Archive for the ‘News briefs’ Category

News brief: Two injured in three-vehicle crash near Toledo

Friday, April 1st, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A three-car collision near Toledo today totaled all three vehicles and sent two people to the hospital.

Michael J. Freedman, 21, of Toledo, sustained a head injury and was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after the approximately 12:40 p.m. wreck, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Freedman was eastbound on Plomondon Road, and ran the stop sign as he attempted to cross state Route 505, according to the state patrol. A northbound Honda Accord struck his 1970 Toyota Corona which spun around and ran into a Ford Escape waiting at the stop sign on Jackson Highway, the patrol reported.

Melanie D. Chastain, 51, of Chehalis, the driver of the Honda, was taken to Providence with strains and bruises, according to the investigating trooper. The 72-year-old driver of the Escape, John H. Ross, of Toledo, was reportedly uninjured.

News brief: 29-year-old Rochester mother missing

Friday, April 1st, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help finding a missing 29-year-old Rochester woman.

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Lisa D. Linzy

Lisa D. Linzy left her home about 8 p.m. on Tuesday to go visit a friend in Olympia and never arrived there, according to the sheriff’s office. She was reported missing last night.

“We’re just at the point now where we don’t know where she is and we’re certainly concerned for her well-being,” sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin said. “It’s out of character for her to just take off.”

After separating from her husband in Kent, she is now living with her parents on Case Road Southwest, according to Elwin. She has a child she shares custody with.

Linzy was last known to be driving a maroon-colored 2000 Toyota Camry. It’s license plate is 396 UCU.

She is 5-feet 4-inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds.

Detectives are chasing down people who know her and have already checked hospitals and jails, Elwin said.

Her family is heavily involved in looking for her, he said.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 360-786-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 360-493-2222.

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Linzy's maroon-colored 2000 Toyota Camry is similar to this one.

News brief: Flood watch ends

Friday, April 1st, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The National Weather Service has cancelled the flood watch, according to Lewis County Emergency Management.

Heavy rains mid-week prompted the watch, in particular on waterways running off the Cascade Mountains. The Cowlitz River crested two feet below flood stage, according to Emergency Management.

March ended with the second highest rainfall in Lewis County since 1890 – recorded at 9.93 inches, according to a news release.

Forecasts are for modest showers through the weekend.

News brief: Rochester resident knocks down two men with his car, troopers say

Friday, April 1st, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 24-year-old Rochester man was arrested for vehicular assault after he allegedly knocked two men down with the open door of his car when he fled a confrontation about his speeding on a private driveway in Olympia last night.

The men were taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital with serious injuries after the 6 p.m. incident, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers tracked down Kody M. Chipman and booked him into the Thurston County Jail.

Trooper Guy Gill reported the men, Dee L. Cooper, 70, of Olympia, and Daniel I. Kitchings, 37, of Rainier, were attending a scout meeting off of South Bay Road and confronted Chipman about his driving, telling him to stay because they were going to call police. The men were standing on the driver’s side of the car, when Chipman put the car in reverse and drove off, according to Gill.

The 1990 Subaru Legacy sustained an estimated $1,500 damage and was impounded, according to the state patrol.

Read about move over, slow down or face $248 ticket …

Friday, April 1st, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian writes state troopers will begin today ticketing driver’s who don’t slow down or move over when passing emergency vehicles parked on the side of state highways.

Read about how to avoid a $248 fine here

News brief: Training fire scheduled near Rochester High School

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters plan to burn down a Grand Mound area house to clear some property owned by the Rochester School District.

The training fire adjacent to Rochester High School is scheduled to take place on May 14, a Saturday.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority expects to begin interior exercises at 8 a.m. and conclude between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. with defensive operations, according to Battalion Chief Jacob Yake.

Th school district donated the building to the fire department, according to Yake.

The address is 19735 Carper Rd S.W.

Yake notes Carper Road will be closed at Old Highway 9 and near 197th Avenue Southwest.

