Archive for December, 2015

Lewis County Jail to stop charging fee for visiting with inmates

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – For the past two years, going to the Lewis County Jail to visit an inmate has cost money, but that’s about to change.

The facility installed an Internet-based system for visitation that allowed for family or friends to avoid the drive to Chehalis to see their loved ones, by logging in and paying a fee.

The same technology is used however, with inmates chatting from their cell areas to a video screen while their guests are viewing another screen in the lobby area of the same building. The cost is 50 cents per minute.

Jail Chief Kevin Hanson said he hopes free visits in the jail lobby can begin again in mid-January. It will take some programming changes by the vendor, he said.

Part of the reasoning for the switch, Hanson said, is he got advice during a course on incarceration legalities he attended that suggested charging money to people who come in to the jail to see inmates was a practice on somewhat shaky legal ground.

When he and other administrators of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office shared the news with the county board of commissioners earlier this month, Sheriff Rob Snaza said it was something they’d been talking about doing for awhile. The sheriff’s office runs the jail.

“It only makes sense,” Snaza said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Defendants can be sentenced to up to 364 days in the jail. For those awaiting trial, their stay in some cases has been even longer.

Hanson is aiming for the change to take place around the second full week in January.

•••

For background, read Northwest Public Radio’s Jan. 13, 2015 piece about the Homewav video visitation system as used in Lewis County, here

November accidental shooting ends with Alford plea from Centralia man

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia teenager who accidentally shot his girlfriend when his pistol in his pocket discharged while she was sitting on his lap is off to prison after pleading guilty as charged.

Austin C. Courtright was facing a standard sentencing range of nine to 12 months but made a deal with prosecutors in which they agreed to recommend he serve one year plus one day.

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Austin C. Courtright

The difference meant spending his time in state prison instead of at the Lewis County Jail, something he preferred, according to his lawyer.

His 21-year-old girlfriend was struck in her inner right thigh, and was treated at a hospital and then released the same day, Nov. 30. It happened in the basement of a home on First Street in Centralia.

Centralia police investigated and concluded it was accidental, but Courtright was charged with third-degree assault. He was also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The then-18-year-old with previous convictions that prohibited him from having a gun told police he knew he wasn’t supposed to, but was afraid of being victimized by gang members who used to be his friends, according to prosecutors.

Courtright pleaded guilty last Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court and the judge agreed to the sentence. He made a so-called Alford plea to the charge of third-degree assault, not admitting guilt.

Defense attorney Chris Baum said he had a real issue with the assault charge, calling it a “stretch”.

It was a criminal negligence issue, his client didn’t know the gun was loaded, Baum said.

“I wasn’t suggesting he plead to that, but he did,” Baum said.

Judge Richard Brosey also ordered 12 months of community custody upon Courtright’s release and $1,400 in fines and legal financial obligations.
•••

For background, read “Accidentally shooting girlfriend brings criminal charge for Centralia teen” from Wednesday December 2, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, December 31st, 2015
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•••

AUTO THEFT

• A woman who left her car yesterday evening in the parking area of a complex on the 200 block of Southwest 13th Street in Chehalis found it gone when she went outside to warm it up around 3 o’clock this morning. Missing is a yellow 2004 Toyota Celica, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The car had black rims, according to police.

POSSIBLE BURGLARY

• Chehalis police were called about 9:40 a.m. yesterday about individuals removing items from a business on North Market Boulevard after they were supposed to have been moved out. The case is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES

• An unknown suspect damaged a lock on a door, at the 300 block of North Diamond Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police at about 12:30 p.m. yesterday.

• Chehalis police were called just before 10 p.m. yesterday to the 300 block of Southwest Fifth Street about someone rummaging through a carport. No arrest was made, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

MISSING MEDS

• Police were called about 4:20 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of Allen Street in Centralia regarding the theft of pain medication.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called about 4:15 p.m. yesterday to the 800 block of Southwest 21st Street where sometime during the previous week someone had broken out the passenger side window from a van.

