NCWLIFE Evening News January 15, 2020


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 15-year-old Wenatchee boy pleaded guilty Tuesday in the accidental shooting of his friend, but will serve probation instead of detention. A Moses Lake woman convicted of sexual abuse may not be able to return to work as a home care aide once she’s released, and, A Moses Lake man wanted on a felony warrant ran from Grant County Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday morning but couldn’t hide from K9 Chicka.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Jennifer Tyler, who’s now been fired twice from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, appeared Tuesday before the Chelan County commissioners seeking her old job back. Her union, the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, says Sheriff Brian Burnett interfered in union business when he fired Tyler last August, after she criticized a candidate for guild vice president in an email chain. Tyler told commissioners she’s been praised by her supervisors, and similar standards haven’t been applied to others on the force. . .

The commissioners must vote later this month on whether to overrule the firing and reinstate Tyler. She successfully sued the department in 2018 for retaliation and wrongful dismissal, and unsuccessfully ran against Burnett in the 2018 election for sheriff. She’s now suing again in federal court.

A 15-year-old Wenatchee boy pleaded guilty Tuesday in the accidental shooting of his friend, but will serve probation instead of detention.

The youth was playing with a handgun Halloween night in a bedroom in the 600 block of Orondo Avenue, with several other juveniles present, when he shot another 15-year-old boy in the shoulder. It was just a flesh wound, but the boys later lied to Wenatchee police and said they’d been shot at by an unknown assailant while trick-or-treating.

The youth pleaded to counts of third-degree assault, unlawful firearm possession and making a false statement to police. Court Commissioner Tracey Brandt deferred his sentence, meaning he won’t face penalties if he completes a year’s probation and serves 150 hours of community service.

A Moses Lake woman convicted of sexual abuse may not be able to return to work as a home care aide once she’s released.

The Department of Health has filed misconduct charges against 27-year-old Austin Drummonds, who pleaded guilty last August to two counts of third-degree child rape. If upheld, the administrative charges would suspend or revoke Drummond’s healthcare license. She’s serving 30 months in state prison.

A Moses Lake man wanted on a felony warrant ran from Grant County Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday morning but couldn’t hide from K9 Chicka.

28-year-old Victor Solis was pulled over while driving an ATV in the Larson Housing Community outside Moses Lake. While the deputy was checking on a warrant for Solis’ arrest, the suspect took off on foot through the neighborhood, shedding his jacket and motorcycle helmet along the way.

After deputies sealed off the area Chicka was sent in and found Solis hiding next to a shed. Medics treated Solis for a bite wound on his thigh before he was taken to jail on the felony warrant and additional charges of obstructing a law enforcement officer and criminal trespassing.

Coming up next, Good news and bad news in the latest unemployment report from the state’s Employment Security Department. Those snow-dumps that have contributed to the closing of our mountain passes have had another effect: Improved snowpack, and, It took two tries, but Maria Iniguez has officially been appointed to the Wenatchee School Board.  I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Wenatchee area unemployment rates have risen in each of the past 12 months and the pace of growth in the nonfarm labor market has lagged well behind the State’s growth pace.

Those were the latest findings from the state’s Employment Security Department in a report released on Tuesday. The Wenatchee area unemployment rate rose three-tenths of a percentage point between November 2018 and November 2019.

On the positive side, the Wenatchee Metro Civilian Labor Force has expanded, year over year, in 28 of the past 29 months and the local economy gained 200 nonfarm jobs between November 2018 and 2019. Nonfarm employment in the Wenatchee MSA increased by 0.4 percent between the Novembers of 2018 and 2019.

Those snow-dumps that have contributed to the closing of our mountain passes have had another effect: Improved snowpack.

Just two weeks ago, the water held in mountain snow in the Central Columbia Basin was just 53 percent of average.

As of yesterday, the total was 80 percent. Mountain snowfall is a reservoir for streams and rivers in our hotter, drier months, so more is better – even if it does interrupt traffic over Stevens and Snoqualmie.

It took two tries, but Maria Iniguez has officially been appointed to the Wenatchee School Board.

Iniguez, an administrative assistant at Wenatchee Valley College, originally was selected to fill a vacant board position January 9th.

At the same time, the board picked attorney Julie Norton for another board vacancy. Later, the district discovered that appointees need three board votes. Iniguez initially was picked by a 2-1 vote, with Michele Sandberg voting against her. On Tuesday, Norton was sworn in, then another vote was taken, with Iniguez receiving the necessary three votes. Iniguez will be sworn in at tonight’s board meeting.

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. . .

In tonight’s feature story, it appears Douglas County PUD Commissioners will take action later this month on substantial rate hikes affecting the areas block-chain and data processing industry. PUD Commissioners continued collecting public comment at their Monday board meeting.

General Manager Gary Ivory presented a modified proposed rate strategy that would phase in up to triple-digit rate increases over the next five years. He recommended ending the moratorium on new datacenters and block-chain processing businesses. The board also changed the resource availability on future applications.

The PUD claims the additional revenue is for needed work at the Wells Dam project. The rate issue has resulted in significant pushback from community leaders.

Sharing the concerns of the Douglas County Commissioners, Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority CEO, Jim Kuntz issued an open letter to the PUD outlining the Port’s problems with the rate increases. In the letter Kuntz calls on the PUD to do a more detailed cost analysis of revenue needed for improvements at the Wells Dam project. Douglas County Commissioner, Kyle Steinburg says he met with PUD General Manager Gary Ivory last Friday to share his concerns about the potential economic downside to raising rates on data server farms and bit coin mining. Steinburg urges more deliberation. . .

