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Victims in Oakville area fatal crash are from Rochester, Centralia

Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 10:53 am

This was updated at 2:02 p.m. and 3:56 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Beer cans were found at the scene of a wreck that left three people dead yesterday evening southwest of Oakville, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office said this morning.

A 49-year-old Rochester woman was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the single-vehicle collision on the 400 block of Brooklyn Road, sheriff’s Lt. Matt Stowers said.

Colleen L. Stuart is listed in serious condition this afternoon in the intensive care unit, according to a nursing supervisor.

The small pickup was headed toward Oakville when it ran off the road down an embankment and its cab was crushed by a tree, according to Stowers.

Dead at the scene were the driver, 52-year-old Rochester resident Gregory D. Martin who is the boyfriend of the survivor; Travis W. Bennett, 26, and Jessica L. Brick, 22, both of Centralia, Stowers said.

None were wearing seat belts, according to Stowers.

“Not that it would have done them any good,” he said. “Although it might have helped the surviving passenger some.”

The  2004 Toyota Tacoma was an extended cab with two jump seats in the back, he said. The truck slid on its side and the damage was primarily to the cab, he said.

Stuart was riding behind the driver and that’s the area that had the most headroom left, he said.

Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to open a door and extricate Stuart.

She was conscious and taken to Oakville High School School where a helicopter picked her up, according to Grays Harbor Fire District 1.

The roadway which runs between Garrard Creek Road and the town of Brooklyn in Pacific County was closed until about 10:30 p.m. as the sheriff’s office investigated.

Update Tuesday January 3, 2012 at 9:17 a.m.: Stuart has been discharged from the hospital, the Grays Harbor County undersheriff said this morning.

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Breaking news: Wreck west of Oakville claims three lives

Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 9:09 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Three people were killed in a single-vehicle collision west of Oakville this evening.

Firefighters were called about 5 p.m. to the 400 block of Brooklyn Road, six or so miles southwest of Oakville, according to Grays Harbor Fire District 1.

There were two men and two women in a small pickup truck which ran into some trees, Fire Capt. Ryan Graham said.

Firefighters from District 1 as well as Riverside Fire Authority used the Jaws of Life to extricate the adult female who survived, Graham said. She was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, he said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 2:10 pm

THEFT

• Centralia police were called to the 800 block of South Pearl Street around 9:30 a.m. yesterday about a burglary to a shed. Somebody cut a lock and stole a compressor, a ‘reciprocating” saw and other tools, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WITNESS TAMPERING

• One of the individuals charged last week with dealing methamphetamine in the east end of Lewis County was back in front of a judge yesterday after allegedly scaring an informant in the case. James D. Hamrick, 29, was charged with witness tampering. Lewis County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said Hamrick made a phone call from the jail to someone wanting the informant to be picked up and taken somewhere. “He’s now in hiding and we’re real concerned about the “CI’s” safety in the case,” Meagher told the judge. Hamrick was charged last week with two counts of delivery of methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to deliver. He is already being held on $50,000 bail, but yesterday Judge Richard Brosey ordered him held on the new charge on $100,000 bail.

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Read about Rochester 4-year-old shot in arm …

Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 4:48 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a 4-year-old Rochester boy apparently shot himself in the arm at a home on Guava Street on Friday afternoon.

News reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes the child was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a wound that started at his wrist an ended at his elbow.

Read more here

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Read about medical marijuana gardens in Castle Rock restricted to two spots …

Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 4:45 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports collective medical marijuana gardens will be limited to two commercially zoned locations near Interstate 5 in Castle Rock.

News reporter Barbara LaBoe writes the new zoning rules mandate the gardens must be secured and may not be visible from public streets.

Read more here

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Prosecutor: Former museum director gave herself thousands of dollars in fraudulent payroll draws

Friday, December 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm
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Deborah Sue Knapp listens to her attorney during an appearance in Lewis County Superior Court.

This was updated at 8:59 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – If the allegations turn out to be true, the former director of the Lewis County Historical Museum routinely issued herself payroll draws and used the museum debit card to pay personal expenses at places such as a furniture store, a grocery store and even to pay her home’s electric bill – totaling more than $137,000.

