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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

DEBIT CARD FRAUD

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon about a forgery in which somebody from South Africa “basically drained” a resident’s account. The Chehalis woman tried to use her debit card and found her account was overdrawn, according to Deputy Chief Randy Kaut. The report didn’t say how much money was missing. “Usually on these cases out of the country, there’s not much we can do,” Kaut said. Officers take a report for the individual to pass along to their bank or financial institution, which usually offer some kinds of protections for their customers, he said.

ASSAULTS

• A 44-year-old Tacoma woman was arrested after she allegedly assaulted a woman and then two children in a Winlock residence yesterday. The sheriff’s office said it’s unknown what provoked the attack. Deputies called about 4:50 p.m. to a dispute on the 100 block of Dorning Road learned the woman had an adult female on the kitchen floor, assaulting her; at one point trying to take her pants off, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Cmdr. Steve Aust said when a 7-year-old and 9-year-old came into the room, she choked at least one of them. Lynne M. Vanier, 44, fled the home and was stopped by a Winlock police officer. Aust said the suspect was so intoxicated they couldn’t get her story from her. Vanier was arrested for two counts of second-degree assault, indecent liberties and driving under the influence, Aust said. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

• A 31-year-old Napavine man was arrested for second-degree assault yesterday after he allegedly assaulted his 16-year-old nephew in Napavine. James D. Sutherland was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

THEFT

• Centralia police took a report of a burglary to a residence yesterday on the 200 block of West Pear Street. Coins in an unspecified amount were stolen, according to the  Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about noon yesterday to the 500 block of North Pearl Street where a security camera was taken from the exterior of a building and graffiti spray painted.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police arrested a 27-year-old Lakewood man on Wednesday who tried to pick up a forged prescription from a pharmacy. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail. Prosecutors released him pending further investigation.

BIG DOG PULLED FROM RIVER

• The Chehalis Fire Department helped rescue a dog from the Chehalis River yesterday evening. A neighbor pulled the roughly 150-pound dog from the water but the animal was so worn out he couldn’t walk, to get up a steep bank near Riverside Drive, according to Capt. Rob Gebhart. Firefighters put the Newfoundland-type canine onto a sleeping bag and carried him up, Gebhart said.

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

Kayla Croft-Payne: Vigil draws friends, family of missing teenager

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm
2011.0428.kayla.vigil.main

One of Kayla Croft-Payne's younger sisters, Jaida Payne, is comforted as family and friends held a vigil last night in Chehalis.

2011.0428.kayla.vigil.mother.sister

Kayla's 4-year-old sister Shelbie chooses a balloon as their mother Michelle Croft looks on.

2011.0428.kayla.vigil.friend_2

"I love you Peanut, I miss you every day ... Butter," Kayla's friend Ashley Smith marks on a balloon.

2011.0428.kayla.vigil.father.grandson_3

Kayla's father, Thomas Payne, readies a balloon for his grandson.

2011.0428.kayla.vigil.baloons

Penny Playground, Chehalis, Wash. April 28, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The rain paused yesterday just long enough for friends and family of the missing Kayla Croft-Payne to gather in a Chehalis park to honor the teenager and vow to keep searching until she’s found.

More than 50 individuals, including her relatives from as far away as Seattle and Vancouver, Wash., met at Penny Playground on the one-year anniversary of her disappearance.

Croft-Payne was 18 years old and living outside Chehalis on April 28, 2010 when she last logged onto her MySpace internet account. She was reported missing on May 5 by a friend who hadn’t seen or heard from her for several days.

Candles were lit and balloons with handwritten messages were sent skyward yesterday evening.

Her father, Thomas Payne of Longview, asked the group to please share any information they might have about his daughter’s whereabouts.

“I hope everyone gets the word out so I can find my little girl,” Payne said.

Morton resident Jennifer Mau urged all who would like to help look for Croft-Payne to keep updated on plans for search parties by joining the “Missing Kayla” Facebook group.

Mau is part of a group which organized three weeks of ground searches last summer and found the body of missing Morton teenager Austin King.

“We’ll keep Kayla’s picture out there and do searches, if any of you want to help,” Mau said.
•••

Read more about Kayla Croft-Payne, here
•••

Join the Missing Kayla Facebook group, here

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

Former Chehalis official pleads not guilty to theft from city

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The city of Chehalis’s former building official pleaded not guilty yesterday to stealing money from a city safe.

Jeffrey C. Shine, 41, was fired earlier this month following an investigation into the November 19 discovery.

According to charging documents, an employee arrived to work at the community development building on the 1300 block of South Market Boulevard  and discovered somebody had opened a safe and removed some of its contents.

Five money bags there had been sealed and locked but someone cut their bottoms and also got into an envelope, according to the documents. The total is described as about $962.

The charging documents don’t note if any money remained in the safe or if it was cleaned out.

About $360 were funds raised for the medical needs of the daughter of Jeff and Angie Elder, a pair of police department employees, according to the documents.

Charging documents say Shine took a polygraph test and then admitted he went into the building wearing gloves, opened the safe and took the money. They don’t indicate if it was after hours or not or offer any explanation.

Shine, who lives in Longview, was 16-year city employee with the city. He was responsible for looking over construction sites and making sure code was followed. He was terminated April 1.

