NCWLIFE Evening News July 10th, 2020

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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, The accused gunman in Monday’s drive-by shooting in a central Wenatchee neighborhood is now charged with first-degree assault. The Omak man who made online death threats against Washington sheriffs was back before a judge on Wednesday, where prosecutors argued he should be jailed again until his sentencing. Dr. Jason Lake takes over at the end of August as Confluence Health’s chief medical officer, replacing Dr. Stu Freed. Meanwhile the steady drumbeat of COVID-19 marches on, and, Grant County reported its seventh death from COVID-19 Thursday, a Moses Lake man in his 70s.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

A decomposed human body was found Wednesday night on the banks of the Okanogan River south of Tonasket.

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office said at 8:16 p.m. they received a report that someone had found the body near the intersection of Indian Springs Road and Highway 7, about three miles south of Tonasket. The body had apparently had been in the water and became visible as the water receded. Because of exposure to water and the state of decomposition, deputies have not yet identified the person, the sheriff’s office said. The Okanogan County Coroner’s office is working to help determine the cause of death and identity of the person.

The accused gunman in Monday’s drive-by shooting in a central Wenatchee neighborhood is now charged with first-degree assault. . .

Police say 20-year-old Alexander Lopez of Yakima admitted firing several shots from a rifle at another moving vehicle, and wounding a passenger, in the area of Douglas and Idaho streets. Prosecutors charged him Thursday with two counts of assault, plus one charge of drive-by shooting. The alleged driver of the Ford Explorer he was riding in, Juan Mendoza-Rodriguez, faces identical charges. Both remain jailed on $1 million bond. They’re due to be arraigned July 20th. The wounded victim, a 26-year-old Wenatchee man, was shot in the leg but released from Central Washington Hospital the same day.

The Omak man who made online death threats against Washington sheriffs was back before a judge on Wednesday, where prosecutors argued he should be jailed again until his sentencing.

24-year-old Jayden Ledford pleaded guilty in February to threatening Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and others over their opposition to Washington gun law I-1639.

He’s supposed to be sentenced in September, but last month he was arrested after a domestic violence incident, and federal prosecutors said that violates his conditions of release. U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rogers ordered Ledford held in the Spokane County Jail for two days. He’s due to be released today into the custody of his social worker. It’s Ledford’s second reported violation; in November he used a smartphone to access the Internet against a judge’s orders. He’s likely to be sentenced to five years of federal probation.

Dr. Jason Lake takes over at the end of August as Confluence Health’s chief medical officer, replacing Dr. Stu Freed. Meanwhile the steady drumbeat of COVID-19 marches on.

Central Washington Hospital cared for 19 patients on Wednesday who were suffering from the pandemic virus. By Thursday, that number was 18. But Dr. Lake says the surge in infections is exactly what Confluence Health feared when the pandemic began back in March, and they hoped it wouldn’t show until later in the fall.

Grant County reported its seventh death from COVID-19 Thursday, a Moses Lake man in his 70s. The regional spike in cases continues with Grant County reporting 28 new positive tests.

Chelan County reported 23 new cases Friday and Douglas County 17 more. Chelan and Douglas counties have had a total of nine people die from the virus but the last death was back on May 13th.

Coming up next, A pair of kayakers had to be rescued Wednesday after being stranded in the middle of the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth. An ordinance that would have exempted churches from Wenatchee noise restrictions is off the table, at least through the summer. An alternate route to relieve North Wenatchee traffic has failed for a third time to attract the federal funding it needs. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

A pair of kayakers had to be rescued Wednesday after being stranded in the middle of the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth.

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Swift Water Rescue Team said the kayakers were on a boulder in the middle of the river and had to be taken by raft to safety. Chelan County Fire District 3 and Cascade Ambulance also responded.

An ordinance that would have exempted churches from Wenatchee noise restrictions is off the table, at least through the summer. It’s the second time a church-based exemption failed to pass, after the city put interim noise controls in place last year. Grace City Church in lower Sunnyslope has led the drive for an exemption. Now the council will have to consider whether to put a new noise ordinance in place, once its current interim controls lapse August 28th. . .

An alternate route to relieve North Wenatchee traffic has failed for a third time to attract the federal funding it needs.

The city of Wenatchee applied this year for more than $122 million toward the Confluence Parkway project, but was turned down this month. The plan includes a north-south bypass route running parallel to North Wenatchee Avenue, as well as a second bridge across the Wenatchee River.

