Archive for May, 2015

Chehalis, Centralia introduce new public safety leaders

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The city of Chehalis welcomed its new fire chief and the city of Centralia its new police chief last week, as both were sworn in at their respective city council meetings.

The two men had already been on the job a week.

Ken Cardinale was sworn in late Tuesday afternoon and shared a few words with city leaders of the county seat.

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New Chehalis Fire Chief Ken Cardinale is sworn in by Chehalis Municipal Court Judge Dale McBeth.

“What I’ve gotten to know so far is what a great group of firefighters and captains I’m leading,” Cardinale said. “They are true professionals that go above and beyond every day.

The Kelso resident who most recently spent 29 years with the Palo Alto (California) Fire Department, introduced his wife Beth Cardinale after she pinned on his badge.

“We’re glad to have you aboard, and hit the ground running,” Chehalis Mayor Dennis Dawes said.

Cardinale met with three neighboring police chiefs earlier in the day, to talk about how they could work more together.

He said he comes from a place with a more regional approach, and therefore many more resources.

Already he has submitted a draft plan to his boss to start a student firefighter program, something he said he’s a product of himself.

“If that goes well, we could look at resuming the reserve program,” Cardinale said.

The new chief takes over a department that has been led by interim chiefs for the past 12 months, and by a half-time chief for the year before that.

Later on Tuesday evening, Carl Nielsen was sworn in as the new chief of police in neighboring Centralia, the county’s most populous city.

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New Centralia Police Chief Carl Nielsen is sworn in Centralia Municipal Court Judge James Buzzard.

Nielsen whose most recent position was second in command at the Turlock Police Department in California’s central valley thanked outgoing Police Chief Bob Berg, the city manager and the city council for entrusting him with the department.

His wife Jan Nielsen pinned his badge on him and was introduced, along with others in the audience including his mother, one daughter, mother-in-law and her friend as well as a new neighbor who all attended the ceremony.

He took extra time to thank Berg who had spent the previous several days helping him get acquainted.

Berg’s love and passion for the department will be his legacy, Nielsen said as he wished him well in retirement.

Centralia’s new police chief also read aloud the law enforcement code of ethics, the version adopted by the International Chiefs of Police.

A version of it is included in the department’s policy manual, and he intends to include it in swearing in ceremonies for new officers.

Here it is:

“I Carl Nielsen, subscribe as follows:

As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional right of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others.  Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department.  Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendship to influence my decisions.  With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service.  I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession … law enforcement.”
•••

For background, read:

• “News brief: Chehalis picks new fire chief” from Monday April 27, 2015, here

• “News brief: Centralia picks new police chief” from Friday April 10, 2015, here

Missing person found dead in Chehalis River

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters responded to a report of a drowning this morning, at Fort Borst Park where police looking for a missing 23-year-old man found the victim floating face down in the Chehalis River along the bank, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The fire department reports the body was confirmed to be the missing individual who they describe as having an extensive history of autism.

The fire department was on the scene at the Centralia park shortly after 7:30 a.m.

Centralia police reported later the deceased as 26 years old.

Just after 7 o’clock this morning, police were dispatched to a missing person complaint at the the 2000 block of Borst Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

A short time later, an officer located the body of the male in the river, near where it meets with the park’s pond, according to detective Patty Finch.

The department is investigating the details surrounding his death, Finch said.

Exactly who he was with or what he was doing at the park isn’t yet clear, Finch said.

The detective said it was the Centralia man’s mother who reported him missing, but they don’t know if she was with him at the park. Detectives have been trying to locate several people to talk to, she said.

Finch said he is someone she has not met personally, but understands the level of his disorder was such that he was supervised, or should have been supervised, at all times.

His name isn’t being released, but is expected to be released later by the Lewis County Coroner’s Office. Police are hoping an autopsy will be performed on Monday or Tuesday.

