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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Updated

HASH OIL PRODUCING SUSPECT ARRESTED AGAIN

• The man arrested last week for allegedly setting up a hash oil-making operation in the basement of a Centralia home was arrested again yesterday afternoon for allegedly breaking into the police impound yard and into his fifth-wheel trailer which police had seized. Centralia police say Dale R. Brotherton, 52, cut a hole in the chain link fence at the city impound lot on the 2600 block of Reynolds Avenue. “He wanted to get some things, and he was caught,” Officer John Panco said. Brotherton, who was out on bail, was arrested for second-degree burglary and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PRETENDING GETS OAKVILLE MAN IN TROUBLE

• Centralia police responding to a dispute just after 6 p.m. yesterday at the 400 block of South Pearl Street between a male and a female came across the same man they’d arrested four hours earlier for shoplifting at the 500 block of South Tower Avenue and discovered he had used his older brother’s name. He gave his name again but the woman with him told an officer he was lying and he really was Daryl P. McCrory, a 24-year-old Oakville resident. He had two outstanding warrants. McCrory was arrested for criminal impersonation first-degree and booked into the Lewis County Jail. The unemployed and homeless man was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with identity theft second-degree with criminal impersonation. His bail was set at $5,000.

CAR WRECK

• Two people from Elma were hospitalized yesterday after a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma in which the driver fell asleep and left the roadway, striking a ditch or culvert, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers called about 11:30 a.m. to the scene near Mead Hill Road report the 2002 Saturn was towed and transported to Morton General Hospital were the driver Randy M. Krueger, 56, and passenger Sheila K. Krueger, 48 years old. Neither were wearing seat belts, according to the state patrol. Both were treated and he was released but she was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where she is listed in serious condition, according to hospital spokespersons.

TODDLER HIT BY CAR

• A 2-year-old child on a tricycle escaped with bumps and bruises when he was struck by a car yesterday evening in Morton. Police called about 7:30 p.m. to the 300 block of Westlake Avenue said the tricycle ended up under the fender and bumper. It was simply an accident, Chief Dan Mortensen said. “The aunt came out and got in the car and was backing up,” he said. “The kid had come out and was on the tricycle behind her, unbeknownst to her and was knocked off the bike.” The toddler was taken to the hospital to be checked out, was treated and has been released, Mortensen said today.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license; responses for disputes, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … dogs observed alone in parked cars … and more.

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Updated at 6:15 p.m.

FINGER GUN GETS OFFICER’S ATTENTION

• A 33-year-old Centralia man ended up in jail after he was walking along the 1600 block of Kresky Avenue just before 5 o’clock this morning and reportedly pointed his finger at a passing police car and made a trigger-pulling gesture. Officer Ruben Ramirez stopped to speak with the man who at one point tried to walk away and when Ramirez grabbed his arm, the man grabbed Ramirez’s arm and wouldn’t let go according to the Centralia Police Department. Other officers arrived and Jeremy J. Phillips was taken into custody, Officer John Panco said. Nobody was hurt, but Phillips was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault, Panco said. He had been drinking, Panco said, although he wasn’t sure how much.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ARRESTED

• A student at W.F. West High School in Chehalis was arrested yesterday in connection with an attempt to steal a winch from the school shop and an alleged threat made to a fellow student he was trying to get to help him. Chehalis police were called to Southwest 16th Street where they were advised of the incident and told that 19-year-old Brady A. Jenkins was being expelled, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Jenkins was arrested at his home in Pe Ell and booked into the Lewis County Jail for felony harassment and theft, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

ANGRY CLIENT

• Chehalis police responded to the Lewis County Mall yesterday after a phone caller to the veterans clinic said not to hang up and threatened they would blow the person’s f****** head off, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The line disconnected and there was no way to learn who had called, or why they were upset, police said.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called at noon yesterday to a home on the 1400 block of Logan Street about a burglary in which two computers and some jewelry were stolen.

• Centralia police were called about 10:15 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of West Cherry Street in Centralia where someone had kicked in the back door to a home. It’s unknown if anything was missing,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were told yesterday of a vehicle prowl which had reportedly occurred days earlier at the 1300 block of Louisiana Avenue. A wallet was missing from the vehicle which had been left unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

UNRULY PATIENT

• A 43-year-old woman was cited for fourth-degree assault and then released after an incident when the fire department was called about 7:50 p.m. yesterday to the 400 block of South Pearl Street. Someone there had called 911 for aid because they felt Brenda V. Jones-Gonzalez was in some kind of medical distress and the fire department asked police to come for what was described as an out-of-control female, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police say that for no apparent reason, Jones-Gonzalez grabbed another female there by the throat and hair, Panco said. “She was having some issue of some type,” Panco said.

