NCWLIFE Evening News, February 6, 2020


Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. Grant Olson is away this evening; I’m Jefferson Robbins. We’ve got a lot of news to cover tonight, but before we get to today’s top news stories, let’s take a quick look outside our weather window:

Where I grew up, we referred to this recent weather as SPLOOTY. Snow fell on the Upper Wenatchee Valley yesterday, about an inch and a half at Leavenworth, but quickly turned to rain. And that adds up to avalanche danger. The Northwest Avalanche Center has high alert warnings out for skiers and other users of the mountain backcountry. Please proceed with caution, if you have to proceed at all.

And now, a few of the stories we’re following for you tonight: A check fraud scheme from 2018 has apparently come back around to bite an East Wenatchee man. The state of Washington is taking new steps to cope with the threat of coronavirus. And yet another round of fliers are passed out in Wenatchee neighborhoods, promoting white supremacy.

But first, our top story tonight. . .

Cashmere woman who allegedly phoned police after murdering her elderly mother is not mentally fit to stand trial.

That’s the finding of Chelan County Judge Travis Brandt, who yesterday ordered Anita Burgess Jones to undergo psychiatric therapy at Eastern State Hospital. She’s charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 11 killing of her mother, 96-year-old Katherine Wiczai, at their shared home in Cashmere. Chelan County sheriff’s deputies say Jones admitted to stabbing, strangling and bludgeoning her mother to death, but her defense attorney says Jones is too mentally unstable to effectively communicate with him. She’ll spend up to 90 days in treatment before coming back to court for another hearing.

Police say an East Wenatchee man is implicated in a check-forging scheme that dates back almost two years.

Jesse Dylan Holm, who’s 27, was charged this week with forgery for allegedly depositing a fraudulent $4,000 check in November 2018 that purported to be from the Dovex fruit company. It was one of several such checks that police believe were distributed by Frank Reyes Lara, age 57, who served six months in jail for identity theft, and now faces drug and firearm charges in Douglas County. On Tuesday, Douglas County prosecutors issued a court summons for Jesse Holm. He’s already charged in Chelan County with vehicle prowling and identity thefts that occurred last year in Malaga. He must appear in court in Waterville on Feb. 24. 

The state has set up a coronavirus quarantine site at the Washington State Patrol’s Fire Training Academy in North Bend. The site will be used for travelers from the Hubei Province in China who are not able to self-quarantine at home. There has been one confirmed case of the novel corona virus in the state, in Snohomish County, and 12 cases nationwide. A student at Central Washington University who had recently traveled to China was tested for the virus last week but results of that test have not yet been announced. 565 people have died from the flulike illness caused by the Wuhan coronavirus; none of them in the United States.

inthe Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce is growing, and according to Executive Director Shiloh Burgess, numbers could double over the next ten years. She told NCWLIFE’s Steve Hair it’s not only about how many members the Chamber has, it’s about building partnerships and relationships. . .

Coming up next, an unexpected sentencing decision in a Wenatchee armed robbery case; the nation celebrates one of Washington’s premiere crops; and there’s a burgeoning business in pet technology. I’m Jefferson Robbins, and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Stay with us.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

A Chelan County judge rejected a plea agreement on Wednesday that would have let an 18-year-old armed robber go free after just four months.

Alan Meza-Duarte robbed two teenagers in Wenatchee last September, and received a one-year prison sentence last week after pleading to second-degree armed robbery. Yesterday he pleaded to a related charge of unlawful firearm possession, with prosecutors recommending four months in jail. But Judge Kristin Ferrera put that agreement aside and sentenced Meza-Duarte to another year, to be served once his current sentence is complete. Another 18-year-old defendant, Brian Solis, is charged with threatening witnesses in that case.

Believe it or not, February is National Cherry Month. Yes, the trees are bare and the orchards quiet but February was reportedly picked to coincide with the birthday of famed cherry tree chopper George Washington. To recognize Cherry Month, state Lands Commissioner Hillary Franz this week shared video of a conversation she had with Wenatchee cherry grower Kyle Mathison of Stemilt Growers. The two met on land Stemilt leases from the state Department of Natural Resources.

