Posts Tagged ‘By Sharyn L. Decker’

News brief: Centralia auto business drug case will bring 10 years or more for Valle Vega

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Donato Valle Vega faces a minimum of 10 years in federal prison following his conviction in connection with pounds of drugs seized from the attic of a Centralia car lot.

A jury found Valle Vega guilty on Friday of in U.S. District Court in Tacoma of one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and a second similar count related to methamphetamine, according to Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Thomas.

“The jury deliberated about four and half hours,” Thomas said.

Federal agents descended upon Emmanuel Auto Sales on Harrison Avenue in September 2010 after Valle Vega admitted hiding drugs at his business.

He was charged by indictment the same month.

Thomas said the offense brings a sentence of at least 10 years and as much as life in prison.

A forfeiture hearing is scheduled for Jan. 4 and sentencing is set for Jan. 25 in front of Judge Ronald B. Leighton, according to Thomas.
•••

For background, read “Centralia auto business arrest followed discovery of almost 10 pounds of cocaine” from Wednesday September 29, 2010, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

THEFT INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY AT CENTRALIA EAGLES

• Police are investigating money missing from the Centralia Eagles. An officer called just after noon time yesterday to the 2300 block of North Pearl Street learned there was cash missing, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Jim Shannon said it’s not clear if the theft occurred during business hours or not. The amount in question was not disclosed but Shannon said he believes it is less than $1,000.

CHEHALIS POLICE LOOK INTO ASSAULT OF TEEN

• Chehalis police were called about 5:25 p.m. yesterday to a business on the 1000 block of South Market Boulevard after a 14-year-old girl walked in and said she was assaulted. The case is under investigation, according to Officer Linda Bailey.

SMALL BAGGIE FOUND AT FIRE DEPARTMENT HANDED OVER TO POLICE

• Police were called to the Northwest Park Street about 7:20 .m. today about an unknown substance in a small baggie found inside a vehicle at the Chehalis Fire Department. The material will be tested to determine what it is, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Someone prowled an unlocked vehicle on the 2000 block of Southwest Olympic Drive in Chehalis, according to a report made to police yesterday. Nothing was missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WRECK

• Two people were hospitalized after a one-car rollover accident yesterday morning northwest of Centralia. Firefighters called about 10:30 a.m. to Galvin Road near River Heights Road said there were four occupants. Further details were not readily available.

SMOKE DRAWS FIRE CREW TO BURGERVILLE

• Centralia firefighters called to a report of smoke inside Burgerville early this morning found an overheated light fixture in a back room. Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Casey McCarthy said crews called at 6:20 a.m. to the Harrison Avenue eatery shut off the power but didn’t need to use any water on the ballast.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Updated at 3:31 p.m.

OOPS, SHOULDA LEFT THAT HOME

2012.1029.april.ringo_2

April Sunshine Ringo

• A 35-year-old Centralia woman arriving at the Lewis County Jail found herself in more trouble when she ran her hands through her hair and a glass pipe fell out. When April S. Ringo was strip searched authorities found numerous items hidden in her underwear, including a pink straw with suspected drug residue on it and a pill believed to be Vicodin, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning. Ringo was in the Chehalis jail on remand from the court in connection with driving on a suspended license, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. A deputy called to the jail on Friday to investigate arrested Ringo for possession of controlled substance by an inmate, Brown said.

OUCH

• A deputy took a report about 1:20 a.m. on Sunday at the emergency room at Providence Centralia Hospital from a 26-year-old Chehalis man who lost some teeth when he was punched in the face at a party on the 200 block of Haywire Road outside Chehalis. The sheriff’s office is asking prosecutors to charge a 29-year-old Winlock resident with second-degree assault, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning. The victim reportedly had been disrespectful to his wife, Brown said.

THREAT TO KILL

• A deputy was called to the 100 block of Jordan Road in Salkum about 7:45 a.m. on Saturday after a 25-year-old Mossyrock man allegedly told his former girlfriend he was going to “kill her and the new guy she was dating,” according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 21-year-old woman had just broken up with Jose L. Ayala-Balderrama, according to the sheriff’s office. The woman said when Ayala-Balderrama was backing out of the driveway, he struck her with his vehicle’s door, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Ayala-Balderrama admitted getting into a fight with her but denied threatening to kill her, Brown said. was subsequently arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for felony harassment.

THEFT, THEFT AND MORE THEFT

• Officers called about suspicious activity at Les Schwab Tires on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia just before 1 a.m. today found a 48-year-old man with a wheel and when they searched him found suspected methamphetamine, according to the Centralia Police Department. Robert S. Lopez, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for drug possession and police continue to try to verify where the wheel came from, according to Sgt. Jim Shannon.

