Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 5, 2011 at 12:02 pm

WANTED WOMAN FLEES POLICE ON BIKE

• A 55-year-old woman fled police on a bicycle, ran into some blackberry bushes and then fought with officers when they tried to arrest her on an outstanding warrant in Centralia yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department. It happened around 1:25 p.m. near Mellen Street and Airport Road, according to police. Officers used their Taser and eventually detained Kimberly A. Mott, police reported. She and the officers sustained what were described as a few scratches from the blackberries. Mott was listed as one of Lewis County so-called most wanted. She had failed to appear for court, Officer John Panco said. In mid-March, Mott fled a traffic stop in Chehalis and ended up crashing into a truck in Centralia before she was detained. Mott was booked yesterday into the Lewis County Jail for resisting arrest and the warrant.

ROOF FIRE AT CENTRALIA MOTEL

• Firefighters were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to the King Oscar Motel in Centralia for a roof fire. A crew working on the roof had accidentally ignited some tar paper, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The workers were still trying to put the flames out with a hose when firefighters arrived to the Eckerson Road motel, Capt. Casey McCarthy said. “We were able to put a pretty quick stop on the fire,” he said. The fire had extended into the rafters, causing somewhere between $10,000 to $15,000 damage, McCarthy said.

DRUGS

• A 38-year-old homeless person was arrested for possession of methamphetamine early this morning in Centralia. Peter D. Harris was booked into the Lewis County Jail following his contact with an officer about 12:45 a.m. on the 400 block of Oak Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police arrested a 26-year-old Centralia man for possession of methamphetamine yesterday evening at the 600 block of State Street. John McNeal was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the police department.

BIKE VERSUS VEHICLE COLLISIONS IN CHEHALIS, CENTRALIA

• A 17-year-old boy was hospitalized with a gash on top of his head after his bicycle ran into the back of a parked vehicle near the Chehalis Post Office yesterday. Firefighters and police were called about 11:13 a.m. to Northwest Cascade Avenue. Fire Capt. Ted McCarthy said the teenager was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with what he described as a minor injury.

• Centralia police responded to a vehicle versus bicycle accident on Harrison Avenue at East Bridge Street about 4:50 p.m. yesterday. There were no injuries, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

News brief: Highway crashes at Mossyrock, Randle, send five to hospital

Friday, August 5, 2011 at 10:01 am

Updated at 11:46 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Several people were hospitalized after two separate wrecks on U.S. Highway 12 yesterday afternoon, all reportedly with minor injuries.

Aid and troopers were called just after 5 p.m. to Highway 12 and Williams Street at Mossyrock where a pickup truck pulling a travel trailer and a sedan collided, according to Lewis County Fire District 3.

One lane of the highway was closed for several hours while the truck and trailer were removed from a ditch where they had rolled, Fire Chief Doug Fosburg said.

Its driver was the only person unhurt but four others were taken to the hospital, Fosburg said.

The collision was blamed on a Port Angeles man driving the Dodge Ram who ran a red light.

It and Alta Huber’s 1994 Buick were both totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol. The state patrol reported Huber was uninjured although the fire chief said she was.

At about 1 p.m. near Randle, a van traveling west on Highway 12 hit a ditch, collided with a rock and then rolled once after its driver fell asleep, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Two passengers were uninjured but the driver was taken to Morton General Hospital with a cut hand, according to the state patrol.

The 1992 Toyota Previa van was described as totaled.

The driver, 19-year-old Derek S. Livengood from Portland, was cited for second-degree negligent driving.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Breaking news: Two accused in meth conspiracy followed from Vancouver to Lewis County

Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Federal agents confiscated more than 16 pounds of crystal methamphetamine yesterday when they arrested two people near Napavine.

Law enforcement has been investigating the two Vancouver, Wash. men since before May, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Agents followed their vehicle and made a traffic stop at Interstate 5′s exit 72 interchange, according to a news release from DEA Special Agent Jodie Underwood.

“Inside the van a concealed compartment was located that contained over 16 pounds of crystal methamphetamine,” Underwood wrote.

