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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AT CENTRALIA MOTEL

• A 23-year-old Chehalis man apparently angry because he thought the mother of his child was texting another man was arrested after police were called to Motel 6 in Centralia last night, where he had allegedly blocked her from leaving and then kicked in a door when she took her phone in the bathroom. Officers responding about 11:30 p.m. to the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue learned she was able to get out to her car where he broke the glass before he took off running, according to the Centralia Police Department. She thought he was going to kill her and the 5-year-old child was present when it occurred, police said. Subsequently located and booked into the Lewis County Jail was Nicholas L. Gonzalez, for felony harassment, unlawful imprisonment and second-degree malicious mischief, police said.

POLICE: TRIO BARGES INTO WOMAN’S HOME

• A 45-year-old Chehalis woman was hospitalized after a fracas last night at an apartment on the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue. Officers called about 10:40 p.m. were told two heavy set females and a male arrived and beat up the woman, according to the Chehalis Police Department. They apparently were trying to retrieve some property that belonged to someone else, according to police. “I don’t know what property they were after but they just barged in and committed assault, which is burglary,” detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. Arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail were Angela M. Johnson, 27, and Don K. Gonzales, 25, both from Chehalis and Saleana A. Valencia, 19, from Olympia, according to Wilson. Prosecutors declined to charge them and they were scheduled to be released today. Wilson said this morning he was still waiting to hear back from the hospital about the woman’s injuries.

UNPLANNED WARRANT SWEEP

• Centralia police ended up arresting three wanted men after a passenger of a vehicle they were watching at the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia jumped out and ran upstairs into a motel room. It happened about 1 p.m. yesterday at Motel 6 and the individual they were originally looking for wasn’t found until later in Bucoda, according to the Centralia Police Department. Dana M. Johnson, 33, a homeless person, was arrested and booked for outstanding warrants and for an earlier investigation of residential burglary, according to police. Sgt. Kurt Reichert said there were three people left in the car, which an officer held at gunpoint and when officers knocked on the motel room, they arrested others there. It appears there were about a half dozen altogether, but Reichert wasn’t certain if the passenger was among those arrested. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Stephen D. Pierce, 35 of Oakville, for an earlier investigation of burglary; Steven N. Romero, 20 of Centralia, for an earlier investigation of vehicle theft; and Forrest S. McMillian, 27 of Oakville, for several warrants, according to police.

SUSPECT SPEAKING IN TONGUES

• Chehalis police called about a skinny male who seemed to be speaking in tongues at about 12:45 p.m. yesterday arrested a 25-year-old homeless man who allegedly stole a backpack and also was seen on someone’s porch on Southwest Cascade Avenue attempting to take a bicycle which was chained up. Joshua E. Blankenship was arrested for third-degree theft and then released, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

STOLEN LICENSE PLATE

• Centralia police took a report about 5 p.m. yesterday regarding a license plate plate stolen off a vehicle at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue. The Washington state plate reads: B01598M, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ELDERLY PE ELL WOMAN VICTIMIZED BY BURGLAR

• Someone walked through an unlocked front door at a home in Pe Ell and stole a jewelry box from a bathroom in the master bedroom belonging to an 88-year-old woman. A deputy called to the 500 block of North Main Street learned the box contained about $3,000 worth of rings and necklaces, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. It happened between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

DRUGS

• A 38-year-old Chehalis resident wanted on a warrant was arrested after he was seen about 7:30 p.m. near Sixth Street and William Avenue; and a pipe was found with powder in it that field tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Kelly M. Davies was booked into the Lewis County Jail for the warrant and for possession of meth, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

PHONE SCAMMERS

• Centralia police took a report yesterday from the 200 block of Downing Road from an individual who said they got a phone call from someone saying their power bill was past due and if they didn’t pay $1,200, the electricity would be shut off. It was an attempted scam, according to the Centralia Police Department. The advice from police: If anyone calls you asking for money, you ought to first verify the information independently. “Don’t call them at the phone number they give you, look it up,” Sg. Kurt Reichert said.

