Posts Tagged ‘By Sharyn L. Decker’

News brief: Mineral timber fire still burns

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Smoke rises from hillside across from Mineral Lake. /Courtesy photo by Moira J. Thomas-Fisk McCreery

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Some 55 personnel worked the Mineral area wildfire today which has made its way into mature timber but a couple days of work still remain, according to a spokesperson from the state Department of Natural Resources.

At mid-day, the scorched area was measured at about six acres and the fire 25 percent contained, spokesperson Nick Cronquist of DNR said.

Lewis County Fire District 9 Chief Kevin Mounce said it was about 6 p.m. on Sunday when he looked out a window and saw smoke rising from just to the northwest of the Mineral Lake Lodge, in a clearcut on private property.

Carolyn McKelvie who owns and operates the lodge said it was about that same time she smelled smoke and checked every room in her building.

“My guests had just had a wedding and were down at the lake,” McKelvie said. “They saw flames and came running up the hill.”

The lodge is on the 100 block of Mineral Hill Road across the street from the lake.

The fire came less than a quarter mile from her place but crews have built a large fire break to protect it, McKelvie said today.

Mounce called upon fellow fire departments in Glenoma and Morton to assist and then DNR arrived about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. He turned the scene over to the state agency, he said.

DNR dealt with the fire overnight and yesterday morning it flared up and grew, he said.

“The winds came up around 9:30 or 10 and it started taking off on us then,” Mounce said.

DNR brought in two helicopters yesterday which dropped water on the flames for much of the day, according to Mounce. The terrain is described as very steep.

Today, DNR utilized three hand crews, three engines and a dozer, according to Cronquist. The helicopters remain on standby.

This afternoon, Cronquist characterized the spread potential as very low.


Two helicopters use water from Mineral Lake to suppress fire across the road on Monday. / Courtesy photo by Carolyn McKelvie

Portland resident hurt while base jumping south of Randle

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Rescuers tend to injured base jumper below Tower Rock outside of Randle. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 14

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 38-year-old Portland man was seriously injured when his parachute didn’t fully deploy as he base jumped from a 3,300 foot tall rock in the forest miles south of Randle yesterday.

A witness saw the man hit the rock wall several times on the way down before disappearing into the timber, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The Randle Fire Department was called about 11:45 a.m., hiked the steep terrain and reached the patent by 2 p.m., according to Fire Chief Jeff Jaques.

His two friends had hiked to the base of the mountain where they found him bleeding, with multiple fractures to his lower legs, the sheriff’s office reports. One had hiked out to call 911.

Jaques reports the patient was conscious.

A U.S. Navy helicopter from Whidbey Island responded to hoist the jumper, according to the sheriff’s office.

He was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Jaques reports his injuries were serious. Sheriff’s Office Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown reports he was critical.

Tower Rock is located in the Cispus Valley near the Cispus Environmental Center.

The rescue effort included members of Lewis County Fire District 14, Lewis County Search and Rescue, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Airlift Northwest personnel and two volunteers from the CIspus Learning Center.

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Tower Rock south of Randle. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Updated at 8:53 p.m.


• A Napavine police officer was injured when he tripped while chasing a naked man through a field in the dark this weekend. “I’m still trying to piece a lot of it together,” Napavine Police Chief Chris Salyers said. It began around 10 p.m. on Friday with a call about a suspicious person in a car stopped in the middle of the road on the the 400 block of Eighth Avenue in Napavine, Salyers said. The officer and the motorist engaged in a short pursuit, like around the block, and when the man stopped, he was completely naked, Salyers said. The officer had put one cuff on the man when a struggle ensued and the man took off running, he said. When they came to a raised driveway, they both tripped and the man got away, he said. Salyers said he knows who the individual is but not why he was driving around nude. The police chief is putting together an arrest warrant this afternoon, the details of which weren’t shared.


