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News brief: Investigation into Centralia weekend drowning ongoing

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 7:40 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office confirmed that 26-year-old Jessy Hamilton died of drowning following an autopsy yesterday.

Hamilton was found floating in the Chehalis River in Fort Borst Park on Saturday morning shortly after police were called there in response to a report he was missing.

Centralia police detectives said this weekend it wasn’t clear who the Centralia resident was with, but noted he was autistic and  his disorder was such that he was supervised, or should have been supervised, at all times.

Detective Patty Finch said they had numerous people to track down to interview.

Initial reports to 911 were the missing man was 23 years old, but Finch said law enforcement’s database showed he was 26. Coroner Warren McLeod said he confirmed with Hamilton’s mother he was 26.

McLeod said he is leaning towards accidental as the manner of death, but the pathologist won’t finalize that until the results of toxicology tests come back.

That can take as long as 12 weeks, McLeod said.
•••

For background, read “Missing person found dead in Chehalis River” from Saturday May 30, 2015, here

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Drive-by shooting charges filed against two Centralia men

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 6:58 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Two Centralia men are each charged with one count of drive-by shooting and one count of second-degree assault after an incident one of them said was a joke gone bad and the other denies involvement in.

Edward A. Butterworth, 29, and Ronald L. Orr, 26, were arrested at a dead end road in what the sheriff’s office called a felony stop early Saturday morning after a report someone fired several shots outside a home east of Centralia and then took off in a dark sport utility vehicle.

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Ronald L. Orr – accused of firing several shots from a vehicle – waits to be returned to the jail after his bail is set at $150,000.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office initially described the incident as two guys who thought it would be funny to scare guests at a friend’s birthday party by driving by his home on the 1700 block of Big Hanaford Road and firing several shots from a 22 caliber pistol.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said those involved were friends.

Charging documents state that Butterworth told deputies he’s good friends with the neighbor Thomas Denegar and had been invited to his party, and that he and Orr were at Butterworth’s home across the street and then decided to play a joke.

The documents give the following account of what Butterworth said happened: They pulled into Denegar’s driveway and shined a light into the residence.

Then they pulled down the road by a barn and Orr fired a 22 pistol into the brush several times.

As they drove down Big Hanaford Road, Butterworth saw David Brosius’ vehicle behind them and knew Denegar was with him.

Orr thought it would be funny to scare them again and fired more shots from his pistol out the passenger window, according to Butterworth.

The vehicle behind them backed off, Butterworth said.

The documents give the following account of what Brosius and Denegar, both 28 years old, told deputies: They were at Denegar’s home when they saw a light shining into the residence so they went outside. They heard a vehicle and approximately five shots.

“Brosius stated they all went to the ground out of fear of being shot,” the documents relate.

The two got in Brosius’ vehicle and followed, and as they approached Teitzel Road, they saw the passenger lean out the window and fire several more shots.

“Brosius stated it appeared the shots were being fired directly at them by the way the muzzle flashed,” the documents state. They backed off.

Law enforcement officers found three fired 22 caliber casings in the roadway on the 400 block of Big Hanford Road, and one on the edge of the roadway near the barn as Butterworth had described, according to the documents.

A search of the vehicle turned up a Ruger 22/45 pistol, a rifle and a revolver. The Ruger had a .22 caliber round in the chamber.

When the two were questioned, Butterworth stated they knew they screwed up. Orr told deputies they were sitting outside Butterworth’s house when they heard the shots, and they got in a vehicle to go investigate. Orr denied ever shooting a firearm from the vehicle. They were booked into jail.

When the two arrestees were brought before a judge yesterday afternoon, lawyers noted neither has any felony criminal history.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke said she understood one of the alleged victims didn’t want Butterworth prosecuted and reached out to him offering to take care of his home and his dog.

Judge James Lawler set his bail at $100,000. He set Orr’s bail at $150,000.

O’Rourke noted that the two work at the same place, but the judge signed a no contact order between them.