The 2000 block of Borst Avenue is the stretch that runs behind the Harrison Avenue Safeway, from Interstate 5 to Johnson Road.

Neighbor honored for courage to act when balcony caught fire

Friday, May 29th, 2015
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Assistant Chief Rick Mack presents Gregory Gardner with a meritorious service award.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia man’s quick thinking and aggressive action averted a disastrous fire and has earned him the praise of the fire department.

When Riverside Fire Authority was dispatched to a residential structure fire in an apartment building on the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue, they encountered light smoke from one of upper units. They also encountered an occupant who said the fire on the second-story balcony had been put out with a fire extinguisher.

Riverside Assistant Chief Rick Mack says he also found a situation that made it clear they narrowly avoided what could have been much worse if not for Gregory Gardner.

Gardner, who lives in the adjacent apartment in the four unit building, was home and heard the commotion next door, according to Mack.

Gardner went to his balcony door, smelled smoke, stepped out and saw the developing fire.

“He jumped into action retrieving the fire extinguisher from the cabinet atop the staircase between the units,” Mack stated. “He entered the affected apartment, went to the balcony, and extinguished the fire; and separated some the burning materials to prevent re-ignition.”

When Mack, who is also the department’s fire marshal, examined the area, he noted that above the fire origin area was a vinyl-covered soffit and above that, an attic space.

While all the units have sprinklers, none of the tenants have sprinklers on their balconies, nor are there sprinklers in the attic, according to Mack.

The damage was minimal, burning a box, a small table and some of the vinyl siding. It was accidental due to smoldering, discarded cigarettes in a combustible container, according to the fire department.

Mack says Gardner’s actions saved the building, kept four families in their homes and may very well have saved lives that day.

The story of the events of April 23 were submitted in a nomination letter by Mack, and last night resulted in the presentation of a meritorious service award to Gardner.

The honor was bestowed at the fire authority board meeting.

Public Information Officer Scott Weinert offers advice to any other citizens who might use fire extinguishers.

“Using a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire can save lives and property,” Weinert writes. “But you have to know exactly what to do.”

Before the Fire

• Only adults should use a fire extinguisher.
• Choose an extinguisher that will work on all types of fires. These are usually called “ABC” type extinguishers.
• Choose the largest extinguisher you can handle – bigger is better.
• Read all the directions. Know how to use an extinguisher. If possible, get training from your local fire department or workplace that will let you practice putting out a fire.
• Keep the instructions so you can review them from time to time.
• Mount the extinguisher near an exit door, out of reach of children.

Fighting a Small Fire

• Make sure everyone else is leaving the home.
• Ask someone to call the fire department from outside.
• If the fire is small and not spreading, quickly get your extinguisher.
• Start with your back to the exit, making sure the fire does not block your escape route.
• Stand six to eight feet away from the fire.

Then, remember the word PASS:

• PULL the pin out to unlock the operating lever.
• AIM low: Point the extinguisher nozzle (or hose) at the base of the fire.
• SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing agent. Be prepared. It will come out with force.
• SWEEP from side to side, moving carefully toward the fire. Keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire, sweeping back and forth until all the flames are out.
• Watch the fire area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat the process.

Important: If the fire does not go out quickly, or if you feel at risk in any way, leave immediately and let the fire department handle it. Fighting a fire can be dangerous.

Only adults who know how and when to use an extinguisher should ever try to put out a fire, but children never should, according to Weinert.

 

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 29th, 2015
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•••

Updated at 7:28 p.m.

FARM PROWL

• A deputy was called to a farm on the 200 block of North Military Road in Winlock yesterday morning after the discovery someone had stripped a tractor and irrigation equipment of their batteries and radiators. It appeared the thief or thieves drove a vehicle onto the property and took the items sometime between 10 a.m. on Wednesday and 7:45 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Also stolen was 100 gallons of diesel, the sheriff’s office reports. The loss is estimated at $1,750, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

PORCH PROWL

• Police were called about 3:25 p.m. yesterday to the 800 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia where someone had stolen a stroller from the front porch of a residence.

