NCWLIFE Evening News July 15th, 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, Despite having trouble gaining access to the property, firefighters were able to get quick control over a brush and a debris fire off Stemilt Creek Road south of Wenatchee Tuesday afternoon. A Wenatchee man sentenced to 20 days in jail is the one of the last members of a Wenatchee Valley gambling ring brought to justice, and, An East Wenatchee man faces possible charges of cyberstalking after he allegedly harassed his 15-year-old former girlfriend.  

But first, we begin tonight. . .

An agricultural worker in his 30s has been identified as Okanogan County’s third person to die from COVID-19. Okanogan County Public Health reported Tuesday that the man, a resident of Mexico, had no chronic or underlying health issues when he died July 8th.

The county has seen a surge in positive tests recently, including 51 new cases Monday and Tuesday and 147 positive tests in the past two weeks. Brewster residents accounted for 46 of the latest 71 positive tests.

Despite having trouble gaining access to the property, firefighters were able to get quick control over a brush and a debris fire off Stemilt Creek Road south of Wenatchee Tuesday afternoon. The debris and log pile burned just outside a residence in the 43-hundred block of Stemilt Creek Road before being doused.

The fire was first reported at 3:23 p.m. and firefighters could only use brush trucks on an old bridge to gain access. Chelan County Fire District 1 spokeswoman Kay McKellar said the fire was contained by 3:54 p.m. and mop-up completed by 5:21 p.m. Douglas County Fire District 2 also responded to the fire. The cause is under investigation.

A Wenatchee man sentenced to 20 days in jail is the one of the last members of a Wenatchee Valley gambling ring brought to justice.

Sergio Pena Hernandez Sr. pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of second-degree professional gambling. He admitted his part in a ring that operated out of several businesses in Wenatchee, Cashmere and Quincy, and laundered an estimated $364,000 in illegal betting proceeds from 2013 to 2017. The ringleader, Jose Guadalupe Torres of East Wenatchee, was sentenced in March to six months. Three other people have also entered pleas in the case, which came to light in 2018. The group gave odds and paid out winnings on international soccer matches.

An East Wenatchee man faces possible charges of cyberstalking after he allegedly harassed his 15-year-old former girlfriend. Police say Daniel Ramirez Hernandez, who’s 18, sent threatening Snapchat messages to the girl, as well as following her, parking outside her Wenatchee home and making unwanted phone calls.

Police arrested Ramirez Tuesday at an apartment in the 1100 block of Ninth Street, and said they also found two firearms, plus marijuana extract packaged for sale there. Ramirez was jailed and due to appear in Chelan County Superior Court this afternoon.

Coming up next, Eastmont School District Superintendent Garn Christensen says the district is working with the Chelan-Douglas Health District and state in preparing for the return of classroom instruction this fall. Slidewaters, Lake Chelan’s popular waterpark, lost a major case yesterday in federal court, and now its up to a Chelan County court to decide whether it can remain open, and, K-9 Ruben is back on duty for the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office after undergoing surgery in June for a cancerous tumor on his right rear leg. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Eastmont School District Superintendent Garn Christensen says the district is working with the Chelan-Douglas Health District and state in preparing for the return of classroom instruction this fall.

Christensen said Tuesday that part of that planning includes the possible return to remote learning if that becomes necessary. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Jay Inslee ordered all public and private schools closed March 13th. . .

Slidewaters, Lake Chelan’s popular waterpark, lost a major case yesterday in federal court, and now its up to a Chelan County court to decide whether it can remain open. Slidewaters owners have defied Gov. Jay Inslee’s executive orders closing most businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and filed suit last month to overturn them.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice turned down their initial request, and today he threw out their lawsuit altogether, saying the governor’s orders are lawful, and the Department of Labor and Industries has the power to enforce them.

The state now will ask a Chelan County Superior Court judge to declare the park has violated the COVID-19 Safe Start guidelines. Slidewaters reopened June 20th, even though Chelan County remains in Phase 1 of the Safe Start guidelines. Under Safe Start, waterparks are barred from operating until Phase 3.

K-9 Ruben is back on duty for the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office after undergoing surgery in June for a cancerous tumor on his right rear leg. The sheriff’s office reports the drug-detection dog had his stitches removed Tuesday and has already made a successful drug find.

The biopsy of his lump did come back as sarcoma, so he is starting medication to reduce the potential spread of the cancer. On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office reported that Ruben was welcomed back to the office with a round of belly rubs.

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 Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center may be closed to the public during the pandemic, but they’ve pulled out all the stops to keep their collection virtually accessible.

In tonight’s feature story, the museum has produced a series of six videos so far called Curators Corner, with collections coordinator Anna Spencer showing off treasures from Wenatchee’s past. Today, with local sports on the back burner, she offers a look back at the baseball legacy of the Wenatchee Chiefs. . .

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.

For the first time since March, Eastmont High School held sports activities for student athletes Monday.  Athletic director Russ Waterman said even though it was just a socially-distanced workout, it was great to see the kids again…

Despite Douglas County only being at a modified Phase 1 of the state’s restart program, Eastmont got the go-ahead from local and state health officials to begin summer sports programs with strict protocols…

The only other school district to return-to-play this week is Cashmere.  Wenatchee chose not to return until Chelan County enters Phase 2 of the state’s restart plan.

Tuesday’s scrimmage at T-Mobile Park for the Mariners included power at the plate from the young and not-so-young.  Evan White had a 1st inning home run for the Steelheads followed by a 2-run shot by Kyle Seager for the Pilots.  Aaron Goldschmidt and Gary Taylor were looking on for a sparse YouTube audience…

It was only a 5-inning scrimmage, but the Steelheads came out on top 4-3.

An intriguing piece of restarting baseball was the choice by players whether to play or not.  In the end, it was an individual choice.  For young players like Seattle outfielder Jake Fraley, who has two young children, it wasn’t an easy decision to come by but he’s proud to be playing…

Fraley hopes to be part of the mix when Seattle travels to Houston next Friday to begin the season.  Mariner fans can watch the daily scrimmages from T-Mobile Park on Seattle’s YouTube page.  Just search Seattle Mariners.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight,High School graduates received a special video message from actor Jack Black during their parking lot graduation ceremony last Saturday. Black, star of School of Rock among other films, is no stranger to the Okanogan County community where his father and stepmother live. . .

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 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.