Ricardo Estrada, 43, arranged a meeting yesterday to deliver seven pounds of methamphetamine in Vancouver, according to the news release. Subsequently, surveillance observed Estrada and Francisco Cervantes, 47, depart a residence in a van that Estrada stated contained additional methamphetamine destined for another drug customer, Underwood wrote in the news release.

Underwood did not say where they were headed.

The pair appeared today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

Estrada was charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and carrying/possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. Cervantes was charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Alleged in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court is the following:

In May 2011, Estrada provided a sample of methamphetamine to law enforcement. Between June and July, Estrada sold nearly one pound of crystal methamphetamine and a .45 caliber handgun to law enforcement.

The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force.

Law enforcement executed multiple related search warrants yesterday in Vancouver.

Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force Commander Mike Cooke said in the news release:

“These arrests are a significant blow to a large-scale drug trafficking organization operating in Clark County. This has been a long investigation and we’re happy to see it come to a successful conclusion.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine carries a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine up to $10 million dollars.

Also assisting in the investigation was the Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team with members from several agencies including the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Tacoma, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, and Auburn.

•••

Read more in The (Vancouver) Columbian, Friday Aug. 5, 2011, here

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

News brief: Plea deal struck in Winlock grocery lottery ticket theft case

Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – There isn’t going to be a trial for the Winlock grocery store manager accused last year of stealing lottery tickets from his workplace.

Benjamin C. Macy is expected in court this afternoon as a plea agreement has been reached, according to Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead.

Attorneys will set a date for Macy to plead guilty, according to Halstead. He didn’t reveal the substance of the agreement.

Macy was charged in May of last year with two counts of second-degree theft after a video surveillance camera allegedly showed him scratching off dozens of $20 tickets at 4:30 in the morning at the Cedar Village IGA.

The 51-year-old Winlock resident had worked for the store for 30 years, according to charging documents filed in Lewis County Superior Court.

•••

Read about the case here

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 11:39 am

OVERHEATED DOG LEADS TO CITATION

• Centralia police were called to a city parking lot on the 100 block of North Tower Avenue about 4 p.m. yesterday where they found a dog had been left in a hot vehicle for what they learned was more than two hours. Officers could see the Blue Heeler-type dog was panting heavily and appeared to be in distress, according to Centralia Police Officer John Panco. While police were attempting to find the truck’s owner, the owner arrived, Panco said. The dog was given some water and seemed to be okay, he said. The temperatures inside the truck were measured between 92 degrees and 102 degrees, according to police. The owner, Gary J. Mersereau, 30, of Pe Ell was cited for misdemeanor animal negligence.

DRUGS

• Centralia police arrested a 24-year-old Rochester woman last night for possession of heroin and a misdemeanor warrant. Amanda D. Chamberlain was booked into the Lewis County Jail following her contact with an officer just before 10 p.m. at Centralia College Boulevard and South Silver Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Several people are in custody following a DEA investigation involving methamphetamine that included Lewis County, according the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. More later.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm

GRAFFITI

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday of graffiti spray painted in red on playground equipment at the park on Southwest 13th Street. Similar graffiti – with the letters BAST and the numbers 13 and 14 – was found the day before on a billboard near Northeast Kresky and Hampe Way, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT

• Somebody removed a window and unlocked a door to get inside a residence on the 100 block of Kiona Road in Randle early yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The residents said they returned about 1 a.m. to discover several items missing, such as collectible knives, a DVD player, a VCR and craft items, the sheriff’s office said.

• Chehalis police were called about 8 o’clock yesterday morning to the 2100 block of Jackson Highway where a green ATV had been stolen from a trailer it was on.

• Police were called about 1 p.m. yesterday to the Centralia Outlet Mall along Lum Road where a sign had been stolen from the front of the Billabong store. Police were told the images of two people taking the three feet by three feet sign were captured on security camera, according to a police department spokesperson. He didn’t know when the theft occurred.

• Chehalis police were called about 9:45 p.m. last night to Wal-Mart to a report three males took cash from the registers. Further details were unavailable.

• Chehalis police took a report about 2:45 p.m. yesterday of a vehicle prowl on the 600 block of Northwest St. Helens Avenue. A wallet was missing from the unlocked vehicle, Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said.

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday of repeated prowls to the same vehicle on Northeast Cascade Avenue.

