NCWLIFE Evening News February 3rd, 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 shed was destroyed by fire Tuesday morning in Wenatchee, killing two baby goats inside. A Wenatchee man pleaded guilty Monday to multiple counts of child sexual abuse. A 25-year-old Ephrata man was arrested late Monday afternoon after an off-duty Ephrata Police officer reportedly spotted him driving a stolen vehicle, and, Police from several agencies chased a bus stolen from Grant Transit Authority in Moses Lake to Grand Coulee this morning where the bus finally crashed.  

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The main route between Waterville and East Wenatchee remains closed after a major rockslide Tuesday in Pine Canyon.

The cliffside above Highway 2 at milepost 144 collapsed early Tuesday morning.

The Washington Department of Transportation said today there’s still no safe way around the rockfall, and kept the highway closed today between milepost 140 and 148. There was no specific time set for when the canyon highway might reopen.

A shed was destroyed by fire Tuesday morning in Wenatchee, killing two baby goats inside.

By the time crews from Chelan County Fire District 1 and Douglas County Fire District 2 arrived, the outbuilding in the 1900 block of Wellington Place was completely engulfed. The structure fire call came at 6:38 a.m. and firefighters had cleared the scene by 7:42 a.m. Kay McKellar, public information officer for the fire districts, said it’s the second-straight day, a shed fire in the area was believed to have been started by a heating source. In this case, a heating wrap is the suspected source of the fire.

Meanwhile, Monday morning, a shed caught fire between two homes on Indiana Avenue in Rock Island. That fire, which was reported just after 10 a.m., was started by a heater, McKellar said. The shed was shared by residents of two nearby homes for storage, with the shed and all its contents destroyed.

A Wenatchee man pleaded guilty Monday to multiple counts of child sexual abuse. 43-year-old Jaime Serrato entered a plea to charges of incest in Chelan County Superior Court, and prosecutors are asking for a six-year prison sentence. The charges involve crimes against a minor beginning about 2010, when the child was six years old. Serrato did not admit to the offenses, but pleaded guilty in order to resolve the case. On release from prison, he faces a possible three years of supervision. Serrato is due to be sentenced March 31st.

A 25-year-old Ephrata man was arrested late Monday afternoon after an off-duty Ephrata Police officer reportedly spotted him driving a stolen vehicle.

Anthony Yates was taken into custody after Ephrata officers and Grant County Sheriff’s deputies located the stolen 1995 Honda Civic about 4:30 p.m. on Dodson Road near Neva Lake Road.

He was followed to the 13-thousand block of Road A Northwest where he was arrested without incident for possession of a stolen vehicle and four outstanding district court warrants. The Civic has since been returned to its owner.

Police from several agencies chased a bus stolen from Grant Transit Authority in Moses Lake to Grand Coulee this morning where the bus crashed and 62-year-old Richard Manley of Grand Coulee was arrested.

The transit authority reported the 18-passenger bus stolen in Moses Lake about 7 a.m. and a short time later a Grant County deputy spotted the vehicle heading north on Highway 28 near Stratford. A chase ensued that was eventually joined by Soap Lake police and the Washington State Patrol. Grand Coulee police twice set up spike strips as the pursuit reached Electric City but the bus continued on flattened tires before crashing in Grant Coulee. Soap Lake police reported that Manley was not injured and told officers he was just trying to get home to Grand Coulee.

Coming up next, Negative effects of COVID-19-related layoffs on the statewide and local economies are clearly evident in the latest nonfarm employment and unemployment rate. The city of East Wenatchee will offer its employees an additional four hours of vacation if they receive the COVID-19 vaccine as they become eligible, and, 12th District state legislators voted against Washington’s major COVID-19 relief bill in the House of Representatives late Monday. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Negative effects of COVID-19-related layoffs on the statewide and local economies are clearly evident in the nonfarm employment and unemployment rate estimates from April through December 2020. 

The Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA, which includes Chelan and Douglas counties and Washington state economies have been losing jobs since April 2020 – but job loss-rates locally have been a bit higher than job loss-rates statewide. The local economy lost 3,500 nonfarm jobs between December 2019 (46,400 jobs) and December 2020 (42,900 jobs), a 7.5-percent downturn.

