NCWLIFE Evening News, February 28, 2020


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 bill in the state Legislature that would make sex education mandatory for all students in Washington schools moved a step closer to becoming law Thursday. A Lake Chelan business leader has stepped forward to run for an open seat on the Chelan County Board of Commissioners, and, The Omak School District didn’t need to look far for its new superintendent, we will tell you who it is coming up.  

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Three Wenatchee residents are accused of illegally hunting black bear using bait to lure the animals.

State Fish and Wildlife officers arrested 60-year-old Jon L. Markel in August 2019 for allegedly guiding 40-year-old Erin McCabe to a site he’d baited to attract bear up Number 2 Canyon. Investigators said Markel stuffed a plastic barrel with 60 pounds of doughnuts and bread, and McCabe shot and killed a bear that was drawn to the bait. Prosecutors filed charges last month. The offense is a gross misdemeanor, and both men must appear in Chelan County District Court in March. A third man, Logan Franklin, who’s 34, was also charged after videos and text messages allegedly showed him adding bait to the barrel. Wildlife agents say Markel hasn’t held a hunting license in eight years, but continued to shoot wildlife on his property. He previously pleaded guilty to poaching a deer in 2012. Bear meat seized during the investigation was donated to charity.

A bill in the state Legislature that would make sex education mandatory for all students in Washington schools moved a step closer to becoming law Thursday. NCWLIFE’s Cal FitzSimmons has more. . .

A Lake Chelan business leader has stepped forward to run for an open seat on the Chelan County Board of Commissioners.

Tiffany Gering, chief operating officer of the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, says she’ll seek to replace Doug England, the retiring commissioner who’s represented county district 3 since 2008. Gering, a Brewster native, works alongside State Representative Mike Steele, who’s the chamber’s executive director. She says she hopes to help the county find solutions on issues like land use, tourism, and mental health.

The Omak School District didn’t need to look far for its new superintendent.

The school board announced Thursday that the job has been offered to current Assistant Superintendent Michael Porter.

Current Superintendent Erik Swanson is retiring in June after seven years with the district.

Once his contract details have been finalized, Porter, who has 16 years of classroom experience and 12 years as an administrator, will take over as superintendent July 1st. He was one of two finalists for the job along with the assistant superintendent of the Mead School District in Spokane.

Coming up next, The presidential primary ballot in Washington state is either confusing a lot of people, or they’re protesting the requirement to pick a political party. The Chelan PUD recently received the 2019 American Cultural Resources Association Industry Award for its outstanding commitment to protecting cultural resources, and, It was 85 years ago today that East Wenatchee became a town all its own. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The presidential primary ballot in Washington state is either confusing a lot of people, or they’re protesting the requirement to pick a political party.

Either way, as of Friday morning, 22,950 ballots had been rejected statewide because a party preference was not selected on the ballot’s return envelope. That’s out of 572,131 ballots that have been cast thus far. In Chelan County, 284 out of 7,594 ballots returned so far have been rejected because a political party was not selected. Voters have until March 10th to get their ballots in.

The Chelan County PUD is being honored for working with local Native tribes while maintaining its power grid.

In 2014, rather than replace power poles in Peshastin Pinnacles State Park, the PUD consulted with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and moved power lines out of the park altogether. The stone formations at the Pinnacles have cultural meaning for the area’s Native inhabitants. In October, the American Cultural Resources Association gave the PUD its Industry Award for that collaborative effort. 

It was 85 years ago today that East Wenatchee became a town all its own.

The population voted on this day in 1935 to incorporate by a tight margin: 48 votes in favor, 46 against. Art Lenhart became the town’s first mayor, and the Works Progress Administration paid for its first sewer system. From those beginnings, East Wenatchee has grown to a population of more than 14,000 people.

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. . .

Newly elected Leavenworth Mayor, Carl Florea says he’s hoping to find answers to the City’s parking problems from data collected from new smart parking meters. The City Council has approved the use of the meters as part of an ongoing traffic study. . .

Mayor Florea says parking and traffic congestion are products of the City’s growth as a tourist town. He says he senses a new atmosphere of public involvement in future land use decisions and cites specifically the response to plans to build an Adventure theme park at the west entrance to town. . .

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 Wild will use the extra day on the calendar Saturday to leap into the BCHL Playoffs against the Vernon Vipers…

Game 1 of the best-of-seven series will begin Saturday night at 7:05 at the Town Toyota Center.  Game 2 is Sunday at 7:05.  Games three and four will be up in Vernon and if necessary the series will return to Wenatchee next Friday.

Wenatchee went 2-and-4 against the Vipers this season, but “Voice” of the Wild Arch Ecker says the Wild are playing their best hockey right now and they won’t change anything in their approach against Vernon…

Tickets are just 10-dollars a seat for the games this weekend, Saturday and Sunday at 7:05.

