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Read about Rochester man off to prison for deadly wreck …

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 8:40 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a Rochester resident was sentenced yesterday in Thurston County Superior Court to 20 months in prison following his guilty plea to one count of vehicular homicide in connection with a December 2014 crash on state Route 507.

News reporter Andy Hobbs writes Corey R. Tribble, a former kindergarten teacher who is now 41, tried to illegally pass as many as eight vehicles while speeding just south of Yelm when he swerved and lost control of his car the morning of Dec. 11. He collided head on with Rainier resident Kenneth Brackett’s vehicle.

Brackett, 51, of Rainer, died on Dec. 26.

Read about it here.

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Rape investigation: Salkum man held with no bail, no charges

Monday, February 1, 2016 at 6:54 pm
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Joel L. Kaech looks toward lawyers during his hearing in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County prosecutors held off on filing any criminal charges today against the Salkum man arrested yesterday for the alleged kidnapping and rape of a 32-year-old Longview woman.

Joel L. Kaech, 25, will be held with no bail at the Lewis County Jail at least until tomorrow when the state should be in a better position to make an informed decision, according to authorities.

The alleged incident came to the attention of police, who made contact with the alleged victim around 8:25 p.m. on Saturday at the Goodwill store in Centralia after she reportedly ran away from Kaech at the skate park across Harrison Avenue.

She told law enforcement officers Kaech earlier had picked up her and a mutual friend in Longview, but kicked the friend out of the car and said, “Now you are my hostage,” according to court papers filed today.

The alleged victim told of being driven to the Spiffy’s parking lot on U.S. Highway 12 and raped and then to Kaech’s home in Salkum where he would take a shower and pick up some clothing, telling his mother not to let her leave, according to the declaration of probable cause.

The document offers other details including the following:

The alleged victim told a sheriff’s deputy Kaech drove them to a state park where he wanted to pick up some hidden stolen items – which he allegedly wanted to sell to get money to buy drugs, but they were not found – and to a church parking lot to sleep. She reported she awoke to Kaech  breaking in to the building and he threatened he would kill her if she didn’t help.

She told the deputy he then drove to a secluded place off U.S. Highway 12 where he allegedly pulled her by the hair into the back seat and once again raped her. Then they traveled to the skate park in Centralia. She also said she was threatened with a metal pipe.

When found sleeping in his car on Stowell Road in Salkum yesterday and questioned, Kaech denied knowing the alleged victim.

In Lewis County Superior Court today, Kaech talked back to the judge, and was told he would be held in contempt for 30 days, and then 30 more days when he did it again.

Lewis County Prosecutor Sheila Weirth had asked for bail to be set at $500,000, but Judge James Lawler made it a no-bail hold after the first outburst.

His temporary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke said afterwards, Kaech hadn’t known the details of the accusations being leveled against him until he got into the courtroom this afternoon.

“He was frustrated, as you can imagine,” O’Rourke said. “He didn’t have an opportunity to read though the probable cause statement until he got to court.”

Deputies saw a metal pipe in his car and applied for a search warrant to look for evidence in the vehicle, according to the court papers. The documents also relate that the alleged victim was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia for evidence collection.

Prosecutors asked for and were granted the opportunity to keep Kaech in jail and bring him before a judge again tomorrow afternoon.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Kidnapping investigation leads to Salkum resident” from Monday February 1, 2016, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, February 1, 2016 at 1:14 pm
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•••

Updated at 5:48 p.m.

INDECENT EXPOSURE NEAR HIGH SCHOOL

• A 79-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for allegedly exposing himself from the doorway of a home near W.F. West High School to girls who drove by on Friday. Police were called about 11:45 a.m. after the high school students reported what they saw at the 500 block of Southwest 16th Street, according to the Chehalis Police Department. When they went by the first time he allegedly waved them over and when they passed again, they observed him through a glass door, according to police. Harold W. White was arrested for indecent exposure, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.

BREAK-IN

• A deputy took a report of a residential burglary at the 200 block of Guerrier Road yesterday in which Xboxes and CDs were stolen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called yesterday to Southeast Third Street off Market Boulevard in Chehalis regarding a vehicle prowl in which someone broke a window and took a lunch box. The thief may have mistaken it for a purse because of its size and where it was located, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Police were called yesterday morning about a car prowl at on Southwest Fifth Street in Chehalis in which two CDs were stolen from an unlocked vehicle.

