NCWLIFE Evening News January 7th, 2022

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Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. I’m Grant Olson. Before we get to what’s making news, let’s take a quick look outside our weather window.
And now, A few of the stories we’re following for you tonight, Just as Wednesday’s historic snowstorm was descending on the region, firefighters in Soap Lake responded to a structure fire that destroyed a mobile home. A former maintenance worker for Chelan Fruit is accused of using that company’s credit cards to buy himself $8,000 worth of home fixtures and lawn furnishings and Chelan County sheriff’s deputies and other police agencies are seeking two people, suspected in the theft of a pickup truck and snowmobile on Christmas Eve.
But first, our top story tonight. . .
Leavenworth Emergency -The record snowstorm isolated many people in their homes and left heavy snow load on their roofs. In the town of Leavenworth, Mayor Carl Florea today declared a disaster within the city limits, saying the city might request aid from the National Guard to help clear snow and check on residents unable to leave their homes. The declaration also allows the city to issue no-bid contracts, for work that’s needed to clear streets and sidewalks that still remained impassable as of today. Over the last two days, Leavenworth has received 36 inches up to 48 inches of snow in some areas.
Soap Lake Fire -Just as Wednesday’s historic snowstorm was descending on the region, firefighters in Soap Lake responded to a structure fire that destroyed a mobile home. Grant County Fire District 7 said the fire was reported about 5:30 p.m. and Fire Chief Grant Sheppard arrived to find the mobile home fully engulfed. Numerous engines including two from Ephrata were used to battle the blaze at 630 2nd Avenue Northeast for more than two hours and were able to stop it from spreading to nearby properties. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Chelan Fruit Fraud -A former maintenance worker for Chelan Fruit is accused of using that company’s credit cards to buy himself $8,000 worth of home fixtures and lawn furnishings. Prosecutors charged William Henry Pruter on January 5th with 14 criminal counts, including second-degree theft, identity theft and burglary. The 43-year-old Pruter allegedly stole credit cards from the Chelan Fruit office last May and used them to make about $6,000 in purchases from the Chelan Walmart, including electronics and a backyard gazebo. He’s also accused of misusing company cards earlier last year to the tune of about $2,000. Chelan Fruit fired Pruter after the alleged thefts. He has not been arrested, but is sought on a warrant from the Chelan County sheriff’s office.
Pickup Thieves -Chelan County sheriff’s deputies and other police agencies are seeking two people, suspected in the theft of a pickup truck and snowmobile on Christmas Eve. Authorities say the vehicles were reported missing from a home on West Street in Leavenworth about 10:15 p.m., and found abandoned two days later near Easton, about 65 miles away. The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office says these two people were seen riding the stolen snowmobile in that area on Christmas Day. Any information on the two suspects can be phoned in to the Chelan County office at 663-9911.
TEASE -Coming up next, The number of new COVID-19 cases more than doubled in Chelan and Douglas counties this week./ We will bring you the latest COVID briefing from the State Department of Health./ Thursday’s harsh weather led to a power outage in the Coles Corner and Lake Wenatchee areas early this morning, and, A Wenatchee Valley Mall storefront will soon be empty. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Thermographic -The number of new COVID-19 cases more than doubled in Chelan and Douglas counties this week. The Chelan-Douglas Health District reported Thursday that the new case rate was at 784 per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks. That’s up from the 320 new cases per 100,000 residents reported last week. The omicron variant of COVID is being blamed for most of the dramatic jump in new cases locally. Prior to the arrival of that variant new cases had been on a steady decline in Chelan and Douglas counties. As recently as December 20th the rate for the two counties had dipped to 214 new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous two weeks.
State COVID Briefing -Washington’s chief science officer for the Department of Health says COVID-19 cases have risen dramatically in recent weeks, and the blame goes to the omicron variant. Health officials continue to urge vaccination, masking and social distancing as key tools to help stop the pandemic. . .
Power Outage Prep -Thursday’s harsh weather led to a power outage in the Coles Corner and Lake Wenatchee areas early this morning. The Chelan County PUD says it’s seen very few outages during the winter emergency, but more are possible with continuing snow, rain and changing temperatures. To be ready when the lights go out, they advise taking a few steps:
• Charge all cell phones, reusable batteries, laptops and other devices.
• Gather extra water, non-perishable food, flashlights and other emergency supplies.
• Prepare an alternative plan for power-dependent medical devices and medications that require refrigeration.
Local utilities reiterate: If you see a power line that’s fallen to the ground, DO NOT go near it. Call 911 instead.
Bed Bath & Beyond Closing -A Wenatchee Valley Mall storefront will soon be empty. Yesterday, Bed Bath & Beyond, the houseware retail chain, released a list of 37 stores slated for closure, including the East Wenatchee location. Stores in Seattle, Longview and Union Gap will also be shuttered. The New Jersey-based company says the closures are part of a corporate streamlining, which will ultimately include 200 stores nationwide. The precise shutdown date for the East Wenatchee store isn’t known, but most of the stores on the list will close by the end of February.
TEASE -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. . .
Paws For Pets -Each week, NCWLIFE’s Rachael Mandelis introduces us to a new pet available for adoption at the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society. This week we are reintroduced to Yukon. . .

