Posts Tagged ‘By Sharyn L. Decker’

News brief: Police urge caution regarding door-to-door sales

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police want residents to be wary of door-to-door salespeople, revealing that in the past, some of them contacted by local police had extensive criminal histories and used the job as a ruse to collect personal information for fraudulent purposes later.

Police Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald indicated the department isn’t attempting to disparage or discourage legal operations, but given the coming holiday season, felt an advisory was in the community’s best interest.

“When dealing with these individuals trust your instincts,” Fitzgerald said. “If that little voice in your head is telling you that something does not seem right, it probably isn’t.

“Report anything you perceive as suspicious at anytime.”

Many of the door-to-door sales companies are from out of state, and do not have a local business license anyhow, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Fitzgerald warns the public to be cautious and says do not allow these individuals inside your home.

Do not give them personal or debit or credit card information and if necessary, call law enforcement and report any misconduct by these individuals, Fitzgerald said.

He offers up a reminder of who to call: Central Dispatch at 360-740 1105  or for emergencies, dial 911.

News brief: Chehalis garage catches fire

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Nobody was hurt but a detached two-car garage was ruined when a fire broke out there late yesterday afternoon in Chehalis.

Firefighters were called about 5:15 p.m. to the 300 block of Southwest Fifth Street, and joined by personnel from Lewis County Fire District 6 and Riverside Fire Authority, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

“It was well-involved when we got there,” Fire Capt. Rob Gebhart said.

They knocked the flames down in about 10 minutes and kept the home from catching fire, Gebhart said. Crews were on scene “overhauling” and making sure it was all extinguished until about 7 p.m., he said.

Gebhart said there was no obvious cause for the blaze, so an investigator planned to return today.

The resident had a table inside, undergoing some type of woodworking project and lost items like a bicycle, a small motorcycle and tools, according to Gebhart.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, November 9th, 2015
2015.0518.2013.1113.sirenslights5860.secondone

•••

Updated at 7:44 p.m.

DOGNAPPING IN PLAIN DAYLIGHT

• Deputies were called about 1:35 p.m. yesterday after an Onalaska man saw two people in a white Ford Ranger pull up to his home, grab his long-haired Chihuahua and then drive away with it. The 14-year-old reddish dog was wearing an Identification tag on its collar and weighs about nine pounds, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened at the 1000 block of Middle Fork Road, according to the sheriff’s office. The value was estimated at $200, according to the sheriff’s office.

SHARING NAKED PICS OF GIRLFRIEND NOT OK

• Brandon L. Jones, 20, was arrested by Chehalis police for allegedly posting a photo of his unclothed 17-year-old girlfriend on Facebook, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An officer took a report early last week and then located Jones on Friday, according to police. The Centralia resident was booked into the Lewis County Jail for distribution of child pornography, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. “Anger, was my understanding,” Wilson said as to the motivation for the alleged incident. Jones was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with three counts of second-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a class C felony. According to court documents, the teen told an officer she sent Jones photos of her breasts a few months ago, and after they got into an argument, Jones threatened to “expose” her. Jones allegedly told the officer he woke up the following day and could hardly believe what he had done, and told the officer he would likely find a lot more stuff that made that look like nothing. The investigation is ongoing and more information may be revealed from the service of a search warrant upon Facebook, prosecutors wrote in charging documents. A judge agreed to Jones’ release from jail on a $20,000 unsecured bond.

STOLEN FIREARM

• Chehalis police were called about 1:10 p.m. on Saturday by an individual who said their rifle disappeared from their residence on the 100 block of Southwest Chehalis Avenue sometime during the previous week.

RESIDENTIAL THEFT

• Chehalis police were called just before 10 a.m. on Saturday by a person who had been staying at the 1800 block of Snively Avenue and discovered that while incarcerated, someone took all their belongings including medications.

• A 76-year-old woman returned to her home on the 100 block of Summit Drive in Packwood on Friday after being away since Oct. 18 to find someone broke in, forcing their way through a door and a window. It’s not yet know what may be missing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

ATTEMPTED THEFT

• A deputy took a report yesterday morning of someone using bolt cutters to break a hasp at a storage unit on the 1500 block of Bishop Road in Chehalis. A manager recalled seeing a small brown pickup truck back up to the unit at about 2 p.m. on Thursday and then suddenly drive away after he stepped outside for a closer look, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Nothing was missing, according to the sheriff’s office.

SHORT TERM THEFT

• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning regarding the theft of a large basketball hoop from the 1300 block of Delaware Avenue, but it was found a few blocks away and returned, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SHOPLIFTING SCUFFLE

• A 22-year-old Curtis resident who reportedly was chased out of Wal-Mart‘s grocery entrance by store security and employees for allegedly shoplifting ran past an off-duty Centralia police officer in the parking lot who stopped her and reported she became out of control so she was forced to the ground on Saturday. The Centralia Police Department reports citizens in the parking lot surrounded police and demanded they release the woman, with some chanting “officer brutality.” Cassandra L. McBride was arrested for third-degree theft – related to $203 worth of merchandise, resisting arrest and possession of methamphetamine as one large and then small small pieces of a crystal substance were found on her, according to the Chehalis Police Department. McBride was booked into the Lewis County Jail. McBride was charged with meth possession and theft only today in Lewis County Superior Court and her bail set at $5,000.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday about a vehicle prowl at the 600 block of East Summa Street. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called to the 1300 block of Lum Road in Centralia just after noon on Saturday where someone had broke out the window of a parked vehicle and taken a purse, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone broke out the right rear window of a vehicle parked at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia and stole a blue and gray bag containing clothing, according to a report made to police about 9 a.m. on Saturday.

• Centralia police were called about 8:25 a.m. on Saturday from an individual at the 1300 block of Lum Road who said he heard his car alarm go off, saw a red Chrysler 200 pull up to it and then found his car’s window shattered.

• Chehalis police were called about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday to the 1400 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue where someone had smashed a window of a vehicle and stole a backpack containing $30 cash, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

PHONE FRAUD

• Officers took a report from the 900 block of Marion Street on Friday that an individual who received a phone call from somebody identifying themselves as a Microsoft employee and requested payment for anti-hacking services. The victim ended up sending a money gram to India, for an unspecified amount, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police say Microsoft never does business that way and there is no such thing as anti-hacking services.