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday afternoon from an individual on West Main Street about getting a phone call from someone posing as a representative of the Internal Revenue Service, who wanted money. Sgt. Gary Wilson said there’s not much local police can do in these types of situations, in part because sometimes the scammers are calling from a foreign country. “We just warn people, if the IRS calls you, it’s not the IRS,” he said. They contact people by mail, not over the telephone, he said.

CHEHALIS BUSINESS SETTLES VIOLATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIAL LAW

• The owners of Del’s Feed and Farm Supply Store in Chehalis agreed to pay a fine of $134,400 for failing to report it was storing more than 10,000 pounds of propane at each of five locations, including Chehalis, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. “Emergency responders rely on this information for their safety and to help protect nearby residents during an emergency, such as a fire or an earthquake,”  a spokesperson for the EPA said in a news release yesterday. Tractor Supply Company operates 18 Del’s Feed and Farm Supply Store in Washington and once made aware of the violations, quickly took steps to comply, according to EPA spokesperson Hanady Kader. Propane, sometimes referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas, or LPG, is highly flammable. Under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, facilities that store threshold quantities of certain hazardous chemicals are required to submit an inventory of each of those chemicals to the State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the local fire department.

WRECK

• Three people were hospitalized after a head-on crash last night in Winlock caused by an intoxicated underage driver that totaled two Honda Civics. A deputy responding about 9:20 p.m. to the 300 block of South Military Road concluded that the car carrying Enrique J. Hernandez, 20, and a 20-year-old passenger was traveling too fast and slid into the oncoming lane, running into a car driven by a 54-year-old man, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. All three are Winlock residents and were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the sheriff’s office. Hernandez was subsequently booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was also cited for not carrying liability insurance, she said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, shoplifting, broken vehicle window, collision on city street, someone taking a motor vehicle without permission, harassing phone calls, harassing texts, someone said they thought they witnessed a drug deal in a parking lot, a shoeless drunk man in a bar yelling and being rude, a drunken individual knocking on doors at an apartment building trying to get someone to put him up for the night … and more.

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News brief: Appeals judges reject each of Pe Ell man’s claims on rape conviction

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The former Pe Ell girls’ softball coach convicted two years ago of rape of a teenage team member lost his court appeal.

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Todd D. Phelps

Todd Phelps, 52, was sent to prison for six years after a trial that extended into eight days, where prosecutors described how he gradually seduced a 16-year-old troubled with low self esteem and ultimately had sex with her that was against her wishes.

The former log truck driver was convicted of third-degree rape and second-degree sexual misconduct in May 2012 in Lewis County Superior Court.

A three-member panel of the Washington State Court of Appeals unanimously rejected each of Phelps arguments. The opinion was issued yesterday.

The issues he raised were many. The appeal was countered by Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh.

Through his Olympia lawyers Jodi Backlund and Manek Mistry, Phelps claimed:

(1) the trial court violated his and the public’s right to an open and public trial during jury selection; (2) the trial court violated his right to be present during jury selection; (3) the information charging Phelps with second degree sexual misconduct with a minor was deficient; (4) the trial court failed to give a unanimity instruction for the second degree sexual misconduct with a minor charge; 5) the prosecutor committed misconduct during closing arguments, and (6) Phelps’s trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments.

