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News brief: One hurt in crash near Tenino

Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 5:22 am

Updated at 1:07 p.m. and 6:06 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 50-year-old Rochester woman was critically injured in a single-vehicle collision just west of Tenino last night in which her truck struck a fence.

Troopers called just before 7 p.m. to Old Highway 99 near Mima Acres Road found the 2002 Toyota pickup in a field, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Colleen L. Stuart was traveling westbound when her truck left the roadway to the right striking a fence, according to the state patrol. She was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to Trooper Guy Gill.

The cause of the collision is under investigation.

There were no indications of alcohol or drug involvement, nor of excessive speed, Gill said. There were no witnesses, he said,

Stuart was struck in the head and neck by a fence board, he said.

“The chances of survival after that happens are very slim,” Gill said. “With these types of injuries, the chances are very slim.”

As of 12:26 p.m. today, she was still listed in critical condition by the hospital, according to Gill.

A Rochester woman with the same name, age 49, survived a collision that killed three others almost a year ago on Brooklyn Road in Grays Harbor County. It’s not clear if it’s the same woman.

Update: Gill reported at 5:48 p.m. today that Stuart passed away today.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, November 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm

TAKIN’ A BREAK

• Chehalis police were called about 3 p.m. yesterday regarding an unresponsive man sitting in a vehicle in the middle of the street on the 100 block of South Washington Avenue. Eric M. Myhre, 27, of Centralia, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance when pills were found in his pocket, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Myhre was also arrested for being in physical control of a vehicle under the influence, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Officer Linda Bailey.

TAKIN’ A WALLET

• A 28-year-old man was arrested yesterday afternoon at the Centralia Outlets on Lum Road after he allegedly stole a $100 wallet from the Coach store and then tossed it over a fence as officers arrived to confront him and his companions. Police were called about 3:50 p.m. after an employee checked security footage after feeling suspicious about a group of shoppers, according to the Centralia Police Department. Jose Rentria Hernandez, of Fresno, Calif. was booked into the Lewis County Jail for obstruction and third-degree theft, Officer Angie Humphrey said. “His friends were like appalled, they were not happy with him,” Humphrey said.

TAKING A BUNCH OF STUFF

• Chehalis police were called to Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon when security footage turned up someone walking out of the store with a computer system and two home surveillance systems, according to police. The person had apparently left with the items on Tuesday without paying, according to police.

WHISKEY HEIST

• Chehalis police were called about 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday to a report a man left Safeway on South Market Boulevard with an unpaid-for half gallon of Jack Daniels whiskey. No arrest was made, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

SUV VERSUS BIG RIG

• Police and aid were called about 3:15 p.m. yesterday when an SUV ran into a semi truck at the 3000 block of Galvin Road in Centralia. It destroyed the front end of the SUV but the 30-year-old driver declined aid, according to responders. “He said he was not injured,” Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Greg Schwartz said. “Probably quite surprised, but not injured.” However, the driver Steven M. Mullins, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for an outstanding warrant, according to police.

TAKE THAT LAMINATOR AWAY

• Firefighters were called to Centralia’s Oakview Elementary School about 9:40 a.m. yesterday for an overheated laminating machine. Smoke from the same piece of equipment on Monday morning sent the students outside and drew firefighters. The school thought they had the problem solved, according to Fire Capt. Greg Schwartz. “They’re taking that machine out of service,” he said.

RESPONDERS SAVE DOT WORKER WHOSE HEART STOPPED

• Toledo and Winlock firefighters and medics called to a possible seizure along side Interstate 5 near Vader this morning found a state DOT worker in cardiac arrest, according to Lewis County Fire District 2. They were able to successfully resuscitate the 42-year-old man who was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Fire Chief Grant Wiltbank. He was transferred to a hospital in Olympia for further treatment, Wiltbank said.

POLICE: HOMELESS MAN CHOOSES JAIL INSTEAD OF SUICIDE

• The Olympian reports a “down on his luck” 54-year-old transient is accused of robbing a Yelm bank of a single $20 bill on Wednesday, leaving the building, lighting a cigarette and waiting for police to arrest him. Read more here

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Breaking news: Winlock man admits he touched girl in campground restroom

Friday, November 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm
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Reginald L. Juntunen pleads guilty to child molestation in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Winlock man accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in a Mossyrock area campground restroom pleaded guilty this afternoon following a deal that will give him a sentence of 25 years to life.

