Archive for November, 2017

News brief: Drugs, drugs, drugs

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Local drug detectives arrested three people in separate cases yesterday in the Twin Cities with enough heroin they could have, or allegedly planned to, sell some to other people.

All three were charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Matthew C. Gilmon, 24, of Chehalis, was under active supervision by the state Department of Corrections and had an outstanding DOC warrant, according to charging documents. He was visited at his home on the 600 block of Southwest William Avenue in Chehalis yesterday by a DOC officer and members of the Lewis County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team.

A search of his room allegedly turned up what appeared as a “large amount” of heroin in a glass container, scales, clean and used baggies plus $260 cash, according to the documents.

As detectives were clearing William Avenue, they heard a dispatch over the radio about a disturbance involving drugs at the AM/PM on Southwest Interstate Avenue and found the suspected car involved, contacting a 20-year-old Pe Ell resident.

Logen K. Elliott allegedly had a small plastic baggie with a brown substance under his driver’s seat that a detective could see and also had a suspended driver’s license, his charging documents relate.

A search of his car turned up a small box with heroin in it.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jonathan J. Kaye was contacted by JNET detectives at his home yesterday on the 1900 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia and gave them permission to conduct a search, his charging documents allege.

Prior felony convictions prohibit Kaye from keeping guns, but the officers found six firearms, at least two of which were stolen, according to the documents.

They also found enough heroin to break into small packages and sell separately, scales, spoons and baggies, the documents allege. The court documents state the detectives found 20.5 grams of methamphetamine as well.

Kaye was charged additionally with six counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of possessing a stolen firearm. He was not charged in connection with the suspected meth.

The suspects were booked into the Lewis County Jail. This afternoon they were brought before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court.

Prosecutors asked that Kaye be held on $100,000 bail.

Judge Joely O’Rourke granted the request, saying the combination of drugs and guns in the allegations were an enormous threat to community safety.

Gilmon’s bail was set at $25,000 and Elliott’s was set at $10,000.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, November 30th, 2017
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•••

Updated

VEHICLE THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 4:45 a.m. today about the theft of a vehicle from the 1000 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue.

• A blue 2005 Harley Davidson Road King was stolen around 8:45 p.m. yesterday from in front of a business at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. The motorcycle has a license plate reading 1E9132, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to a repair shop on the 600 block of Northwest State Avenue about 8:50 a.m. yesterday following the discovery that a TC Mopper excavator had been stolen. The business thought the owner had picked it up about a month earlier, but the owner said he did not, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

SERIAL SHOPLIFTING

• Centralia police say they caught a 25-year-old homeless man last night who allegedly stole merchandise from a store on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue on six different occasions over the previous two days. Samuel T. McQuigg was arrested for a half dozen instances of third-degree theft and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called to a bank on the 1400 block of South Market Boulevard just before 1 p.m. yesterday about a possible first-degree theft involving a non-sufficient funds check.

• Centralia police were called about 11:40 a.m. yesterday to a store on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue to take a report that an unidentified female suspect stole approximately $150 from the business by convincing an employee she was to receive a refund, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police took a report from the 500 block of Hillkress Avenue in Centralia about 9:10 a.m. yesterday regarding credit card fraud by unknown suspects.

INTERFERING WITH HEALTHCARE FACILITY

• A 37-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for third-degree malicious mischief, resisting arrest and interfering with a healthcare facility after police were called about 6:20 p.m. yesterday to the 800 block of Vienna Street. John R. Gladue III was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called just before 7:30 a.m. today for an overnight vehicle prowl at the 400 block of Northeast Adams Avenue.

• A chainsaw was stolen in a vehicle prowl at the 800 block of Marion Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police just before 3 p.m. yesterday.

