NCWLIFE Evening News August 25th, 2020


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, Donations of pet needs continue to pour in for furry victims of the Palmer Fire. A mother sentenced to jail more than a year ago for fatal child neglect remains free amid arguments over how much time she has left to serve, and, A fungal disease that can kill entire colonies of hibernating bats has been detected in the Wenatchee Valley for the first time.

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Firefighters working on the Palmer Fire southeast of Oroville report that significant progress was made on Monday. The week-old fire grew by just 197 acres to 18,077 acres and nearly half of the fire’s perimeter is contained.  Most of the burnout operations yesterday were concentrated around the town of Loomis to the south and Bullfrog Mountain to the north.

This time lapse video shot by Brandon Hughes shows how firefighters are working with area ranchers to protect grazing land in the area.  There has been no change to the already ordered evacuation areas. 89 more personnel have been added to help fight the fire, bringing that total to 606.  Officials say the weather is favorable for more aggressive suppression efforts today.  There will be a virtual public meeting hosted by the Okanogan County Emergency Management team on their Facebook page this evening at 6 o’clock.

People from outside Okanogan County have been doing what they can to help victims of the Palmer Fire, as well as their pets.

Yesterday the animal rescue operation OkanDogs helped distribute dog food, kennel carriers and other supplies to pet owners displaced by the fire.

Firehouse Pets, Earthwise Pets and other private donors teamed up for the effort. If you’d like to help financially, donations can be made to the Palmer Fire Account at Umpqua Bank.

A mother sentenced to jail more than a year ago for fatal child neglect remains free amid arguments over how much time she has left to serve.

Elaine Angelica Hurd, who’s now 37, pleaded guilty to criminal mistreatment in the death of her son Rustin Atkerson, who suffered massive brain trauma in 2017. Hurd said she never harmed the boy, but failed to get him immediate medical care.

A Douglas County judge sentenced her to one year, combining nine months jail time with three months home confinement, because Hurd was expecting another child at the time. But Hurd spent more than 220 days on home monitoring, and asked to modify her jail sentence because of it. Judge Brian Huber denied her request, saying she still owes about 275 days in the Okanogan County jail, which isn’t accepting new bookings right now due to COVID-19. Hurd’s attorney has asked the judge to reconsider the sentence.

A fungal disease that can kill entire colonies of hibernating bats has been detected in the Wenatchee Valley for the first time. White-nose fungus has devastated bat populations in 35 states over the last decade.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife says it’s now been found in samples taken from a nesting colony of little brown bats in Chelan County. Wildlife officials say the discovery is concerning, since it indicates further spread of the disease. The fungus doesn’t pose any threat to people, but it’s often carried from one environment to another by human beings.

It attacks the bats’ skin, damages their wings, and drains them of energy they need to survive when emerging from hibernation. Civilian bat sightings can help scientists study the problem. If you have an unusual bat sighting, report it online at

Coming up next, The Chelan County Community Development agency announces management changes. Leavenworth is reassessing its public parking situation, and may issue permits for on-street parking by residents, and the lights will still be shining in downtown Leavenworth, but the city’s annual Christmas Lighting Festival is a no-go…another victim of COVID-19. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Chelan County’s community development director says big changes are underway for that agency, including a new assistant director and a new emphasis on code enforcement.

Director Jim Brown, who took over the planning and zoning office in April, says his new AD is Catherine Lorbeer of Arizona, who joins the office August 31st with more than 25 years’ experience. In addition, Brown says, the agency’s code enforcement services, which handle violations of county construction regulations, will move next year into a new division of the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.

The city of Leavenworth is closer to establishing new parking controls for its tourist-friendly town. The city council is expected to vote tonight on an agreement with the Department of Transportation to install parking meters along the Highway 2 corridor.

Right now there’s free parking on some parts of the highway shoulder downtown. It’s the first step in a multi-phase proposal that would add paid parking throughout the downtown core, reserve some parking spaces for downtown employees, and even give neighborhoods the option to adopt permitted parking. That would limit the amount of time non-residents can park on residential streets.