Reginald L. Juntunen, 24, was arrested this summer after he was identified through DNA as a suspect in the unsolved case from September 2007.

Juntunen admitted he had sexual contact with the girl when asked by Judge Richard Brosey what he did  that constituted first-degree child molestation.

His mother, father and sister left the courtroom without comment after the brief hearing.

The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office initially charged him with first-degree rape of a child, but altered the allegations early on to include “or in the alternative, first-degree child molestation.”

At the time, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke said it was a precaution in case there were discrepancies in the victim’s statement.

The victim just turned 13.

O’Rourke said it was a good outcome in the case and the girl was “really happy” when she learned he would plead guilty.

Chehalis defense attorney Chris Baum said it’s a stiff penalty, but his client faced the possibility of “quite a bit more time” if he went to trial and lost.

Juntunen also pleaded guilty today to unrelated charges from incidents that took place this year; a burglary and selling stolen jewelry.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12.
•••

“Suspect pleads not guilty to modified charges in Mossyrock sexual assault of girl” from Friday Aug. 3, 2012, here

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Centralia slaughterhouse fight involved meathook and boning knife

Friday, November 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm
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Sabino Gomez-Barriga, right, consults with his attorney Bob Schroeter via an interpreter in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Bail was set at $250,000 for the man who allegedly stabbed a co-worker in the throat at a wholesale meat business in Centralia.

Sabino Gomez-Barriga, 35, is jailed and facing a charge of first-degree assault after the incident on Wednesday morning on the 1700 block of Airport Road.

The victim, 21-year-old Jorge Juarez of Centralia, remained in a critical care unit, prosecutors said yesterday.

According to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, it began as an argument between the two men and quickly turned physical. What the disagreement was over hasn’t been disclosed publicly.

Aid crews were summoned about 11:10 a.m. on Wednesday to what they initially were told was an accident and they requested an airlift for the patient, according to Riverside Fire Authority. About 20 minutes later, police from multiple agencies were dispatched, but Gomez-Barriga had fled on foot, charging documents state.

An airplane from the state patrol flew over the area and a tracking dog requested but by about 1 p.m. Gomez-Barriga was located at the San Juan Arms Apartments downtown Chehalis, according to authorities.

Gomez-Barriga said it was an accident and that he got a ride back to his apartment because he was scared, charging documents say.

The Five Star Beef Company alongside Interstate 5 was previously a slaughterhouse called The Beef Shop and before that was Midway Meats. The weapon was described as a sharp boning knife.

Gomez-Barriga spoke with his attorney through a Spanish interpreter when he went before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke asked for $500,000 bail arguing a danger to the community and a flight risk.

When police arrived, the suspect was getting into a vehicle saying he was on his way to dinner in Olympia, O’Rourke told the judge. “We think otherwise,” he said.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter requested $50,000 bail, noting his client has no criminal history and has lived in Chehalis for three years.

“I’m confident there is a lot more to this story that we don’t realize,” Schroeter said. “Especially given the language barrier here.”

Charging documents describe what the sheriff’s office learned from another worker who witnessed the alleged attack.

Juan Lopez said he was working inside the building with the two men when a verbal confrontation began, charging documents state.

They go on to give the following account: Lopez said Juarez struck Gomez-Barriga in the face with his fist and then Gomez-Barriga grabbed a metal meat hook, using the blunt end to begin jabbing Juarez in the abdomen.

Juarez backed away, but Gomez-Barriga grabbed a sharp boning knife that is used at work and stabbed Juarez directly in the throat.

The younger man put his hand on his throat, but when he removed it to open a door and leave, blood started to spurt everywhere.

When Gomez-Barriga was interviewed by a sheriff’s detective and an officer fluent in Spanish, he admitted there was an incident in which his co-worker was injured.

Gomez-Barriga contended he was flailing to try to stab a third person who was holding him from behind when he accidentally stabbed Juarez.

When asked why he didn’t call for help after he was punched or why he escalated to using a deadly weapon, Gomez-Barriga responded there were women at work and he didn’t want to “look like a kid in front of them.”

Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Terry Ternan said people were putting direct pressure on the victim’s wound when aid arrived and he was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital.

On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said the victim was in critical condition, but yesterday morning sheriff’s Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said his injuries were no longer believed to be life-threatening.

The sheriff’ office initially reported Juarez’s age as 30, but yesterday said he was 21.