• Chehalis police responding to a burglary alarm about 12:20 a.m. on Sunday at a business on the 1300 block of Northwest State Avenue found a door broken and numerous items including chainsaws missing. The loss is estimated around $4,000, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Someone broke a back bathroom window at a home on the 600 block of Gore Road in Onalaska and made off with two credit cards and almost $2,000 worth of valuables including a backpack with fly-tying equipment and reels, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 47-year-old victim said it occurred sometime between Thursday and Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A deputy was called on Saturday to vacation property on the 100 block of Mountain View Drive North in Ashford where the owner said someone broke into his fifth-wheel trailer and stole a Husqvarna chainsaw, a Honda generator, power tools and other items totaling $1,680. The victim said it happened sometime during the previous week, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Chehalis police were called just before 9 a.m. on Friday about a burglary at a residence on the 600 block of Dobson Court in which a woman said she discovered her sliding door open and her purse missing. Someone later found some of the items – the driver’s license and a checkbook – on Market Boulevard and 17th Street and turned them into police, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called about 1:50 p.m. on Friday to a home on the 800 block of Northwest New York Avenue where a woman said she saw a stranger try to get in her sliding door. She stopped him and he said he was looking for a guy named John, according to police. A couple of blocks away, at a business on Northwest Middle Street around the same time, an individual was seen trying to get into two different vehicles, according to police. An officer contacted a suspect, who had trouble speaking, and denied going into the home or attempting to prowl vehicles but then admitted he was trying to get money and food for his kids, Sgt. Brian Hickey said. Luke Chancy, 33, of Chehalis, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for trespass and car prowl, Hickey said.

• Two 14-karat gold wedding bands engraved with Jesus and a fish were stolen from the 8100 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma sometime between Sept. 1 and Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A camcorder was taken as well, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• Police were called about 6 a.m. on Sunday about a vehicle prowl on the the 900 block of Southwest 21st Street in Chehalis in which a wallet was taken. The vehicle had been left unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A purse was stolen overnight from a pickup truck parked on Southwest James Street in Chehalis, according to a report made to police about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The missing handbag with identification inside was found in a dumpster Sunday on the 200 block of West Main Street, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WRECKS

• A 49-year-old driver was hospitalized after a single-car wreck yesterday on state Route 6 just west of Pe Ell, according to the Washington  State Patrol. A trooper called about 6:35 p.m. reported Zoe A. Hull of Tokeland was westbound when she failed to negotiate a curve and hit the ditch, according to the state patrol. The 1989 Mazda 626 was towed, the investigation trooper noted. Hull was treated and has been released.

• A 20-year-old Mossyrock man escaped injury when he lost control of his Ford Focus and totaled it on Saturday morning on the 100 block of Salmon Creek Road near Mossyrock, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy arriving about 8:20 a.m. was told the driver struck an embankment and then rolled the car onto its top, according to the sheriff’s office. The driver will be mailed an infraction for speeds too fast and expired license tabs, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

WEEPING BABY DEER

• Chehalis police were called about 10:20 a.m. on Friday to Northwest Maryland Avenue where someone found a young deer crying in the berry bushes with a broken leg. An officer had to “dispatch” the injured animal, in other words shoot it, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It’s right rear leg was shattered, according to Sgt. Brian Hickey. It likely was hit by a vehicle, he said.

News brief: Rain could cause creeks to fill up this week

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Not a flood warning, or even a so-called flood watch, but a “hydrological outlook” for all of Western Washington that says rain, rain, rain which could lead to flooding on some rivers by mid-week.

Total rainfall amounts through Wednesday are predicted to be in the 2-inch to 4-inch range on the southwest facing slopes of the Central Cascade Mountain Range and the Olympic Mountain Range, according to the National Weather Service.

The bulletin issued just before 5 p.m. today says this amount of rain will likely cause the Skokomish River in Mason County to flood at some point about mid-week and possibly cause some smaller creeks to run near “bankfull”.

A flood watch however was put in place this afternoon in Pierce County for the Puyallup River near Orting.

The weather service recommends people stay tuned to the latest forecasts.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

BARTENDER ASSAULTED

• Police were called about 1:25 a.m. today to a tavern on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia after a woman threw a beer glass at a bartender’s face. Further details were not readily available.

