Archive for August, 2017

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
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Updated at 6:20 p.m.

RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY

• A Glenoma resident who arrived home yesterday to discover people inside his residence called 911 and then got in his vehicle to follow their car down U.S. Highway 12, which was stopped by a trooper at Morton. Deputies dispatched at 5:08 p.m. for the burglary at the 300 block of Meade Hill Road interviewed the two suspects and one of them reportedly admitted she had gone inside “to look around,” according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. An investigation was ongoing to find what if anything had been stolen, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Bruce Kimsey said they learned items were being thrown from the suspect’s vehicle as it fled, and a glass pipe was located with a substance that field-tested positive for meth. Richard E. Prangley, 34, and Krista M. Dodson, 39, both from Graham, were arrested for residential burglary, Kimsey said. Dodson was additionally arrested for possession of methamphetamine, he said. Both were booked into the Lewis County Jail. Prosecutors charged the pair today with second-degree burglary and a judge allowed them release on $10,000 unsecured bail.

VEHICLE PROWL

• A deputy called about 8 p.m. yesterday for a vehicle prowl in the area of Twin Oaks Road and Highway 603 west of Chehalis learned from the victim she was walking on the Rails to Trails when she heard her car alarm and then found someone had broken out her front passenger window and stolen a bag containing glasses, books and other items, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

DRUGS

• A 36-year-old Rochester man was arrested yesterday by JNET drug detectives who visited him at his home and persuaded him to allow them to search the residence and his vehicle. According to charging documents, they found $3,300 cash, two firearms, a small amount of a crystal substance, another bag that contained a crystal substance and then approximately four ounces of methamphetamine. Miguel A. Gallardo allegedly confessed to giving two packages to another individual who was to deliver them to three separate people, two of which were in Lewis County, according to charging documents. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello wrote that Gallardo said he was in the United States illegally and had obtained his social security card illegally. Gallardo was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court possession of methamphetamine with intent to manufacture or deliver, possession of methamphetamine and also alien in possession of a firearm without an alien firearm license. The defendant spoke through a Spanish interpreter in court this afternoon. Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher asked that he be held on $10,000 bail. Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller said she was aware of absolutely no prior criminal convictions. Judge James Lawler set bail at $20,000.

• In response to complaints from downtown Centralia business owners of suspected drug activity in the area, JNET worked a street-level narcotics enforcement detail downtown Centralia yesterday and arrested four people for drug violations plus one person for an outstanding warrant. Arrested for unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and then released pending the filing of charges by prosecutors were Daniel W. Schroeder, 57, of Centralia; Lonny D. Clevenger, 27, of Centralia; Cole E. Taylor, 25, of Winlock; and Shyanne L. Chamberlain, 19, of Covington, according to the Centralia Police Department. Arrested and booked into jail for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant was Rebecca L. McIntire, 29 of Centralia. JNET is the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team made up of law enforcement officers from Centralia, Chehalis and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. JNET plans on conducting similar details in other areas of Centralia and other communities throughout Lewis County over the next several months.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, disorderly conduct, misdemeanor domestic assault, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence, protection order violation; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, third-degree theft, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances … and more among 213 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
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SEX ASSAULT INVESTIGATION

• Centralia police were called about 10:35 p.m. yesterday to take a report from two girls who reported being sexually assaulted by a boy in the area of the 1100 block of G Street. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WALLET LIFTED FROM SHOPPING CART

• Chehalis police were called by a woman yesterday who reported her wallet went missing while she was shopping at Wal-Mart on Sunday. She said she had noticed a male and a female following her, but didn’t think much about it until later, according to the Chehalis Police Department. When she got to the check stand to pay, her wallet was no longer in her cart, according to police. The woman learned from law enforcement in Thurston County that some of the items from her wallet were found laying in a yard there, Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said. Kaut said it wasn’t clear from the written report if the wallet had been in a purse in the cart or just loose in the cart.

OTHER THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday regarding the theft of a purse – and its contents – during the night from the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue.

• A generator was stolen out of the back of a pickup truck at the 1500 block of View Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 7:25 a.m. today.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for fourth-degree domestic assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, civil issue, third-degree theft, disorderly person, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances, dog alone in parked vehicle … and more among 153 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

Senior citizen mugged outside Morton grocery

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
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Suspect in robbery at Country Market, 461 Second St., Morton, Wash. on Tuesday. / Courtesy photo Morton Police Department

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Police are looking for a man who robbed a senior citizen in the parking lot of a Morton grocery store yesterday in broad daylight.

