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News brief: Search for Tacoma 5-year-old at river done for the day

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Deputies called it a day late this afternoon and will be reevaluating how to go about finding the 5-year-old who disappeared into the Cispus River on Monday.

“They didn’t make any progress today, as far as finding him,” Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Steve Aust said early this evening.

The Tacoma boy was riding his motorcycle at the family’s campsite when his parents realized they didn’t hear the motor any longer and then saw it in the water.

Search and rescue personnel have been combing the area south of Randle off Forest Service Road 23 since Monday evening, stopping at nightfall. Today, four deputies and a fish and wildlife officer – swift water rescue team members – conducted their work, putting the fire department and Packwood SAR on standby.

Aust said it would help if the water level would drop, something that has been happening over the past 24 hours.

Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber will be considering conditions and resources and what to do next, he said.

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River recovery efforts continue for child lost near Randle

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 11:04 am

Updated at 11:23 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Five swift water rescue team members continue to scour the Cispus River this morning in hopes of finding the 5-year-old Tacoma boy who vanished while camping with his parents on Monday.

“They’re going back over the river and looking at log jams,” Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Steve Aust said. “The Randle Fire Department and Packwood SAR (Search and Rescue) are on standby, if we should find anything.”

The family was staying at an unimproved campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest several miles south of Randle. The child was riding his motorcycle and apparently got too close to the bank and fell in, while his parents had their back to him, according to the sheriff’s office.

Search and rescue efforts yesterday went until dark, with 18 personnel, including a dive team from Thurston County. A news helicopter assisted earlier in the day, the sheriff’s office said.

They focused on several log jams, Aust said. What was thought to be the child’s helmet about a mile downstream turned out to be only its visor hung up on a log jam, according to the sheriff’s office.

The motorcycle was pulled from the river yesterday, close to the camp spot, according to Fire Chief Jeff Jaques.

Responders called about 7 p.m. on Monday were looking for both the little boy and his 32-year-old father, who had jumped in the river. It was almost dark before the man was found, on the bank looking for his son about a half mile from the camp spot, according to Aust.

The terrain, steep embankments and heavy brush, is making the effort very challenging, the sheriff’s office said yesterday afternoon.

“The river continues to run very swift and cold making the search extremely dangerous,” the sheriff’s office said.

At the scene this morning are sheriff’s office Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber and the water rescue members consisting of four deputies and a officer with Fish and Wildlife, according to Aust.

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Notes from behind the news: Let’s take a time out, and have some real fun

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm
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Coming to our town; early bird tickets until Friday.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – News reporting is a blast.

Chasing down stories of crimes, rescues, near misses and what-have-you and following how justice plays out can keep a person going, with an endless stream of intriguing stories.

But I have to confess, sometimes the cops, courts and fire beat gets seriously depressing. When you’re focused on the latest, looking for what’s new, it seems sometimes the trauma, drama and disaster will never end.

I even heard from one reader who took a little break from Lewis County Sirens.com, because the gloom got overwhelming. Heck, I’ve wanted to turn it off at times.

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Saturday, Aug 2, 2014

So, in the interest of the well-being of all of us, I say, let’s take a time out. How about one day where we can turn our attention to something uplifting, even … fun?

It’s time for a party.

That’s why Lewis County Sirens.com is co-media sponsor for a music festival this summer that should knock your socks off.

The DB Cooper Music Festival has decided to touch down this year in Chehalis / Centralia with its all-day event, at the mid-point of the famed 1971 Portland to Seattle flight skyjacking.

The gathering made its debut last year, somewhere up north, with one stage and seven or eight musical groups in the lineup. But its organizers found this year’s two dozen or so acts – enough for three different stages – are best suited for the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds.

It’s blues, it’s folk, it’s funk and some other upbeat types I’m sure I don’t know. But I’ve led a sheltered musical life.

I’m told the acts are top notch.

They range from the 2013 International Blues Entertainer of the Year Curtis Salgado who inspired John Belushi to create The Blues Brothers to The Voice finalist Vicci Martinez, whose acoustic-rock music comes out of Tacoma.

They include six-time grammy nominee Maria Muldaur best known for her 1974 huge hit Midnight at the Oasis, and Brittany Kingery out of McCleary whose tropical acoustic sounds were among those at last year’s festival.

There’s more. Blues pioneer Alice Stewart; Independent Music Awards winners The Brown Edition; an Olympia band; Capitol Records Rising Star Ethan Tucker, a Washington born singer-songwriter; Puget Sounds masters of funk Bump Kitchen; Mudcat, an Aberdeen native; Rick Ranum whose band during its early days opened for performers like Joe Cocker and BB King.

Soul, rock, jazz, bluegrass, blues, folk, funk, southern rock, beachy and more all mixed up in one place. Singer-songwriters who live to entertain.

These are people who’ve toured the country, toured the world.

And they’re gonna play our town.

All day on a Saturday.

It’s a 21 and over event, with food, merriment and a suggestion by one artist that people should plan to dance their behinds off.

The day is brought to you by the local Exit 104 Media Inc.

Why is it named for the historic outlaw who vanished with a parachute and gobs of cash from an airplane more than four decades ago? I’m not certain, though it almost seems as though Cooper – or possibly some intermediary – is like a behind-the-scenes host.

We can plan on so much amazing music, there won’t be one moment to spare for thoughts about sirens. For one day.

Early bird ticket prices are available until Friday.

Get yours now. I’m gonna be there. Why don’t you join me?

DB Cooper Music Festival
When: Saturday, Aug 2, 2014 doors open at 11 a.m. until it’s over
Where: Southwest Washington Fairgrounds, 2555 North National Avenue, Chehalis, Wash.
Ticket Price: $25 – $40
Early Bird Tickets $25: – Price good until May 31, 2014
Show Type: Festival
Restrictions: 21 & over, ID required
Parking: $5 per vehicle
For all the details: http://dbcoopermusicfestival.com/index.shtm
Tickets sales online, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Updated at 1:39 p.m.