He pleaded not guilty yesterday afternoon to second-degree burglary and second-degree theft.

A trial date was set for the week of June 27 in  Lewis County Superior Court.

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

Read about Gov. plans to veto medical marijuana bill today …

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 9:13 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Seattle Times reports that Gov. Chris Gregoire will to hold a news conference today to discuss her expected veto of all or part of the medical marijuana bill.

The state legislature’s attempt to make allowances for medical marijuana dispensaries has coincided with the closure of two such enterprises in Lewis County this month.

Centralia police shut down Hub City Natural Medicine last week and Green Health Chehalis closed its doors when its lease was cancelled over apparent fears the building might be seized.

Seattle Times reporter Jonathan Martin writes that as the debate over the conflict between state and federal law continued yesterday, federal agents in Spokane raided at least three dispensaries there.

Read Martin’s news story here

•••

Update 5:19 p.m. Friday April 29, 2011: The Seattle Times writes this afternoon she left a little bit of the bill in place. Read it here

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

News brief: Massive amount of firefighting equipment stolen from Pe Ell department

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Intruders carried off thousands of dollars of equipment from the Pe Ell fire station including the Jaws of Life, bolt cutters, a fire axe, various saws and even breathing apparatus’.

The break-in happened sometime during the week, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

A deputy was called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday to take a report from the chief of Lewis County Fire District 11 – an all-volunteer fire department. The building sits on state Route 6 just outside the city limits.

Among the items missing were chain saws, generators, a work light and extension cords.

They even took the keys from the rescue truck, and a “jump bag” containing medical supplies, Fire Chief Michael Krafczyk said today.

Krafczyk said it happened sometime since Saturday. It was discovered yesterday evening when firefighters arrived for their routine drill. They spent the night taking inventory instead, he said.

“We were pretty decimated,” he said.

The burglars went through and picked items off the fire engines and other vehicles, unloading virtually all the tools from the truck they use to respond to car wrecks including the Jaws and spreaders, according to Krafczyk.

“The rescue rig is tagged out of service,” he said. “We can’t use it.”

An automatic mutual response has been put into place with the Boistfort fire district if they should have any calls for vehicle collisions, he said.

He estimates the extrication equipment – which they share with the Dryad area fire district – will cost $7000 to $10,000 to replace.

Krafczyk said it appears the burglars got in by either breaking a window or sliding one open and then left with enough to easily fill the back of a truck.

The loss is estimated at more than $18,000.

Sheriff’s Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown is asking anyone with information about the burglary to immediately call the sheriff’s office, 911 or Lewis County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422.

“Obviously we’re anxious to get (this) equipment back as public safety depends on it to assist citizens in the community,” Brown said.

The thefts follow a similar incident a little more than two weeks ago at a fire station in Cowlitz County, reported on yesterday by the The (Longview) Daily News.

Several weeks ago, an un-staffed station south of Rochester was burglarized leaving the West Regional Thurston Fire Authority having to replace a “jump bag” and an automatic defibrillator. Fire Chief Robert Scott said he’d heard of a similar theft from a Yelm-area station recently as well.

And earlier this month, the Lewis County Search and Rescue group discovered a break-in out in Packwood in which they lost nearly all their portable radios as well as a generator and outdoor lights. Their generator was recovered and one arrest made.

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

DRUG ARREST MADE AFTER SEARCH NORTH OF CENTRALIA

• A 36-year-old man was arrested yesterday after he fled law enforcement and hid in some brush north of Centralia, allegedly discarding drugs along the way. William A. Barge, of Centralia, was wanted on a warrant and for failing to register as a sex offender, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was spotted traveling in a vehicle near the 800 block of state Route 507, but jumped out and ran into the trees at a rock pit, the sheriff’ office reported. A police dog was deployed and Barge was found, along with suspected drugs, small plastic bags and a scale, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Barge was booked for possession with intent to deliver, the warrant and failure to register, Brown said.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Three firearms were reported stolen from an unlocked pickup truck parked on the street at the 1100 block of G Street in Centralia, according to a report made yesterday evening to the  Centralia Police Department. One of the guns was a .38 caliber handgun, according to police. Also taken was a GPS unit.

• Chehalis police were called Tuesday night about a vehicle prowl on Sixth Street.

CANDY, CASH STOLEN FROM CENTRALIA CONCESSION STAND

• Centralia police were called just before 5 p.m. yesterday about a break-in to a concession stand at Wheeler Field on the 800 block of Johnson Road. Money and candy were missing, according to police.

FRAUD

• Centralia police took a report last night of an individual using fake identification to withdraw money from a Wells Fargo Bank account. The amount was not noted.

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

Read about 12-hour impound will be mandatory after DUI arrests …

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 11:13 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Tacoma) News Tribune reports the governor signed into law yesterday a requirement that law enforcement officers impound vehicles involved in DUI arrests for 12 hours.

News reporter Katie Schmidt writes the new law – designed to make sure people sober up before getting back behind the wheel – goes into effect in July.

Read Schmidt’s news story here

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

News brief: Thurston County investigation yields four pounds methamphetamine

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force seized roughly four pounds of methamphetamine, cash and vehicles in a drug investigation that included searching a home in Tenino yesterday.

