Archive for the ‘News briefs’ Category

News brief: Centralia pizza prank leads to criminal investigation

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Police are investigating after a Dominoes Pizza delivery person showed up at a Centralia man’s door with more than $400 worth of pizza and beverages he did not order.

An officer who responded to the home on the 500 block of Yew Street last night learned someone used the 52-year-old man’s credit card to place the order, but it wasn’t him.

Sgt. Kurt Reichert said the unknown caller gave the man’s correct phone number for verification.

The man is a regular customer, he said.

“The pizza place was willing to go on past history, and deliver it to the guy,” Reichert said.

The sergeant said he wasn’t sure how many pizzas were delivered, or what was done with them after it was discovered it was a bogus order.

They did learn it was a female who called for the delivery, he said.

The victim passed along a name of a person who has had access to his credit card in the past, and the investigation continues.

Read about deputies asked to investigate ‘hit list’ at Onalaska Middle School …

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Kirotv.com reports a letter was sent home with Onalaska Middle School students after a boy allegedly made threats and claimed to have a ‘hit list’ targeting students.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office was unable to confirm such a list existed and received conflicting statements from witnesses, according to news reporter Richard Thompson.

Read more here

News brief: Don’t run over the firefighters, please

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters will be “occupying” the intersection of Belmont Avenue and Haviland Street near the Centralia Outlet Mall on Friday afternoon as they conduct a “boot drive” fundraiser.

Dollars collected will benefit burn victims and their families, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

“This an opportunity for our community to raise money and awareness for burn prevention and help families affected by burn injuries begin the healing process,” Firefighter-paramedic Jennifer Ternan stated in a news release.

Donations will go the the Northwest Burn Foundation, to assist with housing for families while their loved ones get treatment at the Seattle Burn Center and for children who have survived burns to attend summer camp, according to Ternan.

The event takes place between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. and may cause traffic congestion, according to the fire department.

Ternan offers some facts and advice:

• In Washington state, scald injuries are the second leading cause of death to children ages 4 years and younger.
• Just one second of contact with hot liquid can injure a child for life.
• Scalds can be prevented by lowering your water heater’s temperature setting to below 120 degrees.
• Never leave any child alone in the bathtub or in the kitchen.

Read about Tenino could eliminate police force …

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

KING5.com reports Tenino’s Mayor Eric Strawn is considering getting rid of the city’s police department to deal with $150,000 shortfall in next year’s budget.

Reporter Drew Mikkelsen writes the five officer department accounts for 53 percent of Tenino’s operating fund.

Read more here

Read about Sixty-seven dogs moved out of Doty home …

Friday, October 19th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

KOMOnews.com reports that dozen of foxhounds were seized today from a home in Doty; animals living in deplorable conditions.

The sheriff’s office said the county had been working with the dogs’ owner in an effort to get her property up to code, but she has given up custody of the animals, according to the news item.

Read about it here

Read about Lewis County: Fertile ground for puppy mills …

Friday, October 19th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News writes about how no requirement for permits or licenses for dog breeders in Lewis County allows unhealthy conditions to go unchecked.

Reporter Natalie St. John reports residents can refuse inspectors access to facilities.

St. John describes how it was a tip about possible marijuana growing  three years ago in Toledo that led authorities to one of the worst cases of animal abuse investigators had ever seen; where many of 157 dog were sick or malnourished and feces covered nearly every surface.

Read more here

Read about motel room blood in Packwood leads to Yakima man, death …

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the man who died during an armed confrontation yesterday in a Yakima mobile home park after blood found in a Lewis County motel room led police to check on him, is a 55-year-old who lived with his mother at the mobile home park.

News reporter Chris Bristol writes Yakima police said the man turned a gun on himself and they suspect the motel room blood could have been from an earlier suicide attempt.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Chief Criminal Deputy Stacy Brown said deputies were notified on Monday blood had been found at the Cowlitz River Lodge in Packwood and investigated it. They asked Yakima police yesterday to do a welfare check on the man who had been staying in the room, she said.

Read more here

News brief: Burn ban ending

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Restrictions on outdoor burning in Lewis County will be lifted tomorrow, according to county fire marshal Fred Chapman.