Police were called about 12:30 p.m. to the Country Market where it occurred.

The victim, a Morton resident in his 80s, was not hurt, Morton Police Department Chief Roger Morningstar said.

“Basically, he cornered him in the parking lot, took his wallet and fled in a vehicle,” Morningstar said.

Morningstar said he is hoping someone will recognize the suspect or his car from security images, and will contact police immediately.

The Country Market is the only grocery store in the East Lewis County town, Morningstar said. It sits on the east side of Second Street, the main north-south arterial, just off U.S. Highway 12.

A brief written summary of the incident indicates the suspect asked the victim if he had any money to spare, and when the victim – who was in his car – took his wallet out, the suspect grabbed it and left.

The chief said the suspect’s vehicle is a silver-colored Chevrolet, either a Malibu or Monte Carlo.

The suspect is a white adult male, and was wearing a ball cap and what was described as a blue and white striped shirt.

Morningstar suggested he would also welcome calls from anyone who may have seen something during the time of the incident.

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Robbery suspect left in silver Chevrolet Malibu or Monte Carlo. / Courtesy photo Morton Police Department

Former employee of defunct Lewis County non-profit faces old theft charge

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
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Peggy L. Maxwell, wearing green jail garb, shares defense table with attorney Rachael Tiller in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  A woman wanted on a $20,000 arrest warrant for a first-degree theft case filed years ago by former Lewis County Prosecutor Jeremy Randolph recently came to the attention of local law enforcement and was extradited from the east coast to go before a judge here yesterday.

Peggy L. Maxwell, now 58, was booked into the Lewis County Jail on Friday and was seen in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday afternoon.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher asked that she be held on $20,000 bail. Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller requested a lesser amount, noting Maxwell has family in Boistfort and a good friend in the area she can stay with.

Judge James Lawler agreed with Meagher.

The criminal case was filed in May 2001, based on the findings from a January 2000 civil trial in Lewis County in which the court found for the plaintiffs.

The complaint in that case stated the plaintiffs, a non-profit organization in Lewis County called the Civil Rights Defense League, in May of 1998 made a loan of $10,000 to Maxwell and her husband, and the note was in default.

The affidavit regarding probable cause drawn up by Randolph in May 2001 alleges the Defense League issued Maxwell a $10,000 check three years earlier which she said she would use to pay a retainer fee to secure legal services from a lawyer named Leslie Abramson.

Randolph wrote that Maxwell deposited the funds into her account and none of it was received by Abramson. He charged Maxwell with one count of first-degree theft.

Randolph was the elected prosecutor, for the second time, for eight years ending at the end of 2006.

Outside the courtroom, Meagher said Maxwell worked for the now defunct organization. Authorities were able to track down one person who is among the victims, he said.

“There’s a lot of backstory here,” Meagher said.

The criminal charge is separate from the civil case, he said.

A now-retired detective with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office conducted the criminal investigation for Randolph’s case. Meagher said he has no idea where the husband is, that he’s not involved in this new case.

Documents, only some of which were available, from the civil case, indicate the defendants didn’t show up for the non-jury trial. And the exhibits from the case were destroyed in 2008.

Meagher said his office got lucky and found Maxwell, because she was in jail on the east coast, and her warrant came up.

Tiller requested and got a court-appointed lawyer for Maxwell, saying she has had no income since May of this year, because of incarceration.

Maxwell’s arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow.

Winlock barn, Centralia brush burn in separate fires

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The preliminary area of focus is electrical for an investigation of a fire that broke out last night in a Winlock area barn, according to Lewis County Fire District 15.

Crews were called about 8:30 p.m. to the 200 block of Sargent Road where a homeowner had been scrambling to save what he could from a small barn used for hay and other storage, according to Assistant Chief Kevin Anderson.

The fire there was described as fully involved, threatening two larger buildings and spreading to vegetation, Anderson said.

An engine from District 15 and a second engine from DIstrict 5 arrived simultaneously, within seven minutes of dispatch. They were joined by personnel from District 2 and also Cowlitz-Lewis 20, for a total of about 25 firefighters.

“The guys did a great job of showing up pretty quick,” Anderson said.

The home owner was treated at the scene for a breathing-related issue.

Anderson said the second building was a larger barn containing fire wood and farm equipment and is still standing, but will likely be a total loss.

The largest structure, a shop which held the highest value of contents, sustained exterior damage only, he said.

