Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

National Guardsman, former Navy sailor in court for separate sex crimes

Monday, July 13th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 36-year-old member of the National Guard will be in court this week to make his plea to one count of second-degree rape, in connection with allegations made by a teenage member of his household.

Matthew W. Farson was charged in Lewis County Superior Court following an investigation that began when an officer responded to Providence Centralia Hospital to speak with a 17-year-old girl on July 1 about an alleged sexual assault.

According to charging papers, the girl said the night before, Farson had come into her room, and drank beer and vodka with her on her balcony until she got sick. The girl said he helped her into bed where she passed out, but she awoke to his hand inside her shorts, the documents state.

When interviewed by police, Farson reportedly said he’d gotten the teen drunk to teach her not to get to that point, and also because she wasn’t sleeping well, gave her part of one of his old prescription pills, Seroquel. He denied touching her inappropriately.

When he appeared before a judge for a bail hearing last Monday, defense attorney Joely O’Rourke indicated Farson’s only employment is the National Guard, something she thinks he only does one weekend a month.

He was released on an unsecured appearance bond, co-signed by his father, O’Rourke said.

Court papers show Farson with an address in Curtis, but O’Rourke said he lives in Centralia.

Farson has no criminal history, other than two misdemeanors from almost 20 years ago, O’Rourke said. He qualified for a court-appointed lawyer. His arraignment is Thursday.

Meanwhile, a Centralia father of six was sentenced last week to a minimum of six and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree child molestation

Jeffrey A. Bedsole Jr., 32, was arrested in February following an investigation that began when an 11-year-old girl’s mother contacted Centralia police. He admitted sexually abusing a young relative and wanted to plead guilty from the start, according to authorities.

Defense attorney David Arcuri proposed, and prosecutors also recommended, Bedsole be given a sentencing alternative in which he would be locked up for a period of time, undergo intensive treatment for a period of time with the remainder of his sentence deferred as long as he abided by strict conditions.

Bedsole read a letter of apology to the victim when he appeared before Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey on Wednesday morning.

The girl’s mother told the judge she wasn’t opposed to the type of sentence and that the girl didn’t want to see him be locked up.

Judge Brosey noted that even though a pre-sentence evaluation indicated Bedsole was amenable to treatment, he didn’t believe the defendant could abide by some of the other conditions.

Among them, he would have to hold down a full-time job and provide for his family, the judge said.

“The U.S. Navy for four years was the longest he’s ever held a job,” Brosey said. “The long and the short of it is, I just don’t see this working.”

“It will be better for all for Mr. Bedsole to deal with his issues in a secure setting,” Brosey said.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 13th, 2015
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•••

Updated

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• A 54-year-old man was arrested on Saturday night for allegedly threatening to kill his wife and their dog. A deputy dispatched at 7:50 p.m. to the 100 block of Slalom Way in Packwood contacted the 53-year-old woman by phone, who said to hurry because her husband had kicked the dog and was going to kill her, and then the line went dead, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Upon arrival, at 8:38 p.m., the woman was uninjured and Mark A. Murdock was detained, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said Murdock resisted, and once placed in the patrol vehicle, kicked the deputy in the chest, thighs and knees. Murdock was booked into the Lewis County Jail for felony harassment as well as third-degree assault, Brown said.

SPIT IN FACE

• A 26-year-old inmate at the Lewis County Jail allegedly spit on a corrections officer’s face as he was being served dinner last night. The officer was delivering the meal through a pass-through door to the cell at the time, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The inmate, Wellington M. Waggener of Centralia, had been booked into the facility on Friday night for rape. He was arrested for third-degree assault, according to the sheriff’s office.

PROWLER AT AUTO REPAIR SHOP ARRESTED

• Police were called about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday to an alarm at a business on the 900 block of Northwest Maryland Avenue in Chehalis where a 55-year-old man had allegedly used a ladder to get over a fence. A window was found broken out of a travel trailer in the compound belonging to the Chehalis Collision Center, and Sean K. Callahan was arrested for first-degree burglary, according to the Chehalis Police Department. When Callahan was brought before a judge today, prosecutors said the victim is Callahan’s former employer. Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Nelson told the judge police were this afternoon conducting a search of the former Onalaska resident’s home off state Route 6 and the state had reason to suspect Callahan may be involved in other burglaries. He was charged with second-degree burglary and third-degree malicious mischief, as well as three other offenses not related to this weekend’s incident. Callahan was charged with theft of a firearm associated with an AR-15, with possessing a stolen firearm, and also with third-degree possession of stolen property. Charging documents offer no details regarding the allegations on the last three counts, but police say the AR15 was one of three guns stolen in a burglary at the business in early spring. His bail was set at $50,000.

CASH PILFERED AT BUSINESS

• Centralia police were called just before 2 p.m. on Saturday to the 1000 block of South Gold Street where they were told a male reached into the employee-only area behind the counter of a business and stole money. A worker was able to identify the suspect, who is being sought, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN AT BUSINESS

• Chehalis police responding to a 1:45 a.m. alarm yesterday at the 2500 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue found a window broken out. The officer couldn’t tell if entry had been made or anything had been stolen from PCLI, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

MONEY MISSING FROM STORE

• Chehalis police were called by a retailer at Twin City Town Center on Friday regarding money that seemed to missing over a period of time. Once they complete their internal investigation, they will be recontacting police, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BURGLARY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that someone stole more than $900 worth of various tools from the 700 block of Antrim Road sometime between 5 p.m. on Friday and just before 11 a.m. yesterday. Among the missing property is a Craftsman chainsaw with 16-inch bar, a reciprocating saw, a staple gun and a socket set, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Police were called on Saturday to the 500 block of Southwest Fifth Street in Chehalis to take a report of a debit card and cash stolen from an individual’s residence.

MONEY STOLEN FROM MOTEL GUEST

• Centralia police were called to the 700 block of Harrison Avenue about 11:45 a.m. on Saturday regarding the theft of cash from a motel room. A possible person of interest has been identified, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PURSE SNATCHED

• Chehalis police took a report on Friday evening regarding a purse left in the women’s restroom at K-Mart that disappeared.

