NCWLIFE Evening News June 16th, 2020

1151
video

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 recent COVID-19 lawsuit against the state by members of the Chelan-Douglas Board of Health has, quote, “wasted an incredible amount of staff time” according to its Administrator. Saying there is a community spread of COVID-19 taking place in Grant County, the health district reported 38 new cases Monday after finding 11 new cases over the weekend, and, It’ll be next week before new arguments are heard in the lawsuit seeking to overturn Washington’s state of emergency.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

For the fourth time in just over a week, a Moses Lake man has been arrested for car theft, this time just minutes after he was released from jail.

The Moses Lake Police Department says 32-year-old Robert Patterson stole a car in Ritzville after he was released Thursday from the Adams County Jail and drove it to Moses Lake, where he was arrested in yet another stolen car. Last week he was arrested in Moses Lake in a stolen car after a police pursuit.

The previous Saturday he was arrested after another stolen car pursuit. Because of COVID-19 restrictions police were unable to book Patterson into the Grant County Jail, so he was taken to Adams County, where he was wanted on a burglary charge. He also faces a burglary charge in Moses Lake. This time he was booked into the Grant County Jail.

A recent lawsuit against the state by members of the Chelan-Douglas Board of Health has, quote, “wasted an incredible amount of staff time” as the local health district tries to respond to COVID-19. That was the statement Monday by health administrator Barry Kling, in a public meeting of the board. The board members are no longer party to the lawsuit, but as Jefferson Robbins reports, some damage may already be done. . .

Saying there is a community spread of COVID-19 taking place in Grant County, the health district reported 38 new cases Monday after finding 11 new cases over the weekend.

That came on the heels of a spike in the county last week that showed 31 new cases over a three-day period. The latest report said the new positive tests for the coronavirus came from all corners of the county.

The health district said some of the cases investigated thus far have been traced to social gatherings, the same employer and agricultural workers. On May 23rd, the county was approved to move to Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start reopening plan and had planned to apply to move to Phase 3 but put that on hold after last week’s outbreak.

It’ll be next week before new arguments are heard in the lawsuit seeking to overturn Washington’s state of emergency.

Yesterday Judge Kristin Ferrera rescheduled a motion hearing until June 24th in the case of Cuevas vs. Inslee, in which 46 Wenatchee Valley plaintiffs want to eliminate the Governor’s COVID-19 public health restrictions. 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 and unlawful and have damaged their personal businesses. Lawyers with the state Attorney General’s office say the policies are well within the Governor’s power, and necessary to protect public health.

Coming up next, A new community survey finds Wenatchee Valley residents are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis, but most are willing to stay the course and follow tough health recommendations to keep the virus in check. Leavenworth has decided not to open Howard Hopkins Memorial Pool this summer, saying complying with COVID-19 restrictions created insurmountable problems. Despite the pandemic, Link Transit is pressing ahead to provide expanded bus service, including Sunday service, starting July 6th, and, The Wenatchee and Moses Lake driver licensing offices will reopen Monday by appointment only. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

A new community survey finds Wenatchee Valley residents are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis, but most are willing to stay the course and follow tough health recommendations to keep the virus in check. The survey from Our Valley Our Future got responses from more than 600 residents.

Among other findings, 35 percent of respondents say they lost a job or work hours after the pandemic struck Washington in March. Almost 45 percent say they or someone in their household has struggled with depression, anxiety or loneliness during the public health emergency. As the restrictions let up and places like restaurants reopen, only 35 percent say they will visit a sit-down dining place in the next month. More than two thirds say they plan to wear a facial mask in public for the next year or more; and practice social distancing as long as it’s required. Complete findings from the survey are available online at OurValleyOurFuture.org.

Leavenworth has decided not to open Howard Hopkins Memorial Pool this summer, saying complying with COVID-19 restrictions created insurmountable problems. The city announced the decision Monday after holding out hope they would be able to open the pool at some point, even if it was for a shortened season.