• Centralia police were called yesterday morning to a vehicle prowl on the 100 block of East Bridge Street. A small amount of change was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

NATURAL GAS LEAKS PROMPTS EVACUATIONS IN CENTRALIA

• A natural gas line broken by a construction crew prompted evacuations in a roughly two-block area near the 700 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia this morning. Firefighters and police were called just before 8 a.m. Centralia police said less than a dozen people voluntarily evacuated. Police took a call about 8:30 a.m. that someone was lighting bottle rockets and aiming them toward the area, but no evidence was found that occurred, according to Officer John Panco. The area was closed to traffic for more than an hour while workers repaired the leak, according to police.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Prosecutor: Chehalis man tried, but failed to shoot robbery victim

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm
2011.0802.benjamin.alaniz_2

Benjamin S. Alaniz confers with his lawyer yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Bail was set at a half million dollars for a 26-year-old Chehalis man who allegedly tried to shoot an acquaintance inside a car in Centralia on Monday but was holding a pistol that malfunctioned and did not fire.

Benjamin S. Alaniz was charged in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday with first-degree assault and other related offenses, but prosecutors are considering charging Alaniz with attempted murder, according to Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke.

“Basically, the victim lucked out,” Centralia detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said.

Police were called to the area near the Centralia Outlet Mall west of Interstate 5 on Monday afternoon, after the 20-year-old victim jumped out the vehicle as it was making a turn on a side street and crawled to a house where a woman called 911, according to charging documents.

According to charging documents, police were told the driver of the car picked up Nicholas J. George to go buy drugs and almost immediately after that, Alaniz jumped into the car, put the gun to George’s ribcage and demanded money.

George tried to get out, but Alaniz held him by the arm, slapped him in the face with the gun and then pointed it at George’s face threatening to kill him, according to the allegations.

“George said he was extremely scared and thought he was going to be killed and said ‘go ahead, just kill me’,” charging documents state.

Both George and the driver said they then heard the gun click several times as if being fired but no shots discharged.

George bailed out of the car and then Alaniz did the same a few blocks away, where a responding officer stopped and chased Alaniz to a trailer park on the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue, according to police.

Centralia police described the incidents as occurring in the 1400 blocks of View and Jensen avenues.

A subsequent search of the car turned up a loaded .22 caliber handgun tucked in a bandana near the center console along with ammunition in a bag nearby, according to charging documents.

A Centralia detective yesterday tested the firearm and found that sometimes when the trigger was pulled it fired and sometimes it did not, according to charging documents.

Deputy Prosecutor O’Rourke said yesterday afternoon he wanted to look over a transcript of the victim’s interview with police before making a decision about a charge of attempted second-degree murder.

Alaniz is currently charged with first-degree assault, first-degree attempted robbery, unlawful imprisonment, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of methamphetamine.

When he appeared before a judge yesterday afternoon, defense attorney Bob Schroeter said he is a lifelong Lewis County resident, with a small enough income he qualified for a court appointed attorney.

Alaniz has previous felony convictions for burglary, possessing stolen property and unlawful possession of a firearm.

A small bindle of methamphetamine was found in his sock at the hospital when he was being treated for exhaustion from running form police, according to authorities.

The victim had $1,000 in his pocket, which he initially told police was money from his paycheck he had been counting as he walked down the street. He subsequently told officers he said that because he was going to buy drugs and was afraid he would get in trouble, according to charging documents.

Alaniz is scheduled to make his pleas tomorrow in Lewis County Superior Court.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

County leaders want your opinions on how to grow (medical) marijuana

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 8:49 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County commissioners yesterday morning put an emergency moratorium in place on receiving applications for collective medical marijuana gardens.

A new state law went into effect on July 22 allowing up to 10 medical marijuana patients to grow their marijuana in a single plot, but county officials want to create land use rules to regulate the plantings.

The three commissioners suggested there are more questions than answers at this point.

The sheriff’s office and the prosecutor’s office are working on a proposal to put before the county planning commission, Lewis County Board of Commissioners Chair Ron Averill said yesterday.

A public hearing will be held on the morning of Aug. 15, to receive input from the public on proposed local rules, the commissioners said yesterday.

“We will probably opt for the most restrictive we can get,” Averill said.

