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News brief: Missing man found at scene of fatal wreck

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Silver Creek area man who went missing yesterday was found dead last night inside his wrecked truck twenty to thirty feet down an embankment not far from his home.

Paul L. Halstead, 63, had left home yesterday morning and by afternoon, his family and deputies were looking for him because he hadn’t returned, according to responders.

His family found his Ford Ranger pickup on its top off of  state Route 122, about two miles northwest of Mossyrock, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers and aid responded to the scene just west of Steelhead Drive about 8 p.m., Washington State Patrol Sgt. Mike Cournyer said.

Cournyer said he believes the crash occurred in the morning.

It had rained, so there weren’t tire marks on the road and the vehicle was such that a person wouldn’t have seen it unless they were in exactly the right spot, Cournyer said.

Troopers concluded Halstead was westbound from Steelhead Drive and drifted to the right, and then overcorrected causing his truck to leave the roadway, roll down the embankment and come to rest on its top. He was seat belted in, responders said.

Cournyer said it’s a narrow and curvy road and the cause of the crash seemed to be inattention, but the coroner should be able to determine for sure what happened.

The 2007 Ford Ranger was described as totaled.

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News brief: Rochester chicken barn goes up in smoke

Monday, October 19, 2015 at 5:07 pm
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Flames rise from a huge metal and wood structure used for storage. / Courtesy photo by Rob Gordon

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters weren’t able to determine what caused a blaze yesterday morning that destroyed a former chicken barn in South Thurston County.

Crews called at 6:50 a.m. to the corner of Leitner Road Southwest at Danby Drive found the large wood and metal building fully involved in flames, according to Thurston County Fire District 12.

They were joined by six neighboring fire departments and on the scene until almost noon, Battalion Chief James Fowler said.

The structure was about 200 feet long and 50 feet wide, Fowler said.

“There were no chickens in it, they were using it for storage, like old tractors and a car,” he said. “The owner said he had a brand new table saw he never got to use yet.”

Nobody was injured.

Fowler said the destruction was such there was no way to even be certain where the fire originated, let alone what caused it. He’s putting it down as undetermined, he said.

The property has a Rochester address, but is east of Interstate 5 and north of the Old Highway 99.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, October 19, 2015 at 3:00 pm
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•••

CAT BURGLARS EVADE POLICE

• Centralia police detectives were called in to assist with a burglary last night at the 100 block of West High Street in which a pair of individuals crawled through a ceiling. Officers responded to an alarm at the Nike store at the Centralia Outlets about 8:20 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department. The suspect and his accomplice managed to escape before police arrived, but, their images were captured on surveillance video according to police.

ROBBERY CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were contacted about 8 p.m. yesterday by an individual who reported they were robbed on Friday morning in Centralia. The case is associated with a location at or near Main and Yew streets and remains under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department. Further details were not readily available.

SALKUM BREAK-IN

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that a burglary was discovered on Friday morning at a thrift store on the 100 block of Salkum Road in Salkum. Sometime between Oct. 10 and Tuesday, someone apparently slipped through a gap in the fence at God’s Closet and then slit a tarp to get into an outdoor storage area where they were able to break windows on the southwest side of the building, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said it’s not yet known what is missing, other than keys to the padlocks on the dumpsters.

CHEHALIS BREAK-IN

• Chehalis police were called at 6 p.m. yesterday regarding a burglary from earlier in the day at North National Avenue. It turned out to be an unfounded report.

AUTO THEFT

• A 28-year-old Centralia resident was arrested last night for allegedly taking her parents’ vehicle without permission. Lacey A. Buzzard was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 25-year-old Rochester man was arrested around 1:20 a.m. yesterday for allegedly being in possession of a vehicle stolen out of California. Jesus K. J. Angulo-Delong was contacted by police near the 400 block of West Main Street in Centralia and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department Kevin J.J. DeLong is being released with no charges filed pending further investigation.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called at 12:40 p.m. on Friday about a vehicle prowl on the 1900 block of South Market Boulevard.

MISSING MAILBOX

• Centralia police were called on Friday morning to the 200 block of Tilley Avenue where sometime the evening before, someone stole a mailbox from in front of a home.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report on Saturday morning regarding graffiti on a garage door at the 600 block of F Street.

