NCWLIFE Evening News February 18th, 2021

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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, A youth basketball tournament which was held despite COVID-19 restrictions has become an epicenter for infections in multiple counties./ Despite that latest development, the rate of new COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties has fallen to its lowest level since November 2nd, and,

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Authorities are searching for a missing 14-year-old girl last seen with two unknown adults in her parents’ car, which they found in the Lake Chelan area. Officials initially thought the girl might have been headed to Spokane, but they called off the Amber Alert for her in the area after finding the car near where she left home.

Tuesday night, according to the Amber Alert, Rebecca Basil and her 9-year-old brother took their parents’ car, a 2015 silver Subaru Legacy, without their parents’ knowledge. The two drove to Malott, outside Omak, where an unknown man and woman joined them in the car. Basil’s brother was dropped off in Chelan around 5 p.m. Wednesday, but Basil was last seen with the man and woman in the Subaru.

Basil is American Indian, 5-foot-9, about 120 pounds with black or brown straight hair and brown eyes, the alert said. The Alert said she is probably wearing a dark green Carhartt hoodie and light blue jeans with holes.

A youth basketball tournament which was held despite COVID-19 restrictions has become an epicenter for infections in multiple counties.

The tournament took place at a private facility in Pateros on February 6th, and Okanogan County Public Health now says it’s responsible for six new cases there, plus possible exposures for people who attended from Okanogan, Chelan and Kittitas counties.

Okanogan and surrounding counties were all in Phase 1 of the state’s pandemic restrictions at the time, meaning competitive sports events like basketball were off-limits. Under the current Phase 2, only practice and training are allowed, and tournaments of all kinds remain prohibited. Anyone who attended the tournament should be tested as soon as possible for COVID-19.

Despite that latest development, the rate of new COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties has fallen to its lowest level since November 2nd.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District’s weekly thermographic Wednesday showed the infection rates have fallen to 209 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks. That’s down from 250 new cases per 100,000 residents in last week’s report. The case numbers have been falling sharply for several weeks after peaking at more than 1,000 new cases in mid-December.

Grant County on Tuesday reported 371 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, down from 488 cases per 100,000 earlier this month.

On Wednesday, Okanogan County reported the lowest rate of new cases in the region at 88 per 100,000 residents.

Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties comprise the North Central region of Governor Jay Inslee’s Healthy Washington reopening plan.

A Wenatchee man accused of stabbing another man in the head back in December was sentenced Wednesday to two and a half months in jail.

27-year-old Jacob Lee Przespolewski pleaded down from a first-degree assault charge to a count of criminal mischief, after prosecutors couldn’t contact the alleged victim and agreed Przpolewski may have acted in self-defense. The two men struggled in a South Wenatchee apartment, and the victim suffered only shallow cuts to his scalp. Przespolewski must also serve 12 months on probation.

Coming up next, Family, patients, co-workers and many others in the community are mourning the passing of a longtime Confluence Health Doctor./ Chelan County PUD finished 2020 about 20-and-a-half million dollars ahead of budget, and, The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will be conducting a prescribed burn very close to Interstate 90 near Moses Lake next week. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Family, patients, co-workers and many others in the community are mourning the passing of longtime Confluence Health Doctor Jeffery Clarke. Confluence Health said Clarke’s wife Karen informed them that he died unexpectedly but peacefully in his sleep at age 65 Sunday.

Clarke, in addition to being a popular internal medicine physician at Confluence for the past 23 years, is also well known for being an active outdoorsman. In a statement Wednesday, Confluence CEO Doctor Peter Rutherford said the Confluence family is heartbroken over the loss of Doctor Clarke, who Rutherford said loved and spoiled his patients. Rutherford said QUOTE, With such a legacy of compassionate care, Doctor Clarke is a piece of Confluence Health we will always remember. UNQUOTE.

Chelan County PUD finished 2020 about 20-and-a-half million dollars ahead of budget.

