NCWLIFE Evening News July 1st, 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, A Tuesday evening brushfire threatened homes near the town of Coulee Dam. An Army sergeant is charged with multiple charges of voyeurism for allegedly spying on housemates with a hidden camera, while they vacationed in Chelan County, and, The Washington State Charter School Commission given its approval for Wenatchee’s proposed charter school.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

5 people were injured and traffic was tied up for nearly 3 hours yesterday afternoon after a 4-vehicle crash on Highway 2 just north of East Wenatchee. 

According to the Washington State Patrol, at 3:38 yesterday afternoon a disabled vehicle that was blocking westbound traffic caused the traffic behind it to slow down. A large flatbed truck being driven by 20-year-old Bryce Mallet of Newman Lake failed to slow in time and rear-ended a Ford Crown Victoria that subsequently struck the car in front of it.

The flatbed then crossed into the opposing lane and struck an SUV with 5 occupants head-on.  One of the passengers in the SUV, 53-year-old Manuel Leonardo-Flores of Mexico, was transferred to Central Washington Hospital before being airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. The other 4 occupants were transported to Central Washington Hospital with various injuries. Neither Mallet nor the 6 occupants in the other vehicles were injured. 3 of the 5 injured in the SUV were not wearing seat belts. Mallet faces charges of driving too fast for conditions.

A Tuesday evening brushfire threatened homes near the town of Coulee Dam, starting about 7:30 p.m.

Ultimately no structures were lost. The fire burned onto the Colville Reservation, where crews from the tribes were still working today to contain further spread.

The size was still listed as one acre this afternoon. The cause is not yet known.

An Army sergeant is charged with multiple charges of voyeurism for allegedly spying on housemates with a hidden camera, while they vacationed in Chelan County.

Steven Jacob Olsen, who’s 29, faces five felony counts after vacationers found a hidden camera in the bathroom of their rental home last December. Sheriff’s deputies who reviewed the camera card said it contained videos of people using the bathroom at the rental house, located up Blewett Pass. Olsen is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He was summoned to appear in Chelan County court today. Deputies said the U.S. Army is conducting a parallel investigation.

The Washington State Charter School Commission given its approval for Wenatchee’s proposed charter school.

Pinnacles Prep received the word last week that it can go forward with its plans to have Wenatchee’s first charter school up and operating by the fall of 2021. The school will begin with grades 6 and 7 but eventually serve grades 6 through 12.

Former Wenatchee School District science coordinator Jill Fineis will be the school’s first principal.

Coming up next,  A U.S. Postal Service employee in Wenatchee has tested positive for COVID-19. Retired General and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis is a lifelong Tri-Cities resident, and he has specific thoughts about wearing a face covering in public. Shawn Bradford of Wenatchee would like to know who or what has been showing up in his back yard at night…we will tell you about it, and, Two sheriff’s sergeants had their last day of service yesterday, one in Chelan County, and one in Douglas County. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The U.S. Postal Service says a Wenatchee staff member has fallen ill with COVID-19. USPS spokesman Ernie Swanson says the employee is not a mail carrier, and is recovering at home.

All areas where the employee worked have been sanitized, and no other staffers have shown symptoms. The discovery is not expected to affect local mail service. The Chelan and Douglas County region is quickly moving toward 600 confirmed cases of coronavirus. As of this morning, 587 cases have been detected, almost half of them among people between the ages of 20 and 39. Nine patients have died.

If you won’t take the advice of the Governor, or the health Secretary, or your doctor, how about a decorated military hero. Retired General and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis is a lifelong Tri-Cities resident, and he has these thoughts about wearing a face covering in public. . .

Shawn Bradford of Wenatchee would like to know who or what has been showing up in his back yard at night. Bradford, a Louisiana native who lives on Canyon Creek Drive, said Tuesday night was the second time his outside camera has recorded a mysterious light. . .

Two sheriff’s sergeants had their last day of service yesterday, one in Chelan County, and one in Douglas County. Sgt. Andy Zimmerman stepped down after 30 years patrolling with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office. And, Douglas County Sgt. Rich Poppie said farewell by radio after more than 20 years. . .

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 N CWLIFE Evening News. . .

Fireworks are illegal in the city of Wenatchee but with Walla Walla Point Park closed Fourth of July evening, police are expecting a surge in illegal fireworks throughout the city. Captain Edgar Reinfeld told Wake Up Wenatchee Valley’s Dan Kuntz they’ll likely be writing a lot of tickets this year. . .

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.null

The Mariners restart training camp today at T-Mobile Park amid the coronavirus pandemic.  The organization has taken extraordinary steps to provide coaches and players a pristine environment in which to work out and prepare for a shortened season.  A season the team feels can be a real chance to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2001…

Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto says it’s a little unnerving not to have a firm schedule yet, but that baseball is doing what it can to protect the health and safety of its players and coaches…

The worldwide pandemic will have a large impact on four baseball communities in Washington.  On Tuesday, officials with Minor League Baseball confirmed that the 2020 season has been canceled…

The press release, which shuts down the season for the Everett AquaSox, Tacoma Rainiers, Tri-City Dust Devils and Spokane Indians, said “Major League Baseball has informed Minor League Baseball that it will not be providing its affiliated teams with players this season.”

This will be the first time without summer baseball in Everett since 1984 and in Spokane since 1957.  Everett, Spokane and Tacoma futures are relatively safe moving forward.  The Tri-City Dust Devils were already facing a possible loss of affiliation from baseball in 2019.  With the COVID cancellation, it could spell the end for the franchise.

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to plenty of speculation on potential changes to the start of training camp, the NFL announced Monday via a tweet, that camp will begin as scheduled on July 28. As usual, rookies can report earlier…

While the Seahawks had rookies report with the rest of the team for nine seasons under Pete Carroll and John Schneider, rookies reported a week early last year. Carroll said last year that the early start for rookies was “to give them a runway to prepare for camp. We feel like if we can make sure they’re physically ready after the six-week break that we can have a better shot of making them physically prepared for the workload they’re going to get (in camp).”

Washington State University’s athletic budget was in real trouble BEFORE the pandemic came along.  Now, under the veil of COVID, the deficit at WSU could jump to 102-million dollars by 2022…

According to an article in the Spokesman Review, at a recent Board of Regents virtual meeting, the dire numbers were announced without considering a hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  According to the report, WSU athletics is facing a 93-point-5 million-dollar shortfall this year, climbing to 102-point-7 million in 2022.

Athletic Director Pat Chun said his department has modeled out a negative 15-percent economic impact factor for the upcoming school year, which would translate to about 6.9-million dollars in lost potential revenue.  That’s IF a football season occurs.

To handle the deficit in the short-term, WSU will siphon 63.3-million from Housing and Dining; 6.3-million from Parking and Transportation; 10-million from Miscellaneous Auxiliaries and Self-Sustaining Activities; and another 14-million from other departments.

A stretch of the Upper Columbia River opened for sockeye salmon fishing this morning…

I counted six boats trolling below Rocky Reach Dam this morning shortly after daylight.  As you can see, several of the spillways are open with tons of turbulent water coming through.  That makes trolling the left shoreline on your screen very difficult.  Anglers may have better luck in the slack water above the dam.  There were three or four boats fishing that area in the noon hour today looking for sockeye.

I got a report from below Wanapum that limits were coming in, but boaters were battling turbulent water AND high winds down there.  The limit is 2 sockeye per day with a minimum of 12-inches in length.  Any other salmon caught have to be released.

The waters that opened today are from Priest Rapids Dam to below Wells Dam.  The Brewster Pool will open July 16th.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight, Knapps Hill Tunnel on Highway 97A is expected to reopen Friday after being closed since June 15th because of rock slide danger. Lauren Loebsack of Wash-DOT said work on the hillside stabilization should be finished by Thursday and the tunnel should be reopened sometime that night, but certainly by Friday morning.

The project was one of three along 97A to deal with a growing problem of large boulders sliding into the highway. Work on the other areas was completed June 25th.

Though work on all three sites had been in the works for months, the Knapps Hill Tunnel was closed early on an emergency basis after repeated slides.

 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.