NCWLIFE Evening News July 21tst, 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, Firefighters were able to quickly get control over a pair of brush fires along highways in Douglas and Grant counties on Monday. Despite a wide-ranging search, the body of a Kent man allegedly killed by the subject of a three-week manhunt off Blewett Pass still has not been found, and, Grant County rescue personnel sprang into action Sunday after receiving a report of a rolled vehicle down a ravine outside Ephrata.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Rescuers used an improvised bridge Monday to rescue four teens off a rock ledge in Chelan Gorge after they were trapped by a rush of water that was released from nearby Lake Chelan Dam. Here’s more on the unbelievable rescue. . .

Firefighters were able to quickly get control over a pair of brush fires along highways in Douglas and Grant counties on Monday.

The first was along Highway 28 and Nature Shore Drive near Rock Island about 10:30 a.m. Crews from Douglas County Fire District 2 and Chelan County Fire District 1 were able to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby structures or closer to the highway.

Then early yesterday afternoon, Grant County Fire District 13 and Ephrata firefighters responded to quick-moving wildfire at Highway 282 and Highway 17.

Bureau of Land Management Fire and Aviation aircraft and U.S. Forest Service crews helped contain the wind-drive fire to 20 acres and prevent it from getting near homes. The cause of both fires remains under investigation.

Despite a wide-ranging search, the body of a Kent man allegedly killed by the subject of a three-week manhunt off Blewett Pass still has not been found.

Chris Whitsett, an investigator with the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, said Monday that as soon as murder suspect Jorge Alcantara-Gonzalez was captured June 14th, a massive search was launched for the body of 41-year-old Ian Eckles over a very large area.

Eckles disappeared May 17th while on his way to meet friends in Liberty for a turkey hunt. Investigators said when they found Eckles’ car off Blewett Pass near Mineral Springs it became clear he had been murdered by Alcantara-Gonzalez.

Officials and his family and friends continue to look for Eckles. Whitsett said Alcantara-Gonzalez has not provided any information on the whereabouts of Eckles. Forensic investigators are examining electronic devices found on Alcantara-Gonzalez for information that might help the search.

Grant County rescue personnel sprang into action Sunday after receiving a report of a rolled vehicle down a ravine outside Ephrata.

Grant County Fire District 13 firefighters called in the Grant County Fire District 5 technical rescue team to help them reach the vehicle at the bottom of the 50-foot ravine. But when they got there, the car was empty.

Kyle Foreman of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office said the registered owner sold the car over a year ago but the new owner apparently didn’t complete the sale by registering the vehicle. He said the circumstances of the crash and fate of the driver are unknown and the vehicle is considered abandoned.

Coming up next, Firefighters from Twisp, Winthrop and Carlton responded to a wildland fire near the intersection of Highway 153 and Highway 20 south of Twisp late Monday night. The Wenatchee School District is offering an online-only option for students of parents who may not want their children returning to the classroom in August, and, Congresswoman Kim Schrier will hold a virtual town hall meeting in Wenatchee coming up on Thursday. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.\

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Firefighters from Twisp, Winthrop and Carlton responded to a wildland fire near the intersection of Highway 153 and Highway 20 south of Twisp late Monday night.

The fire was reported about 10:30 p.m. and spread from an overlook down a steep embankment before crews were able to limit it to about an acre.

The state Department of Natural Resources took control of the scene from local firefighters about 1 Tuesday morning and the cause is being investigated.

The Wenatchee School District is offering an online-only option for students of parents who may not want their children returning to the classroom in August.

Called the Wenatchee Internet Academy, it is full-time virtual instruction for kindergarten through 12th grade. The district said in a press release Monday that parents can choose between the online instruction or a return to classrooms in some form Aug. 26th.

The district said the Wenatchee Internet Academy will be taught by certified teachers and includes a schedule of real-time virtual classes that mirror what is taking place in classrooms. Parents can sign their children up for the online-only option on the district’s website.

Congresswoman Kim Schrier will hold her next Wenatchee townhall virtually. The 8th District Democrat will be joined Thursday by special guest Bob Bugert, one of Chelan County’s three elected commissioners. The online townhall happens at 5 p.m. Thursday; to get involved on the Zoom call and talk about the issues, register through Schrier’s website or her Facebook page.

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. . .

Yesterday we told you about Anna Martinez and Bijou Zehm, two Leavenworth girls who interrupted their hike to rescue an intoxicated man on Friday as he struggled in the Wenatchee River. In tonight’s feature story NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins caught up to Anna and Bijou by the riverside. They told their story in their own words, and shared a warning about safe river recreation. . .

