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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, August 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm

STAND OFF IN TOLEDO ENDS WITH ARREST

• Deputies called to a dispute in Toledo on Friday evening finally entered a home and arrested  21-year-old man who had allegedly threatened to shoot deputies if they didn’t leave, saying he had a rifle and knew how to use it, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. Law was called about 5:15 p.m. to the 400 block of Collins Road by a man who said his son was drunk and out of control, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Darrell R. Jackson refused to come out of the house, also saying he would die protecting his house, Brown said. Jackson was arrested without further incident and booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree malicious mischief, domestic violence, according to Brown. A large picture window was broken during the incident, she said.

THREAT GETS MAN JAILED

• A 24-year-old man was arrested for harassment on Sunday after he allegedly threatened to kill a woman and her daughter. Seth T. Lloyd, who lives at various times in both Centralia and Chehalis according to police, was booked into the Lewis County Jail. The woman was an acquaintance who had let Lloyd stay at her home in Chehalis, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LOGGING EQUIPMENT CUT UP, SOLD FOR SCRAP

• A 41-year-old man from Oakville was arrested for first-degree theft after he allegedly took a cutting torch into the woods near Garrard Creek Road and took apart a piece of logging equipment, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. The item, called a “log bunker” is valued at about $8,000, and the scrap value of its metal estimated at $500, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The theft occurred between July 18 and 19, and on Friday, deputies arrested Mark Schweitzer, according to Brown. He reportedly sold the material belonging to Weyerhaeuser to a scrap yard in Thurston County. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

ROLEX WATCHES TAKEN IN BURGLARY

• Police were called about 10:25 p.m. yesterday about a burglary on the 2300 block of Schueber Ridge Court in Centralia. Missing from sometime during the previous three days were two Rolex watches and a gold cross, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWLS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging people to lock their car doors when they park, especially at the Rails to Trails parking area off Highway 603 as they’ve had numerous reports of thefts there. Sometime between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, a Centralia man found someone had gotten inside his vehicle and taken his wallet and other items; it was not locked, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning.

• Somebody stole two tires, with their rims, and several items from inside a car – among them a CD player and approximately 1,100 CDs and DVDs – at the 500 block of the Toledo-Vader Road, according to a report made to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office on Friday. It happened sometime between Wednesday and Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Medication was stolen in a car prowl on the 600 block of Temple Avenue in Morton, according to a report made to police on Wednesday.

• A car stereo and gasoline were taken from a vehicle stored at the 800 block of Adams Avenue in Morton, according to a report made to police on Wednesday.

• Police called to the 600 block of Adams Avenue in Morton were told someone took a purse from the front seat of a vehicle there, the Morton Police Department reported today. It was reported last Monday.

VANDALISM

• A 28-year-old Centralia resident was arrested about 3:40 a.m. on Sunday after he allegedly broke a window out of a vacant house on the 900 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia while intoxicated. Aaron S. VanTuyl was cited for third-degree malicious and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called Saturday afternoon to the 300 block of Southwest Ninth Street in Chehalis where someone had slashed all four tires on a vehicle and scratched the word “hore” in the paint.

GUN, MARIJUANA LEAD TO JAIL

• A 19-year-old Centralia man was arrested for “dangerous weapon” after a pistol was discovered on his person early Sunday morning in Centralia, according to police. Tanner Z. R. Russell was booked into the Lewis County Jail also for possession of marijuana and burglary tools after contact with an officer about 2 a.m. at the 700 block of Harrison Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE VERSUS BUILDING IN CENTRALIA

• Police were called about 4:40 p.m. yesterday to McDonalds on the 1200 block of Lum Road in Centralia after a driver ran into the side of the building. The driver thought the vehicle was in reverse but it was not, according to police. There were only minor injuries and minimal damage, according to authorities.

WRECK

• A woman said her floor mat lodged against the accelerator as she was traveling down a hill on the 100 block of Nikula Road in Winlock on Saturday night causing her to run into a power pole and a guard rail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called about 10:30 p.m. reported the 44-year-old driver was uninjured, according to the sheriff’s office

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Child arrested for setting fire during church in Pe Ell

Monday, August 29, 2011 at 9:45 am

Updated 1:13 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Pe Ell church was evacuated during Sunday morning services yesterday when a fire broke out in a classroom area used for storage.

Nobody was injured but the blaze did an estimated $10,000 damage at the New Harvest Assembly of God Church on the 100 block of Mauermann Road, according to authorities.

An 11-year-old boy believed to have started the fire was arrested.

Three members of the fire department were at church when it happened about 10:30 a.m., according to Lewis County Fire District 11 Chief Michael Krafczyk.

One left and got the ambulance, another retrieved the fire engine and Assistant Chief Michael Davis used a fire extinguisher and then a garden hose through a window to knock down the flames, Krafczyk said.

The chief estimated 150 individuals were inside when it occurred. The pastor is a firefighter from a nearby district as well, he said.

