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Breaking news: Teen lost in Chehalis River

Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Responders are looking for a 17-year-old Tacoma boy in the Chehalis River at Rainbow Falls State Park.

He and his friends had been camping and decided to swim near the falls when he went under, came up flailing and was pulled under again, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Fire Chief Tim Kinder said he responded with a thermal imaging camera to assist but the current was too swift.

The initial call came about 3:20 p.m.

“My understanding is another teen grabbed a hold of him, but was not able to hold on,” Kinder said.

A diver was on the way to the scene about 6 p.m.

The swift water rescue team from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has been searching and are still out there this evening, sheriff’s office Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said at about 8 p.m.

More to come as information becomes available.

Update Sunday June 15, 2014: The young man’s body was recovered this morning in the same area where he went under, a teen originally from Nigeria, only in Washington for eight months on his first-ever camping trip, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lewis County Fire Districts 16 and 11 along with the sheriff’s office swift water rescue team and a diver from Thurston County reconvened this morning after a search last night that went until dark, according to Brown.

••

CORRECTION: This has been updated to correct an error made in relating a statement made by Chief Kinder.

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Read about Ryderwood domestic shooting incident leads to prison for girlfriend …

Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 7:34 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports the woman who shot her boyfriend through a closed bathroom door in Ryderwood  in December was sentenced this week to 21 months in prison and ordered to undergo mental health and substance abuse treatment upon her release.

Linda Cochran, 43, and 69-year-old John Stiller both called 911 the morning of December 9 to report the shooting and Stiller drove himself to the Little Crane Cafe in Vader where he was met by deputies and medics.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said Cochran continued to fire a hunting rifle randomly as she stayed on the phone with a dispatcher but was subsequently taken in to custody without incident.

News reporter Barbara LaBoe reports Stiller was hit twice with fragments from the same bullet and suffered injuries to his bowels; and that Cochran pleaded guilty to second-degree assault with a deadly weapon.

Read more here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, June 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm

TRICKED INTO REVEALING CODE

• A 20-year-old woman called Centralia police yesterday afternoon after she apparently fell for a phone scam that cost her almost $300. The Portland resident who was staying at a local motel had gotten a phone call from someone claiming to be a representative for Western Union and offered her a deal too good to be true, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was told if she wired $299 through Western Union – anywhere, even to herself – they would pay her a $300 bonus, according to police. During the call, she disclosed her transaction number, which allowed the caller to pick up the money she wired, police said. The bonus was supposed to go into her account, but it didn’t Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. Reichert said the case would be turned over to detectives to investigate.

MORTON BURGLARY

• Someone broke into a home and its garage on the 100 block of Temple Road in Morton and stole more than $1,800 worth of valuables including two mini motorcycles, two tool boxes and a 40-inch Sony television, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports. A deputy called there yesterday evening learned it happened sometime since 2 p.m. on Sunday and a lock had been pried off a door, according to the sheriff’s office.

UNWELCOME VISITOR

• A 45-year-old Centralia man was arrested for first-degree trespass after a woman returned home to her apartment in Chehalis just before 6 o’clock this morning and found him and a neighbor sitting on her couch.  An officer responding to the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue learned Mitchell W. Sinclair was not allowed to be there and the second male who said he was helping his friend look for his glasses was told to return to his own apartment, according to Chehalis Police Department. The woman’s door had been kicked in, police said. Sinclair was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

EXTRA DISORDERLINESS

• A 33-year-old Centralia man was arrested last night after allegedly entering another person’s motel room and trying to pick fights. Centralia police say that when they were called just before 11 p.m. to the 1000 block of Eckerson Road and arrested Kevin G. Blosser, he threatened officers. Blosser was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary as well as harassment, according to the Centralia Police Department.

REWARD FOR INFO ON MISSING FIREARMS

• Lewis County Crime Stoppers is looking for tips regarding a burglary from April 27 near Toledo in which four guns were stolen. Sometime between  8:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. that day, someone entered the residence on the 400 block of Jackson Highway South and left with a Savage 20-gauge shotgun, a Sears 12-gauge shotgun, a Mossberg rifle and a Smith and Wesson 9 mm pistol, according to Crime Stoppers. The value is more than $1,400.  Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 for information leading to the clearance of crimes. Anonymous calls can be made to 1-800-748-6422 or information may be shared online at www.lewiscountycrimestoppers.org

HOUSE FIRE PLANNED IN ONALASKA

• Firefighters will be burning down a house in Onalaska on Sunday, during a training exercise that will take place between approximately 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The home, on the 300 block of Railroad Avenue, was damaged by a fire in December of last year, according to Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Mark Conner. The plan is to allow it to burn completely at the end of the day, according to Conner.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city street, in parking lots, out-of-control teenager, inquiry about how to deal with landlord in a rental home infested with rats … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 9:46 pm

NO TIP FOR LOUSY CUSTOMER

• Police were called about 5:10 p.m. yesterday after a woman in an older olive green van drove through a coffee stand on the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue in Chehalis, grabbed the tip jar and took off. An employee had just removed the money from it, so it was empty, according to the Chehalis Police department.

