Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Iraq veteran gets 21 years shaved from Centralia molestation case

Saturday, June 24th, 2017
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Paulo Botello-Garcia, center, consults with his attorney during sentencing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A former Centralia man whose convictions and 30-year sentence were rejected by the court of appeals entered into a plea deal instead of going through a second trial and was given a new sentence yesterday of nine years in a child sex abuse case.

Paulo Botello-Garcia made an Alford plea to four counts of second-degree child molestation.

When he appeared before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, his attorney asked for the low end of the standard sentencing range that applied, arguing his client’s previous lawyer failed to present information about the Iraq war veteran’s post traumatic stress disorder.

Seattle-based attorney Peter Connick told the judge Botello-Garcia had led a crime free life prior to incarceration and stayed out of trouble while locked up.

Botello-Garcia was arrested in 2012 after a 15-year-old girl’s mother found writings in the teen’s journal about incidents that had occurred in the past and he was convicted in a 2014 jury trial. He and the victim were members of the same household.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm asked the judge to impose the high end of the sentencing range, specifically 116 months in prison and then four months of supervision.

Bohm noted Botello-Garcia had a third-degree theft from 2012.

Botello-Garcia spoke through a Spanish interpreter and declined to make a statement to the court on his own behalf.

Judge Andrew Toynbee said the disability played only a small role in his decision, and behaving well while in prison played no role.

Toynbee ordered a sentence of nine years with 12 months of supervision after release. Four months would be too short, according to Toynbee. The defendant will get credit for time already served.

The convictions that were tossed out by the Washington State Court of Appeals were two counts of second-degree child molestation and two counts of second-degree rape of a child. The panel found the trial court erred in admitting certain evidence and remanded the case for a new trial for the 41-year-old Centralia man.

Connick said he and his client had been prepared to go to trial again, but entered into the plea agreement the day before it was to begin.

Judge Toynbee signed a 10-year sexual assault protection order prohibiting Botello-Garcia from contacting the victim.
•••

For background, read “Centralia man un-convicted of child sex crimes back in court” from Wednesday June 29, 2016, here

Oakville man’s body recovered from Jefferson County river

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The body of  34-year-old Jesse Cruz of Oakville was found yesterday near the mouth of the river in which he vanished.

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Jesse Cruz

Brinnon Fire Department Chief Tim Manly said some workers were checking shellfish around noon yesterday and as they returned from the tide flats spotted Cruz.

Cruz went missing in the Duckabush River in Jefferson County on Saturday afternoon.

He and friends were recreating at a place called Ranger Hole and he had jumped from a high rock into the water and his friends went in behind him, according to authorities.

Manly said someone on land with a stick was helping Cruz’s girlfriend out and he was behind her helping and then he disappeared.

“Jesse was known for his love of the water, he was a good swimmer,” Manley said.

But it’s a location they don’t recommend for swimming, he said.

A search was conducted until dark that night and again on Sunday and Monday, Manly said.

Cruz traveled about three and a half miles down the river, he said.

Manly called it a blessing he was found.
•••

For background, read “Read about Oakville resident missing after river accident …” from Wednesday June 21, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, June 23rd, 2017
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•••

BURGLARY

• A 27-year-old Randle man was arrested yesterday for first-degree trafficking in stolen property in connection with gold necklaces, heart-shaped pendants and a ring deputies learned he allegedly tried to sell to someone. The jewelry was taken in a June 15 burglary on Morris Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The valuables belonging to a 66-year-old woman were recovered, according to the sheriff’s office. Jacob A. Rowland was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

• Centralia police were called about an attempted burglary at the 900 block of Orton Street in Centralia last night. An officer responding to the approximately 8:35 p.m. call reports the front door to the home was damaged but entry was not made, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 2:45 p.m. yesterday for a burglary at the 300 block of Kearney Street. Multiple items were missing from the residence, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A silver Chevrolet S10 pickup truck with matching canopy was stolen from its driveway in the 200 block of Uden Road East in Glenoma sometime between 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday and 7 o’clock yesterday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called about 8 a.m. yesterday regarding malicious mischief to the interior of a residence at the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue. A prior tenant is suspected in the case, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report just before 3 p.m. yesterday from the 2700 block of Borst Avenue that someone tossed a lit cigarette through a vehicle’s open window leaving a hole burned in the seat.

