KELA News Headlines for Wednesday, March 4, 2015 (Updated 9:30 AM)
NEW!! Winlock house fire victims identified
The Lewis County Coroner’s Office has positively identified the victims of the fatal house fire in Winlock that occurred on February 26. They are 31-year old Samantha Koehler, 4-year old Bethany Cuvreau and 2-year old Tabitha Cuvreau. According to the Coroner’s Office, the cause of death is asphyxia due to inhalation of combustible products or smoke inhalation and the manner of death is pending the final report from the fire investigator.
Three arrested in Onalaska in fraud investigation
An investigation into forgery and the writing of fraudulent checks that began last month led to the arrest of three people in Onalaska on Monday. The Lewis County Sheriff's Office reports when deputies attempted to locate the suspect, identified as Shauna Ridgely, at a residence in the 400 block of View Ridge Road in Onalaska, they found her walking along the road and she gave them permission to enter the home. In the residence deputies found check manufacturing equipment. Ridgely was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for theft, forgery and the manufacture of fraudulent financial documents. At the residence deputies also located 30-year old Amy Moore of Tumwater and 29-year old Francisco Lamas of Centralia, who were both taken into custody for outstanding warrants.
State House passes minimum wage, sick leave bills
The Washington state House voted along party lines Tuesday to raise the state's minimum wage, which is already the nation's highest, to $12 an hour over the next four years. The 51-46 vote sends to the Senate the bill to add a series of 50-cent increases to the $9.47 state hourly minimum wage. The bill drew extended debate in the Democratic-controlled chamber, and Democrats rejected a series of Republican amendments before voting to approve the bill. The House also passed a bill that would require all businesses in the state with more than four full-time employees to give workers at least five days a year of sick and safe leave. It also passed on a 51 to 46 vote and moves to the Senate.
Oakville library to temporarily close for repairs
The Oakville Timberland Library will be closing beginning Tuesday, March 10 for improvements. Timberland Library spokesman Jeff Kleingartner says new carpeting and windows will be installed in the city-owned facility. The work is expected to take about three weeks and the library is scheduled to reopen by Thursday, April 2. During the closure, people who have requested books or other library materials will be mailed their items or they can request that they be delivered to other Timberland Libraries. Library materials may be returned to the outdoor book drop outside the Oakville Library.
Fire districts reach consensus on Medic One revenues
A majority of fire districts receiving services from Lewis County Medic One have reached consensus on how to restructure the agency's revenue policies. The Town Crier newspaper reports during a workshop held on February 25, representatives from Lewis County Fire Districts 1, 2, 3, 8 and 15 met to find common ground regarding plans to overcome a potential revenue deficit of $265,000 expected this year, while keeping the priorities of their commissioners and taxpayers in mind. By the end of the meeting a plan to divide the total expenditures for Medic One based on a percentage of patient transports was agreed upon informally, but requires official approval from the Board of Directors.