NCWLIFE Evening News February 19th, 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 Soap Lake reserve police officer was arrested Thursday in Franklin County on suspicion of DUI and hit and run after a Soap Lake police vehicle was found in a ditch. Wenatchee police are asking for help identifying a person who set fire to a trash can in Hale Park Wednesday night, and, The Wenatchee Valley has lost its 59th victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The young person sought in an Amber Alert after leaving her family late Tuesday night has been found safe. Police in Brewster say they found 14-year-old Rebecca Basil Thursday afternoon, two days after she went missing from the Lake Chelan area.

She had been sought as far north as Malott after taking her parents’ car and driving away with her 9-year-old brother. The younger child returned home on Wednesday.

A Soap Lake reserve police officer was arrested Thursday in Franklin County on suspicion of DUI, hit and run and resisting arrest after a Soap Lake police vehicle was found in a ditch.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says 49-year-old Shane Jones was arrested after the police car was found in a ditch off Highway 395 with its emergency lights on. Jones reportedly attempted to fight deputies and to release a retired police K9 that was in the vehicle. Earlier, Jones is accused of rear-ending a vehicle on Highway 17 near its intersection with Highway 395, about 15 miles away from where he was arrested.

The Soap Lake Police Department says Jones has been terminated for unauthorized use of a police vehicle. Soap Lake police say the reserve officer had a take-home department vehicle but was not on official business. Soap Lake Police Chief Ryan Cox issued a statement saying he is QUOTE, deeply troubled by this now-former reserve officer’s behavior, Unquote.

Wenatchee police are asking for help identifying a person who set fire to a trash can in Hale Park Wednesday night.

Video released by the Wenatchee Police Department shows the suspect dropping flaming materials into the trash can about 6:18 p.m. Police say the fire smoldered in the can for about 40 minutes before becoming fully engulfed. Anyone with information is asked to contact RiverCom dispatch at 663-9911.

The Wenatchee Valley has lost its 59th victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District announced Thursday the latest patient to die from the coronavirus is a Douglas County woman in her 90s. This brings the total number of deaths in Chelan County to 42 and 17 in Douglas County. The number of new cases has slowed in the two-county region, but health authorities warn it’s still imperative to mask up, wash your hands, and maintain social distancing.

Coming up next, Continuing snowfall means a minor slowdown in work to reopen Highway 2 at Pine Canyon. Beginning in April and continuing until July, travelers on Highway 2 between Olds Station in Wenatchee and Sunset Highway in Douglas County are likely to be encounter road work in some form, and, East Wenatchee police have released surveillance video of a January break-in at the iRepair-IT shop on Rock Island Road in which thousands of dollars in merchandise was stolen.  I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Continuing snowfall means a minor slowdown in work to reopen Highway 2 at Pine Canyon.

The state Department of Transportation says with too much snow blanketing the canyon slopes, it’s impossible to find the cracks left by a February 2nd landslide. Until they’re visible again, work to stabilize the slope has to stop.

The main route between East Wenatchee and Waterville has been closed ever since that landslide, but the work is expected to start again next week, and wrap up by last week of March. Until then, the highway will remain closed between mileposts 142 and 144. Use Badger Mountain Road instead.

Beginning in April and continuing until July, travelers on Highway 2 between Olds Station in Wenatchee and Sunset Highway in Douglas County are likely to be encounter road work in some form.

A Moses Lake contractor for the Washington State Department of Transportation will be rehabilitating pavement on the highway and repairing decking on the Odabashian Bridge beginning on April 12th. A partial closure of the bridge for about two weeks is scheduled to start May 2 for the deck repair work.

WASH-DOT said during that time traffic in both directions will be reduced to one lane. The state will be holding two virtual public events March 2 to explain the $3-million-dollar project and answer questions. Details on how to join a meeting are available on the WASH-DOT website.

East Wenatchee police have released surveillance video of a January break-in at the iRepair-IT shop on Rock Island Road in which thousands of dollars in merchandise was stolen.