Chehalis police and the Lewis County prosecutor both say they expect to find more wrongdoing as two more years of financial records are reviewed.

Deborah Sue Knapp, 52, of Chehalis, was handcuffed and wearing green and white striped jail garb as she appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon.

Knapp is charged with 10 counts of first-degree theft.

She was arrested yesterday at the end of an investigation into revelations the museum’s endowment fund of more than $460,000 was drained in less than four years. Knapp was hired in July 2006.

“I’m shocked at how much,” museum member Susan Gonzales said after the hearing.

Gonzales said she was not entirely surprised when Knapp’s arrest was announced because everyone knew a police investigation was underway. But she finds it implausible one person could have made off with all that money alone, she said.

“I thought there would be more people (arrested),” Gonzales said. “How could the board not know this was happening?”

The Chehalis woman finds herself in the unique position, she said, of considering Knapp a friend, and also a tenant who has left her rent unpaid in recent months.

Last month, after museum members learned there was no money left in the endowment fund, four officers on the 13-member board were replaced, the accounts were closed and the museum was shut down temporarily. Police were asked to investigate.

The current criminal charges cover the years 2008 through this year. The investigation into 2007 and 2006 is still underway.

Knapp attempted to keep her face turned away from news cameras and spectators in the Chehalis courtroom as attorneys read the charges and discussed bail.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer called them “egregious facts” and a violation of trust.

“We expect additional charges,” Meyer said.

Meyer asked for bail of $50,000 noting Knapp and her husband have moved in a motor home in Centralia, suggesting she is a flight risk.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter pointed out his client is someone who has been an integral part of the community and requested an unsecured bond.

Judge Richard Brosey agreed Knapp could be released if her husband co-signed a $25,000 unsecured note.

Knapp’s husband, daughter and other family members were in the courtroom, but declined any comment.

According to charging documents, Knapp was paid a salary of $43,000 a year and did not receive overtime pay or so-called comp time.

Her responsibilities included overseeing the day-to-day operations of the museum in downtown Chehalis and supervising three part time employees and the volunteers.

Prosecutors allege Knapp routinely obtained “draws” from her employer but failed to account for them in subsequent paychecks. They go on to allege she wrote many of her own payroll draw checks without any one else’s knowledge, and many times listed them in the check register as voided although she cashed them.

For example, one of the theft counts alleges that in January and February 2008, she received more than $5,000 in payrolls draws in addition to her regular salary. It continued until Oct. 28, 2011, allegedly, adding up to more than $44,000.

“Knapp was questioned by law enforcement regarding the payroll draws she obtained and initially denied knowing she was overpaid, but later acknowledged she knew she had been overpaid,” prosecutors wrote.

Charging documents go on to describe it appears Knapp was using the museum debit card to pay personal expenses at Aaron’s Furniture, AGIA Insurance, Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, K-Mart, Walgreens, Safeway, Staples and Lewis County PUD.

Prosecutors wrote it appears she used the card to pay her power bill on Fineview Road for the previous two years.

The personal debit card amounts total $92,000 over the last four years, according to prosecutors. The total figure is still under investigation, according to charging documents.

No other individuals associated with the museum are suspected to be involved, according to police.

New museum board president John Panesko said on his talk radio show this morning nobody other than Knapp ever looked at the original records – the bank statements.

This afternoon Panesko said that was his understanding, and he could not explain how the board treasurer could have compiled her reports to the board without those records – even as she was also the paid part-time bookkeeper.

The dual-role is something the new board officers have eliminated, along with implementing several other layers of security relating to money, according to Panesko.

“No one who was involved in finances before is involved in it again,” he said. “Just for safety.”

He expected a decision to terminate Knapp would be made at next week’s board meeting, he said.

The museum has been operating with only volunteers, but Panesko said they expect next month to bring back the part-time curator and bring in a part-time director.

“We don’t now who that is yet,” he said.

The museum is open and its incoming revenue roughly matches its expenses now, according to Panesko.

“We have enough money to operate, now that we’ve plugged the leak,” he said.

Knapp’s opportunity to make her plea comes on Jan. 12.

Her income and assets are such she was assigned a court-appointed attorney, Ken Johnson.

