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Centralia Escapee

Authorities in Lewis County are on the lookout for Phillip Austin Pinotti, 22, of Chehalis, after he allegedly escaped from Centralia Municipal Court. Centralia Police say that Pinotti was in court yesterday morning for arraignment on a DUI charge, and another warrant for theft popped up from Chehalis. The judge ordered Pinotti’s arrest on the warrant, and as a security officer went to handcuff him, he took off on foot. Pinotti jumped into a SUV and sped off, heading toward the court officer that was trying to stop him. As Pinotti was bearing down on the officer, he drew his gun and fired one round, which hit the vehicle. Pinotti put it in reverse, spun the rig and then took off. It’s not known if Pinotti was hit; he remains at large. The court officer has been placed on administrative leave as the shooting investigation proceeds. Pinotti remains at large.

Spill Update

It’s now being reported that the fuel spill that was discovered Monday night in South Kelso is quite a bit smaller than first estimated, but it also covers a much larger area than first reported. The spill was first reported around 10 pm on Monday in the 3000 block of Talley Way, and it was reported that as much as 500 gallons had spilled. Additional investigation shows that the spill was caused when a fuel tank on the locomotive was overfilled during a refueling stop in Vancouver, and then spilled out of that tank on their way to Vancouver. An analysis of went into the locomotive and what was left shows that only about 200 gallons spilled, mostly on curves in the track between Kelso and Vancouver. Officials with BNSF say that plans are under way to clean up the spilled fuel in spots where larger amounts leaked out.

Alleged Murder Plot

A man who’s being accused of trying to hire another inmate at the Cowlitz County Jail as a hit man may be planning to claim that he was entrapped by law enforcement officials. In today’s Daily News, they have details of the case involving Bradley David Knox, 59, who is now being charged with trying to hire two men to kill three other people. He’s been in jail since August 23rd on a number of charges, and allegedly tried to hire two men to kill the people he blames for getting him arrested. At a Tuesday court hearing, Knox’s attorney claimed that prosecutors have yet to turn over evidence connected to the case, and which might show proof of entrapment. A judge has ordered that all materials be turned over by January 6th. Knox is currently scheduled to go on trial early in February of next year.

I-594 Stand

The leading law enforcement personnel in Lewis County are taking a stand against the recently-passed I-594, announcing yesterday that they don’t plan to prosecute local citizens for violating the law. The voter-sponsored initiative that boosts gun registration requirements is scheduled to go into effect in 12 days, but Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathon Myers and Sheriff-elect Rob Snaza jointly issued a statement yesterday, saying that they don’t plan to arrest or prosecute inadvertent violations. In yesterday’s statement, Meyer says that they wanted the citizens of Lewis County to know that they’re not looking to make criminals out of ordinary citizens. Both men say that I-594 is “over-reaching” and confusing; however, backers of the initiative say that it sounds like Myers and Snaza plan to do exactly what the law requires. Last weekend, an estimated 1,000 people attended an open-carry rally in Olympia, with many people carrying signs saying “I will not comply.”

Blood Drive

If you missed out on the blood drives that were held yesterday in the local area, there’s another chance available today, as the Southwest Washington Red Cross hold a special blood collection event at the Fibre Federal Credit Union main branch on Commerce Avenue. This special blood drive will run from 9 am until 2 pm today, and if you take part, the Red Cross will give you a Limited Edition potholder/oven mitt as a special thank you gift. You can give blood if you’re at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 105 pounds, and are in good general health. Get more details on the Red Cross web page.

Clothespins of Encouragement

Students at Rainier High School are using some special tokens to encourage others to “do the right thing,” called “Clothespins of Encouragement.” The Clothespins are the brainchild of the Kindness Committee of Rainier’s Leadership Class, primarily from juniors Kylee Bamford, Makenzie Jahn and Jamie Tow. They started handing out the Clothespins of Encouragement randomly, each with a message like “compliment someone,” “tell someone they’re awesome,” or similar encouraging phrases. Once the action has been completed, then the Clothespin is given to the person who received the encouragement, who is then obliged to follow through and pass it on. School officials say that the effort is getting high marks from the students and staff so far.

KLOG Wednesday Sports

The Blazers will host the Milwaukee Bucks tonight, KLOG 6:05 pm. The Bucks will miss rookie star Jabari Parker who is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Blazer center Robin Lopez will miss 6 to 7 weeks with a broken hand…..The #7 ranked LCC women’s team host top-ranked Umpqua in a 3 pm game at Mark Morris today, KLOG 2:55 pm…..Ryan Sturdivan and Woodland will be at Mark Morris tonight in boys play. Sturdivan’s two mid court shots against Kelso got him on ESPN as the top play of the day…..Black Hills defeated Kelso 67-57 in girls hops last night. Also, Mark Morris defeated Woodland 63-36 and R.A. Long downed Fort Vancouver 49-28…..The Kelso wrestlers compete at Centralia tonight. RAL is at Astoria.

Train Spill

Burlington Northern-Santa Fe is bringing in a cleanup team, so they can deal with a large spill of diesel fuel that took place last night in South Kelso. The Washington State Department of Emergency Management contacted local authorities shortly after 10 pm last night, reporting that at least 500 gallons of diesel had leaked from a fuel tank on locomotive, going into the rail ballast below the train. This took place in the three thousand block of Talley Way, near the Park-n-Ride. The Department of Ecology has also been notified, along with Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue. So far, the cause of the spill isn’t known.

Drug Deal Dives

No arrests have been reported in connection with an incident that took place yesterday morning in West Kelso, where a man claims that guns were pulled on himself and his girlfriend. The man called 911 at about 9:35 yesterday morning, saying that he and his girlfriend had been accosted. The victim reportedly told Kelso Police that the girlfriend had been selling drugs to two other men in the 700 block of Clark Street, when an argument broke out. During that argument, the other two men reportedly pulled small handguns, and then took the girlfriend’s drugs, along with money from the 911 caller. Officers checked the area, but didn’t locate anyone matching the description of the suspects.

Infant Death

An autopsy is planned on a two month-old girl who died yesterday evening at a home in the Woodland area. Shortly before 7 pm, the grandmother of the little girl called 911, to report that the baby wasn’t breathing. The grandmother says that she had put the infant down for a nap about 90 minutes earlier, and everything was normal at that time. When she called 911, it was noted that the baby’s nose was bleeding. Paramedics arrived and attempted CPR, but they declared the child dead at about 7:30 pm. The death investigation is continuing.