NCWLIFE Evening News December 4, 2019

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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, The Peshastin Water District is dealing with financial confusion as it moves toward a merger with the Chelan County PUD. More bad than good news in the latest unemployment report for the Wenatchee Valley, and, A new phone scam is hitting the Wenatchee Valley, this time with the caller claiming to be Chelan County Sheriff Rick Johnson.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Members of a major Christian rock band say they’ve been stalked and threatened by a Wenatchee woman, and they’ve gone to court to get her to stop. NCWLIFE reporter Jefferson Robbins has more on this strange story. . .

Peshastin Water District is dealing with financial confusion as it moves toward a merger with the Chelan County PUD.

The state Auditor’s office found the small district overpaid its general manager over the last three years to the tune of $5,500, and paid more than $9,000 last year to a private business owned by one of its own commissioners. The district says it was dealing with staff turnover and major costs from the Blue Bird warehouse fire in March, plus an E. coli contamination in one of its wells in fall 2017, and has since regained control of its finances.

The district has an annual budget of about $300,000. It hopes to complete the merger with the PUD in the next six to 12 months.

More bad than good news in the latest unemployment report for the Wenatchee Valley. According to the State Employment Security Department, local monthly unemployment rates have crept upwards during the past eleven months (from December 2018 through October 2019).

Also, year over year, total nonfarm employment in the Wenatchee MSA has either stagnated or declined in each of the past four months (July through October 2019). In October 2019 the Wenatchee MSA nonfarm market tallied 47,000 jobs, a 200-job or point-4-percent downturn from the 47,200 jobs provided in October 2018. The good news is the civilian labor force has expended in 27 of the last 28 months indicating that more residents are entering the Wenatchee Valley labor force.

A new phone scam is hitting the Wenatchee Valley, this time with the caller claiming to be Chelan County Sheriff Rick Johnson. The Wenatchee Police Department says the calls come from a local cell number with the scammer saying the potential victim failed to appear in court that day.

They then go on to say a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the victim’s nephew and Walmart gift cards must be sent in order to clear the warrant. Among the many things wrong with that information, is government agencies do not accept gift cards. In addition, the Chelan County Sheriff’s name is actually Brian Burnett, not Rick Johnson.

Coming up next, East Wenatchee will have a new mayor for the first time in 28 years after Jerrilea Crawford was sworn in at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. After about two weeks of not accepting new cats or offering the ones they had for adoption, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society is back in the cat business, and, Plans are beginning to take shape for the new Chelan County PUD Service Center in Olds Station. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

East Wenatchee will have a new mayor for the first time in 28 years after Jerrilea Crawford was sworn in at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Crawford defeated Tim Detering in the November election.

Also sworn in was Christine Johnson as the newest member of the council. In addition, current council members who were elected to new terms were sworn in, including John Sterk, Harry Raab and Shayne Magdoff. The new terms officially begin January 1st.

The council also took the opportunity to recognize Jeanie Bryant for 30 years of service, Police Chief Randy Harrison for 38 years of service and thanked Mayor Steve Lacy for his 28 years leading the city.

After about two weeks of not accepting new cats or offering the ones they had for adoption, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society is back in the cat business. Cats were placed under quarantine November 20th after the virus panleukopenia was detected in a litter of stray cats. Renee Parkins of the Humane Society says the scare has passed. . .

Plans are beginning to take shape for the new Chelan County PUD Service Center in Olds Station. From now through December, the PUD will be taking suggestions from you, the customers, about how parts of that new building should look. Here is a video provided by the PUD about how you can help. . .

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. . .

Chelan County Fire District One Chief, Brian Brett says the agency is moving forward with plans to add a second firefighting helicopter to its fleet. In tonight’s feature story, Brett talked about the plans in a recent conversation with NCWLIFE Special Correspondent, Steve Hair. . .

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.

Chris Petersen surprised the college football world by announcing this week he was stepping away from coaching the Washington Huskies.  Current Seahawks and former USC Coach Pete Carroll says he can understand Petersen’s decision…

Carroll is busily preparing his Seahawks to face the Rams in L-A Sunday night.  He says it will be another challenge from a team playing really well…

It’s widely touted that Carroll has created a fun atmosphere in which to play in Seattle.  He says it’s all about “playing football”, not “working football.”

Seattle faces Los Angeles on Sunday Night Football on the road to end the weekend at 5:20 on NBC.

The Wenatchee Wild wrap up their 4-game homestand tonight with Penticton in town…

The Vees lead the Interior Division of the BCHL with 47-points at 23-8-and-1.  Wenatchee sits in 4th place with 34-points at 15-12-3-and-1. 

Tonight’s game marks the return of center Sam Morton, who was part of the Wild team that won the Fred Page Cup back in 2017.  “Voice” of the Wenatchee Wild, Arch Ecker, explains why Morton is back…

Ecker says the rivalry between Wenatchee and Penticton is brought on by geography than anything else.  He says there has been a healthy respect between the two hockey clubs…

The puck drops at 6 o’clock tonight at the Town Toyota Center. 

The prep basketball season got underway last night with games throughout the region…

As we check the Les Schwab Prep Girls Scoreboard, the Wenatchee Panthers fell on the road at Mead 66-29.  Quincy topped Cascade 34-20.  And Kittitas edged Riverside Christian 36-34.

In boys basketball, Mead topped Wenatchee 61-45.  Ephrata beat Cashmere 50-34.  Cascade edged Quincy 42-41.  And it was Riverside Christian blasting Kittitas 73-59.

In girls bowling yesterday afternoon…

It was a day of sweeps in the Big-9 as Eastmont swept Moses Lake 4-zip while Ike topped West Valley and Davis shut out Sunnyside 4-nothing.  The Wildcats improved to 2-and-2 with the win while the Chiefs fell to 2-and-1.  Coming up today, Eastmont hosts Davis at Eastmont Lanes this afternoon at 2 o’clock.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight, the North Cascades Highway is still open to travelers, the latest in the season it’s been accessible for more than a decade.

How much longer that will last is in question, however, with the Washington State Department of Transportation reporting a mix of snow and rain today on Highway 20.

The mountain highway connecting Winthrop and the western side of the Cascades, typically opens in late April or early May and is closed again in late November or early December. In 2008, the highway stayed open until December 15th. The latest closure on record was in 1989, when it stayed open until January 3rd, 1990. In 1976, a drought year, the pass stayed open all year, the only time that has ever happened.

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.