Archive for the ‘News briefs’ Category

SWAT team visits South Tower Avenue residence looking for drugs

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Updated 5:15 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Centralia Police Department’s SWAT team visited an apartment on the 700 block of South Tower Avenue last night, arresting two people following a several-week long investigation into drug dealing.

A search warrant was served about 7:15 p.m., according to Officer John Panco.

“It was basically uneventful,” Panco said. “Nobody was hurt, nobody resisted.”

Michael A. Kellogg, 40, of Centralia, was arrested and booked for two counts of delivery of methamphetamine, as well as one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, according to Panco.

Alyssa A. Bowman, 24, also of Centralia, was arrested and booked for possession of methamphetamine, he said.

Panco said he didn’t know the amount of drugs found at at the residence, but said both individuals had drugs “on their person.”

The arrests were the culmination of an investigation by the police department’s anti-crime team, he said.

Update: Kellogg was charged this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court with selling heroin, not methamphetamine. A spokesperson for the Centralia Police Department said he may have misunderstood what drug was at issue.

However, Kellogg was also charged with possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine. His bail was set at $20,000.

Also, a woman arrested by Centralia police on Monday, Jinney S. Unger, was charged today with three counts of delivery of heroin, plus possession of heroin and meth.

Police said the cases are unrelated.

Read about Toledo warehouse fire was arson …

Monday, January 30th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports the fire that destroyed a downtown Toledo warehouse in August was an arson.

The building belonged to volunteer Firefighter Nicholas Delin, of Toledo, who had recently shut down Toledo Hardware around the corner.

News reporter Natalie St. John writes that Toledo Police Chief John Brockmueller reported to the city council the Seattle-based company which investigated the blaze concluded it was likely started by an arsonist; and that the chief has several suspects.

Delin lost a similar building in a fire in Winlock about three years earlier.

Read more here.

Read about preferred pain drug – methadone – now called last resort …

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Seattle Times reports doctors are receiving stark warnings that methadone is riskier and more dangerous than previously believed because it’s unpredictable and poses a heightened risk of accidental death.

Methadone is the same drug that got Toledo’s Dr. Lance Christansen in trouble after a string of patient deaths primarily attributed by authorities to over-prescribing methadone.

Two Seattle Times reporters wrote back in December about a “preferred” drug list that took effect in 2004 for doctors prescribing to those covered under injured workers claims, state workers and Medicaid.

That was the same year complaints began about Christiansen after four Lewis County residents died.

Among those who raised alarms about Christiansen, was the state Department of Labor and Industries, sparked by a call from the Lewis County Coroner’s Office about suspicious deaths.

In one of those deaths, the state alleged Christiansen prescribed five to 10 times the appropriate amount. His license to practice was subsequently taken away.

Read  The Seattle Times story “Preferred pain drug now called last resort” from The Seattle Times on  Saturday January 27, 2012 at 8:59 p.m., here

Read about former Chehalis police chief seeking Yakima chief job …

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that former Chehalis Police Chief Dale Miller is among six candidates to lead the Yakima Police Department.

Miller, 47, moved to Ellensburg to take over the chief position in the summer of 2006 after almost two decades with the Chehalis Police Department, the last two in the top post.

Yakima Herald-Republic news reporter Mark Morey writes the Yakima department employs more than 130 officers and operates with a $24 million budget.

Read more here

Breaking news: Two die in Interstate 5 wreck near Winlock

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

A father and son from Vancouver died at the scene this morning when they collided with a big rig. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol.

Updated at 10:22 a.m. and 2:58 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A pickup truck that slammed into the rear of a semi truck on Interstate 5 this morning near the Toledo-Winlock state Route 505 interchange left two people dead.

The northbound lanes of the freeway remain closed after the approximately 8 a.m. wreck.

Traffic was being detoured around the closure, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Lewis County Fire District 15 was called just after 8 a.m. to the collision near milepost 63.

A helicopter landed on the freeway to transport one of the two male victims but he became deceased, Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson said.

Anderson called it a very violent collision into the back of the big rig.

The Washington State Patrol identified the pair as a father and his teenage son from Vancouver, Wash.

Antoliy P. Kovalchuk, 43, and 15-year-old Mark Kovalchuk were at the end of of an approximately four-mile backup from an earlier wreck farther north when their Toyota T-100 pickup struck the rear of a Kenworth semi with a flatbed trailer, according to Trooper Ryan Tanner.

Neither were wearing a seat belt, according to Tanner.

The blockage was expected to continue until as late as 11:30 a.m., according to the state Department of Transportation.

News brief: Semi truck, van wreck on Interstate 5 south of Chehalis

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

A semi truck lays on its side in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near about eight miles south of Chehalis. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol.

Updated 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A semi truck traveling northbound on Interstate 5 lost control of its trailer and slid on its side some 150 yards, blocking the roadway earlier this morning.

The 2005 International truck with two trailers was totaled as was a van that ran into one of the trailers, according to the Washington State Patrol.

It happened about 3 a.m. near milepost 68 south of Chehalis.

The state patrol reported the van’s driver, Michael H. Houseman, 42, of Rochester, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with chest pain as well as cuts to his face and arms. However, Lewis County Fire District 15 said he was picked up by a helicopter at Winlock High School and taken elsewhere.

