Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

News brief: Mailbox explosion ignited small forest fire in Adna

Monday, September 15th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning it is investigating a third-degree malicious mischief in Adna, where someone blew up a mailbox and started a small forest fire early yesterday.

Deputies learned that around 4 a.m. two neighbors in the area of the 600 block of Brockway Road near Lanakila Lane heard an explosion and then the sound of either a truck or an ATV with a loud exhaust speeding away, according to the sheriff’s office.

A neighbor arriving home at 4:30 a.m. discovered the flames which had spread to trees and brush and covered an area of about 100 feet by 50 feet, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

Firefighters from two departments responded, and put out the fire, described as burning grass and trees on a long private driveway and not threatening any structures; they finished their work about 7 a.m., according to Lewis County Fire Districts 6.

Brown said the fire was quickly extinguished and two mailboxes were damaged by an unknown explosive incendiary device or a firework.

The loss is $20, Brown said. Personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources are investigating, she said.

Empty, unoccupied Toledo-area home burns

Monday, September 15th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A vacant 1960s-era house near the airport in Toledo was heavily damaged by an overnight fire.

Its cause is under investigation.

Crews were called about 11:45 p.m. to what was initially suspected to be a brush fire in a field at the 200 block of Spencer Road, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.

Approximately 25 firefighters from three districts battled the blaze, which appeared to have started in the garage, Fire Chief Wiltbank said.

“I didn’t know it was a garage, I thought it was carport, there was so little left of it,” Wiltbank said.

Flames spread through the grass and also burned a small garden shed, he said.

The chief said the rambler is owned by a family trust of a man who is deceased and has been for sale for at least the past couple of years.

The home was unfurnished and empty, but crews were on the scene for about two and a half hours because they had to remove the sheetrock of the vaulted ceiling piece by piece.

“It was a tough, tough job,” he said. “Everyone was very tired when they got done with it.”

Dry vegetation keeps fire crews hopping

Sunday, September 14th, 2014
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Firefighters with DNR could see a smoke column from a Toledo fire on Herriford Road all the way in Castle Rock and responded to assist. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 2.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Firefighters were called about 4:30 a.m. today when flames were seen on a long residential driveway in Adna.

They were into the trees and crawling up some stumps, burning an area of about 100 feet by 50 feet, according to Lewis County Fire District 6.

The fire on the 600 block of Brockway Road is under investigation by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Firefighter Mike Goodwillie said.

Personnel from Lewis County Fire District 5 assisted, he said.

Goodwillie said there were a couple of minor injuries from falls, from working to extinguish the fire on the steep bank in the dark.

Meanwhile, a fire yesterday afternoon that burned as many as four acres of a field of grain south of Toledo appeared to have ignited from farm equipment working on the property at the time.

Crews from Toledo, Winlock, and Vader as well as two brush units with the state Department of Natural Resources which saw the smoke column from Castle Rock encountered a wind-driven fire but brought it under control within a half hour after their arrival, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.

It was reported about 4:30 p.m. at the 100 block of Herriford Road, according to Chief Grant Wiltbank.

And DNR reported this morning the large forest fire five miles southwest of Pe Ell is covering 117 acres but is 30 percent contained.

The blaze is burning in recently harvested timber, slash and mature timber on property owned by Rayonier. More than 200 individuals have been battling it.

The plan for today was to build and complete containment lines, according to DNR spokesperson Nick Cronquist.

The Fork Peak fire reported on Thursday evening is in Pacific County, at the Lewis County line. Its cause remains under investigation, according to Cronquist.

“The 2014 fire season is not over,” Cronquist stated in a morning memo. “With temperatures remaining high and no significant weather in the forecast, be mindful of areas around your home with potential of fire risk.”

In the Salkum area, the fire chief has this message for the public today: “The burn ban is still on,” Lewis County Fire District 8 Chief Duran McDaniel said.

McDaniel said he and other fire chiefs continue to get late night calls for bon fires not in approved receptacles.