• Chehalis police were called to a vehicle prowl on Southwest 11th Street near Market Boulevard on Friday morning in which someone rummaged through a glove compartment during the night and stole an mp3 player. The vehicle had been left unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 46-year-old woman arrested yesterday for driving under the influence following a single car rollover accident on U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma was also arrested and subsequently charged with possession of a controlled substance, one and half pills of something called Alprazolam. Prosecutors alleged Candy A. Core had the drug without a prescription. According to charging documents, the Randle resident said her friend gave her the pills but she did not take them. She also told a trooper who asked about a pink straw with white residue from her pocket that she had used methamphetamine two days earlier, according to the allegations. Core and her passenger were reportedly uninjured. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail and after appearing before a judge this afternoon, allowed release on a $5,000 signature bond. Core has no prior criminal convictions, lawyers said today.

• A 25-year-old woman was arrested on Saturday for possession of a controlled substance after a deputy responded to Gee Cees truck stop near Vader to check on her because she was reportedly acting odd. A baggie of suspected heroin was found on the floor where she had been sitting and Samantha D. Weekly, from Eugene, Oregon, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 35-year-old inmate who allegedly had tucked baggies of marijuana in his undershorts, found during a strip search, was arrested on Friday for possession of drugs by a prisoner. A deputy responded on Friday afternoon to the Lewis County Jail and arrested Aaron G. Stubbs, from Seattle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It appears from the jail roster he was brought to the Chehalis facility the day before for an outstanding warrant.

STEALING GASOLINE

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that approximately 25 gallons of fuel was stolen from two trucks parked at Cardinal Glass on the 500 block of Avery Road outside of Winlock a week ago Sunday.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting; responses for alarm, dispute, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor theft … and more.

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Police: Drug house arrests this morning in Chehalis

Monday, February 1, 2016 at 11:11 am
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Two people are detained in Chehalis this morning in connection with drug case.

Updated at 5:24 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Regional SWAT Team paid a visit to a Chehalis home this morning, arresting one man for allegedly selling drugs from the house plus two other individuals.

“This residence has been an issue for us and neighboring houses,” Chehalis Police Department Chief Glenn Schaffer said in a written statement. “We want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate drug activity and we will aggressively deal with these issues in the City of Chehalis.”

A joint news release issued by Chehalis police, Centralia police and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says a search warrant was obtained after a lengthy investigation.

Officers served the warrant near the 100 block of Southwest 10th Street at about 8:50 a.m., according to the agencies.

Arrested were Russell S. Foster, 46, for three counts of delivery of methamphetamine and Mary K. West, 51, for endangerment with controlled substance and possession of methamphetamine.

Twenty-nine-year-old Seth T. Lloyd, was taken into custody for a felony warrant from the state Department of Corrections.

The search of the home and outbuildings by the Joint Narcotics Task Force allegedly turned up a generator stolen from a December burglary on Jackson Highway as well as an unspecified amount of methamphetamine. Law enforcement officers added a potential charge of maintaining a dwelling for drug purposes against West, who is also known as Mary K. Craig.

All three Chehalis residents were booked into the Lewis County Jail.

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News brief: Kidnapping investigation leads to Salkum resident

Monday, February 1, 2016 at 10:34 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 25-year-old Salkum man was arrested yesterday in connection with the alleged kidnapping and rape of a Longview woman that came to light on Saturday night in Centralia.

Officers contacted the woman about 8:25 p.m. on Saturday in a parking lot at the 500 block of Harrison Avenue who said she’d been abducted in Longview and dropped off in Centralia.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning the incident was reported to them about two hours later and following their investigation, they arrested Joel L. Kaech, 25, from Salkum and booked him into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape and felony harassment.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said it began in Longview and continued at the Spiffy’s parking lot on U.S. Highway 12 and possibly involved another location on U.S. Highway 12.

The incidents are still under investigation, according to Brown.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 9:24 am
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•••

KIDNAPPING INVESTIGATION

• Centralia police report officers contacted a woman about 8:25 p.m. yesterday in a parking lot at the 500 block of Harrison Avenue who said she’d been kidnapped in Longview and dropped off in Centralia. Officers contacted the Longview Police Department to take over the investigation and it remains under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT FROM DOOR

• Someone stole a wreath off the front door of a home on the 1200 block of G Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 9:45 p.m. yesterday.

MEDS MISSING

• Centralia police were called to the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue regarding the theft of medication on Friday.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police responded to an abandoned car at the 1000 block of Alder Street on Friday which turned out to have been stolen.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police were called to the 600 block of Richmond Avenue on Friday regarding an overnight car prowl. Someone stole a small amount of change from the ashtray, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor theft… and more.

