Archive for April, 2015

Second plea deal in the works in Vader toddler’s death

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  With less than three weeks to go before trial, a Vader mother of three has the weekend to contemplate a plea offer in last autumn’s death of a 3-year-old boy who was part of her household.

Brenda A. Wing and her husband, both now 27, were arrested after the child died, of what has been described vaguely as ongoing abuse.


Brenda A. Wing

Danny A. Wing pleaded guilty in March to first-degree manslaughter and also to assault in a deal that is expected to send him to prison for just over 16 years, if a judge agrees.

Lawyers and Brenda Wing went before a judge today in Lewis County Superior Court, for a scheduled omnibus hearing. That’s a standard proceeding between arraignment and trial in which both sides put down on paper the agreed particulars for trial.

Lewis County Prosecutor Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead and defense attorney John Crowley told the judge they’d like to postpone the omnibus until Monday afternoon.

Both attorneys said outside the courtroom that’s to give the defendant time to consider the state’s proposal for a “resolution” to the case.


Jasper Henderling-Warner

Jasper Henderling-Warner was pronounced dead at Providence Centralia Hospital last Oct. 5 after medics were called to the home because he was unconscious.

The autopsy found abrasions, bruises and healing fractures and labeled the cause of death as chronic battered child syndrome. Jasper was suffering from skin infections that were found to be secondary to his cause of death. His 21-year-old mother had asked the couple that summer to take him for a year, while she was homeless and looking for work out of state, according to authorities.

The Wings were initially charged with homicide by abuse or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter, two crimes with widely different penalties. Each of the two were charged as either the principal or accomplice.

Their three children were taken into protective custody by the state.


Danny A. Wing

While in talks this week about a possible plea deal, the attorneys today continued with steps as though the trial beginning May 18 will still take place.

Halstead told the judge he amended the information to change the date of the offense from Oct. 5, to the time period between July 31 and Oct. 5.

Crowley objected, saying the drastic alteration in the charges would prejudice his client so close to trial. Judge James Lawler allowed the substitute charges.

Brenda Wing pleaded not guilty to the amended information, in her only words spoken aloud on the record.

In March, after her husband pleaded guilty, prosecutors said they expected him to cooperate, leading to more information about what happened to Jasper.

The court hearing was less than 10 minutes long.

When it was over, Crowley left the courthouse to go visit with Brenda Wing in the jail.

For background, read “Prosecutor expects plea deal will help reveal answers about Vader toddler’s demise” from Wednesday March 25, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 30th, 2015


• Centralia police were called about 8:15 p.m. yesterday to a burglary at the 700 block of G Street in which a jar of change, food from the freezer and four cell phones were taken from a residence.


Centralia police were called yesterday afternoon to the 1200 block of Lum Road where it appeared someone had tried to pry open a set of mailboxes.


• A logging truck clipped overhead lines at the 3000 block of Galvin Road in Centralia just before noon yesterday, breaking a power pole. The roadway was closed for approximately an hour during the cleanup, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 60-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested yesterday morning for driving under the influence after an individual saw a vehicle strike another car in a parking lot at Safeway in Centralia and then drive away. The witness followed the vehicle up Harrison Avenue to the other side of the freeway, according to the Centralia Police Department. Denise J. Quinonez was then booked into the Lewis County Jail for DUI as well as hit and run, according to police.


• Prosecutors added a second charge of second-degree theft and a charge of second-degree burglary to the case of the man who is accused of posing as a driver’s license examiner and taking an applicant for a ride last week to the Lucky Eagle Casino. Daniel L. Norby, 47, from Chehalis, was brought before a judge again this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm charged him Wednesday with first-degree criminal impersonation and also second-degree theft. Prosecutors say he climbed into the vehicle of a man preparing to take his driver’s test at the licensing office on Kresky Avenue, and said he was going to evaluate his driving. For unknown reasons, the two traded coats and when the victim got his coat back, it was missing as much as $1,200 from an inside pocket. Norby was arrested Tuesday at a Centralia motel. Bohm this afternoon told a judge police had booked Norby this morning or yesterday on the additional charges. She declined to say specifically what the new allegations were, saying only that new information was discovered. Norby is being held on $25,000 bail. He pleaded not guilty this afternoon to all four charges. He is represented by court appointed attorney David Arcuri.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, shoplifting, misdemeanor theft … and more.

Police: Impostor arrested after driving test includes stop at Lucky Eagle

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Daniel L. Norby waits at the defense table as court documents are signed setting his bail for criminal impersonation and theft charges.


By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – What would you do if you’re taking the driver’s test to get your license and the examiner in the passenger seat directed you to a casino?

If he suggested you come inside to with him meet a girl that he knew? And then asked to borrow $20?

Like one recent applicant, you might start to get suspicious.

Centralia police say that’s exactly what happened to an individual who went to the Washington Department of Licensing on Kresky Avenue.

After checking in with a woman at the counter, and being told to wait outside where the examiner would be right out, a man who said his name was Dave got into the vehicle, and what followed weren’t the usual requests for showing one knows the rules of the road.

