NCWLIFE Evening News April 10th, 2020

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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, Central Washington Hospital has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in North Central Washington but as it treats patients with the virus in its intensive care unit, the rest of the hospital has seen a sharp decline in traffic. More than 100 Confluence employees have now been tested for coronavirus, with two workers testing positive. Jobless claims have skyrocketed across the state thanks to shutdowns related to the pandemic. And it’s no different here in central Washington, and, A child rapist who acted as his own attorney at trial was sentenced yesterday to more than 28 years in prison.
But first, we begin tonight. . .

Third Chelan County Death -A third Chelan County resident has died from COVID-19. The Chelan-Douglas Health District reported the death Friday morning but has not yet released details. Confluence Health said the latest person was not a patient at Central Washington Hospital. Also today, Grant County topped 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus at 101. Of those, 41 have been in Quincy and 19 in the Mattawa area. Chelan County has had 45 confirmed cases and Douglas County 12.

Hospital Numbers -Central Washington Hospital has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in North Central Washington but as it treats patients with the virus in its intensive care unit, the rest of the hospital has seen a sharp decline in traffic. NCWLIFE’s Kyle Montgomery reports. . .

Confluence Employee Tests -Speaking of Confluence Health, More than 100 Confluence employees have now been tested for coronavirus, with two workers testing positive. Confluence spokesman Andrew Canning said as of mid-week, a total of 104 staff had undergone tests. The two workers who had positive results for COVID-19 are not based in Central Washington Hospital, which Confluence oversees. The health system also opened its second drive-through testing facility this week, this one at its Omak clinic, to serve Okanogan County patients. For drive-through services there or at the Wenatchee station on Emerson Avenue, call the Confluence COVID hotline at 663-8711.

Local Unemployment -Jobless claims have skyrocketed across the state thanks to shutdowns related to the pandemic. And it’s no different here in central Washington.
The Employment Security Department reports almost 5,300 unemployment claims filed in Chelan County in just
the first three weeks of the crisis. In Douglas County, that figure is more than 2,100.
The figures appeared to plateau last week, but state agencies say they’re preparing for a new surge in jobless claims as more workers, like independent contractors and part-time employees, become eligible to apply.

Child Molester Sentenced -A child rapist who acted as his own attorney at trial was sentenced yesterday to more than 28 years in prison. Jeremey Douglas Pedersen, who’s 47, sexually abused the victim nine years ago, when she was about six years old. He managed to win acquittal in his February trial in Chelan County on one count of child molestation, but the jury convicted him of child rape after testimony from the young victim and other witnesses. Pedersen, a Spokane native, has a lengthy criminal history that contributed to his sentence. Judge Lesley Allan imposed an exceptional sentence, higher than the standard range of 20 to 26 years. Pedersen told the judge he plans to appeal.
Coming up next, East Wenatchee has hired a new Police Chief, we will tell you who it is. After paying the state Department of Ecology $170,000 and making mandatory upgrades, Coleman Oil Company has now settled again. Local treasurers say your property taxes are still due on time even while the state suffers a public health emergency. After six inmates tested positive for COVID-19 at the Monroe Correctional Complex, it triggered a brief riot by more than 100 inmates Wednesday, and, we continue with our Corona virus PSA’s, tonight, outdoor enthusiast Cody Gillin. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Chief Johnson -East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford says she’s offered the job of chief of police to Rick Johnson, currently the Chelan County Sheriff’s chief of patrol. The hiring would have to be approved by the East Wenatchee City Council at its April 21 meeting. Johnson was one of two finalists forwarded to Crawford this week, narrowed down from a field of 20 initial applicants. Johnson lives in Douglas County and previously worked as a Wenatchee Police Department officer from 2003 to 2016, including three years as sergeant. Crawford says quote, he’s “the right choice for East Wenatchee.”

EPA v Coleman Oil -After paying the state Department of Ecology $170,000 and making mandatory upgrades, Coleman Oil Company has now settled with the Environmental Protection Agency for another $133,000. The Lewiston, Idaho company allowed 3,800 gallons of biodiesel to leach into the ground and the Columbia River in 2017, from its riverside terminal in Wenatchee. Ecology imposed fines and upgrade requirements on Coleman’s facilities in Pateros and Dayton. The EPA found the company violated several federal spill prevention regulations. The Wenatchee terminal has since been shut down.