CAR PROWL

• A backpack was taken from a vehicle parked at the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 5:50 p.m. yesterday.

VANDALISM

• An unknown suspect broke windows in a building on the 900 block of Alder Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.

SPIT

•  Chehalis police were called to Green Hill School just before 9 p.m. yesterday to investigate a report a student-inmate spit in the face of a staff member.

DUI WRECK

• A 38-year-old Winlock woman was reportedly unhurt but her 2000 Mercedes Benz four-door sustained major damage when it wrecked into a ditch on the 700 block of Nevil Road in Winlock last night. Deputies dispatched at 10:09 p.m. to the scene arrested Carolinda C. Curtis for driving under the influence and booked her into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

CRIME STOPPERS WANTS TIPS ABOUT BREAK-IN

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is looking for information about a burglary in Salkum in which televisions, other entertainment electronics, household goods, tools and garden equipment totaling more than $11,000 were stolen. It happened at the 100 block of Wilcox Road sometime between April 7 and May 1, according to Lewis County Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 for information leading to the clearance of crimes. Among the missing property are: An LG HDTV with 45-inch screen, a Sharp television with 60-inch screen, two Sony Blu-Ray DVD players, a CD player with speakers and changer, a Kenwood TV surround sound system, Sanyo stereo surround sound system, Nikon binoculars, kitchen appliances, various household goods, including a Dyson vacuum cleaner, tools, including two power drills, two 4×4 sanders, 7×8 sander, thermostat, battery charger, various screwdriver and drill sets, two gas chainsaws, shop vac, circular saws, pressure washer, lawn and garden equipment such as a gas weed whacker, hedge trimmer, hatchet, various extension cords, a generator and $400 cash. Anonymous calls can be made to 1-800-748-6422 or information may be shared online at www.lewiscountycrimestoppers.org

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, hit and run, driving under the influence; responses for dispute, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Teen from Green Hill faces second escape charge

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
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Green Hill School escapee Dominic Adams was brought up from the Lewis County Jail today for a bail hearing.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Green Hill student-inmate who escaped the facility for a week earlier this month was brought before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

Dominic Adams, 19, was finishing off a juvenile sentence and scheduled to be transferred next March to adult prison for nearly nine years for an assault. Police said that on the night of May 3, he ran off from a maintenance detail and apparently slipped through a hole someone cut in the fence. He was picked up by police at a mall in Kelso seven days later.

Adams is charged with first-degree escape.

The teenager has a prior conviction for the same offense, as well as three second-degree assaults and a first-degree robbery, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh told the judge this afternoon.

She didn’t differentiate which were juvenile crimes and which were adult crimes, but today’s appearance was in adult court.

Beigh asked that his bail be set at $50,000.

Judge James Lawler said he preferred to leave it at the $250,000 set in his arrest warrant.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke who represented Adams today told Lawler he is not working and qualified for a court appointed lawyer.

The judge appointed Centralia attorney Don Blair. Adams’ arraignment was set for next Thursday.

He was jailed in Cowlitz County after he was captured, and booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday. Adams was sent to Green Hill from Benton County at age 15.

First-degree escape has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Green Hill School in Chehalis is a secure facility for juvenile boys incarcerated for felonies and operated by the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, under the state Department of Social and Health Services.
•••

For background, read “Teen escapee from Green Hill found at mall in Cowlitz County” from “Monday May 11, 2015, here

News brief: Rochester’s beloved Candy Cottage ruined by fire

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
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Smoke billows from the eaves of the chocolate and espresso business on U.S. Highway 12. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The candy store across from the middle school in Rochester is no more.

Fire broke out at the business on the 9900 block of U.S. Highway 12, and the smoke was noticed by a passing motorist who called 911 just before 6 o’clock this morning, according to the fire department.