BANK CARD STOLEN BY TAVERN PATRON

• Centralia police took a report just after midnight that an individual’s debit card was stolen while at a tavern on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue and was immediately used locally. The case remains under investigation,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

STOLEN KNIVES RECOVERED

• An 18-year-old Centralia man was arrested about 10 p.m. yesterday at the 500 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia for possession of stolen property in connection with knives reported stolen on Friday from a shed on the 400 block of North Oak Street. Nathan A. Cheney was booked in to the Lewis County Jail  also for a warrant and possession of methamphetamine, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 24-year-old Portland man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and marijuana when contacted by an officer about 7:45 p.m. on Friday at the 800 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. Rico F. Mendez was booked in to the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• Halloween lawn decorations were reported stolen from the 500 block of South Gold Street in Centralia yesterday.

• An iPad was was reported stolen on Friday afternoon from an office on the 1700 block of Cooks Hill Road in Centralia. A possible suspect has been identified, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SOME UNRULY PARTY-GOERS UNDERAGE

• Centralia police broke up a Friday night party with as many as 100 individuals at a small residence on East Cherry and South Diamond streets. The visit from police stemmed from a complaint of noise and lots of juveniles drinking and being disorderly outside the home. Four officers, with help from sheriff’s deputies, spent about two hours “processing” dozens of party-goers to determine which were younger than 21 and drinking, according to the Centralia Police Department. Seventeen young people between the ages of 15 and 20 were cited for minor in possession of alcohol, according to police. Six of them who were under 18 were released to their parents, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said.

Synthetic marijuana found at Chehalis fire station building

Friday, October 26th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Chehalis firefighter has been charged with possession of synthetic marijuana after “Spice” wrappers were found in the trash in the fire station building.

Adam Myer, 42, resigned from the department last week.

The one count of possession of a controlled substance filed in Lewis County Superior Court is a class C felony.

Myer denied using the drug during work hours.

Spice is one of numerous products that were legal until about a year ago, according to Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher.

“You used to be able to buy them over the counter,” Meagher said.

According to charging documents and Chehalis police, a police detective this summer was interviewing fire department employees about suspected thefts of small amounts of cash around the department.

That investigation didn’t lead to anything, but Chief Kelvin Johnson told the detective about a garbage bag containing suspicious empty packaging which had been discovered in the bathroom of the old police department next door.

Detective Rick Silva was told Myer spent a lot of his off-duty time at the station and at one point had spent several hours in that restroom, which his co-workers thought was odd.

The residue found with the wrappers was tested at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab in Vancouver and had a chemical known as Naphthoylindole, which is now classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, according to charging documents.

Spice refers to a mixture of herbs typically sprayed with a synthetic compound similar chemically to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana; it is usually smoked, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

It is known by various labels including or K-2, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Fake Weed, Genie and Zohai, according to the DEA.

The documents allege Myer told the detective on July 20 the packaging was his, but he had not used the substance for some time and “straightened up” after a long talk with a fellow firefighter.

Chief Kelvin Johnson was unavailable to offer comment on Myer’s employment status, but co-workers yesterday said Myer last worked on July 20 and resigned last week.

Myer confirmed that yesterday, and said he didn’t want to discuss the case.

He said he has a medical condition that forced him to give up his job.

He disputed he admitted to the detective the Spice packaging was his.

“I never knowingly bought anything illegal,” Myer said. “It was a legal product bought from a store in Chehalis.”

He said it was perhaps unwise, but not against the law as far as he knew.

Myer said that after he spoke with detective Silva the first time, stores in Chehalis were still selling the product, saying he knew of three local businesses engaged in its sale for the better part of the summer.

“If they’re going to consider something illegal, they ought to prevent the sale of it, so people don’t unwittingly buy it,” Myer said.

Chehalis Police Department Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said  he isn’t aware of any businesses still selling the banned products.

It’s not something officers saw a whole lot of, although it did start to increase a little bit not long before it was banned, according to Kaut.

The Washington State Board of Pharmacy last autumn permanently banned the sale, possession and use of chemicals contained in products such as Spice, K-2, Bath Salts and others, made with either synthetic marijuana or synthetic stimulants.

An increasing number of reports from poison centers, hospitals and law enforcement prompted the DEA to control the active ingredients in synthetic marijuana beginning in March of last year. A measure signed in to federal law this summer added 26 synthetic drugs to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

Deputy Prosecutor Meagher said no merchants have been charged in Lewis County under the new law. Less than five individuals locally have been charged with possession, Meagher said.

Myer has been summonsed to appear in court on Nov. 6.