The decision was authored by Judge Linda Cj Lee, with Judge Thomas R. Bjorgen and Judge Bradley A. Maxa concurring.
•••

For background, read “Pe Ell rape trial: Guilty as charged” from Friday April 27, 2012, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm

SKETCHY VAN

• Deputies have their eyes out for a dark green Chevrolet Astrovan that was seen seemingly suspicious at an Onalaska home yesterday and also pulling in and out of driveways on Davis Lake Road in Morton. A 28-year-old woman who believes its occupants were looking in her mailbox called 911 last night after she saw two males running from the back of her house and leaving in the van at about 7:15 p.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. That happened at the 3000 block of state Route 508, according to the sheriff’s office. The woman followed the vehicle to Cinebar Road and took a picture, but then got nervous because her children were with her, and returned home, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Nothing appeared to have been stolen, Brown said. The van has black running boards and the two men looked to be about 40 years old, of average height and weight, according to Brown. Anyone who sees it is asked to call the sheriff’s office right away, as deputies would like to speak with the men about their activities, Brown said.

DRUGS

• Centralia police responding about 5 p.m. yesterday to someone trying to break into vehicles in the parking lot at the Outlet mall on the 1300 block of Lum Road arrested a 47-year-old woman from Fife for possession of methamphetamine. A 40-year-old Tacoma man was arrested for a warrant and possession of PCP, but aid was called to evaluate him because he was lethargic. He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital to be checked out. Larry B. Robinson was subsequently booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Prosecutors declined to charge the woman and she is to be released.

BIG GUY WITH WARRANT

• Several law enforcement officers congregated in the area near Applebees in Chehalis yesterday afternoon when they learned from Portland police a man who had left the state of Oregon in violation of his probation was there with his wife, and she might be in danger. It was just before 3 p.m. at the 1600 block of Louisiana Avenue and the woman said she was fine but 27-year-old Jordan Solomon was taken into custody, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police said the 6-foot-6-inch tall man smashed his head against the inside of a patrol car window, popping it out. He was booked for his warrant and for third-degree malicious mischief, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. Wilson indicated Portland police were able to track the vehicle using its GPS system provider because the woman may have been endangered. He said the large police response was made because Solomon has a bad history with police.

YOUR MONEY’S NO GOOD HERE

• Centralia police arrested a 35-year-old Auburn man for counterfeiting after he allegedly tried to use fake bills to put money on his account at the jail early this morning, after they arrested him for a warrant. Prosecutors declined to file a criminal charge against him.

MOSSYROCK BREAK-IN

• Morton police report they are investigating a burglary discovered at a Mossyrock business about 6:45 a.m. on June 10, in the 100 block of East State Street. A door was kicked open and approximately $100 was missing, according to police.

MESSAGE FROM THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL

• Sales of consumer fireworks begin on June 28 at noon and end on July 5 at 11 p.m. A number of city and counties have restricted or banned the sale and discharge of fireworks. The state fire marshal recommends to always be sure to check with your local jurisdiction before using fireworks.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, misdemeanor theft such as a book, possible theft of money at a retail business, vehicle hitting mailbox on county road, graffiti in a bathroom at the college, teens on the roof of a school, deer running around on the road, concern about rats by an overflowing dumpster, concern about neighbor dogs without food or water … and more.

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Breaking news: Explosion at Maytown fireworks business injures three

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 11:22 am
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Airlift Northwest takes off with a patient headed to Harborview Medical Center. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

Updated at 1:39 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Three employees at a fireworks manufacturing company were injured this morning, one fatally, by an explosion and fire in Maytown, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies and firefighters were dispatched just before 10 o’clock to the incident at the 13000 block of Reeder Road; it happened at the front of an outbuilding belonging to the business, sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin said.

A witness who was doing work with a friend outside a house across the street said he heard about 15 commercial mortars. It went on for perhaps 20 seconds, 33-year-old Eathon Wesen of Napavine said.

“All the sudden there was like, boom, boom, boom,” Wesen said. “We looked over there, you could see fireworks going off like at ground level; well, about 10 to 12 feet in the air.”

A 74-year-old man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, but  died enroute, according to the sheriff’s office. Two males were taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

One of them, age 25, subsequently was flown to Harborview, according to Elwin. The third victim is a 52-year-old man with a burned hand, he said.

