Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Sheriff: Don’t be an unprepared flood victim

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

As the rainfall intensifies and a flood warning is issued for the Skokomish River in Mason County, Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield suggests folks here prepare for the season now, ahead of any local events.

Historically, the flood season in Lewis County stretches from November until March, according to Mansfield.

2014.1022.flood.clip.revisedWhile Lewis County is not in the anticipated impact area today, it’s a good time to review safety information, he says.

The sheriff urges members of the public to sign up now for the  Lewis County Emergency Notification system, CodeRED. Once registered, you would receive any emergency action notifications directly to your cell phone or home telephone, according to Mansfield.

He advises people who live near a flood plain to purchase flood insurance.

Because most deaths from floods come from driving or walking through floodwaters, the sheriff reminds drivers that just one foot of water can float most vehicles.

Mansfield is the director of the Lewis County Division of Emergency Management. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown is the interim deputy director.

Mansfield says: If you live in an area where floods occur, you should know the following:

BEFORE A FLOOD
• Prepare your home, family, pets and livestock with at least a three to five day emergency supply kit, including medications and some cash. Information on what to include can be obtained from Lewis County Emergency Management at (360) 740-1151 or on the sheriff’s website at www.lewiscountywa.gov/sheriff
• Provide at least one plug-in-the wall telephone for emergency calls if the power is out.
• Plan for evacuation including what route you will take and when you should leave.
• Learn how to purify water. If you have a well, learn how to decontaminate it.
• Keep your car full of gas.
• Listen to your radio or television for reports of flood danger. Current Lewis County “River Readings” and “Road Closures” are posted on the county’s website at: www.lewiscountywa.gov
• Keep all insurance policies and a list of valuable items in a safe place.

DURING THE FLOOD
• Stay away from moving water. Do not walk or drive through flooded areas. Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contract with floodwater.
• Stay away from downed power lines
• Stay away from disaster areas unless authorities ask for volunteers.
• Continue to listen to your radio or television for reports of flood danger.
• Call 9-1-1 only in life threatening emergencies. Limit personal calls to keep the lines clear for emergency calls.

AFTER THE FLOOD
• Wear gloves and boots when cleaning up.
• Open all doors and windows. Use fans if possible to air out the building.
• Wash all clothes and linens in hot water.
• Discard mattresses and stuffed furniture; they can’t be adequately cleaned.
• Disinfect by wiping surfaces with a solution of one cup bleach per gallon of water. Wash dirt and mud from walls, counters and hard surface floors with soap and water.
• Discard all food that has come into contract with floodwater. Canned food is alright, but thoroughly wash the can before opening.
•••

Lewis County Sirens.com has two valuable links, always available on the right hand side bar, with the latest official information for your area from the National Weather Service.

“Weather alerts, forecasts”: where you can check your particular location, and watch the coming weather, as well as see any weather-related alerts issued for your area

“River levels”: where you can monitor a river in your area, and see how high it is rising and is expected to rise during rain events.

News brief: Lost mushroom hunters burned backpack to keep warm

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Searchers set out about 7:30 a.m. today to find two Tacoma men who failed to meet up with their companions when it got dark last night following a mushroom picking outing in the woods about ten miles east of Packwood.

The experienced mushroom hunters, ages 60 and 66, were located a little more than an hour later, cold and wet but in good spirits, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

“The men told deputies they used their backpack to start a fire to stay warm overnight,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said in a news release. “They had cold weather clothing and rain gear.”

The men said they said they got turned around and decided to follow the stream downhill, according to the sheriff’s office. They had picked in the same area numerous times, but the terrain is rugged, steep, and has a lot of streams, according to the sheriff’s office.

They were off Forest Service Road 4510 yesterday with three others but didn’t show up back at their vehicle as planned when it got dark, Brown stated. Their companions got worried and called 911 last night, Brown said.

It was about 8:45 a.m. today when they were discovered walking downstream, just a quarter mile from their vehicle, according to Brown.

Members of the sheriff’s office, Lewis County Search and Rescue and Lewis County ATV conducted this morning’s search.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield took the opportunity to remind the public how easy it can be for even experienced outdoorsmen to become disoriented and lost.

It is so important that anyone heading outdoors be prepared for an emergency, Mansfield stated.

“These men had matches, appropriate clothing, and were well prepared to deal with the elements,” Mansfield said. “Proper preparation can often determine whether an outcome is positive or tragic.”

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Updated at 6:01 p.m.

BIG WIRE THEFT

• Someone stole an estimated $6,000 worth of wire from a rock pit at the 3000 block of Foron Road outside Centralia over the weekend, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown reports this morning that 400 feet of wire was taken from Dulin Construction between Friday and Monday. Brown said she didn’t know if it was in-use wiring ripped from machinery or a building or if it was product that was being stored.