CAR THEFT

• Chehalis police took a report about 1:15 p.m. yesterday regarding a white 1992 Honda stolen from where it had been parked since 8 a.m. behind Steck Clinic on the 1200 block of Bishop Road. The four-door car has a white sticker in the back window which reads “Artificial” according to police. It had been left unlocked with the keys on the floorboard, police said.

CAR PROWL

• A woman called Chehalis police yesterday when her vehicle was broken into during the short time it took her to walk from a handicapped parking spot at Wal-Mart to the store’s entrance, change her mind and walk back to her vehicle. It happened about 4:25 p.m. According to police, she had shopped and then gotten into her van and was reading something before deciding to go back into the store. She said she had set some money and gift cards either on the seat or the dashboard and when she returned, they were gone, according to the Chehalis Police Department. She had left the door unlocked and window down, according to officer Linda Bailey.

• A wallet was stolen from inside a car parked at Sierra Pacific Industries’ parking lot on Kuper Road in Centralia sometime in the 20 minutes after 1 o’clock this morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A window was damaged. A dark colored passenger car, similar to an older Toyota Corolla, was seen in the area around the same time, the sheriff’s office reports.

BEER RUN

• Centralia police were called about 5:40 a.m. today when a male stole a case of beer from a convenience store at Belmont and Harrison avenues and then ran off into Borst Park. Responding officers didn’t find the shoplifter but came across a homeless camp near the river where they arrested one person with a warrant, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD

• A deputy took a report yesterday from a 38-year-old who discovered $235 fraudulently charged on her Visa card from somewhere in the Philippines, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

SEX CRIME

• A 21-year-old soldier was arrested at Joint Base Lewis-McChord yesterday and booked into the Lewis County Jail for rape, in connection with an alleged encounter with an 18-year-old woman in Onalaska early last month. The woman reported last week it happened while she was at a friend’s home and the suspect, Timothy Warner, was a friend of a friend, according to the sheriff’s office.

WRECKS

• Police were called about 8:15 a.m. yesterday to the 600 block of West Main Street in Centralia where a vehicle had struck an accounting office building and then drove away. There was some structural damage but no request for aid for anyone, according to authorities.

• Three people were injured in a single-vehicle wreck yesterday afternoon on U.S. Highway 12 about 18 miles east of Packwood. Troopers called about 1:40 p.m. said the 34-year-old driver suffered an unknown medical issue and his westbound car crossed over the opposite lane into an open area before traveling partially up an embankment and then rolling onto its top. Transported to Morton General Hospital were Dave VanBrocklin, 34, and Angelique VanBrocklin, 36, both of Tacoma and James Fee, 70, from Gig Harbor, according to the Washington State Patrol. The Kia Optima was described as totaled.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, responses for dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city street; complaints of person found sleeping in a train caboose, noisy neighbors who never sleep … and more.

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Centralia resident disappears after leaving hospital

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 48-year-old Centralia woman seems to have vanished, months ago, police say.

Gina D. Schmidt, described as a vulnerable adult, was reported missing in early May and a search of her apartment revealed that in all likelihood, she hadn’t been home for two or more months, according to the Centralia Police Department.

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Gina D. Schmidt

“It appears that most of her clothing and personal belongings were still present, giving the impression that when she left for the last time, she fully intended to return,” police said in a news release yesterday.

Detectives are now turning to the public, asking for assistance in locating the woman as they’ve run into a dead end in the case.

They say the investigation to this point has been fruitless, despite interviews with all of Schmidt’s known acquaintances and family. Nobody officers have spoken with has seen her since mid-February, according to police.

The last place police know for certain that she was, was at Providence Centralia Hospital on Feb. 15. Police say she was discharged at 11:30 p.m. that night.

Department spokesperson Officer John Panco said he didn’t know why Schmidt was hospitalized, but he believed it was an emergency room visit.

Her home is more than two miles across town, at the 300 block of North Tower Avenue.

Panco said it was May 7 when a woman who works for the area agency on aging made the missing person report. He didn’t know if Schmidt was a client there.

Schmidt has a history of alcohol abuse and medical issues including seizures, according to polIce.

Centralia police detective David Clary is interested in hearing from anyone who might have any information regarding her whereabouts.

She is described as a white female who is 5-feet 2-inches tall, weighing about 125 pounds, with graying blond shoulder length hair and blue eyes.

Centralia police say she was last seen dressed in blue sweatpants with a tan and multi-colored long polyester coat, and she had a white tube sock on her arm. Panco said he didn’t know why she wore a sock on her arm.

Clary can be reached a the Centralia Police Department, with a reference to case number 14A3683.

