Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

South Point timber fire in Gifford Pinchot growing

Friday, September 21st, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The forest fire burning south of Packwood has grown from 10 to 73 acres, according to officials from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

It’s burning on a ridge called South Point in rough terrain with limited access about 10 miles south of U.S. Highway 12, according to spokesperson Ken Sandusky.

Employees of the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District and others continue their efforts to contain the blaze, according to Sandusky. A helicopter is dropping 3,000-gallon loads of water on it, he indicated in a news release this morning.

The fire is backing to the north down South Point, moving away from a radio repeater at the top.

Sandusky said there are no worries as of now about threats to the community as there is a lot of terrain and numerous creeks between the fire and Packwood.

Authorities suspect it ignited from lightening storms earlier this month at the same time as a large fire burning in the Mount Adams area.

That blaze, dubbed the Cascade Creek Fire, is eight miles north of Trout Lake and has covered more than 10,000 acres, or about 16 square miles.

A temporary prohibition of campfires went into effect today in various places in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest because of continuing fire-prone conditions

For background, read “Timber burning in Gifford Pinchot south of Packwood” from Thursday September 20, 2012 at 12:43 p.m., here

News brief: Eat pancakes, help crime fighters

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Retired Lewis County Sheriff Bill Logan, current Sheriff Steve Mansfield and Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg will be among the guest servers of breakfast at Applebee’s in Chehalis on Saturday morning to raise money for Crime Stoppers of Lewis County.

Crime Stoppers, which has served Lewis County since 1995, is a partnership effort between the media, police and the community to help reduce crime locally, according to a news release from the non-profit organization.

They are calling it a “flapjack fundraiser”. The event runs from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m.

Tickets can be purchased for $10 at the door that morning or ahead of time at numerous locations.

Applebee’s is at 1670 NW Louisiana Ave. in Chehalis.

Get tickets ahead of time at Sterling Bank offices in Chehalis, Centralia, and Morton; Book ’n’ Brush in Chehalis; the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office; Centralia Police Department; and Rose’s Furniture in Centralia.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Updated at 5:17 p.m.


• A 68-year-old bicyclist from British Columbia collapsed in the roadway on U.S. Highway 12 just west of Randle this morning and passing motorists who initiated CPR may have saved his life, according to Washington State Patrol. Trooper Mike Cournyer said it sounded as though David B. Williamson of Campbell River was in cardiac arrest when Stacey Wetzel of Onalaska and Carl Wyant of Chehalis stopped and helped him. It happened a bit before 9 a.m., Cournyer said. Williamson was taken to Morton General Hospital and then on to Harborview Medical Center. “It sounds like he’s doing okay,” Cournyer said later this morning. Cournyer said he thought the bicyclist was on a long distance trip having come from east of the mountains.


• A 23-year-old Centralia man filling up his tank on the 1300 block of Northwest State Avenue in Chehalis rejected a woman’s request for a ride but left his car running when he went inside to get his receipt last night. She got a ride without him. “He looked out, noticed his car was moving and the female was driving it away,” detective Sgt. Brian Hickey said. An officer called about 8:40 p.m. notified area law enforcement the 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier was stolen and it was located in Thurston County by a trooper, according to Hickey. After about a 10 minute police pursuit, the car and driver were stopped on Pacific Avenue in Olympia, according to police. Sara M. Abbott, 22, of Chehalis, was taken into custody and faces a possible charges of motor vehicle theft and possession of stolen property, Hickey said. The Olympian reports the chase reached speeds of more than 100 mph and included a state patrol pilot advising the trooper the driver struck a fence near Fusion Coffee House and O’Blarney’s Pub, before which Abbott was apprehended with suspected heroin in her possession.


• The sheriff’s office is looking for information about a black early-2000s Jeep SUV seen in the area of a residential burglary on the 1200 block of South Military Road in Winlock yesterday. Sometime between 10 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. someone stole a laptop computer and a television, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Possibly related is another burglary reported yesterday on the 600 block of South Military Road, according to sheriff’s Cmdr. Steve Aust. Sometime after 7:30 a.m. and before 1:30 p.m., an estimated $6,500 worth of valuables were taken from a home there, including jewelry, a television and cash, Aust said.


• An individual from the 1100 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia called police yesterday after he applied for assistance from the state Department of Social and Health Services and learned someone else had been using his social security number.


• Someone stole a backpack from a car parked on the 2500 block of Mount Vista Road in Centralia, according to  report made to police about 10 p.m. yesterday.

• Centralia police were called about a vehicle prowl on the 200 block of West Third Street around 2:30 p.m. yesterday. Missing was a blue Sun Mountain pull cart for golfing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

A morning fire outside Toledo is under investigation. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 2


• More than a dozen firefighters responded to a blaze in a fairly new but vacant house about six miles east of Toledo this morning. The cause is under investigation. Lewis County Fire District 2 Chief Grant Wiltbank said when he arrived after the approximately 6:30 a.m. call he found flames venting from all openings on both floors as well as the roof. It was reported by a passerby. The home on the 300 block of Cedar Creek Road is about three years old, according to Wiltbank. Personnel from Vader and Winlock assisted and together they managed to save an attached garage, a nearby carport and prevented the fire from spreading into an adjoining timber parcel, according to the chief.


• Two women were arrested in Chehalis last night with a car stolen out of Illinois. An officer for whatever reason ran the license plate of a 2006 Dodge Charger that pulled into a convenience store and gas station on the 1400 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue at about 10:50 p.m., according to police. Kaila Seward-Borgman, 20, of Tacoma, and Shulynn R. Hunter, 23, of Baltimore, were booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of stolen property, according to Chehalis detective Sgt. Brian Hickey. One of them said she was getting the registration transferred into her name, and one of the women was trying to escape an abusive boyfriend, Hickey said.


• A 42-year-old Shelton man was arrested for burglary after he allegedly shoplifted about $50 worth of items such as laundry detergent, candy and salad from Wal-Mart in Chehalis about 2 p.m. yesterday. Jason L. Fletcher had previously been trespassed from all Wal-Marts, thus a burglary arrest instead of theft, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.


• After serving a protection order at a residence on the 800 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia late yesterday afternoon, an officer was told about some homemade fireworks on the premises. The possibly explosive devices were turned over to the Washington State Patrol bomb experts, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police were called about noon yesterday for a car prowl at the 1100 block of South Pearl Street. A stereo was stolen during the night, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Some change was stolen from a vehicle parked on the 300 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

• Chehalis police were summoned to the 400 block of Southeast Washington Avenue about 7 a.m. yesterday when a citizen noticed a car appeared to have been broken into. it appeared the glove box had been rifled through, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Someone left graffiti on a building on the 600 block of H Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.


• A Ford Expedition that hadn’t been driven since the day before caught fire in a driveway on the 3200 block of Fords Prairie Avenue in Centralia about 4:15 yesterday afternoon. While there was a large column of black smoke, the blaze was mostly confined to the engine area, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The vehicle was still totaled, Fire Capt. Ken Colombo said.


• A 39-year-old man who initially said he swerved to miss an elk on a Forest Service Road in East Lewis County last night was cited for wheels off the roadway after his car went down an embankment. The driver suffered scratches to his face and his 18-year-old passenger was not believed to be injured, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened about 10:40 p.m. near milepost 4 of Forest Service Road 23, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The Honda Accord was totaled, Brown said. When evidence at the scene suggested there may not have been an elk, the driver admitted there wasn’t, he was going too fast, according to Brown.


Flames can be seen in every window and the roof of the home on Cedar Creek Road this morning. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 2

Chehalis women charged with 13 counts in connection with deadly underage drinking party

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The two young women accused of buying alcohol for a teenage party in Adna that ended when a 16-year-old boy was run over and killed are being charged not only with furnishing liquor to minors but with reckless endangerment.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer indicated in a prepared statement today the tragic death of Tyler S. Gonzalez underscores the serious problem of underage drinking and the need to confront the issues surrounding the problem immediately.

Gonzalez was drunk when he wandered away from the party and either laid down, passed out or went to sleep on the roadway in the middle of the night on May 12, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He died at the scene on the 100 block of Brockway Road after a full-sized SUV ran over the top of him.

Prosecutors allege Talia R. Date and Megan M. Day bought beer from Wal-Mart and whiskey and vodka from a nearby liquor store at the request of one of the attendees at the small gathering.

Both women are 22 and from Chehalis.

Day is the older sister of one of the 16-year-old boys from the party, according to charging documents.

Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor in which one “recklessly engaged in conduct that created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.”

Charges were filed Monday in Lewis County District Court, according to Meyer.

Meyer noted in his statement that alcohol is the most used and abused drug among today’s youth.

“Youth from the ages of 12 to 20 years of age account for 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States and 90 percent of that is consumed in the form of binge drinking,” Meyer wrote.

He provided numbers from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that note in 2008, there were approximately 190,000 emergency room visits resulting from alcohol related issues by people under the age of 21.

Charging documents allege essentially what the sheriff’s office has already said publicly.

Detectives learned several young people – ages 16 through 18 – were gathered in a shop building at 17-year-old Tyler Ketchum’s home, according to charging documents. The shop on the property is referred to a “Tyler’s shed.”

The sheriff’s office has said Ketchum’s parents were asleep in the house and unaware of a party.

The documents allege the following:

Somewhere between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. one of them, a 16-year-old boy called his sister and asked her to buy alcohol.

Day and Date showed up to pick up the money the young people pitched in, as well as a “wish list. Three of the young people went to the store with the women.

The purchases included a 30-pack of Busch beer, a 12-pack of Bud Light, at least one bottle of Wild Turkey whiskey and two bottles of Skyy vodka.

Gonzalez and Raquem Hankins arrived around midnight, and everyone except Hankins was drinking. One 17-year-old boy passed out outside the building for a number of hours.

Gonzalez and another boy, both of whom were extremely intoxicated, walked away from the party, the sheriff has said.

Gonzalez’s  blood alcohol level was measured after his death at .17, according to the sheriff’s office. That’s more than twice the legal limit for driving.

The W.F. West High School sophomore died from multiple internal injuries about 2:30 a.m. on May 12. His death is not mentioned in the actual charges.

Day told a detective this was the first time she had bought alcohol for her brother and his friends when they were not going to be staying at her house, according to the charging documents. Date said they normally only let them drink at the house because they know they will stay there, the documents state.

Each woman is charged with six counts of furnishing liquor to a minor and seven counts of reckless endangerment. One count of reckless endangerment is in relation to Gonzalez.

They are not specifically charged with furnishing alcohol to Gonzalez, because they didn’t know he was going to be there drinking, according to Meyer.

Both offenses carry a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and / or a $5,000 fine.

News brief: Religious discrimination lawsuit against Lewis County dismissed by judge

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The lawsuit filed by a former Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center employee who contended he was fired because of his religion has been dismissed by the court.

A summary judgement was issued today by the judge in the case of Geoff Nelson of Rochester.

Nelson and his attorney said he was ordered not to bring a Bible to work, “harassed” for being Christian and treated differently repeatedly because of his beliefs.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

Today’s decision means, in lay person’s terms, the court decided Nelson had no basis to sue the county, according to Lewis County RIsk Manager Paulette Young.

Nelson has 30 days in which to appeal, if he chooses.

For background, read “Christianity at work: Rochester man seeks $3 million in suit against Lewis County” from Friday April 6, 2012, here

Appeals court gives Centralia teen a “do-over” on 90-plus-year drive-by shooting sentence

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A nearly 93 year sentence handed down to a 16-year-old Centralia boy convicted of a drive-by shooting in which nobody was injured has been tossed out by the state court of appeals.

Guadalupe Solis-Diaz Jr. challenged his virtual life sentence in light of a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment, specifically a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held a sentence of life without parole is forbidden for a juvenile who did not commit homicide.

The appeals court decision however focused on the deficient performance of the attorney who represented the former Centralia High School student.

The opinion issued yesterday remanded the case back to Lewis County Superior Court for re-sentencing.

Solis-Diaz was arrested in August 2007 after gunfire was sprayed along the east side of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, missing six bar patrons. Witnesses testified it was gang-related.

Centralia police that summer dealt with at least a half dozen gang-related shootings of cars, homes and people, including a case in which bullets pierced the walls of the apartment where the teenager lived with his mother.

Solis-Diaz was a passenger in a car driven by 21-year-old Juan “Pollo” Velasquez and it was about midnight on Aug. 10 when he fired seven times into a group of people outside the Tower Tavern. He turned 17 days after the incident.

The teenager maintained his innocence, but was convicted four months later of six counts of first-degree assault, one count of drive-by shooting and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

He had declined a plea offer of 15 years in prison.

Michael Golden was the elected prosecutor at the time and the case was handled by then-deputy prosecutor Chris Baum. Judge Nelson Hunt presided. Solis-Diaz was represented by court-appointed attorney Michael Underwood.

The six assault counts were ordered to be served consecutively and each carried a mandatory extra five years because they were committed with a firearm. The sentence given was at the high end of the standard range, 1,111 months in  prison.

The three-judge panel unanimously ruled in its opinion that the teen’s defense attorney made a number of choices at sentencing that no reasonable attorney would have.

Among them:

• The lawyer failed to alert the court it had discretion to impose a lesser sentence, given that the presumptive sentence was clearly excessive.

• He failed to call family, other members of the community including the teen’s teachers to testify on his behalf, a move which would have apprised the court that the teen’s emotional and mental maturity should have been considered.

• He failed to call to the attention of the court a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in which indicated courts should consider youth differently than adults.

• He failed to produce or request a pre-sentencing report which could have shed light upon issues related to the teen’s mental and emotional sophistication.

• He mistakenly indicated the teen was “declined” as a juvenile and tried as an adult, when in fact no decline hearing was held to determine if the teen’s maturity and mental development warranted prosecution as an adult. The case was actually “auto-declined” by operation of a statute.

Yesterday’s decision followed not a direct appeal, but a personal restraint petition.

Sarah Beigh argued in filings for the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office. Solis-Diaz’s attorney for the petition is listed as Kimberly D. Ambrose of the University of Washington  School of Law. A number of other attorneys filed briefs on the teen’s behalf.

Ambrose contended Soliz-Diaz received ineffective assistance at sentencing because his counsel’s performance fell below objective standards of reasonableness and prevailing professional norms. The appeals court agreed.

It’s not clear from the opinion how much time the teen may get after a new sentencing hearing or when that may happen, but is clear the defense attorney must do more than what Underwood did.

Underwood’s entire argument at sentencing in December 2007 consisted of the following:

“Certainly it is a tragic event. You heard all the evidence. My client still maintains his innocence, your Honor, but the jury did find him guilty. We would ask the court, your Honor, to give him the low end of the range. He is 17 years old, declined as a juvenile and tried here.  He’s still looking at, your Honor, almost a life sentence, quite frankly, unless something happens in the intervening years that he is serving his time. We think the low end of the range [927 months] would be more appropriate.”

Read the opinion, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Updated at 5:51 p.m.


• One person had rib pain after a two-vehicle accident this morning on Interstate 5 in Chehalis in which a car swerved off the road, up an embankment and into a fence before rolling back down the hill and coming to rest on its wheels on the shoulder. Troopers called just before 8 a.m. to the northbound lanes near West Street reported that Merilee S. Hill, 59, of Chehalis was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital. Traffic had slowed and Hill tried to slow down too but struck the back end of another vehicle before her Acura RSX traveled up the hillside, according to the Washington State Patrol. The 48-year-old driver of the other vehicle, Diana L. Jennings of Chehalis, was described by the trooper as uninjured. Her 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe was drivable after getting struck, according to the state patrol. Hill was cited for speed too fast for conditions, according to the trooper.


• A 48-year-old driver from Oregon as hospitalized after a roll-over wreck on U.S. Highway 12 east of Salkum yesterday. A trooper called to the scene at 1:30 p.m. reported the eastbound Ford Focus left the roadway to the right and struck an embankment before rolling onto its top. It happened near Fischer Road, according to the Washington State Patrol. Kelly L. Jaffe, of Central Point, Ore. was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with neck and back pain, according to Lewis County Fire District 8. Passersby had removed her from the car and she seemed disoriented, Fire Chief Duran McDaniel said. The collision is under investigation.


• A driver escaped serious injury when his pickup truck veered into a tree at Van Wormer Street and Reynolds Avenue in Centralia yesterday afternoon. Responders called about 4:19 p.m. said there was considerable damage to the truck but the male driver declined to be taken to the hospital.


• A pair of Onalaskans were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital yesterday after a Jeep ran off Middle Fork Road into a ditch and then a tree. A deputy arriving to the scene about 1:20 p.m. was told by the 67-year-old driver he heard a snap and then lost his steering, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle had only lap belts so the driver and his 59-year-old female passenger “went forward into the windshield pretty good” but seemed to have escaped serious injuries, according to responders.


• Police were called just before 6:30 p.m. yesterday when someone stole a dachshund from in front of a house on the 1100 block of F Street in Centralia. The dog thief was driving a red Isuzu Rodeo, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A deputy was called yesterday to the 100 block of Kauer Road in Packwood about a burglary involving almost $12,000 worth of jewelry. Sometime between Thursday and Saturday someone stole several items from a couple in their 80s, including a ruby ring, a pearl necklace with matching earrings, a 14 karat gold wedding band and a women’s fake Rolex watch, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• Chehalis police were called to the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard about 3 p.m. yesterday when someone left Safeway with a cart full of groceries they had not paid for. An employee took down the license plate information from the van and it was later stopped in Cowlitz County, according to the Chehalis Police Department. One occupant fled and a 33-year-old man was taken into custody there on an unrelated matter, Officer Linda Bailey said. The loss is estimated at $400.


• A 33-year-old Centralia man wanted for stealing electricity from an abandoned house on the 200 block of East Van Buren Street was arrested yesterday by Yard Birds shopping center in Chehalis. Eric E. Hemenway was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary as he allegedly broke into the house to plug in a cord which led to a garage next door, according to police. He is to be released without charges pending further investigation.

• The Morton Police Department is investigating the theft of a firearm from a residence on the 500 block of Main Avenue. A rifle was reported missing on Sept. 10.

• Morton police were called last week about yet another theft from a lumber yard at the Northwest Home Center. During their investigation, officers learned roofing materials were also stolen from Dels Farm Supply, according to police.


• A married father of three from Longview and 29-year-old homeless woman from Astoria were arrested in Winlock last night for possession of methamphetamine. Jonathan R. Swann, 30, was pulled over just after 11 p.m. on Northwest Fir Street after an officer conducted a background check on his license plate and discovered the vehicle had recently been sold but the title was unchanged, according to charging documents. Swann admitted he was driving on a suspended license and was arrested, charging documents state. Charging documents go on to give the following account: A police dog was summoned to sniff around leading to a search of the vehicle. A small baggie of suspected methamphetamine was found in the trunk, along with some marijuana. Swann  told the officer he had a medical marijuana authorization. Inside a brown purse near where a female passenger had been sitting, suspected methamphetamine was found, as well as a small clear baggie with Batman symbols on it containing five brown round objects as yet unidentified. Lashawna L. Smith, who initially gave a different name, was then arrested for possession. A third occupant of the vehicle was not charged with any felony. The pair were booked into the Lewis County Jail and are being held on $10,000 bail.


• Police were called at 6:25 a.m. today to the 1100 block of Long Road in Centralia where a purse was stolen from a vehicle sometime overnight. The victim had left the windows down, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called just after 9 p.m. to an interrupted vehicle prowl on the 1000 block of West Main Street. Officers were unable to locate a suspect as the individual had fled on foot, according to police.

• Police took a report about 4 p.m. yesterday from the 300 block of Noel Avenue in Centralia about the possible theft of medication from a vehicle.


• Centralia police took a report yesterday of gang-style graffiti found on a fence at the 1300 block of Delaware Avenue.

Police: Inmate tricks staff into releasing him from Lewis County Jail

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Updated at 6:36 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An inmate at the Lewis County Jail who allegedly impersonated another inmate yesterday was able to get himself released, but was found a short time later, according to police.

Chehalis police were called about 6:20 p.m. and given a description of the escapee, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

A corrections officer leaving the jail had seen the inmate out front and knew he was supposed to be inside, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The employee followed the subject in his vehicle, called 911 and two Chehalis officers arrived to take him into custody without incident less than five minutes later, authorities said.

He was found about two blocks away, at the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue, according to Chehalis Police Department Officer Linda Bailey.

Charles R. Baker, 54, of Randle, was returned to the jail, Bailey said.

Bailey said she did not know what Baker was locked up for.

The jail roster shows Baker is being held in connection with reckless burning and driving without a license.

Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield said this afternoon he’s waiting for answers about how an inmate got improperly released.

Mistakes were made, he said, but he doesn’t yet know what they were.

The jail is operated by the sheriff’s office.

Mansfield said he does know Baker put on another inmate’s clothing while that inmate was asleep and signed documents for release, as well as spoke with the other inmate’s attorney who was waiting at the jail.

Mansfield said Baker was on a no-bail hold, but didn’t know the specifics.

An internal investigation is underway and Baker is being processed for theft and forgery, according to Mansfield.

The jail has several checkpoints during release procedures, including plastic identification bracelets worn by inmates, according to the sheriff.

His office will find out what occurred and tighten up procedures, he said.

Mansfield said Baker was out of the facility for 10 or 15 minutes.

“We book and release hundreds of people a year and unfortunately this has happened in the past and will probably happen again in the future,” Mansfield said.

The other inmate subsequently woke up and has been released.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Updated at 1:22 p.m.


• A 44-year-old Centralia man was arrested over the weekend for first-degree arson in connection with a June 6 fire in which a 30-foot travel trailer on the 300 block of Kearney Street in Centralia was destroyed, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officer John Panco said officers picked up Brian H. Jones near the Sixth Street viaduct on Saturday and booked him into the Lewis County Jail. Authorities at the time said Jones previously lived in the trailer. It belonged to a woman who lives at the address, according to Panco.


• Lewis County Fire District 6 was called about 10:30 p.m. yesterday for another brush fire on Salsbury Avenue in Chehalis. Firefighters have been plagued with someone lighting fires in the area following a Sept. 1 blaze that destroyed a vacant mobile home on the 2200 block of Salsbury. Last night’s fire was about 10 feet by 10 feet and is part of an ongoing investigation, according to Fire District 6.


• A woman who lives in an apartment on the 200 block of Southwest 16th Street in Chehalis returned home Friday evening and discovered her television was missing. She told an officer she might have forgotten to lock the door, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Two Timex watches, five Xbox games and assorted clothing were among the items stolen in a burglary to a home on the 600 block of Carlisle Avenue in Onalaska, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The break-in occurred sometime on Friday between 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.


• A deputy was called on Saturday about a burglary to a barn on the 1600 block of state Route 6. Among the items stolen were a garden hose and gasoline taken from a fuel tank, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened between 5 p.m. on Friday and 7:30 a.m. the following day, according to the sheriff’s office.


• A white 1994 Ford Ranger extended cab pickup truck was stolen from the 1100 block of West First Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 2:40 p.m. yesterday. It has a license plate of B25120S.

• A blue 1994 Ford Crown Victoria was stolen overnight from the 500 block of South Oak Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday. It has a license plate reading AEL 4226, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A deputy was called yesterday about a 1988 GMC pickup stolen from the 3100 block of Zenkner Valley Road outside Centralia. The truck vanished sometime after midnight and before 9 a.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• Centralia police say they took a report about 10:40 a.m. yesterday of someone breaking into an abandoned building at the 200 block of East Van Buren Street to use electricity.


• Centralia police say they responded about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday to a report of a fight at a party on the 1100 block of Prospect Street, but none of the victims would cooperate in pressing charges. Several people had minor injuries and one suspect fled the scene, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A victim  of an almost-car prowl confronted a male getting into his vehicle this morning on the 1300 block of Rose Street in Centralia. Officers called about 4:45 a.m. noted the victim heard something outside and then saw a male wearing a dark-colored hoody and a red backpack getting into his vehicle. The prowler ran off, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A woman called police about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and said she left her purse in her vehicle when she shopped for about a half an hour at the Dollar Tree in the Twin City Town Center and when she returned it was gone. The doors to her car were unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department,

• Police took a report of a vehicle prowl about 7:45 a.m. on Saturday at the 800 block of H Street in Centralia.


• Centralia police took several reports on Saturday morning of “gang-style” graffiti on buildings and property on the 1400 block of Windsor Avenue. They occurred sometime after 12:30 a.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police said a child suffered minor injuries when he ran his go-cart into a parked car on Friday evening at the 200 block of West Oakview Street.

• A 37-year-old Randle man was hospitalized early this morning after he said his his truck nearly struck an elk on U.S. Highway 12 near Glenoma. Troopers called to the scene about seven miles east of Morton reported David C. Haviland was westbound when he swerved to miss the animal and rolled his pickup. The 1995 Ford Ranger came to rest on its top and was deemed totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, September 14th, 2012


• A deputy took a report yesterday of an estimated $9,500 of valuables stolen in a burglary on the 1600 block of J Street North in Centralia. Sometime between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. the day before, someone entered the home and stole a safe, a television, a computer, jewelry, prescription medications and cash, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A pair of individuals who were caught cutting firewood last night on Weyerhaeuser property near Pe Ell will likely find themselves in court for theft and trespassing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy arriving about 8 p.m. to an area off the 4000 Line was advised by Weyerhaeuser security the 34-year-old resident and 29-year-old Chehalis resident had driven around a closed gate and taken a half cord of wood, according to the sheriff’s office. The main issue is the property was clearly posted closed because of the high fire danger, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. They were not arrested but the case will be referred to prosecutors for evaluation of charges of third-degree theft and second-degree trespassing, according to Brown.


• A 62-year-old Randle man suffered a laceration to his forehead and his truck sustained major front end damage when he wrecked on the 100 block of Peters Road yesterday evening. A deputy arriving to the scene just before 6 p.m. found the 2006 Dodge Ram in a ditch on its side and the driver outside the vehicle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The man said he was on his way to the store and didn’t know why he drove his truck off the road, the sheriff’s office said. He was cited for wheels off the roadway, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

• An overnight collision in which a truck driver from Winlock ran into the rear and totaled a car stopped on Interstate 5 is under investigation.


Courtesy photos by WSP

The 43-year-old driver of a 2005 Kia Spectra was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the early morning wreck in the southbound lanes between Maytown and Tumwater, according to the Washington State Patrol. The car’s lights were out, according to the state patrol. Steven W. Staggs, 57, of Winlock was not injured, but his 2008 Kenworth was impounded, the state patrol reported.

Winlock man suffers broken neck after two-bicycle wreck

Friday, September 14th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 40-year-old man was airlifted with severe injuries after a two-bicycle accident near the skate park in Napavine yesterday evening.

It happened on West Washington Street near Haywire Road.

The 15-year-old Napavine boy with whom he collided escaped with just bruises, according to police.

Police and aid were called just before 5 p.m. to what looked like a pretty much a head on accident, according to Napavine Police Department Officer Silas Elwood.

Elwood said the teenager was heading home from the skate park when he crossed the road.

“The other gentleman was riding into town on Washington / Highway 603, it’s a downhill slope,” Elwood said. “He was one of those kind of serious bicycling guys. Witnesses said he was probably going 30 to 35 mph.”

Ronald Pollack, 40, of Winlock, apparently went head first over his handle bars and landed on the pavement, Elwood said. He was wearing a helmet.

Pollack suffered severe head trauma and an apparent broken neck, according to responders. A LifeFlight helicopter picked him up from a nearby field and flew him to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver.

Elwood said Pollack was in surgery late last night, but in stable condition and expected to wake up today.

Someone had told the young man the safest way to ride a bike was to face traffic, but that’s not the case, Elwood said.

The sun was in his eyes, and “the kid was probably looking for cars, not another bike,” he said.

He said he wasn’t blaming the teen, but the collision points up a need for some local bicycle safety training.

Bicyclists are supposed to follow the same traffic rules as motor vehicles, according to Elwood. The speed limit there is 25 mph.

It was definitely one of those “freak” things with a number of contributing factors, Elwood said.

“I don’t even want to think about how bad this would have been if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet,” he said.

Breaking news: Pedestrians robbed in separate Centralia cases yesterday, two arrested

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Updated at 11:44 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A young man walking down a Centralia street and a teenage girl at Fort Borst Park were held up in separate incidents yesterday by a pair of males believed to be armed with a stun gun and pepper spray.

In the second case at about 4:30 p.m. the 17-year-old victim kicked one of the would-be robbers in the groin causing the pair to flee, police said.

Two suspects were in custody by about 11:30 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Steven N. Romero, 18, and Zachary J. Konoske, 19, both from Centralia.

Police Sgt. Carl Buster said the girl in the park refused to hand over her backpack and money, telling the man she was going to scream. He grabs at her backpack anyways, Buster said.

“She kicks him in the n***, he pepper sprays her,” and they leave, Buster said.

In both instances, the males pulled up in a red car described as full of people, according to police. A 30-year-old Rochester woman and an 18-year-old Morton resident are facing possible arrest for rendering criminal assistance, according to police.

Buster said he won’t be at all surprised if there were other victims of similar crimes in the area during the day yesterday.

“I’m betting other people will come forward,” he said.

The first situation occurred just before 11 a.m. near Woodland Avenue and West Summa street in the south end of town, according to police.

A 19-year-old man told police he was walking down the sidewalk listening to his iPod when a red car pulled up and two males got out and confronted him.

One of them demanded he give them everything out of his pockets and when he refused, grabbed his iPod, according to police.

The other male stood by and threatened him with what the victim thought was a Taser gun, because he heard the sound of electricity sparking or arcing, according to Buster. The victim handed over his wallet, according to Buster.

Acting on a tip, police pulled over a vehicle getting on Interstate 5 at about 7 p.m.; Romero was arrested, according to police. Officers got information Konoske was at a house off Roosevelt Street and went there about 11:30 p.m., according to Buster.

“He tried to run out the back door, but police grabbed him,” Buster said.

The two suspects were booked for robbery.


Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, September 13th, 2012


• A 47-year-old woman returned home yesterday to the 600 block of Boistfort Road west of Chehalis to discover she’d been burglarized, but a surveillance camera captured images of four people getting out of  vehicle in her driveway and the sheriff’s office has some suspects. Missing are more than $4,000 worth of belongings including two flat screen televisions, a laptop computer, a Sony PlayStation and two Xbox games and a baseball hat, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Four people were arrested yesterday afternoon when they were discovered loading items into two vehicles outside a Boistfort area home where the day before deputies had served a search warrant and arrested the resident. Deputies called to the 200 block of Lake Creek Road were told by the subjects they were retrieving items that either belonged to them because they had lived there temporarily or getting back their own stolen property, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The resident, Michael Glenn McBride, is accused of operating an illegal wrecking yard. Deputies knew the owner wanted no one on the property and arrested all four for residential burglary, according to the sheriff’s office. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Richard A. Pruett, 50, of Winlock; Mark S. Hendricks, 56, of Toledo; Brent L. Heath, 30, of Toledo; and Casey S. Fredrick, 26, of Castle Rock, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Among the items they attempted to take were tools and stereo equipment, Brown said.


• Police were called to the 1400 block of Southwest Kelly Avenue in Chehalis about 1:40 p.m. yesterday when a resident discovered someone had come into her home and stolen a large amount of jewelry, including necklaces and wrist watches. It happened sometime during the day and it appeared the burglar came in through window that was either left unlatched or they were able to somehow slip open, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Centralia police were called about 11:40 a.m. yesterday when a business owner on the 400 block of North Tower Avenue found their back door unlocked and unspecified items missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• An unknown suspect threw a large rock through a windshield of a vehicle parked in the victim’s driveway at the 600 block of Alder Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police just after 8 o’clock yesterday morning.


• A 17-year-old Curtis resident suffered a broken nose and cuts to his head yesterday after his 1995 Ford Escort ran off the road and down a 100-foot embankment yesterday at the 600 block of Curtis Hill Road. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said the teenager said he was southbound when he swerved and braked to miss a deer. The car landed on its top and sustained major damage, according to the sheriff’s office. Its driver was cited for second-degree negligent driving, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

• A 39-year-old Toledo man was hospitalized after the handle bar of his motorcycle struck a deer on state Route 506 near Interstate 5 yesterday morning causing his bike to go down and him to be ejected, according to the Washington State Patrol. A trooper called about 7 a.m. reported John J. Strom suffered abrasions to arm and a sore shoulder. He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol. The 2008 Honda XR650 sustained an estimated $700 damage, according to the patrol.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012


• A Centralia police investigation took them out to property on Boistfort and King roads in west Lewis County yesterday morning where the contents of a greenhouse were confiscated. Colby D. Cave, 35, who lives there was arrested when he returned around 2:50 p.m. for an outstanding warrant, according to police. Centralia’s detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said there were 30-some-odd marijuana plants in the greenhouse.  Cave was booked into the Lewis County Jail for unlawful of use of a building for drug purposes, according to jail roster. It was an ongoing case of the department’s Anti-Crime Team, and they were assisted by sheriff’s deputies when a warrant was served, according to Fitzgerald. Cave had a medical marijuana card but it was in someone else’s name, he said.


• A 1989 Honda Civic was reported stolen about 2 o’clock this morning form the 1500 block of Delaware Avenue in Centralia. The car is described as painted flat black with a sticker in the back window that reads “Get lost in Montana” , according to the Centralia Police Department. It has a license plate of AIT 5219.

• Prescription medication and GPS device were missing after a car prowl at the 1100 block of Alder Street in Centralia yesterday, according to police.

• Stereos were taken from two vehicles at the 1300 block of Central Boulevard in Centralia, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department about 9:15 a.m. yesterday.


• An 18-year-old Centralia resident was taken away from Providence Centralia Hospital by police yesterday after he was angry he was not allowed into the emergency room to see his girlfriend and ran in there. Officers called about 8:50 a.m. arrested  Jordan P. Sansouci for being disorderly and interfering with a health facility, and then booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Deputies yesterday afternoon contacted a pair of campers on Weyerhaeuser property near Pe Ell and arrested one of them for violating a no-contacting order in place regarding the other. Barry W. Worley, 36, of Winlock, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for the offense and also a warrant, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s office. His companion, a 57-year-old Winlock woman, was not arrested but faces a potential trespassing citation, according to the sheriff’s office.


• Firefighters from four departments were called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday when sparks from a truck with a mechanical problem started several grass fires along the southbound lanes on Interstate 5 near the Toledo-Winlock interchange. One was as big as 50 yards long but they stretched over several hundred yards, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. “The truck driver was notified by a motorist and was able to pull over fairly quickly and thankfully not spread fire farther down the freeway,” Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson said.

News brief: Suspect in Tenino hitchhiker beating captured after police pursuit

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 23-year-old man wanted in the beating and robbery of a hitchhiker in Tenino last month was arrested early this morning after a police chase that began in Centralia and ended in Tenino.

Centralia police say an officer attempted to contact the driver of a stolen vehicle in north Centralia at about 12:30 a.m. The vehicle fled north on Interstate 5 at speeds of up to 110 mph and then out Highway 99, according to the Centralia Police Department. He was stopped when a Thurston County sheriff’s deputy ended the chase by intentionally colliding with it and spun it out, Centralia police Sgt. Carl Buster said.

Tony L. League, 23, was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and warrants as well as for the Aug. 22 incident in which a hitchhiker was punched and ordered at gunpoint to empty his pockets, according to police.

Centralia police list League as a Tenino resident. Tenino police have said he resides in Olympia.

Tenino police are still seeking a second man, Andrew B. Miller, 20, of Yelm, in connection with the robbery.


For background, read “News brief: Hitchhiker robbed, beaten in Tenino” from Monday August 27, 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012


A 42-year-old Centralia woman was arrested yesterday after allegedly twice running into another vehicle at East Summa Street and Tower Avenue and driving away. Police were called just after 2 p.m. by a man who said a driver got right on his rear end, flashing her lights and honking, according to the Centralia Police Department. When he asked her what she was doing, she just laughed, according to police. As the woman pulled away, she struck the vehicle of a passerby who stopped because of the commotion, backed up, hit the vehicle a second time and then drove off. “She was laughing the whole time,” Buster said. Mary E. Carver later went into the police department to make a report about neighbors’ babies crying and was arrested for second-degree assault when police recognized hers as the suspect vehicle, Buster said.


• Police were called about 8:40 p.m. yesterday to a Centralia neighborhood after a 24-year-old woman said she and her boyfriend were walking when a hand reached out from some bushes and grabbed her arm. The two fled but saw a person in dark clothing running the other way, according to police. It happened near South Rock and West Cherry streets. A police dog was brought out to sniff around but didn’t find a suspect, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A 26-year-old Centralia man went to the police department yesterday to report that a week ago Saturday he was walking home drunk when someone assaulted him breaking bones in his face. “All he remembers is getting hit in the head and then waking up,” police Sgt. Carl Buster said. The victim at some point went to a hospital and learned how serious his injury was, according to police. Buster said he doesn’t know why the man waited to call police.


• Police were called about 12:50 p.m. yesterday to a residence on the 1400 block of Johnson Road in Centralia about stolen rings. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Generators were stolen from a business on the 300 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

• A computer was reported stolen from a motel room on Westlake Avenue in Morton the Tuesday before last. The case is under investigation, according to the Morton Police Department.

• A woman who called police yesterday afternoon after seeing someone take down some political campaign signs from the hillside near North National Avenue and Chamber of Commerce Way in Chehalis was told they were not being stolen, apparently just removed because the property owner hadn’t been asked in advance for permission, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Morton police are investigating after a report subjects stole lumber from the Northwest Home Center, carrying it to U.S. Highway 12 where they loaded it into a vehicle, according to the Morton Police Department. It happened the Tuesday before last in the morning, according to police.

• A 26-year-old man was arrested after Morton police received a report of campers cutting down trees for firewood in Gus Backstrom Park on Sept. 1, according to police. David R. Boulet, of Graham, was picked up for theft, obstruction, malicious mischief and a warrant and turned over to the Pierce County law enforcement, according to the Morton Police Department.


• Centralia police took a report yesterday afternoon of a car prowl on the 1100 block of F Street. A CD player and wallet were missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning to take a report that sometime during the past month, somebody removed the registration and insurance information from the glove box of a vehicle parked on Southwest Fourth Street near Market Boulevard.


• A 52-year-old Morton man was in trouble with police after allegedly calling and texting a female more than 100 times in just a few hour period. William S. Rakes was arrested for telephone harassment on Thursday, according to the Morton Police Department.


• A 22-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for a warrant and possession of methamphetamine this morning after contact with an officer about 7:10 a.m. at the 800 block of Harrison Avenue. Katrina D. Miller was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department,

• A 17-year-old boy faces a possible misdemeanor charge for allegedly smoking marijuana on school property in Morton on Wednesday morning. Police found a pipe and a small amount of residue and referred the case to Lewis County prosecutors, according to the Morton Police Department.


• The city of Winlock’s “welcome” sign and planter box were damaged yesterday when a semi truck driver attempted a U-turn at the 2700 block of Highway 603 and his trailer tires dropped into a ditch, causing damage to his truck as well, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loaded semi had to be towed following the approximately 11:30 a.m. incident, according to the sheriff’s office. The driver, who said he missed his turn, was cited for making an improper U-turn, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• An 11-year-old girl complained of shoulder pain and her older brother, the driver, of stomach pain after a two-car collision this morning at the 1100 block of Reynolds Avenue in Centralia. Both were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital following the wreck which occurred just before 8 o’clock this morning, according to Riverside Fire Authority.


• Firefighters were called about 8:30 p.m. yesterday to the Capitol Forest west of Little Rock when wires which fell after a small pickup truck ran into a power pole sparked a wildfire. On one side of the downed lines, an off-duty firefighter from Grays Harbor County treated the driver for minor injuries and on the other side, personnel from West Thurston Regional Fire Authority battled a blaze that spread onto a slope in the heavily-wooded area, according to Fire Lt. Lanette Dyer. It happened at the end of Bordeaux Road near what’s known as the “E Line”. The fire was contained to an area approximately 100 feet by 200 feet by 9:30 p.m., according to Dyer. The location is about three miles south of an incident early on on Saturday morning in which 37-year-old man from Puyallup fell from atop the cab of a Chevrolet Silverado and was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the fire department.

• Firefighters called about 7:15 p.m. yesterday about a small grass fire in the front yard of a home on Taylor Street in Centralia found a resident had put it out with a garden hose. It appeared someone tossed a cigarette and missed the intended container, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Updated at 6:31 p.m.


• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says a 20-year-old Vader resident was arrested after he got inside someone else’s semi-truck near Centralia and tried to drive away. A deputy called about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday was told John J. Crear IV was “highly intoxicated” and thought he was in Rochester and trying to drive home, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Employees at the business on the 3000 block of Foron Road escorted Crear off the property, Brown said, but he was later located in the area and booked into the Lewis County Jail for attempted vehicle theft. Prosecutors are sending the case to Lewis County District Court where misdemeanors are handled.


• A 72-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for allegedly waving around a gun at outside a convenience store on the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia about 5 o’clock this morning. Police said Alvin Fitzgerald told them he was angry at a Centralia driver he thought was intentionally tailgating him and shining his bright headlights causing a glare in Fitzgerald’s rearview mirror. When the Centralia man pulled into a parking lot, Fitzgerald followed him and they got out and “exchanged words,” Officer John Panco said. Both motorist went to their vehicles and Fitzgerald returned with a handgun, Panco said. Police confiscated the gun and arrested him for unlawful display of a weapon, according to police. He was then released.


• Deputies are investigating a suspected identity theft after a 42-year-old Onalaska woman said she learned someone was using her social security number to work. When the victim applied for unemployment benefits, she was asked if she had ever worked in an orchard in Eastern Washington, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The first unemployment check she received was short because it was garnished for child support owed by the person who used her social security number, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The sheriff’s office is working with the state Department of Social and Health Services to investigate the situation which was reported last Thursday, according to Brown.


• Two Centralia residents were arrested after a police officer heard the “roar” of an engine and observed a pair of vehicles racing on Harrison Avenue and West Reynolds Avenue about 10:40 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Centralia Police Department. Both Dustyn J. Lawrence, 18, and Justin L. Stutman, 25,were cited and then released, according to police.


• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning a deputy took a report from the 2200 block of Highway 603 near Winlock about more than 750 feet of copper wire stolen. It happened sometime between Thursday and Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is listed as more than $3,000.


• Bail was set at $25,000 today for a man arrested early Saturday morning in Winlock for possession of methamphetamine and a violation of a protection order regarding his wife. Michael W. Reddick allegedly was found with four baggies of suspected meth, defense attorney Bob Schroeter said in court this afternoon. The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office asked for $10,000 bail because of the no-contact order offense, and Schroeter requested $5,000 but Lewis County Superior Court Commissioner Tracy Mitchell who normally handles family court said her court takes those violations very seriously and made it $25,000.


• Centralia police took a report about 5 p.m. yesterday from the 900 block of Marion Street where someone broke out a vehicle’s window and stole an iPod.


• Police were called about 2:50 p.m. on Saturday about a counterfeit $20 received at a business on the 800 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia.


• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon by a woman who said someone punctured a sidewall of the tire of her vehicle while it was parked at Wal-Mart. There are no suspects, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A 31-year-old Chehalis resident was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with a broken leg after a collision on state Route 6 when he drove into the side of a truck that ran a stop sign at Highway 603 west of Chehalis just before 11 p.m. on on Saturday night, according to the Washington State Patrol. James M. Rada’s 1997 Honda was totaled, the state patrol reported. The driver of the Ford Explorer, Hewitt M. Duncan, 77, and his 74-year-old female passenger were unhurt, according to the patrol. Duncan was cited for failing to yield, the investigating trooper reported.

• Two people had possible injuries after a three-vehicle wreck when a Morton motorist reportedly failed to stop at a stop sign north of Mossyrock on Saturday evening. Angela L. Page, 41, of Morton, was given a citation after troopers were called about 6:40 p.m. to the intersection of state Route 122 and Larson Road, according to the Washington State Patrol. A Honda Accord carrying a Bremerton man was totaled but he was not injured, according to the state patrol. His passenger however, a 48-year-old Gig Harbor woman had a possible shoulder injury, the state patrol reported. A 2010 Ford F-150 driven by 27-year-old Matthew A. Cournyer of Mossyrock sustained an estimated $4,000 damage, according to the investigating trooper. Page was taken to Morton General Hospital with possible neck and back injuries, the trooper noted.


• Firefighters on Friday afternoon were called to an area behind the High Valley park in Packwood when fire broke out on former clear cut property now populated by 30- to 40-foot tall trees. Crews from Randle joined Lewis County Fire District 10 about 2 p.m. and were on the scene three and a half to four hours and then personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources stayed on until later in the night, District 10 Chief Lonnie Goble said. “Neighbors called it in real quick, as soon as it started,” Goble said. The burned area comprised an estimated 300 feet by as much as 100 feet, according to the chief. The closest home was about 150 feet away, he said.


• A former Centralia man who allegedly slashed at a man with a broken beer bottle at a South Pearl Street apartment eight years ago was ordered held today on $75,000 bail. Refugio Jose Vazquez-Tellez, 38, was jailed on Friday on a warrant for first-degree assault in connection with the June 26, 2004 incident. Vazquez-Tellez, known to police by his street name Marlboro, fled after he and another man allegedly initiated a fight over getting “ratted out” over a stolen bicycle, according to charging documents. The boyfriend of the mother of the individual they went to see sustained numerous deep cuts to his face, chest and abdomen when he tried to break up the brawl, charging documents state. The following day, Vazquez-Tellez called in sick to his job at Hub City Recycling with a cut hand, police told prosecutors. He never showed up for court after he was charged, Lewis County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said this afternoon. Vazquez-Tellez lives and works in Yakima picking apples and his income is such is he qualified for a court-appointed defense attorney Bob Schroeter said. Immigration authorities have placed a hold on him, according to Schroeter. His arraignment was scheduled for Thursday.