AUTO THEFT

• A black 1996 Honda Accord was reported stolen yesterday between 5:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. from behind the football stadium  off the 2500 block of Mount Vista Road in Centralia. Paint is peeling from the trunk and roof of the four-door vehicle, with a license plate reading 505 XRH,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

MOTEL SERVICES THEFT

• A 66-year-old Centralia woman was arrested yesterday at the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia for allegedly refusing to leave or pay for a room she rented. Centralia police called about 1:40 p.m. cited Alexa S. Hoover for defrauding an innkeeper and then released her, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FAKE BILL

• Chehalis police were called to Wal-Mart around 11:40 p.m. yesterday when a customer attempted to spend what turned out to be a counterfeit $100 bill. An officer took possession of the bill to send along to the U.S. Secret Service but there was no established intent on the part of the 64-year-old Centralia man to engage in wrongdoing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LEWIS COUNTY MAN FACES ELUDING AND RELATED CHARGES

• A 44-year-old Mineral resident pleaded not guilty yesterday in Cowlitz County Superior Court to numerous charges stemming from an incident earlier this month in which he allegedly rammed patrol cars and led police on a chase through Longview, according to The (Longview) Daily News. News reporter Justin Pittman writes that on Oct. 5 when the pursuit ended, Mark A. Koopman refused to leave his vehicle and began cutting himself, prompting an officer to break a window, leading to a laceration that required surgery.

FROM THE COURTS

• An opinion filed yesterday by the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed a dismissal by a Lewis County Superior Court judge of a felony shoplifting charge against a Centralia man from last year. In February 2013, 41-year-old Tom Reeves of Centralia was arrested after allegedly using pliers to cut a security device from merchandise at Wal-Mart in Chehalis, and fleeing on his bicycle. Police located Reeves just down the road and recovered a stolen surveillance camera set from a backpack, according to authorities, and prosecutors charged him with retail theft with extenuating circumstances. The felony charge was based on the theory the use of pliers was an extenuating circumstance, but the law states “(A)n extenuating circumstance for retail theft includes being in possession of ‘an item, article, implement, or device designed to overcome security systems including, but not limited to, lined bags or tag removers’.” The trial court reasoned that including common tools in the definition of devices designed to overcome security systems would render every act of removing a security device an extenuating circumstance, the three-member panel of the Court of Appeals Division II wrote.

LOST IN THE WOODS

• Lewis County Search and Rescue this morning located a pair of mushroom hunters who had spent the night outside near Packwood. A spokesperson for the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office had no further information this morning. Lewis County Fire District 10 Chief Lonnie Goble said his department was not called to render any aid.

COLLISION

• A 60-year-old Glenoma man was transported to the hospital this afternoon after his car ran off of U.S. Highway 12 near Randle and struck a tree. Bert D. Dallman was westbound and traveling too fast for conditions when he wrecked about 2 p.m., roughly four miles west of town, according to the Washington State Patrol. The 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier was totaled, according to the state patrol. Lewis County Fire District 14 Chief Jeff Jaques said the driver’s injuries were minor. “He traveled through the grass a ways before he hit the tree,” Jaques said. “It was a pretty good-sized fir tree; the tree didn’t give.”

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, found bicycle, disorderly person, misdemeanor assault, possible sex-related offense, suspicious circumstances, bullying at school, collisions on city streets … and more.

•••

CORRECTION: This has been updated to correctly identify the woman cited and removed from a Centralia motel for refusing to pay. Centralia police erroneously reported to the news media that it was a 57-year-old Centralia with a different name.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

GUNS SEIZED FROM CHEHALIS MAN AFTER ALLEGED RIFLE POINTING INCIDENT

• Deputies were called yesterday by a motorist on Highway 603 west of Chehalis who said a shirtless blond man in a yard was waving a gun in the air and when he drove by again, the man pointed the rifle at him. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said it happened about 3:15 p.m. along the 300 block and deputies subsequently located their suspect standing on his porch on the 500 block of Highway 603. The suspect screamed and yelled aggressively at deputies, one of whom pulled out a Taser and the suspect was taken to the ground and taken into custody, according to the sheriff’s office. James P. Sauter, 51, of Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault,  Brown said. Seized from Sauter’s vehicle were a handgun, an assault rifle and ammunition, according to Brown.

STOLEN MEDS CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called yesterday to 200 block of Southeast Washington Avenue regarding numerous prescription medications missing, totaling more than $1,500, including pain killers and one drug which was valued at $1,200, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The victim has a suspect in mind, according to police.

