Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Two of spooked horse victims on the mend, after fair accident

Saturday, August 27th, 2016
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Helen Morgan at her father Jake Morgan’s bedside. / Courtesy photo

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County officials went silent about the spooked carriage horse that took off running down the midway at the Southwest Washington Fair, injuring five people.

The designated spokesperson about the incident talked with news organizations the day it occurred, offering sparse details.

By early this week, the spokesperson, Lewis County Risk Manager Paulette Young, said nothing more would be said.

“We’re not providing any more information on that, we are no commenting,” Young said Tuesday.

The day before, the three-member Lewis County Board of Commissioners issued a formal statement:

“Because of potential litigation that could arise in the future, and upon advice of counsel, Lewis County will not be making any further comments on this matter,” they wrote. “Our thoughts and well wishes continue to be with those affected by this incident.”

It happened about 2:30 p.m. a week ago Friday.

Young on that afternoon said she knew only that five people were hurt and four of them were hospitalized, after a vendor’s horse with buggy ran through the fairgrounds.

The chief of the fire department whose jurisdiction includes the fairgrounds in between the cities of Centralia and Chehalis said he didn’t know much more. Riverside Fire Authority Chief Mike Kytta referred questions to Young.

We don’t have a whole lot,” Kytta said earlier this week. “With our fairground crew there, we had the whole thing turned around in 18 minutes.”

Kytta said four individuals were put into AMR ambulances and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital. The fifth person went there in a private vehicle, he said.

Although ordinarily Riverside Fire Authority records and shares such basics as the age and sex of accident victims, Kytta said he did not have that information.

“Now we know, from the news, a father and daughter were flown to Harborview with head injuries,” he said earlier this week.

Jake Morgan of Toledo and his daughter Helen were airlifted to the Seattle trauma center. A GoFundMe page posted the following day included words from the mother, Emily Owen, who said they expected a long healing road ahead.

“They have been overwhelmed with prayers and wishes,” the statement read. “Due to the severity of Jake and Helen’s injuries Emily won’t be able to go back to work immediately.

“If you feel moved please join me in donating what you can to offset their cost of living during their stay here in Seattle, and in the time home.”

Now, fellow Toledo resident Brandie Devine is busy organizing assistance for the family.

A benefit spaghetti dinner and auction is planned for Sept. 30 at Toledo High School. It will run from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m.

“Emily will move from primary provider to caregiver,” Devine wrote. “As this family heals, let’s do what we can as a community to ‘make life a little easier’. ”

The cost is $5 per child and $7 for adults.

To donate auction items, Devine can be reached at 360-880-7331

To donate food or supplies for the spaghetti feed, please contact Catrina Mathis at 360-703-1716 or Cara Buswell at 206-303-9472 or 360-864-4291.

Also, Devine notes that in the meantime for anyone who would like to contribute money to help family members with fuel costs for their trips to and from the hospital, an account is set up at the Toledo Flying K Gas Mart.
•••

For background, read “Chehalis: Spooked horse injures several fairgoers” from Friday August 19, 2016, here

Insurance on $322 million highway project will pay for $18.5 million collision settlement for Rochester man

Friday, August 26th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Washington State Department of Transportation issued a formal statement yesterday, the day after a settlement of $18.5 million was approved for a Rochester motorcyclist severely injured last year when he collided with a dump truck working on the Interstate 5 construction project in Centralia.

“This was a tragic and serious incident for Mr. Bliss and our thoughts remain with him, ” the state agency wrote. “Safety is a top priority for WSDOT and we work diligently with our contractors to reduce the risk of roadway incidents.”

Scott R. Bliss was 44 years old when the early morning wreck occurred on April 17, 2015 at the northbound Harrison Avenue entrance to Interstate 5. A Mac truck was turning on to the ramp from an adjacent area and Bliss was entering the freeway when Bliss’s motorcycle struck its trailer, leaving him with a brain injury.

Bliss just finally returned home about a month ago from a rehabilitation center.

The settlement is the largest amount paid to a single person in a Lewis County Superior Court case, as far as Bliss’s attorneys could find.

The lawsuit filed on his behalf named Washington state, the state Department of Transportation’s contractor Scarsella Brothers Inc. and the driver, Wesley G. Snelson, from Galvin.

The judge’s approval came on the same day local and state officials met for a ceremonial ribbon cutting to celebrate the nine year highway construction project coming to a close.

The $322 million project encompassed an 18-mile stretch, adding and modifying interchanges, adding lanes and building new connections that parallel the freeway to carry local traffic, among other improvements.