The lights will still be shining in downtown Leavenworth, but the city’s annual Christmas Lighting Festival is a no-go … another victim of COVID-19.

The Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce announced the move on Monday. The festival normally draws thousands of people downtown each December, and creates big winter traffic headaches on Highway 2. The chamber says Front Street will still be decorated for the holidays, but there won’t be a parade and countdown to activate the lights as in past. Visitors will still be welcome, though, and the chamber plans to hold virtual viewings of the light display as well.

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. . .

School districts throughout North Central Washington are starting the school year this week with virtual instruction as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt education. In tonight’s feature story, Eastmont Superintendent Garn Christensen said not being in the classroom as classes start Wednesday is difficult and challenging for everyone, including the school district staff. . .

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 Seahawks are just 20-days away from their first game of the season at Atlanta…

As preparations continue without preseason games, it’s crucial to make every moment count.  Such was the case for coach Pete Carroll in last Saturday’s mock game at CenturyLink Field…

The team will hold another mock game in the stadium tomorrow and Carroll says they’re really trying to figure out the correct level of noise production…

The NFL has told teams it will allow produced crowd noise but that once the audio level is set, it cannot be changed up or down.

As the team adjusts to the lack of preseason games, the entire world is an adjustment for rookies trying to claim their space on the team.  Carroll says 1st-round draft pick Jordan Brooks is coming along in his battle with KJ Wright at linebacker…

Former first-round pick Bruce Irvin is loving life now that he’s back home in Seattle.  He admits the adage of not knowing what you have until it’s gone is so true…

Irvin is in his 9th year in the NFL and says his role has changed with the Seahawks from when he was drafted in 2012.  He says he’s gone from a quiet rookie to a vocal leader…

Fans can watch live coverage of training camp again today at 1 o’clock on Q-13 Fox in Seattle or on the Seahawks website at Seahawks dot com.

After a day off Monday the Mariners are in San Diego for the first of three games against the Padres…

Seattle will send Marco Gonzales to the mound, who has a 2-and-2 record with a 3.34 earned run average.  San Diego will counter with Chris Paddack, who is also 2-and-2 with a 4.26 ERA.

The Mariners are 11-and-19 on the season at the halfway mark.  San Diego features one of the hottest phenoms in baseball in Fernando Tatis, Jr., who leads the Majors with 12 home runs.  The Padres are 4-games back of the Dodgers in the National League West…of course, L-A has the best record in baseball.  San Diego comes into tonight’s game 18-and-12.

First pitch is at 6:10 and you can watch it on Root Sports or listen to it on the radio locally at AM900 KKRT.

The Mariners are no longer in last place in the American League West!

On the Les Schwab Scoreboard, Lance Lynn threw 6 solid innings with 8-strikeouts to improve his record to 4-and-oh as Texas edged Oakland 3-2.

And in Houston, Framber Valdez struck out 11 over 7-innings to lead the Astros over the Angels 11-4.  Alex Correa drove in 3-runs as Houston gained ground on Oakland in the A-L West.

Thanks Eric.

tonight, Eastbound Interstate 90 was backed up for miles Monday afternoon after a semi hauling an oversized load got stuck in a construction zone on the Vantage Bridge. The Washington State Patrol said the driver ignored 11-foot width restrictions and couldn’t get around construction equipment being used for a bridge decking replacement project.

WSP said messages warning of the width restriction are posted as far back as Ellensburg and the driver of the semi and its pilot car should have been fully aware of the narrowing of the bridge. The semi driver was cited for the incident, which happened about 3:30 p.m. The bridge was finally reopened shortly before 5.

Faulty bridge decking has been a persistent problem this year on the bridge and the replacement project is expected to continue until at least Thursday.

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 And, remember, if you see news happening we’d like to hear from you.  You can send us an email at, or give us a call 888-NCWL (6295). I’m Grant Olson, thanks for joining us and have a great night.