Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Packwood man given nine plus years for 2013 kidnapping

Thursday, September 1st, 2016
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Zachery H. Bynum talks with his lawyer Jacob Clark after signing sentencing documents in Lewis County Superior Court today.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – After spending more than three years in custody, between jail and the state psychiatric hospital, a Packwood man was sentenced today for events he says he mostly doesn’t recall but a prosecutor called a day of hell for the victim.

Zachery H. Bynum pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping, two counts of second-degree assault, harassment and resisting arrest.

It was July 16, 2013, when Bynum was arrested at gunpoint on U.S. Highway 12 near Kiona Creek Road after an approximately four-mile police pursuit. He had dragged his young woman friend out of the Glenoma grocery store and forced her to drive toward Randle.

“She was the one who went through this,” Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said of the then-22-year-old Morton woman. “She’s the one who had a knife held to her throat.”

Bynum, then 41 years old and living mostly in the woods, was suspected to suffer from severe mental issues from the start.

The allegations included Bynum first forcing the young woman up a logging road where he threatened her with a machete.

Defense attorney Jacob Clark today told the judge of a 10-minute evaluation by personnel from Western State Hospital that initially found Bynum competent and then jail visits in which he would watch his client pull out wads of hair and rip off his own fingernails.

“I’d talk through a little door, he wouldn’t come out from underneath his bed,” he said.

Clark said he asked them to evaluate him as an inpatient, which they did and when he’d come back, spend time in solitary, he would deteriorate again.

“We went through the process I think five times, maybe more,” Clark said.

Clark spoke of a previously undiagnosed brain disease that included cyclical swelling. His client’s current state of mind was the best it’s ever been, he said.

Halstead described the plea agreement in which both attorneys recommended 110 months in prison, as an amount of time sought because of the impact to the victim and also witnesses, including children.

The victim was present in the courtroom and asked Halstead to convey her wish Bynum get the maximum penalty.

Bynum took the judge up on an offer to address the court.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” he said. “I don’t remember what happened mostly, I believe it, but I’m sorry for what happened.”

Judge James Lawler agreed with a sentence of nine years and two months.

“I don’t think adding more time is going to change the impact on Mr. Bynum, given the mental health issues,” Lawler said.

The judge gave him credit for 1,142 days already served and ordered 36 months of supervision upon his release.
•••

For background, read “Lawyers: Mentally disturbed Packwood man kidnapped woman friend” from Thursday July 18, 2013, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, September 1st, 2016
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•••

Updated at 4:02 p.m.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 4:15 a.m. by an individual who said he discovered his car had been moved from where he had parked it on the west side of the street at the 100 block of Southeast Washington Avenue to the east side. A subwoofer was missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called at 2:45 a.m. today within moments of a black 1995 Honda Civic being stolen from the 500 block of Southwest William Avenue. It has a license plate reading AXH 7724, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A vehicle stolen in Chehalis was recovered yesterday morning at the 1100 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia, during the course of another vehicle theft investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BAD BILL

• Police were called yesterday by a business at the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia regarding the discovery it had accepted a counterfeit $100 bill.

VANDALISM

• Police were called yesterday about a window on a vehicle broken overnight at the 700 block of West Second Street in Centralia.

LSD AND MANY POT PLANTS

• A 44-year-old Centralia man was charged yesterday with four felonies after an off-duty Centralia police officer told law enforcement of marijuana being grown behind a house on Maple Valley Drive, and detectives spoke with three teenagers there who said they’d given him money to buy them marijuana oil and marijuana bud. A search of the home turned up 25 stamps of LSD inside a freezer, 39 marijuana plants in the basement and a loaded revolver in a closet, according to court documents. Richard K. Kane was arrested on Tuesday and brought before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court. Court papers say when drug detectives first asked Kane if he had authorization to grow the marijuana which could be seen in the back of the residence, he produced a medical authorization and said he didn’t mind showing them his eight plants. There were 10 with trunks as thick as two inches in diameter, prosecutors allege. Kane was charged with possession of a controlled substance, manufacture of marijuana, distribution of marijuana to a person under age 18 and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke indicated Kane collected social security disability payments and qualified for a court appointed lawyer. His bail was set at $25,000 and his arraignment scheduled for today.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police are referring for criminal charges a case of a 15-year-old driver who allegedly struck a bicyclist at the 2500 block of North Pearl Street and left the scene yesterday. Officers responding to the approximately 6 p.m. call note the injuries were minor.