BUSINESS BURGLED IN MOSSYROCK

• Morton police yesterday reported they are investigating a burglary to a business on the 200 block of East State Street in Mossyrock. An officer called about 1:40 p.m. on Sunday learned from the owner that money was stolen after someone cut the gate on the fence and pried open a door to get inside. The amount missing was undetermined as of yesterday, according to the Morton Police Department.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police responded to an approximately 3 p.m. call yesterday about a burglary to a vacant house on the 1000 block of Eckerson Road. Officers were provided a video showing the suspects, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POLICE: IMPOSTER TAKES PHONES FROM BUSINESS

• Centralia police took a report yesterday from a business on the 1200 block of Lum Road regarding cell phones stolen by someone posing as a sales representative of another cell phone phone store. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT FROM GARAGE IN WINLOCK

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that a deputy took a report of a chainsaw stolen from an open garage on the 900 block of Byham Road outside Winlock. The Stihl brand item engraved with the name “Jack Miller” disappeared sometime between noon on Oct. 11 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office.

FRAUD

• An individual called Chehalis police yesterday to report someone unauthorized used their debit card to spend $50.91 at a gas station  on the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue.

CHECK BAD

• Chehalis police are investigating after being told late yesterday afternoon that someone put a stop payment on a large check cashed or spent at a business on the 2100 block of North National Avenue.

WEAPONS TAKEN IN CAR PROWLS

• A vehicle that broke down in a parking lot yesterday at the 1500 block of Lincoln Creek Road west of Centralia was prowled sometime between 6 a.m. and 12:30 a.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The rear window was broken and among the property taken was a Remington hunting rifle, a Hawaiian print backpack and men’s clothing, according to the sheriff’s office.

• An officer was called to the Lewis County Mall yesterday afternoon  regarding a vehicle prowl in which someone stole a tool box, two compound bows and other items including a stereo. The victim had left the truck three days earlier with a flat tire in the parking lot at the 100 block of Northeast Hampe Way, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VEHICLE VERSUS PEDESTRIAN

• Morton police reported yesterday they were told by witnesses that a female pedestrian stepped right out into the street without looking before she was struck by a vehicle on Wednesday afternoon. Her injuries were minor but she was transported to Morton General Hospital after the approximately 4:30 p.m. incident at Temple Avenue and Third Street, according to the Morton Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor theft, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, trespassing, hit and run, found bicycle, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, deer jumping onto county road causing two-vehicle collision, rear-end collision on county road causing major damage to a Volvo but only minor damage to a Kia Optima and a Chevrolet Camaro … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, October 20th, 2014

BURGLARY

• Someone stole about $5,000 worth of old coins from a safe at a residence on the 100 block of Clark Road in Onalaska sometime during the week that ended on Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said there is a person of interest.

• Chehalis police took a report on Friday that a Remington shotgun was stolen from a residence on the 200 block of James Street.

DOMESTIC ON FREEWAY

• Shane L. Davis, 41 of Vancouver, was handed over to troopers last night after he was found hiding in the woods behind a home on the 2300 block of Blair Road in Centralia. Officers responded about 5:25 p.m. to assist troopers who were dealing with a reported assault on Interstate 5 just north of the city, according to the Centralia Police Department. The suspect had fled into the woods, according to police. A dog track was unsuccessful, until about to hours later when police were called about a suspicious male, police report. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for fourth-degree assault.

PORN SCAM

• Chehalis police were called on Friday by a man who said a popup porn message appeared on his cell phone after his teenage son attempted to download an app, the message purportedly from the FBI warning his phone was locked was locked down and he must pay $500. Police confiscated the phone because the image(s) in question are questionable, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said there’s no reason to think the FBI would do such a thing, the attempt is a scam. He advises folks to be cautious when downloading apps, and be sure to read the fine print.

DRUGS

• A 26-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine on Saturday evening near Mellen and Marsh streets in Centralia. Brian M. Williams reportedly ran from officers who recognized him about 7 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department. He was wanted on a warrant from the state Department of Corrections and was taken into custody after a brief struggle, according to police. Williams was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police took a report about 11:30 a.m. on Saturday regarding someone prowling through unlocked vehicles at the 900 block of North Washington Avenue. Nothing seemed to be missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called on Saturday to the 1600 block of Southeast Aust Manor Drive where someone had gotten inside an unlocked vehicle during the night and stole a purse and its contents.

MALICIOUS MISCHIEF

• Centralia police took a report yesterday afternoon from the 100 block of Jackson Street in Centralia that an unknown person had removed the screws holding the lights to a vehicle.