DISAGREEMENT AT BAR

• Officers called to a tavern dispute about 1:20 a.m. today at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue arrested one person for warrants and another for obstructing and resisting arrest. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were James R. Beesley, 26, of Centralia, for two outstanding warrants and Reyana K. Israel, 30, of Centralia, for the other offenses, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, misdemeanor theft, disorderly conduct, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, suspicious circumstances, protection order violation, collision on city street … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
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•••

SMILE, YOU’RE ON CANDID CAMERA

• A 26-year-old was picked up last night at a local motel after relatives called police to say various valuables have been disappearing from their home on the 1300 block of South Scheuber Road and when they viewed surveillance video they recognized the suspect. It appeared to have been ongoing for a couple of months and the initial reports shows about $800 worth of items taken, including collectible coins, according to the Centralia Police Department. Kameron D.H. Wolden, from Centralia, was arrested for residential burglary and trafficking in stolen property and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

JOY RIDE LEADS TO JAIL

• A 23-year-old Pe Ell resident was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday for allegedly driving his Ford Bronco onto someone’s private tree farm, getting it stuck and causing an estimated $3,600 damage. Deputies were called on Saturday and told that sometime during the previous three days, someone damaged a locked gate, roads, fencing, some small trees and some mature trees at the 100 block of Cole Road outside Pe Ell, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office reports Joseph A. Schwartz was contacted and admitted to driving on the property. The investigation showed Schwartz had an 18-year-old passenger from Chehalis with him and also the next day, a 19-year-old Onalaska resident drove on to the property to help retrieve the Bronco, according to Cmdr. Dusty Breen. That vehicle also became stuck, Breen said. Schwartz was arrested for second-degree trespassing and second-degree malicious mischief. Cases for trespassing for the other two are being referred to prosecutors, according to Breen.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were called just after 5 o’clock this morning by an individual who heard their car start up and drive away from the 2000 block of North Pearl Street. The missing vehicle is a 1996 Subaru Legacy with a cargo container on top, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFTS FROM YARDS

• Someone stole a dog house from the front yard of a home on the 600 block of South Gold Street in Centralia during the night, according to a report made to police yesterday morning. It was a plastic igloo-type, according to the Centralia Police Department. Also missing at the same time was a bicycle, according to police. Another bicycle was reported stolen later in the day from the 600 block of Jefferson Street and a third bike – with a trailer – disappeared from the 1700 block of Military Road, according to police.

CAR PROWL

• An officer was called about 4:40 p.m. yesterday to the 1700 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia to take a report that items were stolen overnight from a parked and unlocked vehicle.

• Police were called about 3:40 p.m. yesterday regarding an overnight vehicle prowl at the 800 block of Elm Street in Centralia.

VANDALISM

• Police were called about 7:40 a.m. yesterday regarding an unknown person cutting the soft top of a vehicle during the night at the 700 block of Yew Street in Centralia.

DERAILED IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police said at least two rail cars “jumped the tracks” on a service line yesterday evening near the 400 block of Railroad Avenue in Centralia. None of them tipped over and officers assisted personnel from BNSF who had to uncouple some cars to unblock streets, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Kurt Reichert said it appeared it may have been caused by a loose rail.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, shoplifting, trespassing, malicious mischief, open container in public; responses for alarm, dispute, disorderly person, barking dog, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft, violation of no contact order, someone “camping” in a doorway, report of a male destroying a television in the middle of a road … and more.

Car shot at, chased down Interstate 5 in Lewis County

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Updated at 6:53 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Troopers continue to look for the driver of black Jeep said to have fired upon another motorist on Interstate 5 north of Centralia this morning.

One shot shattered the rear window of the victim’s car, hit the rearview mirror and exited the windshield, according to authorities.

The 25-year-old man from Spanaway exited the freeway in Chehalis, after traveling away from his assailant at speeds of 85 to 90 mph, according to the Washington State Patrol. He was uninjured.

Initial information suggested the incident occurred near the Lewis-Thurston county line, when the Jeep did a brake check, meaning he tapped on his brakes for the driver behind him, Chehalis Police Department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.

The victim driver decided to go around the Jeep and that’s when the subject in the Jeep pulled out what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun, Bailey said.

The incident was reported by the un-named victim driver at 11:04 a.m.

It actually began farther north, around the Scatter Creek Rest Area, and included some aggression from both participants, according to a spokesperson for the state patrol.

“(The 25-year-old) is running late for something in Centralia or Chehalis, is driving in the fast lane and comes up on a black Jeep Cherokee and got brake checked,” Trooper Will Finn said. “He gets angry, he gets around this Jeep and brake checks him.