Authorities say “Dave” was really a 47-year-old Chehalis man posing as an employee from the state agency. He happened to be in line behind the applicant last Thursday.

Daniel L. Norby was arrested yesterday for first-degree criminal impersonation and charged with the same in Lewis County Superior Court.

Police and prosecutors offer no explanation for why he, allegedly, pretended he was giving a driving test.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke this afternoon told a judge her temporary client has been a law abiding citizen for the past five years, resides with his girlfriend on Brown Road outside Chehalis and also has three children, as she made her case for how low his bail should be.

Judge R.W. Buzzard wasn’t persuaded, noting that during two of those last five years Norby was incarcerated. Buzzard set bail at $25,000.

According to charging documents, the odd set of circumstances began when Edward Jerns went in to take his driving test.

Jerns described to a police officer what happened and how after a period of time at the Lucky Eagle Casino, he became skeptical and called the Department of Licensing to tell them, they were still at the casino.

He was told to notify security, and he did, the documents relate.

Jerns told Officer Doug Lowrey that also “Dave” had traded coats with him while at the Rochester establishment, and when he got his coat back, some $1,000 to $1,200 was missing from the inside pocket. He had just cashed his social security check, he said.

An employee at the Kresky Avenue licensing office told Lowrey she spoke to the man who walked in right behind Jerns, and that he was asking about how to get his license, according to court documents. She said she watched him walk out and get into Jerns’ vehicle.

Yesterday, the DOL employee and Jerns picked Norby out of a police photo montage, according to the court documents.

Lowrey said when Norby was contacted at a Centralia motel, he declined to be interviewed by arresting officers, but said the alleged deed last week that got him a lift to the casino seemed to be just an impromptu event.

Norby was also charged with second-degree theft.

He qualified for a court-appointed lawyer and is scheduled for arraignment a week from tomorrow.

Presumably the driver’s license applicant gets a do-over on the test.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Updated at 5:23 p.m.


• A 14-year-old girl was arrested yesterday after she allegedly grabbed  kitchen knife during an argument with her older sister and while they fought over it ended up stabbing her. Officers called about 4:10 p.m. to the 600 block of Northwest Quincy Avenue in Chehalis found the 17-year-old with a puncture wound on her upper leg, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It was non-life threatening, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. The younger girl was subsequently located and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for second-degree assault, Wilson said. He said he didn’t know what the disagreement was about.


• Police were called about 8:30 a.m. yesterday regarding a white 1991 Honda Civic stolen from the 300 block of Southwest Third Street in Chehalis. The car has a black hood and a license plate of ATL 3343,  according to the Chehalis Police Department.  It disappeared between midnight and 2 a.m., according to police.

• Centralia police reported this morning a vehicle was stolen yesterday from the 1500 block of Pike Street and was subsequently located by another law enforcement agency; its driver arrested for DUI, according to the Centralia Police Department. However, Amanda B. Smith, 22, of Centralia, was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court only with theft of a motor vehicle. Charging documents allege that while she waited in an acquaintance’s vehicle for a ride home, she found a spare key in the center console and drove away alone. She was stopped on Bunker Creek Road and taken into custody, the documents state. A judge allowed her to be released from jail on a $5,000 signature bond this afternoon.


• Tools and a flare gun were taken from a boat while it was parked at a business on the 900 block of Northwest Maryland Avenue, according to a report made to police yesterday. It happened sometime between March 17 and April 6, according to police.

• Someone got into a vehicle parked at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue and attempted to steal the stereo equipment but only got the subwoofer, according to a report made yesterday morning to the Centralia Police Department.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, urinating on a tree near a bus stop; responses for disputes, hit and run, misdemeanor assault involving multiple subjects … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015


• Centralia police are investigating a burglary at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue reported to them yesterday. Further details were not readily available.


• Chehalis police were called about 2:30 a.m. today by someone on Southwest Second Street who said a male walked into his home and asked if he had a cigarette. He was told to get out, left and couldn’t be found by police, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Police responded about 3:25 a.m. today to an attempted vehicle prowl on the 100 block of West Roanoke Street in which the subject was scared away by the alarm that sounded after the window was broken,  according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A 29-year-old Centralia man was arrested overnight after allegedly punching and breaking the window of a tavern on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Brandon M. Webley was issued a citation for third-degree malicious mischief and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were contacted yesterday just after 7 a.m. when the window of a moving vehicle was broken out by an unspecified object along the 2700 block of Borst Avenue.

• Someone threw eggs at a residence on the 600 block of E Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police just before 5 p.m. yesterday.


• Chehalis police were called about 12:25 a.m. today when someone heard what sounded like a half dozen gun shots in the area of Southeast Spring Street in Chehalis, but a few hours later when someone heard gunshots on Southwest 16th Street, police were told kids were seen throwing fire crackers, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A Chehalis woman was injured in a two-vehicle collision yesterday morning in Grays Harbor County that sent her to Capital Medical Center. Danette N. Gardepeesnow, 37, was making a left turn in her Honda Accord from state Route 8 onto state Route 108 in McCleary when she struck a westbound pickup truck, according to the Washington State Patrol. Trooper responding about 9 a.m. report she was transported to the hospital and cited for failure to grant right of way. Her car was described as totaled.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, disputes, hit and run, misdemeanor theft, possible identity theft … and more.