On the same day, county commissioners plan to put a 60-day moratorium in place, according to Averill.

County Commissioner Bill Schulte described some of his concerns later yesterday morning.

Schulte worries about teenagers and criminals raiding the gardens and the security of crops only legal for certain people to cultivate and use.

A nightmare scenario is that which existed in northern California when he was stationed in the Coast Guard there in the late 1970s, early 1980s, he said.

Local law enforcement looked the other way somewhat when residents around Eureka grew marijuana and the plots drew armed bandits and shootouts, as in turn, marijuana farmers began setting booby traps, Schulte said.

The National Forest was so dangerous, members of the Coast Guard in Eureka were told not to hike there, he said.

Schulte wasn’t sure if the new state law allowed 45 or 99 plants per plot, but either would be very attractive to outsiders, he said.

The moratorium will give county officials time to find the best way to handle the gardens, he said.

Among the questions they have are would multiple plots be allowed on the same acreage, for example, he said. And, who will be responsible for protecting the crops, he asked.

“If you get ‘em too clustered, they’re a bigger target,” Schulte said. “If you spread them out, they’re harder to police.”

The commissioner said they’d like to hear ideas from the public about how the county should deal with the gardens.

He agrees with Averill’s notion about making Lewis County unfriendly to potential collective cultivators.

“I’d like to make it difficult enough they grow it in Clark County, or Cowlitz, or Thurston County,” Schulte said.

The city of Centralia is expected to put a six-month moratorium in place as well.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 9:47 am

GUNPOINT ROBBERY

Updated at 3:45 p.m.

• Centralia police arrested a 26-year-old man yesterday after he allegedly robbed a male at gunpoint yesterday afternoon in Centralia. Officers called about 3:25 p.m. to the 1400 block of Jensen Street said the 20-year-old victim told them he was confronted at gunpoint by two people in a red car who demanded money but then fled the area when he ran from them. A responding officer spotted the car near the 1400 block of View Avenue and one of its occupants bailed out and fled, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers captured the suspect a few blocks away in a trailer park on the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue, detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said. The suspect, Benjamin S. Alaniz of Chehalis, was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with exhaustion-related symptoms from running, and then was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance, Fitzgerald said. A search of the vehicle turned up a loaded semi-automatic pistol and several rounds of ammunition, according to police. Fitzgerald said an inspection of the gun revealed the trigger had actually been pulled, but the gun failed to fire. Fitzgerald said the victim was acquainted with the pair and had been meeting them in the area with $1,000 in his pocket. He declined to speculate what the money was for. The driver of the car was released. Police found a small amount of white crystalline substance on Alaniz, Fitzgerald said.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 4:20 this morning about two teenage boys running out of Safeway on South Market Boulevard with two cases of beer.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon about graffiti on a billboard at Northeast Kresky Avenue and Hampe Way in Chehalis.

DRUGS

• Police arrested a 29-year-old Chehalis woman yesterday morning for allegedly filling somebody else’s prescription at a pharmacy on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Andrea A. Smith was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for forgery and possession of a controlled substance, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CENTRALIA TEENS ARRESTED AFTER GREAT WOLF LODGE ATTACK

• The Olympian reports a 15-year-old boy was beaten and robbed of his iPod at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound by Centralia teenagers. Read about it here

CORRECTION: The gunpoint robbery item has been updated to reflect the car was reportedly occupied by a man and a woman, not two men.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

News brief: Lacey police seeking missing woman

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 8:35 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Update: The Olympian reports a body found this afternoon is that of the missing woman.

Lacey police are asking for the public’s help finding a 53-year-old woman missing since Sunday whose vehicle was found abandoned.

2011.0802.missinglacey.renata.hanson

Renata L. Hanson

Renata L. Hanson was last seen Sunday leaving her home in southeast Lacey, according to the Lacey Police Department,

Her vehicle was found at the Woodland Creek Community Park at the 6700 block of Pacific Avenue Southeast, according to a news release. A preliminary search was conducted with negative results, Lt. Jim Mack said in the news release.

Hanson is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds.