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News brief: Fiery crash consumes car, semi truck in Rochester

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 8:22 am
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Two firefighters from West Thurston Regional Fire hustle towards a fully involved car and semi truck truck on U.S. Highway 12. / Courtesy photo by Fire Chief Robert W. Scott

Updated at 6:28 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two people survived a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 12 in Rochester yesterday in which both the car and the semi truck burst into flames sending a smoke column as much as 1,500 feet into the air and taking thousands of gallons of water to extinguish.

Firefighters dispatched about 3:30 p.m. could see the tower of smoke from their station three miles away, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

The truck was hauling a type of plywood and burned all the way down to the frame, Fire Chief Robert Scott said.

“The concussion heard from the tires blowing was heard over a mile away,” Scott said. “The explosions shot tire debris probably 150 yards.”

It happened on the highway near 183rd Avenue and Nicody Lane Southwest.

The woman driving the car and man driving the big rig were both standing on the side of the road when crews arrived, he said.

She was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with minor injuries, he said. The truck driver – a 67-year-old Chehalis resident – was evaluated at the scene and shaken up, but otherwise fine, according to responders.

It’s a slow stretch of the road where the speed limit drops to around 35 to 40 mph, according to Scott.

“Very minor injuries, super fortunate,” Washington State Patrol spokesperson Trooper Guy Gill said. “This could have very easily been a double fatality.”

The 65-year-old Olympia woman had been traveling westbound when she fell asleep at the wheel crossed into the oncoming lane, meeting up with the semi, Gill said. Darlene J. Dickinson would be receiving a $500 ticket for negligent driving second-degree, Gill said.

There was a fuel spill that had to be cleaned up, according to Gill. The heat was so intense, road crews were out there today repairing damage to the pavement, he said.

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U.S. Highway 12 in Rochester was closed for for more than an hour yesterday after a minor injury two-vehicle collision / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

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Centralia heroin death leads to criminal charge for person who allegedly supplied the drug

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm
2014.0610.tyson.anderson

Tyson Anderson holds his then-3-year-old daughter Kaylee at an Easter egg hunt a week before he died.

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 36-year-old Chehalis man who police believe sold some heroin to last year to a Centralia man who died of a drug overdose that night, was ordered held yesterday on $200,000 bail.

Robert T. Lusk was already in the Lewis County Jail when he was arrested on Monday for controlled substance homicide.

He is blamed for the death on April 22, 2013 of 23-year-old Tyson J. Anderson in Centralia.

Anderson had been staying with his girlfriend at an apartment on the 500 block of Iron Street. Before that, he lived for a short time at a place called the Funny Farm – a sober living home – in south Lewis County, according to Ashlee Harris, the mother of his now 4-year-old daughter.

He was an awesome person, Harris said of the young man she was with from the time they were 16 years old until about a year before he died.

“There’s more to him than just that,” she said of the drug overdose. “That’s not him.

Anderson was the designated barbecuer at family get togethers, he enjoyed bow hunting with his many relatives, and worked as a mechanic, she said.

“People don’t understand that it’s a disease,” Harris said. “I want the fact that he was an amazing father, an amazing son, an amazing friend to define who he was; not the mistakes he made.”

Harris had little to say about his drug use, saying it’s a sensitive topic for Anderson’s family and she didn’t want to add to their grief or upset.

But he had apparently been trying to quit using and he managed to get into Lewis County Drug Court, an alternative for some people arrested for drug crimes.

He was in phase one of the program, so relatively new, according to the program’s manager, Jennifer Soper-Baker.

“Tragic situation,” Soper-Baker said.

When police were called just before 2 o’clock that morning about a possible drug overdose, they found an unconscious male later identified as Anderson. Arriving medics worked on him, but he was pronounced dead a short time later, according to authorities.

Centralia police came to learn that Anderson and his girlfriend Sarah McCutcheon had gone to dinner at Country Cousin, where Anderson had made a brief phone call or sent a text to arrange to buy them some heroin, according to charging documents.

McCutcheon told police after they got home, they each injected some and then went to Wal-Mart, eventually returning home where they injected more, charging documents state.

“McCutcheon stated after she was injected the second time, she passed out,” the documents relate. “And when she awoke, she was laying on top of Anderson who was unresponsive.”

She was confused and nervous, so she called 911 and then cleaned up the apartment by hiding the drugs, she told police.

Anderson’s cause of death is listed as acute opiate (heroin) intoxication, following injection.

Exactly why he died or why it killed him isn’t known, according to the Centralia Police Department.

There’s a variety of reasons it happens, more often than not because an individual is exposed to a more potent dose than they’re accustomed to, detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said.

Perhaps they’ve gotten it from a new supplier who has cut it, diluted it, differently, or less than expected, Fitzgerald said.

“There’s a myriad of reasons,” he said. “In this case, we don’t know.”

Fitzgerald said this is the third or fourth case of controlled substance homicide for the department, indicating it’s a charge some other agencies may or may not pursue as aggressively. For example, he said, the Bellevue Police Department only last year had their first case, even though it’s unlikely that city has never before had a fatal drug overdose.