A spokesperson for West Thurston Regional Fire Authority said workers were inserting detonators into firework displays, to be used at a future event.

The fire chief was at a meeting at the station at the intersection of Maytown and Reeder roads, heard explosions and called 911 then responded, Lt. Lanette Dyer said.

Deputies have secured the scene and conducted an initial investigation, and are now waiting for investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm as well as the state Department of Labor and Industries according to Elwin.

Numerous employees are on the scene, he said. The company is Entertainment Fireworks, he said.

Elwin described the injuries as burns and concussion injuries.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Updated at 7:19 p.m.

POLICE: YOUNG MAN THREATENS TO CUT UP FATHER

• Deputies were called about 11 a.m. yesterday to a home in Mineral where a 22-year-old son had allegedly threatened to shoot his father and then himself. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said an argument took place at the parent’s home on the 200 block of Lutkens Road and the son, who is described as transient, reportedly told his 57-year-old father he was going to place duct tape over his mouth, cut him up and then use a gun. The father was able to go inside the residence and lock the doors to get away from his son, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Arriving deputies found Matthew C. Nyman standing on the front porch, arrested him for felony harassment and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to authorities. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello said it wasn’t clear from the reports what Nyman was upset over, but it appeared he may suffer from a mental health disorder. A judge ordered him held on $10,000 bail when he appeared in court this afternoon, charged with felony harassment, domestic violence. The judge also ordered him to have no contact with his father, Masiello said.

TV GONE

• Centralia police were called about 10:20 a.m. yesterday regarding a flat screen television taken from a room at the 1000 block of Eckerson Road in Centralia.

CHAINSAW GONE

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that someone stole a $900 Stihl chainsaw when they broke a padlock to a shed on the 100 block of Cinebar Road in East Lewis County. The victim said it happened between 3 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, according to the sheriff’s office.

FRAUD

• An individual called Centralia police yesterday from the 800 block of K Street to report he had learned from his bank someone back in 2010 filed taxes in Florida using his personal information, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DENT GETS MAN LOCKED UP

• A 33-year-old Centralia man was booked into jail last night for allegedly kicking a dent into someone’s vehicle. Centralia police called to the 1600 block of North Schueber Road about 9:20 p.m. arrested Ryan A. McCarter for third-degree malicious mischief and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

LOST AND FOUND

• A citizen turned into the Chehalis Police Department yesterday a small glass bottle of marijuana found on the side of the road at Southwest 11th Street and McFadden Avenue. Don’t bother checking with the lost and found there, police say, it will be destroyed. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said it may be legal for individuals to possess small amounts, but the state of the current law doesn’t mean officers can “deliver” marijuana to even its rightful owner.

TOO FAST FOR CORNER

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office responded yesterday to the 1500 block of Bishop Road south of Chehalis where the Kenworth tractor and trailer loaded with lumber tipped onto its side. The 57-year-old driver from Brigham City, Utah was southbound and traveling too fast for a sharp corner, the sheriff’s office said. He was reportedly uninjured. No ticket has yet been issued, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, misdemeanor assault; responses for suspicious circumstances, neighborhood parking issues, possible IRS scam over the telephone, an individual who rented a washer and dryer from a business and did not pay … and more.

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Read about Pacific County deputy accused of extortion …

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Aberdeen) Daily World reports that 11 criminal charges including extortion and bribery were filed yesterday against a Pacific County sheriff’s deputy following an investigation conducted by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at the Pacific County sheriff’s request.

The newspaper writes that Deputy Vance O. Johnson, 44, has been on administrative leave since April; and that the charges in Pacific County Superior Court stem from on-duty behavior.

Read about it here. KXRO Newsradio has more

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Updated at 6:41 p.m.