CENTRALIA HIGH SCHOOL NOTE WRITER LOCATED

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports it turned out the student who turned in a note purportedly found in a bathroom at Centralia High School admitted to being its author yesterday. It was a very vague message that contained what was potentially a threat about something occurring at the school yesterday morning, according to the sheriff’s office. The case is being referred to prosecutors for evaluation of a criminal charge for the disruption caused, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A car traveling the wrong way over the viaduct collided with a motorcyclist near East Summa Street and Kresky Avenue in Centralia this morning. The motorcyclist was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital for injuries, according to the Centralia Police Department. The wreck was reported at 5:50 a.m. and is under investigation, according to police.

• Centralia police report an officer responded about 1:40 p.m. yesterday for a collision between a school bus and another vehicle at Harrison Avenue and Alexander Street. No children were on the bus and no injuries were reported, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, driving with suspended license, third-degree malicious mischief; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, hit and run, vandalism, vehicle accident, suspicious circumstances, dog alone inside an otherwise empty parked vehicle … and more among 174 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Equipment fire doused at Ony mill site

Friday, June 23rd, 2017
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Firefighters point their hoses at front end loader. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 1

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Crews called to a fire at the old Alexander Lumber Mill in Onalaska last night found a front-end loader burning.

The machine operator had been putting sawdust into a large hopper and said he felt heat on his backside, turned around to look and saw flames, according to Lewis County Fire District 1.

Assistant Fire Chief Rhonda Volk said they were joined by a tender from Lewis County Fire District 5.

The call came about 8:10 p.m. to state Route 508, just west of town. The new business at the site works around the clock, Volk said.

The fire was extinguished. The front end loader is a total loss, but nobody was hurt, Volk said.

Volk said they have an idea of what may have caused it, but a fire investigator was looking into it.

Paraglider dies in crash below Dog Mountain

Friday, June 23rd, 2017
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Dog Mountain and the Dog Patch are situated southeast of Morton.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – One man is dead and another injured after their paraglider chutes tangled at Dog Mountain in East Lewis County.

Law enforcement and aid responded to the approximately 7:45 p.m. call yesterday to the area known as Dog Patch off Champion Haul Road near Glenoma.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said the 68-year-old Vancouver, Washington man hit the ground at a high speed and he died.

The 71-year-old man from Beaverton, Oregon was transported to the hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life threatening, according to Breen. Witnesses said his chute had remained somewhat open.

Breen said the two were paragliding together, got too close to each other and their chutes tangled. The incident is being investigated.

Dog Mountain which is popular with hang gliders as well rises from the east end of Riffe Lake.

Victim kicked in head with steel toed boots

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 29-year-old Centralia man is in custody, accused of kicking another man in the face, head and ribs and stealing $16 worth of tobacco from him.

Chad C. Bass was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with first-degree robbery, a felony with a maximum penalty of life in prison.

He denies it, defense attorney Rachael Tiller said when Bass was brought before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

Judge Andrew Toynbee set bail at $30,000.

The incident came to light when the victim went to the Centralia Police Department yesterday morning to report an assault.

He said he was attacked the day before at the 500 block of North Tower Avenue by a guy he knew by the name of Hillbilly, according to charging documents. Andrew Zech told police his assailant took his Native American Spirit Rolling Tobacco and kicked him with steel toed boots, the documents relate.

The officer noted a swelled up lump on the left side of his forehead and scrapes on his face, left side and right knee, according to the documents. Zech said it was the second time it had happened, that he was robbed by the same person on Saturday.

