NCWLIFE Evening News January 14th, 2021

1915
video

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, An Ephrata man must serve 20 years in federal prison after his plea last spring to drug possession, distribution and conspiracy charges. The Washington State Patrol says a driver on Interstate 82 south of Ellensburg fell asleep this morning and crashed his Jeep Cherokee into the back of a semi, setting off a fire that quickly consumed the car, and, the victim of a fraudulent East Wenatchee financial advisor is now filing suit against his business.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The second of two inmates who fled the Okanogan County Jail last week was rearrested Wednesday afternoon near a Columbia River boat launch in southern Chelan County.

28-year-old Kristofer L. Wittman of Bellingham was captured near Yoyo Rock, about 10 miles south of Malaga.

Wittman and another inmate climbed out of the jail’s shower area through an HVAC vent on Jan. 5. His partner 53-year-old Christian Edward White of Rock Island was caught in Portland on Tuesday.

A Cashmere woman, 64-year-old Teresa Lancaster is accused of aiding in the escape. Police said Wittman was hiding in an abandoned trailer off the end of Tarpiscan Road when he was recaptured.

An Ephrata man must serve 20 years in federal prison after his plea last spring to drug possession, distribution and conspiracy charges.

34-year-old Joshua Isaac Stine was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Spokane. Stine was a ringleader of more than a dozen people arrested in Moses Lake in July 2019 after their indictments by a federal grand jury.

Stine was found to have multiple pounds of methamphetamine and an arsenal of weapons when police searched his home, including assault rifles.

His fellow ringleader, 40-year-old Moses Lake resident Luis Manuel Farias-Cardenas, entered a guilty plea last September and is due to be sentenced in March. When Stine finally leaves prison, he must serve another 10 years on supervision.

The Washington State Patrol says a driver on Interstate 82 south of Ellensburg fell asleep this morning and crashed his Jeep Cherokee into the back of a semi, setting off a fire that quickly consumed the car.

The driver managed to escape with only minor injuries but the wreck closed the interstate for about an hour as emergency crews responded. Trooper John Bryant said it’s a reminder to all drivers to take a break, get some fresh air, some caffeine or just stay home if you’re feeling tired.

One victim of an alleged fraud scheme by an East Wenatchee wealth advisor is suing over the mismanagement.

53-year-old Gregory D. Lone of Paramount Financial Advisors is charged with five counts of first-degree theft in Douglas County. State and local investigators say he defrauded seven local clients for nearly half a million dollars in a Ponzi scheme.

One of those clients filed suit Monday, accusing Lone’s company of 12 different violations including fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and securities violations. Lone’s criminal trial date will be set two weeks from now. He remains free on bond.

Coming up next, New COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties decreased for the first time in three weeks in the latest thermographic released Wednesday by the Chelan-Douglas Health District. We’ll have an update from the state COVID-19 task force. Governor Jay Inslee was sworn in yesterday for his 3rd term as Governor, and, The Northwest Avalanche Center said an assessment Wednesday of avalanche conditions on Stevens Pass showed uncommonly dangerous conditions. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

New COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties decreased for the first time in three weeks in the latest thermographic released Wednesday by the Chelan-Douglas Health District.

Over the past two weeks, the two counties have had 635 cases per hundred thousand people, down from the 693 reported last week. Updated numbers this morning showed even more decline, to 604 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks.

The counties’ rate peaked at over 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents in the health district’s December 9th report, then showed a decline in cases for several weeks before small increases in late December and early January.

Though the new cases of coronavirus in the region have mostly held steady or shown declines, the number of patients being treated at Central Washington remains high. Hospital officials have said the intensive care unit at the hospital is at maximum capacity. As of Wednesday, the hospital was treating 34 COVID-19 patients, with 10 in the ICU.

The Trump administration surprised state health officials on Tuesday with new guidelines that expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone age 65 and older. Washington is still in Phase 1A of its COVID-19 inoculation program, focusing on health workers and residents in long-term care facilities. The state’s Joint Coronavirus Task force said Wednesday the problem isn’t the phased program, but the supply of vaccine made available by the federal government. . .

Governor Jay Inslee greeted Washingtonians on Wednesday for the start of his third term. Like all statewide elected officials, he swore his oath in a socially distanced ceremony because of the pandemic. Later, Inslee gave his inaugural address to the Legislature in a prerecorded video. . .

The Northwest Avalanche Center said an assessment Wednesday of avalanche conditions on Stevens Pass showed uncommonly dangerous conditions.