VADER CHURCH, FLAG TARGETED BY TEENS

• Four teenagers were arrested after a vandalism spree in Vader over the weekend that involved a church and the old city jail, with one of them taking down a flag, tying it in a knot and setting it on fire before running it back up the flag pole. Deputies contacting the pastor at the  Assembly of God Church learned some of the events were captured on security video and took place between 10 p.m. and midnight on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the youths broke down a door at the jail, cut phone lines at the church across the street, pried open a power box and destroyed security cameras. However, close up views of their faces were found on video images, Brown said. Two lights that shined upon the American flag were stolen as well, Brown said. The teens, all from Vader, ages 14, 15 and 16, were booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Justice Center for third-degree malicious mischief, theft and criminal conspiracy, according to the sheriff’s office.

MAN CONCEALS SELF WHILE RESIDENCE BURGLARIZED

• The sheriff’s office is investigating after an overnight break-in the north end of Centralia in which a 29-year-old resident said he hid in a bedroom while his home was burglarized. Deputies responded about 2 a.m. yesterday to the 3000 block of Lowery Lane following a 911 call in which a man was saying help me, help me repeatedly before the phone disconnected, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. There was a language barrier and it’s not clear what was taken or known who the intruder was, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Evidence was collected from outside a broken bedroom window which will be analyzed, Brown said.

TENT FIRE

• A 28-year-old man from Lakewood is jailed after he allegedly tried to burn down someone’s tent during the night at a Toledo area campground early on Friday following a dispute. No injuries were reported, except the arrestee who suffered from a dog bite which had occurred earlier, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were called about 1:15 a.m. on Friday to the Cowlitz Timber Trails Campground on the 1900 block of Spencer Road found friends of the 23-year-old victim, who is from Lynnwood, had detained the suspect who tried to run away and hide beneath a trailer, according to the sheriff’s office. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office didn’t indicate what the disagreement was about, but said that Justin E. Roberts who was unknown to the victim came to the camp site three times earlier and each time was told to leave.  Then later, someone heard the velcro to the tent being opened and saw the same person light it on fire, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Roberts was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital to be treated for the bite and then booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree arson, she said. Brown said the sheriff’s office had no information about the dog bite.

GIRL FIGHT GOES BAD

• Centralia police are investigating a nighttime meet-up for a fight between two young women that ended with a cracked eye socket for one and a head concussion for the other. Officers were advised yesterday afternoon by Chehalis police that the incident had taken place around 2 o’clock in the morning. The injured had gone to the hospital on their own, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Kurt Reichert said the initial investigation indicates the two arranged to meet in the Seminary Hill Natural Area to fight and then six or seven others, both males and females, jumped in. As for the reason for the dispute, Reichert would only say they didn’t like each other. The victims are ages 18 and 19 and both from Chehalis, he said. Someone could be in trouble for second-degree assault, according to police.

OUT-OF-CONTROL GROWN SON

• Deputies arrested a 43-year-old Ethel man on Sunday afternoon after a call to the 100 block of Pinkerton Road where his mother and sister advised he was in the house freaking out and broke a window. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says that during the arrest, Lynn K. Jorgensen injured a deputy’s finger, grabbing it and squeezing it until it “popped.” Jorgensen was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault and disorderly conduct, according to the sheriff’s office.

JAIL ASSAULT

• A 24-year-old inmate at the Lewis County Jail found himself in further trouble when he was queried about a broken broom and responded by punching a corrections officer in the face on Sunday afternoon, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office says the jail employee was told Drake A. Lorber had busted the tip off the broom handle and wanted to retrieve it for safety reasons. When the guard told Lorber to come out of the shower, Lorber reportedly jumped out flexing his arms, puffing his chest and screaming “insanity”, the sheriff’s office reports. Staff managed to restrain Lorber who now faces a possible charge of custodial assault, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The 24-year-old employee suffered soreness to his left cheek, she said. Staff indicated they tried to learn why Lorber acted the way he did, but couldn’t, Brown said.

CAT BURGLAR ENTERS FROM ROOF

• Chehalis police were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday by the owner of a building on the 1200 block of Northwest Cedar Way after the discovery someone broken in by removing panels from the roof to get inside. Missing are automotive parts; it’s a structure used for storage, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT IN CHEHALIS

• A woman who was in the process of moving called police yesterday after finding while she was gone someone came into the residence near Southwest Seventh Street and Market Boulevard in Chehalis and went through her belongings, taking small items, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT FROM SELF STORAGE BUSINESS

• Padlocks were cut from three customer’s storage units in Randle and multiple items stolen including three ring-type crab pots and a Lincoln wire feed welder sometime between 2 p.m. on Thursday and 2 p.m. on Saturday. A deputy contacted on Saturday afternoon about the burglaries at CVS Storage on the 9400 block of U.S. Highway 12 noted the victims, all Randle residents ages 28, 57 and 80, also lost a rototiller, a Craftsman pressure washer and a chainsaw, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $710.

FIREARMS TAKEN IN BURGLARY

• A deputy was called to a home on the 300 block of Howe Road outside Toledo about 6:20 p.m. on Friday where a 32-year-old man said while he was working out of town, someone broke in and stole a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and a Stevens 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

DRUGS

• A traffic stop and a warrant led to an arrest for possession of methamphetamine on Saturday afternoon on South Market and Main Street in Chehalis. When Levi G. Edmonds, 24, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, some suspected drugs were found, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WRECK TAKES OUT TWO POWER POLES

• A 16-year-old driver from Chehalis was reportedly uninjured when she collided with two utility poles on Sunday morning, sheering one off at its base and coming to rest against the second one. A deputy responding just after 8 a.m. to the 500 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis found the 1997 Ford F150 pickup truck totaled and learned the girl had taken her eyes off the road when she reached for something on the passenger seat, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She was cited for speeds too fast for conditions, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, negligent driving, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, disputes, shoplifting groceries; complaints of barking dog, house and cars egged, penis drawn onto a car with a grease pen, young women pulling their pants down in public, tent pitched in gully across from mint factory, an energetic medium-sized dog repeatedly running into a retirement home … and more.

•••

CORRECTION: This has been updated to reflect the correct location for the nighttime break-in at the north end of Centralia in which a resident hid in a bedroom while his home was burglarized. It occurred on the the 3000 block of Lowery Lane.