•••

In Cowlitz County, prosecutors recently dismissed similar charges against two individuals because at the time they possessed the substances, it was not illegal yet to possess them. Read about it here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, October 26th, 2012

MARIJUANA AT MIDDLE SCHOOL

• A deputy was summoned to Winlock Middle School yesterday afternoon about a 13-year-old student being found in possession of a small amount of marijuana. The boy said it was for his personal use but he had not used it, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The student was turned over to his mother; the case will be referred to juvenile prosecutors for a charging decision, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

BARN BURGLARIZED

• A 69-year-old resident on the 700 block of Curtis Hill Road called the sheriff’s office about 6:20 a.m. yesterday when he discovered a burglary to his cow barn. Missing sometime since the day before was a Honda pressure washer and two 25-foot sections of insulated copper wire, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

THEFT

• Police took a report about 6:50 a.m. today of a car prowl on the 1500 block of View Avenue in Centralia. Someone cut the cloth top on a Jeep and stole a purse and credit cards, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A window was broken out of a vehicle parked at the 200 block of Southeast Washington Avenue in  Chehalis and a CD player stolen, according to a report made to police just after 9 a.m. yesterday.

• A car stolen from Centralia turned up yesterday at Delano and Blair roads north of town, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The owner was contacted and retrieved the 2001 Honda Accord, according to the sheriff’s office.

WRECKS

• A 19-year-old Chehalis area resident received minor cuts when he rolled his car yesterday morning off Brockway Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The teenager said he was not paying attention and drove his Oldsmobile Cutlass off the road, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. There was major damage to the car, Brown said. The driver was issued a citation for wheels off the roadway.

• A 21-year-old driver from Centralia was cited for wheels off the roadway after she reached for her chap stick and ran into an embankment on the 600 block of Centralia-Alpha Road east of Chehalis yesterday evening. A deputy arriving about 5:45 p.m. reported she and her passengers were evaluated by medics and none were injured,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 2004 Ford Focus sustained major damage, according to the sheriff’s office.

News brief: Onalaska firefighters save most of shop, all of mill in less than 24 hours

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A fire broke out this afternoon in Onalaska claiming a 25-foot travel trailer and almost taking out a two-car garage and shop built just two months ago.

Firefighters called about 2:30 p.m. to the 200 block of Dluhosh Road found the metal sided building had begun to burn, according to Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Mark Conner.

Three firefighters from Onalaska and two from Lewis County Fire District 6 extinguished the blaze, he said.

The fire appeared to be related to an electrical issue in the trailer, which was a total loss, Conner said.

Conner said the owner was home and had moved some items, including a boat which had just a little damage. He estimated the shop was about 30 percent affected.

Onalaska firefighters last night stopped a fire at a mill on state Route 508 near Alexander Road. When they arrived following the approximately 11:30 p.m. call, they found small flames and smoldering wood shavings beneath some equipment according to the chief.

“It didn’t really spread, there was no equipment or property damage,” he said.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

GRANDMOTHER SWINDLED OUT OF $2,500

• A 73-year-old Onalaska woman called the sheriff’s office yesterday when she realized she’d been tricked into sending $2,500 to a stranger. It happened late last month when she received a phone call from someone who identified himself as her grandson saying he was in New York where he’d gotten arrested for driving under the influence and needed the funds to get out of jail and get back to his base in Utah, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Rob Snaza said the caller sounded sounded like the victim’s grandson who is in the military residing in Utah. The caller put his “attorney” on the phone, who helped arrange for the grandmother to wire the money via a local Western Union service, according to Snaza. She subsequently has been in contact with her grandson and discovered it was not him, according to the sheriff’s office. Snaza says the sheriff’s office urges folks if they are ever suspicious of something that could be a scam to call 911. Investigators are trying to figure out how the caller knew the young man’s details, Snaza said, but cautioned people might consider personal information they post online in places such as Facebook.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A green 2001 Honda Accord was reported stolen from a residence on the 100 block of West Roanoke Street in Centralia yesterday. The missing car has a black fender on its passenger side, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called about 12:20 p.m. yesterday about a car prowl in which someone stole a stereo from the 100 block of Virginia Drive in Centralia.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called yesterday to a home on Southwest Gales Avenue where the 30-year-old resident said someone cut the wires on his house for the telephone and internet overnight. There is no suspect, according to police.

DRUGS

• A 41-year-old Centralia man picked up on a warrant overnight was allegedly found with a zipper case in his pocket that contained suspected methamphetamine and scales. Harold J. Bland was taken in to custody about 1:50 a.m. at a gas station on the 1200 block of Mellen Street in Centralia, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession with intent to deliver, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said.

AND OTHER STUFF

• Also, as usual, various arrests for outstanding warrants, and misdemeanors such as shoplifting and marijuana.