Detectives with the task force, the Tenino Police Department and special agents with Homeland Security have conducted an investigation over the past several months that included purchasing large quantities of the drug, according to a news release from the task force.

They identified several locations and subjects involved in the sale and distribution of methamphetamine, the news release states.

Two females and two males were arrested yesterday when search warrants were served at the 900 block of Garfield Street East in Tenino and the 8500 block of Steilacoom Road Southeast near Lacey, according to the news release.

Two young children were placed into the custody of Child Protective Services, according to the news release.

Charges are expected of possession and delivery of a controlled substance as well as unlawful use of a building for drug purposes, according to the news release.

The street value of the methamphetamine was placed at $154,360. The task force notes the investigation will continue.

•••

For further details following a bail hearing, read The Olympian news story, here

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

News brief: Sheriff to give presentation on citizen use of deadly force

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 11:48 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The local Fraternal Order of Police group is inviting the public to its May meeting to hear Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield discuss responsibilities and consequences associated with citizens’ use of deadly force.

The gathering is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday May 9 at the Lewis and Clark Apartments at 117 W. Magnolia Street in Centralia.

The question to be addressed is when is it okay for a citizen to use deadly force to protect themselves or their property, according to a news release from the F.O.P. Centerville Lodge No. 26.

Twice in recent years a Lewis County citizen has used deadly force against persons they discovered on their property which resulted in death and ended up in court.

In 2002, a 65-year-old man was charged with manslaughter after he fatally shot a presumed burglar on his property in rural Centralia. He was found not guilty by a jury.

Last spring, 60-year-old Ronald A. Brady fired at two suspected burglars on his Onalaska property, killing one of them. Sheriff Mansfield made it clear he believed the shooting to be justified and announced he would not arrest Brady.

The Lewis County Prosecutors Office however, charged Brady with manslaughter and then upgraded the charge to first-degree murder. The case is awaiting trial.

Sheriff’s detective Sgt. Dusty Breen will join the sheriff in the presentation. A question and answer session will be included, according to F.O.P event chair Bradd Reynolds.

For further information, contact Reynolds at 360-520-6562.

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 9:17 am

TWO PEDESTRIANS HIT IN CENTRALIA CROSSWALKS

• Two pedestrians were struck by vehicles in crosswalks in Centralia yesterday, but neither resulted in serious injuries according to police. Aid and police were called about 12:40 p.m. to West Main and Yew streets where a 44-year-old woman from Napavine was hit by a Suburban, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with a possible wrist injury, according to Sgt. Kurt Reichert. The driver, a 56-year-old Winlock resident, was cited for  failure to yield the right of away to a pedestrian, Reichert said. Then just after 4 p.m., a pickup truck ran over the foot of a 13-year-old Centralia boy in a crosswalk at North Tower Avenue and East Maple Street, according to police. The driver in that case, a 58-year-old Centralia man, was not cited as it appeared the teenager had stepped out from where he was not visible to the driver, Reichert said.

VANDALISM

• A security camera at the Aerie building on the 200 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia captured an image of a possible suspect about the same time the camera was struck and broken by a board, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday morning.

CAR PROWLS

• Police were called about 7:15 a.m. yesterday to a car prowl on the 900 block of North Washington Avenue in Centralia. Taken was cash as well as a backpack with schoolwork inside from an unlocked vehicle, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about noon yesterday to a vehicle prowl on the 700 block of H Street. Somebody got inside by damaging the handle to the rear hatch and then rummaged through the vehicle, according to police.

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

One year later: Vigil set in Chehalis for Kayla Croft-Payne

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A vigil is set for the still missing-Kayla Croft-Payne on Thursday evening, the one year anniversary of the Lewis County teenager’s disappearance.

Croft-Payne was 18 years old and living in a trailer between Chehalis and Napavine on April 28, 2010 when she last logged onto her MySpace internet account. She was reported missing on May 5 by a friend who hadn’t seen or heard from her for several days.

Kayla Croft-Payne

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has followed tips up into Pierce County, down into Cowlitz County and beyond but the young woman hasn’t turned up.

Last month, detectives said the last place they could verify she was seen was a  a trailer park in the Toutle area.

Winlock resident Jerome Painter is organizing Thursday’s event at Penny Playground in Chehalis. His cousin is a really good friend of Croft-Payne’s, he said.

“I know a lot of people who know Kayla and love Kayla and want answers, like her family,” Painter said. “It’s just touched my heart and I really wanted to do something.”

Painter said people who know her and people who don’t are equally welcome to attend.

Her parents and other family members will be there, he said.

Her father, Thomas Payne of Longview, said he’d rather his daughter was found, so he didn’t have to go to such a gathering, but he will be there to honor his daughter.

“I’m hoping some of her friends will come up and talk with me,” Payne said today.

He’s frustrated, having so little information about his daughter’s movements before she vanished, and hopes perhaps someone who hasn’t been comfortable talking with law enforcement would feel okay talking to her father, he said.