Anderson said the area around the buildings was short cut grass, so the spread into any other vegetation was slowed.

Personnel were on the scene for the better part of three hours, he said.

Earlier in the day, farther north in Lewis County, firefighters extinguished a brush fire on Nix Lane outside of Centralia.

A crew dispatched at 3:24 p.m. found an approximately 150 foot by 50 foot brush fire with flames moving towards nearby structures, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

They were able to contain the fire to the original area and put it out, according to RFA.

Fire Lt. Jesse Berry reports several nearby electrical meter bases were damaged.

The scene was turned over to the state Department of Natural Resources and the fire’s cause is under investigation.

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Nix Lane, Centralia. / Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
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Updated

ON THE ROAD, INTO THE DRIVEWAY

• When drug detectives attempted to stop a car in south Centralia just before 6:30 p.m. yesterday, the subject drove off at a high rate of speed and lost control slamming into the carport of a residence at the 600 block of Woodland Avenue. The damage to the car and the carport were described as minimal and one of the vehicle’s two occupants complained of soreness, according to the Centralia Police Department. Two people were detained on warrants and the incident is being investigated, according to police. Gabriel Escamilla, 24, of Centralia, was subsequently arrested and then charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with attempting to elude, possession of methamphetamine and possession of heroin with intent to deliver. Charging documents indicate he was pursued by an unmarked law enforcement vehicle which activated it emergency lights. Skid marks left by his car measured just shy of 150 feet, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello wrote in charging documents. Escamilla’s bail was set at $25,000.

AUTO THEFT

• An individual who parked his 2003 Kia last night next to an apartment building at the 10 block of Northeast Cascade Avenue in Chehalis called police just before 7 a.m. today upon discovering it was gone. It turns out the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office had found it abandoned earlier in the night off Big Hanaford Road, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• A 44-year-old homeless woman was arrested for vehicle prowl in an approximately 6:50 a.m. case today associated with the 200 block of Railroad Avenue in Centralia. Genaveva R Webb was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• A package was reported to have been stolen from the front porch of a residence at the 700 block of G Street in Centralia, in an approximately 8:30 a.m. call yesterday.

• Police were called just after 1 p.m. yesterday to the 2000 block of Cooks Hill Road to take a report someone entered a room the day before and removed items from a purse.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, shoplifting, harassment, protection order violation, driving under the influence, fourth-degree domestic assault, driving with suspended license, driving without required ignition interlock device; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, civil issue, third-degree theft, violation of no contact order, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances … and more among 159 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

Campfires still prohibited, though many are lighting up anyway

Monday, August 28th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Salkum area Fire Chief Duran McDaniel says some members of the public are not paying attention to the burn ban.

“It’s only going to take one spark,” McDaniel said today as he lamented the number of people over the weekend lighting bon fires, even though they are currently prohibited in Lewis County because of the very dry vegetation.

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Just last week, a riding lawn mower ignited a grass fire on Tucker Road, which took a crew of about 20 people to extinguish and hold to two acres. It happened the same day a fire broke out in Rochester that spread over more than 400 acres, destroying two homes and other property.

“I was out Saturday night and we put out six campfires, and that was just in District 8,” McDaniel said. “Five of those were in Mayfield Village.”

McDaniel said his neighbors at fire departments in Onalaska and rural Chehalis were out doing the same thing.

Most of the people he contacted, and watched extinguish their campfires, told him they didn’t know about the ban, he said.

McDaniel said fire conditions here in Lewis County are identical to those in Rochester.

Not only is it dangerous, but it could be costly for a person who starts a wildfire, he said.

“If DNR comes out, it’s a bill to the landowner,” he said.

A red flag warning is in place in most of East Lewis County through tomorrow night, due to very hot, dry and unstable conditions mostly above 1,500 feet.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, August 28th, 2017
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•••

Updated at 6:15 p.m.

LIQUOR HEIST

• Five individuals from Portland were arrested after allegedly stealing more than $800 worth of alcohol from the Safeway store at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia yesterday. Officers called at 4:35 p.m. indicate their suspects were found by a trooper near milepost 59 after an “attempt to locate” was issued. Those booked into the Lewis County Jail for organized retail theft are identified by police as Isiah R. Campbell, 20; Johvanee A Hall, 21; Latia D. McDaniel, 25; Zariah Y. Torregano, 20; and Jovahntea R. Hall, 21. Prosecutors did not file criminal charges today, but a judge agreed to hold each of them on $10,000 bail and revisit the cases tomorrow afternoon. Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said the service of a search warrant was being wrapped up and said it might be retail theft or it might be organized retail theft. The declaration of probable cause filed today states the assistant manager said they took a large amount of alcohol which they were stuffing in their purses.