NO FREE RIDE

• Centralia police arrested a 62-year-old transient yesterday at the 200 block of North Railroad Avenue for allegedly riding an Amtrak train without paying his fare. Vessalin Angelov Panajotov was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree theft, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Police took a report yesterday afternoon regarding the theft of railroad electronic equipment from a crossing gate at the 700 block of Alder Street in Centralia.

• Centralia police took a report about 6 a.m. today of the theft of a bicycle valued at more than $1,000 from the 700 block of Centralia College Boulevard.

• Someone tried to steal gasoline from several vehicles at the 200 block of East Summa Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Saturday morning.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called at 4:30 p.m. yesterday to the 2000 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia where someone broke into a parked vehicle and stole a laptop computer.

• An individual called police from Southeast Washington Avenue in Chehalis on Friday to report that golf clubs were stolen from his vehicle. It’s not clear where the vehicle was when they were stolen, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LOST AND FOUND DRUGS

• Chehalis police were called about 6:20 p.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Southwest Seventh Street where a 9-year-old child found somebody’s baggie of heroin, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It was turned over to an officer for destruction, police said.

MYSTERY DISPUTE

• Deputies called just before 8 p.m. on Saturday to the 100 block of Wandering Lane outside Winlock by a 19-year-old woman who said a 41-year-old man tried to take her phone before running away heard a different story once a police dog tracked down the suspect. Chato R. Ayers, a homeless person, said he met the teenager to buy drugs, but decided the heroin she gave him wasn’t worth $80, so he took his money and the heroin and ran, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Ayers was located in the brush near Hawkins Road and Hawkins Road South, but no drugs were found, according to the sheriff’s office. He was arrested and booked for an outstanding drug warrant, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

WRECK WITH UNDERAGE DRIVER

• A 15-year-old unlicensed driver in a BMW struck a parked vehicle at the 200 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis around 4:30 a.m. yesterday. The case is being referred for charges of reckless driving as well as an instruction permit violation, as he was alone in the car, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The 31-year-old registered owner of the vehicle who loaned the child the BMW is also in trouble for allowing an unauthorized person to drive, according to police.

WRECK WITH IMPAIRED DRIVER

• A Dodge Intrepid was totaled and its suspected driver arrested for driving under the influence early Saturday morning along Knowles Road in Winlock. Deputies responding about 1:50 a.m. concluded Harry W.E. Lorent had left the scene but returned and had been driving with a suspended license, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He sustained what the sheriff’s office described as minor cuts to his hand and head. Lorent was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

WRECK WITH TRAIN

• A driver who stopped for traffic in front of her while she was on the train tracks at the 200 block of East Locust Street in Centralia was able to back up when she heard and saw a train coming, but not quite fast enough, according to the Centralia Police Department. It happened just before 7 p.m. on Saturday. The train struck part of her car, but she was not injured, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor theft, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, shoplifting and other misdemeanor theft, disorderly person, misdemeanor assault, barking neighbor dog, suspicious circumstances, protection order violation, collision on city street, intoxicated patron refusing to leave, intoxicated patron wanting to drive self home, man smelling of alcohol asking people for money, a falling down drunk at an intersection … and more.

 

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, July 11th, 2015
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•••

POLICE: WOMAN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED AT CENTRALIA MOTEL

• Police called to a Centralia motel last night to a report of a rape ended up arresting a 26-year-old Centralia man. A 28-year-old local woman told officers she was sleeping and had left the door to her room at the Travelodge unlocked and ajar for her boyfriend’s return, and that a black man entered the room and forced sex on her, according to the Centralia Police Department. According to police, the suspect followed her to the lobby, where she went to make the call to 911. Officers arriving to the 700 block of Harrison Avenue arrested Wellington M. Waggener for second-degree rape and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

SIDEWALK, ROAD RAGE TURNS VIOLENT

• Centralia police were called just before 10 p.m. yesterday to the 1000 block of South Gold Street where a pedestrian said after he hollered at a vehicle to slow down, the vehicle returned and a confrontation ensued between him and the two occupants of the car. Punches were thrown and the 24-year-old Centralia man had a tooth partially knocked out, according to the Centralia Police Department. The suspect vehicle was gone by the time officers arrived. It was described as smaller silver compact type vehicle, according to police.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 11 a.m. yesterday to a burglary at the 1400 block of Crescent Avenue. Money and jewelry were missing,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to a parking lot on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue where someone stolen numerous items from a vehicle and deflated two of its tires. Police have a possible suspect,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

POLICE PUT OUT PORCH FIRE

• Police and firefighters responded just after 6 o’clock yesterday evening to a report of a porch on fire at a home on the 800 block of Wayne Drive in Centralia. Police responding to the 6:03 p.m. call used portable fire extinguishers to knock down the flames and contain the small fire to the porch, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Firefighters responding to the 6:10 p.m. call finished putting it out and made sure it didn’t extend to the residence, according to the fire department. Riverside reports the cause is under investigation. Police say it may have been accidentally started by a cigarette.

BOTH DRIVERS, ONE CHILD INJURED ON STATE ROUTE 6 WRECK

• Two vehicles were totaled and three people hurt when a 19-year-old driver rear-ended a sport utility vehicle which was stopped to make a left turn off state Route 6 this morning west of Chehalis. Troopers called about 9:35 a.m. to the scene near Stearns Road found Kaela R. Daugherty, 19, of Chehalis and her 10-year-old passenger Abi Christian were injured, as was the driver of the Ford Explorer, Katie M. Mulligan, 31, from Mossyrock, according to the Washington State Patrol. Reportedly uninjured were passengers ages 1, 4 and 12 in the Explorer, according to the state patrol. Everyone had been wearing their seat belts. The injured were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol. Daugherty was cited for second-degree negligent driving. The 2003 Saturn Vue and the 2002 Ford Explorer were both towed and impounded.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, trespassing, shoplifting, ignition interlock violation, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for protection order violation … and more.

News brief: Semi truck and car at collide at Morton

Friday, July 10th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Randle woman’s passenger car was more or less T-boned by a semi truck when she pulled out of Morton onto U.S. Highway 12 today.

Troopers called just before 3:30 p.m. found Karla Johnson, 50, from Randle, had stopped at the intersection on state Route 7, and was attempting to head east but for whatever reason pulled in front of a westbound Freightliner tractor-trailer.

