Evening News March 29

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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, Microsoft helps pay for a fiber optic network in George, and, The Woods family has sold the Wenatchee World after operating the newspaper for 111 years.

But first, we begin tonight:

They’re calling it a non-failure emergency. Grant County PUD officials say a leaking spillway at Priest Rapids Dam will force the lowering of the reservoir. The problem was discovered after inspection drilling revealed leaking in the spillway monoliths.

Officials say the dam will continue to generate electricity as the water level behind the dam will remain at normal operating minimums while inspection work continues. The situation is different than the one at Wanapum Dam in 2014, when a fracture was found on the spillway. That repair required a prolonged reservoir drawdown. Wanapum Dam has since been completely repaired. There is no danger to life or property. Priest Rapids Dam is on the Columbia River near the town of Mattawa. Wanapum Dam is 19 miles upriver of Priest Rapids.

Grant County PUD reports Microsoft will contribute $200,000 for the buildout of the Utility’s wholesale fiber-optic network in the George area. Since 2006, when it opened a data center in Quincy, Microsoft has supported community projects in Grant County, from human services, to environmental programs, and beyond.

Mike Miles, General Manager, Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure and Operations (MCIO) told PUD Commissioners this week that the City of George is the only incorporated city in Grant County that does not have access to fiber-optic service, and that the company is eager to help change that. Fiber service is available to about 70 percent of Grant PUD’s customers. Grant PUD’s commissioners set aside $7 million in the 2018 budget.

As a Woods family-owned business for 111 years, the Wenatchee World has been sold. In an announcement earlier today, Wenatchee World Publisher Rufus G. Woods said the newspaper has been sold to Wick Communications, a third-generation family owned and operated Media corporation from Arizona.

Woods says, “It has been our privilege to be the stewards of this wonderful community asset for three generations and we are grateful to be able to hand the reins to another family-oriented company that shares our community-building values.” The Wenatchee World is the first newspaper in the state of Washington for Wick and all employees of The World have been offered jobs with Wick Communications. The Wenatchee Daily World was founded in 1905 and purchased two years later by Rufus Woods and his brother Ralph. Later, their cousin Warren Woods became the paper’s business manager. Rufus Woods was publisher until his death in 1950.or fiber-optic expansion.

Two weeks ago, we told you about Link Transit’s newly developed wireless 200-kilowatt on-route battery charger from Momentum Dynamics.

Today, Link showed off that new technology. Of the five electric buses currently in the Link system, one is equipped with the wireless charging technology. The wireless charger was installed at Columbia Station and has successfully transmitted 208 kW to Link’s new 2017 electric coach bus. At a cost of 500-thousand dollars, this use of automatic wireless charging represents the first time in the country that a 200-kW wireless charging system has been placed into routine revenue service with a public transit agency. The higher power of the new system will allow much faster charging of the bus each time it stops for just a few minutes along a circulation route. The ability to wirelessly charge a municipal bus is important in transit operations because faster charging allows the buses to achieve driving ranges that make them viable for most daily services. Previous charging installations have achieved charging rates of only 25% of this new power level.

DOT Crews began clearing the SR 20 North Cascades Highway from the west side this past Monday and so far have cleared more than 10 miles past the seasonal closure gate.

They found about 2 feet of snow, and warmer temps plus rain have helped melt some of the bottom layer. We’ll begin clearing from the east side on April 9. Remember, there is no recreational access past the closure gates from Monday-Thursday.

Coming up next, An Omak man wanted on a Department of Corrections warrant was arrested Monday after he tried to hide under a box spring mattress, and, Spring prescribed burning is set to start next week on the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forest. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news…

An Omak man wanted on a Department of Corrections warrant was arrested Monday after he tried to hide under a box spring mattress inside a Bridgeport Apartment. Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal says 24 year old Derrick Charley ran into the apartment after a deputy spotted him and recognized him as a wanted felon. When the deputy approached the residence he was first told by a woman that Charley had left and that the person entering the home was her daughter. She finally let the deputies inside where they found Charley hiding under a mattress. He was arrested along with the female, identified as 28 year old Michelle Olvera-Cruz for Rendering Criminal Assistance.

Spring prescribed burning is set to start next week on the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forest. NCWLife’s Steve Hair reports. . .

With the weekend right around the corner, there are lots of activities around the Valley for you take in. NCWLIFE’s Megan McPherson has the details. . .

