NCWLIFE Evening News June 19th, 2020

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Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. Grant Olson is out tonight; I’m Jefferson Robbins. 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 Douglas County commissioner is under fire for allegedly deceiving the Wenatchee Valley’s chief public health officer. Lake Chelan’s premiere waterpark expects to reopen this weekend, despite the COVID-19 crisis. And short-term vacation rentals are back on the Chelan County agenda, with new regulations possibly to come.

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The first significant wildfire of the season is now contained after consuming about 125 acres of brush about a mile up #2 Canyon in the foothills of Wenatchee. Crews from several firefighting agencies quickly attacked the Gun Club Fire in the Wenatchee foothills Thursday afternoon. The fire was believed to have been ignited by target shooting at the nearby Wenatchee Rifle and Revolver Club. It was first reported about 2:30 p.m. Chelan County Fire District No. 1 Chief Brian Brett told NCWLIFE the assistance his crew received from other agencies was key to stopping the spread of the blaze.

In another fire incident,Orondo firefighters were able to limit a wildland fire in the Brays area to three acres late Wednesday evening. The fire, just before 10 p.m., was in heavy sage, grass and orchard debris in a drainage canyon, the fire department reported. Eight trucks and 14 firefighters were able to keep it from spreading further. There were no injuries or buildings burned in the fire. The fire department said orchard debris, including stumps and branches made for an extended mop-up so the fire did not reignite. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Slidewaters in Chelan says they’re opening for business Saturday despite Chelan County not being eligible to open swimming pools and waterparks under Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan. The waterpark posted that they will be open at 50 percent capacity daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and adhere to social distancing standards. Slidewaters filed suit last month against the state Department of Labor and Industries seeking to block L&I’s ability to fine businesses who defy Inslee’s orders. But a federal judge last week denied a motion for a temporary restraining order that would have allowed the waterpark to open. Under Inslee’s phased reopening plan a county needs to be at Phase 3 for waterparks to open. Chelan county remains at a modified version of Phase 1. Operators claim they have permission from the Chelan-Douglas Health District to open; the district did not respond today to our email requesting confirmation.

The Wenatchee School District still seeks input on its plans for reopening. The state is mandating big changes in the coming school year, like masks for staff and students and 6 feet of separation between desks. The district says the closure of classes has been hard on students, with about 200 Wenatchee High Schoolers receiving an incomplete for the year. They’ll be allowed retake those missed courses. The district launched the online survey a few weeks ago for public comment, and it closes Tuesday. You can still participate by logging in at wenatcheeschools.org.

Coming up next, Grant County falls short in the race to get to Phase 3 of the COVID-19 reopening plan; and Moses Lake may have fallen victim again to a bloom of toxic algae. I’m Jefferson Robbins and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News. . .

Chelan County can’t hold in-person meetings about short-term home rentals, like this one last year, but a virtual meeting Wednesday was just as sizeable. 200 people signed into a Zoom meeting to discuss proposed new rules on the vacation rental industry. County officials are considering a cap on the number of new rentals, plus ways to license and regulate the estimated 1,200 existing operations in the county. The planning commission is expected to draft new rules at another online meeting next Wednesday.

As the number of positive tests for COVID-19 continues to climb, Grant County has decided not to apply to move to Phase 3 of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start reopening plan.

Monday through Thursday this week, there were 88 new positive tests in the county, with 38 Monday, 10 on Tuesday and 20 each on Wednesday and Thursday. There were also three more people hospitalized with the virus, bringing the county’s total hospitalized patients to 8. As has been the case all week, Thursday’s positive tests were spread throughout the county, with new cases in Mattawa, Moses Lake, Quincy, Soap Lake and Warden. On May 23rd, the county was approved to move to Phase 2 and was preparing to apply to move to Phase 3, but the new numbers put that on hold Thursday.

Also today, the Grant County Health District issued a warning about a possible toxic algae bloom in Moses Lake. Testing of the water is planned for Monday, but in the meantime, the district is advising people to be cautious around the water and keep their pets out of it. Contact with an algae bloom can be fatal for pets, and can cause anything from a rash to severe nausea and vomiting in humans. The district said Thursday that reports of the blue-green blooms have been coming in for the past two days, and based on previous years, it’s likely toxins are present. The health district declared the lake unsafe last July after testing near Connelly Park showed toxin levels four times higher than Washington state recreational guidelines.

You’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Coming up next, Douglas County commissioner Marc Straub is under fire for allegedly deceiving public health officer Malcolm Butler to gain advantage in a lawsuit against the Governor. Your complete local weather forecast and sports is also coming up from Eric Granstrom on the NCWLIFE Evening News. Stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News. . .

Last month, the state Attorney General’s office accused a Douglas County commissioner of misusing his position, in a lawsuit over Washington’s COVID-19 state of emergency. The Wenatchee Valley’s chief health officer has made the same claim, and it’s having repercussions in the public health community. Commissioner Marc Straub is at the center of the controversy, and he told NCWLIFE he’s done nothing wrong. Here’s our story. . .

