NCWLIFE Evening News January 21st, 2021


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, The Chelan-Douglas Health District reported Douglas County’s 10th COVID-19 death Wednesday, a man in his 50s. The Chelan-Douglas Health District said Wednesday that three communitywide COVID-19 testing events in North Central Washington have been cancelled, and, we will tell you about the state COVID task force meeting held this morning.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

A high-profile search for a domestic violence suspect in Moses Lake who was believed to be armed and dangerous ended early Wednesday afternoon when the man was tracked down by K-9 Chewbacca.

Kyle Foreman of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office said deputies initially thought 24-year-old Michael Cera Barajas was armed but he was arrested without incident.

Foreman said deputies responded just before 1 p.m. to a domestic violence report at a mobile home park in the 9,000 block of Maple Drive Northeast in which a woman was yelling at a man who had a gun. Foreman said additional callers said the man was threatening to shoot deputies when they arrived.

Barajas fled on foot and was found a short distance away from the Maple Drive home and was booked for unlawful imprisonment and domestic violence, as well as three outstanding misdemeanor warrants.

Barajas has had numerous past run-ins with law enforcement, including a 2019 incident in the parking lot at Surf and Slide Water Park when he reportedly fled deputies on foot, leaving his small son behind in his car.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District reported Douglas County’s 10th COVID-19 death Wednesday, a man in his 50s. The man died during the second week of January, the health district reported.

Douglas County has had far fewer coronavirus deaths than the other three counties in the North East region that was created by the state’s Healthy Washington reopening plan. Chelan County has had 39 Covid 19 deaths; Grant County 91 deaths; and Okanogan County 32.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District said Wednesday that three communitywide COVID-19 testing events in North Central Washington have been cancelled.

The free testing supported through the Washington National Guard had been scheduled for today, Friday and Monday in Leavenworth, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. Two Wenatchee testing sites remain open.

CAFÉ on Mission Street has testing Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and there is testing at the Town Toyota Center Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case being diagnosed in Washington. On Monday, Governor Jay Inslee promised four mass-vaccination sites would open in the coming week across the state, including Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee. But today, members of the state’s Coronavirus Task Force said they haven’t yet finalized plans with local health authorities, like the Chelan-Douglas Health District, and, many aspects of the strategy are still up in the air. . .

Coming up next, The Wenatchee School District prepares for the return of high school students to the classroom. Two Washington congressmembers are asking the new Biden administration to prioritize coronavirus testing, and, Senator Brad Hawkins held a hearing on a bill addressing power utilities’ wildfire preparation. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The Wenatchee School District is preparing for the return of secondary students to in-person classes, starting next week. Ninth graders have their orientation on Tuesday; upper grades will return to class starting Wednesday. Superintendent Paul Gordon told the school board that under the district’s health plan, high school students will need to attend in morning and afternoon groups, to maintain social distancing amid the pandemic. . .

Two Washington congressmembers are asking the new Biden administration to prioritize coronavirus testing. 8th District Representative Kim Schrier joined Suzan Del Bene from the 1st District to send a letter to the President, urging an increase in production and use of inexpensive, at-home rapid tests.

That would help defend against local outbreaks, they say, and assist businesses and schools in their recovery. The congressmembers say, QUOTE, “To get a handle on this disease, we need to starve the virus. Keeping contagious individuals out of work, school, and community settings will help accomplish this.” UNQUOTE.

Switching gears now, electric utilities in Washington are often at risk of losing lines and equipment to wildfires, and sometimes, their equipment has contributed to those fires.

After a task force made recommendations on the issue, State Senator Brad Hawkins brought a bill to the Senate natural resources committee this week, which would require cooperation between utilities and the Department of Natural Resources to head off wildfire risks. . .

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. . .

Pybus Public Market in Wenatchee was able to reopen its concourse and most of its businesses this week after it was determined it qualifies as an outdoor facility.

In tonight’s feature story, Pybus general manager Leslie Freytag told Wake Up Wenatchee Valley’s Dan Kuntz this week how they were able to do that and how the public has reacted. . .

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.

If you haven’t seen Hailey Van Lith play with her collegiate team yet, you have a chance tonight on national television…

Hailey and the Cardinals host No. 23 Syracuse tonight at 6 on ESPN-2. Van Lith is averaging 12.8-points a game and 6.3 rebounds.  She’s atop the entire freshman class in the ACC with her performance so far this year.

Coming up tomorrow, Washington State travels to face No. 13 Oregon at 5 o’clock on the Pac-12 Network while Washington plays at Oregon State at 7.

No. 20 Gonzaga will host BYU Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock in the McCarthy Athletic Center.

The Washington men snapped an 8-game losing streak last night by topping Colorado 84-80 at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle…

Marcus Tsohonis (suh-HO-nis) scored a career-high 27-points off the bench while Erik Stevenson chipped in 17.  Coach Mike Hopkins says it’s nice to finally get over the hump and into the win column…

Washington improved to 1-and-7 in Pac-12 play with the win.

Coming up tonight, Washington State hosts Utah at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum at 7 o’clock.  The game can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.

The Saturday schedule has Colorado visiting the Cougars at 5 o’clock on ESPN-2.  No. 1 Gonzaga hosts Pacific at 7 o’clock in the McCarthy Athletic Center with the game televised on ROOT Sports.

The Huskies wrap up the weekend Sunday at home against Utah.  Tip time is 1 o’clock on ESPN-U.

Tonight is Hockey Night on the NCWLIFE Channel…

The Wenatchee Wild played host to the Merritt Centennials on November 1st, 2019 at the Town Toyota Center.  Arch Ecker had the call on the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Network…

Be sure to tune in tonight to see if the Wild were able to break the 2-2 tie and come away with the victory.  The pucks drops at 7 o’clock here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

And again, here’s a peak at the rest of our sports schedule here on NCWLIFE.  Wrestling is tomorrow night at 7 between Wenatchee and Moses Lake.  Eastmont hosts Sunnyside in basketball Saturday with the girls at 2 and boys at 7.  The on Sunday, the Wenatchee Wild take on Merritt at 2 and Penticton at 7.

The Seahawks have announced their team honors, recognizing the outstanding play of 10 individuals…

Russell Wilson was voted the team’s offensive MVP while Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright share the defensive MVP honors.  Punter Michael Dickson was the Special Teams MVP.  Best rookie awards went to Damien Lewis on offense and Jordyn Brooks on defense. 

Best newcomer should be no surprise, strong safety Jamal Adams.  Carlos Dunlap was voted best in-season acquisition.  Wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was selected the breakout player of the year while D.J. Reed was the unsung hero.  Defensive end L.J. Collier was honored as most-improved player on the team.

Thanks Eric.

Some good news as we leave you tonight, Chelan PUD commissioners voted Tuesday to double the donations customer-owners have given since March 2020 to Helping Hand, a fund that helps low-income people cover their utility bills.

The $40,565-dollar match will be transferred into the Helping Hand fund from the PUD’s Public Power Benefit program, bringing the total of available aid to more than $128,000. Earlier this month, PUD staff reported to commissioners that 257 residential customers owed a collective $113,400-dollars in past due balances.

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.