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

It’s opening day of the baseball season and for the 1st. time in 50 years every team was scheduled to play on opening day but we already have our first rainout.  The Nationals at Reds game scheduled for this afternoon in Cincinnati was rained out – they made the decision not to play today yesterday.

At Safeco field, Felix Hernandez will make his 11th. Opening Day start but only after surviving a liner off his arm that limited him to three spring outings.  He pitched 3 and 2/3 innings and 63 pitches last Saturday and will be kept to about 85-90 pitches today.  He’ll face the Indians Corey Kluber, who won his second career Cy Young awards last year.

While the Mariners have their eyes on ending MLB’s longest postseason drought of 16 years, the Indians are shooting for their third straight playoff trip. After losing to the Cubs in the 2016 World Series and getting knocked out by the Yankees in last year’s AL Division Series, the goal is clear.

There are only 4 teams still standing in the BCHL playoffs and one of those is the Wenatchee Wild.  The Wild advanced to the third round after knocking off Merritt in round 1 and Vernon in round 2.  Tomorrow night at the Town Toyota Center is game one of the semi-finals between the Wild and the Trail Smoke eaters.  Arch Ecker, the broadcasting voice of the Wild, previewed the series with Trail on this morning’s Wake Up Wenatchee Valley:

Tonight is hockey night on the ncwlife channel we have hockey night. Watch the replay of Game 4 in the Wild’s Playoff Series against Vernon from March 21st.

 

The Apple Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross will host the 2014 Hometown Heroes Celebration at the Wenatchee Convention Center tonight (Thu). This annual event celebrates the power of humanitarian spirit in our community by honoring local citizens for doing something remarkable to help others. Rick Isaacson of the Apple Valley Red Cross tells us more. . .

During the event, which starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Convention Center, individuals will be recognized in several award categories including Spirit of the Red Cross Hero, Humanitarian Hero, Law Enforcement/Dispatch Hero and 911 Hero. 10 winners will be announced tonight including, Brian Brett, Fire Chief of Chelan County Fire District 1, Corporal Ryan Weatherman of the Wenatchee Police Department and Officer David De LaRosa and his K9 partner Grizzly of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.

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

And now a recap of some our top stories. . .

They’re calling it a non-failure emergency. Grant County PUD officials say a leaking spillway at Priest Rapids Dam will force the lowering of the reservoir. The problem was discovered after inspection drilling revealed leaking in the spillway monoliths.

Officials say the dam will continue to generate electricity as the water level behind the dam will remain at normal operating minimums while inspection work continues. The situation is different than the one at Wanapum Dam in 2014, when a fracture was found on the spillway. That repair required a prolonged reservoir drawdown. Wanapum Dam has since been completely repaired. There is no danger to life or property. Priest Rapids Dam is on the Columbia River near the town of Mattawa. Wanapum Dam is 19 miles upriver of Priest

As a Woods owned business for 111 years, the Wenatchee World has been sold. In an announcement earlier today, Wenatchee World Publisher Rufus G. Woods said the newspaper has been sold to Wick Communications, a third-generation family owned and operated Media corporation from Arizona.

Woods says, “It has been our privilege to be the stewards of this wonderful community asset for three generations and we are grateful to be able to hand the reins to another family-oriented company that shares our community-building values.” The Wenatchee World is the first newspaper in the state of Washington for Wick and all employees of the World have been offered jobs with Wick Communications. The Wenatchee Daily World was founded in 1905 and purchased two years later by Rufus Woods and his brother Ralph. Later, their cousin Warren Woods became the paper’s business manager. Rufus Woods was publisher until his death in 1950.or fiber-optic expansion.

With the weekend right around the corner, there are lots of activities around the Valley for you take in. NCWLIFE’s Megan McPherson has the details. . .

Today was a mainly dry day for the Inland Northwest with mostly cloudy skies and a west wind 5-10 mph. The clouds are streaming down over the top of a high pressure ridge in place off the Oregon Coast along a weak cold front. Breezy west winds are expected Friday afternoon following the passage of the weather system. We will see west winds on Friday of around 10-15 mph with gusts as high as 25 mph. Saturday and into our Easter Sunday high pressure will remain our main weather feature with partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies and high temperatures around 60. A weak weather system will move through on Tuesday bringing a 20% chance of scattered showers into Wednesday.

As we leave you tonight, while Spring prescribed burns are almost underway, the Forest Service has this message to share about how burns help maintain the forest. . .

If you have a video of the day, you’d like to see on the NCWLIFE Evening 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.