The offenses they are charged with each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Their arraignments are scheduled for Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Prank with gun not so funny” from Monday June 1, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 11:34 am
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•••

DRUGS SEIZED FROM MOTEL ROOM

• Centralia Police Department’s special Anti-Crime Team found suspected heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, digital scales, cash and a pistol when they searched a motel room yesterday at the 1000 block of Eckerson Road in Centralia. Officers arrested Terry S. Dunivin, 32, of Centralia, on an outstanding warrant and then served a search warrant on his room, according to the Centralia Police Department. Dunivin was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

AUTO THEFT ARREST

• Deputies yesterday arrested the man they believe stole a van from Borovec Road in Chehalis last week and drove it a quarter of a mile away, prowling it for its tools and then abandoning it. Images captured on security cameras showed a partial license plate of the red car the subject drove away in, which was used to narrow down the search, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. That and witness identification of the person shown on the security images led to William J. Larson, 42, of Centralia, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. The more than $2,000 worth of tools missing have not been recovered, according to Brown. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, she said.

THEFT

• Police were contacted yesterday about the theft of packages from a front porch on the 1000 block of West Cherry Street in Centralia.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning that someone stole six traffic advisory signs and their stands from U.S. Highway 12 in Packwood which belong to a Kennewick company. It happened last Tuesday night and the loss is $2,000, according to the sheriff’s office.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report yesterday of gang-style graffiti on the roof of a building on the 1300 block of Lum Road.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning of a window broken out a building on the 600 block of H. Street.

COLLISION

• A Honda Accord was totaled last night when a semi truck crossed the lane line and hit it on Interstate 5 at Chehalis, causing the car to strike the concrete center barrier and guard rail and come to rest facing the wrong direction. Troopers called at 10:30 p.m. to the northbound lanes near the Chamber of Commerce Way interchange report the 39-year-old truck driver from Clackamas, Oregon, was unhurt. But the car’s driver, Zachary S. Amos, 32, of Centralia, and his passenger Lisa J., Bravo, 24, of Clinton, were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with injuries, according to the Washington State Patrol. The fire department said its understanding was nobody was hurt or taken to the hospital. A hospital spokesperson said Amos was treated and released, but they had no record of a person with the last name of Bravo. The truck driver was cited for improper lane travel, according to the state patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, disorderly conduct, misdemeanor assault, malicious mischief, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, possible fraud, misdemeanor theft, suspicious person, collisions on city streets … and more.

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Read about Kelso drug ‘kingpin’ pleads guilty to reduced charge …

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 9:45 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports a 63-year-old Kelso man suspected of running a four-county marijuana distribution organization – following a two month long investigation by  the Centralia Police Department’s special Anti-Crime Team – pleaded guilty yesterday to a single charge of second-degree malicious mischief and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

2015.0602.2014.0916.marijuanabudscashsmallerGeorge Szerencsy was arrested in September when police seized 21 pounds of marijuana buds, guns, cars, more than $50,000 cash and several nine-foot tall marijuana plants growing in his backyard.

News reporter Shari Phiel writes the Cowlitz County Prosecutor’s Office was unavailable Monday to explain why the charges were reduced.

Szerencsy was originally charged with unlawful delivery of marijuana, conspiracy to deliver 15 to 20 pounds of marijuana, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful manufacturing of marijuana, all within 1,000 feet of a school zone and while armed, according to Phiel.

Centralia police were assisted by the Kelso Police Department and the Cowlitz County Drug Task Force.

The operation was using the cover that they were supplying medical marijuana distributors, according to police.

Read more here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, June 1, 2015 at 6:19 pm
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•••

Updated at 7:17 p.m.

PARTY CRASHED BY THE LAW

• Deputies, police and troopers broke up an underage party at a campsite at the 700 block of state Route 7 near Morton over the weekend and contacted 17 juveniles whose cases will be referred for charges of minor in possession of alcohol, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Several attendees ran off into the woods when law enforcement arrived about 1:10 a.m. on Saturday according to the sheriff’s office. Those who were under 18 had to call their parents, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. The youth were from Mossyrock, Morton, Glenoma and Randle, Brown said.

TEACHER FINDS BOOZE AT SCHOOL

• The case of a 16-year-old boy reportedly caught with a bottle of liquor at W.F. West High School on Friday will be referred  for charges of minor in possession of alcohol, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An officer was called about 10:40 a.m. after the alcohol was found by a teacher, according to police.

