Archive for July, 2013

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Updated at 6:41 p.m.


• A suspicious fire early this morning at a Rochester home is under investigation. Firefighters called about 2:30 a.m. to the Sunny Acres Mobile Home Park on the 6000 block of Southwest 203rd Avenue found a porch had caught fire although a neighbor extinguished it with a garden hose, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. Nobody was home at the time but a neighbor arriving home spotted the flames, Chief Robert Scott said. Scott said an investigator was back out at the mobile home this morning. The burned area was on the top of a wood rail, he said. “We’ll follow up with law, we’ve talked with the property owner,” he said. The resident indicated they had no idea who might do such a thing, according to Scott. A fire on Sunday about five miles to the north in which a barn was destroyed is also under investigation. Seven fire departments assisted with that blaze on Case Road at the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area which spread to about two acres before it was contained.


• Firefighters extinguished a smoldering grass fire about 8:15 p.m. yesterday on undeveloped property along the 2500 block of Highway 603 north of Winlock. Firefighter Patrick Jacobson said it was probably 50 yards away from the road. “There wasn’t anyone around, I don’t know what the cause was,” Jacobson said. It was contained to an area of about 25 by 30 feet, he said.


• Someone broke into a residence on the 500 block of North Iron Street in Centralia and left with a Sony game console, according to a report made to police at 2 p.m. yesterday. The case is still under investigation,  according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police responded  about 5:10 a.m. today to a report of a stolen red 1999 Honda Civic at the 1000 block of Eckerson Road. It has a license plate that reads 389 BEQ,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone stole a broken down car valued at $200 that was left parked at the 1400 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Ethel, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. A deputy contacted Monday by its 19-year-old owner was told it was left there on July 20 when it would not start, according to the sheriff’s office. It is a red 1997 Dodge Stratus with a license plate of 682 WTJ, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.


• Centralia police were called to the 100 block of West Chestnut Street about 7 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of unspecified property from an unlocked shed. It’s not clear yet what is missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Someone threw a rock through the back window of a vehicle parked at Mellen and Yew streets in Centralia, according to  report made to police yesterday morning.

• A deputy will be looking at security footage to find out who spun cookies on the lawn at Onalaska High School and caused $30 damage to a rhododendron plant on Monday night or Tuesday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A 23-year-old woman was jailed yesterday after she refused to give her name or identification to a sheriff’s deputy. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy contacted two people in a vehicle that was parked in a no trespass area off Coal Creek Road outside Chehalis about 2:40 p.m. A male and a female were having a dispute, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The woman was driven to Centralia where a police officer there confirmed who she was, Brown said. Carlina F. Anderson, 23, of Centralia, was arrested and booked for obstructing a public servant, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A 31-year-old Chehalis man was arrested overnight after police were called to Southwest Interstate Avenue and told he grabbed a bicycle and threw it down, causing his female companion to fall. Jesse J. Wheeler was booked into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A 55-year-old bicyclist was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with injuries to his face after he collided with the back end of a flatbed trailer on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 12 east of Randle yesterday evening. Troopers and aid called about 6:10 p.m. to the scene found a truck and trailer had pulled off to the side of the highway, according to Lewis County Fire District 14. “Apparently for some reason the bicyclist didn’t see it and ran into it, fairly fast by the looks of it,” Fire Chief Jeff Jaques said. Paul N. Small was traveling eastbound when it happened, according to the state patrol. The chief said he was wearing a helmet. The investigating trooper reports Small lives in Randle. Jaques said he believed he is a Packwood resident.

• A 21-year-old Onalaska woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after she rolled her car on the 500 block of Larmon Road near Onalaska yesterday evening. She said a deer appeared in front of her and she lost control of the vehicle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deer tracks were found into the ditch; the driver was not cited, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo was described as totaled.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarms, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, non-injury collision, inquiry about legality of discharging a Zombie Shooter inside city limits; complaints of car squirreling around, homeless person bothering customers … and more.

News brief: Coroner confirms woman discovered in river is Chehalis resident

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Updated at 6:21 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office said the woman who was found dead in the Skookumchuck River on Monday is 40-year-old Tina A. Thode of Chehalis.

She is the woman police suspected she was, Coroner Warren McLeod said this morning.

McLeod said he doesn’t yet know how she died.