•••

For background, see ” ‘Really big’ wildfire spreading southwest of Pe Ell” from Friday Sept. 12, 2014 at 9:15 p.m., here

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The Fork Peak fire in eastern Pacific County is 30 percent contained this morning. / Courtesy photo by Mary Huels, DNR

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A helicopter drops water on the Fork Peak Fire southwest of Pe Ell. / Courtesy photo by Mary Huels, DNR

News brief: Two hurt in Cinebar motorcycle versus vehicle accident

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 52-year-old man from Tacoma was injured when his Harley Davidson ran into the passenger side of an oncoming vehicle that turned in front of him on state Route 508 in Cinebar yesterday afternoon.

Troopers called to the scene about 3:50 p.m. concluded the eastbound Buick Enclave was making a left turn onto Panisco Road; its driver was uninjured, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Gregory J. Stewart, of Tacoma however was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the state patrol. Stewart is listed in serious condition this morning.

His passenger, Elsie A. Thomas, 50, also from Tacoma, was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital where she was treated and then transferred to an unspecified hospital.

The driver of the 2014 Buick, Leonard E. Corbett, 58, from Bellevue, was to be issued a citation for failure to yield the right-of-way, according to the state patrol.

Lewis County Fire District 8 Chief Duran McDaniel said he and his passenger were evaluated by medics. Their airbags had deployed and the side of the vehicle was pushed in probably about six inches, he said.

News brief: Fork Peak Fire near Pe Ell 25 percent contained

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Fire officials describe the forest fire near Pe Ell as 25 percent contained this morning, with 200 personnel still actively working.

The Fork Peak fire reported on Thursday evening is burning on private timberland owned by Rayonier, about five miles southwest of Pe Ell. It’s in Pacific County, at the Lewis County line.

“The fire activity at this time is smoldering with brief runs with moderate spread potential,” the Department of Natural Resources states in its morning update. “Smoke will be visible from the town of Pe Ell and adjacent communities.”

Crews today will be scouting and developing locations for containment lines, according to DNR spokesperson Nick Cronquist.

Its incident command center is located at the Falls Creek Retreat Center about 10 miles west of Pe Ell.

DNR is advising the public avoid to Elks Creek Road, A-Line and Forks Creek Road near the fire area to help firefighters in minimizing any potential hazards.

•••

For background, see ” ‘Really big’ wildfire spreading southwest of Pe Ell” from Friday Sept. 12, 2014 at 9:15 p.m., here

“Really big” wildfire spreading southwest of Pe Ell

Friday, September 12th, 2014
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A fixed-wing plane flies over the wildfire at the Pacific-Lewis county line. / Courtesy photo by Mary Huels, DNR

Updated at 9:33 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A forest fire burning southwest of Pe Ell has drawn some 200 individuals who have set up camp for the night at the Falls Creek Retreat Center about 10 miles west of town in Pacific County.

The fire was reported at 5:15 p.m. yesterday and is on private timberland owned by Rayonier.

“Right now it’s all industrial timberland, not a large threat to any homes or personal property,” Nick Cronquist, a spokesperson for the state Department of Natural Resources said this evening.

Late this afternoon, flames had run over some 93 acres, according to Cronquist. It doubled in size overnight.

“It’s really big for this neck of the woods,” he said. “It boils down to the weather we’re having.”

Seven fire engines, eight water tenders and 13 hand crews battled the blaze today, along with three helicopters, plus a fixed wing plane which is supervising all the aircraft, he said. It’s zero percent contained.

The firefighters come from local area fire districts, DNR and even some from the National Forest Service, he said.

A tanker which would fill its belly with water from Willapa Bay was ordered, but Cronquist said he didn’t know if it got any runs in before the sun went down.

The smoke and glow are within eye site of the town of Pe Ell, at the far west end of Lewis County, he said.

A crew from the Larch Correctional Facility brought a kitchen in, he said.

The National Weather Service began warning earlier this week that an expected combination of low humidity and east winds would cause vegetation to dry out, making conditions ripe for wild fires.

Lewis County Fire District 11 Chief Michael Krafczyk was among those who gathered this morning at the VFW Hall in Pe Ell to strategize for the day. District 11 provided water support today.

The fire is under the command of DNR’s Pacific Cascade Region.

Nobody has been injured, Cronquist said, but winds yesterday evening caused them to pull crews off the fire.

