Evening News June 05

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

And now, a few of the stories we’re following for you tonight, The Grant County unemployment rate is up and the number of non-farm employment jobs are down compared to a year ago. Chelan PUD commissioners are considering a request from the Port of Douglas County for the PUD to take over operation of Orondo River Park, and, A GoFundMe account has been set up to help replace a local school’s playground equipment that was destroyed in an arson fire.

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Grant County’s wildfire season is getting off to an active start with several wind-driven fires over the last week. On Monday crews responded to the 1600 block of State Route 28 for a wildfire which had already ignited a vehicle and was threatening a home. With the help of Ephrata Fire Department and Grant County Fire Department the wind driven fire was contained to about 2 acres and the vehicle and a pile of wood were the only losses. Officials say even the smaller wildfires are burning hotter and faster and are taking many more resources to contain. They say that yesterday’s fire had a large potential for growth and had plenty of fuel to burn. In all, four units from District 13, three from Ephrata and two from Grant County Fire District #7 were used to protect structures and contain the fire. The fire is under investigation by the Fire Marshall’s Office.

The Grant County unemployment rate is up and the number of non-farm employment jobs are down compared to a year ago. That was the latest news from the Washington State Employment Security Department on Monday. The local monthly unemployment rate increased from 5.9 percent in April 2017 to 6.4 percent in April 2018, up five tenths of a percentage point.

May was the second straight month that the unemployment rate has gone up. Non-farm employment netted 360 fewer jobs this April than in April 2017, down 1.2 percent. Certainly not good news for the Grant County economy. Economic numbers for May 2018 will be released on June 19th.

Chelan PUD commissioners are considering a request from the Port of Douglas County for the PUD to take over operation of Orondo River Park.  Port commissioner and former PUD employee, Jim Huffman said budget pressures, especially for increased costs to operate Pangborn Memorial Airport brought on the effort to seek help with operating the park. . .

PUD staff has been working on options for future operation of the park since last fall when Port staff asked the District to take full ownership, along with operating and maintenance responsibility. It’s since been determined that challenges with obligations related to state grant funding for park facilities would make it difficult for the PUD to take ownership. Following Monday’s meeting discussions will reportedly continue after staff collects more information on several issues.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help replace a local school’s playground equipment that was destroyed in an arson fire. The account was started by the Mission View Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization. The group’s Treasurer, Marissa Vadnais says all funds raised will be deposited into the Mission View PTA – Donation account at Banner Bank in Wenatchee. She says all funds will go directly towards replacing the playground structure that was destroyed by the fire. If there are any funds left over, Mission View PTO would like to use them towards other playground improvements such as new basketball nets and stand-alone activities that are ADA compliant.

Coming up next, State Troopers report a DOT truck driver was injured yesterday when a semi collided with his dump truck in a work zone on I-90 Westbound about 11 miles East of Kittitas. In a letter to the City Council, Cashmere Mayor Jeff Gomes announced he is resigning after 6 years on the job.    I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news…

State Troopers report a DOT truck driver was injured yesterday when a semi collided with his dump truck in a work zone on I-90 Westbound about 11 miles East of Kittitas. Troopers say the dump truck was working in the Eastbound lane when the semi, driven by an Othello man, came around the corner and struck the back of the DOT vehicle. 60-year old Daniel Orcutt of Ellensburg was transported to Kittitas Valley Hospital for treatment. The crash is under investigation.

In a letter to the City Council, Cashmere Mayor Jeff Gomes announced he is resigning after 6 years on the job. Gomes said he wanted to focus on his good health and on his family. Gomes served on the Cashmere City Council for two years before becoming Mayor in 2012. He also was a volunteer firefighter and EMT for 26 years and chief of the Cashmere Fire Department for four years. The 73-year old Gomes said with all the staffing changes happening at Cashmere City Hall, he thinks a new Mayor and administration should be part of making those staffing decisions. His term would have ended Dec. 31st, 2019. The council now has 90 days to select a replacement.

With a coverage area encompassing millions of acres– almost 50 percent of Washington State, the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center is the hub for dispatching and resourcing local and state agencies during the fire season. NCWLIFE visited the Center to learn more about its operations and the demands of the job. . .

Tune in tomorrow night for the full feature on CWICC, a key agency in dispatching and resourcing fire incidents throughout North Central Washington.

The top brass from three Chelan County Agencies met earlier today at the Confluence Technology Center for a tri-commission meeting.

Representatives were on hand from the Chelan County, the Chelan County Port District and the Chelan County PUD. Updates were presented on topics such as Pangborn Airport’s long-term financial sustainability, the Cashmere mill site, the proposed County-PUD partnership for electrical service, cryptocurrency miners and energy demand and the status of the Alcoa Wenatchee Works facility. We will have complete coverage of today’s meeting tomorrow morning on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley and tomorrow night on the NCWLife Evening News. The Tri-Commission meeting also featured comments by Chelan County Mayor’s from Wenatchee, Chelan, Leavenworth, Cashmere and Entiat.

