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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Updated

WEDDING RINGS, OTHER JEWELRY LIFTED IN BREAK-IN

• A deputy was called to a home on the 3400 block of Jackson Highway outside Chehalis yesterday about a burglary in which numerous pieces of yellow-gold jewelry were stolen, including a necklace with a Virgin Mary charm and two wedding rings. One ring had a yellow stone and the other had NUNEZ on it, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The victim said it occurred between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is estimated at more than $4,700.

WELDING EQUIPMENT STOLEN

• Someone broke into a shop at DeGoede Bulb Farm on the 400 block of Mossyrock Road West over the weekend and made off with about $3,000 worth of items including an acetylene cart, oxygen-acetylene regulators, welding hose and more than 200 feet of copper wire, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

MEAT THEFT

• Police say a 36-year-old Centralia resident fought with store security after shoplifting some meat at the 500 block of South Tower Avenue yesterday evening. Makia D. Adams was booked into the Lewis County Jail after the approximately 7:25 p.m. incident, according to the Centralia Police Department. Adams is to be released from the allege offense with no charge pending further investigation.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police took a report yesterday of a car prowl in which a purse and about $300 was taken while parked at the Outlet stores. The victim called from Idaho to report the incident which she said occurred last week, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO TAMPERING COMPLAINT

• A motorist called police yesterday morning saying she believed someone messed with her car because a wheel fell off it near the bus stop on the 1700 block of North National Avenue in Chehalis. The tow truck driver told her the bolt would not have fallen off on its own, but police found no evidence of tampering, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DOG KILLED

• Chehalis police were called yesterday by a woman on Southwest Chehalis Avenue who said her dog was fatally attacked by what she believed was another dog. The owner didn’t see it occur but saw a “dark figure” running away, according to police. Chehalis police said there have been recent reports of a coyote seen in the area.

ASSAULT SUSPECT ARRESTED

• A 44-year-old Chehalis man suspected in a Oct. 2 attack of an acquaintance with a steel bar outside her home east of Chehalis was picked up yesterday when he was spotted at a business on Mellen Street in Centralia yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.  Mitchell W. Sinclair was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault and harassment, according to the sheriff’s office. However, he was charged this afternoon by prosecutors with second-degree assault, not first-degree.

WRECKS

• A 51-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for driving under the influence after her vehicle ran off the road and struck a fence at the 900 block of Madrona Avenue in Centralia last night, according to police. An officer responding about 11:50 p.m. booked Shelly J. Hollinger into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.  She was also cited for tampering with an interlock ignition device, according to police.

• A 38-year-old woman was traveling too fast for conditions when her car hydroplaned and spun across three lanes of freeway traffic striking the center barrier late yesterday afternoon north of Centralia, according to the Washington State Patrol. Maria E. Rivas and her 4-year-old passenger sustained unspecified injuries and were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after the approximately 4:25 p.m. wreck on Interstate 5 near the county line, according to the state patrol. Rivas was treated and has been released, according to the hospital. Further details about the 4-year-old, who was reportedly not restrained, were not readily available.

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News brief: Sheriff’s Office wants to “friend” you

Monday, October 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has launched a Facebook page, sharing what they are doing and how they are involved in the community.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield indicates it’s part of an effort to reach more people to increase public awareness on important public safety topics.

“I encourage and support your participation and partnership, Mansfield writes. “Together we can make a positive difference in efficiently and effectively addressing public safety issues.”

Among the information the sheriff’s office plans to provide are sex offender notifications, current scams in the area, “found” items, wanted persons, hiring notices, search and rescue missions and Lewis County Crime Stoppers crime of the week.

For those on Facebook, the page can be found here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, October 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Updated at 5:57 p.m.

POLICE: MAN HITS WOMAN WITH TRUCK FOLLOWING DISPUTE

• A 41-year-old Centralia man was arrested for second-degree assault on Friday afternoon after he allegedly struck his girlfriend with his truck. Police called about 1:25 p.m. to the 900 block of West Plum Street in Centralia were told the couple got in an argument and she exited the vehicle and then was hit in the leg. She was not seriously injured, Sgt. Brian Warren said. Clayton S. Carter was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOG SHOT BY PEDESTRIAN

• A black Labrador dog was shot in the leg when it allegedly came running at a man walking with his wife on a Chehalis area road on Saturday. Deputies called about 11:15 a.m. were told the pair was approaching the 400 block of Yates Road when the dog approached, barking and showing its teeth, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 55-year-old pedestrian used his 40 caliber Glock to shoot the dog, sending it running, according to the sheriff’s office. The owner took the animal to the vet and it survived, but will have to be quarantined, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The man was found to have safely discharged his weapon, according to Brown.

BURGLARY AND THEFT

• A business on the 400 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia was burglarized, according to a report made to police about 1:15 p.m. on Saturday. A door was forced open and among the missing items are a computer, a printer a picnic table and an ice machine, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police are investigating.

• A deputy took a report on Sunday about a break-in to three units at Chehalis Mini Storage on the 200 block of Interstate Avenue in Chehalis. The victim said that sometime since Oct. 4 the locks had been cut off and at least one item was missing – a medium-sized tool box, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 19-year-old Longview man was arrested on Saturday following a Toledo-are burglary reported on Friday afternoon. A resident at the 100 block of Collins Road told a deputy she returned home about 4:30 p.m. and found her front door open and a DVD player missing, according to court documents. It was subsequently found outside beneath a bush by the road and a deputy contacted Laine C. Buck who “reluctantly admitted” he and another man broke into the home, court documents allege. Buck was booked into the Lewis County Jail for residential burglary. He was not charged when he appeared in court this afternoon, but is being held temporarily without bail.