A pair of teenagers floating down the river in Centralia spotted the body and contacted authorities on Monday evening. Centralia police said there were no obvious signs of traumatic injury or foul play, but that responders had spent several hours on Saturday night trying to locate Thode in the same area when she called 911 and said she was lost.

The search ended after responders got word someone had seen Thode and said she was okay, according to Centralia Police Department detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald.

McLeod described Thode as a Chehalis resident, although he could not pinpoint her current address. She has grown children, parents and siblings who live in the area, he said.

An autopsy was conducted today, but a determination about the cause and manner of Thode’s death won’t come until after microscopic studies are done and the results of toxicology tests come back, according to McLeod. The tests can take eight to 10 weeks.


For background, read “Breaking news: Woman found dead in Skookumchuck River in Centralia” from Monday July 29, 2013, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Updated at 1:29 p.m.


• A 42-year-old Ethel man who allegedly went to Centralia where he showed his estranged wife a loaded magazine from a pistol and told her, “This bullet has your name on it” was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday. Deputies responded around 11 a.m. to the 3300 block of Harrison Avenue where the alleged incident occurred and Centralia police subsequently made a traffic stop on David E. Threlkeld and took him into custody for felony harassment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was found with a loaded 40 caliber Glock pistol, according to the sheriff’s office.


• A 32-year-old Chehalis man was arrested last night for allegedly breaking the rear window of his girlfriend’s vehicle. Thommy A. Clinton was cited for the incident connected with the 600 block of Yew Street in Centralia and then released,  according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police looking for a man with a warrant from the state Department of Corrections yesterday found him just before noon at a residence on the 1100 block of F Street. Police found suspected methamphetamine and heroin on Scott R. Hotchkiss, 34, of Centralia, and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Arrested and booked at the same time also for possession of methamphetamine was Tanner Z. R. Russell, 21, of Centralia, according to police.


• Centralia police took a report last night about a person attempting to use a credit card locally from a wallet accidentally left at a bus stop in Centralia. The report made to police about 8:30 p.m. is connected with a location of the 200 block of South Pearl Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A 46-year-old Winlock resident who rolled his vehicle while trying to answer his cell phone yesterday was arrested for driving under the influence as well as reckless endangerment; he had a 13-year-old passenger, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Aid and deputies called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday to the Winlock-Vader Road near Ferrier Road found a 2004 Jeep Wrangler in a ditch with minor damage, according to the sheriff’s office. Nobody was taken to the hospital, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. Curtis J. Farrier was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was also cited for using his phone while driving, she said.


• Police were called about 10:15 a.m. yesterday by a parent about a 15-year-old boy who was shot with a BB gun in the area of the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia. The case is under investigation but the boy ended up with just a red mark on his back, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• The Washington State Patrol reports a 68-year-old Chehalis man was injured when his motorcycle was hit by a vehicle changing lanes on Interstate 5 north of Kelso on Sunday afternoon. Troopers called about 2:25 p.m. to the northbound lanes near milepost 42 report Halsey K. Hines was transported to St. John Medical Center in Longview. The 25-year-old driver of the Hyundai Tucson was reportedly unhurt.

• A 25-year-old Chehalis woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after her Ford Taurus rear ended a Chrysler mini van on Interstate 5 south of Chehalis about 11:40 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers responding to the northbound lanes near the state Route 508 interchange cited Winona F. Gladue for following too closely, according to the state patrol. None of the four occupants in the other vehicle, from Newberg, Ore., were hurt, according to the investigating trooper.


• An unoccupied mobile home and nearby garage went up in smoke yesterday morning near the center of town in Oakville. Firefighters called at 6:45 a.m. to the intersection of Cedar and Newton streets were joined by crews from two other departments in getting the fire extinguished, according to Grays Harbor County Fire District 1. The fire was so hot it melted some fiberglass on another nearby building, according to Capt. Erik Palmerson. Palmerson said nobody was injured but a couple was preparing to move in on the first of the month. “And unfortunately, the (incoming) tenants had all their belongings stored in the garage,” he said. Palmerson said it began in the garage, where there had been some remodeling going on and was possibly related to wiring. Neither the owner or the renters had insurance, he said.

Breaking news: Woman found dead in Skookumchuck River in Centralia

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Firefighters wait at the corner of Reynolds and North Tower avenues while detectives complete their scene investigation several hundred yards away.