The $18.5 million in settlement money will be put in a trust for Bliss.

Most of it, $13.5 million, is being paid through Scarsella’s private insurance, according to a WSDOT spokesperson.

The other $5 million comes from a liability insurance policy required under the construction contract paid for by Scarsella but taken out in WSDOT’s name, according to Lars Erickson, communications director for the state agency.

The Interstate 5 work, which began in 2007, was done between Maytown and Napavine.

“This work will help drive down collisions and improve travel times on this portion of the West Coast’s busiest highway,” WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator Bart Gernhart stated in a news release. “By partnering with local community members, we incorporated their vision of a safer and more efficient I-5 corridor that will have lasting benefits for all travelers.”

The most visible difference are the connectors between the Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue interchanges, meant to improve safety by reducing merge weaving and preventing backups onto the interstate.

Drivers should expect occasional nighttime single-lane closures during the next few weeks as WSDOT’s contractor, Scarsella Brothers, Inc., finishes guardrail installation and striping work, according to WSDOT spokesperson Bart Treece.

Additional roadside landscaping and erosion control work will be completed during the fall and winter months.
•••

For background, read “Multi-million settlement reached for motorcyclist’s injuries at I-5 onramp during construction” from Wednesday August 24, 2016, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 26th, 2016
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•••

BASEBALL BAT ATTACK

• Police were called to a motel room at the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia about 12:40 a.m. today where an uncle allegedly punched his niece and another family member was hit with a baseball bat and knocked unconscious. Johnaton M. Simien, 39, from Eunice, Louisiana, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BUTTER KNIFE ASSAULT

• A 27-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday after he allegedly stabbed his girlfriend’s brother with a butter knife at the 600 block of North Washington Avenue in Centralia. Officers called about 1 p.m. found the victim sustained a cut on his left arm and a chipped tooth, according to the Centralia Police Department. Robert E. Chandler was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, according to police.

THEFT OF MAIL

• Centralia police were called just before 1 p.m. yesterday to take a report of mail being stolen from the 2600 block of Eureka Avenue.

DRUGS

• A 33-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after contact with an officer about an outstanding warrant at the 400 block of Girard Street in Centralia about 4:50 a.m. today. Treston D. Zimmerman was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 26-year-old Onalaska man contacted about 3 o’clock this morning about an outstanding warrant the the 700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia was subsequently arrested for possession of methamphetamine. Zacharey J. Hanley was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 24-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for possession of heroin after a man reported finding drug paraphernalia and what field-tested positive for the drug among his daughter’s belongings at the 1200 block of Centralia Avenue just before 1 p.m. yesterday. Kayla M. Burleson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 21-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for unlawful possession of a controlled substance at about 10:20 a.m. yesterday at the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia. Chris M. Yates, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POSSIBLE ‘HOUDINI HOUND’  HEADS TO GROCERY STORE

• A Chehalis woman called police about 10 p.m. yesterday after returning home from work and finding her dog which had been inside a kennel inside her house was gone, even though the home was still locked up. “We’re not sure if the dog figured out how to get out or someone let it out,” Chehalis Police Department Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said. A citizen at about noon time had found the Labrador mix wandering at Safeway on the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard, according to police. It was taken to the shelter, Kaut said. A bedroom window was possibly open, according to Kaut.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police report they responded to a car versus bicycle accident at the 600 block of Harrison Avenue at about 6:30 p.m. yesterday. It involved minor injury, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, third-degree theft, suicide threat, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, dog left alone in vehicle … 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.

Defendant admits to texting while driving before Winlock crash

Thursday, August 25th, 2016
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Robert Hicks, represented by Centralia lawyer David Arcuri, is sentenced to 17 months in prison.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Two weeks after his arrest for walking away from the scene of an early morning wreck he caused which left a Winlock woman with serious injuries, 28-year-old Robert A. Hicks pleaded guilty and apologized.

“I’m truly sorry,” Hicks said. “If I could trade places, I would.”

Hicks was sentenced yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court for vehicular assault, hit and run and tampering with a witness.

He admitted to the judge when asked, he was texting and driving as his car crossed over the center line.

Given he had no prior felony criminal history, the top of the standard sentencing range was 17 months in prison. And that’s what he got.

“I have to tell you, if it were legally possible for me to impose a greater sentence, I would definitely do it,” Judge Nelson Hunt said.

The head-on collision occurred on the 200 block of North Military Road in Winlock on July 24. A passing citizen found the two wrecked vehicles and called 911 at about 5:26 a.m.

Mechelle Crosse, 50, had multiple broken bones including in her face and back.

