NCWLIFE Evening News June 15th, 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 man who fell 25 feet into a rock wall while rope climbing at Castle Rock Trail near Leavenworth had to be airlifted to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee on Saturday. Grant County saw a record spike in COVID-19 cases last week and its fifth death attributed to the virus, and, Despite having its request for a temporary restraining order rejected by a federal judge Friday, Slidewaters waterpark in Chelan plans to open anyway in defiance of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start orders.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The largest manhunt in Kittitas County history came to an end Sunday afternoon with the arrest of 34-year old Jorge Alcantara-Gonzales. According to the Sheriff’s office, a local resident was walking in his neighborhood in the Teanaway area when he spotted a person inside the house of a neighbor and called 911.

Officers from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Department along with officers from the Forest Service and the Department of Fish and Wildlife surrounded the home, at which point Alcantara-Gonzales surrendered without incident at about 3:30 in the afternoon.

Alcantara-Gonzales had been a fugitive since May 23rd when he became the primary suspect in the disappearance of Ian Eckles, a 41-year old from Kent who vanished near the town of Liberty around May 17th. when he failed meet friends for a planned turkey hunt.  Eckles body has not been found.

A man who fell 25 feet into a rock wall while rope climbing at Castle Rock Trail near Leavenworth had to be airlifted to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee on Saturday.

His condition was not immediately known. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office said the man’s 15-year-old son was able to lower his unconscious father down to the trail and called 9-1-1.

Chelan County Search and Rescue was among several agencies that responded and helped to carry him down to Highway 2 on a wheeled litter

Grant County saw a record spike in COVID-19 cases last week and its fifth death attributed to the virus. The Grant County Health District reported that a Moses Lake man in his 80s died last Thursday, the first virus-related death in the county since May 18th.

The man had been under hospice care at the Summer Wood Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Moses Lake and his death is being described as associated with COVID-19. Six people who live or work at the care center tested positive for the coronavirus on June 1st.

Grant County, which was approved on May 23rd to move to Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start reopening plan, reported 10 new cases last Wednesday, a one-day record of 13 cases Thursday, and 8 more on Friday.

Despite having its request for a temporary restraining order rejected by a federal judge Friday, Slidewaters waterpark in Chelan plans to open anyway in defiance of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start orders. The Freedom Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of Slidewaters in Chelan County in late May but the case was moved to the Eastern District U.S. Court. Slidewaters owner Robert Brodner announced in early May that the waterpark would open June 15th. The Freedom Foundation said Friday the park will open within days. Slidewaters was attempting to head off a potential $10,000 fine from the state Department of Labor and Industries for violating Inslee’s COVID-19 phased reopening plan. Chelan County moved to Phase 1.5 last week but a county must be in Phase 3 before swimming pools and waterparks can reopen. The Freedom Foundation said it will now seek an injunction to get a full hearing before the judge.

Coming up next, The state is warning residents that coronavirus numbers are going up in Eastern Washington. Nonprofits in the Wenatchee Valley offered free testing for COVID-19 and other ailments for local agriculture workers over the weekend. LatinX Solidarity Group wants a bigger role in the Health District’s decision-making, and, Despite having its request for a temporary restraining order rejected by a federal judge Friday, Slidewaters waterpark in Chelan plans to open anyway in defiance of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start orders. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

As more counties move into phased reopening, the state Department of Health warns that Eastern Washington is vulnerable to a surge in COVID-19 diagnoses.

Areas of concern include Benton, Franklin, Spokane and Yakima counties, where new case counts have increased daily. The department says the new numbers include possible increases in transmission over Memorial Day weekend, but not increases that may have occurred from Black Lives Matter protests that began after May25th. In Chelan and Douglas counties, the total today is 457 cases of COVID-19, up two from the end of last week.

Nonprofits in the Wenatchee Valley offered free testing for COVID-19 and other ailments for local agriculture workers over the weekend.

The Community for the Advancement of Family Education, or CAFÉ, joined Spokane-based Raíz of Planned Parenthood on Saturday to offer coronavirus testing, as well as tests for sexually transmitted infection. The testing was aimed at ag workers, whose health has been a source of concern during the pandemic. An estimated 180 fieldworkers and packing-house employees are among the more than 450 cases of coronavirus detected in Chelan and Douglas counties.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District must meet with local community leaders as part of its COVID-19 recovery plan, and a coalition wants to make sure Hispanic residents are in that group.

In a letter to the Health District, the Immigrant and Latinx Solidarity Group said despite being disproportionately affected by coronavirus, Latinx community members have been largely left out of decision-making, and they recommend four names for inclusion. Group coordinator Karina Vega-Villa told NCWLIFE a few weeks ago it’s crucial the most affected segment of the community have a seat at the table. . .