Police are asking anyone with information on Hanson to phone detective Beverly Reinhold of the Lacey Police Department at 360-459-4333.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

News brief: Driver arrested for reckless endangerment after DUI wreck

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 7:54 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia woman was arrested for driving under the influence after her speeding car slammed into a pickup truck parked on the side of a residential street last night in Centralia.

Both vehicles were totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Angela M. Charnell, 28, suffered broken ribs and her 6-year-old passenger was bruised, the state patrol reported. She and the boy were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after the wreck.

It happened about 10 p.m. on West Second and H streets, according to authorities.

Centralia police reported Charnell was also arrested for reckless endangerment.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, August 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm
2011.0730.KingRdBarnFiretrimpj_2

Barn burns on King Road early Saturday. / Courtesy photo by Katie Larson

WINLOCK BARN DESTROYED BY FIRE

• A barn on the 800 block of King Road outside Winlock burned to the ground early Saturday morning, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. Firefighters from four departments called out about 2:30 a.m. were on the scene until after 5 a.m., Firefighter Patrick Jacobson said. They kept the blaze from spreading to a nearby newer shop building, he said. There were no animals inside and no injuries, but some 300 bales of hay, a pickup truck and remodeling materials were destroyed, according to Jacobson. The cause is under investigation.

DEPUTY KICKED IN THE SHIN

• A 75-year-old Chehalis-area man was arrested for kicking a deputy in the shin following a call about a dispute at the 300 block of Prairie Road outside of Chehalis on Friday. Arriving deputies found Doyle E. Miller, 75 and his son intoxicated and on the ground fighting, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. The deputies tried to separate the two and at one point, Miller stopped, looked at a deputy, kicked him and told him to leave him alone, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Miller was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault and resisting arrest, Brown said.

MAN THREATENED WITH BASEBALL BAT, KNIFE

• Deputies arrested a 27-year-old Onalaska man after he allegedly threatened his brother with a baseball bat and a 12-inch knife on Friday. Deputies called about 10 p.m. to the 2200 block of Hogue Road outside Chehalis were told that Zim I. Hall, 27, was upset about being told to be quiet and hit his brother in the side of the head with a lamp, and then threatened to kill him, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Hall was booked into the Lewis County Jail for felony harassment and fourth-degree assault, Brown said.

THEFT

• A deputy was called about 10 p.m. last night to the 100 block of Deer Park Lane in Packwood where the owner of a vacation cabin had arrived to find the front door open and chocolate milk and food splattered on the walls and floor, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A large window was smashed and two holes were found in the walls, according to the sheriff’s office. The damage is estimated at $1,000.

• A resident returning home about 3 a.m. on Sunday to the 1900 block of South Market Boulevard found their front door open and a big screen television missing, according to Chehalis police. A window at the apartment had been left open, according to police. Also taken was $400 cash, detective Sgt. Rick McNamara said.

• An officer called about 4:15 p.m. yesterday to a small RV park at the south end of Yardbirds Mall on the 2100 block of North National Avenue was told somebody broke into an unlocked travel trailer and stole $200, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A deputy was called Saturday to the 100 block of Vernon Road southwest of Chehalis about a theft. Someone entered through an open garage door and stole tools, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Somebody stole a half gallon of milk and other items when they burglarized an Onalaska area home sometime between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Also taken from the residence on the 200 block of Leonard Road were a Palm Pilot, a power cord and $40 in coins, the sheriff’s office reported this morning.

• A security alarm at Washington Elementary School in Centralia sounding abut 2:20 a.m. this morning apparently scared away someone trying to break in, according to the Centralia Police Department. Nothing was taken from the building on the 800 block of Field Avenue, according to police.

• Centralia police were looking for a man with “bushy reddish hair” following an attempted vehicle prowl early this morning on the 300 block of Denny Way. An officer called about 4:40 a.m. reported the subject had entered a fenced area when the homeowner found him but then fled.

• Somebody prowled a pickup truck on Southwest Snively Avenue in Chehalis, according to a report made to police on Friday morning.

• Police called about shoplifting at Wal-Mart around noon on Friday ended up booking two people into jail for possession of drugs. Bradley A. Revay, 21, of Oakville was arrested after a small amount of suspected heroin was found in his pocket, according to the Chehalis Police Department. His companion, Kristen K. Schmotzer, 25, of Castle Rock, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, detective Sgt. Rick McNamara said. A referral was made for possible charging on the shoplifting from the retailer on the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue, according to McNamara.

