Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 27th, 2016
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•••

UTILITY PAYMENT BOX BURGLED

• Anyone who used the after hours box for the city of Chehalis at the 1300 block of South Market Boulevard after 5 p.m. on Wednesday to leave their water bill payment ought to contact the city. An officer was called yesterday morning following the discovery that someone had damaged the lock and pried open the payment box, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BOARDER’S BELONGINGS DISCARDED

• Centralia police are investigating a theft consisting of all the contents of a room, which was rented by a 63-year-old man in an apartment at the 2800 block of Russell Road. It appears the resident arranged to have all the man’s belongings hauled away, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 5:30 p.m. yesterday to a report of a burglary at the 600 block of Jefferson Street. Missing was a laptop computer and a play station, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called just after 8 o’clock yesterday to the 800 block of Harrison Avenue where someone had stolen a bowling ball from a vehicle, but it was later located in a field behind Burgerville, according to the Centralia Police Department

TRUMP SIGNS STOLEN

• Three more Donald Trump signs were stolen from the front yard of a resident at the 1000 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia who has been repeatedly victimized in the same manner, according to a report made to Centralia police yesterday.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 16-year-old driver who took out a street sign and struck a fence at Southwest Cascade and William avenues in Chehalis called 911 about 3:30 a.m. today and was arrested for minor operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol and then released to his father. The Ford Ranger came to rest atop some type of water pump, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The teen was unhurt, according to police.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, protection order violation, misdemeanor domestic assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, disorderly person, third-degree domestic malicious mischief, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, collision on city street, collision on city street, collision on city street … and more, among 149 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6:30 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, May 26th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 12:03 p.m.

CITIZEN TRACKS STOLEN PROPERTY

• Centralia police were called about 1:45 p.m. yesterday by a shopper who realized she’d left her purse behind in a cart at the 500 block of South Tower Avenue. She used a friend’s phone to track her phone, gave the location to an officer who contacted a woman connected with a vehicle, in a driveway, containing the purse, according to the Centralia Police Department. Tanya N. Harris, 37, of Centralia, was arrested for second-degree theft and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. Prosecutors declined to file the felony charge today.

TOOLS TAKEN CENTRALIA

• A garage on the 600 block of Yew Street in Centralia was burglarized, according to  report made to police about 1:10 p.m. yesterday. Stolen was a tool box and tools, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police were called to a car theft yesterday at about 1:15 p.m. from a parking lot on Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis. Further details were not readily available.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called about 3:50 p.m. yesterday about a vehicle prowl at the 500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. A window was broken out and a purse as well as other personal items were taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called to the 200 block of West Summa Street about 7:40 a.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl. Missing were sunglasses, small personal items, cash and gift cards, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Officers called just after 1 p.m. yesterday about people inside someone else’s carport at the 500 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia contacted a pair of individuals walking and ended up arresting them both. Police were shown a picture taken by a witness and recognized their subject, according to the Centralia Police Department. Both had outstanding warrants and police allegedly located more than the allowable amount of marijuana in a paper bag which Alejandro S. Escamilla was carrying, as well as suspected meth, according to police. Escamilla, 43, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of methamphetamine and possession of more than 40 grams of marijuana, according to police.

TRUMP SIGNS STOLEN

• Centralia police were called to the 1000 block of North Pearl Street just after 1 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of political signs. The victim twice before yesterday has found her Donald Trump signs missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, probation violation, no-contact order violation, possession of a dangerous weapon; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, suicidal person, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances … and more, among 138 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
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•••

TODDLERS PLAYING BY ROAD AFTER DARK

• Chehalis police responded to an approximately 12:35 a.m. call today that a set of 2-year-old triplets were outside unclothed and running near the street at the 2200 block of Jackson Highway. An arriving officer found the children had been taken back into their home by their parents, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The officer spoke to witnesses and the parents and the incident will be followed up on, according to police.

MOM: CHILD FINDS METH PIPE

• Chehalis police were contacted by a mother yesterday who said she was taking her 2-year-old to be checked out after the child may have put a glass pipe in her mouth while visiting at the father’s home. The mom suspects it was used for meth, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

SCHOOL BUS FIGHT

• Police were called about 3 p.m. yesterday for a report of an assault on a school bus involving two 15-year-old girls that took place in the area of the 400 block of West Summa Street in Centralia. No arrests were made as the investigating officer is waiting to review the video from the bus, and investigating the incident as a fourth-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PORCH PROWLING

• Centralia police were called about 6 o’clock this morning about the overnight theft of items from inside a fenced-in back porch at the 800 block of Euclid Way. The victim told police a fishing pole, tackle box, and two packs of cigarettes were taken, according to the Centralia Police Department. This case is under investigation.

VEHICLE PLATES SWITCHED

• An individual contacted Centralia police just before 9 p.m. yesterday from the 100 block of South Railroad Avenue after discovering  a different rear license plate on their vehicle than the one they had been issued.  It is unknown when and where the switch was made, according to the Centralia Police Department.  The missing plate is B21033W and it was replaced with B67125P, according to police.

