Off Duty Centralia Fireman Discovers House Fire; Gets Occupants Out

April 30, 2016 Comments off

Fire shoots from the attic of the Clifton Harris and Aimee Loyd home at 1101 East 2nd in Centralia during a Saturday morning fire. Centralia City Firefighter Blaine Hyde is on the ladder attacking the fire. Photo by Tim Ferguson.

A Centralia City Fireman just getting off duty discovered smoke coming from the attic of a home on his way home early Saturday morning and woke up the occupants who got out safely.  

Flames were later shooting from the attic area of the home at 11-01 East 2nd being purchased by Clifton Harris and Aimee Loyd on a contract for deed.   Centralia City Firemen were able to confine the actual fire to the attic, but there was smoke damage throughout the home.  

Some of the ceilings had to be pulled down to get to the fire and blown in insulation.   The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical wiring.   

Centralia Fire Captain Johnny Lynch saw the fire when driving home and got both occupants and their two dogs out safely.   

All available Centralia City Firemen were called to the scene.   Since the shift change had just occurred, some firemen from the previous shift were still at the station.   Firemen were able to cover many items in the home with tarps before bringing down the ceilings to limit damage to the furnishings.  

Damage is estimated at $15,000.  Power to the home was shut off and the Red Cross called to assist the occupants.  

The owner of the home is Qing Li Weiler of Effingham.     

Firemen received the call at 6:39 Saturday morning and were on the scene for about two hours.    Centralia Emergency Services and Disaster Agency assisted with traffic control.   

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Police Beat for Saturday, April 30th, 2016

April 30, 2016 Comments off

A 54-year-old Centralia man has been arrested by Centralia Police for aggravated battery and aggravated assault.  Raymond Lawson of North College Street is accused of grabbing Vernon Jones of Centralia by the neck and pushing him to the ground while armed with a steak knife at Laura Leake Park on Wednesday.  Lawson also allegedly threatened to kill Jones if he got up off the ground.  Lawson was gone by the time police were notified, but was taken into custody Friday when seen walking down a street.

A 31-year-old Centralia man, Marcus Walker of North Maple, has been arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies for possession of a controlled substance.

A 19-year-old Salem man has been arrested on multiple charges following a traffic stop by sheriff’s deputies Friday night.  Collin Wihiser of State Route 37 remained in the Marion County Jail Saturday for driving under the influence, possession of under 2.5 grams of cannabis, and driving while unlicensed.   

Salem Police arrested three men for criminal trespass to rail property after they were found riding on a Union Pacific Freight Train on Friday.  25-year-old Thomas Keyser of Austin, Texas and 36-year-old Uesenia Sauceda and 25-year-old Alonzo Wilson, who both said they were homeless, were arrested after the train was stopped near the old Union Pacific Train Depot on East Main Street.  A railroad employee had seen them on the train earlier.

A 21-year-old Centralia man, Adam Owens of South Brookside, was arrested at the Marion County Courthouse Friday on a petition to revoke his probation.  

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Salem Woman Faces Multiple Charges After Pickup Plows Through Building

April 30, 2016 Comments off

Christina Bender

A 34-year-old Salem woman faces multiple charges after her pickup ran off the Green Street Road and hit a parked pickup truck, a building, and a motorcycle inside the building.  

Christine Bender of South College Street was being held in the Marion County Jail for driving under the influence of drugs, driving on a suspended or revoked license, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.   

Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies say Bender ran off the 800 block of Green Street Road, struck a ditch and a sign, and then hit a parked pickup truck owned by Karen Richardson of Colestock Lane in Centralia.  Bender’s vehicle then crashed into a building owned by James Hensley at 879 Green Street Road.  Once inside, Bender struck a motorcycle before she came to a stop.  

Deputies report Bender was able to drive out of the building and leave the scene of the accident.   A witness was able to get a license plate number which checked back to a vehicle owned by Jason Hodge of Nations Road in rural Salem.   

Deputies went to Hodge’s home and found the damaged pickup outside.  Hodge indicated Bender, who was still at his home, was driving.   She was taken into custody.  The wreck occurred during the noon hour on Thursday.