• Someone slashed a vehicle’s tires at the 100 block of North Railroad Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Friday afternoon.

SEX CRIME

• A Centralia officer on Friday night took a report about a possible intimate relationship between an 18-year-old man and a 13-year-old girl. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD

• Officers were advised of an erratically driven vehicle that almost struck a pedestrian in the area of the Skookumchuck River Bridge on North Pearl Street at about 2 p.m. yesterday. Officers located the vehicle a short time later and a short pursuit ensued, according to the Centralia Police Department. The vehicle was located later, abandoned, according to police.  The investigation is ongoing.

• Firefighters called about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday to the 2400 block of state Route 508 in Onalaska about a child on a motorbike getting hit by a vehicle transported the patient to the hospital with what were described as moderate injuries. Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Andrew Martin said it sounded as though a mechanical issue, like maybe with the throttle, caused the rider to come out of his driveway onto the road.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, trespassing, resisting arrest, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, providing false information to police officer; responses for alarm, dispute, bad checks, hit and run, loud neighbor party, vandalism, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, person in public that seems to be intoxicated … and more.

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News brief: East Lewis County man dies after Pierce County collision

Monday, October 19, 2015 at 9:21 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 20-year-old Randle resident died following a head-on crash in Pierce County on Saturday night that authorities blamed on driving too fast for conditions.

Three occupants of the other car were also hospitalized after the highway wreck that shut down the roadway for three hours and 45 minutes, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Raymond R. Craig, 20, of Randle, was transported to Tacoma General Hospital but passed away there at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday, according to the state patrol.

Troopers called at about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday determined Craig had been northbound on state Route 161 and crossed in to the southbound lane at a curve where his 1992 Mitsubishi GT struck an oncoming 2013 Nissan four-door.

It happened near Thomas Road, about eight miles south of Graham.

No alcohol was involved and everyone was wearing their seat belts.

The three in the Nissan were injured and taken to Good Samaritan Hospital.

They are, the driver, Ramon J. Becerrabecerra, 26, of Fresno; passenger, Jose A. Becerrabecerra, 21, from Eatonville; and passenger Carlos A. Becerrabecerra,20, of Puyallup.

Both vehicles were totaled and impounded, but no charges are expected.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, October 16, 2015 at 12:03 pm
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•••

INMATE ACCUSED OF BITING JAIL OFFICER

• A corrections officer was allegedly bit in the hand by a Lewis County Jail inmate who was subsequently forcibly brought up to court in a restraint chair, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office reported this morning that 26-year-old Rebecca L. Higgins was incommunicative on Wednesday afternoon when a guard went into her cell to tell her to get ready to go to court. As the guard gave up and walked out, Higgins allegedly jumped up and tried to assault him. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said when the guard escorted her back to her bunk, Higgins bit him, leaving him with three punctures to the “web” of his right hand. Brown said the following morning, when a corrections officer informed Higgins a judge ordered her to brought up to court whether or not she wanted to, Higgins allegedly punched that guard in the chest. She has been arrested for two counts of third-degree assault and remains jailed. Higgins, whose hometown is given as Puyallup, was booked into the jail at the end of August for allegedly assaulting a Centralia police officer who tried to remove her from a locked bathroom.

WOUNDED CHEHALIS RESIDENT FOUND LAYING ON STREET

• Chehalis police were called just before midnight after an injured man was found laying on the road at the 1000 block of Southwest 12th Street. The 48-year-old Chehalis resident was transported to the hospital for trauma to his left eye, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An initial report indicates he would not provide information to the officer, according to police. An officer has learned the the man was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and the case is pending an interview with him, police said.

AUTO THEFT

• According to the Centralia Police Department, the owner of a stolen vehicle found the vehicle parked in an alley last night in a case associated with the 800 block of H Street.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called at 8:50 a.m. yesterday to the 1000 block of Evergreen Way about an overnight prowl of an unlocked vehicle. Among the items missing are clothing, a flashlight and a battery jump box, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

GRAFFITI

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning to the 200 block of Southeast Ninth Street regarding a fence tagged with yellow graffiti, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• An officer responded to a report yesterday morning of a business painted with graffiti overnight at the 700 block of West Main Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, protection order violation, failure to transfer title; responses for dispute, vandalism, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft, receipt of counterfeit bill, collision on city street … and more.