• Chehalis police were contacted yesterday afternoon by an individual who said his rear license plate was stolen while he was at a retail store on Northwest Louisiana Avenue.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called at 8:50 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 1400 block of Lum Road.

DRUGS

• A 31-year-old man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine yesterday evening after Chehalis police were called by the drug and alcohol treatment facility on the 500 block of Southeast Washington Avenue and told a client arrived for services and a search of his items turned up suspected drugs and a pipe. William G. Carter, from Monroe, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

PUNCH IN FACE LEADS TO FELONY CHARGE

• A 25-year-old Winlock man was arrested on Monday and charged yesterday with second-degree assault for allegedly striking and injuring an acquaintance more than eight weeks earlier. A Toledo police officer responded on March 27 to the incident at the 200 block of Park Road in Winlock, but subsequently learned when the victim went to the hospital, he was found to have a facial fracture, a broken nose and a sprained neck, according to court documents. The officer was told the victim and his wife were visiting Andrew R. Meza and his girlfriend when an argument erupted between Meza and the girlfriend and the victim was punched in the face, court documents relate. Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt set Meza’s bail at $25,000.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor domestic assault, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, check fraud, shoplifting and other third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, complaint that a purchase of stereo equipment from a guy in a van at a gas station was short on all the pieces … and more, among 156 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6 a.m. today.

News brief: Hear from local expert on police misconduct

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
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Washington Hall, the building that also holds Corbet Theater, sits north of Pear Street and west of Washington Avenue.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A criminal justice program instructor will be giving a lecture today that’s free and open to the public at Centralia College on police misconduct and excessive force.

Professor Gregory Gilbertson is a licensed private investigator, international police trainer and nationally recognized expert witness in police practices and procedures, according to the college. He is currently consulting with criminal defense and civil rights attorneys as an expert witness on over 30 active cases in 14 states.

Gilbertson will share his experience and perspective on what he describes as the epidemic of police misconduct and police excessive force cases currently plaguing our nation. He will also share insights and strategies on how to effectively interact with law enforcement officers in adversarial situations by explaining our fundamental rights and responsibilities under the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments to the United States Constitution.

The lecture is part of the college’s Spring Lyceum series.

The event will be held in Washington Hall Room 103 and runs from 1 p.m. until 1:50 p.m.

Washington Hall, the building that also holds Corbet Theater, sits north of Pear Street and west of Washington Avenue.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 11:04 a.m.

POLICE: MATH AVOIDING CHILD PULLS TEACHER’S HAIR

• An officer was called to Washington Elementary School on Field Avenue in Centralia about 10:15 a.m. yesterday after a student allegedly pulled his teacher’s hair and tried to kick her. The 11-year-old boy reportedly did not want to do math work, according to the Centralia Police Department. The child was turned over to his parent and a case for fourth-degree assault is being forwarded to prosecutors, according to police. The teacher’s injuries were non-life- threatening, police report.

PAIR CITED FOR FIGHTING

• Centralia responded to an approximately 6:15 p.m. call yesterday to the 200 block of North Railroad Avenue where they arrested two people for fighting in public. Cited and then released were Nicholas A. Richart, 35 of Centralia; and Synthia L. Barnes, 20 of Morton, according to the Centralia Police Department. Barnes was additionally cited for minor in possession-consumption of alcohol, according to police.

FIREARMS TAKEN IN BREAK-IN

• Centralia police are investigating a residential burglary at the 1100 block of Long Road in which three handguns as well as electronics were reported stolen. An officer called to the home about 6:40 p.m. yesterday learned the missing firearms were a Smith and Wesson M&P 9 mm and two Ruger pistols, according to police.

NARCOTICS MISSING FROM BURGLARY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning that pain medication was stolen from a residence on the 3100 block of Ives Road sometime between Friday and yesterday. The victim said 104 Oxycodone pills disappeared while she was away from home for a few days, according to the sheriff’s office.

FRAUD

• Centralia police were called about 12:40 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of West Main Street to take a report of a theft of property through credit card fraud. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were called just before 6 o’clock this morning regarding a vehicle stolen from the 1700 block of Harrison Avenue. Taken sometime during the night from in front of the owner’s home was a black 2003 Kia Spectra, according to the Centralia Police Department. The car has a license plate reading ABN 8729.

SIGNS MISSING

• At 1:12 p.m. yesterday, a resident at the 1000 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia called police to report signs had been stolen from their property, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• An individual called police about 8:30 a.m. yesterday to report their battery was stolen from their vehicle at the 200 block of Jefferson Street in Centralia.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police called about 8:30 a.m. yesterday regarding a man sleeping in a car in a parking lot behind a business on the 600 block of South Market Boulevard ended up arresting the 33-year-old for possession of methamphetamine. Peter J. Herman, from Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Herman was initially arrested for an outstanding warrant and the suspect substance was located incident to that arrest, a department spokesperson said.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 36-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested for driving under the influence after she allegedly tried to make a left turn in front of an oncoming car on Jackson Highway at Logan Hill Road south of Chehalis yesterday evening. Deputies responding at 6:20 p.m. found her unhurt but her Chevrolet Tahoe with major damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 22-year-old driver of the totaled Acura Integra suffered from back and leg pain and was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the sheriff’s office. Chrystal Graham, 36, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning.