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 Wenatchee Wild are holding a tryout camp in Las Vegas due to the COVID shutdown of their own building at the Town Toyota Center.  In fact, there’s no ice right now in the TTC. 

Wild General Manager Bliss Littler says, like most small businesses, the organization is trying to stay afloat amid the pandemic shutdown.  He says it’s only through the support of a great owner and fantastic sponsors that the team can remain viable…

The BCHL announced Friday that the league will hold off any game action until December 1st.  This would mark an 8-month shutdown since the league halted activity when COVID-19 hit in March and canceled the playoffs. 

Littler says he’s working with his coaching staff on a timeline for bringing in players and having an extended training camp, whether there are games or not…

Littler says they are currently searching for billet families to host players.  If interested contact the Wenatchee Wild office at 509-888-7825.

Today should be the first day for rookies showing up at training camp for the Seahawks and the rest of the NFL.  Concerns over COVID-19 by players and its union will probably result in no one showing up…

The NFL and the players union have agreed to do more testing once training camps begin July 28th.  In addition, it looks like the preseason will be reduced to either one game or none at all.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said earlier this month he would err on the side of delaying the start of training camp to assure that everything is in place and players feel safe about returning.

The WIAA Executive Board is meeting today to discuss strategies on what to do about fall sports…

The high school sports organization already delayed the start of fall sports to September 5th for football and 7th for the rest of sports.  That means the first games would be played around the 18th of the month.

I will be part of a Zoom video conference tonight at 7 o’clock with WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman. We’ll have his comments regarding a decision or direction tomorrow morning on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley.

It’s hard to say what they will decide, if anything.  California became the 14th state in the country to delay all high school sports until December 1st.  In addition, the Northwest Athletic Conference, home to Central Washington University sports, delayed all sports until November 30th.

One thing for sure is that the WIAA is looking at all possibilities.  That’s something appreciated by athletic directors around the state like Eastmont’s Russ Waterman…

All anyone wants is direction so they can plan accordingly.  We’ll see if the WIAA makes a decision today.

The Mariners played a 3-inning intrasquad game Monday as preparations for the season-opener Friday continue.  It was the first time Dylan Moore had a chance to take the field after being quarantined for 14-days after testing positive for COVID-19.  He says as shocked as anyone when he found out he’d tested positive…

Yusei Kikuchi made the start and threw over 50-pitches for the first time in game-action in camp.  Manager Scott Servais was pleased with what he saw…

Seattle will play a full, 9-inning practice game tonight at 6 o’clock.  They’ll leave Thursday for Houston to begin a four-game series with the Astros on Friday.

Gonzaga’s Filip Petrusev has announced he’s leaving college early to enter the pros…

The West Coast Conference Player of the Year says amid the uncertainty of COVID-19, he’ll sign with Mega Bemax of Serbia with hopes of eventually playing in the NBA.

Petrusev says he looked at what was going on with college sports seasons being postponed or canceled and decided he didn’t want to take a chance. 

“It was unfortunate that we didn’t get the chance to compete in the NCAA tournament and possibly win the national championship,’’ Petrusev said in a news release. “We are facing unprecedented times and none of us has a great deal of clarity for what lies ahead, resulting in the uncertainty regarding the upcoming NCAA basketball season.’’

Here’s what we have on tap for the NCWLIFE Sports Broadcast Schedule this week…

It begins Thursday with Hockey Night as the Wenatchee Wild host the West Kelowna Warriors in a game from last October at 7 o’clock.

We’ll celebrate the start of baseball Friday with the Wenatchee AppleSox and Walla Walla Sweets from a game at Paul Thomas, Sr. Stadium last June.

Saturday’s doubleheader begins with high school volleyball at 2 o’clock between Wenatchee and Chelan from 2016.  Then at 6, it’s a rebroadcast of last weekend’s racing at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval featuring Legends Thunder and More.

Thanks Eric.

As we leave you tonight, our video of the day comes to us from James Mason in Denver, Colorado. He and two others were mountain biking in the Rocky Mountain National Park when a herd of bachelor bull elk came parading bye. . .

While the females are busy raising their calves during summertime, the boys get together in bachelor bands, hanging out in summer meadows, eating heavily and being buddies. Their behavior will change towards the end of August and into September during the rut, when bulls start fighting each other to win over the attention of cows to breed. Kind of like your typical bar-scene with buddies drinking and then fighting over a female at the end of the night.

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 or contact us at news@ncwlife-dot-com.

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.