• Centralia police were called just before 8 p.m. yesterday to the 1400 block of Johnson Road in where an officer was told a garage was burglarized and some shelving was among the items missing. Police have no suspects, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Binoculars, a stereo and 80 tablets of an unspecified medication were among the items reported missing from a motor home on the 100 block of Katula Road west of Chehalis. The theft occurred between noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A drill and bits were stolen from an “outdoor storage room” at the 3300 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia sometime between Friday and Saturday. A padlock had been cut,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VEHICLE STOLEN

• A deputy took a report on Saturday of a vehicle stolen from the 600 block of Grove Street in Centralia. Sometime between 3 am. on Thursday and 5 p.m. on Saturday, the 1991 Nissan NX Coupe was taken from its parking spot in front of a house,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

ARREST

• A 30-year-old Chehalis man was arrested on Saturday after his ex-girlfriend called 911 about 5:20 a.m. to say he had just left her home on the 500 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis and was intoxicated, driving on a suspended license and had violated a protection order. The woman said Jason B. Roehl had several hours earlier forced his way into her home through an upstairs window and she had found him in her bed, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.  A deputy caught up to Roehl near Raymond and booked him into the Lewis County Jail for burglary, according to the sheriff’s office.

SHOPLIFTING SPIRITS

• Police were called just before 1 a.m. on Saturday to Safeway grocery on the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis where an officer was told a male ran out of the store with a bottle of liquor hidden in his sleeve. An officer will be reviewing surveillance video, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Police suspect a 17-year-old male of stealing alcohol from a business on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia before 2 a.m. on Saturday. The case is being referred for possible charges, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report about 2 p.m. on Saturday of a front door kicked open on a vacant house on the 2100 block of North Tower Avenue. Nothing was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An officer took a report yesterday of graffiti painted on the side of a business on the 600 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia.

VEHICLE PROWL

• A deputy was called Saturday morning about a car prowl on the 300 block of East Oakview Avenue in Centralia. The victim said sometime between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. someone came into her driveway and somehow got into her locked vehicle, leaving with a stereo, a carton of cigarettes, a Halloween costume and other items, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A toolbox was stolen from the back of a pickup truck on the 1600 block of South Gold Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 11 p.m. on Friday.

GARAGE BURNS

• A garage and the pickup truck inside were destroyed by a fire on Saturday on the 2500 block of Little Hanaford Road outside Centralia. Firefighters called by neighbors about 8:20 a.m. were able to keep the flames from spreading to brush and trees but the approximately 20 foot by 20 foot structure was lost, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

WRECK

• One girl was hospitalized after a two-vehicle collision about 7:30 p.m. Friday on the 1300 block of state Route 6 west of Chehalis. Her injuries were not serious, according to Lewis County Fire District 6.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, October 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm
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Firefighters from Toledo, Winlock and Vader extinguished a mobile home fire yesterday. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 2

BATHROOM FIRE EMITS TOXIC SMOKE

• A Toledo-area home sustained significant damage when it caught fire yesterday afternoon, but nobody was home at the time and nobody was hurt, according to Lewis County Fire District 2. Firefighters called at 5:10 p.m. to the 200 block of Drews Prairie Road after a neighbor saw smoke were able to extinguish it fairly quickly, Fire Chief Grant Wiltbank said. However, it left significant smoke damage throughout the mobile home, he said. It appeared a hot water heater caught fire and it extended into a bathroom where among the burning materials were a fiberglass shower and tub surround causing what Wiltbank described as extremely acrid smoke. “I don’t believe there were any working smoke detectors,” he said. “If this had occurred in the night when people were asleep, it very easily could have been a fatal fire. The smoke was that toxic.”

CHILD STRUCK BY VEHICLE

• A 9-year-old boy struck by a vehicle in Centralia yesterday evening escaped with only minor injuries, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers called just after 7 p.m. to the intersection of Yew and Mellen street learned the child was using a crosswalk and the driver said she did not see him because another vehicle blocked her view, according to police. She was issued a citation.

THEFT

• Police were called just after 4 p.m. yesterday when the victim of a Chehalis bicycle theft spotted their light-weight 10-speed racing bike being ridden through Centralia. An officer contacted the individual with the bike who said he’d bought it from someone, according to Sgt. Kurt Reichert. It was given back to its original owner, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Five hundred dollars worth of coins in a five gallon jug and two ounces of medical marijuana disappeared from a Winlock area home while its occupants were away earlier this week, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 58-year-old man and his wife returned home on the 100 block of Sweet Meadows Court Wednesday to find their bathroom window open and the items missing, the sheriff’s office reported. A deputy called yesterday about the break-in noted there is a person of interest, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• Police arrested two individuals yesterday afternoon for forgery after they allegedly tried to pass a forged check at Wells Fargo Bank on Harrison Avenue in Centralia. April S. Ringo, 35, and Deonna A. Williams, 25, both of Centralia, were booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Both are to be released without charges pending further investigation.

• Centralia police called just after 4 p.m. yesterday to a car prowl on South Washington Avenue and Pear Street learned a male on a bicycle had smashed out the car window with a rock and made off with a backpack.