WRECK

• A 21-year-old Toledo woman was hospitalized with what were described as minor injuries after a deer ran out in front of her car causing it to crash yesterday near Toledo. The woman was traveling on Smokey Valley Road about 10:40 a.m. when her call hit a ditch and rolled, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It was totaled, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Read about ‘promising lead’ into D.B. Cooper skyjacking case …

Monday, August 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Seattle Times reports the FBI has a “promising lead” into the nearly 40-year-old mystery of the D.B. Cooper skyjacking case in which a Raleigh cigarette-smoking man parachuted from the back of a Boeing 727 somewhere between Seattle and Portland.

News reporter Steve Miletich writes the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a potential fingerprint from a suspect whose name has not come up before.

Read about it here

Read more from The Telegraph of London from Saturday July 30, 2011, here

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm

POLICE: GIRL KICKS OFFICER

• A teenage girl was arrested for third-degree assault for allegedly kicking a police officer as she was being taken into custody for an outstanding warrant last night. The incident occurred during a contact with police about 9 p.m. at the 2800 block of Russell Road in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• A bag of new clothing just purchased from Carters was stolen from a vehicle parked on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to  police on Friday afternoon.

VANDALISM

• Police took a report yesterday morning of a window broken out from a vehicle on the 1300 block of View Avenue in Centralia.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH

• A 39-year-old woman was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a motorcycle wreck about 6 p.m. yesterday on the 1600 block of Lincoln Creek Road, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Death in prison of convicted Lewis County murderer “appears” to be suicide

Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 8:31 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The death of a 54-year-old Lewis County man at Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen this week appears to be a suicide, according to a spokesperson for the prison.

Daniel W. Johnson was found dead in his cell Wednesday morning with a plastic bag over his head, prison officials said.

Johnson began his prison sentence in 1993 after he was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder in Lewis County.

He was arrested in December 1991 after a man and a woman were found stabbed to death in a home on Elk Creek Road near Doty. The victims were the resident, Paul Pilz, and his friend Eleanor Warden.

Johnson, then 34, had grown up in the area, and stayed the night at the home after his truck became stuck in the mud a few miles away, according to court documents.

He had just been released from psychiatric treatment days earlier, and had a five-year psychiatric history, according to court documents.

Johnson was serving a 27-year sentence and had been at Stafford Creek since May 2010 when he was transferred from McNeil Island Corrections Center, according to the state Department of Corrections. He was living in a minimum security unit.

Prison spokesperson Sheri Izatt said Johnson was scheduled for release in March 2015 and hadn’t committed a serious infraction since 1994.

Preliminarily, the death appears to be suicide, Izatt said.

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office is investigating his death. The prison is conducting a separate investigation.

The Grays Harbor County Coroner’s Office said a determination of the cause and manner of Johnson’s death is pending toxicology results.

An autopsy was conducted yesterday and nothing suspicious was found, Deputy Coroner George Patrick said.

Court records from 1993 say Johnson was a father of two children and divorced.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

News brief: Three hurt in Rochester head-on collision

Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 7:08 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 20-year-old driver was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a head on crash on U.S. Highway 12 in Rochester yesterday afternoon.

Troopers called about 4:45 p.m. to the scene near Pecan Street said both cars were totaled and a third vehicle driven by a Chehalis woman was damaged from debris from the wreck.

Kory J. Hardcastle, 20, of Tumwater was westbound when his Honda Civic crossed over the centerline striking an eastbound Toyota Avalon, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Hardcastle was taken by helicopter to the Seattle hospital, according to the state patrol.

The occupants of the Toyota, William C. Meyers, 77, and Carol M. Meyers, 74, both of Olympia, were transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, the state patrol reported.

Debris from the wreck struck a nearby pickup and trailer causing about $1,000 damage, according to the investigating trooper.

Its occupants, Kristin Lusk, 27, Jannette M. Largen, 60, and Michael A. Largen, 66, were reportedly uninjured.