The officer subsequently prepared a photo montage and the victim circled Bass, according to the allegations.

Bass was wearing steel toed boots when he was arrested.

The investigating officer spoke to Bass and then with two individuals Bass said he was with the day before, one of whom said Bass had bragged about beating up Zech behind Pioneer West and, with the help of another person, took all his stuff, according to the documents.

Bass’s arraignment is scheduled for June 29

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
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Customers relax in front of Napavine Starbucks after a vehicle crashes through the building’s glass. / Courtesy photo by Steven Hansen

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A van drove through the glass storefront of Starbucks in Napavine yesterday, coming to rest fully inside the building, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. Firefighter Brad Bozarth said nobody was injured, not even the driver. Firefighters were called to the scene at the 1200 block of Rush Road at 1:50 p.m. The crew helped remove hazards such as hanging shards of glass, Bozarth said. Police are investigating, he said.

CENTRALIA ROBBERY

• A 29-year-old Centralia man was arrested for first-degree robbery following a call about 8:15 a.m. yesterday associated with the 500 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia. Chad C. Bass, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

RANDLE CARPORT THEFT

• Three people allegedly caught in a Randle man’s carport trying to steal items such as copper piping, tubing and wiring were subsequently arrested yesterday for second-degree burglary and second-degree attempted theft. A deputy dispatched to the 12600 block of U.S. Highway 12 at about 10:40 a.m. was told by the victim he blocked in one of their vehicles, but the trio reportedly got a ride from a stranger, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle in which they were traveling was stopped and they were taken into custody, according to the sheriff’s office. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Joseph A. Jones, 54, and Ashlie M. Nelson, 19, both from Orting and Sunni L. Stokes, 37, of Tenino, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

POWER PILFERING

• Centralia police are investigating following a report yesterday morning of the theft of electricity by someone who had connected to a utility pole at the 1000 block of G Street.

BAD BILL

• Centralia police were called to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue at 3:20 p.m. yesterday where a customer attempted to use a counterfeit $50 bill. The subject claimed they had received it the day before as change from the store, according to the Centralia Police Department. The bill was taken as evidence, according to police.

PICKUP CATCHES FIRE

• Firefighters were called about 12:40 p.m. yesterday to a fenced area south of the Yard Birds Mall where a pickup truck with camper was burning. The vehicle was ruined, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

THREAT AT HIGH SCHOOL DRAWS LAW ENFORCEMENT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office placed extra personnel at Centralia High School today following the discovery yesterday of a “very vague note” referencing something happening at the school at 9 a.m. today. Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said the law enforcement presence is to ensure everyone has a good last day of school.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, misdemeanor theft, driving with suspended license, violation of no contact order; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, unfounded report … and more among 142 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, June 21st, 2017
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•••

VANDALISM INSIDE JAIL

• A deputy responded about 11 a.m. yesterday to the Lewis County Jail regarding a broken kiosk there. A review of video surveillance indicated a 37-year-old inmate from Olympia had caused the damage at about 2:30 p.m. the day before, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The case against Ryan K. Riedesel is being referred to prosecutors for malicious mischief, according to the sheriff’s office. The damage is estimated at $1,000, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

AUTO THEFT

• A black Acura Integra stolen in Chehalis was located about 7:30 p.m. yesterday at the 100 block of Wigley Road in Centralia. Engine components were removed, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

CAR PROWL

• A vehicle prowl was reported about 7:20 p.m. yesterday at the 1200 block of Alexander Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 37-year-old Centralia woman picked up on two outstanding warrants about 6:30 p.m. yesterday at the 1400 block of Johnson Road was also found to be in possession of heroin, according to the Centralia Police Department. Brandy J. Shea was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Police were called about 8:50 a.m. yesterday to the 1300 block of Northwest State Avenue where a semi truck hauling a piece of equipment had caught on power lines and pulled them down. The road was closed while Lewis County PUD made repairs and nobody was injured, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, resisting arrest, probation violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, suspicious circumstances, hit and run, third-degree theft, barking neighbor dog … and more among 160 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