DRUGS

• Alexander Cass, 52, of Burien was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after he was brought to the Lewis County Jail by the state Department of Corrections where a small baggie of the suspected drug was found in his sweatshirt yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

TRESPASSING

• A 23-year-old Mineral resident arrested for trespassing on Wednesday after he admitted sleeping in someone else’s cabin was found yesterday hiding in a creek bed at another Mineral location – a place he’d been told to stay away from, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Noah W. Huckabee, currently a homeless person, was arrested again for trespass and again booked into jail, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

• Three Chehalis-area residents were arrested for trespassing after an employee of Port Blakely Tree Farms found a small fire smoldering and connected it with a pickup which had been seen early yesterday morning on a logging road in the Curtis area. A deputy contacted the driver, Aaron D. Malone, who said he’d been sleeping, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. One of his passengers, Drake A. Lorber, said they were just chilling, the sheriff’s office reported. A 17-year-old girl with them was turned over to her father and the men were booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Malone was reportedly driving with a suspended license and Lorber was wanted on a Department of Corrections warrant, according to Brown. The private timberlands are closed due to high fire danger, Brown said.

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Read about Littlerock area teen sentenced for fatally shooting father …

Friday, October 12, 2012 at 4:20 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a Littlerock area boy was sentenced to at least three and half years for fatally shooting his sleeping father last year.

News reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes the plea deal stems from the October 2011 death of Jimmie Asher Jr. at his home on the 10900 block of Delphi Road.

Read about it here

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News brief: Crews focusing on north side of South Point fire

Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Fire crews completed a 150-acre “burnout” along Forest Service Road 2115 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest south of Packwood yesterday and continued battling the forest fire today.

The burnout creates a line between the fire and Packwood which is about 10 miles to the north and also is meant keep it from reaching Johnson Creek, according to the officials.

Gifford Pinchot National Forest spokesperson Ken Sandusky said in a news release this afternoon that two hand crews would be on the ground to ensure the edge remains secure.

A helitanker – a combination heavy helicopter and water tanker – has been dropping water on the fire, concentrating on the north flank, according to Sandusky.

The blaze, including the intentional burn, covers about 450 acres now, Sandusky stated. It began on a ridge called South Point in early September.

If all goes well, Forest Service Road 21 will open tomorrow, the Forest Service says.

Campfire closures remain in place in the Gifford Pinchot.

For updates and other information, go to Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Wildfire information, here

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Read about 240,000 arrested for having pot in Wash. …

Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Seattle Times published a story today that says a new study indicates almost a quarter million people have been arrested for marijuana possession over the past 25 years in Washington State.

Associated Press writer Gene Johnson says the report released today is based on data from the FBI.

Read about it here

Seattle Times reporter Jonathan Martin looked in more detail and reported arrests are estimated to have cost at least $300 million.

Read Martin’s story here

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Read about the new meth: Much stronger and much less expensive …

Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Everett) Herald published a story today about how exceptionally cheaper and extraordinarily more potent methamphetamine is being smuggled into U.S. markets from Mexico compared with five years ago.

And lots more of it.

Read the Associated Press news story about the changes that come in part with a new recipe that tuns out a clearer, glassier product.

The Associated Press writer quotes a DEA agent as calling the manufacturers “marketing geniuses” who are expanding their customer base by getting more people hooked.

Read about it here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

BULLYING AT THE PLAYGROUND

• Chehalis police called to Penny Playground yesterday afternoon by an individual who said three teenage girls were screaming and yelling at another girl for more than 30 minutes arrested the trio for disorderly conduct. The 15-year-old target of their discontent told an officer one of them had been bullying her for almost a year, according to the Chehalis Police Department. A 15-year-old and a pair of 14-year-olds, from Chehalis and Centralia, were cited and then released at the scene, Officer Linda Bailey said.

FULL MOON OVER CHEHALIS

• In the 12 hours that began about 4:30 p.m. yesterday, police in Chehalis were called to eight more incidents of people yelling, arguing or otherwise flipping out around town, including to the 400 block of North Market Boulevard in which the caller said a couple in the apartment above were throwing things at each other and a box of goldfish crackers came down at the caller from a window. None resulted in any arrests.

TAVERN TROUBLES

• When police responded to a complaint of assault at a Centralia bar around closing time last night, a 25-year-old man who allegedly kept shoving his phone in the officers’ faces was arrested for obstruction. Police Sgt. Kurt Reichert said the man was told it was fine to take video but he needed to step back and refused to do so. Patrick D. Eastman was cited for interfering and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department. It happened on the 200 block of North Tower Avenue. Officers completed a report from a patron who said when an employee tried to take his drink away, the glass bumped him in the mouth. The matter is being passed along to the city attorney for evaluation of any possible charge, according to Reichert.

JEWELRY BOX GRABBED THROUGH WINDOW

• A 29-year-old Onalaska man was arrested for burglary after someone reported they saw him open a bedroom window, reach in and steal a jewelry box from a nightstand at the 200 block of Allison Road in Ethel. A deputy called at 10 a.m. yesterday to the home of his ex-girlfriend also noted a violation of a protection order, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Jonathan I. Shipp was located later elsewhere and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY IN SILVER CREEK

• A deputy took a report yesterday evening from the 2900 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Silver Creek about a burglary to a trailer belonging to a 67-year-old woman who is locked up in jail. It apparently occurred sometime between Oct. 6 and Wednesday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MISSING

• A child’s clarinet was stolen at school, according to a report made to Centralia police yesterday morning from the 200 block of East Oakview Avenue.