• Police were called yesterday about a 71-year-old Centralia woman whose backpack had been stolen when she left it near the door of a Chehalis retailer while she shopped, as required by store policy. Information from the Dollar store at the Twin City Town Center showed a white male with long brown hair pulled back into a pony tail picked up the pack and then got into an older blue four-wheel drive pickup truck, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The theft had taken place two days earlier, according to police. Among the items she lost were clothing, identification, a  bank card and cash, according to police.


• Chehalis police were called about 11:30 p.m. yesterday to the 1700 block of South Market Boulevard by a woman regarding a physical dispute. The case is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 47-year-old Morton man who allegedly threatened to kill his girlfriend with a hammer was arrested yesterday after deputies were called to the 200 block of Riffe Hill Road. Arriving deputies found the victim bruised but otherwise unhurt and learned Adam P. Rambur had taken to the woods, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He walked out and gave himself up when a police dog was brought in, Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber said. Rambur was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, but prosecutors subsequently charged him instead with misdemeanor assault, felony harassment and unlawful imprisonment. Seiber said the suspect did not hit the woman with the hammer. His bail was set at $25,000 this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.


• A 22-year-old homeless woman from Centralia was jailed for assault after she allegedly filled a urine sample cup as requested at Providence Centralia Hospital but threw it onto a nurse over the weekend. Charging documents indicate that late on Saturday night Erica A. Montes was arrested by an unspecified law enforcement agency for disorderly conduct and transported to the hospital to be medically cleared. Montes was booked into the Lewis County Jail and subsequently charged with third-degree assault. Given the unemployed young woman’s lack of criminal history, Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer requested her bail be set with a $10,000 unsecured bond. A judge agreed.


• A deputy took a report yesterday that someone stole several power tools from a home on the 700 block of Park Road in Vader sometime during the previous week, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $800.


• Someone stole a refrigerator and a shop vac from a home on the 100 block of Knowles Road outside Winlock sometime during the week that ended yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy responding yesterday noted the value was about $600.


• Centralia police said this morning someone got into a garage where an engine was being rebuilt on the 3000 block of Russell Road and stole a turbo and a manifold. A report taken on Friday morning indicates the loss is estimated at $2,500, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Police were called about 5:15 a.m. today to the 400 block of East Maple Street in Centralia by a woman who said someone stole her husband’s blue lunchbox out of his vehicle.

• Centralia police were called early yesterday morning by a citizen who said her boyfriend was holding a woman at gunpoint that he’d discovered going through his vehicle and an officer subsequently tracked down a woman hiding behind a woodpile in an alley near along the 1200 block of Elm Street. According to charging documents, the woman had fled south on Yew Street and when she was contacted, said she’d been hiding from her boyfriend. A police dog located a backpack she dropped along the way and inside was a glass pipe with suspected meth residue, according to the court documents. Anna M. Gibson, 31, from Winlock, was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged today with possession of methamphetamine and second-degree vehicle prowl. Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher told a judge this afternoon Gibson had been accepted into Lewis County Drug Court but not yet undergone treatment. He asked a judge for $20,000 bail, indicating he’d been in contact with the drug court, and the thinking was to fold the new case into her existing case. “If she’s going to be a successful drug court candidate, she needs to be held in custody,” Meagher said. The judge agreed with the bail. Gibson is in drug court because of a charge of second-degree theft and organized retail theft, and has three previous drug convictions, according to charging documents.


• Chehalis police took a report on Friday morning from the 2000 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue that someone siphoned gas from a vehicle belonging to the Lewis County Public Works Department.


• Police were called about 7 a.m. yesterday to the 600 block of West Main Street where an employee of the Food Mart found someone had cut the front tire of their vehicle.


• A 36-year-old woman from Mossyrock was arrested for disorderly conduct following a report about 1:45 p.m. on Saturday that she was outside throwing her shoes at the jail in Chehalis. An arriving officer found her across Southwest Chehalis Avenue yelling at workers there, and the woman, who was speaking rapidly and not make any sense, then crossed the street forcing traffic to stop, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Heather L. Villalba was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.