OUT-OF-CONTROL BOYFRIEND

• A 34-year-old man was arrested after deputies were called to a dispute about 11:50 p.m. on Saturday at the 100 block of Brady Lane in Winlock. Phillip L. Ray had reportedly threatened to jump out of a moving car on the freeway on the way home from dinner with his girlfriend and then the argument continued at home, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were told Ray called their dog to him and kicked her twice in the stomach and then threw items including a television remote at his girlfriend. He had left out the backdoor before law enforcement arrived, but was found behind the residence smoking a cigarette, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree animal cruelty, third-degree malicious mischief and fourth-degree assault, according to Brown.

DOMESTIC ASSAULT

• Morton police arrested Jordan M. Gillispie, 24, last night for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, according to the Morton Police Department. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail and then charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with second-degree assault. The Morton resident’s bail was set at $10,000. Judge James Lawler signed that order that prohibits Gillispie from consuming any alcohol if he gets out of jail.

THEFT

• Police were called about 5:30 a.m. on Sunday to the 900 block of South Schueber Road in Centralia about a stolen wheelchair. There has a been a suspect identified and the case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An $850 Schubert brand helmet vanished from its resting place on a motorcycle while its owner slept in a  tent nearby over the weekend. It happened between midnight on Sunday and 10 o’clock the following morning at the Iron Creek Campground in East Lewis County, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VANDALISM

• Police were called at 6 a.m. on Sunday to take a report of window being broken out of a business on the 700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia.

• Centralia police responded to a 1:10 p.m. call yesterday a the 800 block of South Gold Street regarding damage to the window of a vehicle.

NOT VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called about 10 p.m. yesterday by someone who reported vandalism at W.F West High School, with toilet paper and spray paint all over the school. It wasn’t, according to police. It was celebratory decorating that included a large rock set aside to get painted on, according to detective Sgt. Gary Wilson.

STRANGER IN SHED

• A 35-year-old man was arrested about 9:15 p.m. on Friday after a neighbor along the 1200 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia reported seeing a person in a shed. Ian E. Roe, described by police as transient, was cited for trespassing and then booked into the Lewis County Jail for a warrant from Olympia Municipal Court, according to the Centralia Police Department.

STRANGERS NEXT DOOR

• Officers were dispatched to a report of intruders at a residence in the 100 block of First Street in Morton on Thursday afternoon, but it turned out the home just had new renters, according to the Morton Police Department.

COLLISIONS

• Mikail A. Bullock, 25, of Chehalis, was reportedly uninjured but his car sustained major damage when he wrecked it in a ditch at about 10 p.m. on Friday at the 2200 block of Rice Road outside Chehalis. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 43-year-old Ashford resident said he fell asleep before he collided head-on with a tree at milepost 3 on Skate Creek Road North outside of Packwood on Saturday afternoon. His Ford F250 was totaled and he was transported to a hospital with a bump on his head and other injuries, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was cited for wheels off the roadway, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, misdemeanor theft, gas drive-off, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets; complaint of littering, that someone keeps filling up someone else’s dumpster, about a homeless man panhandling in front of a fast food restaurant  … and more.

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News brief: Prank with gun not so funny

Monday, June 1, 2015 at 11:07 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two men are jailed after they reportedly thought it would be funny to scare guests at a friend’s birthday party by driving by and firing several shots from a 22 caliber pistol outside Centralia.

It happened around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday at the 1700 block of Big Hanaford Road east of town, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown says two of the victims, men in their late 20s, jumped in their vehicle and gave chase and one of the suspects fired off several more rounds.

They turned down Blue Road, a dead end, and arriving police and deputies took the suspects out their vehicle and into custody, according to Brown.

Nobody was hurt and it doesn’t appear anything was struck with the bullets, according to Brown.

Booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault and for drive by shooting were the driver, Edward A. Butterworth, 29, and the passenger, Ronald L. Orr, 26, according to the sheriff’s office.

They are both from Centralia, she said.

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News brief: Loud neighbor music leads to sledge hammer attack

Monday, June 1, 2015 at 10:28 am

Updated at 11:31 a.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 59-year-old man was arrested last night for allegedly striking a neighbor in the face with a small sledge hammer in Centralia.

Police responded just before 10 p.m. to the incident at the 1300 block of Central Boulevard.

Officers concluded the dispute started over music being played loudly by the neighbor. The victim sustained a serious injury, according to the Centralia Police Department.

According to police, the 33-year-old victim was playing what was described as like loud rap music when Morris R Keith came over to his yard.