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News brief: No evidence found of missing mom in Cowlitz River

Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 4:08 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Detectives continue actively investigating the disappearance of a Centralia mother of three who spent time on Saturday at and around freeway exits near Vader wearing pajama bottoms and no shoes, after leaving her car on Interstate 5.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has said Elizabeth A. Pham, 33, may be suffering from from postpartum depression.

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Elizabeth A. Pham

Yesterday after lunchtime, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown indicated that while Pham came into contact with several individuals at a gas station, a truck stop and a restaurant, the last sighting of her appears to have been around noon on Saturday sitting beneath the overpass at exit 59 staring into the Cowlitz River.

Members of the sheriff’s office Swift Water Team spent five and half hours yesterday scouring the river. They searched to an area approximately two miles downstream from the Mandy Road overpass, according to Brown.

Team members stated the visibility, in the areas searched, was good as the river is fairly shallow and slow moving, Brown indicated.

They stopped at the point they did, because the river was too shallow in many places to continue downstream, according to Brown.

They didn’t find any evidence she actually went into the river.

Her makeup bag was turned into police on Sunday, having been discovered by a fisherman near the fork in the Cowlitz and Toutle Rivers. That’s close to a bridge that crosses the river at milepost 52 on the freeway.

Pham had tried to get a ride with a truck driver who was heading to California, but also asked a taxi driver to take her to Olympia, before she was spotted gazing into the Cowlitz on Saturday.

She resides in Centralia with her three children and her husband, a local dentist with whom she works, according to Brown. She was reported missing on Sunday morning.

Chief Deputy Bruce Kimsey stated yesterday their hope is someone will see Pham and call them.

The sheriff’s office number is 360-748-9286.

If tipsters wish to remain anonymous, they can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422. Private messages can also be sent through their Facebook page “Lewis County Sheriff’s Office”.
•••

For background, read “Missing mother’s makeup bag fished out of Cowlitz River” from Tuesday October 13, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 11:07 am
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•••

STEALING CIGS

• Centralia police were called just after noon yesterday regarding the ongoing theft of cigarettes from the front porch area of a house on the 1300 block of Rose Street.

ATTEMPTED TRESPASSING

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning by the owner of a vacant house on Southwest Sixth Street who said about  week earlier, it appeared someone tried to break in. An officer took photos and a report, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LOST AND FOUND

• A coat and a backpack containing toiletries and other items were found in the middle of the street near the post office in Chehalis at about 5:15 a.m. today.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, driving under the influence, protection order violation, failure to transfer title, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, disorderly person, misdemeanor theft, landlord-tenant issues, suspicious circumstances … and more.

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Astonishing humans: Twin sheriffs catch the attention of Believe It or Not! publisher

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm
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Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza, left, and his brother Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza. / Courtesy photo by Jennie Snaza

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza and his twin sheriff brother have the shocking, incredible, but true honor of being featured among the “eye-popping oddities” of a new book.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is more than an iconic Sunday newspaper comic feature, it’s museums, traveling shows, videos and books.

Each year, Ripleys puts out puts out a new edition of strange stories, fun facts, oddities, curiosities, and this year, the Snazas are among them.

Sheriff Snaza, who learned of his inclusion from a newspaper reporter, said he thinks it’s pretty cool.

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The new edition

“I just think it’s an honor, I’m excited about it,” he said yesterday. “It’s something to show your kids, your grandkids.”

The entry can be found on page 20, of the 256-page volume overflowing with “mind-blowing stories” of animals, feats, art, pop culture, the human body, and more, according to the publisher.

“In November 2014, twin brothers Rob and John Snaza were elected sheriffs in neighboring southwest Washington counties,” the publicist writes.”Voters elected Rob to become sheriff of Lewis County while John was re-elected sheriff of Thurston County.”

Their recognition is tucked into the edition that includes among its collection of thousands of all-new stories, the lowdown on a goldfish that underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor and a 40-inch-long piece of (alleged) fossilized dinosaur poop, found in Washington State, that sold for $8,500 in 2014.

The book, titled “Eye-Popping Oddities” came out on Sept. 8 and is available through all major book sellers, according to its publicist.