Pilot calls 911 for help after crash landing north of Centralia

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Cessna 170B rests in large field off Southwest 216th Lane.

Updated at 5:16 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

GRAND MOUND – Responders were called to the scene of a small plane crash south of Grand Mound late this morning.

The call came from the pilot himself about 11:48 a.m., according to Thurston County emergency dispatchers

The Cessna 170B came to rest in a field near the 6200 block of Southwest 216th Lane.

Bill Fortman said he was sitting down at his dining room table having a cup of coffee when he looked out his window and saw an airplane sitting in the neighbor’s field.

“I thought well, I’d better go out and see if there’s anyone in that thing,” Fortman said. “I did. There was.”

The pilot was alone, leaning against the side, and asked him to open the door, Fortman said. He couldn’t hardly talk, he said.

“He was bleeding a little bit on one hand, he was talking to 911 and didn’t know where he was,” he said.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Lt. Lanette Dyer said arriving firefighters extricated the pilot and he described generalized back, neck and body pain.

AirLift Northwest picked him up at Rochester High School to fly him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in case of internal injuries, according to Dyer.

“We sent him to Harborview where they could take a closer look at him and make sure everything was good,” Dyer said.

The 73-year-old man was enroute from Spanaway to the Chehalis-Centralia Airport, according to Dyer.

She said she was told he was traveling at about 2,500 feet when he lost power to his engine, attempted various emergency procedures and then looked for an area to put the plane down safely.

The light green Cessna was in one piece and sitting upright, but tilted with the tip of one wing down.

The tail number is registered to a James W. Johnson, of Spanaway, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The fixed wing single engine aircraft was manufactured in 1958.

A hospital spokesperson said late this afternoon Johnson is listed in serious condition.

Fortman said he didn’t hear anything and wasn’t sure how long the aircraft was sitting outside the back of his home. He said he understood it flew over an adjacent stand of trees next to the open field and, thankfully, managed to clear them.

“Fortunately the grass was tall, so I think that cushioned it a little,” Fortman said.


Deputies and firefighters arrive to scene. / Courtesy photo by Thurston County Sheriff’s Office

News brief: Election day for three local measures

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Ballots must be postmarked by today or hand-delivered before 8 o’clock tonight for the special election that includes measures for two fire departments and one for the Napavine School District.

The Mossyrock area’s Lewis County Fire District 3 is asking voter’s to approve up to $1.2 million in bonds maturing within 15 years to build a new station.

The main station downtown is too small and in a location without room to expand, according to Fire Chief Doug Fosburg. The district has five acres just outside of town where it would like to construct the new building, he said.

They need at least 60 percent yes votes, according to the  the Lewis County Auditor’s Office election department.

Riverside Fire Authority which protects Centralia and the surrounding area is asking voters to renew an Emergency Medical Services levy for the next six years, which imposes 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on property owners. Last year, voters passed a special maintenance and operation levy for the department which was put into place for just one year.

The top reason people call RFA for EMS help – according to numbers complied from 2010 to 2014 – are for fall victims and the age group with the largest number of calls are those 81 to 90 years old, according to Chief Mike Kytta.

A simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote will pass the levy.

The Napavine School District is asking for approval to issue $17,995,000 in bonds to expand and modernize school buildings.

Ballots were sent out earlier this month for the all vote-by-mail election.

Ballots can be dropped off at the Lewis County Auditor’s Office at 351 NW North St. in Chehalis or a drive-by ballot drop box at the Twin Cities Senior Center at 2545 N. National Ave. in Chehalis.

Watch for election results tonight at Lewis County Auditor’s Office: Election Department

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 27th, 2015


• Someone broke into a home on the 100 block of Chapman Road outside Morton sometime between 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and 6:45 p.m. yesterday, apparently taking nothing but breaking a downstairs window, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• Police took a report of the theft of medication from the 1100 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia on Friday.


• Chehalis police were called about 12:20 p.m. yesterday to take a report someone stole money and medication from a vehicle while it was parked at the 1400 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning that sometime between yesterday and today someone broke into a BNSF work vehicle parked at the 100 block of Divot Drive in Chehalis and stole a backpack containing various items including locomotive keys, switch keys, headlamps and a Motorola portable radio as well as a railroad rule book. Whoever it was also disconnected the battery to darken the dome light, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Money was stolen from an unlocked vehicle at the 400 block of North Ash Street during the night, according to a report made to Centralia police on Friday.


• Chehalis police were called to a vehicle dealership on the 100 block of Northwest State Avenue on Friday to take a report that someone had stolen fuel from five different vehicles during the previous few days. About a quarter tank was missing from each one, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A 30-year-old woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and a warrant around 10 p.m. on Saturday in Centralia. Amber D. Selmer, of Tumwater, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was released from jail as prosecutors chose not to file a criminal charge.


