Bill Wiester

Chehalis Police Chief Rollyn Tucker, left, and Lewis County Deputy Sheriff William Wiester dust for fingerprints after thieves drilled into the safe at Uhlmann Motors Inc. in Chehalis, absconding with $500 in cash. The burglars were apparently professionals and wore gloves, so no prints could be found. The heist was the first "job" in Chehalis since $600 had been stolen from a safe at the Eagles hall two years before.

‘Safe Crackers’ Open 800-Pound Safe in 1962

During this week in 1962, local law enforcement officials were searching for a team of professional “safe crackers” who broke open the 800-pound safe of Uhlman Motors Inc. at National and Division streets in Chehalis.

A four-inch hole was drilled into the safe by burglars wearing gloves who had “borrowed” tools from the firm to access the cash.

“Delmer Olson, secretary-treasurer, who discovered the four-inch hole in the side of the safe, said the intruders got away with approximately $500 in cash,” The Daily Chronicle reported. “Olson said the burglars took two money bags to a men’s washroom, where they emptied the sacks. They took the cash and left the checks and cash register tickets in a neat pile on the floor.

“Entry to the automotive firm was made by smashing a rear window. The thieves apparently brought no tools with them for they broke open four tool boxes belonging to mechanics. A quarter-inch heavy duty drill was used to ‘punch’ a four-inch hole through 4 1/2 inches of concrete, an eighth-inch of steel and two inches of laminated wood. The dial on the door was first drilled, but unsuccessfully.

“The burglary job occurred sometime after 1 a.m. when police made the last check of the premises. A roll of half dollars and pennies were left in the safe. No fingerprints were found. Gloves were worn to eliminate prints.”


Boistfort Farmers Low on Feed

125 years ago, in 1887

The Boistfort correspondent for the Lewis County Bee reported the local farmers were getting low on food for their animals.

“Farmers are getting anxious, as some are entirely out of hay and others nearly so, with but a small quantity to see in the valley,” the correspondent began. “The continued snow since the 16th of January has given the stock no chance to feed out. The usual chance stock have to forage makes the farmer careless of saving plenty of feed for such a winter as this. All the straw is burned in the fall. It would be better to stack and save it to feed with vegetables which can be raised in abundance. The present indications are (south wind and rain) that the backbone of winter is broken.”


Kosmos Has Building Boom

100 years ago, in 1912

The Centralia Daily News reported that Kosmos would have two new buildings in the future.

“The town of Kosmos in the eastern part of Lewis County is about to experience a building boom,” the newspaper wrote. “At a recent meeting of the school directors of the consolidated districts in which Kosmos is included, it was decided to erect a $15,000 school building at that town. The school will be a brick structure and thoroughly modern in every detail. The Kosmos lodge of Woodmen have also decided to erect a two-story brick building, the cost of which will be approximately $10,000.


County Plants 600 Pheasants

75 years ago, in 1937

Lewis County Game Warden Otto H. Beusch announced 600 Chinese pheasants were planted throughout the county.


Falling Log Kills Randle Man

25 years ago, in 1987

David L. McDougall, 46, Randle, was killed when a log slipped off a runaway logging truck. The Fred Moe Logging Company logger was working along Forest Road 2306 when a logging truck, parked on a slight grade, began to roll down the hill. The logger ran after the truck, and one of the logs fell off the truck, crushing him.


‘Dr. Dino’ Talks Creation Science

10 years ago, in 2002

At the Napavine Baptist Church, “Dr. Dino,” a creation science advocate, spoke on the evolution debate.

“Kent Hovind of Creation Science Evangelism discussed his ideas about the Earth’s age, dinosaurs and extinction, and how evolution’s philosophy may have affected ideologies, and helped prompt the first and second world wars,” The Chronicle reported.


Local Teen and Dog Appear on Animal Planet Show

Five years ago, in 2007

Candace Blomquist, 17, of Chehalis, and her Tibetan terrier, Eli, were on Animal Planet for the Eukanuba Tournament of Champions dog show. Eli had been named the best Tibetan terrier at the show.

“He loves the cameras and all of the applause,” Blomquist said of her 7-year-old terrier.

“He was a kennel dog. He had no personality. After about six months here, he started opening up and getting more comfortable. When I’m home now, he’s always with me. We’re really close.”

“Candace is never nervous for show, which I never understand,” said her mother, Annette Blomquist. “But, after she won the breed in Portland, she said she had a stomach ache. I thought, ‘Finally, she’s nervous.’ But it was gone right before she went out. She’s so cute, and Eli just loves it.”

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