Controlled substance homicide doesn’t have anything to do with forcibly making another person ingest drug, according to Lewis County Senior Prosecutor Will Halstead.

Prosecutors need only prove the person delivered it, the other person used it and then the other person died from it, Halstead said.

The offense has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, except for defendants who have certain previous drug convictions, the maximum time is 20 years.

Centralia police measured the distance between the apartment parking lot and a school bus stop as 517 feet, suggesting a possible more lengthy sentence if Lusk is convicted. Lusk was also charged with delivery of a controlled substance.

Centralia police investigated the for many months following Anderson’s death, questioning his girlfriend numerous times.

According to charging documents, they learned a person named Robert had shown up in the apartment’s parking lot in a greenish Ford Explorer after Anderson got a text from the drug dealer that night.

McCutcheon said she saw it from the apartment window and that Robert was known as a white supremacist who her boyfriend had had issues with in the past.

DNA testing on the wrapping from the heroin was matched to Anderson.

Two phone numbers on Anderson’s Blackberry cell phone were found as being used during the timeframe McCutcheon had outlined to police. One of them belonged to one of his longtime friends and the friend was ruled out.

The other remained a mystery until February when police were speaking with a person who knew Lusk on an unrelated matter. Police discovered that back around the time of Anderson’s death, Lusk had been using a phone that matched the mystery number.

Police also found that Lusk owned a blue Ford Explorer and has a tattoo on his inner bicep that reads “WP”, which officers understand to be an abbreviation for “White Power.”

Harris said she knew a detective was working hard on the case, but was surprised to learn an arrest was made. She attended the hearing yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court with Anderson’s sister.

“We’re thankful, we’re happy, but it’s also opening up a bunch of wounds,” she said.

Lusk has been in the Lewis County Jail for some time, in connection with driving with a suspended license, according to his temporary defense attorney Bob Schroeter. He is wanted in Thurston County, in connection with another instance of the same offense, Schroeter said.

He hasn’t worked and has no income so he qualified for a court-appointed lawyer.

His arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 10:03 am

TREE CUTTING ACCIDENT SENDS ONE TO HOSPITAL

• A 51-year-old man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle yesterday after he was pinned by a downed tree that rolled onto him as he was cutting limbs from it outside Centralia. Firefighters called about 12:30 p.m. to Wigley Road found that others present had cut the tree in half and used a tractor to pull it off, according to Riverside Fire Authority. “They did their assessments, packaged him up and Airlift Northwest met them at Providence,” Fire Capt. Tim Adolphsen said. The patient sustained a possibly broken pelvis, he said.

KIDS AND ALCOHOL

• A grocery store customer who spotted a young girl put a fifth of vodka up her sleeve followed her out of the business, chased her down, grabbed her and returned her to Fuller’s Shop ‘n Kart in Centralia last night, according to police. Officers called about 9:45 p.m. to the 500 block of South Tower Avenue arrested the 12-year-old girl for misdemeanor theft and then released her to her father, according to the Centralia Police Department. She dropped or tossed the bottle of liquor to the ground where it broke, police said. The case is being turned over to prosecutors for evaluation of charges including minor in possession of alcohol, according to police.

KIDS AND WEED

• Chehalis police were called to Olympic Elementary School yesterday morning where a baggie with suspected marijuana turned up involving and a pair of 11-year-old students. One said the other stole the marijuana from parents and brought it to school to sell, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The case is being turned over to prosecutors for evaluation of charges of possession of a controlled substance, according to police.

MEDS MISSING IN BURGLARY

• Chehalis police say a resident at the 300 block of Southwest Third Street who left their front door unlocked called 911 just before 3 p.m. yesterday after finding someone got into a bedroom drawer and stole various medications, including Oxycodone. They had only been away about an hour and a half, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

TV TAKEN IN BREAK-IN

• Centralia police were called about 10:30 a.m. yesterday to the 700 block of West First Street when a woman returned home and found the back door open and a window shattered. Missing were a television and and Xbox, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SMOKE EMPTIES OUT CENTRALIA SCHOOL

Centralia Middle School was evacuated for about an hour yesterday when a hand dryer in a boys’ bathroom malfunctioned, prompting a call to the fire department just before 11 a.m. “It put out a lot of smoke, whether it was on fire, it may have been at one point,” Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Terry Ternan said. “Well, I’m sure it was.” Firefighters shut off the power, removed the machine and made sure there was no fire inside the wall, Ternan said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault, responses for possible phone scam, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets and parking lots … and more.

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Read about Centralia sued on pot store issue …

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 8:51 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Associated Press reports the city of Centralia was hit with a lawsuit yesterday, challenging its stance on marijuana businesses.

An item published on Kirotv.com says a prospective pot retailer, Perry Nelson, proprietor of RIU420, sued the city in Lewis County Superior Court, saying the local moratorium is an unconstitutional ban on a legal activity.

Voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and the Washington State Liquor Control Board has been issuing licenses to grow, process and sell.

Read more about it here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm

OH MY

• A police pursuit that began near Alder Street and Long Road in Centralia overnight reached speeds of about 60 mph and ended when the driver continued east on Cherry Street beyond where the street ends for the railroad tracks, according to police. “He apparently didn’t know that, he hit the brakes and slid past the barricade and came to stop on the east side of the tracks,” Officer John Panco said. “Then he took off running.” The reason for the attempted stop was the officer observed the 1997 Toyota Tercel driving erratically, according to the Centralia Police Department. A police dog came out to try to track the driver, but it wasn’t until someone called 911 to say there was a person on their roof that the driver was found, Panco said. Officers took Justus R. Crofton into custody at the 600 block of South Gold Street, he said. The 20-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for eluding and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Panco said he didn’t offer an explanation for why he fled.

BURGLARY AT MOTEL

• Centralia police were called about noon yesterday to the 1200 block of Alder Street after a motel room was broken into. Officers learned two males kicked in the door and stole jewelry and clothing and got suspect names from witnesses, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case is under investigation, police said.

NIGHTTIME DEMOLITION

• Centralia police arrested a 48-year-old Chehalis resident after he was caught allegedly taking metal roofing from an abandoned house on the 1200 block of Brotherson Road last night. A police dog from Chehalis was called in about 9:45 p.m. and helped motivate another person to come out of a building in the same area at the same time, according to police. Kelly J. Teshara was arrested for misdemeanor theft and trespassing and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BOAT SPIRITED AWAY

• A deputy took a report yesterday from the Cascade Peaks RV Park on the 11,000 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Randle that a 10-foot long white boat was missing. The victim, a 76-year-old Randle resident, said it was taken some time since April 9, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $800.

FRAUD

• A 19-year-old Chehalis area woman called the sheriff’s office yesterday to report she discovered $412 worth of fraudulent transactions on her Twinstar Credit Union checking account. The seven charges originated in Portland, and there is no information as to how the account was compromised, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

WRECK

• A 49-year-old driver ended up with just a bloody lip and a scratch when his steering malfunctioned and he left the roadway struck a fence, crossed a yard and hit a ditch yesterday evening. A deputy responding to Skyhawk Drive north of Toledo after the approximately 6 o’clock wreck learned the Randle man had been traveling north along the 5100 block of Jackson Highway, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was cited for defective steering, according to the sheriff’s office.

TRAIN WRECK SURVIVORS ARRESTED

• Genaveve R. Webb, 40, and Gary L. Bafford, 54, both of Chehalis, were treated and then released from Providence Centralia Hospital after their run in with a passenger train yesterday afternoon on Summa Street in Centralia. Police say Webb drove around a crossing arm after a freight train passed by but then lost much of the front end of her Datsun pickup to an Amtrak headed the other direction. The truck was tossed onto a signal pole, landing on its side, according to witnesses. Webb was arrested for reckless endangerment, according to the Centralia Police Department. Bafford, who left the scene, was arrested shortly after the wreck a few blocks away for outstanding warrants, police said. One was a local misdemeanor warrant and the other and out-of-county felony warrant, Centralia Police Department Officer Patricia Finch said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail. Police and firefighters described their injuries as minor.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for driving under the influence, misdemeanor assault, responses for alarm, suspicious circumstances, broken windows at a retreat center, shoplift of a pregnancy test kit and other misdemeanor theft … and more.

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Centralia arsonist admits attempted murder of mother, grandfather

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm
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Jonathan P. Brown heads back down to the jail after pleading guilty to attempted murder.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 26-year-old Centralia man pleaded guilty this morning to two counts of attempted murder, in connection with setting a fire in his home while his mother and grandfather were sleeping earlier this year.

Jonathan P. Brown admitted to a detective to starting a fire in his bedroom, opening a window to help it “breathe” and then heading down the street planning to ignite more fires until he was caught, according to charging documents. But his lighter broke and police found and detained him that morning.

Today’s action came out of a plea agreement finalized late last week, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said. Halstead said the details would come at sentencing, which hasn’t yet been scheduled.

The standard sentencing range for Brown, given his criminal history, is roughly 20 to 32 years.

Brown has spent time in prison before for arson.

In 2009, the then-21-year-old pleaded guilty to a string of six fires and attempted fires in the Centralia area that caused or could have caused damage to buildings including a residence and a garage. He was sentenced to four and half years.

He is represented by defense attorney Don Blair.

The damage on March 23 to the family home on the 3400 block of Prill Road was limited to the bedroom.

Charging documents alleged that he doused his bed and pillows with lamp oil. His 87-year-old grandfather John Germeau and his mother were able to get out, but his mother Deborah Brown suffered burns on her hand or hands smothering burning pillows.

