NCWLIFE Evening News April 20th, 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, Seventy-two inmates serving prison sentences for crimes in North Central Washington will get some form of release while Washington deals with the pandemic. One thousand COVID-19 test kits delivered to the Chelan-Douglas Health District last week had to be returned as part of a statewide recall, and, The state Department of Labor and Industries is promoting new rules for how farms and packing houses must operate in the era of coronavirus.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Governor Jay Inslee lashed out at a handful of Republican lawmakers Sunday who he says are encouraging open rebellion over his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Inslee’s comments came after a protest in Olympia on Sunday that drew more than 2,000 people, including three legislators who spoke at the rally.

39th District Representative Robert Sutherland of Granite Falls said QUOTE, We’re starting a rebellion in Washington. We’re not listening to this governor, we’re taking our state back, UNQUOTE. Inslee such statements are irresponsible and could lead to more people getting sick.

This morning, Sutherland seemed to walk back his rhetoric, posting on Facebook that he is supporting A QUOTE, revolution of love, UNQUOTE.

Also speaking at the rally were Representatives Jim Walsh of Aberdeen and Vicki Kraft of Vancouver. Inslee’s order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak expires May 4th and he hasn’t said yet if it will be extended.

Seventy-two inmates serving prison sentences for crimes in North Central Washington will get some form of release while Washington deals with the pandemic.

Thirty-three of them were sentenced in Chelan or Douglas county. They’re among 1,100 people to be furloughed or released early, as the state Department of Corrections tries to thin its population, and achieve court-ordered social distance to slow rates of infection. None were serving time for violent offenses; DOC records show most are repeat drug offenders, or have convictions for theft or DUI. Only one of the Wenatchee Valley offenders has so far been released to the community. The rest have no set release date.

One thousand COVID-19 test kits delivered to the Chelan-Douglas Health District last week had to be returned as part of a statewide recall.

On Saturday the state Department of Health pulled back a total of 12,000 new kits that had been sent out to local health districts, because of a possible defect in the viral transport medium – the fluid that preserves a patient’s sample on the way to the lab. Veronica Farias, public information officer for the Chelan-Douglas Health District, said today that all 1,000 of the kits received last week had to be turned over. Confluence Health says it was not affected by the recall. The kits were donated to the state by a medical products company based in China. State health officials say there’s no risk to patients who may have undergone the tests. A large shipment of new testing supplies is expected to arrive in Washington this week.

The state Department of Labor and Industries is promoting new rules for how farms and packing houses must operate in the era of coronavirus. But farmworker unions want more specific guidance, and filed a lawsuit last week to get it. The United Farmworkers and Familias Unidas say basic protective measures aren’t being met in Washington’s fields and produce warehouses. The rules require

employers to maintain social distance or physical barriers between workers; install hand-washing stations; keep sick employees at home; and educate workers about COVID-19. The plaintiffs say with the spread of the virus, that could be too little, too late.

Coming up next, The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says a Moses Lake man rammed two patrol cars with a stolen side-by-side Saturday night. Kittitas County Sheriff Deputies and medical units responded to the area of Rosa View and Arrowhead Drive, about 10 miles south of Ellensburg earlier today, where a small plane was said to have gone down. If Methow Valley voters agree to give their local fire district a bit more tax money, a Washington nonprofit will help build a new fire station, and, As the nights warm and the days lengthen, April is a great time to add a tree to your urban landscape. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says a Moses Lake man rammed two patrol cars with a stolen side-by-side Saturday night.

Deputies say they spotted the stolen Yamaha ATV near Road 2 Northeast and Road O Northeast east of Moses Lake when the driver drove head-on toward a deputy’s car before fleeing on canal roads.

After receiving a trespassing report at 835 Road Q Northeast, deputies found the ATV parked between two shop buildings and boxed it in. 37-year-old Jarod Taylor reportedly ran head-on into one patrol car, then backed into another before being arrested. Neither deputy was injured but Taylor was checked at the Moses Lake hospital before being booked into jail on charges that included two counts of second-degree assault, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of methamphetamine.

Kittitas County Sheriff Deputies and medical units responded to the area of Rosa View and Arrowhead Drive, about 10 miles south of Ellensburg earlier today, where a small plane was said to have gone down.

Deputies found a Cessna flown by 39-year-old Josh Soracco and occupied by 46-year-old Kristina Ring and 21-year-old Jessie Ring, all of Yakima, attempted a low approach flyover of the runway and was unable to gain enough altitude to clear the ridge. The plane clipped the hillside and flipped. All occupants self-extricated and Kristina was later transported by Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue to Yakima Memorial with back and neck pain. All other occupants had minor injuries. FAA and NTSB were all notified.

If Methow Valley voters agree to give their local fire district a bit more tax money, a Washington nonprofit will help build a new fire station. Chelan County Fire District 6 says it’s in line for a $1.8 million grant if voters approve their levy increase on April 28th. The department, headquartered in Twisp, wants a 17.5 cent boost to its property tax assessment to build the new station and training facility, and boost its number of firefighters. The Bruno & Evelyne Betti Foundation of Lacey will make the $1.8 million contribution if the measure passes.

As the nights warm and the days lengthen, April is a great time to add a tree to your urban landscape.

Arbor Day is a holiday that is celebrated all around the world on the last Friday of April by planting, learning about, and celebrating trees. Municipalities that are part of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program have made a commitment to urban and community forestry and work to protect and maintain the trees in their jurisdiction.

The City of Chelan is a certified Tree City USA and though it will not be celebrating its annual Arbor Day and tree giveaway event this April to be mindful of public health and safety, it remains very committed to its urban forests. Many Chelan residents in areas identified as having few trees will be seeing a post card arriving in their mailbox encouraging tree plantings with suggestions of plants suitable for their area.

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. . .

Teachers and students are doing some impressive things while they try to keep up with school remotely during Stay Home, Stay Healthy.

For instance, Wenatchee High School students are campaigning for Associated Student Body by submitting online campaign speeches. And in tonight’s feature story, Manson schoolteachers used the popular video chat feature Zoom, to make an inspirational parody video for the kids in their virtual classrooms. Take a look. . .

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.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight, Miss Veedol will make a special flight over the Wenatchee Valley May 2nd to pay tribute to health care employees and other frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A replica of the plane that made the first nonstop flight over the Pacific Ocean in 1931, Miss Veedol has made flights over Apple Blossom Festival events since 2003. With the festival postponed, the bright-orange plane will fly over the parade route, area hospitals, fire stations, law enforcement facilities and stores late that Saturday morning.

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.

Now let’s check in with Dan Kuntz for a look at what’s coming up tomorrow morning on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley, Dan. . .

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.