Charging documents presented in  court yesterday afternoon say Juarez survived his surgery at Providence, but remained intubated, unable to speak and not able to give a statement.

Gomez-Barriga will be back in the courtroom next Thursday to make his pleas.

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Toledo driver gives new meaning to ‘over the river and though the woods’

Friday, November 9, 2012 at 10:43 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 39-year-old Toledo motorist was rescued after he was stranded as long as two hours this morning when he missed a stop sign in the fog and launched his vehicle off the road, over a creek and into several trees.

It happened at Grimes and Evans roads northeast of Toledo.

The man, whose name was not released, was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.

He suffered several traumatic injuries but was alert and oriented when he was found, Fire Chief Grant Wiltbank said.

Wiltbank said it appeared the man had been traveling south on Grimes Road at a fairly high rate of speed when he came to stop sign at the T-intersection.

“He proceeded to glance off several trees and vault over a 20-foot (wide) creek,” Wiltbank said.

The vehicle, so badly damaged the chief couldn’t say what it was, came to rest about 50 feet off the road. Wiltbank wasn’t sure what time the accident occurred.

“He said it took him an hour to find his cell phone, in the dark,” Wiltbank said. “The car was destroyed around him and he was hurt.”

The man called a family member who called 911 about 6:15 a.m., he said.

Responders waded across the approximately three-foot deep icy cold creek to carry him back on a stretcher, the chief said.

It was too foggy for a helicopter, so a plane with medics picked him up at the Centralia-Chehalis Airport to fly him to Seattle.

Wiltbank said despite the injuries, it looks like it turned out miraculously well.

“If he had not found his cell phone and somebody did not know he was missing, the outcome would have been different,” he said.

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Top cops: Recreational marijuana rules not yet in place

Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Well sure, Initiative 502 has passed but don’t think you can walk down the street and light up a bowl without getting arrested.

For starters, the new law regarding marijuana won’t take effect for 30 days, according to Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg.

And rules have to be written, Chehalis Police Chief Glenn Schaffer said.

“The questions are going to be confusing for people and the police,” Schaffer said yesterday. “We’ve been talking about it from a law enforcement perspective all day.”

The police chiefs of the two largest cities in Lewis County indicate they will be getting guidance from their legal advisors and / or other state and federal authorities.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield is looking to the county prosecutor and a communication from the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington for answers.

Its article disseminated yesterday indicates that as of Dec. 6, it will be legal under state law for individuals 21 or older to possess as much as one ounce of marijuana.

But it will be more than a year before licenses are issued to growers, distributors and retailers, according to the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington.

However, the sheriff says: “It is business as usual for us until all this gets finalized.”

The decisions about felony charges, and for misdemeanor crimes when the arrests come from the sheriff’s office and the state patrol in Lewis County are made by the elected prosecutor.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer yesterday morning met with the prosecutor in Thurston County on the topic and is studying the issue.

“We’re going though our analysis, figuring out the impact on us,” Meyer said.

There are still more questions than answers.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and Meyer isn’t certain the feds won’t play a role in how or whether the changes unfold.

“I suspect the federal government will step in and maybe issue an injunction,” he said.

The former defense attorney even hinted some police agencies may choose to continue to view marijuana as illegal.

“The way Arizona as a state enforced federal statutes in the immigration issue,” he said.

Mansfield said he’s disappointed, but as the elected sheriff, he serves the people.

“Lewis County said they don’t want this, but it’s statewide,” he said, referring to the preliminary ballot tallies.

Only 44 percent of Lewis County voters favored the measure, while 55 percent of voters throughout Washington said yes to I-502.

“If the law says this is what we’ll do, this is what we’ll do,” Mansfield said.
•••

For further information:

• Chief Schaffer shared a summary to legislators that shed some light for him. Read it here

• “What’s next for pot use in Washington? It’s a bit hazy” from The Olympian on Wednesday November 7, 2012, here

• “Pot legal Dec. 6, ‘jury is out on what happens’ after that” by The Seattle Times on Wednesday November 7, 2012 at 9:14 p.m. and November 8, 2012 at 3:52 p.m., here

• “Inquiries about pot production, sale flood two state agencies” from The Olympian on Thursday November 8, 2012, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm

ARSON INVESTIGATION IN RANDLE

• A deputy was called about 2:40 a.m. yesterday after a fire at the 600 block of Silverbrook Road in Randle where it appeared someone threw some type of gasoline soaked material onto the side of a motor home parked there. A neighbor used a fire extinguisher and the damage was limited to scorching of the paint,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The motor home belongs to a female from Eatonville, according to the sheriff’s office.