In the January 27th video two men wearing masks and gloves are seen removing the glass on the front door of the business at 1:27 a.m., entering the store and filling bags with items. Police say video also showed a box truck driving by the business minutes before the break-in and it is possible the driver may have seen something. Police say three people were seen across the street prior to the burglary hiding from passing vehicles.Anyone with information is asked to call the RiverCom non-emergency line at 663-9111.

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. . .

After a state survey last week showed COVID-19 vaccinations aren’t reaching Hispanic residents in the same proportion as white residents, the state Department of Health set out to shore up its vaccine programs. In tonight’s feature story, Dr. Umair Shah, the Washington Secretary of Health, says that effort started by improving outreach right here in the Wenatchee Valley, where the Latinx community is more than 25 percent of the population:

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.

Corey Kispert led four starters in double-figures with 20-points as Gonzaga cruised to an 87-65 win over Stain Mary’s last night in Spokane…

Joel Ayayi added 16-points, Drew Timme had 12 and Andrew Nembhard 10 as the Bulldogs continued an unblemished season at 21-and-oh.  In the process, Gonzaga won its 9th-straight West Coast Conference regular season title.

Highlights are presented by Gonzaga Athletics…

Noah Williams had 24-points at halftime and finished with a career-high 32 for the game as Washington State bounced back from a crushing loss to Washington Sunday with an 82-51 win over Cal.  Coach Kyle Smith had nothing but praise for the Sophomore guard from Seattle…

Williams said he took the loss to the Huskies personally and wanted to show he and the Cougars were better than that…

In Seattle, Stanford made 12 of their first 14 shots in the second half to coast to a 79-61 win over Washington.  Reserve guard Cole Bajema scored a career-high 13-points for the Huskies, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Coming up tomorrow, the Cougars host Stanford at 1 on ESPN-U.  San Diego visits Spokane to take on Gonzaga at 5 on ESPN-2.  Washington entertains Cal at 7 on ESPN-U.

Hailey Van Lith got back on the scoring track with 13-points last night to help 3rd-ranked Louisville to an 82-58 whitewashing of Pittsburgh…

Dana Evans led the Cardinals with 29-points as Louisville improved to 20-and-1 on the season, 13-and-1 in ACC play.

The Gonzaga women had its 17-game winning streak snapped as BYU came out on top last night 61-56.  Jenn Wirth led the way for the Bulldogs with 18-points and 10-rebounds.  Trailing by 3 with 8-seconds left, Gonzaga thought it earned a turnover off a jump ball but the officials ruled the possession arrow was incorrect, awarding the ball to BYU and the Cougars iced the game.

Coming up today, Washington State hosts Colorado at Noon while Washington takes on Utah tonight at 7.

Gonzaga will try to bounce back from its first loss since the first week of December tomorrow at 2 o’clock at San Diego.

Then on Sunday, Utah visits Pullman at Noon while Washington hosts Colorado at 2.

Spring training got underway for the Seattle Mariners Thursday with pitchers and catchers reporting to Peoria, Arizona…

Of course, the big news was the return of James Paxton after a two-year stint with the Yankees.  General Manager Jerry Dipoto says the deal started to take shape over the holidays…

There were plenty of teams in the mix trying to lure Paxton their direction, but in the end, he says returning to Seattle made the most sense…

Manager Scott Servais says he’s looking forward to seeing what Paxton can bring not only on the mound, but in the clubhouse…

Position players report over the weekend with Seattle’s first Cactus League game a week from tomorrow against San Diego.

Thanks Eric.

Finally on this Friday night, staffers at the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery in the Methow Valley rescued a trumpeter swan this week, trapped in a water-filled ditch in temperatures below zero.

Hatchery workers gave the bird a place to warm up inside the facility, then blindfolded it to keep it calm, and drove it all the way to a Spokane veterinary hospital where it could be looked after. The swan appeared unable to fly, but hatchery workers said it’s undergoing tests and seems otherwise healthy.

Now let’s check in with Eric Granstrom once again this time for a look at what’s coming up Monday morning on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley, Eric. . .

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 weekend.