County Briefs


December 8, 2022

Belfair man killed in SR 300 accident

An 86-year-old Belfair man was killed in a two-car collision on state Route 300 on Monday afternoon.

According to a Washington State Patrol news release, Karl E. McNeill, 86, of Belfair died in the wreck. He was traveling west and a 36-year-old Shelton man was driving east. McNeill’s car crossed the centerline and struck the Shelton man’s vehicle head-on.

McNeill died on his way to the hospital. The Shelton driver was not injured.

County records cases of tuberculosis

Mason County has five active cases of tuberculosis, according to a news release by Mason County Public Health and Human Services.

According to the release, all of the affected people are in treatment and isolation and aren’t at risk of spreading the illness. A woman between the ages of 40 and 50 died from complications of tuberculosis, but her name is not being released to protect the family’s privacy.

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Staff from Mason County Public Health and the state Department of Health are investigating the outbreak and tracing any possible contacts. People who may have been exposed to tuberculosis will be notified.

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium that usually attacks the lungs, but can also attack the kidneys, spine and brain. It is spread through airborne droplets expelled from an infected person when they cough, sneeze or breathe hard. It does not spread through casual contact.

About 5% to 19% of people infected with tuberculosis will develop symptoms, including a bad cough that lasts weeks, chest pain, fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, fever, chills and sweating at night.

MCSO investigates I-5 shutdown in November

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is one of two primary agencies, along with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, investigating the incident that shut down Interstate 5 in Lacey on Nov. 18.

According to a MCSO news release, MCSO has command of the team for the investigation and LCSO is the lead investigative agency. The Washington State Patrol and the Thurston County’s Sheriff’s Office were involved in the incident.

WSP received calls around 2 p.m. of a man running into traffic on I-5 near exit 109, causing traffic to stop. The man attempted to open multiple car doors and eventually took over stopped semi-truck on I-5 after assaulting the driver and forcing him out of the truck. Shortly after stealing the semi, the man drove the truck into several vehicles and eventually rolled the truck into the median, which prompted WSP to close both lanes of I-5.

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According to the MCSO news release, law enforcement claimed the man refused to come out of the truck and was reported to be extremely agitated. WSP used a ram on the end of a SWAT vehicle and removed the windshield. Pepperball rounds, flashbangs and other less lethal munitions were used to get the man to comply. The man finally came out of the cab of the semi armed with a knife and charged at an officer. Shots were fired at 4 p.m. and medical aid was provided, but the man died on scene.

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A news release Dec. 1 identified the man as Neil A. Costin, 32, of British Columbia.

Deputies nab North Carolina fugitive sought for sex crimes

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office arrested a fugitive from North Carolina on Dec. 2 who had been living in Mason County under an alias for the past five years.

According to a MCSO news release, detectives arrested Ronald Lee Burns, a man wanted for numerous sex offenses against children in North Carolina. He had been living in Shelton under the name Paul Davis for more than five years. Burns became the subject of an investigation after new allegations surfaced of a sex offense involving a local juvenile known to him.

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According to the release, detectives were investigating 65-year-old Davis and during the investigation, questions arose of Davis’ identity after he had been living in the county for the past few years but no information was available regarding his past. After his arrest regarding the local sex offense allegations, he insisted he was Paul Davis, despite inconsistencies and refusing to provide information to the contrary. Detectives discovered the information used by Burns was an infant who died in 1957 in Pittsburgh.

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Workshop addresses how plants can stem stormwater

The Mason Conservation District is hosting a workshop about solutions for stormwater in yards from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Shelton Civic Center.

According to a news release, the workshop will teach people how to make native plants work in a garden, improve properties’ drainage and explore Mason Conservation District programs. The cost is free and interested people can register by emailing [email protected]

The district is hosting a plant sale from 6 to 7 p.m. Jan. 5 at the North Mason Timberland Library in Belfair. Pickup dates are available Feb. 24 and 25, and if you would like to attend the event, preregister by emailing Grady Graham at [email protected]


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