News brief: Centralia pizza prank leads to criminal investigation

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Police are investigating after a Dominoes Pizza delivery person showed up at a Centralia man’s door with more than $400 worth of pizza and beverages he did not order.

An officer who responded to the home on the 500 block of Yew Street last night learned someone used the 52-year-old man’s credit card to place the order, but it wasn’t him.

Sgt. Kurt Reichert said the unknown caller gave the man’s correct phone number for verification.

The man is a regular customer, he said.

“The pizza place was willing to go on past history, and deliver it to the guy,” Reichert said.

The sergeant said he wasn’t sure how many pizzas were delivered, or what was done with them after it was discovered it was a bogus order.

They did learn it was a female who called for the delivery, he said.

The victim passed along a name of a person who has had access to his credit card in the past, and the investigation continues.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

COMPLAINT: WOMAN ‘TALKING WITH HER BUTT CHEEKS’

• Police were called to Wal-Mart yesterday morning to a complaint a customer refused to leave, pulled her pants down and was “talking with her butt cheeks.” An officer who responded to the 10 a.m. call to Northwest Louisiana Avenue said the woman who was in her 30s denied exposing herself. She was “trespassed” meaning she was told she may not return to the store, according to the Chehalis Police Department. “We don’t know what she was trying to do,” Sgt. Brian Hickey said.

ESTIMATED $10,000 WORTH OF GEAR MISSING FROM GARAGE

• Someone stole two sets of diving equipment and a racing bicycle from the 900 block of South Silver Street in Centralia, according to police. An officer called about 9:10 a.m. yesterday was told a lock had been cut off the garage. The loss is estimated at about $10,000, according to the Centralia Police Department.

TRUCK TAKEN IN CENTRALIA

• A deputy was called yesterday morning to the theft of a maroon 1999 Ford Ranger from a driveway on the 400 block of South Street in Centralia. The vehicle went missing sometime between 9 p.m. on Monday and 8 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

INTRUDER FLEES SHOP BUILDING

• Centralia police were called at 8:48 p.m. yesterday to an interrupted burglary to a shop building on the 2400 block of Eureka Avenue. The victim observed a male wearing a dark-colored Oregon Ducks shirt, gray sweat pants and black with orange shoes running from the building, according to the Centralia Police Department. Nothing was immediately reported as missing, according to police.

PURSE STOLEN FROM PARKED VEHICLE

• A woman who parked her car at Schaeffer Park north of Centralia while she walked her dog last night returned to find a window broken out and her purse missing. A deputy called about 8:45 p.m. to the parking lot on the 800 block of state Route 507 canvassed the area but found no suspect, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss of the handbag, cash and credit cards is about $450, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND OTHER STUFF

• Also, as usual, various arrests for outstanding warrants, reports of misdemeanors such as theft and assault, as well as traffic issues and complaints that were not confirmed.

Read about Sheriff of Wahkiakum County dies of gunshot wound …

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports the sheriff of Wahkiakum County died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home late yesterday afternoon.

Sheriff Jon Dearmore, 50, who was elected in 2010, spent nearly 25 years in law enforcement, and oversaw a department of five full-time deputies, a small support staff and a handful of reserves, according to news reporters Leslie Slape and Natalie St. John.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson said it appears Dearmore may have been despondent over medical issues related to a lingering line-of-duty injury suffered several years ago.

Wahkiakum County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from Dearmore’s wife about 5 p.m. when she reported he was making suicidal statements and she was concerned for his welfare, Nelson said in a statement.

“When the deputies arrived on scene, they found Sheriff Dearmore in his shop,” Nelson said. “As they entered the door to talk with him, he shot himself. Both deputies are long-time sheriff’s office employees and friends of Sheriff Dearmore.”

Wahkiakum County Undersheriff Mark Howie contacted Nelson and asked for assistance, according to Nelson. Coroner duties are being handled by Cowlitz County Coroner Tim Davidson’s office at the request of Wahkiakum County Prosecutor and Coroner Dan Bigelow.

Deputies with Cowlitz County are providing patrol services for the eastern portion of Wahkiakum County, while Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson’s office is providing patrol services on the west end of the county, according to Nelson.

“Sheriff Dearmore was a loved, well respected member of the Wahkiakum community, as well as the region.” Nelson said. “He was my friend, and I’ll miss him.”
•••

Read more here

News brief: Don’t run over the firefighters, please

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters will be “occupying” the intersection of Belmont Avenue and Haviland Street near the Centralia Outlet Mall on Friday afternoon as they conduct a “boot drive” fundraiser.

Dollars collected will benefit burn victims and their families, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

“This an opportunity for our community to raise money and awareness for burn prevention and help families affected by burn injuries begin the healing process,” Firefighter-paramedic Jennifer Ternan stated in a news release.