By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – A woman’s body was found in the Skookumchuck River in north Centralia this evening but police don’t suspect foul play.

Centralia Police Department detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said two kids floating down the river found her, went home and called 911 around 7 p.m. and then walked police to the scene.

She hasn’t been positively identified, but Fitzgerald said he suspects it is the same woman who called 911 on Saturday evening saying she was lost near the river.

Officers and firefighters spent about three hours that night walking both sides of the river and even using thermal imaging cameras but didn’t find her, he said.

Before the night was over however, authorities came across someone who had seen her and told them she was okay, he said.

Fitzgerald didn’t think the body had been in the water all that long, not since Saturday night. A chair and a couple bottles of water were found near her, he said.

There were no obvious signs of traumatic injury, according to police.

Detectives conducted their investigation tonight east of a pasture at  Reynolds and North Tower avenues.

A car that belongs to the woman was found parked on the east side of the river off Central Boulevard and impounded by police, he said.

He described the woman he suspects it could be as in her mid-30s and local, someone who’s lived here for years. The coroner’s office is expected to confirm her identity and cause of death.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 29th, 2013


• A subject captured on security video at a convenience store near Vader apparently took only three six-packs of Budweiser beer after backing his truck up to the entrance while it was closed and using an axe to break the glass on the front door and then popping inside and quickly back out. An employee arriving to the Shell station on the 100 block of Mulford Road on Saturday discovered the burglary and called 911, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Surveillance video from inside the business showed the male, dressed all in black and appearing to have a bandana covering his face, use a long pole to turn an outside camera, according to the sheriff’s office. Nothing at first appeared to be missing, including the safes, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The truck is described as blue with a dark canopy, according to Brown.

• Three women from Longview were arrested for allegedly shoplifting about $1,000 of merchandise from four stores at the Centralia Outlets on Saturday evening. Centralia police responded to reports about 5:40 p.m. and a trooper subsequently stopped a vehicle near the state Route 508 interchange where all the goods were recovered, according to the Centralia Police Department. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Ashley L. Leonard, 30, Adrianne R. Lindgrin, 27, and Rebecca C. Wilcox, 41, according to police. Wilcox was additionally arrested for possession of methamphetamine, according to police.

• Police were called about 10 p.m. yesterday to Safeway on the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis after a subject left the store with a cart full of laundry soap. Nobody was able to get a plate number as the departing vehicle had no license plate on its back and the front plate was covered, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Someone stole 30 sheets of roofing tin from property on Kjesbu Road sometime between July 20 and Saturday, according to  the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

•  Centralia police took a report about 9:35 a.m. on Saturday about roughly 15 gallons of fuel stolen from a vehicle at the 1000 block of South Gold Street.


• Police were called about 7:30 a.m. yesterday about a purse stolen from a vehicle at the 200 block of Northwest State Avenue in Chehalis. The purse was subsequently located in a nearby apartment but missing an item or two like a bottle of prescription meds, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The case is being referred to prosecutors for a charging decision, according to police.

• Police were called about 5:30 p.m. yesterday about a wallet stolen from a vehicle while its owner ran inside an apartment building for short time at the 300 block of Southwest Third Street in Chehalis.


• A 40-year-old Morton woman was arrested for disorderly conduct after she allegedly struck another patron of a tavern on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia and then walked outside and disrobed. Kristine M. Hiatt was booked into the Lewis County Jail following the Saturday night incident, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Chehalis police were called about 10:40 p.m. on Friday to the 1000 block of Southeast Adams Avenue where a man said he observed a male “key” his neighbors Jeep. The caller tried to follow him but lost track of him and an officer subsequently contacted a suspect but no arrest was made, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Centralia police responded about 11:30 p.m. yesterday to a report of a domestic assault at the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue. No arrests were made but the case is being referred to prosecutors for evaluation of charges, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 25-year-old Centralia man was arrested on Saturday afternoon in connection with violating a protection order with assault regarding his ex-girlfriend, according to police who responded to the 2800 block of Russell Road in Centralia. Levi S. Ramirez was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 29-year-old man was contacted by Centralia police multiple times on Sunday, first for allegedly slashing a tire on a neighbor’s car at the 2800 block of Russell Road for which he was cited and then released; then because he allegedly stole a beer from a business on the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue for which he was cited. Officers found him later in the morning when they were called again to the 2800 block of Russell Road for a possible dispute, according to the Centralia Police Department. Donald P. Myers allegedly took several prescription pills there from his ex-girlfriend and was booked for theft into the Lewis County Jail. However, he was released without charges on the last incident, pending further investigation.


