NCWLIFE Evening News January 26th, 2021

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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 wrong-way driver in a stolen vehicle left Interstate 90 west of Moses Lake and led Grant County Sheriff’s deputies on an erratic chase Saturday morning. A Cashmere woman who sped away from police last year and crashed into another vehicle was sentenced to three months in jail yesterday, and, We will have dramatic body cam video from the Moses Lake Police Department that shows the early Monday morning arrest of 22-year-old Brian Smith.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Today was Day One for Wenatchee’s first mass-vaccination site, put in place at Town Toyota Center to inoculate qualifying patients against COVID-19. National Guard troops, state incident management teams and the Chelan-Douglas Health District are spearheading the operation. NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins was there. . .

A wrong-way driver in a stolen vehicle left Interstate 90 west of Moses Lake and led Grant County Sheriff’s deputies on an erratic chase Saturday morning.

The sheriff’s office said shortly before 6 a.m. a deputy saw the 2001 GMC Sonoma pickup driving the wrong way as it exited I-90 at Dodson Road. The deputy tried to stop the pickup but the driver, identified as 33-year-old Carlos Santacruz of Moses Lake, fled east on North Frontage Road.

Santacruz reportedly was driving erratically and changing speeds. Several times he slowed and tried to motion with his arm for pursuing deputies to go around him, the sheriff’s department said.

After successfully avoiding spike strips at North Frontage Road and Road A Northeast, Santacruz reportedly drove onto a dirt road and surrendered. Santacruz faces charges of felony eluding and possession of a stolen vehicle.

A Cashmere woman who sped away from police last year and crashed into another vehicle was sentenced to three months in jail yesterday.

23-year-old Jessica Hailey Fisk pleaded guilty in Douglas County Superior Court to fleeing police, hit and run, driving on a suspended license and reckless endangerment for the incident in January 2020. Fisk refused to stop her passenger car for a patrol officer in Rock Island, and struck an unoccupied car during the chase.

Police said they found 25 grams of meth packaged in the vehicle, but a drug possession charge was dropped when she entered her plea. Fisk now faces trial in March in Spokane County, for allegedly causing a three-car accident that hospitalized a family last year.

Body cam video from the Moses Lake Police Department shows the early Monday morning arrest of 22-year-old Brian Smith.

Police say Smith was burglarizing a storage unit facility in the 1600 block of West Broadway but fled before police arrived. K-9 Rex then followed his trail where he was found hiding in brush along the lake. Police say several warnings were issued before Rex was sent in to detain Smith.

After being treated for minor dog bite injuries, Smith was taken to the Grant County Jail where he awaits burglary charges. Here is body-cam video of the arrest provided by the Moses Lake Police Department. . .

Coming up next, Fifty-one people have now died of COVID-19 in the Wenatchee Valley with 2 more added yesterday. The Grant County Health District reported seven new COVID-19 deaths Monday, and, 37 candidates from Eastmont and Wenatchee High Schools began a two-day process Monday to select the Apple Blossom Top 10 Royalty for the 2021 festival. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Fifty-one people have now died of COVID-19 in the Wenatchee Valley.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District added two new deaths to the roster of those lost to the coronavirus since it arrived in Washington one year ago. Both are male Chelan County residents, one in his 70s and one in his 80s. That brings the total number of individuals who’ve died from COVID-19 to 36 in Chelan County, and 15 in Douglas County. District health officer Dr. Malcolm Butler says the number of people who’ve tested positive for the virus in the two counties amounts to about 7 percent of the Valley’s overall population.

The Grant County Health District reported seven new COVID-19 deaths Monday, including two associated with Lake Ridge Center in Moses Lake, bringing the number of deaths at that senior home to 20 since an outbreak at the facility in November.

The latest Lake Ridge Center deaths were a woman in her 70s and a man in his 80s. The additional five deaths were not associated with a long-term care facility and included three Moses Lake men, two in their 60s and another in his 80s.

Also, a Soap Lake man in his 60s and a Coulee City woman in her 70s were among the latest COVID-19 deaths. Grant County has attributed 98 deaths to the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

Okanogan County also reported another COVID-19 death Monday, a woman, bringing that county’s total deaths from the virus to 33.

