NCWLIFE Evening News February 13, 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, Recent snowstorms has increased the avalanche threat in the mountains and in the lower elevations. Voters overwhelming approved special election levies in Chelan and Douglas Counties yesterday, we will bring you the results, and, A car caught fire as the driver was attempting to drive up the hill on Orondo Street in downtown Wenatchee Tuesday afternoon.

But first, we begin tonight. . .

I-90 Snoqualmie Pass remains closed in both directions from North Bend to Ellensburg due to avalanche danger and avalanche control work.

This WSDOT Video from Tuesday night illustrates the extreme winter weather and blinding conditions that led to numerous collisions. Westbound I-90 will remain closed all day. At 4 p.m. EB traffic will be metered at milepost 34 near North Bend. Traffic will be released in groups of several hundred vehicles with reduced speeds and 15 minutes of separation between groups. Expect delays near milepost 47. Limited access to the summit area and no ability to return westbound from the summit.

Recent snowstorms has increased the avalanche threat in the mountains. Matt Primono with the Northwest Avalanche Center conducted some tests that found what he described as a spooky snowpack structure and even some natural lowland avalanches. . .

Primono says, If you plan to go into the mountains or the foothills, this is avalanche terrain. Get the gear, get the forecast, get the picture, and travel wisely.

Voters overwhelming approved special election levies in Chelan and Douglas Counties yesterday.

The results from Tuesday night’s vote count has school levies in Manson and Waterville passing with over 60 percent approval. The measures only require a simple majority to pass.

Elsewhere in Leavenworth, a tax levy to pay for continuing EMS ambulance services in the Cascade Hospital District is also passing with almost 80 percent voter approval. Hospital CEO, Diane Blake commented. .

The final election results will be certified on February 22nd.

A car caught fire as the driver was attempting to drive up the hill on Orondo Street in downtown Wenatchee Tuesday afternoon. Nobody was injured and the car was later loaded onto a flatbead and taken away. Witnesses said it appeared the car overheated trying to climb the snow-covered hill but Chelan County Fire District officials said they do not have an official cause.

Coming up next, Another defendant in the murder of 31-year old Jill Sundberg of Quincy took the stand in Grant County on Monday. Legislation permanently removing areas within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest from mining activities has passed a vote in the US Senate, and, Dairy farmers in the Sunnyside area report that the recent freezing blizzard conditions resulted in the death of 1,677 cows at 10 dairies. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news…

The Columbia Basin Herald reports another defendant in the murder of 31-year old Jill Sundberg of Quincy took the stand on Monday telling the jury he didn’t remember much of anything that happened that night in December 2016.

27-year old Mendez Villanueva has already pled guilty to second- degree murder in the case and is the second of two co-defendants to testify in the first degree murder trial of Gustavo Tapia Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is the alleged ring- leader accused in the shooting of Sundberg 13 times in the back of the head and leaving her in a frozen parking lot off the Old Vantage Highway. Mendez Villanueva reiterated in court Monday that after Sundberg was shot and killed, he plunged a knife through a cardboard sign and into Sundberg’s back after she was deceased, but that was about all Mendez Villanueva said he remembered.

Mendez Villanueva is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence as a result of his guilty plea, after which he will be deported. According to law enforcement, Mendez Villanueva, fellow co-defendant Albarran Verona and Tapia Rodriguez are all in the country illegally,

Legislation permanently removing areas within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest from mining activities has passed a vote in the US Senate. The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell. The Methow Headwaters Protection Act is included as part of the Senate’s broad public lands package. Cantwell pushed for passage of the bill during a floor speech Tuesday. . .

Cantwell says the bill will protect the headwaters of the Methow River, which provides water to downstream communities and supports local tourism, critical salmon restoration, as well as ranching and farming activities. She said, “We can’t let destructive mining put that at risk.”

Dairy farmers in the Sunnyside area were devastated by last Saturday’s snowstorm. The Capital Press reports the freezing blizzard conditions resulted in the death of 1,677 cows at 10 dairies. The storm, packing gusts of over 80 miles an hour, forced cattle to huddle together for warmth. Its reported that many farms in Eastern Washington have open-air or open-sided shelters that leave cows exposed to the cold. Dan Wood, executive director of Washington State Dairy Federation said the losses could total 3.2 Million dollars plus future production costs. The farmers could be in line for Federal disaster aid after Governor Jay Inslee’s emergency storm declaration.