DRUGS

• A 40-year-old woman was arrested yesterday afternoon after a deputy made a traffic stop at Jackson Highway and state Route 508, learned she had outstanding warrants and a search turned up a glass pipe with a small amount of a substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, according to court documents. Amy J. Threlfall, whose court file shows a Longview address, was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

• Daniel D. Vancil, 22, of Centralia was arrested for possession of heroin after contact with police about 12:20 p.m. yesterday at the 100 block of East High Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

• A 17-year-old boy was arrested yesterday after deputies called about 11 a.m. regarding suspicious circumstances on Davis Lake Road in Morton detained him and found him to be in possession of a substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the sheriff’s office.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police called at 9:45 a.m. yesterday about the window of a van shattered possibly by a BB gun at the 10 block of Southwest Chehalis Avenue subsequently contacted a child who who admitted shooting at the window, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An officer spoke to the victim as well as the boy and his family, who all agreed to work it out between themselves, according to police.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, protection order violation, no contact order violation, driving under the influence, fourth-degree domestic assault; responses for alarm, dispute, third-degree theft, harassment, vehicle collision, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, telephone harassment … 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

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017
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•••

Updated

BRASS KNUCKLES AT SCHOOL

• Police were called about 9:45 a.m. yesterday to the 800 block of Eshom Road in Centralia where a 15-year-old boy allegedly brought a pair of brass knuckles to school. The case is being referred to prosecutors for criminal charging, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ELECTRICITY MISSING

• Centralia police are investigating a report from about 7:10 a.m. yesterday of theft from public utilities at a vacant house on the 900 block of West Walnut Street where someone used a “jumper” to restore power.

FUEL MISSING

• An individual reported the theft of fuel from the 1300 block of North Washington Avenue in Centralia about 4 p.m. yesterday.

FANCY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS MISSING

• A Star Shower Motion Laser Light Projector was reported stolen from a front yard at the 800 block of G Street yesterday.

LOST AND FOUND

• An individual called police at 1:30 p.m. yesterday to report a vehicle stolen at the 2100 block of North National Avenue but then called back to say it was located in the parking lot.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called about 2:45 p.m. yesterday to the 600 block of North Pearl Street where someone had damaged Christmas lights in a front yard.

• Centralia police were called about 2:25 p.m. yesterday when an individual reported that unknown person(s) threw a soda can through a window at the 300 block of Yew Street breaking the glass.

UPDATE: ILLEGAL MARIJUANA GROWING BY CHINESE NATIONALS

• The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office reports the operation led by the Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force yesterday after an investigation into illegal marijuana growing, primarily in areas of their county, involved 50 search warrants and resulted in 44 arrests and the seizure of 26 vehicles, multiple guns and more than $400,000 worth of cash and gold. A total of 32,449 marijuana plants were confiscated which they estimate had a value in excess of $80 million. Four of the searches were made in Thurston County, in the Lacey and Olympia areas; eight searches were conducted in King County, in Kent and Bellevue, according to Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate. Other search warrants were served at various locations in and around Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Ocean Shores, Cosmopolis, Montesano, Elma and McCleary.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, hit and run, resisting arrest, probation violation, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, fourth-degree domestic assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, shoplifting, hit and run, vehicle collision, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, telephone harassment … and more among 143 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

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Seized marijuana plants was taken from a Central Park grow prior to being taken away for destruction. / Courtesy photo by Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office

Illegal marijuana growing by Chinese nationals targeted in Grays Harbor County

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
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One indoor marijuana cultivating scene. / Courtesy photo by Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Members of more than a dozen law enforcement agencies, including from Lewis County, joined up with state and federal agents to serve search warrants in three counties today following an investigation into illegal marijuana growing operations by Chinese nationals.

The Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force oversaw today’s activities after a months-long investigation in which they learned of numerous homes being purchased for that purpose, primarily for cash, by people involved in organized crime, according to Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate.

“The proceeds from these illegal grows appear to be funding other criminal enterprises,” Shumate said in a press release. “Those investigations are on-going.”

With the citizen’s passage of Initiative 502, the law enforcement community supports the legal operations of marijuana producers, processors and retailers in this state, according to Shumate. They are required by Washington state law to be licensed and follow strict guidelines, he stated.

Teams today are processing the scenes and removing for destruction any illegal marijuana. Personnel from the Lewis County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team and Lewis County Sheriff’s Office were among those assisting.

Shumate said the search warrants were served throughout Grays Harbor County as well as in related locations in Thurston and King counties, but did not reveal specific places, the number of arrests or the quantity of marijuana found.