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Breaking news: Five-year-old feared drowned near Randle, father survives

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 8:26 am

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Responders are attempting to recover the body of a 5-year-old Tacoma boy who fell into the Cispus River near Randle yesterday as he was riding his motorcycle at an unimproved campground.

His 32-year-old father jumped in after the child but was unable to reach him before the boy was swept away, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The father was able to reach the shore after being carried downstream about a half mile, the sheriff’s office stated in a news release this morning.

Teams working last night believed they spotted little one’s helmet snagged on a log approximately one mile down river from from where he went in, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The recovery operation resumed at daylight this morning, according to Brown.

Deputies, firefighters and swift water team members out of Toledo responded about 7 p.m. last night to reports of possible drownings.

The site is beyond the Cispus Learning Center is in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, which is about seven miles south of Randle.

Due to darkness and the extremely swift water, teams had to discontinue the search last night, according to Brown.

The boy 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.

Brown said he was wearing full protective riding gear and a helmet, and it appeared he got to close to the river bank and went in.

The river is running very fast at this time of year due to snow melt, Brown indicated, and the water temperatures are extremely cold.

On the scene this morning are deputies, members of Lewis County Fire Districts 14 Randle and 2 Toledo, water rescue specialists from Lewis and Thurston counties, Packwood Search and Rescue and a Fish and Wildlife agent, according to Brown.

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News brief: Child, adult missing along Cispus River

Monday, May 26, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Deputies are on the scene looking for a 5-year-old and an adult missing near the Cispus River south of Randle.

“We’ve got really spotty information because there’s no cell service, but it’s possible they went into the river,” Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Steve Aust said.

Aust said he was notified around 7 p.m. Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber is gathering up search and rescue personnel, he said.

Aust said the area is out Forest Service Road 23, possibly within a mile of the Cispus Center.

“It’s not sounding too good, but hopefully they’ll be found, and be just fine,” he said.

Swift water rescue team members out of Toledo were dispatched just after 7 p.m. for a possible drowning.

The Cispus Learning Center is in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, about seven miles outside Randle.

The search is expected to resume in the morning.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, May 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm

POLICE: WOMAN CHOKED BY BOYFRIEND

• A 30-year-old Centralia man was arrested for second-degree assault after police responded about 9 p.m. yesterday to an incident at the 500 block of Yew Street. Brandon K. Phelps allegedly choked his girlfriend and was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POLICE: COP KICKED BY DETAINEE

• A 44-year-old Oakville man reportedly kicked a police officer for no reason after he was handcuffed following a domestic dispute early yesterday morning in Centralia. Alfredo Lopez-Menbreno was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault following the incident about 12:15 a.m. at the 3200 block of Fords Prairie Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SKATE PARK DISPUTE

• A 27-year-old Tenino man was arrested on Saturday afternoon after he allegedly tried to pick a fight with several kids at the skate park in Centralia. Officers booked Anthony W. Wells into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct following the incident at the 700 block of Harrison Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY

• Centralia police took a report about 10:45 a.m. yesterday where someone tried to kick in the back door of a vacant home on the 1000 block of E Street. They didn’t’ get inside and nothing was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Someone got into a vehicle overnight at East Pine and North Tower Avenue in Centralia and stole “items”, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday afternoon.

BONFIRE MISHAP

• A woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after she fell into a fire near Dryad on Saturday night. Firefighters from Lewis County Fire Districts 16 and 11 responded around dinnertime to the incident along state Route 6 near Rainbow Falls State Park. She was transported to Adan High School where she was met by a helicopter, District 11 Chief Michael Krafczyk said. Krafczyk said he understood she suffered second and third-degree burns from the outdoor recreational fire. “How she fell in, I don’t know, or if she’s still at Harborview,” he said this morning.

WSP: SEAT BELTS WORK

• Three people walked away without injuries after a rollover accident involving an elk early yesterday morning on Interstate 5 near Grand Mound. Troopers called just before 5 a.m. learned a northbound semi truck hit the animal which was tossed in front of a car in the far left lane, according to the Washington State Patrol. The dead elk was dragged beneath the car for about 100 feet before the vehicle rolled, Trooper Guy Gill said. The driver and two passengers were all wearing seat belts, Gill said.

AND MORE

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

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Car ends up on its top after dragging a dead elk near the exit 88 freeway interchange on Interstate 5 yesterday. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm

TEEN LIFE FLIGHTED AFTER RV HITCHING MISHAP

• A 17-year-old boy was airlifted to Harborview Medical in Seattle yesterday after he was crushed between a pickup truck and a fifth-wheel travel trailer in Centralia. Police called about 11:15 p.m. to the 800 block of West Pear Street say the owner was trying to hook the two together when the vehicle rolled back too far and caught the teen. Arriving firefighters found someone else had already moved the truck and the boy had only been pinned briefly, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Centralia police say he was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital to be evaluated for possible injuries. Firefighter-paramedic Jennifer Ternan said he was then flown to the regional trauma center, but she didn’t have any information about his condition. The case remains under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT, THEFT, THEFT, THEFT …

• A 39-year-old Centralia man was arrested for being in possession of a vehicle stolen out of Port Angeles, which had license tabs on it taken off a different vehicle in Port Angeles and was affixed with a license plate stolen from Centralia. Kelly L. Beckley allegedly left the Ford F-150 pickup truck at Wal-Mart, where he stole a bicycle and pedaled over to K-Mart, where he shoplifted a pair of trousers, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was greeted by an officer after he had changed into the pants in the restroom there, according to police. An employee from Wal-Mart had called 911 about 2:50 p.m. on Thursday to say Beckley was acting suspicious, when he got on the bicycle and rode away, police said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that someone broke into a home on the 3700 block of Russell Road in Centralia. A deputy responding there on Thursday learned that sometime between noon and 3 p.m. entered the residence and left with about $600 worth of valuables, including an HP laptop computer and jewelry, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Centralia police were called about 2 p.m. Thursday about someone stealing a purse from a shopping cart at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue.