VANDALISM

• Someone shot out five windows of a small bus-type van parked at the 1000 block of Middle Fork Road in Onalaska sometime during the week prior to Sunday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Two boys and a girl were caught by an off-duty police officer painting graffiti onto a building at the 800 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia at about 7:45 p.m. on Friday. The male juveniles were arrested and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for second-degree malicious mischief and the juvenile female was released to her parents, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case is under investigation as several other locations were identified as having been victimized, according to police.

• Chehalis police responded to a 6:40 a.m. call on Saturday to Northeast Washington Avenue near Market Boulevard where someone had thrown a brick through the back window of a car.

• Chehalis police were called about 9:15 p.m. on Saturday following the discovery windows were broken out of a home on Southeast Sixth Street in Chehalis. Nothing was initially reported missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ON THE ROAD

• Matthew D. Ball, 37, of Toledo, was arrested for driving under the influence following a single-vehicle collision at about 8:25 p.m. yesterday at the 200 block of Brim Road in Ethel, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, shoplifting, violation of no-contact order, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, misdemeanor assault, collision on city street, to lecture a 6-year-old boy for taking mail out of someone else’s mailbox … and more.

Centralia Police: Boyfriend threatens to slash, then eat woman

Monday, November 9th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police are looking for a man who allegedly pulled a knife on his girlfriend, threatening to cut her up and eat her.

Officers called about 12:40 a.m. today to the 1000 block of Eckerson Road in Centralia learned the victim was able to get away and call 911.

According to police, there was a protection oder in place between the two but they had disregarded the court order.

“During an argument the male took out a knife and threatened to slash the victim with the knife and eat her,” Centralia Police Department Sgt. David Ross wrote in a summary of the incident.

Officers were not able to locate the suspect, according to Ross.

The case is being sent to prosecutors for consideration of a charge of first-degree assault against 36-year-old Michael R. Kennedy Jr., according to police.

News brief: Two jailed following failure to pay prostitute in Centralia

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police ended up arresting two people after a complaint by an “escort” against a 40-year-old Centralia man yesterday.

The woman called 911 about 10:25 a.m. in the morning to report she’d been raped, according to the Centralia Police Department.

According to police, she told a dispatcher the customer refused to pay her after they had sex, and in her mind, that was rape.

Centralia police say the man however, secretly recorded their conversation, which confirmed once he refused to pay her, she told him she was going to call the police and report that he forcibly raped her.

The “date” associated with a location on the 2100 block of North Tower Avenue, came out of a advertisement on Backpage.com, that got her to agree to his proposal to pay her for sex if she came to his home, according to police.

Both parties were booked into the Lewis County Jail. The Centralia man for patronizing a prostitute and the 31-year-old woman for malicious prosecution, according to police.

Officers will ask prosecutors to also consider a prostitution charge for the woman, according to police.

Role reversal: Lewis County prosecutor reflects on becoming a burglary victim

Friday, November 6th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Less than a week after an arrest was made for a burglary of former Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg’s house, an arrest was made in a break-in at Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer’s home that took place earlier this year.

Both occurred in Centralia and both were solved through confessions allegedly obtained by an inmate at the Thurston County Jail. The 38-year-old man has not been charged.

2013.1025.mugmeyer5669

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer

According to authorities, the inmate has named so far at least four individuals as his partners in crimes in more than a dozen burglaries in Lewis County since last year.

Berg’s home on Winterwood Drive was broken into in February of 2014, and Meyer’s in February of this year.

Meyer, 44, said although in his job he works with victims on a daily basis, being a victim himself is “kind of surreal.”

“It’s a weird feeling, to know your stuff’s out there somewhere,” he said.

His youngest daughter discovered it, when she got home from school and found the front door had been kicked in, he said. Their house is just outside the Centralia city limits on Mount Vista Road near Centralia High School.

She called him, he sent her somewhere safe and he called the police, he said.

Someone rummaged through the master bedroom and took jewelry and other personal items.

“They took my wife’s jewelry box, full of pieces I’d given her, including from her great grandmother, and a ring I’d given her of my grandmother’s” he said. ”

Meyer kept his small valuables in what he called a watch box. Among the items it contained before it was all stolen were his wedding rings, his Aberdeen High School class ring, his prosecutor’s badge and his Tenino Police Department reserve officer badge, he said.

He damaged his wedding ring when he was in college and got a new one, he said, that he’d happened to have left at home that day.

They also took a wicker laundry basket, he said.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office initially estimated the loss at about $3,300, but Meyer said it was much more.

One of the two suspects was arrested last week, found hiding in a garage on North Pearl Street in Centralia. Janet L. Gleason, 42, of Centralia, was charged the following day in Lewis County Superior Court with residential burglary, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and second-degree malicious mischief.

Meyer said he was told by detectives he was targeted by Gleason in retaliation for prosecuting her son.

Eighteen-year-old Dillan G. Gleason was sent to prison for five years after pleading guilty to stealing from relatives in the summer of 2014.

His grandmother at his sentencing hearing said she believed there was close to $300,000 cash from her lottery winnings in a safe that went missing. As part of the plea agreement, the younger Gleason signed back over $57,000 from a trust, according to his lawyer.

Meyer said in his line of work, he’s gotten threats from people, but involving his home and his family took it to a whole different level.

“I understand people are upset at me for doing my job, or the job that I do,” he said. “I get that; but that crosses the line.”

Meyer was elected prosecutor in 2010, and won a second term last November. Before that, he was in private practice in Centralia and did criminal defense work.

Gleason’s arraignment was yesterday. The case is being handled by an outside prosecutor, because of the conflict.

According to court documents, Gleason admitted only to being present in a car outside the residence when it happened. She contended Robert Collins, the Thurston County Jail inmate, gave her two jewelry boxes which she in turn gave to two friends.

Collins however, when interviewed with his lawyer present in September by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Bruce Kimsey, said it was Gleason’s idea and that she asked for his help, according to her charging documents.

Collins allegedly admitted only that he forced the front door open and then Gleason ran into the house and headed upstairs, the documents state.

He said he yelled at her for getting him involved when he saw the badges, and that’s when she told him she was getting back at the prosecutor, according to the allegations.

Meyer said they recently got back the two jewelry boxes – his wife’s jewelry box and his watch box. He got back a necklace of his that had been cut apart and melted down, he said.