Robert L. Ripley’s first Believe It or Not! books, collections of his newspaper cartoon drawings, appeared in 1929 and 1931.

Sheriff Rob Snaza, of Napavine, who turned 50 earlier this year, ran as a Republican last fall and took 77 percent of the vote.

He said he hadn’t yet had a chance to talk with his brother, to find out if he knew how they caught they attention of the book’s authors.

He said he’s pretty sure it’s probably a first. He’s heard of fathers and sons, such as former Lewis County Sheriff Bill Wiester Sr. whose son became Grant County sheriff, he said, but not twin brothers.

Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza, ran as an Independent in 2010, and last November won another four-year term. He also turned 50 this year.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 11:14 am
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•••

FIRE BREAKS OUT IN WINLOCK

• A Winlock man arrived home yesterday afternoon to find  a fire had destroyed his shed and it contents, that included thousands of dollars worth of tools. Sixty-two-year-old Craig Ryder said he used to work construction and had lots stored in the building. He doesn’t have insurance, he said. “There was so much, I couldn’t even think how to list it,” he said. The fire was so hot, it broke a window on his home, on the 200 block of Bay Road, Ryder said. Also ruined was the canopy for his truck and an antique wooden boat he’d recently refinished, he said. He was told the cause was probably electrical, as it started near his workbench.

AUTO THEFT CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called at 6:40 a.m. today to the 200 block of Southwest William Avenue after the owner of a green 1997 Honda Accord discovered the car missing. It has a license plate reading 684 ZSM and also some damage above the driver’s side door from a previous vehicle prowl, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called at 3:30 p.m. yesterday to the 2300 block of Sirkka Avenue where someone had reportedly entered the home during the night and removed unspecified items. An investigation continues, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Someone broke into a vehicle parked at the 900 block of G Street in Centralia stealing sunglasses as well as the registration, proof of insurance and other paperwork, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday morning. Also stolen was the shifter knob, police reported.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report last night regarding graffiti on a fence at the 600 block of K Street.

ON THE ROAD

• A 50-year-old was injured when he lost control of his motorized bicycle near Randle yesterday afternoon. Troopers called about 4:15 p.m. report that Tad C. Stuck was traveling northbound on the 100 block of Gharet Road and failed to negotiate a curve when he fell off his bike. Stuck was transported to Morton General Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol. The modified Huffy bicycle fitted with a 66 cc motor was undamaged, according to the state patrol. The Randle resident was cited for driving with a suspended license, not having a motorcycle endorsement, not wearing a helmet and an equipment violation, according to the investigating trooper.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, trespassing, misdemeanor assault, malicious mischief, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, a seemingly homeless person hanging around a business, a seemingly homeless person pooping in a city park … and more.

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Missing mother’s makeup bag fished out of Cowlitz River

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 1:56 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office continues to look for a Centralia mother of three who went missing on Saturday, with plans to review surveillance videos from businesses as well as search the Cowlitz River and its banks.

The sheriff’s office said a makeup bag identified as belonging to Elizabeth A. Pham was turned in to the Castle Rock Police Department on Sunday by a fisherman who located it downstream from where Pham was last seen.

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Elizabeth A. Pham

Also, a witness reported seeing a woman matching her description sitting beneath the overpass at exit 59 staring into the Cowlitz River, according to the sheriff’s office.

The 33-year-old woman’s car was found on southbound Interstate 5 near Vader’s exit 59, unlocked with the keys in it by a trooper on Saturday evening.

“At this time, we do not know what happened to Elizabeth; there are a lot of possibilities that need to be examined,” Chief Deputy Bruce Kimsey stated in a news release around noon today. “Elizabeth may have gotten a ride out of the area, and be gone on her own volition, we just don’t know at this time.”

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown indicated today Pham’s family says she may be suffering from postpartum depression.

They are still asking for anyone who has seen her, or has information, to call them.

Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza said he has four detectives assigned to the case, and they have set aside everything else.

“My hope is, it’s just a young female who wanted to get away for awhile,” Snaza said.

Detectives believe Pham left her vehicle along the freeway on Saturday morning and walked to Gee Cees truck stop, where she tried to get a ride with a truck driver who was headed to Redding, California. A Gee Cee’s employee stopped Pham from getting into the truck and called a taxi for her, according to Brown.

