Evening News March 30


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, Maintenance work at Rock Island Dam may be the cause of a small oil-like sheen on the water below the Dam, and, an injured car crash victim pulls a gun on a Grant County Firefighter.

But first, we begin tonight:

The driver of a tractor-trailer rig crashed into a vineyard off of US 97 yesterday according to a Facebook post by the Orondo Firefighters Association. Firefighters responded to the scene one mile north of Sun Cove to find the semi in the middle of the vineyard.

The semi appeared to have lost control, crossed the oncoming traffic lane into the northbound ditch where the driver then came back across both lanes of traffic and into the vineyard. According to first responders, amazingly the truck did not roll over. No information was immediately available about the cause of the accident or possible injuries.

A driver is accused of pulling a gun on a Grant County Fire District 5 firefighter who had responded after the man was involved in a serious vehicle accident in late February.

When emergency personnel responded, Fire District 5 Captain Travis Svilar entered the vehicle to reach 27-year old Andrew Reed of Moses Lake. The Grant County sheriff’s office says Reed then pulled out a pistol and put it against Svilar’s chest. Svilar was able to push Reed’s arm out of the way and deputies disarmed him. Svilar was not injured and Reed was taken to an area hospital with serious injuries. Currently, no charges have been filed against Reed and he remains hospitalized but, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office is recommending a first-degree assault charge. Reed was driving at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash on February 25th near Harris Road and Road I Northeast near Moses Lake when his vehicle left the road and rolled.

Maintenance work on Powerhouse 1 at Rock Island Dam may be the cause of a small oil-like sheen on the water below the Dam. The oil sheen was discovered yesterday. Chelan County PUD Communications Director Suzanne Hartman says Department of Ecology officials are on site trying to determine just what that sheen is. . .

A 53-year-old Warden man who served as a substitute teacher at Warden Schools was placed under arrest yesterday morning for voyeurism and FBI agents are looking into his involvement in child pornography.

Warden Police and the FBI assisted by undercover INET detectives served a search warrant Thursday at 609 South Ash Avenue in Warden and arrested Michael S. Leavitt. The investigation started in October 2017 when police received a complaint from a nine-year-old Warden school student that Leavitt, then an emergency substitute teacher, had used his phone to video record under her dress in her classroom.

Police seized Leavitt’s phone and a subsequent search warrant and forensic investigation yielded evidence that Leavitt had viewed child porn on his phone, and evidence that Leavitt had deleted files from his phone. The FBI is now investigating possible possession and production of child porn by Leavitt. Leavitt was booked by the Warden Police Department for the initial charge of voyeurism. The investigation continues.

On March 28th, members of the Wenatchee Police Department Volunteer in Police Services conducted graffiti clean-up throughout the City of Wenatchee. The graffiti was located on houses and businesses. Volunteer in Police Service is a national police volunteer program in USA Freedom Corps. These volunteers provide public safety services to our citizens when a police officer is not required. The supplies for the graffiti clean-up were donated.

Coming up next, The Chelan County Superior Court announced yesterday the selection of a new full-time court commissioner, and, Community members who went above and beyond were honored at the annual Red Cross Hometown Heroes event last night at the Wenatchee Convention Center. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news…

The Chelan County Superior Court announced yesterday the selection of attorney Tracy Brandt as its new full-time court commissioner.

Brandt will take over the position following the upcoming retirement of Commissioner Bart Vandegrift, who has served since 1995. Tracy Brandt was admitted to the Washington State Bar Association in 1998. Since that time, she has worked in Chelan County and has been a partner in her own general practice law firm since 2003. She possesses extensive experience in family law, juvenile, criminal and dependency cases, and general civil and criminal law. She was recognized by the Washington State Bar Association with a Local Hero Award in 2015 and as the Volunteer Attorney of the Year for Chelan/Douglas counties in 2006.

Community members who went above and beyond were honored at the annual Red Cross Hometown Heroes event last night at the Wenatchee Convention Center. 11 hometown hero awards were given out along with the Spirit of the Red Cross Award. Recipients included Bridgeport’s Pat McFaden, Firefighter Brandon Freeland, Deputy Chief Brian Brett, Wenatchee Compassionate Friends’ Carol Sunada, Corporal Ryan Weatherman with the Wenatchee Police Department, Jan Sinnett from the Cashmere School District, Deputy Dave De La Rosa and his K9 Grizzly, Scott Strutzel of the Department of Transportation, Shannon Port from the Wenatchee Valley Senior Activities Center and Deputy Will Tuengel and Deputy Cole Soreano of Chelan County Sheriff’s Office. Captain Edgar Reinfeld shared the stories of each recipient and why they were nominated, including the several truly heroic deeds:

Reinfeld also announced the final award of the night, the Spirit of the Red Cross:

Stay tuned to the NCWLIFE Channel for the NCWLIFE Magazine with Jay Seabeck for the full Hometown Heroes program.

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.

Easter Sunday is this Sunday and every Easter since 1995 people have viewed a lighted cross perched high above the Wenatchee Valley.  Dan Kuntz tells us more. . .

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.

Welcome back to the NCWLife Evening News, your Easter weekend weather forecast is Legislation sponsored by Representative Tom Dent of Moses Lake to improve wildfire preparedness and prevention was recently signed into law by Governor Inslee. House Bill 2561 will have the commissioner of public lands direct the wildland fire advisory committee to review, analyze, and make recommendations on wildfire prevention, response, and suppression activities.

The advisory committee will also evaluate the existing fire mobilization process and identify potential efficiencies or other reforms that may lead to a more effective, coordinated wildfire response. There were 1,289 wildfires in Washington state in 2017, burning 271,431 acres. The bill takes effect 90 days after the adjournment of the regular session. The Legislature adjourned on March 8.

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. . .

Good agreement exists between the latest weather models in maintaining a general mild, northwesterly flow aloft over Northcentral Washington through the next few days. The only other weather of note will be noticeably breezy and gusty winds today especially over the Columbia basin. We saw afternoon winds of 15-25 mph today with highs mainly in the lower 60’s. Our weather looks pretty nice as we head into the Easter weekend with partly cloudy skies Saturday and mostly sunny conditions on Easter Sunday. We will also see some breezy conditions on Easter with afternoon gusts as high as 25 mph. Nice weather is expected for Monday and Tuesday next week before our next weather arrives late in the day on Wednesday bringing a 20% chance of showers late in the day. Precipitation chances will continue to ramp up Thursday with a 50% chance of rain and goes up from there into next weekend as several shortwave storm systems interact with a rich plume of moisture nosing toward the Northwestern U.S.

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 Monday morning for Wake Up Wenatchee Valley with host Dan Kuntz and news with Steve Hair. Thanks for joining us and have a great weekend.