•••

Read “Police asked to investigate finances of Lewis County Historical Museum” from Wednesday November 16  2011 for background, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, December 30, 2011 at 9:42 am

THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office this morning reported they are investigating the theft of approximately $19,000 worth of jewelry from a residence on Bearview Drive east of Chehalis. It happened sometime between October and Dec. 17, according to the sheriff’s office. No other details were released.

• Someone stole the heater out of “Santa’s House” on the 300 block of Spooner Road outside Chehalis, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called to the address learned that the 150,000 BTU kerosene space heater went missing sometime between 3 p.m. and midnight on Christmas Eve, according to the sheriff’s office. Santa’s House is a holiday display on the edge of the property where the item was stored, sheriff’s Cmdr. Steve Aust said.

• Centralia police were called to the 800 block of South Tower Avenue about 5 p.m. Tuesday regarding a burglary to a garage. The case is still under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Some 50 feet of copper wire was cut down from power poles between Randle and Morton sometime between Dec. 22 and yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss the Lewis County PUD is estimated at $800.

FAKE PRESCRIPTION

• Police were called to the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday to a report of forged prescriptions.

VANDALISM

• A deputy took a report yesterday about two tires being punctured last night on Central Avenue in Onalaska, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

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Breaking news: Museum director arrested in connection with drained endowment fund

Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm

This news story was updated at 3:40 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The former director of the Lewis County Historical Museum was arrested today for theft in connection with the investigation of missing museum endowment funds.

Debbie Knapp, 52, of Chehalis, was brought into the Chehalis Police Department this morning for an interview and subsequently arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for 10 counts of first-degree theft, according to police.

The police department says the current amount of suspected fraudulently used funds is in excess of $100,000. The investigation isn’t finished however, according to police.

Chehalis police were asked in November to review the financial records of the museum, following revelations its endowment fund of more than $400,000 was spent.

It appears money was transferred from the endowment account to a museum bank account where a debit card was used to make personal purchases by Knapp of various goods from local businesses and services such as utility payments, Chehalis Officer Linda Bailey said this afternoon.

Police say Knapp signed for paychecks in excess of her salary as well, according to a news release from the Chehalis Police Department.

Last month, after museum members learned there was no money left in the endowment fund, four officers on the 13-member museum board were replaced, the accounts were closed and the museum was shut down temporarily. Police were asked to investigate.

At the time, new board president John Panesko said the fund was meant to be left untouched, so it could generate interest which could be spent. The museum’s budget was “in the red” and its books hadn’t been in balance since 2008, Panesko said.

Chehalis police say the current investigation covers the years 2008 through this year. The investigation into 2007 and 2006 is still underway, according to police.

No other individuals associated with the museum are suspected to be involved, according to police.

Knapp was hired as the director in July 2006, according to Officer Bailey.

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Centralia men charged after apartment complex shooting

Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 11:19 am
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Rolando Carrillo-Cruz, Javier E. Martinez, Ulises Carrillo-Cruz and Francisco J. Robles, left to right, sit in Lewis County Superior Court after seeing a judge Wednesday afternoon.

This was updated at 6:06 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Twenty-year-old Ulises Carrillo-Cruz was ordered held on $250,000 bail when he was charged yesterday with first-degree assault following Tuesday’s shooting at the Centralia apartment complex where he lives with his older brother.

Also charged yesterday with rendering criminal assistance were his brother Rolando Carrillo-Cruz, 25; Francisco J. Robles, 18; and Javier E. Martinez, 18, all Centralia residents.

All four wore red jail garb when they appeared before Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter argued unsuccessfully for lower bail on Ulises Carrillo-Cruz, noting he has been a local resident his entire life.

The other three men were ordered held on $50,000 bail.

Seven pages of charging documents describing interviews with the four as well as others involved and residents of the Edison Terrace Apartments contain conflicting accounts of exactly what transpired.

Three individuals said alleged gang member Joshua Rhoades showed up to the apartment complex with other people, Rhoades being someone who “tries to jump him,” Ulises Carrillo-Cruz told police.

