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News brief: Van versus school bus in Chehalis

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Police and aid were called just after 3 p.m. when a van ran into the back of a school bus in Chehalis, smashing the front of the van. Nobody was hurt.

It happened on the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue.

The bus was southbound but stopped for traffic ahead, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

“The van sustained quite a bit of damage, I think it’s probably totaled,” Sgt. Brian Hickey said. “I don’t think there was much braking.”

An airbag deployed so the 18-year-old driver was unhurt, according to Chehalis Fire Department Capt. Kevin Curfman.

Curfman said the chief arrived first and let them know nobody was injured, but a medic also checked out each of the 12 grade school-aged children.

“I don’t think they even felt anything hardly,” Curfman said.

Hickey wasn’t finished with his investigation, but said it appeared the driver looked away and when she looked back, the bus was stopped in front of her.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 11:59 am

ROOMMATES’ SPAT TURNS VIOLENT

• A 59-year-old Morton woman is jailed after allegedly hitting her roommate in the head with a hammer during an argument yesterday. A deputy called abut 6 p.m. to the emergency room at Morton General Hospital spoke to the 52-year-old man who said she kicked him in the chest and also sprayed him in the face with an aerosol can of something from their kitchen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The victim was released after being treated for minor cuts and bruises and a puncture wound on the back of his head, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Diana S. Stephens was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, according to Brown.

MYSTERY ASSAULT IN CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called about 11:50 p.m. yesterday to North Market Boulevard where an intoxicated man was injured. At first he said he was struck by a car but then he said he was jumped in the alley by three “gang bangers”, according to police. The 41-year-old man with identification that said he lived in Montana had a laceration on the bridge of his nose, according to the Chehalis Police Department. No assault suspects were located, according to police. The same individual had been asked about 20 minutes earlier to leave a downtown bar, according to police. His brother came and took the man home, police said.

BEDROOM BREAK-IN

• A 63-year-old woman called 911 last night after the discovery someone burglarized her home on the 600 block of Oakland Avenue in Centralia. Sometime since Dec. 16, someone broke a window and stole more than $1,000 worth of jewelry from her bedroom, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

POLICE: BORROWED TV SOLD

• Centralia police are investigating a complaint from an woman who said she loaned their television to a friend who then pawned it. The situation was reported yesterday from the 1100 block of South Tower Avenue.

FRAUD

• Police were called by an individual at the 500 block of Ash Street in Centralia yesterday regarding the theft of money from his bank account.

• Centralia police responded to a complaint from the 3000 block of Borst Avenue yesterday afternoon of attempted fraud. A 21-year-old woman said she was contacted by her credit card company regarding someone trying to apply for credit in her name six times in the previous two weeks, according to the Centralia Police Department.

TRUCK VERUS COW

• A 60-year-old driver’s truck sustained major damage to its front end and engine when he struck a cow on the 200 block of Elk Creek Road west of Chehalis early yesterday morning. A deputy responding about 4 a.m. to the Doty area learned the Vader man saw a black cow on the shoulder and moved toward the center of the road where he struck a second black cow, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The animal had to be put down, according to the sheriff’ office. Its owner was informed a citation for animal at large would be forthcoming, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

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News brief: Centralia attic fire blamed on proximity of chimney, trusses

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10:23 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia home sustained an estimated $20,000 damage when a fire broke out in an attic next to a wood stove chimney yesterday afternoon.

Firefighters called about 3:45 p.m. to the single-story house on the 400 block of Bryden Avenue near Fort Borst Park found smoke coming from vents near the roof, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The occupants called 911 and got everyone safely, according to Fire Chief Jim Walkowski.

Crews removed portions of the ceiling and extinguished the fire, according to Walkowski.