Late this summer, someone found his class ring in a gas station parking lot in Olympia, and tracked him down through his high school, to return it, he said.

Meyer said he didn’t know how many burglaries Collins has said he was involved in. He’s taken himself out of the loop on prosecuting the cases that relate to his burglary, he said.

He said he’s taken steps, “to do everything I can,” to make his family home safe. He reflected on how the experience has changed him, when he spoke about it earlier this week.

He has prosecuted people, he has defended people, and even sat as a judge, he said.

“To me, it makes me a more well-rounded prosecutor,” Meyer said. “Really, the part of that circle is, I hadn’t been a victim.”

Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain is handling Gleason’s case, according to Meyer’s Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher.

He just got the case or cases yesterday, Meagher said.

Her bail was set at $25,000. Her trial was put on the court calendar for Dec. 28.

Collins, who remains in the Thurston County Jail, is being held there on two cases from last year and at least one from this year, according to the jail’s online roster.

The only case he has in Lewis County Superior Court currently is one charge of possession of methamphetamine, from February of this year. His bail is set at $25,000.

Gleason has a current case in Lewis County Superior Court involving two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and one count of possession of methamphetamine, according to court papers. She has previous felony convictions for second-degree burglary in 2006 as well as violations of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act in 2005, 2001 and 1999.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, November 6th, 2015
2015.0518.2013.1113.sirenslights5860.secondone

•••

DOMESTIC ASSAULT

• A 49-year-old Chehalis man was arrested last night after his girlfriend called 911 to say she was shoved against a window hitting her head on the sill, pulled across the room and punched in the eye at the 600 block of Centralia-Alpha Road east of Chehalis. Law enforcement responding around 8:30 p.m. were told the suspect drove away drunk and Gerald R. Ebner was subsequently pulled over in Chehalis on North National Avenue at Northwest Chamber of Commerce Way, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Ebner was booked into the Lewis County Jail for felony violation of a domestic violence no contact oder, according to the sheriff’s office. The case is referred to prosecutors for charges also of driving under the influence and fourth-degree assault, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

DRUGS

• A 19-year-old Winlock man stopped for riding an off road motorcycle on a city street in Vader yesterday was arrested for possession of marijuana yesterday afternoon. A deputy contacted him at the 700 block of A Street at about 4:35 p.m. and found a pipe with green burned residue and also that he was driving with a suspended license in the second degree, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Stardog Jededia R. Delao was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Chehalis police were called about 1:35 a.m. today to the 200 block of Southeast Washington Avenue to take a report of items missing from an apartment, including medications.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called just before 6 o’clock this morning following the discovery of slashed tires on a vehicle at the 1000 block of North Tower Avenue.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, protection order violation; responses for alarm, hit and run, collision on city street, complaint about awful smell coming from retail marijuana store … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, November 5th, 2015
2015.0518.2013.1113.sirenslights5860.secondone

•••

THEFT, THEFT, THEFT

• Police were called just before 8 o’clock yesterday morning about the theft of three chainsaws from the 1400 block of Logan Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone reached through an unlocked apartment window at the 1400 block of Johnson Road in Centralia and stole a laptop computer, according to a report made to police yesterday. The theft reportedly occurred several weeks ago, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An officer was called about 3:30 p.m. yesterday to the 1300 block of Lum Road in Centralia about possible theft by an employee, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called about 1:45 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 800 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Missing were knives, medication and a GPS device, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Fishing equipment was stolen from the back of a truck at the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

• A wallet, cash and cigarettes were among the itms stolen from a vehicle at the 300 block of Southwest Third Street in Chehalis sometime in the previous three days, according to a report made to the Chehalis Police Department yesterday morning.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday afternoon of graffiti on a garage at Southwest Alfred Street.

DRUGS

• An officer responding just after 4 o’clock this morning about suspicious activity at the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue in Chehalis contacted a person wanted for a warrant and a search incident to his arrest turned up drug paraphernalia that field-tested positive for heroin, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Travis G. Frost, 29, of Chehalis, was was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• A 19-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for shoplifting and being a minor in possession of marijuana late yesterday afternoon following an incident at the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Uriah W. Osborne, who had an outstanding warrant, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 28-year-old Chehalis resident picked up for a warrant about 12:45 p.m. yesterday at the 100 block of Southwest 10th Street in Chehalis was also found to have a small amount of suspected methamphetamine, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Donald B. Lindberg was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

OOPS

• Chehalis police were called about 4:45 p.m. yesterday after a firearm was found in the bathroom of a restaurant on the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue. Later in the evening, police were contacted by an individual who said he dropped his 9 mm handgun in a restroom in the area, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

‘PLEASE, DON’T LET HIM BITE ME’

• A 33-year-old Winlock man wanted for warrants and followed from Ferrier Road to Gee Cee’s truck stop yesterday afternoon fled on foot into the tree line, but threw up his hands and surrendered when K-9 Axel got within about 30 yards of him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Kyle E. Rogers was taken into custody and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. His warrants were for contempt of court out of Kelso and from the state Department of Corrections, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

ON THE ROAD

• A van and a semi truck both sustained major damage when the driver of the van fell asleep and crossed the centerline at the 3500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia yesterday. A deputy responding after the approximately 1 p.m. wreck noted nobody was injured, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, violation of no contact order, driving under the influence; responses for dispute, shoplifting, suspicious circumstances … and more.

Election: Bulk of ballots counted, but not all fire service issues certain

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The fire chief in Mossyrock says he’s on pins and needles watching the numbers coming from yesterday’s election.

It’s the second time Lewis County Fire District 3 has asked voters to approve a bond to build a new station. It failed narrowly in April, and now, the tally is still a bit shy of the 60 percent yes votes needed, according to Chief Doug Fosburg.

When the preliminary results were released last night in the all vote-by-mail election, 244 people had said yes, coming to 58.65 percent. Rejecting the measure were 172 people, or 41.35 percent.

The district ran the proposal again, thinking there would be a better turnout during a general election, Fosburg said.

Local voter turnout overall so far is just over 30 percent, according to the Lewis County Auditor’s Office elections department.

Officials indicate there are an estimated 3,000 ballots left to count from throughout Lewis County, and they will release the results of a second count this afternoon.