The victim was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with a possible broken nose, Sgt. Stacy Denham said.

Keith was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault, according to police.

He is tentatively scheduled to go before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

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Chehalis, Centralia introduce new public safety leaders

Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 8:14 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The city of Chehalis welcomed its new fire chief and the city of Centralia its new police chief last week, as both were sworn in at their respective city council meetings.

The two men had already been on the job a week.

Ken Cardinale was sworn in late Tuesday afternoon and shared a few words with city leaders of the county seat.

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New Chehalis Fire Chief Ken Cardinale is sworn in by Chehalis Municipal Court Judge Dale McBeth.

“What I’ve gotten to know so far is what a great group of firefighters and captains I’m leading,” Cardinale said. “They are true professionals that go above and beyond every day.

The Kelso resident who most recently spent 29 years with the Palo Alto (California) Fire Department, introduced his wife Beth Cardinale after she pinned on his badge.

“We’re glad to have you aboard, and hit the ground running,” Chehalis Mayor Dennis Dawes said.

Cardinale met with three neighboring police chiefs earlier in the day, to talk about how they could work more together.

He said he comes from a place with a more regional approach, and therefore many more resources.

Already he has submitted a draft plan to his boss to start a student firefighter program, something he said he’s a product of himself.

“If that goes well, we could look at resuming the reserve program,” Cardinale said.

The new chief takes over a department that has been led by interim chiefs for the past 12 months, and by a half-time chief for the year before that.

Later on Tuesday evening, Carl Nielsen was sworn in as the new chief of police in neighboring Centralia, the county’s most populous city.

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New Centralia Police Chief Carl Nielsen is sworn in Centralia Municipal Court Judge James Buzzard.

Nielsen whose most recent position was second in command at the Turlock Police Department in California’s central valley thanked outgoing Police Chief Bob Berg, the city manager and the city council for entrusting him with the department.

His wife Jan Nielsen pinned his badge on him and was introduced, along with others in the audience including his mother, one daughter, mother-in-law and her friend as well as a new neighbor who all attended the ceremony.

He took extra time to thank Berg who had spent the previous several days helping him get acquainted.

Berg’s love and passion for the department will be his legacy, Nielsen said as he wished him well in retirement.

Centralia’s new police chief also read aloud the law enforcement code of ethics, the version adopted by the International Chiefs of Police.

A version of it is included in the department’s policy manual, and he intends to include it in swearing in ceremonies for new officers.

Here it is:

“I Carl Nielsen, subscribe as follows:

As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional right of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others.  Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department.  Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendship to influence my decisions.  With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service.  I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession … law enforcement.”
•••

For background, read:

• “News brief: Chehalis picks new fire chief” from Monday April 27, 2015, here

• “News brief: Centralia picks new police chief” from Friday April 10, 2015, here

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Missing person found dead in Chehalis River

Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 11:18 am

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters responded to a report of a drowning this morning, at Fort Borst Park where police looking for a missing 23-year-old man found the victim floating face down in the Chehalis River along the bank, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The fire department reports the body was confirmed to be the missing individual who they describe as having an extensive history of autism.

The fire department was on the scene at the Centralia park shortly after 7:30 a.m.

Centralia police reported later the deceased as 26 years old.

Just after 7 o’clock this morning, police were dispatched to a missing person complaint at the the 2000 block of Borst Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

A short time later, an officer located the body of the male in the river, near where it meets with the park’s pond, according to detective Patty Finch.

The department is investigating the details surrounding his death, Finch said.

Exactly who he was with or what he was doing at the park isn’t yet clear, Finch said.

The detective said it was the Centralia man’s mother who reported him missing, but they don’t know if she was with him at the park. Detectives have been trying to locate several people to talk to, she said.

Finch said he is someone she has not met personally, but understands the level of his disorder was such that he was supervised, or should have been supervised, at all times.

His name isn’t being released, but is expected to be released later by the Lewis County Coroner’s Office. Police are hoping an autopsy will be performed on Monday or Tuesday.

The 2000 block of Borst Avenue is the stretch that runs behind the Harrison Avenue Safeway, from Interstate 5 to Johnson Road.

