Flood warning issued for Chehalis River near Grand Mound

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Chehalis River near Grand Mound in Thurston and Grays Harbor counties. The warning will go into effect this evening and will expire late Sunday morning. Minor flooding is forecast.

The warning reads:


* WHAT...Minor flooding is forecast.

* WHERE...Chehalis River Above Grand Mound.

* WHEN...From this evening to late Sunday morning.

* IMPACTS...At 141.0 feet, the Chehalis River in Thurston County
  will flood several roads in Independence Valley including James
  Road, Independence Road, and Moon road. Flood waters will also
  cover nearby farm lands.

  - At 11:00 AM PST Friday the stage was 139.4 feet.
  - Forecast...The river is expected to rise above flood stage
    this evening to a crest of 142.4 feet late tomorrow morning.
    It will then fall below flood stage early Sunday morning.
  - Flood stage is 141.0 feet.
  - Flood History...No available flood history.
  - http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

Narcotics Task Force arrests 3, seizes $1.2 million worth of drugs at Scatter Creek Rest Area

Photo Courtesy Thurston County Narcotics Task Force.

The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force conducted on operation on Monday, November 8th that resulted in the arrest of three subjects for drug and firearms offenses and the seizure of $1.2 million worth of drugs, $90,000 in US currency, and several firearms and soft-body armor vests.

Officers contacted the three subjects in a rental vehicle at the Scatter Creek rest stop on I-5 northbound in southern Thurston County. Two of the subjects were known to have outstanding warrants, and while they were being taken into custody, officers spotted a gym bag with drugs and money visible in plain view. A search warrant was granted for the vehicle.

The search warrant resulted in the seizure of:

  • 5.7 pounds of methamphetamine
  • 5.7 pounds of cocaine
  • 9.8 pounds of fentanyl
  • 2.3 pounds of heroin
  • Three fully loaded firearms, one of which was stolen
  • Three soft-body armor vests
  • $90,000 in cash

The subjects were booked into the Thurston County Jail on drug and firearms charges, and detectives are still investigating. Thurston County Narcotics Task Force detectives were assisted in this operation by US Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, US Marshal Service, Washington State Department of Corrections, the Customs and Border Patrol Air Unit, and Washington State Patrol Aviation.

Lacey Police investigating shooting at Super 8 Motel

UPDATE 4:30 PM – Police have confirmed that a 29-year old male and 27-year old female were found in the hotel room with gunshot wounds. One subject is deceased and the other was transported to St Peter’s Hospital with life threatening injuries.

Officers also confirmed that the two subjects were from out of state. They are not releasing their names at this time pending notification of next-of-kin.

Just before midnight on Tuesday, Lacey Police officers and medics with the Lacey Fire District were dispatched to the Super 8 Motel on College St SE for reports of a suicidal person with a gun.

The reporting party was on the line with 911 dispatchers saying that he was going to die and so was the other person in the room. Dispatchers then heard at least one gunshot and the line remained open.

Officers got on scene and made entry into the room. They found two subjects down with gunshot wounds. Medics were called to the scene. It’s unclear at this time if the subjects are deceased or if they were transported to the hospital.

This is an active story and will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available. Check back for updates.

Details released in 5th Ave Bridge murder investigation

A 24-year old male is in custody for 2nd Degree Murder after he allegedly attacked a man in his 40s, kicking him in the face and rendering him unconscious. He was later found dead where the assault occurred.

Olympia Police were dispatched to the area of the 5th Avenue Bridge at approximately 2:00 am on Monday, October 4th. Passers by had found a deceased man on a sleeping bag under the bridge. The man appeared to have suffered substantial bleeding to the face and head.

An autopsy was performed which revealed the victim had suffered a facture of the jaw, broken nose, bruised right ear, and his airway was full of blood, according to charging documents.

Olympia Police detectives were able to locate two eyewitnesses to the assault. The two witnesses explained that they were with the suspect, 24-year-old Antonio Hooks, and had gone to the 5th Ave Bridge to get high. They arrived and found the murder victim masturbating and staring at them, which enraged Hooks.

Hooks allegedly then punched and kicked the victim in the face. After he was unconscious, Hooks allegedly kicked him in the face again which caused him to appear to have a seizure and emit foam from his mouth.

Hooks then said “What did I do?” according to the witnesses. They claim to have tried to render aid, splashing the victim with water from a bottle and using a lighter to “shock the victim and attempt to to wake him up”. The three then left the victim under the bridge.

Hooks is currently being held in Thurston County Jail. He was denied bail at his initial court appearance on October 8. His arraignment is set for October 19.

Pedestrian airlifted to Harborview following collision on Plum St off-ramp

An unidentified pedestrian has been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after they were struck on the off-ramp from I-5 southbound to Plum St Sunday evening.

Troopers with the Washington State Patrol arrived around 9:15 pm Sunday. They found a severely injured person in the road and requested aid. It was unclear at first how the person sustained their injuries and one officer even indicated over the radio that it was a fatality, but that has since come out as false.

