The Chronicle - Centralia

Toledo sweeps Rainier with a pair of run-rule victories

The Toledo softball team came away with two big wins on Monday, as the Riverhawks topped Rainier 11-1 in five innings and 18-3 in three in a doubleheader.

In Game 1, a league contest, Peyton Holter pitched all five innings for Toledo (10-1, 4-1 C2BL), giving up just three hits and a run while striking out six. She also went 3 for 3 at the plate with four runs batted in.

Kailea Lairson collected a pair of hits and two RBIs, and Quyn Norberg didn’t record an at-bat, but she reached base on three walks and brought home a run on one of them.

Brooklynn Swenson and Ryleigh Cruse each got on base with extra-base hits for Rainier (6-7, 2-2 C2BL), and Olivia Earsley scored the Mountaineers lone run.

The Toledo offense had an even better game in the nightcap, a non-league matchup, as the Riverhawks plated six runs in each inning of the three-inning win.

Camryn Hurley logged two hits and brought home three runs, Rahkelle Miller went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBIs, and Brynn Davis hit a triple and drove in two more.

Keira Anderson tallied a pair of hits for the Mountaineers, including a double, and drove in a run, while Cruse and Swenson also logged base hits.

Rainier will host Adna on Wednesday, while Toledo will host Napavine on Thursday.

Big innings propel Tigers over Highclimbers

The Centralia softball team scored in bunches on Monday, plating at least three runs in every inning in a 16-4 win over Shelton.

The Tigers (8-6, 3-4 2A EvCo) trailed 2-0 after half of an inning, but they took the lead with three in the first. A seven spot in the second blew the game open, and another trio in the third and fourth put the game into run-rule territory.

Hollynn Wakefield got the win in the circle, allowing four hits and four runs (two earned) while walking one and striking out six.

Gracie Schofield collected a pair of hits, including a solo home run, while Makayla Chavez and Payton Baumel combined for five runs batted in.

Centralia is now just a half-game back of Rochester for the No. 4 spot in the EvCo standings.

The Tigers will welcome W.F. West to Fort Borst Park on Wednesday.

Centralia Police Chief Stacy Denham selected as city manager of Chehalis 

Centralia Police Department Chief Stacy Denham has been selected as the next city manager of Chehalis, according to a Monday news release.

“The Chehalis City Council is excited to announce their agreement with Stacy Denham, who will assume the role of city manager starting June 1, 2024,” the release stated. “We eagerly anticipate the fresh ideas, dynamic leadership and strategic partnerships Mr. Denham will bring to help us propel our city into a promising future.”

Denham has lived in the Chehalis area for over 30 years and was employed as a Chehalis police officer for over 12 years before being hired by the Centralia Police Department. 

While with the Centralia Police Department, Denham was promoted through the ranks to chief of police.

“The Chehalis City Council would like to thank everyone who participated in the hiring process, including Chehalis staff, business owners and community members,” the city stated in a news release. “Having input from our community is vital to ensuring transparency in the process and that we hire the right person to be our next city manager.”

Denham will replace Jill Anderson, who is retiring. 

After former Chehalis City Manager Merlin MacReynold retired in late 2016, Anderson came to Chehalis as the new city manager. Now 60, Anderson plans on enjoying her retirement and remaining in Chehalis with her husband, who is also retired.

Denham has over 30 years of law enforcement experience. He has been with the Centralia Police Department since 2006 when he started as a police officer and progressed through the ranks, serving as a sergeant, commander and deputy chief, and he has been chief of police since 2020. Prior to joining the Centralia Police Department, he was a police officer for Chehalis from 1994 to 2006. Denham has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and public administration from Liberty University and an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Centralia College. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. 

He was one of two finalists for the city manager position after a third dropped out. 

The other candidate was Peter Boyce. 

Boyce has almost 25 years of experience in city and county government. He was most recently city administrator for the City of Woodland, where he served for over seven years. Prior to that, he was with the City of Gladstone, Oregon, from 2008 to 2015, where he first served as assistant city administrator, then city administrator for over six years. Boyce was county administrator for Wabasha County, Minnesota, and he served Anaconda and Deer Lodge in Montana, first as clerk and recorder, and then as chief executive officer. He has a bachelor's degree in technology and business development from Montana Technological University.

