NCWLIFE Evening News January 10th, 2022

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Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. I’m Grant Olson. Before we get to what’s making news, let’s take a quick look outside our weather window.
And now, A few of the stories we’re following for you tonight, The city of Leavenworth continues to from last week’s record snowstorm with the help of the National Guard. Blowing snow shut down much of the Waterville Plateau Friday and into Saturday, with whiteout conditions and drifts leading to the closure of multiple roads and highways. Two major mountain passes leading into North Central Washington reopened last night after last week’s blizzard, but the third remains closed for at least a few more days and Caught short by the blizzard, the Wenatchee School District recruited volunteers to help clear out its school grounds and sidewalks, in time for the reopening of classes this morning.
But first, our top story tonight. . .
Chelan Barn Fire -Firefighters worked in difficult conditions to keep a Chelan-area barn fire from spreading late Saturday night. Chelan Fire and Rescue said the fire in the Swanson Gulch area was first reported about 11:30 Saturday night. The remoteness of the area, combined with deep snow and no hydrants made the firefighting especially challenging the fire district said. The barn was a total loss but firefighters were able to keep it from spreading to a nearby RV. In addition, Chelan Fire and Rescue said the homeowner was able to get three goats safely out of a pen attached to the barn. Firefighters from Manson and Orondo assisted, with crews on the scene until 2:30 a.m. Monday.
Leavenworth Digs Out -The city of Leavenworth continued to dig out today from Thursday’s blizzard, with help from about 23 National Guard members. The city used its website to compile requests for aid from residents – everything from impassable driveways to collapsed roofs – and then deployed crews to remove snow and deliver food packages. The cold led to the discovery of two major leaks from municipal water pipes beneath Leavenworth neighborhoods. The Upper Valley town received an estimated 36 inches of snow in less than 24 hours starting Thursday. Mayor Carl Florea declared a citywide state of emergency Friday, which allowed the tourist town to take advantage of state National Guard resources.
Waterville Whiteout -Blowing snow shut down much of the Waterville Plateau Friday and into Saturday, with whiteout conditions and drifts leading to the closure of multiple roads and highways. Friday and Saturday, Highway 2 from Douglas to Highway 17 and Highway 172 from Farmer to McNeil Canyon Road were shut down because of zero visibility. Highway 2 was reopened about 8:30 Saturday morning while Highway 172 remained closed until early Saturday evening. On Friday, conditions were so bad that officials advised residents of the plateau to shelter in place.
Mtn. Passes -Two major mountain passes leading into North Central Washington reopened last night after last week’s blizzard, but the third remains closed for at least a few more days. Highway 97 at Blewett Pass and I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass were both cleared for traffic at 5 p.m. Sunday. But at Stevens Pass, Department of Transportation crews are still wrestling with snowslides, fallen trees, and four inches of ice on the roadway that has to be removed. In Tumwater Canyon leading into Leavenworth, there are about 25 snow slides per mile of road. Stevens Pass is not expected to fully reopened until Wednesday.
Wenatchee School Shovelers -Caught short by the blizzard, the Wenatchee School District recruited volunteers to help clear out its school grounds and sidewalks, in time for the reopening of classes this morning. The Sunday shoveling session took place at every school in the district excepts Foothills Middle School. And at Wenatchee High School, administrators awoke Sunday to find some anonymous do-gooder had spent the previous night clearing all the sidewalks and trouble spots around the building. Only snow shovels could be employed for the volunteer work; under school insurance and liability restrictions, no plows and snow throwers were involved.
TEASE -Coming up next, The city of Cashmere will not need to ask its union’s permission to install a face recognition timeclock at its wastewater treatment plant. Chelan and Douglas counties will continue to fund the Health District with 1-million dollars in federal COVID-related funds and The Quincy School Board has named a new superintendent. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Cashmere Timeclock -The city of Cashmere did not commit an unfair labor practice when it set about installing facial recognition software to keep track of some employees’ time. That’s the finding of the state’s Public Employee Relations Commission, which ruled in November favor of the city’s plan to use the new software for its wastewater treatment workers. Those employees are represented by the Teamsters union, which challenged the move, saying it would affect employee privacy and should have been negotiated with the union. A hearing officer with PERC denied the challenge, saying the timekeeping change was within the city’s rights. Cashmere has since negotiated a new bargaining agreement with the Teamsters to begin this year.
Health District Funding -The Chelan-Douglas Health District will start off the new year with nearly $1 million dollars in federal aid. Commissioners of the two counties voted last week to allocate $939,000 in relief from the American Rescue Plan to fund the district, which has been instrumental in battling COVID-19 infections in the Wenatchee Valley. The money comes from ARPA funds allocated to the county level. Health district administrator Luke Davies says the agency will use the money for a variety of projects, from modernizing its building and computer systems to upgrading its environmental health program.
Quincy New Superintendent -The Quincy School Board wasted little time in naming its new superintendent. On Tuesday, the board promoted Assistant Superintendent Doctor Nick Bergman to the post. It was just a week ago that Superintendent John Boyd announced he was leaving the district to take the interim superintendent position in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver. Bergman has been with the Quincy School District since 2003, starting as a substitute teacher before working his way up to elementary principal, then assistant superintendent.
TEASE -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. . .
Dedicated Doctors -When last Thursday’s record-breaking snowfall shut down just about everything in Wenatchee, there was no such option at Central Washington Hospital. In tonight’s feature story, Confluence Health CEO Doctor Peter Rutherford talked about the efforts of employees at the hospital to make sure they were there for the community. . .

TEASE – And that is a look at your local weather forecast, coming up next, tonight’s sports report with Dan Kuntz and more as the NCWLIFE Evening News continues right after this.

NCWLIFE Channel Sports

Thanks Dan.
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.