The wooden structure built in approximately 1901 is a complete loss, a spokesperson for West Thurston Regional Fire Authority said.

Spokesperson Lt. Lanette Dyer said everything that was inside is lost as well.

“We tried to gain access through the front door, but there was so much smoke and heat, it actually pushed us back,” Dyer said.

Dyer said Meagan’s Candy Cottage, previously Conner’s Candy Cottage, has been a presence there for some 20 years, and was a candy shop before that as well.

They’re chocolatiers, known for their handmade product,  and a lovely family, she said.

“Obviously the community is in mourning,” she said.

Nobody was there at that hour, according to Dyer. And nobody was injured.

The cause of the fire is being investigated, but it’s not suspicious, she said.

A post on Meagan’s Candy Cottage’s Facebook page around 10 a.m. announced it was an electrical fire and they would be closed until further notice.

Dyer said the establishment leases the building from the property owner, and both have insurance.

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The interior of the Candy Cottage is charred and smoke damaged. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

Vader toddler: Sentencings set later this summer

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Brenda A. Wing appeared briefly in Lewis County Superior Court today, where a date was put on the calendar for her sentencing for her role in the death of a toddler who was staying in her Vader home.

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

She and her husband Danny A. Wing, both 27, have each pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and third-degree child assault. Jasper Henderling-Warner, 3, died from what the coroner labeled chronic battered child syndrome last Oct. 5.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead and defense attorney John Crowley told the judge this afternoon they’d like the sentencing to be held at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 21.

Authorities have spoken about the little boy’s injuries, but nothing has been shared publicly about how he got them.

Halstead said since the Wing’s plea agreements, they’ve gotten a lot of answers, but the case is still ongoing so further details would not be revealed until the sentencing hearings.

Danny Wing is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 14. He and his wife remain held in the Lewis County Jail.
•••

For background, read, “Vader toddler: Few answers about death, after second guilty plea” from Thursday May 7, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
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•••

CAT BURGLAR STRIKES AT MICKEY D’S

• Centralia police responded to McDonald’s about 4:30 this morning when arriving employees discovered a break-in. Someone had gotten inside the fast food business on the 1200 block of Lum Road by cutting a hole in the roof, according to the Centralia Police Department. Cash was stolen and they sprayed water all over inside, police said.

DOG TRACKS SUSPECT

• A police dog responded after a suspected shoplifter fled the Lewis County Mall about 11:30 a.m. yesterday. About an hour later, a 21-year-old Tumwater was located hiding under some trees and police found suspected stolen clothing in her purse, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Also discovered in the handbag was a syringe with clear liquid, according to police. Kara A. McKinney was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

FUNNY $50

• Police were called to the 100 block of Harrison Avenue about 3:45 p.m. yesterday because someone passed a counterfeit $50 bill, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL WITH EXTRA STEPS

• The sheriff’s office is looking for a person who stole a van and drove it about a quarter of a mile away, prowling it for its tools including a floor jack early yesterday morning. Deputies were called about 5:25 a.m. by a woman who heard her vehicle start up at the 100 block of Borovec Road in Chehalis and looked into her driveway to see her Chrysler Voyager van leaving, driven by a person wearing a hoody, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said the van was found by deputies at a business parking lot at the 1800 block of Bishop Road where video images show some of what happened. The sheriff’s office believes the thief had his own car waiting there, and he unloaded the tools into his red car and then drove away. Brown said the car may be a 1990s Toyota Tercel, with a tinted rear window. The missing items are valued at more than $2,000, according to Brown. Among them are Craftsman tire pump and toolboxes. The stolen van was left in the parking lot.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, driving with suspended license; responses for dispute, stolen purse, vandalism, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

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Image of prowling suspect captured on video at the 1800 block of Bishop Road. / Courtesy photo from Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

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Image of prowl suspect’s car. / Courtesy photo from Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

Centralia rejects excessive force claim against officers

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia man has made a claim of excessive force against three Centralia police officers, from an incident in which he says they unnecessarily forced him to the ground, pinned him there and then kneed and hit him several times while contending he was resisting.