Rolando Carrillo-Cruz told police he saw two fast-moving vehicles pull over on Ash Street and several individuals began walking then running towards them yelling “LVL and other gang slang” as well as making threatening gestures.

Ulises Carrillo-Cruz said he fired two rounds into the ground and claimed self defense, according to charging documents.

Charging documents contain the following information:

A green Ford Taurus that reportedly fled the scene was found at the emergency entrance at Providence Centralia Hospital, where Rhoades told an arriving officer Genevieve Purser had been shot. She was inside with a gunshot wound to her right shoulder.

With Rhoades were Richard Molina and Augustina Flores-Purser.

Flores-Purser told police she and Rhoades had driven to North Ash Street to pick up Molina and Purser who had been walking.

Purser was shot before she got into the vehicle, two of them told police.

The victim, 28-year-old Purser of Centralia, remained hospitalized this morning but has been upgraded to satisfactory condition.

What is clear is police responded about 1:15 p.m. to a report of shots fired at the 400 block of North Ash Street.

A divot found in the ground appeared to be from a bullet, and indications were the trajectory came from apartment 20, according to police. Police report a spent handgun cartridge was found there as well.

A 9 mm pistol was found in some brush west of the apartments near the railroad tracks. The slide was partially opened and a round jammed in the “action,” according to charging documents.

Witness accounts indicate the four who were eventually arrested fled to another apartment in the complex.

Three of them brought two baseball bats there, one of them had allegedly hidden the gun, one or two of them flushed shell casings down the toilet and one of them hid a pair of black gloves and some marijuana behind the toilet, according to charging documents.

Rolando Carrillo-Cruz told police he had purchased the loaded gun for $50 for protection at his apartment.

Rolando Carrillo-Cruz was the alleged intended target of an August 2010 drive-by shooting in Chehalis that authorities described as perpetrated by the LVL gang.

The apartment where the two live with a female roommate was the target of window and car smashing earlier this month.

Both Carrillo-Cruz’s are additionally charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

Arraignments are all set for Jan. 5.

•••

Read yesterday’s story here

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Centralia police: Apartment’s resident arrested after gang-related shooting

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Centralia woman shot yesterday in what police are calling a gang-related dispute at an apartment complex is listed in serious condition this morning and the man accused of firing the gun is expected to go before a judge this afternoon.

2011.1227.apartmentshooting.small_2

Edison Terrace Apartments

Ulises Carrillo-Cruz, 20, confessed to shooting the woman, but police were told he wasn’t targeting her, according to the Centralia Police Department.

“There’s a claim he fired to scare them off, and rounds were fired into the ground,” police Sgt. Kurt Reichert said this morning.

Carrillo-Cruz, also of Centralia, was arrested yesterday at the apartments for first-degree assault and felon in possession of a firearm, according to police.

According to police, a group of at least four people – including 28-year-old Genevieve Purser who was shot – showed up at the complex on the 400 block of North Ash Street in Centralia.

“The short version is one group went to the other group’s apartment to raise hell,” Reichert said.

Officers were called just after 1:15 p.m. by the manager who heard two gun shots and then saw two males standing nearby at the corner of Ash Street and Park Way screaming and cussing toward one of the apartments.

Carrillo-Cruz and his brother Rolondo Carrillo-Cruz, 25, reside at the apartment with a young woman, according to the apartment managers.

Purser was taken to the Providence Centralia Hospital by friends, according to police. She had a gunshot wound to her shoulder, according to police which they described as non-life threatening.

Purser was then transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Centralia police reported they found a firearm yesterday hidden in some bushes near the scene. Police have not said how many shots were fired, only that it occurred in a “common area”.

Three other males were also arrested yesterday at the complex, called the Edison Terrace Apartments.

Rolondo Carrillo-Cruz was arrested and booked also for  first-degree assault and felon in possession of a firearm, according to police. It’s not clear what his role was.

Francisco J. Robles, 18, and Javier E. Martinez, 18, were arrested and booked for rendering criminal assistance; they are suspected of hiding evidence, according to Reichert.

Reichert said it was the same general group of people who showed up at the apartments earlier this month and took baseball bats to the windows of that apartment unit and a Kia car.

All four men are scheduled to go before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court at 4 p.m. today.