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News brief: Centralia man convicted in sledge hammer to face incident

Friday, January 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Lewis County jury took three hours to find a 60-year-old man guilty in the case of a Centralia man whose nose was smashed by a small sledge hammer when a neighbor got upset about his loud music.

The neighbor, Morris R. Keith Jr., was convicted yesterday of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. The jury found him not guilty of first-degree burglary –  police said the assault took place in the victim’s garage – and of felony harassment.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey allowed Keith to remain free on $25,000 bail until he is sentenced.

Keith was arrested the night of May 31 after the events at the 1300 block of Central Boulevard. Court documents recounted the doctor at the emergency room saying it was the worst broken nose he’d ever seen.

The trial began on Tuesday and ended yesterday with the mixed verdict.

Keith is expected back in court on Thursday when the court will schedule a date for him to be sentenced.
•••

For background, read “Sledge hammer to face incident draws serious charges” from Tuesday June 2, 2015, here

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Another town meeting: Got a question for the sheriff, the prosecutor?

Friday, January 29, 2016 at 12:06 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The sheriff and the prosecutor will be traveling to Pe Ell to talk with members of the public, answer their questions and listen to their concerns.

It’s the third in a series of “Town Hall” meetings held around the county during the past year.

Joining Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza and Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer the evening of Feb. 11 will be Pe Ell Town Marshal Mike Hartnett and Pe Ell School District Superintendent Kyle MacDonald.

Snaza says the gatherings have been an excellent medium for open discussions.

“We need active partnerships with the citizens we serve to help us address issues in their community that they feel are important,” Snaza states in a news release.

Prosecutor Meyer hopes people will take advantage of the opportunity.

“I want people to know how we are doing, what we are doing, and why,” Meyer states. “Some of the decisions the staff and I have to make on cases can be tough, but I am open to questions about our process and our decisions.”

What: Town Meeting with Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza and Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer
Where: Pe Ell School commons, Pe Ell
When: Thursday Feb. 11, 2016
Time: 7 p.m.
•••

For background, read “Sheriff, prosecutor talk about changes in crime fighting efforts” from Sunday March 29, 2015, here

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News brief: Still one opening on Chehalis Civil Service Commission

Friday, January 29, 2016 at 11:01 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The city of Chehalis continues to attempt to fill a vacancy on its Civil Service Commission.

Appointments to the commission are made by the city manager, subject to the approval of the city council, and are generally six-year terms.

The Civil Service Commission basically oversee the examination process, appointments, promotions, transfers, reinstatements, demotions, suspensions and discharge of police and fire department employees, according to City Clerk Judy Schave.

Application forms are available on the city’s website, or can be picked up at City Hall located at 350 N Market Blvd. Rm 101.

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News brief: Crab feed coming in Tenino

Friday, January 29, 2016 at 10:46 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Tickets for the Tenino Fire Department’s annual crab feed are on sale now.

The fundraising event will be held on March 5, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., according to Tina Vanderhoof, administrative chief for Thurston County Fire District 12.

The price is $35. Tickets can be purchased at the station at 187 Hodgden St. in Tenino.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, January 29, 2016 at 10:24 am
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•••

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police were called at 2 p.m. yesterday after the discovery a Chevrolet pickup truck was missing from the 600 block of South Market Boulevard. An officer recalled having seen the truck elsewhere in town and the owner went and picked it up from Southeast Prospect Street, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

MISSING MUSICAL INSTRUMENT

• Centralia police were called just before 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon regarding the theft of a guitar and a laptop computer from the 300 block of South Street sometime in the previous several days.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Nobody was injured but both lanes of northbound Interstate 5 were blocked when a box truck overturned yesterday afternoon about 3 p.m. near the Harrison Avenue exit in Centralia, according to the Washington State Patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, disorderly person, possibly suicidal person, collision on city street, dog pooping in grass where children play … and more.

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News brief: Some Mason County inmates will do their time in Lewis County

Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 7:08 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Jail could see increased revenue of approximately $440,000 annually under a new agreement to house prisoners from Mason County.

The facility in Chehalis operated by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has long provided bed space for other local law enforcement agencies. It currently has contracts also with Thurston County, the city of Olympia and the state Department of Corrections.

The agreement provides for 20 to 25 inmates from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office at any given time, at a rate of $60.38 per day. It was finalized on Monday when the Lewis County Board of Commissioners signed off on it.