DRUGS

• A 23-year-old from Forest Grove, Ore. was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after contact with an officer on Thursday night at the 600 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Alfredo Mendoza-Martinez, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• There will be no trial next month for the 2010 drive-by shooting at on Southwest William Street in Chehalis. Prosecutors in April brought their suspect back to Lewis County to face charges, from prison where he is serving more than 100 years for a gang-related shooting incident in Yakima County. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Mark McClain asked a judge on Thursday to dismiss the charges, without prejudice, meaning they could be re-filed at a later time. “I think there’s something else going on here we need to investigate in a different way,” McClain told the judge when he made his request. Andrew Morales-Loberg, now 22, will be headed back to prison, with a release date in the year 2165. Prosecutors had issued a material witness warrant for one of the victims in the case, Rolando Carrillo-Cruz, who McClain said is in Mexico. The judge signed an order quashing that warrant on Thursday.

CANDLES ARE CULPRITS IN VADER HOUSE FIRE

• A fire that chased a family from it’s Vader area home on Thursday evening was caused by candles. Members of Cowlitz-Lewis Fire District 2 responding about 7 p.m. to the single-story house on the 100 block of Enchanted Valley Drive found smoke billowing out from all the back windows and a resident using a fire extinguisher from outside to get at the flames, according to Chief Richard Underdahl. His son had been working on a computer and noticed flames coming from an unusual interior room inside the residence, according to Underdahl. The father closed that door, made sure everyone was outside and helped contain the fire until crews arrived. The original property owner had built the house around a vintage Airstream-type travel trailer which couldn’t be seen from outside, but when one opened one of the interior doors, they found themselves inside the trailer, according to Underdahl. It’s a room one of the pre-teen-age children and friends had been burning a couple of candles in earlier and they were forgotten about, Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said. It’s interior was burned, but the home and its other contents were mostly saved, Underdahl said. Nobody was injured and some of the roughly 20 firefighters, which included adjacent districts, were on the scene until about 11 p.m., he said.

WRECKS

• A 31-year-old school bus driver was issued a citation after he backed his bus up into an occupied Saturn station wagon on the 100 block of Moon Road west of Chehalis on Thursday afternoon. A deputy responding after the 3:30 p.m. incident found the damage to both vehicles was minor and none of the teenagers on the bus – from Curtis and the Chehalis area – were injured, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday.

• A Tacoma man was injured in a rollover accident overnight on Interstate 5 south of Napavine when he collided with the center barrier causing a rear wheel to come off his car. Troopers responding about 12:40 a.m. to the northbound lanes near Koontz Road found the 1994 Buick four-door was totaled and the detached wheel had traveled to the other side of the freeway where it was was struck by a southbound vehicle, according to the Washington State Patrol. Ernest G. Hartwig, 56, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, the state patrol reports. He was to be cited for wheels off the roadway.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, shoplifting merchandise such as liquor and groceries, stealing landscaping rocks; responses for alarms, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor theft, collisions on city streets, graffiti, someone shooting a BB at a car … and more.

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A 1994 Buick is prepared for towing after it wrecked on Interstate 5 south of Napavine. / Courtesy photo by Kristal Autumn

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Explosion rocks Packwood flea market

Friday, May 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The massive highway-side flea market that Packwood becomes each Memorial Day weekend started off with a bang this morning, in a bad way.

A motorhome exploded right in the middle of the outdoor market, by the Shell gas station, according to Lewis County Fire District 10.

There were no serious injuries.

“There were actually four people in it, it was totaled,” Fire Chief Lonnie Goble said. “It blew the windows out, blew the door off. The people inside were very lucky.”

Firefighters responding about 7:30 a.m. found the ruined RV and four guys sitting off to the side, Goble said.

There were only a couple of minor burns, none had to go to the hospital, he said.

Goble said the four men are from Yakima, and they were in town as vendors, with their motorhome parked adjacent to their vendor site. He didn’t notice what they were selling, he said.

The chief said the men had been cooking breakfast when a heater leaking propane gas caused the blast. The RV didn’t catch fire, he said.

“They said it was very loud and knocked ’em all onto the floor, well, one onto the bed,” he said.

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Packwood mom off to prison for her behavior after school bus mixup

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm
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Cheryl A. Strong listens as lawyers, judge, decide her sentence.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 7-year-old boy was crying, soaking wet and knocking on stranger’s doors asking for help, according to Jacob Clark.

The child was dropped off by a school bus driver in a neighborhood not his own in Packwood and his 48-year-old mother found him after an hour and a half of searching, Clark said.

Cheryl A. Strong left an angry voice message at White Pass school, so alarming the building was placed in lockdown for three hours the following morning when it was heard. So alarming, she was charged and convicted of two felonies and then sentenced this week to three years plus two months in prison.

“The school screwed up; so did my client,” defense attorney Clark said. “She never intended to hurt anyone. If this wasn’t the school she called, we never would have been in court.”

It took a jury less than three hours to find the former grocery store clerk guilty earlier this month of one count each of felony harassment, threats to kill, the school secretary and Rebecca Miner, the district superintendent.

The words that got her jailed: “Sorry Chris, but I’m going to f****** shoot everybody that goes to your f****** school, works there,” according to court documents.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey said he understood the frustration but the phone call led to a lot of fear and trepidation for elementary school children, who don’t understand what’s happening or why.

Brosey said he didn’t understand how the boy was let off at an address other than his new address, but that schools do the best job they can.

“School staff should not have to put up with that kind of abuse,” Brosey said to the mother as she awaited to hear her fate.

He sentenced Strong to 38 months, the middle of the standard sentencing range for her offenses.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Mark McClain asked for two consecutive terms of 43 months, the top of the range. Because of the jury’s special finding the crime affected more than the two victims named, the judge was free to give her the maximum of two five year sentences, one to be served after the other.

Clark had told the judge the circumstances didn’t justify that much time, and noted if his client didn’t have some convictions from when she was younger, the case may have merited about six to 12 months in jail.

It happened in March when the household was in the process of moving from a home on U.S. Highway 12 to another about seven miles away up in the High Valley neighborhood.

Christy Collette, the school secretary, said Strong had changed their address with the school and told them they were going to be moving.