PUD commissioners heard a year-end financial report Tuesday that showed while revenues from power contracts and local services were both down that was more than made up for by lower than expected operational costs and delays on some projects. Mark Mullins the PUD’s director of enterprise planning, risk and analytics told commissioners there were some challenges in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic but the PUD’s financial standing remains strong and the utility’s debt ratio remains below the 35 percent target.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will be conducting a prescribed burn very close to Interstate 90 near Moses Lake next week, between Monday, February 22nd and Friday, February 26th, so don’t be alarmed if you see smoke or flames in the area.

The burn of approximately 266 acres in the north Potholes area of the Columbia Wildlife Area is aimed at improving habitat for the northern leopard frog. The last known population in the state of these frogs occupies that area but hibernates this time of year, making it a good time to burn.

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. . .

Civility sometimes seems in short supply in public life. The city of Wenatchee and other entities are considering making it part of how they do business. In tonight’s feature story, last Thursday, Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz presented text of a civility pledge to city council members. He says the promise to conduct public business with courtesy has been making the rounds. . .

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.

Gonzaga will play its first home game since January 23rd tonight when it hosts Saint Mary’s at the McCarthey Athletic Center…

The Number-1 ranked Bulldogs are 20-and-oh on the season, 11-and-oh in West Coast Conference play.  The Gaels are the only team within the conference that have given Gonzaga any type of competition this season.  The first time the two teams met, Saint Mary’s led by 10-points after 11-minutes into the game.  G-U ended up putting the Gaels away 73-59.

ESPN has picked up tonight’s game and will televise the action beginning at 6 o’clock tonight.

Also on the schedule tonight, Washington State hosts Cal on the Pac-12 Network at 7:30 while Stanford visits Washington at 8 on FS-1.

Looking ahead to Saturday, the Cardinal and Cougars play in Pullman at 1 o’clock on ESPN-U.  Gonzaga will host San Diego at 5pm on ESPN-2.  Then at 7, it’s Cal at Washington on ESPN-U.

Hailey Van Lith and her 3rd-ranked Louisville Cardinals are back in business after a brush with COVID-19 last week…

Louisville announced Friday that its game with Syracuse Sunday was postponed due to a positive test among a Tier-1 staff member.  The University got the all-clear this week and resumed practice Tuesday.  Today, Louisville is travels to Pittsburgh for a 4 o’clock game. 

Van Lith is fourth on the team in scoring with an 11-point-3 average and is second-most on minutes played behind NCAA MVP candidate Dana Evans.

16th-ranked Gonzaga is also back in action today looking for its 17th-straight victory at BYU at 5 o’clock.

Coming up tomorrow in Pac-12 action, Colorado visits Washington State at Noon while Washington hosts Utah at 7.

Gonzaga travels to San Diego Saturday at 2.  Then on Sunday, the Utes and Cougars tip at Noon followed by the Buffaloes and Huskies at 2.

And, speaking of Hailey Van Lith moments ago, it was a year ago yesterday that the Cashmere senior broke the state scoring record in a playoff game against Omak at Eastmont High School.  We broadcast the moment here LIVE on the NCWLIFE Channel…

It’s hard to believe that was only a year ago.  With COVID and the year we’ve had, it seems like a century ago. 

The long-awaited return of baseball is marked today in Peoria, Arizona with pitcher and catchers reporting to the Seattle Mariners Spring Training. 

Seattle finished the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season 3rd in the American League West at 27-and-33.  With the return of unanimous A-L Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis along with Gold Glover’s Evan White and J.P. Crawford, there’s quite a buzz around Seattle’s chances this season.

Manager Scott Servais is back for his 6th season with the ballclub and is excited to have his team back together for another go at it…

Position players will begin showing up this weekend and the Mariners will play their first Cactus League game a week from Saturday against San Diego.

Finally, each spring training, hope springs eternal that this could be the year for your team.  And for Mariner fans, we’ve been waiting a long time (no playoffs since 2001) for something to cheer about…

Who knows?  Maybe this IS the year!

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.