WRECKS

• A 38-year-old Napavine man was cited for traveling too fast when his log truck trailer tipped onto its side as he was making a left turn to head north on Interstate 5 in Chehalis yesterday. Troopers called at 1 p.m. to the onramp at Main Street noted Jason L. Dunn was uninjured and the onramp was blocked for a time. The loaded trailer was damaged, but the truck was able to be driven from the scene, according to the Washington State Patrol.

• Troopers concluded an unsafe lane change started the multiple vehicle collision on Interstate 5 in Centralia yesterday that left a sport utility vehicle straddling the concrete center barrier and a minor injury to another motorist who rear-ended a car that stopped short of the scene. Troopers called about 1:20 p.m. said the wreckage just beyond the northbound onramp at Harrison Avenue happened when a vehicle entering the freeway swerved to miss another vehicle and then shoved a GMC Yukon onto the divider. The Washington State Patrol reports four vehicles were involved but only the SUV had to be towed. It was totaled, according to the state patrol. One person with shoulder and knee pain was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Once the SUV was taken away, southbound traffic was stopped for a time while a large front end loader shoved the jersey barrier back where it belonged, according to the fire department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, violation of no contact order; responses for disputes, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor theft, collision on city streets, report a child smacked another child in the face, an individual who got a “pop up” on their computer that prevented access to files unless they paid $500 … and more.

2014.0603.centraliafreewaywreck.KrystinHernandez

Traffic moved slowly in both directions after four vehicles wrecked on Interstate 5 in Centralia. / Courtesy photo by Krystin-Hernandez

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Updated at 8:31 p.m.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SLOW MOVING SERVICE ANIMAL

• Centralia police were called just before 8 p.m. yesterday about a 30-pound pet turtle believed to have been stolen from the 1700 block of Harrison Avenue, just north of Reynolds Avenue. Its owner said he was visiting a friend at work and put the animal outside in the grass about 6:30 p.m. but went back out at 7 o’clock and it was gone, according to police. The 28-year-old Chehalis man said there was no way it could have escaped, Officer John Panco said. It’s actually a Desert Sulcata tortoise, a female, and is a service animal, providing emotional support, according to Panco.

POLICE: TALL TALE LANDS WOMAN IN JAIL

• A woman who reported to police on Sunday night that she was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot of Rite Aid in Centralia was arrested yesterday for allegedly making up the story when she didn’t have money for rent. Centralia police say Kimberly S. Jones, 47, had gambled away her rent money at the casino. Jones called 911 about 11:20 p.m. on Sunday and an officer interviewed her at her home, according to the Centralia Police Department. She said a male dressed in dark clothing, wearing a hoodie sweatshirt, stole $600 from her, but she wasn’t able to describe the weapon or offer some other details, Officer John Panco said. An officer was able to view some security video of the victim and confronted her about the story, Panco said. Jones was then booked into the Lewis County Jail last night for false reporting, he said.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

• A 37-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for second-degree assault yesterday after police were called about 6:30 p.m. to a home on Northwest Lafayette Street, where his girlfriend said he’d threatened to kill her, slammed her head against the floor and choked her. They had been arguing, police said. The woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital and Keith J. Rose was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CROSSWALK RAGE

• Police were called about 9:25 a.m. yesterday to the intersection at the 1400 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis after a pedestrian called 911 to say he was crossing the street when a motorist rolled down his window and punched him in the face. It wasn’t clear, or confirmed, if that really happened, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ARREST FOLLOWS SHOOTING COMPLAINT

• A 41-year-old rural Chehalis resident was arrested yesterday when a neighbor complained he was firing a high-powered rifle from his front porch toward Chilvers Road. A deputy noted he’d been warned about it in the past, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened just after 5 p.m. along the 200 block of Chilvers, according to the sheriff’s office. The 31-year-old neighbor told a deputy he, his wife and small child were in their backyard when Robert A. Brown began firing his gun, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Brown was arrested for reckless endangerment and booked into the Lewis County Jail, she said.

BAD IDEA

• A Chehalis man was arrested for misdemeanor assault after he allegedly forcibly tried to evict a 26-year-old woman from her apartment on Sunday evening. Police called just before 7 p.m. to the 1300 block of Northwest Airport Road learned the woman lived there with her boyfriend, but returned home to find the locks changed. She had some kids help her get inside and then the boyfriend’s father who said he was the landlord showed up and tried to remove her, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Robert E. Stocking, 64, of Chehalis was arrested for fourth-degree assault and then was released pending a court hearing, according to police.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police took a report about 12:30 p.m. yesterday from the 200 block of Inglenook Drive after a resident returned home to discover someone had forced their way inside and stolen a laptop computer and jewelry. The investigation is ongoing,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

NOT STOLEN AUTO

• Chehalis police were called about 12:45 a.m. today about a car stolen from the 300 block of Southwest Third Street. The car came back by about 3 a.m. and its owner may have forgotten she’d given someone permission to use it, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• An iPad, a laptop computer and various banking documents were among the belongings stolen from an individual’s vehicle while parked at the Lewis County Mall, according to a report made to police about 5:10 p.m. on Sunday.