Collette said never was she worried that day the boy was not on the right bus, and that she spoke to Strong that afternoon telling her he was on the other bus and said if Strong didn’t find him, to call her back.

Strong told her son to tell the bus driver he was to get let off at the old bus stop that day, according to the judge.

According to Clark, the child was let out in the High Valley neighborhood at a third address, and wandered around, asking strangers for help until his mother located him.

Strong left the phone message that got her into trouble.

The following morning, school employees ordered a lockdown as soon as they heard it; sheriff’s deputies responded about 7:45 a.m. to the East Lewis County school.

Just before 11 a.m., after Strong had phoned and asked about picking up her son since it was in lockdown, she was told to come on in and  she was taken into custody by a waiting deputy. She was not armed.

Her lawyer asked the judge at sentencing on Monday afternoon to consider what his client had experienced the afternoon prior.

“The day before, no one was around to let Ms. Strong know where her child was,” he said. “Apparently no one’s around at 3:41 (p.m.), so Ms. Strong panicked.

“Did she say something stupid? Absolutely.”

Clark agreed the following day it had an impact on a large number of people, but said law enforcement knew Strong was not at the school, he said.

He noted how over the past dozen years, three large scale traumatic events have occurred involving schools and guns.

“If this wasn’t a school, we probably wouldn’t be here; but it was was,” he told the judge.

White Pass School District Superintendent Miner declined to explain what occurred with the bus ride home that day, noting that she’d given her testimony during the trial.

“I would just say, the school district has the safety of all our students in mind,” she said in a brief telephone interview. “We are always looking to improve.”

Miner said she wouldn’t comment any more specifically, when asked if anyone was reprimanded.

Strong was taken into custody immediately following Monday’s hearing; the judge allowed for a $250,000 appeal bond.

The little boy is with his father having gotten picked up soon after his mother’s arrest and taken to Tuscan, Arizona. A family court hearing is set for tomorrow, and Strong has indicated she wants her family members to step in, as she doesn’t feel that’s a safe place for him, according to the deputy prosecutor and the judge.

Before she was led to the jail, she told the court she was sorry.

“I’d like to apologize for the results of my actions,” Strong said. “I was afraid for my son, I was scared.

“I didn’t mean or intend to hurt anyone.”
•••

For background, read “Packwood bus mixup: Mad mom will get to simmer off behind bars” from Tuesday May 6, 2014, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 10:59 am

Updated at 11:17 a.m.

PUFF PUFF, TAKE THAT

• When a pair of grown brothers who were not getting along called Centralia police to the 1100 block of Cobra Avenue very early this morning, one of them allegedly ripped a cigarette out of his brother’s hand in front of an officer and proceeded to smoke it, prompting his arrest for theft … first-degree, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police say 48-year-old Robeson T. Marvin, from Hoquiam, had earlier been told by police to leave the property and not to return or he would be arrested. However, he went back, confronted his brother and officers responded to a dispute call there at about 2:30 a.m., according to police. Officer John Panco said if one takes something off another person, it is considered theft in the first degree. Unless you use force, then it’s robbery, he said. It’s a a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and / or a $20,000 fine. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

POLICE PURSUIT CENTRALIA

• Centralia police looking for a person on South Silver Street late yesterday afternoon came across a wanted person who led officers on a short chase around city streets at about 5:30 p.m. Officer John Panco said Jose A. Escamilla is a fugitive with multiple felony and misdemeanor warrants. An officer recognized him in the area and not long after, a pursuit began near South Ash and West Cherry streets, finally being terminated near Summa and Woodland Avenue because of the danger posed to the public, according to the Centralia Police Department. The 19-year-old, also known as Angel, remains at large but now faces a possible charge of eluding, according to police.

TWO SELF STORAGE BUSINESSES HIT WITH THEFT

• A 54-year-old Chehalis man reported yesterday someone got into his unit at Chehalis Mini Storage on the 200 block of Interstate Avenue in Chehalis and stole numerous items, including a compressor, a chainsaw, electric hedge trimmers, a leaf blower and a heater. Forced entry was made and evidence at the scene was collected, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The break-in occurred sometime since last Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A deputy was called yesterday to Reynolds Avenue where someone had broken into a storage unit and left various valuable property untouched, but made off with paperwork containing financial and personal information. The lock was cut at Centralia Self Storage and no other units were affected, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened between 11:30 a.m. on Monday and 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

DRUGS

• A 33-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested yesterday evening or possession of methamphetamine and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Michael R. Chown was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with police at the 1200 block of Alder Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

MESSAGE ON CAR DRAWS POLICE

• Chehalis police were called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday to the parking lot at the Lewis County Mall on Hampe Way regarding a threatening note left on the windshield of a vehicle. The message included the phrase, ” … karma is a bitc*,” according to police. Police have no firm suspect so a report was taken for informational purposes only, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THREE-FER

• A Rochester resident and two homeless individuals all wanted on various warrants were arrested last night when they were found hiding in a garage on the 1000 block of South Tower Avenue. Booked into the Lewis County Jail after the approximately 9:15 p.m. discovery were Jacob R. Woods, 39, Alyssa E. Taylor, 26, and then Max A. Lyons, 24, from Rochester, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence, resisting arrest; responses for suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets, to assist a pregnant homeless woman with no place to sleep, to help a pedestrian on a trek long enough there were foot blisters and then a trip to the hospital; complaints of teens smoking pot  … and more.

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Logging accident claims Winlock teen

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Winlock teenager working in the woods with his father and a small crew was killed this morning when he was crushed by a piece of logging equipment south of Boistfort.

Aid and deputies were called about 11:42 a.m. to the scene, about 14 miles off Pe Ell McDonald Road, on property owned by Green Diamond Resource Co.

The sheriff’s office said the 18-year-old was setting chokers for a logging operation when a carriage was accidentally lowered onto him, killing him instantly.

“When Fire District 13 showed up, there was nothing we could do,” Lewis County Fire District 13 Assistant Chief Rick Eades said.

Eades described the carriage as a metal piece probably six feet long and not very wide that travels along a cable to assist in retrieving logs. He estimated it weighed two tons.