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Breaking news: Woman wounded by gunfire at Centralia apartments

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm
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Sheriff's deputies look around the patio of an apartment on Ash Street in Centralia.

This news story was updated at 3:13 a.m. Wednesday December 28, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – A 28-year-old woman was shot in Centralia this afternoon and police are investigating.

Officers were called at 1:16 p.m. about shots fired at the 400 block of North Ash Street.

A Centralia woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with a gunshot wound to her shoulder, described as non-life threatening, according to police.

However she was being airlifted this afternoon to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Officer Patricia Finch said.

Nobody has been arrested, Finch said about 3:30 p.m. today.

Yellow police tape was stretched around a grassy area behind a lower unit at the Edison Terrace Apartments.

Officers from Centralia and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office congregated there this afternoon.

Two young men were brought out of a nearby apartment and handcuffed by police and taken away.

Finch said she did not know if the injured woman lived at the apartments.

Finch said she did not know if the shooter was at large.

The couple who manage the complex didn’t know much either this afternoon.

“All I know is I heard gunshots, it was two gunshots,” said Gregg Zetz who manages the apartments with his wife.

Zetz said he saw two guys outside on the corner of Ash Street and Park Way screaming and cussing toward one of the apartments.

“My husband tells me to get the kids on the floor and call the cops,” Melissa Zetz said.

Melissa Zetz said the complex is usually fairly quiet, except about two weeks ago someone came to the same apartment with baseball bats and broke out windows and smashed up a car belonging to the resident.

On Dec. 4, four men were arrested in connection with baseball bats there, and police were told it was “gangsters.”

Gregg Zetz said he informed the tenant of the involved apartment today she must move out.

Update 10:06 p.m.: Centralia police report they have arrested four men – all Centralia residents – in connection with the shooting they are calling gang-related.

Twenty-year-old Ulises Carrillo-Cruz was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault and felon in possession of a firearm, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Carrillo-Cruz confessed to shooting the woman, police say, who was not the intended target.

Rolondo Carrillo-Cruz, 25, was booked for  first-degree assault and felon in possession of a firearm, according to police.

Two others were booked for rendering criminal assistance. They are Francisco J. Robles, 18, and Javier E. Martinez, 18, according to police. Robles was also booked for possession of a firearm.

A firearm was found hidden in some bushes near the scene by police dog Kayo, according to police.

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Police officers look through the grass at the corner of Ash Street and Park Way in Centralia.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

CHRISTMAS DAY FIRE CHASES WINLOCK COUPLE OUTSIDE

• A Winlock couple awoke Christmas morning to a house filled with smoke and a fire burning items next to their gas fireplace. Firefighters from Lewis County Fire District 15 and three neighboring departments called about 5:30 a.m. to the single-story home on the 1100 block of Mill Street knocked down the flames fairly quickly, keeping the fire damage to a minimum, according to Firefighter Patrick Jacobson. However, the home sustained a lot of smoke damage, he said. No injuries were reported. The cause isn’t yet known, he said.

DRUGS

• A call about a man with a knife trying to break into a trailer on the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia early yesterday ended with an arrest for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers called just before 3 a.m. reported that Jerome A. Markert, 36, threw down the knife, fled on foot and then fought with police when he was caught. Police say he also he also tossed a set of scales while he was being chased. Markert, a Chehalis resident, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 21-year-old Pe Ell resident was arrested for possession of methamphetamine yesterday evening after police contacted what they described as a suspicious vehicle in a motel parking lot on the 1300 block of Lakeshore Drive in Centralia. A drug sniffing dog from Winlock “alerted” on the vehicle, according to police and a subsequent search turned up drugs. Tyler P. Chavez was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police arrested a 48-year-old Olympia man around 8 p.m. on Sunday at the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia for a warrant and then possession of suspected methamphetamine and heroin with intent to deliver, according to the Centralia Police Department. Donald L. Peters was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A traffic stop about 10 p.m. on Saturday at Mellen Street and Interstate 5 ended with two individuals getting arrested for possession of methamphetamine, according to Centralia police.  Frank L. Mako, 27, of Chehalis, and Ashley A. Guntrum, 25, of Centralia, were booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 26-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver after a traffic stop about 2 a.m. on Saturday along the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis, according to police. Douglas M. Capelli was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT

• A Matthews compound bow, a Mead telescope and a baby monitor were reported missing after a burglary on the 100 block of Kiona Road outside Randle, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. It happened sometime between 7 p.m. on Sunday and 5:30 a.m. yesterday, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is estimated at $2,100.