Detectives have learned Pham asked the taxi driver to take her to Olympia, but they stopped by her vehicle to get some personal items and then she was dropped off at the Shell station off exit 59, according to Brown.

The taxi driver described her behavior as unusual and confused.

She went into the store and stayed for about 20 minutes without buying anything, and then witnesses say she walked over to the nearby Beasley’s Restaurant and placed an order, according to Brown.

It was after that someone saw the woman under the overpass, according to Brown.

Pham was reported missing at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

When last seen, she was wearing purple pajama bottoms, a pinkish red shirt and socks but no shoes. Pham is described as 5-feet 6-inches tall and weighing 122 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact sheriff’s detective Jeremy Almond at 360-748-9286 or jeremy.almond@lewiscountywa.gov

•••

For background, read “News brief: Missing woman’s car found abandoned near Vader” from Monday October 12, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 10:17 am
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•••

Updated at 2:37 p.m.

PACKAGE THEFT SUSPECT APPREHENDED

• Two people were arrested after a citizen reported seeing a male steal several packages from the doorstep of a business south of Chehalis at 12:30 a.m. today. Deputies told he left in a red Jeep subsequently located the vehicle and spoke with Jerry G. Sword, 46, of Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The items belonging to the Water Doctor of Washington at the 2500 block of Jackson Highway were located in the Jeep, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Sword was cited for third-degree theft and then released, according to Brown. His passenger, Tammy M. Callahan, 44, also from Centralia, was taken to the Lewis County Jail where a plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine was found in her mouth, Brown said. Callahan was booked for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and the sheriff’s office is recommending a charge also of third-degree theft, according to Brown.

STOLEN PET

• Chehalis police were called about 8:25 .m. yesterday following the discovery that a Yorkshire Terrier was missing from its fenced backyard at the 700 block of Northwest New York Avenue. It had been on a cable, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The officer subsequently got a message the pet had been located on Louisiana Avenue, according to police.

MISSING MEDS

• Centralia police were called just before 4 o’clock this morning to the 1700 block of Cooks Hill Road to take a report of missing medication and money. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An individual reported the theft of medications yesterday afternoon from the 600 block of G Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Police were called at 7:45 p.m. yesterday about a house and vehicle getting egged at the 400 block of East Pine Street in Centralia.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, trespassing, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, misdemeanor  theft, suspicious circumstances, loud neighbor party, collision on city street … and more.

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News brief: Police shoot pit bull in Centralia

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 7:51 am

Updated at 10:11 a.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A dog who reportedly charged officers preparing to make a warrant arrest at a vacant Centralia house was shot last night.

The animal’s condition is unknown this morning.

Centralia Police Department detective Patty Finch said police went to the residence on the 100 block of South Cedar Street because they knew a 31-year-old Onalaska woman with a felony warrant was there.

It was about 7:50 p.m. and officers found three or four individuals who shouldn’t have been at the house because it’s condemned, according to police.

The dog was shot once, with the officer’s handgun, in the front shoulder-leg area, Finch said.

The animal – described as a large white pit bull – was taken to Cascade Veterinary Clinic, she said.

“To my understanding, the dog is still there, I don’t know the condition,” Finch said this morning.

According to Finch, as officers contacted the individuals inside, the dog exited the house and charged at Sgt. Carl Buster.

Buster feared he was going to be attacked and fired one shot, according to Finch.

Alisha M. Rowley, 31 of Onalaska, was booked in to the Lewis County Jail for her warrant. Richard D. Thoreson, 42, of Centralia and John R. Cabell, 23, of Olympia, were booked for trespassing, according to police.

Detectives and police commanders were called to the scene last night, Finch said.

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News brief: Wind plus cottonwood trees put East Lewis County in the dark

Monday, October 12, 2015 at 7:58 pm
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The intersection of Anderson and Glenoma roads was shut down by a tangle of power lines. / Courtesy photo by Elizabeth Graf

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Powerful winds ripped through Lewis County over the weekend, leaving some without electricity for as long as 30 hours.

A patch of cottonwood trees toppled in Glenoma on Saturday, knocking out power to every substation up through the east end, according to Lewis County PUD.