It appears the chimney was too close to wooden roof trusses in the attic, which ignited, Walkowski said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

VIOLENCE IN CENTRALIA

• Deputies were called to Centralia High School yesterday afternoon to arrest a 15-year-old boy who allegedly produced a knife and threatened to kill a 16-year-old boy during an altercation about a girlfriend. No injuries were reported and the teen was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention for first-degree assault, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 23-year-old man was arrested for second-degree assault after allegedly threatening to strike an acquaintance with a baton yesterday. The approximately 4 p.m. incident connected with an address on Logan and Marion streets in Centralia ended with Brett A. Warness, a Centralia resident, getting booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOG TRACKS MAN WITH WARRANT

• Centralia police dispatched police dog Kayo late yesterday afternoon after a traffic stop in which the driver fled on foot in the area of the 100 block of West High Street. Kayo captured John L. Lybbert, 42, of Centralia, who was arrested on an outstanding warrant and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

SUSPECTED SCAM

• Chehalis police were called to a bank on the 400 block of North Market Boulevard late yesterday afternoon when a 42-year-old woman was wanting to send ransom money in response to information a relative in Mexico had been kidnapped. The bank and an arriving officer persuaded her it appeared to be an attempted fraud, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

PROWLERS

• The sheriff’s office was called about 8:45 a.m. yesterday after a caretaker of property on the 100 block of North Military Road in Winlock discovered a female hiding in a small outbuilding, who reportedly had been cutting wiring from the wall. The woman was not located but the caretaker recognized her, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect faces possible charges of second-degree burglary and malicious mischief, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

• Deputies responded just after 2 a.m. today to the 300 block of Blanchard Road in Centralia when a resident spotted a prowler crouched between two vehicles in his carport. The subject, described as skinny and dressed in black, jumped up and ran away to the east, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 66-year-old resident had heard his driveway sensor “sound off” and thought it might be a deer, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police took a report of a car prowl just after 6 o’clock this morning at the 1500 block of View Avenue in Centralia. Missing were two Carhart vests and cash, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An estimated $1,500 worth of tools were taken from a vehicle on the 1000 block of North Pearl Street, according to a report taken by Centralia police yesterday morning.

MAIL THEFT

• Centralia police took a report from the 500 block of North Rock Street about 9:30 a.m. yesterday about rent checks getting stolen from a mailbox.

NEAR MISS

• Aid and deputies responded abut 1:40 p.m. yesterday when a vehicle veered off the road in north Centralia and came to rest on the bank of the Skookumchuck River near the 2300 block of Howard Avenue. The 57-year-old driver said she suffered an unspecified medical issue when her vehicle traveled through a fence and into some trees sustaining major damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She declined to go to the hospital.

THURSTON COURT ASSISTANT PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO MARIJUANA GROW

• The Olympian reports the attorney for the Thurston County Superior Court judicial assistant charged with manufacture of marijuana is investigating a possible defense regarding if the woman’s roommate who had a medical marijuana authorization was growing marijuana in the garage. Debbie Requa, 60, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in Thurston County, according to news reporter Jeremy Pawloski.

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Elderly man loses Randle home to fiery blaze

Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 95-year-old Randle man’s home was consumed by fire yesterday, but he got out safely.

Lewis County Fire District 14 was called about 4:30 p.m. to the 100 block of Kiona Road and joined by crews from Glenoma and an engine from  Packwood, according to Fire Chief Jeff Jaques.

The owner and his daughter-in-law were home when it started but escaped without injury. His son and daughter-in-law live there with him, Jaques said.

The single-wide mobile home which had been added on to was a total loss, according to the chief.

“It was fully involved when we go there,” Jaques said. “There was nothing in the house that wasn’t burning when we got on scene.”

The cause is under investigation.

The trio have family and friends in the area to stay with, although they were also put in touch with Red Cross, he said.

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News brief: Judge to decide about B Street murder defendant’s claim of insanity

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Centralia resident Weston G. Miller pleaded not guilty to murder three weeks ago and now he’d like to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Miller, 30, is being held in the March shooting death of his house guest, 43-year-old David Wayne Carson.

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David Wayne Carson

A hearing has been scheduled so a judge can hear from experts on both sides about Miller’s mental state at the time of Carson’s death.

It is on the court calendar for Jan. 28.

The former welder told police he acted in self-defense, but prosecutors say it was unprovoked attack when Miller shot Carson twice in the chest area inside Miller’s house on B Street.

An early court filing by Miller’s attorney indicated he would be relying upon a defense of insanity / diminished capacity. His lawyer, J.P. Enbody, has not detailed what his client’s issues are.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said today he won’t discuss the issues, at least until the upcoming hearing.

Miller was only just arraigned last month because of a question whether he was competent to stand trial. A hearing was set for a judge to decide, but then lawyers suddenly agreed Miller was competent.