BURGLARY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a burglary at the 1800 block of Salzer Valley Road near Centralia in which about $4,000 of valuables were missing including a Remington rifle, three cell phones, three watches, two Xboxes and a car key. A deputy responding about 10:40 p.m. on Saturday could not find any forced entry, according to the sheriff’s office.

FRAUD

• A Chehalis resident called police just after 1 o’clock this morning to report learning someone had attempted to use her credit card information at a Marriott in Oregon, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The transaction didn’t go through, according to police.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 9:40 a.m. on Saturday to the 1700 block of Providence Lane regarding the theft of gasoline from a vehicle during the night.

• An individual called Chehalis police about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday to report a pistol was missing from their vehicle at the AM/PM at the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue.

DRUGS

• A 29-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested for possession of a controlled substance after being contacted by police at a business on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia at about 10:20 p.m. yesterday. Ashely E. Howland was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. A potential charge of providing false information to police is also being referred to prosecutors in connection with the case.

• A 35-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act after police responded approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sunday to the 300 block of Southwest Third Street in Chehalis. Jesse F. Bowen was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

FIRE

• Firefighters were called just after 4 p.m. yesterday to extinguish a vehicle fire near milepost 72 of Interstate 5, according to Lewis County Fire District 5.

• Firefighters were called about 12:45 p.m. yesterday to extinguish a fire in a dumpster at Jack-in-the-Box on Southwest Interstate Avenue in Chehalis.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 61-year-old Centralia man was arrested for hit and run yesterday in a case associated with the 200 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia. Police called at 12:09 p.m. issued a citation to Jeffery S. Palmer and then released him, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 20-year-old Centralia resident was ejected from his motorcycle when he collided with the rear taillight area of a Ford F150 pickup truck yesterday morning which pulled onto Lincoln Creek Road near Teague Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The truck driver was unhurt but the motorcyclist sustained an ankle injury and possible broken wrist, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Two people were injured yesterday morning when a suspected impaired driver of a pickup truck rear ended a van at northbound Interstate 5 just south of the Grand Mound interchange. Troopers responding at 9 a.m. indicate the Dodge Grand Caravan was stopped in traffic because of an earlier collision when the 2005 Ford F150 hit it. Both drivers were transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, according to the state patrol. Terry B. Ensell, 62, Tenino, was suspected of driving under the influence, according to the investigating trooper Carlene D. Lenard, 66, of Bainbridge Island, was driving the van. Northbound traffic was slowed because of two serious wrecks farther north in Thurston County, including one in which a Rochester man was killed.

SAWMILL ACCIDENT

• Firefighters were called about 11:30 a.m. today to the 500 block of Brim Road near Ethel where a man in his 70s was injured when he was hit in the chest by a slab of wood that kicked back at a small private sawmill, according to Lewis County Fire District 8. He was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Chief Duran McDaniel.

ATV ACCIDENT

• An 80-year-old man who might have broken a bone in his neck was airlifted this morning from the field where he fell off an ATV at the 300 block of Shanklin Road in Onalaska. He was flown to Tacoma General Hospital following the approximately 9:50 a.m. call, according to Lewis County Fire District 8.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, harassment, shoplifting, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, third-degree malicious mischief; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, civil issue, third-degree theft, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances, noisy neighbor music … and more among 498 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 72-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

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LifeFlight lands out in the field to pick up injured ATV rider. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 8

Deadly weekend on Interstate 5

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Rochester man is dead after a multiple vehicle collision on Interstate 5 about five miles north of the Grand Mound interchange occurring just before 3:50 a.m. today.

Troopers called to the scene near milepost 93 in the northbound lanes indicate the 61-year-old was driving a 2011 Hyundai Accent that was totaled. His name was not released.

A 2013 Volvo tractor-trailer was approaching stopped traffic because of an earlier blocking collision ahead and struck another semi truck in front of him, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The Volvo continued to hit the Hyundai and three more vehicles in the adjacent lanes, according to the state patrol. Nobody else was injured, the investigating trooper reports.

Seven vehicles in all were involved and some were able to be driven away from the scene; others were towed.