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
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•••

WINLOCK WOMAN DISPLACED BY RESIDENTIAL FIRE

• A senior citizen alerted by her smoke alarm spotted fire in her bathroom, called 911 and got outside safely early this morning at the 300 block of Hemenway Road southwest of Winlock. Crews responding to the approximately 6:20 a.m. call arrived to find smoke showing from the roof line, entered and discovered fire in the attic space above the bathroom in the double-wide mobile home, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. Fire Lt. Patrick Jacobson said they were joined by personnel from Napavine, Toledo and Vader fire departments. The Red Cross was going to help the woman out with a place to stay, Jacobson said. The damage was primarily to the attic and the cause is under investigation, he said.

PEDESTRIAN ASSAULTED

• Centralia police were called about 7:20 p.m. for an incident at the 100 block of South Silver Street in which a 21-year-old Centralia woman said she was walking down the street when a female struck her in the face with what she thought was a bottle. She was treated at the hospital for cuts, according to the Centralia Police Department. She said she didn’t wish to pursue charges, according to police.

CYBER CRIME

•  Centralia police at about 11:15 p.m. yesterday took a report of possible extortion via Facebook associated with an address on the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD

• Chehalis police were called about 10 a.m. yesterday to investigate a possible fraud associated with a location on the 600 block of West Main Street.

ATM HEIST

• A deputy was called to a campground at the 2200 block of Centralia-Alpha Road yesterday morning following the discovery someone had removed a cash machine from the laundry room area. It was taken sometime between 3:30 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

TOOLS, EQUIPMENT STOLEN

• A self-propelled lawn mower, a Stihl leaf blower and a weed eater were stolen from a shed at the 100 block of Spencer Road sometime between 3:30 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is $950, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A deputy was called to the 1600 block of Bishop Road about 7:45 a.m. yesterday for a break-in to a business in which more than $2,000 worth of equipment was stolen. Among the items taken since about 6 p.m. on Saturday were a welder, a Husky air compressor as well as a surveillance system, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VEHICLE  PROWL

• A vehicle parked inside a fenced compound at the 900 block of Johnson Road in Centralia was broken into and gas siphoned out of it, according to a report made to police about 7:50 a.m. yesterday.

DRUGS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning they are referring a case for possession of a controlled substance to prosecutors in connection with finding suspected Suboxone – a medication used in the treatment of opioid addiction – inside a book in a 25-year-old inmate’s cell at the Lewis County Jail on Friday. The substance will be sent for testing, according to the sheriff’s office.

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES

• Chehalis police were called about 6:40 a.m. today about a person suspected to be “camped out” in the Honey Bucket at the 400 block of Northwest State Avenue. No arrest was made, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• It was a suspected equipment failure that caused a semi truck to end up on its side last night at U.S. Highway 12 and North Prairie Road, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. Firefighters responded to the scene shortly after 8 p.m. and determined the driver was uninjured, Fire Lt. Laura Hanson said.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, suspicious circumstances, hit and run, vehicle collision, third-degree theft … and more among 180 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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U.S. Highway 12 at North Prairie Road. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

Centralia dog owner secures a temporary stay on death sentence

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Hank the dog’s human family will fight on.

After yesterday’s emotion laden court hearing about the fate of a pit bull terrier implicated in killing livestock, Lewis County District Court Judge R.W. Buzzard signed an order that Hank be euthanized by the close of the business day tomorrow.

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Detained April, 2016

But today, a Lewis County Superior Court judge issued a “stay” meaning the dog cannot be put down during the next 30 days.

Hank’s owner, rural Centralia resident Jann Propp-Estimo, is represented by Bellingham animal lawyer Adam Karp.

Karp said after yesterday morning’s court proceedings, he would appeal and / or file a new lawsuit against the county.