Meagher said the judge will hear from experts on both sides and can either find Miller not guilty by reason of insanity or decide it is a decision for a jury to make.

His trial is currently scheduled for next month.
•••

For background, read “B Street homicide: Defendant says self defense” from Wednesday March 14, 2012, here

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Prosecutor Meyer recovering from surgery, illness

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 6:56 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer has been sick, spending 13 days in the hospital during four separate stays since October.

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Jonathan Meyer, Lewis County Prosecutor

He was in the office today and says he anticipates being back full time next week.

Meyer, 41, said only that he has had “intestinal issues.”

He said he has not been in the office on a daily basis, but hasn’t stopped working.

“We’ve had manager’s meetings in my hospital room and they would come over to my house,” he said.

And he’s had his iPad with him, he said today.

The elected prosecutor is just now starting the third year of a four-year term. Unlike some previous prosecutors, Meyer fairly regularly handles criminal cases himself.

He is prosecuting Ricky Riffe, the former Lewis County resident brought back here from his home in Alaska this summer to face murder, kidnapping and robbery charges in the 1985 double slaying of Ed and Wilhelmina Maurin, an elderly Ethel couple. Riffe’s trial is scheduled for May.

Meyer said he had an infection in October and surgery last month.

He’s working his way back to eating solid foods. His illness has caused him to drop 85 pounds, he said.

“I have to get my strength back,” he said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm

KABOOM, GOES THE POTTY

• Three teenage boys were arrested after they got caught attempting to blow up a urinal at a public restroom on the 2000 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia early on New Year’s Eve. Police think it was some sort of firework. The youngsters, ages 16 and 17, were booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for malicious mischief; two of them also for having marijuana on them, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SNOW TROUBLES

• Centralia police were called on Monday afternoon about a windshield damaged when several children threw snowballs at a vehicle driving along the 1800 block of Harrison Avenue.

• Lewis County sheriff’s deputies spent several hours after Monday morning’s surprise snow fall responding to five single-vehicle collisions. All resulted in major vehicle damage, three were roll overs and one included a complaint of injury by an 80-year-old female passenger who hit her head, according to the sheriff’s office.

SWEET PEA DODGES TRAFFIC

• Police were called about 6:40 p.m. yesterday when two motorists stopped for a toddler who looked to be about 1-year-old crossing the street alone at South Market and First Street in Chehalis. An arriving officer found the parents there and learned someone had left a door open at the church, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BURGLARY TOLEDO

• A deputy took a report of a break-in to a garage on the 5500 block of Jackson Highway near Toledo in which a 20-gallon propane tank, a propane torch attachment and other items were stolen. It was reported on Monday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BURGLARY VADER

• A deputy was called yesterday by a woman who said someone broke into her deceased father’s home on the 800 block of E Street in Vader. She could not tell if anything was missing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

MISSING VAN

• A blue Plymouth Voyager outfitted with a so-called ignition interlock device was reported stolen from the 1400 block of Johnson Road in Centralia about 12:20 a.m. yesterday. The vehicle vanished sometime during the previous two days, according to the Centralia Police Department. Interlocks are devices sometimes installed on the vehicles of those arrested for driving under the influence which require a clean breath sample before the vehicle will start.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 3:40 p.m. yesterday after a woman at the Midway Cinema at the Lewis County Mall discovered the passenger window on her vehicle shattered and her purse missing from inside. Also taken were two suitcases, according to police.

• Police took a report of a car prowl about 12:25 a.m. yesterday at the 1800 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia. Missing were a tool set, a iPod and GPS device, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A traffic stop about 5:15 p.m. yesterday led to the arrest of a 24-year-old Winlock man for possession of heroin. The deputy discovered Daniel T. Shawgo was driving with a suspended license and a search turned up three syringes, one of which was filled with a dark liquid when a vehicle was pulled over on Kerron Avenue in Winlock, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Shawgo was booked into the Lewis County Jail as was his passenger who was wanted on a warrant for failing to appear in court, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

NOT A KIDNAPPING

• Police went into extra emergency response after a 911 call in which a young girl observed a child hollering no, no, no and being put into a silver mini van in Vader. It happened just before 12:30 p.m. on Monday and it wasn’t long before an officer caught up with the van and determined the 5-year-old girl was with her own mother. Winlock Police Chief Terry Williams said the mom didn’t recall the yelling and the little girl said she didn’t want to put her gloves on. Williams thought the girl who reported it to her parent did a pretty good job, estimating from a block away the apparent abductee was about 4 years old.