He did say the investigation originated with citizen reports of possible illegal grows outside of Elma, in McCleary, Aberdeen and Hoquiam.

Also part of today’s operation were members of agencies such as the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
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•••

Updated

SENIOR CITIZENS VICTIMIZED IN BURGLARY

• A deputy was called about 10:50 p.m. yesterday to the home of a 95-year-old woman and a 70-year-old woman after the discovery their residence on the 200 block of Joppish Road in Centralia had been ransacked. Both garage doors were found open and among the missing property were a Samsung 42-inch flat screen television, a purple suitcase with afghans and medication, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. One of the victims said everything was fine when she left at 9 o’clock that morning, according to the sheriff’s office.

FIREARMS STOLEN IN BREAK-IN

• A deputy was called to the 300 block of Davis Lake Road in Morton about 10:30 a.m. yesterday where an individual found a door forced open and an estimated $5,000 worth of guns and car parts missing from a residence and garage. He said he had last been there about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

OTHER CRIME

• An attempted burglary to a fenced area was discovered and reported to police yesterday just before 4 p.m. at the 900 block of South Gold Street in Centralia.

• Chehalis police were called about 3:45 p.m. yesterday to take a report of an assault involving a male and a female at Northwest Chehalis Avenue and Park Street. The incident is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police were called to the 1200 block of Mellen Street about 4:45 p.m. yesterday where a business reported  the theft of gasoline from a vehicle during the night.

DRUGS

• Centralia police arrested two people for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver about 10:15 a.m. yesterday at the the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. Tavryn L. Lindsey, 22, of Toledo, and Shelby N. McCory, 25, a homeless person, were both booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police were called about 1:10 p.m. yesterday to Tower Avenue and Pear Street where a car collided with a tree, sheering the tree off at the trunk and totaling the car.

RESPONDERS LET GARAGE BURN

• Centralia area firefighters called about 10:10 a.m. yesterday to a burning garage building known for sometimes being used by homeless people allowed it to burn, for firefighter safety reasons, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The location with the two-car garage and an attached storage room at the end of Alexander Street has had fires in the past, according to Fire Capt. Tim Adolphsen. The captain indicated that after everything was mostly consumed, they extinguished the flames. Nobody was injured, according to Adolphsen.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, third-degree theft, probation violation, fourth-degree assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, misdemeanor theft, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances … and more among 156 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

County clerk election: Too close to call without a recount

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The sitting Lewis County clerk edged out his opponent by just 38 votes, but because the race is so close, a recount will be conducted, according to officials.

Scott Tinney was appointed to the position a year ago after Lewis County Clerk Kathy Brack vacated the elected office two years into a four-year term.

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Scott Tinney

Carla Shannon, a deputy clerk in the Lewis County Clerk’s Office, ran against him. Both are Republicans.

The results of the November election were certified today.

The final tally shows Tinney with 7,318 votes and Shannon with 7,280.

Lewis County Auditor Larry Grove said today that because the number of votes separating the two candidates is so small, a machine recount has been scheduled for next Tuesday, at 10 a.m.

Because Brack served as a Republican, her party got a role in the process of replacing her after her retirement in September of 2016. The local party’s first choice was Shannon, but the Lewis County Board of Commissioners selected the party’s third choice, Tinney, when they made the appointment last year.

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Carla Shannon

The Lewis County clerk serves as the official record keeper for the Lewis County Superior Court. The office is on the second floor of the Lewis County Law and Justice Center in Chehalis.

Shannon has worked in Lewis County as a deputy clerk in Lewis County about six years. Tinney previously worked as a deputy clerk in Thurston County.

The position will again be on the ballot in November 2018 for a normal four-year term.
•••

For background, read “Primary voters favor Tinney, Shannon for county clerk” from Wednesday August 2, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, November 27th, 2017
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•••

Updated at 1:48 p.m.