Painter put Croft-Payne’s parents to work, giving them tasks such as spreading the word and trying to round up donations of candles and helium balloons.
•••

What: Vigil for Kayla Croft-Payne
Where: Penny Playground in Chehalis, at Southwest 13th Street, off Interstate 5 exit 76
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday April 28, 2011
For information: contact Jerome Painter at jeremy@zebracomputers.com

Join the Missing Kayla Facebook page, here
•••

Read background on Kayla Croft-Payne, here

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

News brief: Rochester meeting set to gather feedback on new prison

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The state Department of Corrections is inviting public comment on the possible impacts of building a new state prison facility in Grand Mound or two other potential locations.

Members of the public can offer their thoughts by letter, by email or at a meeting scheduled next week at Rochester High School.

DOC hopes to construct what they call a prison reception center in Western Washington – with 1,024 beds.

It’s the place offenders go first, to be evaluated for physical, mental health, security and other needs and to determine the particular prison where they will serve their time, according to DOC.

Officials anticipate a staff of approximately 500 in a 356,000 square-foot building on roughly 50 acres.

They are looking at the site which currently is home to Maple Lane School – a state juvenile correctional facility at 20311 Old Highway 9 SW in Grand Mound which is slated for closure.

DOC is also considering two other properties: in Kitsap County near Belfair and Bremerton, as well as in Mason County near Shelton and the existing Washington State Correctional Center.

They would like what they are calling the Westside Prison Reception Center to be up and running by 2016, since prison population forecasts indicate a bed shortage for male offenders by that time.

Prison officials are proposing environmental impact statements be conducted on all three sites, to determine probable, significant adverse environmental impacts.

Those could include a broad range of effects, such as on water, plants, animals, air quality, noise, utilities, transportation, schools, police and fire services and more, according to DOC.

Agencies and members of the public are being asked to offer feedback on the scope of the environmental impact statements and may comment on such things as alternatives, mitigation measures and expected impacts, according to DOC.

The state legislature has approved funding to find a location and for pre-design costs but have not yet approved funds to build the new facility, according to DOC.

Properties pitched earlier this year by Winlock, Morton and Castle Rock didn’t make the cut.

Comments can be submitted before 5 p.m. on May 13, 2011.

By email: to David B. Jansen at receptioncentersiting@doc.wa.gov

On the DOC website: at http://www.doc.wa.gov/business/capitalprograms/prisonsiting

By mail: to David B. Jansen at WA Department of Corrections, PO Box 41112, Mail stop 41112, Olympia, Wash. 08504-1112

At the meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday May 4 in the commons room at Rochester High School at 19800 Carper Road SW, Rochester.

Similar meetings will be held the same week at Bremerton City Hall and Mason County Public Works.

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 10:40 am

BICYCLIST HIT WITH FLYING SODA

• Centralia police were called about 4:25 p.m. yesterday to North Pearl Street and West Oakview Avenue about a juvenile male throwing a soda at a woman riding a bike. The case involving the youth, whose age was not released, was referred to a prosecutor for a possible charge of fourth-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday to the 700 block of South Silver Street about the theft of copper wire from a vacant residence.

• A car reported stolen on April 22 was reported found abandoned yesterday behind a business on the 1200 block of South Gold Street in Centralia, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning to to Southeast Aust Manor Drive about a possible identity theft.

• Centralia police were called yesterday about a cell phone stolen from an unlocked vehicle on Saturday on the 1700 block of Harrison Avenue.

• Police were called about 2:15 p.m. yesterday about graffiti on a wall at the 400 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia.

ASSAULT

• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning of a sexual assault on a teenager. Further details were not readily available.

HARASSMENT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning a 36-year-old man was arrested following an incident in Toledo on Saturday in which he allegedly threatened, with a knife, to kill a relative. Deputies called about 4:45 p.m. to the 100 block of Layton Road found the suspect and others had left but subsequently arrested Lester G. Kirkendoll, of Toledo, according to the sheriff’s office. Kirkendoll was booked into the Lewis County Jail for felony harassment.

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

News brief: Chehalis woman killed in Onalaska wreck

Monday, April 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm
2011.0425.sr508.fatal

The cause of the Monday afternoon wreck in Onalaska is under investigation. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 1

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 27-year-old Chehalis woman died after her car struck a power pole on state Route 508 in Onalaska this afternoon.

A 6-year-old girl inside the Chevrolet Impala escaped with only bumps and bruises, according to responders.

Aid and troopers were called about 2:30 p.m. to the scene near Gish Road – about five miles east of Interstate 5.

The driver, Diann M. Harding, 27, of Chehalis, passed away en route to the hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Harding’s 2001 Impala was eastbound and crossed the centerline, hitting the pole with the passenger side of the car, the state patrol reported.

The cause is under investigation.

The child’s name was not reported, but Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Mark Conner said he understood the girl is Harding’s daughter.

•••

Correction: This news items was updated on Tuesday April 26, 2011 to reflect the correct spelling of Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Mark Conner’s name.

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

Randle woman missing for more than three weeks

Monday, April 25, 2011 at 7:05 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office took a missing person report of a 57-year-old Randle woman who left her her house without her purse and car and hasn’t been seen since for almost three weeks.

2011.0422.trisha.mckenzie.fire.close_2

Trisha McKenzie-Fire

Trisha McKenzie-Fire lives with her boyfriend Kent Anderson on Silverbrook Road in Randle.

Anderson, 67, said he called authorities on April 2 after he woke up and she wasn’t home.