CENTRALIA BREAK-IN

• Police were called about 10:40 a.m. yesterday to a burglary at a home on the 400 block of Ash Street in Centralia. The resident said missing was jewelry, money and prescription meds, according to the Centralia Police Department. A door had been left unlocked, according to police.

RANDLE  BURGLARY

• A deputy took a report yesterday afternoon from the 100 block of Young Road in Randle about a missing beige-colored diesel heating stove. The owner of the rental home arrived yesterday to find the front door unlocked and the stove missing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The last tenants had moved out a month ago, according to the sheriff’s office.

DRUGS

• A 25-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for possession of methamphetamine overnight after an officer found suspected meth inside a handbag, according to Centralia police. Terry N. Couch was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer about 1 a.m. on the 1000 block of Eckerson Road, according to the Centralia Police Department. It’s not clear from a summary of the incident why a police officer was looking through someone’s handbag.

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Remains discovered on Joerk Road in Randle finally ID’d as missing local woman

Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 9:52 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Skeletal remains found in Randle last year have been positively identified as a woman who disappeared from her Randle home about a mile and a half away several months before.

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Trisha McKenzie-Fire

The Lewis County Coroner’s Office said this morning they are those of 58-year-old Trisha McKenzie-Fire.

The determination was made through a joint effort by a forensic anthropologist in King County and a local dentist who specializes in making identification through teeth, according to Coroner Warren McLeod.

McKenzie-Fire was reported missing by her live-in boyfriend in April 2011. Kent Anderson said he woke up one morning and she was gone from their home on Silverbrook Road, although she left her purse behind. Human remains were found the following September in a field on Joerk Road in Randle.

The cause and manner of her death remain under investigation, according to McLeod.

Anderson has since died. McLeod said all efforts to locate and notify McKenzie-Fire’s next-of-kin have been unsuccessful
•••

For background, read: “Breaking news: Human remains found in Randle” from Monday Sept. 26,  2011, here

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News brief: Packwood man fails to return from mushroom hunting outing

Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 8:42 am

Updated at 10:11 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Update: The missing man was found about 9:30 a.m. today, walking along a Forest Service Road about five miles from where he was last seen.

He told searchers he started a small fire to stay warm through the night, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was cold and wet but needed no medical treatment, according to the sheriff’s office.

Previous story:

Search and rescue volunteers were activated this morning to help find a Packwood man who hasn’t been seen since yesterday when he went out picking mushrooms in the forest south of Randle.

The 50-year-old man was not prepared to stay overnight; he was dressed in only jeans and a jean jacket, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

He did have a lighter with him, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

According to Brown, the man – whose identity is not being released – was with his friend about 12:30 p.m. yesterday on Lone Tree Mountain, off of Forest Service Road 55.

When the friend returned to his vehicle at 3:30 p.m., he began honking his horn to let his companion know he was ready to leave and also called out but received no response, according  to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies who were contacted about 7:45 p.m. drove the area but were unable to locate him, according to Brown.

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Judge says no to prisoner’s self-crafted motion to dismiss Morton homicide conviction

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm
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Jack Silverthorne is unrepresented in Lewis County Superior Court as he asks a judge to dismiss his manslaughter conviction.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 21-year-old sent off to prison last year after admitting he fatally punched a 16-year-old Morton boy in the head was back in court yesterday, asking to be set free.

Jack A. Silverthorne, now 22, filed a motion in Lewis County Superior Court from his cell at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Eastern Washington.

“It’s based on he’s never been in trouble before, and he was encouraged to take the plea,” his mother Kathryn Silverthorne said.

Silverthorne said her son rightfully ought to have been convicted of something less than he was, but didn’t understand, and just did what his defense attorney told him to do.

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Austin King

The Renton resident was arrested in November 2010 in connection with the death of Austin King that summer.

The 16-year-old vanished from his family’s home in the Tilton River Mobile Home Park early on June 23 and was the subject of a month-long search headed up by volunteers. His body was found some 10 miles away off a logging road outside Morton.

Silverthorne was staying with his grandmother in the trailer park and was one of two “buddies” Austin was with the last time Austin’s mother saw her son alive.