The Chehalis Fire Department won’t need to wait for today’s updated numbers as among the nearly 1,000 votes cast for their emergency medical services levy renewal, almost 82 percent of the people voted yes.

It, like other levies on the ballot need only a simple majority to pass.

Another measure with such a wide spread that it looks like a done deal, is the Napavine area fire department’s request for an increase in their fire services levy. Voting no on Newaukum Valley Fire and Rescue’s proposal are 65.58 percent.

Lewis County Fire District 11’s fire services levy is passing, with 65.57 of their Pe Ell area voters giving their approval.

A closer vote is Cowlitz-Lewis Fire District 20’s emergency medical services levy. Voters in the Vader area are supporting it so far with 54.72 percent yes votes.

Three fire districts in Lewis County have contested commissioner positions.

For Lewis County Fire District 15 in Winlock, candidate Jerry Craft got the vote from 64.96 percent of the people, compared with 30.04 percent casting their ballots for Stan Hankins.

For Lewis County Fire District 2 in Toledo, 64.38 percent voted for Mike Thomas, while 35.62 percent want Dale Nielsen.

The race in Lewis County Fire District 8, Salkum is somewhat closer. Candidate Rick Wood took 54.51 percent of the vote while Don Taylor has 45.49 percent.

The election won’t be final and certified until November 24.

Unrelated to the fire service, longtime Morton Police Chief Dan Mortensen who will retire at the end of this year, is running for mayor. The race is uncontested, and 132 votes have been cast for Mortensen.

Updated preliminary results can be found this afternoon at the Lewis County Auditor’s Office, Elections Department, here.
•••

For background, read “Election Day: Numerous fire departments and candidates seeking support” from Sunday November 1, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
2015.0518.2013.1113.sirenslights5860.secondone

•••

REPEATED BURGLARY CHEHALIS

• A 79-year-old Chehalis woman who has noticed items missing since August went ahead and called police yesterday to investigate. An officer responding to the 1200 block of Southwest 22nd Street learned that first it was beer, then in September it was a doll and then last month, a doll collection and painting supplies disappeared from her studio, according to the Chehalis Police Department. There are no suspects at this time, according to police.

THEFT OF FIREARMS

• A deputy was called yesterday about a break-in to a Chehalis area home along the 200 block of Rodgers Road in which a Ruger pistol was among the stolen items. An 84-year-old man reported that he and his wife returned from an Easter time vacation, they found footprints inside their house, but nothing seemed to have been disturbed and there was no sign anyone forced their way inside, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Also missing is a machete and a shovel, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A K-Mart shopper called police last night after finding his vehicle prowled. The victim said it was about 7 p.m. and he locked his doors, but when he came back out, the vehicle doors were unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Among the items missing is a 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, according to police.

THEFT OF FOOD

• A 27-year-old man was arrested yesterday evening after allegedly walking out of a store without paying with a cart full of groceries. Police called about 7:15 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of South Tower Avenue arrested Daniel J. Phillips, of Centralia, for third-degree theft and then released him, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, driving under the influence; responses for dispute, hit and run, vandalism, possible fraud, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor assault, elevator rescue, collision on city street, possible child abuse, teenager who won’t get out of bed and go to school … and more.

News brief: Baseball bat attack suspects still at large

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Nobody has been arrested following the weekend baseball bat beating of a 40-year-old man by a group of people in Centralia.

Centralia police detectives don’t even know how the victim is doing.

Detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said the man was conscious and able to speak to an officer, but said he didn’t want to, when asked to give a taped statement.

Without the victim’s cooperation, detectives can’t get his medical information from the hospital, Fitzgerald said today.

Police were called at 3:36 a.m. on Sunday, not by the victim, but by a friend who said he just wanted him to get some medical help. The friend said the 40-year-old was attacked earlier at West Fourth Street and Washington Avenue, Fitzgerald said.

Officers and aid responded to that call, to the 200 block of North Ash Street. The victim, who has a Chehalis address, had been repeatedly struck in the head and body by as many as five individuals, according to police.

“He told the officer he’d been jumped, and it was in retaliation for something to do with his ex-girlfriend,” Fitzgerald said.

The person who phoned for help left the scene, he said. Detectives know the victim was transported by AMR to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

But without his cooperation, detectives don’t know much more, and there’s not much more they can do, the sergeant indicated.

“We know it was a group of people, he may have known some of them, he was not sure,” he said.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Violent Halloween night in Centralia puts one male in hospital” from Sunday November 1, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
2015.0518.2013.1113.sirenslights5860.secondone

•••

HOME HEATING FIRE

• A mattress ignited when a Centralia resident noticed a paper bag too close to a wall heater, and went to remove it but dropped it on the bed yesterday evening. Firefighters called at 6:20 p.m. to the 1300 block of View Avenue found the occupants had extinguished the fire but both the mattress and box spring burned, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The mattresses were taken out of the house and and residual smoke was removed with a ventilation fan, according to the fire department. Capt. Erik Olson indicated nobody was hurt and there was no damage to the home.

CAMP HEATING FIRE

• Chehalis firefighters called about smoke seen off Interstate 5 late yesterday afternoon found two people had built a campfire, and helped them extinguish it. It was a guy and his mother, who are on a waiting list for a shelter, trying to stay warm, according to the fire department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police yesterday afternoon recovered a stolen vehicle that reportedly had been in the Denny’s parking lot on the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue for several days. It was missing from Thurston County, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon after the discovery of a vehicle prowl in which a GPS device was stolen on Northeast Washington Avenue near Main Street. A passenger door was unlocked and the vehicle had not been driven for a couple of days, according to the Chehalis Police Department

• Among the items stolen in a car prowl discovered yesterday morning at the 600 block of Northeast Franklin Avenue in Chehalis was Halloween candy, the vehicle registration and its title, according to police. An officer responding to the approximately 9:45 a.m. call found someone had entered through the unlocked truck, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to the parking lot at K-Mart just after 9 o’clock yesterday morning following the discovery of a car prowl in which a bank card, $1, a cigarette case and cigarettes were stolen. The vehicle had been there a couple of hours, and left unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police were called just after 6 p.m. yesterday to retrieve a backpack that had been left on someone else’s porch on the 400 block of South Pearl Street. Inside was about $1,000 worth of property that had gone missing the day before in a Chehalis car prowl, according to the Centralia Police Department. The valuables, including binoculars and a GPS device, were turned over to the Chehalis Police Department so they could be returned to their owner, according to police.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 2:45 p.m. yesterday to take a report of a burglary from a storage unit at the 1900 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue. Further details were not yet available.