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Neighbor honored for courage to act when balcony caught fire

Friday, May 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm
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Assistant Chief Rick Mack presents Gregory Gardner with a meritorious service award.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia man’s quick thinking and aggressive action averted a disastrous fire and has earned him the praise of the fire department.

When Riverside Fire Authority was dispatched to a residential structure fire in an apartment building on the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue, they encountered light smoke from one of upper units. They also encountered an occupant who said the fire on the second-story balcony had been put out with a fire extinguisher.

Riverside Assistant Chief Rick Mack says he also found a situation that made it clear they narrowly avoided what could have been much worse if not for Gregory Gardner.

Gardner, who lives in the adjacent apartment in the four unit building, was home and heard the commotion next door, according to Mack.

Gardner went to his balcony door, smelled smoke, stepped out and saw the developing fire.

“He jumped into action retrieving the fire extinguisher from the cabinet atop the staircase between the units,” Mack stated. “He entered the affected apartment, went to the balcony, and extinguished the fire; and separated some the burning materials to prevent re-ignition.”

When Mack, who is also the department’s fire marshal, examined the area, he noted that above the fire origin area was a vinyl-covered soffit and above that, an attic space.

While all the units have sprinklers, none of the tenants have sprinklers on their balconies, nor are there sprinklers in the attic, according to Mack.

The damage was minimal, burning a box, a small table and some of the vinyl siding. It was accidental due to smoldering, discarded cigarettes in a combustible container, according to the fire department.

Mack says Gardner’s actions saved the building, kept four families in their homes and may very well have saved lives that day.

The story of the events of April 23 were submitted in a nomination letter by Mack, and last night resulted in the presentation of a meritorious service award to Gardner.

The honor was bestowed at the fire authority board meeting.

Public Information Officer Scott Weinert offers advice to any other citizens who might use fire extinguishers.

“Using a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire can save lives and property,” Weinert writes. “But you have to know exactly what to do.”

Before the Fire

• Only adults should use a fire extinguisher.
• Choose an extinguisher that will work on all types of fires. These are usually called “ABC” type extinguishers.
• Choose the largest extinguisher you can handle – bigger is better.
• Read all the directions. Know how to use an extinguisher. If possible, get training from your local fire department or workplace that will let you practice putting out a fire.
• Keep the instructions so you can review them from time to time.
• Mount the extinguisher near an exit door, out of reach of children.

Fighting a Small Fire

• Make sure everyone else is leaving the home.
• Ask someone to call the fire department from outside.
• If the fire is small and not spreading, quickly get your extinguisher.
• Start with your back to the exit, making sure the fire does not block your escape route.
• Stand six to eight feet away from the fire.

Then, remember the word PASS:

• PULL the pin out to unlock the operating lever.
• AIM low: Point the extinguisher nozzle (or hose) at the base of the fire.
• SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing agent. Be prepared. It will come out with force.
• SWEEP from side to side, moving carefully toward the fire. Keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire, sweeping back and forth until all the flames are out.
• Watch the fire area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat the process.

Important: If the fire does not go out quickly, or if you feel at risk in any way, leave immediately and let the fire department handle it. Fighting a fire can be dangerous.

Only adults who know how and when to use an extinguisher should ever try to put out a fire, but children never should, according to Weinert.

 

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 29, 2015 at 12:03 pm
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•••

Updated at 7:28 p.m.

FARM PROWL

• A deputy was called to a farm on the 200 block of North Military Road in Winlock yesterday morning after the discovery someone had stripped a tractor and irrigation equipment of their batteries and radiators. It appeared the thief or thieves drove a vehicle onto the property and took the items sometime between 10 a.m. on Wednesday and 7:45 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Also stolen was 100 gallons of diesel, the sheriff’s office reports. The loss is estimated at $1,750, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

PORCH PROWL

• Police were called about 3:25 p.m. yesterday to the 800 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia where someone had stolen a stroller from the front porch of a residence.

CAR PROWL

• A backpack was taken from a vehicle parked at the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 5:50 p.m. yesterday.

VANDALISM

• An unknown suspect broke windows in a building on the 900 block of Alder Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.

SPIT

•  Chehalis police were called to Green Hill School just before 9 p.m. yesterday to investigate a report a student-inmate spit in the face of a staff member.