Then he looked in his mirror and saw the barrel of a gun come out the driver’s side window, Finn said.

“He says two rounds were fired off,” he said.

A chase ensued continuing southbound, with the silver 2012 Mazda hatchback darting in and out of traffic and the Jeep pursuing him, Finn said.

The last time the victim saw the Jeep was around milepost 80, and the victim got off the freeway at exit 77, according to the state patrol.

Finn said troopers and deputies were stationed south of the incident waiting for the Jeep, but they never saw it, leading them to believe the Jeep exited the freeway in that area.

“Right now we’re asking anyone who witnessed this or saw this to call us,” Finn said.

Chehalis police reported it was a Jeep Wrangler, but Finn said it was a black Jeep Cherokee, perhaps a 2005 model or as new as a 2010. It was described as a “stock” vehicle, with nothing extra that stood out on it, and it had Washington plates, he said.

The victim said the shooter was an elderly white man with a white beard and somewhere between 60 and 70 years old.

He said there was a female passenger who looked as old as 80, wearing an oxygen mask, Finn said.

Finn said it’s possible someone knows a couple like that, or has had a similar experience with the driver of the Jeep.

He urged anyone with any information to call the state patrol’s non-emergency number of 360-449-7999.

News brief: One opening on Chehalis Civil Service Commission

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The city of Chehalis is looking to fill a vacancy on its Civil Service Commission.

The commission holds regular meetings once each month and its members are unpaid.

The Civil Service Commission basically oversee the examination process, appointments, promotions, transfers, reinstatements, demotions, suspensions and discharge of police and fire department employees, according to City Clerk Judy Schave.

Appointments to the commission are made by the city manager, subject to the approval of the city council, and are generally six-year terms.

Applicants must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the city of Chehalis for at least three years.

Application forms are available on the city’s website, or can be picked up at City Hall located at 350 N. Market Blvd. Rm 101.

The city will accept applications until the position is filled.

Top cop job in Morton changing hands

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The passing of the baton at the Morton Police Department will take place on Thursday, as 2015 comes to a close.

Longtime Chief Dan Mortensen is retiring, although when he wakes up on New Year’s Day he will be mayor of the small East Lewis County town.

He ran unopposed in the November election. Mayor James Gerwig didn’t run for another term.

Mortensen describes his feelings as “anticipatory.”

“I’ve done this job a long time and I certainly will miss it,” he said. “The mayor position presents some new challenges for me.”

The mayor manages the city and runs the council meetings, but does not have a vote on the council.

Mayor Gerwig hired a new police chief, Roger Morningstar, who begins work on Jan. 1.

Mortensen and Morningstar were sworn in to their new positions by Mayor Gerwig at last night’s city council meeting.

The outgoing and incoming police chiefs have been working for a couple of days together, for a smoother transition at the department, according to Mortensen.

The police department employs a chief and two full time officers. Mortensen has been with the department since 1985.

Morningstar has law enforcement experience in Washington and a criminal justice certification, Mortensen said. He comes from the state Department of Corrections in Aberdeen, though he hails from Nevada.

“He comes with a pretty good repertoire of experience, I think he’s a good fit for the community,” Mortensen said.

News brief: Llama attacked and killed in Glenoma

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Wildlife officers are trying to catch a cougar suspected of killing a llama in the Meade Hill area of Glenoma.

Authorities were contacted yesterday after the discovery of the dead animal, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“We do suspect it could be a cougar, we did put out a live trap,” department spokesperson Craig Bartlett said.

Bartlett said the big cats’ chief prey are deer and elk, but they don’t hibernate and they’re out and about, and hungry this time of year.

He said it appeared whatever attacked the llama had gone back to eat on it a couple of times.

If it’s captured, and could be tied to the llama, it will probably be euthanized, he said.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
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•••

CHEHALIS INTRUDER APOLOGIZES, PEDALS AWAY

• Chehalis police were called about 8:20 a.m. yesterday after a resident at the 400 block of Northwest Pennsylvania Avenue said a stranger walked into an open garage, apologized when he was confronted and then left on a bicycle. Nothing appeared to be missing or disturbed but an officer was asked if the individual was found, to let him know he’s not welcome back, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The intruder was described as in his 20s, wearing baggy pants and rubber boots and carrying a backpack.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called about 9:20 p.m. yesterday to take a report of a purse stolen from a vehicle parked at the 700 block of Marsh Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called about 1:40 p.m. yesterday about a vehicle prowl at the 800 block of Northwest Maryland Avenue. The owner was sure it had been locked the night before but found it unlocked and rummaged through, according to the Chehalis Police Department. A gift card was missing, according to police.

