NCWLIFE Evening News April 24th, 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, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced today he will be easing limits on some construction projects. We sat down with the Executive Director of the Chelan-Douglas Health District to talk about COVID-19, and, one of Wenatchee’s longest running restaurant’s, the Cottage Inn, closed its doors permanently at midnight last night.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Okanogan County has reported its first COVID-19 death, a 44-year-old woman who died April 18th. County Coroner Dave Rodriguez said the woman did not have any underlying health conditions but had been sick at her home for several days.

Rodriguez said she was not tested for the virus until after her death. Health officials are only saying that she died at her residence is in the central area of the county. Okanogan County Public Health and the Colville Tribes are working together to investigate the contacts of all people who have tested positive for the virus in the county. The Colville Indian Reservation accounts for nine of the county’s 19 positive tests, with five more cases in the Methow Valley.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced today he will be easing limits on some construction projects under his Stay Home, Stay Safe order. Appearing at a press conference with building industry representatives, the governor said he’d be signing an order today allowing what he called low-risk projects with strict social distancing requirements to move forward. He said whether it will mean changes are coming for restrictions on the health care industry, businesses and recreationists has not yet been determined. . .

When health officials tested for coronavirus last weekend at a Stemilt worker housing site in East Wenatchee, they got a shock: 36 out of 71 workers there tested positive, without obvious symptoms. Barry Kling, chief administrator for the Chelan-Douglas Health District, told NCWLIFE those findings are changing local strategies for detecting and containing the pandemic virus. . .

One of Wenatchee’s longest running restaurant’s, the Cottage Inn, closed it’s doors permanently at midnight last night.

Located on Wenatchee’s north side, the Cottage Inn was the second oldest restaurant in the area. Douglas County Commissioner Dan Sutton and his wife have leased the business for the past 16 years. Sutton told NCWLIFE News that the COVID-19 pandemic played only a small part in the decision to close. Sutton said, quote, on top of skyrocketing state taxes and a 46-percent increase in the minimum wage over a four-year span, the restaurant was struggling, unquote. Sutton also acknowledged that leaving behind co-workers and staff will be very difficult because he and his wife watched employees’ children grow up and families of their own. But Sutton says, he can now focus and dedicate more time to his job as Douglas County Commissioner to navigate the county through this pandemic and continue the economic gains that have been made over the past few years. Sutton says he’s not sure what the future will hold for the long-standing northside restaurant.   

Coming up next, Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett says his new chief of patrol comes from within the ranks. After consulting with the health district, the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market will open as scheduled May 9th at Pybus Public Market. Woodcutting permits for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest will go on sale Monday but, as is the case with most things these days, COVID-19 has made things different. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Chelan CountySheriff Brian Burnett says his new chief of patrol comes from within the ranks.

Sgt. Adam Musgrove takes the reins July 1st, supervising patrol operations around the county. He’s been with the force since 2012 and is now a night-shift patrol sergeant. He was a Sedro-Wooley police officer until joining the Chelan County department.

He replaces Chief of Patrol Rick Johnson, who becomes East Wenatchee’s new chief of police effective June 1st.

After consulting with the health district, the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market will open as scheduled May 9th at Pybus Public Market.

Pybus Executive Director Leslie Freytag said the market will have 15 to 20 vendors and the number of customers allowed at one time will be limited. In addition, there will be handwashing stations and extra spacing between vendors. The market will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Freytag said they’re looking for volunteers to help regulate the number of people in the vendor area and to direct and inform visitors. Anyone interested in volunteering can call 663-8712.

Woodcutting permits for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest will go on sale Monday but, as is the case with most things these days, COVID-19 has made things different.

The permits will be sold by phone instead of in-person and they won’t go into effect until May 1. And even then, the Forest Service would like people to wait, if possible, before cutting their wood to relieve strain on rural communities.

To buy a woodcutting permit, call your local ranger district office.

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. . .

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources says the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way they’ll be training for and fighting wildfires this year. The DNR has already seen more than 200 wildfires, most involving debris fires that have gotten out of control. In tonight’s feature story, Allison Morrow with DNR says fire crews are adapting to new realities. . .

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, if you grew up wanting a fire truck of your very own, this may be your chance.

Chelan Fire and Rescue is auctioning off its three response vehicles: a 1992 Seagrave engine, a 2000 IHC rescue truck, and a water tender that’s about 30 years old.

The department is accepting bids until May 20th, with a minimum offer of $5,000 on the engine and tender, but at least $70,000 on the rescue vehicle. Get information from Chelan Fire and Rescue website, chelan7.com. Serious offers only, please.

Now let’s check in with Dan Kuntz for a look at what’s coming up Monday 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 weekend.