“Everybody stayed real calm, got everybody out in an orderly fashion,” Krafczyk said. “Nobody got hurt, that was the important thing.”

The room that burned was across from the nursery, Krafczyk said.

A plastic tree caught fire, light fixtures melted and flames spread up the wall, according to Fire Investigator Jay Birley. The person who discovered it saw smoke all the way down to about three feet above the floor level, he said.

Firefighters got out their big hose, but didn’t need to use it, according to the chief. They borrowed a thermal imaging camera from District 16 and tore out some of the ceiling to make sure nothing more was smoldering, he said.

The storage room will likely need new sheetrock, and some of the rest of the building will probably need repainting because of smoke damage, according to Krafczyk.

A sheriff’s deputy was called as it was suspected to have been intentionally set and the deputy interviewed the 11-year-old boy, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning.

The child admitted he started the fire with matches he found in one of the rooms, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

He was arrested for second-degree arson and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, Brown said.

Brown said the boy did not say why he did it, but he has had some problems with starting fires at home previously.

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Read about Steven Moulton’s competency for trial still a question …

Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports a judge won’t decide until next month if 22-year-old Steven Moulton of Morton is mentally competent to stand trial for his alleged July attack on an  8-year-old boy in a ballpark restroom in Castle Rock.

News reporter Tony Lystra writes the evaluation from Western State Hospital has been completed.

A hearing was set for Thursday, but was put over until Sept. 22 in Cowlitz County Superior Court, according to Cowlitz County Prosecutor Sue Baur.

Moulton has a pending case in Lewis County from last summer when he was found inside a park bathroom stall in Morton with an 8-year-old boy.

He is also accused of a June 27 incident at the Maytown rest area north of Centralia in which authorities say he groped and kissed a 9-year-old boy.

Moulton has previously been found not competent due to a developmental disability.

Read Lystra’s news story from The (Longview) Daily News on Sunday August 28, 2011 at 8:30 p.m., here

•••

Read:
• “Breaking news: Morton’s Steve Moulton a suspect in a third bathroom assault” from Friday July 15, 2011, here
• “Castle Rock public bathroom attack suspect charged with kidnap, assault, molestation” from Thursday July 14, 2011, here
• ” ‘Developmental delays’ may put alleged attack in Morton park restroom case on hold” from Friday Nov. 26, 2010, here

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Lewis County public works director sued for gender, age discrimination

Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A former Lewis County employee has filed a lawsuit against the county’s director of public works alleging discrimination, a hostile work environment and retaliation.

Cyndi Ticknor names Lewis County, its Department of Public Works and its director, Tim Elsea, in the suit filed earlier this month in Lewis County Superior Court.

Ticknor, according to court documents, is the former Lewis County Maintenance and Operations Superintendent, a job from which Elsea demoted her in June of last year.

Her attorney writes she was the first woman to hold the position, and the alleged unprofessional behavior that led to her demotion was similar to conduct condoned by or ignored by superiors when engaged in by male co-workers.

When he disciplined her, Elsea was “well aware many male employees had exhibited similar if not more egregious behavior and not been subject to discipline,” her attorney alleges.

Ticknor, 48, is asking for damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

She didn’t respond to attempts to contact her for comment. Elsea said last week he isn’t in a position to speak about the lawsuit.

Lewis County commissioners have approved a resolution providing Elsea legal representation by a Seattle law firm.

Ticknor’s Olympia attorney Christopher Coker writes in the complaint that prior to the demotion, during her 15-year tenure, Ticknor’s personnel record was impeccable.

According to Coker, Ticknor worked as a senior transportation dispatcher for the county, and through her “hard work and determination” was promoted several times.

In 2002, she was made fleet manager, the first woman to hold the position, and in 2007, promoted to Lewis County maintenance and operations superintendent, also the first female to hold that job, according to Coker.

She worked in a male-dominated environment, often exposed to yelling, profanity and similar behaviors, he writes. She acted in a manner consistent to her male co-workers to fit in and earn their respect, he writes.

“She admits at times her language was strong, but no different than any of her male co-workers,” Coker writes.

Tim Elsea was hired June 1, 2010 as public works director and county engineer.

Elsea said last week Ticknor was on leave when he was hired, and he completed the investigation that led to her demotion.

The document outlines Ticknor’s responses to the demotion as her submission of written responses, which her attorney says resulted in escalating harassment, bullying and retaliation.

After she finally saw a copy of the investigation, she was disturbed by the “baseless and unfounded allegations” against her and last August, she submitted a rebuttal document to the county risk management department, Coker writes.

The lawyer writes that on Sept. 2, Elsea took her out a training session and into a meeting room at the fairgrounds where he “proceeded to intimidate, threaten and verbally abuse” her about her rebuttal. The same day, Elsea followed her to lunch and waited in parking lot, something she thought was meant to further intimidate her, Coker writes.