“She’s laying in bed crying because she’s helpless,” her daughter Nicole Ettner said as she asked the judge to hand down the maximum sentence. “My mom has never hurt a fly.”

The mother of 10 and grandmother of 12 needs 24-hour care because her mouth is wired shut, her sister-in-law Carla Ladino added.

“We’re not a rich family, and it’s hard on everybody,” Ladino said.

Hicks hung his head during most parts of the court hearing.

The electrician who had recently relocated to Winlock admitted to leaving the scene, and to calling his ex-girlfriend and telling her to report the car stolen.

Hicks wasn’t arrested until Aug. 10, in Olympia shortly after the case gained region wide attention, through the television show Washington’s Most Wanted.

His lawyer David Arcuri said his client earlier in the day was talking about writing a letter of apology.

Restitution, which will be substantial according to Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer, will be determined at a later date.
•••

For background, read “Using cell phone while driving suspected in Winlock wreck” from Thursday August 11, 2016, here

News brief: Burning sawdust draws multiple fire departments to Winlock mill

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Firefighters spent much of the day fighting with smoldering fires in a sawdust hopper and its funneling system at Shakertown in Winlock yesterday.

They were called to the cedar shake manufacturer at the 1200 block of Kerron Street about 10:45 a.m. and personnel were on the scene until 3:20 p.m., according to Lewis County Fire District 15.

They were assisted by fire departments from Toledo, Napavine and Vader, and eventually called for the ladder truck from the Chehalis Fire Department, according to Assistant Chief Kevin Anderson.

They had climbed the mill’s access ladder to hoist hand-lines to the top of the hopper, some 75-feet in the air, but were unable to achieve total extinguishment that way, according to Anderson.

Eventually the fires were put out and nobody was injured, but the business indicated it may shut down a portion of its operation for at least a month while they deal with cleanup and repairs, according to Anderson.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, August 25th, 2016
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•••

GRAB AND GO

• A dispute in which a 41-year-old man allegedly struck a woman, took her keys and cell phone and walked away from a parking lot at the 1700 block of North National Avenue in Chehalis yesterday led to his arrest. Officers called to Sunbird Shopping Center at about 12:10 p.m. located Timothy C. McCarthy, a homeless person, and booked him into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree robbery and fourth-degree domestic assault, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police are looking for a man who reportedly grabbed cash from an acquaintance’s hand as the two stopped to talk on the street at the 200 block of North Railroad Avenue in Centralia yesterday. The report was taken just before 1 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 9:20 a.m. yesterday following the discovery that produce and other items were missing from an outdoor stand at the 100 block of Harrison Avenue.

PORCH PILFERING

• Someone stole packages from a porch at the 500 block of South Gold Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police at about 4:25 p.m. yesterday.

• Centralia police were called about 11:10 a.m. yesterday about the theft of packages from a porch at the 1400 block of Lum Road.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 12:35 p.m. yesterday to the 1400 block of Johnson Road in Centralia about an attempted vehicle theft. The ignition had been damaged, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• An officer was called at 11 a.m. yesterday for a vehicle prowl at the 3200 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia. Taken was a garage door opener and miscellaneous paperwork, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Police were called about 9:40 a.m. yesterday to the 2000 block of Ahlers Avenue in Centralia where someone during the night had broke a vehicle’s window.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon to Green Hill School at the 300 block of Southwest 11th Street in Chehalis to pick up suspected marijuana reportedly found on a student-inmate. The material will be sent to a lab for testing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• An 18-year-old motorist was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with a possible concussion after he rolled his truck when a deer jumped out into the road last night in Winlock. The driver, the sole occupant, had been wearing his seatbelt, and his 1988 Ford Ranger was totaled, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened at about 9:15 p.m. at the 800 block of North Military Road, according to the sheriff’s office. The deer was found dead in the ditch, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. The driver, from Chehalis, was treated for what turned out to be minor injuries and released from the hospital, Brown said.

• Deputies and firefighters responded about 7:20 p.m. yesterday after a Jeep Grand Cherokee being towed from Winlock burst into flames. The husband and wife traveling along the Winlock-Vader Road near Jones Road were informed by a passerby of the fire in the engine compartment, stopped and tried to put it out, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It was fully involved in flames when the fire department arrived, but they extinguished it, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said it appeared possibly some kind of electrical malfunction occurred.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, protection order violation, third-degree theft, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, shoplifting, hit and run, suspicious circumstances … and more among 141 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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A 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee is lost to fire that began in engine compartment. / Courtesy photo by Colton Stevens

Multi-million settlement reached for motorcyclist’s injuries at I-5 onramp during construction

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
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•••

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Rochester man who just recently has been able to return home after his motorcycle collided with a dump truck 16 months ago near a construction zone on a freeway onramp in Centralia is the beneficiary of an $18.5 million dollar settlement, approved by a judge today in Lewis County Superior Court.