• At least four Centralia police officers spent about an hour of their Saturday night trying to catch up to a bull that made its way from near the fairgrounds to an area north of Harrison Avenue just east of Interstate 5. It began with a call at 7:50  p.m. that the animal was behind a home on the 1500 block of South Gold Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. Residents reported it circling an apartment complex near Plummers Lake and trotting down and across Harrison Avenue to the Nike Outlet store and then detouring to Wendy’s burger restaurant and Papa Pete’s pizza place, followed by patrol cars with their lights activated. “They were trying to corral it, block it, so it would not get on to the freeway,” Officer Patty Finch said. “But we’re not bull catchers.” Finch said she couldn’t confirm if the animal swam from the lake’s boat launch or circled by land. The bull was last seen about 9 p.m. heading into the woods at Sunset Way off Eckerson Avenue, according to Finch. She said she didn’t know where it belonged.


• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning that the homeless person suspected of causing a brush fire in Onalaska on Friday morning was apprehended about five hours later, when he was located walking down Leonard Road. Luke U. Hall, 32, tried to fight a deputy and hit the deputy in the head, drawing several other deputies to physically take him into custody, Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber said. Firefighters called about 7 a.m. that day to a previously logged and then replanted area near Middle Fork Road and Centralia-Alpha Road found a brush fire that encompassed an area of about 40 feet by 40 feet, as well as the remains of a tent, according to Lewis County Fire District 1. “It had gotten into a stump with a lot of pitch in it, so DNR also came out,” Fire Chief Mark Conner said. The sheriff’s office originally reported the fire as much larger. Authorities suspected Hall may have had a campfire going to keep warm. He was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault, felony harassment, resisting arrest, reckless burning and trespassing, according to Seiber.


• Firefighters were called about 3:25 p.m. yesterday when a motorcyclist struck a tree on Pleasant Valley Road near Conrad Road near Napavine. He was conscious and alert, but transported to Providence Centralia Hospital for suspected internal injuries, according to Lewis County Fire District 5.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  shoplifting, driver in physical control of vehicle while intoxicated; responses for alarms, domestic dispute, misdemeanor assault, suspicious persons, collision on city street, counterfeit $20 bills getting passed, requests to have persons sleeping or intoxicated in public to be checked and / or move along, a late-night request for an officer by a slurring male from near a tavern who said they wouldn’t let him drink anymore, a possible house fire in Onalaska that turned out to be a smoker on the front porch … and more.

News brief: Wildfire burning in Mineral

Monday, September 8th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters are actively working a fire this morning that ignited off Mineral Hill Road in Mineral yesterday.

Personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources were called about 6 p.m. to the scene, where it was slowly creeping up a timbered slope, according to a DNR spokesperson.

Last night they continued to mop up and they are out there again today, spokesperson Janet Pierce said. It was estimated at 2.8 acres, she said.

A DNR dispatcher in Castle Rock this morning said it started in a clearcut on mostly flat ground, but firefighters are working also on a pretty steep incline. She said she didn’t have a “size up” yet this morning.

Witness against local pain pill dealer sentenced to time served

Sunday, September 7th, 2014


By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Napavine woman accused of being now-convicted drug dealer Forrest Amos’s “right hand woman” has settled her case with prosecutors and been ordered to get an evaluation and treatment for substance abuse.

Jennifer Lantau, now, 30, was charged in May of last year with dealing in Oxycodone, and became an informant for police, according to court documents. She’s the individual prosecutors contended assisted Amos to continue his drug trafficking while he was behind bars.

“She was, at his request and on her own behalf to fund her prescription pill addiction,” Lewis County prosecutors wrote in charging documents.

Lantau was charged with three counts of delivery of Oxycodone occurring in the spring of 2013, one count of attempted possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, as well as possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and straight possession of marijuana and originally held on $100,000 bail.

However, by last October, Lantau agreed to become a “cooperating witness” against her boyfriend.

Amos was sentenced last month to 12 years behind bars for a multitude of offenses based on a lengthy investigation by Centralia police. Law enforcement estimated that in 2011 when he was aggressively dealing Oxycodone, that he was the main supplier of the synthetic opiate within Lewis County, possessing and dealing thousands of pills a month.

