NCWLIFE Evening News April 29th, 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, Beginning Monday, Costco will become the first grocery store in North Central Washington to require all its employees and customers to wear masks or a face covering. Volunteers are making protective masks happen for riders of Link Transit, and, It’s possible that volunteers in the Upper Valley have made enough protective cloth masks for everyone in the small town of Plain.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Governor Jay Inslee said this afternoon he will not be lifting his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order when it expires May 4th. But, he did not set a date how much longer it will remain in effect either. The governor said more details on a phased-in approach for reopening the state will be announced Friday.

He did indicate hospitals will be allowed to resume elective surgeries. Hospitals throughout the state, including Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, have suffered big financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, he said state parks and lands will reopen Tuesday and last week he announced some residential construction work could resume. Still to be determined is when businesses considered non-essential could reopen. Those include restaurants, hair stylists and many more.

Beginning Monday, Costco will become the first grocery store in North Central Washington to require all its employees and customers to wear masks or a face covering.

The new rule does not apply to children under age 2 or people who can’t wear a mask because of a medical condition. Costco has made several changes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including special hours for seniors to shop and limits on the number of people who can enter on one membership card.

Kroger, owner of Fred Meyer, is requiring masks be worn by all its employees but not yet customers, while Safeway and Albertson’s have not yet instituted rules regarding masks.

Volunteers are making protective masks happen for riders of Link Transit.

The Wenatchee Valley public bus system plans to distribute handmade cloth masks to drivers and commuters starting at 5:45 a.m. Friday, at Columbia Station in downtown Wenatchee. Teams of seamstresses from Wenatchee and Waterville volunteered to produce 1,000 masks for Link to help keeps riders and operators healthy during the pandemic. The volunteers donated both the labor and most of the materials.

It’s possible that volunteers in the Upper Valley have made enough protective cloth masks for everyone in the small town of Plain.

Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue, the fire district that serves the Plain and Beaver Valley area, says locals have turned out, to date, 239 masks for free giveaway at business pick-up points.

Residents can pick up their free masks in a variety of patterns at shopping landmarks including Plain Hardware and the Just Plain Grocery.

Coming up next, Chelan County continues to try to protect South Lakeshore Road along Lake Chelan from severe mudslides. With 90 percent of their potatoes sold to restaurants, the COVID-19 shutdowns have hit Eastern Washington potatoes growers especially hard, and, After a 30-year career in law enforcement, Grant County Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Hillard signed off Monday and his final call was a special one.  I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Chelan County continues to try to protect South Lakeshore Road along Lake Chelan from severe mudslides.

Commissioners on Monday approved $230,000 more toward a nearly $3 million project to keep the road from being inundated with seasonal mud and debris from Slide Ridge. South Lakeshore Road was forced to close twice last year when rainfall caused major slides that cut off access, and digging out has become an expensive yearly project for the county. A combination of berms and bridgework will channel debris under the road and into the lake, once the overall project is complete.

With 90 percent of their potatoes sold to restaurants, the COVID-19 shutdowns have hit Eastern Washington potatoes growers especially hard.

But those same growers were out this morning in Ritzville giving away almost 20 tons of their potatoes to people in need. The giveaway, funded entirely by the growers, involves a small portion of about a billion pounds of potatoes in cold storage that no longer have a home.

Washington Representative Mary Dye of Pomeroy says Washington potato growers are looking at about $73 billion in losses because of the pandemic.

After a 30-year career in law enforcement, Grant County Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Hillard signed off Monday. His final call was special, as it was delivered by his daughter, 911 dispatcher Amy Hillard. . .

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. . .

When kids get back into their schoolrooms after this pandemic, a lot of things are going to be very different.

In the Wenatchee School District, that could include new start times for classes. In tonight’s feature story, Superintendent Paul Gordon says rerouting the district’s transport system would mean students will spend fewer hours riding a bus, but the school day itself will have to adapt. . .

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.

Wenatchee native Trey Adams is thrilled to be getting an opportunity to play in the NFL.  The 6-foot-8, 327-pound offensive tackle signed as an undrafted free agent Saturday with the Buffalo Bills.  The AFC East team finished 10-and-6 last season, making it to the Wild Card playoffs before falling in a wild game to Houston 22-19 in overtime.

Trey joined Eric for a Zoom video conference Monday from his Dad’s home on Wenatchee Heights.  Adams says he’s excited to get out and explore rural New York.  Heck, like the rest of us, he’s excited to just get out of the house!

Trey says, no matter what happens, he wants everyone in the Wenatchee Valley to know how much their support means to him…

With the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order in place, Adams says he’s been doing what he can to stay in shape…

Adams says no matter what happens with his football career, he’ll eventually return to the Wenatchee Valley to work and live because it will always be home.

It didn’t take long for DJ Fluker to find a home.  Just a day after being released by the Seahawks, Fluker has become a Baltimore Raven.  In addition, Seattle picked up another defensive back off the waiver wire…

Cornerback Jayson Stanley is now with the Seahawks after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Stanley originally signed in 2019 with Atlanta as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia as a wide receiver.  After failing to make the Falcons roster out of training camp, Stanley spent time on the practice squad of both the Miami Dolphins and the Jaguars during this past season.

The NFL, NBA, NHL, and other professional team sports are all wrestling with how the future will look through the pandemic.  A suggestion being looked at by Major League Baseball could split teams into three divisions…

That plan, if used, would break up the traditional alignments of the American and National Leagues. It also would cut travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

So, you could have Western, Central and Eastern Divisions.  The West could be Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, the Dodgers and Angels, San Diego, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Houston.  The Central Division could consist of Minnesota, Kansas City, St. Louis, Milwaukee, the White Sox and Cubs, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toronto.  The Eastern Division would include Boston, the Yankees and Mets, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Miami.

There’s also a suggestion, in order to start play by June or July, that teams would play games without fans in ballparks in Arizona, Texas and Florida.  Baseball officials have told the union of what they’re thinking but no official proposal has been submitted.

Thanks Eric.

As we leave you tonight a heads-up, people using the Leavenworth drop-off brush site will now be charged a flat $20 fee, rather than paying based on cubic yards. The Chelan County Public Works Department says the change will allow better social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, with only cash or checks accepted and no change given.

The drop-off site is available only to people living in the Apple Maggot Quarantine Area of Chelan County and is open Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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.