RUN, RUN, RUN, RUNAWAY

• A 48-year-old Ethel man was arrested following a brief nighttime police pursuit west of Onalaska which turned into a foot chase and ended when the subject running at full speed collided with a building covered in blackberry bushes. Brian S. Steward was wanted on a warrant and was taken into custody, after the early Saturday morning incident, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It began when a deputy was called to a dispute just after midnight on Friday at the 400 block of Burchett Road but Steward left before the deputy arrived, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies learned Steward was driving with a suspended license and had a warrant from the state Department of Corrections and spotted his car near state Route 508 and Tauscher Road, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Brown said Steward didn’t pull over, instead continued down Jackson Highway to a farm where he left his Chevrolet Impala and took off running. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for eluding, Brown said.

DOMESTIC UN-TRANQUILITY

• Police arrested a 62-year-old Centralia woman last night after she allegedly pulled a gun on her roommate. Officers called about 9:40 p.m. to the 900 block of Marion Street booked Rita J. Finegan into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault. Prosecutors sent the case to municipal court, which handles misdemeanors.

• A 45-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested this morning after she allegedly entered a home on the 1800 block of Shamrock Avenue in Centralia, illegally, broke several items and assaulted her husband. Tamara L. Twidwell left when police were called about 5:30 a.m. but was located a short time later and booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary and fourth-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POLICE: UNRULY NY MAN KICKS OFFICER

• A 64-year-old man from New York who was kicked off a train in Centralia for being disorderly found himself lodged at the Lewis County Jail because he allegedly pushed and then kicked a police officer. Police called about 3:40 p.m. on Friday to the Amtrak station to remove an intoxicated and belligerent passenger from the premises arrested James C. Davis for assault after he pushed an officer, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. He was taken to the hospital first for a pre-booking screening because of the level of intoxication and as the same officer was placing him back into the patrol car, Davis allegedly caught the side of the officer’s head with his foot, Reichert said. He was booked for two counts of third-degree assault, according to police.

BURGLARY AND THEFT

• Jewelry and cash were stolen from a home on the 300 block of Courtland Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police just before noon yesterday. It appears they got in through an unlocked door, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 1:35 p.m. on Saturday to the 1800 block of Juneman Street where someone had broken into a home and ransacked several rooms, leaving with a lock box and unspecified documents.

• Someone stole a utility trailer during the night from the 2900 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 5:45 a.m. yesterday.

RIFLE CLEANING ACCIDENT WOUNDS ONE

• A 30-year-old Randle man was hospitalized after he accidentally shot himself in the forearm as he was cleaning a .22 rifle on his back porch. Deputies called about 12:20 p.m. on Friday to the 100 block of Baugh Road learned that he was getting ready to test fire the weapon when something dropped and when he leaned down to pick it up, he bumped the trigger, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

THREE INJURED IN WRECK NEAR MAYFIELD LAKE

• Three people were hospitalized after a single-vehicle wreck yesterday afternoon when a 1966 Ford Mustang hit a ditch on U.S. Highway 12 traveling along about 150 feet before colliding head on with the end of a guard rail. Troopers called about 4:40 p.m. to the scene roughly four miles west of Mossyrock found the car totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol. The vehicle had been traveling westbound  and was approaching Mayfield Lake bridge when the driver was distracted by something as-yet-unspecified, according to the state patrol. Transported to Providence Centralia Hospital were the driver Albert L. Cheney, 52, from Centralia; and passengers Denise R. Salts, 55, of Silver Creek, and 3-year-old Aiden Robbins, according to the investigating trooper. Cheney was treated and released and a hospital spokesperson said no information can be released about children. Salts was transferred to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, in Vancouver, where this afternoon she was listed in serious condition. Salts is the same woman who survived a gunshot wound to her face when her boyfriend and two others were slain almost four years ago inside a Salkum-Onalaska area home on Wings Way.