Registered sex offender notice: Man moves to Chehalis

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office announced this week a level three registered sex offender in Lewis County recently changed addresses and now lives in Chehalis.

Waylon B. Huestis, 30, is living on the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue.

Huestis is not wanted by law enforcement, but notification to the community is meant to inform the public and enhance public safety, according to the sheriff’s office.

Huestis was released from prison last October after a conviction a little more than 10 years ago in which he, at age 19, sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl, according to the  Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The victim reported he used physical force to overcome her resistance, according to sheriff’s detective Jamey McGinty.

The conviction was second-degree child rape.

He is on Department of Corrections supervision for three years following his release.

The sheriff’s office designated him as a level three sex offender, meaning they believe he has a high risk to reoffend.

Huestis is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 156 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.

To see more details from the bulletin and a photo of Huestis, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office web site level three sex offender page, here.

Questions? The sheriff’s office says call 360-748-9286 for detective McGinty or Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber.
•••

To search for registered sex offenders living within a specified radius from your home, work or school, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Offender Watch page, here.  There, you can also find safety tips and other information, as well as register to receive email alerts if a new offender registers with an address near you. The same link can always be found on the sidebar of Lewis County Sirens.

Registered sex offender notice: Man returns to Mossyrock area

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office announced a level three registered sex offender in Lewis County who left for a short time returned to his Mossyrock area home.

Dale G. DeHaven, 53, is living on the 100 block of Winston Creek Road.

DeHaven is not wanted by law enforcement, but notification to the community is meant to inform the public and enhance public safety, according to the sheriff’s office.

DeHaven was released from prison in 2005 after a 1993 conviction for the violent sexual assault of an 8-year-old female who was the daughter of a casual acquaintance, according to sheriff’s detective Jamey McGinty. The conviction was first-degree child rape.

Before that, he served time in prison in connection with the violent assault of a 76-year-old neighbor woman, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office designated him as a level three sex offender, meaning they believe he has a high risk to reoffend.

DeHaven is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes.

To see more details from the bulletin and a photo of DeHaven, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office web site level three sex offender page, here.

Questions? The sheriff’s office says call 360-748-9286 for detective McGinty or Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber.
•••

To search for registered sex offenders living within a specified radius from your home, work or school, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Offender Watch page, here.  There, you can also find safety tips and other information, as well as register to receive email alerts if a new offender registers with an address near you. The same link can always be found on the sidebar of Lewis County Sirens.

Breaking news: Skull found in woods near Mineral

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a partial human skull found by a hiker on Saturday near Mineral.

Detectives, with help from members of Lewis County Search and Rescue, are continuing to search the wooded area for potential evidence, according to a news release this morning.

The skull will be sent to a forensic pathologist for further examination, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown.

More to come

Prosecutor Meyer decides against pursuing death penalty for John Booth Jr.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

This news story was updated at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday March 30, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The death penalty is off the table for John Allen Booth Jr., a defendant in last August’s triple slaying inside a Salkum-Onalaska area home.

Booth, 31, is charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of David J. West Jr., 16, and Tony E. Williams, 50, of Randle.

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Deputies investigate off Gore Road on Aug. 21, 2010

He is also charged in the death of David J. West Sr. 52, and the non-fatal shooting of 51-year-old Denise Salts. He has pleaded not guilty.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer filed notice on Friday he will not seek the death penalty if Booth is convicted.

“After looking at everything, meeting with the family, looking at the case and talking with prosecutors inside and outside the office, I decided not to seek the death penalty,” Meyer said today.

Meyer declined to share what the victims’ family members thought of his decision, saying those are private conversations.

Previous Lewis County Prosecutor Michael Golden left the potential option open, but was voted out of office in November. Meyer, a former defense attorney, stepped into the elected position in January.

Booth’s attorney, James Dixon, said his client is pleased with the prosecutor’s decision, and anxious to proceed to trial.

