NCWLIFE Evening News January 6th, 2021

1120
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, Like a scene from Die Hard, the two inmates who escaped yesterday from the Okanogan County Jail apparently get out through the ventilation system. Wenatchee police are looking for a woman who they say hit a utility pole and another vehicle early this morning on Miller Street before fleeing on foot, and, The Grand Coulee man who allegedly tried to set fire to Spokane Democratic headquarters last month has now been charged in federal court.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new strategy for pandemic recovery Tuesday, allowing local economies to reopen on a regional basis as their COVID-19 statistics improve. Instead of county-by-county improvement, the Healthy Washington plan creates eight regions where coronavirus factors will determine how quickly commerce and gatherings can resume. Inslee outlined the plan in a press conference Tuesday:

Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Grant counties are bundled into a North Central region under the plan. The measures would go into effect Monday.

Like a scene from Die Hard, the two inmates who escaped yesterday from the Okanogan County Jail apparently get out through the ventilation system.

53-year-old Christian Edward White of Rock Island and 28-year-old Kristofer L. Wittman of Bellingham are still sought by police after disappearing from the facility early Monday. They’re believed to have exited through the HVAC system after prying open a vent in the shower area.

Deputies say the two men left notes for their jailers: White’s note allegedly said he was afraid of catching COVID-19 while incarcerated. He was last seen near Omak. The two were last known to be wearing blue inmate clothing with white long underwear, but Sheriff Tony Hawley says they may have changed outfits. He said anyone who sees the men should not approach them, but contact law enforcement immediately.

Wenatchee police are looking for a woman who they say hit a utility pole and another vehicle early this morning on Miller Street before fleeing on foot.

Captain Edgar Reinfield said police believe they know the identity of the driver of the Ford Escape and now it’s just a matter of locating her. Miller Street between Orchard Street and First Street was closed for a short time after the 5:20 a.m. accident while crews removed some telecom lines that were knocked down in the wreck.

Reinfeld said after hitting the power pole, the Escape then struck a Honda Accord. The driver of the Accord sustained minor injuries that were treated at the scene.

The Grand Coulee man who allegedly tried to set fire to Spokane Democratic headquarters last month has now been charged in federal court.

A grand jury indicted 45-year-old Peter James Yeager on Tuesday on a charge of “damage by fire to a building used in interstate commerce.” Yeager is accused of warning people out of the building by saying he had a bomb, then starting a small fire using gasoline, oil, a roll of toilet paper and a camping lighter. He did not have any explosives. Spokane police said Yeager told them he wanted to strike out against elites within the government system. He could face up to a 20-year prison sentence, and remains held in the Spokane County Jail on half a million dollars’ bond.

Coming up next, The number of COVID-19 patients being treated at Central Washington Hospital has fallen off in the past two weeks but the number of those patients in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit has reached maximum-capacity. Confluence Health has now administered 96 percent of the COVID-19 vaccine doses supplied through the state by the CDC, and, Starting in mid-January, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will conduct mule deer captures from helicopters in Chelan and Okanogan Counties. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The number of COVID-19 patients being treated at Central Washington Hospital has fallen off in the past two weeks but the number of those patients in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit has reached maximum-capacity.

Confluence Health said of the 29 coronavirus patients at the hospital as of Tuesday, 14 were in the ICU, with all but one of those patients on a ventilator. In mid-December the hospital had as many as 37 COVID-19 patients at one time but the number of patients in ICU never reached double digits.

Confluence Public Information Officer Andrew Canning said with all the COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients the ICU has been at maximum capacity for the past two days, meaning some patients requiring ICU care had to be sent to other hospitals.

Confluence Health has now administered 96 percent of the COVID-19 vaccine doses supplied through the state by the CDC.

That’s 2,067 out of 2,150 doses as of yesterday, and it’s just the first round of the two-part Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, designated for frontline healthcare workers and first responders like police and paramedics. Confluence spokesman Andrew Canning says the second round of Pfizer inoculations is due to begin tomorrow, giving those workers the best possible immunization against the coronavirus.