CAR PROWL

• A stereo was reported stolen out of a vehicle on the 500 block of South Ash Street in Centralia yesterday. It apparently occurred overnight, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called just after 1 p.m. yesterday about a vehicle prowl on Northeast Kresky Avenue.

• Police were called yesterday morning about windows being found broken out of a vehicle at the 1400 block of Delaware Avenue in Centralia.

SUSPECTED DRUGS INSIDE JAIL, INMATE

• A 27-year-old inmate was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital for an “in-depth search and observation” after she allegedly introduced contraband into the jail. A deputy was informed yesterday morning that Jobie K. Watson was in a holding cell when a corrections officer heard a metal tin drop onto the floor, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The officer entered and found half a tin, two pills and other unspecified personal items, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The hospital reported finding nothing, Brown said. The partially dissolved tablets are being sent in for analysis, according to Brown. Watson had been booked the night before for possession of methamphetamine.

METH ARREST

• A 28-year-old Randle man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine when deputies were called to assist a Department of Corrections officer yesterday morning and an incident of an alleged violation of a protection order at the 300 block of Kiona Road in Randle. Eldon J. Purdy was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

WRECK

• A 17-year-old Centralia girl was taken to the hospital with leg pain after she lost control of her vehicle and rolled it onto its top yesterday morning on the 200 block of Brim Road in  Onalaska. A deputy called to the scene about 7:45 a.m. cited her for speeds too fast, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

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News brief: Auditor finds shortcomings in Ony fire department’s adherence to bid laws

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An audit issued for the Onalaska area fire department found the department violated parts of the state law requiring competitively bidding projects and purchases.

An elected three-member board governs Lewis County Fire District 1 and it has one part-time employee. The Washington State Auditor’s Office noted the district had several staffing changes during the audit period – the four years ending on Dec. 31, 2011 –  and couldn’t locate documentation to support some of the transactions.

Specifically, they obtained quotes for fire gear and a vehicle totaling $80,867 but should have formally bid the purchases, according to report issued on Monday. The district did not retain records to support why it didn’t choose the lowest bidder on one of the purchases, the report states.

Also, it used another fire district’s bid to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus, but didn’t have a formal agreement with that district allowing the use of the bid, according to the report.

Also, while the district used Lewis County’s so-called small works roster for construction of a new fire station, it hadn’t formally adopted the use of the roster as required, the report states.

The auditor notes the effects of the conditions are the district limited competition for the new fire station and its purchases, and cannot demonstrate it adequately safeguarded resources by getting the best price and / or bidder.

The auditor recommended the fire district ensure its staff get adequate training and understand the importance of compliance with bid laws

The fire district’s response to the auditor was its board will formally adopt the use of the small works roster process; it will review the law and follow required procedures in the future; and it did get multiple quotes to find the best price while staying with like equipment, the report notes.

District one changed fire chiefs and its secretary, as well as had six different commissioners serving during the audit period.

There were no shortcomings identified in other areas examined, such as payroll, general revenue, financial condition and open public meetings act. Nor have any findings been made in the previous three audits.

The fire district, with approximately 30 volunteers, operated on an annual budget of $400,000 which comes from property taxes and an EMS levy, according to audit.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

Updated at 12:26 p.m.

WOMAN ACCOSTED ON CENTRALIA STREET

• Centralia police were called about 3:20 p.m. yesterday to the 1200 block of Mellen Street after a homeless man allegedly attempted to steal a cell phone from a pedestrian. “The guy approaches her, talks to her, reaches in a grabs her cell phone from her pocket,” Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. She screamed, he was arrested, according to Reichert. Andre Smith, 34, from the Los Angles area, had blocked the 27-year-old woman and asked where she’d been all his life, according to Reichert. The sergeant indicated he had the impression Smith was less than stable. Smith was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree robbery.

SCRAP STOLEN

• An officer took a report about 5 p.m. yesterday from an auto repair business on the 1600 block of South Gold Street in Centralia of stolen scrap metal. The loss as estimated at almost $1,700, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PROPANE TANK KEY LIFTED FROM SERVICE STATION

• Centralia police were called to a gas station on the 1000 block of Ellsbury Street about 9:20 p.m. yesterday when a key mysteriously vanished along with a pair of males men who had asked for change. When the clerk returned with the change, the key for the propane filling station was missing and the customers were gone, according to police. Jeremy D. Jackson, a 30-year-old homeless man, was subsequently identified and arrested for third-degree theft, according to Sgt. Kurt Reichert. A police dog found the discarded key in some weeds nearby, Reichert said.

DRUGS MISSING

• Police were called about 9 p.m. yesterday to a home on the 1400 block of Johnson Road in Centralia where a woman said someone came into her unlocked residence and stole a bottle of medication.

CAR PROWL

• A wallet and money were among the items taken in a vehicle prowl on the 300 block of South Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday at around 11:15 a.m. Some 45 minutes later, another car prowl was reported in the same area, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS FOUND

• A package containing suspected drugs which was left behind on a motel room on the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia is being sent to a lab for finger printing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 27-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine at the 1300 block of Lakeshore Drive in Centralia last night. Jobie K. Watson was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer shortly after 11:30 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department. She is to be released with no charges pending further investigation.

DOG POOP CALL

• Chehalis police were called about 4 p.m. yesterday when someone phoned 911 to say two men let their dog poop right in front of Security State Bank on Northwest Louisiana Avenue, although they did clean it up. No arrests were made.