No night operations were planned, but two engines will monitor the fire, he said.

A morning briefing is planned for 6 a.m., and they’ll get back at it, he said.

•••

CORRECTION: This news story has been updated to correctly reflect the number of hand crews working the fire today.

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Local fire departments join crews from DNR battling wildfire at the Pacific-Lewis county line. / Courtesy photo by Mary Huels, DNR

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Courtesy image Department of Natural Resources

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Updated at 10:07 p.m.

GUNS AND LUNCHBOX STOLEN

• Deputies were called early yesterday morning when a 41-year-old Ethel man discovered his home had been broken into and three pistols were missing. Also taken from the residence on the 1300 block of U.S. Highway 12 sometime during the previous four days was a blue and silver collapsible lunch pail, a camo fanny pack, a 50-inch flat screen television and 3-D glasses, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. There is a possible suspect, according to the sheriff’s office.

BREAK-IN TO TRAILER

• Police were called about 10 a.m. yesterday to the 2100 block of North National Avenue in Chehalis where someone had rifled through a woman’s recreational vehicle while she was away. It appeared some paperwork was missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police discovered a stolen Honda parked along the roadway on the 1100 block of Riverside Road yesterday morning. It had some parts missing and belonged to someone in Olympia, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

FRAUD

• Chehalis police on Wednesday began investigating two different fraud cases, one of which involved a person’s debit card had been used in Bellevue.

VEHICLE PROWL

• A resident of the 400 block of Northwest Quincy Place in Chehalis woke up on Wednesday and discovered the passenger door to their pickup truck open and some items missing from inside such as a drill set, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 26-year-old Pe Ell woman detained for suspected shoplifting about 11 p.m. yesterday at Northwest Louisiana Avenue was arrested for a drug violation. In her purse were found small plastic tubes with suspected methamphetamine, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Tasha A. Oversteake was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Someone spray painted graffiti onto the side of a building at Alder and Woodland streets in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 2:30 p.m. yesterday.

CHILD CRIMES

• Chehalis police took a report on Wednesday of a possible assault of a child and are investigating, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Thurston County Sheriff’s Office detectives served a search warrant yesterday morning at a Rochester home where they arrested a 33-year-old man for possession of depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit acts. Their investigation began the day before when they were contacted by the FBI and given some information about images a small children involved in sexual acts, according to the sheriff’s office. Located and seized from the home at the 7100 block of 191st Avenue Southwest were computers and several data storage devices, Lt. Cliff Ziesemer reports. Booked into the Thurston County Jail was Alan D. Burns, according to Ziesemer.

• Lewis County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Toledo man at his home yesterday for alleged child molestation. A now-15-year-old girl told her older sister the relative had rubbed her breast, more than once in recent months, and when she was interviewed by a deputy recalled a similar occurrence when she was 10, according to charging documents. Charges filed today in Lewis County Superior Court state that 53-year-old Michael S. Oullette served a prison sentence for molesting the older girl seven years ago. Oullette denied any inappropriate touching to the deputy. He is charged with third-degree child molestation, first-degree child molestation and second-degree incest. A judge this afternoon ordered him held on $250,000 bail.

POLICE: FIREWORKS IGNITE VEGETATION

• Centralia firefighters were called about 6 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of Yakima Street where grass and brush caught fire in a vacant lot. It was spreading slowly and covered about 50 feet by 25 feet but was extinguished quickly, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Police suspect a 15-year-old boy had been playing with fireworks and a case for reckless burning has been forwarded to prosecutors for possible charging, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence; responses for alarm,  misdemeanor theft, collision on city street, items rented and not returned from business in Centralia, suspicious circumstances … and more.

Large forest fire burning beyond Pe Ell

Friday, September 12th, 2014
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Facing west from north of Pe Ell on the 1500 Line last night. / Courtesy photo by Nate Holmes

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Fire personnel are gathered at the VFW Hall in Pe Ell making plans to attack a wildfire on private timberland.

“We’re working on setting up facilities and things for about 200 people coming this way,”  Lewis County Fire District 11 Chief Michael Krafczyk said this morning.

Krafczyk and other local firefighters are assisting the state Department of Natural Resources, which is in charge of the fire.