UNDERAGE DRINKING

• A 21-year-old Chehalis resident faces a possible charge of furnishing liquor to minors, after deputies learned two minors involved in a single-vehicle accident early on Sunday morning had just left a party on the 1600 block of Bishop Road in Chehalis where they had been drinking. Deputies had responded to the area earlier regarding parking issues and were assured by the 21-year-old host he was checking guest’s identification to make sure no one was underage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, reckless driving, underage drinking, misdemeanor assault, resisting arrest, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, trespassing, misdemeanor theft, protection order violation, suspicious circumstances, noisy neighbor party, report of sex crime in the past, vehicle versus deer, collision on city street, SUV driving on someone’s lawn, passenger mooning motorists on Chamber of Commerce Way … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

NOT SHOT

• A 19-year-old Centralia resident was arrested yesterday for disorderly conduct after reportedly walking in and out of traffic, yelling and throwing things at passing vehicles. Police say Jacob S. Drury then walked into a house and announced he’d been shot, which he hadn’t been. It happened in the area of the 200 block of Latona Street about 4:40 p.m. Drury was back out in the street when officers arrived, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Kurt Reichert said it appeared he may have been under the influence of something. Drury was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police responded to a report about 6:10 a.m. today of a car prowl on the 1100 block of J Street. Tools were taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, resisting arrest, driving under the influence, malicious mischief, misdemeanor theft … and more.

Second suspicious Centralia fire consumes garage

Saturday, October 18th, 2014
2014.1017.centgaragefire.crystal.bowman

Fire erupts in the backyard of a West Walnut Street house. / Courtesy photo by Crystal Bowman

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Flames ravaged a detached garage behind a home last night, the second such incident in Centralia in less than a week.

Both fires are being investigated as arsons.

Centralia police arrived first after the approximately 8 p.m. call to the 1000 block of West Walnut Street, offering helpful early information, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

“We showed up, it was a fairly good-sized garage,” Firefighter-paramedic Jade Gross said. “We attacked it from the alleyway.”

Gross said the owner was alerted by older neighborhood children who spotted the fire and pounded on her door so she could call 911.

The crew was joined by firefighters from Chehalis and were on the scene until about midnight, Gross said.

Inside the structure and ruined were a small pickup truck, a motorcycle and a large amount of other personal property, he said.

“It was a complete loss,” Gross said.

Also burned was a travel trailer, some of a neighbor’s fence and outdoor children’s toys, he said.

A fire investigator was expecting to examine the scene today. Centralia police indicate there was no good explanation for the fire, and it is currently classified as an arson.

The garage’s doorless entry opened to the alley, according to Gross.

Early last Sunday morning, a large shed was destroyed by fire on the 1100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia; it was in a backyard adjacent to the railroad tracks. The rear of the house in that 2:30 a.m. blaze sustained minor damage.

Nobody was hurt in either incident.

2014.1018.cent.garagefire.neighbor.Aaron Cogburn

Looking toward what remains inside the destroyed garage from next door neighbor’s backyard. / Courtesy photo by Aaron Cogburn

News brief: Child porn charge dismissed for former Salkum resident

Friday, October 17th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A former Salkum man arrested last month for allegedly possessing child porn was released from the jail yesterday, his charges dropped.

Joshua Q. Keele, 38, was arrested in early September near his home in Port Hadlock following a local investigation that began in April, with a tip from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective collected computers and electronic devices and discovered at least one image that led to a charge of first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said the charge was dismissed yesterday, because there are reports from other agencies he has not yet received.

However, it was dismissed with prejudice, meaning he may file the charge again later, he said.

“We talked with the sheriff’s office and the FBI and we all agreed this was the best thing to do,” Meyer said.

Meyer said he expects later next week to get together with others to decide their next steps and when he would refile the charges.
•••

For background, read “FBI child porn investigation leads to Lewis County” from Friday Sept. 5, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, October 17th, 2014

STOLEN SERVICES FROM ER

• A 36-year-old man was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday for first-degree theft and other alleged offenses following an investigation into almost $25,000 worth of unpaid bills from two emergency room visits this summer at Providence Centralia Hospital. Police say Jason P. Parmele of Tacoma used either someone else’s name or a false name when he got care on June 12 and June 28. He was suffering from abdominal pain and other ailments, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officer Patty Finch said Parmele was also booked for forgery, criminal impersonation and unlawful procurement of prescription drugs for narcotics he was given while at the hospital. Finch said one visit cost $13,945 and the other was $10,961.

STOLEN GIFT CARDS FROM BUSINESS

• A 19-year-old K-Mart employee was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly stealing about $330 in gift card money from her employer, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Angel R. Nelson, of Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree theft, according to police.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police took a report of a stolen car yesterday morning from the 1100 block of Brotherson Road. A Honda Accord. The black 1991 four-door vehicle disappeared sometime between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., according to the Centralia Police Department. It has a license plate reading AFX 2027, according to police.