Since there was no trial, the details of exactly what happened or why were never revealed in court. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office believed there was a fight about a girl.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Silverthorne pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter – recklessly causing the death of another person – and was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison, the high end of the standard sentencing range for the crime.

He sat before Judge James Lawler yesterday afternoon without an attorney.

The hearing was brief. Silverthorne’s mother and sister were the only spectators in the Chehalis courtroom.

Yesterday was the first time she’d seen her son since he was sentenced early last year, his mother said. He was almost unrecognizable, she said. Since he was locked up, her son has lost a huge amount of weight, she said.

Kathryn Silverthorne said she understands the weight loss is due to medication prescribed after he was diagnosed in jail or prison with bipolar disease.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher objected to the self-crafted motion.

Lawler denied the motion, but noted it was more appropriately filed with the state Court of Appeals as a personal restraint petition. The judge certified the documents to be filed as such.

Outside the courtroom, Meagher said Silverthorne has the right to file the petition, that basically asks to be let out of prison.

But Meagher wasn’t optimistic about that happening.

Personal restraint petitions are usually something filed after someone is found guilty, Meagher said.

“But he pled guilty,” he said.

•••

For background, read “Morton teen homicide case ends with guilty plea” from Saturday May 7, 2011, here

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News brief: Scorched region on Mount Adams won’t reopen until springtime

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The south side of Mount Adams will remain closed this winter, following the forest fire that burned more than 20,000 acres there late this summer.

The closure will remain in effect into next spring, according to the officials from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

A winter climbing route on the east side of the Aiken Lava Bed will remain open, the forest service notes.

For details and a map, go to the Gifford Pinchot website. Or phone the Mount Adams Ranger Station at 509-395-3400.

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Breaking news: Worker critical after stabbing at Centralia meat plant

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were searching for a 35-year-old man after he stabbed a co-worker in the neck at the Beef Shop on Airport Road this morning.

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Sabino Gomez Barriga

It happened about 11:30 a.m., according to Brown.

The victim is in critical condition at Providence Centralia Hospital, she said.

The suspect, Sabino Gomez Barriga of Chehalis, fled the scene on foot shortly after it occurred, according to Brown. He was taken into custody and is enroute to the Lewis County Jail, according to Brown.

Brown says little is known about the victim at this time. Deputies are waiting for an interpreter to arrive at the hospital to learn more about what occurred, she said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

LOAD OF WIRING FOUND IN TRAFFIC STOP

• A burnt out bulb on a license plate and failing to use a turn signal caught the attention of a Centralia police officer on patrol early this morning, leading to the arrest of a driver with a load of what appeared to be freshly cut telecommunications wire in the bed of a vehicle. Kim R. Evans, 54, of Chehalis, was allegedly driving with a suspended license and initially gave an different name to the officer during the approximately 3:30 a.m. traffic top on the 1000 block of Mellen Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officer Angie Humphrey said police didn’t know where the wiring came from. “We are investigating right now, trying to find the source of that,” Humphrey said this morning. Evans was booked into the Lewis County Jail for obstruction, according to police.

PAIR WEARING HOODIES FLEE STORE WITH CARTFUL

• Chehalis police were called about 3:40 a.m. today after two males pushed a shopping cart full of merchandise out a fire exit at Wal-Mart. An officer was told they were wearing black hoodies and got into a teal-colored Honda Civic or Accord  that fled northbound, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police will review surveillance tapes to see what they can find, Sgt. Brian Hickey said.

APARTMENT BURGLARIZED

• Police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday after a resident returned to her apartment on the 900 block of North Tower Avenue and discovered the door opened, items inside moved around and several DVDs missing.

SHOP BROKEN INTO

• Someone stole two Stihl chainsaws, a Craftsman metric wrench set, a battery charger and other tools from a shop on the 100 block of Middle Fork Road outside Chehalis, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 46-year-old resident who reported the theft yesterday said it happened sometime between Sept. 21 and last Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.

STOLEN FIREARM FOUND

• A pistol stolen out of Pierce County turned up at a local business on the 800 block of West Main Street in Centralia yesterday, according to police. The discovery was made because pawn shops report certain items that they get to police, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ASSAULT

• A misdemeanor assault was investigated involving two juveniles yesterday at the 800 block of Eshom Road in Centralia. Further details were no readily available.