Scott R. Bliss was 44 years old and a welder when the early morning wreck occurred on April 17, 2015 at the  northbound Harrison Avenue entrance to Interstate 5.

He spent about a month at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, time in other medical facilities and was just released in July from a rehabilitation center for serious brain injuries.

A lawsuit filed on his behalf named Washington state, the state Department of Transportation’s contractor Scarsella Brothers Inc. and the driver, Wesley G. Snelson, from Galvin.

Judge James Lawler this morning looked over the agreement between the parties, which sets up a trust fund to provide for his medical care for the rest of his life.

“It seems an extraordinary amount of money,” Lawler said. “Of course there were extraordinary injuries, and that makes sense.”

Bliss and his longtime partner Cheryl Aton were present for the hearing. He rolled into the courtroom in a motorized chair, but didn’t address the court.

His lawyers answered Lawler’s questions. Viivi M. Vanderslice said both defendants denied any responsibility.

Chehalis attorney Joe Mano, there to look out for Bliss’s interests, said he was in agreement, remarking on his belief a Lewis County jury would have found a significant portion of negligence.

The attorney representing the state said he had nothing to add. No lawyer from Scarsella was present.

Vanderslice said it appears from their research, it’s the largest outcome for a civil matter in Lewis County Superior Court paid out to a single person.

According to the Washington State Patrol, a dump truck was turning onto the ramp from a construction site when the motorcycle entering the freeway struck its trailer. Bliss was ejected from his Harley Davidson. It happened shortly before 5:30 a.m.

The Mac truck driver was cited by the state patrol for entering the roadway the way he did, the plaintiff’s other lawyer, Kirk Bernard, said.

“They were allowing big trucks to make a U-turn at the end of an open freeway onramp, without flaggers, with no warning signs,” Bernard said. “We learned they’d been doing this for months.”

Bernard and Vanderslice are with the Bernard Law Group in Seattle.

There was no evidence Bliss was speeding, his headlight was on and he was wearing a helmet, Bernard said.

The defendants took the position Bliss was a rogue motorcyclist and ought to have been watching out for the construction vehicles, he said.

“The issue is protection of the public, and adequate and clear warning,” Bernard said. “This was preventable.”

Today Bliss can take as many as 40 steps.

“He’s been tinkering in his garage, playing with his dogs,” Bernard said. “And he’s hopeful about the future.”
•••

For background, read “News brief: I-5 construction area crash sends one to Harborview” from Friday April 17, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
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•••

SUSPECTED INTENTIONALLY SET FIRE ONALASKA

• An incendiary device was taken into evidence after a fire broke out in a brushy wooded area along the Newaukum River near Onalaska yesterday. Firefighters responding around 3 p.m. to the 100 block of Pigeon Springs Road extinguished an approximately 50-foot by 50-foot area, according to Fire Investigator Derrick Paul. The property owner had spotted smoke and called 911, Paul said. Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Andrew Martin said a crew from the state Department of Natural Resources arrived to assist. The item which was about 18 inches long consisted of a pipe, a can, duct tape and black powder, Paul said.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• A deputy responding about 9:50 p.m. yesterday following the discovery of a residential burglary at the 400 block of East Oakview Avenue in Centralia learned about $1,200 worth of personal property was missing. Among the stolen items were passports, clothing, cell phones, kitchen knives and other household items, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The thief or thieves made entry through an unsecured door, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Centralia police were called to a burglary at the 2500 block of Mount Vista Road at about 4:15 p.m. yesterday. The victim reported someone had entered through an open window and stole two televisions and 30 DVD’s,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report from the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue about 10:40 a.m. yesterday regarding a knife and pepper spray being stolen.

BREAK-IN CHEHALIS

• An officer was called about 6 p.m. yesterday to the park on Southwest 13th Street  in Chehalis where someone had broken in to the concession stand and left with food, an iPad Mini and a computer router. Damage was done to the door, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 10:20 a.m. yesterday to the 1700 block of Harrison Avenue where a stolen vehicle was located unoccupied in a driveway.