BITING ASSAULT

• Deputies were called about 8:10 a.m. on Saturday to the Lewis County Jail where a 27-year-old Olympia area woman allegedly bit the finger of a corrections deputy as staff was trying to restrain her. Stacie L. Wilson was arrested for custodial assault and re-booked, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

SHOOTING THREAT

• A 61-year-old Chehalis area man upset about possibly being evicted was arrested for four counts of felony harassment as he allegedly threatened to put a bullet in the back of victims’ heads on Wednesday at the 1500 block of Middle Fork Road. Harry Lauster was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The alleged victims are men ages 20 through 35, according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY

• Chehalis police were called about 11:45 a.m. yesterday for a burglary to a business at the 100 block of North Market Boulevard in which receipts and cash had been stolen while the business was closed. The money was taken out of an honor system payment box for trees, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A deputy was called on Thursday to take a report from a woman who discovered about noon the lock on her storage unit was missing at the 2200 block of Southwest Salsbury Avenue in Chehalis. Taken sometime since 7 p.m. the night before were two televisions and a drill, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

MISSING MONEY

• A woman called police about 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday to report she had an envelope with several hundred dollars inside which was either lost or stolen while she was out and about in Chehalis.

AUTO THEFT

• An individual reported about 7:30 p.m. yesterday that sometime during the previous week someone stole her black 1997 Honda Accord, from the 700 block of South Ash Street in Centralia. It has a license plate of 616 YFB,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 11:45 a.m. yesterday to take a report of a Dodge pickup stolen which was later recovered in a case associated with a location near South Iron and Pear streets.

• A deputy was called about 7:30 a.m. yesterday to take a report that a 1995 Honda Accord had been stolen from the 1600 block of Windsor Avenue in Centralia sometime after 9:30 p.m. the day before. It was found about noon, undamaged, in a parking lot at the 1300 block of Grand Avenue, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Police were called about 5:50 p.m. on Saturday to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue after an individual’s co-worker reported seeing their vehicle leave the parking lot. Stolen was a blue 1989 Honda Civic wagon with black rims, two stickers in the rear window and black seat covers, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police were called just before 7 a.m. today to take a report of gasoline siphoned from a vehicle parked  at the 300 block of South King Street.

• Police were called about 8:40 a.m. yesterday for a vehicle prowl at the 3000 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia in which a social security card was taken.

• Police were called to the 1500 block of Snively Avenue in Chehalis about 8:25 a.m. on Wednesday where someone had broken into a truck and stole several tools.

DRUGS

• A suspected shoplifter detained at the the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue at about 1:35 p.m. yesterday was allegedly subsequently found in possession of a pipe, a scale and suspected drugs, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Angie M. Benzshawel, 44, of McCleary, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• A Centralia area resident contacted about 6:45 p.m. on Thursday because of an outstanding warrant was subsequently found in possession of suspected methamphetamine. Terry R. Strong, 49, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

OTHER CRIMES

• A 38-year-old Centralia area woman contacted by a deputy early on Friday was arrested for an incident on Nov. 11 in Morton in which she allegedly provided her sister’s name as her own to a deputy. Jessica R. Gladue was booked into the Lewis County Jail for criminal impersonation, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VANDALISM

• A 19-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for third-degree malicious mischief after police were called to the 2800 block of Russell Road in Centralia about 11:40 p.m. yesterday where he had allegedly slashed the tire of the victim’s vehicle with a knife. Tyler M. Hall, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called about 10:15 a.m. on Saturday to the 600 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue where someone had punctured and flattened all four tires on a vehicle belonging to someone else.

• A deputy was called to the Lewis County Jail about 11 a.m. on Friday to take a report of an inmate who allegedly damaged a kiosk and phone, amounting to $1,750. Joel L. Kaech, 27, from Seattle, was arrested and re-booked for second-degree malicious mischief, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• An officer was called about 8 a.m. on Friday to a business at the Twin City Town Center on the 1400 block of  Northwest Louisiana Avenue regarding damage to a  window which appeared to have been shot at.

• Chehalis police were called about 9:50 p.m. on Thursday to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue where the rear window of a vehicle was shattered, possibly with a BB gun. Police say they will happily accept anonymous tips about who the suspect is.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, resisting arrest, third-degree theft, probation violation, driving with suspended license, protection order violation, fourth-degree domestic assault, possession of marijuana, third-degree malicious mischief, operating motor vehicle without required ignition interlock device; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, shoplifting, vehicle collision, possible fraud, suspicious circumstances … and more among 129 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

Bald eagles land on I-5, during a presumed fight

Sunday, November 26th, 2017
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Angel Davison snapped a picture from her vehicle before the two eagles moved off the roadway

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A pair of bald eagles fighting on the ground in the middle of Interstate 5 in Chehalis today drew the attention of motorists and then law enforcement.