She was lucky, according to Trooper Justin Schaffer.

“The truck ran over the front side of the car, instead of into the passenger (compartment),” Schaffer said. “She had just a minor knee injury.”

Her 2002 Oldsmobile Alero was totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol. The semi had some front end damage and snapped an oil line, Schaffer said.

Both were towed from the scene.

The truck driver, Ciaran Cobb, 25, from Yakima, was unhurt, according to the state patrol.

Johnson was transported to Morton General Hospital. She was cited for failure to yield, Schaffer said.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 10th, 2015
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•••

Updated at 2:43 p.m.

MOM, CHILD, ESCAPE SERIOUS INJURY IN WRECK

• A 41-year-old Chehalis area mother was arrested last night after the pickup truck in which her 6-year-old son was a passenger rolled and landed in a field some 100 feet off the roadway west of Chehalis. Carrie A. Knighten suffered minor cuts and bruises but refused care, according to responders. The child was transported by AMR to Providence Centralia Hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Firefighters called about 8:10 p.m. to the 1200 block of Bunker Creek Road found the vehicle in its side with both occupants still inside it, Fire Capt. Erik Olson reports. Both had been wearing seat belts. The driver told a deputy her wheels left the roadway and she must have over corrected, causing the vehicle to start sliding and then flip over, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Knighten was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for vehicular assault and the case is also being referred for a DUI, according to the sheriff’s office.

THREE ESCAPE SERIOUS INJURY IN WRECK

• Chehalis police were called about 9:50 a.m. yesterday for a wreck on the 300 block of Southwest Riverside Drive that left a sport utility vehicle on its side and its three occupants walking away. One passenger was hiding in the brush in the water, but came out, perhaps because of the cold, police said. None were seriously injured and the driver was cited for reckless driving and driving with a suspended license, Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said. Based on the skid marks, she had been traveling quite fast, Kaut said. The vehicle was described as totaled.

MAN ESCAPES SERIOUS INJURY IN WRECK

• A 46-year-old Onalaska man was arrested last night after he allegedly sped past a deputy on Middle Fork Road, sped up when the deputy tried to pull him over and then lost control of his truck and crashed off the roadway. It began just before 8 p.m. near Birchfield Parkway and ended near Krueger Road,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Darren S. Carmen was immediately detained and booked into the Lewis County Jail for eluding, according to the sheriff’s office. The case will be referred for possible charges of third-degree driving with a suspended license and driving without a required interlock device, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado was totaled, Brown said.

CARGO TRAILER MISSING

• Chehalis police were called just before 11 o’clock yesterday morning to Northeast Division Street where a cargo trailer had been stolen from behind the residence during the night. The 2004 trailer contained kitchen appliances and was taken sometime after 8 p.m. the night before, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAMPING FUN STOLEN

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office took a report of more than $10,000 worth of property stolen from out of a storage container on the 100 block of Hadaller Road near Mossyrock on Tuesday, that occurred sometime during the previous five days. Taken in the break-in were a 12-foot aluminum boat, a Quad, a Honda three-horsepower boat motor, camping equipment and tools, according to the sheriff’s office.

DOG GONE

• Centralia police were called about 3:20 p.m. yesterday to a report a puppy chained up in its front yard had been stolen. An officer arriving to the 600 block of K Street learned the owner of the Dachshund-Chihuahua mix had seen it about 20 minutes earlier, but went back outside and discovered it gone, according to the Centralia Police Department. It was wearing a green harness but had no tag and is more likely just missing, according to police.

DRUGS

• A 29-year-old man was arrested for a drug violation when police discovered suspected controlled substances during a search when he was contacted about a warrant last night in Centralia. An officer saw Jeff D. Prindle about 8:50 p.m. at the 700 block of South Tower Avenue and knew he was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant, according to the Centralia Police Department. Prindle was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

FIRE IN A FIELD

• Eight firefighters responded last night when a fire broke out in a recently cut hay field on Middle Fork Road in Onalaska, near St. Lawrence Drive. “We put it out in about five minutes, it didn’t damage anything,” Lewis County Fire District 1 Chief Andrew Martin said. They were called at 8:50 p.m. by an individual who said they’d heard a loud pop, Martin said. It was kept to an area of about 60 feet by 30 feet, he said. They weren’t able to confirm what ignited the fire, but did find what looked to be the ball from a Roman candle firework in the scorched area, he said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, misdemeanor assault, malicious mischief, minor in possession of alcohol, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, collisions on city streets … and more.

Two arrested, two sought in February Centralia home invasion

Thursday, July 9th, 2015
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Seventeen-year-old Brian A. Carreon, looks over court documents as his bail hearing comes to a close in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 17-year-old Centralia boy who took a video of himself trimming someone else’s medical marijuana plants told police he was pressured by two guys to take them to get some marijuana, and ended up part of a home invasion earlier this year in which a dog was shot.

The teen was arrested yesterday and charged today as an adult in Lewis County Superior Court.

Centralia police were called to a residence on the 1200 block of Marion Street on the night of Feb. 19, where the victim and his girlfriend said they’d just settled into bed when about three males barged through the door demanding money and weed, and fired numerous shots killing their pit bull.

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Marion Street, Feb. 19, 2015

Dustin Palermo said he had no idea who they were or why they came to his house, and speculated at the time it could have been related to him winning money at the casino the night before. The former Navy corpsman had a legal amount of medical marijuana plants growing inside, for himself and another patient.

Charging documents in the case don’t relate if anything was actually stolen, but state the intruders were inside for only about 45 seconds and that security video seemed to show one of them firing frantically at the dog as they were leaving.

When police arrived, the pit bull, Misty, lay dead on the sidewalk of a gunshot wound to her abdomen.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher asked a judge this afternoon to hold Brian A. Carreon, 17, on $75,000 bail.

“The defendant has no criminal history, but was with two other individuals, one who was armed with a firearm,” Meagher said.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke suggested her client’s bail could be lower, as he has stable employment and community ties.

He’s a cook at the Rollerdrome, and teaches young kids to skate, O’Rourke told the judge, noting it’s a job he’s held for the past year and a half. He attends Calvary Chapel every Sunday and one of his roommates works at Green Hill School, she said.