Sheriff’s detective Jamey McGinty said last week it’s not entirely unlike her leave without telling him where she’s gone.

But Anderson says he’s sick with worry.

“I want her found,” he said. “Nineteen days, that’s enough. She’s never done this before in her life, since I’ve known her.

“Just to walk out with no ID, no bank cards, no purse. Her purse is here and her car’s in my garage. Just nothing.”

The night before, the two, along with a friend, were drinking whiskey and Anderson went off to bed, he said. At about 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., the friend, who was sleeping on the couch, saw her go outside with a cigarette, Anderson said.

He has searched the property, and posted missing person flyers from Packwood to Centralia.

Anderson has been checking with her bank to find if there is any activity on her account; the sheriff’s office is doing the same.

McGinty said they’ve notified law enforcement up and down the Interstate 5 corridor.

The couple lived in a Chehalis apartment until about three years ago. She doesn’t work.

“When you get someone who just walks out the door and seemed fine, you just don’t know where to start,” McGinty said.

Anderson had suggested to the detective McKenzie-Fire might have checked herself in to a treatment facility. Because of drug and alcohol treatment centers’ confidentiality restrictions however, that can’t be confirmed, he said.

Anderson said he had left her a note before he went to bed that night about that. She left her prescription medications behind as well, he said.

McKenzie-Fire has brown hair and blue eyes. She is described as 5-foot 10-inches tall and 150 pounds.

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

ATM MACHINE LIFTED FROM SKI LODGE

• Somebody broke into the ski lodge at White Pass over the weekend and hauled away an ATM machine, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sometime between 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and 12:45 a.m. on Sunday someone pried a bar off an entrance door, went inside and pulled the machine loose from its bolts, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning. Brown said deputies have suspect vehicle information and an investigation is underway. The loss, not including cash inside the ATM, is estimated at $1,000, Brown said.

MAN HIDES IN WOMEN’S RESTROOM AT CENTRALIA RESTAURANT

• Police were called to Burgerville on Harrison Avenue in Centralia yesterday when a woman reported she was inside the women’s bathroom, looked up and saw a man’s face from another stall. He fled the area and was not found, according to police.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called Saturday afternoon to an antique store on the 100 block of North Tower Avenue about the theft of a set of smoking pipes and a child’s rocker.

• Centralia police were called yesterday morning to a nursery on the 700 block of North Tower Avenue where someone had scaled the fence, damaged several items and took some plants.

• A 29-year-old Centralia man was arrested on Friday morning at the 1000 block of Eckerson Road for vehicle theft. Mical S. Ryan was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A deputy was called to the 500 block of State Street in Centralia Friday for a report of stolen white 1993 Honda Civic. The victim said at about 11 a.m. he was inside his home when he heard his car start up and drive away, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle has a license plate of 643 SGB.

• A stolen vehicle was found by its owner about 2:30 a.m. last Wednesday abandoned just east of Morton, according to the Morton Police Department.

• A pair of dogs escaped a vehicle parked in Centralia on Friday, ran across a parking lot and were picked up by an unknown motorist, according to Centralia police. An officer called about 11 a.m. to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue was told the owner tried to stop the motorist, but they drove away. One of the animals had apparently stood on the electric window switch to open the window.

GRAFFITI

• Centralia police were called Saturday morning to a report somebody hand-painted graffiti on a building on the 100 block of West Walnut Street.

GUN FOUND IN DUMPSTER

• Chehalis police were called to the 300 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis yesterday when a gun was found in a dumpster. It was a BB gun, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 22-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested for possession of methamphetamine about 10 p.m. last night after contact with an officer at Mellon Street and Interstate 5 in Centralia. Javier J. Villalavazo was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Villalavazo was not charged and was released from jail this afternoon pending further investigation.

• An individual arrested for shoplifting at K-Mart in Chehalis yesterday was cited and released but is also being referred for  a possible charge of possession of methamphetamine, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

UNRULY PATIENT KICKED OUT OF HOSPITAL, ARRESTED

• Police were called at 9 a.m. on Saturday to Morton General Hospital for a reportedly disruptive patient who refused to leave. Officers escorted Steven B. Rogers, 42, out of the facility but then arrested him for fourth-degree assault after witnessing him strike his wife as she was helping him to their vehicle, according to the Morton Police Department.

WRECKS

• A 51-year-old Longview man was hospitalized after a motorcycle wreck yesterday in the Boistfort Valley. A deputy called about 10 a.m. to the 600 block of Wildwood Road reported the man was taken to St. John Medical Center in Longview with injuries to his shoulder, chest, ribs, elbow and ankle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• The Spokesman-Review reports 73-year-old Pe Ell resident William L. Ainsworth, was killed in a traffic accident on Sunday on Interstate 90 near Spokane. Read the news story here

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

Read about marijuana dispensaries in Castle Rock …

Monday, April 25, 2011 at 11:35 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports two group have applied for business licenses in Castle Rock to potentially open medical marijuana dispensaries.

The city attorney told reporters he is waiting for the outcome of the current legislation on the issue before researching the city’s next step.

Read The Daily News story here

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

Marijuana as medicine in Lewis County

Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – On Wednesday, an individual with a valid “prescription” for medical marijuana could have gone to Green Health Chehalis to get it filled.

