NCWLIFE Evening News, February 19, 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, The driver who rolled his minivan Sunday on Malaga-Alcoa Highway is now charged with DUI. A $1.2 million judgment in a serious Quincy school bus crash won’t be overturned, despite misconduct by the plaintiffs’ lawyers, and, A higher court says the Royal City man who pleaded guilty to a workplace murder can withdraw his plea.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Douglas County sheriff’s deputies say a Kent man sexually abused a local child, starting when she was 8 years old.

Thomas Benjamin Knowles was charged last week with three counts of first-degree child rape, and ordered to appear by summons. The child, now 12, told investigators the assaults happened while Knowles visited her East Wenatchee home. He was between 14 and 16 years old at the time. Knowles has no prior felony record in Washington, and has not been jailed. He must make his first appearance March 9th in Douglas County Superior Court.

The driver who rolled his minivan Sunday on Malaga-Alcoa Highway is now charged with DUI. Sheriff’s deputies say Matthew David Eddings of

Malaga rolled the 1993 Astro van about milepost 11 of the highway south of Wenatchee, about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Eddings, who’s 35, got treatment for his injuries at Central Washington Hospital, and allegedly gave a breath sample showing a blood alcohol level of 0.357, more than three times the legal limit. Deputies booked him into the Chelan County jail, where he was released on Tuesday morning after his first court appearance.

A $1.2 million judgment in a serious Quincy school bus crash won’t be overturned, despite misconduct by the plaintiffs’ lawyers. That’s the ruling from the Court of Appeals today, after the Quincy School District appealed the jury award from a lawsuit over the 2012 rollover accident. Thirty-six children were hurt, and one family sued over injuries to three of their kids, one of whom received serious spinal injuries. During trial in 2017, the family’s attorney inappropriately read text messages to the jury sent by the children’s doctor. The appeals court says despite that misconduct, the jury award will be allowed to stand.

 A higher court says the Royal City man who pleaded guilty to a workplace murder can withdraw his plea.

Eduardo Ibarra Valencia, who’s 35, was sentenced to 48 years after a plea agreement for the 2015 shootings at Callahan Manufacturing, where one man died and another was wounded. He allegedly admitted to the shootings, which were caught on video.

But a judge later found his sentence was improperly calculated, and the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that withdrawing the plea was justified. He remains in jail, and faces a new trial in Grant County Superior Court, to be scheduled later this month.

Coming up next, The city of Cashmere has begun exploring options on what to do with 20 acres of property it owns along the Wenatchee River. Chelan County PUD commissioners on Tuesday approved a package of rate increases on electricity, water, wastewater and wholesale fiber, and, PUD commissioners also agreed to purchase a quarter acre parcel of land along the Wenatchee River near their new Old’s Station Service Center. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The city of Cashmere has begun exploring options on what to do with 20 acres of property it owns along the Wenatchee River that once was used for wastewater treatment lagoons.

The city says the land in east Cashmere is now ready for redevelopment and they want to know what the public thinks would be the best use. That process will start March 2nd with a public meeting at the Riverside Center at 6 p.m. The city will then form a citizens advisory committee to study the options. How the city will fund any redevelopment is a key question. There also are concerns that access to the property is on a one-lane section of Riverfront Drive. There also is concern over what development of the site would mean for people who live in the area.

Chelan County PUD commissioners on Tuesday approved a package of rate increases on electricity, water, wastewater and wholesale fiber.

For residential electric customers it will mean an annual increase in their base charge of a dollar-seventy five beginning this June and continuing for the next five years. In all, the PUD estimates the average home electricity bill will increase from $55 a month to 63-dollars-and-75 cents a month by 2024. The PUD proposed the rate increases in small portions over those years to avoid a bigger one-time jump in rates. It is the first time in nine years the PUD has raised residential rates.

The PUD’s strategic plan identified substantial need for refurbishing and maintenance on its transmission and distribution systems and buildings. The first rate changes for commercial and industrial customers will kick in December 1st.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, PUD commissioners agreed to purchase a quarter acre parcel of land along the Wenatchee River near their new Old’s Station Service Center. The PUD sees the purchase as a chance to later extend the Apple Capital Loop Trail and add public access to the shoreline. The PUD will pay $300,000 dollars for the property with closing to take place before March 5th.

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. . .

Douglas County commissioners have put off until summer a decision on whether to open union negotiations to public view. In tonight’s feature story, NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins says it’s a proposal that set many county employees’ teeth on edge. . .

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 Wenatchee Panther boys basketball team is moving on to the District 6 4-A tournament after a 72-52 win over Moses Lake last night…

Garrett Long scored 26-points to lead four Panthers in double-figures.  Grant Olson had the call on the NCWLIFE Channel…

Wenatchee will host Davis Thursday night at 6 after the Pirates knocked off Sunnyside last night 80-to-69.  We’ll have Thursday’s game LIVE on the NCWLIFE Channel.  Eastmont, meanwhile, will play at West Valley Thursday at 6 for the District Championship.