Bender was out on bond on multiple methamphetamine related charges filed against her in January.  During a Friday morning court appearance, Bender’s $15,000 bond on those cases was raised to $25,000.  The chases include two counts of possession of under five grams of meth, aggravated meth manufacturing, possession of a meth precursor, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.  

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Homeless Salem Man Charged With Burglary to Grandfather’s Home

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Matthew Gaines

Bond has been set at $25,000 for an 18-year-old homeless Salem man who was formally charged in Marion County Court Friday with residential burglary.  

Matthew Gaines is accused of breaking into his grandfather David Gaines home on Apple Ridge Road in rural Salem early Thursday morning.  The only item believed missing from the home was a HMR 17 caliber rifle.  The gun has not been located.  

Gaines was already in custody when sheriff’s deputies determined he was allegedly involved in the breakin.   He had been taken into custody at the Jason Hodge home on Nation Road in rural Salem after sheriff’s deputies had gone there looking for the driver of a vehicle involved in the hit and run wreck on Green Street Road.  

Gaines allegedly gave deputies a false name.   He was arrested at that time for a parole hold in a juvenile case.  

Gaines had the public defender appointed to represent him and ordered to have no contact with his grandfather or his home if he was released on bond.  A preliminary hearing was set for May 17th.   

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Salem Man Charged with Aggravated Battery to Pregnant Girlfriend

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Sean Wimberly

A 25-year-old Salem man has been charged in Marion County Court Friday with aggravated battery to a pregnant woman.  

Salem Police say Sean Wimberly of Deer Path Drive allegedly threw his girlfriend, Brittany Finley, to the bed causing a minor facial injury.  She is reportedly eight months pregnant, leading to the elevated aggravated battery charge.

Police say Wimberly allegedly came home Thursday night and demanded Finley to leave.  He then reportedly began throwing her stuff out.  Wimberly allegedly knocked her to the bed when she confronted him.  

Salem Police say Wimberly also attempted to pull away from them when they were placing him in the squad car.  

Bond for Wimberly was set at $15,000.  If he is released on bond, Wimberly was ordered to have no contact with Finley.  He told the court he would hire his own attorney.  First appearance with counsel was set for May 5th.    

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Rural Centralia Man Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Endangerment Charge For Throwing Item Off I-57 Overpass

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Zackary Schilling

A 19-year-old Centralia man has pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular endangerment pending against him in Marion County Court in connection with throwing a soda off an I-57 overpass in November 2013.   

Zackary Schilling of Burge Road was sentenced to five years TASC probation, ordered to undergo drug evaluation and treatment, abstain from drugs, and told to share in making $1,344 restitution with two juvenile co-defendants.  

As part of the plea, three other counts of vehicular endangerment and three counts of burglary were dropped.  The other three vehicular endangerment charges accused Schilling of dropping other items, including a cinder block, bottled water, and a cup of ice, off of I-57 overpasses onto vehicles below.  The burglary counts dropped were for two burglaries at the Centralia Band Shell and one burglary to the Salem Baseball Complex that all took place in late 2013.   

At the time of the incident police indicated only one person received a minor injury from glass in the eye as a result of a shattered windshield.  Those involved allegedly moved from overpass to overpass to stay ahead of police who were getting multiple 9-1-1 calls about the thrown objects.

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Centralia Man Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Fleeing For Lengthy April Police Chase

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A 19-year-old Centralia man who initially successfully fled following a high speed police chase that went through Centralia, the Shattuc area, and Sandoval has pleaded guilty in Marion County Court to aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude police.  

Cole Childress, who told police he was homeless, was sentenced to two years probation, court costs, as well as drug and alcohol evaluation, treatment, and abstention.  He was also given credit for 28 days served in the Marion County Jail.

As part of the plea, a second felony count of aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude police and multiple traffic tickets were dismissed.  

Childress had initially got away from police after his car crashed into a ditch on Barr Street in Sandoval following the chase that began in Centralia and wound through the Shattuc area, before terminating in Sandoval. 

Sheriff’s Deputies had identified Childress as the suspect after reviewing video from the Circle K in Centralia where he had been before the attempted traffic stop.  At that point, they learned Childress was already in custody after being arrested on an unrelated probation violation at the Marion County probation office the day after the chase.

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