Krafczyk said he learned at a 7 a.m. briefing the fire doubled in size from last night, and is burning an estimated 50 to 60 acres.

Exactly where it is, he couldn’t say this morning, but the access road is between Pe Ell and the Swiss Park in Francis to the west, he said. And then about an hour’s drive beyond paved roads, he said.

A DNR spokesperson said the fire is burning on a logging site, and two helicopters have been summoned.

“It’s not threatening (Pe Ell) or anything like that,” Krafczyk said. “Just forest land, right now.”

NTSB Report: Small plane bounced on ground, rocked in the air before fiery Chehalis crash

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The short flight of the single-engine plane that crashed and burned in Chehalis was rocky from the start, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

For an unexplained reason, the pilot began his take off on the grass, well back from the approach end of the runway and bounced on the uneven terrain as its speed increased, according to the recently released preliminary report  from the NTSB.

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Courtesy photo by Bill Klumbs

“The witness further reported that the airplane subsequently made it onto the runway’s surface and became airborne, but the initial climb was not stabilized; the airplane’s wings were rocking from side to side, and it’s nose was pitching up and down,” the report states.

Within moments, the three-quarter-scale replica of a popular WWII fighter plane, was wrecked and burning in a fenced lot across Interstate 5 from the Chehalis-Centralia Airport; it’s only occupant dead. Firefighters responding the evening of Aug. 26 to the location along Maryland Avenue found the nearly all-wood aircraft virtually consumed.

The pilot Gregory G. Graham, 66, of Centralia, had recently purchased the so-called kit plane, trailered it in and reassembled it, according to authorities.

Peter Knudson, a spokesperson for the NTSB, said he didn’t know if that was its first flight after being put back together.

The NTSB’s report simply describes the facts and circumstances of the incident, it doesn’t contain any analysis or point to a cause, Knudson said today. The average length of an investigation is 12 months.

“There’s a lot of work yet to be done,” Knudson said.

Chehalis-Centralia Airport Manager Allyn Roe described the plane as a P5151 Mustang. The NTSB labels it a Thomas C. Sikes Loehle 5151 Mustang.

The aircraft is classified by the NTSB an experimental plane, meaning it was built by an individual and not a factory.

The day after the incident, Roe told of an out-of-the-area corporate jet pilot, who watched the small plane take off to the north and never really going any higher than about 100 feet.

The investigator with the NTSB cites a professional pilot who observed the take off from the airport’s south perimeter road, from behind the plane. The un-named witness stated the plane made a right turn of about 180 degrees as it continued its wobbling climb.

“The airplane the(n) went into a right bank and steep nose down attitude from an altitude of about 500 feet above ground level prior to impacting terrain to the east of his location,” the report states.

Its landing spot, at the Chehalis Collision Center next to the freeway and near a residential neighborhood, was a little more than two football field lengths from where its take off run began, according to the report.

Nobody on the ground was injured, but at least two parked trucks in the lot were damaged.
.•••

For background, read “Professional pilot watched small plane struggle to climb before deadly Chehalis crash” from Wednesday Aug. 27, 2014, here

Suspicious: Barn burns to the ground in Mossyrock

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Mossyrock firefighters were called last night to a structure fire just west of town, the third fire in the area in three weeks.

They found a large 1920s-era barn fully engulfed in flames, its roof already collapsed, Lewis County Fire District 3 Chief Doug Fosburg said. Investigators are looking into the cause, he said.

The department was toned out at 10:20 p.m. to the hayfield just south of the intersection at Mossyrock Road West and Aldrich Road, he said.

“We had two tenders from District 8 that supported us,” he said. “We were there until about 2:30 this morning.”

Nobody was injured. The metal-roofed barn contained old hay and various pieces of haying equipment. There also was an old John Deere combine inside, he said.

“The hay is still burning, we’re working on getting that out now,” Fosburg said just before noon.

The owner of the property lives elsewhere, he said.

The Department of Natural Resources responded today, because of two recent small fires that occurred in the tree-line on the north side of the property, he said.