YOU CAN RUN …

• A 24-year-old Chehalis resident wanted on an outstanding warrant fled when he saw police about 5:45 p.m. yesterday at the 1300 block of West Main Street in Centralia, but was tracked into an area by the lake and was detained, according to the Centralia Police Department. Galen R. Whitmire was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

ON THE ROAD

• A traffic stop for speeding along the 3300 block of Jackson Highway in Chehalis about 7 o’clock yesterday morning led to an arrest for possession of methamphetamine. When the deputy asked the driver for his information, the glove box was opened and a plastic baggie containing a white substance could be seen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Brian N. Smithlin Jr., 32, of Winlock, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. He also was driving with a suspended license and without a required interlock device, Cmdr. Dusty Breen said.

OFF THE ROAD

• Chehalis police and firefighters responded about 9:20 a.m. yesterday when a motorist in a parking lot at the 1200 block of South Market Boulevard had some sort of episode and ran into at least one other vehicle, knocking it out of the lot. Nobody was injured, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, harassment, suspicious circumstances, barking neighbor dog … and more among 168 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Nobody was hurt when an unoccupied vehicle was pushed over a ledge on South Market Boulevard in Chehalis. / Courtesy photo by Nakita Mann

Breaking news: Thurston Sheriff Snaza seriously hurt in motorcycle wreck

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza is in critical condition this morning following a motorcycle accident in Montana.

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Sheriff John Snaza

“Our TCSO family is obviously devastated by this event,” sheriff’s Lt. Tim Rudloff wrote in a news release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our beloved sheriff for a full recovery.”

According to Rudloff, the single-vehicle collision occurred about 6 p.m. yesterday in Sanders County, Montana.

The sheriff sustained life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to a hospital in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, he stated.

Snaza was off duty when it happened. The accident is being investigated by the Montana State Patrol.

His medical status as of about 9:30 a.m. today was given as critical but stable, according to Rudloff.

Snaza was elected sheriff in 2010. He is the twin brother of Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza.

News brief: Fire breaks out in Centralia yard

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
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Flames spread quickly to the trees behind Rhobina Street house. / Image by Tyler Ferguson

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Authorities believe fireworks ignited a blaze in a north Centralia neighborhood that spread fast through a yard and burned up three fir trees yesterday.

“The fire was extinguished before it was able to spread to forested land that border the backside of the property,” Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Scott Weinert stated in a news release.

Police and fire crews responded to the approximately 1:50 p.m. 911 call to the 1300 block of Rhobina Street, according to Weinert.

Nobody was hurt and the adjacent homes were unaffected, although there was some minor damage to a house across the street which is being demolished, Weinert indicated.

Residents reported hearing fireworks exploding and a car leaving the area before the flames were discovered, according to the captain.

The fire is being investigated.

A fire weather watch was issued last week and again yesterday by the National Weather Service because of potential critical fire weather conditions.

The combination of low relative humidity and wind means fires could ignite more easily and spread more quickly, according to the weather service.

Another round of very warm temperatures is expected in the area tomorrow and Friday.

Napavine resident going to prison for Centralia drug-related robbery

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – One of four suspects pleaded guilty today to his part in an early morning Centralia incident which authorities alleged involved a ruse to obtain heroin that resulted in a struggle inside a car with bear spray and a box cutter.

Robert Plasencia, 29, of Napavine admitted he took keys and a cell phone during the events of July 30 at the 1600 block of North Scheuber Road.

Plasencia pleaded guilty as charged, to second-degree robbery, before Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler this morning.

Charging documents in the case say the two victims told police of a request to get heroin for one of the four suspects who claimed to be drug sick. One of the assailants allegedly used bear spray and one of the victim’s pulled out a box cutter.

The initial information was a purse and backpack were stolen from the pair.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello told the judge Plasencia was quick in accepting responsibility. Defense attorney Michael Underwood said the plea agreement included both attorneys recomending his client spend 22 months in prison.

The standard sentencing range for the offense, given his criminal history, is 22 to 29 months.

Judge Lawler agreed with the deal.

Plasencia has been held in the Lewis County Jail since his arrest on July 31. He declined to make a statement on his own behalf.

Cases are still pending for the other three, charged similarly. They are Andrea Parker, 34, of Chehalis; Jon Parker, 32, transient; and Kiana J. DeLaRosa, 18, of Chehalis.
•••

For background, read “Bear spray, box cutter and heroin” from Friday August 12, 2016, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
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•••

Updated at 1:39 p.m.

MISSING MONEY, GUN

• A pistol and cash were reported stolen from a home on the 1900 block of Ahlers Avenue in Centralia yesterday.

MORE MISSING GUNS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports someone stole three 45 caliber firearms and two case of matching ammunition from a shop at a residence on the 100 block of Arndt Road in Cinebar sometime between Saturday and Sunday.