• Someone stole assorted tools and a vehicle battery from the bed of a truck on the 1400 block of Southwest Mills Avenue in Chehalis, according to a report made to police on Sunday morning.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police took a report that someone threw a rock through the large front window at the laundry business on the 800 block of South Market Boulevard on Saturday morning.

DRUNK DRIVING

• A 28-year-old Toledo man was arrested for driving under the influence after he was pulled over in part for traveling about 10 mph along North National Avenue in Chehalis and then as an officer went to contact him, didn’t realize his car was in reverse and backed into the police car. It happened about 11:40 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said the initial breath test for Matias Lopez-Lucas came back more than three times the legal limit and the test at the jail showed he was almost four times over the limit. There was no damage to the patrol vehicle and the damage to the man’s car was minimal, Wilson said.

WRECKS

• An 81-year-old Chehalis motorist said she must have fallen asleep when her car left the roadway, crossed the oncoming lane, went into a yard, striking a power pole and a fire hydrant along the way yesterday afternoon. Deputies called about 3:30 p.m. to the 1800 block of Bishop Road in Chehalis learned the woman had a head and neck injury but declined aid, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Her Toyota Camry sustained some front end damage, the sheriff’s office said.

• The trailer frame broke as a log truck driver was making a left turn off of Harrison Avenue onto Kuper Road about 8:40 a.m. yesterday, causing the load to partially separate and pulling down power lines. Deputies, personnel from Lewis County Public Works and from Lewis County PUD responded to the morning incident in north Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The driver was a 47-year-old Montesano man; damaged was a utility pole and a section of fence, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, disputes, suspicious circumstances, collision on city streets, questions about custody issue, complaint of unmowed neighbor’s lawn, a report an inmate spit on staff at Green Hill School, 15-year-old girl taking her mother’s Ford Explorer without permission, a 4-year-old child reported missing who turned up asleep on her bed, a request for help because a stray cat got inside a clothing store, “sprayed everything” and was still hiding … and more.

•••

CORRECTION: This has been updated to reflect the correct age for Kimberly S. Jones. Centralia police provided erroneous information that she was much older than 47.

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

News brief: Driver arrested after fatal rollover wreck in Capitol Forest

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 9:45 am
2014.0602.rollover.capitolforest

Along the C-Line Road in Capitol Forest last night. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A teenager is dead after a wreck in the Capitol Forest last night, in which he was standing up through an open sunroof of an SUV when it hit an obstruction and rolled over.

Troopers called about 8:25 p.m. to the scene at a gravel pit along the C-Line Road say Alistair G. Martz, 18, of Olympia, was a passenger in the Toyota 4Runner along with three other males.

Uninjured were the driver Bradley R. Williams, 23, of Lacey; and passengers Brian Lynn, 23, from Baltimore and Jeffrey S. Boone, 19 years old, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The three survivors were seat belted in, according to the state patrol.

He was ejected and the vehicle rolled on top of him, West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Chief Robert Scott said.

It happened so far into the forest – almost to the top of Capitol Peak – it took the ambulance some time to reach him, through forest roads that were fairly heavily trafficked at the time, Scott said.

The vehicle was impounded and reckless driving is blamed, according to the investigating trooper. The driver was arrested for vehicular homicide and booked into the Thurston County Jail, according to the state patrol.

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

News brief: One injured when car goes airborne near Toledo

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm
2014.0602.toledo.wreckIMG_8372

Car comes to rest on west side of state Route 505 after high speed wreck. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 2

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 51-year-old motorist traveling down Jackson Highway who failed to slow for the curve at Plomondon Road crossed a field, hit an embankment and went airborne over state Route 505 today, before rolling twice and coming to a stop.

Firefighters called just before 1 p.m. today to the scene just north of Toledo found the car traveled at least 300 feet after leaving the roadway, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.

Fire Chief Grant Wiltbank said he understood from responders the Chevrolet Cobalt pretty much flew over the front end of a small pickup truck, damaging a quarter panel but not injuring anyone inside. Witnesses told the sheriff’s office the car was traveling more than 100 mph.

The 51-year-old’s condition was described as serious by a paramedic, Wiltbank said.

“She was conscious when we got there, but not 100 percent,” he said.

She was taken by ambulance to the Toledo Airport and met by a medical helicopter which flew her to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to Wiltbank.

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Updated at 6:56 p.m.