The city of East Wenatchee will offer its employees an additional four hours of vacation if they receive the COVID-19 vaccine as they become eligible.

The City Council unanimously approved the incentive program at its Tuesday meeting. Mayor Jerrilea Crawford first brought the idea to the Council January 19th, saying the estimated $8,000-dollar cost of the incentive program would be money well spent. . .

12th District state legislators voted against Washington’s major COVID-19 relief bill in the House of Representatives late Monday.

Keith Goehner and Mike Steele, both Republicans, joined 34 of their fellow partymembers to oppose the $2.2 billion dollar relief bill, which is federally funded and includes money for schools, COVID-19 testing, and vaccines. The bill nonetheless passed 61-36, and heads for a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee tomorrow.

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. . .

With mass vaccination and public education about COVID-19 at its peak, these first months of 2021 will be crucial in the fight against the pandemic.

In a press briefing this week with the Washington State Hospital Association, Dr. Doug Wilson, incoming CEO of Confluence Health, gave insight on where Northcentral Washington stands in that fight right now, and what its future may hold. . .

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.

Cierra Walker drained two, crucial three-pointers in the final two-minutes to help Gonzaga put away BYU in women’s college basketball last night 63-56…

Walker was assessed a technical foul in the closing minutes that allowed the Cougars to tie the game.  Instead of losing her cool, the senior guard out of Oregon City, Oregon helped Gonzaga win its 15th-straight and put some distance between they and BYU atop the West Coast Conference.

As we watch the highlights provided by Gonzaga Bulldogs, number 32 is Jill Townsend and number 13 is Cierra Walker…

Okanogan’s Jill Townsend once again led the Bulldogs in scoring with 18-points.  Kayleigh Truong was the only other Gonzaga starter in double-figures with 11.

The 19th ranked Bulldogs improved to 16-and-2 on the season, 11-and-oh in conference play.  Gonzaga is off for the next week until they play again next Thursday at home against Santa Clara.

The Gonzaga men’s basketball team is still trying to find an opponent for this week…

Its games against Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara were postponed due to COVID in both of those programs, so Mark Few has been on the phone trying to find someone else to play.  They tried for 3rd-ranked Villanova, but they found Georgetown.  They also tried former Washington State Coach Kelvin Sampson, who’s now with 5th-ranked Houston, but travel logistics became too difficult.

So, for now, Gonzaga is looking at a week-plus without playing any games.

New Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron was introduced to the media via Zoom conference Tuesday…

The 41-year old Portland native is extremely thankful to the Seahawks and Pete Carroll for being given the opportunity.  He also showed his appreciation to the guy he’s worked under for the past 7-years…

The word is that Waldron was one of Russell Wilson’s “guys” in the search for a new offensive coordinator in Seattle.  Waldron says he’s looking forward to working with Wilson and utilize his special playing-making skills…

Waldron grew up in Portland and was a long-snapper and tight end in college at Tufts University.  He says he’s always appreciated coach Pete Carroll from afar and is excited to work with him in Seattle…

Waldron has 90-days until Seattle welcomes the 2021 draft class along with undrafted free agents.

Coming up the rest of this week on the NCWLIFE Channel…

Hockey Night tomorrow night features the Wenatchee Wild and Langley Rivermen from November of 2019.  The puck drops at the Town Toyota Center at 7 o’clock.

Wrestling takes center mat Friday night as we bring you Wenatchee and Eastmont from January 30th of last year.  Watch it starting at 7 o’clock Friday.

Saturday’s Big-9 doubleheader in basketball has Eastmont hosting Moses Lake.  The girls play at 2 with the boys to tip it up at 7.

Thanks Eric.

Dramatic video as we leave you tonight from the Idaho State Police last week which shows a semi losing control and jackknifing on Interstate 15 in Southern Idaho and crashing into a trooper’s vehicle. The trooper was outside the vehicle at the time and not injured.

The state police said the semi driver fled the scene but was found about 10 miles away in Montana where the driver was cited for driving too fast for conditions and leaving the scene of a crash. Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said when people ask him what’s the most dangerous thing about his job, this is what comes to mind. . .

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.