A burn ban went into effect on Aug. 13 because of the fire danger caused by hot, dry weather.

Permits are still required. Outdoor burning remains prohibited in cities, towns and their urban growth areas.

For further information contact: Lewis County Community Development, in the Lewis County Public Services building, at 2025 NE Kresky Ave., Chehalis or call 740-1146.  Burn permits may be obtained online at the county website.

Thurston County’s burn restrictions were lifted yesterday.

News brief: One hurt in afternoon state Route 6 crash

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 73-year-old man was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after a single-vehicle wreck on state Route 6 west of Chehalis this afternoon.

The Washington State Patrol said Duke Enlow, a South Bend resident, was westbound when he entered a sweeping curve and lost control. The vehicle went broadside, crossed the eastbound lanes and ran into a dirt embankment, according to the state patrol.

A passing off-duty medic was on scene when Lewis County Fire District 11 arrived, Chief Michael Krafczyk said, and the driver was sitting on the side of the road.

The state patrol reported Enlow was injured; the chief said he couldn’t say exactly in what way. But the driver was conscious and talking, according to Krafczyk.

“We back-boarded, C-collared, sent him to town,” Krafczyk said. “Not being a doctor, I’d be guessing if I told you.”

It happened just before the west end of River Road, shortly before 2:45 p.m. The 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor came to rest on its passenger side.

The investigating trooper noted Enlow was traveling too fast.

Youth fire safety poster winners named

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
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Fifth grader Taya McCallum’s colored diagram featuring escape routes from the home is among the six posters honored as grand champions in the competition.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

“Have two ways out” was the theme of this year’s countywide fire safety poster contest, the grand champion winners of which were announced this weekend.

School children around Lewis County participated and prizes were awarded on Saturday by Riverside Fire Authority Assistant Chief Rick Mack at the Centralia Outlet mall, according to Napavine-area Fire Lt. Laura Hanson.

More than 120 first place posters were displayed at the mall.

The grand champions – one from each grade level – will get their names engraved on the “Capt. Brian Slater Ward” plaque which is permanently displayed at the Chehalis Fire Department.

Assistant Chief Mack says the top six winners this year are:

• First grade: Dakota Lafferty, Ford’s Prairie Elementary, Ms. Rakes’ class
• Second grade: Ben Puris, Jefferson Lincoln Elementary, Ms. Nederland class
• Third grade: Makensee Taliaferro-Bouge, of Napavine Elementary, Ms. Teitzel’s class
• Fourth grade: Kollin Jurek, of Pe Ell Elementary, Ms. Jurek’s class
• Fifth grade: Taya McCallum, of St Joseph Catholic School, Ms. Cleary’s class
• Sixth grade: Emily Elswick, of White Pass Elementary, Ms. Keniston’s class

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From left to right, Firefighter-Paramedic Jennifer Ternan, and grand champions from each grade: Makensee Taliaferro-Bouge, Ben Puris, Emily Elswick ,Taya McCallum and Kollin Jurek, with Assistant Chief Rick Mack. Not pictured, Dakota Lafferty.

News brief: Sheriff’s Office wants to “friend” you

Monday, October 15th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has launched a Facebook page, sharing what they are doing and how they are involved in the community.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield indicates it’s part of an effort to reach more people to increase public awareness on important public safety topics.

“I encourage and support your participation and partnership, Mansfield writes. “Together we can make a positive difference in efficiently and effectively addressing public safety issues.”

Among the information the sheriff’s office plans to provide are sex offender notifications, current scams in the area, “found” items, wanted persons, hiring notices, search and rescue missions and Lewis County Crime Stoppers crime of the week.

For those on Facebook, the page can be found here

Read about Littlerock area teen sentenced for fatally shooting father …

Friday, October 12th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a Littlerock area boy was sentenced to at least three and half years for fatally shooting his sleeping father last year.

News reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes the plea deal stems from the October 2011 death of Jimmie Asher Jr. at his home on the 10900 block of Delphi Road.

Read about it here

News brief: Crews focusing on north side of South Point fire

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Fire crews completed a 150-acre “burnout” along Forest Service Road 2115 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest south of Packwood yesterday and continued battling the forest fire today.