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…

Blythe Wittig of Wenatchee has been dancing since she was three years old and started concentrating her study in classical ballet 4 years ago. She dreams of dancing ballet professionally and works countless hours at her craft. This January, she auditioned for a very prestigious intensive summer study with the Russian Bolshoi in New York and she was accepted! In tonight’s feature story, with the help of photo-journalist Uriah Darby, here is the story of local-girl Blythe Wittig. .

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.

Due to the snow and bad road conditions, the first round of the Central Washington 1B Tournament at Ephrata High School was postponed last night and will be played tonight…

The Entiat girls face Moses Lake Christian at 6 o’clock.  If they win, they’ll face the winner of Pateros and Riverside Christian tomorrow at 6 for the District Championship.  A loss would mean a 3 o’clock game tomorrow against the loser of Pateros and Riverside Christian.

The Entiat boys have a date with Riverside Christian tonight at 7:30.  A win puts the Tigers into the championship tomorrow at 7:30 against the winner of Pateros and Moses Lake Christian.  A loss means a 4:30 game against the loser of Pateros and Moses Lake Christian.

Now that we have a breather from the winter snowstorms, we’ll finally get to the Big-9 Play-in games tonight…

On the girls side, Eastmont is at Davis at 4 o’clock while Eisenhower plays at West Valley at 6.  The winners will advance to play Friday at either Sunnyside or Moses Lake.

On the boys side of the Big-9 District Play-in games…

Eastmont plays at Davis at 6 while Eisenhower plays at Moses Lake.  The winners advance to Friday’s first round of the District Tournament at either West Valley or Wenatchee.  Whomever Wenatchee plays, we’ll have it LIVE on the NCWLIFE Channel.

The District 6 1A Tournament wraps up tonight at Brewster High School…

Okanogan and Omak girls will play a loser-out game at 6…

Followed by the Okanogan and Omak boys at 7:30.

We now know about the 32-man brackets for Mat Classic in Tacoma this weekend.  Representing the local 4A schools will be…

Eastmont’s Adrian Vivanco at 138lbs
Eastmont’s Cesar Sitio at 145lbs
Eastmont’s Landon McClune at 152lbs
Wenatchee’s Jason Briley & Jerdan Velazquez at 160lbs
Wenatchee’s Orlando Rodriguez at 170lbs
Eastmont’s Max Prazer & Wenatchee’s Lucas Carranza at 220lbs

In the 1A Tournament…

Representing the Cascade Kodiaks, Juan Martinez at 106; Alex Martinez at 113; Jesus Sandoval and Manuel Camarena at 120; Daniel Sandoval at 126; Jace Seely at 132; Austin Curry at 138; Adrian Arceo at 138; D’Andre Vasquez at 145; Cole Warman at 160; Jose Valdez at 170; Eric Resario at 182; and Hunter Reinhart at 285.

For Cashmere…

Erik Rodriguez at 106; Myles Chapman at 113; Aaron Guerrero at 126; Blake Brown 132; Whelan Gilikin at 145; and Baz Lloyd and Duke Odenrider at 152.

For Chelan…

James Austin at 126; Jose Mercado at 132; Carlos Venegas at 138; D’Andre Vasquez at 145; Skye Malone at 152; Angel Mendoza at 182; and Hunter Reinhart at 285.

And finally, the girls competing at Mat Classic in Tacoma…

For Eastmont it’s Shyanne Change at 105; Gissele Kiehne at 125; and Carissa Miller and Joanna Bowman at 135.  For Wenatchee it will be Kelsey Ibarra at 105 and Isabelle Andreini at 130.  Wrestling starts early Friday morning and concludes Saturday night.

Thanks Eric. Recapping tonight’s stories. . .

I-90 Snoqualmie Pass remains closed in both directions from North Bend to Ellensburg due to avalanche danger and avalanche control work.

This WSDOT Video from Tuesday night illustrates the extreme winter weather and blinding conditions that led to numerous collisions. Westbound I-90 will remain closed all day. At 4 p.m. EB traffic will be metered at milepost 34 near North Bend. Traffic will be released in groups of several hundred vehicles with reduced speeds and 15 minutes of separation between groups. Expect delays near milepost 47. Limited access to the summit area and no ability to return westbound from the summit.

A car caught fire as the driver was attempting to drive up the hill on Orondo Street in downtown Wenatchee Tuesday afternoon. Nobody was injured and the car was later loaded onto a flatbead and taken away. Witnesses said it appeared the car overheated trying to climb the snow-covered hill but Chelan County Fire District officials said they do not have an official cause.

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). Also, keep it right here on the NCWLIFE Channel tomorrow morning for Wake Up Wenatchee Valley with guest-host Eric Granstrom. I’m Grant Olson, thanks for joining us and have a great night.