NCWLIFE Evening News February 23rd, 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 COVID-19 vaccine shipment arrived Monday at the Town Toyota Center that will allow the mass vaccination site to stay open the entire week./ Okanogan County is suing the state Ecology department over water use interpretations that affect residential development, and, The Soap Lake Police Department issued a statement Monday defending its decision to hire reserve officer Shane Jones, who was arrested last week for the third time since 2006 for drunken driving.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

A 19-year-old East Wenatchee man is suspected of selling thousands of dollars’ worth of fentanyl.

Luis Alberto Fierro allegedly sold the powerful opioid in pill form, to police informants in a sting operation carried out over the last three months. The Columbia River Drug Task Force says Fierro sold about 1,000 pills in each transaction before officers arrested him at a motel in Moses Lake last Friday. Fierro faces possible charges including drug sale and conspiracy, as well as firearms charges for a stolen handgun he was allegedly carrying.

A COVID-19 vaccine shipment arrived Monday at the Town Toyota Center that will allow the mass vaccination site to stay open the entire week.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District had only scheduled Monday and Tuesday vaccinations at the site as weather delays throughout the country slowed delivery of the vaccine. There will now be 900 second doses and 150 first doses available for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Anyone due for a second dose should have received an email with a registration link but scheduling can also be done on-site using your vaccination card. Appointments for first doses are done through the state’s Prep-Mod website after determining eligibility through the Find Your Phase website. Appointments also can be made by calling 1-800-525-0127.

Okanogan County is suing the state Department of Ecology over how water rights are handled for new construction in the Methow Valley.

County commissioners voted two to one in early February to file the lawsuit, claiming the way Ecology interprets rules surrounding water wells in the valley has infringed on the county’s authority over development. They say new-construction applicants could lose their investments if the state rules are applied the way Ecology wants them to be. Last week, the county placed a moratorium on many new building permits until the dispute can be resolved.

The Soap Lake Police Department issued a statement Monday defending its decision to hire reserve officer Shane Jones, who was arrested last week for the third time since 2006 for drunken driving.

In the statement, the department said it stands by its hiring process and the work it did to vet Jones before he was hired late last year. Despite his past problems, the police department said they believe in rehabilitation.

Jones was found in a Soap Lake police car in a ditch in Franklin County last Thursday after allegedly being involved in a hit-and-run. He was immediately fired after his latest arrest. Jones is required to have an ignition interlock on his vehicle but was granted a waiver for his department-issued patrol car but only during working hours. Because he was not on duty during the latest incident he also has been charged with stealing the patrol car.

Coming up next, After several employees tested positive for COVID-19, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that their administrative offices in Ephrata have been closed until March 8th./ 12th District State Senator Brad Hawkins wants the state’s school districts to swap spring and summer breaks, and, Wildlife officers on Sunday managed to successfully track, tranquilize, and relocate a cougar that had been roaming into the populated areas of Leavenworth. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

After several employees tested positive for COVID-19, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that their administrative offices in Ephrata have been closed until March 8th.

The department said the closure will not impact emergency and non-emergency calls for service. However, new concealed pistol licenses and pre-employment fingerprinting will not be available until the offices reopen.

12th District State Senator Brad Hawkins wants the state’s school districts to swap spring and summer breaks, meaning there would be a 10-to-12 week break from school this spring, then classes would be held through the summer with a one-week break.

Hawkins, the ranking Republican on the Senate Education Committee, said this would allow districts to be better prepared for school next fall. In addition, Hawkins said most school staff should be vaccinated by summer and all districts could offer in-person instruction. Hawkins acknowledged there could be resistance from some teacher unions and districts but QUOTE, We need to figure out something. Our students and families deserve it, UNQUOTE.

Wildlife officers on Sunday managed to successfully track, tranquilize, and relocate a cougar that had been roaming into the populated areas of Leavenworth.

Leslie Spangler, who lives on Benton Street, caught these images of the captured animal, which had climbed onto her fenced patio Sunday morning.

Department of Fish and Wildlife agents shot the cougar with a tranquilizer dart and released it again into the wild, far from town.

