Evening News January 24

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Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. I’m Grant Olson. Before we get to today’s top stories, let’s take a quick look outside our weather window:

And now, a few of the stories we’re following for you tonight—A Coulee City woman is sentenced in the death of her infant son—and what could have turned into a very explosive situation results in only an arrest and a bit of luck for a local man.

But first, we begin tonight:

A Grant County judge sentences a man to over 18 years in prison after the defendant pleads guilty to murdering Jill Sundberg of Quincy. 26-year old Ambrosio Mendez Villanueva was charged along with two other men in the kidnapping and shooting death of Sundberg. 40-year-old Gustavo Tapia Rodriguez, and 26-year-old Julio Cesar Albarran Varona face trial in April. The 31-year old victim’s body was found December 22nd off the Old Vantage Highway. She had been kidnapped from her mobile home and shot several times after a reported argument with the three defendants. All three defendants were in the country illegally and Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss said Mendez Villanueva would face deportation at the end of his sentence.

A Coulee City woman has been sentenced after she pleaded guilty to transferring methamphetamine to her infant son through breast milk resulting in the boy’s death. NCWLife’s Steve Hair has the story. . .

What could have turned into a very explosive situation results in only an arrest and a bit of luck for a local man. On Tuesday, Department of Corrections Officers responded to a call of an explosive ordinance at a residence in the 300 block of North Chelan Avenue, upon arrival they found a grenade fuse. Wenatchee Police Captain Edgar Reinfeld explains how events unfolded after that. . .

34-year old John Kminek of Rock Island was arrested on a gross misdemeanor explosives charge. Reinfeld says there are many old sheds, outbuildings and homes all over the area that have old materials in them and the WPD respond to many calls regarding explosive materials each year. He says if you find a suspicious item that might be explosive, call RiverCom immediately at (509) 663-9911.

Electricity has been restored in the Bridgeport area following a weather-related outage last night. Douglas County PUD says about 700 customers lost service starting around 7 Pm. Crews found a distribution line downed by heavy snow on Fairview Street. Power was fully restored by 11 pm.

Chelan County Commissioners sound off on US immigration laws as Congress prepares to act on possible reforms. Doug England took off his Commissioner hat to discuss the issue with NCWLIFE News in his capacity as manager of Manson Growers Coop. England says he supports a program that allows foreign workers to temporarily reside and work in the US until a next round of workers is readily available to switch. He contends that it could be a win-win for the employees and US foreign financial aid. .

Commissioners England and Keith Goehner, who is a pear grower, discussed the immigration issue in their regular interview with NCWLIFE News. We have that interview coming later on in our Feature report.

Coming up next, Grant County PUD customers will reportedly pay more for electrical services beginning on April 1st—and a change in the way police officers are trained and educated may be on the horizon.  I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Grant County PUD customers will reportedly pay more for electrical services under a rate increase that goes into effect in April. Residential customers will receive an average 1.5 percent rate increase which translates into an average hike of about $1.49 per month. The PUD says the actual increase will depend on the customer’s electrical use. For some customers it will be higher, for other customers it will be lower. Rate increases are also in the works for industrial customers too. Comments can be submitted at the Utility’s website, and a public hearing has been set for the Feb. 13th PUD commission meeting.

A change in the way police officers are trained and educated may be on the horizon. Supporters of Initiative 940, which would require additional police training and improve accountability in fatal police shootings, celebrated certification of the measure yesterday (Tue.) after verification of more than 350,000 petition signatures submitted to the Secretary of State.

With certification, the initiative will now go to the State legislature for consideration. The House and Senate can either pass the initiative, propose an alternative policy, or take no action, which would then result in I-940 moving on to the November ballot.

Supporters, including a broad coalition of directly impacted families and social justice, civil liberties, community, labor, and law enforcement reform advocates, understand that legislative action seems unlikely in a short legislative session with a heavy agenda and are preparing for an electoral campaign.

Beginning this Friday, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society will begin hosting a monthly, public animal food bank for those needing public assistance with dog or cat food. NCWLife’s Jay Seabeck has more. . .

