NCWLIFE Evening News, February 4, 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, A week after setting himself on fire in a moving car as Wenatchee Valley police closed in, Quan Ho Pham remains under intensive care with severe burns. Both men involved in a November burglary and theft of a bus at Palisades School have now pleaded guilty, and, Staffing shortages have led the Grant County Jail to temporarily reduce visiting hours for maximum and medium security inmates.     

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Wenatchee police say an 18-year-old suspect set out to intimidate the victim of an armed robbery. Prosecutors charged Brian Solis on Monday with a single count of witness tampering.

He allegedly sent threatening Snapchat messages to a victim robbed by Alan Meza-Duarte, who pleaded guilty last month and received a one-year prison sentence. Solis was booked into the Chelan County jail on Thursday; he remains there on $50,000 bond.

A week after setting himself on fire in a moving car as Wenatchee Valley police closed in, Quan Ho Pham remains under intensive care with severe burns.

Pham, whose friends call him “Tim,” apparently doused himself in gasoline January 27th, and struck a flame as police tried to stop his car in the 1700 block of North Wenatchee Avenue. He was on the run after a domestic violence incident, in which he allegedly threatened his ex-wife and child with a machete inside the Wenatchee Valley Mall. Police extinguished the flames and EMTs took Pham to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. A spokeswoman there says as of tonight, Pham is still in critical condition in the hospital’s ICU.

Both men involved in a November burglary and theft of a bus at Palisades School have now pleaded guilty.

Jordan McCullough-Cheney, who’s 19, was the latest to enter his plea in Douglas County Superior Court on Monday, to counts of burglary, motor vehicle theft and obstruction. Devon R. Taylor, who’s 27, pleaded to similar charges in January.

The two men broke into the small rural school Nov. 2, and stole tools, fuel, an air compressor, and the school’s only bus. Both await sentencing. Prosecutors plan to recommend a five-year prison term for Taylor, who has several prior convictions. McCullough-Cheney could be sentenced to drug rehab.

Staffing shortages have led the Grant County Jail to temporarily reduce visiting hours for maximum and medium security inmates. Instead of the usual 5 to 10 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Thursday visiting hours, the visits will end at 8 p.m. those days, with no visits between 6 and 6:30 p.m.

Each county jail in the region sets its own hours, with the Chelan County Regional Justice Center allowing visits Monday through Thursday from 8 to 9 p.m. and on weekends at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

The Okanogan County Corrections Center only allows visitors on Fridays between 1 and 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 to 11 a.m. and again from, 1 to 4 p.m.

Coming up next, The 2019 average annual non-farm job growth in the Wenatchee area saw the slowest growth rate in the past eight years. The Chelan County PUD has a chance to buy a piece of property along the Wenatchee River that could be used to extend the Apple Capital Loop Trail, and, The city of Chelan has delayed its purchase of 9.8 acres of lakefront property called Spader Bay while issues over access are resolved.    I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The 2019 average annual non-farm job growth in the Wenatchee area saw the slowest growth rate in the past eight years. That according to a report released this morning by the State Employment Security Department.

The 2019 job growth rate in the Wenatchee area was 0.4-percent. Preliminary estimates also indicate that the Wenatchee MSA’s average annual, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in 2019 was 5.2 percent, up four-tenths of a percentage point over 4.8-percent rate in 2018. On the positive side, the local economy posted a historically low unemployment rate in December 2019 of 3-point-5 percent. The Wenatchee MSA’s Civilian Labor Force has also expanded, year over year, in 29 of the past 30 months.

The Chelan County PUD has a chance to buy a piece of property along the Wenatchee River that could be used to extend the Apple Capital Loop Trail and open up access for people to fish on the Wenatchee River.

The quarter-acre property and home near the site of the PUD’s planned new service center in Olds Station would cost the PUD $300,000. PUD commissioners are expected to vote on the purchase at their February 18th board meeting. Shared Services Director Dan Frazier told commissioners Monday the land purchase is a great opportunity. . .

The city of Chelan has delayed its purchase of 9.8 acres of lakefront property called Spader Bay while issues over access are resolved.

The city council voted last November to buy the property for $400,000 as part of its efforts to preserve and enhance public access to Lake Chelan. But an easement to the site has proven to be a stumbling block. Under the purchase agreement, if access easements weren’t secured by today, the city had the option of terminating the purchase. Last week, the council voted to extend the agreement by 90 days while the owners, sisters Linda Parlette and Terri O’Neal, try to get agreement on the easement from neighboring property owner Vin du Lac Winery.

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. . .