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

The Washington Softball did something for the first time in the entire College Softball World Series Monday…they LOST!…

Florida State’s Meghan King threw a complete-game, 5-hit shutout of Washington with 6 strikeouts to hand the UW with a 1-nothing loss in the first game of the best-of-three series.  Washington couldn’t get the bats going in this one and committed 2, uncharacteristic errors in losing for the first time in the entire tournament.  FSU’s only run came in the top of the 6th inning on a solo home run by Anna Shelnutt off Washington freshman Gabbie Plain.  The two teams play Game 2 today at 5 o’clock with the telecast LIVE on ESPN.  If the Huskies can bounce back and win today, it would force a deciding Game 3 tomorrow at 5 o’clock.

Add another trophy to the case for the Wenatchee High School Sports Medicine Team…

The Panthers placed 4th in the large school category and 5th overall at the National Sports Medicine Competition recently.  Issaquah High School won the overall championship.  Wenatchee High Senior Gray Kolde (COLD-ee) placed 5th in the National Competition and is a three-time All-American.  This follows Kolde’s 1st place finish at State.  Courtney Grimm and Alex Albert tied for 23rd nationally.  Sports Medicine Instructor and Athletic Trainer Dale Blair said his team competed at the National level through computer-based testing and FaceTime practical evaluation.

The Wenatchee AppleSox hold their 2018 home-opener tonight at Paul Thomas, Sr. Field against the River City Athletics…

Wenatchee won 2-of-3 West Coast League games over the weekend in Victoria against the HarbourCats.  Tonight is the first of three-consecutive non-league games for the ‘Sox.  Following tonight’s 7:05 game, Wenatchee hosts the Northwest Honkers tomorrow and then the Highline Bears on Thursday.

Almira-Coulee-Hartline is the WIAA State 1B Scholastic State Champions for this school year.  The year-long competition recognizes the top school in each of the six WIAA classifications based on academic, athletic and sportsmanship excellence.  The Warriors won State Championships in football, baseball and softball to help propel the school to its second-consecutive 1B Scholastic Cup.  ACH’s football team excelled on and off the field, picking up the Academic State Championship as well, joining the boys basketball team with that honor.  Here are the winners…

1B – Almira-Coulee-Hartline
2B – St. George’s
1A – Lynden Christian
2A – Sehome
3A – Interlake
4A – Camas

Speaking of the WIAA, an article appearing in yesterday’s Seattle Times says the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Executive Board has decided to create committees to seed the 2018 state football field.  According to the article, the board approved a plan created in April from a committee formed to study the use of Rating Percentage Index (or RPI) in seeding state tournaments for all sports.  RBI has been used to seed the state basketball tournaments the last two seasons.  The committee won’t pick who is in the tournament, it will just seed the teams that qualify for it.  Details are to be worked out this summer.

The Seattle Mariners are in Houston for a quick, two-game series against the Astros in a battle for first in the American League West…

James Paxton goes up against Dallas Keuchel (KIKE-ihl) in tonight’s matchup at 5:10.  “Big Maple”, Paxton is 4-and-1 with a 3.13 Earned Run Average.  Keuchel is off to a slow start this season with a 3-and-7 record despite a rather good 3.65 ERA.  Seattle goes into Houston with a full, one-game lead on the Astros in the division.

 

While the current team was on the plane destined for Houston Monday, the club was drafting a pitcher in the 1st round of the Major League Baseball Draft Monday.  Head of amateur scouting, Scott Hunter, says the Mariners drafted right handed pitcher Logan Gilbert with the 14th overall selection…

Seattle followed that up with a 2nd round selection of Louisville junior centerfielder Josh Stowers with the 54th overall selection.  The MLB Draft continued today with the Mariners taking both ends of the battery.  The M’s used their 3rd round pick on catcher Cal Raleigh of Florida State.  Then followed in consecutive rounds choosing left-handed pitcher Michael Plassmeyer of the University of Missouri Columbia; righ-handed pitcher Nolan Hoffman of Texas A&M; right-handed reliever Joey O’Brien of the College of Southern Nevada; catcher Jake Anchia of Nova Southeastern University; and right-handed pitcher Joey Gerber of the University of Illinois.

Thanks Eric.

Chelan County Superior Court is now offering an alternative way for the courts and defendants involved in drug-related offenses. Judge Kristin Ferrera was a guest on Mike Magnotti’s show this week to talk about Drug Court. . .

We’ll be back with a recap of some of our top stories and your complete local weather forecast right after this.

Welcome back to the NCWLife Evening News…

Grant County’s wildfire season is getting off to an active start with several wind-driven fires over the last week. On Monday crews responded to the 1600 block of State Route 28 for a wildfire which had already ignited a vehicle and was threatening a home. With the help of Ephrata Fire Department and Grant County Fire Department the wind driven fire was contained to about 2 acres and the vehicle and a pile of wood were the only losses. Officials say even the smaller wildfires are burning hotter and faster and are taking many more resources to contain. They say that yesterday’s fire had a large potential for growth and had plenty of fuel to burn. In all, four units from District 13, three from Ephrata and two from Grant County Fire District #7 were used to protect structures and contain the fire. The fire is under investigation by the Fire Marshall’s Office.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help replace a local school’s playground equipment that was destroyed in an arson fire. The account was started by the Mission View Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization. The group’s Treasurer, Marissa Vadnais says all funds raised will be deposited into the Mission View PTA – Donation account at Banner Bank in Wenatchee. She says all funds will go directly towards replacing the playground structure that was destroyed by the fire. If there are any funds left over, Mission View PTO would like to use them towards other playground improvements such as new basketball nets and stand-alone activities that are ADA compliant.

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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.