Today’s News Headlines

KELA News Headlines for Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

Bail set for driver accused of hitting and injuring a pedestrian

Bail was set a $1 million for the driver accused of hitting and seriously injuring a pedestrian after jumping a curb on South Gold Street in Centralia on Wednesday. Authorities say the man was allegedly under the influence of drugs when the incident happened. The man, identified as 30-year old Christian D. Brown of Centralia, made his first appearance in Lewis County Superior Court Thursday on charges of vehicular assault and possession of heroin. The Chronicle reports Judge Andrew Toynbee imposed the bail following a request from the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office’s, noting that Brown is accused of driving while high while out on $100,000 bail on pending Lewis County Drug charges, including an allegation that he dealt heroin. Centralia Police report a search subsequent to Brown’s arrest found heroin in his car.

Record amount of scholarships from Centralia College Foundation

The Centralia College Foundation will be awarding a record amount of scholarship money to students for the upcoming school year. College spokeswoman Amanda Haines says the Foundation will be awarding nearly $524,000 in scholarships to 319 students. She says that’s an increase from the $451,000 in scholarships that the Foundation awarded in 2016, which was also a record-setting year. Haines say the Foundation raised more than $561,000 during its 2016-17 fundraising campaign that ended June 30.

Chehalis City Council discusses council majority

The Chehalis City Council last week directed city staff to draft a resolution requiring four votes to be necessary in order to conduct any business, regardless of the number of council members present. City Clerk Caryn Foley says it follows state law for some types of actions including the passage of an ordinance, the granting or revocation of a franchise or license or any resolution for the payment of money. The change arises from questions about what constitutes a voting majority in a case when only four council members, which is the number needed for a quorum, are present at a meeting.

CHOICE network to oversee assistance for Health Benefit Exchange

Regional health care network CHOICE has been named by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange to oversee in-person assistance in Lewis and Thurston counties and several other southwest Washington counties for the open enrollment season for Applecare starting on Nov. 1. According to the Health Benefit Exchange, CHOICE was chosen because it can best meet the needs of its service area. It was chosen from a list of applicants. CHOICE will oversee assistance for Lewis, Thurston, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Mason, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties.

Civil commitment for sexually violent predators

The Washington state Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that civil commitment of people designated as sexually violent predators can be indefinitely extended for those whose crimes occurred when they were juveniles. While the court had previously ruled that previous juvenile sexual offenses could be considered when they later committed a sexual crime as an adult, its ruling on Thursday was the first in which they addressed whether crimes committed as a juvenile, with no additional sexual offenses as an adult, is sufficient as a foundation for the three-prong test for civil commitment.

Centralia street closures

Drivers in Centralia will encounter several street closures this week. The Centralia Public Works Department says one lane of 6th Street between Tower Avenue and Pearl Street will be closed from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM beginning today.  The Street Department will be replacing the broken sidewalk access ramp on the northeast corner of the intersection of 6th Street and Pearl Street.  The roadway will remain open to thru traffic at all times.  Work is expected to be complete by this Friday. J Street from First Street to Rainier Avenue will be closed to thru traffic while the Water Department completes a watermain replacement. The project is expected to continue through the end of August.