Donations will go the the Northwest Burn Foundation, to assist with housing for families while their loved ones get treatment at the Seattle Burn Center and for children who have survived burns to attend summer camp, according to Ternan.

The event takes place between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. and may cause traffic congestion, according to the fire department.

Ternan offers some facts and advice:

• In Washington state, scald injuries are the second leading cause of death to children ages 4 years and younger.
• Just one second of contact with hot liquid can injure a child for life.
• Scalds can be prevented by lowering your water heater’s temperature setting to below 120 degrees.
• Never leave any child alone in the bathtub or in the kitchen.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

CHEHALIS MAN SHOOTS, MISSES, DOG WITH RABBIT

• Deputies were called about 4:20 a.m. today to a rural Chehalis home after a resident said his rabbit hutch was broken into by neighbor dogs. He said he awoke to the sound of a squealing rabbit and saw two German shepherds running away, one with his rabbit in its mouth, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 44-year-old fired a shot at the dog, but missed, according to the sheriff’s office. It happened at the the 1000 block of state Route 508. The rabbit died and the dogs’ owner was issued a citation for a violation called prohibited activities by dogs, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

HARD LIQUOR LEAVES STORE IN MALE’S PANTS

• Chehalis police were called just before 3 p.m. yesterday to a grocery store on the 2100 block of North National Avenue where they were told a young man had slipped a fifth of booze down the front of his shorts and departed without paying. Shop ‘n Kart’s surveillance video showed it was a fifth of Jagermeister, priced at just over $30, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

“THANKS, FOUND IT”

• Chehalis police were called to the parking lot at Wal-Mart about a suspected car prowl that occurred while its owner was shopping about 11:30 a.m. yesterday. The woman said she tore the vehicle apart looking for her turtle but it was gone. The reptile turned up later, according to Officer Linda Bailey.

MISSING MONEY AT NURSING HOME

• An officer was called to a nursing home on the 1300 block of Alexander Street in Centralia yesterday afternoon to take a report about money stolen from two residents. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

COLLECTING FIREWOOD GETS MAN IN TROUBLE

• A 55-year-old firewood seller was arrested near his home in Eatonville yesterday morning after he allegedly fled property on the 9000 block of state Route 7 north of Morton with a truckload of wood. When the law caught up with Homer F. Roger, he said the property wasn’t posted no trespassing so he didn’t think he did anything wrong, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Roger was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree trespass, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The wood was from a slash burn pile and a value could not be established for theft, according to Brown.

DRUGS MISSING

• Centralia police took a report about 4:30 p.m. yesterday from he 500 block of Yew Street about the theft of prescription medication. They have a potential suspect and are investigating, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ASSAULT

• A 17-year-old boy was arrested last night for allegedly choking his mother during an argument when she wouldn’t let him leave the home. Deputies called about 11:15 p.m. to the 1600 block of Pleasant Valley Road west of Chehalis reported they were told the woman briefly could not breathe while her son’s arm was around her neck. The teen was taken into custody for second-degree assault, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Morton police are investigating a Saturday incident in which a man was walking down a sidewalk with friends when a stranger came up and hit him in the face. It happened about 11 a.m. at Main Avenue and First Street, according to the Morton Police Department. The suspect is a male in his 20s, according to Chief Dan Mortensen.

VANDALISM

• Someone tagged a playground wall at Edison Elementary School on the 600 block of H Street in Centralia, police were told yesterday morning. It was immediately painted over by school employees, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DEER WRECK

• A woman and three girls from Toledo escaped serious injury when she rolled her vehicle onto its side after encountering four or five deer in the roadway  last night. A deputy called about 10 p.m. the South Jackson Highway near state Route 505 near Toledo was told by the 37-year-old driver she braked and swerved to miss the animals and the Ford Explorer went down an embankment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A 14-year-old passenger was taken to the hospital with neck and back pain, according to the sheriff’s office. The others, including girls ages 13 and 5, were reportedly uninjured. “Amazingly, there was no damage to the vehicle but it had to be towed from the ditch,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Updated at 5:32 p.m.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE: MAN ASKS 911 FOR SLEEPING PILLS

• A Winlock man was arrested after he reportedly called 911 eight times over the weekend to say he’d been poisoned, there were suspicious people outside his home and he needed sleeping pills because he’d been awake for five days. Deputies who responded to the 100 block of Bethany Lane suspected he might be under the influence of something because of his odd behavior, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He said he had used methamphetamine, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Matthew T. Johnson was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after first calling 911 on Saturday and was then released, according to Brown. Johnson repeatedly called 911 until Sunday morning, when deputies arrested and booked him into the Lewis County Jail for telephone harassment, she said.