DRUGS

• A 24-year-old Centralia man was arrested for a warrant and possession of methamphetamine after being spotted by an officer about 8:25 p.m. walking along the 100 block of West Center Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Brian M. Williams was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

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Read about recreational marijuana initiative passes …

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 3:35 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Seattle Times writes that as of Dec. 6, it will no longer be illegal for adults over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, while a new “drugged driving” law for marijuana impairment kicks in.

Washington’s initiative 502 was winning 55 percent to 45 percent as election numbers were released Tuesday night, making it the first state along with Colorado to legalize recreational marijuana use, according to news reporter Jonathan Martin.

In Lewis County, only 44 percent of voters favored the measure, according to preliminary election results. A majority – 56 percent – of Thurston County voters said yes.

Seattle TImes reporter Craig Welch noted counties across the northern half of the state seemed to support the pot initiative while counties to the south voted it down.

Because cannabis remains illegal under federal law, federal authorities could sue to block I-502 from taking affect, but the Justice Department has given no hints about its plans, Associated Press writers say in a news story in The (Tacoma) News Tribune.

Read more here

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Read about Tenino mayor’s son attacked at school …

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 11:08 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

KOMOnews.com reports the teenage son of Tenino mayor Eric Strawn lost two front teeth when he was beaten at school on Monday.

The mayor says his 15-year-old has been harassed and bullied at Tenino High School ever since news reports of Strawn sharing “what he called an intimate moment” with a female friend in a car parked in Lacey.

Read more here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 10:18 am

MORE EQUIPMENT DAMAGED AS CENTRALIA BUSINESS VISITED AGAIN BY WIRE THIEVES

• The damage this time is in the neighborhood of $20,000 as thieves struck again at Lakeside Industries in Centralia. An officer called about 11:45 a.m. yesterday to the 2000 block of Johnson Road learned someone cut wiring from numerous pieces of industrial equipment at the business, according to Officer Angie Humphrey. In this case, they may have been spooked because two large rolls of wire were set aside as though ready to be loaded up but were left, Humphrey said. The officer asks anyone with any information about the thefts to call 911 or Lewis County Crime Stoppers.

NOT A HATE CRIME

• Chehalis police were called around noon yesterday by a man with a complaint someone outside Safeway was displaying a political sign showing a picture of Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache. Not a crime, according to Chehalis police. “Basically the officer told him it was freedom of speech,” Sgt. Brian Hickey said.

CHEHALIS HOME BURGLARIZED

• Someone broke into a Chehalis home and stole three televisions, three laptops, three other computers, cell phones and a security safe. An officer called 5:15 p.m. yesterday to the residence on the 300 block of James Street noted a door may have been kicked in and a window was broken, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It seemed to have occurred over the weekend, according to Sgt. Brian Hickey.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS PILFERED

• An officer took a report about 8:30 a.m. yesterday regarding pills missing from various bottles of prescription medications at a home on the 1000 block of F Street in Centralia. Among the pilfered drugs were morphine, Oxycontin and Lorazepam,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called around 12:20 p.m. yesterday to the 2600 block of Eureka Avenue about damage to the gas line on a vehicle.

• The sheriff’s office is looking for information about someone spray painting graffiti at Onalaska school’s baseball field dugouts over the weekend. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning the vandalism was reported on Sunday and must have happened sometime after 6 p.m. on Friday. The damage will cost $500, according to Brown.

DISORDERLY MAN TAKEN AWAY BY POLICE

• Centralia police called to a convenience store on the 1200 block of Mellen Street for reports of a man “freaking out, running around and being weird” discovered the subject sitting in the driver’s seat of a stranger’s car about 2:15 p.m. yesterday. Michael Stedham, 23, was allegedly uncooperative with officers who tried to detain him. The Centralia resident was arrested for obstructing and vehicle prowl and was taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

NOT JUST A FIRE DRILL

• Children were evacuated from Centralia’s Oakview Elementary School about 11 o’clock yesterday morning and fire department summoned. “It wasn’t actually a fire but smoke from an overheated laminating machine,” Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Erik Olson said.

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It’s election day; have you voted?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 6:53 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Will marijuana be legalized? Will rural Chehalis residents continue to pay a levy for emergency medical services? Who will be president?

Ballots for the general election must be postmarked by today or returned to the Lewis County Auditor’s Office before 8 p.m.

Locally, the names of all three Lewis County Superior Court judges are on the ballot, although each is running unopposed.

See election results here beginning shortly after 8 o’clock tonight.