Brown has been held in the Lewis County Jail on $250,000 bail since his arrest. His initial charge was first-degree arson.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler this morning accepted Brown’s pleas and modified the conditions of release to a no-bail hold.

No family or friends were present in the courtroom.

Brown is expected back in court on Thursday to set a date for sentencing.
•••

For background, read “Prosecutors: Arsonist planned to continue lighting fires after leaving his burning bedroom” from Monday March 24, 2014, here

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Breaking news: Homicide arrest made in Centralia drug death

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 9:43 am

Updated at 12:05 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An arrest has been made in connection with last year’s drug overdose death of Tyson J. Anderson, 23, of Centralia.

Centralia police yesterday re-booked a man already in the Lewis County Jail – on another matter – for controlled substance homicide.

Robert T. Lusk is scheduled to go before a judge this afternoon.

Anderson died when visiting a home at the 500 block of North Iron Street in Centralia last April 22, according to police department spokesperson Officer John Panco.

“After a long investigation we have a suspect, or somebody arrested, which is always a good thing in this kind of thing,” Panco said this morning.

Lusk, 36, from Chehalis, was also arrested for delivery of a controlled substance, Panco said.

Panco didn’t know this morning what drug was involved, he said.

Lewis County Senior Prosecutor Will Halstead said it’s not a case of forcing drugs into another person’s body, but that if someone delivers drugs to another who subsequently dies from them, that can be controlled substance homicide.

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Chehalis pair survive wreck with passenger train

Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm
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Police and aid respond about 3:45 p.m. to the accident on Summa Street in Centralia. / Courtesy photo by Mary Orlik

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Two people escaped with only minor injuries when their small pickup truck collided with an Amtrak train in Centralia this afternoon.

Firefighters and police responding about 3:45 p.m. to the crossing on Summa Street near South Tower Avenue found the vehicle on its driver’s side, having struck the signal pole on the west side of the tracks.

“I’ve heard a lot of wrecks here, but nothing like this,” Centralia resident Ken Peck said.

Peck said he was outside his home a block away talking with a buddy and the sound of the impact was thunderous. He looked over and saw a pickup flipping through the air, he said.

“The train literally lifted it up and it did a twist like that,” Peck said as he described the path of the older Datsun pickup moving his hands over his head in an arc.

Centralia Police Department Officer Patricia Finch said the female driver failed to stop for the crossing arms.

The driver, a 40-year-old Chehalis woman, was headed east across Summa and hit by the southbound train, according to Finch.

“A BNSF train had just passed in the other direction, to my understanding,” Finch said.

The male passenger got himself out, and he along with bystanders helped the woman out of the truck, according to Finch.

“I thought she was dead, her arms were hanging out the window,” Peck said. But she wasn’t.

Peck said they tried to sit the couple down away from the tracks, but the man left.

Police located him a few blocks to the north, and learned he was wanted on two outstanding warrants. The 54-year-old Chehalis man was taken to the hospital by a police officer to be checked out, before he could be booked into jail, according to Finch.

The driver was transported by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital as well.

Finch said the 1984 Datsun pickup was totaled, with most of its damage to the front on the driver’s side.

Rail traffic was stopped for at least 45 minutes. BNSF is conducting its own investigation, Finch said.

Peck said it’s a crossing that needs more safety features to prevent drivers who seem to often try to beat the trains.

He got the impression the woman waited for the freight train to pass northbound, but was impatient for the crossing arms to rise, and drove around them.

“Even when she got out of the truck, she was saying, ‘I didn’t see the Amtrak’,” he said.

2014.0609.datsun.train_.janet_.stacy1_.jpg

Datsun pickup is hauled away after it met up with a train in Centralia. / Courtesy photo by Janet Stacy

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, June 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Updated at 3:20 p.m.

BUS DRAMA: PART II

• A missing wallet which last week sparked a one-man melee on a Twin Transit bus apparently hasn’t turned up but a fellow passenger was arrested over the weekend for second-degree theft in connection with its disappearance. Chehalis police arrested a 23-year-old rider after he allegedly punched a woman in the stomach and spit on another passenger before breaking a bus window with his head last Thursday. Police said Travis P. Bullard had been kicked off a bus and then boarded it again at the stop near Wal-Mart, but didn’t offer a reason for his anger, other than he may have been under the influence of something. Today however, a department spokespersons said an officer reviewing security video over the weekend spotted a 60-year-old man take Bullard’s seat and put a wallet in his pocket, before changing seats. Herbert M. St. Ours, from Chehalis, was interviewed on Saturday and said he didn’t pick up the wallet, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was then arrested, but prosecutors are not filing charges pending further investigation.