• Police were called about 1 a.m. on Saturday about a residential burglary on Southwest 13th Street in Chehalis. Among the items missing were a television, a game system and a laptop computer, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Police were called on Saturday to the 700 block of South Gold Street in Centralia about an overnight burglary to a garage. Among the items missing were a table saw and a chain saw, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning from the 1700 block of Midway Court where someone had broken into a truck over the weekend and stolen the battery and about four gallons of gas.

• Police called about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday to the 300 block of North Rock Street in Centralia were told a laptop computer was stolen from a vehicle.

• A GPS device, CDs and other items were reported missing from a car prowl on the 3000 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia on Saturday.

VANDALISM

• Two young women were jailed after allegedly taking baseball bats to a car early Saturday on the 400 block of Oakview Avenue East in Centralia. A deputy called about 4 a.m. was told the vandalism to the 1997 Buick Park Avenue was related to an argument over an ex-boyfriend, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Arrested and booked into the Lewis County jail for first-degree malicious mischief were Melissa R. Salazar, 20, and Mariann J. Hylton, 23, both of Centralia, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Centralia police were called Saturday morning to the 700 block of G Street in Centralia where someone had broken the windows out a vehicle.

• Chehalis police were called Friday to Southwest William Avenue and a complaint someone had thrown pudding on a house.

BARTENDER ASSAULTED

• A 33-year-old Centralia resident was arrested after an incident just before 2 a.m. on Saturday a the 500 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia in which police were told he refused to pay his tab and took a swing at a bartender. Shane P. Harless reportedly left the bar and was later located by police. Harless was booked into the Lewis County Jail for misdemeanor assault and third-degree theft, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OCTOBER CRANE ACCIDENT IN DRYAD PROMPTS CITATION

• The state Department of Labor and Industries fined another state agency after concluding the October accident in which a crane tipped over as it was removing the temporary bridge in the Dryad-Meskill was caused by failing to deploy the outriggers to the crane. Inspectors found the operator was attempting to lift a 577-pound section of the so-called Bailey Bridge, with the boom extended out about 77 feet, according to a Labor and Industries spokesperson. The state Department of Transportation was fined $4,550 and has appealed the citation, according to spokesperson Hector Castro. KOMOnews.com reported at the time three workers suffered minor injuries.

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Read about evidence still being analyzed in Winlock murder-suicide …

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 11:48 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News writes once again yesterday about the Walter family who died in March in their Winlock home in what authorities called a murder-suicide, however, like the Daily News’ November follow up on the case, they report only that evidence is still being analyzed by experts to try to learn details about what occurred.

Rodney Walter, 57, Cathy Lee Walter, 65 and their 18-year-old son Devon Walter, along with their family pets, were found dead of apparent gunshots at their two-story log cabin on the 300 block of Frost Road.

The Lewis County Coroner’s Office concluded the deaths of the Winlock father and son were homicide and the mother shot herself.

Read reporter Tony Lystra’s news item here.

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Charges sorted out from east end arrests

Saturday, December 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm
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Brandon Piatt, of Glenoma, sits with defense attorney Bob Schroeter in Lewis County Superior Court. Behind him are James and Sherri Hamrick, both of Packwood.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Four of the individuals scooped up in a crack down on drug dealing in the east end of Lewis County were charged yesterday with delivery of methamphetamine; one young woman was released with no charges after spending a night in jail.

Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies, including the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team traveling in an armored personnel carrier, arrested eight people on Thursday in a sweep through Packwood and Morton.

The action followed a three-month investigation by the Lewis County Regional Drug Task Force, which had been conducting undercover drug buys, according Sheriff Steve Mansfield.