Judge Richard Brosey left it at $75,000, as it was in the arrest warrant.

Meagher said the other two suspects have not been arrested, but after the court hearing, requested a $500,000 warrant for the person he says was the shooter. The judge signed the warrant.

Outside the courtroom, Meagher said Carreon’s sister was charged on Monday for rendering criminal assistance, as the Portland woman was believed to have been driving the car that night.

The deputy prosecutor had high praise for Centralia police, for having “really bird dogged this,” and following all kinds of dead end leads.

The 10-page affidavit of probable cause states that officers found nine shell casings and two bullet jacket fragments at the scene.

It also tells how Palermo posted a clip from his home security video onto Facebook – filmed with infrared cameras – asking for anyone who could identify the three figures to contact him.

Three different individuals told police they recognized Carreon and a pair of brothers who live locally, and the girlfriend Tina Bell picked one of the brothers from a montage, but said she wasn’t 100 percent sure, according to charging documents.

Meagher told the judge today the brothers were named in the documents, but he wasn’t sure they would be a part of the case.

“In all fairness, I don’t anticipate them being named as defendants,” Meagher clarified.

Charging documents offer some of the following details:

Carreon initially told police he was home the night it happened, and with his sister for a time, until 9 p.m.

A detective investigated the sister, and went to Portland to get a picture of her 1999 Honda, which Palermo felt certain was the same car that drove away from his home after the robbery.

Taina Duncan was arrested in Portland last week.

Duncan described a night in which she came to visit her brother, that he wanted to get some weed and that she didn’t know his two friends who went with them. Her daughter was in the car as well.

Carreon subsequently told detectives he’d taken a video of himself once when he went with an acquaintance to trim Palermos’ plants, and he’d shown it to someone else.

He said he was phoned by that person who said he knew he had a connection to get weed, and was headed up. He was pretty sure the two males drove up from Portland with his sister.

Carreon qualified for a court appointed lawyer. He is charged with one count of first-degree robbery.

His arraignment is scheduled for July 16.
•••

For background, read “Dog killed in Centralia home invasion” from Friday February 20, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 9th, 2015
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•••

Updated at 2:42 p.m.

LAW LOOKING FOR BALDING MAN WITH SCRAGGLY BEARD

• A 22-year-old asleep in his bedroom yesterday morning north of Mossyrock, confronted a stranger in the next room after being awakened by rustling sounds, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The young man asked the 40-ish-looking intruder with thinning hair and scraggly beard who he was, and the stranger mumbled something and then shut the door, the sheriff’s office reports. The 22-year-old had observed the man going through things and saw some of the family’s knives laid out on the floor, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Deputies and an officer with his K-9 partner responded about 11:40 a.m. to the 100 block of Lambert Road, but no arrest was made, Brown said. The intruder had jumped out the window, damaging its screen, and run down the driveway, where fresh tire tracks were found in the grass, Brown said. The subject was wearing a light blue T-Shirt and blue jeans, and anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office, or Lewis County Crime Stoppers.

ANGRY BROTHER

• A 17-year-old boy who allegedly threw a skateboard at his older sister’s head while she was seated in a car at the 1100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia on Tuesday was subsequently arrested for second-degree assault and malicious mischief, according to the Centralia Police Department. The skateboard missed the 18-year-old, who pulled forward, but damaged the vehicle, police said. He was upset because he wanted a ride somewhere, police said. He was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to police.

ASSAULT ARREST

• Shannon L. Wachter, 19, of Centralia, was arrested for third-degree assault yesterday for an incident associated with the 900 block of South Schueber Road, according to the Centralia Police Department. Wachter was booked into the Lewis County Jail, but prosecutors have declined to file the charge.

WOMAN WANTS IN

• A 33-year-old homeless person who asked police for help getting into a house on the 1000 block of North Pearl Street on Tuesday morning and then attempted to force her way inside was arrested for second-degree burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sarah Culp, 33, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police, but she was released with no charge filed by prosecutors.

PARENT REPORTS PORN ISSUE

• Chehalis police were asked by an adult to look into an issue involving teens exchanging naughty pictures, on Tuesday. The case is under investigation, according to police.

BREAK-INS AND OTHER THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 8:20 a.m. yesterday about power equipment stolen from a garage on the 400 block of Harrison Avenue.

• Chehalis police were called about 3:15 p.m. yesterday to West Fifth Street near Cascade Avenue regarding a burglary to a shed.

• Fishing equipment was stolen from a shed at the 600 block of J Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Tuesday. The shed had been unlocked, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police yesterday were looking into a case involving stolen documents. Further details were not readily available.

WALLET TAKEN

• Centralia police took a report around 3:50 a.m. today of a wallet stolen and then later found, without its contents. The case is associated with the 1200 block of Mellen Street,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

PILLS WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION BOTTLE

• A person who was said to be acting disruptive at Home Depot in Chehalis was subsequently arrested for a warrant around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Lloyd L. Wright, 49, from Centralia, was also found with pills not in a prescription container, so was booked into the Lewis County Jail for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, police said.

UNDERAGE AND UNDER THE INFLUENCE

• Chehalis police were called about 10:25 p.m. yesterday about a group of young people walking along Southwest McFadden Avenue at Eighth Street, trying to carry a young man who was passed out. The 15-year-old had a cut on his head, was very, very drunk and was taken to the hospital emergency room, according to the Chehalis Police Department. A case for him and another 15-year-old boy are being referred for charges of minor in possession of alcohol, according to police.

CAR PROWL

• A laptop computer and a portfolio were among the items stolen in a vehicle prowl at the 1000 block of Seminary Hill Road in Centralia, according to a report made to police at about 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday.

• Centralia police were called about a vehicle prowl on the 1400 block of Lewis Street at about 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

VANDALISM

• Someone blew up a mailbox on the 1400 block of Southwest Johnson Avenue in Chehalis, with something that sent part of the box more than 50 feet, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The incident was reported on Tuesday morning.

AND, FROM MORTON

• Officers responded to an after dark report of a person in the area of Second Street in Morton with rifles. It was determined that they were waiting for a ride after camping, the Morton Police Department states regarding the June 30 incident.