Ticknor applied for leave, and in October filed a formal complaint with the county alleging retaliation, harassment, age and gender discrimination.

On Nov. 24, 2010, she was terminated

Ticknor’s civil complaint alleges Elsea and the county failed to adequately investigate her allegations, but instead put her on leave and investigated her.

Her attorney claims she suffered damages – including prolonged stress and humiliation – and is asking for compensation for various damages, among them lost wages, benefits and attorney fees.

Elsea is required to file an answer in Lewis County Superior Court to her complaint by the end of the month.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm

BIKE VERSUS TRUCK IN CENTRALIA

• A 71-year-old Centralia man was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with leg injuries and “road rash” after the bicycle he was riding yesterday collided with a delivery truck at the intersection of East Reynolds Avenue and North Pearl Street around 1:35 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department. The truck driver was not cited, police reported.

THEFT

• Police were called to a car prowl on the 300 block of Iron Street in Centralia yesterday. Someone rummaged through the vehicle and took some deposit slips, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 9:20 a.m. yesterday about a car prowl on the 1100 block of H Street in Centralia, according to police A stereo was taken.

HAY TRUCK FIRE IN NAPAVINE

• About 14 bales of hay and the wood decking on a trailer were destroyed in a vehicle fire in Napavine yesterday evening. Lewis County Fire District 5 called about 5:35 p.m. to the fire at Highway 603 and Meadow Lane were joined by members of Fire Districts 15 and 6, according to Fire Lt. Laura Hanson. Heavy equipment had to be used to break up the smoldering hay and both lanes were blocked for a period of time, according to Hanson. No injuries were reported.

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Bales of hay are removed from a truck and broken apart after a fire. / Courtesy photo by Maleah Heldreth

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Cause of Toledo fire under investigation

Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm
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The building belonging to Volunteer Firefighter Nicholas Delin was pushed over after it was destroyed by fire early Thursday.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

TOLEDO – Police Chief John Brockmueller and Officer Sam Patrick planned to start digging today through the rubble that is left of the commercial structure that burned in downtown Toledo early Thursday morning.

What remained after the overnight fire had to be pushed down with heavy equipment on Thursday to make it safe to poke around in, Brockmueller said yesterday.

The cause is unknown, Brockmueller said.

“We’re gathering information, doing interviews and what-not, trying to figure it out,” the chief said.

The building belongs to Volunteer Firefighter Nicholas Delin, of Toledo, who recently shut down Toledo Hardware around the corner.

Lewis County Fire District 2 Chief Grant Wiltbank said it was used as storage for liquidation sales.

Brockmueller said Delin had a similar building that was lost in a fire in Winlock about three years ago.

Firefighters from Districts 2, 5, 7 and 5 were called out just before 1 a.m. on Thursday to the corner of Augustus Street and Ramsey Way – formerly Second Street in downtown.

Neighbors reported hearing explosions; crews battled the blaze defensively, meaning they worked simply to keep adjacent structures from catching fire.

One District 2 firefighter suffering from dehydration was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital for observation, according to Wiltbank.

It’s the third building on the west side of the block to be destroyed by fire in recent months. Only Timberland Bank remains on the corner at Kellogg Way – also state Route 505.

A three-alarm fire on Christmas morning swept through the former Masonic building that held Cowlitz River Antiques and the adjacent Used Book Store.

Toledo Police Officer Patrick is a trained fire investigator; Brockmueller will be assisting him to find what caused the fire.

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Tavern owner Jack Leduc snapped this photo with his phone early Thursday morning.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 26, 2011 at 10:11 am

Updated at 4:15 p.m.

KITCHEN BURNS IN NAPAVINE

• A Napavine family was put up by the Red Cross last night after a fire broke out in the kitchen of their mobile home yesterday evening. Lewis County Fire District 5 was called at 6:55 p.m. to the home on the 800 block of Fourth Avenue. When firefighters arrived, the occupants were outside and the home was filled with smoke, according to Firefighter Brad Bozarth. The mother had been cooking and stepped outside to check BBQ and when she returned saw flames, according to Bozarth. It started on the stove and extended into the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling, he said. A small girl was checked out by responders because she had been inside when it started, but she was fine, he said.

ROCKS AND BROKEN WINDOWS

• Police were called about 2:20 a.m. today to the 2400 block of Seward Avenue in Centralia where a resident said he saw a neighbor throw a rock through a window of his house from inside the carport. Mitchell W. Sinclair, 43, had been at the property earlier in the day and because of an argument, told by police not to return, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sinclair this morning was booked into the Lewis County Jail for burglary, because he did return, Officer John Panco said.

• Centralia police were called about 6:30 this morning to the 1100 block of G Street where a rock was thrown through a truck window overnight.

• An officer was called to the 2400 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia about 6:30 p.m. yesterday where the side window of a vehicle was found broken out.