The roadway was blocked for eleven hours. The wreck is under investigation.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority reports the earlier collision – approximately 2:10 a.m. –  near northbound milepost 94 involved multiple vehicles, including a semi, at least one injury and also a car that caught fire.

Trooper Brooke Bova tweeted there were multiple crashes in the backups including a motorist who was arrested for driving under the influence.

Meanwhile, firefighters responded to a three-vehicle collision on state Route 6 near Curtis Hill Road about 9:30 a.m. today. Lewis County Fire District 6’s DJ Hammer tweeted that one patient was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital.

And yesterday, the driver of a Honda Accord was airlifted after a two-vehicle wreck on southbound Interstate 5 near milepost 68, the Avery Road and U.S. Highway 12 interchange in Lewis County.

Troopers called at 1:23 p.m. yesterday say a 2008 Honda Pilot was traveling at a reckless speed when it struck the Honda in the rear.

Gold E. Obi, 26, of Tacoma, was injured and flown to St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The driver of the Pilot, Kim C. Mao, 50, of Longview, had a 3-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl in his car, but none of them were hurt, according to the state patrol. Charges of vehicular assault are possible for Mao, according to the patrol.

Rochester fire: Smoke lingers, losses tallied

Saturday, August 26th, 2017
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Map of Scatter Creek Fire area. / West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Crews continue to work to fully extinguish fires in Rochester and are likely to be doing so for at least another 10 days, Thurston County officials said today.

Active fire still exists in the northern part of the Scatter Creek fire and suppression continues there, in the event that began Tuesday afternoon and covered an estimated 485 acres.

A second fire that broke out late yesterday afternoon off Prather Road Southwest in grass, brush and timber was quickly attacked with 45 firefighters, two helicopters and a bulldozer and contained at just under two and half acres, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

At one point a home was threatened but fortunately, firefighters were able to prevent flames from reaching the residence and it was not damaged, WTRFA stated last night on its Facebook page.

The blaze on Department of Natural Resources trust land appears to have been started by a downed power line, according to WTRFA.

The overall command post has moved from Rochester High School to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority’s station on Sargent Road. State mobilization resources departed at 6 o’clock this morning, leaving DNR to manage the fires.

The public is asked to use extra caution when driving in the area.

Thurston County officials continue to remind the community that it’s not uncommon to smell and see smoke coming from hot spots and they ask the public to call 911 only if flames are visible.

This will likely continue for several weeks, according to Thurston County Public Information Officer Megan Porter.

While evacuees were allowed to return to their homes by Wednesday, two residences were lost in the Scatter Creek fire, according to Porter.

Also lost was a commercial building on Southwest 183rd Avenue and Loganberry Street, two outbuildings, six pieces of heavy equipment, three semi trailers, two commercial vehicles, two personal vehicles and many utility poles.

A historical cabin and barn were lost as well.

The Miller-Brewer House which was built around 1860 was sited at the southeast corner of the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area. Its address was 17915 Guava St. SW.

It was described as one of Washington’s few remaining territorial settlement-era box (plank) constructed houses, conveying the technology and materials available during the state’s formative period, in a 2007 report prepared for Thurston County and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The building and the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area is owned and managed by WSDFW.

WSDFW yesterday reported it is still assessing damage to the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area, which accounted for 345 acres of the fire’s damage.

The area provides sanctuary for several threatened and endangered wildlife species and is a destination for hiking, birdwatching, dog training and upland bird hunting.

“This fire is truly a tragedy,” Brian Calkins, regional WDFW wildlife manager stated. “We put our heart and soul into restoring this remaining piece of rare native prairie, and we know a lot of people are going to feel this loss as much as we do.”

Thurston County Emergency Management reported the location where Tuesday’s fire began was near Southwest 183rd Avenue, between Guava Street and Case Road.

Crews are expected to be monitoring the areas for any possible lingering fire for the rest of the summer.

Lewis County officials issued a statement late this week reminding the public an outdoor burn ban remains in place, and urged people to use caution if using outdoor power equipment or tools which could produce sparks.

The National Weather Service says a fire weather watch is in effect tomorrow through Tuesday on the west slopes of the central Cascade Mountains, with very hot, dry and unstable conditions forecast.
•••

For background, read “No injuries, but structures burned in Rochester” from Wednesday August 23, 2017, here

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Miller-Brewer House. / From 2007 report prepared for Thurston County and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 25th, 2017
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THEFT, THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday for the reported theft of prescription medication from a suitcase that was left unattended outside of a business at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue.