SHOTGUN SHELL POWERED MOLE TRAP MISFIRES

• A man in his early 70s was airlifted after a mishap with a high-powered mole trap today. Deputies and firefighters were called about 4:25 p.m. to the 400 block of Collins Road just outside Toledo where the patient was found with a serious hand injury, according to Lewis County Fire District 2. “He was setting a mole trap utilizing a 12-gauge shotgun shell and it accidentally discharged,” Fire Chief Grant Wiltbank said. A woman friend and a retired firefighter from across the street were helping the man when the fire department arrived, Wiltbank said. He was transported by ambulance to the Toledo Airport and was to be flown to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver, Wiltbank said

COMMERCIAL THEFT

• A 36-year-old Chehalis man was arrested yesterday in connection with approximately $100,000 worth of cell phones, clothing and DVDs stolen from the UPS distribution center on Hamilton Road last year. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office this morning said the arrest for first-degree theft came in the ongoing investigation when deputies learned information that William M. Eaton was involved in the thefts that took place between last August and November. Eaton was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. A part-time employee was arrested in December, Roland E. Camps, 40, from Winlock, who was accused of stealing and re-selling thousands of dollars worth of cell phones and other merchandise, according to the sheriff’s office.

RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY MORTON

• Morton police were called to the 800 block of Overlook Drive about 2:10 a.m. yesterday after a resident arrived home to find at least two rooms were ransacked. it wasn’t readily apparent if anything was stolen, according to the Morton Police Department. The case is under investigation.

TOLEDO BURGLARY

• A 24-year-old Toledo area man reported every room was ransacked at his home on the 400 block of Eadon Road and thousands of dollars worth of cash and rare coins including wheat pennies and silver dollars were missing. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning the burglary occurred between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, and that someone had used a credit card to “swipe” the lock to the front door.

CENTRALIA BURGLARY

• Centralia police took a report of a burglary to a trailer at about 6 p.m. on Friday at the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue. Missing were medications and a small amount of money, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PACKWOOD CARGO TRAILER PROWL

• Sometime between 10 a.m. on Saturday and 7:30 yesterday morning someone stole numerous tools when they broke in to a cargo trailer parked at a construction site described as isolated on the 300 block of Skate Creek Road South near Packwood. Among the missing are two nail guns, two circular saws and a compressor, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss to the 59-year-old Packwood resident is more than $800, according to the sheriff’s office.

CENTRALIA BOAT PROWL

• Centralia police took a report yesterday of a boat prowling, at the 1300 block of Lakeshore Drive. Someone got onto the the water craft which was tied up to a dock and stole fishing poles, tackle boxes its battery, its motor and some other unspecified items,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Police were called about 2:40 a.m. yesterday when a 1998 Honda Civic was stolen from the 100 block of West Maple Street in Centralia. Officers had a suspect in mind regarding the multi-colored hoodless car, according to the Centralia Police Department.

IT’S HASH OIL, SAYS BOY

• A 17-year-old Onalaska boy was returned to his mother but faces a possible drug charge after a traffic stop in which a deputy found two small containers with a black substance which the boy said was hash oil, he’d made himself after reading how in the Internet. The teen was pulled over just before 4 a.m. yesterday at the 1000 block of Long Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He didn’t have a driver’s license, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

VANDALISM

• Sometime after 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and before the following morning, someone keyed a 36-year-old Adna man’s vehicle in multiple places as it was parked at a friend’s on the 3000 block of Ives Road in Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The damage is estimated at $2,000, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• A 37-year-old Winlock man was arrested after he allegedly used a drill bit to puncture his estranged wife’s tire, with a loss estimated at $650, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. Corey Ming was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree malicious mischief, according to the sheriff’s office.

BRUSH FIRE

• Firefighters with West Regional Fire Authority joined personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources when a large slash pile caught fire in the Capitol Forest over the weekend. Crews worked yesterday morning assisting and DNR is investigation the incident in the southeast portion of the forest Chief Robert Scott said.

WEEKEND DRILL IMAGINES GUNMAN AT CHURCH

• Law enforcement officers practiced neutralizing threats and fire personnel practiced saving lives at Toledo First Baptist Church on Saturday as they trained together on responding to an “active shooter” situation, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. More than 70 individuals participated, including those role playing victims and eight local agencies, the sheriff’s office reports.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, disputes, suspicious circumstances, various vandalism, collision on city street, shoplifting and other misdemeanor theft, baby left alone in vehicle, dogs left alone in vehicle; complaints of too loud of music, cigarette butts tossed in parking lot … and more.

More tomorrow.