• A 27-year-old Centralia man was arrested for driving under the influence and reckless endangerment after a deputy responded last night to find a vehicle’s front end stuck in a ditch and the man staggering away up Big Hanaford Road with a 4-year-old girl on his shoulders, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The deputy called just before 9 p.m. was advised the unoccupied truck at Tono Road was partially blocking the road and upon arrival, bystanders pointed out the man, according to the sheriff’s office. Nathaniel M. Bryce reportedly told the deputy he had drank one tall can of beer. Bryce was also arrested for third-degree driving with a suspended license, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, graffiti on a fence … and more, among 138 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6 a.m. today.

‘Festering little bombs’: The fire risk of towels with oil residue

Monday, May 23rd, 2016
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Investigators collect bundle of partially burned restaurant towels from Ham Hill Road house fire. / Courtesy photo from Centralia Police Department

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Most people have heard of the dangers of “spontaneous combustion” from oily rags left laying around the garage or workbench.

But how many are aware of the risks associated with a hand towel or dish cloth, for example, used with products one would find in their kitchen cupboards?

Not even Centralia police detective Dave Clary who is trained in fire investigations had come across such a scenario before.

The house fire on Ham Hill Road that took the lives of three children is now labeled with a cause of undetermined. But after two months of investigating, with numerous interviews and examinations that filled more than 50 pages of reports, the experts came up with one possible cause and one probable cause, according to Clary.

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March 4, 2016

It’s possible a compact florescent light bulb in a lamp could have malfunctioned and ignited the fire. Clary knows that because a private investigator hired by the insurance company asked if such bulbs were used in the home and noted they have been known to do that.

He told Clary if he had the bulb, he might be able to tell if it went bad by looking at it. But the fire in that area was so intense that no remains of a bulb were located.

The probable cause of the fire, according to Clary, because its more than 50 percent likely to be the reason it occurred, was from recently laundered oily towels placed in a milk crate near the front door.

Clary, who was the lead police investigator for the fire, said he was previously unaware CFL bulbs could be risky or dangerous.

“But, by the same token, I didn’t know vegetable oil was unstable,” he said.

The recently released reports and photos from the nighttime blaze offer information on previously unanswered questions, detail heroic attempts by police officers and firefighters to rescue the children and shed light on what their mother Sue Tower underwent before eventually standing outside the burning home in what police officers described as in a daze, or in shock.

It was an ordinary week night, a Thursday, and the family shared a dinner of pot roast, potatoes and sourdough bread Tower baked from scratch.

The 40-year-old single mother put her children to bed, reading a story to her youngest, Samuel, and said she closed their bedroom doors after tucking them in. Madeline had been having nightmares, so she slept with her older brother Benjamin that night.

The four had moved in to the rental home the previous April; their father lives in Thurston County.

The children’s bedrooms were on the upper floor of the split level home, with the main living area on the middle level and Tower’s bedroom on the ground floor at the back of the garage.

From her bed, Tower could see up the stairs into the kitchen and said she awoke to a noise like a crack, saw a glow near the stove and saw smoke.

She ran up the stairs twice, the first time in her underwear, the second time after pulling on jeans and a sweatshirt, but was turned back by the intense heat. She grabbed her phone and called 911, and ran out the back door of her bedroom hoping to get in through the back door on the main floor, but realized it was locked and she didn’t have her keys.

Detective Clary’s description of the 911 call characterizes Tower as panicked, out of breath, seemingly terrified and finally not able to speak coherently. She tells the dispatcher there is a fire in her kitchen.

Tower runs back through the house and opens the garage door, thinking that would help get rid of the smoke. A dispatcher tells her that was not the best thing to do.

“Over and over again she tells the dispatcher that she has children in the home,” Clary writes. “She advises that she is in the house downstairs and her children are upstairs and she cannot get to them.”

She goes outside and sees the entire house is on fire.

And she begins to scream.

Benjamin D. Tower, 12; Madeline R. Tower, 10; and Samuel J. Tower, 7, never made it out of their bedrooms, according to the Lewis County coroner. Coroner Warren McLeod said asphyxiation from smoke and carbon monoxide blocked their breathing and it’s more likely than not they did not suffer.

The bedroom door to one of their rooms was found open.

The owner Bill Bates, a former Centralia city council member, told detectives there were smoke detectors throughout the wood-framed house.

Sue Tower said she didn’t hear a smoke alarm. The one on the main floor had recently begun chirping, so she took the battery out and set it on the counter as a reminder to buy a replacement, she told police. She said she hadn’t checked other detectors.

A carbon monoxide detector was plugged in to one of the outlets on the main floor.

The fire was investigated by Riverside Fire Authority Assistant Chief Rick Mack, four fire department investigators, four detectives with the Centralia Police Department and two private investigators hired by Bates’ insurance company.

The reports and photos outline numerous visits to the scene, close examination of several appliances and electrical outlets and the sifting through the debris to collect various items as possible evidence.

The house was heated with an electric forced-air furnace.