Let’s first look outside our weather window…we saw warm and dry weather for the Wenatchee Valley today with lots of sunshine…a few clouds here and there, but overall.


Today’s High – 88       Normal – 79
Last Night’s Low – 57 Normal – 56
Record High – 96 in 1985
Record Low – 44 in 2016 & 1996
Precipitation – 0.00 yesterday, .16 for June, 2.66 for year
Sunrise this morning and tomorrow morning at 5:04am and sunset tonight and tomorrow night at 9:01pm…welcome to the longest days of the year and the summer solstice!

Saturday Temps
As we look at our region for tomorrow, our first day of summer will might offer a clouds and rain in the morning with cooler temperatures.
Moses Lake – 84
Ephrata – 83
Quincy – 82
Ellensburg – 76
Wenatchee – 84
Cashmere – 81
Leavenworth – 78
Lake Wenatchee – 66
Entiat – 82
Chelan – 83
Omak – 82

Forecast Discussion – Today will be mostly dry over the majority of the Inland Northwest, except for some isolated showers over the mountains, and continuing a warming trend. The weekend will feature seasonably warm temperatures, breezy afternoon winds, and scattered showers and a chance of thunderstorms. The highest risk will be in and around the mountains. Dry weather and a warming trend is expected going into next week.

Wenatchee Forecast 7-day forecast
Tonight – increasing clouds with showers late – 66
Saturday – Clouds and showers in morning – 84
Saturday Night – decreasing clouds, breezy – 58
Sunday – Mostly sunny – 85
Sunday night – Clear and mild – 56
Monday through Thursday – sunny and warm with highs in the 90’s and lows in the 60’s.

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.

Anyone who’s been through a divorce can understand what’s going on in baseball right now.  The relationship has become toxic and talks between the two develop a larger divide as time goes on…

So, let’s catch you up to date on the time line and where we’re at on negotiations to start a pandemic-shortened Major League Season.

Tuesday Night – Commissioner Rob Manfred and the players union’s Tony Clark met for four hours.  Manfred THOUGHT they had a working deal.

Wednesday – Manfred proposes a 60-game season with full, prorated salaries.  Clark says they NEVER had a deal, rejecting MLB’s offer.

Thursday – Clark counters with a 70-game season and extended playoffs this and next year saying, “We believe this offer represents the basis for an agreement on a resumption of play.”

Thursday – Manfred immediately rejects the MLBPA plan, saying “this needs to be over.  Until I speak with owners, I can’t give you a firm deadline.”

So where does that leave us?  Its likely that MLB will implement a 50-game schedule per the March 26th agreement, a move that will probably lead to a grievance from the players.

As the bickering between the two sides continues, the Phillies and Blue Jays have closed their spring training facilities.

At Philadelphia’s facility in Clearwater, Florida, five players and three staff members tested positive for coronavirus.  Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that the Toronto Blue Jays also shut down their spring training facility in Dunedin after a player exhibited coronavirus symptoms.

Today is Juneteenth, a day recognized as the announcement of the Civil War’s end and the freeing of all slaves in America.  Major League Baseball is celebrating with a conversation about “Being Black in Baseball in America”.

The panel discussion is hosted by former Mariner Harold Reynolds of the MLB Network and includes players Sterling Sharp, Josh Bell and Jon Duplanter as well as Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson…

 “Being Black in Baseball in America” is available to watch right now on MLB dot com…

In addition, the Mariners are releasing a video on their YouTube page today entitled, “Black Voices in Baseball” at 11 o’clock this morning.  It’s hosted by Seattle play-by-play announcer Dave Sims and features candid conversations with Dee Gordon, J.P. Crawford, Kyle Lewis and Shed Long, Junior.

And, speaking of baseball on video, if you’re a fan of Ken Griffey, Junior, don’t forget to tune in to the MLB Network Sunday for the debut of “Junior”, a documentary…

Junior debuts Sunday at 5 on the MLB Network and will re-air at 9 Sunday night.

Josh Gordon firmly believes he’ll be a Seattle Seahawk again.  The wide receiver has been working out in Seattle, preparing for what he believes will be his 9th season in the NFL…

Wednesday, Gordon submitted his letter for reinstatement to the NFL, according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.  Gordon was suspended in December after five games with the Seahawks for violating the NFL’s policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse.  It was Gordon’s fifth league-imposed suspension in eight years.

Gordon’s lawyer, Adam Kenner, said “Josh had a lapse because of his brother’s death.  That set him back.  But since that time, he has realized how important it is for him to take the right steps.”  Gordon awaits a decision from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Thanks Eric.

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 Jefferson Robbins, I’ll be with you all next week. Thanks for joining us, have a great weekend, and don’t forget to wear your mask.