• A semi truck loaded carrying lumber tipped onto its side on Bishop Road near Labree Road in Chehalis this afternoon, but the driver was uninjured, according to Lewis County Fire District 6. Chief Tim Kinder said crews from fire districts 5 and 6 responded about 1 p.m. and tended to the oil that spilled from the engine. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the wreck, according to Kinder.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, violation of protection order, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, disputes, vandalism, underage drinking, collisions on city streets, misdemeanor theft such as wallet left in shopping cart, shoplift of dog food … and more.

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Bishop Road near Labree Road in Chehalis this afternoon / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 6

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Tacoma teen’s body pulled from Chehalis River at state park

Monday, June 16, 2014 at 11:31 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Tacoma teen originally from Nigeria experiencing camping for the first time drowned in the Chehalis River over the weekend.

Linsey Mike was 17 years old.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said the young man had only been in Washington for eight months.

Rescuers were called about 3:20 p.m. on Saturday to an area near the falls, by the entrance to Rainbow Falls State Park, approximately12 miles west of Chehalis but didn’t recover his body until yesterday morning.

Mike was camping with a group of friends at the park when they all decided to go swimming in the river, according to responders.

The sheriff’s office said Mike told his friends he was not a good swimmer and one of them told him not to jump in the water, but he did.

“One witness said when he surfaced from the jump, he looked panic stricken and began flailing his arms,” the sheriff’s office stated in a news release. “The witness, a 19 year old female, jumped in to save him but he was flailing his arms so much that she was unable to make contact before he quickly went under water and did not resurface.”

The falls are not tall, but the water is cold and the current is swift.

Members of fire districts in Pe Ell and Dryad-Doty, along with the sheriff’s office swift water rescue team and a diver from Thurston County responded on Saturday afternoon and returned yesterday morning.

His body was found in the same area where he went under, the sheriff’s office said.

It’s the second river drowning in the county in recent weeks and the third drowning locally this spring.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield took the opportunity to issue a statement noting that 90 percent of water-related fatalities could be prevented by wearing life jackets or some type of flotation device, something especially important for those who aren’t good swimmers.

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Breaking news: Teen lost in Chehalis River

Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Responders are looking for a 17-year-old Tacoma boy in the Chehalis River at Rainbow Falls State Park.

He and his friends had been camping and decided to swim near the falls when he went under, came up flailing and was pulled under again, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Fire Chief Tim Kinder said he responded with a thermal imaging camera to assist but the current was too swift.

The initial call came about 3:20 p.m.

“My understanding is another teen grabbed a hold of him, but was not able to hold on,” Kinder said.

A diver was on the way to the scene about 6 p.m.

The swift water rescue team from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has been searching and are still out there this evening, sheriff’s office Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said at about 8 p.m.

More to come as information becomes available.

Update Sunday June 15, 2014: The young man’s body was recovered this morning in the same area where he went under, a teen originally from Nigeria, only in Washington for eight months on his first-ever camping trip, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lewis County Fire Districts 16 and 11 along with the sheriff’s office swift water rescue team and a diver from Thurston County reconvened this morning after a search last night that went until dark, according to Brown.

••

CORRECTION: This has been updated to correct an error made in relating a statement made by Chief Kinder.

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Read about Ryderwood domestic shooting incident leads to prison for girlfriend …

Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 7:34 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports the woman who shot her boyfriend through a closed bathroom door in Ryderwood  in December was sentenced this week to 21 months in prison and ordered to undergo mental health and substance abuse treatment upon her release.

Linda Cochran, 43, and 69-year-old John Stiller both called 911 the morning of December 9 to report the shooting and Stiller drove himself to the Little Crane Cafe in Vader where he was met by deputies and medics.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said Cochran continued to fire a hunting rifle randomly as she stayed on the phone with a dispatcher but was subsequently taken in to custody without incident.

News reporter Barbara LaBoe reports Stiller was hit twice with fragments from the same bullet and suffered injuries to his bowels; and that Cochran pleaded guilty to second-degree assault with a deadly weapon.