THEFT

• Police were called to a car prowl on the 1500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia yesterday. Sometime between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., someone got inside and took a GPS unit, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday to the 100 block of Southwest Ninth Street about a car prowl. A stereo and the remote to a garage door were missing, according to police.

GRASS FIRE ON RR TRACKS

• Lewis County Fire District 5 was called about 3:20 p.m. yesterday to a brush fire on the railroad tracks at Lindbeck Road near Napavine. Firefighter Brad Bozarth said the flames had spread to about 60 feet by 30 feet from the grass and were headed into the trees. It appeared to have begun from someone who had a burn pile going days earlier, he said.

WRECKS

• A 31-year-old Chehalis woman ran into a power pole so hard last night near Toledo it snapped the top off, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies called just after 11 p.m. to the 200 block of Collins Road were told by Dawn M. Barnett she was texting before she hit the pole, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. There was front end damage to her car and she was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with unknown injuries, Brown said.

• A 16-year-old Chehalis boy was flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after he wrecked his motorcycle on the 200 block of Frogner Road west of Chehalis yesterday. A deputy called about 6 p.m. noted he was traveling southbound, rounded a corner and hit a ditch, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

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News brief: Chehalis gunshot still death still under investigation

Friday, August 26, 2011 at 10:08 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 59-year-old woman found dead in her Chehalis apartment last Friday died from a gunshot wound through her mouth, according to the Lewis County Coroner’s Office.

Chehalis police are continuing to investigate the death, but at this time aren’t looking for a suspect, detective Sgt. Rick McNamara said today. It appears preliminarily to be suicide, he said.

Police are sending the gun off for testing, according to McNamara. They are also still waiting for a report from the coroner following Monday’s autopsy.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said the cause is the gunshot and the determination of the manner of death is pending the results of the police investigation.

Police were called after the woman was found by her husband in the apartment on the 400 block in between Market Boulevard and Pacific Avenue. A handgun was found at the scene, according to McNamara.

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News brief: 911 remembrance to be held at fairgrounds

Friday, August 26, 2011 at 9:52 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A remembrance ceremony on the 10th anniversary of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 is set to be held at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds.

The 1 p.m. program is being organized by the Lewis County Fallen Heroes Committee and United Way.

Expect a speaker who was present at “ground zero”, pipes and drums and a reading of first responder’s names.

Commemorative T-shirts will be sold to benefit the Fallen Heroes fund, a fund that assists the families of fallen heros in Lewis County and throughout the state, according to United Way Director Debbie Campbell. Donations will be accepted.

The event, and parking, is free.

Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and activities will continue after the program, to include live music.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 10:31 am

CENTRALIA HOME BURGLED WHILE WOMAN SLEEPS

• A woman woke up yesterday morning to find someone had come in her Centralia home overnight and stolen her purse, her car keys and then driven away with her SUV. Also missing from the residence on the 800 block of Park Way was a computer, football gear and other items, according  to the Centralia Police Department.  A door had been left unlocked, Officer John Panco said.The missing 2002 Nissan Xterra was spotted by an officer around 1 p.m. parked on the 400 block of North Buckner Street, Panco said. A man near the vehicle fled on foot as the officer was about to contact him, according to Panco. A 27-year-old man was tracked down and captured about an hour later by a police dog; he was hiding in bushes on the same block, Panco said. A search of a home on the 400 block of North Buckner Street turned up most of the stolen items, police reported. Christopher L. Wessels, listed as transient, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for burglary and vehicle theft, according to police.

AUTO THEFT

• Police were called just before 11 a.m. yesterday about a stolen vehicle from the 900 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia. Missing is a silver 1992 Toyota Forerunner with a license plate of 644 WZQ, according  to the Centralia Police Department. The vehicle has a faded blue stripe running down the side.

DRUGS

• A 34-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine last night in Centralia. Christopher A. Snipes was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer just before 9 p.m. at East First Street and North Tower Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

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News brief: Downtown Toledo business burns overnight

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 9:10 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An overnight fire in Toledo destroyed a commercial structure owned by one of it’s own volunteer firefighters, according to Chief Grant Wiltbank.

Firefighters were called around 12:30 a.m. to the building on Ramsey Way, next door to the historic buildings that burned on Christmas Day, Wiltbank said.

The chief wasn’t on the scene, but said it was his understanding the building was fully involved in flames when crews arrived. They fought it defensively, meaning they worked simply to keep adjacent structures from catching fire, he said.

One engine remained on the scene this morning, he said.

The business was like a liquidator, he said, and among the items the building contained were like 200 doors, he said.

There’s not word yet as to the cause, he said.

King5.com has video footage of the blaze. See it here

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“Real heroes” honored by local Red Cross

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm
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Byron Wilson, with his mother Jessica Mullins beside him, is among several local people honored for saving lives.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Eleven individuals were honored yesterday for acts that saved a life or made a difference in someone’s life at the Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast of Lewis County.