The state patrol said his passenger, Gregory L. Aline, 20, also of Rochester, was unhurt, but District 15 Assistant Chief Kevin Anderson said the passenger was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital.

The semi truck driver, from Kent, is said to be uninjured.

The cause of the wreck is under investigation.

Trooper Ryan Tanner said at 8:30 a.m. the freeway lanes just re-opened.

However, another collision at about 8 o’clock this morning has shut down the northbound lanes at milepost 63, near the Toledo-Winlock state Route 505 interchange, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Traffic is being detoured around the closure, according to DOT spokesperson Heidi Sause.


A 1990 Plymouth Voyager van crashed into one of the trailers. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol.

Read about outlook grim for four missing at Mount Rainier …

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Tacoma) News Tribune reports a spokesperson for Mount Rainier National Park says the likelihood of the four people missing on the mountain being found alive is slim.

Read about it here

Read about Rochester residents get good news about power outages …

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports that after almost a week without electricity, Rochester-area residents were told they should get their power restored by today.

Read about it here

Read about small earthquake south of Morton …

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports a magnitude 3.4 earthquake occurred about 2:51 a.m. on Wednesday about 10 miles north of Mount St. Helens.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network described the quake as centered about 15 miles south of Morton and a little more than five miles deep.

News brief: Driver injured south of Chehalis on I-5

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Responders at one-car crash off Interstate 5 near exit 72 / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 5

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Firefighters called to a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 5 south of Chehalis this morning found a car that had collided with a light pole and several trees, according to Lewis County Fire District 5.

It happened just before 10 a.m. in the northbound lanes near exit 72, according to Fire Lt. Laura Hanson.

The driver – the car’s only occupant – was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with injuries that called for an ambulance staffed with advanced life support personnel, according to Hanson.

News brief: Blood donors needed

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Authorities are repeating an appeal for blood donations during the coming week as the winter storms have caused the regional blood supply to drop to emergency levels.

Yvette Olive, the donor resources representative for Lewis County, notes the inventory has taken a huge hit.

The Puget Sound Blood Center’s Dr. James P. AuBuchon said in a news release this morning they have a ways to go before normal levels will be restored.

“If you haven’t given blood recently, we’re asking donors to make a special effort this week to donate,” AuBuchon stated. “Donors provide a live-saving gift, and we’re counting on sustained support from donors and the community to replenish our blood supply by the end of this month.”

Two opportunities are available tomorrow to give in Lewis County:

• Lewis County Mall at 151 N.E. Hampe Way in Chehalis from 10 a.m. until noon and 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

• Thorbeckes gym parking lot at 91 S.W. Chehalis Avenue in Chehalis from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Olive says if someone is unsure about their eligibility, they can phone 1-800-398-7888. Walk-ins are welcome at the mall but an appointment can be made here

Read about four still stranded on Mount Rainier …

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Tacoma) News Tribune writes that a break in the weather has allowed for an air search this morning for four people more than a week overdue from climbing and camping at Mount Rainier.

A one-miles temporary flight restriction is currently in place around the mountain however, park authorities reported later this morning.

Over the past week, ground teams have encountered white-out conditions, winds 60 mph and higher as well as snow depths of 10 to 15 feet with drifts up to 50 feet, according to park spokesperson Patti Wold said today.

Read about it, here

News brief: Only 103 customers without power in Centralia

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia City Light service truck is heading to power outages in the area of North Tower Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue and Northrup as crews aim to get electricity restored for their last few customers this morning.

Two crews from Cowlitz County PUD are working in the areas of Proffitt Road / Salzer Valley, Borst Avenue, Johnson Road and Pioneer Way, according to an 8:15 a.m. update from city light this morning.

Currently they have 103 customers without power, according to city light technical assistant Ashley Stemkoski.

Lewis County: Swelling streams and rivers possible

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Updated at 4:25 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A flood watch is in effect through tomorrow afternoon in Lewis, Thurston, Grays Harbor and other western Washington counties with heavy rain expected to combine with melting of this week’s record snowfalls.

It could drive the Chehalis River, the Newaukum River and the Skokomish River above flood stage, although any flooding is likely to be minor, according to the National Weather Service.

Small stream flooding is possible as well, the weather service says.

All areas could see “ponding” of water, especially around clogged drains and culverts, according to forecasters.

“Uncertainty is high with this event and the snow melt is a big part of that uncertainty,” the weather bulletin reads.

Additionally, an avalanche watch is in place through tonight for the Cascade and Olympic mountains.

Check the forecast and warnings for your area, here and here


Both the above links – “Weather forecasts” and “River levels” are always available on the right hand sidebar of Lewis County

News brief: 911: For emergencies only please

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County 911 center wants to remind the public to call 911 for emergencies only.

If someone’s power is out or they want to report a road-related issue they should call those entities responsible, according to Laura Hanson of Lewis County Communications-911.

“We just want to keep the 911 lines open for emergencies,” Hanson said.

She offers some phone numbers:
• Lewis County PUD: 748-9261
• Centralia City Light: 330-7512
• Lewis County Public Works: 740-1123

Also, for information on road closures or restrictions, try:
Road conditions, Lewis County
State highway travel alerts