• An officer was called to W.F. West High School in Chehalis yesterday afternoon about the theft of a front license plate from a vehicle.

ASSAULT

• Police yesterday arrested a suspect from an incident last Friday in which he allegedly attempted to stab a companion with a sword over an argument about a marijuana transaction, at 1700 block of Harrison Avenue. James C. Tryon was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department. However, prosecutors declined to file the criminal charge and he is to be released.

• Officers was called to the 100 block of Main Avenue in Morton just before 2 a.m. on Sunday to a dispute outside with about 20 people. The fight dispersed before the officer arrived, but the officer stayed around until the remaining customers cleared the area, according to the Morton Police Department.

SEXUAL ASSAULT

• Chehalis police were called just after 12:30 p.m. yesterday to take a report of a possible sexual assault. A detective will be investigating, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VANDALISM

• An officer yesterday morning to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia to take a report of the letters REXS were found spray painted on the side of a business.

HALLOWEEN SCARE

• Officers responded about 8:45 p.m. on Halloween to the 100 block of East State Street in Mossyrock to a report of a child finding a knife in her candy after trick-or-treating. It was determined that the child actually found an opened pocketknife inside the vehicle on the way home and not in the candy according to the Morton Police Department.

ON THE ROAD

• A 57-year-old Vancouver, Washington resident was arrested for driving under the influence following a two-car non-injury collision about 8:30 p.m. yesterday at Northwest West Street and Rhode Island Avenue in Chehalis. John T. Eggen  booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, malicious mischief; responses for alarm, harassment, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, ruckus at Wal-Mart, seemingly intoxicated person sleeping beneath the big black Yard Bird … and more.

Prosecutor: Daughter of dying Packwood man used debit card to steal thousands

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
2015.0612.lawandorder.final

•••

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 56-year-old woman has turned herself in to authorities, after allegedly admitting she stole nearly $3,000 from her dying father when she went on a four-day shopping spree with his debit card.

It began with a call to a dispute at a Packwood residence in the summer of 2003 and after a warrant was issued for her arrest, Nancy K. Copelin disappeared.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said yesterday he finally recently found Copelin, living in Alaska.

Meager got a governor’s warrant for her extradition but Copelin contacted him before it was served.

“I told her if she got right down here, I’d put a hold on it,” Meagher said.

The former Packwood woman flew down last week, and appeared before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court on Tuesday to hear her charge of first-degree theft. Meagher allowed her to be released on an unsecured bond pending trial, as her plane ticket to return home the next day was already paid for, he said.

According to the nearly 12-year-old charging documents, two deputies were called to the 100 block of Holiday Lane in Packwood on June 5, 2003, regarding a assault.

The documents offer the following account: There had been a dispute over the ownership of a van belonging to Thomas Barnes who lived there.

“Mr. Barnes was in the process of dying, and the issue of who would receive his van had come up,” then-Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Michael Maltby wrote.

One of the parties was asked by his grandmother to move the vehicle, to take it out of the possession of Barnes’ daughter, Copelin.

In the process, her purse was retrieved, it fell to the ground and among the items that tumbled out were wads of cash and receipts.

There was $1,020 in $20 bills. There were also five receipts from Sears, Wal-Mart and an un-named business for the purchase of numerous items, totaling $1,787.44.

Copelin, then 43, was asked about the receipts and stated they were because her father had provided her with his ATM card and pin number, and told her she could go out and get whatever she needed.

When deputies spoke with Copelin a second time, she reflected her dad did not intend for her to make withdrawals from his savings account, and did not intend for her to buy most of the items that she had.

Meagher said the Alaska woman has been cooperative.

Her arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 3.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, November 2nd, 2015
2015.0518.2013.1113.sirenslights5860.secondone

•••

Updated at 7:13 p.m.

POLICE: SOLDIER ARRESTED AFTER BARGING INTO CENTRALIA HOME

• A 22-year-old active duty soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord was arrested early yesterday morning after allegedly breaking down the front door of a Centralia home and assaulting a man inside and prompting several females and children to hide inside a bedroom. Officers called about 1:15 a.m. to the 700 block of H Street arrived and subdued the suspect inside the apartment, according to the Centralia Police Department. Bryce C. Gregory was booked into the Lewis County Jail for for first-degree burglary and charged today with the same offense in Lewis County Superior Court. According to court documents, the resident and Gregory had been arguing outside the apartment and the resident went inside and closed the door. The resident, Russell Charnell, told officers Gregory smashed his way through the glass front door and attacked him, including biting him on the hand and then tried to beat down the bedroom door after Charnell retreated there. Some small furniture was broken during their fight, according to court documents. Bail for Gregory, who has no criminal history, was set at $25,000. The judge was told this afternoon Gregory lives on the base and because he earns only about $800 per month, he qualified for a court-appointed lawyer.

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL

• A Chehalis area woman called 911 after she began to respond to a faint knock on her front door and was confronted by a stranger who opened the door up and walked inside. The 54-year-old resident on the 1000 block of Logan Hill Road pushed the woman outside, and told her she didn’t belong there, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The intruder said she’d been dropped off by a taxi and left, according to the sheriff’s office. A 35-year-old homeless woman subsequently located in the area by a deputy said she’d just been released from jail and was trying to get to the DOC office to check in, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. It happened about 12:45 p.m. on Friday, according to Brown. Julie A. Jordan was arrested for a drug violation when residue on needles and a pipe she had tested positive for amphetamine, Brown said. The case is also being referred for a charge of first-degree trespass, Brown said. Jordan was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

• A 26-year-old Centralia area man was arrested after law enforcement went to his home on the 900 block of West Roanoke Street in Centralia on Friday and were told by the mother of his child he had freaked out when she told him he would have to stop using drugs to be around the baby. Robert E. Chandler had allegedly begun breaking things, punched a hole in a wall, broke a picture frame and pushed her up the stairs. When he was arrested, residue was found in a baggie in his shorts’ pocket, according to charging documents. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged today with possession of methamphetamine, fourth-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief. The judge allowed Chandler to be released from jail on a $10,000 unsecured bond but said he may have no contact with the victim and their 18-day-old infant. He plans to retain his own lawyer and relocate to Toledo, the judge was told.