The event held annually at Centralia High School is a fundraiser for the American Red Cross Mount Rainier Chapter, meant also to inspire folks to prepare for the unexpected, for example by taking a course in CPR.

A huge audience heard the following stories yesterday:

Lifesaver Rescue Hero
Terry Boyet

Boyet, an off-duty firefighter-paramedic, was with his family at the Tilton River in Morton over the Fourth-of-July holiday when he noticed a teenage boy thrashing in the water as if he were drowning.

A fully clothed Boyet jumped into the river, retrieved the teenager and pushed him toward his parents.

Workplace Safety Heroes
Kristina Maxwell and Nancy Owens

Maxwell, an employee at Thorbeckes Fitlife Center in Centralia and Owens, a nurse, went to the aid of a man who collapsed while working out at the gym in June.

The women performed hands-only CPR for 10 to 15 minutes, for the man was breathing on his own when medics arrived.

Fire Rescue Hero
Byron Wilson

Byron, 4, saw flames smoldering in a crawl space and yelled to wake up eight family members who safely escaped their burning home in Ethel in January.

His shouting alerted his family even before the smoke alarm was triggered.

Spirit of Red Cross Hero
Chief Matt Hadaller

Hadaller exemplifies the award for his contributions to the citizens and the fire service he served for 26 years.

The work of the chief of Lewis County Fire District 3 in Mossyrock was cut short when he suffered a heart attack while at home, on call and died June 27.

Water Rescue Hero
Randy LeDuc

LeDuc was fishing on the Cowlitz River in July of last year when he saw a jet boat that had slammed into a stump and was taking on water.

In the strong current, he steered his boat to the two fisherman and helped free their boat.

Medical Rescue Heroes
Jordan Beaver, Mary Buzzard, Jerry Rader, Wendy Rader

The four were at work at Cardinal Glass in Winlock when a co-worker collapsed in December.

They performed CPR for nearly 10 minutes on George Ruff until paramedics arrived. Today, Ruff is back on the job.

Youth Humanitarian Hero
Nicole Beck

Seventeen-year-old Nicole, diagnosed in February with cancer, was awarded a “wish” from the Make-a-Wish foundation, and gave it away.

The W.F. West High School student is using the money from the foundation to upgrade the six tennis courts at her school.

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News brief: Burn ban begins today

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 4:07 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An outdoor burn ban went into effect in Lewis County at 12:01 a.m. today.

Dry conditions have created what the Lewis County fire marshall calls substantial fire danger throughout the county.

Still allowed are recreational fires in approved campfire sites or approved receptacles, according to the fire marshal. Those with questions can call Fire Marshal Fred Chapman at 360-740-1146.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm

INTOXICATED MAN ARRESTED FOR THREATS TO KILL

• A 51-year-old Chehalis man was jailed yesterday after he allegedly made threats to kill his wife – reportedly overheard by a 911 dispatcher – and also the deputy who detained him. The sheriff’s office called just after 9 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of North Prairie Road in Chehalis arrested Thomas H. Erickson, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Because he was intoxicated, he was taken to the hospital to be medically “cleared” before he could be booked into the jail, according to Brown. Along the way, Erickson allegedly told the deputy he knew where the deputy lived and was going to kill him and his family, Brown said. Erickson was reportedly uncooperative and was physically removed from the patrol vehicle and taken into the hospital, Brown said. He was subsequently booked for felony harassment and fourth-degree assault, Brown said.

POLICE: BAND OF BURGLARS CAUGHT ON VIDEO

• Five teenagers were arrested yesterday afternoon on Main Street in Centralia as police investigated burglaries at an unoccupied home on the 1000 block of Eckerson Road in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. The owner had set up a so-called game cam that captured images of four boys and a girl carrying boxes out yesterday and the day before, according to Officer John Panco. The stolen goods were for a garage sale, Panco said. The faces were recognizable, leading officers to a group of 14 and 15 year olds from Centralia and Chehalis, according to Panco. They were all booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for burglary, he said.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 8 p.m. yesterday to a burglary at a home on the 1000 block of South Tower Avenue. Someone forced their way through the back door and stole CDs and movies, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A deputy was called yesterday morning about stolen custom tools and a remote control for a rock crusher near Scanewa Lake south of Glenoma and Randle. The victim told a deputy the Komatsu machine was parked off Forest Service 240 Road off Falls Road and the items from its toolbox vanished sometime since Thursday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The tools are steel and heavy, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The loss is roughly estimated at $5,000.

• Tools were taken when a shop was broken into at the 1000 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, police were told about 8:30 p.m. yesterday.

• Chehalis police were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to the 300 block of South Market Boulevard about a chop saw stolen from the back of a truck.

• Police were called about 4:15 p.m. yesterday to a parking lot on the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis where a purse had been taken from a vehicle.