• An officer took a report from the 400 block of North Ash Street in Centralia on Friday morning regarding someone slashing the tires of a parked vehicle during the night.

• An officer was called about 10 a.m. on Saturday to a business on the 1500 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis after the discovery someone had shot through a window with a BB or pellet gun.

• Centralia police were called about someone “egging” a vehicle yesterday at the 900 block of L Street. An officer was contacted about 11 p.m. on Saturday about the occupants of an older model station wagon throwing eggs at cars parked on the 600 block of K Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A pair of adults were reportedly unhurt but a 7-year-old child passenger was injured when their Geo Prism ran off U.S. Highway 12 and rolled one mile east of Oakville yesterday evening. Troopers called about 6:35 p.m. report 24-year-old Jessica M. Dawley was driving too fast. All three of the Roy residents were wearing seat belts, according to the Washington State Patrol. Seven-year-old Kaendance C. Griffin was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with unspecified injuries, according to the state patrol. Dawley was cited for having no valid operators license, according to the investigating trooper. The car was totaled and impounded.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, reckless driving, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, teenagers taking relatives’ vehicles without permission; responses for alarms, forged check, misdemeanor theft, protection order violation, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, pushy women with Christmas ribbon in their hair trying to sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door, apartments evacuated when food burned in microwave … and more.

Chehalis picks new fire chief

Monday, April 27th, 2015


By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The city of Chehalis enthusiastically announced the hiring of a fire chief, a man the city manager says brings a wealth of experience and will provide the needed leadership to help chart the course of the department over the next five to 10 years.


Ken Cardinale

Ken Cardinale starts work on May 18, according to City Manager Merlin MacReynold.

“He is the right fit for our fire department, the city administration and our community and we are looking forward to him starting,” MacReynold stated in a news release this morning.

Cardinale has over 32 years of service as a fire professional with 29 years with the Palo Alto (California) Fire Department. He and his wife Beth moved to Kelso to be closer to family and will soon relocate to the Chehalis area, according to MacReynold.

The Chehalis Fire Department last had a full time chief in April of 2013, when Chief Kelvin Johnson retired.

Cardinale, 58, has served in numerous positions including battalion chief, acting EMS chief and acting deputy chief. Among his assignments was chief of the Stanford Linear Accelerator, a mostly underground complex at the university where experiments were conducted splitting atoms.

“I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity to help move the Chehalis Fire Department in a positive direction into the future and I look forward to serving the citizens of Chehalis and the community,” Cardinale stated in the news release.

His annual salary will be $87,192. MacReynold said it’s toward the top of the range they planned for, based on the amount of experience he will bring to the job. The Chehalis Fire Department has 14 employees.

Cardinale said he’s very excited and even a bit surprised to have been chosen, given that he’s an outsider from another state.

Chehalis Fire Department Capt. Casey Beck, who is president of the IAFF Local 2510 representing his department’s union members, indicated this morning he’s pleased with the choice.

“He’s a great guy, highly qualified,” Beck said. “He’s somebody we can really work with.”

For background, read : “Chehalis fire chief search winding down” from Monday April 6, 2015, here

Relatives seeking answers, financial accountability for funeral homes’ body mixup

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The lawyer for the family of the man who was mistakenly cremated and whose casket was inhabited by a stranger at his funeral service in Chehalis said they held back on filing a lawsuit until the state licensing authority finished its investigation.

It didn’t provide them all the answers they were looking for, attorney Shawn Briggs said.

“It focused on where the initial mistake was made, and it really stopped there,” Briggs said. “It didn’t address how the mistake was perpetuated.”


Jerry Moon

Jerry Moon was 72 years old when he died in October 2013 at a hospice facility in Longview.

He and his wife Jan Moon lived in Castle Rock, but he, having been born and raised in Chehalis, had plans to be buried in his family plot in Claquato Cemetery, according to Briggs.

Sixteen years earlier, he had entered into a pre-arranged contract with Brown Mortuary Service of Chehalis, at a guaranteed price of $4,655, that provided for arrangement and professional staff services, and various other items including embalming, viewing, funeral and graveside services as well as disposition by burial in a casket, according to the lawsuit.

Jerry Moon feared cremation, according to Briggs.

Briggs and Briggs of Lakewood filed the complaint for damages last week in Lewis County Superior Court on behalf of Jan Moon and other immediate family members.

According to the lawsuit, and to an investigation conducted by the Washington State Funeral and Cemetery Board, on October 13, 2013, acting at the request or direction of Brown Mortuary’s parent company Service Corporation International, an employee of Dahl McVicker Funeral Home picked up Moon’s body from Community Home Health and Hospice in Longview. In the same trip, he collected the body of another man who had died there at nearly the same time.

Instead of putting identification bracelets on the bodies at the hospice, he brought them back to McVicker’s where he put Moon’s bracelet on Robert Petitclerc; and he placed Petitclerc’s bracelet on Moon.