“We had pretty good gusts of wind on Saturday,” PUD Assistant Dispatcher Bryan Myers said. “It didn’t last very long, but if affected Glenoma, Randle and Packwood.”

At one point, as many as 4,000 customers were out, he said.

Utility crews were assisted by Centralia City Light.

The storm caused scattered outages elsewhere around the county, but by this morning the electricity was back on, according to Myers.

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News brief: Missing woman’s car found abandoned near Vader

Monday, October 12, 2015 at 7:03 pm
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Sheriff’s detectives are looking for 33-year-old Elizabeth A. Pham.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help to find a Centralia woman whose car was found on Interstate 5 near Vader, unlocked with the keys in it.

Elizabeth A. Pham, 33, was last seen on Saturday evening in the area of exit 59 wearing purple pajama bottoms, a pinkish red shirt and no shoes, according to the sheriff’s office.

She was reported missing at 10:30 a.m. yesterday, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

“It is under suspicious circumstances,” Brown said. “We believe she may have gotten a ride with someone hitchhiking.”

Pham is described as 5-feet 6-inches tall and weighing 122 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Brown didn’t have a lot of details this afternoon, saying detectives are starting to dig into it.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact sheriff’s detective Jeremy Almond at 360-748-9286 or jeremy.almond@lewiscountywa.gov

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News brief: Public invited to burial ceremony for unclaimed persons

Monday, October 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office will be holding an interment service on Friday for seven individuals who were unclaimed after their deaths in Lewis County.

The urns containing their cremated remains are to be buried at Pioneer Cemetery in south Chehalis.

The public is welcome to attend. The ceremony is set for 11 a.m.

Pioneer Cemetery is located at 2000 Jackson Highway. It is owned by John and Marie Panesko, who are donating the space.

“John Panesko has once again offered the use of his cemetery allowing for the cremated remains to be interned with dignity, respect and compassion,” Coroner Warren McLeod stated in a news release this morning.

Two years ago, the coroner’s office and Panesko arranged for two unclaimed individuals to be interred at Pioneer.

McLeod said there may be an eighth person laid to rest with them, if his urn is delivered back from the crematory in time.

Parking is available across the street.

The following are the individuals:

• Robert Francis Aita, 73, Centralia, died Oct. 3, 2013

• Johnny Barna, 60, Centralia, died Nov. 30, 2014

• Jack I. Cook, 67, Centralia, died April 11, 2014

• David Hahn, 51, Centralia, died Sept. 15, 2014

• Trisha McKenzie-Fire, 57, Randle, died Sept. 22, 2011*

• Kenneth Petkevis, 57, Centralia, died Jan. 7, 2014

• Richard Reise, 72, Centralia, died Jan. 26, 2015

* McKenzie-Fire, was reported missing from her home in April 2011 and her remains were discovered about a mile and a half away on Sept. 22, 2011.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, October 12, 2015 at 12:40 pm
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•••

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

• A 36-year-old Pe Ell resident was arrested for unlawful imprisonment after allegedly giving his wife a bloody nose and black eye and keeping her from leaving their home on Saturday. A deputy was called at 10:43 a.m. to the 600 block of Maple Street learned she had jumped out a window to get away from him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Ryan G. Coleman was subsequently booked into the Lewis County Jail,  Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

THEFT, THEFT, THEFT

• Chehalis police are investigating an incident from about noon on Saturday in which a woman reported someone came into her residence at the 100 block of Southwest 20th Street and possibly stole medication while she was home but left before she saw the intruder.

• Centralia police were called about 8:25 a.m. yesterday to the 500 block of West First Street where someone had attempted to pry the lock on an individual’s garage door.

• An officer was called to the 200 block of North Rock Street in Centralia at 11 a.m. on Saturday where beer had been stolen from the back porch overnight.

• Centralia police arrested a 44-year-old woman and three 17-year-olds for a string of shoplifting incidents at the Centralia Outlets in which an estimated $1,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from three stores on Friday. Officers responding about 5:20 p.m. located the suspects in a sport utility vehicle at the 1300 block of Lum Road, according to the Centralia Police Department. Rosemary V. Valencia  was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree theft and organized retail theft, according to police. She and the two boys and one girl are all from Tacoma, police said.