The burnout creates a line between the fire and Packwood which is about 10 miles to the north and also is meant keep it from reaching Johnson Creek, according to the officials.

Gifford Pinchot National Forest spokesperson Ken Sandusky said in a news release this afternoon that two hand crews would be on the ground to ensure the edge remains secure.

A helitanker – a combination heavy helicopter and water tanker – has been dropping water on the fire, concentrating on the north flank, according to Sandusky.

The blaze, including the intentional burn, covers about 450 acres now, Sandusky stated. It began on a ridge called South Point in early September.

If all goes well, Forest Service Road 21 will open tomorrow, the Forest Service says.

Campfire closures remain in place in the Gifford Pinchot.

For updates and other information, go to Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Wildfire information, here

Read about 240,000 arrested for having pot in Wash. …

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Seattle Times published a story today that says a new study indicates almost a quarter million people have been arrested for marijuana possession over the past 25 years in Washington State.

Associated Press writer Gene Johnson says the report released today is based on data from the FBI.

Read about it here

Seattle Times reporter Jonathan Martin looked in more detail and reported arrests are estimated to have cost at least $300 million.

Read Martin’s story here

Read about the new meth: Much stronger and much less expensive …

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Everett) Herald published a story today about how exceptionally cheaper and extraordinarily more potent methamphetamine is being smuggled into U.S. markets from Mexico compared with five years ago.

And lots more of it.

Read the Associated Press news story about the changes that come in part with a new recipe that tuns out a clearer, glassier product.

The Associated Press writer quotes a DEA agent as calling the manufacturers “marketing geniuses” who are expanding their customer base by getting more people hooked.

Read about it here

News brief: Auditor finds shortcomings in Ony fire department’s adherence to bid laws

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An audit issued for the Onalaska area fire department found the department violated parts of the state law requiring competitively bidding projects and purchases.

An elected three-member board governs Lewis County Fire District 1 and it has one part-time employee. The Washington State Auditor’s Office noted the district had several staffing changes during the audit period – the four years ending on Dec. 31, 2011 –  and couldn’t locate documentation to support some of the transactions.

Specifically, they obtained quotes for fire gear and a vehicle totaling $80,867 but should have formally bid the purchases, according to report issued on Monday. The district did not retain records to support why it didn’t choose the lowest bidder on one of the purchases, the report states.

Also, it used another fire district’s bid to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus, but didn’t have a formal agreement with that district allowing the use of the bid, according to the report.

Also, while the district used Lewis County’s so-called small works roster for construction of a new fire station, it hadn’t formally adopted the use of the roster as required, the report states.

The auditor notes the effects of the conditions are the district limited competition for the new fire station and its purchases, and cannot demonstrate it adequately safeguarded resources by getting the best price and / or bidder.

The auditor recommended the fire district ensure its staff get adequate training and understand the importance of compliance with bid laws

The fire district’s response to the auditor was its board will formally adopt the use of the small works roster process; it will review the law and follow required procedures in the future; and it did get multiple quotes to find the best price while staying with like equipment, the report notes.

District one changed fire chiefs and its secretary, as well as had six different commissioners serving during the audit period.

There were no shortcomings identified in other areas examined, such as payroll, general revenue, financial condition and open public meetings act. Nor have any findings been made in the previous three audits.

The fire district, with approximately 30 volunteers, operated on an annual budget of $400,000 which comes from property taxes and an EMS levy, according to audit.

Food on stove ignites Centralia home

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A family on the 500 block of Hemlock Street in Centralia is displaced after a house fire yesterday evening that started on a stove top.

Firefighters called about 6:15 p.m. found heavy smoke coming from the eves of the two-story house, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The occupants had stepped out briefly while preparing dinner, according to Assistant Fire Chief Rick Mack.

Mack estimated the damage at about $50,000.

“The structural damage was limited,” Mack said. “Mostly it’s all the kitchen cabinets and counter tops.”

However, most of the contents of the home were damaged or destroyed by heavy smoke and heat, Mack said.