Earlier this week, Confluence ran short on its initial supply, but then received 700 doses of Moderna vaccine from CHI Franciscan health system in Federal Way that would otherwise have gone to surplus. Walgreens is managing initial vaccinations of residents in local long-term care centers.

Starting in mid-January, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will conduct mule deer captures from helicopters in three study areas along the east slope of the Cascades in Okanogan, Chelan, Kittitas, and Klickitat counties, and in the Blue Mountain counties of Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield.

The department will use contracted professional crews to capture approximately 125 adult female mule deer across all areas. To make the captures as safe as possible for both deer and humans, humane capture methods and experienced crews are always used.

The deer will be fitted with GPS/satellite tracking collars. This will allow researchers to track them to evaluate movement and migration patterns and learn more about habitat use and survival of these mule deer populations.

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, the owner of Worx gyms in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee, says his fitness centers will reopen Monday on a limited basis under Governor Jay Inslee’s new COVID-19 guidelines announced yesterday.

But Blair McHaney, who is president of the Washington Fitness Alliance, said that while the new Healthy Washington guidelines are a win for fitness centers, Inslee didn’t go far enough in helping other struggling businesses. . .

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.

We could know a lot more about the future of high school sports in Washington later today…

The WIAA executive board is meeting this afternoon to update its season schedules.  The goal is to provide student-athletes a chance to participate in every sport and activity possible based on mandatory COVID-19 guidelines.

The meeting was delayed until today for the WIAA to get a chance to review new guidelines released by the governor’s office.  Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee announced a new strategy, breaking the state into eight regions for reopening rather than going county-by-county.  The so-called “Healthy Washington” initiative is set to being Monday with each region starting at a Level 1 re-start phase.

It’s likely Seattle will face the Rams with backup quarterback John Wolford under center Saturday in the NFC Wild Card playoffs.  Wolford led the Rams past Arizona last week in a must-win game to get into the playoffs. 

Linebacker Bobby Wagner says Wolford provides Los Angeles with a different look than Jared Goff…

Coach Pete Carroll was impressed by the quarterback out of Wake Forrest, who’s previous playing time was with the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football League…

The Rams high-powered offense has gone without a touchdown over the past two weeks.  K.J. Wright says Seattle’s defense hopes to continue that trend on Saturday…

Wright is in the middle of one of his best seasons as a pro.  The 10th year man is second on the team in tackles with 86-combined.  Defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. says K.J. is the kind of player a coach dreams of having…

Offensively, Seattle’s production has regressed since the first half of the season.  Through the first 8-games, the Seahawks offense averaged 415-yards per game, 298 of that through the air.  Since then, Seattle’s passing attack is down nearly 100-yards per game.

Coach Pete Carroll says he thinks it’s more about the defenses they’ve faced rather than a problem with the offense…

The Seahawks and Rams will kickoff at 1:40 Saturday in Seattle in the NFC Wild Card playoffs.  You can watch the game live on FOX.

Here’s what we have coming up this on the NCWLIFE Channel as far as sports on TV…

Hockey Night tomorrow night features the Wenatchee Wild and Merritt Centennials from last September in the Town Toyota Center.  The puck drops at 7 o’clock.

It’s hard to believe, but the last high school sports we had in Washington was last March in the State 1A basketball tournament.  Friday, we’ll re-air the NFHS broadcast of the Cashmere girls in the semifinals against La Salle.  Watch that Friday at 7.

Then on Saturday, we’re back to the SunDome in Yakima for the Cashmere boy’s trophy game against River View at 2 o’clock.  That’s followed by the Cashmere girls against Lynden Christian for the State Title at 7.

Thanks Eric.

As we leave you tonight, the Apple Blossom Royalty Selection Pageant on February 27th won’t have a live audience but festival organizers are hoping people will still show their support by buying fan cutouts.

The cutouts are 50-dollars each, with the buyer also listed as a Friend of the Festival sponsor in the pageant program. The goal is to sell 400 of the cutouts, which might look something like the example of recognizable faces we created.

You may see your cutout during the live NCWLIFE broadcast of the pageant, which will also be streamed live on Facebook. Instructions for buying a cutout and for submitting your photo are available at apple-blossom-dot-org.

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.