• A 56-year-old Vader resident was one of two people injured when the driver of a Honda Accord ran a red light in Longview late yesterday afternoon at state Route 432 and Washington Way, according to the Washington State Patrol. The Honda struck Glenn R. Wilburn’s Jeep Cherokee and spun off before hitting a log truck, according to the state patrol. Wilburn was not wearing a seat belt, the investigating trooper reports. He and the Honda driver, 51-year-old Louis Z. First, from Tacoma, were both transported to PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, violation no contact order, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, third-degree theft, vandalism, harassment, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, child alone in a parked car, request a woman with suitcases in front of  store for up to three days be asked to move along … and more among 157 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Prison for two more participants in Centralia drug-related robbery

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The third of four suspects was sentenced today for a July 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 in Centralia.

Jon Parker, 32, pleaded guilty this morning in Lewis County Superior Court to conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery. Judge Richard Brosey followed the agreed recommendation that came out of a plea agreement and gave him one year and one day in prison.

Parker chose not to make a statement on his own behalf.

He, Andrea Parker, 34, of Chehalis; Robert Plasencia, 29, of Napavine; and Kiana J. DeLaRosa, 18, of Chehalis, were all arrested after the early morning July 30 events at the 1600 block of North Scheuber Road.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello said essentially the plan was already in place when the Parkers arrived. DeLaRosa had asked her friend to get her some heroin, saying she was drug sick, he said.

Court documents describe that when the two victims arrived, DeLaRosa began saying they’d stolen $100 from her, and then a purse and a backpack were taken from them.

DeLaRosa pleaded guilty on Friday to second-degree robbery but her sentencing has not yet taken place.

Andrea Parker on Monday pleaded guilty to the same offense as Jon Parker – conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery – but also to four other cases from this year, involving drug possession as well as forgery and second-degree identity theft. She was given 50 months in prison.

Plasencia got 22 months when he was sentenced early last week for second-degree robbery.

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

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
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•••

SHERIFF’S OFFICE SEEKING CHEHALIS MAN FOR ASSAULT, THEFT

• Deputies are looking for a 34-year-old Chehalis man who allegedly assaulted his former significant other at the 200 block of Roe Road in Winlock yesterday, and fled with her .22 rifle. Deputies responded about 3 p.m., searched and could not find him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. They learned later he returned, broke a window and stole a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am, sheriff’s Cmdr. Dusty Breen said. The car was subsequently located at the 400 block of state Route 506 and a K-9 track was conducted but was unsuccessful, Breen said. A case for fourth-degree domestic assault, theft of a firearm, theft of a motor vehicle and first-degree burglary is being sent to prosecutors to review for charges against Adam C. Sullivan, according to the sheriff’ office.

AUTO THEFT

• A black 1997 Honda Civic was taken sometime during the night from the 1100 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 7:20 a.m. today. It has a license plate reading 174 ZSQ, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called just before 7 a.m. today about a beige 1988 Honda Accord stolen during the night from the 300 block of Southwest Third Street. It has a license plate reading ALL 4987, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 12:45 p.m. yesterday about a 2006 Pontiac stolen from the 600 block of H Street. The car was recovered later in the night by the Washington State Patrol, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A deputy responded just before 11 a.m. yesterday to the 300 block of Foster Creek Road in Toledo where a car had been stolen from a field sometime since 3 a.m. on Monday. The 2003 Hyundai Elantra has four doors and is valued at about $2,000, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

FORGERY

• A 29-year-old Centralia woman was contacted by police yesterday morning at the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue where she had allegedly used a stolen credit card to get a motel room. The victim was someone she knows, according to the Centralia Police Department. Regina D. Ashley, 29, of Centralia, was arrested for forgery and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

SUPER SHOPLIFTING

• Centralia police responding to an approximately 10:50 a.m. call yesterday to the 100 block of West High Street arrested two individuals for organized retail theft. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Cleo R. Palmer, 44, of Seattle, and Juanquita A. Knox, 44, of Tacoma, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 2:25 a.m. for a car prowl at the 1700 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue. Missing is a Smith and Wesson pistol, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

HOSPITAL ISSUES

• Bryan J. Hill, 24, of Chehalis, was arrested about 7:45 p.m. yesterday for interfering with a health care facility and third-degree malicious mischief at the 900 block of South Scheuber Road in Centralia. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Officers were called about 8:30 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of South Scheuber Road in Centralia to take a report of a patient striking a health care provider.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, third-degree theft; responses for alarm, dispute, third-degree theft, misdemeanor assault, graffiti to a building, suicidal person, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, barking neighbor dog … and more among 148 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Top ranking deputy to lead Evergreen college’s police force

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
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Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Stacy Brown is resigning to take a new job.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office’s chief civil deputy is moving up, taking a position as chief of police services at Evergreen State College.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown came to the sheriff’s office just over 20 years ago, working as a patrol deputy, a detective for five years with a specialty in sex crimes and child abuse, a sergeant overseeing the detective division and more.

Since 2009, Brown has been responsible for the special services bureau, and is part of the sheriff’s command staff.

Next, Brown will lead a department with nine commissioned law enforcement officers at Evergreen, a 1,000-acre campus in Olympia with more than 4,000 students.

The announcement was made yesterday. Her last day is Sept. 12.

“It is bittersweet, I will miss everyone here so much,” Brown said. “Lewis County feels like a second home.”

Brown, who resides in Thurston County, said she’s looking forward to working with a great new team.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Evergreen in 2006, while working full time, so she already has an idea of what the culture is like, she said.

Police Services at Evergreen has its own dispatch center and Brown will also oversee campus parking services, with several employees.

Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza asked his employees yesterday to join him in congratulating Brown and thanking her for her dedicated service.

“Chief Brown has done an excellent job in a myriad of positions during her tenure with our office, and has led our special services bureau with pride, professionalism, and dedication,” Snaza stated in an email message.

The departure of the top-ranking female deputy leaves the sheriff’s office with no female deputies. Until Deputy Sue Shannon left last year after more than 20 years as a patrol deputy, the two women were the only commissioned law enforcement officers in the organization.

The now-46-year-old started her career in public safety as a dispatcher for the Washington State Patrol. She hired on at the sheriff’s office in May 1996 and has worked for three sheriffs.

In her current position, which she is leaving behind, she has
a wide range of duties, conducted along the 13 staff members she supervises.

The special services bureau includes the sheriff’s office’s records division, the property and evidence division and the civil division.

“We’re responsible for all the evictions in the county and all the civil processes,” Brown said. “Like writs of execution, when someone owes money and someone can go after real or personal property.”

Brown and her people do the work involved in satisfying court judgements, whether trying to obtain a child to return to the rightful parent, or seizing property and holding sheriff’s auctions. They also process gun permits and handle fingerprinting.

Perhaps her best-recognized role has been public information officer for the past nine years, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

Brown said today she had thought she would retire from the sheriff’s office, but she’s very excited about the next step in her career.

“I just hope people understand how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to serve the community, from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 12:39 p.m.

CHURCH VICTIMIZED BY THEFT

• A 34-foot travel trailer donated for a church’s use vanished from its parking lot early yesterday at the 200 block of U.S. Highway 12 south of Chehalis. An unknown person or persons removed the 1994 Carli sometime between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The value is listed at approximately $8,000, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Someone kicked in a door to a garage-shop of a church on the 2500 block of South Market Boulevard and stole a Stihl gas operated weed eater, according to a report made to Chehalis police just before 11 a.m. yesterday.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 2:15 p.m. yesterday following the discovery a Honda Civic was missing from a parking lot on Hampe Way and then located the car around 6 p.m. at the 600 block of Southeast Dobson Court. Its stereo, speaker and amplifier had been removed, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT AT WORK SITE

• Chehalis police were called just before 8 a.m. yesterday to a job site at the 2500 block of North National Avenue where four pumps were stolen over the weekend. The loss is $4,000, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Two of them were silver and red Honda pumps and the other two were two-inch blue colored pumps, according to police.