HUMONGOUS BRUSH PILE FIRE

• A giant pile of timber and brush that ignited near Rochester was contained overnight but is expected to burn for days, according to fire officials. Firefighters were called about 9 p.m. yesterday to the acreage near Interstate 5 at the 16500 block of Case Road, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. An assistant chief from one of the seven fire departments which joined them said it was described to him as 300,000 cubic feet of material harvested from along the freeway. Spokesperson Lanette Dyer indicated it covered two to three acres.

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Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

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Food on stove ignites Centralia home

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A family on the 500 block of Hemlock Street in Centralia is displaced after a house fire yesterday evening that started on a stove top.

Firefighters called about 6:15 p.m. found heavy smoke coming from the eves of the two-story house, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The occupants had stepped out briefly while preparing dinner, according to Assistant Fire Chief Rick Mack.

Mack estimated the damage at about $50,000.

“The structural damage was limited,” Mack said. “Mostly it’s all the kitchen cabinets and counter tops.”

However, most of the contents of the home were damaged or destroyed by heavy smoke and heat, Mack said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm

BOOZE RUN

• Chehalis police were called about 4:50 p.m. on Saturday to a report a young kid ran out of a store on the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard with a bottle of vodka.

BIRD CALL

• Chehalis police were called on Friday morning to a report from Southeast Dobson Court where a female said she had a small bird stuck on a flypaper strip, which was injured.

BOOZE ROLL

• A 29-year-old Centralia man was arrested for driving under the influence when his vehicle left the roadway and landed on its top in a ditch along the 300 block of North Gold Street in Centralia early this morning. Officers called about 1:30 a.m. to the scene noted Justin T. Bresee and his passenger had only minor injuries.

VEHICLE VERSUS POLE

• Centralia police were called to a minor injury collision just before 7 o’clock this morning when a vehicle ran into a utility pole on the 1600 block of Cooks Hill Road causing power lines to fall to the ground.

‘AWW, SHOOT’

• A sheriff’s deputy was called about 1 p.m. yesterday when a woman who followed a semi truck off the freeway to talk to the driver about a piece of rubber that flew off his truck pulled in behind him at National Frozen Foods in Chehalis and promptly found the big rig backing into the front of her Honda Civic. The 69-year-old woman from Vancouver said the debris had struck her vehicle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The driver of the Freightliner didn’t see her car when he backed to back up to straighten out his trailer, the sheriff’s office reported. No one was injured. The combined damage – to the Honda – was not yet known, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

NATIONAL FOREST FIRE WATCH

• Officials reported today that 70 personnel are working to stop the forest fire south of Packwood that began on a ridge called South Point. They are preparing Forest Service Road 2115 as a containment line between the blaze and Packwood, according to Gifford Pinchot National Forest spokesperson Ken Sandusky. The fire grew over the weekend to about 250 acres due to winds, according to the Forest Service. Sandusky noted 36 people are assigned to a fire in what he called the Mineral Block, which is now about 50 percent contained. Also in the Gifford Pinchot, some 229 people are working an ongoing fire on the southwest side of Mount Adams that has burned more than 20,000 acres. That blaze, dubbed the Cascade Creek Fire, showed no significant growth  yesterday, Sandusky reported.

RAIN COMING

• The Washington State Patrol is reminding motorists that with the coming rain will be extra slick roadways. Oils and various lubricants which have dripped from vehicles all summer long will be released once it rains and will spread over the roads, Trooper Guy Gill says. Gill recommends slowing down and increasing following distance to avoid wrecks. Driving too fast for road conditions is the most common driver error troopers see in collisions, according to Gill. The National Weather Service reports showers are likely on Friday from Pe Ell to Packwood.

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News brief: Centralia toddler homicide by abuse trial to last a week

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – James M. Reeder, now 26, appeared briefly in court today when lawyers apprised the judge of their progress in preparation for a trial in the death of 2-year-old Koralynn Fister.

Prosecutors allege Reeder tortured and raped his live-in girlfriend’s youngest daughter in their Centralia home. Reeder was arrested May 24 after he claimed he found her face down in the bathtub.

Defense attorney David Arcuri and Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead told the judge they thought the trial would last seven days. It is set for the week of January 28.

Reeder is charged in Lewis County Superior Court with homicide by abuse, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree child rape and possession of methamphetamine.

He has pleaded not guilty.
•••

For background, read “Defendant in Centralia toddler death by abuse case pleads not guilty” from Thursday July 12, 2012, here

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Breaking news: Dehydrated, exhausted mushroom picker found walking near searchers’ camp near Randle

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Search and rescue teams are rejoicing with the family of 79-year-old Tacoma resident Dapeng Yang who was located this afternoon alive and well after spending 48 hours lost in the woods south of Randle.

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Dapeng Yang

Yang was found about 2 p.m. walking near Forest Service Road 26, within a mile of the searchers’ base camp, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

“He is in good condition and will be transported by ambulance to Morton General Hospital for treatment of dehydration,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said in a news release. “He is exhausted but did not have any signs of obvious injuries.”

Yang got separated from his family on Sunday morning as they gathered mushrooms in the forest.

Brown said it’s unknown why he did not respond to searchers calling his name and blowing whistles.

She had said previously there was a language barrier with those who reported him missing, as they were speaking Chinese.

His two female family members looked for him on Sunday and called for help that afternoon.

The area is heavily wooded, about 10 miles south of Randle, according to Brown.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield issued a statement expressing how pleased searchers are about the outcome.