Booth and former prison cell mate Ryan J. McCarthy, 29, of Redmond, are charged in the case.

Authorities have said they believe the two men’s Aug. 21 visit to the house on Wings Way off Gore Road was related to a drug debt collection.

Booth, a former Onalaska resident, is set for trial  the week of May 16, however, prosecutors have asked a judge to consolidate the two cases into one trial.

McCarthy’s trial is scheduled for the week of Oct. 10.

Dixon indicated he will oppose the motion.

“He has a right to a speedy trial,” Dixon said in an emailed note. “He has waived that right already, but that waiver does not extend to the date currently set for Mr. McCarthy’s trial.”

•••

Read background on the case:

• “West Sr. pointed shotgun telling pair of ex-cons to leave his house, triggering triple homicide, unsealed court documents allege” from Saturday Sept. 4, 2010, here
• “Unsealed document: More details on Salkum slayings” from Monday Sept. 6, 2010, here

News brief: Chicken-hauling truck rolls over outside Centralia

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
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Two trailer loads of chickens on their way to a processing plant overturned outside Centralia this morning / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff's Office

This was updated at 11:20 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A semi-truck carrying some 5,000 chickens rolled over this morning on Salzer Valley Road outside Centralia sending one man to the hospital and closing down the roadway temporarily.

Riverside Fire Authority called shortly after 8 a.m. to the wreck near Centralia-Alpha Road found the 22-year-old driver sustained minor injuries. He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to fire Capt. Scott Snyder.

Some of the chickens escaped and some were not so fortunate, according to Snyder.

There were “quite a few” chickens all over the place, Snyder said.

“They’re going to be picked up by the farm and sorted out cause there were some fatalities I guess,” Snyder said.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported numerous chickens died and the “several” injured poultry were to be taken away to be euthanized.

The Freightliner truck was hauling two trailers loaded with 26 crates of poultry, according to the sheriff’s office.

The birds were on their way from a farm on Schafer Road to a Foster farms processing plant in Kelso, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown reported.

The truck driver, a Kelso resident, failed to negotiate a corner and drove onto the soft shoulder which caused the truck to roll, according to Brown. He is expected to be cited for going too fast.

The semi belongs to Signature trucking.

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Courtesy photo by the Lewis County Sheriff's Office

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Courtesy photo by the Lewis County Sheriff's Office

News brief: Flood watch issued in Lewis and nine other counties

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A flood watch is in effect for Lewis and other counties in Western Washington from tomorrow afternoon into Friday as expected heavy rain combines with rising freezing levels.

A warm and strong Pacific storm system will bring rain later tonight and is expected to stall over the area for 24 to 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Counties under the flood watch include Lewis, Thurston, Mason, Pierce, Clallam, Jefferson, Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and King counties.

A flood watch means conditions are favorable for flooding but it is not imminent or occurring. The weather service recommends folks monitor weather forecasts.

News brief: Toledo man hurt in Friday night wreck

Monday, March 28th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Toledo man was seriously injured after a Friday night single-vehicle collision on the 400 block of South Jackson Highway.

Frances M. Wharton, 48, suffered facial trauma when his sport utility vehicle struck a utility pole, according to the Washington State Patrol.

A trooper called to the scene about 9:30 p.m. reported the 1994 Ford explorer was northbound when it ran along a ditch about 100 feet and hit the pole.

The Washington State Patrol said Wharton was flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. However, a hospital spokesperson said they had no record of him being admitted.

His vehicle as described as totaled.

News brief: Rochester man critical after weekend crash near Castle Rock

Monday, March 28th, 2011
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Photo shared by Kari Johnson

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Rochester man was listed in critical condition yesterday after a Saturday afternoon collision on Interstate 5 north of Castle Rock.

Michael T. Burleson, 27, of Rochester was a passenger in a northbound car about 2:15 p.m. on Saturday which lost control and ran into the rear of a disabled vehicle on the right shoulder near milepost 53, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Burleson suffered a cracked skull, a broken neck and five broken ribs, according to the state patrol. He was flown to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver, the patrol reported.