Under Lewis County code, there was no option other than death for the canine after he was deemed in an administrative hearing to be a dangerous dog, for the events of last year in rural Winlock. However, that was delayed as county employees worked to find a lawful way to potentially declassify a dangerous dog.

Meanwhile, the pet that those at the Lewis County Animal Shelter felt was  really not an irredeemable killer, found himself with a new name and then adopted out to a new family. Propp-Estimo knew nothing of Hank’s past until Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer learned that someone bypassed the rules and had Hank impounded last month.

The Lewis County Board of County Commissioners yesterday approved an amendment to the dangerous dog ordinance which allowed the appeal that took place in Lewis County District Court.

The new rules allowed for the judge to take into consideration new evidence including present behavior, character and disposition of the animal. Judge Buzzard wasn’t convinced.

Karp laid out a case that suggested Hank’s mother was the actual killer of the two goats.

Today’s order signed by Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler notes the matter was brought to him at the request of Karp and Lewis County, with both having agreed to the temporary reprieve.

The action gives Karp time to file his appeal.

However, Hank, formerly known as Tank, shall be euthanized no late than 48 hours following the expiration of Lawler’s order, unless he or another court intervenes.
•••

For background, read “Possible reprieve for dog implicated in goats’ deaths” from Wednesday May 31, 2017, here

News brief: Appeal of coroner’s inquest case continues in federal court

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  Oral arguments will be heard in September before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle in the case of former Toledo elementary school principal Ron Reynolds who contended the Lewis County coroner had no legal basis for  conducting an inquest into the 1998 death of his then-wife, a former state trooper.

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Ron Reynolds

His lawyer called the 2011 proceedings scandalous, leading to severe harm to his client’s reputation and employability.

Reynolds’ and his son Jonathan Reynolds were named by the inquest jury as responsible for the death, which the panel concluded was homicide.

Reynolds lost the federal lawsuit against Coroner Warren McLeod and the county when a federal judge granted a summary judgment two years ago. Reynolds appealed.

McLeod said this morning he plans to attend the 9 a.m. Sept. 1 session, which will be heard by a three-member panel of judges.

Ronda Reynolds, 33, was found with a bullet in her head and covered by a turned-on electric blanket on the floor of a closet in the Toledo home she shared with her husband of less than a year and his three sons.
•••

For background, read “Lawsuit regarding Ronda Reynolds’ inquest moves to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals” from Friday May 8, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, June 19th, 2017
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•••

BEAR SPRAY VICTIM SEEKS HELP

• Centralia police were called at 6:20 p.m. yesterday to the fire department on the 500 block of North Pearl Street for a female who said she was bear sprayed by an unknown person. The investigation revealed she actually knew who had done it, but would not reveal who it was, according to the Centralia Police Department.

NURSE ASSAULTED

• A 36-year-old man from Aberdeen who allegedly assaulted a nurse at the hospital on the 900 block of South Scheuber Road in Centralia on Saturday afternoon was arrested for third-degree assault. Michael L. Hensley was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOGNAPPING CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called to the 10 block of Southwest Pacific Avenue where a puppy was stolen from its cage on the porch on Saturday. The call came just before 10 p.m., but a relative said it had occurred about five hours earlier, according to police. The missing dog is about five weeks old and is a male black-tan-beige chihuahua with a white chest, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.

AUTO THEFT

• The owner of a black 1995 Acura called police about 3:40 p.m. yesterday to report the car was missing from behind their residence at the 300 block of Southwest 14th Street in Chehalis. The vehicle has white after-market wheels, faded paint on its hood and has a doughnut-type spare tire installed on its right rear, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

TOOLS, EQUIPMENT MISSING FROM SHEDS

• A deputy responded yesterday to a report of a theft of about $2,000 worth of equipment from a maintenance shop of a business at the 2200 block of Centralia-Alpha Road outside Chehalis. It had occurred sometime between 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 8:30 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Among the missing items are two Stihl weed eaters, two chainsaws and 20 gallons of gas, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A deputy took a report from the 200 block of Paradise Drive in Ashford about roughly $1,500 worth of power tools missing from a shop building, taken sometime between Tuesday and Friday, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. Among the missing items are a power washer and a leaf blower, according to the sheriff’s office. There was no forced entry, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

PORCH PILFERING

• Centralia police were called to the 1000 block of K Street about 10:45 a.m. on Saturday to take a report of the theft of the contents from a delivery package.