AUTO THEFT

• An officer called about 1:40 a.m. today to the 1500 block of Southwest Thomsen Avenue in Chehalis where two males got out of a vehicle and walked away discovered the Subaru had been stolen. The victim had reported on Sunday morning someone prowled the car and stole her purse from the 1000 block of Southwest 20th Street, and returned later to take the car, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Police were called at 9 a.m. yesterday to Southeast Spring Street just off Market Boulevard in Chehalis to a report someone had dropped off a stolen car. The Honda Accord missing from Longview had plates on it which were stolen in Castle Rock, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

FRAUD

• An individual from Texas called Chehalis police yesterday afternoon to report someone used their identity to withdraw money from their account at the 600 block of South Market Boulevard.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called just before 4 o’clock this morning to the 1000 block of Southwest William Avenue where a car prowler fled after being startled by someone. One speaker was missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called about 2 p.m. yesterday by an individual who said they loaned their vehicle to a friend and while it was parked at the 1000 block of Southwest 20th Street, someone got inside and took insurance paperwork and the registration.

• Centralia police were called yesterday to the 1300 block of Lakeshore Drive about a theft from the saddle bags of a motorcycle overnight.

TRESPASSING

• Centralia police arrested a 36-year-old homeless person about 8 a.m. yesterday for trespassing in a vacant house on the 2700 block of Mount Vista Road. Travis L. Gray was then released pending a court date, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called twice yesterday to take reports of damaged windshields to cars. First at the 1000 block of B Street and later at the 1200 block of Rhobina Street.

AND FROM MORTON

• A 56-year-old Tacoma man who allegedly threatened a park manager with a knife on Thursday night at the 700 block of Main Avenue in Morton was arrested for harassment, according to the Morton Police Department. Russell D. Shamley was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• The Morton Police Department reported yesterday they have no suspects in the vandalism over Jubilee Weekend in which the toilets and bathrooms at the park were damaged beyond repair.

• An officer called about 6 p.m. last Thursday to the 400 block of Second Street in Morton after a female accidentally ran her vehicle into the front of a store informed both parties it was a “private party” incident.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 29-year-old motorist was uninjured when he fell asleep, drove off the roadway and broke a utility pole at the 3900 block of Jackson Highway south of Chehalis at about 5:20 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, civil issue, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, parking lot fender bender … and more among 168 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Camp trash dispute turns violent near Dog Mountain

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Updated at 2:21 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An argument over leaving garbage at a Glenoma campsite is what reportedly sparked a stabbing that sent a 40-year-old man to Harborview Medical Center yesterday.

Deputies called just after 5 p.m. to the Dog Patch campground at the base of Dog Mountain found the victim with a stab wound to his abdomen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said the weapon was a large Rambo-style knife.

The suspect and two companions fled in a white van and were ultimately located on a logging road across from Kosmos Road, Brown said.

Brown said the victim and witnesses said an argument broke out between the occupants of a Ohio license-plated car and the Florida-plated van about the subjects in the two cars leaving the trash behind.

The victim, a 40-year-old from Los Angeles, California, was immediately transported to Morton General Hospital and then airlifted to Seattle, according to Brown. His condition this morning is unknown, as the sheriff’s office last information is from 11 o’clock last night, when he was still in surgery.

The victim said the suspect came at him and stabbed him, Brown said. The suspect said it was self defense, she said.

Theodore D Pojman, 21, from Ocoee, Florida, was arrested for first-degree assault and booked into the Lewis County Jail. Prosecutors are not filing criminal charges today, pending further investigation.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, August 22nd, 2016
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•••

DRUGS

• A 30-year-old motorist found parked in the middle of the state Route 505 overpass above Interstate 5 at midnight was arrested for a state Department of Corrections warrant and then while being processed at the jail, a tar-like substance wrapped in plastic was located concealed on her person. Cassandra L. Luthi was arrested for possession of heroin and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 36-year-old Chehalis man detained yesterday afternoon for alleged theft from a business at the 1100 block of Johnson Road in Centralia was subsequently arrested for possession of a controlled substance. An officer found several controlled substances on his person, according to the Centralia Police Department. Jesse J. Hull was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 9:40 p.m. yesterday for a burglary at the 700 block of South Pearl Street. The victim reported that sometime between the previous afternoon and Sunday morning someone entered his residence and stole three gaming consoles, a laptop, and 32 games, according to the Centralia Police Department.