Steven Radick, 58 at the time, was hospitalized and suffered injuries to his face and chest as well as a knee sprain and back strain, according to his attorney.

Radick filed a claim for damages with the city of Centralia earlier this month in the amount of $25,000, asking to be compensated for the injuries and medical expenses.

The city’s insurer denied the tort claim within days, stating the officers’ actions were appropriate, given Radick’s behavior as police tried to secure him.

The events took place a year and a half ago, when police were called to an apartment complex on South Silver Street regarding a dispute between neighbors.

Chehalis lawyer Jacob Clark wrote in the claim his description of what happened, based on police reports and phone interviews with two of the officers.

Clark relates that police showed up on Nov. 12, 2013 but didn’t arrest anyone after his client got into an argument with a neighbor, who struck him in the eye. Thirty minutes later, police returned because the neighbor claimed his electricity had been shut off, according to Clark.

The Centralia Police Department at the time said Radick was intoxicated.

Sgt. Carl Buster stated that as he was questioning Radick, Radick hit him with the back of his hand on the chest plate, and he stepped back, and Clark writes that the sergeant yelled, “Hey, you can’t touch me,” and grabbed Radick’s arm.

Officers William Phipps and Phillip Weismiller ran over, and Phipps told Clark he grabbed by Radick the neck, forcing him onto the ground, and then put his right knee on Radick’s back and his left knee on Radick’s neck, with Weismiller securing his legs, according to Clark.

They could not get Radick’s hands out from under his chest, so Phipps said he threw several punches to his left shoulder, Clark wrote.

Phipps was telling him, you’re under arrest, stop resisting, Clark states.

“Strikes were landed on Mr. Radick by multiple officers, which led to Mr. Radick being handcuffed,” he wrote.

Clark states his client did not resist, that he had put his hands down to cushion his fall so they were underneath his body, and he could not remove them because he was pinned.

Radick was arrested for third-degree assault and subsequently pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault.

Outgoing Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg offered statistics on his department’s use of force in his March newsletter to the community.

According to Berg, last year force was used by officers on 96 occasions, with 15 of those resulting in some form of injury, 12 of those being relatively minor. More than half the time it was “physical force” with display of a firearm the next most used, according to Berg’s chart.

The claim was received by the city of Centralia on May 12.

Clark lists hospital diagnoses of open cheek wound, facial contusion, chest wall contusion, lumbar strain and right knee strain.

On May 15, the city’s representative – Washington Cities Insurance Authority – denied the claim, stating Radick resisted attempts to take him into custody and officers used reasonable force.

Senior Adjuster Gordy Van, of WCIA, wrote that Radick was so intoxicated that at the hospital he had to be watched for alcohol withdrawal.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
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•••

Updated at 6:57 p.m.

POLICE: ‘SPUN UP OUT OF HIS MIND’

• Centralia police fought with a 27-year-old man yesterday inside Subway after a series of events along the 1200 block of Alder Street in which he left staff members hiding from him at a motel, allegedly stole phones from two different people he encountered and hid in the bathroom at the sandwich shop. Mitchell Davis was subdued with a Taser, but during a struggle, struck one officer in the face, according to the Centralia Police Department. A glass pipe with meth residue was located on Davis’s person, according to police. Officers were called about 11:15 a.m. to the Peppermill Inn having been told he grabbed an employee, pushed her to the floor and took her phone, according to police. As officers were arriving and told employees thought he had left, they got a call from a man at the Shell station next door – where Davis allegedly took his phone – and were directed to the Subway shop nearby, according to a police account. When the bathroom door was opened, Davis allegedly bolted, went through another door and knocked an employee there to the ground. Sgt. Kurt Reichert described Davis’s demeanor as “spun up out of his mind.” Davis, a Toledo resident, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for two counts of robbery, one count of burglary, third-degree assault and possession of methamphetamine, according to police.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE: TEXT THREATS TO KILL