• A 28-year-old Rochester man was arrested last night for possession of stolen property following an incident in which he was stopped by an officer near the 400 block of West Pear Street, but he jumped out and ran away. Centralia police say Matthew L. Emery was quickly apprehended and they discovered the vehicle he was driving had been stolen in Lacey the day before. Emery was booked into the Lewis County Jail following the 9:20 p.m. incident, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called about 6:40 a.m. today regarding an overnight vehicle prowl at the 1400 block of Crescent Avenue.

LOST HUNTER FOUND

• Firefighters were called to aid a hunter who had been lost in the woods on Weyerhaeuser forest land west of Centralia last night. Deputies had gotten a call from an individual about 8 p.m. who said he got separated from his partner on the 620 Weyerhaeuser Line, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. They tried to use cell phone GPS information and also yelled out for the man and just before 11 p.m., he responded, detective Sgt. Dusty Breen said. The missing man was about 300 yards off the roadway over a ravine in the area of Wildcat Drive, Breen said. Deputies brought him out and he was checked for dehydration, exhaustion and exposure, according to responders. Riverside Fire Authority Firefighter Rick LeBoeuf said the patient declined to got the hospital. He said he was fine, LeBoeuf said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, violation of protection order, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious person, noisy neighbors; complaint of  tailgating driver, customer cussing at workers … and more.

Investigation: Barbecuing ignited garage, house in Adna fire

Friday, October 17th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

It was an unfortunate series of events that led to the loss of a two-story farmhouse near Adna, according to fire officials.

Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said the cause of the blaze was accidental, originating with a barbecue.

Firefighters called about 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday to the 300 block of Spooner Road found the garage in the back fully involved in flames. Lewis County Fire District 6 Chief Tim Kinder said when he arrived, he saw flames coming out the front of the first story.

2014.1015.spoonerroadfiresmall

Three hundred block Spooner Road

“Unfortunately, with the 100-plus-year-old house, once fire got inside the walls, it raced up into the attic area and through the roof,” Kinder said.

Kinder said he had to pull personnel out, and fight the fire defensively at that point, for safety reasons.

The couple who live there had relocated the home from another part of the valley and put it back together, Kinder said. “It was his grandfather’s place.”

Members of seven other fire departments joined them, working until about midnight, according to Kinder.

“Distance to water was the hard part,” he said.

Nine tenders shuttled water from a hydrant at Adna High School, he said.

“We used so many, because turnaround time was 20 minutes,” he said.

Kinder yesterday said he was grateful to Dave Martin at Tyler Rentals, who he was able to call that night and responded to a request for an excavator; and to Ron Sandrini operated it.

They used the machine to pull parts of the building down, so crews could attempt to finish putting out the fire, he said.

“There’s nothing left, it’s gone,” he said of the house.

Nobody was injured, but the house and its contents were destroyed.

Kinder said the owner had pulled his barbecue into the door-well of the garage, because it had started to rain.

He said he went in the house to get food for the barbecue and when he came back out, he noticed a patch on the floor on fire, he said.

He went to get a hose, and returned to find a wall on fire, Kinder said.

By the time he was spraying the wall, a second wall had caught fire, he said.

“It was very unfortunate,” Kinder said.

McCarty said they don’t know exactly what caused the barbecue to catch the floor on fire.

The chief said they started to get Red Cross to assist the couple, but neighbors responded.

“Half the families in Adna were out there already giving their help,” he said. “They were very well cared for.”

News brief: House outside of Centralia catches fire

Friday, October 17th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An unoccupied house west of Centralia burned overnight, drawing firefighters from four area departments.

Nobody was hurt.

Firefighters were called at 3:40 a.m. by an individual on the 300 block of Manners Road who said the house next door had flames reaching 30 feet into the air from all doors and windows, and trees were catching on fire, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Arriving crews found the one and half story wood frame home fully involved in fire, according to authorities.

Fire Chief Mike Kytta said they quickly contained it to the building of origin and declared it under control at 4:30 a.m.

The owners live about a half mile down the road, and the house was being renovated or remodeled, Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said.

“It appears at this point, it’s going to be an electrical cause,” McCarty said. He still has more to do in his investigation however, he said.

Kytta described the damage as heavy. McCarty described the home as gutted.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

THEFT

• Centralia police were called to the 800 block of West Pear Street about 10:15 p.m. yesterday regarding a burglary to a garage in which someone had broken the lock to get inside. Among the property missing is what’s described as a recumbent bicycle with “ape hanger” handle bars, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• Police took a report yesterday morning from the 800 block of J Street in Centralia regarding a ladder stolen during the night.

THEFT

• Two bowling balls were stolen when someone broke into a vehicle during the night  at the 1100 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 10:45 a.m. yesterday about a vehicle prowl in a parking lot on the 400 block of Front Street in which the driver’s side window was shattered.

VANDALISM

• Someone shattered the rear window of  vehicle parked on North Market Boulevard in Chehalis, according to a report made to police yesterday afternoon.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, disorderly person, misdemeanor theft, suspicious person, noisy neighbors … and more.

Feds are waiting for Centralia meth trafficking suspect

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A judge set bail at $500,000 yesterday for the Centralia man suspected of trafficking a large amount of methamphetamine.

About five pounds of meth, a scale, a ledger, 10 cell phones and cutting agent to be co-mingled with the drug were found when officers searched the home of Miguel Perez-Espinoza and during their followup investigation on Tuesday, according to court documents. More than $12,000 cash turned up as well.

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Miguel Perez-Espinoza

Perez-Espinoza was a primary suspect from a case four years ago when local and federal law enforcement officers discovered more than 12 pounds of meth during a search warrant execution on 100 block of Elma Drive in Centralia, but he disappeared, according to the Centralia Police Department.

The U.S. Marshals Service has a no-bail hold on Perez-Espinoza because that case is pending in U.S. District Court, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello said.

Masiello said even though Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey set the bail high, he wasn’t certain if federal agents might not take custody of the defendant and consider folding the local case into their federal case.

Perez-Espinoza has no felony criminal history.

In court yesterday afternoon, he told the judge he spoke only a little English, so a Spanish language translator was used.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke said her client was working before, but not currently, so he qualified for a court-appointed attorney.

Perez-Espinoza was charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, an offense with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, but a standard sentencing range of 12 to 24 months under state law, according to O’Rourke.

Prosecutors added so-called enhancements to the charges that the alleged crime took place within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop, involved a substantial amount of drugs and with a firearm being present. However Masiello said after the brief hearing there was no gun in the current case.

He’d mistakenly added that language, he said, but the information was about a firearm involved in the 2010 case.

According to charging documents, police found approximately a half pound of meth and the other items at the home where Perez-Espinoza lives on 200 block of West Second Street.

Officers learned he was storing more meth at another Centralia residence, and after contacting the occupant there, discovered the other four and half pounds, charging documents state.

Police seized three passenger vehicles as well.
•••

For background, read “Centralia’s drug team scores big; mass meth, cash” from Tuesday October 14, 2014, here

News brief: Hash oil making operation suspected at Winlock property

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Deputies found evidence hash oil was being manufactured when they searched a shed and home in Winlock yesterday, following an ongoing drug investigation.

Two people were arrested.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office had obtained a search warrant for the property on the 200 block of West Walnut Street following undercover purchases of marijuana and prescription medications, according to the sheriff’s office.

The house was under surveillance and at about 5 a.m. after a detective saw the residents leave, they were detained during a traffic stop at the intersection of state Route 505 and Interstate 5, according to a department spokesperson.

During their search, deputies and detectives turned up what was described as a large amount of prescription narcotics, a stolen firearm and 10 pounds of marijuana, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

In the shed, they discovered equipment and materials to make hash/honey oil, she said.

Arrested for multiple violations of the uniform controlled substances act and booked into the Lewis County Jail were Brett T. Watkins, age 37, and Gabriela Watkins, age 40, according to Brown.

A VUCSA case against a 21-year-old Winlock woman is being referred to prosecutors for evaluation of possible charges, she said.

News brief: Join in earthquake drill this morning

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Millions of people worldwide will practice how to drop, cover and hold at 10:16 a.m. today, in a drill to help prepare for ways to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield, director of Lewis County Department of Emergency Management, reminds the public that practice makes perfect.

“Practicing is what helps ensure you will quickly move to your safe place instead of responding to the instinctive urge to run,” Mansfield states in a news release.

Today is the “Great Washington Shakeout” earthquake drill.

Here’s what to do:

• Choose a safe place to go, in each room of your home or office.
• Practice quickly moving to that safe place.
• After the drill, come together with others and discuss where each of you went and why it was or was not the safest place to go.

•••

For those looking for more information about safety during earthquakes, check the Washington Emergency Management Division’s website

Chehalis police car hits man in crosswalk

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Updated at 11:38 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A pedestrian in a crosswalk was struck by a Chehalis police car last night, sending the 56-year-old Chehalis man to the hospital.

It happened about 7 p.m. on Northwest West Street near Front Street, near the Lewis County Historical Museum, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Kenneth L. Jacaway, 56, of Chehalis, was walking north crossing West Street and the patrol vehicle was traveling westbound, according to the state patrol.

Jacaway sustained a broken leg and an arm injury, according to a patrol spokesperson. He was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital.

His condition is described by a hospital spokesperson as fair.

Police Officer Rick Silva, 60, was driving a 2012 Dodge Charger and uninjured, according to the investigating trooper.

