NCWLIFE Evening News July 8th, 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 43-year-old Portland man fell 100 feet on Mount Stuart Tuesday, and had to wait eight hours while rescuers battled tough mountain weather to reach him. The Saddle Mountain Fire south of Royal City was 60 percent contained this morning after burning 9,800 acres since Monday, and, Six people suffered minor injuries last week when a wake boat collided with a pontoon boat on Banks Lake.      

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Police say they found nearly two pounds of heroin and 14 ounces of methamphetamine hidden under grass clippings in a Rock Island yard.

Jose Villanueva-Montes, age 45, is now charged with drug possession with intent to sell after the Columbia River Drug Task Force searched his home on June 26th. During that search, they allegedly discovered 818 grams of heroin and 405 grams of meth inside various thermoses and travel mugs that had been buried in piles of grass clippings in the backyard. Detectives got a search warrant for Villanueva’s home after he allegedly sold drugs to a police informant in Wenatchee. He faces felony charges in both Chelan and Douglas counties.

A 43-year-old Portland man fell 100 feet on Mount Stuart Tuesday, and had to wait eight hours while rescuers battled tough mountain weather to reach him.

Pete Schoepke was climbing alone when he fell and broke his leg at about 8,600 feet elevation. From 12:30 until 8:30 p.m., climbers and a Navy helicopter crew worked to bring him down, but clouds were too low and winds too high to maneuver the helicopter and hoist him off the mountain. The weather finally broke, and the chopper brought Schoepke down, along with two paramedics who’d climbed up to aid him. He remains under care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The Saddle Mountain Fire south of Royal City was 60 percent contained this morning after burning 9,800 acres since Monday, making it by far the largest wildfire in the state this year.

The incident management team on the fire said winds again hampered firefighting efforts overnight Tuesday but crews were able to get a fire line around the northwest perimeter of the fire. The fire started Monday on protected U.S. Fish and Wildlife land in Grant County and has not threatened any structures or forced evacuations.

Public information Officer Ben Shearer said the fire is challenging because the area is a natural preserve with thick brush and no road access. In addition, he said the 179 firefighters now on the fire need to avoid damaging Native American land artifacts in the area as well as habitat for endangered species.

Six people suffered minor injuries last week when a wake boat collided with a pontoon boat on Banks Lake.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said 33-year-old Alexander Bozko of an unspecified Western Washington

town was operating a 2017 wake boat about 5:30 last Thursday night when he collided with a stationary 2015 Sunchaser pontoon boat being operated by 51-year-old Mark Head of Cashmere.

Bozko and a 2-year-old child on the pontoon boat were thrown into the water as the wake boat ended up on the rear portion of the pontoon boat. Nearby boaters rescued the two. Four others in the two boats also suffered minor injuries.

Coming up next, Charges have been filed against the men involved in the drive-by shooting in Wenatchee Monday afternoon, new construction has begun on the next Hale Park project, and, an Okanogan High School student will join the State Board of Education as a student member. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The two men suspected in a vehicular shooting in a residential Wenatchee neighborhood are being held on $1 million bail.

Police say 20-year-old Alexander Lopez was the gunman and 26-year-old Juan Mendoza-Rodriguez the getaway driver when gunfire broke out Monday afternoon at Douglas and Idaho streets. Lopez allegedly fired multiple rounds from a rifle at a car that was behind Mendoza’s Ford Explorer. One passenger in the other car was wounded, but later released from the hospital. A judge set bail for the two Yakima men on Tuesday; they have yet to be charged.

Finishing touches have commenced at Wenatchee’s newest public park. Crews began this week preparing the ground at Hale Park for its eventual picnic shelter and restroom. The park, at the south end of the Loop Trail, is also getting new landscaping and a trail extension.

The project is budgeted at about $600,000, and it’s expected to finish up by fall. The skate park portion of Hale Park opened to the public last year, but it’s currently closed while the remaining work takes place.

The State Board of Education has welcomed a new student member and she’s from right here in Northcentral Washington.

Okanagan high school junior, McKenna Roberts, was sworn in to serve on the Washington State Board of Education during the July Board meeting. Roberts will serve on the Washington State Board of Education as Eastern Washington’s student representative following a swearing-in earlier today. Roberts was selected to serve by the Association of Washington Student Leaders following an application and interview process. McKenna Roberts finished her sophomore year as class president at Okanogan High School in Okanogan and is also the president of the Key Club, a member of the National Honor Society, and Youth Leadership Council.

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. . .

On Tuesday, the day when Washington businesses were told to begin enforcing his mandatory face coverings order, Governor Jay Inslee said that effort is vital to avoid returning to more restrictive COVID-19 rules. In tonight’s feature story, he also talked about how he expects businesses to handle customers who refuse to wear a mask. . .

And that is a look at your local weather forecast, coming up next, tonight’s sports report with Dan Kuntz and more as the NCWLIFE Evening News continues right after this.

Thanks Dan.

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.