DRUGS

• A 20-year-old Rochester resident was arrested for possession of methamphetamine about 1 p.m. yesterday at the 2000 block of North Pearl Street, according to Centralia police. Jesse A. Ruege was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CENTRALIA BUSINESS SHOT UP WITH BBs

• Police were called to a business on the 100 block of Pine Street in Centralia yesterday morning where eight windows had been shot with BBs.

BIG RIG WRECKS ON I-5 NEAR VADER

• The Washington State Patrol said a semi truck was totaled when it struck an overpass on northbound Interstate 5 near Vader yesterday. Troopers called at 3 p.m. to the scene near milepost 60 reported the driver appeared to have no injuries, but was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital as a precautionary measure. The crash was blamed on inattention.

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Medical marijuana users rally in Centralia

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 11:19 am
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Advocates for medical marijuana wave to passing motorists outside Centralia City Hall.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – A small group of medical marijuana users held a little “rally” across from Centralia City Hall yesterday hoping to gain support for making the substance easier rather than harder to obtain.

“Really, we just want to end criminal penalties for adults who use medical marijuana,” 34-year-old Ryan Shewell of Chehalis said.

Shewell, who organized the gathering, was pleasantly surprised to learn after they arrived the city council was scheduled last night to have the issue on its agenda.

Shewell prefers marijuana to the Vicodin and Percocet he takes for phantom pain; he lost his lower legs and fingers to a disease he contracted as a child.

“I take a handful pills, and they’re killing my liver,” Shewell said.

He’s been fairly active in initiative campaigns and voicing his opinion.

He was one of only two people who spoke at a public hearing last week held by the Lewis County Commissioners on the topic of collective medical marijuana gardens.

Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield told the three county commissioners he thinks more harm than good will come out of the new state law went into effect on July 22, but he wants to make the best out of a bad situation as the county considers how to reconcile conflicting federal and state law on the subject.

Shewell told the commissioners collective gardens are not a problem, but a solution for those like him who can’t easily grow their own.

Yesterday, the dozen or so individuals who joined Shewell in Centralia voiced similar thoughts, but the placards they held up to passing passing motorists broadcast a variety of philosophies, such as:

“Cannabis Cures” and “Help end marijuana prohibition” and “No prison for pot”.

And not all were willing to speak quite as openly as Shewell.

“Please don’t use my last name, I have a job,” one woman from Rochester said.

“I really don’t want to tell you my last name, cause of the feds,” a 56-year-old Centralia man in a wheelchair said.

Several of them however enthusiastically spoke of what they viewed as signs of support from passing motorists on Pearl and Maple streets.

“We’ve got nothing but high-5′s, peace signs, smiles and honks,” Sarena Haskins of Rochester said. She’s an activist who focuses on Lewis County for a group called Sensible Washington.

Shewell said only “a couple” of drivers flipped them off.

The city council last night passed a six-month moratorium on collective gardens, A public hearing will be held Sept. 27 on the topic.

They are approaching it similar to the county, according to City Attorney Shannon Murphy-Olson.

Lewis County commissioners last week enacted a 60-day moratorium, while the sheriff’s office, the prosecutor’s office and likely the planning commission devise a plan.

•••

For more about the county plans, read “County leaders want your opinions on how to grow (medical) marijuana” from Tuesday Aug. 2, 2011, here

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A medical marijuana user displays her sign at the corner of Pearl and Maple streets.

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Mossyrock man gets a year in jail for encounter with police chief

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm
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Mossyrock Police Chief Jeremy Stamper is surrounded by police, deputies and troopers after today's sentencing of Wayne Burdette.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – More than two dozen uniformed law enforcement officers dominated the courtroom gallery, figuratively and then literally standing behind Mossyrock Police Chief Jeremy Stamper today.

They were there to observe the sentencing of Wayne Burdette, a 44-year-old man convicted last week of obstruction and acquitted of a more serious charge of felony harassment.

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Wayne Burdette

The charges stemmed from a June traffic stop in which Burdette got out of his truck with his right hand behind his back and advanced on Stamper – after being told to stay put – prompting the officer to draw his pistol and retreat behind his patrol car. Burdette was arguing he wanted to see the radar reading.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher told the judge Burdette willfully and egregiously placed the officer in fear he was going to be shot.

Meagher asked the judge to send Burdette to jail for one year, the maximum amount allowed for the crime of obstruction, saying the judge needed to send a message.

“You and I have a bad day (at work), I go home with a headache,” Meagher said. “This officer has a bad day, he may not go home.”

Meagher had argued unsuccessfully in the trial last week in Lewis County Superior Court that Burdette’s actions and manner amounted to a threat to kill.

Defense attorney Ken Johnson this morning reminded the court Burdette was convicted of a gross misdemeanor, not the other charge and suggested the punishment should fit the crime.

The delay in the speeding ticket getting issued was not extensive, Johnson said.