On Thursday, operator Brian Pfister said he was shutting his business down, after the real estate agent told him he was canceling the lease.

Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield had informed Pete Bezy the building on the 1700 block of Bishop Road was subject to seizure under drug laws, Pfister said.

“It was written in the lease exactly what I did,” Pfister said. “But I don’t want the guy to lose his building.”

Pfister opened Green Health Tacoma about a year ago, he said, and then a similar enterprise in Key Center, a community on the Kitsap Peninsula, a few months later.

His goal, he said, was to serve more than 300 Lewis County residents who travel to his Tacoma shop to obtain medical marijuana; most of whom he says are terminally ill.

The 1998 Washington Medical Marijuana Act made it possible for certain qualifying individuals with an authorization from their doctor to possess or grow marijuana, yet it’s not legal to buy or sell and remains illegal under federal law.

Pfister’s organization is among several operating in Tacoma, as the city allows medicinal pot dispensaries to remain open while they wait for the state legislature to clarify the law, according to The (Tacoma) News Tribune.

However, in Lewis County, the sheriff and the prosecutor say they won’t tolerate any such thing.

Pfister met with Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer and Sheriff Mansfield about three weeks ago to tell them of his plans.

Mansfield told Pfister he would arrest him.

“Right now, what he wanted to do is against the law, regardless of what they do in Tacoma or Seattle,” Mansfield said.

The 48-year-old was very friendly and seemed very sincere, Mansfield said. But dispensaries are not allowed under state law and marijuana remains illegal under federal law, he said.

“When the law changes, my position changes, it’s that simple,” Mansfield said on Friday.

Pfister moved forward any way, knowing he would likely be arrested.

“I didn’t go into this expecting not,” Pfister said. “Once you have a couple of dying people crying to you, you tend not to care about getting locked up.”

Green Health is a non-profit and they accept donations but don’t sell medical marijuana, according to Pfister.

He intentionally kept the contents of the Bishop Road building sparse, knowing it was on the radar for a raid, he said.

He had one person there, to help patients with “edibles”, he said. That individual would take a patient’s name and call a doctor to verify the authorization, he said. He requires an original copy of the authorization with an original signature, he said.

Pfister has a state business license for Green Health Dispensary LLC, according to the Washington Department of Licensing.

Lewis County does not issue or require county business licenses, unlike some cities including Centralia which unknowingly gave a license earlier this year to Hub City Natural Medicine which was shut down by police last week.

Centralia police seized dried marijuana, various foods suspected of containing marijuana, as well the businesses’ computers on Wednesday evening. They arrested one man, Daniel J. Mack, 39, who said he was a volunteer dispensary worker.

The following evening, Centralia police went to the Mack’s Rochester residence and found more than 150 plants growing on his property, including in an underground growing operation.

Mack was charged Thursday with delivery of marijuana and other offenses. It’s not clear what other charges have been or may be filed following the seizures in Rochester.

The state medical marijuana law allows a patient or designated provider to possess up to a 60-day supply. Guidelines offered by the Washington State Department of Health say that’s defined as 24 ounces and 15 plants.

Centralia Police Department spokesperson Officer Chris Fitzgerald says a lot of people are ignorant about the law.

First of all, Fitzgerald says, it’s against the law to possess marijuana. The medical marijuana law provides for authorization – not a prescription – in certain circumstances, she said.

“It may be used as an affirmative defense, which may or may not help you out in court,” Fitzgerald said.

In some case, when Centralia officers come across a person who produces an authorization, they will seize the marijuana and refer the case for evaluation of any charges, she said.

In some cases when an individual is growing it, they take samples but not the plants, she said.

But dispensaries are a different story, according to Fitzgerald. The law says an individual may grow it for one patient, she said.

The stance in Chehalis is similar, according to Deputy Police Chief Randy Kaut.

For individuals, as long as they are staying within the law, they aren’t necessarily arrested at the time, he said.

“We’re trying to give the benefit of the doubt, unless we see obvious violations,” Kaut said.

Fitzgerald says a big problem is abuses of the authorizations.

Most of the time, the authorizations Centralia police come across are not valid, sometimes just a piece of paper that looks like it’s been photocopied several times, she said.

And, “We’ve made several arrests where people said they were cultivating it and said they had authorizations, but we caught them selling it.”

Read the state medical marijuana law here

Follow the legislative session here

•••

SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LAW

Q: Is medical marijuana legal in Washington? I’ve heard conflicting answers to this question.

A: Marijuana possession is illegal in Washington. The medical marijuana law, chapter 69.51A RCW, provides an affirmative defense for qualified patients and designated caregivers. People who qualify have a valid reason to possess a 60-day supply of marijuana. They may use that reason to defend against a legal action taken under Washington law. However, medical marijuana is not legal under federal law. There is no affirmative defense for people who are arrested or charged under federal law.

Q: How can I find out if I qualify to be a medical marijuana patient?

A: Talk to your doctor. The law includes a very specific list of qualifying conditions you must have before a doctor can recommend medical marijuana.

Q: What is a valid written recommendation?

A: Beginning June 10, 2010, a recommendation must be written on tamper-resistant paper. It must also include an original signature by the health care provider, a date, and a statement that says in the health care provider’s professional opinion the patient may benefit from the medical use of marijuana.