On the Les Schwab College Basketball Scoreboard last night…

Gonzaga clinched its 8th straight West Coast Conference Title with a 94-59 win over San Diego last night.  Filip Petrusev (PET-rue SEV) led 5-players in double figures with 21-points.

Mason Peatling had 17-points and 9-rebounds as Eastern Washington got past Southern Utah 69-51.

Jeryn Lucas came off the bench to lead Central Washington with 23-points as the Wildcats beat Saint Martin’s 71-65.

On the Les Schwab Women’s Basketball Scoreboard, Southern Utah edged Eastern Washington 70-67.  And Central Washington beat Saint Martin’s 70-to-60.

Coming up on the women’s college schedule, Washington plays at #17 Oregon State tonight at 6 while Washington State travels to #3 Oregon at 8.

Tomorrow, it’s Eastern Washington hosting Northern Colorado at noon, followed by #11 Gonzaga at Portland at 2 while Central Washington plays at Seattle Pacific.

Then on Sunday, the Pac-12 schedule swaps as Washington plays at Oregon while Washington State plays at Oregon State at Noon.

The men’s weekend schedule begins tonight in Seattle where Washington hosts Washington State at 6 on FS1.

Tomorrow finds Central Washington at Seattle Pacific at 4:15.  Eastern’s at Northern Colorado at 6.  And #3 Gonzaga hosts Saint Mary’s tomorrow night at 7 on ESPN-2.

The WIAA Regional High School Basketball Tournaments get underway tonight…

On the girl’s side, Riverside Christian faces Clallam Bay tonight at 6 at Tumwater High School in a loser-out game.

In the 2-B tournament tomorrow, Waterville-Mansfield faces Northwest Christian at Wenatchee High School at Noon in a loser-out game at Noon.  Brewster is at University High in Spokane tomorrow facing Colfax at Noon, also in a loser-out game.

In the 1-A tournament, Okanogan plays against Meridian at Wenatchee High School tomorrow at 2.  It is a must-win situation for either team to advance to State.

The 4A Tournament finds Moses Lake close to home at Big Bend Community College taking on Decatur at 4 o’clock.  It is a lower-seed game, so the winner goes to State and the loser’s season is over.

And at 6 o’clock tomorrow night, Cashmere takes on Nooksack Valley in the 1-A tournament at Wenatchee High School.  We’ll have that LIVE on the NCWLIFE Channel with Eric Granstrom.  A reminder, that’s a TV-only game.  If you want to watch it on-line, you’ll have to go through the NFHS Network to do so.

Here’s what the boy’s regional schedule looks like…

It begins tonight with two games at Wenatchee High School.  First, in the 2-B tournament, Brewster takes on Life Christian Academy at 6 o’clock in a seeding game for State.  Both teams will advance to Spokane.

The late game is a 1-B contest between Sunnyside Christian and Almira-Coulee-Hartline.  The 8 o’clock game is a loser-out contest with the winner advancing to State B.

Coming up tomorrow, Omak finds itself in Issaquah facing Seattle Academy in the 1-A tournament at 2 o’clock.  Both teams will advance to Yakima and State next week.

The Cashmere boys will play against King’s Way Christian tomorrow at Wenatchee High School at 4 o’clock.  We’ll have it LIVE on NCWLIFE Channel with Grant Olson on the play-by-play.  King’s Way was the runner-up to Zillah in last year’s 1-A Championship.  Both teams will advance to the State tournament in Yakima next week.

The Eastmont Wildcats play in the 4-A tournament at Tumwater High School at 4 o’clock against Olympia.  It’s a must-win situation for the Wildcats if they hope to advance to the State tournament in the Tacoma Dome next week.

Congratulations to Cascade’s Hunter Reinhart, a WIAA Athlete of the Week…

The Kodiak senior finished the season 26-and-oh by winning the 285-pound State 1A Championship last weekend at Mat Classic XXXII in the Tacoma Dome.  It was his second-consecutive State Title, defeating the same opponent each time.

The Mariners were oh-for-two in split squad action in Cactus League play yesterday…

The White Sox edged Seattle 6-to-5.  Caleb Raleigh went 1-for-3 with a 2-run home run.  Jacob Fraley also had a home run while Ljay Newsome started and went two innings on the mound, allowing no-runs on 2-hits with 2-strikeouts.

In the other split-squad game in Peoria, San Francisco came from behind to beat Seattle 5-4.  Shed Long did what he could offensively with an RBI double…

Seattle starter Logan Gilbert went two strong innings, which drew the praise of Mariner Manager Scott Servais…

Seattle traveled to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks today.

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 And, remember, if you see news happening we’d like to hear from you.  You can send us an email at, or give us a call 888-NCWL (6295). I’m Grant Olson, thanks for joining us and have a great night.