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, The Chelan-Douglas Health District for the first time released details Thursday on COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties, including the towns where there have been diagnosed cases. A deployment of 10 National Guard members arrived in Wenatchee this week to help with distributing needed food supplies to those displaced from work by the COVID-19 crisis. We continue tonight with our PSA’s regarding coronavirus, tonight, Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett, and, Just in time for the weekend, your favorite restaurant can now offer beer, liquor and wine for delivery or pickup.
But first, we begin tonight. . .
Inslee Order Extended -Calling it morally necessary, Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday extended his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order until May 4th. The order, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, has disrupted life in varying ways for all Washington residents and businesses but Inslee said extending it is the quickest way to returning to normal.
Health District Numbers -The Chelan-Douglas Health District for the first time released details Thursday on COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties, including the towns where there have been diagnosed cases. Of the 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the two counties as of Wednesday, 10 were Wenatchee residents. Another five positive tests have come from East Wenatchee, two each in Chelan and Leavenworth and one case each in Cashmere and Peshastin. Later Thursday, the district said there have been five more cases in Chelan County but did not provide details on those. The ages of people with positive tests also were released, with eight of the 21 over the age of 80. Both Chelan County deaths were people over age 80 and the district said both also had coexisting medical conditions.
National Guard Food -A deployment of 10 National Guard members arrived in Wenatchee this week to help with distributing needed food supplies to those displaced from work by the COVID-19 crisis. Thom Nees, whose organization Serve Wenatchee is among the distribution organizers, he told NCWLIFE yesterday the Guard’s participation gives local food banks a wider reach. . .
PSA Burnett -NCWLIFE is producing a series of public service announcements from people in our communities. Tonight we feature Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett. . .
COVID Booze to go -Just in time for the weekend, your favorite restaurant can now offer beer, liquor and wine for delivery or pickup. New rules put out Tuesday by the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board allow package liquor sales along with your food order, as long as the sale complies with coronavirus health restrictions. Most spirits must come in factory-sealed bottles, but beer can be sold in growlers that are filled on-site. However, no liquor can be sold curbside or delivery except as part of a meal.
Coming up next, Changing times for local education: Wenatchee schoolkids can sign up and check out a laptop for home use, starting Wednesday. Municipal planning continues, even amidst a public health crisis. A student science and technology showcase that was supposed to go on next month at Pybus Public Market will instead be a virtual experience, and, Chelan and Entiat firefighters knocked down a Stayman Flats brushfire yesterday afternoon. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.
Welcome back, and in other news. . .
School Laptop Checkout -Changing times for local education: Wenatchee schoolkids can sign up and check out a laptop for home use, starting Wednesday. The move is necessary as teaching shifts from classrooms to online during the COVID-19 pandemic. The district says kids and families can sign up online and report to their currently enrolled school building to pick up a Chromebook. On Wednesday, drive-through pickup opens at 3:00 p.m. at Lincoln, Mission View, Columbia, Orchard, Pioneer, and Wenatchee High School. The remaining schools hold pickup at the same time on Thursday.
Church to Rec. Center -Municipal planning continues, even amidst a public health crisis. The Eastmont Parks and Recreation Department on Thursday earned a $642,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, aimed at buying and renovating an East Wenatchee church. The Living Room Church on Georgia Avenue will become a community center, to host new programs like cooking and nutrition, fitness classes, expanded art programs, senior activities, and language classes. The city and the church have been working toward a purchase agreement since last summer.
Virtual STEM -A student science and technology showcase that was supposed to go on next month at Pybus Public Market will instead be a virtual experience. The NCW Tech & STEM Showcase was set to happen in Wenatchee and at Quincy Public Market starting May 15th. For public health reasons, GWATA and the Apple STEM Network retooled the gathering as a series of eight weekly challenges that students can carry out online, starting Monday with a build-your-own-meme project. The challenges go on through May 31. Students are encouraged to show off their work on the organizers’ websites, and on social media.
Stayman Fire -In other news, Chelan and Entiat firefighters knocked down a Stayman Flats brushfire yesterday afternoon. Officials said an orchard burn off Chelan Butte Road got out of control about 1:40 p.m. when winds kicked up and blew the flames into nearby vegetation. The fire grew to about a quarter-acre, and even started one spot fire about 50 yards across the road. A crew of 10 firefighters from both departments quickly brought the blazes under control.
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.
NCWLIFE Channel Sports
The WIAA is still trying to be upbeat about the potential for spring sports championships, despite the extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order until May 4th. The WIAA had originally set an April 24 as the guideline for still having spring state championships after Gov. Jay Inslee announced March 13 that all schools would close for six weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman says they will still hold some sort of culminating event…
The six spring sports are scheduled to begin their State Championships May 27th with golf through May 30th for Track & Field, Baseball, Boys Soccer, Fastpitch Softball and Tennis.
The Columbia Basin Big Nine had readjusted its schedule to include play beginning Saturday, May 2nd. That will have to be adjusted as well. According to Eastmont Athletic Director Russ Waterman, they’re already working on a strategy… He said the Big-9 spoke briefly via text last night and will have a teleconference soon. Waterman said, quote, we need to really think out of the box and what it will look like to salvage any of the season. Weighing on all of our minds, as well as the coaches, is how can we get something done for all of our Seniors, end quote.
The WIAA will not extend spring sports into June, so whatever can get jammed into the month of May will be all they can do.
The NCAA’s shutdown of the spring sports season combined with Major League Baseball’s reduction of this year’s draft could have significant impacts on college baseball moving forward… It’s strange to say, but COVID-19 could be good for college baseball. The pandemic forced not only the cancellation of the college baseball season, but provided an opportunity for seniors to another year of eligibility. In addition, Major League Baseball is trimming the 2020 draft from its usual 40-rounds to 10-rounds or less. That means a glut of great baseball talent that may go directly from high school to the pros will instead chose the college route. Washington State Coach Brian Green said in a conference call with reporters Thursday that, quote, college baseball’s got a chance to be extremely stout this year just in terms of strong rosters, end quote. Green says under normal circumstances; college coaches are biting their nails on recruits who might be drafted by major league teams. But now these sixth, seventh or eight-round kids are just planning to go to school.
This could also have significant impacts on the talent-level of players in summer collegiate programs such as the West Coast League. Teams like the Wenatchee AppleSox and others in the WCL could be the only place many of these collegiate athletes have a place to play this spring or summer. The West Coast League is still on pace to begin its season the first weekend in June.
Our weekend of sports broadcasting on the NCWLIFE Channel begins tonight with a classic Big-9 soccer match from last March between Eastmont and Sunnyside. The game was held on March 16th of last year. The game had to be held at the Apple Bowl because a ton of snow still covered Eastmont’s stadium. The Wildcats fell behind 2-nothing but came storming back in the second half. Sebastian Moraga and Matt Wisen had the call on the NCWLIFE Channel… The game would go to a shootout. To find out who wins, you’ll have to tune in tonight at 7 for all the action here on the NCWLIFE Channel.
Making Masks -Finally tonight, dozens of businesses and residents in North Central Washington are stepping up to help meet critical needs as our communities deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those are Pins and Needles sewing in Wenatchee which has been making protective masks for health care workers and others. With some of the materials donated by Joann Fabrics, Pins and Needles seamstresses have been working from home for the past two weeks, making thousands of masks. They then are donated to the Chelan-Douglas Health District.
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 email@example.com, or give us a call 888-NCWL (6295). I’m Grant Olson, thanks for joining us stay safe and have a great weekend.