• Centralia police were called to the 1000 block of Mellen Street about 8:30 a.m. yesterday where someone had stolen a garage door opener from a parked vehicle.

DRUGS

• A 47-year-old Rochester woman turned over to a deputy yesterday by another agency at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia was further arrested for possession of methamphetamine when a search turned up a small baggie in her pants pocket containing a white crystal substance. Donna S. Cline was wanted on an outstanding warrant and subsequently booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VANDALISM

• Police were called about 9:30 a.m. yesterday to take a report that an individual found the passenger side window of a vehicle busted out at the 800 block of J Street.

ON THE ROAD

• Responders to a single-vehicle collision about 3:10 a.m. today south of Chehalis found a man believed to have been a passenger with a significant head injury but didn’t locate the driver. Deputies found two sets of footprints leaving the 2010 Honda Accord – in a ditch – in the area of Rush and Maurin roads, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 34-year-old man from Goldendale was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with plans for a transfer to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the sheriff’s office. Cmdr. Dusty Breen is asking anyone with any information to call the sheriff’s office or Crime Stoppers of Lewis County.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, malicious mischief; responses for stray dog, runaway teen, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Toledo man accused of touching two girls in “bad places”

Monday, December 28th, 2015
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Clavin P. Brockman waits in the courtroom to be escorted back down to the Lewis County Jail this afternoon.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 38-year-old Toledo man brought before a judge today to face two charges of first-degree child molestation, is facing – if convicted – a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

Clavin P. Brockman was arrested at his home on Christmas Eve day by a detective with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

He was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court, where prosecutors asked that he be held on $500,000 bail.

Judge James Lawler agreed, and also ordered that Brockman could have no contact with any minors.

Brockman was convicted at age 21 of first-degree child molestation, according to authorities.

Another conviction for a serious sex offense would count under the state’s two strikes law for serious sex crimes.

According to charging documents, the mother of two 9-year-old girls called police in August stating the girls told her they didn’t like Brockman because he touched them in “bad places.”

Sheriff’s detective Tom Callas interviewed the alleged victims in September, in November and he was present for a medical interview on Dec. 2.

The incidents are alleged to have occurred between May 1 and Sept. 1.

When Callas contacted Brockman at his home on Thursday, he asked him if he knew why he was there, and Brockman said he did, according to the allegations.

Before Brockman was placed in the patrol vehicle, he asked if he could place something in his barn, and Callas agreed; as they walked toward the barn, Brockman stated, ‘I’m going to prison for life’, the documents allege.

According to Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher, Brockman was also convicted in 2008 of failing to register as a sex offender.

He is currently unemployed and qualified for a court-appointed lawyer. Brockman’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday morning.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, December 28th, 2015
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•••

MAN BOOKED FOR BREAKING FRONT DOOR

• A 50-year-old Centralia man armed himself when someone tried to break down his door around 3 o’clock on Saturday morning at the 600 block of State Street and arriving deputies detained a 28-year-old man leaving the porch area, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Matthew A. Poston gave an explanation for why he was there that didn’t make sense, according to the sheriff’s office. Poston was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for attempted second-degree burglary, but prosecutors declined to file the felony charge. He is being seen in Lewis County District Court today for a possible charge of malicious mischief. The front door and its jamb were damaged, the sheriff’s office reports.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• A deputy was called yesterday to the 400 block of Reinke Road outside Centralia where a resident reported having found items out of place upon returning home from out of state, and initially thinking it was his children, but finding out it wasn’t. Sometime between Nov. 23 and Dec. 15, someone stole or damaged about $1,000 of valuables, including gas cans, propane tanks, books, CDs, food and clothing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Deputies called to a residential burglary at the 300 block of East Roanoke Street in Centralia on Thursday found that a BB pistol and a toolbox were stolen from a room in the back of the home and a Mongoose bicycle taken from its front yard. It happened sometime after 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday and 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BURGLARY CHEHALIS

• Someone threw a rock through the front window of a convenience store on the 1900 block of South Market Boulevard about 2 a.m. on Friday, drawing a response from police and a police dog. K-9 Lobo and his partner conducted a track that ended at a home a few blocks away and found a 55-year-old Chehalis resident and a bag containing about $800 worth of cigarettes, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Ricky McVay was arrested for second-degree theft and burglary and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

VEHICLE THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 8:15 a.m. on Saturday to the 500 block of North Market Boulevard in Chehalis where a 2002 Honda 600 motorcycle had been stolen overnight.