• An officer responded to a report of an individual yelling at passing motorists at the 100 block of Main Avenue last Wednesday afternoon. The subject was contacted and advised to go home, according to the Morton Police Department.

• Lewis County Fire District 4 personnel reported juveniles throwing fire crackers at an ambulance as it was traveling down Main Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. on the Fourth of July.  Officers were unable to locate the subjects, according to the Morton Police Department.

• An individual reported an unknown fire seen through the trees at 11:18 p.m. on Saturday. It was determined by the caller that it was just the moon, according to the Morton Police Department.

• A Morton officer responded to a physical altercation at the 100 block of Hope Street in Mossyrock at about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday.  The case is under investigation, according to the Morton Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, shoplifting, disorderly person, hit and run, misdemeanor theft, fireworks complaint, suspicious circumstances, a woman getting bumped by a van in a parking lot, barking neighbor dogs, dog attacking woman and her dog … and more.

 

News brief: No conclusion on cause of Oxford Avenue house fire

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Riverside Fire Authority announced this morning their investigation into the fire that destroyed a two-story house in north Centralia five days ago is inconclusive.

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Oxford Avenue, July 3, 2015

The cause of the fire is classified as undetermined, according to Riverside’s Public Information Officer Scott Weinert.

Weinert indicates the area of origin was found to be the front porch of the residence.

The fire may have consumed any evidence which could have pointed to a cause, according to Weinert, but the label of undetermined allows for leaving the investigation open in case new information is discovered.

One full-time occupant was displaced by the evening blaze on the 1500 block of Oxford Avenue, according to the fire chief.

Centralia Police Department detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald today said the fire didn’t appear to be intentionally set, so he and his people are not looking into it.
•••

For background, read “Fire tears through Centralia house” from Friday July 3, 2015, here

Rescue at Riffe Lake

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A man who fell some 20 feet off an old bridge onto large rocks in a remote area along the south shore of Riffe Lake last night was rescued and taken to Morton General Hospital.

Firefighters were called about 9 p.m. by an individual who boated across the lake, and got into a car to drive to get cell phone service, according to Lewis County Fire District 18.

“When we got to him, him and his wife were against the bank, but in the water,” Chief Ed Lowe said. “She wasn’t strong enough to get him out.”

The injured man, who Lowe said was in his 60s, was conscious, but he’d landed on rocks, hit his head, injured his shoulder and had a lot of cuts and bruises, Lowe said.

It happened at what’s called the old Landers Creek Bridge, at about the midpoint of the 13-mile long lake, actually a reservoir created by the Mossyrock Dam.

Morton resident Shaun Olinger said he, his wife and their 3-year-old daughter were camping in the area.

Olinger didn’t see it happen, but heard a “smack” like somebody bellyflopped, he said. Then he saw the man’s teenage son coming over the rocks in a panic, so distraught he was speechless.

“He dove in and swam the last 25 feet, and got his shoulder rolled to get his face out of the water, but that’s the best he could do,” Olinger said.

Olinger described the father as “big guy” who’d come to rest with his head down a slope, submerged to his hips.

“None of us was strong enough to get him out,” he said.

They managed to turn him around and get his head and shoulders upslope, he said.

The landscape there is a nightmare he said, with no real beach, very deep water and large pointed rocks covered in slime.

Olinger and the 17-year-old motored back to the Kosmos Boat Launch to call for help. Meanwhile, the victim’s wife, and Olinger’s wife Billie did what they could with a rope and a cushion to move him toward shallower water.

Seven firefighters from the Glenoma department responded, as well as three from Randle, according to Lowe.

“District 14 brought their boat, they have a marine boat now we can call on,” Lowe said.

The patient, who Olinger knows as a Mossyrock resident through mutual friends, was transported to Morton General Hospital.

News brief: Mystery incident takes fire truck out of service

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A fire engine from Lewis County Fire District 6 sustained a considerable amount of damage while assisting another fire department on Sunday and its driver suffered what was described as a minor injury.

District 6 issued a news release yesterday about the incident, offering almost no details. Fire Chief Tim Kinder indicated he wouldn’t say more about it until after the information is compiled for the insurance company.

Crews were trying to locate a reported grass fire that bordered the TransAlta mine, according to Kinder.

The driver was checked out at the hospital and then subsequently released, according to the news release. The incident remains under investigation.

District 6 protects rural areas surrounding Chehalis.

Multiple agencies responded Sunday afternoon to a fire involving grass, brush and an exposed coal seam on property at TransAlta Mine’s South Field.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
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•••

Updated at 7:45 p.m.

DRIVING ARGUMENT TURNS ASSAULTIVE

• A 43-year-old Centralia man was hospitalized after a dispute in a parking lot at the 2600 block of Kresky Avenue just before 11 p.m. on Saturday, and a suspect is being sought, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Arriving officers found the victim bleeding from the head with cuts to his face, according to police. The disagreement was over the way someone was driving in the parking lot, police said.

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• A 39-year-old Centralia man was arrested for second-degree robbery after he reportedly tried to take a purse from a family member while an officer was present. Police who had had responded to a dispute at the 1400 block of Johnson Road about 2:15 p.m. on Sunday booked Willard Scott into the Lewis County Jail. He was not charged and he was released.

BURGLARY AND THEFT

• A 57-year-old Chehalis man reported yesterday the theft of a Zippo lighter collection valued at more than $1,000. An officer responding to the incident associated with the 900 block of Southwest 20th Street was told the man had an idea of who may have taken the items, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Someone reached through an unlocked window at a home on the 1700 block of Cooks Hill Road in Centralia and stole a metal lockbox-style safe and a purse, according to a report made to police about 8:30 a.m. on Friday

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday that someone burglarized a home on the 100 block of Linda Vista Drive south of Chehalis, taking a 40-inch flat screen television, an HP laptop computer and a paper mache piggy bank containing approximately $100. It happened between last Wednesday and Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is estimated at $600, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday they are investigating a residential burglary from the 500 block of River Road outside Centralia in which 10 $100 bills were stolen as well as a metal box containing important documents. It happened on June 25 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and was reported last Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Centralia police were called about 10:30 a.m. yesterday about a ladder missing from a yard on the 1900 block of Van Wormer Street.