THEFT PE ELL

• A deputy was called to Pe Ell yesterday where a 51-year-old woman reported the theft of numerous items from outside a home such as a riding lawn mower, a grass eater and a portable outdoor fireplace. Also among the stolen from the 600 block of East Pe Ell Avenue were a Dell laptop computer and a half tank of fuel from a locked vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office. The victim said it happened sometime during the previous week or two, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

THEFT GLENOMA

• A 19-year-old Glenoma woman reported her Sig Sauer pistol and its case were stolen from her home on the 200 block of Sand Creek Lane when someone entered the locked house through an open bedroom window. A deputy called to the home on Friday was told the break-in occurred sometime between 7:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. that day, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. An iPad was missing too but other valuables were left untouched, the sheriff’s office said.

THEFT MORTON

• Someone got inside a woman’s camper parked outside a woman’s trailer on the 100 block of Chapman Road near Morton and stole a ruby ring, 20 ceramic figurines, other jewelry and a black leather bag of tools sometime between 3:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at almost $800, according to the sheriff’s office.

THEFT CENTRALIA

• Centralia police responded about 3:15 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of South Tower Avenue regarding the theft of a red and blue sand rail – an off-road four-wheeler – and two bicycles sometime since Thursday.

TRESPASSING LEADS TO ARREST

• An 18-year-old Centralia resident was arrested last night because he allegedly went inside a vacant residence on the 700 block of North Pearl Avenue. Police say Brandon R. Goodell broke a window to get in. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Morton police report they responded to two vehicle prowls last Monday, one on the 300 block of Division Avenue where a window was smashed out and a purse taken and the other on the 100 block of Third Street in which a stereo was removed from an unlocked vehicle as well as about $20 worth of gas.

FIRE CAUSES ESTIMATED $75,000 WORTH DAMAGE

• A fire in Grand Mound over the weekend that destroyed a resident’s large outbuilding and virtually all of the contents stored inside was sparked  by a blow torch being used to burn off weeds from the property’s perimeter. Firefighters from four departments responded about 3:45 p.m. to the blaze at the corner of Old Highway 99 and Southwest Loganberry Street and knocked it down probably within the first five minutes, but remained on the scene about four more hours, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. Lt. Rob Smith said the wood structure was big enough to house the resident’s recreational vehicle, but the RV was fortunately elsewhere at the time. However, an estimated $35,000 worth of belongings inside were destroyed, Smith said. “The building, probably close to $40,000,” Smith said. “The good news is, no injuries to anybody.” The man had a garden hose, but wasn’t quick enough with it to put out the initial fire, he said.

WRECK

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says a 47-year-old driver escaped any injury when he missed a curve and slammed into a large fir tree on the 500 block of Burnt Ridge Road in Onalaska on Saturday evening. The 200 Chevrolet S10 pickup was totaled, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The man reportedly had been reaching to untangle his dog leash from something on the floorboard, according to Brown. He was issued a citation for wheels off the roadway, she said. The police report doesn’t indicate if any dog was injured in the wreck.

NOT A WRECK

• An 18-year-old driver and his three teenage passengers were all arrested for drinking alcohol following a traffic stop about 2 a.m. on Saturday in Winlock, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Marcelino Castillo-Barrow, of Chehalis, was arrested for driving under the influence and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. Toledo and Winlock police were at the scene as well at West Walnut Street and Northwest Arden Avenue arresting the others, ages 16 through 19, for minor in possession of alcohol, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, underage drinking, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, disputes, shoplifting, collision on city street, parking lot fender benders, receipt of possible phony $20 bill, woman asking for help with detoxing from alcohol, dogs left alone in parked vehicle and children left alone in parked vehicle (both Wal-Mart); complaints of eggs thrown at a window, someone using weed eater by someone else’s vehicles, male talking to someone else’s children in a store, a pair of homeless looking people asking for handouts at a fast food drive through … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm

BRUSH FIRES SPRING UP

• Firefighters were called to numerous grass and brush fires in Napavine yesterday afternoon, along Interstate 5 and also about a mile north of Sommerville Road along the railroad tracks. Lewis County Fire District 5 Chief Gregg Peterson said the first call came at 2:22 p.m. and the others during the following 25 minutes or so. They had to get train traffic shut down because firefighters had to cross the tracks, Peterson said. Crews from Winlock assisted. The causes are unknown, he said.

THEFT OF TOOLS

• Centralia police were called to the 700 block of West First Street about 1:40 p.m. yesterday regarding an overnight burglary to a trailer in which numerous construction tools were stolen. The investigation is ongoing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BOY ON BIKE HIT

• Centralia police said yesterday an officer was called to the 600 block of H Street about 8:15 a.m. on Friday where an 8-year-old boy had told the school nurse he was hit by a car while riding his bike to school. Further details were no readily available about his injuries.

POLICE: DRIVER NUDGES PATROL CAR, GETS DUI

• A 42-year-old woman was arrested for driving under the influence just after 1 o’clock this morning after she reportedly backed into a police car which was traveling down the 100 block of South Tower Avenue. There was minor damage to Rhonda J. Baxter’s vehicle and none to the police car but the Centralia woman was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. No injuries were involved, according to police. A somewhat similar incident occurred last weekend, when a Toledo man was pulled over on North National Avenue and didn’t realize his car was in reverse and backed into the police car.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for collisions on city streets … and more.