YARD THEFT CENTRALIA

• Police were called to the 2400 block of Howard Avenue in Centralia about 1:30 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of a garden shredder from outside a residence.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police were called just before 9 p.m. on Friday about a Honda Accord stolen from the 2100 block of North National Avenue. The car was subsequently found and its owner was able to retrieve it, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called about 6:15 p.m. yesterday for a vehicle prowl at the 1000 block of Southwest 20th Street. Sometime since noon, someone entered the unlocked vehicle and stole several items, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday about a vehicle prowl at the 1000 block of Southwest 20th Street. Sometime during the night, someone got inside the unlocked vehicle and stole a purse, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to the 600 block of Southwest Pacific Avenue on Friday where sometime during the night someone broke the windshield of a truck, got inside and tore apart the dashboard. A stereo was taken, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ASSAULT

• An officer was called about 6:20 p.m. yesterday to take a report of one juvenile reportedly assaulting another juvenile at Green Hill School in Chehalis. The victim’s injury required stitches and the case is being followed up on, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called jut after 3 p.m. on Saturday to the 300 block of Southwest 16th Street to take a report of an assault. Further details were not readily available.

• An individual went to the Chehalis Police Department on Friday to make a report of indecent liberties committed by an unknown person. The case is referred to detectives for follow up, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• An individual called police to the  600 block of Southwest Pacific Avenue just before 2:30 p.m. on Friday saying his neighbor threw an apple at him during an argument. The alleged thrower showed up to the police department and statements are being taken, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, third-degree theft, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, suspicious circumstances, vehicle collision … and more among 158 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

Sunday, August 21st, 2016
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•••

PARACHUTER HURT IN TOLEDO

• Firefighters were called about 12:10 p.m. yesterday to Skydive Toledo at the airport off the 5200 block of Jackson Highway for a parachute accident. A male patient with lower leg injuries was transported to Centralia Providence Hospital, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 9:20 p.m. yesterday regarding a  theft from a business on the 600 block of South Tower Avenue. They are investigating, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An officer was called to the 700 block of Harrison Avenue at about 12:35 p.m. yesterday to take a report of the theft of money.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, probation violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more among 172 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

Saturday, August 20th, 2016
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•••

WELDER GROWS LEGS

• Centralia police were called at 6 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of Centralia College Boulevard where a victim reported that sometime over the night unknown persons broke into their detached garage and stole a portable welder.

AUTO THEFT

• Just before 2 p.m. yesterday, Centralia police recovered a stolen Honda from Tumwater at the 300 block of East Pine Street. The driver reported to have purchased it off of Offerup.com, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case is under investigation.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday for a car prowl at the 500 block of North Rock Street. The victim reported that someone entered his vehicle during the night and stole documents out of the glove box, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD

• Centralia police took a report about 8:45 a.m. yesterday from an individual who said someone used her identity to apply for a credit card.

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• Centralia police arrested a 44-year-old man yesterday in connection with a 7:20 p.m. call associated with the 400 block of South Buckner Street in which he allegedly violated a no contact order by breaking into the victim’s residence.  Dale W. Douglas, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for residential burglary and violating a no contact order after, according to the Centralia Police Department.

INSTANT CAR WASH

• Police were called just after 3 p.m. yesterday to the 600 block of South Tower Avenue where they investigated a one vehicle, non-injury collision in which the driver struck a fire hydrant.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor domestic assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute,  suspicious circumstances … and more among 191 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Chehalis: Spooked horse injures several fairgoers

Friday, August 19th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Five people were injured when a horse got spooked and took off running down the midway, pulling an unoccupied carriage, at the Southwest Washington Fair today.

“I don’t have conditions on anyone,” Lewis County Risk Manager Paulette Young said this afternoon.

The vendor with the horse and buggy was at the fair to give rides to people, according to Young.

Four of those hurt were hospitalized, she said. Young said she had limited information.

The individuals involved would have been at or around the food booth area, she said.

The fair which opened on Tuesday is operated by Lewis County.

Ideas to cool off, be safe with 100 degree-plus day ahead

Friday, August 19th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Officials are urging citizens to take care of themselves and their surroundings as temperatures today reach for 100 degrees.

Centralia City Hall will be open to the public from noon until 5 p.m., for any who need a place to stay cool. Water will be provided.

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•••

Knowing folks will be drawn to the water for recreation, the Lewis County Drowning Prevention Coalition is reminding the public that most rivers and lakes can still be very cold below the surface. They urge people to wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets when in, on or around the water.

“Time is also critical so call 911 as soon as you see someone struggling in the water even if people are swimming out to them,” the group stated in a news release. “Victims submerged for more than 10 minutes have a very low rate of survival.”