On Oct. 15, an employee of McVicker’s released the body labeled Moon to a Brown’s employee for transport to Lewis County.

Another employee of McVicker’s took the body labeled Petitclerc to be cremated on Oct. 17.

The state licensing board placed blame for the mixup on Dahl McVicker, and the sanctions for unprofessional conduct included a fine of $12,500 and one year of probation, according to an agreed order signed last May.

Christine Anthony, a spokesperson for licensing board said they found no wrongdoing on the part of Brown Mortuary, concluding it was unaware of the misidentification and didn’t commit any violations.

The lawsuit filed on April 21 seeking an unspecified amount of damages names both entities, specifically Service Corporation International, doing business as Brown Mortuary Service and The Pierce Group, doing business as Dahl McVicker Funeral Home.

SCI, a Texas corporation, describes itself as the North America’s largest deathcare provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services.

Moon’s funeral service was held on Oct. 21, 2013 at Brown’s.

The lawsuit contends Brown’s conspired to cover up that Moon had been mistakenly cremated, and that defendants knew the wrong body was delivered to Brown’s and acted in concert to conceal the error.

The suit states Brown’s knew or should have known the body – of a man in his 90s – they embalmed and dressed in Moon’s clothing was not Moon.

In preparing for the service, Brown’s was provided with over 60 photographs of Moon.

“When the casket was opened at the end of the service, guests were horrified by what appeared to be a plastic bag covering the head and face of the body in the casket,” the lawsuit states. “When the plastic was removed, guests at the service, including the plaintiffs, were shocked to discover that the body inside was not Moon’s.”

Despite knowledge to the contrary, representatives of Browns insisted and tried to convince Moons’ family the body in the casket was Moon and should be buried as planned in his grave, the lawsuit contends.

“The manager was insistent it was him,” Briggs said. “Saying, people do look different after death.”

“They don’t grow a full head of hair,” he said.

Moon was bald with a recently shaved head when he died.

Briggs said the conversation continued until Brian Moon said, “Show me my dad’s colostomy bag.”

“And in the next breath, the manager said, ‘No, it isn’t him, but it wasn’t my fault’.”

Briggs said Brown’s then put the son on the phone with McVicker, and he was in total shock and grief, learning his father had been cremated.

“It was chaos,” Briggs said.

The suit also claims Jan Moon was charged $8,834 by Brown’s to do what it had previously contracted to do for $4,655, and that afterward, sent her a refund check for $92.72.

“Instead of being treated with dignity, Jerry Moon’s family was demeaned and denied the opportunity to honor their loved one in laying him to rest,” Briggs wrote.

Multiple phone calls to Brown Mortuary manager Daniel LaPlaunt seeking comment were not returned.

The suit asks for damages for the plaintiffs’ emotional distress, financial losses and other special damages to be proven at trial.

Briggs said he previously represented the family of the other man, Petitclerc. They never actually filed suit, he said, they discussed it and negotiated a settlement.

The defendants have 60 days to respond to the complaint, once they are served, he said.

After that, “We go though the litigation process,” he said. “Put people under oath and ask people questions about why they did what they did, and then we end up in front of a jury.”

News brief: Five years later: Vigil set in Chehalis park for Kayla Croft-Payne

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The family of Kayla Croft-Payne will host a gathering tomorrow in Chehalis to mark the five year anniversary of the disappearance of the then 18-year-old Lewis County girl.


Kayla Croft-Payne

The vigil will be held at 2 p.m. at Penny Playground in Recreation Park in Chehalis.

Croft-Payne was living in a trailer between Chehalis and Napavine on April 28, 2010 when she last logged onto her MySpace internet account. She was reported missing on May 5 by a friend who hadn’t seen or heard from her for several days.

Last year at this time, a detective with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office attended the get together at the park and said he had some investigating to follow up on in the coming weeks.

Anyone with any information on her whereabouts can contact the sheriff’s office at 360-748-9286.

Anonymous tips can be left at: Crime Stoppers of Lewis County 1-800-748-6422.

What: Vigil for Kayla Croft-Payne
Where: Recreation Park, Penny Playground in Chehalis, 221 SW 13th St.
When: 2 p.m. Sunday April 26, 2015

For background, read :

• “Kayla Croft-Payne: Detective actively on a trail for missing Lewis County girl” from Saturday April 26, 2014, here

News brief: Where there’s smoke, there will be firefighters practicing tomorrow

Friday, April 24th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Napavine area residents can expect to see smoke and flames as early 10 a.m. tomorrow, as firefighters-in-training burn down a house.

Personnel and equipment will be on scene in the 900 block of Rush Road, according to Newaukum Valley Fire and Rescue, formerly known as Lewis County Fire District 5.

Firefighter Maria Kennedy said crews from multiple area departments will participate.

“This type of training provides firefighter recruits with a controlled and realistic fire behavior experience, with emphasis on firefighter safety,” Kennedy states in a news release.