• Aid was called about 5 o’clock this morning to the 800 block of First Street in Centralia where a subject reportedly fell one story off a balcony. The patient was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Further details were not readily available.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor domestic assaults, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, violation of protection order, disputes, stolen bicycle, shoplifting, fender bender, non-injury collisions, motorist who struck a bicyclist who said he wasn’t hurt and wanted to leave, a small dog inside a parked vehicle with his tongue hanging out, a bloated possum laying on a street corner, a male laying under a sleeping bag on the grass off Northwest Pennsylvania Avenue, a male laying on a sidewalk, drunk in public, a female out in the road yelping like a dog; complaints of berry bushes growing onto a sidewalk, dogs running loose trying to pick fights … and barking dogs … and more.

News brief: State-owned Scatter Creek barn goes up in flames

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Fire with an unknown cause spreads from tree, brush to barn and scorches two acres. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The cause of a fire that consumed a large, old wooden barn at the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area north of Grand Mound yesterday evening remains under investigation.

Firefighters called about 6:30 p.m. to the 16000 block of Case Road Southwest found a tree and brush fire had spread into the two-story structure and was beginning to move towards homes adjacent to the state-owned property, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

Crews from numerous area departments responded containing the blaze to about two acres, Chief Robert Scott said.

They were joined by personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources, as well as some from Fish and Wildlife which maintains the property, according to Scott.

“It was a little dicey, as spot fires were being cast down range,” Scott said.

Scott said he didn’t know what the barn was used for, but he’s been told it was empty and it’s been there a very long time.

“I’m not sure how old that barn is, but it’s been there for decades, probably close to 100 years,” he said.

News brief: Out of control teen with knife confronts several Rochester residents

Monday, July 29th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 16-year-old Rochester boy suspected to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both was arrested last night after allegedly confronting residents at four homes, including using a knife to slash and cut a door causing a female to flee.

It began with a 911 call about 9 p.m. about an intoxicated male outside a residence who allegedly shoved the caller who had been trying to calm him down at 185th Avenue Southwest in Rochester, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

About 30 minutes later, a frantic female called 911 to say a male was trying to break into her home, Lt. Greg Elwin said in a news release.

He came inside armed with a knife and she fled, according to Elwin.

One of several responding deputies located the suspect walking along the roadway and took him into custody without incident, Elwin said.

Elwin reported the young man had threatened at least one person using the knife, demanding keys to their car.

The boy, who was not named, was booked into the Thurston County Youth Service Center for first-degree burglary and first-degree attempted robbery, according to Elwin.

Sheriff John Snaza issued a statement praising the various citizens who assisted each other and the sheriff’s office.

“These types of incidents punctuate how important it is that we all be vigilant in our daily lives,” Snaza stated. “These neighbors came together to look out for each other and work with deputies to get this guy in custody. By working together, we can help keep our families and homes safe.”

Packwood kidnapping suspect heads to mental hospital

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Zachery H. Bynum tries to fire his lawyer David Arcuri after Arcuri asks a judge to have Bynum evaluated by mental health specialists.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Packwood man who allegedly kidnapped his young woman friend – first forcing her up a logging road and then dragging her out of the Glenoma grocery, both while armed with a machete – won’t be seeing a judge again anytime soon.

Zachery H. Bynum’s mental stability is in question.

A judge signed an order for the 41-year-old to be evaluated at Western State Hospital to determine if he’s competent enough to understand the court proceedings he’s involved in.

“And, that his mental disease, if he has one, or his mental status, is such that he can effectively assist his lawyer,” defense attorney David Arcuri said.

Bynum was arrested at gunpoint at the end of a police pursuit on July 16 after he allegedly forced 22-year-old Hesper Barker of Morton to flee a deputy in her truck. Court documents state the events of that day came after Barker met with Bynum to tell him she could not see him any more.

He remains held in the Lewis County Jail on $250,000, charged with 12 counts, including first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault.