It’s suspicious and the county fire investigator is in touch with the sheriff’s office, he said.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

MIGHT BE A FULL MOON

• A 29-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday afternoon  after jumping out in front of cars on the 1200 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia and allegedly threatening to kill people, according to the Centralia Police Department. Jason R. Ferris was booked into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct after an approximately 4 p.m. contact with officers, according to police.

• A 42-year-old man was subdued with a Taser by police who were called about 7 p.m. yesterday for a belligerent patient who became combative at the 900 block of South Schueber Road in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Michael M Slifer, 42 of Centralia, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct and interfering with a health care facility, according to police.

• Chehalis police responded to the Lewis County Law and Justice Center parking lot about 3:45 p.m. yesterday about a man standing outside a car yelling at the woman inside of it, who then allegedly grabbed a hold of the partially rolled down window causing it to break. An officer contacted Terry R. Strong inside the building where he was conducting business and arrested him for malicious mischief and disorderly conduct. It was his car, police said. Because it was a domestic violence incident, Strong was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called yesterday evening about the theft of a package delivered to a home on Southwest 11th Street.

• Centralia police were called to the 500 block of South Tower Avenue about 4:15 p.m. yesterday regarding a DVD player stolen from inside a vehicle.

• Chehalis police were called about 10:45 p.m. yesterday by an individual who said he tracked his stolen iPhone to a location on Southwest Fourth Street. Further details were not readily available, but detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said even though the GPS can get close to the location of a phone, it’s not definitive enough to a particular address to allow for police to search there. The owner of the phone disabled it so it couldn’t be used, WIlson said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting; responses for counterfeit money, suspicious circumstances, children left alone in parked vehicles, a nighttime request for help when a bat got inside a Chehalis home and reportedly was flying laps in a bedroom while the caller sought refuge in the bathroom … and more.

Lewis County Historic Courthouse now officially “historic”

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
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Lewis County Historic Courthouse / Courtesy photo

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A celebration will be held today in honor of the Lewis County Courthouse’s inclusion on the state and national registers of historic places.

The three-story building at 351 NW North Street in Chehalis was built in 1926 and 1927 and earned the two distinctions this summer.

An open house will run from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., with county employees dressed in period attire. Tours are available.

The structure that encompasses the city block on the north side of Main Street no longer houses any courtrooms – just various county departments – and is referred to as the Historic Courthouse.

Lewis County District Court and Lewis County Superior Court occupy the third and fourth floors of the brick building on the south side of Main Street, the Lewis County Law and Justice Center.

Oakville woman, infant, survive car wreck, fire

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 21-year-old woman is listed in fair condition this morning after her car drifted off U.S. Highway 12 near Oakville, headed into a ditch, rolled onto its side and then struck a tree before catching fire.

She and a six-month-old baby left the vehicle before it caught fire, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers called just before 2 a.m. to the area near Blockhouse Road describe the Toyota Scion as totaled.

Monica R. Lopez and the infant girl, both from Oakville, were taken by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol. The baby was not injured, but transported as a precautionary measure, according to the investigating trooper.

The state patrol concluded Lopez had been traveling westbound and fell asleep at the wheel. She was to be issued a citation for second-degree negligent driving.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Updated

TVS FROM RVS

• Chehalis police responded about 5 o’clock this morning when an employee at a business on the 1000 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue alerted by an alarm said they saw two people standing outside the gate. A hole was discovered cut in the back fence and a television on the ground inside the fence at Uhlmann RV, according to the Chehalis Police Department. A man and a woman from Longview were arrested, according to police. Booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary were Donald R. Brown, 42, and Christina M. Ziesmer, 32, according to police.

MOSSY HOME BROKE INTO

• Police reported yesterday they are investigating a residential burglary in Mossyrock at the 400 block of James Street in which someone got inside by removing an air conditioning unit from a window. Unspecified electronic devices were stolen between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, according to the Morton Police Department.

CHURCH BURGLARY

• Someone burglarized a church in the 100 block of Coleman Road in Mossyrock, a break-in that was reported to police last Wednesday evening. Missing is an electronic drum module and a sound mixer with speakers, according to the Morton Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• A Centralia officer was called about 10:30 yesterday morning to a report a stereo was taken from a vehicle at the 1300 block of Oxford Avenue.

