NCWLIFE Evening News July 27th, 2021

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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, East Wenatchee Police are asking for help identifying a man they say was involved in an assault early Sunday at the Clearwater Saloon./ The longtime CEO of Wenatchee’s Veterans Warehouse thrift store was convicted last week of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, and, A bus stolen from a rafting company in Leavenworth on Saturday was eventually found abandoned in Moses Lake and the suspected thief arrested Sunday in Chewelah.

But first, our top story tonight. . .

A 44-year-old man drowned in a Moses Lake irrigation canal Sunday.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said Joshua Griffen, who is listed as a transient, was traveling with a friend when they decided to swim in the canal near the 3000 block of Road 4 Northeast. The sheriff’s office said Griffen was swept away by the current and went under.

Emergency responders were unable to revive him. The sheriff’s office reminded people that irrigation canals are very dangerous. It is the second such drowning this summer. In June, a 18-year-old Ephrata High School student drowned in an irrigation canal on the eve of his graduation.

East Wenatchee Police are asking for help identifying a man they say was involved in an assault early Sunday at the Clearwater Saloon.

Police responded about 1:15 a.m. to a report of a disturbance at the Valley Mall Parkway establishment but by the time they arrived the assault suspect had fled. Anyone with information on the man is asked to call RiverCom’s non-emergency line at 663-9911.

The longtime CEO of Wenatchee’s Veterans Warehouse thrift store was convicted last week of fourth-degree assault with sexual against a woman who visited his office. A Chelan County jury found 55-year-old Thad Lawson guilty at trial on Wednesday, and this morning, a District Court judge sentenced him to 75 days in jail.

The crime is a gross misdemeanor. Wenatchee police said Lawson forcibly pinned a woman against a wall in the Veterans Warehouse office in 2019, demanding sexual favors from her. Part of the incident was captured on video. Lawson lives in Cashmere. He established the Veterans Warehouse as a nonprofit in 2013, and has organized events to benefit veterans in the Wenatchee Valley. He pleaded guilty to a similar assault in 2016, in which he asked two teenage girls to expose themselves, and served 20 days. Lawson must report to jail to begin his sentence by August 18th.

A bus stolen from a rafting company in Leavenworth on Saturday was eventually found abandoned in Moses Lake and the suspected thief arrested Sunday in Chewelah.

Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett said 39-year-old Andrew S. Loudon of Chewelah faces charges of theft of a motor vehicle, attempting to elude police and first degree malicious mischief. According to a press release from the Sheriff’s office, Loudon was released from custody at Western State Hospital in Lakewood sometime Saturday morning and then made his way to Leavenworth.

The bus was stolen Saturday about 7:40 p.m. from Osprey Rafting by a man described as wearing a yellow sun dress. Burnett said a Chelan County deputy attempted to pull the bus over on Highway 2/97 but it continued on well below the speed limit. 

The pursuit was called off after the driver ran a red light. The bus went through Wenatchee, into Douglas County and south on Highway 28. Douglas County deputies stopped following the bus in the Trinidad area.

The press release said sometime Saturday night the bus was abandoned near Moses Lake, after which Loudon allegedly hitch hiked to Spokane and then to Chewelah where he stole a large front-end loader and drove into a home.  Loudon was finally taken into custody shortly before 7 on Sunday night.

Coming up next, The North Cascades Highway has been closed for more than two weeks because of wildfires burning in the area but the state says keeping people away continues to be a problem./ The Court of Appeals says an Okanogan County road that was claimed as private access by a major timber company will remain a public route./ After years of work and debate, Chelan County Commissioners today set new operating standards for short-term rentals, and, Fire managers said Monday that a bear cub with a burned snout was found in the Cedar Creek Fire area near Mazama, well tell you how he’s doing. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The North Cascades Highway has been closed for more than two weeks because of wildfires burning in the area but the state says keeping people away continues to be a problem.

The Washington State Department of Transportation says the latest incident happened over the weekend when a suspected drunk driver crashed through the barrier at the Highway 20 Mazama intersection.

Nobody was injured and the driver was detained by law enforcement. Previously, the state patrol said people were trying to use Forest Service roads to get around the closure, sometimes driving into fire zones.