Read more here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, June 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm

TRICKED INTO REVEALING CODE

• A 20-year-old woman called Centralia police yesterday afternoon after she apparently fell for a phone scam that cost her almost $300. The Portland resident who was staying at a local motel had gotten a phone call from someone claiming to be a representative for Western Union and offered her a deal too good to be true, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was told if she wired $299 through Western Union – anywhere, even to herself – they would pay her a $300 bonus, according to police. During the call, she disclosed her transaction number, which allowed the caller to pick up the money she wired, police said. The bonus was supposed to go into her account, but it didn’t Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. Reichert said the case would be turned over to detectives to investigate.

MORTON BURGLARY

• Someone broke into a home and its garage on the 100 block of Temple Road in Morton and stole more than $1,800 worth of valuables including two mini motorcycles, two tool boxes and a 40-inch Sony television, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports. A deputy called there yesterday evening learned it happened sometime since 2 p.m. on Sunday and a lock had been pried off a door, according to the sheriff’s office.

UNWELCOME VISITOR

• A 45-year-old Centralia man was arrested for first-degree trespass after a woman returned home to her apartment in Chehalis just before 6 o’clock this morning and found him and a neighbor sitting on her couch.  An officer responding to the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue learned Mitchell W. Sinclair was not allowed to be there and the second male who said he was helping his friend look for his glasses was told to return to his own apartment, according to Chehalis Police Department. The woman’s door had been kicked in, police said. Sinclair was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

EXTRA DISORDERLINESS

• A 33-year-old Centralia man was arrested last night after allegedly entering another person’s motel room and trying to pick fights. Centralia police say that when they were called just before 11 p.m. to the 1000 block of Eckerson Road and arrested Kevin G. Blosser, he threatened officers. Blosser was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary as well as harassment, according to the Centralia Police Department.

REWARD FOR INFO ON MISSING FIREARMS

• Lewis County Crime Stoppers is looking for tips regarding a burglary from April 27 near Toledo in which four guns were stolen. Sometime between  8:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. that day, someone entered the residence on the 400 block of Jackson Highway South and left with a Savage 20-gauge shotgun, a Sears 12-gauge shotgun, a Mossberg rifle and a Smith and Wesson 9 mm pistol, according to Crime Stoppers. The value is more than $1,400.  Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 for information leading to the clearance of crimes. Anonymous calls can be made to 1-800-748-6422 or information may be shared online at www.lewiscountycrimestoppers.org

HOUSE FIRE PLANNED IN ONALASKA

• Firefighters will be burning down a house in Onalaska on Sunday, during a training exercise that will take place between approximately 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The home, on the 300 block of Railroad Avenue, was damaged by a fire in December of last year, according to Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Mark Conner. The plan is to allow it to burn completely at the end of the day, according to Conner.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city street, in parking lots, out-of-control teenager, inquiry about how to deal with landlord in a rental home infested with rats … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 9:46 pm

NO TIP FOR LOUSY CUSTOMER

• Police were called about 5:10 p.m. yesterday after a woman in an older olive green van drove through a coffee stand on the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue in Chehalis, grabbed the tip jar and took off. An employee had just removed the money from it, so it was empty, according to the Chehalis Police department.

CAR THEFT

• Chehalis police took a report about 1:15 p.m. yesterday regarding a white 1992 Honda stolen from where it had been parked since 8 a.m. behind Steck Clinic on the 1200 block of Bishop Road. The four-door car has a white sticker in the back window which reads “Artificial” according to police. It had been left unlocked with the keys on the floorboard, police said.

CAR PROWL

• A woman called Chehalis police yesterday when her vehicle was broken into during the short time it took her to walk from a handicapped parking spot at Wal-Mart to the store’s entrance, change her mind and walk back to her vehicle. It happened about 4:25 p.m. According to police, she had shopped and then gotten into her van and was reading something before deciding to go back into the store. She said she had set some money and gift cards either on the seat or the dashboard and when she returned, they were gone, according to the Chehalis Police Department. She had left the door unlocked and window down, according to officer Linda Bailey.