GOOD BYE 2012

• Four New Year’s DUI arrests for Centralia police, the final one about 7:20 a.m. yesterday after a 23-year-old motorist reportedly ran into a utility pole and a light pole on the 1600 block of Cooks Hill Road knocking them both down. Daniel C. Lopez, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police spent the last day of 2012 responding to calls such as a misdemeanor assault, one barking dog, one shoplifter at Wal-Mart, two stolen bicycles, three vehicles off the roadways, drivers squirreling around the parking lot at W.F. West High School,  and at least one too-loud party that spilled into the 2 a.m. hour.

HELLO 2013

• Arrests: Warrant, warrant, suspended license times two, another warrant. That’s most of how Centralia Police Department patrol officers spent the first day of the year yesterday. Early in the day, an attempted traffic stop on West Plum Street led to … nothing really. About 11 a.m., an officer apparently identified the driver who fled. The 30-year-old homeless man will be issued a summons to come to court where he will face charges of driving with a suspended license and reckless driving, according to police. Attention Michael S. Cabe, call Centralia police to find out when you’re supposed to be in court, unless you have a post office box where you can watch for their mailing.

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State Route 508 on Monday afternoon. / Courtesy photo by Jennifer Mau

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Read about missing Morton man possibly spotted near White Pass …

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 6:11 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports missing Morton resident Lawrence W. Thorsteinson could be in the White Pass area.

The newspaper says a search and rescue dog tracked the 76-year-old east along U.S. Highway 12 and it appears he may have gotten into a vehicle.

Thorsteinson, who takes medication for dementia, was reported missing about 9:30 p.m. on Friday from the assisted living facility where he makes his home.

Morton Police Chief Dan Mortensen asks anyone who sees Thorsteinson to please call 911.

Read more here

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News brief: On the lookout for drunken drivers

Monday, December 31, 2012 at 6:55 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Watch out for that rookie trooper.

He graduated from the Washington State Patrol Academy, got sworn in at the capitol building in Olympia and then headed to his new assignment in Chehalis where on his very first traffic stop, he arrested a man for driving under the influence.

The 37-year-old Lacey motorist said he was headed to the post office in Tumwater, but Trooper Evan Clark found him weaving southbound on Interstate 5 near the 13th Street interchange in Chehalis, according to Trooper Will Finn.

The arrestee said he drank a beer before leaving home, according to Finn.

Trooper Clark earned the praise of Lt. Ken Garrison for the Dec. 17 traffic stop who indicated getting drunken drivers off the roadways is the state patrol’s number one concern.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Trooper Clark,” Garrison said in a prepared statement. “Impaired driving is a leading factor in Washington traffic deaths.

Clark, who comes from Vancouver, is one of four newly commissioned troopers who began working in Chehalis earlier this month.

The graduation ceremony was actually on a Friday, and the DUI arrest came the following Monday after the new troopers met with their commanders in Vancouver and then headed out on patrol.

The four are among 37 cadets who were part of the 100th graduating trooper basic class.

Also new to the Chehalis detachment are:

• Jessica L. Dizon, from Olympia

• Aleksandr V. Ignatov,  from Vancouver

• Blake A. Willson, from Chehalis

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News brief: Unwanted firearms disposal offered by Thurston County

Monday, December 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Got an old gun laying around you’d like to get rid of?

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office will take it off your hands, if you like.

Their first ever public event to give citizens the opportunity to dispose of unwanted firearms or ammunition is set for next month.

While they won’t pay you for it, they will have free gun locks to give away. And their SWAT and dive teams will put some of their equipment on display.

It happens on Jan. 19, a Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the McLane Fire Department at 125 Delphi Road NW, Olympia.

Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin says the gun givers can choose if their donated weapon gets traded for ammunition for deputies to use in training or gets destroyed.

“If you want it ground up, we’ll do that,” Elwin said.

If it’s traded, it will go to a vendor who will resell it, he said.

Also on hand the same day will be a collection bin for unwanted or old prescription drugs as well as a child identification program provided by Olympia-Thurston County Crime Stoppers.