The Lewis County Jail, expanded in 2005, is constructed to hold as many as 356 inmates, according to Jail Administrator Kevin Hanson. However, it’s currently funded for staffing to manage no more than 240 inmates.

The one-year contract with Mason County contains a provision for annual renewal upon agreement of both parties.

The city of Centralia earlier this month decided to use the jail in Yakima for some of its prisoners, deciding to send them individuals who are sentenced to more than two weeks.

Centralia Police Chief Carl Nielsen told the city council he could save about $10,000 a year, given an increase in the fee charged by the Lewis County Jail.

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Losing candidate claims sheriff’s office rewarded reporter for election “hit pieces”

Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 4:03 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A former candidate for Lewis County sheriff is contending a back room deal between the sheriff’s office and a local news reporter where assistance in obtaining a new job was given in exchange for news coverage that reflected badly upon him during his run for public office.

Brian Green claims the county concealed public records that showed evidence of a political pay off to Stephanie Schendel.

Schendel was a crime reporter at The Chronicle during the 2014 campaign. She was subsequently hired as a police officer by the city of Bellevue, with help from a formal recommendation from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, according to Green.

Green, an Onalaska resident who ran as an Independent, received less than 23 percent of the vote in the November 2014 election. Former Deputy Sgt. Rob Snaza got 77 percent and replaced outgoing Sheriff Steve Mansfield.

Green’s allegations come in a lawsuit he filed alleging a violation of the state public records act by Lewis County.

Eric Eisenberg, one of two Lewis County attorneys who submitted the response to the lawsuit, says there was no deal to get Schendel to write anything about Green.

“No, of course not,” Eisenberg said. “The county doesn’t do business that way.”

It was an honest mistake in which the sheriff’s office didn’t realize until Green sued, that he wanted other records beyond just the copy of the job recommendation, he said.

The suit was filed Nov. 17 in Thurston County Superior Court. The details of Green’s suspicions of a “politically motivated quid pro quo” are presented in a motion he filed earlier this month, in which he asks a judge to find in his favor, claiming there are now no disputed material facts.

Green writes in his court documents that after Schendel “orchestrated a series of prejudicial media hit pieces” that were “instrumental in ensuring” his campaign would be unsuccessful, he was surprised to learn she obtained a job as a police officer.

So he set out to determine if her career change from a small town newspaper reporter to a big city law enforcement officer was related, he wrote.

According to the allegations which Eisenberg does not dispute, Green made a records request on November 19, 2014 asking the sheriff’s office for any and all official correspondence endorsing, advocating, commending, recommending or otherwise recognizing Schendel.

And on the same day, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown responded, asking for clarification, Green replied back and Brown partially fulfilled the request by sending Green a copy of a letter of recommendation she had written for Schendel.

Green subsequently discovered in records he obtained from the city of Bellevue there were documents Brown had failed to produce, in the form of email correspondence between the two agencies as well as a questionnaire seeking Brown’s input for the police department’s background investigation in early August 2014.

In Lewis County’s answer to the lawsuit, a declaration from Brown states it never occurred to her the questionnaire might be a document falling within the phrasing Green used in making his request, and she hadn’t even recalled it existed.

Brown indicated to the Bellevue investigator she believed Schendel would make an excellent police officer and an outstanding addition to the Bellevue Police Department.

She noted that no one else from the media in the previous 18 years had been able to build such a positive relationship with the sheriff’s office as Schendel.

Brown wrote about how hard Schendel worked to prepare herself physically and mentally to become a police officer, having talked about wanting to be a police officer for over a year.

Green contends the materials Brown withheld are the smoking gun evidence of a payoff to Schendel.

He is asking the court to award him costs, attorney fees and penalties.

Eisenberg acknowledges Lewis County violated the public records act, but says the non-compliance was a good-faith mistake. And, as soon as the county learned there were other records he had wanted, it provided them to Green, he said.

He acknowledges Green is entitled to an award in the amount of costs he incurred, for his $240 court filing fee.

The next question is the penalty, according to Eisenberg, which the county is arguing against having to pay.

The public records act provides for, at the discretion of the court, an award to the requestor of up to $100 per day for each day a record was withheld.

A hearing is scheduled in April for each side to present evidence on its view of the case.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 11:22 am
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•••

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were contacted just after 9 a.m. yesterday for a car abandoned on the 1500 block of Windsor Avenue. It turned out to have been stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD

• Centralia police were called yesterday afternoon by an individual from the 1200 block of Borthwick Street who reported they were contacted regarding an order for a cell phone which they had never ordered.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A school bus was one of two vehicles involved in a collision at Johnson Road and Borst Avenue in Centralia just before 2:55 p.m. yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department. There were no injuries and there were no children on the bus, according to police.