He was in court on Thursday to be arraigned, but that can’t be done unless he’s found competent.

Family members from Packwood, Seattle and Eastern Washington traveled to attend the hearing in support of him.

“Everyone just wants help for him, that’s all,” his sister Lela Bynum said. “The episode that happened, it’s not his personality, it’s not who he is.

“They’re just that, they’re episodes.”

Bynum’s father and step mother live in Packwood. He lives with a friend and helps take care of horses and the farm, according to Trish Schmid who said she raised him from the time he was 9 years old. The sheriff’s office described him as a homeless person when he was arrested.

He has a prior felony conviction for second-degree assault from 1994 and several misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence and harassment, according to prosecutors.

His 19-year-old daughter saw him for the first time in a decade in the courtroom last week.

“The last time I saw him, I was on the stand, testifying against him,” Tawnee Bynum said.

One of his his priors is a fourth-degree assault from 2003 in which she was the victim, at age 10, she said.  A no contact order kept them apart, and she only recently learned it had expired.

Her father looked like he was about to cry when he realized who she was and that she was there, she said.

“When I mouthed I love you to him, he had the biggest smile on his face,” she said.

Tawnee Bynum didn’t go into any detail about the past, only saying she and her sister both want their father to get better.

When Bynum was first to go before a judge, he refused. The following day, when he did appear, temporary defense attorney Bob Schroeter apologized to the judge, saying his client had significant mental health issues.

Arcuri, who was then appointed to represent him because he is indigent, said he spoke with Schroeter and met with his new client in the jail and concluded he had a duty to get an evaluation done by experts at the state mental hospital.

Bynum vigorously disagreed with Arcuri’s request to the judge and told him he was fired. Judge Nelson Hunt signed the order, because a defendant can’t even make that decision unless he or she is competent, according to Arcuri.

A review hearing is scheduled for Aug. 8.

If Bynum is found competent, he can be then arraigned, according to Arcuri. If he is not found competent, the hospital can keep him while it “restores competency” something that is sometimes done with medication, Arcuri said.


Zachery H. Bynum recognizes his daughter in the courtroom whom he hasn’t seen in 10 years.


For background, read “Lawyers: Mentally disturbed Packwood man kidnapped woman friend” from Thursday July 18, 2013, here

Chehalis man arrested and then set free, after child rape accusation

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 30-year-old man who was arrested at his Chehalis home and held in jail for five days on suspicion of sexually abusing his 4-year-old daughter was released with no charges, after a specialist concluded it appeared the child was coached to say what she said.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said it was a rare occurrence but was also an instance of the system working.

“To me, it’s checks and balances,” Meyer said.

Michael E. Miller, 30, was jailed on July 6, a Saturday and went before a judge the following Monday afternoon. Bail was set at $100,000 to continue to hold him on probable cause while further investigating was done and prosecutors could decide whether to file charges.

The offense he was arrested for was child rape in the first degree.

According to court documents, the little girl’s mother called police in mid-June and said the youngster told her that her father put his finger in her “pee pee”. When subsequently interviewed by an investigator with Child Protective Services, she blurted out, “My dad put his finger in my bottom and it hurt,” court documents state, but the session was ended after the interviewer was not able to keep the girl “on track.”

Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke said that while Miller was locked up, the child was seen by a specialist at a sexual assault clinic in Olympia, who gave a final report. O’Rourke declined to file any charge.

“The parents are in a heated custody dispute over 4-year-old twins,” O’Rourke said.

There were indications the child might have been coached, and there was no corroboration, she said.

O’Rourke said holding a person in jail without charging them doesn’t happen often, but Miller had a previous issue that moved her in that direction. She didn’t want to elaborate, but the court documents state Miller was convicted in 2004 of possession of child pornography.

His visits with his children are supervised by his sister who is a social worker and very credible, O’Rourke said, and she said there was no way such an incident could have occurred because she was with them during the visits.

Chehalis Police Department detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said there was no physical evidence and no independent witness, but he had what a police officer needs, probable cause for the arrest.

“It’s one of those things, you err on the side of the child,” Wilson said.

O’Rourke indicated an eye will be kept on the situation.

Miller declined to comment on his situation.