“This is an incredible ending. Neither this mans’ family nor our search and rescue team gave up hope,” Mansfield said in the  news release. “Our teams worked tirelessly for the last 48 hours in hopes of finding this man alive. We are very pleased that the mission turned out in such a positive manner.”

More than 30 volunteer searchers with horses, Jeeps, dogs and ham radios joined the effort from Lewis, Thurston, Cowlitz and other Western Washington counties.

•••

For background, read: “Tacoma man missing from mushroom gathering outing south of Randle” from Monday October 8, 2012 at 8:40 a.m., here

See video when Yang spoke with KING5.com after he returned to his Tacoma home, here

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Search continues for missing mushroom picker near Randle

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 11:48 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A second night fell with no sign of a 79-year-old Tacoma man who vanished while gathering mushrooms in the forests south of Randle.

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Dapeng Yang

Dapeng Yang is an experienced hiker and isn’t believed to have any medical issues which would have contributed to him getting lost, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Searchers combed the area until dark last night and more than 30 individuals are looking for Yang again today, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

He and two female family members were in the area off Forest Road 26 near Strawberry Mountain picking mushrooms on Sunday.

They last saw him about 10:30 a.m. and called for help when he did not reappear by 3 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

It’s a heavily wooded area about 10 miles south of Randle, according to Brown.

The sheriff’s office says he was not prepared for an overnight stay, although he did have a backpack with water.

Multiple search and rescue teams from around Western Washington are assisting.
•••

For background, read: “Tacoma man missing from mushroom gathering outing south of Randle” from Monday October 8, 2012 at 8:40 a.m., here

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Rochester man accused of stealing more than $200,000 from employer

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 3:33 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 43-year-old Rochester man has been charged with theft from his employer, accused of diverting an estimated $230,000 from a discount building supply store in Rochester.

Larry Ledl is scheduled to make his plea in Thurston County Superior Court next Tuesday.

Ledl worked for VJs Bargain Barn, a business on the 6500 block of 198th Avenue Southwest, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

VJs had some concerns and hired an outside accountant to look over the books, sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin said. The theft was discovered and the sheriff’s office began investigating in May, Elwin said.

Money was coming in but not getting to the bank, he said.

Ledl quit before he was arrested, according to Elwin. “He just didn’t show up for work one day,” he said.

“It sounds like he became aware he was the subject of this investigation pretty early on,” Elwin said.

Ledl was arrested on Sept. 28 and released on bail.

He was charged on Oct. 2 with first-degree theft, in connection with money missing between mid-2008 and July 31, 2011, according to the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office. The charging includes an alternative of 22 counts of felony theft, according to Senior Deputy Prosecutor Mark Thompson.

Elwin said Ledl opened a similar business in Chehalis since the alleged theft; Builders Surplus Northwest.

An employee there yesterday said the owner – someone who is not Ledl – had no comment.

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News brief: Winds expand forest fire south of Packwood

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 3:28 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Forest Service was ramping up efforts yesterday after aggressively fighting a forest fire about 10 miles south of Packwood over the weekend, using helicopters to drop water on the flames.

The so-called South Point Fire has grown to more than 250 acres, as east winds contributed to higher fire behavior over the past couple of days, according to a news release Monday from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

“Most of the fire spread has been to the southeast, away from town, so it still seems unlikely this fire will move off forest or threaten the community of Packwood,”  District Ranger Garr Abbas said in the news release.

Conditions including rough terrain has kept personnel from fighting the fire on the ground, according to Abbas.

On the east side, the fire is reaching toward the bottom of the Johnson Creek drainage near Forest Road 3115, according to the Forest Service.

Forest Road 21 is closed temporarily to facilitate their suppression efforts.

Abbas noted they are working with the Packwood Fire Department to schedule another community meeting at their station at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to help keep the public informed.

Officials have said they believe the fire was sparked in early September by lightening.

A new fire began over the weekend in the Mineral block of the National Forest that was measured yesterday afternoon at about five acres, but is roughly 65 percent contained and was expected to be fully contained by today, according to Abbas. The new fire presents no known threat to the public or adjacent landowners currently, he stated.

Hoped for shifting winds may help by bringing moister air and cooler temperatures, he noted.

•••

CORRECTION: This news story has been updated to correctly reflect the numbered name of the road near the Johnson Creek drainage.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, October 8, 2012 at 11:49 am

Updated at 12:28 p.m.

RANDLE MAN THREATENED WITH SHOTGUN

• Two men were arrested last night after they reportedly used a shotgun and a chainsaw to encourage a Randle man to move away. Deputies called about 8 p.m. to the 100 block of Kiona Road were told the pair arrived uninvited to the trailer of the 45-year-old victim and that Lloyd J. Goble, 33, held a gun directly under the victim’s head trying to get him to move off the property. At the same time, Gabriel J. Smithers, 29, was outside cutting a cedar tree and threatening to drop it onto the trailer, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. They were described as acquaintances, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. She wasn’t sure if either of the suspects had an ownership interest in the property or what their reasoning was. Two shots were fired before they left, Brown said. Goble, of Randle, and Smithers of Olympia, were subsequently located at the Big Bottom Bar and Grill in Randle and booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault and burglary, Brown said.

CAR CRASHES INTO DRUG STORE

• A driver rammed into the side of the Rite Aid drug store in Centralia yesterday when she attempted to park and mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes, according to Centralia police. Aid called to the scene at 1200 Harrison Avenue said nobody was hurt but the exterior wall was shoved in about a foot and it “knocked a bunch of product of the shelves.” The store remained open, according to Riverside Fire Authority’s Capt. Greg Schwartz.