• Police were called to a store at the 500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia about 8:30 p.m. yesterday where an individual reported someone stole their purse while they were turned away looking at something. Items in the purse included prescription medication, credit cards, cell phone and keys, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, stray pig, hit and run, civil issue, third-degree theft, vehicle collision, misdemeanor domestic assault, protection order violation, suspicious circumstances … and more among 162 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, August 24th, 2017
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•••

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A deputy responding just after 2 a.m. today to a rollover collision at the 300 block of Coal Creek Road found a vehicle off the road, on its side and a man in the driver’s seat who appeared to be snoring, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Colt J. Kephart, 29, of Centralia, was taken to the hospital for medical care for unspecified injuries and then arrested for driving under the influence, according to the sheriff’s office. The 2014 Kia Rio was totaled. Kephart was subsequently booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

• A 65-year-old motorcyclist was injured this afternoon when an oncoming passenger vehicle made a left turn and struck him on U.S. Highway 12 just west of Randle. Troopers called about 3:50 p.m. to the scene near milepost 113 report Charles F. McGhee, of Spokane, had been traveling westbound on a 1992 Harley Davidson FLSTC. He was transported to Morton General Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol. Griffin S. Running, 23, of Maple Valley, had been headed eastbound, according to the state patrol. Both the motorcycle and the 2014 Ford Escape were damaged. Running was cited for failure to yield the right of way, according to the patrol.

• A 48-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for driving under the influence after a two-vehicle collision about 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Northeast Kresky Avenue at Median Street. The Chehalis Police Department reports a van with occupants that included five children was northbound and then turning left at Median when the passenger car passed it on the left. An arriving officer reported aid was tending to the youngsters, but no mention of injuries was made in the report. Jerry L. Holmes was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

BUSINESS BREAK-IN

• Centralia police were just before 4 o’clock this morning for a burglary at a business on the the 1100 block of West Main Street. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

TOOL TAKEN

• Deputies were contacted by a Winlock man yesterday who said his $900 chainsaw was missing from a workbench in his barn. The resident at the 100 block of Pine Tree Road said he was working on it and left it there about 1 p.m. on Tuesday and then at 8:30 a.m. yesterday saw it was gone, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It is a Stihl model 046 chainsaw with a 32-inch bar, according to the sheriff’s office.

FIREARMS STOLEN

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that multiple pieces of jewelry and four guns were stolen in a residential burglary at the 100 block of Sandy Boulevard in Centralia between 12:15 p.m. and 4:13 p.m. on Tuesday. Missing are a  Ruger Mark II pistol, a Sig Sauer P226 handgun, a Beretta 92FS pistol and Heckler and Koch USP .45 ACP, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is estimated at $3,000, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

FORGERY

• A Chehalis resident called police just after 10 a.m. yesterday to report they had been notified by their bank one of their checks had been used in the amount of $660. The victim didn’t know how the check went missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRINKING IN PUBLIC

• A 27-year-old Centralia man, Lucas Bryan, was cited for for an open liquor container in the area of the Hub Tavern on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue just after 2 o’clock Wednesday morning.

VANDALISM

• Police were called about 4:25 p.m. yesterday when a victim reported damage to her vehicle while parked in a lot at the 1700 block of South Gold Street in Centralia.

• Centralia police were called about 9:25 a.m. on Tuesday to the 100 block of South Gold Street to take a report of vandalism to a vehicle tire.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, vehicle prowl, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarm, hit and run, civil issue, third-degree theft, vehicle collision, protection order violation, suspicious circumstances, fender bender in a drive-through, second-hand report two homeless people were shooting up earlier and then slept under a tree at Penny Playground … and more among 388 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

Dinner guest critically wounded over offensive table manners

Thursday, August 24th, 2017
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Claude E. Royals walks to the defense table in Lewis County Superior Court

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An evening in Silver Creek with plans for dinner and a threesome ended abruptly when a man allegedly stabbed the guest in the chest because he was masturbating at the kitchen table.

The visitor, a 43-year-old man from Lacey, was listed in critical condition this morning, and the suspect is being held in the Lewis County Jail.

Claude E. Royals, 56, of Silver Creek, was charged in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday with first-degree assault.

Royals was arrested after deputies were called about 9:23 p.m. on Tuesday about a stabbing at the 100 block of Huntting Road.

Law enforcement went both to the home and also to Morton General Hospital, after learning the suspect’s girlfriend was driving the victim there, according to charging documents.

