NCWLIFE Evening News April 28th, 2021

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Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. I’m Grant Olson. Before we get to what’s making news, let’s take a quick look outside our weather window:

And now, here a few of the stories we’re following for you tonight, A former delivery driver pleaded guilty in a case involving theft of packages he was supposed to drop off at the Wenatchee Valley Mall./ Almost $40 million dollars is on its way to the Wenatchee Valley in the form of capital project funding from the state of Washington, and, Chelan County PUD General Manager Steve Wright announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down from the top post at the utility effective at the end of the year.   

But first, our top story tonight. . .

Cleanup continued today after a truck spilled more than a thousand apples on Highway 2 near Orondo Tuesday afternoon.

The highway was blocked for about an hour after the 3:05 p.m. spill. Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said the semi driver told troopers he was reaching for a bottle of water when he went off the highway, overcorrected and 24 bins of apples spilled from his trailer onto the roadway.

Washington State Department of Transportation workers removed the apples from the highway and the company that owns the apples is now working to clear them from the shoulder. The driver of the semi, 54-year-old Brenton Huwe of Richland, was cited for wheels off the roadway.

A former delivery driver pleaded guilty in a case involving theft of packages he was supposed to drop off at the Wenatchee valley Mall.

51-year-old Jose Luis Fuentes pleaded to a reduced charge of third-degree theft in Douglas county court, and was sentenced to the two days he’s already served in jail. Police said in December 2018, Fuentes was caught on video removing packages from the FedEx transfer station in East Wenatchee, and later tried to falsely return some of the stolen items to the store where they were meant to arrive. He was originally charged with theft as well as trafficking stolen property. Prosecutors say he has already repaid the $5,700 value of the stolen items.

Almost $40 million dollars is on its way to the Wenatchee Valley in the form of capital project funding from the state of Washington. Under the state capital budget, passed Saturday just before the Legislature ended its session, Chelan County projects from government buildings to water treatment to libraries will receive $33.2 million in funding.

In Douglas County, the figure is $6.5 million. Budgeted items include $3.2 million to design Wenatchee Valley College’s new Center for Technical Education; $2.5 million for the Seven Acres community center in Chelan; and more than $4 million for wastewater and water supply projects in Dryden and Bridgeport.

Chelan County PUD General Manager Steve Wright announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down from the top post at the utility effective at the end of the year.

Wright has managed the PUD for the past 8 years after coming to Chelan County from the Bonneville Power Administration, where he worked for 32 years, his last eight as the administrator. In a statement, Wright said he probably stayed longer with the PUD than he’s originally intended but stayed because he found the job fun and rewarding. The PUD board praised Wright’s leadership and will be conducting a national search for his replacement.

Coming up next, The annual count of Washington’s gray wolf population continued to grow in 2020./ The Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance, or GWATA, has officially changed its name, to NCW Tech Alliance, and, If you’ve noticed little yellow flags sprouting up in area parks as fast as dandelions lately, you may have wondered what that’s all about, we’ll tell you after the break. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The annual count of Washington’s gray wolf population continued to grow in 2020, with an estimated 178 wolves in 29 packs now ranging across the state. It’s a 24 percent increase since 2019.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife says those numbers are what’s called a minimum count, meaning the true number of wolves is likely higher. Four new wolfpacks formed in 2020, including the Navarre Pack in Okanogan County. Seven packs were known to have preyed on livestock during 2020. Fish and Wildlife killed three wolves in response last year.

The Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance, or GWATA, has officially changed its name, to NCW Tech Alliance.

The tech-development nonprofit has been active since 1999, supporting entrepreneurship and STEM education. It now has four full-time staffers, and serves a six-county region. That expansion beyond Wenatchee helped spur the decision to change the name.

The website currently remains the same: gwata.org. You can check there for upcoming events, including the Flywheel Investment Conference scheduled for May 20th.

If you’ve noticed little yellow flags sprouting up in area parks as fast as dandelions lately, you may have wondered what that’s all about. Well, it’s about poop. Specifically, dog droppings that weren’t picked up by the animal’s owner.