News brief: Centralia toddler homicide by abuse trial to last a week

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – James M. Reeder, now 26, appeared briefly in court today when lawyers apprised the judge of their progress in preparation for a trial in the death of 2-year-old Koralynn Fister.

Prosecutors allege Reeder tortured and raped his live-in girlfriend’s youngest daughter in their Centralia home. Reeder was arrested May 24 after he claimed he found her face down in the bathtub.

Defense attorney David Arcuri and Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead told the judge they thought the trial would last seven days. It is set for the week of January 28.

Reeder is charged in Lewis County Superior Court with homicide by abuse, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree child rape and possession of methamphetamine.

He has pleaded not guilty.
•••

For background, read “Defendant in Centralia toddler death by abuse case pleads not guilty” from Thursday July 12, 2012, here

Search continues for missing mushroom picker near Randle

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A second night fell with no sign of a 79-year-old Tacoma man who vanished while gathering mushrooms in the forests south of Randle.

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Dapeng Yang

Dapeng Yang is an experienced hiker and isn’t believed to have any medical issues which would have contributed to him getting lost, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Searchers combed the area until dark last night and more than 30 individuals are looking for Yang again today, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

He and two female family members were in the area off Forest Road 26 near Strawberry Mountain picking mushrooms on Sunday.

They last saw him about 10:30 a.m. and called for help when he did not reappear by 3 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

It’s a heavily wooded area about 10 miles south of Randle, according to Brown.

The sheriff’s office says he was not prepared for an overnight stay, although he did have a backpack with water.

Multiple search and rescue teams from around Western Washington are assisting.
•••

For background, read: “Tacoma man missing from mushroom gathering outing south of Randle” from Monday October 8, 2012 at 8:40 a.m., here

News brief: Winds expand forest fire south of Packwood

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Forest Service was ramping up efforts yesterday after aggressively fighting a forest fire about 10 miles south of Packwood over the weekend, using helicopters to drop water on the flames.

The so-called South Point Fire has grown to more than 250 acres, as east winds contributed to higher fire behavior over the past couple of days, according to a news release Monday from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

“Most of the fire spread has been to the southeast, away from town, so it still seems unlikely this fire will move off forest or threaten the community of Packwood,”  District Ranger Garr Abbas said in the news release.

Conditions including rough terrain has kept personnel from fighting the fire on the ground, according to Abbas.

On the east side, the fire is reaching toward the bottom of the Johnson Creek drainage near Forest Road 3115, according to the Forest Service.

Forest Road 21 is closed temporarily to facilitate their suppression efforts.

Abbas noted they are working with the Packwood Fire Department to schedule another community meeting at their station at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to help keep the public informed.

Officials have said they believe the fire was sparked in early September by lightening.

A new fire began over the weekend in the Mineral block of the National Forest that was measured yesterday afternoon at about five acres, but is roughly 65 percent contained and was expected to be fully contained by today, according to Abbas. The new fire presents no known threat to the public or adjacent landowners currently, he stated.

Hoped for shifting winds may help by bringing moister air and cooler temperatures, he noted.

•••

CORRECTION: This news story has been updated to correctly reflect the numbered name of the road near the Johnson Creek drainage.

Tacoma man missing from mushroom gathering outing south of Randle

Monday, October 8th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Volunteers on horseback are looking for a 79-year-old Tacoma man who got separated and lost from his family yesterday while picking mushrooms near Randle.

He was with two family members off Forest Road 26 near Strawberry Mountain about 10 miles south of Randle at 10:30 a.m. yesterday; the family called for assistance about 3 p.m. after looking for him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

“When they could not find him they returned to their car and waited,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown stated in a news release. “When he didn’t return to the car they began searching for him but were still unable to find him.”

Temperatures reached 32 degrees in the area last night, according to Brown.

The missing man had a backpack with water but was not prepared for an overnight stay, she said. The family said he is an experienced hiker.

Packwood Search and Rescue along with Cascade Dogs searched for him until about midnight, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lewis County Posse’s horse team and citizen ham radio operators are at the scene this morning searching, Brown said.

Volunteer search and rescue groups from Thurston and Cowlitz counties are en route to assist, according to Brown.

Kirotv.com identifies the missing man as Dapeng Yang.