KITTEN SHOT

• Chehalis police are investigating an incident in which a kitten was shot on the 1400 block of Mills Avenue. An officer called about 6 p.m. on Friday was told by the 20-year-old owner the feline was found under the neighbor’s porch and the veterinarian suspected it was a .22 caliber bullet that went through the spine, according to police. Sgt. Brian Hickey said he understood the kitten didn’t survive. An officer is still attempting to contact individuals to conduct further interviews, Hickey said.

PATIENT TAKES SWING AT FIREFIGHTER

• A 26-year-old intoxicated woman from Lacey was arrested about 1 a.m. on Saturday when she allegedly took a swing at a firefighter who was trying to help her get up. Police were called to the 2100 block of North National Avenue to assist aid crews which had been summoned about a woman who was having trouble breathing, according to the Chehalis Police Department. She told the firefighter to “FU” and grabbed his legs when her punch didn’t connect, according to police. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault but is being released without the felony charge pending further investigation.

BURGLARY IN CENTRALIA

• Someone stole a sledge hammer, tools and a moving cart from a residence on the 200 block of Van Buren Street in Centralia, according o a report made to police yesterday afternoon. They also removed the siding from a shed and made off with fishing poles and a tool chest, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BURGLARY SUSPECT PICKED UP IN TOLEDO

• Deputies located a burglary suspect last night near Toledo and booked him into the Lewis County Jail. David M. Meyer, 31, was wanted in connection with a Oct. 12 break-in to a home on the 100 block of Collins Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Meyer was found about 7 p.m. in the 1500 block of state Route 505, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CAR STOLEN, FOUND

• Centralia police took a report on Saturday morning of a car stolen from the 300 block of Jackson Street. The victim later found her Honda in the area of Anderson Road, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THOUSAND DOLLAR TOW DOLLY MISSING

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning a blue and white tow dolly valued at $1,000 was stolen from near a driveway on the 2700 block of Sandra Avenue in Centralia on Oct. 12. The victim just reported the theft on Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It has spoked rims, according to the sheriff’s office.

WRECKS

• A 55-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence after a two-vehicle minor injury collision on Harrison Avenue and Johnson Road in Centralia on Friday evening, according to police. An officer called about 8:10 p.m. to the scene issued a citation to George M. Solomon, of Centralia, and then released him, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 42-year-old Winlock man was arrested for driving under the influence after a non-injury, single vehicle collision Friday afternoon in the Toledo area in which he allegedly ran away from the scene, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A detective arriving about 3 p.m. located Douglas F. E. Jerome and brought him back to the wreck, according to the sheriff’s office. It happened near Jackson Highway and Frost Road near Toledo. His car sustained only minor damage, , Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

POLICE CHASE THROUGH WINLOCK

• A 25-year-old motorist was arrested yesterday evening after a police pursuit that reached speeds of more than 50 mph in a residential neighborhood on Southeast First Street in Winlock, according to police. Winlock Police Chief Terry Williams reported the driver fled his vehicle on Ash Street where he was apprehended. Marcus A. Church of Silver Creek was found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine, according to Williams. A search of the vehicle by police dog Misha and her partner turned up drug paraphernalia and an illegal weapon, according to Williams. Church was booked into the Lewis County Jail about 7:20 p.m. for attempting to elude, possession of meth and possession of a dangerous weapon. It began with a traffic stop related to driving with a suspended license, according to the chief.

Aged flood survivor loses her stock of prize-winning canines for the second time

Sunday, October 21st, 2012
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Nancy Punches realizes she was in over her head.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

DRYAD – Authorities seized dozens of foxhounds from a 79-year-old woman who lives in Dryad; animals they said were living in deplorable conditions.

All but a few seemed to be well-fed but their living area was overrun with feces, according to Lewis County code enforcement officials.

Code Enforcement Supervisor Bill Teitzel said he didn’t believe she was selling the dogs.

“I think she essentially is not physically able to care for the dogs and they were breeding among themselves,” he said yesterday.

Authorities rounded up 68 or 69 canines during Friday’s operation on the 400 block of River Road, 20 of them puppies, according to Teitzel. They found one dead pup which will be examined, he said.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Steve Aust said once they get the results of the necropsy, they will evaluate if there is a criminal issue of abuse or neglect.

The foxhounds are descendants of four puppies who – along with their owner Nancy Punches – survived Lewis County’s December 2007 flood while her 16 champion show dogs perished.