Troopers called to the area near the Wal-Mart exit just before 2 p.m. arrived about six minutes later to find one of the birds had moved to the northbound shoulder and the other to a ditch adjacent to the southbound lanes.

“A trooper was (on the southbound side) looking for him and he got up and flew away,” Trooper Jacob Payne said.

The eagle on the northbound shoulder succumbed to his injuries shortly after they arrived, Payne said.

They don’t know if either of the eagles were struck by any vehicles, but the deceased bird didn’t appear to have any exterior trauma, Payne said.

The dead bald eagle was taken by an officer with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, he said.

Payne said he was told by the wildlife officer this type of incident is not uncommon, and since it’s not mating season, they were probably fighting.

•••

CORRECTION: The caption below the photo with this news story has been updated to reflect the correct name of the motorist and photographer.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, November 26th, 2017
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•••

SURVEILLANCE IMAGES

• A homeowner reported just after 11 p.m. yesterday a suspect was seen on video attempting to steal items from the 300 block of Courtland Street in Centralia. The suspect fled, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OUTBUILDING BURGLED

• A bicycle was stolen out of storage shed at the 1100 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 10:40 a.m. on Friday.

FRAUD

• A 47-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for forgery in a case associated with a call about 5:50 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department. John A. Schamel was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

AUTO THEFT

• An abandoned stolen vehicle was located in the parking lot of a business at the 1600 block of Gold Street in Centralia, just after 11 a.m. yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A Centralia police officer located a stolen Honda in an alley way at the 1000 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia at about 10:50 a.m. on Friday. The vehicle had been reported stolen out of Olympia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FUNNY MONEY

• Police were called to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia just after 6 p.m. on Friday where an individual attempted to pass two counterfeit $100 bills.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, fourth-degree domestic assault, third-degree malicious mischief, operating motor vehicle without required ignition interlock device; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, shoplifting, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances … and more among 323 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, November 24th, 2017
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•••

THREAT WITH KNIFE

• Centralia police called about 6:40 p.m. yesterday regarding an individual who allegedly charged two people with a knife in his hand and threatened to stab them at the 800 block of West Pine Street. Officers subsequently arrested  Larry R. Lamson, 49, of Centralia, for two counts of first-degree assault and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

STUDENT ASSAULT

• Centralia police called to the 900 block of Johnson Road at about 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday are referring a case to prosecutors for second-degree assault involving a 14-year-old boy and another student.

VEHICLE THEFT

•  A maroon Honda Accord with a green left fender was stolen sometime during the night from the 1400 block of Lewis Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 7:10 a.m. today. It has a license plate reading AEZ 0901, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called just after 5 o’clock this morning to take a report of a red Honda Civic hatchback stolen from the 100 block of Virginia Drive sometime after 2 a.m. The car has a bright yellow smiley face sticker on the back window.

• A stolen vehicle was located abandoned at the 1600 block of Kresky Avenue in Centralia at about 11:50 a.m. on Wednesday.

CAR PROWL

• A purse was reported stolen from a vehicle at the 500 block of Courtland Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 2:20 a.m. today.

• Centralia police were called to the 200 block of South Cedar Street about 7:35 p.m. yesterday where a a wallet and flashlight were stolen from an unlocked vehicle.

OTHER THEFT

• Centralia police were called to the 1600 block of South Gold Street about 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday where a display mattress had been stolen from a parking lot.