• A 42-year-old man was arrested yesterday for allegedly taking his sister’s Honda Accord without permission from the 4600 block of Jackson Highway. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports the car went missing sometime between Saturday and yesterday. Xavier A. Cervantes, from Toledo, was found sleeping in the car at Stan Hedwall Park in Chehalis, according to the sheriff’s office. The Chehalis police  Department reports Cervantes is from Winlock, was contacted about 10 a.m. and booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle. Twenty dollars was missing from the car, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday of a firearm stolen from a vehicle the night before at the 500 block of Southwest William Avenue. The weapon was described as a  22 caliber long rifle pistol, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Police took a report of a vehicle prowl from the 300 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia on Friday. Someone stole a wallet from an unlocked car, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone broke into a vehicle at Borst Park in Centralia on Friday afternoon, stealing clothing, according to the Centralia Police Department. Two juvenile males were seen in the area with the items, according to the Centralia Police Department.

UNDERAGE DRINKING

• A 15-year-old Chehalis boy was arrested early yesterday morning for allegedly trying to kick in a door to a business on the 500 block of North Market Boulevard in Chehalis. An officer called about 4:30 a.m. subsequently located him and booked him into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for “criminal attempt” and possession and/or consumption of alcohol, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• An officer was called to W.F. West High School in Chehalis just after 9 o’clock on Friday morning regarding an intoxicated student. The 15-year-old Chehalis girl was issued a citation and released to her parent, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police on Friday took reports of a series of graffiti incidents, starting from the 500 block of West Main Street and discovered at Rotary Riverside Park, Borst Park and out on Galvin Road.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, shoplifting, vandalism, hit and run, unfounded report, disorderly persons, harassing phone calls, possibly suicidal person, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, October 9, 2015 at 6:43 pm
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•••

Updated at 8:34 p.m.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, BROKEN BONES

• A 51-year-old man was arrested overnight in the Doty area after a deputy spoke with his girlfriend who had a possible broken wrist and said she had been pushed down a flight of stairs and kicked and punched in the ribs. A deputy was in the area after the woman called 911 and said she was looking for her keys in the river and was injured, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A motorist picked her up walking along Elk Creek Road, the sheriff’s office reports. A deputy located Ron C. Lusk at a residence and booked him into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault and violating a no-contact order, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Brown said the victim’s phone was also thrown in the river and the sheriff’s office would recommend additional charges such as interfering with domestic violence reporting and third-degree malicious mischief. Brown described Lusk as a Kennewick resident but also said he was picked up at his residence in the area. Lusk was charged with all four offenses today and ordered held on $250,000 bail.

THEFT

• An officer was called about 6:35 p.m. yesterday to take a report of the theft of pain medication from the 900 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia.

• A leaf blower and a pressure washer left outside a building on the 1100 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia were reported stolen yesterday afternoon.

• Centralia police were called yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl that occurred during the previous few days at the 1000 block of Woodland Avenue. The main item missing was paperwork, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 22-year-old woman who allegedly decided not to sell heroin to a potential customer, pinned them against a wall with her forearm and told them to never come back – and kept the money, yesterday – was arrested and then charged today with second-degree robbery. The buyer was a police informant. Caitlin M. Allred was also charged for allegedly recently trying to pass off a brown substance as heroin in an alleged sale to a police informant, according to court documents. A judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court set her bail at $25,000. The second charge is called sale of a controlled or counterfeit substance for profit. A third charge for possession of methamphetamine comes from a search of the trailer where yesterday’s incident occurred, and the discovery of pipes and baggies with trace amounts of meth. The allegations don’t indicate where yesterday’s incident occurred, or where the earlier controlled buy happened but show the law enforcement officers in the case are from the Chehalis Police Department and the Centralia Police Department. Jack L. Daniels, 37, also present at the trailer when it was searched was arrested for and subsequently charged with possession of methamphetamine, regarding the residue, according to court documents. His bail was set at $25,000. Charging documents show Allred and Daniels with separate addresses in Winlock.

• Officers were called back to a motel room by a manager yesterday who discovered drugs and a handgun believed to have been left behind after arrests the night before. Leo M. Mitchell, 20, from Olympia, had been arrested out of the room at the 1200 block of Alder Street for possession of a stolen vehicle, according to the Centralia Police Department. Julie L. Gore, age 31, was picked up at the same time for an outstanding warrant, according to police. The investigation is ongoing.