37 candidates from Eastmont and Wenatchee High Schools began a two-day process Monday to select the Apple Blossom Top 10 Royalty for the 2021 festival. Five out-of-town judges were the only audience at the Numerica Performing Arts Center for each of the candidates to introduce themselves and answer questions off of their biographies. They also had the chance to throw in a fun fact at the end. . .

Monday’s portion of the judging was 15-percent of their scores. Due to COVID, speeches that are normally conducted at their high schools with the student body voting will instead be delivered to the judges today and make up 85-percent of their scores.

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, vaccines are here, but so is a new, more infectious variant of COVID-19 that poses an enhanced public health threat. B117, the mutated strain discovered last month in the United Kingdom has now been detected in Snohomish County.

On Monday, Dr. Malcolm Butler, the health officer for Chelan and Douglas counties, told the board of health it’s time to redouble local prevention efforts to keep ourselves and others healthy.

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.

A backup offensive tackle with the Seahawks has been jailed for suspicion of domestic violence…

Chad Wheeler remained in the King County Jail Monday night after he was arrested Saturday morning.  According to ESPN’s Brady Henderson, Wheeler is accused of assaulting a woman in an apartment in Kent.  The police report says Wheeler is accused of throwing a woman on a bed, strangling her before she lost consciousness and later picking a lock on a door to a bathroom, where the woman had fled to call 9-1-1 after she regained consciousness.

The Seahawks said in a statement obtained by ESPN, quote, we are aware of the situation and still gathering information, end quote.

Wheeler appeared in five games with Seattle this season.  He is a restricted free agent.

The Seattle Sounders FC announced Monday that head coach Brian Schmetzer has agreed to a contract extension…

The Seattle native has led the Sounders to four MLS Cup appearances and two titles since taking over in the summer of 2016.

Sounders FC owner Arian Hanauer said, quote, Brian Schmetzer and I have an almost 20-year history of working together.  Although I never doubted Brian would be back in 2021 and beyond, I am grateful he will continue to lead the Sounders FC for years to come, end quote.

Schmetzer said, quote, It is with great pride that I will be able to continue coaching a club with such a rich history and tradition and positive community influence.  I’d like to thank club ownership for this opportunity, as well as all of the current and former players, coaches and staff that have helped build something here I’m very proud of, end quote.

Here’s what is coming up in men’s college basketball

Washington State plays at Colorado tomorrow night at 6 on ESPN-U.  No. 1 Gonzaga travels to San Diego Thursday night at 6.  After a day off, the Bulldogs will play at Pepperdine Saturday at 5 on ESPN-2.  Washington will host Washington State Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena at 5 o’clock on the Pac-12 Network.

On the women’s side this week…

Washington makes up its game at Oregon State today at 4 o’clock.  Washington State will host No. 6 Stanford tomorrow night at 6:30 on the Pac-12 Network.  No. 18 Gonzaga plays at Pacific Thursday at 7.

The busy women’s schedule continues on Friday when Washington State will host No. 6 Stanford once again in Pullman at Noon.  Cal has COVID running through its program so its weekend games against Washington and Washington State had to be postponed.

No. 18 Gonzaga visits Saint Mary’s Saturday at 1 o’clock.  Washington hosts the Cardinal Sunday at 1 o’clock on the Pac-12 Network.

In the only game in the NHL Monday, Vancouver clobbered Ottowa 7-to-1…

Brandon Sutter had a hat trick for the Canucks in the victory in Vancouver.

The early games have Pittsburgh in Boston; the Rangers in Buffalo; New Jersey hosts Philadelphia; the Islanders are in Washington; and Columbus hosts Nashville.  The 5 o’clock games have Edmonton in Winnipeg while Minnesota hosts Los Angeles.  Detroit skates at Dallas at 5:30.  The late games have St. Louis at Vegas; Toronto in Calgary; Colorado hosting San Jose; and Anaheim in Phoenix to face Arizona.

While the Buccaneers and Chiefs are preparing for Super Bowl 55 in two weeks, the Seahawks are resting and retooling for next season.  The search for a new offensive coordinator continues.  And there are many questions about several players who have become unrestricted free agents.

And while the road ahead is a little blurry, the road behind can be seen clearly in the rear-view mirror.  Seattle offered up its top 10 plays of the 2020 season.  Today, we’ll show you the first 5 of the Top 10…

We’ll show you the Top 5 plays of the Seahawks season tomorrow.

Thanks 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 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.