Pacific County Sheriff’s Marine Unit Assists Stranded Lacey Man

On April16th at approximately 5:30 PM, the Pacific County Communications Center received a call from a man that stated that he was stranded with his canoe and stuck in the mud. The caller reported that he was in the Palix River. The caller further advised that he had been returning from a day trip on the Palix River when he encountered swift winds and a decreasing tide.
The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office patrol vessel was launched and deputies searched the Palix River until they located the stranded man. Due to receding tides, deputies were forced to deploy rope to the stranded man stuck in the mud. The rope was secured to the canoe with the man in it and pulled to the Sheriff’s vessel. The man was somewhat wet but in otherwise good condition. The man and his canoe were transported back to the nearest boat launch and dropped off.

No injuries at Elma Apartment fire that displaces several families

An apartment fire in Elma displaced about a dozen people last night. Fire Chief Dana Smith tells us they were called to the Woodsvilla Apartment complex just after 4 Thursday afternoon. No injuries were reported from the blaze that destroyed at least two apartments in one of the six unit buildings, Smith said the other units in that building are un-inhabitable due to damage to the roof and shared attic space. Smith said they know where the fire started, however “the unit the fire started in was so rapidly involved and burned so hot.” it’s not likely they will find a cause of the fire.

The fire burned so hot that crews started their response in a defensive stance, protecting the nearby Microtel motel and other units in the complex from the fire spreading.

The Elma Eagles Lodge brought out dinner for the firefighters and families affected during the response last night, the Red Cross was also contacted to assist the families with housing.

Those looking to aid Harbor families in times of emergencies, can make donations to the American Red Cross. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Grays Harbor Fire District #5 along with firefighters from the City of McCleary, Grays Harbor Fire District #2 and the…

Posted by Grays Harbor Fire District 5 on Friday, April 17, 2015

Whooping cough outbreak growing in Washington State

Whooping cough is on the rise in Washington and state health officials are urging people to get vaccinated against the disease, especially pregnant women.

So far in 2015 there have been 319 cases of whooping cough reported compared to 49 reported cases during the same time in 2014. Whooping cough (pertussis) is a serious disease that affects the respiratory system and is spread by coughing and sneezing. Rates of whooping cough are continuing to rise in several areas around the state, which is a concern to health officials.

While everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated against the disease, newborn babies who are too young to be vaccinated are at high risk for severe disease. That’s why it’s especially important that pregnant women get vaccinated during each pregnancy, toward the end of their pregnancy, to best protect their newborn.

“Women who are pregnant should be sure to talk to their health care provider, doctor, or midwife about getting their Tdap vaccine before they give birth,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, communicable disease epidemiologist for the state Department of Health “It’s also important that everyone else in the family is vaccinated to keep babies safe.”

The best way to protect yourself and your family against whooping cough is vaccination. Your health care provider can determine if you have the highest recommended level of protection. While the vaccine provides protection against whooping cough, the level of protection can decrease as time passes after vaccination. This means it’s very important that children and adults have all the recommended doses for the best protection against whooping cough.

If you are around people at high risk for whooping cough, it’s important to know that it takes about two weeks following vaccination to be fully protected. Getting vaccinated protects both the person getting the shot and other people around them at highest risk for complications, like babies and pregnant women.

Craig Dublanko CCAP, and Joan Brewster Grays Harbor Public Health Department

Craig and Joan discuss campers living on private property along the Chehalis River in Aberdeen. Craig details “where we are now” with the city and the land owner. Joan details concerns for the health of the campers, and what the health department is looking for.

Joan talks about the county money set aside to address homelessness. Craig talks about some of the programs that CCAP has available to help those in need.

Family rescued from car on beach seconds before waves roll it over

An Ocean Shores Police Officer rescued a Kent family from the surf this evening.

At about 6:54 pm today, Grays Harbor 911 received a report of a vehicle in the surf near the W. Chance ala Mer beach approach in Ocean Shores. The caller reported that a woman and an infant were still in the vehicle. Two other adults, a male and a female, were already out of the vehicle.

When Officer Watson arrived on scene less than two minutes later, he found the car in the surf. An adult male was in the driver’s seat, with an older female and an infant in the passenger seat. The car had sunk into the wet sand, so the Officer had to force the door open to get the occupants out.

He helped the woman (who was carrying the six-month old baby) out of the car and started leading her up the beach. The male was able to get out on his own. The people were only about 20 feet from the car when another wave hit, lifting the car up and rolling it onto its top.

Other Officers arrived and helped the family of four get clear of the water. They were all checked on the scene by Ocean Shores Fire Department Paramedics and released.

The car had to be flipped over by a bulldozer, then it was removed from the beach by a tow truck.

The driver told Officers that the family was driving on the beach in their brand new Infinity, when they stopped at the edge of the surf to look at the water. The tires sank into the wet sand, so they were unable to drive away when the waves began pounding the car.

Washington State Auditor indicted amid allegations of falsifying tax returns, possessing stolen property

A U.S. Grand Jury in Seattle has returned a ten count indictment against TROY X. KELLEY, 50, of Tacoma for his scheme to keep stolen money and hide it from both the IRS and those due a refund related to their purchase of a home or refinance of a home mortgage, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  KELLEY currently serves as the elected Washington State Auditor.  The majority of the criminal conduct detailed in the indictment spans years prior to KELLEY’s election to statewide office.  However, some of the criminal conduct detailed in the indictment occurred following his election.  KELLEY is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Tacoma at 2:30 today.

 

“Mr. Kelley spun a web of lies in an effort to avoid paying his taxes and keep more than a million dollars that he knew did not belong to him, but instead should have been returned to thousands of homeowners across this state,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  “I commend the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation for their diligent work to piece together the voluminous records that form the basis for the charges in this case.”

 

According to the indictment, between 2003 and 2008, KELLEY operated a business that was paid by real estate title companies to track documents related to real estate sales and refinancings.  KELLEY had agreements with those companies for the fees he could charge in connection with the document-tracking work.  While the title companies withheld $100-$150 on each loan to pay the fee, the bulk of the money was to be returned to the borrower with KELLEY’s company being paid $15- $20 per transaction.  However, the indictment alleges, in most cases, KELLEY kept the entire amount withheld on each loan resulting in more than $2 million in stolen money.  This conduct is the basis for count one of the indictment:  Possession and concealment of stolen property.  When the amount withheld by title companies became the subject of civil litigation, the indictment alleges KELLEY obstructed the litigation, repeatedly lying in a declaration and in depositions while under oath.  For this conduct KELLEY is charged with four counts of false declarations and one count of attempted obstruction of a civil lawsuit.  Further, the indictment alleges KELLEY failed to pay federal taxes and obstructed the IRS in its efforts to collect taxes from him.  He is charged with corrupt interference with Internal Revenue laws and two counts of filing false income tax returns.  Finally, KELLEY is charged with making false statements to Internal Revenue Service agents who questioned him about his scheme in April 2013.

 

“Today’s action demonstrates our collective efforts to enforce the law,” stated Special Agent in Charge Teri Alexander of IRS Criminal Investigation.  “IRS CI is committed to unraveling the complex financial transactions individuals might use to attempt to conceal their taxable income.  To build faith in our tax system, honest taxpayers must be confident that everyone is paying their fair share.”

“The public deserves integrity and honesty from elected officials,” said Special Agent in Charge Frank Montoya, Jr., of the FBI’s Seattle Division.  “For that reason, identifying and investigating public corruption is a top priority for the FBI.”

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

Possession and concealment of stolen property is punishable by up to ten years in prison.  Attempted obstruction of civil litigation is punishable by up to twenty years in prison.  False declarations and false statements are punishable by up to five years in prison.  The remaining charges are punishable by up to three years in prison.

 

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and the FBI.

 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Arlen Storm, Kathryn Frierson and Andrew Friedman.

Sidewalk project temporarily reduces parking at Elma Safety Rest Area

A sidewalk repair project at the Elma Safety Rest Area on State Route 8 will lead to temporary parking changes. From Monday, April 20 through Thursday, April 23, all vehicles will use the semi-truck parking area.

During the maintenance project, the men’s restroom will be closed and portable toilets will be available. The women’s restroom will remain open. The work is occurring in advance of the busy summer travel season.

The Washington State Department of Transportation operates numerous Safety Rest Areas across the state to give travelers a place to rest before continuing on their journey.

Drivers can learn of traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s travel alerts and construction update webpages.

Hyperlinks within the news release:

  • WSDOT Safety Rest Areas

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/safety/restareas

  • Washington State Travel Alerts

http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/

Senate Passes bill to upgrade crude oil regulations in Grays Harbor

The Senate has passed a bill to set up new safety regulations for oil trains that travel through Washington. The bill would tax oil moved by rail or tanker at 5 cents a barrel to fund spill cleanup efforts, and requires upgrades like tug escorts and other water transport safety measures for oil shipped via Grays Harbor. An amendment to extend those requirements to Puget Sound oil shipments failed.