But concerns about safety and the financial issues created by limiting the number of swimmers were too much to overcome. The city said limiting swimmers would have reduced revenue while at the same time extra staffing for complying with COVID-19 requirements would have driven up costs.

Despite the pandemic, Link Transit is pressing ahead to provide expanded bus service, including Sunday service, starting July 6th.

The Wenatchee Valley’s public transit system got voter approval for a sales tax increase last year to fund its expansion, but the COVID-19 crisis means only about 25 percent of its planned projects will go forward this year. Nine routes will add Sunday trips starting next month, including local shuttle trips and commuter routes between Wenatchee, Lake Chelan and Leavenworth.

The Wenatchee and Moses Lake driver licensing offices will reopen Monday by appointment only. Department of Licensing offices were closed throughout the state March 31st in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The offices are among 14 in the state that will reopen Monday. DOL has 55 offices throughout the state. Appointments will be taken for services that can only be done in-person, such as a first-time driver’s license testing. The department says employees and visitors will be screened for coronavirus symptoms and social distancing rules will be followed. Information on scheduling an appointment can be found on the DOL website at DOL-dot-WA-dot-GOV.

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. . .

As the school year ends, Eastmont music teachers decided to sing their students into summer vacation. In tonight’s feature story, led by Maggie Whiteman, the Eastmont School District’s music coordinator, the whole music faculty joined in on a mashup video via Zoom. . .

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 war of words continues between management and players in Major League Baseball.  Monday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred went back on his own guarantee of a season to say it’s now in doubt…

Manfred said, quote, It’s just a disaster for our game, absolutely no question about it.  I’m not confident.  I think there’s real risk; and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is going to continue, end quote.

Players representative Tony Clark, meanwhile, is steamed…

He said, quote, players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told players and fans that there would ‘100%’ be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season.  It’s time to get back to work.  Tell us when and where, end quote.

Baseball fans will pine for the good ole days with the debut of a documentary this weekend on Ken Griffey, Junior.  Produced by the MLB Network, its entitled “Junior”…

The show will be narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Sterling K. Brown and will include interviews with former Mariners manager Lou Piniella and numerous former teammates, as well as thoughts on what made Griffey such an iconic figure from LeBron James, Reggie Jackson, Bo Jackson, Gary Payton and others.

“Junior” airs Sunday at 5pm on the MLB Network and will repeat at 9 Sunday night.

For the first time since the world halted because of coronavirus, Gonzaga basketball players returned to work Monday…

On cue, men and women for the Bulldogs took to the court for voluntary workouts as the NCAA began allowing such activity.  Gonzaga worked with university officials and the Spokane Regional Health District to establish protocols that address student-athlete safety.

Players were not tested for COVID-19, according to G-U athletic director Mike Roth.  Instead, each had their temperature taken and had to follow several monitoring guidelines.

It’s not back to “normal”, but it’s a step in the right direction.  Spokane is in Phase 2 of Washington’s recovery plan, which allows for up to 5 players to be on the court at one time.  However, they must adhere to social distancing guidelines and equipment, such as the basketball, is cleaned frequently.

One looming question for the Seahawks as they finish up a distant learning mini-camp this week, is the future of Quinton Dunbar.  The defensive back who was obtained in the free-agency market this off-season, is awaiting trial on charges of armed robbery in a Miami incident last month.

Coach Pete Carroll says Dunbar is involved with team activity as they await the next step in the legal process…

Seattle hopes to have Dunbar available when training camp begins in late-July.  A stipulation of Dunbar’s release on 100-thousand-dollars bail is that he not leave the state of Florida.  His attorney says they will ask the courts to allow his departure for work if trial is not set in time for camp.

On a larger scope in the NFL, it was reported by ESPN and other outlets Monday that Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, a few of his teammates and some Houston Texans have tested positive for coronavirus.

Later in the day, Elliott went to Twitter to ask why his personal health information was out in the media…

He simply asked, HIPAA?  HIPPAA’s privacy rule, which prevents the disclosure of medical information without patient approval, only applies to health care providers.

Besides Elliott, the other players were not identified.  It’s not clear how the players contracted the virus.

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.