Q: How do I get medical marijuana? Can I buy it?

A: The law allows a qualifying patient or designated provider to grow medical marijuana. It is not legal to buy or sell it.

Q: How much medical marijuana can I have?

A: A qualifying patient or designated provider may have a 60-day supply of medical marijuana. A 60-day supply is defined as 24 ounces and 15 plants (WAC 246-75-010) The law says that a patient may exceed these limits if he or she can prove medical need.

Q: How do I become a designated provider?

A: A designated provider must be at least 18 years old and must be designated in writing by the qualifying patient. A designated provider can only be a provider for one patient at any one time.

Read more FAQ here

Source: Washington State Department of Health

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

News brief: Pedestrian struck on U.S. Highway 12

Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 19-year-old walking on U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma was hospitalized last night after he was hit by the mirror of a passing car.

Troopers called about 9:20 p.m. reported Jeffrey T. Peddie, of Randle, was walking east on the eastbound shoulder wearing dark clothing when it happened.

He was taken to Morton General Hospital with a sore hip, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The driver was 84-year-old Phyllis J. Sickler of Randle, according to the state patrol. Her Ford Taurus sustained an estimated $200 damage, the state patrol reported.

The incident is being investigated.

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

Teacher, daughter, two teenagers “dead” in mock crash at Ony High School

Friday, April 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm
2011.0421.ony.mockcrash3_2

Responders "answer" a 911 call on the football field in Onalaska during a presentation to students. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 1

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Eighth through twelfth grade students in Onalaska yesterday got to watch the aftermath of two-car drunken driving wreck on the football field, a simulated collision that left four “dead”.

The scenario – created by the Onalaska Students Against Drunk Drivers group – began when an after-prom party broke up and eight teenagers piled into one car; the driver had been drinking.

Airlift Northwest touched down briefly to pretend to haul off one of the injured during the afternoon event.

Some 30 individuals role played, including volunteer firefighters from three districts, law enforcement and the coroner’s office. Four impersonated corpses.

“Killed” in the second car, was a teacher from the school and her 13-year-old daughter.

Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Mark Conner said it was the first time the department has taken part in such an exercise in the seven years since he’s been a member.

It was hard to know the impact on the student body, as they had to quick get on busses when it was over, he said.

“We’re trying to show, you know, this is what happens when you come on a scene,” Conner said.

•••

Correction: This news items was updated on Wednesday April 27, 2011 to reflect the correct spelling of Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Mark Conner’s name.

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

MAN SWALLOWS METH, BEHAVES BADLY AT HOSPITAL

• Deputies called about an apparent attempted vehicle theft yesterday at the 200 block of Tennessee Road in Winlock discovered the suspect they took into custody had eaten a large amount of methamphetamine, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Steven R. Luurs Jr. 30, of Winlock, was turned over to aid personnel about 1 p.m. and taken to Providence Centralia Hospital. His case was referred for possible charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Centralia police were called to Providence Centralia Hospital yesterday about a disorderly person and warned him not to return. When Steven R. Luurs, 30, of Winlock, did return to the hospital on South Schueber Road at about 10 p.m., officers arrested him for criminal trespass and booked him into the Lewis County Jail.

CAR PROWLS

• Centralia police took a report about 8 p.m. last night of a backpack stolen from a vehicle. It was unknown where the vehicle was parked when it happened.

• Centralia police were called Wednesday afternoon to the 200 block of Tacoma Avenue about a hunting knife and other items stolen from a vehicle.

• A tool box was taken from a vehicle on the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia during the night, according to a report made to police on Wednesday afternoon.

• Money was taken from a vehicle parked on the 1800 block of Collision Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police Wednesday afternoon.

• A GPS device and a cash card were taken from a vehicle on the 300 block of Genge Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police Wednesday.

THEFT OF MEDS

• Centralia police were called about 3:45 p.m. yesterday about the theft of medication from the 1300 block of Central Boulevard.

• Centralia police took a report about 1:15 p.m. yesterday about the theft of medication from the 1100 block of Long Road.

STOLEN BASEBALL CARDS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning they are investigating the theft of approximately $2,000 of baseball cards from a residence in the 100 block of Morris Road in Randle.

FRAUD

• Chehalis police took a report on Wednesday of fraudulent charges on a debit card that totaled about $3,500 and originated in London.

DRUGS

• Clifford Davis, 45, no hometown given, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail on Wednesday for possession of methamphetamine, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The arrest followed his contact with a deputy in connection with a violation of a protection order at the 100 block of Kehoe Road in Randle.

• Chehalis police arrested a 16-year-old student at the alternative high school on the 2100 block of North National Avenue on Wednesday for possession of marijuana. The Centralia boy was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to police.

TEEN ASSAULT

• Deputies were called yesterday to Borst Avenue and Cowlitz Road in Centralia after a 17-year-old male reportedly stopped his vehicle, got out and punched a 16-year-old in the mouth, knocking out a tooth. The suspect had an injury to his hand, according to the sheriff’s office. His case was referred for  possible charge of assault, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

WRECKS

• A 42-year-old driver was arrested for driving under the influence after his vehicle ran off the road into a ditch yesterday evening near Winlock, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies called about 7:15 p.m. to Rhoades Road and Rhodes Road North arrested Bruce W. Finney, of Winlock and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown.