• A white 2002 Ford Crown Victoria was reported stolen on Thursday from the parking lot at the Lewis County Law and Justice Center. The car was taken sometime since Dec. 9, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police called about 10:40 a.m. on Thursday after someone broke a building’s window on West Main Street near Market Boulevard subsequently arrested a 42-year-old Centralia man for possession of methamphetamine, malicious mischief and resisting arrest. Booked into the Lewis County Jail was Peter D. Harris, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

MALICIOUS MISCHIEF

• Centralia police were called about 12:15 p.m. yesterday by a resident at the 2500 block of Howard Avenue who said someone had spread roofing nails in their driveway.

ON THE ROAD

• Deputies responding about 9:45 p.m. on Friday to a single-vehicle collision at the 800 block of Silverbrook Road in Randle arrested the suspected driver for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. Tracy S. Dopp, 55, of Randle, sustained scrapes to the face and the 1995 Chevrolet van sustained major damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Dopp was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, minor in possession of alcohol, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, failure to register as a sex offender; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, dog on a roof, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor theft, collision on city street … and more.

Raccoon hunter rescued out of forest near Boistfort

Monday, December 28th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A hunter was rescued yesterday after spending the night stuck in a creek bed in the woods southwest of Boistfort.

The man was found by a couple who called 911 about 9 o’clock in the morning and met up with firefighters at Boistfort Lions Club Park on  Pe Ell-McDonald Road, according to Lewis County Fire District 13.

“They took us to his location, we found him conscious and able to speak,” Fire Chief Gwen Turner said, noting it was along the 4000 Line. “He just couldn’t get himself out on his own.”

He said he had fallen and hit his head, Turner said.

Turner said it was quite a deep ditch and while the man was not in the water, he didn’t have a coat. Someone had tossed one down to him before he was brought up, she said.

Temperatures overnight in the area dropped into the mid- to high 30s.

He was very lucky, she said.

Seven members of the fire department carried him out, about three-quarters of a mile to the road.

The man, who is from Roy but owns property in Pe Ell is either 57 or 58 years old, she said. He said he was hunting raccoons.

He was put in an ambulance and taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, to be checked for hypothermia and possibly a bit of dehydration, she said.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, December 27th, 2015
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•••

‘I SAW WHAT YOU DID’

• Police were called to the 100 block of High Street in Centralia about 3:30 p.m. yesterday for a hit and run to a parked vehicle. The incident was witnessed by another individual who left a note describing the running vehicle, according to the Centralia Police Department. The suspect car is described as a dark blue or black Dodge Challenger with a Washington license plate reading AVJ 5681, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, drinking liquor in public, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, December 26th, 2015
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•••

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 7:20 p.m. yesterday about a red 1994 Mazda pickup truck stolen from the 100 block of South Tower Avenue. The license plate reads C25615C, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 1900 block of North Pearl Street. Taken was a tool box, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Tools and some paperwork were stolen in a vehicle prowl at the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 12:45 p.m. on Thursday.

MORE THEFT

• Police were called about 10:30 a.m. on Thursday to the 1400 block of Johnson Road where packages that reportedly were delivered two days earlier were missing.

• Police were called about 2 p.m. yesterday to the 1300 block of Alexander Street regarding a wallet stolen from inside the facility.