The city of Chehalis has joined Centralia and Lewis County leaders in banning outdoor recreational fires, because of the fire danger.

Chehalis Fire Chief Ken Cardinale asks residents to please follow the restrictions and use good judgement based on the extreme risk.

In Chehalis as in other locales, outdoor cooking is allowed only using camp stoves with lids, on/off switches and which are fueled by  liquid gas or propane.

Chehalis also continues to allow the use of outdoor fireplaces, as long as they are equipped with an approved spark arrestor on the flue.

“As the Chehalis fire chief, I cannot stress enough the seriousness of the fire danger that presently exists,” Cardinal stated. “The continued dry conditions, very low fuel moistures and dry weather pattern we have been experiencing are contributing to the high fire danger.”

All of Western Washington except the immediate coast is under a red flag warning for fire danger.

The current forecast in Chehalis today is 102 degrees. Those in Toledo can expect 101 degrees; and in Centralia, 100 degrees. Communities in East Lewis County are projected to see temps in the mid-90s.

The National Weather Service expects temperatures to peak today and level off or drop slightly tomorrow, with significant cooling on Sunday.

Centralia Police Department detective Patty Finch and the Lewis County Public Health and Social Services Department suggest the following advice to prevent heat-related illness or injuries.

• Stay in an air-conditioned, indoor location as much as possible.
• Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty; water is best.
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully, and wear lightweight clothing and sunscreen.
• Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
• Never leave children or pets in cars.
• Avoid dressing babies in heavy clothing or wrapping them in warm blankets.
• Check frequently on people who are elderly, ill or may need help. If you might need help, arrange to have family, friends or neighbors check in with you at least twice a day throughout warm weather period.
• Make sure pets have plenty of water.
• At first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.

Other cooling stations open around the county include:

Lewis County Fire District 6, at 2123 Jackson Highway, Chehalis
Open today from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Open Saturday, August 20 from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Twin Cities Senior Center, at 2545 N. National Ave., Chehalis
Open today until 7 p.m.
Open Saturday, August 20 from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Morton Senior Center, at 103 Westlake Ave., Morton
Open today until 6 pm

Packwood Senior Center, at 12931 U.S. Highway 12, Packwood
Open today until 6 p.m.
Open Saturday, August 20 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 19th, 2016
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•••

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Four teens were seriously hurt when a car attempting to “drift” around a curve impacted a dirt embankment, ricocheted back onto the roadway and rolled over yesterday afternoon at the 900 block of state Route 603, west of Chehalis. A deputy responding about 4:40 p.m. noted the injuries included head trauma, multiple broken bones and lacerations. The occupants were all 18 years old, and from Chehalis, Centralia except for driver, who is from Lacey, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said the driver, Austin L.B. Santos had been traveling above the posted speed limit and was issued a citation for second-degree negligent driving.

• Two people were injured when their pickup truck pulling a travel trailer collided with a guard rail after driving too fast and failing to negotiate a curve on U.S. Highway 12 about six miles west of Morton yesterday. Troopers called about 10:15 a.m. report the passenger, 72-year-old Lonnie Gibson, declined aid, but the driver, 74-year-old Maralee A. Gibson, was transported to Morton General Hospital. She was cited for second-degree negligent driving, according to the Washington State Patrol. Both the trailer and the 2000 GMC 1500 pickup were totaled, according to the state patrol. The couple is from McCleary.

UNKNOWN PROJECTILE STRIKES HOUSE

• Chehalis police were called about 10:40 a.m. yesterday to a home on the 10 block of Southwest First Street following the discovery of what looked like a bullet hole next to the front door of a residence. The officer noted a very small in diameter hole and was unable to determine what the projectile may have been, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The only way to find out would be to dig it out, which the residents hadn’t yet decided upon, according to police.

BURGLARY

• A safe containing two diamond rings, a passport, car titles, deeds and as much as $20,000 cash was stolen from a residence on the 100 block of Chandler Road west of Chehalis sometime between July 15 and yesterday. There is a person of interest, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called just before 6 p.m. yesterday about a purse being stolen from a vehicle parked at the 1600 block of South Gold Street. Just after 8 p.m., an officer was called to the 700 block of Pioneer Way for the same sort of incident. Shortly afterward a third woman reported her purse was stolen from a vehicle at the 100 block of Pioneer Way, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called just before 9 a.m. yesterday to the 10 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue where someone popped the locked canopy of a truck and stole a 12,000 BTU air conditioner.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, harassment, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more among 163 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.