LorenCulp is currently the police chief for the town of Republic. His campaign for governor began last year with his refusing to enforce the voter-approved gun control Initiative 1369 on constitutional grounds.In tonight’s feature story,Culp argues that the current administration’s policies relating to the State’s homeless crisis are failing. Culp says more needs to be done to address narcotics addiction which he sees as one of the root causes of homelessness in many places. . .

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.

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Peoria for the Seattle Mariners in just 8-days.  A particular pitcher, however, is reportedly all smiles today…

Former Wenatchee AppleSox Marco Gonzales had his contract with the Mariners extended Monday through the 2025 season with a team-option for 2026.  Now the veteran atop the Seattle starting rotation, Gonzales was already on contract through this season for 1-million dollars.  His new contract will reportedly be worth 30-million dollars.

The Mariners first Cactus League game will be Saturday, February 22nd.

The wait is over for Seahawks Legend Steve Hutchinson, who this summer will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame…

Hutchinson, one of the best offensive linemen of his era, was one of five modern-era selections for the 2020 Hall of Fame class along with safety Troy Polamalu, receiver Isaac Bruce, safety Steve Atwater and running back Edgerrin James Saturday. 

A first-round pick in the 2001 draft, Hutchinson earned All-Pro honors three times and was a three-time Pro Bowler during his five seasons as the Seahawks’ left guard.  He provided blocking for Shon Alexander in Seattle before going on to Minnesota, blocking for Adrian Peterson.  Hutch played 6-years with the Vikings before ending his career in 2012 with Tennessee.  He was a 7-time pro bowler, 5-time first team all pro and played in 169-games in his 12-year career.

Taking a look at the prep girls basketball schedule for tonight…

In Central Washington Athletic Conference play, Ephrata hosts Grandview at 5:45 while Quincy takes on Othello.  In the Caribou Trail League tonight, it’s Omak at Cascade while Cashmere hosts Okanogan at 5:45.  And on the B floors tonight, Entiat hosts Pateros at 5:45 followed by Manson at Tonasket at 6.

The boys schedule looks just the same, only with different start times.  Grandview plays at Ephrata at 7:15 while Quincy hosts Othello.  Omak tips at Cascade at 7:15 while Cashmere hosts Okanogan.  Manson plays at Tonasket at 7:30 while Entiat hosts Pateros.

The Wenatchee Wild begin an arduous three-game road trip this week tomorrow night in Prince George…

The puck drops at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena at 7 o’clock.  Then on Friday, Wenatchee heads for Surrey, B.C. to face the Eagles at 7 o’clock in the South Surrey Arena.  Finally on Saturday, Wenatchee’s at the George Preston Arena to face the Langley Rivermen at 7:15. 

All told, the Wild will travel 1,304-miles over the next five days.  Say a little prayer for the boys as the season winds down in the BCHL.  Wenatchee’s currently in 5th place in the Interior Division with 52-points, three behind Vernon and 4-back of Salmon Arm.

The BCHL Board of Governors approved a new configuration for the league beginning next season…

With the expansion Cranbrook Bucks beginning their inaugural campaign next year, the Board voted in favor of changing to a two-conference system with nine teams on each side.

The Coastal Conference will consist of the current Island and Mainland Division teams, minus the Prince George Spruce Kings, while the Interior Conference will see Cranbrook added as well as Prince George.

The league has also announced that it is moving from a 58-game schedule to 54, as well as a later start date in September.

Coming up on the NCWLIFE Sports Schedule this week, beginning with tonight…

We’ll rebroadcast the Wenatchee and Eisenhower boys basketball game from January tonight at 7.  Thursday is Hockey Night with the Wild taking on the Trail Smoke Eaters at 7.

Then on Friday, we’ll be at Eastmont High School for the Wildcats games against the Davis Pirates.  The girls game will be LIVE on our Facebook stream at 5:45 but not on the air until after our evening news at 6:30.  The boys game will be live at 7:30 on Facebook and on TV at 8.

And, we’re suspending sports on Saturday so we can bring you a bunch of blossoms…

We’re kicking off the 2020 Apple Blossom Festival with a full evening of entertainment.  It begins with the broadcast debut of the Apple Blossom documentary called “A Lot Of Fuss About A Parade” at 4 o’clock.  Then you can Meet The Top Ten at 5:30 with my interviews with the Top Ten Candidates.

We begin our LIVE coverage from Wenatchee High School with our Countdown to Coronation at 6:30 with yours truly and former Queen Julie Agens-Kuntz.  Then at 7, it’s the Cashmere Valley Bank Royalty Selection Pageant.

That’s all Saturday right here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

Thanks Eric.

Now let’s check in 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.