Prosecutor Meyer reiterated that each step along the way to a criminal charge requires a different framework to view a case. First police have their protocol, the prosecutors apply their standards and then a judge reviews each case before a charge can be filed.

Meyer indicated potentially someone could be in trouble for coaching a child to utter such phrases, but spoke only theoretically about it.

“You have to look at what proof there is, and more importantly, what proof there isn’t,” he said.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, July 27th, 2013


• Firefighters rescued a woman and three dogs this morning after her mini van ran into a ditch and landed on its side, trapping her. Lewis County Fire District 6 said they were called around 9 a.m. to Highway 603 near Shorey Road west of Chehalis. The woman was alert and talking but they had to got through the back of the van to get to her, Firefighter Mike Goodwillie said. The animals didn’t seem to be hurt, he said, although a “little teeny” dog bit one of the firefighters on the hand when he tried to get it out so they could to the patient. “I’m guessing it was just scared, cause it was in a rollover too,” he said. The woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, the firefighter was not, according to Goodwillie.


• Aid and deputies responded yesterday afternoon after a car went off the road and into the Skookumchuck River near state Route 507 and Connor Road Southeast north of Centralia. Thurston County Fire District 12 Deputy Chief Butch Smith said  it happened just before the corner and when they arrived, the young man was already out of the vehicle which landed on its wheels in a shallow area. He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital by Thurston County Fire District 16, Smith said.


• A young man was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital after his bicycle and a vehicle collided about 4:30 p.m. yesterday at the 100 block of West First Street in Centralia. Police say he rode into traffic without stopping and suffered cuts and scrapes.


• A 27-year-old Randle man who allegedly tried to force his way back into a downtown Centralia tavern after being kicked out last night was arrested for disorderly conduct, according to police. James C. Murphy was contacted about 12:15 a.m. at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue and then booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 20-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested last night when he was contacted by an officer inside a tavern on the 300 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia. Dalton J. Taylor was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for minor in possession of alcohol by consumption as well as providing false information to a public servant, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police were called about a TV satellite DVR stolen from a home on the 600 block of Yew Street yesterday. A suspect has been identified and the case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; report of a bicycle stolen from a porch overnight … and more.

Read about former Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier charged in acid attack on Thurston County judge …

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a former soldier already incarcerated for threatening to kill a military prosecutor was charged yesterday for an incident last September in which a man threw battery acid on the face of Thurston County District Court Judge Michael “Brett” Buckley when he answered the door at his Olympia home.

News reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes that Michael E. Martin, 33, who lived in Tumwater at the time, apparently blamed the judge for issuing a restraining order against him that ended his 12-year military career.

Read more here

Birdwells going separate ways on used car business theft case

Friday, July 26th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A judge today dismissed part of the criminal charges against Lorrine D. Birdwell, a Toledo woman who with her husband is accused of major theft in connection with their used car business.

Lorrine and Keith A. Birdwell operated  Birdwell Brothers Auto Sales with sites in Centralia and in Lacey.

They were both in Lewis County Superior Court today, each represented by their own lawyer.


Keith and Lorrine Birdwell

Prosecutors allege the couple used various deceptions to avoid paying back the Centralia-based Security State Bank on loans for vehicles, contending the unrecovered losses to the bank are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They were each charged in January with one count of first-degree theft and five counts of felony unlawful issuance of a bank check.

The “bad” checks – a secondary issue – were allegedly written by Keith Birdwell for several thousand dollars each over a period of three days last July at the point where the bank began to realize there was a problem, according to Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg.

Seattle attorney Allen M. Ressler argued this afternoon his client didn’t write the checks and there was no direct evidence to show she was involved in them. Eisenberg argued she had to have known as she was managing the financial side of the business and the bad checks were part of the larger scheme.

Part of what pointed to what would be a proper inference, Eisenberg said, was Lorrine Birdwell’s “runaway spending” of some $26,000 on her American Express credit card right after the bad checks were written.

Judge James Lawler sided with Lorrine Birdwell’s attorney.

Ressler also notified the court he would be filing a motion to sever their cases so they could be tried separately.

They have both pleaded not guilty.

A trial was scheduled for the week of August 26, but both sides agreed to postpone it, or them, until the beginning of December.

For background, read “Centralia used car lot owners appear in court on criminal charges” from Wednesday January 23, 2013, here