BOOZE LIFTED AFTER BREAK-IN

• Someone broke into a distillery on the 700 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia and made off with a bottle of whiskey, according to the Centralia Police Department. An officer who took the report yesterday morning concluded they threw a rock through the door sometime during the night.

KIDS, ALCOHOL AND FOOTBALL

• An underage girl and an underage boy were arrested for being in possession of alcohol on Friday night at a football game on the 2500 block of Mount Vista Road in Centralia, according to police.

CREDIT CARD FRAUD

• Centralia police took a report on Friday from the 200 block of West Oakview Avenue about someone making fraudulent charges of about $100 on someone else’s credit card. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 29-year-old Centralia woman was found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine and heroin when she was arrested for a warrant about 12:30 p.m. yesterday at East Center Street and North Tower Avenue, according to police. Elizabeth J. Bowman was booked in to the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECKS

• An 81-year-old driver and his two passengers were hospitalized last night with what appeared to minor injuries when his brakes failed as he was rounding a curve on the 1000 block of Gore Road in Onalaska, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 1992 Toyota van hit several small trees and landed on its side, sustaining major damage, according to a deputy who arrived about 9:20 p.m.

• A 57-year-old Winlock man was driving too fast and under the influence when he totaled his car yesterday afternoon on state Route 505 about 10 miles out of Toledo, according to the Washington State Patrol. A trooper called to the scene just before 5 p.m. reported Marc V. Raubuch was unable to negotiate a curve and lost control causing his 2000 Mercedes 320 to roll and come to rest in a field. Raubuch  was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital where he was treated and has been released, according to authorities.

• Two occupants of a Toyota Camry were treated at Providence Centralia Hospital following an early morning three-vehicle collision on Interstate 5 about five miles south of Chehalis yesterday, according to the Washington State Patrol. A trooper called about 4:40 a.m. to the northbound lanes near milepost 70 indicated Aleksey T. Kozorezov, 79, of Bothell, lost control of his car and hit a Pontiac Grand Am driven by a Winlock woman and a big rig. He and his 34–year-old passenger, Andrey A. Kozorezov of Federal Way were transported to the hospital but have since been released, according to authorities. No other injuries or serious vehicle damage was indicated.

• A 44-year-old Ethel man was hospitalized with complaints of abdominal pain after a single-vehicle wreck on Saturday evening on the 400 block of Tucker Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The driver said he was eastbound when he lost control at a corner and ran into a tree, according to the sheriff’s office. His Dodge Dakota pickup suffered major damage, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• A 22-year-old woman escaped injury when she had a seizure and her car left the roadway off the 700 block of West Reynolds Avenue in Centralia, traveling through a yard, a hedge and barbed wire fence before coming to rest in a pasture on Saturday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy arriving to the scene about 10:20 a.m. noted nobody else was injured and the damage was minor. She taken to Providence Centralia Hospital for treatment of her seizure, according to the sheriff’s office. The woman was not cited but a driver re-evaluation form will be forwarded to the state Department of Licensing, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

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Tacoma man missing from mushroom gathering outing south of Randle

Monday, October 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Volunteers on horseback are looking for a 79-year-old Tacoma man who got separated and lost from his family yesterday while picking mushrooms near Randle.

He was with two family members off Forest Road 26 near Strawberry Mountain about 10 miles south of Randle at 10:30 a.m. yesterday; the family called for assistance about 3 p.m. after looking for him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

“When they could not find him they returned to their car and waited,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown stated in a news release. “When he didn’t return to the car they began searching for him but were still unable to find him.”

Temperatures reached 32 degrees in the area last night, according to Brown.

The missing man had a backpack with water but was not prepared for an overnight stay, she said. The family said he is an experienced hiker.

Packwood Search and Rescue along with Cascade Dogs searched for him until about midnight, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lewis County Posse’s horse team and citizen ham radio operators are at the scene this morning searching, Brown said.

Volunteer search and rescue groups from Thurston and Cowlitz counties are en route to assist, according to Brown.

Kirotv.com identifies the missing man as Dapeng Yang.

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News brief: Authorities seek help finding elderly Centralia pair

Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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Florence L. Fisher and James O’Neal. / Courtesy photo Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

Update: The sheriff’s office said about 7:15 p.m. the pair were found in Ballard and are safe.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Police are asking for the public’s help finding a missing elderly Centralia couple.

James L. O’Neal, 85, and Florence L. Fisher, 92, were last seen about 11:30 p.m. on Friday in the Everett area and were reported missing yesterday afternoon, according to the Centralia Police Department.

He was driving a dark blue Pontiac Vibe hatchback.

“Apparently both have forms of dementia, hers being more prominent,” Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Pat Smith said.

Smith said he understood they were in an accident and a family member was on their way up to meet them.

“I don’t know any details; it must have been minor,” Smith said. “The car was still drivable and nobody went to the hospital.”

However, the couple drove off, Smith said. They had been at a Dennys restaurant in Everett.

“They’re concerned he could get disoriented,” Smith said, noting O’Neal apparently thought he was in Centralia

The public is asked to call police if they see them or their car.

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Maurin murders: Amount of new evidence overwhelming the defense

Friday, October 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm
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Ricky Riffe listens to his attorney John Crowley in court this morning.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The trial in the 1985 Maurin kidnap and murder case was pushed out once again as the defense voiced concerns about slowness of information being turned over to him while the prosecutor worries about witnesses who could die before they ever get called to the stand.