YARD PILFERING

• A Honda lawn mower, reclining lawn chairs and several gardening tools were stolen from a back yard on the 500 block of South Gold Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 10:50 a.m. on Friday.

• Police were called about the theft of a hammock from the 500 block of South Gold Street in Centralia at about 8:20 a.m. on Friday.

BAD BILL

• Chehalis police were called about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue where an individual attempted to spend a counterfeit $100 bill. An officer spoke to the person and is trying to contact the individual who passed it along to him, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

• A deputy contacted a 47-year-old man about 3 o’clock this morning at the Doty store on the 200 block of Stevens Road who had allegedly been walking in the area and looking at people’s houses and subsequently arrested him for possession of methamphetamine. James L. Louthan, from Aberdeen, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Centralia police are referring the case of a 47-year-old Centralia man to prosecutors for allegedly possessing illegal narcotics in a case from just after noon on Saturday associated with the 900 block of Long Road in Centralia.

• Centralia police arrested two men for possession of methamphetamine in a case associated with the 200 block of South Pearl Street from 3 p.m. on Friday. Daniel G. Church, 56, of Onalaska and Adam W. Dickerson, 43, of Centralia, were booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 19-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for driving under the influence following an approximately 2:15 a.m. call on Sunday about a single-vehicle collision on the 200 block of Penning Road outside Chehalis. There was no driver at the scene but a deputy contacted Jesus L. Lazo walking along on nearby state Route 6 and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstruction, driving with no license, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault, third-degree malicious mischief; responses for alarm, dispute, trespassing, suspicious circumstances, hit and run, vehicle collision, third-degree theft, runaway juvenile … and more among 471 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 72-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Hank: Judge declines to declassify dangerous dog

Monday, June 19th, 2017
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Jann Propp-Estimo holds back tears as her son Jason Estimo speaks with their lawyer.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Lewis County judge ruled today the county should proceed to euthanize a pit bull terrier after viewing new evidence by an eyewitness that seemed to exonerate him in the killing of two goats.

The session this morning in Lewis County District Court follows a winding case in which the dog was deemed a dangerous animal under a county administrative process, but instead of being put down, was wrongly adopted out by the shelter to an unknowing Centralia family who handed Hank over when law enforcement came to retrieve him.

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Detained April, 2016

Jann Propp-Estimo, seated next to her attorney, let out a sob as Judge R.W. Buzzard made his pronouncement.

“I find by clear and convincing evidence Ms. York got it right,” Buzzard said. “This dog by our codes is dangerous.”

Propp-Estimo’s lawyer Adam Karp shared information with the court about Hank’s disposition from those at the Lewis County Animal Shelter had the dog in custody for several months and once again are holding him and from Propp-Estimo whose family owned him from January until May.

Karp brought the Winlock man who owned the goats to testify and filed a declaration from a neighbor who saw what happened last year.

Julianna Engel, according to a deputy’s report at the time, made statements such as the two dogs chased, bit and killed the goat, Buzzard said. Her more recent sworn declaration specified it was Hank’s mother who engaged in the attack.

“These two statements could not be more different from one another,” Buzzard said.

Judge Buzzard noted that Engel was not present at the hearing to be questioned, but a statement given so close in time to the event is presumed to be more believable, he said.

At the end of the approximately 90 minute hearing, Lewis County Civil Deputy Prosecutor David Fine was instructed to bring back an order for Hank to be euthanized. Judge Buzzard said his signature would start a clock ticking for 48 hours.