The worst fire damage was on the main floor, not in the kitchen but in the living room.

Tower pondered possible causes with authorities, noting an electrical breaker would trip when the microwave was used and that one of the control knobs on the stove sometimes stuck making it difficult to shut off. She mentioned some of the electrical outlets were “loose.”

She was certain she hadn’t been burning any candles, even though she liked them and used them.

The reports reflect that police detectives were also taking note, looking for any suspicious behavior on the mother’s part.

Early on, investigators narrowed the origin of the fire down to an area near the front door, based on burn patterns they observed.

A piece of carpet and pad from the spot was collected to be tested for ignitable liquids.

It wasn’t until almost a week after the fire as detective Clary was contemplating the possible ignition sources that he recalled cloth items they had found and remembered Tower worked at a restaurant where cooking oil would be used.

She told the investigators she had washed a batch of soiled towels that afternoon and after drying them immediately placed them in black plastic milk crate by front door, so she would remember to bring them back to work the next day.

Tower said they use a lot of rice bran oil at Hub City Grub.

The remains of the towels – which Clary said still smelled somewhat of used cooking oil – along with samples of the cooking oil the restaurant uses and towels that didn’t go through the fire were collected for testing.

The results from the lab came back noting the fats detected would  have a low to moderate tendency toward “self heating.”

However, if laundering doesn’t remove all the oils, the cloth would be subject to spontaneous ignition with the additional of heat from drying, when poor dissipation of the heat occurs, the report indicated.

Instances like this have occurred all over the country and cases have even been documented in Centralia, according to the reports.

Something similar happened last summer at a Chehalis night spot, where firefighters responded to a smell that was not quite right just before closing, and eventually found a slightly smoking stack of towels. They had been used to clean up and then washed and dried before being put away, but when an investigator took them outside, he found heavy charring in the center.

Oily rags, dirty or clean, should be stored in something metal with a lid on it, the Chehalis fire investigator said at the time.

Detective Clary found the scenario is what more likely than not led to the deadly fire on the 900 block of Ham Hill Road in Centralia on March 4.

“When Suzanne washed and dried the towels she brought home from the restaurant and then stuffed them into the milk crate, she inadvertently combined the necessary ingredients for the towels to self heat and ultimately break into flame,” Clary writes.

Both detective Clary, Assistant Fire Chief Mack and the insurance investigator agreed they could rule out all the potential causes except for the towels, and except for a bad CFL bulb – since they never found the bulb.

Because more than one possible cause exists, the cause of the fire is officially ruled undetermined. It is also ruled to be accidental.

Sue Tower was stunned after the meeting with investigators, when they explained what they knew.

“It’s a really hard thing to process,” she said. “It’s such a fluke, I don’t even normally bring them home.”

Tower continues on, still not able to plan more than one, maybe two, days in advance.

Every night, she relives the nightmare, she said.

“Sometimes I’m smarter, quicker, I do something different,” she said. “I’m not going to pretend I’m even remotely okay.”

She calls towels with oil residue festering little bombs. Even just vegetable oil, she said.

The former Chehalis native said she began researching and found quite a bit of information, noting television journalist Diane Sawyer did an episode once on the dangers of linseed oil.

“I had no idea, and there are so many people who don’t know,” Tower said.

•••

For background, read “Heavy hearts as family loses three in Centralia house fire” from Friday March 4, 2016, here

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Investigators took numerous photos at the Ham Hill Road house for their fire investigation, many of them just inside the front door. / Courtesy photo from Centralia Police Department

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Fire investigators working at the scene at the two-story house fire on March 4, 2016.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, May 23rd, 2016
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•••

Updated at 6:09 p.m.

HOSPITAL PATIENT FLEES FAMILY MEMBER WITH KNIFE

• Bail was set at $50,000 today for a 25-year-old man whose mother said she woke up to find him approaching her hospital bed with a knife raised above his head, but when he tripped and fell, she grabbed her walker and fled. The mom had recently had her right leg amputated at the knee and was not stabbed during the incident on Saturday afternoon at Providence Centralia Hospital, according to court documents. Police responding to the approximately 2:40 p.m. call to the  900 block of South Scheuber Road in Centralia indicated when they arrived, David D. Marrs was detained in handcuffs and seemed to be having a hard time staying awake, with dropping eyelids and slurred speech, according to court documents. Marrs was arrested and booked for second-degree assault and today charged with the same offense in Lewis County Superior Court. His arraignment is set for Thursday.

ARSON INVESTIGATION CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called to an alley near the 600 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue early on Saturday morning after two vehicles caught fire. Firefighters responded around 3:30 a.m. for a cargo van fully engulfed in flames, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The fire department returned just after 5 a.m. to the same alley when an individual reported someone tried to light his pickup truck on fire, according to police. Officers collected evidence and the case is under investigation, police department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.

POSSIBLE ROBBERY ATTEMPT

• Centralia police were called just after 9 p.m. yesterday to the 800 block of Harrison Avenue where they were told a 21-year-old Centralia man gunned his vehicle trying to get away from three males he said were trying to rob him and he ran into a landscaping rock. It was originally called in as a hit and run, according to the Centralia Police Department. He said he saw a knife, and officers were later told a male was hit by a car, but police are still trying to sort it out, according to Officer Tracy Murphy.

BURGLARY CHEHALIS

• Police were called about 10:40 a.m. on Saturday to a business on the 1800 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue in Chehalis where a door was found kicked in. Cash and keys were among the items missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning some evidence was left at the scene of a burglary to an office on the 3100 block of Ives Road in Centralia that occurred sometime between 5 p.m. on Thursday and 8:50 a.m. on Friday. Stolen from the Catholic Housing Services were deposit slips and an electric wire tester, according to the sheriff’s office.

CAMPING SITES PROWLED

• A deputy was called to Taidnapam Park at the east end of Riffe Lake over the weekend where someone stole several fishing poles and reels from numerous camp spots during the night. Five individuals were victimized sometime between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturday, with a loss of about $4,000, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police were called to the 500 block of Harrison Avenue about 11:15 p.m. yesterday for a car prowl. Someone broke two windows out of the locked vehicle and stole a wallet and clothing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 11:20 a.m. yesterday for a vehicle prowl at the 300 block of Southeast Canyon Drive in Chehalis in which someone got into a truck’s toolbox and stole numerous items, including a Poulan 14-inch chainsaw, three fishing poles and tackle as well as Dunlop Fury golf clubs. Among the missing items are a Calloway driver and custom Seahawks putter, according to police.

• Someone stole a Stihl MS066 chainsaw from the bed of a pickup truck at the 1900 block of Southwest Sniveley Avenue in Chehalis, according to a report made to police just before 8 o’clock yesterday morning. It had a 32-inch Oregon saw bar and was valued at $1,000, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police took a report from the 1500 block of North National Avenue on Friday afternoon of a car prowl. The owner noticed its door was ajar and discovered cigarettes and change were missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

MISSING CHAINSAW LOCATED

• Centralia police made a traffic stop just before 8 p.m. yesterday in which two males fled on foot but left the vehicle. Inside, an officer discovered a stolen chainsaw, according to the Centralia Police Department. It happened at Chestnut Street and Marsh Avenue, according to police.

DRUGS

• A 22-year-old Centralia resident was arrested about 8:30 p.m. last night for alleged drug possession after police were called about a possible theft from the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis. Booked into the Lewis County Jail for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act was Zachary J. Konoske, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WANTED INDIVIDUALS LOCATED

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning the 29-year-old woman wanted for allegedly lighting her companion’s tent on fire was picked up yesterday on Mellen Street by Centralia police. Kayleigh S. McDaniel, a homeless person from Centralia, allegedly assaulted the 36-year-old victim and ruined his tent early on Sunday at a transient camp along the Chehalis River west of Interstate 5 near milepost 81. McDaniel was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault and first-degree arson, according to the sheriff’s office. The victim was arrested at the same time yesterday for an outstanding warrant, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Prosecutors declined to file the felony charge today against McDaniel.

• Deputies on Friday visited with a 34-year-old man jailed the night before by the Olympia Police Department, after being contacted driving a gray 2003 BMW, with its front bumper held up with zip ties. The car was suspected to be involved in at least two residential burglaries last week in the Independence Valley west of Centralia. The Olympia resident allegedly confessed to breaking in to the home on the 100 block of Smith Road and another on the 200 block of Nelson Road, saying he wanted to sell or trade the valuables to support his drug habit, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Jeremy R. Bunting was left at the jail in Thurston County but faces possible charges of residential burglary, trafficking in stolen property, three counts of theft of a firearm and three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Investigation is still, underway to try to locate the stolen property, believed to have ended up in the Lacey area, according to Brown.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, obstructing, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more, among 127 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 5:20 a.m. today.

News brief: 100,000 salmon escape pen at Mayfield Lake

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Someone vandalized a net pen setting free 100,000 fall Chinook salmon into Mayfield Lake over the weekend.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office this morning is asking for the public’s help to find information about the incident that occurred sometime between 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and noon yesterday.

Two net loops were cut at the water reservoir on the 100 block of Cove Lane near Mossyrock, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown.

The reservoir belongs to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Brown said it’s going to cause problems as the fish are expected to overwhelm fish traps belonging to Tacoma City Light when the fish head out to sea.

Deputies are checking with the Mayfield Lake Dam to see if any clues may have been captured on security video, according to Brown.

News brief: Rochester teen airlifted following two-car crash

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Three young people were injured when a 16-year-old driver from Rochester crossed the centerline on state Route 507 just east of Tenino yesterday.

The 16-year-old was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and his 16-year-old male passenger, from Wyoming, was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, according to the Washington State Patrol

Troopers and aid called just after 10:30 a.m. to the scene near Old Military Road found both cars totaled, according to the state patrol.

The Honda Accord had been traveling westbound and struck an oncoming Honda Civic, according to the investigating trooper.

The driver of the Civic was also injured. Brandon C. Eygabroad, 24, from Rainer, was also taken to St. Peter Hospital, the trooper reports.

The collision is blamed on speed. The roadway was blocked for five hours.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016
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•••

HOUSE FIRE

• Firefighters called yesterday morning to the 100 block of Bear View Drive east of Chehalis were told the resident could see smoke and flames under her house. The crew arriving for the 7:50 a.m. call found heavy smoke coming from under the residence and were able to extinguish it, keeping it contained to the crawl space, according to Riverside Fire Authority. There was only minimal damage to rest of the home, Fire Capt. Casey McCarthy reports. Nobody was injured. The cause is under investigation.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

• A 25-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for second-degree assault related to a domestic situation yesterday. David D. Marrs’ arrest is associated with a 2:40 p.m. call to the 900 block of South Scheuber Road in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BREAK-IN

• Centralia police were called about 12:30 a.m. yesterday to a report of a burglary at the 700 block of West First Street. An unknown amount of cash was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• A utility trailer was reported stolen about 3:30 p.m. yesterday from the 1200 block of Johnson Road in Centralia.

• Centralia police were called to the 100 block of Virginia Drive about 4 p.m. yesterday where they arrested a 31-year-old woman for allegedly stealing documents from a neighbor’s front porch. Tina M. Wood, of Centralia, was cited for third-degree theft and then released pending a court date, according to the Centralia Police Department.

GRAB AND GO

• Centralia police were called about 9:30 p.m. on Friday to the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue where they were told a cart-full of alcohol was stolen.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called to the 800 block of Johnson Road about 8:45 p.m. yesterday where they were told a vehicle’s window was broken and a purse stolen.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor domestic assault, negligent driving, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more, among 297 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

 

Suspicious fire breaks out at Winlock fireworks company

Friday, May 20th, 2016
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Crews work to extinguish flames at Jake’s Fireworks. / Courtesy photo by Derrick Paul

Updated at 10:46 a.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Investigators are looking into vandalism and a fire that left a large fireworks business in Winlock with an estimated $100,000 loss.

Members of Lewis County Fire District 15 spent about 12 hours yesterday at Jake’s Fireworks on the 700 block of Nevil Road.

Fire Investigator Derrick Paul said he is working with the sheriff’s office on the case.

Paul said when employees got to work they discovered vandalism and walked through the property looking around when they discovered smoke coming from one of the many large metal cargo containers on site.

Most of them are locked and used to store fireworks, but the one was used for recycling, such as cardboard and was unlocked, Paul said.

When they opened it to investigate, and allowed oxygen inside, the fire “really took off,” he said.

The radiant heat ignited contents of other cargo containers, according to Paul.

The vandalism that occurred sometime since the day before included someone tampering with the fire suppression system, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said their $7,000 water storage bladder had been sliced open.

A tire on one of the trucks was punctured as well, according to Brown.

Paul said between the vandalism and the items destroyed by the blaze, the loss is upwards of $100,000.

Jake’s is a distributor of wholesale fireworks and a fireworks retailer.

Brown said there is a person of interest and the business is working on providing detectives access to a footage from a surveillance system.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 3:23 p.m.

BMW-DRIVING BURGLAR SOUGHT

• Authorities are asking for the public’s help after two residential burglaries yesterday in the Independence Valley west of Centralia. A woman arrived home at 7:45 a.m. at the 100 block of Smith Road and spoke to the likely thief, who had a gray BMW parked in her driveway, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He said he was looking for a female, whose name he gave, and then he drove off, according to the sheriff’s office. It turns out the living room window had been broken out and more than $5,000 worth of valuables were missing, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Law enforcement officers canvassed the area but did not locate the suspect, Brown said. He is described as a white male 25 to 30 years old and average looking with short hair. The car had a bungee cord or zip tie or something similar tied to the front bumper, Brown said. It also had what looked like cleaning supplies in the back seat, according to Brown.

• Later yesterday, the sheriff’s office was contacted by a second burglary victim in the Independence Valley, at the 200 block of Nelson Road near Rochester, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., someone forced their way through a locked back door, rifled through the entire house and made off with three firearms, collectible knives, a German clock, silver utensils and a down comforter.

GRAB AND GO AT OUTLETS FOILED

• Centralia police were called to the Nike Store on the 100 block of West High Street just after 5 p.m. yesterday after three individuals allegedly placed about $1,000 worth of merchandise into bags, ran out the door, jumped into a car and took off northbound up Interstate 5. A trooper caught up to the suspect vehicle near Tumwater, according to the Centralia Police Department. Arrested for organized retail theft and booked into the Lewis County Jail were Kaisha R. Walker, 21, of University Place; Jalexis B. Ezell, 20, of Tacoma; and Chadrick C. Singleton, 25, of Lakewood, according to police.

CAR PROWL

• A purse and a Galaxy tablet were stolen from a vehicle parked at the 2600 block of Cooks Hill Road in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 7:30 a.m. yesterday.

DOMESTIC BROKEN GLASS

• Chehalis police were called to the 600 block of Northwest Prindle Street after a male reportedly broke out the window of a vehicle during a dispute around 1:20 p.m. yesterday. He was gone when officers arrived, but the female in the vehicle was still there, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police are forwarding a case for malicious mischief to the city prosecutor for evaluation, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.

FLAMING TRASH AT TRAIN YARD

• Centralia firefighters called about 7:10 a.m. today to a fire in a rail car south of the Sixth Street viaduct found a garbage-carrying container burning. The crew worked with rail yard employees to move the affected cargo container to a side track and lowered it to the ground for extinguishment, according to Riverside Fire Authority. It held household trash and a large amount asphalt shingles, according to the fire department.

CAR VERSUS POLE

• A 28-year-old Centralia resident  was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after her car ran into a utility pole about 12:30 a.m. today at the 200 block of Downing Road in Centralia. Dawnita K. Ortivez was subsequently booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence, according to the Centralia Police Department. Her Honda Accord had damage on the driver’s side, according to police.

VEHICLE VERSUS CHURCH

• Firefighters were on the scene about 12:30 p.m. today of a vehicle into a building collision at Southwest 183rd Avenue at Pendleton Street in Rochester. Only minor injuries were involved, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. The roof of the vehicle came into contact with and shoved in an exterior wall at Crossroads Church, according to an image shared by the fire department. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office indicates the incident was a suicide attempt by the driver.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, protection order violation, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, shoplifting, stolen bicycle, runaway juvenile, disorderly person, misdemeanor assault, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, receipt of a fraudulent check; complaint about someone putting poop in someone else’s dumpster … and more, among 141 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6:45 a.m. today.

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Southwest 183rd Avenue at Pendleton Street in Rochester. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 6:04 p.m.

HIGH-SPEED CHASE CONCLUDES ON DEAD END ROAD

• A trooper traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 12 sees a motorcyclist approaching from the opposite direction at more than 90 mph. The man on the motorcycle slows and waves as he passes the trooper, in the 55 mph zone. Trooper makes a U-turn and tries to catch up to the speeder, who pulls away at an estimated 113 mph, even going around two vehicles in a curvy no-passing zone. Motorcyclist turns off the highway onto Damron Road and trooper catches up just as motorcycle turns right on to Cindee Lane. A gravel, dead-end road. The 36-year-old biker loses control, lays bike on its side. The aforementioned pursuit occurred about 8 p.m. yesterday near Mossyrock, according to the allegations by authorities. As trooper is handcuffing Luke J. Foss, Foss mutters, “Shoot, that was dumb.” So says the Lewis County Prosecutors Office, which filed charges today for attempting to elude. The LaCenter resident was allowed release on a $10,000 signature bond, with an arraignment for the felony charge scheduled for May 26 in Lewis County Superior Court.

WINLOCK SHED BURGLED

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that someone broke into a storage shed a Winlock man rents out and stole a set of Toyo tires mounted on aluminum wheels, valued at $2,000, as well as a small square Sentry safe. The burglary at the 400 block of state Route 505 occurred sometime during the past month, according to the sheriff’s office.

POPSICLES STOLEN IN CENTRALIA BREAK-IN

• Deputies are considering the possibility that kids my be behind a burglary to an office at the 3100 block of Ives Road in Centralia, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said yesterday. Someone spray painted the letter “R” on a wall and stole several popsicles from a freezer, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. The freezer door was left open, so that ice cream melted, Brown said. It happened around 9 p.m. on Friday, she said.

COMPUTER TAKEN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 12:15 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of a laptop computer from the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard.

CHECK PRINTING SCHEME LEADS TO INCARCERATION

• A Cinebar man accused of using a printer to create fraudulent checks was sentenced to a bit more than six years in prison today. Richard R. Perry Jr., 37, was arrested on March 29 after a short police chase that ended in Onalaska. He pleaded guilty previously to numerous offenses in the case, as well as a first-degree identity theft from last August. This afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, Perry also was sentenced for four counts of second-degree identity theft, two counts of unlawful factoring of a credit or payment card and attempting to elude. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office had been investigating Perry since the end of December. He reportedly told a deputy he received a check from a non-profit organization that feeds homeless people, scanned it into his computer, then would modify it to make it look like paychecks. Prosecutors said he traveled with the printer and computer in his vehicle. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Nelson said this afternoon there were a lot of different victims and between the bank, account holder and merchants who cashed the checks, he’s still trying to figure out if and how much each victim lost. Perry’s was one of eight sentencing hearings scheduled for today in Lewis County Superior Court.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, no-contact order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, injured deer, misdemeanor assault, suspicious circumstances … and more, among 168 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

 

Former Centralia high school student wins a second appeal of virtual life sentence

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – For the second time, the Washington State Court of Appeals has struck down Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt’s nearly 93 year sentence for a drive-by shooting committed by a former Centralia High School student at age 16. Nobody was killed.

The three-member panel also agreed Guadalupe Solis-Diaz Jr. is free to move to disqualify the judge from the case.

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Guadalupe Solis-Diaz Jr.

Solis-Diaz Jr. was arrested after gunfire was sprayed along the east side of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, missing six bar patrons the summer of 2007. Witnesses testified it was gang-related. Solis-Diaz maintained he was innocent.

He was tried as an adult and convicted of multiple offenses, including one count of first-degree assault committed with a firearm for each bullet that was fired.