• A 59-year-old man was arrested yesterday after his wife reported receiving text and voice mail messages over the previous three or four days from him in which he allegedly threatened to kill her. Deputies contacted Daniel J. Barnes at the 1900 block of Pe Ell-McDonald Road west of Chehalis and arrested him for felony harassment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The woman has an order for protection, and deputies are referring the case also for 17 counts of violation of a protection order, according to the sheriff’s office. Barnes was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

ALCOHOL TAKEN IN BURGLARY

• Police responded to a 9 a.m. call yesterday to a restaurant on the 1400 block of South Gold Street where someone broke in the back door and stole liquor and other unspecified items.

CONSTRUCTION TOOLS STOLEN

• Centralia police were called about 7:10 a.m. yesterday regarding the theft of equipment from a construction trailer on the 1200 block of Belmont Avenue.

ROCKS, ROCKS, ROCKS

• Police responded yesterday to an approximately 7:40 a.m. call from the 700 block of Harrison Avenue where someone had thrown a rock through the window of a building.

• Someone threw a rock breaking the window of a building on the 2400 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia, according to a report to police yesterday morning.

• Chehalis police were called about 8:25 a.m. yesterday regarding a rock thrown through the window of a building on the 2600 block of Kresky Avenue.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• A 33-year-old Morton man was arrested after a complaint was filed with police he was engaging in an intimate relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Jason C. Thompson was booked into jail on Monday and then charged yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court with two counts of third-degree child rape, an offense that has a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Morton police learned of the alleged situation after the mother of the girl’s friend saw messages between the two in the cache of the friend’s computer, according to charging documents. The documents state Thompson met the girl in November when she came to visit his housemate, and allege that in April they began having sex. He has no felony criminal history and resides and works in Morton, his temporary defense attorney told the judge yesterday afternoon as bail was being contemplated. Judge James Lawler set bail at $5,000 and ordered Thompson to have no contact with minors, including his own two children. His arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow.

KITCHEN FIRE

• Firefighters were called at 9:30 p.m. yesterday to a fire in a home southeast of Centralia that ignited from a pan of cooking oil left unattended on the stove, which caught fire. The crew arrived to the 100 block of Kodiak Lane to find an occupant had put it out and everyone was outside, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The loss is estimated at $8,000 with damage to the stove, the cabinets above, the fan-vent-light as well as smoke damage to the kitchen, according to Capt. Tim Adolphsen. Riverside offers advice from the National Fire Protection Association, which says cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Safety considerations when cooking with oil include: Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop and keep an eye on what you fry.

OAKVILLE MAN ACCUSED OF LEAVING INJURED PASSENGER AFTER WRECK

• A 23-year-old Oakville man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a single-vehicle rollover wreck involving a tree this morning. Deputies called at 6:30 a.m. to the 200 block of Elma Gate Road West, west of Oakville, were told by the 911 caller they saw a man in his 20s walking away – with blood on him – and checked inside the car to find one occupant, conscious, but not talking, according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office. A police dog from Thurston County was called to assist in finding the driver, who was located about two hours later in a brushy area about 50 yards north of the scene, according to Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate. He, a 21-year-old Oakville resident, had some injuries which didn’t appear to be life-threatening and was expected to be transported to Providence Centralia Hospital and then booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail, Shumate indicated in a message to the news media. The vehicle, described by Shumate as a 2002 Buick Centra, is registered to the 21-year-old, according to Shumate. A trooper was called to assess the driver, as it appeared alcohol or drugs could be involved, he indicated. The sheriff’s office this morning was considering charges of vehicular assault as well as hit and run.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, obstructing, disorderliness, malicious mischief, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, stolen purse, stolen wallet, dine and dash, other possible theft, misdemeanor assault, suspicious circumstances, car wheels found in shrubbery, child playing with phone calling 911, collision off city street, girls fighting at school, boys fighting at school … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
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•••

Updated at 8:33 p.m.