The state patrol blamed the crash on inattention.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Salkum fire chief loses bid to get job back

Friday, July 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Former Salkum-area Fire Chief Phillip McDaniel today lost his lawsuit claiming wrongful termination.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt signed an order this morning granting Lewis County Fire District 8′s motion to dismiss the case.

McDaniel was fired in August 2009 after almost three years as the paid chief for the volunteer department, following about 17 years of working in the same capacity as a volunteer.

His attorney contended a new trio of fire commissioners decided they wanted to go back to having a volunteer chief and terminated McDaniel without cause, even though his contract was still in effect.

Seattle lawyer Jon Rosen told the judge in a hearing this morning the criticisms only began after Sharon DeBuhr was elected to the board of commissioners.

“In fact, that’s what occurred,” Rosen said. “Mrs. DeBuhr’s husband became the volunteer chief.”

The lawyer for the fire district told Judge Hunt there really was no dispute McDaniel was fired for cause.

Seattle attorney Stephanie R. Alexander noted instances of personal work on the department computer and that McDaniel refused to turn over the password to the computer when asked by one of the commissioners.

Rosen said these were issues for a jury to decide, but the judge disagreed.

Hunt, when he announced his decision, said the insubordination related to the password stood on it own as a reason for the firing.

McDaniel was in the Chehalis courtroom today, but had no comment.

Fire District 8 operates with some 50 volunteer members and protects about 200 square miles in middle Lewis County. It’s annual operating budget is about $400,000.

McDaniels’s case was filed in Lewis County Superior Court in January of last year, and moved to U.S. District Court, until it was remanded back to Lewis County three months ago.

It initially included complaints for breach of contract, defamation and a civil rights violation as well.

Volunteer Fire Chief Dave DeBuhr has been replaced with Mayfield Village resident George Penzenik.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 29, 2011 at 1:51 pm

RAPE

• Police arrested a 36-year-old Centralia man for second-degree rape early yesterday morning on the 3000 block of Fords Prairie Avenue. Jason B. Banks had been staying a few days with a friend, and she awoke about 4 o’clock in the morning to him attacking her, according to Officer John Panco. She pushed him off her and called police, Panco said. Banks was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

ASSAULT

• Centralia police called to a report of a fight about 10:20 p.m. last night at the 1200 block of Windsor Avenue arrested a belligerent 19-year-old Centralia man for being a minor consuming alcohol. According to the Centralia Police Department, as an officer was transporting Emmanuel Martinez to jail, Martinez made threats to kill the officer and his family. Martinez was subsequently booked for felony harassment, according to Officer John Panco.

• A 41-year-old Onalaska man was arrested last night for unlawful imprisonment after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and either held or locked her into a bathroom at an Onalaska residence. Deputies who went to the 100 block of Fickett Road found Owen J. Fickett uncooperative and used a Taser on Fickett, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Fickett was booked into the Lewis County Jail for unlawful imprisonment and referred for potential charges of resisting arrest and fourth-degree assault domestic violence, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

• Chehalis police arrested a 38-year-old Chehalis resident yesterday for second-degree assault in connection with an incident  last week in which a pedestrian said he was attacked by the driver of a red Jeep behind the Kit Carson restaurant and Relax Inn on Southwest Interstate Avenue. Michael A. Mitchell, 38, was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday evening, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police had been called about 9 p.m. on July 20 to a report of a fight and found an injured 46-year-old Toledo man. He told officers a driver yelled at him and as he approached the Jeep, the driver attacked him, police reported at the time. Mitchell is not being charged, pending further investigation.

FRAUD

• Centralia police were called yesterday by a woman who reported someone used her bank account information to join an online dating website.

MISCHIEF

• Police were called yesterday morning to the 1200 block of Logan Street to a complaint that sometime during the night an unknown person pruned branches off a tree. It has happened three times, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

News brief: Two injured in two I-5 wrecks

Friday, July 29, 2011 at 7:47 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A collision early this morning between a semi truck and a passenger vehicle on Interstate 5 south of Napavine sent a 37-year-old Centralia man to the hospital.

Shawn Gammon was northbound near milepost 66 when the left-side front of his pickup truck struck the rear right corner of a 2008 Peterbilt, according to the Washington State Patrol.