TEASE – 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.

NCWLIFE Channel Sports

As the Seahawks prepare for their final game of the season at Arizona Sunday, speculation about the future of Russell Wilson continues to swirl. Will he remain in Seattle? Will he consider offers from other teams? Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith hit him squarely with the question Thursday during a press conference…
Wilson was recognized this week with the Bart Starr Award for outstanding character, integrity and leadership on and off the field. He says he’s humbled by the award, especially considering the hardest part of this season was not being able to play…
Seattle heads for Arizona tomorrow to face the Cardinals on Sunday. While the offense has been performing better down the stretch, D.K. Metcalf says it’s taken an entire season to work out the kinks in Shane Waldron’s offense…
Waldron says he appreciates the consistent support and approach under the guidance of Pete Carroll…
Antonio Brown made headlines last weekend by walking off the field in the middle of Tampa Bay’s game against the Jets. The team let him go while he claims they tried to make him play through an injury. D.K. Metcalf says every NFL player feels the pressure to play through mental and physical roadblocks…
Seattle and Arizona kick off at 1:25 Sunday afternoon on FOX.

College football fans get two more chances to watch games over the next three days…
Montana State and North Dakota State play for the FCS Championship tomorrow morning in Frisco, Texas. The Bison are looking for their 9th national championship while the Bobcats look to win their 4th and first since 1984. Kickoff is set for 9 o’clock tomorrow morning on ESPN2.
The other big game for the Division I National Championship between Alabama and George is Monday at 5 o’clock on ESPN.

Checking the Les Schwab Men’s College Basketball Scoreboard…
Despite 20-points each from Linton Acliese and Rylan Bergerson, Eastern Washington fell to Montana 90-to-78.
Washington State lost another close Pac-12 game, this time at Colorado 83-78. Tyrell Roberts had 25-points to lead the Cougs.
Washington had 5-players in double-figures, led by the 16-points from Dajon Davis and 15 from Terrell Brown, Jr. in a 74-68 win over Utah.
Coming up tomorrow, WSU plays at Utah at 3 o’clock on the Pac-12 Network. Eastern hosts Idaho at 3:30 on ESPN-plus. 4th-ranked Gonzaga returns from a COVID layoff to host Pepperdine at 6 o’clock on ROOT Sports.
Washington will visit Colorado Sunday at 2 on ESPN-2.

Hailey Van Lith had another great game to help 3rd-ranked Louisville down Pittsburgh 81-39…
The sophomore guard from Cashmere had 12-points along with 4-assists and 3-steals to help the Cardinals improve to 13-and-1.
Montana beat Eastern Washington 68-50. The Eagles were led by the 21-points of Jadia Martin.
Melody Kempton pumped in 25-points to lead Gonzaga over Portland in WCC play 76-65.
Coming up today, Washington’s game at Arizona State this morning was postponed. Washington State visits 4th-ranked Arizona at 5 on the Pac-12 Network.
Gonzaga’s game with Santa Clara tomorrow has been postponed while Eastern Washington hosts Idaho at 1 o’clock.
Sunday’s Cougar and Sun Devil game has been postponed while Hailey’s Louisville Cardinals visit Miami at 9am.

There will be no high school sports this weekend…
The inclement weather, school closures and impassible roads have created an impossible scenario for local districts to navigate. They hope to get things back on track next week.

Meanwhile, the Wenatchee Wild find themselves on a pause in BCHL play…
The league announced yesterday that Wenatchee and Powell River have gone into the league’s COVID protocol…
As a result, games this weekend in Coquitlam and Chilliwack have been postponed. The BCHL said in a release: quote The Powell River Kings and Wenatchee Wild have paused all team activities for the next five days, per BCHL Covid-19 protocol and provincial health regulations, end quote.
British Columbia was extremely conservative with its COVID protocols a season ago which prevented Wenatchee from traveling north of the border. We shall see where this goes over the next few weeks.

Thanks Eric.
WHS Bus Drivers-A feel-good story as we leave you tonight. . .schools in Wenatchee were closed both Thursday and today in the wake of record-breaking snow but the district’s buses were still in action lending a hand to stranded travelers. After the Wenatchee Police Department asked for help, the district’s drivers on Thursday sprang into action and transported 145 stranded Amtrak passengers from the Wenatchee train station to local hotels. The Empire Builder train was finally able to continue on from Wenatchee to Chicago at about midnight last night after being stuck here about 24 hours.
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.