Normally obstruction would be dealt with in District Court and the outcome might be two days in jail with the balance suspended, he said. His client has already been held for 71 days, he said.

Since the judge agreed to consider writings found in Burdette’s home, Johnson said he needed to explain some background.

Johnson told the judge Burdette has experienced police misconduct first-hand, which colors his view of officers, and has been seeking avenues of redress.

“There is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it,” Johnson said. “Clearly arguing on the side of the road is the wrong way.”

Stamper asked Judge Richard Brosey for a sentence of one year, telling the judge Burdette is a danger.

“This guy is gonna kill one of us, given the first opportunity,” Stamper said.

Burdette took the judge up on his offer to comment.

“This is the third time I’ve been chained and caged,” he said.

“Words just really fail me, because what do you do about incompetence? What rights do you have?” Burdette asked.

Judge Brosey offered a lengthy soliloquy, telling Burdette that whatever may have occurred in the past elsewhere had nothing to do with any officers in Lewis County.

“Just because they choose to wear a uniform doesn’t make them inherently evil or out to get you,” Brosey said.

Brosey told him if he has issues with cops, he needs to take it up in court.

“You got a fair trial, perhaps the fairest I’ve ever seen,” he said. “That doesn’t alter the fact you did in fact obstruct, and you’re darn lucky you’re not dead.”

Brosey gave him 365 days in jail, with credit for time served.

The judge and the defendant exchanged more words after a statement was read about his appeal rights.

“You can say all the pretty legal words you want but it does not make it justice,” Burdette said.

Brosey once again tried to convince Burdette the system works, although it’s not fast or easy. And then the hearing was over.

“We’re done,” Brosey said.

•••

For more background, see “Breaking news: Burdette: Acquitted of felony harassment” from Friday August 19, 2011 at 5:23 p.m., here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

THEFT

• A deep-fat kitchen fryer, a stereo and small amount of cash were taken when someone burglarized a Centralia restaurant, according to police. An officer called yesterday to the business on the 700 block of North Tower Avenue was told a door had been left unlocked overnight.

• Centralia police were called about 9:50 p.m. last night to the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue where someone stole two computers in a backpack from inside a vehicle. They broke the truck’s window to get in, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning of a catalytic converter being stolen from a vehicle on the 1000 block of Mellen Street.

• The Morton Police Department reports that tools and equipment were missing from a storage unit at the 700 block of Airport Way in Morton. An officer who took a report last Wednesday was told it happened sometime since 2009, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning to the alley behind Southwest William Avenue about several “outbuildings” being tagged over the weekend.

• A driver reported their car was “egged” as they were traveling on the 800 block of Main Avenue in Morton last week, according to the Morton Police Department.

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News brief: Semi versus car on I-5 at Chehalis

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11:55 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Winlock man escaped with a bruise on the arm but his car was totaled when a semi truck changing lanes on Interstate 5 hit him overnight.

Harry B. Allen, 61, was southbound near Chehalis’s Main Street interchange as was a 2005 Peterbilt tractor-trailer, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Allen’s 2006 Ford Fusion rotated off the front of the truck and hit the median facing backward, according to the state patrol.

A trooper called to the scene at 2:35 a.m. cited the Twin Falls, Idaho truck driver for an unsafe lane change, the state patrol reported.

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Home remedy for pest removal leads to explosion in Centralia

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11:24 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A woman’s hair was singed when a man poured gasoline down his chimney in Centralia last night, causing an explosion that blew the insert right out of the fireplace.

It normally takes two grown men to move a fireplace insert, they’re heavy, Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Scott Weinert said. But when the fuel hit the fireplace, the blast shot the insert out about four feet into the room, he said.

“It was heard by a lot of people, it rocked the area a little,”  Weinert said.

The resident on the 200 block of West Walnut Street had a bees nest in the chimney and had started a fire to smoke the bees out, according to Weinert.

“That didn’t work, so he went up on the roof and poured old gasoline down the chimney,” he said.

No serious injuries were reported.

Firefighters who responded to the 7:43 p.m. call recommended he get his chimney inspected before using it again.

The resident said he thought since the fuel was old, it would be okay, Weinert said.

The man may need to call a professional exterminator as well; the bees survived, according to Weinert.

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News brief: Police investigating gunshot death in Chehalis

Monday, August 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Chehalis police are investigating the apparent gunshot death of a 59-year-old woman in Chehalis on Friday.

Police were called about 3 p.m. to her apartment on the 400 block in between Market Boulevard and Pacific Avenue, according to detective Sgt. Rick McNamara.

She was found by her husband and as far as he knows, there were no witnesses, McNamara said. A handgun was found as well, he said.