ANIMAL INJURY

• Centralia police were called just after 7 a.m. yesterday to Warsaw Street and Delaware Avenue where a dog returned home injured, with heavy bleeding from its chest. The owner could not afford to take the dog to the vet so it is not known what the injury was or how it happened, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD

• Police arrested a 25-year-old motorist for driving under the influence after a three-vehicle, non-injury collision at the 500 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia at about 3:30 a.m. yesterday. Roberto C. Montes Reyes was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday to a two-vehicle minor injury collision at Reynolds Avenue and Industrial Drive in Centralia, in which one of the vehicles continued on. The running vehicle was described as white and possibly a Chevrolet Suburban, which would have front end damage, according to the Centralia Police Department. About an hour later, a suspect was found during a traffic stop near Johnson Road, according to police. Servero Hernandez Cirilo 28 of Centralia, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence and also for hit and run, according to police.

AND MORE

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

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, December 24th, 2015
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•••

FEDS COME TO WINLOCK, ARREST RESIDENT

• A 30-year-old Winlock man was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly using a social media application to trade images of child pornography. Officers accompanied by members of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office were at the residence on the 2700 block of Highway 603 on Tuesday and subsequently booked Donald L. Schnacker into the Lewis County Jail, according to authorities. Lewis County prosecutors yesterday filed two charges, of both possessing and dealing in depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct.  Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said a tip first came into the FBI office in Little Rock and investigators found evidence Schnacker used his phone and the Kik messenger app to access wireless internet from the library. Schnacker’s arraignment was scheduled for today.

PENNIES FOUND ON SUSPECTED CAR PROWLER

• Chehalis police were called about 4 o’clock this morning after an individual on Southwest Seventh Street near Market Boulevard observed the dome light on in their vehicle. An officer arriving to the area spotted a person by a fence, motioned them to come back, and subsequently found numerous items on their person, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Talen C.A. Maddux was arrested for second-degree vehicle prowl, according to police. The items included pennies, a breath mint, a fishing bob, lighters, pencils, pens and a glove, police said. Maddux was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

CAMERA TAKEN IN CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called just after noon yesterday about a vehicle prowl at the 200 block of Tacoma Avenue. A camera was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT OF GASOLINE

• Chehalis police were called yesterday by a business on the 2500 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue that discovered via surveillance images someone had siphoned fuel from their vehicles during the night. The loss is listed as $30, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

FRAUD CENTRALIA

• Police were called about 2:20 p.m. yesterday by a victim who they discovered a person they know used the victim’s personal information to obtain utilities in the Spokane area and then didn’t pay the bill. The case associated with an address on Alder Street is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were contacted yesterday afternoon to take a report of fraud in which an estranged husband allegedly accessed his wife’s account, in a case associated with a credit union on the 1300 block of South Gold Street. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ATTEMPTED FRAUD CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday from a resident who reported he was selling  wood stove on on Craigslist over the Internet and was contacted by an individual supposedly in Texas who sent him a check for more than the agreed upon price and wanted him to cash it at a New York bank. The Chehalis resident thought it was suspicious and didn’t follow through, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

TEEN BOOKED FOR ASSAULT

• A 17-year-old girl who allegedly kicked an officer while being picked up on an outstanding warrant was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center yesterday for third-degree assault. The incident at approximately 3:20 p.m. occurred at the 800 block of West Main Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Centralia police are recommending a criminal charge of possession of methamphetamine in connection with an arrest for shoplifting made about 8 p.m. yesterday at the 500 block of South Tower Avenue. Jason W. Dix, 41, of Centralia, was issued a citation and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD

• An Oakville woman was injured last night when her car hit water, skidded off a highway and landed on its roof in McCleary. Troopers called just after 10 p.m. to eastbound state Route 8 report that Angela L. Wickstrom, 46, was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital. Her Subaru station wagon was damaged, towed and impounded, according to the Washington State Patrol. Wickstrom was to be cited for driving too fast for conditions, according to the state patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drugs, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor  theft responses for alarm, possible child abuse, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Comfort canine starts work with Thurston prosecutors

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office introduced its newest member to the public yesterday, Marshal the courthouse dog.

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Marshal the courthouse dog

The 2-year-old black Labrador is trained to provide companionship for individuals by reducing their stress and assisting those reliving painful events, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim says Marshal can offer a soothing influence for the victims they work with.

“Crime is a traumatic event for victims,” Tunheim said in a news release. “As difficult as the incidents themselves can be, giving statements about what happened and navigating the criminal justice system forces a victim to re-live that challenging trauma.”

Marshal was provided free of charge by Assistance Dogs of Hawaii, where he was trained. He will work at the main courthouse as well as at the Family Support Center of South Sound.