Lantau didn’t have to testify against Amos, as instead of a trial, he entered into a plea agreement. He was sentenced on Aug. 20.

Lantau appeared in Lewis County Superior Court last week to be sentenced for for lesser charges, just two counts of possession of Oxycodone, and one count of felony possession of marijuana. She was given 36 days in jail for each and given credit for the time already served, according to court documents.

She was free to leave after Wednesday’s hearing, but will remain under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections for 12 months, according to Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer.

“The fact that we had her as a cooperating witness is part of what helped us settle with Forrest Amos,” Meyer said.

For background, read “News brief: Local oxycodone dealer goes back to prison” from Thursday Aug. 21, 2014, here

News brief: Meet Chehalis fire chief candidates

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – It will probably take a week or so before a new fire chief will be decided upon for the city of Chehalis after tomorrow’s day of interviewing the three finalists, according to Chehalis City Manager Merlin MacReynold.

Jeff Larson

The change comes almost six months after the departure of halftime chief, Jim Walkowski who was also head of neighboring Riverside Fire Authority in Centralia but moved to Spokane County to take a new job. Capt. Rob Gebhart is serving as interim chief.

MacReynold said the city interviewed about a half dozen candidates and any one of the three remaining could do the job.

“But what’s important is they’re a good fit for the community,” MacReynold said.

Joseph Sands

Which is why tomorrow each will be interviewed by four different panels and then by MacReynold. Then at 4:30 p.m., the city council and the public will get to meet them, he said.

“At the council meeting, we’ll have them get up and talk about their experience and why they’re interested in coming to Chehalis,” he said.

The pay is in the high $80,000s per year, according to MacReynold. The Chehalis Fire Department has 14 employees.

The three men are:

Gary Woodson

• Jeff Larson, who for the past 13 years has been fire suppression battalion chief with the city of Lodi, California. Involved in the fire service almost 30 years.

• Joseph Sands is an engineer-paramedic in Billings, Montana, serving previously in several locations in positions that have included assistant chief and interim chief. Has more than 22 years experience of emergency service.

• Gary Woodson, former fire chief for Pendleton, Ore. Fire and Ambulance Department where he started in 2010. Involved in the fire service since 1974.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, September 7th, 2014


• Centralia police were called to a dispute at a tavern on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue yesterday evening where one patron reportedly threw a large rock at another, causing a head and shoulder injury. The suspect had left and was not located, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Aid was called about 10 p.m. on Friday to the 400 block of Eighth Avenue in Napavine for an injured officer. The officer was taken to the hospital with minor injuries related to a foot pursuit following a call about a suspicious man in a car in the area, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. Further details were not readily available.


• Centralia police reported yesterday a stolen vehicle was recovered the day before which had been abandoned in a parking lot on the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue.


• Centralia police were called yesterday morning about overnight vehicle prowls on the 1500 block of Belmont Avenue and on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue.


• Firefighters were called to the Toledo Airport yesterday at about noon following a skydiving accident in which a young man made a hard landing. He did come down in the planned landing area, according to Lewis County Fire District 2. The patient was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with non-life threatening injuries, Chief Grant Wiltbank said.


• Centralia police reported yesterday that the injuries to a bicyclist were minor when they and a vehicle collided at Belmont Street and Harrison Avenue just before 6 p.m. the day before.

• A pair of Chehalis residents were injured when their motorcycle hit a deer on state Route 6 in Pacific County yesterday evening, sending the Kawasaki ZX600F down an embankment and ejecting both of them. Troopers called about 7:30 p.m. to the area approximately 14 miles east of Raymond, near Half Moon Creek Road, report they were both wearing helmets. Karen Spurgeon, 44, and Leland J. Tarver, 44, were both taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol. She was flown there and he was transported by ambulance, according to the state patrol.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence … and more.