Chehalis Police Chief Glenn Schaffer said they asked the state patrol to conduct the investigation.

Silva was on routine patrol, not on his way to a call with lights or sirens, according to Schaffer.

Trooper Will Finn said it was his understanding that a vehicle coming the opposite direction stopped and motioned for the pedestrian to go.

“The pedestrian did not see the patrol car coming and I’m assuming neither did the other driver,” Finn said.

Jacaway was struck by the front driver’s side quarter panel, he said.

Chief Schaffer said he will wait until the investigation is finished, to then look to see if there are any internal matters to be looked into, regarding policy and procedure.

There was no reason to place Officer Silva on leave during the investigation, Schaffer said.

News brief: Eight fire departments battle Adna area blaze

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
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Flames rise near Spooner Road. / Courtesy photo by Cyndi Lang

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters called this evening to a garage fire near Adna found heavy fire extension into a 100-year-old two story house.

Lt. Laura Hanson of Lewis County Fire District 5 reports in a news release the structure is considered a complete loss, but nobody was injured.

Lewis County Fire District 6 was called just before 5:30 p.m. to the 300 block of Spooner Road and joined by members of seven other fire departments, according to Hanson.

Crews were still actively fighting the blaze as of about 7 p.m., she stated.

The cause is under investigation.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

PLAYING WITH FIRE

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning to a hair salon on the 700 block of South Market Boulevard after the discovery someone had set fire to some of the contents of their recycling bin outside next to the building. The damage was limited to the plastic bin and some magazines, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

UNWANTED VISITOR

• A 36-year-old man has been arrested after he allegedly crawled through an unlocked bedroom window at his ex’s home south of Chehalis, engaged in an argument and then left, slashing two tires on a vehicle as he departed. The incident occurred about 6 o’clock on Monday morning at the 200 block of Labree Road, but deputies didn’t locate the suspect until yesterday at a home in Onalaska, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Kevin C. Anderson, described as transient, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for residential burglary, according to the sheriff’s office.

AUTO THEFT

• A 1991 Cadillac Seville missing yesterday morning from the 500 block of South Silver Street was located about 3:15 a.m. today in the parking lot at Fuller’s Shop N Kart on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A stolen 2001 Dodge pickup truck was located yesterday abandoned at Walnut and Silver streets in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 3:30 a.m. today to a car prowl on the 600 block of Southwest William Avenue.

GO STRAIGHT TO JAIL

• A 47-year-old man who reportedly became irate and swore at the judge during proceedings yesterday afternoon in Centralia Municipal Court was arrested for contempt of court. Brandon A. Young, from Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, disorderly person, collision on city street, suspicious circumstances … and more.

Centralia’s drug team scores big; mass meth, cash

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
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More than $12,000 in currency is taken into evidence from Second Street drug case. / Courtesy photo by Centralia Police Department

Updated at 3:47 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 28-year-old man who was a primary suspect in a case four years ago in which local police and the Drug Enforcement Administration recovered more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine was arrested today at his Centralia home, where officers seized about five pounds of meth, three passenger vehicles and more than $12,000 cash.

A half dozen members of the Centralia Police Department served a search warrant this morning at the 200 block of West Second Street.

Miguel Perez-Espinoza was arrested without incident and booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver, according to police.

Sgt. Jim Shannon said this morning’s events were very low key. They waited until the children went to school, and then just knocked on the door and asked to talk with their suspect, he said.

The original investigation into Perez-Espinoza’s activities began in September 2010, when officers of the Centralia Anti-Crime unit working in cooperation with the DEA turned up in excess of 12 pounds of methamphetamine from a location in the 100 block of Elma Drive, according to Shannon. Police believed after that seizure, Perez-Espinoza fled the United States, presumably to Mexico to avoid prosecution, according to Shannon.

Toward the end of last year, the Anti-Crime team got information he had come back to town and resumed his drug trafficking, Shannon stated in a news release.

“Through surveillance, interviews and data mining we identified several members of his organization,” Shannon stated.

In August, officers served a search warrant in the 3100 block of Ives Road and ended up arresting three suspects, thought to be co-conspirators with Perez-Espinoza: They are Christian Ayon Felix, 30; Diego A. Vazquez, 22; and Erik M Nava, 35; all of Centralia, according to police. Shannon said slightly less than one pound of methamphetamine and $2,300 in cash were found at that location.

“I think the takeaway, is when we conduct a drug investigation in this city, it doesn’t matter how long it takes or how far you go, we will eventually catch up to you,” Shannon said.

He said they plan on making more arrests in the case.

Perez-Espinoza’s wife was present when police arrived, but has not been arrested, according to Shannon.

The vehicles they impounded include 2007 Chrysler Sebring, a 2010 VW Jetta, and a 2004 Ford Expedition.