2014.0531.church.trainingIMG_0327

At Toledo First Baptist Church on Saturday. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

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

News brief: Fire consumes former commercial chicken house behind Southsound Speedway

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 1:04 pm
2014.0601.chickbarnfire.bryan.fisher_231116-1

More than two dozen firefighters responded to fire on Danby Drive Southwest. / Courtesy photo by Bryan Fisher

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A large former chicken barn and its contents were destroyed by fire last night east of Grand Mound.

Nobody was injured but members of six fire departments joined Thurston County Fire District 12 to answer the call that came in just before 11 p.m.

Crews responding to the 17900 block of Danby Drive Southwest found the approximately 250-foot-long metal sided building fully involved in flames, District 12 Battalion Chief Jim Fowler said.

They fought the fire defensively with as many as 25 personnel working until about 1:40 a.m., Fowler said.

An engine and two firefighters remained on the scene today, watching and taking care of hot spots in and around the collapsed building, according to Fowler.

“Every bit of the wood burned away, but the metal is still all screwed together,” he said.

Fowler said the structure was last used for raising fryer chickens probably in the late 1980s, and contained two tractors, various farm implements and as many as eight passenger vehicles.

The cause is unknown, he said, as the barn was said to have no electricity running to it.

20140601.insidechickbarn.bryan.fisher231827-1

Items such a vehicles and farm equipment stored inside were ruined. / Courtesy photo by Bryan Fisher

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

Guest column: Coming vote on fire department levy explained

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm

The following is a preview from the quarterly newsletter from Riverside Fire Authority sent to those in its district in and around Centralia.

By Chief Mike Kytta
Riverside Fire Authority

August maintenance and operations levy to determine number of firefighters on staff with the RFA

A great deal has happened since our last publication in March where Chief Jim Walkowski made mention of the financial challenges faced by the RFA. Since that time, several important changes have been made to meet those challenges.

2014.0531.0416.kytta.chief.6277.smaller

Chief Mike Kytta

We have reduced the work force by one chief officer; one fire captain has retired and will not be replaced, and three firefighter paramedics have been laid off. We plan to lay off two more firefighters this summer which will leave approximately 20 firefighters to answer emergencies around the clock. The operations budget that funds our day-to-day activities has been reduced, leaving  limited funds to pay for vehicle repairs and basic facility maintenance. All planned firefighting equipment replacements are suspended.

Why is this occurring?

Declining home values and the rapid reduction of assessed value at TransAlta’s power plant since the plant closure announcement have combined to create a perfect storm.

The RFA is almost entirely funded by property taxes. When values go down, so do tax collections. Property tax revenue at the RFA has dropped approximately 18 percent, $700,000 in just two years, and the forecast for next year predicts even greater loss. Lower property values and tax revenues being diverted to other local government entities may reduce RFA funding by another $600,000, bringing the total RFA revenue reduction since 2013 to approximately $1.3 million dollars – approximately 30 percent of our total budget.

How will it affect service?

The direct impact to emergency services is reduced staffing. Last year at this time there were six firefighters between the Pearl Street and Harrison Avenue stations on duty around the clock; this year there are four. The 2014 budget cannot fund overtime to replace firefighters who are on leave so it is predictable that occasional station closures will be necessary this year when staffing drops to three firefighters on duty. The budget forecast for next year could routinely bring staffing down to only three on duty.

What is the proposed future action?

With this in mind, the RFA Board of Fire Commissioners has determined that the quality and reliability of fire and rescue services will be reduced to an unacceptable level before the end of 2014 and therefore the RFA must ask the citizens to consider a new maintenance and operations levy at the primary election in August. The new levy, if approved by the voters, will be collected in 2015 at the same time the next drop in property tax revenue is expected. The intent of the levy is to stabilize the budget at the current reduced funding level.

The levy will not return the RFA budget to the higher amount of taxes collected in 2013. Levy dollars will be used for fire protection and rescue services, facilities, maintenance, staffing and operations. The estimated levy rate is $0.49 cents per $1,000 of value, collecting $800,000 annually. For a $150,000 home and property, the estimated annual tax is $73, which comes out to just over $6 per month. By state law, maintenance and operation levies are limited to one year; all future levy requests will be subject to a vote of the people. We believe that with the combination of downsizing the RFA, utilizing cost saving strategies, and the addition of the annual maintenance and operations levy, an acceptable, but not optimal level of service can be provided.

Public meetings to discuss the proposed maintenance and operations levy are scheduled for:
July 9, 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Creek Grange
July 16, 6:30 p.m. at the Stillwater Estates Club House
July 23, 6:30 p.m. at the 1818 Harrison Avenue Fire Station.

I am available for your questions at 736-3975 and my office is located at the Harrison Avenue Fire Station.

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

Notes from behind the news: Sunday Sirens blues break

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm
2014.0601.CutisLive2.720x480copy copy

Curtis Salgado, 2013 International Blues Entertainer of the Year, will take the big stage at the end of the night, when the DB Cooper Music Festival touches down at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – How about taking a Sunday sirens mini-break with me?

