NCWLIFE Evening News July 13th, 2021


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, The North Cascades Highway is expected to remain closed through the weekend as fire crews continue to battle the fast-growing Varden Fire./ Traffic was limited to two lanes on Highway 97 just south of the Blewett Pass summit overnight after a southbound semi with a trailer load of apples rolled Monday afternoon./ Get ready to pay even more for a new home in the Wenatchee Valley, and, Two lawsuits challenging the new capital gains tax have combined into one in Douglas County.

But first, our top story tonight. . .

One of three lightning-caused fires on the Colville Indian Reservation forced the evacuation of the entire town of Nespelem Monday night.

Seven homes and seven other structures were reportedly destroyed by the fire which has now grown to 15,000 acres. The Red Cross has set up an evacuation shelter at Coulee Dam High School.

This morning, state resources were assigned to the Chuweah Creek Fire, which was reported to have burned more than 1,000 acres. The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation said the fire is being driven by strong winds toward Nespelem and the Colville Indian Agency, both of which are under Level 3 … get out now … evacuation notices. All three fires were first reported shortly after 7 p.m. and at 9:30 p.m. the evacuation notices were issued.

The North Cascades Highway is expected to remain closed through the weekend as fire crews continue to battle the fast-growing Varden Fire about 20 miles west of Winthrop.

The fire is burning in timber and had grown to more than 1,000 acres by this morning. The fire is the biggest of three that started Sunday evening along Highway 20. The Washington State Department of Transportation ordered the scenic pass closed Monday morning and advised travelers to use Stevens Pass to cross the Cascades.

Traffic was limited to two lanes on Highway 97 just south of the Blewett Pass summit overnight after a southbound semi with a trailer load of apples rolled Monday afternoon.

The Washington State Patrol said nobody was injured in the rollover just before 1 p.m. One of the northbound lanes had to be used for southbound traffic through the night. The State Patrol said the tractor had to be separated and removed and the trailer emptied of its apples before the lane could be reopened.

Get ready to pay even more for a new home in the Wenatchee Valley. In the latest Pacific Appraisal Associates real estate snapshot, the median sales price for a house in the Wenatchee Market in June was just over 425,000-dollars, that’s up a whopping 21-percent compared to June of 2020 when the price was 350,400-dollars.

Active home listings were way down compared to last year with 36 last month compared to 115 a year ago. The bright spot in the report was that total home sales in the area went up slightly compared to last year with 95 sold last month and 92 in 2020.

Two lawsuits opposing Washington’s new capital gains tax are now one.

Douglas County Judge Brian Huber ordered both cases consolidated into a single suit today in a Superior Court hearing. However, he’s still being asked to rule on whether the case should be moved to Thurston County, or even be dismissed altogether.

Those issues will be decided after a future hearing. Opponents say the tax on sales of stocks and bonds over a quarter million dollars in value is an unconstitutional income tax. The tax was passed by the Legislature and is scheduled to go into effect January 1st.

Coming up next, The city of Wenatchee plans to revise intersections around the Chelan County Courthouse complex./ Federal funding bills moving through Congress will include a $941,000 investment in affordable housing for Leavenworth./ Later this month, 4th District representative Dan Newhouse will dispatch his mobile office to the East Wenatchee city hall, and, the NCESD has named its regional teacher of the year. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Crosswalks and intersections around the Chelan County complex will look a bit different in coming years. The city of Wenatchee struck a $181,000 contract to install a raised intersection at Douglas Street, plus an all-way stop at the intersection of Washington, Buchanan and King Streets. The measure is designed to calm traffic around the county buildings. It’s funded entirely with a state transportation improvement grant, plus a $45,000 contribution from Chelan County.

Federal funding bills moving through Congress will include a $941,000 investment in affordable housing for Leavenworth. The funds, secured by Congresswoman Kim Schrier, would go into a land trust program to build three homes for Leavenworth workers who couldn’t otherwise afford housing in the city. It would also help develop recreation for families. It’s part of more than $10 million Schrier requested to help pay for community projects in her district.