According to the press memo we received from WSP, the pedestrian was laying in one lane of the off-ramp when they were struck by a 55-year-old Olympia woman driving a Honda Accord. She was not injured.

We have a call into the State Patrol and will update with additional information when available.

Cat found dead in neighbor’s yard being investigated as suspicious

Questions are arising and rumors are circulating about the possible return of a Thurston County “cat killer” after a cat was found killed and mutilated in a neighborhood near Olympia High School.

The cat was found in a yard in the area of Eskridge Blvd SE & Quince St SE, according to posts made on the NextDoor neighborhood connection website by both the cat’s owner and the neighbor who found it in their yard.

The posts indicated that the cat was left mutilated in a way that led them to believe it was not killed by another animal, but by a human. The owner contacted the Olympia Police Department to file a report. We have requested a copy of that report from OPD and will follow up when we receive it.

In 2018, over a dozen cats were found dead and there was a $53,000 reward offered for information that led to the arrest of the killer. An additional cat was found dead in Lacey in 2019, but it was never confirmed whether that was related to the killing spree in 2018. Investigators later determined, after necropsies were completed, that some of the cats had been killed by other animals.

State Patrol identifies man killed in Rochester motorcycle accident on Sunday

The Washington State Patrol has identified the man who was killed in a motorcycle accident on SR 12 at Forstrom Rd SW near Rochester on Sunday evening.

He has been identified as Craig J. Nelson, 62, of Centralia. Nelson was travelling westbound on SR 12 on his motorcycle when a man driving a yellow Chevrolet Corvette crossed the highway on Forstrom Rd. Nelson struck the Corvette, ejecting him from his motorcycle.

Medics with West Thurston Fire responded with WSP and originally requested LifeFlight be dispatched to transport the patient, but updated shortly thereafter that the patient was deceased.

It is unknown at this time if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash. The cause is under investigation.

Fireworks are banned in Thurston County. Residents encouraged to use non-emergency line, not 911, to report violations

It’s almost July 4th, and the Thurston County Manager, in consultation with the Fire Marshal, has enacted an emergency ban on consumer fireworks in unincorporated Thurston County due to high fire danger following our historic heat wave last week.

Fireworks are already prohibited by law in the cities of Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater.

Residents are encouraged to use the non-emergency line for local law enforcement to report fireworks violations, not call 911. 911 should be reserved for emergencies that threaten life and property, including fires resulting from the use of fireworks, and injuries resulting from the use of fireworks.

The non-emergency line for all law enforcement agencies in Thurston County is 360-704-2740. A dispatcher at TCOMM will route your complaint to an officer with the appropriate law enforcement agency, and you won’t be using 911 lines that could be used for life threatening emergencies.

For those interested in fireworks, there will be a “drive up” style fireworks show in Lacey at 10:00 pm on July 3rd. Fireworks are being launched from Chinook Middle School and viewers can park in nearby areas to watch.

There will also be a “drive up” fireworks show in Tumwater on July 4. Fireworks will be launched from the Tumwater Valley Golf Course at 10:15 pm. Viewers can park in the area and watch.

Authorities searching for murder suspect known to be homeless in West Olympia

Authorities from Thurston and Mason counties are searching for 24-year-old Kyle Baker, who is also known by the name “Bam Bam”. He is suspected of killing another man with a machete in Shelton on June 24, 2021.

The homicide occurred on Thursday, June 24, near Kneeland Park in the 200 block of Turner Ave in Shelton. First responders were called to the scene where they found a 22-year-old man deceased with trauma to his body. That male was identified as John L. Farmer, according to the Shelton Police Department.

The resulting homicide investigation has resulted in Baker being named a suspect. He is known to be homeless in West Olympia near the Capital Mall, according to David Rose with Washington’s Most Wanted. Rose also says he has prior criminal convictions for Theft 1st Degree, Assault 2nd Degree and Robbery 2nd Degree.

Baker is considered armed and dangerous. Call 911 immediately if you see him. If you have current information about his whereabouts, you’re encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or call the Shelton Police Department at 360-426-4441.

Historical heat wave on tap this weekend

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued an Excessive Heat Watch in our area, effective Friday afternoon through Monday evening. They are anticipating a heat wave that could break records.

The official forecast from the National Weather Service is calling for a high of 102 degrees on Saturday, 107 degrees on Sunday, and 102 degrees on Monday, as of Wednesday afternoon. The hottest temperature ever recorded at the Olympia Airport is 104 degrees in August of 1981. That record is in jeopardy this weekend.

Meteorologist Cliff Mass has more in his blog. He says in part “In any case,  it is essentially certain that the Willamette Valley and western Washington from Seattle southward will have a historical heatwave, one beyond the experience of many residents.”

Temperatures this high can have deadly consequences. The American Red Cross recommends that during a heat wave you stay hydrated, not participate in strenuous activity, find somewhere with air conditioning to go if possible, and keep an eye on family, friends and neighbors who could be affected by the heat.