You’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Coming up next, your sports update followed by today’s feature story. That and much more still to come on the NCWLIFE Evening News, stay with us.

The big news of the day we’ve all been waiting for…whether former Mariner Edgar Martinez would be selected for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame…

He did NOT get in.  Elected to this year’s class were Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero & Trevor Hoffman…maybe next year for Edgear.

It was a long day at Eastmont Lanes yesterday for the District 6 Bowling Championships.  Let’s go to the tape!

Also on the Les Schwab Prep Scoreboard from yesterday…

In boys basketball, Omak bettered Cascade 64-50.  Okanogan shut down Chelan 75-29.  Moses Lake Christian defeated Cascade Christian 55-45.  Waterville-Mansfield has found its offense, downing Bridgeport 70-59.  And Brewster bested Manson 54-45.

On the girl’s side last night…

Okanogan got past Chelan 48-43.  Omak crushed Cascade 71-36.  Moses Lake Christian downed Cascade Christian by 20, 50-30.  Waterville-Mansfield girls continued to win with a 68-36 edge over Bridgeport.  And Brewster downed Manson 59-24.

Thanks Eric…

 

The tree fruit industry will be greatly impacted by reforms to U.S. Immigration laws. Orchardists rely on foreign migrant workers to harvest their fruit. But recent labor shortages threaten the industry. Chelan County Commissioner Doug England, who also manages Manson Fruit Growers, says fixing the problem shouldn’t be that hard. . .

Commissioner Keith Goehner is a pear grower in the Dryden area, he feels the issue has become too politicized. . .

England added that simplifying the guest worker process could also help serve as an alternative to U.S. foreign aid because the wages earned by migrant workers is sent directly to their families across the border.

We’ll be back in just a moment with a recap of some of today’s stories and your complete local weather forecast right after this.

Time now for a recap of some our top stories…

A Grant County judge sentences a man to over 18 years in prison after the defendant pleads guilty to murdering Jill Sundberg of Quincy. 26-year old Ambrosio Mendez Villanueva was charged along with two other men in the kidnapping and shooting death of Sundberg. 40-year-old Gustavo Tapia Rodriguez, and 26-year-old Julio Cesar Albarran Varona face trial in April. The 31-year old victim’s body was found December 22nd off the Old Vantage Highway. She had been kidnapped from her mobile home and shot several times after a reported argument with the three defendants. All three defendants were in the country illegally and Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss said Mendez Villanueva would face deportation at the end of his sentence.

A Coulee City woman has been sentenced after she pleaded guilty to transferring methamphetamine to her infant son through breast milk resulting in the boy’s death. NCWLife’s Steve Hair has the story. . .

Our wet and active weather continued today as most of us saw a transition to rain this afternoon with snow continuing in the mountains. Our satellite loop is showing a mammoth Gulf of Alaska low pressure trough directing a deep feed of subtropical moisture around its southwestern flank into Washington and Oregon. Tonight a cold front will cross the Cascades and push across the forecast area west to east overnight for one last shot of significant precipitation at and immediately ahead of the front. By early Thursday, most of the precipitation will be concentrated into extreme Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle. A mild and wet period will continue on Friday night and into Saturday as another large system brings 1-3 inches of snow to the Wenatchee Valley with heavy amounts of snow expected in the mountain passes. Our atmospheric river of moisture continues on Saturday night through early next week with a wintry mix of precipitation throughout the period.

We leave you tonight with video from the Washington State Department of Transportation providing a time-lapse look at the construction of the lower roadway in the SR99 Tunnel in Seattle. . .

If you have a video of the day, you’d like to see on NCWLIFE News, message us on our Facebook Page at the NCWLIFE Channel.

And that’s going to do it for our newscast tonight. For more on these stories and other news from around North Central Washington, you can find us on Facebook or our website at ncwlife.com.  And, remember, if you see news happening we’d like to hear from you.  You can send us an email at news@ncwlife.com, or give us a call 888-NCWL (6295). Also, keep it right here on the NCWLife Channel tomorrow morning for Wake Up Wenatchee Valley with host Dan Kuntz and news with Steve Hair. Thanks for joining us and have a great night.