NCWLIFE Evening News January 27, 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, Wildland firefighters are mourning the death of one of their own tonight. Chelan County PUD Official says escalating tensions in the Middle East have renewed concerns about possible terrorist cyber-threats to our electrical grid, and, Douglas County PUD Commissioners are expected later today to adopt new rate increases affecting the County’s crypto currency and data processing industry.  

But first, we begin tonight. . .

people were seriously injured and transported to Central Washington Hospital after a two-car head-on collision Saturday on Highway 97, four miles north of Orondo. Orondo Fire Chief Jim Oatey said the crash took place about 6:48 p.m., near Daroga Park.

State Patrol troopers said 22-year-old Daniel Rosaslino of Orondo was driving a 1996 Honda Accord southbound in the northbound lane when he struck an oncoming 2000 Honda Odyssey, driven by 35-year-old Jamie J. Clark of Deer Park. Both drivers and a juvenile in Clark’s van suffered injuries, and had to be extricated with hydraulic tools. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Wildland firefighters are mourning the death of one of their own tonight.

Kimiko Nalle, a longtime incident commander and fire prevention specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, died on Thursday in an accident at her Blewett Pass home. Authorities said Nalle died by asphyxiation after she was buried by collected snowfall that fell from her roof.

Aside from her 26 years with the Forest Service, she was a 17-year volunteer firefighter with Chelan County Fire District 6 in Monitor. Well-wishers can contribute to a memorial fund in her honor at Cashmere Valley Bank. Kimiko Nalle was 46.

A Chelan County PUD Official says escalating tensions in the Middle East have renewed concerns about possible terrorist cyber-threats to our electrical grid. PUD General Manager Steve Wright explained in a recent NCWLIFE interview. . .

Wright discussed a range of issues including planned electric rate increases that are subject to a February 3rd public hearing in Wenatchee. Log on to for a link to the full In Focus program interview with Steve Hair.

Speaking of rate increases,Douglas County PUD Commissioners are expected later today to adopt new rate increases affecting the County’s crypto currency and data processing industry. General manager Gary Ivory said in a recent NCWLIFE interview that the board of Commissioners will take up the matter at their regular meeting today in East Wenatchee. Ivory says customers such as Sabey Corporation will see a big hike in rates due to the large amount of electricity they consume. He says the rates hikes are the result of a five-year strategic plan involving substantial public input. . .

Meanwhile, Sabey Corporation claims the higher power rates could prove too costly to continue operations. The Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority has asked for a slowdown in the planning process. The Port’s CEO, Jim Kuntz says there needs to be a closer look at the possible impacts to the County’s economy and property tax base should the data centers be forced to close.

Coming up next, I sat down with new Wenatchee Executive Services Director Laura Merrill and Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz. The Washington Department of Natural Resources has awarded $1.6 million-dollars in Forest Restoration Grants to Forest Collaboratives across the state, three of those right here in Northcentral Washington, and, It took more than a month, but an Ephrata-area family’s missing dog is finally back home. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

In a press release last week, the City of Wenatchee announced the hiring of Laura Merrill as the new Executive Services Director. Merrill served as deputy city manager in Fresno, California for just under two years. I was joined by Merrill and Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz last week for a visit where I learned that social media and a personal visit from the Mayor himself actually played a huge part in the new hiring. . .

Merrill moved to Wenatchee last November and will start work February 3rd. She replaces long-time Wenatchee Executive Services Director Allison Williams who recently accepted the job of City Manager in Moses Lake.

In order to help reduce fire risk, The Washington Department of Natural Resources has awarded $1.6 million-dollars in Forest Restoration Grants to Forest Collaboratives across Washington. Three Northcentral Washington collaboratives were awarded grant money and they include:

The Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition in Leavenworth who will receive 193,743-dollars,

the Northcentral Washington Forest Health Collaborative awarded 194,627-dollars and the Stemilt Partnership, awarded 171,947-dollars.

In all, the funding will lead to the increased health and resilience of more than 1,400 acres of forest, while surveys and other on-the-ground activities will help restore an additional 31,250 acres.

It took more than a month, but an Ephrata-area family’s missing dog is finally back home.

The Quincy Police Department tells the story of Kya, a miniature Australian Shepard who on December 15th went missing from her home on Road 11.7 Northwest and Dodson Road outside Ephrata.

Somehow, the dog made its way about four miles to Ephrata and wandered around town apparently for days before finally being picked up by Ephrata police at the middle school. A frightened and wary Kya was kept at a small shelter before being transferred to the Quincy Animal Shelter.

Quincy shelter manager Issela Navarro thought the dog looked familiar and checked an old post on the Lost and Found Pets of Grant County Facebook page. Sure enough, there was Kya. She contacted owner Billie Hall and there were tears of joy as Kya went from sad and quiet to happy and vocal as last Thursday she was reunited with her family.

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, school bus drivers working for the Wenatchee School District have spent months in negotiations for a new contract. On Friday, they took their argument to the streets. NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins was there, and has this story. . .