The six assault counts were ordered to be served consecutively and each carried a mandatory extra five years because they were committed with a firearm. While nobody was injured, the sentence given was at the high end of the standard range.

In 2012, the Court of Appeals ordered the local court to conduct a new hearing, referencing various matters that it believed should have been handled more thoroughly, given the defendant was a juvenile.

At the end of the hearing when it was finally held in the spring 2014, Hunt criticized the appeals court decision calling some of their conclusions insulting and ludicrous and said he found no merit in any argument he should lower the sentence. He sentenced Solis-Diaz for the second time to 1,111 months in prison.

A different three-member panel which issued its opinion today stated that on remand, the sentencing court must conduct a meaningful, individualized inquiry into whether Solis-Diaz’s youth should mitigate his sentence.

“Solis-Diaz argues, and the state concedes, that the sentencing court erred by refusing to consider whether application of the multiple offense policy warranted an exceptional downward sentence,” Justice Thomas B. Bjorgen wrote in the unanimous opinion. “He also argues the trial court erred by refusing to consider his youth as a mitigating factor and by imposing a 1,111-month prison term on a juvenile offender in violation of constitutional prohibitions on cruel and unusual punishment.”

The appeals court agreed with the two contentions, but stated it did not consider whether the sentence violates the constitutional prohibitions on cruel and unusual punishment.

“Accordingly, we vacate Solis-Diaz’s sentence and remand for remand for re-sentencing,” Bjorgen wrote.

Today’s decision was the topic of some casual conversation in Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey’s courtroom.

Judge Brosey mentioned the issuing of opinion to Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Nelson and defense attorney Joely O’Rourke after they finished the business of preliminary hearings.

Brosey spoke of political correctness and how clerks are the ones who write the opinions the justices sign their names to.

Brosey alluded to his thinking that the age of the person  holding the gun doesn’t change what happens at the other end of a gunshot.

Judge Brosey and Judge Hunt have announced they are retiring at the end of this year. O’Rourke is running for election to Brosey’s position on the bench.

Solis-Diaz is represented by Longview lawyer John A. Hays. Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh argued the appeal for the state.

Justices Bradley A. Maxa and Rich Melnick concurred with today’s decision, however Melnick added a few paragraphs.

Melnick stated he agreed the sentence must be reversed, but didn’t believe the appeals court should be telling the trial court what issue to consider on remand.
•••

For background, read “”Do-over” on drive-by shooting sentence yields no change for Centralian” from Monday March 3, 2014, here

And Washington Courts: Court of Appeals Division II: State of Washington, Respondent V. Guadalupe Solis Diaz Jr., Appellant: 46002-5, here

News brief: New charge lodged for convicted burglar of prosecutor’s home

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
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Janet L. Gleason, center right, is brought before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia woman who missed her sentencing hearing last week in connection with breaking in to the county prosecutor’s house last year was charged today with bail jumping.

Janet L. Gleason, 43,  pleaded guilty in March to numerous felonies and is facing a recommended prison term of seven years. She was free on $45,000 bail on two combined cases and didn’t show up to court on Wednesday.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dan Riordan said the bail bondsman found her and picked her up. He got a call Saturday night, he said.

Riordan didn’t offer details of her apprehension, but said he was thinking it wasn’t in Lewis County, as it took the bondsman quite awhile to arrive.

Gleason was booked into the Lewis County Jail around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.

A conviction for bail jumping can bring a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Gleason’s bail for that charge was set at $25,000, but she is being held with a no bail hold for her recent convictions of residential burglary, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and second-degree malicious mischief as well as a separate possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Her arraignment is scheduled for Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court.
•••

For background, read “Role reversal: Lewis County prosecutor reflects on becoming a burglary victim” from Friday November 6, 2015, here

News brief: Vehicle accident child victim was from Rochester

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office indicated today the 8-year-old girl who died in yesterday afternoon’s traffic collision in Centralia is Jaredsi Torres, from Rochester.

She was a passenger in a vehicle that struck a parked pickup truck near Galvin and Gallagher roads, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Troopers with the Washington State Patrol’s major accident team are conducting the investigation.

Centralia police responded to the approximately 2:45 p.m. wreck and indicated yesterday the female driver was seriously injured and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.

The identity of the driver has not been released, nor have any updates on her condition.

Centralia police referred media questions to the Washington State Patrol. A spokesperson for the state patrol said he only knew what had already been released yesterday and referred reporters back to the police department for information.

Trooper Will Finn added that he was aware a prosecutor responded to the scene yesterday and he understood a trooper was sent to try to interview the driver.

Police yesterday said the child died at the scene. Coroner Warren McLeod said today her cause of death was blunt impact head injuries and the manner is accidental.

The Rochester School District announced on its web site it is mourning the loss of a sweet second grade girl who died in a tragic auto accident Monday afternoon.

“Please join us in keeping her family in your thoughts and prayers,” the notice reads. “Click here for resources on helping your child cope with the loss of a classmate.”
•••

For background, read “News brief: Girl dead, driver airlifted following Centralia wreck” from Monday May 16, 2016, here