Karp said he will appeal and / or file a new lawsuit against the county.

“This is bullsh*t,” Winlock resident Steven Rohr said. “He was not part of it, he was wrongly accused.”

Rohr, the owner of the goats, was visibly upset as he and a fair-sized crowd exited the courtroom.

He had taken the stand in defense of the dog, pointing out what he saw on the video taken by his dash cam that day. At first, he was prejudiced against the pit bull he then knew as Tank, he said. But after speaking with Engel, he changed his mind.

“Hank is sitting right there, wagging his tail,” Rohr had told the court as he pointed to a segment of the video that was shown. The actual killing did not appear on the tape.

Also among those assembled in the lobby on the third floor of the Lewis County Law and Justice Center was Debra Parscal, who owned Tank at the time. She said that after the incident, she had to tell her children she couldn’t come up with the money to meet the county’s demands for $500,000 worth of liability insurance to be able to keep their dog.

Today’s hearing was held simultaneous to a meeting by the Lewis County Board of County Commissioners in which they approved an amendment to the dangerous dog ordinance that allowed the appeal in Lewis County District Court.

The dog’s situation came to to the attention of county authorities in May, when Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer advised commissioners he learned that instead of putting the dog down last year, the Lewis County Animal Shelter changed its name to Hank and adopted him to the new family, without disclosing his pertinent background.

Propp-Estimo took Hank to her rural Centralia home in January, then relocated him to her grown son and grandson’s home in town, because her other dog, Bruce Almighty, didn’t care for the new addition.

Jason Estimo was disappointed and unhappy with the judge’s ruling.

“It seemed, uh, kind of intellectually really dishonest,” Estimo said. “They changed the ordinance to save Hank, and Hank’s still going to be put down.
•••

For background, read “Possible reprieve for dog implicated in goats’ deaths” from Wednesday May 31, 2017, here

News brief: Nobody found inside after search through house fire rubble

Friday, June 16th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – No victims were found after a search was conducted through the remains of a house that burned yesterday in Centralia.

The vacant single-story house at the end of Alexander Street was fully engulfed in flames when a crew arrived following a 4:19 a.m. call yesterday reporting a tree on fire, according to authorities.

The roof collapsed making access to the interior impossible, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Fire Chief Mike Kytta indicated yesterday afternoon that once the fire was brought under control, an excavator was brought in to remove debris to facilitate extinguishing the remaining fire.

They accessed the building to search for any victims and found none, according to Kytta. Centralia police have said officers frequently discovered unauthorized individuals inside the house.

The cause of the fire is classified as undetermined and the investigation remains open, according to Kytta.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Vacant Centralia house burns” from Thursday June 15, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, June 16th, 2017
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•••

BURGLARY

• A deputy responded about 3:10 p.m. yesterday to a residential burglary at the 100 block of Morris Road in Randle in which the victim returned home to notice items out of place and then discovered a jewelry box, hunting knives and family memorabilia were missing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A red Craftsman riding mower, an oxygen tank and an acetylene tank were stolen from the 300 block of Toledo-Vader Road sometime between May 31 and Saturday,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

IMPERSONATION ATTEMPT

• A 27-year-old Toledo man was arrested yesterday for identity theft after he allegedly gave someone else’s name as his own when contacted by a deputy. Darrell R. Jackson was wanted on an outstanding warrant and it turned out the person whose name he gave was also wanted, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The alleged deception was noticed when he was brought to be booked at the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said this morning. Jackson allegedly got upset and broke a pay phone in a holding cell. The initial contact came when a deputy stopped a vehicle at the 100 block of Bethany Lane in Winlock about 2:30 p.m. and arrested Matthew T. Johnson, 46, of Winlock, for driving under the influence. Jackson was a passenger, according to Breen.

