about it here

News brief: Embers from chimney suspected in south Thurston house fire

Monday, May 9th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Nobody was injured but the inhabitants of a small two-story home in Grand Mound were at least temporarily displaced by a house fire last night.

Fire investigators are on the scene this morning at the 5900 block of Southwest Ivan Way, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

Crews called just after 7:30 p.m. yesterday saw flames on the cedar shake roof, believed to have ignited by embers from the chimney, Chief Robert Scott said.

The occupants evacuated and the blaze was contained to the second story, according to Scott.

Wildland fire breaks out southwest of Chehalis

Monday, May 9th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Firefighters from three departments were on scene until about 6 o’clock yesterday morning attacking a wildfire on Crego Hill in Adna.

Crews called just after midnight could see  hillside flames from Frogner Road and arrived to find a blaze of about 100 feet by 100 feet and growing, according to Lewis County Fire District 6.

Burning was about a half acre of underbrush and slash piles from a previous logging operation in very steep terrain, Firefighter DJ Hammer said.

They were joined by members of Lewis County Fire Districts 5 and 13, and requested the assistance of the Department of Natural Resources, according to Hammer.

“Crews were able to keep a steady attack on the fire until the first DNR engine crew arrived on scene at approximately 6 o’clock this morning,” Hammer said yesterday in a news release.

Nobody was injured. The fire was turned over to DNR at that time, according to Hammer.

The Lewis County Fire Chiefs Association is already preparing to share information with area residents about strategies to defend their property from the threat of wildfires.

The organization is targeting people who have built or live in homes on lands prone to wildfires, called the wildland-urban interface.

“Studies show that as many as 80 percent of homes lost to wildland fire may have been saved if brush around the homes were cleared and defensible space created around structures,” Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Scott Weinert writes. “There is no better time than now to prepare and educate your family, friends and neighbors.”

A town hall-style meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on June 2 at the Lincoln Creek Grange to present information on defending property from wildfire.

The meeting is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.  The Lincoln Creek Grange is located at 1500 Lincoln Creek Road.