FRAUD

• An Oregon resident called Chehalis police yesterday afternoon to report their bank card was used at Walgreens on Northwest Louisiana Avenue to purchase a gift card for more than $300. An officer learned a similar transaction also took place in Tumwater, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DISORDERLY

• Michael A. Kellogg, 45 of Centralia, was arrested about 12:10 a.m. today for interfering with a health care facility at the 900 block of South Scheuber Road in Centralia. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Centralia police arrested a 30-year-old Chehalis resident for possession of methamphetamine after contact with him about 10:15 p.m. yesterday at the 200 block of Jackson Street. Christopher D. Buck was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 24-year-old Chehalis man was arrested just before 11 a.m. yesterday after contact with an officer at the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. Matthew M Morris was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Two young people were injured when their car collided with the center barrier then rolled coming to rest on the right hand shoulder, on its top, last night along southbound Interstate 5 near the Winlock-Toledo interchange. Carlos Y. Batista and Martelli L. White, both 19 years old and from Lacey, were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers responding about 11:15 p.m. noted the 1997 Toyota Celica was totaled. Batista was allegedly traveling too fast and was arrested for second-degree negligent driving, according to the state patrol.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, probation violation, third-degree theft, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, third-degree malicious mischief, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarm, dispute, harassment, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … 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.

News brief: Former Chehalis Tribal official sentenced for defrauding housing program

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The former head of the Chehalis Tribal Housing Authority was sentenced yesterday to 30 days in jail and two years of supervised release following his conviction for collecting downpayment assistance from the authority knowing he didn’t qualify because he already owned a home.

Hector Ray Canales, Sr., 55, had pleaded guilty to conversion of tribal funds in May, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.

At Monday’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton in Tacoma said Canales had betrayed the trust of his tribe, according to office spokesperson Emily Langlie.

According to records filed in the case, Canales engaged in a “sham” transaction to transfer his existing ownership to a relative, so that he could collect $37,400 from the program which he used to pay for a second home in the Chehalis area.

Langlie stated that Canales used his position in the tribe and his knowledge of the internal fiscal controls to illegally collect the down payment funds. The fraud meant that other eligible Chehalis Tribal members did not get down payment assistance, Langlie stated.

Canales was the chairman of the board of the  Chehalis Tribal Housing Authority.

The case was investigated by the Chehalis Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The judge ordered him to pay $37,400 in restitution. Canales has since repaid just over $24,000 to the tribe.

News brief: Forest fire visible from Rochester, Tumwater contained

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Members of West Thurston Regional Fire Authority are assisting with water support this morning as firefighters with the state Department of Natural Resources mop up after a blaze in the Capitol Forest that grew to about three acres.

Crews were dispatched about 9:40 p.m. yesterday on reports a large fire could be seen from Rochester and Tumwater, according to Fire Chief Robert Scott.

“Crews arrived to find the fire located off the 8200 Road north of Capitol Peak near the Noshka area,” Scott stated in a news release. “The fire was initially one and a half acres in heavy logging slash and grew to approximately three acres before containment.”

Local firefighters worked the scene until the early morning hours and turned it over to DNR, according to Scott.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. There were no injuries reported.

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 DEFENSE

• A 27-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday after he contacted police and said his girlfriend stabbed him with a butter knife and chipped his tooth with a mug at the 600 block of North Washington Avenue in Centralia.. Officers called about 1 p.m. found the girlfriend with a black eye, several bruises on her upper arms and red marks around her neck, according to court documents and police. 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.

•••

CORRECTION: The item involving Robert E. Chandler has been updated to correctly reflect who used the butter knife and whose tooth was chipped.

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 recommending 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.

News brief: Hiker plucked from Packwood Glacier by helicopter

Friday, August 19th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Local search and rescue personnel assembled yesterday to retrieve a 62-year-old hiker perched on a small ledge after slipping and sliding at the Packwood Glacier.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office learned about the woman’s situation at about 12:30 p.m. and made preparations for the five-hour trek to the Pacific Crest Trail but then called for air support instead, given her precarious position, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

The woman had been hiking alone from Trout Lake headed to White Pass and used her satellite phone to call for help, Brown said. A distress beacon came from the area of Old Snowy Mountain, southeast of Packwood.

The woman used her backpack to prop herself and keep from falling farther downhill.

An Air Force helicopter was able to reach the victim and flew her to Yakima, where she planned to wait to be picked up, according to Brown. She was uninjured.