A trooper called to the scene about 4:40 a.m. reported Gammon’s truck then ran into the center concrete barrier.

Gammon was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with cuts to his face and soreness in his back and neck, the state patrol reported. His 2007 Nissan Frontier was totaled.

The driver of the big rig was reportedly uninjured.

The wreck follows another one at about 8:15 p.m. last night in which a woman was hospitalized after a rollover accident on Interstate 5 in Chehalis.

Troopers called to the northbound lanes near the Chamber of Commerce Way interchange found the 2004 GMC Envoy on its top.

Eileen M. Morgan, 55, of Elma, was northbound when she tried to change lanes, noticed a vehicle next to her and overcorrected losing control of her vehicle, according to the state patrol.

Morgan was taken to Providence with a cut to her head, according to the investigating trooper. Her vehicle was destroyed.

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Lawyer wants evidence of 2009 Centralia bank robbery tossed out

Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 7:48 pm
2011.0728.larohmotion_2

Michael Anthony Lar is shown his seat in Lewis County Superior Court this morning.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Defense attorney Don Blair asked a judge today to suppress evidence against accused bank robber Michael Anthony Lar, contending police made an illegal arrest of Lar in January 2010.

Lar is currently serving a sentence of life in prison without any possibility of release following his conviction for the attempted robbery of Twin Star Credit Union in Centralia on January 25 of last year.

While he was being held in the Lewis County Jail and on trial, police got DNA samples they say matched material found on duct tape from an unsolved similar robbery at the same financial institution in January 2009.

The 58-year-old is awaiting trial on the 2009 robbery.

Blair told Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler today his motion to suppress evidence stems from the arrest in the 2010 case, and an expected decision this fall on Lar’s appeal of that conviction could settle the issue.

The judge did not make any decision today on the motion.

Employees arriving for work at Twin Star Credit Union on South Gold Street early on Jan. 25, 2010 found a man inside, who held one of them briefly, until an arriving Centralia police officer pulled her out a door to safety and fired two shots at the man inside the bank.

Officers set up containment around the building and entered several hours later to find nobody inside.

About 9:45 p.m. that night, according to Blair’s motion, Olympia police were advised of a suspicious person waiting for a cab at a downtown hotel; Lar was taken by a taxi but pulled over about two blocks away.

Blair goes on to write: Lar was ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint and ordered to lay face down on the ground. Arriving Centralia police officers immediately ordered Olympia officers to arrest him.

“At the time Mr. Lar was arrested, he had not even been rolled over from where he was laying,” Blair wrote.

Lar was taken to the Olympia Police Department where he was searched and photographed, according to Blair.

Charging documents in the case describe a Centralia police officer who waited in the hospital room with Lar at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and then interviewed him.

Blair writes the the burden is on prosecutors to prove the warrantless seizure and arrest was justified under one of the exceptions to the warrant requirement.

Lar’s trial is currently scheduled for the week of Nov. 28.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer today said even though Lar was sentenced to life under the three strikes law for the 2010 case, his office finds it necessary to pursue charges in the 2009 robbery.

That’s because it’s potentially possible Lar could be successful in his current appeal, Meyer said.
•••

Read background on the two cases, here

Printer friendly version of the post below Printer friendly version of the post below

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 11:47 am

THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 21-year-old woman last night for allegedly stealing checks from a former roommate in Mossyrock. A deputy called to the 100 block of state Route 122 was told by a 62-year-old man four checks of his were missing. Kimberly A. Hennagir was contacted and then arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for two counts of forgery and one count of financial fraud, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Chehalis police arrested a 29-year-old man for stealing a fingerprinting ink pad from the police department lobby Tuesday morning. Detective Sgt. Rick McNamara said Daniel S. West had come in to report his wallet was stolen. West was arrested for third-degree theft and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to McNamara. Ordinarily officers don’t book people for misdemeanors, but West has exhibited some behavior that led police to hope to get him a position where he may be able to talk to a mental health specialist, according to McNamara.

DRUGS

• A 52-year-old Randle man was arrested for possession of heroin and methamphetamine last night in Centralia. Brian E. Bridges was booked into the Lewis County Jail following his contact with an officer at 9:20 p.m. at the 2300 block of North Pearl Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.