Spangler said it was a thrilling event to wake up to in her own backyard, and she’s grateful the officers were able to catch the wild cat without lethal force.

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. . .

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are key weapons in the war on COVID-19, and more vaccines are on the way. But storing these delicate materials has been an issue as health agencies try to inoculate those most in need. In tonight’s feature story, NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins reports the Chelan-Douglas Health District wants to take a lead role in safeguarding the vaccines for the four counties of North Central Washington. . .

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.

Washington State’s Noah Williams is the Pac-12 player of the week after incredible performances against Cal and Stanford.  The Pac-12 Network’s P.J. Carlesimo talks about Williams ability to take control of games in which he plays…

The NCAA.com National Player of the Week averaged 28.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists in a three-game week, including 36.0 points in Washington State’s first-weekend sweep of the Bay Area schools since 2011-12. Williams erupted for a career-high 40 points in a triple-overtime victory over Stanford on Saturday. It marked the first 40-point performance in a Conference contest since Andrew Andrews scored 47 for Washington in March 2016.

Taking a look at the men’s college basketball schedule this week…

Washington makes up a game missed due to COVID tonight at Arizona State at 6 o’clock on the Pac-12 Network.

The Huskies and Sun Devils face off again Thursday at 4 o’clock on FS1.  Also at 4, No. 1 Gonzaga hosts Santa Clara on CBSSN.  Then at 8 o’clock Thursday night, Washington State plays at Arizona on FS1.

They’ll switch sites Saturday as Washington plays at Arizona at Noon on CBS.  Washington State plays at Arizona State at 1:30 on the Pac-12 Network.  Gonzaga hosts Loyola Marymount at 7 o’clock.

It’s a slow week in women’s college basketball…

21st-ranked Gonzaga hosts Pepperdine Thursday in the McCarthey Athletic Center at 6 o’clock.  Then they’ll host Loyola Marymount Saturday at 1.

Louisville and Hailey Van Lith will try to get back on track in the ACC Sunday at 9am with a road game at Notre Dame.  Washington plays at Washington State at 1 o’clock.

The Mariners are looking for a new CEO after Kevin Mather resigned Monday amid a controversy of remarks he made to a local rotary club were made public over the weekend…

In the 46-minute clip, which was released by the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club’s YouTube page, Mather openly discussed numerous sensitive topics including paying an interpreter for players and big egos among young talent.

Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton met with the media Monday afternoon and admitted a trust level has been lost that he and the team will have to work to rebuild…

Mather’s comments also included a discussion about the Mariners offering Jarred Kelenic a long-term deal but being denied.  Stanton says those are decisions to be made by Seattle’s General Manager and Team Manager…

The video depicted Mather has perturbed at having to work extra within the organization to deal with foreign players and cultural differences.  Stanton says the image portrayed by Mather, who has been with the Mariners organization since 1999, do not represent what Seattle is all about…

Stanton will serve as the club’s acting president and CEO until a successor can be chosen.

On the field, catcher Tom Murphy is happy to be back in a Mariner uniform after missing the truncated 2020 season with a broken foot.  He says he and the rest of the catchers have worked hard in the off-season on Zoom meetings learning about Seattle’s pitching staff…

Seattle plays its first Cactus League game Saturday against the San Diego Padres.

After an 11-year NFL career, Seahawks offensive guard Mike Iupati announced his retirement Monday…

Iupati, who played his final two seasons for the Seahawks as their starting left guard, told the Spokesman that his goal “was to hit 10 years,” a goal he exceeded while still playing at a high level. Injuries, however, including neck stingers in his final season, led to his decision to call it a career.

A four-time Pro-Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro, Iupati spent most of his career in San Francisco (2010-2014) and Arizona (2015-2018), but the last stop of his career was also a special one even if it didn’t last as long.  He said, “I fell in love with Seattle,” he said. “The organization was first class. They were so good to me.”

Thanks Eric.

As we leave you tonight, between the windstorms and heavy rains yesterday, a lengthy rainbow arched its way over Cashmere. Several people were able to capture its brief but expansive beauty. Enjoy. . .

Now let’s check in again with Eric Granstrom for a look at what’s coming up tomorrow 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 night.