• A 21-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for driving under the influence as well as hit and run overnight following an approximately 1:30 a.m. incident at Maple Street and Tower Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department. Ricky L. Blay Jr. was booked into the Lewis County Jail, also for driving with a suspended license, according to police.

• A 37-year-old motorist said a deer jumped out in front of him, causing his truck to leave the roadway, strike an embankment and roll onto its side last night outside of Chehalis. Deputies called at 9:15 p.m. to the 400 block of Berry Road noted William R. Town suffered bumps, scrapes and rib pain, but that he indicated he would have a friend take him to the hospital, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said he had a passenger, who she believed was uninjured. Town was issued a citation for driving without a required interlock device, Brown said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, no-contact order violation; responses for alarm, dispute, harassment, disorderly person, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor assault, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, collision on state highway, collision on Interstate 5 … and more.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 12:27 pm
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•••

FELONY ASSAULT CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called just before 8 p.m. yesterday to an assault at the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue. An investigation is ongoing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BREAKING AND ENTERING

• Centralia police were called just before 2 p.m. yesterday to the 700 block of K Street where an individual returned home to find their front door open and their place ransacked. The victim was not yet sure anything is actually missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office this morning reported someone broke a door jamb at a vacation cabin on the 100 block of Timber Trail Lane in Packwood sometime during the past week. It was not readily apparent if anything was stolen, according to the sheriff’s office.

CHAINSAW RECOVERED

• A detective yesterday arrested a 25-year-old man at Labor Ready in Centralia after an investigation that turned up a chainsaw stolen from the 300 block of Fawn Hill Drive outside Chehalis two weeks ago and then recovered at a pawn shop in White Center. Joel L. Kaech was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree burglary, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said the detective had conducted an online search for the stolen property and discovered a pawn slip in which the suspect listed an address on the same street as the victim. Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges today.

NOT BURGLARY

• Chehalis police were called just before noon yesterday to the 1500 block of Southwest Thomsen Avenue where someone said two people had parked a truck and just busted through the back door of a vacant house. An officer contacted the couple and learned they were doing work for the bank-owner, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CARPORT PROWLED

• Police were called yesterday morning to the 300 block of South Street in Centralia where someone had stolen a chop saw from a carport sometime during the previous week.

DRIVE-BY THEFT

• A contractor working in the area of Bridge Street and Harrison Avenue called police just before 1 p.m. yesterday after a passing motorist stopped, grabbed his tool bag, threw it in the back of his truck and drove off. The bag contained a transmitter-locator, according to the Centralia Police Department. The victim told police the bluish/purple Dodge Ram 2500 had stopped in the road to steal the item, and then continued eastbound.

DISORDERLY PERSON

• A 51-year-old man described by police as transient was arrested yesterday evening for allegedly causing a disturbance  when he was getting discharged. from the emergency room at Providence Centralia Hospital. Officers called about 6:30 p.m. to the 900 block of South Scheuber Road booked Jeffrey J Hanby into the Lewis County Jail for interfering with a health care facility, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

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News brief: Sheriff’s deputies secure higher wages

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 6:47 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County sheriff’s deputies are getting a pay raise of 2.5 percent each year over the next three years under a new contract approved yesterday.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Lewis County Deputies Guild negotiated a collective bargaining agreement that covers Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2018.

The change means that this year, a first-year deputy earns a base pay of $4,399 per month and deputies with seven or more years on the job earn $5,418 per month with others falling in between, according to Lewis County Human Resource Director Archie Smith. Detectives and sergeants earn more.

The contract provides for specialty incentive pay for assignments such as SWAT and K-9.

The Lewis County Board of Commissioners approved the agreement at its regular meeting yesterday morning.

Thirty commissioned law enforcement officers who work as deputies, detectives and deputy sergeants are part of the group that comprises the field operations bureau.

According to a summary describing the contract, the employees’ health and welfare benefits were unchanged and no management rights were reduced.

Other issues that were addressed during negotiations were: training reimbursement for new employees, clarification of take-home vehicles, creation of a lateral transfer for the operations group, clarification on scope of recognition and use of reserve deputies to perform minimal work.