• A 15-year-old Chehalis boy was arrested for allegedly consuming alcohol after an officer checked on a possible party with underage drinking near Quincy Avenue and West Street about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. The boy was turned over to parents and the case is to be submitted to juvenile prosecutors, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

STEALING FROM THE DEAD

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning they arrested a 48-year-old man who allegedly made seven withdrawals using his recently deceased mother’s debit card, in the amount of $719. The 73-year-old woman passed away on Oct. 9, family reported the activity on Oct. 16 and a deputy contacted the son on Thursday,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Steven S. Knittle was arrested for unlawful factoring transactions of debit cards and booked into the Lewis County Jail, on a date unspecified by the sheriff’s office. The unemployed man was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court of only four counts and his bail was set at $10,000.

OTHER THEFT

• Deputies over the weekend arrested a 30-year-old man for his alleged involvement in a residential burglary last December on the 400 block of Coal Creek Road outside Chehalis in which a safe, two guns and other valuables were stolen. Wesley L. Davis was picked up on Friday at his home in Longview and booked in to the Lewis County Jail on Saturday. When he was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with one count of residential burglary, defense attorney Joely O’Rourke said Davis is from Tenino and that it appeared the only information in charging documents linking him to the crime was testimony from someone incarcerated in another jail for several felonies. Bail for the unemployed father of three was set at $10,000.

• Centralia police were called to the 1300 block of West Main Street about 11:35 a.m. yesterday regarding the theft of tools and other materials. The victim has a possible suspect in mind, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called to the 500 block of West Main Street in Chehalis on Friday afternoon about a possible theft. The case is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• An officer was called about 12:45 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of South Washington Avenue in Centralia where someone had stolen a bicycle from an open garage. The bike was described as a blue fat tires bicycle with hubs that contain electric motors, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to the area of Southwest 15th Street and Mills Avenue in Chehalis about 9:50 p.m. on Saturday when an individual confronted two males who appeared to be stealing mail from mailboxes. The suspects fled and numerous mailboxes were found open, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• An officer was called about 10:40 a.m. yesterday to the 500 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue in Chehalis about an overnight vehicle prowl. Binoculars and a GPS device were stolen, and the lock appeared to be have been tampered with, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Change and paperwork were among the items missing when a car prowl was discovered about 7:40 p.m. yesterday in the parking lot at Wal-Mart. An officer responding to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue noted the door had been left unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

UNCOOPERATIVENESS

• A deputy was forced to use his Taser on a patient inside Morton General Hospital who was getting released and was being picked up for a warrant early yesterday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 30-year-old Morton man reportedly got behind his hospital bed, crying and yelling he would not got to jail, according to the sheriff’s office. When he approached the deputy and pushed at the deputy, he was tased, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Brett E. Sapp was subsequently arrested for resisting arrest and booked for that as well as his warrant, Brown said

• A 30-year-old man who allegedly gave his father’s name and his brother’s birthdate when identifying himself to a deputy yesterday morning was arrested for making a false statement. A deputy had responded about 9 a.m. to the 2600 block of Sawall Avenue in Centralia regarding an argument between a landlord and tenants, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. When the deputy located one of the tenants, allegedly driving with a  suspended license, he made contact with the passenger who turned out to be Eivind Bakkie, according to the sheriff’s office. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail as was the driver, Brittney L. Reierson, 31, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

YARD PROWLER

• Police were called about 8:50 a.m. on Saturday to the 1100 block of Southeast Evergreen Drive in Chehalis where a resident said items were moved around in their yard, their chickens were loose and items not their were left behind.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called about 6:35 p.m. on Saturday about graffiti spray painted onto a  plywood sign at the 1600 block of North National Avenue.

• An officer was called on Saturday morning to the 1400 block of Windsor Avenue in Centralia to take a report of a work truck getting spray painted.

• Someone spray painted a business at the 1100 block of Johnson Road in Centralia during the night, according to a report made to police on Saturday morning.

• A Chehalis officer took a report of a sign tagged with spray paint in front of an apartment building on Northeast Washington Avenue near Market Boulevard on Friday morning.

ON THE ROAD

• A 58-year-old driver was arrested for driving under the influence after allegedly causing a two-vehicle accident at Reynolds Avenue and North Pearl Street in Centralia on Saturday evening. Nobody was injured, but Raphael F. Scarbury, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 24-year-old driver was arrested for driving under the influence after his vehicle left the roadway and struck a utility pole on Saturday night at Main and Yew streets in Centralia. An officer responding about 11:55  p.m.  booked Brandon D. Dolman, Centralia,  into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, hit and run, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, allowing an unauthorized person to drive; responses for alarm, dispute, harassment, suicide threat, misdemeanor theft, receipt of counterfeit bill, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, collision on county road … and more.

•••

CORRECTION: The item on the incident on Logan Hill Road has been updated to correct the location at which it took place.

Election Day: Numerous fire departments and candidates seeking support

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Election day is near, with initiatives, local measures and races for municipal councils, school boards and, commissioners who govern local fire districts.

2015.1101.fireemsimage-001

•••

Five fire departments in Lewis County are asking voters to support them in various ways. Three districts have contested commissioner positions.

Ballots must be postmarked on or by Tuesday or hand delivered before 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Check with the Lewis County Auditor’s Office, Elections Department for information, at 351 NW North Street in Chehalis or 360-740-1164 and 360-740-1278.

BONDS FOR NEW FIRE STATION

Lewis County Fire District 3, Mossyrock:
Commissioners are asking the public to approve up to $1.2 million in general obligation bonds to finance the construction and equipping of a new fire station on property already acquired at 238 Mossyrock Road East.

INCREASE FIRE SERVICES LEVY

Lewis County Fire District 5, Napavine:
Commissioners are asking citizens to permanently increase property tax levy from .83 per $1,000 of assessed value up to $1.25 to pay for maintenance, operations and capital facilities, and set the limit factor at 103 percent for each of the following five years.