The terrain was very steep where they were working, Eades said.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod identified the young man as Cole Bostwick.

It happened on the 4700 Line, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

He was working for ENB Logging and Trucking, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

The state Department of Labor and Industries was notified and presumably will be conducting an investigation.

It’s the fourth logging death in Lewis County this year.

In mid-January, 63-year-old Alex Oberg, of Toledo, was killed while cutting timber alone in the Toledo area. The sheriff’s office said a tree fell onto Oberg as he was employing a “domino” tree falling technique.

A month later, 21-year-old Tyler Bryan, also from Toledo, was working north of Morton when – according to the initial information from the sheriff’s office – a log being pulled up a slope by a cable began spinning and struck him.

Then in March, John B. Leonard, 69, died after he was struck by a long limb while logging in Salkum.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 1:17 pm

HAZARDOUS LITTLE HEIST

• Someone managed to break into a Lewis County PUD-owned electrical junction box in Randle and pilfer parts while the wiring was still hot. Three adaptors stolen from inside the metal box along the 1300 block of Falls Road are believed to have been removed around 3 a.m. on May 11, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown indicated it is not known how the feat was accomplished – or how it only now came to light –  but the culprit may have possessed special tools. The loss is estimated at $500, Brown said.

HOMEMADE BANK NOTES

• Chehalis police were called about noon yesterday to a bank on the 400 block of North Market Boulevard when a customer trying to cash three money orders for $875 each got “a little belligerent” when he was told they didn’t appear real. He wanted them back, the teller said no and he left, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

HANDBAG TAKEN

• Centralia police took a report about 9 a.m. yesterday of a purse stolen from the 1300 block of Alexander Street.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, protection order violation; responses for alarms, suspicious circumstances, misdemeanor theft such as tailgate from truck, cell phone; complaints of customers failing to return rented items, chickens wandering loose in their neighbor’s yard, parent late dropping off children to other parent … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm

MAN HEADS OFF OWN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME, SORT OF

• A 32-year-old Centralia resident was so angry, he asked a neighbor to call 911 as he argued with his girlfriend yesterday, but then he brought out a knife. Police responding about 7:35 p.m. to the home on the 1900 block of Honeysuckle Lane learned she had confronted him the night before – something regarding a disagreement about her mother, police said – and then late yesterday they fought about it some more. He was intoxicated, Officer John Panco said. At one point he requested that police be summoned, because “he was about to murder her,” police said. Christopher L. Fee reportedly said he gave up and went inside, only to return to the front yard with a large kitchen knife, pulling it on his girlfriend, her daughter and two others, according to Panco. When officers arrived, Fee turned around and threw down the weapon, Panco said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for four counts of second-degree assault, according to police.

FAILED ATTEMPT TO STAY OUT OF JAIL

• A 29-year-old Yelm man with outstanding warrants – and suspected drugs on him – declined to pull over yesterday when a Centralia officer tried to stop him for a defective exhaust and a broken windshield, leading to a short pursuit at the north end of town. It happened around noontime and began near North Pearl Avenue and West Sixth Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. When they got to the 1400 block of Crescent Avenue, the driver bailed out leaving his vehicle to roll and bump into another car, Officer John Panco said. “The officer was able to catch him and found some suspected meth, and also (possibly) heroin,” Panco said. Andrew P. Rasmussen was booked into the Lewis County Jail for attempting to elude and possession of methamphetamine, and his warrants, according to police.

DAYTIME BURGLARY IN CENTRALIA

• The front door was found broken and an office ransacked at a building on the 1700 block of Van Wormer Street in Centralia yesterday evening. A responding officer was told it happened between 7:15 a.m. and 6 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department. It was immediately clear if anything was stolen, Officer John Panco said.

BREAKING GLASS

• Another window to a vehicle was found busted out, this one on the 500 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday afternoon.

• Someone shot a BB hole into a window and door of a home on the 1300 block of Rose Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police at noon yesterday.

• Chehalis police were called to a church on the 100 block of South Market Boulevard about 9 o’clock yesterday morning where nearly a dozen second story windows were found shot with BBs. It occurred sometime between Wednesday and Sunday morning, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, protection order violation; responses for disputes, collision on city streets, parking lot hit and run, misdemeanor theft such as lawn rocks, a mini bike; complaints of car egged … and more.

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Read about Grand Mound robbery suspect arrested …

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 1:46 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports the suspected getaway driver and her boyfriend who is believed to have robbed the Grand Mound AM/PM store a week ago are both in custody.

News reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes that Lyndsey Cox, 27, was arrested at a Shelton residence on Friday and the 36-year-old Shelton man was captured by a police dog after he reportedly jumped out a window, stole a vehicle and then crashed it in Mason County.

Thurston County sheriff’s deputies were called about 11:40 p.m. the night of May 12 where the clerk said a man wearing a red bandana over his face came inside pointing a handgun toward her, demanding money.

The store and gas station sits at the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and Old Highway 99 not far from Interstate 5.

A Chevron store in Tumwater was robbed just hours earlier by a similarly clad subject.

Read about it here

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News brief: Does this look like a pipe bomb to you?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The streets around the Chehalis Fire Department are blocked off after a man showed up with what appeared to be a pipe bomb this morning.

He found it in his storage unit on Jackson Highway and took it to the downtown station, but left it inside his van, according to authorities.

Firefighters earlier this morning requested an officer respond and the arriving officer decided the device was a possible explosive according to the Chehalis Police Department.

The Washington State Patrol bomb squad is on the scene.

The man’s vehicle is parked outside the building on Northwest Park Street. The brick building is not evacuated.

Firefighters had already moved all their engines outside to a nearby intersection, so they are not prevented from answering emergency calls, Firefighter Kevin Reynolds said.

The state patrol is getting ready to dispose of it, Reynolds said shortly after 12 noon.

The incident began in the 9 o’clock hour, and there is no timeline for them to be finished, according to Reynolds.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Updated at 9:53 p.m.

