NCWLIFE Evening News June 11th, 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, Governor Jay Inslee said at a press conference yesterday that he was concerned whether enough people here are following guidelines for wearing face coverings. We will tell what local businesses have had COVID-19 outbreaks, and, As the manhunt for a murder suspect in Blewett Pass approaches its third week, the U.S. Marshal’s Service has now joined the search.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

It’s official: Chelan and Douglas counties are now in a “modified Phase 1” recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s just a half-step in Governor Jay Inslee’s four-phase Safe Start plan, but it means certain local business can reopen, with strict limitations to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The most visible change for businesses in restaurants, allowing indoor seating of up to 25 percent capacity, provided no tables are closer than six feet to each other; and outdoor seating up to 50 percent capacity, again at six feet distance. Also allowed to operate at 25 percent occupancy: Pet groomers, real estate services, and other “personal and professional servicesThe effects of Phase 1.5 won’t be immediate. Individual businesses must show they can closely follow state guidelines before they open their doors. Chelan and Douglas are the second and third counties to achieve a modified Phase 1 status. Twenty-four counties have moved fully into Phase 2.

State Secretary of Health John Wiesman approved the Chelan-Douglas Health District application last night, with conditions. Among them, the district must increase the use of protective masks when residents go out in public; and coordinate closely with managers of the fruit industry, where large COVID-19 infection clusters have occurred. Any changes in local infection rates or hospitalizations could reverse the gains altogether.

Shortly before Chelan and Douglas counties were approved to move to Phase 1-point-5 of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start reopening plan Wednesday, the governor said at a press conference he was concerned about agricultural workers in the two counties and whether enough people here are following guidelines for wearing face coverings. . .

May was the biggest month for discovery of new COVID-19 cases in the Wenatchee Valley, with almost 230 of the total 452 cases identified so far. A document compiled at the end of that month shows how widespread the virus has become through the Chelan and Douglas County workforce. NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins has the story. . .

As the manhunt for a murder suspect in Blewett Pass approaches its third week, the U.S. Marshal’s Service has joined the search.

34-year-old Jorge Alcantara-Gonzalez is the largest manhunt in county history. The search has been ongoing since May 23rd, when evidence connected him with the death of missing Kent man Ian Eckles.

The body of 41-year-old Eckles has not yet been found but law enforcement believes he was killed in his own vehicle by Alcantara-Gobnzales.

A large area of Forest Service and state land continues to be closed during the search. Alcantara-Gonzales, carrying a shotgun, was last seen May 26th at the Mineral Springs Campground. The Sheriff’s Office said the suspect has burglarized multiple homes and cabins in the area.

Though they still believe Alcantara-Gonzalez is in the area, the sheriff’s office said they enlisted the help of the U.S. Marshals in the event he is no longer in the forest. The Marshals Service has offered a $5,000 reward for information that leads to Alcantara-Gonzalez’s apprehension.

Coming up next, Local fire crews quickly got a handle yesterday on a brushfire burning 14 miles south of Wenatchee. Traffic was blocked on Highway 2 at Cashmere for about a half an hour Wednesday afternoon after a recreational boat came off its trailer and onto the highway. Representative Dan Newhouse announced the establishment of a Central Washington Law Enforcement Working Group, and, President Trump targeted Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan in a pair of tweets Wednesday night, saying they need to take back Seattle from protesters or he will do it for them. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news.

Local fire crews quickly got a handle yesterday on a brushfire burning 14 miles south of Wenatchee.

The fire on Tarpiscan Road scorched about seven acres, but Chelan County Fire District 1 received aid from a state Department of Natural Resources helicopter to contain the blaze. The fire broke out shortly after 12:30 in the afternoon. No one was injured, and no structures were damaged.

Traffic was blocked on Highway 2 at Cashmere for about a half an hour Wednesday afternoon after a recreational boat came off its trailer and onto the highway.

The Washington State Patrol said the wayward boat damaged some Washington Department of Transportation property at the intersection with Hay Canyon Road.

The accident was reported about 4:30 p.m. and the highway was completely reopened by shortly after 5. Crews from several agencies are in that area working on Goodwin Bridge replacement project. Destruction of the old bridge is scheduled for later this month.

