NCWLIFE Evening News January 8th, 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 structure fire not far from the Lake Chelan Airport this morning destroyed an outbuilding and threatened a home. Grant County reported eight more COVID-19 deaths Thursday, four of them associated with an outbreak at Columbia Crest Center in Moses Lake. If you’ve been wondering how much COVID-19 vaccine is on the way, and when you might get yours, we’ll have some answers, and, The weekly measure of the Wenatchee Valley’s COVID-19 situation continues to rise.     

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The two inmates who escaped from the Okanogan County Jail remain at large tonight, three days after they slipped out through the air vent system.

Christian Edward White and Kristofer L. Wittman fled the jail early Tuesday by climbing into a vent and onto the roof. White, who’s 53 with a Rock Island address, was the last one seen after an associate gave him a ride to Omak that morning.

Both left notes for jail authorities before they escaped.  Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley said anyone who sees the men should not approach them, but contact law enforcement immediately.

A structure fire not far from the Lake Chelan Airport this morning destroyed an outbuilding and threatened a home.

Chelan Fire and Rescue responders say the fire started about 12:15 a.m. on rural Shadow Lane in a 400-square-foot shop and storage shed. It spread to another outbuilding and a stock pen, and then threatened the nearby residence before it was brought under control. The effort took just over an hour. Firefighters say the blaze may have been caused by a heat lamp. No one was injured.

Grant County reported eight more COVID-19 deaths Thursday, four of them associated with an outbreak at Columbia Crest Center in Moses Lake.

The senior home has now recorded 12 total deaths from the virus. Two of the latest Columbia Crest deaths were women in their 60s, another woman in her 80s and a man in his 70s.

The non-senior-home deaths reported by the Grant County Health District were a woman in her 40s, a man in his 60s and another man in his 80s, all from Moses Lake. The eighth death was a man in his 60s from Mattawa. All eight of the most recent deaths involved people with underlying health conditions. 91 deaths in Grant County have been attributed to the coronavirus.

If you’ve been wondering how much COVID-19 vaccine in on the way, and when you might get yours. Well, on Wednesday, the state of Washington outlined the next phases for vaccine recipients. Right now, frontline medical workers and long-term care residents have priority. If enough vaccine becomes available later this month, the Department of Health says everyone age 70 and up is next in line. . .

The weekly measure of the Wenatchee Valley’s COVID-19 situation continues to rise.

The Chelan Douglas Health District’s thermographic of current infections per 100,000 members of the population reached 693.9 this week. That’s up from New Year’s week, and the highest number since November. Health officials continue to stress the best ways to avoid infection are social distancing, wearing a facial mask if you must be among others, and washing your hands frequently.

Coming up next, The Washington State Patrol is investigating a fire that destroyed an overhead reader board on Interstate 90 east of George early this morning. The Wenatchee School District needs bus drivers, and wants new applicants for the job, and, The Washington Legislature comes back into session Monday, we will have a preview. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The Washington State Patrol is investigating a fire that destroyed an overhead reader board on Interstate 90 east of George early this morning.

The fire led to the closure of a westbound lane about 5 this morning. Traffic still was able to make it through the underpass at mile post 164 but the state Department of Transportation reported delays during the investigation.

The Wenatchee School District needs bus drivers, and wants new applicants for the job.

Transportation Director Jennifer Lagadinos says a shortage of drivers, plus an increase in routes as more students return to school this month, means there’s a sense of urgency to recruit and train new personnel. Starting pay is $21.45. You can apply to the WSD Transportation Department at 662-6168 or visit the district website.

The Washington Legislature comes back into session Monday. Despite security threats, Statehouse leaders said yesterday the session will be centered at the Capitol in Olympia, with remote participation. House Speaker Laurie Jinkins and Republican leader J.T. Wilcox say their chamber may set new rules allowing the Legislature to call itself back into session when there’s a state emergency, like the COVID-19 crisis. . .

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. . .

The evening of December 19th, Central Washington Hospital physical therapist Zoe Hedges called police to report on a concert being held at the BPOE building in Wenatchee in defiance of the state’s restrictions on large gatherings.

She later wrote a letter that was published in the Wenatchee World highly critical of the Wenatchee Police Department’s response that night. In tonight’s feature story, Hedges appeared this week on the NCWLIFE show Common Sense with Dominick Bonny and explained her frustration. Also on the show, Wenatchee Police Chief Steve Crown responded to her criticism and explained the approach being taken by his department. . .

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 WIAA executive board voted Wednesday night to restart high school sports in Washington February 1st

The decision was to reshuffle its original plan of starting with tradition winter sports and put fall sports, such as football, first.  While that may work for schools in Western Washington, weather and restart phasing would prohibit such a plan here in Eastern Washington.

NCWLIFE sports director Eric Granstrom held a video conference with three local athletic directors to learn more about the plan affecting schools here in North Central Washington…

You can see Eric’s entire conversation on our website at NCWLIFE dot com.

Taking a quick look at the Les Schwab Scoreboard in college basketball last night…

Corey Kispert had 23-points to lead No. 1 Gonzaga to an 86-69 win over BYU.

Isaac Bonton had 22-points to lead Washington State past Cal 71-60.

Washington was no match for Stanford, falling 91-75.

Coming up tomorrow, Washington plays at Cal at Noon.  Gonzaga travels to Portland at 5 while Washington State plays at Stanford at 6:30.

On the women’s side, Washington and Washington State’s games against the Arizona schools scheduled for today have been postponed due to COVID.  No. 21 Gonzaga hosts Portland at 2 o’clock tomorrow.

On the schedule for Sunday is No. 7 Arizona at Washington State at 11am followed by Arizona State at Washington at 1.

Of course, the big tilt tomorrow at Lumen Field has the Seahawks hosting the Rams in the NFC Wild Card playoffs.  Kick off is at 1:40 on FOX with the winner advancing to the Divisional Round. 

Here’s the rest of the Wild Card schedule this weekend.  It kicks off tomorrow morning at 10:05 with the Colts and Bills on CBS.  Then, after the Seahawks and Rams it’s Tampa Bay at Washington at 5:15 on NBC.

Sunday’s lineup has Tennessee hosting Baltimore at 10:05 on ESPN.  New Orleans hosts Chicago at 1:40 on CBS.  Then Pittsburgh takes on Cleveland at 5:15 on NBC.

Here’s what we have this weekend on the NCWLIFE Channel…

It starts tonight with the State 1A girls basketball semifinals from last year between Cashmere and La Salle at 7.

Then on Saturday, watch the Cashmere boy’s trophy game in Yakima against River View at 2 followed by the Cashmere girls and Lynden Christian for the state championship at 7.

Sunday is a double-feature of Wenatchee Wild Hockey against the West Kelowna Warriors from October of 2019 at 2 o’clock and 7.

Now let’s check in with Dan Kuntz for a look at what’s coming up Monday 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 weekend.