DUI WRECK

• A 38-year-old Winlock woman was reportedly unhurt but her 2000 Mercedes Benz four-door sustained major damage when it wrecked into a ditch on the 700 block of Nevil Road in Winlock last night. Deputies dispatched at 10:09 p.m. to the scene arrested Carolinda C. Curtis for driving under the influence and booked her into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

CRIME STOPPERS WANTS TIPS ABOUT BREAK-IN

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is looking for information about a burglary in Salkum in which televisions, other entertainment electronics, household goods, tools and garden equipment totaling more than $11,000 were stolen. It happened at the 100 block of Wilcox Road sometime between April 7 and May 1, according to Lewis County Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 for information leading to the clearance of crimes. Among the missing property are: An LG HDTV with 45-inch screen, a Sharp television with 60-inch screen, two Sony Blu-Ray DVD players, a CD player with speakers and changer, a Kenwood TV surround sound system, Sanyo stereo surround sound system, Nikon binoculars, kitchen appliances, various household goods, including a Dyson vacuum cleaner, tools, including two power drills, two 4×4 sanders, 7×8 sander, thermostat, battery charger, various screwdriver and drill sets, two gas chainsaws, shop vac, circular saws, pressure washer, lawn and garden equipment such as a gas weed whacker, hedge trimmer, hatchet, various extension cords, a generator and $400 cash. Anonymous calls can be made to 1-800-748-6422 or information may be shared online at www.lewiscountycrimestoppers.org

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, hit and run, driving under the influence; responses for dispute, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

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Teen from Green Hill faces second escape charge

Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 8:29 pm
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Green Hill School escapee Dominic Adams was brought up from the Lewis County Jail today for a bail hearing.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Green Hill student-inmate who escaped the facility for a week earlier this month was brought before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

Dominic Adams, 19, was finishing off a juvenile sentence and scheduled to be transferred next March to adult prison for nearly nine years for an assault. Police said that on the night of May 3, he ran off from a maintenance detail and apparently slipped through a hole someone cut in the fence. He was picked up by police at a mall in Kelso seven days later.

Adams is charged with first-degree escape.

The teenager has a prior conviction for the same offense, as well as three second-degree assaults and a first-degree robbery, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh told the judge this afternoon.

She didn’t differentiate which were juvenile crimes and which were adult crimes, but today’s appearance was in adult court.

Beigh asked that his bail be set at $50,000.

Judge James Lawler said he preferred to leave it at the $250,000 set in his arrest warrant.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke who represented Adams today told Lawler he is not working and qualified for a court appointed lawyer.

The judge appointed Centralia attorney Don Blair. Adams’ arraignment was set for next Thursday.

He was jailed in Cowlitz County after he was captured, and booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday. Adams was sent to Green Hill from Benton County at age 15.

First-degree escape has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Green Hill School in Chehalis is a secure facility for juvenile boys incarcerated for felonies and operated by the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, under the state Department of Social and Health Services.
•••

For background, read “Teen escapee from Green Hill found at mall in Cowlitz County” from “Monday May 11, 2015, here

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News brief: Rochester’s beloved Candy Cottage ruined by fire

Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm
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Smoke billows from the eaves of the chocolate and espresso business on U.S. Highway 12. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The candy store across from the middle school in Rochester is no more.

Fire broke out at the business on the 9900 block of U.S. Highway 12, and the smoke was noticed by a passing motorist who called 911 just before 6 o’clock this morning, according to the fire department.

The wooden structure built in approximately 1901 is a complete loss, a spokesperson for West Thurston Regional Fire Authority said.

Spokesperson Lt. Lanette Dyer said everything that was inside is lost as well.

“We tried to gain access through the front door, but there was so much smoke and heat, it actually pushed us back,” Dyer said.

Dyer said Meagan’s Candy Cottage, previously Conner’s Candy Cottage, has been a presence there for some 20 years, and was a candy shop before that as well.

They’re chocolatiers, known for their handmade product,  and a lovely family, she said.

“Obviously the community is in mourning,” she said.

Nobody was there at that hour, according to Dyer. And nobody was injured.

The cause of the fire is being investigated, but it’s not suspicious, she said.

A post on Meagan’s Candy Cottage’s Facebook page around 10 a.m. announced it was an electrical fire and they would be closed until further notice.

Dyer said the establishment leases the building from the property owner, and both have insurance.

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The interior of the Candy Cottage is charred and smoke damaged. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority