Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Logging accident claims life of Centralia man

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office reported today that a 50-year-old man from Centralia was killed in an accident at a logging site yesterday.

William J. Leonard was deceased at the scene, inside the cab of a piece of heavy equipment that tumbled several hundred yards down a steep embankment of the Fossil Creek area of Pacific County, according to the sheriff’s office.

Chief Deputy Pat Matlock wrote in a news release this afternoon that they were called about the incident about 12:25 p.m. yesterday.

It happened about 16 miles from the paved roadway, on Rayonier Forestry land, according to Matlock.

“Witness statements and evidence observed at the scene indicate that the victim was ‘shovel logging’ a steep side hill,” Matlock wrote. “It appeared that the shovel had been moving decks of trees up the hill when it tipped over and rolled to the bottom.”

Leonard was working for EDB Logging, according to sheriff’s office.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, September 23rd, 2016
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•••

Updated at 6:47 p.m.

INMATE ASSAULTED, GETS STITCHES

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning an inmate assaulted his cell mate, causing serious lacerations to his forehead and cheek on Wednesday afternoon. A deputy responding about 9 p.m. to the Lewis County Jail learned the incident was over an unpaid debt, according to the sheriff’s office. The victim is a 48-year-old man and the arrestee is 27-year-old Robert E. Chandler, of Centralia, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. Chandler is being held on a second-degree assault case out of Centralia and was re-booked for an additional second-degree assault. Breen did not say what object might have been used to cause the cuts. When Chandler was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court, prosecutors wrote that the victim got eight stitches for his wounds. The argument was over a deal in which Chandler reportedly purchased the victim a deck of playing cards in exchange for portions of his meals, according to prosecutors. The victim recalled being pushed back into his cell and the door slamming shut and the next thing he recalled, he said, was waking up in the nurse’s office with a bandage on his forehead, Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello wrote. Chandler said it was self defense, and his cell mate fell backwards hitting his head on the bed frame, according to Masiello. His bail was set at $20,000.

EMPLOYEE ASSAULTED BY INMATE

• Police were called to Green Hill School yesterday to take a report of a 17-year-old student-inmate who allegedly threw punches at a staff member. The case is being referred to juvenile prosecutors for charging, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

SMASH AND GRAB SPREE

• Centralia police were called about 6:35 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of Pioneer Way where five different vehicles were broken into during a sporting event. Windows were smashed and purses stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department. In Chehalis, an officer was called to Stan Hedwall Park on Rice Road just before 7 p.m. where four people were similarly victimized, according to police.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called yesterday by an individual who said that sometime between 11 a.m. and 12:25 p.m., someone stole a tool box from the back of their pickup truck while it was parked at the 1700 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue.

OTHER THEFT

• Centralia police were called to the 100 block of West Fifth Street about 9:10 a.m. yesterday to take a report of the theft of a leaf blower.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called about 3 p.m. yesterday to a business at the 1600 block of North National Avenue, recently burglarized, to take a report that windows had been broken and someone came inside and caused property damage.

FRAUD

• Chehalis police were contacted by a resident yesterday morning who suspected their credit information was being used by someone else, leading to an address in Chehalis where packages had been delivered. The second person told police they were working as a quality control person for a business called Pure Delivery, which turned out to be a fraudulent business, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police attempted to contact the company, with no success, according to according to a department spokesperson.

DRUGS

• A 32-year-old woman pulled over about 12:45 a.m. today at the 3100 block of Ives Road in Centralia because of an outstanding warrant was additionally arrested for possession of methamphetamine after some was found in one of her undergarments at the Lewis County Jail. Melissa A. McAllister, from Centralia, also had switchblade in her purse, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. McAllister was booked also for possession of a dangerous weapon, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, trespassing, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances … and more among 166 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Phone fraud involving sheriff’s office

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Someone is impersonating a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office employee, making phone calls and trying to scam people out of money.

Chief Deputy Dusty Breen says several individuals have advised the sheriff’s office they’ve been contacted by a person purporting to be with the warrants division.

They’ve been told the call is about missing federal jury duty and the only way to avoid arrest is to come to the sheriff’s office after completing an initial procedure, according to Breen.

The “initial procedure” involves obtaining a “Green Dot” pre-paid card and providing the caller with security information so the caller can get the funds, according to Breen.

The sheriff’s office is actively investigating the source of the calls as originating from an Internet based application, according to Breen.

“We are asking the public to remain vigilant to the ever increasing amount of scams via telephone and internet,” Breen states in a news release. “If you are contacted by someone from a government agency and believe it seems suspicious, it is recommended you find independent contact information for the agency and contact them directly.”

The sheriff’s office also recommends the public not share any personal identifying information with anyone if they are not certain of their identity.

Former Chehalis Chief Hamilton dies in Mexico

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Former Chehalis Chief of Police and Fire Services Randy C. Hamilton passed away on Saturday in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, at age 65.

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Randy C. Hamilton
1951 – 2016

Hamilton retired from the city of Chehalis in March 2002, and went on to work for the U.S. Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center traveling the country and teaching, according to his daughter.

“He taught a lot of classes, all over the U.S. really, and even Guam,” Kalessa Markham said.

The Chehalis native moved to the Tacoma area about 10 years ago and worked as a handyman and then, as general manager of a bar in Tacoma called The Mix, Markham said.

He retired for good in August and decided he would move to a place he enjoyed visiting so much, she said.

Markham said her father’s death was unexpected, but he died peacefully with family members around him.

“I’m realizing what an impact he had, not just in our community, but everywhere,” she said. “It’s so nice to know he’s missed by so many people.”

Hamilton began his law enforcement career as a Lewis County sheriff’s deputy, spending his last five years as the undersheriff. He ran for sheriff, and lost. Then in 1987 was hired by the city of Chehalis.

Hamilton leaves behind three children, three grandchildren and other family.

A public viewing at Brown Mortuary in Chehalis is scheduled for tomorrow between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. A family graveside service will be held on Saturday.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. at the Chehalis Middle School Commons. Everyone is welcome, his daughter said.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
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•••

NIGHTTIME INTRUDER STEALS TP

• Deputies responded about 11 a.m. yesterday to the 200 block of Jones Road in Winlock where a 39-year-old man reported someone got into his basement while he was sleeping and stole medications, toilet paper and motor oil. A Foosball table surface was damaged as well, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened sometime between 7 p.m. on Tuesday and 7 a.m. yesterday, according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called to the 800 block of Marion Street about 3:15 p.m. yesterday to investigate a burglary to a shop. Tools were taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• A deputy was called yesterday afternoon to property behind a gate off of the 400 block of Teitzel Road outside Centralia where a car was found that appeared to be partly “parted out,” according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A cutting torch was located and the 1992 Honda Accord had been stolen in Centralia, according to the sheriff’s office.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called about 3:30 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 2000 block of Haviland Street in Centralia. A cell phone was stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 31-year-old Centralia man picked up on outstanding warrants about 6:45 p.m. yesterday at the 1400 block of West Main Street in Centralia was also arrested for possession of methamphetamine as a sandwich baggie containing several bindles of suspected meth were located inside a backpack, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Steven D. Harko Couch was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Chief Deputy Dusty Breen.

TRUCK FIRE

• Firefighters were called abut 12:20 a.m. today to a fire in a semi truck on Interstate 5 southbound near milepost 65. The truck was destroyed and the 53-foot trailer transporting bottled water sustained minor damage, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. The driver said she’d seen smoke coming from the sleeping area of the cab, but the cause is undetermined, Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson said. A crew was on scene for approximately an hour total for extinguishment and overhaul, according to Anderson.

HOUSE FIRE CAUSE STILL UNKNOWN

• Fire Investigator Ted McCarty said this morning the cause of the house fire at South Market Boulevard and 11th Street last Thursday morning remains under investigation, by the police and fire department. A man, a woman and a toddler were helped to safety out of a second-floor dormer window before the fire department arrived after the approximately 5 a.m. call.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police were involved with a short vehicle pursuit of a gray pickup truck at about 2:10 p.m. yesterday in the area of Mellen Street and Interstate 5. The officer attempted a traffic stop because of an equipment violation, but the driver headed south on the freeway and the officer terminated the pursuit due to safety concerns, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, request that a pair of homeless males with all their “stuff” on a bench outside a church be asked to move along … and more among 155 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Motorcyclist hospitalized after crash in Tumwater

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Centralia man was injured when his motorcycle struck the rear of a car and he was ejected last night in Tumwater.

Jeffrey E. Westley, 51, was westbound at a high rate of speed on Tumwater Boulevard Southwest approaching Littlerock Road when he ran into the back of a Volkswagen Passat, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers called just before 9 p.m. report Westley landed in the entrance to the traffic circle and the roadway was blocked for three and a half hours.

His 2002 Honda VTR100 was described as totaled.

Westley was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital, according to the state patrol. Investigators suspect he was under the influence and drugs may have been involved, the patrol indicated in a brief summary of the incident.

The driver of the Passat was reportedly unhurt and her car was damaged but still drivable.

Former Green Hill counselor gets jail, treatment in inmate sex case

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
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Erin Snodgrass is escorted out of the courtroom to jail after hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Green Hill School counselor who engaged in a sexual relationship with a student-inmate was sentenced today to 14 days in jail plus 46 treatment sessions.

Erin Snodgrass, also known as Erin Stiebritz, was arrested in January following an investigation that began after a letter was intercepted at the state juvenile detention facility.

The student, who turned 18 during the period of time in question, told detectives they had sex a few times in her office, according to court documents.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead told a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court he and her lawyer came to an agreement to recommend she be sentenced to a lower than usual amount of time.

Snodgrass, 37, pleaded guilty to first-degree custodial sexual misconduct in July, an offense with a standard sentencing range of six to 12 months in jail.

Halstead said the reason for less time included the fact that she has taken responsibility for it and also the interview with the student was not recorded and he later denied everything.

Snodgrass began working at Green Hill in June 2013. The events investigated occurred during the latter half of 2014. She has been free and out of custody with an unsecured bond since her arrest.

Defense attorney Blake Kremer told the judge his client takes all of this very seriously.

“She made a terrible mistake,” Kremer said. “That’s what she’ll be paying for forever.”

He noted her family stands by her, although she didn’t want them to come to the hearing. Kremer pointed out three friends in the courtroom who were there to support Snodgrass.

She addressed the court, her voice breaking.

“This has really done a lot of damage to my family and my friends,” Snodgrass said.

Judge James Lawler said he’d read the pre-sentencing report and the sentencing memorandum, and it was obvious to him the defendant felt remorse. He adopted the recommended sentence.

On paper, she was given 60 days in jail, however all but 14 of those days were each converted to one treatment session.

Neither Halstead nor Kremer mentioned, nor would they say outside the courtroom, the nature of the treatment.

Green Hill in Chehalis is run by the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, a division of the Department of Social and Health Services. It’s a secure facility in Chehalis that provides older, male offenders education and vocational training.

Earlier this year, the state Department of Health suspended Snodgrass’s counselor credential for at least four years.

The judge also ordered that she serve 12 months of community custody and have no contact with the victim.

Snodgrass was taken into custody at the end of the hearing.
•••

For background, read “Guilty plea accepted in Green Hill counselor-inmate sex case” from Wednesday July 27, 2016, here

Centralia 2012: One defendant in rape of 13-year-old gets a plea deal

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
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Tyler M. McKee and his lawyer face a judge this morning in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A former Chehalis man admitted today he took advantage of a 13-year-old girl at a Centralia party when he was 19 years old.

Tyler M. McKee has been held since the end of July on $100,000 bail in the Lewis County Jail in connection with the 2012 case.

He and his lawyer made a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree child molestation, while a charge of second-degree rape of a child was dropped.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt asked McKee if the words printed on his admission were what happened, that on May 4, 2012, he had sexual contact with a person under 14 and encouraged, aided and abetted another to also have sexual contact with the same victim.

McKee agreed and the judge asked if McKee knew her age.

“No, I didn’t know,” McKee said.

Earlier this summer, the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office secured an arrest warrant for one of three males the 13-year-old girl believed engaged in sex with her at the party, when she was so drunk she could not walk. DNA collected from her pants and McKee were a match, according to court documents.

The now 22-year-old was living in Las Vegas and returned to Lewis County at the end of July.

After this morning’s court hearing, the judge imposed a no-bail hold and scheduled a date to return to court for Oct. 20.

His sentencing can’t take place until after the state Department of Corrections completes a pre-sentencing investigation in which the state agency will make its recommendation for how long he should be locked up.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said the standard sentencing range for McKee is 31 to 41 months and the state will recommend 41.

McKee is represented by Centralia lawyer J.P. Enbody.

Another 22-year-old was arrested last week in connection with the same incident. Geffrey A. Duncan of Chehalis is charged with second-degree rape of a child.

He told the judge when he appeared in court on Friday he has no idea who the victim is. His bail was $25,000.
•••

For background, read “Suspect in rape of girl at 2012 Centralia party arrested in Vegas” from Monday August 1, 2016, here

Pe Ell parents convicted of striking, bruising child

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
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Diana M. Rogerson consults with her lawyer Chris Baum today in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 37-year-old mother entered into a plea agreement and was sentenced today in a case in which she spanked her 7-year-old daughter so hard it left a bruise.

Diana M. Rogerson was given 60 days in jail and ordered to undergo drug and alcohol treatment as well as treatment pertaining to domestic violence, according to Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt told Rogerson her right to possess firearms is revoked, following her plea of guilty to fourth-degree assault domestic violence.

Rogerson was charged in June with third-degree assault of a child shortly after her husband was charged with the same offense for a different incident involving the girl, his stepdaughter.

Joseph W. Rogerson was arrested after the girl told a school counselor her step-father punched her in the arm when she tried to get him to stop hitting her mom, while the family was target shooting in the woods near Pe Ell.

The family lived in Pe Ell.

Because of the arrest, Joseph Rogerson, 37, lost his deferred prosecution in a case of driving under the influence, from an arrest last summer after a head-on crash in Onalaska that killed three teenagers. The investigation by the Washington State Patrol concluded he was traveling in his own lane and not to blame for the wreck.

Joseph Rogerson has pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and is awaiting sentencing in Lewis County District Court.

The case was assigned to Child Protective Services. The children went to live with their father in Toledo.

Diana Rogerson will be allowed to serve her time with electronic home monitoring, if she qualifies, according to Halstead. Otherwise she will have to check in to the Lewis County Jail by Oct. 11. The judge also ordered her not to have any contact with her daughter, until she fulfills her obligations, he said.

She admitted taking a folded belt to her daughter, something the girl’s older brother told deputies happened after the child  refused to say prayers at dinnertime.
•••

For background, read “Pe Ell mother faces charge of assault of her child” from Tuesday June 21, 2016, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
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•••

NIGHTTIME INTRUDERS NEAR BARN

• Deputies were called just after 9 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of Lincoln Creek Road west of Centralia when a resident investigating flashlights in his field seen headed toward his barn encountered two males who shoved him against a wall and fled. A neighbor had called to report hearing yelling and vehicles driving behind a residence, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 43-year-old victim tried to pursue the males on foot, but nobody was found, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said it’s not yet known if anything was stolen, but they are investigating.

BURGLARY

• Chehalis police were called at 1:50 p.m. yesterday to take a report of a second-degree burglary at the 300 block of Southeast Washington Avenue. Further details are not yet available, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to a business on the 1600 block of North National Avenue where someone made a hole in the exterior wall at the back of a business and had been removing unspecified items.

• Centralia police were called about 7:25 a.m. yesterday to the 1600 block of North Pearl Street where someone had broken into a storage shed and made off with a shotgun, a rifle and two archery bows.

THEFT

• An officer was called to the 500 block of Southwest 18th Street in Chehalis about 3:15 p.m. yesterday to take that mail had been stolen.

DRUGS

• Centralia police arrested a 20-year-old Oakville resident for possession of methamphetamine and an outstanding warrant last night.  Natasha C Henderson was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer about 9:45 p.m. at the 500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 61-year-old Silver Creek man was booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence after he totaled his 1997 Ford pickup truck last night, colliding with a guard rail on Stowell Road near Gore Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy responded to the approximately 11:48 p.m. single-vehicle collision, noted the driver had failed to negotiate a curve and arrested Ted C. Hamrick, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, probation violation, protection order violation, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, trespassing, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, barking neighbor dog … and more among 194 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.