MUGGED BY DRINKING BUDDY

• Chehalis police were called about 2:20 a.m. yesterday when a guy who been buying drinks for a 36-year-old Chehalis man reportedly grabbed his wallet and ran away. Police believe it occurred after they left a bar on the 400 block of North Market Boulevard, but the victim was somewhat intoxicated, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Department spokesperson Linda Bailey said officers learned they were headed to an apartment to continue drinking and the thief asked if he could borrow a few dollars. When the victim got the wallet out, he was robbed of about $1,500, according to Bailey. The incident is under investigation, she said.

VIOLENCE

• Centralia police forced their way into a house and arrested two individuals during a dispute about 4:15 a.m. on Saturday at the 500 block of East Main Street after a 36-year-old man looking for his girlfriend allegedly barged in and threatened to kill two occupants. Responding officers were told someone heard a commotion and mention of a baseball bat, according to police. Officers responding to the scene heard the deadly threat and then a fight, prompting their entry, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police concluded Byron F. Jackson, 36, from Los Angeles has kicked in the door, and that the girlfriend was not inside, according to police. Jackson was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault and burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department. Also involved and booked was Sean M. Pippin, 21, Centralia, who was arrested for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, according to police. Jackson was charged in court today with two counts of second-degree assault, burglary and harassment.

VIOLENCE

• A passing motorist helped a 20-year-old mother who crawled out a bedroom window with her baby after locking herself in a bedroom to get away from her boyfriend on the 3100 block of Jackson Highway south of Chehalis on Friday evening. Police and deputies called about 5:15 p.m. about the domestic dispute were told the 22-year-old committed misdemeanor assault but then prevented the mother of his child from leaving, at one point holding a rifle to his chin, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. They were arguing over infidelity, according to the sheriff’s office. The motorist helped the woman get her car from the driveway so she could leave, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Deputies could not locate the suspect, so they are asking prosecutors to file charges of unlawful imprisonment and fourth-degree assault, according to Brown.

VIOLENCE

• A 53-year-old Onalaska man who allegedly threatened his roommate if she reported a misdemeanor assault is wanted for felony harassment following an incident on Friday night at a residence on the 400 block of Gore Road. Deputies arriving just after 9 p.m. found the 41-year-old victim with cuts and scratches on her elbow from being shoved against a wall, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. When she said she was calling police, he reportedly told her if she did he would kill her after he got released, according to the sheriff’s office. Law enforcement could not find the suspect, so they’ve asked prosecutors to charge him with felony harassment, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning.

VIOLENCE

• Chehalis police were called when a pair of boxer dogs chased chickens through their yard on the 1800 block of Southeast Magnolia Drive yesterday and a third dog was caught with a chicken in its mouth. Officers responding about 3:30 p.m. learned a 17-year-old girl was getting their leashes and didn’t realize a door to her home was ajar. One adult bolted and another along with a pup followed, according to Chehalis Police Department. The chickens’ owner has a coop but the poultry was roaming freely in his yard, police said. Department spokesperson Linda Bailey said the girl’s parents arrived and very cooperative and very sorry. The one chicken was severely injured, she said.

VIOLENCE

• Police responding about 3 p.m. on Friday to the 900 block of South Schueber Road in Centralia arrested one person for third-degree assault. Calee F. Anderson, 33, from Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• About $6,000 worth of different kinds of tools and equipment were stolen from a dwelling under construction at the 100 block of Snodgrass Road near Salkum. A deputy responding yesterday evening learned that sometime since last weekend someone broke a window on ad door to get inside and left with a floor jack, a sander, a nail gun, extension cords and other items, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

THEFT

• More than $1,200 worth of items including two Stihl chainsaws were apparently carted off in the victim’s green metal wheelbarrow from vacation property at Teal Lake near Packwood. A deputy responding about 3:30 p.m. on Friday learned two outbuildings were entered in the gated area, sometime after May 4, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

THEFT

• Jewelry was reported stolen from an address on the 1700 block of Providence Lane in Centralia on Friday morning, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• Storage totes were reported stolen from inside a gated area behind a locked gate at the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia yesterday.

DRUGS

• Centralia police responding about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to a report of a dispute in a trailer at the 1200 block of Alder Street say they heard something being slammed around inside and ended up arresting the resident for possession of methamphetamine. Officer John Panco said the 39-year-old resident answered his door but when he saw it was police, attempted to shut them out. However, an officer grabbed a hold of him and pulled him outside, Panco said. Benjamin T. Vanderburg  was taken into custody for obstructing and subsequently some suspected meth was found in his pocket, according to police. Vanderburg was booked int to the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Panco didn’t have further information about what may have been going on inside.

• A 48-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested for possession of heroin after contact with an officer about 8:15 p.m. on Friday at the 400 block of North Ash Street in Centralia. Kelley J. Teshara was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PROWLING THEFT

• Centralia police called about 4 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of View Avenue took a report of a vehicle prowl that occurred while the victim was at work.

• An officer took a report about 1 p.m. yesterday from the 100 block of High Street in Centralia regarding a vehicle broken into while parked in the lot at the shopping center.

• A fishing pole, tackle box and a GPS device were missing after a  vehicle prowl on the 900 block of South Schueber Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police called about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday to the 800 block of Long Road about windows getting broken out a vehicle noted there were numerous similar incidents around the city. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office this morning said deputies learned of four cases of windows smashed on cars, occurring between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Saturday along Joppish Road, Blanchard Road, Elma Road and Lemar Lane.

WANTED PE ELL MAN DISCOVERED HIDING IN RESIDENCE

• The 43-year-old Pe Ell man sought after he allegedly pointed a handgun at his estranged wife’s boyfriend last Thursday night was found by a detective the following day hiding in a house on Katula Road east of town, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.  Jeremy J. Smith was booked into jail for two counts of first-degree assault but he was charged today instead with two counts of second-degree assault. It happened around 8 p.m. at the 500 block of Main Street in Pe Ell when Corina Smith and Brian West were picking up the West’s daughter at her grandmother’s home, according to authorities. After the 8-year-old got into the car, Jeremy Smith allegedly approached, pulled a snub-nosed .38 revolver from his pocket, aimed it and threatened to blow the boyfriend’s head off. The sheriff’s office initially indicated the estranged wife pushed him over and they wrestled, before Jeremy Smith ran off. Charging documents state she along with a neighbor Jesse Wood shoved him. Corina Smith told a deputy that at some point during her intervention, the gun was aimed at her, according to charging documents. Jeremy Smith’s pistol and shotgun were reportedly found in the back of Wood’s car. Jeremy Smith is also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, as he has a 2005 drug possession conviction. His bail is set at $150,000. The sheriff’s office has said the disagreement began earlier during a game at the baseball field in Pe Ell and was related to the child’s plans for after school the following day. His arraignment is set for Thursday morning.