PROWLING INTO COMMERCIAL STORAGE BUSINESS

• Someone broke into two commercial storage units over the weekend at the 1900 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Ethel, taking Samsonite luggage, a 35 mm camera, and Nikken brand gold jewelry consisting of a necklace, a bracelet and a medallion. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports it happened between 7 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Sunday when someone cut through a chain link fence at the back of the property and got into one unit by removing screws from metal. They got into the adjoining unit by kicking down plywood, according to the sheriff’s office.

DRESS DUMMY LIFTED FROM SHOP

• Chehalis police were contacted about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday following the discovery someone used a brick to break out the large window of a retail store on the 1900 block of North National Avenue and stole a mannequin of an adult female. It’s not clear yet what else might be missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

GUN STOLEN

• Chehalis police took a report on Saturday of a firearm missing from the 400 block of Northeast Washington Avenue. It had been recovered in Centralia in an alley, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

SHEDS AND SHOPS BURGLED

• A deputy took a report over the weekend of a break-in to a detached shop at the 100 block of Bunker Creek Road in Adna in which binoculars, a five-gallon gas can, an air compressor and Stihl brand chainsaw, weed eaters and leaf blower were stolen. It happened sometime after 10 p.m. on Friday and before 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Deputies took reports over the weekend of two shed burglaries at the 2500 block of Spencer Road near Salkum. Security footage will be reviewed on one of them that took place on May 14 between about 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. and among the items missing are two fishing rods, a security camera and an extension cord as well as a wooden bear, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Stolen from the other property sometime since April 26 were five gallons of gas, a weed eater and a Stihl pole saw extension, according to the sheriff’s office.

FRAUD

• Chehalis police were called on Friday from a resident who discovered from a credit check that someone had been using her social security number, a person who was arrested in Virginia and Arizona. She was advised to contact the Social Security Administration as well as the Washington State Patrol,  who hopefully could help her out, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• A 2003 Hyundai Elantra was found wrecked early Sunday morning at the 200 block of Haight Road outside Napavine and it’s owner reported the last he’d seen it was parked a few blocks away on Carrolls Road at his grandmother’s home with the keys on the center console, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The car sustained major front end damage and struck a power pole, according to the sheriff’s office.

ASSAULT

• Police were called to Green Hill School in Chehalis on Saturday night to take a report of a third-degree assault in which a staff member was reportedly shoved from behind by one of the student-inmates while trying to break up a fight.

• A nude and intoxicated man was arrested at the river next the trail off the 100 block of Highway 603 on Sunday for an alleged assault upon his wife the night before, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy responded about 4:30 p.m. to  call about a little girl crying and screaming hysterically as she ran down the trail, according to the sheriff’s office. The 6-year-old child said she was at the river with her dad and he got completely undressed which scared her, so she and her dog ran, according to the sheriff’s office. When the mother arrived with a bruised face, a deputy was told that the night before, Frank G. Fulmer, of Chehalis, had punched and choked her while she was on the ground. Fulmer was arrested for second-degree assault and a case for reckless endangerment is being recommended also, as when contacted by law enforcement, Fulmer said he wasn’t aware his daughter was with him at the river, or where she was, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CANINES ON THE LOOSE

• A pair of unaccompanied hound dogs who showed up at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds during a dog show and racing event on Sunday were removed and taken to the animal shelter, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