The project remains a big part of Wenatchee’s 20-year transportation plan, and officials say they’ll try to for different source of funding in the next grant cycle.

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 largest population of a rare and endangered flower called the Checkered-mallow is found in Camas Meadows off Blewett Pass. In tonight’s feature story, the state Department of Natural Resources explains how its crews are monitoring and protecting the flowers. . .

And that is a look at your local weather forecast, coming up next, tonight’s sports report with Dan Kuntz and more as the NCWLIFE Evening News continues right after this.

The Northwest Athletic Conference – the association of junior colleges in Washington, North Idaho, Oregon and British Columbia – announced Thursday that it will push most fall and winter sports to the spring semester due to coronavirus concerns and that the revised schedules will be reduced to eliminate lengthy road trips.

Thirty-six member schools comprise the NWAC, including Wenatchee Valley College.

The announcement means that the two fall sports fielded by Wenatchee Valley College – men’s and women’s soccer – will begin on February 3rd instead of mid-August and will conclude in early June while men’s and women’s basketball will begin Jan. 16 with championships slated for May 14-16.  There’s no word on when the two spring sports – baseball and softball – will begin and end.

One member school of the NWAC – Yakima Valley College – announced last week it was canceling it’s entire fall sports schedule.

The Big Ten announced Thursday that fall sports teams, including football, will play only conference opponents. The Big Ten is the first Power Five conference to announce an adjustment to its college football season because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Ivy League announced Wednesday that it will not hold sports during the fall semester, becoming the first Division I conference to suspend its football season this year.

The Big Ten said in a statement that the conference is “also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate.”

The Big Ten’s decision also affects men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross-country and field hockey. Decisions about other sports, the conference said, will continue to be evaluated.

Big Ten football programs – like the Pac-12 – play nine conference and three nonconference opponents. The ramifications of this decision will stretch across the college football landscape. Other conferences could follow suit. If not, the other schools previously planning to face Big Ten opponents will have to adjust their schedules or play fewer games than anticipated.

Some Big Ten programs were scheduled to face fellow Power Five schools during their nonconference slates. Among the matchups that will be lost are Michigan at Washington on September 5th, Ohio State at Oregon and Penn State at Virginia Tech on September 12th and   Notre Dame against Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on October 3rd.

The NFL has banned jersey exchanges in 2020 as the league attempts to play through the coronavirus pandemic, according to a set of protocols distributed to teams Wednesday and obtained Thursday by ESPN.

All postgame interactions with less than 6 feet of separation are prohibited.

Other highlights of the policy include:

• Coaches and players who aren’t likely to appear in the game are “strongly encouraged” but not required to wear masks on the sideline.

• Players and coaches must submit to multiple temperature checks before games and cannot participate if they have a fever of more than 100.4 degrees.

• Every effort must be made to space lockers 6 feet apart in both the home and visitors locker room. Plexiglass partitions are also an option.

• Players are required to spend the night before games at the team hotel, even if they are playing in their home stadium.

These policies will take effect for preseason and regular-season games. The NFL is planning to have two preseason games for each team, but the NFLPA has endorsed a training camp with no preseason games.

Once again a friendly reminder our cameras will be at the Wenatchee valley Super Oval tomorrow night . . .

WVSO’s next race is this Saturdayand we’ll be there broadcasting it LIVE on NCWLIFE Channel.  The Thunder Cars and Pro Late Models will be racing on North Valley Mechanical Night…

They’ll be joined by the Mountain Dew Jr. Late Models, the Plumb Perfect Roadrunners, Northwest Vintage Modifieds and Dwarf Cars.

Once again this weekend, there will be no fans allowed in the grandstands. 

Thanks Dan.

As we leave you tonight, if you happened to be up at 3:30 this morning you had a chance to see Comet NEOWISE.

Vladimir Steblina, an amateur astronomer, was able to get a photo of the comet from the deck of his home in the Burch Mountain area this morning using a hand-held camera with a 300-millimeter lens.

When the skies are right, the chunk of ancient ice from the outer solar system has been visible to the naked eye since it passed the sun on July 3rd. Currently, the best chance of seeing NEOWISE is in the hour or so before sunrise but it is expected to become visible shortly after sunset starting July 12th. After that, it will continue its celestial journey and not be back in Earth’s vicinity for another 6,800 years.

If you have a video of the day, you’d like to see on the NCWLIFE Evening News, message us on our Facebook Page at the NCWLIFE Channel.

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.