The business of finding lost pets just produced a partnership.

Wenatchee’s own PetHub announced this week it’s teaming up with PetData of Dallas, Texas. The two companies both use tech to tag and license our furry friends. PetHub developed digital ID tags to identify lost pets through a smartphone app. PetData says PetHub’s digital ID tags, quote, “are the future of pet licensing, and are a perfect fit with PetData’s services.”

You’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Coming up next, we investigate racist fliers distributed around Wenatchee neighborhoods; and Eric Granstrom’s here with 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…

Over the last five months, fliers like these, reading “NO WHITE GUILT,” have been appearing on residential lawns all over Wenatchee. NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins looked into the rash of white supremacist literature, and has this report: 

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 started off a three-game road trip north of the border on a good note last night, picking up a 3-2 shootout win at Prince George…

Tyler Young got Wenatchee on the board first in the 4th minute of the second period.  Luke Ormsby gave the Wild a 2-nothing lead wit his 10th goal of the season in the third period.  But Wenatchee couldn’t hold the lead.  Through four minutes of overtime, the game would be decided in a shootout.

Arch Ecker had the call on the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Network.  Video courtesy of Hockey TV…

The Wild continue the road trip tomorrow in Surrey against the Eagles at 7 o’clock.  Then they’ll head for Langley Saturday for a 7:15 game.  Wenatchee finally returns home for its final two home games of the regular season against Vernon next Friday and Chilliwack Saturday.

The Wenatchee Valley College men and women swept Columbia Basin Community College in NWAACC play last night…

The Lady Knights got 18-points from Natalie Andreas and 15 from Chasity Spady in a 69-54 win over the Hawks.  WVC improved to 16-and-7 overall and 6-and-3 in conference play with the win.

On the Men’s side last night, WVC had four players in double figures in a 91-79 win over Columbia Basin.  Malik Parsons came off the bench with 28-points while Chance Michels had 15; Abdul Abdullah 15; and Austin Hatch 12 points in the victory.

Coming up tonight in women’s college basketball, Eastern Washington hosts Montana this morning at 11 o’clock.  Central Washington welcomes Alaska to Ellensburg tonight at 5:15.  And later at 7, #12 Gonzaga travels to Pacific in West Coast Conference play.

In Men’s College Basketball tonight, Eastern Washington plays at Montana at 6.  Central hosts Montana State Billings at 7:30.  And tonight at 8 o’clock on CBSSN, #2 Gonzaga hosts Loyola Marymount.

On the Les Schwab Prep Basketball Scoreboard from last night…

The Chelan girls put away Tonasket 55-26 in a non-league game.  And for the Chelan boys, Cade Christopherson led all scorers with 26-points as the Goats came out victorious 84-25.  The Tigers were held to single-digits in each quarter, including just three in the fourth frame.

Coming up tonight on the Prep Girls Basketball Schedule…

Cashmere celebrates its seniors tonight with a 5:45 game against Cascade.  The Entiat girls travel to Wilson Creek for a 5:45 game time.

Same story for the boys tonight with Cashmere hosting Cascade at 7:15.  At halftime of the boys game in Cashmere, Hailey Van Lith will be recognized for being selected to the McDonalds All American game.  Entiat and Wilson Creek get going at 7:30.

Tonight is Hockey Night on the NCWLIFE Channel…

We’ll be featuring the Wild and Trail Smoke Eaters from the Town Toyota Center back on January 25th.  Arch Ecker has the call at 7 o’clock here on your television home for the Wild, the NCWLIFE Channel.

And after we get through hockey tonight, we’ll wrap our sports schedule at Eastmont High School tomorrow night when the Wildcats host Davis.  It’s senior night and I’ll be courtside for all the play-by-play with the girls LIVE on our Facebook stream at 5:45 followed by the boys at 7:30.  The television broadcast will begin at 6:30 for the girls following the NCWLIFE Evening News and the boys at about 8 o’clock.

Thanks Eric. Finally from us tonight, it’s a visit to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society for our regular feature, Kennel Kameos, with Megan McPherson . . .

Now let’s check in with Eric Granstrom once again, this time 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 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 Jefferson Robbins, thanks for joining us and have a great night.