Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Mother, children, escape Centralia house fire

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia woman was hospitalized for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in her kitchen on the 800 block of South Silver Street yesterday afternoon.

The 28-year-old mother gathered up her three – or four – small children and got them outside, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Firefighters called at 4:40 p.m. extinguished the blaze, according to Fire Capt. Terry Ternan.

There was moderate fire damage to the kitchen and light smoke damage throughout the one and a half story home, Ternan said.

Ternan said she was preparing to heat up tortillas but left the pan with oil unattended.

“She smelled smoke and saw the kitchen was on fire,” he said.

The house can’t be reoccupied until it’s repaired, he said.

“There were smoke detectors and they were functional,” Ternan said, noting he hopes that is a reminder for others of their value.

Downtown Centralia fight gets ugly

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A man at the center of what police called mayhem outside a downtown Centralia establishment ended up hospitalized after an officer hit him in the head with a flashlight just before closing time on Sunday morning.

Rafael M. Pantoja, 45, Chehalis, was arrested for resisting and obstructing but the Centralia Police Department is canceling those charges and requesting Pantoja be charged with attempting to disarm an officer, police Sgt. Carl Buster said yesterday.

Police answered a call just after 2 a.m. that said  20 people were fighting outside at the 300 block of North Tower Avenue, according to Buster.

What they found when they arrived was a drunk patron who wanted to fight with security at El Amigos because they wouldn’t let him stay, Buster said.

El Amigos is a restaurant that is closed to minors sometimes on weekend nights, according to police.

“He’s not listening, his own people are holding him back, our officer holds a baton in front of the guy and the guy grabs the stick, almost gets it from the officer,” Buster said yesterday.

“They’re all drunk,” he said.

Centralia officers ended up hitting the guy with a stick a couple of times, and deploying a Taser which had no effect, according to Buster.

“It’s just brute force to get him into cuffs,” he said.

By the time it was over, a 29-year-old Rochester woman who allegedly shoved an officer in the chest was on the ground handcuffed. Pantoja was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with a cut on his head, according to Buster.

After hours of waiting for Pantoja to be treated and discharged so they could book him, the doctors said they wanted to transfer the patient to an Olympia Hospital, so officers wrote him a citation and released him.

Buster wasn’t there, but as sergeant reviewed the reports on the incident.

He said some in the crowd were angry at police, and threatening to post video of the fight online.

Buster defended the flashlight to the head, saying the officer decided to end it, and wanted to stun the subject.

“Sometimes we have to use force, sometimes force doesn’t look good, it’s violent,” Buster said. Had the subject gotten the police baton, they could have been forced to shoot him to keep him from injuring others, Buster said.

No other injuries were reported.

Once in the patrol car, Pantoja began apologizing to police, Buster said. His current medical condition wasn’t readily available.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Updated at 3:31 p.m.

TEEN GRABBED IN WAL-MART PARKING LOT

• A 26-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for second-degree kidnapping after a 16-year-old girl told police he came out from behind a car and grabbed her in the Wal-Mart parking lot late Saturday night. She somehow got away from him and contacted a police officer who happened to be driving through the area, according to the Chehalis Police Department. “It’s an ongoing investigation, but the victim felt the suspect was trying to take her,” Deputy Police Chief Randy Kaut said. “We’re still looking into that.” It happened just before 11:30 p.m., according to police. “It obviously scared her a lot,” Kaut said, but noted the case could end up as an assault instead of kidnapping. Garrett L. Larson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

WOMAN’S PURSE SNATCHED IN GROCERY STORE PARKING LOT

• A 42-year-old Doty resident called police on Sunday to inform them she was mugged in Shop N Kart’s parking lot about 3:30 p.m. the day before. She told police she was parked away out in the lot and walking toward the store when two teenage boys approached her, according to the Chehalis Police Department. “One boy grabbed her purse, which was around her neck,” Deputy Police Chief Randy Kaut said. The boys – described as light skinned and in their late teens – ran off around the building on the 2100 block of North National Avenue, according to Kaut. Among the missing items in her purse were cash, a debit card and her identification, Kaut said.

UNRULY RODEO-GOER ACCUSED OF HITTING DEPUTY WITH BEER CAN

• A 21-year-old Chehalis man was arrested after he allegedly threw a beer can at a sheriff’s deputy and then punched an individual who pointed him out during a rodeo and concert at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds on Sunday evening. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office this morning said the suspect had to be subdued by several deputies including being Tased. Jovanny Montenegro-Perez, 21, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault regarding the minor injury to the deputy’s elbow, according to the sheriff’s office. The witness wouldn’t cooperate with pressing any charges involving the punch to the head, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct will also be requested, according to Brown.

HEAD INJURY AT DOWNTOWN BAR

• Police and aid were called to an apparent assault at a drinking establishment over the weekend in which a 22-year-old Centralia man was bleeding from his head, unconscious and laying on the floor of a bar on the 300 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue. It happened just before 1:45 a.m. on Sunday at Paradise, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The victim told an officer he slipped and fell, but an officer had already been informed he was assaulted, according to police. He was checked at the scene by firefighters and did not go the hospital. No arrest was made. “At this point, since the victim is not cooperating, we’re not going to be able to do much,” Deputy Police Chief Randy Kaut said.

BROKEN FINGERS FOR GREEN HILL EMPLOYEE

• A 17-year-old detainee at Green Hill School faces a possible charge of custodial assault after a staff member ended up with broken bones when the teen grabbed the staff members fingers and bent them back, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The teenager had been told to go back to his room, Deputy Police Chief Randy Kaut said. It was reported to police on Friday afternoon after the injury was confirmed but occurred previous to that, according to Kaut.

MAN ARRESTED FOR SLAPPING NEIGHBOR

• A 73-year-old man who allegedly slapped a resident of a neighboring apartment at the 300 block of West Pine Street was arrested yesterday morning for misdemeanor assault, according to the Centralia Police Department. Robert K. Stone was cited and then released, according to police.

VANDALISM WITH BB GUN

• Chehalis police were called Monday afternoon and again early this morning to the 400 block of North Market Boulevard where someone had been shooting a BB or pellet gun at businesses and vehicles. At least some of the shots may have come from a window of an apartment in the St. Helens Apartment building, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

FIREARMS THEFT

• Centralia police yesterday evening took a report from a residence on the 700 block of K Street of the theft of three handguns. It apparently occurred sometime during the past month and since there was no forced entry into the home, the culprit may be someone the victim knows, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A deputy was called on Saturday evening about a 9 mm pistol in a box stolen from a vendor table behind the Packwood Community Center.

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY IN CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called about 11 a.m. yesterday morning to the 2200 block of Jackson Highway where a resident found a window next to a front door open and the door unlocked. Nothing appeared to be missing, possibly because a dog scared off the intruder, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

PIECES OF FORKLIFT STOLEN

• Parts from a forklift valued at $1,800 were reported stolen from the 400 block of Northwest Prindle Street in Chehalis on Sunday.

HATCHERY SHOP BROKEN INTO

• Someone stole a red Honda ATV plus a chainsaw sometime between 9 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. on Friday when they broke into the Fish and Wildlife Hatchery building on the 200 block of Fish Hatchery Road in Mossyrock. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is wondering if a dark-colored Astro van seen in the area that evening might be involved. The van was occupied by two females, two Pit Bull dogs and a young boy, according to the sheriff’s office.

FISHING GEAR PILFERED

• A deputy took a report on Saturday from the 800 block of Davis Lake Road near Morton of the theft of five fishing poles, a large tackle box and two non-operating motors from a boat. The break-in to the outbuilding apparently occurred sometime since August 4, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BATTERIES REMOVED FROM BULLDOZER

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office this morning reported someone stole batteries from a bulldozer left parked on a logging site at the end of Blue Road in Centralia sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning.

BICYCLIST VERSUS TRUCK IN PACKWOOD

• A 14-year-old bicyclist ended up with a broken ankle when he attempted to cross U.S. Highway 12 at an intersection in Packwood last night and ran into the side of a passing pickup truck, according to the Washington State Patrol. A trooper called about 8 p.m. noted $750 damage to the 2007 Dodge Ram. The investigating trooper reported Jacob A. Kiehn, of Packwood, was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital by his parent. No citation was issued, the trooper blamed the collision on inattention.

PAIR HURT IN MOPED WRECK

• A man and a woman were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after a moped wrecked into a ditch about 5:30 p.m. yesterday at the 2000 block of Little Hanaford Road outside Centralia. They were subsequently flown out to different hospitals, according to Capt. Casey McCarthy of Riverside Fire Authority.

CAR VERSUS POLE NEAR TOLEDO

• A 2007 Toyota Camry was totaled but its driver escaped serious injury about 6:30 a.m. on Friday at the the 800 block of Jackson Highway South near Toledo when the car ran into a telephone pole. The driver, a 37-year-old Castle Rock woman, said she heard a loud noise coming from the rear of the vehicle, lost control and crossed the centerline hitting the pole, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

HEAD-ON WRECK IN CHEHALIS

• A mother and two young children were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital as a precautionary measure after a low-speed head-on crash on South Market Boulevard at 13th Street in Chehalis on Sunday.

DRUGS

• A 31-year-old Centralia man was arrested about 2:30 p.m. yesterday at Harrison and Belmont avenues in Centralia for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, according to the Centralia Police Department. Jonathan L. Dunn was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

BITE AND RUN

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is looking for information about a large black and white dog that ran out of the woods in Curtis and bit a 15-year-old boy on the shoulder. It happened Sunday at about 3 p.m. along Lost Valley Road - about a mile west of Boistfort Road – in an area where there are no homes, according to the sheriff’s office. After it happened, a male voice called the dog which returned to the woods, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The teenager was treated for a puncture wound, Brown said.

DOG BITES CHILD’S THROAT

• An 11-year-old Salkum girl ended up getting nine stitches after a family pet got startled and bit her in the chin and throat on Saturday night when she was sitting on a porch on the 100 block of Jordan Road in Salkum, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

CHEHALIS, CENTRALIA RESIDENTIAL FIRES SUSPICIOUS

• Twice overnight fires broke out at the vacant mobile home in Chehalis that burned early Saturday morning. Firefighters were called to the double-wide mobile home at the 2200 block of Salsbury Avenue at 2:36 a.m. today and then again at 4:42 a.m., according to Lewis County Fire District 6 Chief Tim Kinder. “They found fire in the unburned side of the building and put it out,” Kinder said. The fire is under investigation by the fire marshal’s office as well as the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Kinder said. Crews stayed at the site through the morning on a fire watch. Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said both it and yesterday morning’s house fire on the 1900 block of Van Wormer Street outside Centralia are being treated as suspicious, although he’s not thinking they are related.

News brief: Brush fires extinguished in Winlock, Grand Mound

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Four fire departments responded to a three-acre brush fire just north of Winlock today.

Firefighters called just before 1 p.m. to a logging area about a mile west of the 2700 block of Highway 603 noted the blaze appeared to have been sparked by a piece of logging equipment.

The fire was limited to brush and slash – the remains of a logging operation, according to a spokesperson for Lewis County Fire District 5.

Personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources responded as well, according to Fire Lt. Laura Hanson. She said crews will remain on the scene to take care of hot spots.

Yesterday at about the same time, a grass and brush fire broke out in Grand Mound off of Nutmeg Street.

The fire threatened a barn and spread to about 50 feet by 50 feet before it was extinguished, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Lt. Eric Smith.

News brief: Vacant house burns on Van Wormer St. in Centralia

Monday, September 3rd, 2012
2012.0903.VanWormer.fire_2

Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A fire investigator is looking into the cause of an overnight fire that “pretty much almost completely” destroyed a Centralia house.

Firefighters called about 1:30 a.m. to the 1900 block of Van Wormer Street found the home well-involved in flames; it was vacant, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The Chehalis Fire Department and West Thurston Regional Fire Authority assisted, according to Fire Capt. Erik Olson.

The single-story home was probably built in the 1930s and had a tin roof that trapped a lot of the heat, Olson said.

Riverside Chief Jim Walkowski reports the fire extended into the grass and trees. The structure had been vacant approximately 15 years, according to Walkowski.

Crews had to extend hose across train tracks because the nearest hydrant was 1,200 feet away, which shut down rail traffic during the fire fight, according to the chief.

Olson said there have been trespassers noted over previous months.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012
2012.0902.richard.butterton.vandlastwo_2

Courtesy photo by Richard Butterton

TRIO OF TEEN BOYS BLAMED FOR CENTRALIA VEHICLE VANDALISM RAMPAGE

• Police were called about 7 a.m. today to the 1700 block of Sunset Way in Centralia where four tires were slashed on a vehicle. Officer John Panco says the incident isn’t related to the spree of vandalism in the south end of town from early Thursday as three teenagers were arrested Friday evening for that. Officers spent all day Thursday taking reports of cars with smashed windows and flattened tires. Following up on a tip, police were able to identify three boys who reportedly confessed to the damage to more than 30 vehicles, according to Panco. He didn’t hear what their motive was, Panco said. The suspects tossed large rocks and even something like a cinder block into cars, according to Panco. A damage estimate is not yet available. “It all was sent to detectives, I think they’re going to have to do a little bit of calculating,” he said. The teens, ages 14, 14 and 15 were booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for first-degree malicious mischief, according to the Centralia Police Department.

2012.0902.richardbutterton.vandlas_2.jpg

Courtesy photo by Richard Butterton

TAVERN TROUBLES

• Centralia police responded to the 300 block of North Tower Avenue twice overnight, first arresting a 20-year-old Chehalis resident for frequenting a tavern, obstructing and resisting arrest. Edu A. Leal was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Just after closing time, a 45-year-old Chehalis man – Rafael M. Pantoja – was arrested for resisting and obstructing, according to police.

HARASSMENT ARREST

• A 25-year-old Centralia man was arrested for felony harassment domestic violence about 7:50 p. m. on Friday after officers responded to the 500 block of West Center Street in Centralia. Martin T. Johnson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called about 9 a.m. yesterday about a car prowl on the 1100 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia. Taken were an amplifier and a stereo face plate, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Police were called about 7:30 p.m. on Friday to West Reynolds Avenue where someone used a large rock to smash out the window to a vehicle, according to the Centralia Police Department.

GROOM’S MOTHER LEAVES FIRE STATION WEDDING IN TURNOUT GEAR

• The wedding of two volunteer firefighters being held at the Salkum fire station was interrupted yesterday when a wildfire broke out in the midst of 250-acres of timber at a private camping area off Spencer Road. The cake had been cut when the tone went out and the bride and groom stayed behind, but among the five firefighters who responded was the mother of the groom, Lewis County Fire District 8 Chief Duran McDaniel said. About 20 individuals from District 8, Lewis County Fire District 2 and the state Department of Natural Resources extinguished the blaze and contained it to one acre, McDaniel said. It happened in the Timber Trails Association property, along a trail used for riding all terrain vehicles, he said. The cause is under investigation.

VACANT MOBILE HOME BURNS

• A double-wide mobile home was destroyed when fire broke out yesterday morning at the 2200 block of Salsbury Avenue south of Chehalis. Lewis County Fire Districts 6, 5 and the Chehalis Fire Department responding to the approximately 5 a.m. call found flames coming out the roof of the unoccupied home, according to responders. District 6 Fire Chief Tim Kinder stated in a news release it appeared to have begun on the exterior of the roof and spread from there. Firefighters had to pull down most of the ceiling to get at the flames in the insulation, spending more than three hours at the scene, Firefighter-EMT Greg Folewell said. The cause is under investigation.

WEYERHAEUSER LAND BURNING NEAR BOISTFORT

• The wild land fire on Baw Faw Peak in the Boistfort area that began on Friday is still burning and consumed as much as 15 to 20 acres on a very steep, rocky hillside by yesterday, according to Lewis County Fire District 13 Chief Gregg Peterson. The chief went out there yesterday afternoon where firefighters from the state Department of Natural Resources and from Weyerhaeuser were working to put it out. “What they ended up doing was back burning up to the edges,” Gregg Peterson said. The terrain was too dangerous to put people on the hillside, he said. The fire is on land clear cut some time ago, according to Peterson. The cause is unknown, he said.

•••

CORRECTION: A news item above has been corrected to reflect that Rafael M. Pantoja was released after his arrest and not booked into jail.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 31st, 2012

TAVERN DISPUTE ERUPTS WITH “BEAR SPRAY”

• A 23-year-old Chehalis man was arrested last night after he allegedly used bear spray inside a Chehalis drinking establishment. It’s like pepper spray, but for use on bears and several people were affected by it, Deputy Police Chief Randy Kaut said. It happened at Garbe’s Tavern on the 300 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue just before 11:20 p.m. An arriving officer saw a suspect running down the street with people chasing him and arrested him for disorderly conduct, according to police. Kaut said he didn’t know the details of whatever dispute led to the discharge of the chemical. The individuals affected by the spray declined aid, he said. Jeremy D. Barnes was released after getting his citation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

MACHINERY STRIPPED OF WIRING

• A deputy was called about 7 a.m. yesterday to the 800 block of state Route 507 in Centralia where someone had done about $30,000 damage to heavy equipment by cutting wiring. The 70-year-old man who called 911 said he thought his Ford Ranger was stolen as well, but he found it elsewhere on the property with its steering column broken and a screwdriver jammed in the ignition, according to the  Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

CAR MISSING

• The owner of a white 1993 Mazda MX3 reported yesterday their car was stolen from the 1900 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis. It had been loaned to someone and was left in the parking lot at the Chehalis Eagles when that someone was arrested in a drug incident the other day, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

PROWLING OUTSIDE WAL-MART

• Police called to the north end of the Wal-Mart parking lot about 11 p.m. yesterday found two vehicles had been prowled. Someone stole cologne, a GPS device and collectible sports cars from a car and took an electrical cord and the stereo faceplate from a Jeep, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

SLASHING SPREE LEAVES NUMEROUS VICTIMS

• By the time the day ended yesterday, the number of victims of the tire slashing spree in the south end of Centralia grew to more than 30. Centralia officers got their first call about 5:15 a.m. to the 600 block of Hamilton Avenue and continued responding to similar complaints all day long, according to Officer John Panco. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, which patrols a portion of the area, were dispatched about 8:30 a.m. for a report of tire slashing and were greeted by eight victims on South Street. Panco said yesterday most likely a pocket knife was used to flatten the tires. Deputies will be reviewing surveillance video to look for clues, but are asking anyone with information to please call Lewis County Crime Stoppers, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

SUDDEN SWERVE, CULVERT, LEAD TO CRITICAL INJURIES

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports the Honda that wrecked yesterday morning on the 3000 block of Jackson Highway struck a culvert. The driver was northbound when the car suddenly swerved to the left for unknown reasons, according to the sheriff’s office. Firefighters had to cut the roof off the car to extricate the driver, who was severely injured, responders. said The 33-year-old Centralia woman was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, according to the sheriff’s office. Information about her current condition was unavailable. Her passenger, a 26-year-old Centralia man, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with a leg injury, and has been released, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

2012.0830. JacksonHwyaccident_2

Responders cut the roof from a 1997 Honda Accord to get the injured driver out on Jackson Highway.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Updated

SERIOUS INJURY CRASH JACKSON HIGHWAY

• A 33-year-old Centralia woman was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a single vehicle collision this morning south of Chehalis. Aid was called about 7:45 a.m. to Jackson Highway at Panorama Drive for a vehicle accident with entrapment, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. The woman who was driving was taken to to Providence Centralia Hospital for transport to a trauma facility in Oregon, Fire Lt. Laura Hanson said in a news release. The male passenger, age unknown, was taken to Providence for with a possible broken leg, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The Honda Accord was northbound when it drifted into the oncoming lane and ran into the ditch, according to the sheriff’s office. The car was totaled

TRAIN VERSUS CAMARO

• Centralia police were called about 6:45 a.m. today after an individual’s car left their driveway without them and shortly after was found struck by a train at North Washington Avenue. They turned on their car, went inside briefly and went back outside when they heard something, Officer John Panco said. Whoever stole the Camaro may have gotten stuck on the tracks and abandoned it there or fled the scene after it was hit, Panco said.

ROCK CRUSHER IDLED

• Someone stole as much as 200 feet of copper wiring from the main unit at a rock crushing business in Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Employees arriving about 7:30 a.m. yesterday to Dulin Construction on the 3000 block of Foron Road told a deputy they found the door open on the control shack and the lock cut, the sheriff’ office reported. The loss is estimated at $8,000 to $12,000, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. She is asking anyone with information on the theft to consider calling Lewis County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422.

SLASHING SPREE

• Centralia police responded to four incidents of slashed tires this morning before 7 a.m. and the calls just kept coming, according to Officer John Panco. Panco had lost track the number, but said they were predominantly in the south end of town and seemed random. “The size of the punctures indicates it was probably a pocket knife,” he said. Some of the victims also found rocks tossed through their vehicle windows, according to Panco.

CAR PROWL

• Someone stole the face plate from a stereo inside a vehicle parked on the 200 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 4:45 p.m. yesterday.

• Police were called about 2:15 p.m. yesterday to a car prowl on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. A cell phone was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone stole a woman’s sweatshirt and her WIC checks from her vehicle while it was at the Wal-Mart parking lot between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, according to a report made to the Chehalis Police Department yesterday.

Sheriff: Buying alcohol for teens contributed to tragic death in Adna

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Authorities may never know why 16-year-old Tyler S. Gonzalez was laying on a county road in the middle of the night before he was run over and killed by a full-sized SUV, but they know he was drunk and had wandered away from an underage party where liquor had been supplied by adults.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is asking prosecutors to charge a pair of 22-year-old Chehalis women with furnishing liquor to a minor, a gross misdemeanor. The crime has a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail.

Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield called it a sad, tragic and preventable accident. The sheriff fixes the blame on both the Chehalis teenager who drank and the two women who bought alcohol for kids that night.

“The initial actions of these two women ultimately set things in motion for the tragedy to occur,” Mansfield stated in a news release.

The suspects, Talia Date and Megan Day have not been arrested.

The W.F. West High School sophomore died from multiple internal injuries about 2:30 a.m. on May 12 on Brockway Road near Chilvers in Adna, about a mile west of Interstate 5 at Chehalis. The Washington State Patrol said a 50-year-old Onalaska woman rounded a slight right hand curve when she hit him. They noted there are no street lights in the area and they did not expect to file any charges against the driver.

The sheriff’s office has said about 10 young people were drinking beer and hard liquor in a shop building that sits back from a home on the 100 block of Brockway Road. The parents were asleep in the house and unaware a party was in progress, the sheriff’s office has said.

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

Mansfield said investigators don’t really know why he was laying on the roadway. They don’t know if he was sleeping, passed out or perhaps laid down to rest, the sheriff’s said.

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

“We know some friends were looking for him, there was a mix up about who was with who,” he said.

The sheriff said the young women didn’t attend the gathering; one of them was a relative of one of the young men at the party.

Mansfield called purchasing alcohol for kids and kids drinking totally irresponsible behavior that led to the loss of a life.

“This is a serious problem in our community,” he said.

“So the message is, wise up folks,” he said. “The consequences for this are huge.”

News brief: Motorcycle accident victim ID’d as Chehalis resident

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The man who died in a motorcycle wreck in Centralia on Tuesday night was Christopher Carper, a 45-year-old Chehalis resident, according to the Lewis County Coroner’s Office.

Police say excessive speed seemed to be the cause of the collision on First Street near G Street at around 11:30 p.m.

Carper’s motorcycle slammed into a street sign, according to responders.

He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the Centralia Police Department.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Motorcyclist killed in Centralia collision with pole” from Wednesday August 29, 2012, here

Breaking news: State pays $3 million to families of Booth murder victims

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The state has paid $3 million to the families of the murder victims of John Allen Booth, three individuals who were shot to death by an ex-convict who was supposed to be under supervision after his release from prison.

2011.1206.booth.close_2

John Allen Booth Jr.

The state Department of Corrections issued a statement today on the settlement reached after a claim  for damages was filed.

“The heinous murders that John Allen Booth Jr. committed caused unbearable heartache for multiple families,” the news release stated. “We hope these settlements help his victims’ families with their loss. We are also glad that we were able to reach an agreement with the victims’ families to avoid costly litigation.”

Booth, 32, was sent to prison for life last December after his convictions in the slayings of David West Sr., 52,  David “D.J.” West Jr., 16, and 50-year-old Tony Williams of Randle.

The three, along with Denise Salts who survived a gunshot to the face, were found in the home Salts and the Wests shared on Wings Way in the Onalaska-Salkum area on August 21, 2010.

Booth was released from prison in December 2009 and was supposed to be on supervision from DOC, but after he was arrested it appeared his community corrections officer hadn’t contacted him for several months.

The minimum number of contacts required for a high risk violent offender was four times each month.

•••

For background, read “John Booth Jr.: State prison doesn’t know if it was closely enough monitoring ex-convict charged in triple homicide” from Saturday August, 28, 2010, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Updated 4:40 p.m.

BUSTED

• A man who reportedly slapped his mother last night was arrested after he was found hiding under a comforter upstairs under some rafters. Deputies called about 12:30 a.m. today to the 600 block of Grove Street in Centralia reported the subject resisted attempts to arrest him all the way down the stairs and also spit in a deputy’s face. Emmanuel Martinez, 20, was arrested and booked for third-degree assault and his case will be referred for other potential charges such as fourth-degree assault and resisting arrest, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BUSTED

• An officer responding to a complaint about a possible drug deal in the parking lot at the Eagles in Chehalis yesterday came upon a 20-year-old man who appeared to be shooting up heroin, according to police. He had a needle in his arm, Sgt. Gwen Carrell said. Jence S. Sawyer was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of heroin, Carrell said. A 19-year-old Chehalis man, Nicholas A. Huston, was also arrested in connection with possession of a medication, according to police.

DRUGS

• A 24-year-old Rochester woman was arrested  after a traffic stop about 12:15 this morning on North Street and Cascade Avenue in Chehalis. A police dog sniffed around and “hit on some things” in the vehicle, including suspected heroin, according to police. Kira M. Fry was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning someone carried off 50-pound aluminum blocks from a business on the 100 block of Sears Road over the weekend. They also cut wires from a portable cement mixer, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is about $167.

• Chehalis police were called about 9 p.m. yesterday after a truck towed away from an apartment complex parking lot on Southwest 20th Avenue was found to have been stolen out of Olympia.

• Police were called about 11:40 a.m. yesterday to a car prowl on the 1000 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia. Nothing was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Somebody smashed the windows and gauges of an excavator parked in a rock pit on state Route 508 near Morton, according to a report made to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office yesterday morning. Its hand controls were torn out as well, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

WRECK

• A passenger in a Ford Taurus was taken to the hospital after a two-car collision at North Fork and Lucas Creek roads outside Chehalis yesterday evening. Responders called shortly after 7 p.m. learned a 22-year-old Centralia man was at a stop sign and failed to see an approaching car because vegetation obscured his view, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Both vehicles sustained extensive front-end damage, but only the one female was hurt; she complained of soreness to her left side, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. No citations were issued, according to Brown.

•••

Correction: The news item about the arrest of Emmanuel Martinez has been updated to correctly reflect the events occurred at a home on Grove Street in Centralia, not Roe Road in Winlock.

News brief: Motorcyclist killed in Centralia collision with pole

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Chehalis man died after his motorcycle slammed into a metal sign pole in Centralia last night.

Police say the 45-year-old was traveling on First Street near G Street when he lost control and hit the no parking sign ripping it out of the ground. It happened near a curve in the road and appears to have been related to excessive speed, according to Sgt. Carl Buster.

The man was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital and firefighters ordered an airlift for him but he was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to responders.

His name has not been released pending notification of his next-of-kin.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

GOLD JEWELRY PILFERED

• A Silver Creek woman who was asked by the man she hired to mow her lawn yesterday if she had any gold jewelry he could buy called the sheriff’ office early this morning after discovering several pieces she had shown him – including an angel pendant and a platinum and diamond ring – were missing from her home. A deputy summoned to the 300 block of Huntting Road learned the loss was estimated at almost $6,000, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The man said his name was Jeremy, Cmdr. Steve Aust said.

FREEZER THEFT

• Police were called just before 10 p.m. yesterday to the 300 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia when a resident spotted someone on their back porch stealing meat from a deep freezer. The individual dropped the meat and ran away, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers were not able to locate a suspect.

PHONEY REFILL SUSPECTED

• Chehalis police were called to Rite Aid pharmacy on South Market Boulevard yesterday after a check with a provider on a called-in prescription revealed it was not legitimate, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The case is under investigation, police said.

FUNNY MONEY GIVEN TO BANK

• Wells Fargo Bank in Chehalis contacted police after finding two counterfeit $100 bills among their deposits from local businesses. The money, which displayed the same serial numbers, are being turned over to the U.S. Treasury, Chehalis Police Department Sgt. Gwen Carrell said this morning.

ASSAULT

• A 35-year-old Tacoma man was arrested early on Sunday morning after police responded to Motel 6 in Centralia and found his 47-year-old girlfriend with a bloody lip. The couple was in town for a dart tournament and were fighting, according to police. Officers were told he had grabbed her by the hair, dragged her back into the room and put her in bed. The suspect was booked for unlawful imprisonment but has been released from jail and faces a possible misdemeanor assault charge instead, according to the Officer Carl Buster.

DRUGS

• A 30-year-old Elma man was arrested early Saturday after an officer approaching two men yelling near Garbe’s Tavern on Northwest Chehalis Avenue in Chehalis saw one of the men run behind a car and throw something that turned out to a baggie of powder that field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Jerry E. Lithicum was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of methamphetamine, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

STOLEN CAR SLIPS BY OFFICERS

• Centralia police were contacted yesterday by the Bellingham Police Department about a vehicle reported stolen there because a Centralia officer on Saturday had run the vehicle’s license plates at the Motel 6 when investigating a dispute. The victim didn’t report it missing until he returned home from a trip. The car and driver have not been found since, according to Centralia police.

FLASHLIGHT TASER MISSING

• Someone broke into a vehicle parked on Northeast Cascade Avenue in Chehalis in the night and stole a Taser, according to a report made to police on Saturday. It wasn’t a police Taser gun but a product that looks like a flashlight and called a Shock Light, according to Sgt. Gwen Carrell.

RAIL RIDE ENDS IN CENTRALIA

• A pair of 21-year-olds from Oregon were arrested for trespassing last night in Centralia after they were found riding on a BNSF rail car in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Jay G. Williams and Desiree M. Rutherford were not booked into the jail, according to police.

News brief: Hitchhiker robbed, beaten in Tenino

Monday, August 27th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Tenino police say they are looking for a pair of men considered to be armed and dangerous following an incident last week in which a hitchhiker was robbed and beaten by someone who picked him up in Tenino.

2012.0827.andrew.miller.trim_2

Andrew B. Miller

Police responded to the 700 block of Huston Street in Tenino about 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday after citizens reported hearing someone yelling for help, according to the Tenino Police Department.

The victim, a 25-year-old Tenino man, said he was hitchhiking and picked up by a red Jeep with two males and a female inside, according to a news release from police.

“At one point the driver pointed what appeared to be a Glock .40 caliber handgun at the victim ordering him to empty his pockets or get shot. ,” Police Chief John Hutchings stated in the news release.

Then, outside the Jeep, the driver punched the 25-year-old in the mouth and again ordered him at gunpoint to empty his pockets, according to Hutchings. The victim fled on foot yelling for help, Hutchings wrote.

2012.0827.tony.league..trim_2

Tony L. League

Police suspect Andrew B. Miller, 20, of Yelm and Tony L. League, 23, of Olympia, but have not been able to find them, according to the news release.

The chief is asking anyone with information on their whereabouts to contact Tenino Officer Chris Davis at 360-489-8466, Thurston County dispatch at 360-704-2740 or Crime Stoppers at 360-493-2222.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, August 27th, 2012

BRUSH FIRE CENTRALIA

• Firefighters called about 6:15 p.m. yesterday to smoke in the area of Salzer Valley Road outside Centralia found tall grass burning. The fire about a mile out of town was contained to an area of about 100 feet by 100 feet, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

ROBBED IN CENTRALIA

• A woman in her early 20s called police to the 400 block of West Cherry Street in Centralia yesterday after two males robbed her of her wallet and X-box. The victim said they came to her purchase the X-box, but instead, one ran out the door with the game system and her wallet while the other one held her from behind, according to the Centralia Police Department. One of the males was known the victim only as “Danny”, according to police.

ASSAULT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning deputies are looking for a 29-year-old Centralia man who fled in a car after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend’s son on Friday night in Centralia. Deputies were called about 8:30 p.m. to the area of the 1600 block of Windsor Avenue to a report a teenage boy was running from a man, according to the sheriff’s office. The man fled in a car and the 17-year-old said his mother’s boyfriend had choked him, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

BEAR HUNTER RESCUED

• More than a dozen responders hiked into a wooded area in East Lewis County on Saturday afternoon to bring out an injured bear hunter, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 63-year-old man from Roy had hurt his ankle and members of Packwood Search and Rescue, Mount Rainier rangers and Pierce County Fire District 23 from the Ashford area carried him a quarter mile out in the area of Forest Service Road 5230, according to the sheriff’s office.

DRUGS

• A traffic stop about 6:45 p.m. on Saturday on Coal Creek Road near Centralia-Alpha Road led to the arrest of a 53-year-old Chehalis man with more than 200 gram of marijuana, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence and misdemeanor possession (less than 40 grams) of marijuana,a and the passenger, Timothy J. Haston, 53, was arrested and booked for possession with intent to deliver, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

BURGLARY AND THEFT

• Police were called to an apartment on the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia where someone cut a window screen and reached in and stole a pack of cigarettes on Friday morning.

• A Centralia woman called Centralia police Friday after getting notices from collection agencies and realizing someone had opened multiple credit accounts in her name.

• A motorized scooter was stolen from a yard at the 1300 block of Central Boulevard in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 2:20 p.m. on Friday.

• A 2006 Saturn was found by a passerby in the park and ride lot on Camas Road near Toledo with a window smashed out and its it door and truck open about 1:40 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The driver who was subsequently contacted by a deputy said he had left it there locked.

• Morton police are asking for the public’s help after a call last week from an Olympia resident who said someone stole bicycles and the bike rack from off his motor home, possibly when he stopped to in Morton to eat.

• Morton police and the state patrol on Thursday recovered a vehicle stolen from Marysville that was sold online on  Craigslist to a Morton resident. It was returned to its owner, Morton police reported.

DUI

• A 27-year-old motorist from Puyallup was arrested for driving under the influence about 9 p.m. on Saturday after officers got multiple calls about an erratically driving vehicle on Interstate 5 in Centralia. After exiting the freeway at Harrison Avenue, concerned citizens were able to take the keys from the vehicle and keep Leslie C. Miller at the scene until police arrived,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Kalin E. Maxwell, 20, of Centralia, was arrested for driving under the influence after a single-car accident about 1:10 a.m. on Saturday at the 200 block of North Washington Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 19-year-old Toledo man was reportedly uninjured but his car sustained major damage when he ran a stop sign at Cousins and Twin Oaks roads and ran through a fence on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

WRECK

• A woman reportedly was uninjured when she accidentally drove off the road into a pond on Northwest Louisiana Avenue at Airport Road in Chehalis on Friday evening. It happened about 6 p.m. and passersby assisted her in getting out of the water, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

INJURY AT HORSE EVENT

• Lewis County Fire District 1 called to an equestrian event yesterday off Gish Road in Onalaska arranged for an injured person to be airlifted to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver. Further details were not readily available.

The unclaimed dead are laid to rest

Saturday, August 25th, 2012
2012.0822.claquatoburial

Roses and baby's breath adorn urns of the unclaimed dead at Claquato Cemetery.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

A handful of people joined staff from the Lewis County Coroner’s Office on a spread of browned lawn beneath towering evergreens to pay their respects to the unclaimed dead who were buried this week.

The short memorial service at Claquato Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon was held for 14 individuals who have died in Lewis County over the past 14 years with no relatives to take custody of their bodies.

A red rose lay atop each of the brown-paper wrapped containers holding their ashes as Chaplain Brian Carter offered a brief prayer.

“We lay to rest these forgotten souls knowing full well you have not forgotten them,” Carter said.

Sondra Peckinpaugh came from her home across the street from the cemetery, even though she didn’t know any of the dead.

“I was kind of hoping more would be here,” she said.

Peckinpaugh said she has sometimes in the 40 years she’s resided near the so-called county section of the memorial park “adopted” a grave of an un-named person.

She regularly decorated with flowers a burial spot of a “Jane Doe” found in a river in the 1980s, she said.

Claquato Cemetery Manager Lacie Jendryka said a decision has not been made yet as to exactly how the grave will be marked. It won’t include all the names; a list will kept in cemetery records though, she said.

Many of the plots in what sometimes has been known as the welfare section do have flat headstones.

The burial of multiple cremated remains together in a single concrete liner is the first of its kind in the park, according to Jendryka.

Not all the dead are truly forgotten, some have friends still in the area, just no  family who could legally claim their bodies, according to the coroner’s office.

At the Twin City Senior Center in Chehalis during lunchtime announcements prior to the service, site leader Lou Morales passed around a list of those who were set to be buried.

Morales attended the ceremony with her parents, Lewis County Commissioner Ron Averill and his wife Jan Averill.

Three of the names were recognized by seniors, she said. Some there felt sure one of them, Mary Katherine Gibson, still had family in the area, she said.

“A lot of them would have liked to have come,” Morales said.

•••

For background including the list, read “The unclaimed dead of Lewis County” from Sunday July 29, 2012, here

Read about real drugstore cowboy James Fogle dies in prison, and his brief time in Lewis County …

Friday, August 24th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Seattle TImes reports the real life Drugstore Cowboy died yesterday at the Monroe prison.

James Fogle, 75, spent a summer in the Lewis County Jail, towards the end of a life lived mostly behind bars, a life the Seattle Times describes as inspiration for his autobiographical novel made into a movie of the same name – the 1989 film that featured actor Matt Dillon.

It was June 28, 1995, when Fogle was arrested in Centralia. He was sitting in a car with glass on his hair, shoulders and in his coat pockets after he broke into the Centralia Pharmacy at 212 N. Tower Ave. with a crowbar and carried out a tray of bottles of prescription narcotics, according to court documents.

When Centralia’s detective Fitzgerald advised him of his rights for an interview the following day, his response was short.

“I think I’m pretty well screwed here, I better talk to my attorney,” court documents relate.

He added he’d been on a binge after his wife died a week earlier. The address in his file was in Tacoma.

At 58, his nine listed past convictions which included robbery, burglary and drugs stretched back to a 1957 crime of taking a motor vehicle without permission.

Fogle’s handwritten motion in the court file a month later asked a judge to appoint him adequate counsel.

“So far I have seen no one I recognize as counsel, spoke with nothing but a voice over the telephone briefly and have been shuffled through this system like a pig led to slaughter,” Fogle wrote.

He complained that after his initial appearance in court, instead of the lawyer he was led to believe he was to see, he was presented with a reporter.

Still, it was court-appointed Centralia attorney Don McConnell who told the court Fogle’s defense to second-degree burglary would be general denial.

However, he pleaded guilty as charged and on Aug. 30, was sentenced by Lewis County Superior Court Judge H. John Hall to five years plus eight months in prison. Deputy Prosecutor Ruth Vogel – working for then elected Lewis County Prosecutor Nelson Hunt – signed the document.

According to his court file, Fogle was released from prison and by the end of 1999 was granted his request to a probation officer to reside in Palm Desert, California, as he was a writer and would be closer to his publicist

His Washington probation officer lost track of him shortly before his term of active supervision ended, but noted Fogle, or someone on his behalf, continued to make payments on his court ordered legal obligations.

In the summer of 2001, Fogle was brought from a Snohomish County corrections facility back to Lewis County, for a probation violation: failing to notify DOC of his changed address.

Judge David Draper gave him 60 days in jail.

Seattlepi.com’s Scott Sunde writes that Fogle’s convictions that followed his Centralia Pharmacy incarceration were in 2001 for a Snohomish County burglary, in 2004 for a burglary in Kent in which he was found asleep inside a drugstore near paper bags filled with $10,000 worth of pills and his final felony in May 2010 when he and a partner robbed a pharmacy in Redmond.

Seattle Times news reporter Jennifer Sullivan writes Fogle’s death yesterday following a battle with lung ailments occurred during his 16 year sentence.
•••

For more, read:

• ” ‘Drugstore Cowboy’ author James Fogle dies at 75″ from The Seattle Times on Thursday August 23, 2012 at 8:04 p.m., here

• “The real ‘Drugstore Cowboy’ dies in state prison” from Seattlepi.com on Friday August 24, 2012 at 10:08 a.m., here

News brief: Possible insanity plea in trooper assault case

Friday, August 24th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia man accused of assaulting a trooper alongside the freeway last month was finally arraigned yesterday and pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Don K. Gonzales, 23, was suffering from some type of mental issue when the events occurred but has gotten stabilized during his time in jail, according to his attorney.

“He’s made a remarkable recovery,” Defense attorney Ken Johnson said yesterday afternoon.

Gonzales was walking along the shoulder of Interstate 5 near Main Street in Chehalis on July 3 when Trooper Rob Moore contacted him. After Moore told him to drop a knife, Gonzales allegedly threw a semi truck lug nut at the trooper’s face, breaking his nose and his glasses.

He is charged second-degree assault, plus three counts of third-degree assault regarding the wrestling match in which three passersby jumped in to help the trooper detain him.

Gonzales has been locked up on a no-bail hold, but yesterday Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey set bail at $250,000. A trial date was scheduled for the week of October 8.

Johnson says there is the potential of an insanity plea.

“There’s nothing that went on that was at all logical,” Johnson said of the events of July 3.
•••

For background, read:

• “View from the ground: Helping trooper take down fighting suspect” from Sunday July 15, 2012, here

• “Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup” from Thursday July 5, 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 24th, 2012

ASSAULT IN CENTRALIA

• Deputies are looking for a 27-year-old Centralia man after taking a report yesterday he grabbed his ex-girlfriend by the throat and punched her. A deputy called about 11:40 a.m. to the home on 100 block of Grant Street did not locate the suspect there, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

THREAT TO KILL

• A 59-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday for allegedly threatening to kill his grown daughter. Officers called about 12:30 p.m. to their home on the 500 block of South Rock Street booked Richard B. Goodwillie into the Lewis County Jail for felony harassment, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CARPORT BURGLARY

• Someone stole shovels, rakes and a gas can from inside a carport on the 2900 block of Sandra Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office yesterday afternoon. A deputy who responded to the call learned a neighbor had seen a blue and black car parked across the way for about 30 minutes earlier in the morning, with its lights off, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown urges the public to go ahead and call 911 if they see something suspicious, such as a vehicle out of place or something that just doesn’t look right. It can help them solve crimes, Brown said. “We do not mind coming out to make sure everything is okay,” she said.

DRUGS

• A 32-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested for possession of a controlled substance after an officer who knew she had a warrant spotted her at Wal-Mart yesterday evening. The officer found syringes, a pipe and waxed paper with a brown residue on it suspected to be heroin, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Melissa C. Church was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

MARIJUANA: HAND IT OVER

• A Chehalis officer who stopped a driver for expired license tabs last night smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and asked the driver to hand it over. “He said okay and pulled it out” and gave it to him, Deputy Sgt. Randy Kaut said. The motorist, Corey J. Malinak, 32, of Chehalis, was cited for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and sent on his way, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LITTLEROCK HOUSE DESTROYED BY FIRE

• Eight fire departments responded to a house fire north of Littlerock early this morning. The two-story home, built in the 1880s, was vacant and described as a total loss. West Thurston Regional Fire Authority called at 5:50 a.m. to the blaze at 110th Avenue and little Rock Road, said nobody was injured. Neighbors report there may have been transients living at the property,” Fire Lt. Lanette Dyer stated in a news release. There was no electrical service to the home so it is suspicious, according to Dyer.

TELEMARKETING SCHEME TARGETS AREA SENIORS

The (Longview) Daily News reports a consumer warning yesterday about phone solicitors targeting seniors is based upon incidents from Lewis, Clark and Thurston counties in recent days. According to a news release from the state Attorney General’s Office, telemarketers selling reverse mortgages are posing as state agents offering a senior property tax relief program. “All seniors who receive these calls are advised to refrain from giving out personal information over the phone to someone they do not know,” the Attorney General’s Office advises. “Seniors should contact their county assessor offices to find out more about property tax relief programs and the Department of Veterans Affairs (1-800-562-2308) for veteran’s benefits.”