FIRE SERVICES LEVY

Lewis County Fire District 11, Pe Ell:
Commissioners are asking citizens to permanently increase property tax levy to an amount of $1 per $1,000 of assessed value for maintenance, operations and capital facilities, and set the limit factor at 106 percent for each of the following five years.

EMS LEVY

Cowlitz-Lewis Fire District 20, Vader:
Commissioners asking the public to permanently increase property tax levy for emergency medical services up to.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, and set the limit factor at 106 percent for each of the following five years.

RENEW EMS LEVY

Chehalis Fire Department
The city is asking voters to renew an expiring levy for emergency medical services, of up to .50 per $1,000 of assessed property value for the next six years.

CONTESTED RACES FOR COMMISSIONER POSITIONS

Lewis County Fire District 2, Toledo:
Commissioner position No. 1
• Mike Thomas
• Dale Nielsen

Lewis County Fire District 8, Salkum:
Commissioner position No. 1
• Don Taylor
• Rick Wood

Lewis County Fire District 15, Winlock
Commissioner position No. 1
• Stan Hankins
• Jerry Craft

• See a sample ballot for details

• Read more details in the online Voters’ Guide

• On Tuesday shortly after 8 p.m, see the preliminary results from the Lewis County Auditor’s Office, Elections Department.

Wet and windy weekend accompanies end to daylight saving time

Sunday, November 1st, 2015
2015.1101.weatherpicture.final

Residents along the Interstate 5 corridor experience wind and those in the Cascade Mountains get snow. / Image from National Weather Service

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – More wind is coming our way, on the heels of a rainstorm that inundated some city streets and drove the Cowlitz River over its banks in East Lewis County.

The National Weather Service this morning issued a wind advisory that’s in effect until dinner time.

The Southwest Interior could see southerly winds from 15 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, according to the weather service.

Forecasters expect winds to increase late this morning and peak in strength during the early and mid afternoon hours. They should diminish quickly this evening.

Today’s weather could cause downed tree limbs and even local power outages, according to the National Weather Service.

Minor flooding occurred overnight along the Cowlitz River around Randle. The river crested at 1 o’clock this morning at 18.69 feet.

The city of Centralia declared a local emergency for a few hours yesterday afternoon because of the results of the heavy rainfall, offering sandbags to citizens.

The weather service warns that the rain has increased the risk of landslides.

“Property owners in steep slope areas should keep an eye out for changes such as ground cracks or downslope movement of plants and soil,” NWS stated. “If you see signs of a landslide leave the area immediately if it is safe to do so.”

The overnight change off of daylight saving time is also ushering in the first significant snowfall of the season for higher passes and mountain highways.

Four to eight inches of snow is expected to accumulate at White Pass today through tonight.

A winter storm warning for the west slopes of the Cascade Mountains remains in effect until 11 a.m. tomorrow.
•••

The link for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Seattle can be found here and also always on the right hand column of this page, labeled “Weather Alerts, forecasts”

The link for the National Weather Service’s river level observation and forecast for Western Washington can be found here and also  always on the right hand column of this page, labeled “River levels”

News brief: Violent Halloween night in Centralia puts one male in hospital

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An individual was beaten by a group of people with baseball bats early this morning in Centralia.

The victim, described only as a male, was transported to the hospital for his injuries, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Officers were notified at 3:36 a.m. of the incident and responded to the 200 block of North Ash Street, according to police.

The victim had been repeatedly struck in the head and body, according to police. His current condition is unknown.

No suspects were located, as of about 7:40 a.m. today, according to police Sgt. David Ross.

A 23-year-old Centralia man was arrested earlier in the morning for another assault, this one at a home on the 100 block of North King Street.

Police report that during an argument at a party, Gregorio Cordero punched a person and then tried to stab them with a knife.

Cordero reportedly ran off but was found by officers and booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault, according to Ross.

News brief: Alert neighbors take on role of absent smoke detector

Sunday, November 1st, 2015
2015.1101.nixlanefiretwo.dianna.yandrich

Flames rip through a Nix Lane home early Sunday. / Courtesy photo by Dianna. Yandrich

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Neighbors woke up a sleeping Centralia woman whose home was on fire overnight, helping her to escape the blaze uninjured, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

A dozen firefighters from Centralia and Chehalis responded to the 2:10 a.m. call to the 100 block of Nix Lane, just off Centralia-Alpha Road.

The damage is estimated at about $20,000; the single-wide mobile home is described as a total loss.

Fire Capt. Terry Ternan noted the residence had no smoke detector.

The Red Cross was requested to assist the displaced homeowner, according to Ternan.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, October 31st, 2015
2015.0518.2013.1113.sirenslights5860.secondone

•••

SWORD FIGHT

• Police were called at 3:20 p.m. yesterday to the 1700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia for a report that a male attempted to stab a companion with a sword over an argument about a marijuana transaction, The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police took a report on Thursday morning of a red 1992 Toyota pickup truck taken during the night from the 200 block of North Oak Street. It was subsequently found unoccupied in a ditch on the 700 block of North Gold Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A blue 1998 Honda Civic reported stolen from the 1200 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia on Thursday morning was later found abandoned on Rhobina Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 10:15 a.m. on Thursday about the suspected attempted theft of a 1992 Acura from the 3000 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia. No damage was done to the vehicle, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that a black 2006 Chrysler 300 was stolen from the 100 block of View Ridge Road in Onalaska between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Deputies have a suspect in mind, according to the sheriff’s office.

MISSING AIR CONDITIONER

• Police were called about 1 p.m. on Thursday to the 800 block of North Pearl Street regarding the theft of an air conditioner.

MISSING ROCKS

• Someone stole gravel from behind property on the 1000 block of B Street, according to a report made to police on Thursday.

JEWELRY THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that two people have been arrested for a Centralia burglary from several months ago in which an estimated $3,300 worth of valuables were stolen from a 44-year-old man residing on the 2900 block of Mount Vista Road. Among the missing items were a wicker basket of jewelry and badges, according to the sheriff’s office. One suspect Robert W. Collins, was arrested at the Thurston County Jail, where he is an inmate and the other, Janet L. Gleason, 42, of Centralia, was found hiding in a garage on the 2100 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia on Wednesday night, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CHECK THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday they arrested a 43-year-old Chehalis woman who allegedly took a checkbook from her employer and wrote a check to a local business as payment for a furniture set. Although the check was not cashed, Krystal D. Wagner was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree possession of stolen property on Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.