• Two teenage boys allegedly smoking marijuana in a truck while watching football practice at Toledo High School were contacted by a sheriff’s deputy last night. The cases will be forwarded to juvenile prosecutors for charges of possession of marijuana for the 14-year-old and 16-year-old, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

DANCING IN THE STREET

• A 20-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday for the second time in two days for disorderly conduct. It was after 10 o’clock last night when Jacob S. Drury was “dancing down the centerline of the street, in the fog,” Centralia Police Department Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. The officer contacted Drury near the 1400 block of North Pearl Street, which is near Drury’s residence at an apartment complex at Reynolds Avenue for people with challenges, Reichert said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, failure to transfer title, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license; responses for theft, vandalism, harassing phone calls, missing person who subsequently turned up, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street; complaints about fireworks, a house without garbage service, a guy sleeping behind a store … and more.

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News brief: One dead after vehicle runs off Interstate 5

Friday, October 9, 2015 at 6:05 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 59-year-old Toledo man was dead at the scene of a single-vehicle wreck on northbound Interstate 5 near the Lewis-Cowlitz county line this morning.

Troopers called about 11:25 a.m. found the 1999 GMC Jimmy had drifted to the right, struck the guard rail and jersey barrier before traveling down the embankment where it hit a tree.

It happened near milepost 56, seven miles north of Castle Rock.

The driver, Kelly V. Dougherty, 59, had been wearing a seatbelt, according to the Washington State Patrol. It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol may have been involved, according to the state patrol.

The truck was totaled. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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News brief: Bye bye Centralia bear

Friday, October 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm
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A tranquilized male bear rests inside a trailer before his trip to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. / Courtesy photo by Austin Kimball

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A bear spotted several places around a Centralia neighborhood yesterday has been moved to a new home.

“I can tell you, we managed to tranquilize him – a male, about 3 to 4 years old – take him out of the area and into the Gifford Pinchot,” Washington Department of FIsh and Wildlife spokesperson Craig Bartlett said.

Authorities got calls about the black bear beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the 500 block of South Rock Street and then from locations such as West Chestnut Street, Bartlett said. There was also a sighting on Sky Meadow Drive.

Bartlett said wildlife officers are getting a lot of bear calls right now, as they are preparing to den and trying to beef up for the winter.

“This guy was seen snacking at a bird feeder earlier in the day,” he said.

Game officers arrived in the area around 4 p.m. The bear had climbed up a tree.

By about 8 p.m., he was captured and put in a trailer to head to the forest, he said. He should be all settled in now, Bartlett said.

“As always, the main thing to keep from attracting bears, is try not to feed them,” he said. “Like with bird feeders and garbage.”

•••

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife shares information about the black bears which live in Washington state, here

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News brief: Pair hurt when truck hits tree in Packwood

Friday, October 9, 2015 at 1:14 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two people were injured when the driver of a pickup truck lost control making a left turn off U.S. Highway 12 in Packwood and struck a tree this morning.

Transported to Morton General Hospital were Dale A. Ryf, 55, of Packwood, and his passenger Jeanette C. Seaman, 46, from Tacoma, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers called at 9:50 a.m. noted the 1995 Chevrolet 1500 was westbound going too fast when it attempted the turn into a private driveway. The truck was totaled.

Ryf was cited for second-degree negligent driving, according to the state patrol.

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News brief: Child hiker survives 40 foot fall near Cispus

Friday, October 9, 2015 at 12:14 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An 11-year-old boy who fell some 40 feet down a nearly vertical embankment and landed in a creek bed yesterday south of Randle escaped the accident with minor injuries, according to Lewis County Fire District 14.

Rescuers were called about 11 a.m. to the area near Cispus, according to Fire Chief Jeff Jaques.

Jaques said the child from Lake Tapps was on a school-related outing. They were hiking on the trail to Angel Falls, he said.

Jaques said he understood the youngster was walking backwards, talking to a friend when he stepped off the trail and got too close to the edge of a drop off.

He was packed out and transported to a local hospital for evaluation, according to Jaques.