The girlfriend told a deputy she had been home with Royals when the Lacey man arrived. She said the three of them were going to have a sexual encounter and everything seemed to be okay when the friend got there, according to court documents.

Royals was barbecuing some food while the friend took a shower, then the friend sat down at the kitchen table wearing only a towel, she said.

She told the deputy her boyfriend walked over to a roll top desk, picked up a folding knife and opened the blade, then walked over to their guest and stabbed him, charging documents relate.

The girlfriend said the victim stood up, then fell to the ground; she grabbed onto her boyfriend as he continued trying to assault the man and she was eventually able to get the knife, she said.

She and the victim left and drove to the hospital, she said.

The deputies who went to the house spoke with Royals, who allegedly admitted to stabbing the man, saying he did it because the victim was touching himself at the kitchen table, according to charging documents. Royals said he used a fork, not a knife.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said Royals was offended by the actions of his visitor.

In Lewis County Superior Court yesterday afternoon, Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher asked that Royals be held on $75,000 bail, noting that while the suspect lived locally, he felt there was a community safety issue. Judge James Lawler agreed.

Royals had a third-degree assault case from 2013, Meagher said.

Temporary defense attorney Kevin Nelson told the judge his client’s income from his job at National Frozen Foods put him close to the line in terms of qualifying for court-appointed counsel. Attorney Chris Baum was appointed.

Royals’ arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday.

The victim was flown from Morton to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the sheriff’s office. Yesterday morning, sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dusty Breen reported the man was in stable condition.

This morning, a spokesperson at Harborview said he was in the intensive care unit, listed in critical condition.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Man airlifted to Seattle after Silver Creek stabbing” from Wednesday August 23, 2017, here

Odor of marijuana: Indoor nursery in rural Chehalis

Thursday, August 24th, 2017
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Hector M. Patino Jr. prepares for his turn before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An anonymous report of someone growing marijuana at a residence on the 3300 block of Jackson Highway south of Chehalis led to a visit from law enforcement and a man confessing he did have some plants in his garage, but most were dying.

After deputies secured a search warrant, they reportedly found more than 500 plants in the garage and then 775 starter plants in another room in the home.

Hector M. Patino Jr., 52, told deputies he brought the plants with him when the family moved in a few weeks ago, according to court documents. He said his wife and child knew about them, but didn’t tend to them in any way.

Patino was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail after the visit on Tuesday by sheriff’s deputies. He was brought before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, charged with one count of manufacture of marijuana.

Judge James Lawler allowed him release on $10,000 unsecured bail.

According to charging documents in the case, deputies went to the home where they spoke to Patino’s wife, who told them there was no marijuana being grown there and they should wait for her husband.

As they walked back to their vehicles, the deputies smelled the odor of marijuana from the closed garage and heard what sounded like fans running, according to the documents.

When they were able to contact the husband, he allowed them inside to search part of the residence, and subsequently, the rest of the area, according to the allegations.

In a loft area, the deputies saw remnants of potting soil and observed the area appeared to have been cleared out. In the end, deputies located other items as well as the plants, such as several fluorescent lights, fans, filters, thermostats, an electronic pump and bags of potting soil, according to charging documents.

Patino’s arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 31. Manufacture of marijuana is a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

News brief: Winlock teen on bike injured in wreck

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An 18-year-old bicyclist was airlifted after a collision yesterday involving a sport utility vehicle on a county road northeast of Winlock.

Deputies dispatched about 11:55 a.m. to the 600 block of Park Road report the Winlock resident appeared to have a broken leg and other injuries, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

He was flown to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver where he remains in stable condition, according to the sheriff’s office.

The vehicle involved was not at the scene when deputies arrived and the sheriff’s office is seeking the public’s help in locating it.

The “vehicle of interest” is described as an older green SUV, similar to a Ford Explorer, according to Chief Deputy Dusty Breen.

Breen asks anyone with information on the incident or the vehicle to contact he Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-748-9286, or Lewis County Communications at 360-740-1105.

Crews stop central Lewis County fire at two acres

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Those in the know are advising now is perhaps not the time to take a lawn mower out into tall dry grass.

The cause of the fire that scorched an estimated 485 acres in Rochester is not yet determined, according to authorities, but south of Ethel, it was a riding mower that sparked a brush fire yesterday afternoon.

Crews were called just before 4:30 p.m. yesterday to the 400 block of Tucker Road where an individual had been cutting grass and started a fire, according to Lewis County Fire District 8.