PLATE PILFERED

• Centralia police were called to the 1800 block of Collision Street about 9:10 a.m. yesterday about a stolen license plate.

PEACEFUL PROTEST

• As many as 40 people gathered near the Hamilton sign next to Interstate 5 at Napavine yesterday morning for what Napavine Police Chief Chris Salyers described as a very non-violent protest. Salyers said he was summoned to the area off exit 72 only because a trooper who had gone there wasn’t answering the radio. They hung a large sign that had something to do with trans-gender health care and boycotting coal trains, he said. No one was arrested, he said, and they eventually left.

WOOD MILL CATCHES FIRE IN WINLOCK

• A star-gazing neighbor who caught sight of flames last night, called 911 and drove over to alert the resident-owner of a wood mill north of Winlock. “Fire District 5 was first on the scene and they were able to get a line on it and suppress it pretty quickly before it spread,” Lewis County Fire District 15 Assistant Chief Kevin Anderson said. It happened while she was photographing the moon about 11:15 p.m. Firefighters responded from Winlock, Toledo and Napavine to the 2200 block of Highway 603, near Anterim Road, according to Anderson. Damaged was one wall and one piece of equipment, he said. A fire investigator came out and it appears the fire could have started because the owner was welding earlier in the day, and something may have been smoldering, he said.

AIRLIFT FROM ONY

• An 18-year-old Onalaska resident who fell asleep behind the wheel was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle last night after his pickup truck crossed the centerline, struck a bridge and then went backwards over an embankment. The Dodge Dakota was totaled. It happened about 8:25 p.m. on the 200 block of Krueger Road in Onalaska, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said his 18-year-old passenger was uninjured. The driver was to be issued a citation for second-degree negligent driving, according to Brown.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, shoplifting,  misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor assault, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

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The 1992 Dodge Dakota after its driver’s side impacted a bridge. / Courtesy photo by Annaliese Collins-Mitten

News brief: Mineral timber fire still burns

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
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Smoke rises from hillside across from Mineral Lake. /Courtesy photo by Moira J. Thomas-Fisk McCreery

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Portland resident hurt while base jumping south of Randle

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
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Rescuers tend to injured base jumper below Tower Rock outside of Randle. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 14

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

Jaques reports the patient was conscious.

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

He was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

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

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

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

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Updated at 8:53 p.m.

POLICE SEEKING NUDE NAPAVINE DRIVER

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

SHOPPER’S BAG SPIRITED AWAY

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

DOMESTIC INCIDENTS

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

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

URINE TOSSED AT NURSE

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

TOOLS TAKEN

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

APPLIANCE GONE

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

MOTOR PARTS MISSING

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

VEHICLE PROWL

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

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

FUEL THEFT

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

VANDALISM

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

DISORDERLINESS

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

RUNNING OF THE BULL

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

SHERIFF’S OFFICE: SUSPECTS TRIES TO FIGHT DEPUTY

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

COLLISION

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

AND MORE

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

News brief: Wildfire burning in Mineral

Monday, September 8th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

Witness against local pain pill dealer sentenced to time served

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News brief: Meet Chehalis fire chief candidates

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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Jeff Larson

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

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

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

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Joseph Sands

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

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

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

The three men are:

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Gary Woodson

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

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

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

BAR ASSAULT

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

OFFICER ON PURSUIT HURT

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

AUTO THEFT

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

CAR PROWL

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

PARACHUTER HURT

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

COLLISIONS

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

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

AND MORE

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

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

Saturday, September 6th, 2014
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Ricky A. Riffe, in red, waits as his lawyer John Crowley and Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer finish up paperwork during hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Riffe is serving his sentence at Walla Walla State Penitentiary.

He maintains he’s innocent in both cases.

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

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

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

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

Fire sweeps through Toledo area home

Saturday, September 6th, 2014
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Smoke billows above the 700 block of Tucker Road, northeast of Toledo. / Courtesy photo by Julie Broussard

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FBI child porn investigation leads to Lewis County

Friday, September 5th, 2014
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Joshua Q. Keele sits at the defense table during his bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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FBI: Wanted, Seeking information, endangered child alert program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday.