Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Breaking news: Home made explosive found on Winlock roadway

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Updated at 10:13 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Deputies are in Winlock awaiting the arrival of a bomb squad after an improvised explosive device was found this morning laying on a roadway.

A motorcyclist called 911 about 7:15 a.m. after he spotted the cardboard tube with a burned fuse on the 100 block of Fisher Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

It is laying in the southbound lane and not near any homes, only a cattle field, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said, so no evacuations were necessary.

She described it as six inches long and two inches in diameter with epoxy caps and screws through the cardboard.

Update: Washington State Patrol bomb technicians detonated the device about 9:30 a.m.

More to come

News brief: Burn ban begins because of fire danger

Monday, August 13th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Substantial fire danger due to hot, dry weather prompted a burn ban that went into effect today in Lewis County.

Outdoor burning is prohibited except for recreational fires in approved receptacles, according to Lewis County Fire Marshal Fred Chapman.

The restrictions will remain in effect until further notice, according to Chapman.

Open burning is restricted in Thurston County as well.

Restrictions increased today for lands of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Prosecutors to ask state Supreme Court to overturn reversal of murder conviction

Monday, August 13th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Kenneth Slert will have to wait a while longer to find out if prosecutors will attempt for a fourth time to get a murder conviction to stick.

The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office will petition the state Supreme Court in hopes of avoiding yet another trial in the case of a fatal campground shooting from almost a dozen years ago.

An appeals court last week remanded the case for a new trial for Slert. Slert was convicted of second-degree murder in the October 2000 death of 53-year-old John Benson, a truck driver and father of five from Eatonville.

Three times Slert has been found guilty in Lewis County Superior Court and three times the appeals court has overturned his convictions.

Most recently, the panel of judges said there was a violation of a public trial right and Slert’s right to be present at all times.

At issue is a closed door meeting between the judge and attorneys that led to four prospective jurors being excused during his most recent trial.

The former Tacoma man claimed self defense when he shot Benson twice following an evening of drinking and arguing over politics at a hunting camp off Skate Creek Road in East Lewis County.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer excused himself from the decision making process because he represented the former Tacoma man when he was a defense attorney.

Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Sara Beigh and Will Halstead were tasked with deciding whether to hold a new trial, not hold a new trial or petition the Supreme Court.

Beigh today said the office will ask the state Supreme Court to review the appeals court decision.

There are a lot of cases on hold regarding a similar issue, Beigh said.

“We’re hoping at least a decision to stay the decision until the court decides that issue,” she said.

Th office has until early next month to file its petition and then it usually takes three to four months to get any type of response from the Supreme Court, she said.

Slert was sent to prison in mid-2004 and has been serving a sentence of a little more than 23 years.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, August 13th, 2012

OPEN GARAGE DOORS INVITE THIEVES

• An air compressor, two nail guns and other tools were stolen from a garage on the 3100 block of Ives Road in Centralia yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A 37-year-old man told a deputy he believed it occurred while his daughter was home and their garage door was open. The daughter said a man came knocking on the door asking for her father around noontime, according to the sheriff’s office. Images from a security camera show a silver SUV pulled into the driveway about 12:05 p.m. and two or three individuals took items the garage. They left at 12:08 p.m.

• A chain saw and a bicycle were stolen from a garage in Chehalis where the door was inadvertently left open overnight. An officer called Friday morning to the 700 block of Northwest New York Avenue subsequently learned the bike was recovered on the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR GONE

• An 26-year-old woman at the 700 block of West Second Street in Centralia awoke this morning to discover her car was stolen in the night. Missing is a green 1997 Honda, according to the Centralia Police Department. The car had been locked and the keys were accounted for, police said.

TRUCK AND MOTORS GONE

• A white 1975 Chevrolet truck, two Oldsmobile motors and a carburetor were reported missing from property on the 2100 block of Wildwood Road in Curtis, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. The loss, estimated at $3,650, was reported on Friday and occurred sometime since July 1, according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY ON LUCAS CREEK ROAD

• A chainsaw and a .22 rifle were reported stolen from the 700 block of Lucas Creek Road east of Chehalis. The thefts are believed to have occurred between 10:30 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. on Friday, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning.

DRUGS

• A traffic stop about 7:35 a.m. on Saturday at Fifth and Cedar streets in Toledo led to the arrest of a 41-year-old man for possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, according to police. A police dog did a “walk around” and alerted on suspected drugs, according to Officer Samuel Patrick. The vehicle was searched and Michael J. Bartley was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Toledo Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Police were called about 11 p.m. on Friday to the 200 block of Southwest Second Street in Chehalis where an individual found someone had broken their windshield. An officer suspects it might have been done with someone’s hand, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LUCKY SLEEPY DRIVER

• A 49-year-old Lacey man was cited for negligent driving after he fell asleep yesterday afternoon with a 1-year-old passenger and ran off the road into a mailbox and some bushes at the 2300 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. A deputy called about 5:15 p.m. noted the man’s 1999 Saturn was totaled but both patients’ injuries were such they were simply treated at the scene.

TWO VEHICLE CRASH ON I-5

• Three individuals were hospitalized after a rear-end collision on Interstate 5 near Vader yesterday afternoon that knocked a car into the concrete barrier and then caused it to roll onto its top. Both vehicles were totaled during the approximately 2:20 p.m. wreck in the northbound lanes near milepost 60, according to the Washington State Patrol. The state patrol ticketed Lauren G. Sullivan, 18, of Rochester for going too fast. Sullivan’s Toyota Camry struck the rear of a Kia Sorento carrying a couple from Victoria B.C., according to the state patrol. All three were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital as a precautionary measure, according to the responding trooper.

CHEHALIS MOTORCYCLIST AIRLIFTED AFTER WRECK

• A 73-year-old Chehalis man was airlifted after a motorcycle accident late Saturday afternoon in which he swerved to miss a dog and took out several wooden fence posts on the 700 block of North Fork Road east of Chehalis. Aid called about 7:40 p.m. found the man had “long bone fractures,” according to Lewis County Fire District 6. His Harley Davidson went through a ditch and came to rest in a driveway, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

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Personnel from Lewis County Fire District 6 and AMR load up their patient at a private air strip off Hewitt Road. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Fire District 6

News brief: Teen hikes five miles to get help for grandfather

Monday, August 13th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 64-year-old Mineral man was rescued after he was injured when he was thrown from his mule and his 14-year-old grandson hiked out to get help on Saturday outside of Packwood.

The sheriff’s office said the man was hurt on Friday at the northwest corner of Jug Lake and was unable to stand stand or get back on his mule. He was with his grandsons ages 9 and 14, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

The teenager hiked out about five miles the following morning to call for help, Brown said.

The man was airlifted to Tacoma General Hospital with potential injuries to his ribs and pelvis, according to Brown.

News brief: Eighteen potential victims survive U.S. Highway 12 crash

Monday, August 13th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A two-vehicle collision on U.S. Highway 12 west of Rochester on Saturday sent seven people to the hospital, including four children riding in the open back of a truck.

It was a T-bone crash at the intersection of Anderson Road that occurred when the driver of a Chevrolet Avalanche blew a stop sign, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The van it hit had 11 passenger, Trooper Guy Gill said.

“It’s never a good idea to let children ride in the back of a pickup truck,” he said.

Troopers called about 3:40 p.m. said there were no life-threatening injuries, but the occupants of the Avalanche were all taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. The speed limit on Highway 12 is 55 mph.

Nobody in the van was hurt, Gill said.

“In this case, we’re lucky we’re not dealing with fatalities,” Gill said. “In a collision like this, it could have been much much worse.”

The driver of the Avalanche, a 25-year-old Oakville woman, shouldn’t have even been behind the wheel, he said.

She was cited for driving without insurance, third-degree driving with a suspended license and four counts of allowing individuals under 16 to ride without a seat belt, according to Gill.

News brief: Bothell resident drowns in Ohanapecosh River

Monday, August 13th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Bothell man drowned in East Lewis County after getting pinned down in a river between large logs and rocks.

Michael Lloyd Barrett, 41, was rescued by a group of kayakers who assisted Barrett’s fellow campers, but was pronounced dead at Morton General Hospital.

It happened Saturday afternoon on the Ohanapecosh River just outside the southern border of Mount Rainier National Park.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said Barrett was sitting in a shallow area of the river cooling off and when he moved to a deeper area lost his balance.

It is believed he may have intended to ride over a waterfall into a lower pool, something he’d done during previous visits there, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

His fellow campers tried but couldn’t get him out of the water, according to Brown. A well-trained group of kayakers happened upon the scene and pulled him out, she said.

Barrett was transported to the hospital, but didn’t make it, according to Brown.

News brief: Fires strike two structures in Centralia

Monday, August 13th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia man was hospitalized yesterday for smoke inhalation after a fire at his apartment on the 100 block of West First Street.

Firefighters called about 9:30 p.m. learned that neighbors alerted the resident, knocking on his door and waking him up, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The fire affected an exterior wall; there was no damage to the interior of the ground floor unit but smoke got inside, according to Fire Capt. Scott Weinert.

The cause is still under investigation but it began in an area where the resident kept an ashtray and said he smoked, Weinert said.

Earlier in the day, firefighters were joined by crews from Chehalis and Rochester at Century Market on the 500 block of North Tower Avenue when a fire broke out.

Firefighters called about 1:30 p.m. quickly extinguished it, according to Weinert.

That blaze started outside the building and began to extend into a storeroom, Weinert said. Tower Avenue was closed for about an hour, according to police.

The cause is under investigation but one possibility may be discarded smoking materials, Weinert said.

Centralia firefighters were extremely busy yesterday, with 21 calls in the first 20 hours of their shift, the captain said.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

BAD GUESTS

• Centralia police were called around 10:15 a.m. on Friday to the 1400 block of Johnson Road where they were told an individual allowed two friends to spend the night during which they stole his Xbox and then pawned it,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 20-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine early this morning in Centralia. Emmanuel Martinez was booked into the Lewis County Jail following contact with an officer about 5:30 a.m. at the 900 block of Main Street,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWLS

• A Garmin brand GPS device was stolen from  vehicle on the 500 block of South Silver Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 1:35 p.m. yesterday.

• Someone smashed out a window and took a radar detector from a vehicle parked on the 800 block of Hamilton Avenue in Centralia, according to  report made to police about 9:45 a.m. yesterday.

• An electric guitar amplifier was stolen from a vehicle on the 500 block of North Iron Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Friday morning. A back window was smashed out,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

Toledo man succumbs to injuries from fire

Friday, August 10th, 2012
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Fire destroyed Carl Gasoway's fifth-wheel trailer in Toledo.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter


TOLEDO – Carl Gasaway didn’t make it.

The 60-year-old Toledo resident was rushed by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle yesterday morning after the fifth-wheel trailer where he was sleeping caught fire.

His daughter Chanin Holdt said her father was burned over 90 percent of his body, but he refused any drugs so he could spend his last hours aware of his surroundings, and his family.

Family members from out of state arrived to the hospital about 2:30 a.m. today and he passed away two hours later surrounded by family, she said.

“It was very peaceful,” his son-in-law Lonnie Holdt said.

Gasaway, known for the family business Prairie Ridge Tack and Feed adjacent to the home on Jackson Highway, worked for 35 years at NC Machinery.

He had retired. He was a Vietnam veteran, according to his family.

Firefighters called about 5:15 a.m. yesterday to reports of an explosion and fire at the 5400 block of Jackson Highway found the fifth-wheel trailer fully involved in flames.

Gasaway had to kick open the door to escape, according to Lewis County Fire District 2 Chief Grant Wiltbank.

Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said the force blew one of the side walls right off the trailer.

McCarty said this morning he’s still looking into the cause of the blaze, but he assumes it was related to propane.

“It’s the only product that would do something like that,” he said.

Family and friends have been gathering this afternoon at the family home.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, August 10th, 2012

DOG FIGHT ENDS IN DEATH

• A man walking his small dog on the 1000 block of West Fourth Street in Centralia called police after another dog came onto the sidewalk and attacked his pet yesterday. The Yorkie-type dog had to be put to sleep because of its injuries, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police Sgt. Kurt Reichert said he expected an animal control officer would be following up on the case.

CALLER TO 911 BOOKED INTO JAIL

• A woman who called 911 regarding a dispute on the 100 block of Smokey Valley Road near Toledo about 2 o’clock this morning ended up getting arrested. An arriving deputy learned Heidi M. Catlin, 43, of Toledo, had an outstanding warrant and when she was searched, a small baggie of suspected methamphetamine was found on her jeans pocket, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Catlin was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

BIG HAUL FROM JOHN DEERE DEALER

• A deputy was called to the John Deere / Washington Tractor business on the 100 block of Hamilton Road North in Chehalis yesterday morning where someone had broken in and made off with several pieces of equipment including six walk-behind mowers, a pressure washer, a generator and a John Deere Gator ATV. It happened sometime between 5 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A list of missing items is still being compiled, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

THEFT OF EQUIPMENT

• Someone broke into a shop on the 100 block of Ribelin Road in Chehalis sometime between Saturday and Tuesday and stole a chainsaw and a large torch and welding unit, according to a report made to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office yesterday. The loss is more than $1,000.

EMPLOYEE SUSPECTED OF STEALING

• Centralia police were called yesterday about a suspected embezzlement at a medical practitioner’s office on the 1000 block of South Schueber Road. Officers are looking into an employee who may have forged an employer’s signature on several checks involving a “significant amount”, according to the Centralia Police Department.

MISSING MONEY

• Centralia police were called late yesterday afternoon to a nursing home on the 900 block of South Schueber Road where a resident said a small amount of money was missing.

UNLOCKED CARS GET PROWLED

• Centralia police were called just before 7 o’clock this morning to a vehicle prowl on the 200 block of West Pear Street where someone had rifled through the trunk and glove box. The victim wasn’t sure if anything was missing, according to the police department. The vehicle had been left unlocked. In the same area less than a half hour earlier, an officer took a report of cash stolen from another unlocked vehicle.

GET OUTA THERE

• A 33-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday for trespass after he was found to have been sleeping inside a trailer on the 700 block of North Tower Avenue. The city had posted a do not enter sign on the trailer, according to the Centralia Police Department. Justin L. Haynes was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

GET BACK HERE

• Lewis County sheriff’s detectives yesterday went to Yelm to arrest a 31-year-old Yelm resident because he was living in Yelm instead of on Downing Road in Centralia, the address he gave when he registered as a sex offender in September 2011, according to the sheriff’s office. Joseph F. Laabs, a level one sex offender, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for failing to register, according to the sheriff’s office.

WRECKS

• A 17-year-old bicyclist ended up with cuts and scrapes when her bike got stuck in the grill of a car on North National Avenue yesterday morning in Chehalis. Police called to the scene about 8:40 a.m. learned the car was making a left turn off Median Street onto National when it struck the northbound bicycle. The girl was ejected, according to police.

• A 26-year-old Seattle woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital as a precautionary measure after she veered her pickup truck into the oncoming lane on U.S. Highway 12 in Oakville yesterday and struck another truck. A trooper called just after 5 p.m. reported Caitlin Caldwell was eastbound and swerved to avoid traffic slowing for tire debris in the roadway. The truck she hit was driven by Ana Lucia Perez Sanchez, 29, of Centralia. She was reportedly uninjured.

Pipe bomb confiscated from Morton man

Friday, August 10th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Deputies last night found a pipe bomb inside a backpack believed to have been carried by a 46-year-old Morton man during a burglary.

Vern V. Hamilton was arrested for possession of an explosive device and burglary in connection with a break-in to a business near his home on the 900 block of Davis Lake Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were called yesterday to Davis Lake Materials where overnight someone had gotten inside the office and a storage shed and stolen 12 dozen pairs of work gloves, a generator, a plastic container, a cash box with $5 in change as well as a hand cart and some Busch beer, according to the sheriff’s office.

Because a witness reported seeing Hamilton that morning walking down the road with some of the missing items, deputies searched his home, the sheriff’s office stated in a news release.

Deputies conducted the search and arrested Hamilton about 7 p.m., she said.

The homemade pipe bomb – described as the size of a piece of dynamite – was found inside a backpack inside the camper where Hamilton resides, Chief Civl Deputy Stacy Brown stated in the news release.

Hamilton was seen wearing the backpack following the burglary, according to Brown.

Brown said they are assuming Hamilton may have been planning to use the pipe bomb for the burglary, but he’s not offering any explanation.

“They’ve been burglarized previously and been trying to fortify (the business),” Brown said.

Specialists with the Washington State Patrol responded about 10:30 p.m. and detonated the device, Brown reported.

Some of the stolen goods were found inside the camper, others were stashed in the woods, according to Brown.

Cause of Logan Street house fire a mystery

Thursday, August 9th, 2012
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Firefighters knocked down a blaze on the 1400 block of Logan Street in Centralia on July 16.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Authorities have failed to find a cause for last month’s daytime fire that destroyed a vacant house on Logan Street, but the blaze remains in the suspicious file as far as police are concerned.

“We have an origin point, but we don’t have a cause for the fire as of right now,” fire investigator Rick Mack said today. “We’ll leave it undetermined. That leaves the door open in case we get more information.”

Mack, assistant chief and fire marshal for Riverside Fire Authority, said they completed their forensic examination and there was no evidence sent off to be tested.

“We’re hoping to get more information from anyone who saw anything,” Mack said.

Firefighters responded about 4:15 p.m. on July 16 to reports of a fully involved structure fire in a residential neighborhood at the north end of town.

Burning was a one and a half-story wood-frame home built around the turn of the century. The blaze extended to a detached garage in back.

Investigators concluded the fire originated inside the back portion of the house, Mack said.

According to Mack, some of the circumstances that make it feel odd are the lack of what commonly causes house fires: There was nobody living there who had a cooking accident, for example, he said. And it couldn’t have been an electrical problem because the power had been turned off a some point prior.

“Whether there was somebody who was in the residence doing something they didn’t intend to happen, I don’t know,” he said.

Exactly how long the home had been vacant or even who owns it isn’t clear.

Centralia Police Department detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said police had contact in April with tenants living there.

County records show the owner as Dan Henderson, the Centralia city council member.

But Henderson says he surrendered the house in May of 2010 as a result of a bankruptcy.

Henderson said he believes it’s now owned by a loan servicing company in Colorado, and that neither they nor the previous bank that had the mortgage have properly recorded the change of owners.

The ensuing confusion even resulted in a nuisance infraction being issued to Henderson in late June, following a complaint about a large pile of garbage and a non-running vehicle on the property. But the police chief told him today the department was asking that to be dismissed, according to Henderson.

Henderson did say he has since been made aware there were some “petty burglary folks” squatting there as well as someone whose children were removed by Child Protective Services.

Police and fire authorities got one report the day of the fire of an individual walking away from the area, but that hasn’t been substantiated, according to police Sgt. Fitzgerald.

He said police are actively seeking people with information.

“It’s suspicious,” Fitzgerald said. “Houses do not spontaneously catch on fire.”

Mack and Fitzgerald are asking for anyone who knows anything or learns something about the cause of the fire to call them. Mack 360-330-9854. Fitzgerald 360-330-7614.

East county murder conviction overturned for third time

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

For the third time an appeals court has reversed a conviction in a Lewis County shooting death at a campground from more than a decade ago.

Kenneth L. Slert has three times been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 53-year-old John Benson, a truck driver and father of five from Eatonville.

Slert claimed self defense in the October 2000 shooting off Skate Creek Road in between Packwood and Ashford.

The opinion filed yesterday by the Washington Court of Appeals remanded the case for a new trial based on a violation of a public trial right.

Specifically, four prospective jurors were excused during a closed door meeting between the judge and attorneys, according to the opinion.

One judge on the three-member panel dissented.

According to the court record, Benson went to Slert’s campsite where the two drank whiskey, argued over politics and fought.

Slert claimed he went into his tent to retrieve his gun and shot Benson who tried to come into the tent, and then shot him a second time when Benson was laying on the ground and reached out and grabbed at Slert.

The former carpenter who lived in Tacoma has been in prison since after his first trial in 2004.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer doesn’t yet have an answer whether his office will go for a fourth trial in the case.

Meyer previously represented Slert while working as a defense attorney, so two of his senior deputies will be making the decision.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

MAN ASKS TO GO TO JAIL

• A 30-year-old man was arrested last night after he was contacted by a deputy for walking in the roadway in Centralia, and then ran into someone’s yard screaming “Arrest me, take me to jail,” according to police. Centralia police Sgt. Stacy Denham said the man charged toward the deputy who took him into custody at the 1600 block of North Pearl Street. It happened just before 7 p.m. Michael R. Ward, a Centralia resident, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for trespassing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VALUABLES PILFERED DURING PARTY

• A 49-year-old Mossyrock area man called the sheriff’s office yesterday about several items which were apparently stolen during a graduation barbeque held over the weekend. A deputy who responded to the 600 block of Green Mountain Road was told there were more than 60 guests at the home where a diamond ring, a digital camera and an MP3 player disappeared, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

UNWELCOME YARD WORK

• Centralia police say a 19-year-old Winlock man removed a fence and prepared to cut down a tree on someone else’s property on the 1400 block of View Avenue in Centralia yesterday. Jacob R. Easter was arrested for trespass, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police Sgt. Stacy Denham said he didn’t know why Easter was doing that.

GUN STOLEN

• Centralia police took a report yesterday from the 1500 block of View Avenue that an individual’s roommate sold his .22 caliber pistol. The person who bought it was contacted and brought it into the police department so it could be returned,  according to the Centralia Police Department. The incident remains under investigation.

OFFICE BURGLARIZED

• Someone rifled through files inside an unsecured office building at the 200 block of Washington Way in Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called yesterday morning to Zandecki Construction learned that paperwork and files were missing from a cabinet. The sheriff’s office has a person in interest in the case, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called just before 10 a.m. yesterday to the 2100 block of Southwest Woodland Circle where a pressure washer had been stolen from a carport during the night.

• Police were called about 9:30 a.m. yesterday to the 1000 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia about a vehicle prowl in which some blank checks and a set of firefighter “turnout” gear was stolen. A window was broken out.

• Both the front and rear license plates were stolen from a vehicle at an auto dealer on the 1900 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis during the night, according to a report made to the Chehalis Police Department yesterday morning.

Toledo area RV fire seriously injures sleeping man

Thursday, August 9th, 2012
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Jackson Highway fifth-wheel fire. / Courtesy photo Lewis County Fire District 2

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A fiery explosion early this morning in a recreational vehicle near Toledo severely injured a man who was sleeping inside.

Firefighters and aid called just before 5:15 a.m. to the 5400 block of Jackson Highway found the fifth-wheel trailer fully involved in flames, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.

The man was able to get himself out, Fire Chief Grant Wiltbank said.

“I was told he had to kick the door open,” Wiltbank said.

The victim, who Wiltbank believed is in his 60s, was flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle which has a  specialized unit for treatment of burns.

Toledo was fogged in, so they transported him north to Richie Brothers property near Winlock, where Airlift Northwest picked him up, according to the chief.

The cause is under investigation. The fifth-wheel was destroyed.

New brief: Rochester-area fire crew joins 300 firefighters in Eastern Washington

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Four firefighters from a south Thurston County fire district are among those still battling a wildfire north of Chelan that is now estimated to have scorched almost 6,500 acres.

The so-called Antoine Creek Fire is about 50 percent contained, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

The increase in acreage is due more to accurate mapping than the fire spreading, the agency reported this morning.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Lt. Lanette Dyer said a crew of three with a brush truck and another individual in a pickup truck were called over there on Sunday night. They checked in yesterday, but don’t know when they might be released, she said.

Three firefighters from Lewis County Fire District 5 departed Sunday as well to assist.

They are among more than 300 firefighters working to put out the wildfire that is burning grass and light timber on private, state and federal lands.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

INDUSTRIAL BUILDING STRIPPED OF WIRING

• A potential buyer who sent an electrician to inspect a building on Northwest Maryland Avenue in Chehalis called police yesterday after the discovery someone stole wiring. “A person entered the building and ripped a lot of the electrical wiring out, and some of the copper plumbing,” Chehalis police Sgt. Rick McNamara said. The large shop building has been vacant, but previously housed Cummins Northwest, McNamara said. “They’re getting an estimate, it’s pretty extensive,” he said.

ALARM THWARTS BURGLAR

• Deputies were called about 7:40 a.m. yesterday to an interrupted burglary to a shop building on the 2200 block of Blair Road in Centralia. The door was kicked in but an alarm apparently scared off the intruder, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A K-9 track indicated whoever it was must have left in a vehicle, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

OUTDOOR CAMERA STOLEN

• A 25-year-old Chehalis man called the sheriff’s office after a newly installed game camera at the back of his mother’s property on the 1100 block of North Fork Road was stolen. The $200 camera was put up at noon on Friday and when he returned home on Sunday was gone, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

NEW BIKE TAKEN

• A brand new bicycle – a brown Hybrid Trek FX2 21-speed – was reported stolen about 7:20 a.m. today from the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue in Centralia, according to police.

MAILBOX PILFERED

• Centralia police were called just before noon yesterday about theft of mail from a residential address on the 2200 block of Ham Hill Road.

Adna home-alone-kids’-burglary suspect admits breaking in

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 50-year-old Olympia woman pleaded guilty as charged in the Adna burglary that last month sent three home-alone children to hide in their bedroom.

Darlene J. Lockard was sentenced today to almost two and a half years in prison, the high end of the standard sentencing range for her for residential burglary.

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Darlene J. Lockard

The 29-month sentence will be served concurrently with the lesser time she was handed down for  possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor theft.

Thirteen-year-old  Braydon Carper was babysitting his brothers, 7 and 5 years old, when they heard knocking on the door of their Penning Road home on July 12. Just the night before, his parents had a conversation about what to do if anyone came to the house while their parents were out.

Braydon took his brothers in their bedroom and when they heard banging on the door, locked that door and called his mother. Something prompted the intruder to leave right away.

Lockard was stopped by an arriving deputy about a quarter mile away with a crowbar in her van as well as costume jewelry from the house.

Lockard pleaded guilty this morning pursuant to a plea agreement in Lewis County Superior Court and was sentenced by Judge James Lawler.

Defense attorney David Arcuri said there was no evidence  his client knew the children were there but prosecutors threatened to enhance the charges if she went to trial, to include committing a burglary when someone is home. If convicted, a judge would have been free to sentence her up to 10 years in prison.

She decided to accept the plea agreement.
•••

For background, read: “Jehovah’s Witnesses visit: A dress rehearsal for home invasion burglary” from Thursday July 19 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Updated at 12:36 p.m.

DOG FOUND INSIDE 107 DEGREE VEHICLE

• A 42-year-old Morton resident was arrested after police called to the Wal-Mart parking lot found a dog inside his truck and interior temperatures at 107 degrees on Sunday. A woman who phoned 911 about 1:40 p.m. to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue said the animal was in distress, panting heavily and dry heaving, according to police. Andre D. Elswick, 42, was getting back to his vehicle when an officer arrived; the animal had been in there more an hour, according to Sgt. Rick McNamara. “You gotta realize when it hits 90 degrees, leaving the windows down is just not enough,” McNamara said. McNamara said he didn’t know further details about the condition of the rottweiller-type canine. Elswick was cited for animal abuse, McNamara said. Temperatures on Sunday afternoon out of doors were in the mid-90s.

BURGLARY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning they were called Friday about a burglary in which someone stole more than $8,000 worth of valuables from a residence on the 200 block of Alpha Way outside Chehalis. It happened between 9 a.m. and 1:45 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office. Among the many missing items are a a laptop computer, a cell phone, a brief case, jewelry, a bottle of wine, a razor and blades, as well as a CPAP machine – a device that helps people breathe more easily. The house had been left unlocked.

• Police were called about 10:40 a.m. yesterday about a burglary at the 100 block of Jefferson Street in Centralia. Missing are a PlayStation and a mountain bike, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Two wake boards were taken from inside a boat parked on 100 block of Blanchard Road in Centralia, according to a report made to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office yesterday morning. One is red with stickers and the other is yellow, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is $400.

CAR THEFT

• A gray 1989 Acura Legend was reported stolen from the 400 block of North Market Boulevard on Sunday afternoon.

DRUGS

• A 23-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine late last night after police responded to Stan Hedwall Park in Chehalis about people camping there who had been asked to leave. Richard S. Warren was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 23-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and an outstanding arrant yesterday afternoon. Robert L. Huey was booked into the Lewis County Jail following contact with an officer about 1:15 p.m. at the 500 block of West Pear Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Norma J. Morris, 21, of Chehalis, was arrested for possession of heroin and a warrant about 1:10 p.m. yesterday, according to police. She was booked into the lewis County Jail following contact with an officer at the 100 block of South Silver Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWLS

• Three people were arrested overnight when they were caught breaking into a vehicle at the 300 block of Magnolia Street in Centralia around 1 a.m., according to police. Booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree vehicle prowl were Mathis S. Jensen, 19, Jeremy M. Barron, 20, both of Centralia and Renoggo A. Stone-Anderson, 21, of Rochester, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A purse and an “Acer” brand laptop computer were reported stolen from a vehicle on the 200 block of Jackson Street in Centralia just before 3 a.m. today, according to Centralia police.

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday about a .22 handgun stolen from a vehicle parked a the Eagles the Saturday before last.

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday morning about an iPod and a GPS device stolen from a vehicle parked at the 100 block of Southwest Saunders Way. Police say it may or may not have been related, but a note was left for the female visitor, saying please don’t park in front of my house. The victim told police the car was locked so it’s unclear how anyone got inside, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 43-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for vehicle prowl after a woman watched an individual get into her vehicle on the 100 block of Southwest McFadden Avenue in Chehalis n Sunday morning. An officer called about 7:40 a.m. subsequently detained Kerry G. Palmer and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is once again appealing to the public to lock up their cars and refrain from leaving valuables in plain site, especially when parking at the 200 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis near the trestle area. Someone stole a purse from an unlocked vehicle there on Friday between 3:40 p.m. and 4:25 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

THEFT

• A 72-year-old resident of the 100 block of Lanakila Lane outside Chehalis contacted the sheriff’s office yesterday to report her Taurus .357 revolver has been missing since at least July 1, according o the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A license plate reading 992 XFB was reported stolen from the 1000 block of Johnson Road in Centralia late yesterday afternoon.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police say someone kicked out the window to a building on the 200 block of North Washington Avenue and three individuals were subsequently arrested for third-degree malicious mischief. It happened just before 2 a.m. today, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE HITS BUILDING

• Centralia police were called about 11:35 a.m. yesterday when a vehicle in a parking lot on the 700 block of Harrison Avenue lurched forward striking a building and another vehicle. No arrests were made and the fire department was not called for any injuries. Further details were not readily available.

New brief: Firefighting exercises around Centralia will feature simulated smoke

Monday, August 6th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters will be conducting training around Centralia on Tuesday and Wednesday using pretend smoke that will be visible to the general public.

It’s not real, it’s not toxic, it’s called training smoke, according to Riverside Fire Authority Chief Jim Walkowski.

On Wednesday while they are practicing at the Wilson Hotel building at 328 N. Tower Ave., motorists can expect traffic impacts on Maple Avenue between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., according to Walkowski. Drivers can use Magnolia and Center streets to go around via Railroad Avenue, he noted.

Tomorrow, personnel will be conducting exercises at the former King Solomon restaurant on the 1200 block of Mellen Street and at a vacant supermarket building at 528 N. Tower Ave.

New brief: Napavine area firefighters head to Chelan wildfire

Monday, August 6th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Three firefighters from Lewis County Fire District 5 left last night to assist with a 4,000 acre wild fire burning in Chelan County.

They took a water tender and a brush truck to work as part of a strike team at the Antoine Creek Fire which is threatening homes, according to a District 5 spokesperson Megan Van Egdom.

The Washington State Patrol, which authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources yesterday afternoon, reports that evacuation notices are in place for about 30 residences.

The fire began about noon yesterday northeast of Chehalis, according to a state patrol news release. Six so-called strike teams had been mobilized as of this morning.

Van Egdom suggests that with the dry weather and high fire danger, it’s is a good time – if one hasn’t done so already – to remove dry yard debris from around homes, clear roofs and porches of pine needles and cones and consider removing large trees and shrubs adjacent to structures.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, August 6th, 2012

SUSPECT FLEES AFTER BAR BRAWL

• Police are looking for a man after a bar fight in Centralia on Saturday night in which he allegedly attempted to hit another patron with a chair but accidentally hit a woman instead. The woman ended up with a small cut on her head and several customers chased the subject who fled, according to the Centralia Police Department. It happened around 11:15 p.m. on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue.

POLICE: MOTORIST TRIES TO AVOID OFFICER

• A 21-year-old Centralia man was arrested around 4:30 a.m. today for attempting to elude a police officer and driving with a suspended license, according to the Centralia Police Department. Mario Vaquez Jr. was booked into the Lewis County Jail following the incident in the area of East Sixth and B streets in Centralia, according to police.

THEFT

• A pair of ATVs, a dirt bike, two tents and a 55-gallon cooler were stolen from property on the 700 block of state Route 505 in Toledo sometime between July 21 and Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 52-year-old Aberdeen man who uses the property for summer camping estimated the loss at $6,000, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Someone kicked open a barn door on the 200 block of Kennedy Road in Onalaska and made off with a box of women’s clothing sometime between Thursday afternoon and Friday night,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The building was broken into several weeks ago as well, the sheriff’s office reported.

• A riding mower, a tent and a fishing pole were missing form a shed on the 100 block of Jerrells Road in Mossyrock, according to a report made to the sheriff’s office on Friday evening. The Puyallup man who owns the property told a deputy it must have occurred sometime since July 24

• A black 2000 Saturn was reported stolen about 9:15 a.m. on Saturday from the 200 block of Tilley Avenue in Centralia. The four-door car ha a license plate reading 652 ZUN, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Centralia police took a report of the theft of prescription medications from the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia on Saturday afternoon.

• Natalie J. Soto, 27, of Napavine, was arrested yesterday morning for possession of methamphetamine and heroin following a traffic stop, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail following an approximately 6:30 a.m. contact with an officer at the 2000 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to police.

• A 35-year-old Centralia man was arrested for illegal possession of prescription medication and an outstanding warrant on Friday night, according to police. Dennis L. Allen was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an office about 11:42 p.m. at the 400 block of West Pine Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Sam W. Currier, 48, of Centralia, was arrested Friday night for possession of methamphetamine and an outstanding warrant, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail following contact with an officer at the 900 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 25-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and a warrant about 9:25 a.m. on Friday at the 2400 block of Seward Avenue in Centralia. Brandy L. Evans was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWLS

• Police were called just after 2 a.m. on Saturday to a car prowl on the 300 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia in which a purse was stolen. The thief used a screwdriver to break out a window, according to the Centralia Police Department. The handbag was in plain view, police noted.

• Chehalis police were called about 7:40 p.m. on Saturday to Stan Hedwall Park on the 1500 block of Rice Road about a car prowl.

WRECKS

• A 63-year-old Seattle woman and her passenger were hospitalized with possible neck injuries when an oncoming car struck the driver’s side ripping off the passenger door of their Volvo on Saturday night at Skate Creek Road near Osborne Road northwest of Packwood, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called to the scene about 9 p.m. on Saturday was told both vehicles stopped in the road, but the tan Honda backed up and drove away, turning left on state Route 706 in Pierce County. The driver was not found, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A 44-year-old Chehalis man was arrested after his boat collided head-on with a 19-foot Bayliner at Mayfield Lake on Saturday afternoon. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said the Bayliner had its flag up and an adult skier in the water preparing to go. Both boats had passengers, but no injuries were reported, according to the sheriff’s office. It happened at the east end of the lake just before 3:30 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office. John R. D. Kirkeide, was arrested and jailed for boating under the influence of alcohol and reckless boating as well as a warrant for failing to appear in court in Thurston County related to a DUI there, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

New brief: Car, motorcycle collide with elk in East Lewis County

Monday, August 6th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two motorists were hospitalized after they ran into elk on U.S. Highway 12 in separate accidents overnight.

In both cases, the elk were standing in the roadway in between Randle and Packwood, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers called just before 2 a.m. said an eastbound Honda Civic was totaled. Monica G. Kim, 24, of Snoqualmie sustained cuts to her face and hand, according to the state patrol.

Abut 20 minutes later and five miles to the east, a 56-year-old man on a motorcycle hit a second elk, according to the state patrol. Charles L. Wallace, of Brush Prairie, also had cuts to his face and hand, the responding trooper noted.

Each were taken to Morton General Hospital where they were treated and have been released.

Wallace’s 1990 Harley Davidson had an estimated $400 damage, according to the trooper.

New brief: Boy slashed by father’s boat propeller on Mayfield Lake

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Updated 12:49 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 12-year-old boy swimming at Mayfield Lake was struck by a boat propeller and seriously injured yesterday.

The child was airlifted to a Portland area hospital with deep lacerations to his chest, stomach and thigh, according to responders.

Aid was called to the county park off Beach Road just after 3 p.m., but a sheriff’s deputy out on boat patrol was already on the scene providing first aid, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the boy was approximately 20 feet offshore, swimming next to his father’s boat while the boat was being moored. The father mistakenly put the boat in the wrong gear, striking the 12-year-old, according to Brown.

It happened near the swimming area, according to Lewis County Fire District 8.

The boy was transported to the Mossyrock school ball field where a helicopter picked him up and flew him to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, according to the sheriff’s office.

The family is from Beaverton. Ore.

Brown described the boy’s condition yesterday as serious. Today the hospital said he is stable, Brown said.