This article will be updated. 


In focus: Professional bull riding makes a stop at Tacoma Dome

Loud cheers and country music filled the Tacoma Dome as professional bull riders put their grit to the test in the Tacoma “Unleash the Beast” championship Sunday afternoon. Hundreds of people filled the dome from around the world. 

This is the third consecutive year the Tacoma Dome hosted the two-day event.

“The PBR is experiencing unprecedented growth in global and domestic appeal. Today more than 600 bull riders from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico hold PBR memberships,” according to the PBR website.

PBR travels around the world with notable riders at each event with Alan de Souza winning the championship round on Sunday, following another win earlier that week in Everett.

The World Finals Unleash the Beast championship will be held in Arlington, Texas on May 18 and 19. 

Man accused of kidnapping woman, trying to drive her to California arrested in Lewis County 

A man accused of kidnapping his estranged wife in Kent and attempting to drive her to California while he was intoxicated was arrested in Lewis County early Sunday morning. 

The man, identified as Julio Mendoza Salazar, 49, of Kent, was booked into the Lewis County Jail just before 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 21. He was charged in Lewis County Superior Court on Monday with one count each of unlawful imprisonment, DUI and harassment, threat to kill. 

The victim called Thurston County 911 Communications at approximately 3:50 a.m. on April 21 to report Mendoza Salazar “was attempting to kidnap her from Kent … and take her to California.” 

She stayed on the phone with dispatchers as the vehicle drove southbound into Lewis County, according to court documents. Dispatchers reported the victim repeatedly told Mendoza Salazar to let her out of the vehicle. 

The victim later told investigators Mendoza Salazar “had asked her to go out as friends and she believed him,” but after drinking, he refused to take her home and threatened “that he would ‘crash into a truck.’” According to court documents, the victim “described Mendoza Salazar as ‘driving like a crazy person’ …(and) reiterated that he said we are going to crash and said that he was going to kill them both.” 

She reportedly told law enforcement personnel, “I think he is drunk. I know he wouldn’t do anything, but he threatened to kill us both.” 

A Washington State Patrol trooper and a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputy waited for the vehicle in Lewis County and reportedly saw it traveling southbound near milepost 74 south of Chehalis. 

The patrol vehicles began following Mendoza Salazar’s vehicle at milepost 74, noting the vehicle was “driving (at) erratic speeds, having trouble maintaining its lane and driving too close to other vehicles,” according to court documents. The trooper and the deputy activated their emergency lights near milepost 68 to initiate a traffic stop, but “it took Mendoza Salazar some time before (he pulled) over into the gore point,” according to court documents. 

It took “awhile” to get the victim out of the vehicle “due to language barriers,” but the victim did eventually exit the vehicle “with her phone in hand while still talking to dispatch,” court documents indicate. 

When contacted inside the vehicle, Mendoza Salzar was reportedly “staring straight ahead and had a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle,” according to court documents. 

He reportedly “had difficulty trying to stand and would fall back,” and “had to keep leaning on the seat.” 

When questioned, Mendoza Salazar allegedly “admitted to having ‘only four or five’ (drinks)” and “said he drove very well, but she was drunk.” He allegedly “would not answer why” he was driving in the opposite direction of his and the victims’ residences in the Kent area. 

A breathalyzer sample provided by Mendoza Salazar at the time of his arrest reportedly showed his blood alcohol content was between 0.115 and 0.119. The legal limit to drive in Washington state is .08. 

Bail was set at $25,000 on Monday ahead of a formal preliminary hearing with a Spanish-speaking interpreter scheduled for Tuesday, April 23. His conditions of release include provisions preventing him from drinking alcohol until his case is resolved. A criminal no-contact order protecting the victim is in place. 