The Cascades have been hit by heavy snow in recent weeks, then warming conditions that make the hillsides ripe for avalanches.

Avalanche specialist Josh Hirshberg said during his assessment every time a slope emerged from the clouds he could see it covered in avalanche debris and crowns that were too numerous to count. He said snowpack tests also showed poor snow bonding.

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. . .

The Wenatchee School District is asking voters for approval of its operating levy in a February 9th election.

In tonight’s feature story, Superintendent Doctor Paul Gordon and school board member Martin Barron told Wake Up Wenatchee Valley’s Dan Kuntz the levy will not increase the tax rate voters pay for schools but will maintain essential services not funded by the state. . .

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 NHL dropped the puck on a shortened season last night with a quintuple of games…

In Philadelphia, the Flyers protected home ice with a 6-3 win over the visiting Penguins.  Philly shared the load with goals scored by six different players.

Morgan Reiller had the game-winner 3:24 into overtime as Toronto stopped Montreal 5-4.  William Nylander scored the first two goals for the Leafs.

Tampa Bay jumped out to a 3-goal lead in the first period and coasted to a 5-1 win over Chicago.

Vancouver traveled to Edmonton and handed the Oilers a 5-3 defeat.  Brock Boeser scored two goals in the third for the Canucks.

Oscar Sundqvist scored bookend goals for St. Louis as the Blues beat Colorado 4-1.

The rest of the league begins the season today with Washington skating at Buffalo.  New Jersey hosts Boston.  The Islanders and Rangers are playing in New York.  Carolina travels to Detroit.  Nashville hosts Columbus.  Calgary’s at Winnipeg.  Vancouver skates at Edmonton.  Arizona hosts San Jose.  Anaheim is at Vegas.  And the Kings host the Minnesota Wild.

You may ask, Eric, how come you’re telling us about the NHL?  Well, thanks for asking.  In less than a year from now, we’ll be talking about the Seattle Kraken in the NHL, so it’s best we start talking about the league now.

Men’s college basketball returns today…

Washington State plays at UCLA at 2 o’clock on FS-1.  Washington travels to USC at 5:30 on the Pac-12 Network.  Then at 6, its No. 1 Gonzaga hosting Pepperdine on ESPN.

On the women’s floor Thursday, #20 Gonzaga travels to Santa Clara at 6 o’clock.  Then on Friday, #25 Washington State plays at USC at 4:30 on the Pac-12 Network.  Washington’s game at #8 UCLA has been postponed because of COVID in the Husky program.

It’s hard to believe but we’re only a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training for the Mariners in Arizona.  According to the Spring Training Connection, Seattle’s report day for pitchers and catchers is February 12th in Peoria.  The first workout is the following day…

Position players will report on February 17th and the first game of the spring will be against San Diego on February 27th.

As Seattle prepares for what it hopes will be a full spring training and 162-regular season schedule, some paperwork needs to be done first.  Friday is the deadline for clubs and their unsigned arbitration-eligible players.  For the Mariners, that includes shortstop J.P. Crawford, reliever Rafael Montero and catcher Tom Murphy.

About the time the Mariners are scheduled to take the field against the Padres, outdoor enthusiasts in the Wenatchee Valley were hoping to attend the annual Sportsmen Show at the Town Toyota Center.  Unfortunately, that won’t happen this year…

Amy and John Gustin, the new owners of the Wenatchee Valley Sportsmen Show, have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s show.  It was scheduled for the Town Toyota Center February 26th through the 28th.  Amy tells us with the future so cloudy under the COVID pandemic, they felt having a show with large groups of people indoors was just not going to happen.

The Gustin’s purchased the Wenatchee Valley Sportsmen Show from Merle Schuyler (shoe-ler) and Schuyler Productions in 2019.  They had originally also purchased the sports shows in Yakima and Tri-Cities, but turned them back to Schuyler when COVID-19 shut everything down. 

Amy says the show will be back bigger and better than ever in 2022.  She says she and John have already locked in their dates with the Town Toyota Center for next year.

Other outdoor shows are also either cancelling or going virtual this year.  The Seattle Boat Show, for example, will be all online starting January 28th.

Tonight is Hockey Night on the NCWLIFE Channel…

We’re going back to October of 2019 for this one as the Wenatchee Wild hosted the West Kelowna Warriors.  Wenatchee’s offense was in high gear for this one.  Catch all the action with the puck dropping at 7 o’clock tonight as Arch Ecker provides the play-by-play here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

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 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.