Property Tax -Local treasurers say your property taxes are still due on time even while the state suffers a public health emergency. But Chelan and Douglas counties may offer some relief if the payments causes a hardship. Douglas County Treasurer Natalie Marx offers a grace period option, paying half your tax by April 30 and the rest a month later; or a payment plan option, breaking the tax into eight installments. Chelan County Treasurer David Griffiths says taxpayers can contact his office to explore similar options.

Corrections News Conference -After six inmates tested positive for COVID-19 at the Monroe Correctional Complex, it triggered a brief riot by more than 100 inmates Wednesday. Washington Department of Corrections officers used pepper spray, sting balls, lights, noise and rubber pellets to quell the demonstration. At apress conference Thursday, Corrections Secretary Stephen Sinclair explained what happened. . .
COVID PSA -NCWLIFE is producing a series of public service announcements from people in our communities regarding COVID-19. Tonight we feature outdoor enthusiast Cody Gillin. . .
You’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Coming up next, tonight’s feature story and your complete local weather forecast. That and much more still to come on the NCWLIFE Evening News, stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News. . .
COVID Shelter -Chelan and Douglas counties are prepared to house up to 50 people who are homeless or need isolation during the coronavirus emergency. But the need could become even greater than that. In tonight’s feature story, Blake Baldwin, the Chelan County economic development director who’s heading up the project, talked about it today with NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins. . .

And that is a look at your local weather forecast, coming up next, tonight’s sports report with Eric Granstrom and more as the NCWLIFE Evening News continues right after this.

NCWLIFE Channel Sports

The coronavirus pandemic has brought on an economic hardship for college sports programs throughout the country.  One coach in Washington State has stepped forward to take a voluntary pay cut to help…

Eastern Washington head football coach Aaron Best took to Twitter yesterday, announcing he was taking an “indefinite” 10-percent pay cut in an effort to help the school and athletic department.

EWU athletic director Lynn Hickey responded to Best’s gesture with a tweet of her own, saying she too would step up and take one for the team.

Nationwide, some NCAA Division I coaches and administrators have elected to take pay cuts to help make up for their respective athletic departments’ revenue shortfall.  Others, like Iowa State and Louisville, have implemented nonvoluntary departmentwide cuts.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll sees the pandemic as just another chance to compete.  Carroll was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio with hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan this week…

NFL teams are preparing for the upcoming draft, knowing they’ve had less chances to vet players and that the process will be changed due to social distancing.  Carroll says he’s ready.  “We’ll get it done,” he said.  “There’s just stuff to be worked out.  It’s going to be fascinating.”

Seattle has seven picks in the draft, including three of the top 64 and four of the first 101.  The Seahawks were expecting to being their offseason workout program April 20th.  The rookie minicamp usually follows the draft and then on-field Organized Team Activities with a team-wide minicamp in June.  For now, all of that is on hold. The NFL draft is April 23rd through the 25th.

So what were we talking about in sports a year ago today?

The Mariners beat Kansas City 6-5 on Mitch Haniger’s two-run home run for Seattle’s 6th straight win.  A year ago today, the Mariners were a Major League-best 12-and-2.  They got off to that hot start after beginning the season in Tokyo and the sendoff for Ichiro Suzuki. 

Seattle would also set a Major League record a season ago by homering in each of its first 20-games.  The previous mark of 14 was held by Cleveland.  In the stretch of 20-games, the Mariners hit an incredible 42-home runs. 

Of course, things would cool significantly for Seattle as the season progressed and the Mariners would finish dead-last in the American League West, 26-games under .500.

Here’s what we have on tap this weekend on our sports broadcast schedule…

It begins tonight at 7 o’clock as we’ll bring you Big-9 soccer from last April as Wenatchee hosts Moses Lake.  Sebastian Moraga and Matt Wisen have the play-by-play.

We’ll be on the diamond Saturday at 2 with Eastmont and Sunnyside baseball from April 4th of last year.  Joel Norman has the play-by-play.  Then at 7 on Saturday, it’s Wenatchee Wild Hockey as we’ll bring you the Wild and Powell River from a game at the Town Toyota Center December 21st

Sunday is Easter, so we’ll forego sports and bring you and the family special Easter programming all day here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

Time for another sports-related movie recommendation that you might not have heard about.  Today, it’s “Undefeated.”  It’s another sports documentary that won an academy award.  It tells the story of an inner-city high school football team in Memphis, Tennessee.  The story centers on three players and their volunteer coach who guides them on and off the field… “Undefeated” is rated PG-13 for language and violence and available now on Netflix.

Thanks Eric.
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). I’m Grant Olson, thanks for joining us and have a great night.