The Wenatchee Valley Stormwater Technical Advisory Committee project involves marking the spots as a reminder of how bad the pet waste problem is. The cities of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee, as well as Chelan and Douglas counties are participating. The stormwater advisory group says the waste poses a health threat to people, pets, wildlife, and pollutes local waters.

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. . .

In tonight’s feature story, Wenatchee middle school and high school students won’t return to full in-person classes, likely not for the rest of the year.

School board members did not act on a proposal Tuesday night that would have returned grades six through 12 to the classrooms. Kindergarteners through fifth-graders came back to class on April 19th. Board member Julie Norton, who’s advocated for in-person classes to resume, decided not to ask for a vote to resume classes for the upper grades. . .

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.

Eastmont fought off quite a challenge from Cashmere in boys soccer last night, coming away with a 3-1 victory at Wildcat Stadium…

The Bulldogs got on the board first in the 22nd minute and held a 1-nothing lead until 4th minute of the second half when Eastmont’s Tyrell Malcolm went to work.

Sebastian Moraga and Neil Oysten had the call here on the NCWLIFE Channel…

Ty Schoening was credited with Cashmere’s lone goal and Tyrell Malcolm had three goals for Eastmont in the win.

Tyler Wisen set a single-game scoring record for Wenatchee with 6-goals in the Panther’s 8-nothing win over Chelan.  In other action Tuesday, Moses Lake edged Ephrata 2-1.  Wahluke quieted Quincy 6-2.  Brewster and Tonasket played to a 3-3 tie.  Royal rocked Okanogan 6-1.  And Oroville pounded Pateros 7-2.

Taking a look at the high school baseball scoreboard from Tuesday…

Wenatchee traveled to Brewster and picked up an 11-3 win.  Eastmont shut out Ephrata 4-nothing.  Moses Lake topped Chelan 3-1.  Cashmere blanked Okanogan 6-0.  Cascade edged Warden 9-7.  Liberty Bell beat Almira-Coulee/Hartline 10-4.  And Royal shut out Lake Roosevelt 14-nothing.

On the softball diamonds, Cashmere 10-runned Cascade 13-to-3.  Wahluke shut down Chelan 8-1.  Royal blanked Quincy 15-nothing.  Omak edged Lake Roosevelt 6-5.  Tonasket topped Okanogan 13-12.  Almira-Coulee/Hartline harvested a 21-5 win over Waterville-Mansfield.  And Oroville popped Pateros 18-3.

Eastmont has the home field at Sterling Sportsplex with a 4 o’clock game today against Warden.

In prep tennis, Eastmont and Wenatchee have a rematch today at Eastmont High School at 3 o’clock.  The Wildcats snapped a 31-year losing streak to the Panthers earlier this season, so today should be interesting.  In other action, Moses Lake hosts Quincy at 3.  Then at 4 it’s Cashmere at Cascade while Omak hosts Chelan.

The Mariners lost a pitcher’s dual in Houston last night 2-nothing…

Marco Gonzales did all that could be expected, throwing 6-innings and allowing 2-runs on 5-hits with 4-strikeouts and 3-walks.  However, Cristian Javier was equally as good, shutting the Mariners out over 7-innings and allowing just 2-hits to Kyle Seager.

Manager Scott Servais says he couldn’t ask for more from Marco…

Seattle and Houston go at it again today at 5:10 with Justin Dunn facing Zack Greinke.

The Mariners didn’t lose any ground in the A-L West with the rest of the top teams also losing.

Brett Phillips’ 2-run home run erased a 2-1 deficit and Tampa Bay beat Oakland 4-3.

Nick Solak was 3-for-4 with two, solo home runs to lead Texas over the Angels 6-1.

Thanks Eric.

As we leave you tonight, were going to talk a little turkey. During a traffic stop on Highway 10 between Ellensburg and Cle Elum last Friday, a couple of curious turkeys suddenly appeared. Washington State Patrol Trooper Thomas Megargle soon found out that his cruiser could indeed talk turkey. . .

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.