Ricky Riffe makes Alford plea in 1980s child sex abuse case

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Ricky A. Riffe, in red, waits as his lawyer John Crowley and Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer finish up paperwork during hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The former Mossyrock man who is imprisoned for more than a century in a long unsolved Lewis County double murder struck a plea deal in a second old case that was revived while he awaited trial last year.

Ricky A. Riffe was convicted last autumn in the 1985 kidnapping, robbery and shotgun deaths of an elderly Ethel couple, Ed and Minnie Maurin. Just months after he was brought from his home in Alaska, prosecutors filed charges Riffe had sexually abused his 9-year-old step-daughter in the mid-1980s.

Had he lost in the trial that was to begin next week in Lewis County Superior Court, he would have faced a mandatory minimum of 20 years for the alleged statutory rape and indecent liberties, according to his lawyer.

Last week, defense attorney John Crowley said, he put together a proposal to help both sides get what they wanted in the case, and then called Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer .

Prosecutors dropped the rape charge and the now-55-year-old made an Alford plea yesterday, not admitting any guilt. The court hearing was very short.

“He feels very strongly he would not get a fair trial,” Crowley said yesterday outside the courtroom. “He had no hope of a fair trial, period.”

His client believes he will win his appeal in the Maurin case, and then will have the opportunity to return to court for a re-sentencing in the sex case, where he would face a standard sentencing range of just 12 to 14 months, because he would have fewer criminal history “points”, his lawyer said.

Meyer was pleased with the arrangement as well, noting it wouldn’t have been an easy case to take to trial, relying on witness memories from events of 30 years ago.

“We look at this as a win, win,” Meyer said. “Because it gives finality to the case.”

The victim was in agreement with the deal, he said.

A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled, as the parties have to wait for a pre-sentence review from the state Department of Corrections who will give their recommendation of how much time he should serve.

As part of the deal, Riffe gave up his right to appeal yesterday’s conviction. He also gave up his rights to seek any further reviews or appeals of his convictions in the Maurin case, beyond the appeal that is already underway, Meyer said.

He was convicted by a jury last Nov. 18, as charged, of two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery as well as one count of burglary. All were first-degree. The jury also found the crimes involved particularly vulnerable victims, deliberate cruelty and that the defendant showed an egregious lack of remorse. The judge gave him the longest sentence allowable under the law, 1,234 months.

Prosecutors persuaded the jury that he at the very least was an accomplice to their other longtime suspect who was deceased, his younger brother John Gregory Riffe.

Riffe is serving his sentence at Walla Walla State Penitentiary.

He maintains he’s innocent in both cases.

“He specifically said he didn’t do it,” Crowley said yesterday afternoon of the child sex crime.

Crowley said not only was it investigated back when the allegations were first made and the county prosecutor declined to file charges, but that Riffe willingly took a lie detector test and passed.

The Seattle-based defense attorney contended the sexual abuse charges were a ploy to smear his client, in a small community that was closely following the news of the coming double murder trial.

When Riffe is sentenced, he faces a standard sentencing range of 57 months to 75 months.


For background, read:

• “Attorneys dispute statute of limitations rules on surprise child sex charge for Maurin double murder defendant” from Saturday February 23, 2013, here

• “Riffe maintains innocence in face of sentence of more than a century for Maurin murders” from Tuesday December 3, 2013, here

Fire sweeps through Toledo area home

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Smoke billows above the 700 block of Tucker Road, northeast of Toledo. / Courtesy photo by Julie Broussard

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Toledo area home went up in flames yesterday evening but a young couple and their dog escaped safely.

The fire appeared to have started inside the attached metal carport at the modular home on the 700 block of Tucker Road, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.

“They got out of the house, it very quickly got inside the house,” FIre Chief Grant Wiltbank said.

Five fire departments responded to the approximately 6:15 p.m. call about five miles northeast of town, according to Wiltbank.

The chief said he lives a couple miles away across the river and when the call came out, he looked that direction and spotted a column of black smoke already probably two hundred feet into the sky.