Officers served a search warrant that morning  at the 100 block of Edmonds Road in Packwood where they detained three people, James D. Hamrick, 29; Sherri J. Hamrick, 46; and Amaris R. Smith, 21, according to the sheriff’s office.

While Smith was arrested for alleged possession of methamphetamine, she was not charged because there were no drugs found on her, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke said.

The rest of those arrested appeared before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court in Chehalis yesterday afternoon.

James Hamrick was charged with two counts of delivery of methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to deliver. He has several felony convictions from the past, according to O’Rourke; Judge James Lawler set his bail at $50,000.

Sherri Hamrick was charged with four counts of delivery of methamphetamine and one count  possession with intent to deliver. Her bail was set at $15,000. Prosecutors said she has no criminal history.

Venus D. Hamilton, 48, of Morton, was charged yesterday with delivery of methamphetamine.

In June, the sheriff’s office called Hamilton one of two main narcotics distributors in the east end when she was arrested and charged with selling methamphetamine, but those charges were dismissed after prosecutors has problems with the informant, according to O’Rourke.

“She lost her car and she was warned if she continued and persisted, she would be caught again,” O’Rourke told the judge.

Lawler set her bail on the new charge at $10,000.

Two of the eight were arrested only for unrelated warrants for failing to appear in court. The judge set bail at $10,000 for Effren E. Barron, 40, and at $3,000 for Bradley J. Miller, 35, of Packwood.

Two individuals were arrested around noon on Thursday on the 6300 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Morton.

Brandon Piatt, 31, of Glenoma was charged yesterday with four counts of delivery of methamphetamine and ordered held on $30,000 bail. Sheila Schmitt, 44, of Morton, was not charged in connection with his alleged drug dealing, according to O’Rourke.

However, charges were filed yesterday against both for drug possession related to a June arrest. Schmitt’s bail was set at $10,000, unsecured, for possession of methamphetamine. Piatt’s additional charges were for possession of methamphetamine, hyrocodone and another prescription drug, according to O’Rourke.

Piatt and James Hamrick remain in the Lewis County Jail.
•••

See Thursday’s news story, “Drug task force arrests eight in East End” here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, December 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

MAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER TENINO ATTACK WITH BAT

• A pair of Tenino men were jailed overnight after allegedly beating a 25-year-old man and hitting him in the head with a baseball bat. It happened about 12:45 a.m. on the 2800 block of Angus Drive Southeast outside Tenino, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. The victim, a 25-year-old Lacey resident, was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia where he was treated and has been released, the sheriff’s office reported. Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Brady said the two confronted the victim about some “unkind things” said about his ex-girlfriend. The sheriff’s office said they met up with the victim as he was leaving his father’s residence and hit him, bit him and broke a window out of his vehicle before striking him with the aluminum bat. Arrested and booked into the Thurston County Jail for second-degree assault were Joel E. Lewis, 29, and Richard A. Mickelson, 27, both of Tenino, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

SANTA, REINDEER, TREE STOLEN FROM CENTRALIA YARD

• Centralia police were called about 9:40 p.m. yesterday to the 100 block of East Fourth Street where someone had made off with several outdoor Christmas decorations including a lighted metal reindeer, an inflatable Santa snow globe and an inflatable tree which Santa pops out of, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• Police were called about 11 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of L Street in Centralia about a Browning 9 mm handgun taken from a vehicle.

• Archery equipment valued at $700 was stolen from an unlocked vehicle on Southwest 10th Street in Chehalis, according to a report taken yesterday morning by police. Missing is a Matthews Reezen bow and attachments.

• Centralia police took a report about 1:40 a.m. today about the theft of a camera from a vehicle yesterday.

• Chehalis police were contacted yesterday by an individual who learned that someone had created their own checks using the routing number for his Chehalis-based bank account. A small amount of money was stolen before the account was closed, according to police.

WRECK

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports a head-on collision yesterday evening at Graf and Scammon Creek roads outside Centralia was caused by a 73-year-old Centralia man driving under the influence. He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital to be checked out so he was referred for a charge of DUI and not jailed, according to the sheriff’s office. There were no injuries but his truck was described as totaled and the other vehicle sustained major damage, according to the deputy’s report.