An autopsy is being conducted today, he said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, August 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm

MAN AIRLIFTED AFTER CAMPFIRE ACCIDENT

• A 41-year-old man from Roy was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the sleeping man accidentally rolled into a campfire igniting his clothing in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest near Ashford on Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said it was about 6:30 a.m. at Cora Lake and the man’s brother threw him into the lake and then ran approximately six miles to use  telephone to call for help. An aid crew from Pierce County packed the man out, according to the sheriff’s office. Neither his name nor details about the extent of his injuries were released. Brown said there had been drinking going on the night before.

THEFT

• A 26-year-old Napavine resident was arrested yesterday after he allegedly forcibly took a purse from his ex-girlfriend at the 200 block of West Fir Street in Napavine. The contents were scattered in the yard and there was roughly $400 in the purse, according to Napavine police. It was related to an argument about money, and possibly about a dog, Officer Silas Elwood said. David G. DeHaven, 26, was picked up later and booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree robbery, Elwood said. He is being released by the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office pending further investigation.

• Centralia police were called yesterday to a motel on the 1200 block of Alder Street where money had been stolen from a cash till overnight. The person who reported it said they had stepped out and someone came in through a window, according to police. The amount missing was not disclosed.

• A .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol was reported stolen from a home on the 2800 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia on Saturday evening. The victim said he returned after being away for a couple days and discovered the Federal Ordinance brand firearm missing, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police found no signs of forced entry into the residence.

• A deputy was called Saturday after somebody broke into a shop at a business on the 200 block of Hamilton Road in Chehalis and stole welding equipment and a 2001 Ford pickup truck. The deputy was told the break-in at RG Construction occurred sometime between 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $3,200.

• A 52-year-old Toledo man was arrested Saturday for trafficking in stolen property in connection with a burglary discovered Aug. 12 at a home on the 100 block of Plomondon Road. Some $5,500 of items including fishing reels and life jackets had been taken. Randy R. Blair was booked into the Lewis County Jail for allegedly trying to sell the items, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A green 1999 four-door Honda Accord was stolen from the 200 block of Rainier Vista Drive in Mineral sometime between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Rings, necklaces and bracelets were stolen from a home on the 1700 block of Cooks Hill Road in Centralia, according to a report made to Centralia police on Friday.

• A “yard vac” was stolen from a shed on the 1200 block of North Schueber Road in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Friday morning.

• Centralia police were called jut before 7 o’clock this morning about a car prowl on the 1100 block of South Tower Avenue. Nothing was actually missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called Friday about a car prowl on Southwest Saunders Way.

• Chehalis police were called to the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard at midnight on Saturday about a car prowl. Cigarettes, a coin purse and medication was reportedly missing.

NAPAVINE HIGH SCHOOL SPRAY PAINTED

• Somebody used blue and yellow spay paint and left graffiti at Napavine High School, on athletic facility buildings, according to police. It was reported Friday morning at the school on Fourth Avenue. An anarchy symbol left on the track and other designs appeared to be that of the Juggalos, a gang-like group of people who are followers of a band called the Insane Clown Posse, according to Officer Silas Elwood. Graffiti was also found on the scoreboard, he said. Images from a video tape appeared to be individuals older than high school age, he said.

DRUGS

• A 23-year-old Centralia resident was arrested about 3:15 a.m. on Sunday for possession of methamphetamine. Brandon W. Hackney was booked into the Lewis County Jail following contact with an officer on the 200 block of West Reynolds Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department. He is being released by the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office pending further investigation.

COLLISIONS

• A 15-year-old Tacoma boy who suffered broken leg bones in a motorcycle accident yesterday was found down a small embankment off a trail spur by individuals responding yesterday afternoon in north Skamania County. A deputy and fire personnel searched for the scene after an initial call for help about noontime, and took him to a trailhead, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened near Cat Creek off Forest Service Road 21, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The teenager was flown to a Yakima hospital, she said.

• A 24-year-old Centralia resident was hospitalized after a single-vehicle collision just before 6 p.m. on Sunday at the 200 block of Big Hanaford Road outside Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Shinell N. Englund swerved when a small animal crossed the road and drove into a ditch, the sheriff’s office reported. Englund was arrested for possession of marijuana and third-degree driving with a suspended license but not booked, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. She was admitted to the hospital for observation, Brown said.

• A 40-year-old Centralia man was arrested for driving under the influence after a two-car collision just before 8 p.m. on Friday at West Main and North Pearl streets in Centralia. Michael A. Kellogg ran a stop sign, according to Centralia police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for DUI and also for possession of marijuana, according to police.

VIOLATION OF PROTECTION ORDER, AGAIN

• John C. Baker, 68, of Centralia, was arrested and jailed Sunday morning for violating a protection order prohibiting him from going on property at the 1800 block of Van Wormer Street in Centralia, according to police. Baker, who lives nearby on Johnson Road and owns the Sticklin Greenwood cemetery there said Friday he has been arrested at least twice in the recent past for similar violations. Centralia Officer John Panco said the protected person is a 57-year-old woman, but Panco didn’t know if the woman was present when Baker reportedly went where he was not supposed to go.