FRAUD

• An officer was called to the 2600 block of Eureka Avenue on Friday regarding a caregiver allegedly taking an individual’s access device to withdraw money from a bank account, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An individual contacted Chehalis police to report $437 worth of fraudulent activity on his bank account on Friday, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 3:45 a.m. today to the 800 block of Rainier Avenue where someone prowled through a log truck. Documents were taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A check was stolen from a vehicle parked at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about noon yesterday.

• Chehalis police responded about 6:15 a.m. on Sunday to the 1700 block of South Market Boulevard for a possible vehicle prowl. The door was found open but cash was observed on the dashboard, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A wallet and a subwoofer were among the valuables stolen when someone prowled four vehicles in the 100 block of Sandy Boulevard in Centralia at about 2 o’clock in the morning on Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Centralia police took reports of six vehicle prowls on Friday morning in which someone rummaged around but took nothing, according to the Centralia Police Department. The incidents occurred at the 600 block of Nick Road, the 1600 block of West Mellen Street, and the 800 block of Wayne Drive, according to police.

• Someone entered an open detached garage at the 3000 block of Ives Road outside Centralia and rummaged through an unlocked vehicle but nothing appeared to be missing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Four other vehicles were prowled at the same location on the same night, – last Wednesday – and taken were a Clarion stereo, an amplifier, two DVD players and a driver’s license, according to the sheriff’s office.

FINDERS KEEPERS

• Chehalis police were contacted about 12:15 p.m. yesterday about a purse that disappeared after it was accidentally left in a shopping cart at Safeway on the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis. It contained a lot of cash, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BROKEN GLASS

• A 29-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for third-degree malicious mischief yesterday after he allegedly threw a rock or brick through the window of a shed behind a building on West Main Street in Centralia. Derek J. Smith was then released pending a court date, according to the Centralia Police Department. He was reportedly unhappy about someone in the area, police said.

DRUGS

• Dylon L. Favro, a 22-year-old Chehalis man is arrested for possession with intent to deliver after roughly 350 grams of suspected hash oil were located by police in a residence on the 400 block of Northeast Washington Avenue in Chehalis, Chehalis police reported today. Favro was already booked into the jail on Wednesday on another matter.

• A 30-year-old Onalaska resident was arrested for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act after a glass smoking device came out of his pocket during a struggle with a security person following a possible theft at Wal-Mart on Saturday evening. Residue field-tested positive for heroin and a pill was found during a search, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Nicholas E. Novion was booked into the Lewis County Jail also for a warrant, according to police.

ON THE ROAD

• Troopers responded about 4:30 p.m. yesterday when a horse trailer disconnected from a pickup truck along U.S. Highway 12 in Salkum. The trailer containing four horses slid into a ditch near Salkum Heights Road, according to responders. No people were injured and the animals were fine, Washington State Patrol Sgt. Mike Cournyer said.

• A 21-year-old Randle resident was injured when his Honda Civic rear-ended a Ford Mustang that slowed to make a right turn off U.S. Highway 12 about five miles west of Morton yesterday afternoon. Dustin H. Gardner was transported to Morton General Hospital, according to the  Washington State Patrol. Jack L. Dimmit, 48, of Morton, was reportedly uninjured but his car was totaled, as was Gardner’s, the state patrol reports. Troopers called just after 4 p.m. blamed the crash on inattention and speed. Gardner was to be issued a citation for reckless driving, according to the state patrol.

• Chehalis police responded to the 1500 block of North National Avenue about 4 p.m. on Sunday after a juvenile female jumped from a moving vehicle. The girl was upset she didn’t get to do something she wanted to, according to police. She was taken for a medical exam, police said.

• Inattention and following too closely on the part of a 17-year-old driver were blamed for a three-vehicle freeway collision that sent a 28-year-old Seattle woman to Providence Centralia Hospital on Sunday morning. Troopers called about 10:45 a.m. to the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Mellen Street determined the teen ran into a sport utility vehicle which was slowing for traffic, then swerved and hit a semi truck, according to the Washington State Patrol. Less than two hours later, a 20-year-old Edmonds man was hurt when another sport utility vehicle was shoved into the rear of the Honda Accord in which he was a passenger, after getting struck from behind by another driver following too closely near the exit 76 interchange in Chehalis, according to the state patrol. The vehicles were slowing for traffic in the northbound lanes when a 46-year-old motorist in a Chevrolet Suburban caused the collision, according to the state patrol.

• A 22-year-old Mineral resident was transported to Morton General Hospital with a knee injury after he took a corner too fast and slid sideways off Mineral Hill Road striking a gate at about 6:20 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. His 1989 Honda Prelude sustained major damage, according to the sheriff’s office. Corey D. Baca was cited for wheels off the roadway, third-degree driving with a suspended licensee, no insurance and an expired registration, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A Rochester family was among those involved in a four-vehicle serious collision on Saturday morning on Interstate 5 near Tumwater, in which an 8-year-old boy from Reno, Nevada subsequently died, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers had stopped northbound traffic to take roadway measurements from an earlier fatality wreck when the driver of a Chevrolet Tahoe who was unable to stop in time collided with the rear of a Toyota van from Reno occupied by six people, including the child who passed away Sunday night at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the state patrol. The van was pushed into a car which was shoved into another car, according to Trooper Guy Gill. The driver of the Tahoe, Matthew L. Wiss, 39, of Rochester, was reportedly unhurt, and neither was 10-year-old Emma Wiss. But his other passenger Lisa R. Wiss, 35, was injured and transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, the state patrol reports. An 18-year-old in the Toyota van was also taken to Providence. The pileup closed all lanes for about six hours. Patrol spokesperson Gill yesterday indicated yesterday detectives are examining all aspects that led to the collision and seeking additional witnesses to the actual event or anything leading up to or after the crash. The initial information released by the state patrol on Saturday stated Wiss was slowing to a stop when his Tahoe was hit from behind by the Toyota van. The state patrol asks anyone with information to please call detective Ed Collins or detective Ben McBride at 360-805-1153.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, reckless driving, misdemeanor assault, drugs, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, being in physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, hit and run, misdemeanor theft, numerous fireworks complaints, suspicious circumstances, getting shoved by a roommate, loud neighbor music, out-of-control teenager, whining dog alone in parked vehicle, infant alone in  car in a parking lot, collisions on city streets … and more.