Kennedy said how long it lasts will be in part weather dependent.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Updated at 4:13 p.m.


• A 68-year-old Chehalis man and his grown daughter were arrested yesterday afternoon following a family fight. Responding deputies heard varying accounts, including that 35-year-old Linnea M. Weilacher threw unspecified items at her mother, that the father grabbed the daughter by the throat and hair to try to get her out of the house and that the daughter stabbed her father with a crochet hook, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The mom said the daughter only scratched him with it, according to the sheriff’s office. Richard C. Peters, 68, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Weilacher was booked for fourth-degree assault, according to Brown.  Peters was released with no charges filed pending further investigation.


• A pair of 14-year-olds were arrested at Chehalis Middle School yesterday for allegedly having roughly a gram of marijuana in a pill bottle, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The boy and the girl were booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to police.


• Centralia police took a report of graffiti to  building yesterday at the 600 block of J Street.


• Firefighters were called about noon yesterday for a chimney fire at the 300 block of Downing Road in Centralia. The flames were confined to the chimney and the homeowner was advised to get it inspected, according to Riverside Fire Authority.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drugs, allowing unauthorized person to drive, driving with suspended license; responses for stolen wallet, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Updated at 12:09 p.m.


• Centralia police took a report about 11 a.m. yesterday of a vehicle stolen from the 1600 block of North Schueber Road. The missing car is a blue 1995 Buick Regal with a license plate reading 237 UGG, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Police took a report yesterday afternoon of a briefcase stolen from the 1300 block of Alexander Street in Centralia.


• An officer was called yesterday morning about someone stealing items from an unlocked vehicle at the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia.


• Centralia firefighters were called about 9:30 a.m. today to an apartment complex about a fire on the patio of a second-floor unit on the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue. An occupant met the fire engine outside and said it was put out with a fire extinguisher, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Damage was minimal to the patio and siding, according to the fire department. A department public information officer indicates it was accidental due to smoldering, discarded cigarettes in a combustible container.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, harassment, malicious mischief, protection order violation, second-degree domestic assault, driving with suspended license; responses for suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015


• A 32-year-old Castle Rock resident was arrested yesterday in connection with at least two nighttime two break-ins to a grocery store on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in which alcohol was stolen. Centralia police say Mark A. Peltchie was detained in Chehalis as he matched the description of the person who broke a window at Fuller’s Shop ‘N Kart, and was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary.


• Police are suggesting charges of burglary and trafficking in stolen property for a 23-year-old Centralia woman who allegedly tried to sell a “tablet” that had recently been stolen in a case associated with the 700 block of North Washington Avenue, Centralia police reported this morning. The suspect was not arrested, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• An ember from a neighbor’s burn pile ignited the cedar shake roof of a house on the 100 block of Pinkerton Road in Ethel late yesterday afternoon, according to a fire investigator. Firefighters called about 5:45 p.m. extinguished it fairly quickly but an approximately 10-foot by 10-foot section of the roof was burned, according to Lewis County Fire District 8. The neighbor’s burning brush pile was not all that large and was approximately 120 to 150 feet away, Chief Duran McDaniel said. Investigator Ted McCarty said the person doing the burning noticed what happened and went next door to let the neighbor know.


• A motorist was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital yesterday after his truck collided with a tree on East Brown Road near Ramsey Road west of Napavine late yesterday afternoon. The truck was totaled, according to Lewis County Fire District 5.


• A 77-year-old Onalaska woman escaped serious injury when she was knocked to the ground by a vehicle in the parking lot at Subway in Chehalis yesterday afternoon. Police called about 4:20 p.m. to the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue were told the white pickup truck was backing up slowly and its driver may not have even been aware of what happened, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The truck left and officers are still investigating, according to police.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drugs, underage drinking, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, dispute, harassment, misdemeanor theft  … and more.

Life sentence overturned for Twin Star bank robber

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The state Court of Appeals today reversed a life sentence given to a man convicted of attempting to rob Twin Star Credit Union in Centralia five years ago.

Michael Anthony Lar, now 62, lost his appeal, but was successful in a personal restraint petition.

Lar was found guilty by a jury in Lewis County Superior Court of first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary in March 2010 for events two months earlier.

Prosecutors sought and were granted a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release, based on the Persistent Offender Accountability Act, the so-called three strikes law.

He had previously pled guilty in federal court to bank robbery on two occasions, each time involving two robberies.

Lar, through his lawyer, contended his prior convictions were not comparable to “most serious” convictions under Washington law and appeals judges agreed.

It was an early January morning in 2010 when two employees arrived to the bank on South Gold Street and found a man who’d gotten inside by breaking a window. An arriving officer was able to pull one woman to safety and fired two shots before an hours-long standoff.

Police surrounded the bank, but after hiding in nearby bushes nearly 12 hours, a wounded Lar called a taxi and headed to Olympia, where he was arrested the same night, according to court documents.

According to the opinion issued today, at sentencing Lar’s lawyer objected to use of the 1985 and 1997 federal convictions.