A week of watching and waiting for an east end river to give up the body of a 5-year-old, a super serious wreck in Centralia on Friday night that left two people critically hurt, and then news this morning that an arson investigation team is looking into a house fire that destroyed much of a family’s belongings …

I’m not waiting all the way to Aug. 2 for the sirens break, the all-day party at the fairgrounds that is the DB Cooper Music Festival.

Lewis County Sirens.com is co-media sponsor of the event, in part because I think we all need a time out where we simply have fun.

I’m taking five minutes right now to turn off the trauma, drama and disaster and listen to a tune, taking my mind elsewhere, at least briefly.

The 2013 International Blues Entertainer of the Year, Curtis Salgado, who inspired John Belushi to create The Blues Brothers, has some good ones.

Salgado will take the big stage at the end of the night, when the festival touches down at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds.

His people call him a harmonica icon who plays each and every show like it’s the most important gig of his career.

He’s been playing professionally since the late 1960s, his band touring with the likes of Santana and The Steve Miller Band. His bio describes some of his musical and vocal influences as Otis Redding, O.V. Wright, Johnnie Taylor and Muddy Waters.

Born in Everett, Wash., and raised in Eugene, Ore., one of his early groups called the Nighthawks toured the Northwest; next he was with The Robert Cray Band, and then it just kept getting better, his people say.

Check out Salgado’s “Born All Over” with me, now, for just a few moments.

We can listen to more from him on Aug. 2, in person, at the festival that is stacking up to be THE event of the summer for those from Seattle to Portland and beyond.

Tickets are available now, here. See the line up that will play three stages, here

P.S. If you’re a Blues Brothers fan, you can find out more about how the two met when Belushi was in Eugene filming Animal House, and how that all transpired, here

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

Centralia house fire displaces two

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 9:13 am

Updated at 10:46 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An early morning fire chased a Centralia household onto the street, pretty much destroying their home, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

“There may be a few salvageable items, but not much,” Fire Capt. Greg Schwartz said.

Nobody was hurt, the cause is under investigation, Schwartz said.

Crews were called at 4:22 a.m. about a possible structure fire on the 900 block of B Street, according to the fire department.

“As we left the station and turned the corner headed north, we could see a huge glow in the sky and a smoke column,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said it was a single family home with some type of a garage or outbuilding very close to its backside, which is where the fire seems to have started.

The man who lives there said he got up to use the restroom.

“I think he said he smelled smoke, and opened the back door and flames kind of licked at him as he opened the door,” Schwartz said.

He and the woman who resides there are being taken care of by the Red Cross, Schwartz said.

About 15 firefighters, including a crew from the Chehalis Fire Department extinguished the blaze, he said.

The fire is currently being investigated by the joint CPD/RFA Arson Investigation Team, according to the Centralia Police Department.

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

Centralia man pleads not guilty to dog breeding violation

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 10:25 pm
2014.0530.jimmie.jemison6494_1

Jimmie R. Jemison, left, is represented temporarily on Friday by defense attorney Bob Schroeter in his dog breeding case.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A plea of not guilty was entered yesterday in the case of the Centralia man who was arrested when authorities came to his property and seized 17 puppies and 21 other dogs they found living in filthy conditions in a motorhome.

Jimmie R. Jemison, 49, was in court yesterday afternoon, charged not with animal cruelty as the sheriff’s office expected back on May 1, but with a violation of state law related to dog breeding. And also with obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Both are gross misdemeanors, with maximum penalties of up to a year in jail.

Jemison also asked the court in writing to make the county return his animals. They are being held at the Lewis County Animal Shelter.

Lewis County District Court Judge Michael Roewe denied the petition, based on numerous issued raised by prosecutors indicating the filing was flawed.

The Centralia man leaned on his walker and asked the judge: “What does that mean, do I lose my dogs?”

Judge Roewe told him he needed to ask his attorney that question.

“Can I ask a question? What happens to my dogs,” Jemison said.

“I don’t have the answer,” Roewe replied.

Jemsion told the judge he plans to hire a lawyer.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher told the judge he’d instructed the shelter to hold onto the animals, because they are evidence.

Jemison clearly distressed, put his face in his hands as he sat on a bench outside the courtroom following the hearing.

“My dogs mean everything,” he said, stifling sobs. “I spent seven years coming up with those colors.”

“I’ve lost my family, all I have are my dogs.”

Jemison lives on a $700 a month disability check, he said, on rural property he shares with his brother on the 1600 block of Little Hanaford Road.

Photographs shared by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office after the May 1 visit by deputies, code enforcement and humane officers show a 30-foot motorhome and various outbuildings.