ARREST

• A 43-year-old Chehalis woman who went to the Chehalis Police Department to pick up some of her belongings there yesterday afternoon was arrested for second-degree possession of stolen property related to alleged checks which did not belong to her, according to police. Jennifer L. Davis, was also wanted on an outstanding warrant and was booked into the Lewis County Jail. Prosecutors however declined to file the felony charge at this time.

AUTO THEFT

• A 2005 Chevy Impala that had been reported stolen from Oakville was recovered at the 300 block of North Railroad Avenue in Centralia at about 5:45 p.m. yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• An officer was called to the 100 block of Pioneer Way in Centralia about 9:25 a.m. yesterday where an unknown person had broken out a car window and stolen a cell phone, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, suspicious circumstances, third-degree theft, protection order violation  … and more among 134 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

Thursday, June 15th, 2017
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•••

SASQUATCH REPLICA MISSING

• Centralia police were contacted about 2:30 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of a concrete Big Foot statue from a home on the 1600 block of Oxford Avenue.

GOLF CLUBS MISSING

• A deputy was called yesterday to investigate a burglary to a garage at the 1400 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia in which Craftsman tools and Tommy Armor golf clubs were taken. The loss is estimated at $1,260, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office said the break-in occurred between May 15 and Monday.

SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT MISSING

• A security camera was stolen from a residence in the 300 block of Centralia College Boulevard, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department just before 9 p.m. yesterday.

• A closed-circuit television camera was stolen from the outside of a building on the 10 block of Southwest Chehalis Avenue, according to a report made to the Chehalis Police Department yesterday.

PUD SCAM

• A business on the 700 block of West Main Street reported to Chehalis police yesterday they’d received a call from someone pretending to be with Lewis County PUD and threatening to shut off their electricity. It was a scam, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ASSAULT ALLEGED

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning to Green Hill School to take a report of an incident that occurred a week earlier in which an 18-year-old student-inmate allegedly threw a game controller at a staff member.

THREAT ALLEGED

• Centralia police responded to a complaint of harassment yesterday from the 100 block of West Magnolia Street by issuing a summons to a 38-year-old Toledo resident. The episode involved allegedly threatening emails, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, probation violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, unfounded complaint, suspicious circumstances, third-degree theft … and more among 154 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Vacant Centralia house burns

Thursday, June 15th, 2017
2017.0615.alexandersthousefire

Smoke rises from the 1400 block of Alexander Street. / Courtesy photo by Joseph Bonomi

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Centralia police and firefighters responded to a call early this morning to a fire at a vacant single-story house frequented by unauthorized inhabitants.

It was found fully involved in flames and its roof eventually caved into its basement, according to the Centralia Police Department.

The home on the 1400 block of Alexander Street has been boarded up for some time, police Sgt. Kurt Reichert said.

Reichert said it’s a location where patrol officers have frequently found individuals staying there or trying to stay there. It has no electrical service, according to Reichert.

The fire department was not able to get inside and investigators likely won’t be able to either for quite awhile because of the remaining heat, Reichert said.

He said he understood a bull dozer would be brought in and that after materials are moved away, the basement will need to be pumped.

News brief: Mineral Fire Department audit shows fuel misappropriation

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has forwarded a case to prosecutors of second-degree theft in connection with a volunteer firefighter’s alleged misuse of a gas card.

Brady J. Mounce was a volunteer with Lewis County Fire District 9 in Mineral and allegedly used a district card for just over $1,500 in personal use between 2013 and 2014, according to the sheriff’s office.

Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said this morning said a report from the Washington State Auditor’s Office came back early last week and showed Mounce misappropriated more than $5,000 worth of fuel from the district.

Some it occurred in the Morton area and some in Eatonville, according to Breen. Similar charges have been filed in Pierce County, Breen said.

Mounce, 23, of Mineral has not been arrested and a charging decision will be made by the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

Breen said the audit overall showed $20,300 worth of fuel misappropriated from the district but it couldn’t be determined who was responsible. He didn’t note the time period involved.