It got into the edge of some trees and burned about two acres before it was finally extinguished, Fire Chief Duran McDaniel said.

They arrived to find they needed to cross a small wooden bridge to get to the fire and laid out hoses, and got brush trucks from Districts 2, 5 and the state Department of Natural Resources to access the area, according to McDaniel.

About 20 firefighters joined in the effort and all but DNR were able to leave by about 7 p.m., he said.

The wind was blowing in a direction away from a home on the property, according to McDaniel.

Fortunately, the fire was dispatched quickly and District 8 had its neighbors and the resources to keep it from spreading, McDaniel said.

“I caution the public, do not try to mow tall, dead grass with anything mechanical,” he said.

The chief said the idea takes him back to two years ago, when a brush hog operating in a field led to a nearly 200-acre fire on a chicken farm on Gore Road.

The wooden bridge was damaged, and the brush trucks had to find a shallow spot in the stream in order to leave Tucker Road, he said.

A spokesperson for the state Department of Natural Resources today is offering a recommendation for the public along the same lines, in response to the Rochester fire.

While it is contained, roughly 200 people continue to work the fire. Teams are assessing hazards including trees, the number of affected structures, burnt material, downed power lines, runoff and hazardous materials.

Lost were two primary residences, one commercial building, one unoccupied historical residence and one historical barn, according to Thurston County officials.

Outdoor burn bans are in place in Lewis and Thurston counties.

“We want to remind citizens to pay attention to their surroundings and be cautious of any outdoor activities.” DNR Communications Manager Janet Pearce said, “Even a lawnmower can start a fire.”

News brief: Man airlifted to Seattle after Silver Creek stabbing

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 56-year-old man is jailed after allegedly stabbing someone visiting him and his significant other in Silver Creek last night.

Deputies called just after 9 p.m. to the 100 block of Huntting Road learned there was no dispute or fight beforehand, but that Claude E. Royals became offended by the actions of his visitor and stabbed him in the chest area, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim, a 43-year-old Lacey man, was taken to Morton General Hospital by the significant other, where was stabilized and then flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

Royals was arrested for first-degree assault and booked into the Lewis County Jail, Breen said. He is tentatively scheduled to go before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

The victim’s condition as of this morning was stable, according to Breen.

No injuries, but structures burned in Rochester

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
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An image from early on yesterday from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office

Updated at 12:01 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Authorities last night said fire lines were holding and some residents were allowed to return home after flames swept through more than 400 acres in Rochester.

Four residences, two barns and also a business at Southwest 183rd Avenue and Loganberry Street burned, according to Thurston County Emergency Management. No injuries have been reported.

West Regional Fire Authority was initially dispatched at 1:33 p.m. yesterday for a brush fire at Wakley Lane and Southwest 183rd Avenue, near the southwest corner of the Scatter Creek Wildlife Recreation Area, according to the fire department. Numerous fire agencies joined them with ground crews and air drops as the fire moved to the east side of Interstate 5.

Crews planned to remain on scene through the night working on small spot fires for the safety of the community, according to WTRFA.

West Thurston Fire stated last night that those confirmed as property owners within the evacuation area could return home, but the general public would not be allowed in.

More than 1,000 people were without power. Thurston County Emergency Management said 100 homes were evacuated.

A reunification site was at first arranged for Rochester High School, but a site opened at the Rochester LDS Church located at 18501 Paulson Street SW according to Thurston County Emergency Management.

Thurston County Emergency Management last night reported the location where the fire began was in a different spot, at the southeast corner of the wildlife area, near Southwest 183rd Avenue, between Guava Street and Case Road.

WTRFA said last night a cause had not yet been determined, but they confirmed no lightning strikes for the area.

West Thurston Fire Chief Robert Scott requested and received state fire assistance yesterday afternoon, which brought in two wildland strike teams from Pierce County.

Others assisting included fire departments with Thurston, Lewis and Grays Harbor counties, the state Department of Natural Resources, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Thurston County Public Works, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to WTRFA.

The fire incident management team was to meet this morning. A fire camp has been set up at Rochester High School.

WTRFA indicates information is being provided by Thurston County Emergency Management, which can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

A soup kitchen was to be opened until 10 p.m. last night and again this morning until 10 a.m.

For the latest on road closures, check Thurston County Public Works.

For updates on power outages, see Puget Sound Energy

Thurston County Emergency Management can be reached here

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Fire camp set up at Rochester High School as crews continue to extinguish fire and assess structure and acreage loss. / Thurston County Emergency Management