Punches endured a nightmarish 36-hour ordeal alone in which she was trapped inside her mobile home as flood waters rose to within inches of her ceiling. She floated upon a tipped-over antique bookcase after placing her five-week-old dogs inside a styrofoam shipping container.

Lewis County Commissioner Bill Schulte who lives in the same community about 14 miles west of Chehalis tipped off enforcement employees there might be a problem. Schulte told Teitzel early last week Punches has been a responsible dog owner for years.

“Her bond (with the dogs) is a little different than before,” Schulte said.

Punches, a longtime breeder of show dogs, has been mostly cooperative.

“I don’t want to blame it on the flood,” Punches said. “But I’m not the same person I was before the flood.”

“I always try to do too much, and it just caught up with me,” she said.

Animal enforcement employees visited Punches’ rural property a week ago and observed feces and sawdust stacked up to eight inches in the outside run area, according to Teitzel. Punches works out of town and they had a hard time catching her at home, he said.

When they returned on Friday morning with a warrant to inspect the premises, it had rained, he said.

“The first thing my staff noticed, that had totally liquified, and the dogs were wading through it,” he said.

Inside the dogs’ central building, waste was mounded to more than a foot, he said, and conditions were severely overcrowded.

They amended their warrant to allow for immediate confiscation of the dogs.

The roundup lasted until long after dark, he said. Assisting with collecting and subsequently housing the canines were animal control employees from Clark County, the city of Chehalis and the Lewis County Animal Shelter. The non-profit animal rescue group Pasado’s Safe Haven in Snohomish County helped as well.

Some went to veterinary clinics with minor leg injuries or possibly urine burned feet, according to Teitzel.

It became a struggle crating up 70-plus-pound foxhounds, he said.

“As we got about two-thirds (of the way) through, some had never been handled,” he said.

Punches, who assisted them during the wrangling, called it bedlam and traumatizing for many of the dogs.

Next-door-neighbor Jim Chown called Punches a sweet lady who has a hard time letting go of things.

“She knows every dog, she knows their names,” Chown said.

Punches spent yesterday with her adult son who traveled from his home in Burien to help his mother.

“I’ knew it was bad,” she said. “I’ve known the past couple of months I was over my head.”

It’s not for lack of trying though, she says.

At 79, she is on her feet all day, working four 10-hour days a week in the lab at Morton General Hospital. Her commute is an hour and a half each way.

That leaves about enough time and energy to feed her dogs, feed herself and sleep until her next shift, she said.

“It’s hard to get good help when it comes to shoveling (kennels),” Punches said.

She said she didn’t intend for the dogs to multiply the way they have, but the fencing between the males and females has deteriorated in places.

She’s spoke with fencing people about replacing it, as soon as she could get the money, she said. She’s talked to contractors about a replacement roof.

“I tried to get a loan, but it’s a double-wide, a used one,” she said of her home that was donated after her first one was destroyed in the flood.

They go through 150 pounds of dog food a day.

Punches has attempted to find homes for some of her dogs, spending her time off last weekend delivering four of them partway to Montana. It’s hard to choose which ones to keep, she said.

She knows for sure she would not willingly give up Noah and his sister Spirit, two of the pups that she kept warm inside her shirt as she wandered hypothermic and disoriented through her former home on Dec. 4, 2007; or Hawk, the grown dog she said had to save himself.

The generosity of strangers afterward was tremendous, she said, with cards and much-welcome and needed donations of money.

Punches chokes up and pauses, saying she doesn’t usually cry.

“People were so nice, I’m afraid when they hear about it …,” she said.

She worries those people will think their kindness then was a mistake, she said.

Her first dog show was in 1956, she said. “I’ve never had a problem like this.”

Changing the topic, she admits she doesn’t know what will happen next.

Amy Hanson from the animal shelter offered her a deal on Saturday, in which she would be willing to return four of the dogs if they are “fixed”, she said, in exchange for signing the rest of the dogs away.

Some of them are championship foxhounds, she said.

“Those dogs are valuable to the breed,” Punches said. “If they’re spayed or neutered, they’re no good to the breed.”

•••
CORRECTION: This news story has been updated to correctly reflect the number of dogs Nancy Punches lost in the December 2007 flood.

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The sheriff’s office counted 47 adult dogs and 18 puppies with four of the puppies taken to Cascade West Veterinary Hospital in Centralia for treatment and one dead puppy found in a cage. Two of the animals are fox terriers, the rest foxhounds, according to Code Enforcement Supervisor Bill Teitzel. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

•••

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The dogs’ housing at the property on the 400 block of River Road west of Chehalis. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office