Man accused of fracturing another man's jaw in a fight outside of a Salkum bar

Bail is set at $5,000 for a man accused of punching a man repeatedly and fracturing his jaw outside of a bar in Salkum on Friday. 

The defendant, identified as Cody Benjermin Edward Rider, 25, of Onalaska, allegedly attacked another man as he was leaving the bar on Friday, April 19, with the victim reporting “Rider knocked him out and he was told by other people Rider kept hitting him while he was unconscious,” according to court documents. 

The victim was reportedly involved in a verbal dispute with a female employee at the bar shortly before the assault occurred. Both parties were intoxicated at the time, according to court documents.

At least three witnesses reported the victim was “face down on the ground holding his head while Rider was over him ‘pounding’ each side of his head with closed first,” according to court documents. One of the witnesses reported “Rider hit (the victim) at least 20 times while he was on the ground.” 

When questioned by a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputy, Rider allegedly “said he was expecting contact with police about the incident” and reported the victim had been kicked out of the bar for repeatedly arguing with his wife, who was an employee at the bar. Rider said the victim “was getting physical with his wife” after he was kicked out, “so (Rider) stepped in, and (the victim) tried to hit him,” according to court documents. 

Rider reported the victim missed, he struck the victim, “and they wrestled on the ground.” He reportedly “would later say that he only punched (the victim) one time after (the victim) punched him.” 

The victim reportedly had “visible injuries to (his) face” when a deputy contacted him. He reportedly admitted to getting into an argument with his wife at the bar and leaving the bar with someone else, though his account of who he left with differed from the other witness accounts. The victim reported that “while outside the bar, Rider approached him and punched him with a closed fist,” adding that “he lost consciousness and only remembers Rider being taken to a vehicle after regaining consciousness,” according to court documents. 

Hospital staff later confirmed the victim had sustained a broken jaw, according to court documents. 

“(There are) allegations that it was unprovoked,” Judge Joely Yeager said of the assault, noting Monday that Rider was charged with one count of second-degree assault, which is a class B felony. 

While the prosecution asked for bail to be set at $25,000 due to the seriousness of the charges, defense attorney Rachael Tiller argued for Rider’s release on unsecured bail, noting that Rider has “extremely limited history” and “no similar convictions on his record.” 

“I know that he has pretty significant mitigating circumstances that will come out in court,” Tiller said Monday. 

“Some bail is warranted,” Yeager said Monday, acknowledging Rider’s lack of criminal and warrant history by setting a relatively low bail amount. 

Arraignment is scheduled for May 2. An anti-harassment order protecting the victim is in place.

Man, 58, pronounced dead at Maytown Rest Area after a medical emergency on Monday 

A 58-year-old Vancouver man was pronounced dead at the southbound Interstate 5 Maytown Rest Area in Thurston County on Monday after he suffered a medical emergency. 

Richard J. Fulton was reportedly in the front passenger seat of a vehicle at the rest area when his father found he was unconscious, according to a Washington State Patrol incident report. 

Aid was dispatched just after 11:30 a.m. on April 22. 

Department of Transportation units who were at the scene attempted CPR until medical aid arrived and took over, according to the incident report. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Thurston County Medical Examiner has notified his next of kin, according to the State Patrol. 

The Washington State Patrol has not determined whether drugs or alcohol were involved, according to the incident report.

NYT Politics

As College Students Protest, Harris Keeps Her Focus on Abortion
Author: Jazmine Ulloa
“When we think about what is at stake, it is absolutely about freedom,” Vice President Kamala Harris said during a visit to Wisconsin.

Columbian Newspaper

Judge OKs phone surveys of jury pool for man charged in 4 University of Idaho student deaths
Author: REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho — Defense attorneys for a man charged in the deaths of four University of Idaho students can resume phone surveys of potential jurors in the case, a judge has ruled.


Judge sentences Vancouver man, guilty of assault and attempted murder, to 25 years in prison
Author: Alexis Weisend

A Vancouver man was sentenced Monday to more than 25 years in prison for shooting through the front door and bedroom window of his estranged wife’s house while she and their children were home.