Police chiefs from Okanogan County are part of Congressman Dan Newhouse’s new Law Enforcement Working Group, set up in response to criticisms of policing after the death of George Floyd and others in police custody around the nation. Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley and Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow are part of the 10-member task force. Newhouse says they’ll talk about improvements that could be made in the way police serve their communities.

President Trump targeted Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan in a pair of tweets Wednesday night, saying they need to take back Seattle from protesters or he will do it for them.

After the Seattle Police Department boarded up and abandoned a Capitol Hill precinct this week, protesters set up barricades in the area, closing off several blocks that they’re calling the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Trump accused Inslee and Durkan of allowing domestic terrorists to take over Seattle.

Durkan responded with a tweet of her own, telling the president to go back to his bunker.

Inslee posted that Trump should stay out of Washington’s business. Earlier Wednesday at a press conference Inslee said he had not heard anything about an Autonomous Zone in Seattle.

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. . .

In tonight’s feature story, part 2 of Ben Holten’s series of on-camera interviews with some people at last weekend’s Black Lives Matter demonstration in Wenatchee. He asked what it is like living in the Wenatchee area as an African American. Tonight, we hear from Walter from Quincy. . .

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 NCWLIFE Channel is teaming up with Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval to bring you the first race of the 2020 season LIVE.  We met with WVSO manager Jeremy Anders at the track this morning to finalize the deal…

Again, that will be Saturday, June 27th beginning at 6 o’clock here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

The WIAA says the fall sports season is on, no matter what.  At its June 7th meeting, its Executive Board set guidelines regarding the anticipated re-opening of schools and activities for the upcoming school year. This was done by answering four questions formulated by the National Federation of High Schools…

1. Will the WIAA conduct a regular season or championship if schools statewide are closed to in-person learning?

Yes, assuming the DOH supports the recommendation. At this time, the WIAA plans to begin the fall season as scheduled but is also examining a delayed start of September 7, 2020 (September 5 for football).

2. Will there be sports/activities in the fall if some schools are closed in COVID-19 “hotspots” in Washington?

Although not ideal, yes, even if all schools are not able to participate.

3. Will there be sports/activites deemed “lower-risk” for COVID-19 transmission while cancelling considered “higher-risk”?

The WIAA intends to conduct all scheduled fall athletics/activities that are approved by the DOH.

4. Could there be modified seasons or rules?

The WIAA intends to create work groups to recommend and evaluate modifications to rules.

The Mariners used their 6th-overall pick in yesterday’s first round of the Major League draft to select right-handed pitcher Emerson Hancock…

The 21-year old out of Georgia becomes the third-straight 1st-round pitcher chosen by the Mariners in the last three drafts.  Amateur scouting director Scott Hunter was pleased with Seattle’s selection…

Seattle will have five more picks in today’s final 4 rounds of the draft.

Detroit made 3rd-baseman Spencer Torkelson the number one overall selection in yesterday’s Major League draft.  The Arizona State Sun Devil joins the likes of David Price, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Gerrit Cole as the number one pick…

Here’s a look at the top 5 selections in yesterday’s draft by the Orioles, Marlins, Royals and Blue Jays.  In 30-selections, 19 of which were college players while 11 were graduating seniors out of high school.  11-pitchers, 10-infielders, 6-outfielders and 3-catchers were chosen in the first round.

The draft continues with rounds 2-through-5, plus compensatory and competitive balance rounds this afternoon at 2 o’clock.

A very-bearded Ian Sanderson joined us on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley this morning.  Sanderson was hired last September to take over as the Wenatchee AppleSox head coach.  Of course, his first season was claimed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Wenatchee and Portland remain the last two teams standing in the West Coast League that hope to host some form a baseball this summer.  Sanderson says it will be an opportunity for training…

Watch the entire interview between Dan and Ian on our website at NCWLIFE dot com, just click on full episodes and Wake Up Wenatchee Valley.

Finally, don’t forget we’ve forgone sports to bring you the graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 here on the NCWLIFE Channel…

And that will include the broadcast debut of WestSide High School’s commencement tonight at 7 o’clock.  We’ll re-air Eastmont ceremony tomorrow night at 7.  Then on Saturday, watch Wenatchee’s at 2; Cascade’s at 5; and Quincy’s at 7 o’clock 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.