Inside the roughly 30-foot long recreational vehicle, the pictures showed numerous portable kennels, some stacked on top of each other; the sheriff’s office said the animals were were sleeping and eating in their own waste.

Thirty-eight dogs were removed from the motorhome. Jemison says he has a new motorhome, but hadn’t yet gotten it set up.

Other animals on the property – such as chickens, a goat and seven dogs – which were living in clean cages and spaces were left behind.

The allegation was he was breeding puppies in unsanitary conditions.

The animal offense he is charged with is not part of the state criminal code, but part of the state code related to dog breeding, and the requirements that if the animals are kept in an enclosure the majority of the day, certain minimum standards of cleanliness, care and protection must be provided. RCW 16.52.310(2)(c)

Jemison said he spends $170 each month for dog food and doesn’t smoke or drink and suffers from social phobia.

His days are spent, he said, sitting outside in his chair watching his dogs play with the goat.

Every six or seven months when he gets a new litter to sell, he can buy a used car, that will hopefully keep running until the next litter, he said.

“I take care of my dogs, and then they take care of me,” he said.

His friend Ken Smith who drove him to the courthouse in Chehalis agreed Jemison is devoted to his animals, and said he lives in a way that maybe not others would live.

“He takes care of his dogs before himself,” Smith said. “It just happens that four or five dogs all had puppies at the same time.”

Jemison said the reason the deputies found the motorhome’s interior in the condition it was in was because he spent nine days holed up inside, fearing they were coming to take his animals.

The sheriff’s office described Jemison as uncooperative on numerous occasions as attempts were made to investigate the situation, which led to the search warrant.

Jemison said when they arrived that afternoon, he opened his door and was zapped with a Taser and while he was laying on the ground in the mud, his boxer dog got wound up with all the commotion and bit him on the leg.

“They treated me like I killed somebody,” he said.

He wasn’t booked into jail, he was taken to the hospital, where he spent almost 25 days being treated for two wounds he fears may cause him to lose his leg.

Jemison said he was released from Harborview Medical Center on Sunday, and has to visit a wound care doctor daily. It’s painful, he said.

“Because I wouldn’t show them my dogs in the barn,” he said. “That’s why they did the search warrant.”

2014.0502.jemison.motohome

Jemison’s property on Little Hanaford Road, on May 1, 2014 / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

2014.0502.jemison.insidedogscopy

Inside Jemison’s motorhome on Little Hanaford Road, on May 1, 2014 / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

•••

For background, read “RV serving as home, doghouse for nearly 40 canines found near Centralia” from Friday May 2, 2014, here

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

News brief: Speeding truck crashes, seriously injuring two in Centralia

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 12:33 pm
2014.0530.npearl.wreck.danielle.ziady

Police and fire at the scene of accident on North Pearl Street in Centralia that knocked out electricity to the north. / Courtesy photo by Danielle Ziady

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A man and woman were critically injured in a single-vehicle wreck last night at the north end of Centralia that caused a large power outage and sent them by helicopters to regional trauma centers.

Police and aid called about 10:50 p.m. to the intersection of North Pearl Street and Sawall Avenue found a pickup truck against a tree, a male passenger trapped inside and the female driver had been ejected through a window, according to responders.

Riverside Fire Authority says they are both approximately 35 years old.

It appeared the Chevrolet Avalanche was traveling southbound and very fast when it missed a corner, went broadside and rolled multiple times, before striking a stop sign, a utility pole’s guideline and then the tree, according to police and firefighters.

Initial information indicated the driver was found laying in the roadway about 30 feet away, according to Fire Capt. Scott Weinert. Crews used the Jaws of Life to extricate the passenger.

Both were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, but helicopters from both Life Flight and Airlift Northwest were summoned to fly them to out-of-the-area hospitals, according to Weinert.

The truck was heavily damaged, according to the fire department.

Further information about the identities of the pair was not readily available. Centralia Police Department Sgt. Brian Warren said troopers from the Washington State Patrol took over the investigation. Excessive speed and alcohol are suspected, according to police.

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

Breaking news: Tacoma 5-year-old’s body recovered from Cispus River

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Updated at 11:18 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The body of the 5-year-old Tacoma boy was retrieved from the Cispus River tonight, four days after he went into the water on his motorcycle.

The child was camping with his family over the weekend about 10 and a half miles south of Randle, along Forest Service Road 120, off Forest Service Road 23.

The sheriff’s office said little Drake J. Ostenson was wearing full riding gear and a helmet, and it appeared he got too close to the river bank and went in while his parents backs were turned on Monday.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said his body was recovered about 8 p.m. by deputies with the swift water rescue team.

The water had dropped enough his body was visible, lodged in the same log jam in the middle of the river where they suspected he was, according to the sheriff’s office.