CAR PROWL

• Someone got into a vehicle at the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia and stole ammunition, a checkbook, a GPS device and other personal items, according to a report made to police just before 5 p.m. yesterday.

DRUGS

• A 22-year-old inmate at the Lewis County Jail was arrested for possession of narcotics by a prisoner on Thursday afternoon, according to the the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Megan N. Lagasa, from Shelton,  was further booked for the offense, the sheriff’s office reports.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police arrested a girl yesterday for allegedly spray painting on a retaining wall at Interstate 5 near Fort Borst Park. An officer was called at about 11:40 a.m. to the 2000 block of Borst Avenue about what was happening, according to the Centralia Police Department. They stopped the juvenile and she was arrested for third-degree malicious mischief, according to police. Then she was released to her parents, police said.

• Officers took a report that a building had been vandalized by getting painted on Thursday afternoon at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department

• Centralia police responded to a 4:30 a.m. call today to Starbucks on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue for a report of vandalism to the front door of the business. There are no suspects, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, shoplifting, probation violation, misdemeanor assault, no driver’s license, driving with suspended license, obstructing a public servant, failing to yield to a police vehicle; responses for dispute, harassment, vandalism, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Rainfall prompts emergency declaration in Centralia, concerns elsewhere

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A flood watch issued on Thursday for most of Western Washington warning of small stream flooding and possibly worse remains in place for counties including Lewis, Thurston, Pierce, Grays Harbor, Mason and King.

The city of Centralia this afternoon declared a local emergency in reference to the continued rainfall.

Moderate to heavy rain is expected to continue for the next 12 hours, causing localized flooding,” Police Chief Carl Nielsen stated in a news release. “At this time the city is monitoring China Creek.

“The city is also watching the river level and at this time the rivers are not expected to reach flood stage.”

A single sand bag station will be operational by 2 p.m. in the 100 block of Center Street. That’s at Pearl Street near the downtown fire station.

Early this morning the National Weather Service indicated the heaviest rain is expected over the Mount Rainier area with another two and half to three inches predicted to fall over the next 12 hours.

The current model from the weather service shows minor to moderate flooding on the Cowlitz River in East Lewis County, peaking between tonight and Sunday morning.

The U.S. Forest Service yesterday warned recreationists the event known as a Pineapple Express would result in substantial runoff from small streams draining Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams and could trigger dangerous landslides and debris flows.

Mount Rainier National Park said visitor access will be impacted and evacuations could become necessary.

“Travel in the park is discouraged until the storm passes,” Park Superintendent Randy King stated.

A winter storm watch remains in effect at higher locations including White Pass until Monday morning. The first significant snowfall of the season is expected later in the weekend and travelers should prepare for slippery roadways and poor visibility, according to the weather service.

“The heavy rain will come to an end from north to south this afternoon into the early evening hours as the front moves south of the area,” forecasters state.

The weather services recommends the public monitor their latest forecast and be ready to act quickly if a flood warning is issued, or if flooding is observed.

The link for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Seattle can be found here and also always on the right hand column of this page, labeled “Weather Alerts, forecasts”

The link for the National Weather Service’s river level observation and forecast for Western Washington can be found here and also  always on the right hand column of this page, labeled “River levels”

No felony charges forthcoming from triple-fatality Onalaska wreck

Friday, October 30th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Investigators concluded the allegedly drunken driver in a two-vehicle crash this summer in Onalaska that killed three teenagers in the oncoming vehicle is not to blame for the accident.

Initial reports indicated the suspected point of impact was exactly in the middle of state Route 508, but the final report showed 17-year-old Arnold W. Mullinax crossed the centerline, according to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

2015.0714.landrover.onycrash1small

The 2002 Land Rover Discovery.

The Onalaska teen was carrying seven other young people in his Land Rover Discovery, most of whom were not wearing seat belts.

Mullinax and 13-year-old Taylor N. Thompson, also from Onalaska, died at the scene. Dakota L. Dunivin, 18, from Chehalis, passed away the following day at the hospital.

Joseph W. Rogerson, 36, from Chehalis, was arrested that night for driving under the influence and his case in Lewis County District Court has been in a holding pattern as prosecutors waited for the final report from investigators with the Washington State Patrol.

The July 13 nighttime crash left a community in mourning.

2015.0714.ford.minivan.onycrashsmall

The 2004 Ford Freestyle minivan

Responders from five area fire departments arrived to the scene near Hyak Road to find Mullinax’s Land Rover upside down, Rogerson’s Ford minivan on the roadway and 10 potential patients. All the survivors except for Rogerson’s wife were transported to hospitals.

Rogerson’s case has been dragged out, because if the investigation revealed the wreck was his fault, prosecutors were prepared to charge him with felonies such as vehicular assault and vehicular manslaughter.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer today met with the families of the victims to apprise them of the findings, before speaking about his decision that no further charges would be filed against the Chehalis resident.

He explained to them that there’s simply not a law to hold someone criminally liable who did not cause an accident, he said.

Meyer said he has had the final report for about a month.

“After the measurements were taken, the scene recreated and the vehicles inspected, it was found Mr. Rogerson was in his own lane of travel,” Meyer said.

Meyer said they know Mullinax’s crossed the centerline, although they don’t know for sure why that happened.

“A moment of inattention is all it would take,” Meyer said.

He acknowledged there was information in the state patrol’s report that offered clues, but out of respect for the families of the victims declined to elaborate.

The final reports showed Mullinax had no alcohol or any drug in his system, Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said.

Rogerson’s blood alcohol level that night was .15, according to Meyer.

Meyer said investigators concluded with the way the accident occurred, even a sober driver in the van would not have been able to avoid it.

“This is obviously a huge tragedy, three young children lost their lives,” Meyer said. “That’s the key we take away.

“We always have to be cognizant of what happens (on the road) and let our loved ones know they are loved ones.”

Rogerson’s next court hearing is Wednesday. He has been free on a $5,000 appearance bond

Among his court-ordered conditions are that he may not consume any alcohol, he may not drive without an ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle and has to wear an alcohol monitor bracelet which will detect if he drinks.
•••

For background, read “Charging decision expected soon in Onalaska triple fatality wreck” from Wednesday September 23, 2015, here