Arriving crews quickly contained the blaze but remained on the scene for nearly three hours extinguishing hot spots.

Wiltbank said the home and its contents are a total loss. One cat was unaccounted for and presumed lost in the fire, he said.

They thought the lost their dog, but it apparently made it out by itself, and turned up sitting in a field, he said.

The Red Cross responded to offer assistance. The fire’s cause is still under investigation.

FBI child porn investigation leads to Lewis County

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Joshua Q. Keele sits at the defense table during his bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A former Salkum man has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography following a lengthy investigation that started with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s attempts to identify the subjects in a homemade video they intercepted in 2012.

The male wearing a maroon shirt with a shark logo in the video was identified as 38-year-old Joshua Q. Keele, by Keele’s ex-wife; and the male toddler has been identified by a former babysitter and roommate as Keele’s son, according to charging documents.

Since April, when a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective received information from the FBI that Keele was suspected of creating and disseminating child pornography, the detective has been collecting computers and other electronic devices and accessories from Keele’s household, while an FBI agent seized his mobile phone, according to the documents.

On Tuesday, detective Duke Adkisson received confirmation at least one of the images, of a young girl, was identified by law enforcement as child pornography. Other confiscated images are still under analysis.

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FBI: Wanted, Seeking information, endangered child alert program

On Thursday, the detective contacted Keele near his current home in Port Hadlock and arrested him for first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The charge, filed today in Lewis County Superior Court doesn’t mention any federal charges and does not include any charge of creating or distributing child porn.

Keele was brought before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon where he was ordered held on $75,000 bail.

In asking for the high bail, Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher pointed out Keele has previous felony convictions, including third-degree child molestation from 1998.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter asked for much lower bail, noting to the judge no minor children reside with Keele and that he is currently undergoing outpatient treatment in Port Townsend.

The seven-page affidavit of probable cause includes statements from individuals that allege Keele was obsessed with methamphetamine and previously made sex videotapes with women in his life. A Panasonic camcorder and an 8 mm tape were among the items seized.

His former girlfriend who is now his wife attended today’s brief hearing and is described as cooperating with the detective as he obtained evidence.

Judge James Lawler appointed Centralia attorney Don Blair to represent Keele.

His arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, September 5th, 2014


• Someone broke into a home during the daylight hours yesterday on the 4000 block of Cooks Hill Road outside Centralia and stole a jewelry box and its contents. A deputy responding to the just-discovered break-in about 6:23 p.m. found someone had made forced entry into the residence, according to the sheriff’s office.


• Lewis County deputies arrested a man yesterday in connection with a large, ongoing investigation related to images of child pornography. Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber said this morning he didn’t have details.


• A 40-year-old woman who reportedly told a sheriff’s detective she was her sister to avoid being detained for a warrant when she was stopped on Wednesday near Winlock was arrested for second-degree identity theft and brought before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court. Prosecutors allege that LeDawn M. Jones-Morisch, who has a Napavine address, admitted it was the third time she’d misrepresented to deputies who she was since the end of July. Jones-Morisch had a warrant from the state Department of Corrections, according to charging documents. She was charged with three counts of the class C felony. Judge James Lawler set her bail at $10,000.


• Firefighters were called about 7 a.m. to a brush fire at a logging site in Onalaska in the area of Middle Fork Road and Centralia-Alpha Road which grew to about 200 feet by 200 feet. Responding deputies were looking for a homeless person who may have started it, as a campfire was found, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber said it was contained at about 8:15 a.m. Seiber said they didn’t know if it was accidental or intentional.


• A teenage girl was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after she drove her small pickup truck into a Centralia home this morning. Firefighters called just after 8 o’clock were told she was headed north on Pheasant Road and for whatever reason couldn’t stop at the stop sign on Borst Avenue and continued through the yard and into the structure. The siding buckled but it didn’t break through the wall, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The residents were at home but not injured in any way, Firefighter-Paramedic Jennifer Ternan said.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor theft, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, collision on city street, graffiti on a pump house, carved wooden bear missing from porch … and more.