In its review, the three-member panel noted in order for a trial court to determine that a prior conviction from another jurisdiction is comparable to a strike offense, it must first query if the “foreign” offense is legally comparable, that is whether the elements of the two are substantially similar, the judges state.

If the elements of the “foreign” offense are broader, then the sentencing court must determine if the offense is factually comparable, the judges wrote.

The appeals court concluded the trial court’s analysis on the second line of inquiry fell short, and that at least one of Lar’s previous convictions should not have been used as strike offense.

The appeals court remanded the case for resentencing.

While Lar awaited sentencing in 2010, a Centralia police detective got DNA samples that matched material found on duct tape from an unsolved similar robbery at the same financial institution a year earlier.

Prosecutors charged him with that crime – in which he allegedly managed to get away with approximately $360,000 – but the case was dismissed before going to trial.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Updated at 2:09 p.m.


• A package sent to the Centralia library which began beeping this morning caused the building to be cleared out and a bomb squad called around 11 a.m. Centralia Police Department Sgt. Stacy Denham said the box was X-rayed, and turned out to contain someone’s personal belongings, as though someone else had packaged them up for them. It included items like a small Hibachi, a watch a speaker, and an ID card, Denham said. Police suspect the sender used the library’s return address on South Silver Street because they didn’t want the parcel to get returned to their address. Police are trying to contact the intended recipient, who they believe knows nothing about it, he said.


• Centralia police were dispatched about 2:45 a.m. today to an interrupted attempted burglary at the grocery store on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in which the suspect appeared to be the same person from an incident the night before. A Lewis County Sheriff’s Office police dog assisted with a track in the area which led to a nearby apartment building, according to the Centralia Police Department. Yesterday at about 4 a.m. officers responded to the same place after someone broke a window to grab a bottle of liquor. The investigation continues, according to police.


• Centralia police yesterday took a report of power tools getting stolen from the back of a pickup truck at the 1700 block of Shamrock Lane on Friday night.


• Chehalis police were called yesterday by an individual who said the license plate was stolen from their car while parked at Safeway on South Market Boulevard.


• A 37-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday for indecent exposure in association with an approximately 10:25 a.m. call to the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard. Charles R Simpson  booked into the Lewis County Jail,  according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Chehalis police responded to the area near Kresky Avenue about 2:40 p.m. yesterday for a two-vehicle collision that may have involved one of them traveling the wrong direction on a one-way street. Further details were not readily available.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, dispute, vandalism, hit and run, big dog attacking little dog, stolen jewelry, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets … and more.

News brief: One dead in single-vehicle collision

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Updated at 12:50 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 35-year-old Mossyrock man died last night when his truck collided with a tree in Silver Creek.

Troopers called just before 8 p.m. to state Route 122 report Joseph A. Cowles had been traveling eastbound when his Chevrolet pickup left the roadway and struck a tree on its right side. It happened about 500 yards west of the entrance to Ike Kinswa State Park, according to Lewis County Fire District 3.

Cowles was deceased at the scene, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Fire Chief Doug Fosburg said the load of plywood he was carrying shifted from the force of the impact, and went through the passenger compartment into the windshield of the work truck.

The truck was totaled; it was impounded, according to the state patrol.

The cause is under investigation.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 20th, 2015


• Chehalis police were called to a physical dispute about 10 a.m. on Saturday at the 300 block of Southwest Third Street where they arrested an 18-year-old male for second-degree assault for allegedly choking a 17-year-old female. He said she stabbed him with scissors, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Jacob J. Killian, of Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• A 46-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for second-degree assault and his son for fourth-degree assault after police were called about 8:30 a.m. yesterday to the 1000 block of Southeast Washington Avenue in Chehalis. A Chehalis Police Department spokesperson said an officer was told the dad grabbed the son by the neck and began to choke him and the son got angry and “went after him.” Raymond R. Welch, 46, and Robert B.T. Welch, 18, were both booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. Prosecutors declined to file the felony charge against the older Welch.


• Centralia police responded to the 500 block of South Tower Avenue about 4 o’clock this morning where someone had broken a window to a business and stole liquor. The investigation is ongoing, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Someone stole food from a garage pantry and freezer on the 100 block of Pinkerton Road in Ethel sometime between 8 o’clock on Saturday night and 10 o’clock the following morning. They also took the garage door opener, a box of old cassette tapes and packaged bathroom tissue, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A deputy responded on Friday to the 100 block of Baker Road in Randle where someone had stolen an air compressor from a barn, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s office.


• A 54-year-old Oakville man called the sheriff’s office on Friday after discovering his stolen aluminum boat for sale on Craigslist. The 12-foot boat vanished from his rental property on the 100 block of Sheridan Street in Centralia sometime between April 10 and last Wednesday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• Centralia police were called to the 1300 block of Rhobina Street just after 3 p.m. yesterday when a female caught someone rifling through he vehicle, however, the subject got away, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A window was broken on a building on the 600 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a  report made to police about 9:15 p.m. yesterday.

• Centralia police took a report of a window getting broken on a truck about 1:45 a.m. yesterday at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue.