News brief: Early morning blaze destroys house near Toledo

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A fire that broke out this morning at a vacant home for sale north of Toledo is under investigation.

Members of four departments responded to the approximately 5:30 a.m. call to the 300 block of Howe Road, off Spencer Road, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.

“The fire was through the roof when I got here, it was obviously an empty house, so it was pretty much a defensive attack,” District 2 Fire Chief Dave Germain said.

Germain said the residence, which he estimated at perhaps 1,600 square feet, is mostly destroyed. A roof remains over the back two bedrooms, he said.

Germain, a longtime Toledo resident who is retired after 27 years with the Tacoma Fire Department, took on the position as part time chief of District 2 last Wednesday.

There are no other residences nearby, he said. A fire investigator was on the scene this morning.

“It certainly would appear to be questionable, with no electricity and there’s nobody living in the home,” Germain said.

News brief: Brush, grass and timber ignite outside Oakville

Monday, July 6th, 2015
2015.0706.oakville.wildfirescorched

Courtesy photo by Grays Harbor Fire District 1

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters from local districts as well as the state Department of Natural Resources responded to a wildfire near Oakville this afternoon.

DNR personnel were called to help about 1:30 p.m. to the Oak Meadow Fire, near South Bank Road where fire was smoldering and creeping in grass, brush and timber, according to DNR.

Local firefighters had been called less than 10 minutes earlier when a resident looked out her window and saw a small storage building on fire, according to Grays Harbor County Fire District 1.

Public Information Officer Shawn Burdett said three close-by homes were saved, nobody was injured and all the animals were safe, but the outbuilding was destroyed. A horse trailer and a second outbuilding were damaged, according to Burdett.

DNR’s dispatchers were notified just before 7:30 p.m. the approximately four-acre fire was fully contained and 60 percent “mopped up.” Activities at the scene were still ongoing.

Update: Burdett says the cause is undetermined.

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Courtesy photo by Grays Harbor Fire District 1

 

News brief: Centralia coal field scene of wildfire

Monday, July 6th, 2015
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Smoke observed from a logging road on the North Fork side of the TransAlta Fire. / Courtesy photo by Rhonda Volk

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Smoke spotted from the air drew firefighters yesterday afternoon to a wildfire burning grass, brush and an exposed coal seam on property owned by TransAlta.

It was at the Centralia coal mine’s South Field, according to Riverside Fire Authority Chief Mike Kytta.

The forested unimproved property is protected by the state Department of Natural Resources.

The fire was reported to DNR about 3:30 p.m. and Riverside responding about 4:10 p.m. learned it was already being fought by personnel from Lewis County Fire Districts 6, 5 and 1, along with DNR,  from the North Fork Road area, according to the fire chief.

Kytta said upon their arrival with a brush truck, water tender and command unit, they found a DNR helicopter  had the fire contained already. They left the mop up work for DNR and mine personnel, he said.

Further details were not yet available from DNR and calls to TransAlta were not returned as of this evening.

DNR reported it turned it back over to the landowner last night.

News brief: Lone hiker hoisted from wilderness, lost and dehydrated

Monday, July 6th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An experienced hiker who accidentally walked six hours in the wrong direction was rescued this morning near Lily Lake Basin close to White Pass.

The 55-year-old Kennewick resident left the Goat Rocks Wilderness area on Saturday for an expected 24-hour roundtrip along the Pacific Crest Trail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

He was well-prepared with the right gear, shelter and food, but became dehydrated because he ran out of water, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

He used his cell phone to call family, who called the sheriff’s office for help last night, according to Brown.

The sheriff’s office coordinated a search and rescue effort that began at 6 o’clock this morning, including members with horses, ATVs and on foot, according to Brown.

The hiker was located at 10:45 a.m. and hoisted to safety by the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Brown said.

The 55 year old was suffering from dehydration and other injuries and had been unable to give clear directions to the SAR coordinator, Brown said.

He was found about three to five miles from the Clear Lost Trail off of U.S. Highway 12; and was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment, according to Brown.

News brief: Eyebrows singed by mortar

Monday, July 6th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – It’s too soon breathe any sigh of relief that the Fourth of July holiday has come and gone with no major trauma from fireworks, according to one fire chief.

“Now, we’ll start to see over the next few days what will happen,” Lewis County Fire District 6 Chief Tim Kinder said. “There are people still lighting off fireworks.”

The period for legal discharge of fireworks ended at 11 p.m. yesterday, and won’t return again until next summer, except for a few hours on New Year’s Eve.

Also, the fire danger because of the exceedingly dry vegetation didn’t magically vanish. At least 10 large wildfires were burning around the state as of yesterday.

“Everybody needs to remember the burn restrictions,” Lewis County Fire District 8 Chief Duran McDaniel said this morning.

The Salkum area had a relatively mild weekend, fire response-wise, although it certainly was noisy, McDaniel said.

For Kinder, whose department protects the greater Chehalis area, his crews had a very long weekend, with numerous calls.

“We did a lot of mutual-aid stuff,” Kinder said.

District 6 crews assisted Riverside Fire Authority with a Centralia area barn fire on Thursday, with a house fire on Friday, and responded with the Napavine area department for a garage fire on Sunday, according to Kinder.

They dealt with some small grass fires, with four calls in total on Saturday and four more on Sunday, he said.

And on Saturday night, they tended to one victim injured when a mortar exploded prematurely, inside its tube, according to Kinder.

Crews called about 10:30 p.m. to the 500 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis found the 51-year-old man had been standing next to it, Kinder said.

It singed his eyebrows, and caused an abrasion on his upper chest, he said. The man’s wife took him to the hospital, the chief said.

But, the longtime firefighter said, his expectation is now folks will find leftover fireworks, and sometimes light them off to see if they still are any good.

“I always pay attention to the three or four days after the Fourth,” he said. “It’s not over.”

News brief: Centralia man arrested after attempt to rob north end market

Monday, July 6th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An attempted robbery at a Centralia convenience store yesterday evening failed when the would-be thief realized the clerk was not alone.

Police called about 6:15 p.m. to the Pearl Street Market on the 2300 block of North Pearl Street were told the man opened up a knife and demanded money.