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Read about Tenino area to be home for marijuana growing …

Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:29 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a self proclaimed longtime pot dealer has become Thurston County’s first state-licensed marijuana grower, granted permission to use up to 7,000 square feet of space next to his Tenino area home for cultivation and processing of the plants.

Jeff Gilmore, 60, is business partners with two Olympia residents, David Brown and Mary McKnew, a former member of the liquor board, according to news reporter Jordan Schrader.

Read more here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, June 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm

WILD RIDE TO WAL-MART

• A 23-year-old bus rider who allegedly punched a woman in the stomach and spit on another passenger before slamming his own head into a window causing it to shatter yesterday may have been under the influence of something, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Officers called about 6:30 p.m. were told the man was kicked off the bus from Centralia for using filthy language and getting in the driver’s face, but at the stop near Wal-Mart, boarded a second bus, according to police. He was told to get off and got back on the first bus, where the assaults occurred, police said. Arriving officers took Travis P. Bullard into custody, and arrested him, police said. The Olympia man was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree malicious mischief, as well as two counts of fourth-degree assault, according to department spokesperson Linda Bailey.

OUT-OF-CONTROL IN SILVER CREEK

• A 47-year-old Silver Creek resident was arrested overnight after he allegedly punched his neighbor in the ribs at the neighbor’s home and punched his live-in girlfriend in the arm, after she fled to the neighbor’s trailer to avoid him because they’d been arguing. A deputy responding to the 2900 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Silver Creek about 12:20 a.m. today concluded Cleve D. Allison was under the influence of alcohol and possibly something else as well, and had barged in to the 56-year-old neighbor’s home, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Allison was was booked into the Lewis County Jail for two counts of fourth-degree assault and one count of first-degree burglary, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

BREAK-IN CHEHALIS

• A 46-year-old Chehalis man was victimized by a burglar yesterday, losing his Xbox 360, his Grand Theft Auto 5 Xbox game, and Airsoft pistol, three iPods, cell phone and a hatchet, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called to the home on the 100 block of Kennicott Road yesterday afternoon learned someone got inside through an unlocked garage door sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is more than $1,000.

CAR PROWL

• A debit card and ID were stolen from a parked vehicle at the 2800 block of Russell Road in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 8:40 a.m. yesterday.

• Chehalis police were called about 6 p.m. yesterday by someone in the parking lot at Wal-Mart who witnessed a vehicle prowl. A lunch box was stolen, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

NEW OWNER FINDS RESIDENCE BROKEN INTO

• Someone vandalized a recently purchased home outside Mossyrock, tearing a large section from a mural on the living room wall, breaking a mirror in a bedroom, and leaving dents and holes in walls from throwing coffee mugs at them, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called about 6:30 p.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Madison Drive learned from a 64-year-old Onalaska woman that she planned to move in soon and had been watching the property for about a year, checking on it daily, the sheriff’s office reports. It appeared the intruder came in through a garage window and left a sliding door partially opened, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Someone also had set fire to a pile of real estate business cards left on a granite kitchen counter, Brown said.

INMATE MAY GET EXTENDED STAY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says a 32-year-old inmate did an estimated $772.87 worth of damage when he kicked out the metal ceiling in a cell as he lay on a top bunk. A deputy advised yesterday of the incident arrested Luke U. Hall for second-degree malicious mischief and re-booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

THEFT OF LIQUOR

• A bus driver alerting police to a seemingly drunken man waiting at a Chehalis bus stop yesterday morning led to the recovery of a pint of vodka stolen from Safeway. Police called about 7:40 a.m. subsequently arrested 69-year-old Alvin Matuska, of Hollywood, Calif., for third-degree theft and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WOMAN RELOCATED FROM PARK TO CELL

• Centralia police arrested a 34-year-old Centralia woman they found camping in Fort Borst Park at about 1:40 a.m. today, saying she lied about her identity. Mindy M. Ferguson was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for obstruction and for an outstanding warrant, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, disputes, suspicious circumstances; complaints of too-tall-grass, property unreturned to a rental business … and more.

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Read about Winlock mother says marijuana oil healed girl’s brain tumor …

Friday, June 6, 2014 at 10:20 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports a Winlock woman who uses medical marijuana for pain management claims her teenage daughter’s brain cancer has been cured with cannabis.

News reporter Lyxan Toledanes writes that 15-year-old Taylor Rehmeyer, diagnosed at age 6 with a rare brain tumor, over the years has been treated with something called proton radiation at a center in Philadelphia and been treated at Seattle Children’s Hospital, but sometime after last August, turned to marijuana oil, an alternative and controversial treatment illegal in most states and not regulated.

The news article doesn’t mention what doctor, if any, is treating the girl, but notes that her mother, Karen Owen, says she will need to take a small dose daily for the rest of her life.

Read about it here