• Four teenagers and 57-year-old man from Winlock were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after an approximately 4 p.m. head-on collision yesterday afternoon on the 600 block of South Military Road in Winlock, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The man who was driving a pickup truck had a head injury and responders had to cut off a door to extricate him. The teens, ages 16, 17 and 18, suffered various unspecified but not serious injuries.

2011.0421.car.SMilitary&McGlaughlin_2

Courtesy photos by Kevin Anderson, Lewis County Fire District 15

2011.0421.pickup.SMilitary&McGlaughlin.tw_2

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

Breaking news: Underground marijuana growing operation shut down in Rochester

Friday, April 22, 2011 at 9:58 am

This news story was updated at 10:45 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police last night went to the residence of the man arrested at Hub City Natural Medicine and found marijuana growing in his home and inside two motor homes as well as an underground growing operation.

Officers seized about 164 plants of all different sizes from the property at the 18400 block of Leon Road Southwest in Rochester, according to the Centralia Police Department.

“The shed had a wooden floor with a hatch that led to an underground room dug out under the shed and the house,” police Sgt. Jim Shannon said this morning.

The approximately 10-foot by 12-foot room was wired for power and lights with reflective material covering the walls, he said.

Daniel J. Mack, 39, of Rochester, was arrested Wednesday evening when police shut down a storefront in downtown Centralia they say was operating as a medical marijuana dispensary. Mack identified himself as volunteer dispensary worker, but police consider him one of three owners of the business.

The Centralia Police Department’s Anti-Crime Unit, along with other officers and sheriff’s deputies served their search warrant about 6 p.m. last night at Mack’s home in Rochester.

Nobody was arrested there. A 14-year-old was the only person present, Shannon said. He is being cared for by neighbors, according to Shannon.

The search warrant was obtained in connection with the investigation that led to Wednesday night’s raid at Hub City Natural Medicine on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue. There, police confiscated dried marijuana in large mason jars, various baked goods, candies and refrigerated items suspected of containing marijuana, as well the businesses’ computers.

Shannon said Mack admitted to bringing product from his residence to the store to distribute.

Further arrests are expected, as there are other growers, other customers and other sellers, Shannon said.

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

Son pleads not guilty to helping former trooper father in suicide, fraud plan

Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Kenneth R. Varner pleaded not guilty today to charges related to allegedly helping his father make a suicide look like homicide so the family could collect insurance money

His father, 49-year-old James E. Varner of Olympia, was found dead with a gunshot inside his car on a forest road near Packwood in February 2006.

2011.0414.kenneth.varner_2

Kenneth R. Varner

Authorities arranged for Kenneth R. Varner to be arrested last month in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where he had been living.

James Varner worked for the state Department of Labor and Industries and before that, was a Washington state trooper.

He reportedly left a note apologizing to his wife about his debt, and telling her not to blame his son.

It’s a case with a “a lot of fraud” involved, according to Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield.

Charging documents in the case – 19 pages of them –  offer suggestions the son retrieved the firearm from Packwood; it was found later in Mayfield Lake.

They also include details of an insurance fraud scheme related to a falsely-reported-as-stolen antique car, a case both men were blamed for in Thurston County.

2011.0421.james.varner_2

James E. Varner

The documents further contain accusations by a woman who said she reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Kenneth R. Varner defrauded her out of money for the purchase of property after she met him in Puerto Vallarta.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said today the latter allegations are something for the FBI to investigate. He did not know if they have done so.

Kenneth R. Varner pleaded guilty to the Thurston County charges but never returned to be sentenced, Halstead said.

Charging documents include allegations the father facilitated bank transactions for his son’s business deals, which the son conducted under an alias. The younger Varner reportedly worked as a free-lance realtor in Mexico.

Kenneth Varner is charged in Lewis County Superior Court with promoting a suicide attempt and conspiracy to commit theft in the first degree.

He was also charged in an entirely separate Lewis County case – for theft related to a a bid to replace a roof of a business partner’s building in Centralia in 2006.

He remains held in the Lewis County Jail on $500,000 bail.

Trial dates were set for the week of June 6.
•••

Read background on the case here

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

Winlock grocery lottery ticket theft trial postponed once more

Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The trial has again been postponed for the Winlock grocery store manager accused of stealing lottery tickets.

Benjamin C. Macy, 52, 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. He had reportedly worked at the store for 30 years.

Macy has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail.

He is represented by Centralia attorney Don McConnell who said today he’s hired a certified public accountant to pore through two boxes of binders to try to figure out how much money is being alleged was involved.

“We’re nowhere near to figuring that out,” McConnell said.

The trial was scheduled for next week, but a judge today granted the change.

Macy was previously represented by McConnell’s partner, Jonathan Meyer, who is now the elected Lewis County prosecutor.

Attorneys will return to court on June 30 to set a date for trial.
•••

Read about the case here

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

Read about legislature passes marijuana dispensary bill …

Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports the state legislature passed a marijuana dispensary bill today, although the governor has threatened to veto it.

News reporter Katie Schmidt writes the change is meant to clear up a gray area in the voter-approved measure that previously legalized medical marijuana but left it unclear how patients can get the drug.

Read Schmidt’s news story here