Undersheriff Wes Rethwill said appointed personnel, such as himself and deputy chiefs, but not Sheriff Rob Snaza, will receive the same raise.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 12:19 pm
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•••

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• A woman called 911 last night to tell police that after she struck her teenage daughter in the face, the daughter struck her back. The 15-year-old girl was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for fourth-degree assault, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Even though they both (allegedly) hit each other, parents have certain rights to carrying out physical discipline but children do not have similar rights, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

JEWELRY THEFT

• Police were called about 6:40 p.m. yesterday to the 1000 block of B Street in Centralia to take a report of a stolen wedding ring.

COMMOTION AT CHEHALIS PARK STILL MYSTERIOUS

• Chehalis police are still trying to sort out an alleged attempted robbery from Sunday night at Stan Hedwall Park. A woman called 911 about 7:49 p.m. and said a stranger tried to take her car keys and that she was knocked down and kicked, according to the Chehalis Police Department. However, not everyone involved is making themselves available to be interviewed, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. It appears there were two groups of people, he said, with a “couple of females” at the park on Rice Road and then a “couple of males” who showed up. When officers arrived, one male fled and the other was already gone, he said. “I’ve got nothing concrete yet,” Wilson said.

WAYWARD PELLETS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office yesterday said the duck hunters involved in the incident the morning before in which pellets from bird shot landed on a vehicle and a person in the area of Southwest Sylvenus Street in Chehalis were not cited, but were warned of “better practices”. They were on a pond on private property off the Hillberger and Shorey roads area and fired at a duck overhead, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown. The person hit with one of the pellets was on the Rails to Trails trail in the same area, Brown said. There were no injuries to the person and no damage to car, according to Brown. “Of course we would prefer that hunters not shoot at all in areas where there are other people but in this case they heeded our advice and there were no further issues,” Brown said.

DRUGS

• Morton police reported yesterday two juveniles were caught smoking marijuana a week and a half ago at the the 400 block of Main Avenue.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Morton police reported yesterday officers responded to Main Street  to an accident a week ago Monday at 2:49 p.m.  A Lewis County deputy’s vehicle was damaged by another car backing out of a driveway, according to police.  No one was injured and the accident is being handled through the Washington State Patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, probation violation, obstructing, trespassing, disorderly conduct, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, loose dogs, misdemeanor theft, malicious mischief, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, January 25, 2016 at 10:17 am
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Updated at 1:12 p.m.

MYSTERY COMMOTION AT CHEHALIS PARK

• Numerous law enforcement officers responded to a report of a robbery at Stan Hedwall Park in Chehalis last night. A spokesperson at the Chehalis Police Department indicated she couldn’t reveal much about what occurred because police are still gathering information. “There was a report of some sort of an altercation out there,” spokesperson Linda Bailey said this morning of the park on Rice Road. The 911 call came at 7:49 p.m. and no arrests have been made. Bailey said she wasn’t aware of anyone being hurt and said the department doesn’t have all the details yet.

SHOT AT IN CHEHALIS

• Police were called about 8:40 a.m. yesterday to the area of Southwest Sylvenus Street in Chehalis where individuals said one of them and their vehicles were sprayed with buckshot from duck hunters. A Chehalis officer responded to take the initial report and the case was turned over to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. No further information from either agency was readily available this morning.

DOMESTIC ASSAULT RANDLE

• Deputies responding yesterday morning to an alleged domestic misdemeanor assault on Cline Road in Randle decided to recommend a felony charge against a 16-year-old boy after learning that two days earlier he had allegedly slammed the same woman against a wall and stopped her from breathing by placing his elbow against her throat, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The teenager was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY PACKWOOD

• Eight hundred dollars cash and two laptop computers were stolen in a burglary at the 100 block of Timberline Point Road in Packwood yesterday, sometime between 8:50 a.m. and 5:10 p.m. The loss to the Steilacoom resident is estimated at $2,375, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Two accordions are missing after a residential burglary at the 600 block of Nick Road in Centralia sometime during the 24 hours that ended at 3 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AUTO THEFT

• A car left running and unoccupied parked on a Centralia city street was stolen, according to a report made to police about 12:45 p.m. on Saturday. Missing from the 200 block of Centralia College Boulevard is a 1994 four-door Infiniti J30 with a license plate reading ASP 3830, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called just after 1 p.m. on Friday to the 2600 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue regarding a possible theft related to use of a credit card at a business. The case is related to an incident three days earlier at Valley View Medical Center in which all four receptionists tills were reported missing. The investigation continues, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

REMOVED FROM BUILDING

• Centralia police were called about 7:30 a.m. yesterday to the 700 block of Harrison Avenue where sometime during the previous evening someone had removed security cameras from their mountings on the outside of the building. The case is still under investigations, according to the Centralia Police Department.