The 28-year-old clerk went running backwards screaming for her boss and the startled subject fled, according to the Centralia Police Department.

The owner had been in the back of the store, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said.

Officers were told the individual ran towards Carson Street so one patrol car parked on a wooden bridge near Carson, while other law enforcement officers surrounded a large area, Reichert said.

Centralia police dog Lobo began a track and it wasn’t long before the dog pulled the suspect from the bushes some 50 feet from the patrol car, he said.

Jason M. Keele, 46, from Centralia, was arrested for attempted robbery, according to police. He was taken to be checked for the dog bite and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Reichert.

“We probably had the guy in custody within an hour,” he said. “Probably less than an hour, and we’re thankful for the assistance from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol.”

Despite worries, fire departments around Lewis County report fairly mellow Fourth of July

Sunday, July 5th, 2015
2015.0705.oxford.aftermath7651

Firefighters on Friday kept a house fire on Oxford Avenue from spreading to a neighboring residence. The cause has not yet been released.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Independence Day celebrations in the Centralia area passed with no significant fireworks-related property damage, despite the tinder dry conditions outdoors, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

RFA, the largest department in Lewis County, spoke through a news release this morning, applauding those citizens who made the effort to try to reduce the risks of the fire season during their displays.

“It was my observation that folks were taking extra care this year to be sure that they had water available to them during fireworks use,” Riverside’s Public Information Officer Capt. Scott Weinert said in a written statement.

In the 24-hour hour period that included July 4, firefighters from the department responded to eight fireworks related incidents, according to Weinert.

They primarily consisted of small bush or grass fires that were extinguished or no longer burning on arrival of RFA units, he stated.

They also answered 10 other emergency medical calls.

Firefighters in the city of Chehalis made it through the holiday without any serious fireworks-related incidents, but did go out to a small brush fire today on 15th Street near William Avenue, Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said.

McCarty said he wasn’t sure what ignited it, but the individual who called it in located an unlit sparkler bomb in the area which was turned over to police.

At the other end of the county, Fourth of July could almost have been called relaxing for one fire department.

The one call Vader firefighters responded to was for a report of an illegal burn that turned out to actually be a legal campfire in a fire pit, Cowlitz-Lewis Fire District 20 Chief Richard Underdahl said.

“We were ready, but nothing happened,” Underdahl said.

They were asked to join the Toledo Fire Department last night for a tree on fire and again today for a brush fire along Toledo-Salmon Creek Road, but in both cases were told they were no longer needed before they arrived, he said.

Under current conditions, Toledo, Vader and Winlock are automatically responding jointly to any brush or other fires, he said.

At the far west end of the county, all was well in Pe Ell, according to Lewis County Fire District 11 Chief Michael Krafczyk.

In Randle, Fire Chief Jeff Jaques reports no fireworks-related fires.

And in Onalaska, there were zero fire calls for Lewis County Fire District 1.

“The public really seemed to listen to the urges from the fire world not to set off fireworks,” District 1 Chief Andrew Martin said.

Information isn’t yet available yet for other fire departments in the county.

Also, the cause of a fire that virtually gutted a two-story house at the north end of Centralia the evening before the holiday has not been released. Four fire departments battled the blaze on the 1500 block of Oxford Avenue that displaced its owner, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Nobody was hurt, but three cats were missing, Fire Chief Mike Kytta indicated.

Separately, at the far east end of the county, residents may be seeing smoke from a fire on the west flank of Mount Adams, at the approximately 5,300 foot elevation.

The fire in the wilderness area was discovered on Friday and was believed to cover about 250 acres yesterday. It is burning in areas of open stands and meadows, as well as heavy timber, according to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It’s burning near a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail.

It’s been named the Horseshoe Fire.

During initial attack on Friday, a helicopter worked to check the fire’s spread with bucket drops while a ground crew sized up the fire and evaluated containment line location. Firefighters and district recreation personnel walked the affected trails and escorted forest visitors out of the area.

It’s within the Mt. Adams Wilderness south of Riley Camp Trail #64, in the northeast portion of Skamania County. Closure information is being posted at trailheads and in affected communities.

Although Weinert with Riverside was able to offer a positive report on the holiday, he asks that everyone continue to have a heightened state of awareness of fire safety as the summer season continues.

More to come tomorrow.

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Large wildfires burning in Washington state as of today include the Horseshoe fire on the west flank of Mount Adams. / Image from Northwest Interagency Coordination Center

News brief: House fire in Curtis caught early

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Boistfort Valley home caught fire late yesterday afternoon, but a neighbor alerting the resident to smoke and the resident putting a garden hose on it kept it from spreading.

Firefighters called just before 5 p.m. to the one-story house on the 100 block of Moon Hill Road found damage beneath an enclosed porch built onto the back of the house, according to Lewis County Fire District 13.

“So it looks like it started on the outside of the residence,” Fire Chief Gwen Turner said. “Not sure what combusted, but something combusted on the outside.”

Turner said smoke got into the interior, but the room itself never caught fire. She suspected the room would have to be completely re-done.

“It’s a very good thing they were home,” she said.

Ten firefighters responded.

Fire tears through Centralia house

Friday, July 3rd, 2015
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Smoke billows from home on Oxford Avenue in Centralia. / Courtesy photo by Mandy Wilson

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Arriving firefighters this evening found a north Centralia home fully engulfed in flames and a house next door beginning to burn.

Four fire departments responded to the 6:18 p.m. call to the blaze on the 1500 block of Oxford Avenue, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

They conducted a defensive – exterior – attack, according to Fire Lt. Mark Stahl.

Nobody was injured, but the two-story house is a total loss, along with two sheds and a travel trailer, according to Riverside.

A department spokesperson indicated an elderly woman and some grown grandchildren were there at the time, but everyone got out.  Fire Chief Mike Kytta said three cats were missing.

The cause is under investigation. The resident is being assisted by the American Red Cross, according to the chief.

Although a Go-Fund-Me account set up by an individual identifying herself as a granddaughter states the 86-year-old owner lost everything due to someone letting off fireworks, the process is still underway to rule in and rule out potential causes, according to Kytta.

“Interviews and physical evidence is being processed by our team and that will take some time to complete,” Kytta stated.