Comfort dogs in courthouses are not new.

The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office brought in Oak, a court therapy dog, earlier this year.

Anne Larsen of the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office indicates courthouse dogs have been in place since 2004, with 95 other facility dogs like Marshal working in 29 other states.

Pre-holiday travel a mess in Lewis County, on I-5 and U.S. 12

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
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A sport utility vehicle rests between two trucks on Interstate 5 today. / Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Washington State Patrol says there were no major injuries from a series of wrecks on southbound Interstate 5 at Centralia today.

The first one came about 10:30 a.m. just prior to the construction area, according to Trooper Will Finn.

“There were multiple collisions, lots of collisions, even while we were out there, people were still crashing,” Finn said.

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Lewis-Thurston county line about 5 p.m.

Crews from Riverside Fire Authority responded initially to a report of multiple vehicles with two semi trucks involved.

The state Department of Transportation alerted motorists to a backup that stretched nearly to the Maytown rest area.

Interstate 5 narrows down to two lanes coming in to Centralia, allowing for a huge bottleneck, Finn said.

“It sounds like a little bit weather related, a little bit traffic related,” he said.

He said he didn’t know how many people were transported to the hospital, but he understood there were only minor injuries. He didn’t have a count yet this afternoon of how many cars and trucks were involved.

However, the fire department later reported they responded to four collisions involving eight semi trucks and seven other vehicles.

One patient sustained severe injuries and five suffered minor injuries, according to Fire Capt. Scott Weinert. All were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Weinert.

Troopers were on the scene until 1:30 p.m., Finn said.

Late this afternoon, the state patrol in Lewis County turned its attention to U.S. Highway 12 east of Packwood.

Dispatchers were taking calls of spinouts and blocking accidents in the area near state Route 123, with other motorists trying to chain up to drive over White Pass, Finn said at about 4:45 p.m.

The state Department of Transportation last night reopened one lane over the pass, following a lengthy closure from washouts during the last round of flooding.

Commercial trucks – tractor-trailer combinations – are prohibited except for an allowance for local deliveries.

 

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
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•••

FAILED INTRUSION ATTEMPT

• Police responding to an approximately 7 a.m. call yesterday that someone was trying to break in to a home on the 600 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia detained a 20-year-old man. The resident was home, heard banging at the back door and when he looked through the curtains, saw a stranger trying to hit the door with his shoulder, according to the Centralia Police Department. Joseph L. McCarthy was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for attempted residential burglary, according to police. However, prosecutors declined to file charges and he was to be released.

DOMESTIC DISPUTE

• A woman who returned to her estranged husband’s Centralia apartment, allegedly threw things around and punched him the head was arrested for first-degree burglary yesterday. Officers responding to the approximately 3:15 p.m. call to the 600 block of North Pearl Street booked 54-year-old Kathy A. Kirby into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning by a woman who said  her purse was stolen from her car the previous day at the Safeway parking lot. She said she walked her shopping cart back into the store so employees wouldn’t have to, and during that time her purse disappeared, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

UNCONFIRMED KIDNAPPING

• Chehalis police were called about 8:30 p.m. yesterday by a man who said he’d been abducted from the parking lot at Wal-Mart in October and held captive until yesterday. He appeared to be in normal health and didn’t want the officer to follow up by attempting to locate security videos and declined to take a polygraph, according to the Chehalis Police Department. A report was taken for informational purposes, as nothing was found to support his description of the events that included having been tied up, and taken to Oregon, but eventually able to drive home, according to police.

ON THE ROAD

• Centralia police arrested a 33-year-old woman for driving under the influence after she reportedly drove the wrong direction on a one-way street and collided head-on with another vehicle last night. It happened about 8:30 p.m. in front of the fire station on the 500 block of North Pearl Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. The other driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and Tayra F. Hall, of Yelm, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• A 23-year-old Chehalis resident pulled over just before 8 p.m. yesterday at the 800 block of West Main Street in Chehalis after a deputy observed him driving in an erratic manner was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. According to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy noted a strong odor of burned marijuana and field sobriety test results were consistent with marijuana use. Pedro L. Boites was taken into custody, taken to Providence Centralia Hospital for a blood test and then booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, violation of court order; responses for possible fraud, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.