The Wenatchee girls season came to an end last night with a loss in the District Play-In game at West Valley 68-53…

West Valley hit 5 of its 10 3-pointers in a 24-point third quarter to put the game out of reach.  The Panthers were led by the 13-points from Kristina Blauman and 12 from Emily Redman.  West Valley will move on to the District Tournament and face Eisenhower Friday after the Cadets edged Davis 54-49 last night.

The Omak boys will move on to the glue crossover games after a 63-50 victory over Okanogan last night at Eastmont High School…

The Pioneers and Cashmere Bulldogs await tonight’s results out of the Northeast A District Tournament to learn their opponents for Saturday.  Omak will play the loser of tonight’s District Title game between Deer Park and Freeman.  Cashmere will face the winner of Newport and Medical Lake.  Both of Saturday’s games start at 5 o’clock.

The Okanogan girls won a close one over Omak to advance last night 58-50…

That means the Bulldogs move on to the Regional Tournament and await seeding from the WIAA for its next game either February 28th or 29th.

Brewster is the District 6 2-B Champion after a 70-48 win over Lake Roosevelt at Lake Chelan Community Gym last night…

It was the Bears second-consecutive win over the Raiders and puts Brewster into the Regional Tournament.  They’ll play a cross-over game against Kittitas either Friday or Saturday at Quincy.  Lake Roosevelt will play Liberty Christian in the cross-over game either Friday or Saturday.

The other boys game last night saw Oroville beat Liberty Bell for 3rd place 40-to-27.  The Hornets will face Columbia-Burbank in a crossover game at Quincy while the Lions face White Swan.

Waterville-Mansfield ran its winning streak to 14-games last night with a 48-37 win over Brewster to claim the District 6 2-B Championship…

It marked the third time this season the Shockers had beaten the Bears.  Waterville-Mansfield will face Tri-Cities Prep either Friday or Saturday in Quincy.  Brewster will take on Mabton in the glue crossover at Quincy.

Lake Roosevelt placed 3rd in the District Tournament with a 62-48 win over Liberty Bell last night.  The Raiders will face White Swan in Quincy either Friday or Saturday.  Liberty Bell will play Columbia-Burbank in Quincy.

The Yakima Sun Dome was the site for the next round of the District 5 2-A Tournament last night…

Prosser ended Ephrata’s season with a 75-52 victory.  East Valley then edged Ellensburg 60-to-55 to advance.  The Mustangs and Red Devils play tonight at 5 o’clock.

In girls play in the Sun Dome last night, Toppenish slighted Selah 60-57 to end the Viking’s season.  Grandview surprised Prosser 41-34 to advance.  The Wildcats and Greyhounds meet tonight at 7 o’clock.

Wenatchee Valley College plays its final home game of the regular season tonight at W.B. Smith Gymnasium…

The Lady Knights clinched a playoff spot with its win over Spokane last weekend and will host Big Bend tonight at 5:30.  Wenatchee Valley will wrap up the schedule Saturday at Treasure Valley and next Wednesday at Yakima Valley before the NWAACC Tournament begins.

Washington State will host a rare, Wednesday game at Friel Court when the Cougars host California tonight.  The game will tip at 7 on the Pac-12 Network.

The Wenatchee Valley men also clinched a playoff spot with last Saturday’s win at Spokane.  They’ll wrap up the home part of their schedule tonight with Big Bend in town at 7:30.  The Knights then travel to Treasure Valley and Yakima Valley to conclude the season and prepare for the NWAACC’s.

The Seahawks improved their tight end position yesterday with the signing of free agent veteran Greg Olsen…

The three-time pro bowler and 13-year veteran is one of the top tight ends ever to play the position.  According to ESPN’s Adam Shefter, Olsen signed a one-year, 7-million dollar deal that includes $5.5-million guaranteed.  Olsen visited and negotiated with Buffalo and Washington but said he felt most-comfortable with Seattle.

Position players reported to Spring Training in Peoria yesterday for the Seattle Mariners.  Manager Scott Servais said he can’t help but have a little spring in his step looking around and seeing all the young talent…

Seattle is preparing for its first Cactus League game Saturday against San Diego.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight, East Wenatchee welcomed a new city councilmember last night. Sasha Sleiman, who’s 32, was appointed to the empty seat left when Jerrilea Crawford won election as mayor.

Sleiman works for Confluence Health, and last year ran unsuccessfully for Eastmont School Board. She and former councilmember Dennis Hendricks were the two applicants for the council position.

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.