• A baggie of a crystal substance was found on the floor at Wal-Mart last night and turned over to the Chehalis Police Department. No need to try to claim it, it’s going to be destroyed, according to police.


• A 54-year-old-man was booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence after his rolled his 2006 Ford Ranger on Friday evening on the 600 block of Boistfort Road west of Chehalis. Timothy D. Lyon ended up with minor abrasions to his hands, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was wearing a seat belt, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• A 39-year-old Chehalis woman escaped with scrapes to her face but her car was totaled when a deer jumped out of a ditch on the 1600 block of Pleasant Valley Road on Saturday evening, causing her to swerve, lose control and roll her car, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 30-year-old Portland man was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital on Friday afternoon after his Honda Prelude struck the concrete center barrier then a semi truck, then rolled and came to rest on the barrier on Interstate 5 south of Chehalis. Sean T. Gaston’s car was impounded and towed; the Freightliner was able to be driven from the scene, according to the Washington State Patrol. Gaston was cited for wheels off the roadway.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, shoplifting, malicious mischief, protection order violation, misdemeanor domestic assault, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence, possession of marijuana by a 19-year-old; responses for alarms, dispute, harassment, hit and run, stolen cell phone, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets, collisions on county roads, someone getting accidentally locked inside the Lewis County Mall at closing … and more.


A 1994 Honda Prelude came to rest on the center median near milepost 67 on Interstate 5 on Friday afternoon.

News brief: Tree claims life of skier at White Pass

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Updated at 11:41 a.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A skier died at White Pass this weekend after colliding with a tree.

The 60-year-old Olympia woman lost control after going over a “roller” or bump and was traveling backwards when she went into the tree line on Saturday, according to authorities.

An off-duty ski patrol member witnessed the approximately 11:30 a.m. accident, but efforts to revive the woman were unsuccessful, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Cathy Carlson was pronounced dead before responders got her to the lodge.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said the incident occurred at the White Pass Ski Resort’s Couloir run in the newer expansion area.

Guest column: Volunteer chaplains bring calm to crisis

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

The new chaplains are front row, left to right: Theresia “Brook” Yri, Connie Densmore, John Anders, Victoria Erskine, Kim Thompson, Jane Anderson and Mike Griffee. In the back row from left to right are: Edgar Densmore, Thomas Walker, Matthew March and Louis Hopkins.

By Kevin Curfman
Lewis County Chaplaincy Services President

Across Lewis County, crisis strikes our communities every day. It may be a residential house fire, an elderly spouse experiencing a cardiac arrest or a tragic accident at a workplace.

Regardless of the event, it is traumatic for the individual, family members and friends that are involved. These types of calls also can have a heavy toll on the emergency responders who respond on a daily basis.

Responding alongside those emergency responders are dedicated chaplains from the Lewis County Chaplaincy Services (LCCS).


Kevin Curfman
Lewis County Chaplaincy Services President

These dedicated men and women are there to help to bring a calm to the scene and to assist all those involved during and immediately after the crisis.

They may explain to the family members the actions of the emergency responders and help to provide for their immediate needs. They are there to assist them through the event and will work to put together a support system of resources that will assist them with rebuilding their lives after a tragedy.

For the emergency responders, the chaplains are there to support them in their jobs and to be a “listening ear” when they need to talk about that especially bad call to which they recently responded. It is our goal that all emergency response agencies have a chaplain connected to their department that they can work with and consider to be their chaplain.

Emergency chaplaincy services began in Lewis County in 1989.

A program was started in the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Centralia Police Department at the same time a different one was started with the Chehalis Fire Department. In 1993, the two programs merged into the Lewis County Chaplaincy Services. It has since been available to serve all emergency agencies in the county including law enforcement, fire departments, the dispatch center and the coroner’s office.

Since the programs joined, I have had the privilege of serving as the director and president of the board of directors for the chaplaincy since that time. Over the years we have added more chaplains and expanded our services in various ways. Two years ago we were asked by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office to begin overseeing the volunteers who come into the jail to work with inmates and provide chaplain services to them. This has proven to be a great extension to the work of LCCS.

We have also had other exciting changes.

One is that we recently commissioned a total of 11 new chaplains to serve in Lewis County. Some of these chaplains will be working in emergency response and others in the jail ministry. This will give better and more efficient coverage for calls especially in the east end of the county. We are excited to have the new chaplains on-board and they are currently undergoing training to prepare them to respond.

With the recent growth, the board of directors saw the need to have someone to focus on the daily operation of LCCS. We are happy that Chaplain Betty Kitchen has accepted the position of executive director. I will continue to serve as president of the board of directors.

We also have expanded the board by adding two new positions. One is a board member to represent the jail ministry. The other is the position of community pastor which has been filled. This gives us six board members from the emergency agencies and the community that we serve.

I look forward to seeing the LCCS continue to grow and serve those responding to and in crisis situations across our community.


Kevin T. Curfman, President
Lewis County Chaplaincy Services