Shannon said whatever becomes of the case from Elma Drive in 2010 in under the purview of the DEA.

The estimated current price of meth, by the pound, is $8,000 to $10,000, he said.

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Roughly five pounds of methamphetamine found today following search of Centralia home. / Courtesy photo by Centralia Police Department

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

AUTO THEFT

• A blueish gray 1991 Cadillac Seville was stolen from the 500 block of South Silver Street sometime between 6 p.m. yesterday and early this morning, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A stolen black Honda car was recovered yesterday at the 200 block of Walnut Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT FROM YARD

• Police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of Mikayla Lane in Centralia regarding the theft of tires and wheels from outside a residence. The items went missing sometime after 9 a.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT FROM STORE

• A 49-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday in connection with allegedly making fraudulent returns to a store on the 100 block of West High Street in Centralia. Rodney P. Bednarik was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  no driver’s license, underage possession of alcohol; responses for alarms, dispute, vandalism, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft, protection order violation, hit and run, suspicious circumstances; complaint of kids skateboarding on sidewalk  … and more.

Teen’s logging death results in fine to Chehalis employer

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Chehalis logging company has been cited for two serious violations in connection with the death of an 18-year-old employee who was crushed by a piece of equipment south of Boistfort last May.

Cole Bostwick of Winlock was setting chokers for a logging operation when a carriage was accidentally lowered onto him, killing him instantly.

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Cole Bostwick

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office identified the employer as ENB Logging and Trucking, but the state Department of Labor and Industries reports it was ENB Logging and Construction Inc.

An investigation conducted by L&I found the employer did not ensure the chokerman was in the clear as the Danebo drift carriage was being lowered for slack and also that the business’s accident prevention program was not tailored to the needs of the operation, specifically that it didn’t explain or address the differences in the hazards of using a drift carriage and a motorized  carriage.

An assistant fire chief who responded to the scene on May 21 described the carriage in question as a metal piece roughly six feet long and not very wide that traveled along a cable to assist in retrieving logs. He estimated it weighed two tons.

The penalty assessed is $7,800, according to the inspector’s report dated Oct. 1.

ENB has appealed the citations, according to a spokesperson from L&I.

The accident occurred about 14 miles off Pe Ell McDonald Road, on property owned by Green Diamond Resource Co. The teen’s father was on the job with him.

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Tyler Bryan

A Mossyrock logging company was cited for a serious violation earlier this year, after the death of a 21-year-old employee, who was struck by a log being pulled up a slope with a cable. Tyler Bryan, of Toledo, died on Feb. 10 at the site north of Morton.

Brintech Technical Logging Inc. did not appeal and paid the $2,600 fine, according to L&I spokesperson Elaine Fischer.

In that case, the same inspector found the employer did not ensure the three-man rigging crew was in the clear when a “turn” of logs was moving to the landing, according to the inspector’s report. The crew was within 40 feet of the skyline when the tail hold failed, causing the logs to fall towards them, according to the report.

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John B. Leonard

And a March death from a logging injury in the Salkum area brought a citation for an Winlock logging business, according to Fischer.

A fine of $1,800 was assessed against TJB Enterprises Inc. for a serious violation.

John B. Leonard, 69, airlifted to a Seattle hospital on March 27 after he was struck by a large limb while working on acreage just north of the 2200 block of U.S. Highway 12.

The L&I report contends the employer did not ensure before falling that various conditions did not create a hazard.

TJB has appealed.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, October 13th, 2014

STABBING INVESTIGATION

• Chehalis police are investigating a reported stabbing incident from Saturday night. Officers were summoned around 10:20 p.m. by the fire department who were on a call at the 400 block of Northeast Washington Avenue when a male walked up and said he’d been stabbed a couple of times, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Department spokesperson Linda Bailey said the individual was treated and his wounds were not so serious that he needed to be hospitalized. Police are still looking into it, according to Bailey.  “We’re still investigating, so it’s not clear what occurred,” Bailey said.

FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS DRIVE DRUNK

• A 34-year-old man was arrested yesterday evening following a ruckus behind a downtown Centralia tavern. Officers responding around 6 p.m. to the 100 block of South Railroad Avenue were told friends were trying to stop Michael P. Burnell from driving drunk and he was fighting them, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police say he also tried to fight with officers and was “subdued” with the use of a Taser. Burnell was booked into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to police.

THEFT

• Centralia police took a report about 10:30 a.m. yesterday of stolen mail from the the 500 block of Courtland Street.

• Chehalis police took a report from the 400 block of Southwest 14th Street on Friday of a battery stolen from out of a sport utility vehicle there sometime during the previous two weeks.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor theft, protection order violation, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, dispute, suspicious circumstances, noisy neighbors … and more.