• Centralia police were called to the 1300 block of South Gold Street at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to take a report that an unknown male attempted to cash a stolen check at a bank.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police were called about 7:15 a.m. yesterday when a vehicle traveling eastbound on Mellen Street failed to negotiate the left hand corner and left the roadway, striking a parked car, shoving it into two other parked cars. There was minor damage to the front porch of a residence as well, according to the Centralia Police Department. Speed and inattention may have been factors and the driver was issued an infraction, according to police.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, obstructing, warrants, harassment, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence, fourth-degree assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, vehicle collision, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances … and more among 336 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

Commissioners, volunteers clash at Onalaska fire department

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
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Lewis County Fire District 1 Commissioners, left to right, Jeff Lee, Chair Rich Bainbridge and Bill Kassel

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A contentious emergency meeting of Onalaska fire department leaders after the firing of their chief saw roughly one-third of the volunteers quit days earlier ended with a two-to-one vote to appoint a new person interim chief.

Lewis County Fire District 1 Board of Commissioners Chair Rich Bainbridge opened the Tuesday evening gathering inside the garage of the station by telling those in attendance of the need to fill a personnel gap and reassure the public the level of service isn’t diminished.

“Is this going to affect our staff here?” Bainbridge said. “Yes, it is going to be more work. We have qualified staff here to carry on.”

The chair of the three-member board said that just the night before at a meeting of fire commissioners from around the county, other fire districts expressed their support and willingness to help out. He reminded the crowd of existing mutual aid agreements.

Not everyone was as optimistic as Bainbridge.

Now-former Capt. Randy Tobler called out: “You have zero firefighters right now, you know that?”

The all-volunteer district that protects the area around Onalaska did have 24 members, according to district secretary Linda Patraca.

Last Thursday night when the commissioners voted after an executive session to dismiss volunteer Chief Andrew Martin, six other volunteers either turned in their gear or submitted letters of resignation, Patraca said.

Midway through Tuesday evening’s meeting, Assistant Chief Rhonda Volk quit as well. Volk stood and took the side of her former chief, opposing two of the commissioners.

“I will not compromise my values, until these two are removed or resign, I will not respond to any more calls,” Volk said.

There were other calls for Bainbridge and Commissioner Bill Kassel to step down, calls for them to reconsider and work to get along and demands for them to explain the chief’s termination.

As Martin described in a lengthy letter to local news media and spoke of to the gathering, he refused to further punish a member who had brought to his attention a misdeed by another member, who is a relative of Commissioner Kassel. Volk called it an attempt at retaliation.

Kassel saw it differently, and Bainbridge stood with him.

“One, he’s supposed to take direction from us,” Kassel said. “He refused to talk to us about projects, harassment charges.”

Commissioner Jeff Lee who voted no to appoint Adam Myer as interim chief, and who voted no about dismissing Martin said it’s hard to be a commissioner in Onalaska.

“I think we failed,” Lee said. “We never as a group asked him, we did it as individual commissioners.”

Myer is a former firefighter and fire investigator from the Chehalis Fire Department.

The conversation veered at times to disagreement about a new building, about deteriorating equipment, about a plan for keeping a fast-response vehicle parked at a volunteer’s house and even a past board of commissioners giving away “a chunk of the district to Salkum.”

Accusations that two of the commissioners violated the state open meetings rules by making decisions without Commissioner Lee led to a proposal for a five-member commission.

“We have no way to trust the two of you lifelong friends not talking business when you go hunting together,” community member Kathy Jackson said.

Martin has warned the loss of so many volunteers means citizens can expect a delay of twenty or more minutes if an out of district unit has to be called to handle an emergency.

Tobler spoke passionately about his concerns of a department down to 16 members.

He noted a one-person response on Monday to a rollover crash then a half an hour for a response to a 911 call about chest pain.

“When’s the last time any of the old members heard of a 30-minute response time?” Tobler asked.

Onalaska resident Pat Patterson, 74, stood and told of his worries about his and his wife’s well-being.

“I don’t want to wait for somebody from Salkum to come get me,” he said. “I don’t want my house to burn down.”