It was his parents that were out walking the banks of the river who spotted him, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

“They came back before dark to check once again, saw the red and called us,” she said.

The recovery effort took about two hours, according to Brown.

Search and rescue teams looked for Drake all day Tuesday and much of Wednesday before concluding his body may very well have been tangled in a log jam and they would need to wait until the river level dropped to make the recovery.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s office announced they’d formulated a plan to try to get a helicopter to help them take another look from above next week and until then, would check the area frequently and monitor the water gauges.

Today, Sheriff Steve Mansfield said he was concerned when he heard numerous people were planning to search on their own this weekend, and said he’d secured some assistance from outside the county to conduct another search tomorrow.

Members of Lewis County Fire District 14, Packwood Search and Rescue and the Department of Fish and Wildlife all assisted in the recovery, according to Brown.

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Updated

ARSON IN ONALASKA

• A 14-year-old boy was arrested last night after a fire that burned down what was called by some the cashier’s shack at the former garbage transfer station in Onalaska. Firefighters were called just before 6 p.m. to the area near Alexander Road and Second streets. The small metal building had been stuffed with mattresses; it’s an area where the fire department trained, according to Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Mark Conner. A deputy called out about 6:30 p.m. noted the smoldering remains of a service building, which the sheriff’s office described as 10 feet by 10 feet in size. The sheriff’s office says through its investigation they learned the boy had left the Onalaska Community Youth Center with a friend to go look at the graffiti at the transfer station and while there, lit a cardboard box on fire and tossed it into the building. The boy was talked to and then booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Justice Center for second-degree arson, according to Chief Criminal Deputy Stacy Brown. Brown says the loss is $1,000.

DUI WRECK

• A 50-year-old Centralia man was arrested for driving under the influence after his mini van ran into a parked vehicle which took out a light pole on the 800 block of North Tower Avenue yesterday afternoon. Two children were traveling with Camilo A. Gomez, according to the police, leading to his arrest for two counts of reckless endangerment as well. Officers responding to the 5:30 p.m. collision discovered Gomez’s license was suspended and he had an outstanding warrant related to driving under the influence, according to the Centralia Police Department. No injuries were reported. Gomez was booked into the Lewis County Jail,  according to police.

SHERIFF: INMATE SPITS ON COUNSELOR’S FACE

• A Lewis County Jail inmate who reportedly punched a jail guard in the face on Sunday is in more trouble after he allegedly spit in the eye of a mental health worker at the Chehalis facility yesterday. The sheriff’s office said it was about 1 p.m. when the 31-year-old Olympia man who works for Cascade Mental Health attempted to talk with Drake A. Lorber . The 24-year-old Chehalis resident responded by spitting, which caught the man on his mouth as well, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Since he’s already incarcerated, the case will be referred to prosecutors for a possible charge of third-degree assault, according to the sheriff’s office.

DRUGS

• A 45-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine when a meth pipe was found in his pocket during his arrest last night for allegedly stealing two beers from the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Officers called about 8 p.m. were told Scott D. Robertson was being a problem for security personnel, according to the Centralia Police Department. Robertson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

STOLEN MEDS

• Centralia police were called just after 4 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of North Buckner Street about the theft of medication.

VANDALISM

• Someone threw two rocks through the windows of a car while it was parked in front of its owner’s house on the 600 block of M Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 2:15 a.m. today.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, obstruction; responses for alarms, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

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

News brief: Centralia firefighter staffing challenges hit Harrison station

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Riverside Fire Authority Chief Mike Kytta notified dispatchers and neighboring fire departments this morning he essentially closed the Harrison Avenue fire station for the day, because he’s short staffed.

One firefighter is on vacation and another called in sick, Kytta said.

Kytta said he doesn’t have money in his budget to pay overtime to bring in someone on their day off.

Three firefighters will be on duty at the Pearl Street station during the 24-hour period that ends tomorrow at 8 a.m., according to Kytta. They will respond to district calls, he said.

The Harrison Avenue station had its usual administrative personnel on duty, during regular business hours.

“It happened once earlier this year,” Kytta said. “Unfortunately we’re down enough staff right now, here it is. Here’s the reality of it.”

The chief expected to have volunteers at the station overnight.

Riverside Fire Authority, which protects a population of 28,000 spanning more than 180 square miles in and around Centralia, is working this year with a budget of $3.9 million, compared to last year’s of $4.6 million.

The primary reason for the reduction is related to the fairly sudden change in taxes contributed by TransAlta’s power plant, as it winds down coal burning operations.

If their predictions about next year’s budget are realized, they will lose another $600,000 in revenue, Kytta said this morning.

The department is scheduled to lay off two more firefighters in July, making a total of six positions lost since the beginning of the year. Today, they have 23 paid firefighters.