Ricky Allen Riffe, 53, appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this morning as attorneys reviewed the status of the case with Judge Richard Brosey.

It was scheduled for the week of Nov. 5.

Seattle-based defense attorney John Crowley said he won’t be prepared by then.

Crowley told the judge he just received a witness statement from Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead; a witness he still needs to interview.

“It was typed August 30, I got it two days ago,” Crowley said.

Crowley noted his client was arraigned in August, but the state just last week collected DNA from his client, which is presumably now being tested at the state crime lab.

He also pointed out the prosecutor turned over 6,000 emails as recently as Tuesday collected from his client’s computer.

“The point is, we can’t be ready, given the rate of production of discovery by the state,” Crowley said.

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Ed and Minnie Maurin

Halstead objected to the request for a postponement until March, and being accused of “dribbling” the required documents to the defense.

“This is a case that’s recently re-emerged,” Halstead said. “As you can imagine, people have come forward.”

Halstead said the state has serious concerns about witnesses being available given the case is 27 years old, noting one who had a heart attack last week.

“He’s not the only one who might not be around in six months,” Halstead said.

Riffe, a former Lewis County resident, was a long time suspect but was just arrested in July at his home in Alaska.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has investigated and reinvestigated the case since December 1985 when Ed and Wilhelmina Maurin vanished from their home in Ethel and their bodies turned up days later off a logging road outside Adna.

Prosecutors believe Riffe and his now-deceased brother John Gregory Riffe got into the Maurin’s home, uncovered bank records and forced the couple to go with them to the bank and withdraw $8,500 before shooting them in the backs with a shotgun inside their car, according to charging documents.

Ed Maurin was 81 years old. His wife, who went by Minnie, was 83.

The prosecution has in excess of 100 witnesses, some from out of state. Halstead today said the trial could last as long as four weeks. Last month, he estimated it could take two or possibly three weeks.

Judge Brosey said he would reschedule the trial for the week of Feb. 4 and proposed setting aside the whole month. He wants the attorneys to meet with him again in mid-November to review their progress.

“I don’t think I can be ready,” Crowley told him. “Given the computer and biological evidence floating out there.”

Halstead is preparing to take a formal deposition of one of his witnesses, Donald Burgess of Centralia, just in case his health prevents him from being present at the trial.

The parties will be back in court next Friday morning to address the details of the deposition with the judge.

Riffe is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery, as well as one count of burglary.

He has pleaded not guilty. His attorney continues to claim they got the wrong man.

Today in court he expressed optimism about the results of the DNA tests, which he’s still waiting to see.

“This was a bloody scene,” he said. “Hopefully the perpetrator left behind some evidence.”
•••

For background, read “Maurin homicide: Accused murderer’s lawyer says no new evidence in old case” from Thursday July 26, 2012, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, October 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm

‘I SEE YOU’

• A sheriff’s detective driving by the Handi Mart on Kerron Avenue in Winlock yesterday morning stopped when he spotted an individual on a mountain bike making repeated brief contacts with people in cars in the parking lot. The detective observed for awhile because numerous complaints have been received over the past few months about suspected drug dealing there, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. When the man motioned for one motorist to follow him up the street and the detective saw some kind of exchange, he contacted the bicyclist, Christopher W. Shope, 47, Winlock, and arrested him for possession of methamphetamine, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Shope denied selling drugs but admitted he had about $20 worth of meth with him, Brown said. Shope was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

ASSAULT WITH WOODEN ROD

• A 49-year-old Centralia man was arrested for second degree assault yesterday morning after he allegedly threatened to strike family members with a wooden closet rod. Keith A. Smith was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer about 8:20 p.m. at the 1400 block of Johnson Road in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO

• A woman wanted for hit and run for allegedly colliding with some mailboxes on the 1400 block of Centralia-Alpha Road as her boyfriend fled an alleged assault on Tuesday was arrested when she was spotted at Dennys in Chehalis last night. Raelynn D. Gonzales said she didn’t know where Mitchell W. Sinclair was, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail. He is wanted for allegedly striking a woman in the head and face with a steel bar.

THE GOOD STUFF IS GONE

• An empty purse found on a piece of equipment at a business on the 600 block of Northwest State Street in Chehalis was turned into the police department yesterday. The brown handbag discovered with an empty blue cloth lunch bag had no name or anything inside of it, according to police.

DEER WRECK

• A 37-year-old Castle Rock woman escaped serious injury when she swerved to miss a deer, crossed over the center lane and hit a guard rail before heading down an embankment. It happened about 8 p.m. yesterday on the 1000 block of Jackson Highway South near Toledo, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Her vehicle sustained major damage and she was cited for wheels off the roadway because her attempt to avoid the deer was unsafe, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CHIMNEY FIRE

• Firefighters were called just before 7 p.m. yesterday to a fire on Vine Street in Napavine found five-foot high flames coming from a chimney. It was extinguished before it spread to the structure, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. Firefighter Brad Bozarth said its a good time for folks to get their chimneys cleaned if they haven’t already done so. This one was cleaned last year, but not very well, he said.

NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS

• Four firefighters from West Thurston Regional Fire Authority traveled to Mason County last night to assist with a wild fire that  has burned about 150 acres. Fire Chief Robert Scott reminds folks there is a red flag alert in place in parts of Western Washington because weather conditions are ripe for fires. The (Tacoma) News Tribune reports the blaze near Shelton threatened about 100 structures when it began yesterday but 100 firefighters who worked through the night have it 30 percent contained.