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 sports world and beyond are mourning the death of former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant today.  Bryant and eight other passengers were killed in a helicopter crash just outside Los Angeles Sunday morning…

Also on board the helicopter and killed in Sunday’s crash was Bryant’s 13-year old daughter Gianna.  The two were just in the Wenatchee Valley two weekends ago to watch Hailey Van Lith play a game at Cashmere High School.  Van Lith had worked out with Kobe last summer after he discovered video of her and invited Hailey to Los Angeles.  Kobe and Gianna stayed for the entire game in Cashmere on January 11th, and then visited the team in the locker room afterwards.

Authorities are reporting there was heavy fog in the area of Calabasas where the crash occurred.  Also on board the helicopter were Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, who played with Gianna on the same team.  Christina Mauser, an assistant coach at Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar, California, also perished in Sunday’s crash.  CNN is reporting that Orange County College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa were aboard the helicopter.

The group was reportedly flying to Thousand Oaks, California, for a basketball game, where Gianna was expected to play and Bryant was expected to coach.

The Wenatchee Wild, for the 8th time this season, split a pair of games, winning one and losing one over the weekend…

On Friday, Wenatchee broke out first with goals by Brian Adams and Harrison Scott to lead 2-0 in the 1st period.  But Trail reeled the Wild back in with a goal late in the first and early in the second to tie the game at 2.  Luke Ormsby gave Wenatchee the lead back at the 11:30 mark of the second, but Trail tied it just before the second intermission.  Kent Johnson scored the game-winner for the visitors midway through period number three and Trail won it 4-to-3.

On Saturday, Drake Usher helped Wenatchee out to an early lead but the Smoke Eaters tied it 27-seconds later.  The game would remain tied at 1 through regulation, an overtime and would end with a shootout.

Arch Ecker had the call on the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Network…

Wenatchee travels to Vernon Wednesday, Trail on Friday and then returns home to host Coquitlam Saturday at the Town Toyota Center.

Taking a look at the Les Schwab Women’s Basketball Scoreboard from the weekend…

Washington lost two overtime games over the weekend.  After falling to UCLA Friday in OT 85-81, the Husky ladies fell to USC yesterday in extra’s 81-78.  Washington State was swept by the LA schools Friday and Sunday.

On Saturday, #13 Gonzaga had no trouble with Loyola Marymount, winning 78-52.  Southern Utah beat Eastern Washington 71-50.  Central Washington downed Western Oregon 70-50.  And Wenatchee Valley College topped Treasure Valley 57-41.

All the mens college basketball games were played on Saturday…

#2 Gonzaga pummeled Pacific 92-59.  #23 Colorado was 14-better than Washington 76-62.  Utah stopped Washington State 76-64.  Eastern Washington used overtime to beat Southern Utah 81-78.  Western Oregon ran over Central Washington 83-66.  And Treasure Valley handed Wenatchee Valley its fourth loss of the season 74-58.

Checking the Les Schwab Prep Girls Basketball Scoreboard, first from Friday…

Eisenhower topped Eastmont 61-47.  Moses Lake downed Davis 53-36.  Selah eased past Ephrata 61-45.  Prosser popped Quincy 66-to-13.  Okanogan beat Cascade 64-23.  And Cashmere cruised by Chelan 66-39.

In girls play on Saturday, Davis edged Wenatchee 41-36.  West Valley more than doubled-up Eastmont 65-30.  Moses Lake stopped Sunnyside 65-43.  Wapato walloped Quincy 68-31.  Ellensburg beat Ephrata 71-41.  Hailey Van Lith scored 38-points as Cashmere beat Kings 62-44. Riverside Christian edged Entiat 32-28.  And Waterville-Mansfield won on homecoming night at Mansfield over Manson 69-14.

In boys basketball action Friday…

Eastmont beat Eisenhower 77-69.  Davis mauled Moses Lake 98-73.  Selah topped Ephrata 71-62.  Prosser had no trouble with Quincy, winning 75-23.  Okanogan crushed Cascade 62-44.  And Cashmere beat Chelan 62-50.

Turning to Saturday, Davis edged Wenatchee 69-60.  West Valley continued to dominate the Big-9 with a 70-48 win over Eastmont.  Sunnyside slipped past Moses Lake 69-68.  Quincy won its first game of the season, downing Wapato 49-39.  Ellensburg dispatched Ephrata 58-48.  Riverside Christian caught Entiat 66-56.  And Manson topped Waterville-Mansfield 64-46.

Here’s what we have coming up this week on the NCWLIFE Sports Broadcast Schedule…

We’ll feature Wenatchee and Eastmont girls bowling from Eastmont Lanes tomorrow night at 7.

Hockey Night Thursday is the Wild versus Surrey at 7, followed by Eastmont and Wenatchee wrestling at 9.

Grant will be courtside at Eastmont Friday for a doubleheader between the Wildcats and Moses Lake Chiefs beginning at 6:30.

Then on Saturday, Grant and Eric will team up to bring us Eastmont and Wenatchee girls at 5:30 and boys at 7:30 here on your home for LOCAL sports, 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 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.