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.

Let’s dive into last night’s prep sports with the Les Schwab Prep Scoreboard, first in girl’s bowling…

Wenatchee swept two games and two bakers from Ellensburg in its non-league match at Eastmont Lanes yesterday.  Eastmont was also a non-league winner over Selah 3-to-1. 

With just a couple weeks left of the season, Wenatchee is in 1st place in the Big-9 standings at 8-and-2.  Eisenhower is second after its win over Sunnyside yesterday and is 7-and-2.  The Panthers have just two league matches remaining.  They’ll host West Valley Tuesday and then travel to Eisenhower next Thursday.  If they win both, they’ll host the Big-9 District Tournament at Eastmont Lanes.

Eastmont sits in 3rd place at 6-and-3 with three matches left.  They’ll travel to Moses Lake Thursday, then Davis Tuesday before wrapping up the season at home the 28th against Sunnyside.

Here’s the Les Schwab Prep Wrestling Scoreboard…

Wenatchee had an easy road at West Valley last night, getting 8-forfeits en route to a 69-6 win over the Rams.  In challenged matches, the Panther’s Oscar Martinez won at 132; Leo Gutzwiler pinned at 152; Orlando Rodriguez pinned at 182; and Toby Hambleton pinned at 120. 

Wenatchee is tied with Sunnyside at 3-and-oh in the Big-9 dual meet season and will host Moses Lake tomorrow night at 7.  Eric Granstrom will be mat-side to provide play-by-play on the NCWLIFE Channel.  We’ll have it on TV following Hockey Night at 9pm.

The Chiefs will be coming in after a 63-16 win over Eisenhower to improve to 3-and-1 on the dual meet season.  Moses Lake had 6-pins in the victory including one in 35-seconds at 132-pounds by Hunter White.

It came down to the final match of the night in Ellensburg, with the host Bulldogs and visiting Ephrata Tigers tied at 36-36.  That’s when Lucas Tucker pinned Joshua Wichers in the super-heavyweight match to give Ephrata the 42-36 victory.

Also in wrestling last night, Ephrata topped East Valley 60-to-24 while Lake Roosevelt won a non-leaguer at Cascade 48-25.  And the Wenatchee girls got a win at West Valley 18-to-6.

Turning to the Les Schwab Prep Girls Basketball Scoreboard…

In Central Washington Athletic Conference play, Toppenish beat Ephrata 67-55 and East Valley topped Quincy 60-to-24.

In Caribou Trail League action last night, Chelan beat up Cascade 61-to-18.

And in the North Central B League last night, Lake Roosevelt had no trouble with Manson, winning 51-to-7.  And in the battle for first place, Waterville-Mansfield beat Brewster 68-to-47.  The Shockers will have another big test on at Liberty Bell to see if they can hold onto first place.  One more game had Wilson Creek topping Entiat in girls play 49-to-38.

Toppenish put up 93-points as we turn to the Les Schwab Prep Boys Basketball Scoreboard…

The Wildcats beat the Ephrata Tigers 93-87.  Also in the CWAC last night, East Valley defended its home court with a 63-41 win over Quincy.

Cashmere got 18-points from Sam Phillips to win a non-league game at home over Cle Elum 64-51.

Chelan held Cascade to single digits in three quarters last night as the Goats beat the Kodiaks 59-34.  Nate Harding and Reed Stamps led four players in double figures, each with 13-points.  Chelan coach Jeff Pearl said, quote, we continue to shoot a dismal percentage from behind the arc, but our guys are figuring out that we’re at our best when we attack the rim, end quote.

On the B League floors last night, Lake Roosevelt handled Manson 55-29.  Brewster blew out Waterville-Mansfield 106-to-35.  And it was Entiat downing Wilson Creek 74-26.

And a reminder of what’s coming up on the NCWLIFE Sports Broadcast Schedule for the rest of the week…

It resumes tomorrow night with Hockey Night as the Wenatchee Wild host the Trail Smoke Eaters.  Arch Ecker has the call beginning at 7 o’clock.  Then, we’ll bring you Wenatchee and Moses Lake Wrestling with Eric Granstrom, after hockey at 9 o’clock.

On Friday, Grant Olson will be courtside at Eastmont High School where the Wildcats will host Sunnyside in a Big-9 doubleheader.  We’ll have the girls game at 6:30 followed by the boys at 8 o’clock.

Then on Saturday, Eric will be at it again at Wenatchee High where the Panthers will host the Eisenhower girls and boys.  We’ll get going live with the girls game at 5:30 followed by the boys game at 7:30, right here on your home for LOCAL sports, the NCWLIFE Channel.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight, if you’ve been wondering what’s going on with Stevens Pass, which has been closed since Sunday afternoon, the Washington State Department of Transportation has some photos and video showing you what they’re dealing with. . .

From the west the pass is shut down completely. Many trees have fallen and more are dangerously leaning, threatening both the roadway and power lines. And that has meant a big cleanup.

If you have a video of the day, you’d like to see on the NCWLIFE Evening News, message us on our Facebook Page at the NCWLIFE Channel.

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 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 Grant Olson, thanks for joining us and have a great night.