The Court of Appeals says an Okanogan County road that was claimed as private access by a major timber company will remain a public route.

French Creek Road outside the towns of Methow been the subject of litigation between the county and Gamble Land and Timber Company since 2017. Gamble, which is linked to the Gebbers Farms ownership group, claimed the road was privately built in the 1800s to provide access to private timberlands.

Citizens groups sued to keep the road as public right of way. Last year a county court ruled the road has been public since at least 1889, and the appellate court today supported that verdict. 

After years of work and debate, Chelan County Commissioners today set new operating standards for short-term rentals – the industry that rents homes to vacationers for weekend use. The practice has seen explosive growth, with more than 1,500 units now active in the county.

The codes set new occupancy limits, require more oversight from short-term rental owners, demands registration fees and permits, and restricts the total number of units that can operate. The new rules become effective in late August. County board Chairman Bob Bugert says, QUOTE, “This was a difficult process; however, in the end, it was a decision based upon unprecedented community involvement.”

Fire managers said Monday that a bear cub with a burned snout was found in the Cedar Creek Fire area near Mazama. Washington State Department of Natural Resources employees reportedly treated the cub and say he’s expected to make a full recovery.

The Cedar Creek fire west of Mazama has burned almost 33,500 acres. To the north, the Cub Creek Fire has consumed more than 50,000 acres and continues to threaten the town of Winthrop.

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. . .

A video produced by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources features Wenatchee’s Sara Rolfs and her efforts to better protect her home and property from wildfires. In tonight’s feature story, Rolfs says creating defensible space around her property has given her a sense of relief. . .

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.

Mariner fans should know by now that you can’t give up on them if they get down early.  Although you’re forgiven if you tuned in to last night’s series opener with Houston in the second inning and changed the channel with Seattle down 6-nothing.  What you missed, however, was an epic comeback and a Mariner 11-8 victory…

It was 7-nothing in the 4th inning when Seattle began its comeback.  The bases were loaded for rookie Cal Raleigh…

The scored was 8-3 when Kyle Seager stepped up with two outs in the bottom of the 5th

The rally continued in the 6th with two outs and a runner aboard for Shed Long, Jr…

Eric Swanson pitched two innings of shutout relief followed by a scoreless inning put up by Kendall Graveman.  That set up the drama in the 8th with yet another two-out rally for Dylan Moore…

This was Seattle’s 24th comeback win of the season and manager Scott Servais says it’s all about the belief of this team in itself to make it happen…

Seattle and Houston go at it again tonight at 7:10 with Chris Flexen facing Lance McCullers, Jr.

The only other game in the American League West last night had the Angels topping Colorado 6-to-2.  Shohei Ohtani improved to 5-and-1, pitching 7-innings and allowing 1-run on 5-hits with 5-strikeouts.

Seattle is now a game behind Oakland in the Wild Card playoff race.  The A’s are in San Diego to begin a two-game series with the Padres.

The AppleSox are in Bend to begin a three-game series with the Elks tonight…

Wenatchee’s coming off a series with Yakima Valley where the Pippins took two of three games to hand the ‘Sox a 4-and-8, second-half record.  Bend is 3-and-6 and coming off a successful road trip at Walla Walla, where they won two of three from the Sweets. 

First pitch tonight is at 6:35 and can be heard locally on Sunny FM.  By the way, Joel Norman is under the weather and didn’t make the trip to Oregon so Reily Chestnut will have the call this week and provide our recaps here on NCWLIFE.

In other West Coast League play tonight, Walla Walla visits Corvallis; Yakima Valley hosts Cowlitz; Highline is at Ridgefield; Bellingham welcomes Cascade Collegiate; and Port Angeles travels to Portland.

The Wenatchee Wild is hosting its training camp this week at the Community Rink at the Town Toyota Center…

Our own Eric Granstrom got down to the rink yesterday to talk with the head coach of the Wenatchee Wild, Chris Clark…

All the action is at the Community Rink at the Town Toyota Center.  Admission is free.

We will have more with Coach Clark and Wild General Manager Bliss Littler tomorrow here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

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 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.