COLLISION AT MORTON

• Two pickups were totaled and two people injured after a 65-year-old motorist reportedly pulled onto U.S. Highway 12 at Morton without yielding yesterday afternoon. Troopers called at 3 p.m. concluded Brian B. Coleman, 65, from Randle, was southbound on state Route 7 in a Ford F350 pickup and was struck by a westbound Ford F150 pickup pulling a 2014 retro travel trailer. Everyone was wearing seat belts, but Coleman, as well as the 48-year-old passenger in the other vehicle were transported to Morton General Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol. The other driver, Patrick D. Thompson, 51, of Olympia, was reportedly unhurt. Coleman was to be arrested for driving under the influence and also second-degree driving with a suspended license, according to the state patrol. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged today with vehicular assault, a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Lewis County prosecutors allege Coleman smelled of intoxicants at the hospital, a trooper found a half gallon of Monarch Vodka on his passenger seat and a preliminary breath test showed an alcohol level of .154. Coleman has an ongoing DUI case from November, as well as a prior conviction for DUI that was deferred and then was revoked last month, according to charging documents. His bail was set at $250,000. Charging documents don’t describe his injuries but state that Lisa Thompson’s hand was broken.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, malicious mischief, no contact order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, runaway juvenile, misdemeanor theft … and more.

Another town meeting: Got a question for the sheriff, the prosecutor?

Monday, May 25th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The sheriff and the prosecutor have set aside an evening to talk with citizens, answer their questions and listen to their concerns.

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Sheriff Rob Snaza

It takes place next month in Toledo, as part of their series of town meetings around Lewis County.

Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza and Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer conducted their first such gathering in March in Salkum.

Meyer called the first meeting successful and indicated he enjoyed it.

“Transparency in the prosecutor’s office is important and I am happy to share our successes and challenges with the public we serve,” he stated in a news release.

Snaza called it a great opportunity to have a conversation with citizens.

“Partnering together to address community issues is paramount to keeping Lewis County a safe place to live,” Snaza stated.

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Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer

The two elected officials plan to continue with similar meetings in various other communities around the county throughout the year.

Snaza, who is just beginning a four-year term, is introducing himself and his office to the people in other ways as well.

Earlier this month, he hosted what he called “A day in the life of the sheriff’s office” by inviting 10 people to spend a Saturday touring his facilities, and engaging in hands-on activities such as lifting fingerprints and participating in a shoot-don’t shoot simulation.

What: Town Meeting with Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza and Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer
Where: Cowlitz Prairie Grange, 5184 Jackson Highway, Toledo.
When: Wednesday June 24, 2015
Time: 7:30 p.m.
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For background, read “Sheriff, prosecutor talk about changes in crime fighting efforts” from Sunday March 29, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, May 25th, 2015
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Updated

GLENOMA WOMAN LOSES HOME TO KEROSENE FIRE

• Firefighters called to a burning travel trailer in Glenoma on Saturday night extinguished the blaze but it was a total loss, according to Lewis County Fire District 18. Fire Chief Ed Lowe said they responded around 8 p.m. to the property along U.S. Highway 12 near Bowen Road and found the resident had burns to her hand or hands. She said she was lighting a kerosene lamp and it just took off, Lowe said. The trailer, in which she lived, had no electricity, according to Lowe. He called the Red Cross to help her out, he said.

THEFT

• Police were called to a burglary at a home on the 1200 block of H Street on Saturday afternoon. Missing is jewelry, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report of the theft of pain medication from the 2600 block of Eureka Avenue on Friday.

WRECK

• Two cars were totaled and one person hospitalized after a collision on U.S. Highway 12 near Harms Road in Ethel on Saturday. Troopers called just before 11 a.m. determined that a Honda Accord was stopped waiting to make a left turn into a driveway when it was rear-ended by a four-door Buick. Ruth E. Smoots, 62, of Mossyrock, was transported to Morton General Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol. Her Buick was impounded, according to the state patrol. The other driver, Thomasena Seifert, 38, from Onalaska, was reportedly injured, but not seriously enough to be taken to the hospital.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, assault, shoplifting, driving with under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for stolen wallet, misdemeanor theft, parking lot fender bender … and more.

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CORRECTION: This has been updated to reflect that both women involved in the collision on U.S. Highway 12 were injured.