The driver of the 1996 Nissan 2SX he was traveling in, Guy B. Rostan, 26, also of Rochester, was taken to St. John Medical Center in Longview with head and chest injuries. A  hospital spokesperson said yesterday Rostan was treated and released.

The state patrol blamed the hydroplaning on driving too fast.

A 50-year-old Portland woman in the 2005 Mitsubishi Montero that they hit – Maria O’Brien – was admitted to St. John Medical Center and in stable condition yesterday.

Read about guilty plea entered in August slaying on the Tenino bicycle trail …

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports the Tenino man found with a dead woman wrapped in a sleeping bag in the passenger compartment of his truck in August has pleaded guilty.

Bernard K. Howell III

Bernard K. Howell III, now 27, was charged in Thurston County Superior Court in the death of Vanda Skau Boone, a woman prosecutors believe met her fate on the bicycle path known as the Yelm to Tenino Trail.

Investigators said the 60-year-old woman’s throat was cut. Boone was a massage therapist who worked in Olympia and lived in Yelm.

Olympian news reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes a sentencing date has not yet been set for the self-employed door-to-door meat salesman.

Read The Olympian’s story here

Read background on the case here

CORRECTION: This headline referring to a news story in The Olympian was corrected to reflect that, despite what The Olympian reported, there was no plea agreement in Howell’s case.

Breaking news: Victims of Winlock suspected murder-suicide named

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office has released the names of the family who were found dead in their Winlock-area home Tuesday night.

They are Rodney Walter, 57, Cathy Lee Walter, 65 and their 18-year-old son Devon Walter.

The Walter’s, their three dogs and a cat were found dead of apparent gunshots in what the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office believes was a double murder and suicide.

•••

Read “Winlock family and pets shot dead in suspected murder-suicide” from Wednesday March 16, 2011, here

News brief: Detectives called out to Winlock area

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating “a scene” in South Lewis County.

Aid and deputies were called about 9 p.m. to a report of someone unconscious in the Winlock area.

Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber said just before midnight they are investigating a scene and that’s all he would say.

More later

Registered sex offender notice: Man registers as homeless in Lewis County

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office announced last week a 50-year-old local level two sex offender is now registered as living homeless in Lewis County.

Sheldon M. Moren is not wanted by law enforcement, but notification to the community is meant to inform the public and enhance public safety, according to the sheriff’s office.

Moren is not new to the area. He has previously lived in Chehalis. He was just released from jail on unrelated charges, according to detective Jamey McGinty

He was convicted in 1989 for indecent liberties related to two different 9-year-old children, according to the sheriff’s office. Each involved contact of a sexual nature.

One victim was a boy he is related to and the other a girl who was known to him, according to McGinty.

Moren is designated as a level two sex offender, meaning the sheriff’s office believes he is a clear risk to the community. Those at the highest risk to reoffend are labeled level three.

Moren is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Because Moren has no permanent address, he is required to check in with Detective McGinty weekly.

To see more details and a photo of Moren, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Offender Watch page, here.

Questions? The sheriff’s office says call 360-748-9286 for detective Brad Borden or Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber.
•••

To search for registered sex offenders living within a specified radius from your home, work or school, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Offender Watch page, here.  There, you can also find safety tips and other information, as well as register to receive email alerts if a new offender registers with an address near you. The same link can always be found on the sidebar of Lewis County Sirens.

News brief: Two locals join Washington State Patrol

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two local people are among 45 new troopers who will receive their commission and oath of office during a ceremony tomorrow in Olympia.

The graduation for the 98th Washington State Patrol basic training class will take place in the Capitol Rotunda.

Among the graduates are Tara L. Hicks of Silver Creek who will be assigned duties in Hoquiam and Nicholas B. Macomber of Napavine who is assigned to Naselle, according to a news release from the state patrol.