REMOVED FROM GARAGE

• A 38-year-old man was arrested for trespassing after a real estate agent contacted Centralia police on Saturday to report possibly people in the garage at the vacant home on the 200 block of Tilley Avenue. Zebediah S. Schoening was issued a citation and removed from the property, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called yesterday about a vehicle prowl at South Market Boulevard and 11th Street where someone had broken a side window and damaged the ignition.

• A coin purse and a grooming kit were stolen from a locked vehicle overnight at the 400 block of Southwest 14th Street in Chehalis, according to a report made to police on Friday.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called about 4:30 p.m. on Friday to the 1000 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue where someone had cut a portion of a fence around a business.

DRUGS

• A 26-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine last night following contact with an officer at the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia. Jeffery T. Larson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 34-year-old Centralia resident as arrested for possession of methamphetamine around 11 p.m. on Saturday following contact with an officer at the 200 block of North Ash Street in Centralia. Efren J. Arias, 34, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 22-year-old Centralia man who ran on Friday when an officer tried to contact him as a possible suspect in a vehicle prowl the day before in Chehalis was eventually found in a vacant garage, by a police dog, according to the Centralia Police Department. Nathan A. Cheney was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and a warrant in the case associated with the 700 block of South Gold Street, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  shoplifting, disorderly conduct, misdemeanor assault, no-contact order violation, driving with no license, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, lost dog, found dog, loitering, hit and run, vandalism, civil issue, misdemeanor theft, suicidal person, suspicious circumstances, harassing text messages, collision on city street, request to have a customer with a couple thousand dollars worth of merchandise in a shopping cart removed from Wal-Mart … and more.

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News brief: Low-interest recovery loans available for December storm victims

Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 7:08 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – While 66 homes in Lewis County were damaged or affected by the December storm, no recovery assistance will be forthcoming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

However, individuals who suffered losses may apply for assistance through the Small Business Administration loan recovery program in Cowlitz County, according to Steve Mansfield, manager of Lewis County Department of Emergency Management. The SBA offers low-interest loans.

Mansfield learned last week Washington state did not qualify for FEMA-funded help for individuals.

Of the 66 residences affected, 18 of them were secondary dwellings and the degree of damage was not noted in a list compiled by DEM for possible help from FEMA because they wouldn’t qualify.

Among the primary residences affected, three were destroyed and 11 sustained major damage, according to Mansfield. Another 33 were affected to lesser degree and at least one was left inaccessible.

As of last week, DEM didn’t yet have information about where or when Cowlitz County’s Disaster Loan Center would be set up.

Those with questions for Lewis County Department of Emergency Management can reach them at 360-740-1151.

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News brief: Volunteer law enforcement officer opportunities open locally

Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 5:36 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia Police Department is now recruiting for up to five reserve police officer positions.

A reserve law enforcement academy is tentatively scheduled to begin in April, with graduation in September.

Applications for the volunteer positions are due by Feb. 1.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office will be tentatively co-hosting the training.

The program is sponsored through the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Stacy Brown says the academy requires a minimum of 249.5 hours of course work and certifies individuals to work as reserve officers throughout the state.

“Reserve deputies typically work with full-time deputies in performance of their duties,” Brown states. “Tenured reserves who have passed appropriate training are also allowed to perform patrol duties by themselves with minimal supervision.”

Centralia police describe the testing process as including a physical ability test, oral board interview, background investigation, polygraph (lie detector test) and psychological testing.

Persons interested in becoming part of the sheriff’s office reserve program may contact Deputy Matt Schlecht at mathew.schlecht@lewiscountywa.gov or at 360-748-9286.

Those interested in becoming involved with Centralia’s program can contact Sgt. Carl Buster at cbuster@cityofcentralia.com or 360-330-7680. Centralia’s applications can be downloaded from http://www.cityofcentralia.com/files/Job%20Application%20-%20Fill%20in%20Form.pdf

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Jasper’s case ends with a second 34-year sentence

Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm
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Brenda A. Wing, 28, and her lawyer finalize her sentencing documents in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Lewis County judge yesterday decided that standing by and doing nothing while her husband inflicted abuse upon a toddler that led to his death merited the same lengthy prison sentence for Brenda A. Wing.

Twenty-eight-year-old Wing, a mother of three, was given 34 years and eight months for first-degree manslaughter.