FIRED OFFICER BACK ON THE JOB

• Fired Centralia police officer Phillip Reynolds returned to work today following the reversal of his termination by an arbitrator. He’ll be limited to office work until he gets recertified, according to the Centralia Police Department. Reynolds was let go two years ago for excessive force involving use of his Taser and various performance issues, after six years with the department.

HOUSE BURNS WEST OF ADNA

• A fire investigator today is looking into the cause of an evening blaze that caused an estimated $150,000 damage to a house west of Adna.  Firefighters called about 5:45 p.m. yesterday to the 1200 block of Ceres Hill Road found flames coming out two windows and were able to knock the worst of it down fairly quickly, Chehalis Fire Department Firefighter Derrick Paul said. They were joined by Lewis County Fire District 6 and got it out within about an hour, he said. The master bedroom, bathroom and closet area burned but the entire home sustained smoke damage, Paul said. The resident was out in the yard planting flowers when she smelled smoke, heard the alarm and then opened the front door to see smoke, according to Paul. One cat perished, he said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, protection order violation; responses for alarms, disputes, erratic vehicle, disorderly patient, collision on city streets, scary-looking person sitting outside a store, shoplifting and other misdemeanor theft including liquor and prescription medications; complaints of cars and house egged … and more.

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School bus driver, children sickened by pepper spray on freeway in Chehalis

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A middle school field trip to Mount St. Helens today was delayed when the bus driver was overcome by pepper spray discharged by a 13-year-old on the bus as they traveled down Interstate 5 through Chehalis.

The 28-year-old driver began to have problems breathing and was able to safely pull the bus over near the Labree Road interchange before she became overwhelmed, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The bus was carrying 46 children from Tumwater, according to the state patrol. It happened about 9:30 a.m.

Five of them plus the driver were treated for exposure; she was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, Sgt. Doug Pardue said in a news release.

Pardue noted three of the students received medical attention, but it’s not clear what that was beyond being examined by first responders.

Troopers determined the 13-year-old who sprayed it gave it to a 12-year-old to hide, who passed it another 12-year-old, according to the state patrol.

The district sent another bus to retrieve the students who were able to continue on with the field trip, according to Pardue.

The three were taken back to Tumwater and released to school officials, he stated.

The incident remains under investigation.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE …

• Firefighters are gathering in the Boistfort Valley this morning to burn down a house. It’s a practice event, with a donated residence on the 100 block of Lost Valley Road, according to Lewis County Fire District 13. Chief Gregg Peterson says they expect to wrap up about 3 o’clock this afternoon.

PARKS, GUNS AND THE LAW

• Chehalis police were called about 7:25 p.m. on Wednesday to Recreation Park about a man with a gun. It turns out the city of Chehalis has a ban on carrying firearms in city parks, but it’s not enforceable. The officer was caught a little of guard, Chehalis Police Department Chief Glenn Schaffer said. When the officer arrived to the 200 block of Southwest 13th Street, a citizen had pulled up the city’s municipal code on their phone and showed it to him, Schaffer said. “We hadn’t dealt with it in so long, we didn’t realize it was still on the books,” he said. There was a time when it was prohibited, he said, but court rulings in a Seattle case a few years back made it clear cities don’t have the authority to ban guns in parks, he said. The chief said he was going to talk with the city attorney right away and get the ordinance repealed. In the past, the offense was a misdemeanor. “They didn’t arrest him, they did the right thing,” Schaffer said. “Just had a conversation.”

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm

TWO WANTED AFTER GUN PULLED ON WIFE’S BOYFRIEND IN PE ELL

• A 39-year-old woman escaped apparently unharmed when she intervened in an armed dispute involving her estranged husband and her boyfriend last night in Pe Ell. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says the couple arrived to pick up a child at the 500 block of Main Street when an enraged 43-year-old Jeremy J. Smith came walking across the yard carrying a baseball bat, but then produced a handgun which he pointed at her boyfriend who was about 20 feet away. He threatened to blow his “f’ing head off, according to the sheriff’s office. The woman was close enough to Smith she was able to push him to the ground and a brief struggle ensued, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Smith then left the area on foot, according to Brown. Brown said the dispute was regarding something to do with one of the children, and Smith had made a similar threat to the 41-year-old boyfriend earlier during a game at the baseball field in Pe Ell. Deputies called to the west Lewis County town at 8 p.m. weren’t able to find Smith, who is now wanted for two counts of first-degree assault. A deputy was told the weapon at one point during the struggle was pointed at the 39-year-old woman, who expressed she fear she would be shot, Brown said. The sheriff’s office is also looking for Smith’s girlfriend, Melissa A. Nacht, 37, also of Pe Ell, as they believe she hid his gun in a car for him. The sheriff’s office is asking anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Smith or Nacht to contact them, or contact Lewis County Crime Stoppers.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 9:15 a.m. yesterday to the 400 block of Jackson Street for an overnight vehicle prowl in which some change was stolen.

YARD ART THEFT

• A statue was stolen from a yard on the 200 block of Hemlock Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday. This follows two recent thefts from Centralia porches of a stone lion and a ceramic frog.

FIVE-VEHICLE COLLISION

• A 22-year-old Winlock woman was arrested last night after she was allegedly intoxicated and behind the wheel of a co-worker’s vehicle when she slammed into four parked cars at the 900 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Police responding about 7:15 p.m. arrested Ancelma Ramirez-Lamas and booked her into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police are recommending numerous charges including driving under the influence, with a suspended license and without a required ignition interlock device.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, driving without a license, misdemeanor assault, trespass; responses for alarms, disputes, possibly drunk drivers; complaint about unmowed lawn … and more.