NCWLIFE Evening News August 11th, 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, This year has been especially challenging for travelers on Interstate 90 on or near Snoqualmie Pass, and, Wenatchee School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Gordon recently talked with Wake Up Wenatchee Valley’s Dan Kuntz about how difficult it was to decide not have students back in classrooms in just a little over two weeks.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Level 1 evacuation notices were issued this morning for residents near the Lower Coyote Creek Fire in Okanogan County. The fire about four miles west of Nespelem had burned an estimated 4,500 acres by Tuesday morning.

The fire alert notices went out for the area between Red Thunder-Cutoff Road, Mill Creek Road, to Harrison Ranch Road. After the fire broke out Sunday Level 3 evacuation notices were sent out to houses along Columbia River Road but those have since been lowered to Level 1.

The incident management team on the fire said a red-flag warning today for between 2 and 10 p.m. in the area helped prompt the evacuation notices.

This year has been especially challenging for travelers on Interstate 90 on or near Snoqualmie Pass. The Washington State Department of Transportation says problems in two areas have led to sometimes long delays for travelers.

Especially troublesome is an eastbound section of the interstate about nine miles east of the summit. At the Stampede Pass interchange, a section of roadway required emergency closure last month that led to 15-mile backups.

Work on a more permanent fix began Monday and is expected to take about two weeks, with the biggest delays and closures expected the week of August 17th

Another problem area for travelers has been the eastbound lanes of the Vantage Bridge. There have been unplanned lane closures this summer as holes developed on the bridge deck pavement. The bridge decking hasn’t been replaced since the 1980s and crews had to do 12 separate deck repairs on the bridge last year only to see the problems return this year. It will cost $11 million dollars to replace the bridge decking and WASH-DOT says other bridges in the state have more urgent needs so it isn’t likely to happen soon.

Wenatchee School District Superintendent Doctor Paul Gordon recently talked with Wake Up Wenatchee Valley’s Dan Kuntz about how difficult it was to decide not have students back in classrooms. With school set to begin in just over two weeks, Gordon said the decision was the most difficult of his career. . .

Coming up next, We now know who will face first-term Congresswoman Kim in the race for the 8th District Congressional seat. In addition to dealing with numerous wildfires this summer, firefighters have been battling COVID-19 by taking extra precautions to avoid a camp outbreak. The state Department of Health will be surveying farmworkers this month as it launches an effort to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on that population, and, Last week, Stemilt held its grower awards ceremony via Zoom where they celebrated their growing team and announced the recipients of its 2019 grower awards. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

First-term Congresswoman Doctor Kim Schrier will face former U.S. Army Ranger Jesse Jensen in the race for the 8th District Congressional seat. Jensen was in a tight race with fellow Republican Keith Swank for second place after early results om last week’s primary election but has since widened his lead. By Monday evening, Jensen had clinched a place on the November ballot with a 5,745-vote lead over Swank.

Schrier easily outdistanced all the candidates on the primary ballot with more than 37 percent of the votes. She won in every county in the district including Chelan and Douglas counties.

In addition to dealing with numerous wildfires this summer, firefighters have been battling COVID-19 by taking extra precautions to avoid a camp outbreak.

The U.S. Forest Service said masks are mandatory in fire camps and people must be screened before entering any building.

Morning briefings are done by radio and meals are individually packed to go, rather than the normal camp kitchen set-up. In addition, handwashing stations and hand sanitizers are positioned throughout the camps.

Thus far, only one firefighter has been reported to have tested positive for the virus. That was a state Department of Natural Resources firefighter who tested positive while fighting the Anglin Fire near Tonasket.

The state Department of Health will be surveying farmworkers this month as it launches an effort to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on that population.

In some areas of the state, like Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties, farmworkers have accounted for a disproportionate number of the positive tests for the virus.

The state says the results of the study will help officials to better respond to the needs of the farmworker community.

California recently released results from a similar survey that showed most farmworkers do wear face coverings and concluded the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the entire agricultural industry.

Last week, Stemilt held its grower awards ceremony via Zoom where they celebrated their growing team and announced the recipients of its 2019 grower awards.

Normally, the company gathers for a Grower BBQ each year, but the event was cancelled of course due to COVID-19.  Distributed by Stemilt’s field staff, 13 growers were selected and awarded based on the high-quality fruit they produced during the 2019 crop year.

A few of the winners include: Pear Award winner Geoff Thornton, Organic Apple Award winners Bernard Reyes, Jose Garcia, Salvador Cardenas and Ismael Torres and Valley Red Cherry Award winners Eric and Kyler Hansen.  

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, as they continue to struggle for revenue with their doors closed, a fundraiser has been set up for Eastmont Lanes in an attempt to help the business open up when they enter Phase 4 of Governor Jay Inslee’s re-opening plan. Here to tell us more on the fundraising effort is NCWLIFE’s Kyle Montgomery. . .

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.

The Pac-12 has voted to postpone all fall sports competitions, including football, through the end of the year…

The announcement came shortly after the Big 10 Conference mad the same announcement.  Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement, “our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”  He went on to say, “the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crises.”

One day after testing positive for COVID-19, Seahawks wide receiver John Ursua (er-SUE-uh) tested negative…

The 2nd year player out of Hawaii was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after receiving a positive test Saturday.  But according to an interview with K-H-O-N TV in Honolulu, Ursua said he tested negative on Sunday.

Ursua became the first Seahawk to be placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.  The NFL’s new protocol is for players who receive a positive test to be quarantined.  If they test negative two more times and are asymptomatic, the previous result will be considered a false-positive and they’ll be able to return to practice.

Mariners young and old were introduced to the Texas Ranger’s new stadium last night in the first of a three-game series.  They apparently liked it…

Seattle pounded out 10-runs on 15-hits in a 10-2 victory.  It marked the first Major League win for pitcher Justin Dunn, who went six innings and allowed 2-runs on 7-hits with 3-walks and 2-strikeouts.

Kyle Lewis had a great day at the plate, going 3-for-5, including a 3-run home run that put the Mariners in the lead for good in the top of the 5th inning…

Dave Sims and Mike Blowers with the call on Root Sports.  The floodgates really opened in the 6th.  Dylan Moore plated another of his 3-RBI’s in the game on a single and was on base with two others as Kyle Seager stepped to the plate…

Moore also collected his 4th home run on a solo shot in the 7th.  Seager said the second-year player out of Central Florida is one to watch…

Seattle and Texas play the second of the three-game series tonight at 6:05 with Marco Gonzales facing Mike Minor.

Taking a look at the Les Schwab American League West Scoreboard…

Lance McCullers, Jr. threw 7-innings of one-hit ball to help Houston snap a 5-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over San Francisco. 

Mike Trout’s second homer of the night was the game-winner for the Angels in the bottom of the 8th that gave Los Angeles a 10-9 win over Oakland.  The two teams combined for 23-hits and 6-home runs.

Despite the loss, the A’s still lead the west by 4-and-a-half games over Houston at 12-and-5.  Seattle sits in 4th at 7-and-11, 5-and-a-half games back.

The stage is set for another night of racing August 22nd at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval…

The night will feature a return of the Northwest Focus Midget series along with the Northwest Pro-4 Trucks to join the Holaday’s Custom Muffler B-Mods, Dick’s Heating and Air Conditioning Thunder Cars and Plumb Perfect Roadrunners.

We’ll have coverage here LIVE on NCWLIFE Channel beginning at 6 o’clock, Saturday, August 22nd.

Thanks Eric

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.