The couple who are originally from the Vancouver area were taking care of a 3-year-old boy in their Vader home. Jasper Henderling-Warner died on Oct. 5, 2014.

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt called it the worst case of child abuse he had ever seen.

“The two months worth, over two months, of torture here,” Hunt said. “As I recall, no single incident was fatal; Jasper’s body simply gave up.”

“This is the reason accomplices are equally as guilty,” he said.

The court hearing yesterday afternoon in Chehalis brings to an end the case that began 15 months ago.

The family had been living in the Vader house about two weeks when the Wings called 911 to say the toddler was unconscious and not breathing. Jasper’s 21-year-old mother had given the couple temporary custody while she was homeless and looked for work out of state.

There was no trial to bring out all the facts and details of what transpired. Lewis County prosecutors entered into a complex plea agreement because they did not know what actually happened.

Among the autopsy findings was facial trauma, including two lower-front teeth missing, as well as scrapes and bruises and also that Jasper had contracted MRSA, a drug-resistant staph infection.

Some of the statements from the couple given to investigators, and tested with polygraphs, which have been revealed during numerous court hearings suggest it began on the return home from a beach trip to Oregon.

Brenda Wing told her husband Jasper had placed his hands over their infant child’s mouth, prompting Danny Wing to strike Jasper in the face several times in the back of their van.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead has said that the little boy was being hit and conditioned until he would say it was someone else who had been harming him.

The plea agreements offered the Wings an opportunity of recommendations they be locked up for about 16 years if they truthfully described what occurred.

Halstead, the judge and defense attorney John Crowley spent a great deal of time yesterday discussing what the language in the supplemental agreement meant and whether Brenda Wing held up her end of the bargain. The deputy prosecutor successfully argued she withheld material information from investigators.

Halstead read from some of her statements: “Sometimes I would hold him down, while Danny was hitting him; this was to keep him from getting hurt worse” and “I remember flicking Jasper in the mouth.”

It turns out, while Brenda Wing told her husband Jasper assaulted their baby in the back of the car, he hadn’t, according to Halstead.

Halstead told the judge Brenda Wing admitted the lie to one of her relatives in a phone call from the jail, and said she didn’t know why she had said that to her husband but said it was what started all of the abuse.

When Danny Wing was sentenced in September, his lawyer compared the couple’s treatment of Jasper to a “Cinderella affect.”

Brenda Wing’s convictions, from the pleas she made last year, also include third-degree child assault, two counts of witness tampering and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Halstead asked the judge yesterday to give her 55 years in prison, the same request he’d made regarding her husband.

“I’m not going to go back through all of the facts,” he said. “I think the court’s aware of what’s in the file.”

Crowley requested a sentence of 14 and a half years, contending his client had not failed in the requirements of the plea agreement.

“She feels great remorse for whatever role she did play,” Crowley said.

Brenda Wing declined to speak on her own behalf.

Jasper’s mother, flanked in the first row bench by four women friends, advocated for the maximum sentence when she addressed the judge.

Nikki Warner recalled her child’s amazing and silly laugh and told the judge she asked people she considered family to take care of him while she got back on her feet.

“I could not believe it when I found out the living hell my son suffered,” she said.

Jasper would have celebrated his fifth birthday next week, she said.

“Why did you lie about Jasper doing mean things to your son that never happened?” Warner asked the defendant.

Also speaking to the court was Ruth Crear, a 14-year volunteer for the fire department, who was the first to arrive to the Vader house that evening.

She urged the judge to put Brenda Wing away for as long as he could.

“He was 3 years old, he couldn’t defend himself,” Crear said.

Crowley said his client will appeal.
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For background, read ” Vader man gets 34 years for toddler death” from Friday September 25, 2015, here

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News brief: Mossyrock woman hurt in Highway 12 crash

Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 8:17 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 22-year-old driver was injured when she lost control of her car and wrecked into a guard rail along U.S. Highway 12 just west of Mayfield Lake last night.

Troopers responding about 11:15 p.m. found Layla R. Horton was traveling eastbound near Filbert Road when her vehicle left the roadway to the right, she overcorrected and then crossed to to opposite side of the highway, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The Mossyrock resident was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol. She had not been wearing a seat belt.

Her 2010 Hyundai Accent was described as totaled.

Troopers suspect alcohol or drugs to be involved, according to the state patrol. The collision is blamed on driving too fast.

Horton was to be cited for first-degree negligent driving, according to the investigating trooper.