The Health District must begin its community meetings this week to maintain its Phase 1.5 status with the state Department of Health. The Board of Health was set to discuss its reopening strategy in its regular meeting this evening.

Lawyers will be back in court Thursday in the case of Cuevas vs. Inslee, the Chelan County lawsuit seeking to overturn the Governor’s public health orders on coronavirus.

Forty-six local plaintiffs will again ask for a restraining order to eliminate restrictions on operating certain businesses and gathering places. Attorneys for the state will ask for a stay of proceedings, in order to appeal to a higher court. Judge Kristin Ferrera ruled two weeks ago that the case could be heard in Chelan County, despite the state’s efforts to move it to a Thurston County court. Plaintiffs in the case include three Wenatchee City Council members, two Grace City Church pastors, the county’s Republican state committeewoman, and NCWLIFE show host Cary Condotta. All say the COVID-19 pandemic rules have damaged their personal businesses.

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. . .

Last week, Governor Jay Inslee indicated one of the reasons Chelan and Douglas counties lag behind most of the rest of the state in reopening is because not enough people here are wearing face coverings to protect themselves and others from the COVID-19 outbreak. Chelan-Douglas Health District Administrator Barry Kling said he agrees. . .

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.

Major League Baseball owners are scheduled to have a conference call today.  But for all intent and purpose, negotiations between ownership and the players is over…

The players rejected the latest proposal by ownership Friday and it looks more and more like Commissioner Rob Manfred will just unilaterally mandate a season to begin in mid-July and end September 27th.

The players are holding out on a March agreement with MLB for full, pro-rated salary.  Baseball is saying without fans, that’s not economically feasible.

Either way you look at it, it’s all a bad look for baseball.

The NBA, meanwhile, is marching ahead with a newly-released timeline for teams on its restart…

The first date on the calendar for the 22-teams participating in the NBA’s restart in Orlando is June 23rd.  That’s when the first mandatory COVID-19 testing will be done.  June 23rd is also the first day individual workouts will begin.

The rest of the timeline released by the NBA Friday includes of July 1st for mandatory individual workouts; July 21st for intersquad games; July 30th for games to begin; and August 17th for the playoffs to begin.

Two wives of current and former Seahawks led a march over the I-90 bridge in Seattle Saturday…

The event, called “Bridge to the Future” was organized by Tiffany Chancellor, wife of former Seahawk Kam Chancellor and Nathalie Wright, wife of current Seahawk K.J. Wright.

Several players were in attendance along with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.  The women said they hope the Black Lives Matter event will win people over with love, calling it the “only true weapon.”

Coach Pete Carroll says events like Saturday’s march could help NFL teams prepare for training camp.  As the Seahawks and the other 31 teams across the league adopt protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Carroll says they’re examining all kinds of data-points to help prepare…

King County has entered Phase 1.5 in the State’s re-start program, which has allowed Carroll and his coaching staff to get back to work at the Seahawk’s facility in Renton.  Seattle is preparing for the start of training camp in late July.

It’s rather fitting that Quincy hires a new football coach with old roots in the Caribou Trail League…

Greg McMillan, the son of former Cascade coach Jack McMillan, was announced last week as the new head coach at Quincy.  The Jackrabbits will make a return to the Caribou Trail League this season after a realignment of schools in the WIAA.

McMillan says he followed his Dad around in locker rooms as a kid throughout North Central Washington, so it’s only natural that he follows in his footsteps.

McMillan inherits a brand-new school and stadium in which to play.  Now the challenge is to revive a program that has finished under .500 in six of the past seven seasons.

At least one local event hasn’t fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic.  East Wenatchee Rotary Club’s annual Pikeminnow Derby will be held, on schedule, this weekend.  Dan Feil of Bob Feil Boats & Motors is one of the event’s organizers…

Entry forms are available at Bob Feils, Hooked on Toys, and Bi-Mart.  Feil says entrants have a chance at a ton of great prizes…

The 28th Annual Pikeminnow Derby put on by the East Wenatchee Rotary Club starts Friday at 6pm and ends Sunday at 11:30am.  The stretch of water open to the derby is from Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam and weigh-ins will be held at Wenatchee Riverfront Park and Orondo River Park. 

To watch Dan’s complete interview with Dan Feil, head to our website at NCWLIFE dot com and click on Full Episodes and Wake Up Wenatchee Valley.

Thanks Eric.

Home security company Safewise has named East Wenatchee one of the 20 safest cities in Washington.

East Wenatchee ranked as the 18th-safest city in the state for 2020, down one from its 17th-place finish in 2019.

The company uses FBI crime statistics and Census data and bases its rankings on both violent and property crimes. Wenatchee was the 40th safest city in the state on the list. Snoqualmie earned the safest city in the state designation for the second-straight year, followed by West Richland, Camas and Mercer Island. The company determined Broadview Heights, Ohio is the safest city in the nation.

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.