Congressman Dan Newhouse represents Douglas County and parts north, but his main offices are in Yakima and the Tri-Cities. Later this month, the 4th District representative will dispatch his mobile office to the East Wenatchee city hall.

The congressman himself won’t necessarily be there, but congressional staff will be on hand to help with questions or issues related to federal agencies. The East Wenatchee city hall mobile event takes place form 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, July 26th.

Wenatchee schoolteacher Tina Nicpan Brown is the Regional Teacher of the Year for the North Central Educational Service District.

She teaches remote students through the Wenatchee Internet Academy. It’s Nicpan Brown’s latest educational honor .. she’s also a finalist for a presidential award for excellence in teaching math and science.

The four-county district also recognized its Classified Employee of the Year – she’s Adriana Vanbianchi, the school nurse for every school in the Methow Valley School District. She was honored for exceptional work with students and families during 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 historic Wells House on the campus of Wenatchee Valley College has long been one of the area’s popular wedding venues. In tonight’s feature story, the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center is working toward preserving memories of all the weddings as explained by Wells House volunteers Teri and Gene. . . 

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.

Baseball celebrated the long ball with its annual Home Run Derby last night at Coors Field.  After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID, the Met’s Pete Alonso was eager to defend his title among the eight competitors.  He eased his way into the finals to face Baltimore’s Trey Mancini.  The Polar Bear would not be denied…

Alonso’s 23-home runs in the finals gave him a total of 74 on the night.  The 91st Midsummer Classic will be played today at Coors Field at 4:30.

Seattle’s lone representative in today’s All-Star Game is in Denver, but he won’t play.  Yusei Kikuchi was activated from the COVID-19 injured list Monday following an issue over the weekend.  He is fully vaccinated and twice tested negative in order to attend the festivities.

Kikuchi has a message for Mariner fans…

Kikuchi is 6-and-4 in 16-starts this season for Seattle with a 3.48 earned run average.  This is his first selection to the MLB All Star game after being selected three times in Japan in the Nippon Professional Baseball League.

While baseball honored the long ball last night at Coors Field, the Mariners honed in on pitching in Day 2 of the MLB Draft…

After taking shortstop Edwin Arroyo in the 2nd round Monday, Seattle drafted four, right-handed pitchers including high schooler Michael Morales in the 3rd round.  Colin Davis and Spencer Packard were outfield selections by Seattle to go along with catcher Andy Thomas out of Baylor.

The West Coast League had 18 former players selected in baseball’s draft Sunday and Monday, one of which a former Wenatchee AppleSox.  J.T. Schwartz played here in the summer of 2018 out of UCLA.  He was selected by the New York Mets as a potential future first-baseman in the 4th round.

The 2021 version of the Wenatchee AppleSox are on the road in Bellingham to begin a three-game series with the Bells tonight…

Wenatchee is 10-and-17 overall on the season and oh-and-three to start the second half of the schedule.  The Bells come in at 13-and-17 overall but Wenatchee took two of three in their first meeting of the season.

Radio “Voice” of the Wenatchee AppleSox Joel Norman and relief pitcher Chase Grillo joined Dan Kuntz on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley prior to departing for Bellingham and said this is a must-have series for Wenatchee…

You can watch Joel and Chase’s interview with Dan on our website under Full Episodes.  You can hear Joel’s call of tonight’s game throughout North Central Washington on Sunny FM radio.

Here’s a look at the rest of the West Coast League schedule for tonight.  The 6:35 games have Port Angeles at Ridgefield; Corvallis entertains the Driveline Entitlers; Medford visits Bend; and Yakima Valley hosts the Highline Bears.  Walla Walla travels to Portland tonight at 7:05.

The Seahawks have announced that fans will be able to attend training camp for the first time since 2019…

A total of 12 public Training Camp practices will be open to fans beginning July 28th through August 12th.  Eleven of those will be held at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.  The team will also host a special offsite practive at Lumen Field August 8th.

Fans interested in attending Seahawks Training Camp, presented by Safeway, must register through the team’s website at Seahawks dot com slash training camp beginning tomorrow morning at 10am.  Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Unfortunately, due to the NFL’s Training Camp policy, fans and players will have to remain at least 20-feet apart, which means no autographs.

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.