• A wallet was stolen from inside a car parked at Sierra Pacific Industries’ parking lot on Kuper Road in Centralia sometime in the 20 minutes after 1 o’clock this morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A window was damaged. A dark colored passenger car, similar to an older Toyota Corolla, was seen in the area around the same time, the sheriff’s office reports.

BEER RUN

• Centralia police were called about 5:40 a.m. today when a male stole a case of beer from a convenience store at Belmont and Harrison avenues and then ran off into Borst Park. Responding officers didn’t find the shoplifter but came across a homeless camp near the river where they arrested one person with a warrant, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD

• A deputy took a report yesterday from a 38-year-old who discovered $235 fraudulently charged on her Visa card from somewhere in the Philippines, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

SEX CRIME

• A 21-year-old soldier was arrested at Joint Base Lewis-McChord yesterday and booked into the Lewis County Jail for rape, in connection with an alleged encounter with an 18-year-old woman in Onalaska early last month. The woman reported last week it happened while she was at a friend’s home and the suspect, Timothy Warner, was a friend of a friend, according to the sheriff’s office.

WRECKS

• Police were called about 8:15 a.m. yesterday to the 600 block of West Main Street in Centralia where a vehicle had struck an accounting office building and then drove away. There was some structural damage but no request for aid for anyone, according to authorities.

• Three people were injured in a single-vehicle wreck yesterday afternoon on U.S. Highway 12 about 18 miles east of Packwood. Troopers called about 1:40 p.m. said the 34-year-old driver suffered an unknown medical issue and his westbound car crossed over the opposite lane into an open area before traveling partially up an embankment and then rolling onto its top. Transported to Morton General Hospital were Dave VanBrocklin, 34, and Angelique VanBrocklin, 36, both of Tacoma and James Fee, 70, from Gig Harbor, according to the Washington State Patrol. The Kia Optima was described as totaled.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, responses for dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city street; complaints of person found sleeping in a train caboose, noisy neighbors who never sleep … and more.

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Centralia resident disappears after leaving hospital

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 48-year-old Centralia woman seems to have vanished, months ago, police say.

Gina D. Schmidt, described as a vulnerable adult, was reported missing in early May and a search of her apartment revealed that in all likelihood, she hadn’t been home for two or more months, according to the Centralia Police Department.

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Gina D. Schmidt

“It appears that most of her clothing and personal belongings were still present, giving the impression that when she left for the last time, she fully intended to return,” police said in a news release yesterday.

Detectives are now turning to the public, asking for assistance in locating the woman as they’ve run into a dead end in the case.

They say the investigation to this point has been fruitless, despite interviews with all of Schmidt’s known acquaintances and family. Nobody officers have spoken with has seen her since mid-February, according to police.

The last place police know for certain that she was, was at Providence Centralia Hospital on Feb. 15. Police say she was discharged at 11:30 p.m. that night.

Department spokesperson Officer John Panco said he didn’t know why Schmidt was hospitalized, but he believed it was an emergency room visit.

Her home is more than two miles across town, at the 300 block of North Tower Avenue.

Panco said it was May 7 when a woman who works for the area agency on aging made the missing person report. He didn’t know if Schmidt was a client there.

Schmidt has a history of alcohol abuse and medical issues including seizures, according to polIce.

Centralia police detective David Clary is interested in hearing from anyone who might have any information regarding her whereabouts.

She is described as a white female who is 5-feet 2-inches tall, weighing about 125 pounds, with graying blond shoulder length hair and blue eyes.

Centralia police say she was last seen dressed in blue sweatpants with a tan and multi-colored long polyester coat, and she had a white tube sock on her arm. Panco said he didn’t know why she wore a sock on her arm.

Clary can be reached a the Centralia Police Department, with a reference to case number 14A3683.