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Community members demand answers, suggest solutions at Lewis County Fire District 1 special meeting

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Rhonda Volk, far left, and Andrew Martin, second in from right, listen from back of room

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
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Updated at 3:16 p.m.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A deputy was called about 7:20 p.m. yesterday to take a report from the 3000 block of Ives Road in Centralia that a black 1991 Nissan pickup had been stolen sometime since Saturday. It has a license plate of C12685F, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Police arrested a 26-year-old Centralia man yesterday after he was identified as a suspect who was allegedly in possession of a stolen vehicle on Sunday. Suspected drugs were located on his person when he was detained, according to the Centralia Police Department. Zachary J. Meikle was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• A traffic stop early yesterday morning at the Cedar Village IGA parking lot in Winlock ended with the arrest of three people. The driver, Reina I. Martinez, 18, of Centralia, told police she had borrowed the green 1995 Toyota Camry from a friend in Olympia, but it turned out to have been stolen from a mall in Olympia, according to charging documents. One of the passengers, Bismar F. Andres, 23, formerly of Chehalis, allegedly had suspected methamphetamine in his pocket, the documents relate. The other passenger was also arrested but prosecutors yesterday declined to file any charge. Martinez was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle. Andres was booked for possession of methamphetamine. The officer observed the key in the vehicle appeared to be worn or possibly shaved down, according to charging documents.

FRAUD

• Chehalis police are investigating after a resident from the 200 block of Southwest Sixth Street reported yesterday he had applied for a bank card, was away for awhile and when he returned home the card was not there; however, he learned of numerous local charges made on the card totaling almost $200.

FAKE FIFTY

• Chehalis police were called about 3:40 p.m. yesterday to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue after two teenage girls attempted to purchase merchandise with what turned out to be a counterfeit $50 bill. One of the girls said she had gotten the money from her father who had gotten it from a bank, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The bad bill was taken by police.

THEFT

• An individual reported just after 8 p.m. yesterday the theft of money from his room at the 1200 block of Alder Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called just before 10 a.m. yesterday to the 400 block of North Oak Street in Centralia to take a report of the theft of a car tire that occurred over night.

AND, FROM MORTON

• Morton police report they were called on Friday night to the 700 block of Main Avenue about a dispute over a fishing spot. “The reporting party stated that the other fisherman started yelling at him, pushed him twice, broke his pole and threw his fishing gear in the river,” the Morton Police Department wrote in a brief summary of the incident. The reporting party was advised to call the police as soon as he sees the male subject again.

FIRE CENTRALIA

• Nobody was injured but a woman was taken in for evaluation at Providence Centralia Hospital after a fire broke out at a residence on the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue yesterday. Crews called about 11:40 a.m. found smoke coming from all the windows of the single-wide mobile home and learned the lone occupant had exited before they arrived, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The main body of fire was found burning in the back bedroom and caused extensive damage there as well as heat and smoke damage throughout the residence, Fire Capt. Scott Weinert stated. Centralia police  indicate they began investigating an intentionally set fire.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, driving with suspended license, third-degree theft, fourth-degree domestic assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, vehicle collision, misdemeanor assault, suspicious circumstances … and more among 151 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m.

Parents in Centralia child neglect case see judge on bail jumping charge

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
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Anthony and Mary Foxworth, in green and white striped jail garb, wait to be returned to the jail after hearing. Her attorney Jacob Clark sits in the foreground.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Mary G. and Anthony S. Foxworth Sr. were returned to Lewis County last week and brought before a judge this morning where they pleaded not guilty to bail jumping.

The Centralia parents failed to appear for their sentencing earlier this month for first-degree criminal mistreatment involving severe neglect of their teenage son. They were tracked down and located in South Carolina.

The couple face prison terms of between 51 months to 68 months for the original case and now also a maximum of five years for the new charge.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke advised them since they’ve already been convicted and because they violated conditions of their release, they no longer have a right to bail.

They are being held in the Lewis County Jail, where they were booked last Thursday night.

Centralia police began investigating in January of last year, after couple took their 16-year-old son to the doctor, and he was hospitalized with severe malnutrition, weighing just 54 pounds. Police found he had not seen a doctor since 2007, was not enrolled in school and could not read or write.

Anthony Foxworth Sr., 45, and Mary Foxworth, 43, pleaded guilty in October to avoid the possibility of being convicted in a trial of potentially more serious charges.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said the couple will come back to court on Dec. 21 to schedule a date for sentencing in the original case. He said he doesn’t want that hearing to be held until after their bail jumping cases conclude.
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For background, read “Foxworths: Local law enforcement to go pick up parents of boy in neglect case” from Thursday November 16, 2017, here