NCWLIFE Evening News June 23rd, 2020


Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. Grant Olson is out this week; 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: COVID-19 infection rates are on the rise in the Wenatchee Valley and the Columbia Basin. A riverside RV park can’t keep its gates open after a new court ruling. And the prison sentence for an Okanogan County burglar just keeps on longer and shorter.

But first, we begin tonight. . .

… withChelan and Douglas counties, which have once again fallen behind one of the standards set by Governor Jay Inslee for phased reopening of the economy, under his Safe Start COVID-19 plan.

Inslee says for a county to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, there should be no more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents in the most recent two-week period. But in its latest report Tuesday, the Chelan-Douglas Health District said Chelan County was at 33.7 cases per 100,000 residents, and Douglas County at 41.4 cases in the past 14 days.

Chelan County has had a total of 293 people test positive for the coronavirus, and Douglas County has had 199 positive tests. Neither county currently has anyone hospitalized for the virus. Last week for the first time, both counties fell below the 25 cases per 100,000 benchmark. Chelan and Douglas are currently in a modified version of Phase 1 of Inslee’s reopening plan.

Just south in Grant County,the spike in positive COVID-19 tests over the weekend with 63 new cases reported between Friday and Monday. That’s in addition to 106 new cases reported last week. Currently, there are seven Grant County residents hospitalized with the virus.

The Grant County Health District said the latest cases were spread throughout the county. Some of the positive tests have been linked to a single employer, and others to social gatherings or close contact with someone with a confirmed case. Grant County was the first and hardest hit county in Eastern Washington in the early days of the pandemic, but had improved enough by May 23rd to move to Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start reopening plan. The county had hoped to apply to move to Phase 3 before cases began spiking two weeks ago.

The operator of an RV park that operated illegally for years near Dryden failed today to have his condemnation overturned. Jeffrey C. Jones appealed the Chelan County decision first to Superior Court, then today to the Court of Appeals. Both courts have now ruled the 1-1/2 acre RV park that he’s operated since 2008 on Alice Avenue can’t be grandfathered in under state and county law, and ordered it to be removed. The county said that in addition to operating without permits, Jones’ use of the land disturbed a riparian buffer zone along the Wenatchee River.

If you’re a businessperson planning ahead for Phases 2, 3 and beyond during Washington’s recovery from coronavirus, you can get help tomorrow through the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Museum and Cultural Center. The museum hosts a virtual reopening Q&A session with chamber staff and healthcare consultants, starting at noon. You can join online through Zoom or Facebook Live. Get details on the museum’s website or Facebook page.

Coming up next, a fall from a popular climbing site leaves one woman with a broken leg. And an often-used intersection in East Wenatchee gets a shutdown this week for sewer repairs. I’m Jefferson Robbins and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News. . .

An Okanogan County burglar who was first sentenced to 88 months, then to 119 months, now has to be sentenced to 88 months again. Brandon William Cate first appealed his sentence for multiple burglaries in 2018, and the Court of Appeals in Spokane said Okanogan County Judge Chris Culp had wrongly sentenced him to consecutive terms. Culp then imposed an exceptional sentence, again with consecutive terms, this time adding up to 119 months. The Court of Appeals now says that’s at least 31 months too long, because the judge improperly calculated Cate’s sentencing range, and the resulting prison term is, quote, “clearly excessive.”

A young climber is safe and recovering after a fall from an Icicle Canyon boulder.

Deputy Chief Dave Nail with Chelan County Fire District 3 says the woman in her early 20s fell about noontime Monday while negotiating Toto Rock, a smooth granite face that many climbers like to challenge. Nail says the woman suffered a broken leg in the accident, but responders were able to stabilize her at the scene, and bring her to Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth for treatment.

A well-traveled intersection in East Wenatchee will close down for one day on either side of this weekend.

The city says Fourth Street Southeast will shut down Friday at South Kentucky Avenue, making way for some crucial sewer work to take place. The closure will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, then again from for the same period on Monday. The route will stay open during the weekend.

You’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Coming up, Dan Kuntz sits down with Confluence Health medical director Stu Freed, to talk about widening community testing for coronavirus. Eric Granstrom brings you that story, plus sports and weather, next on the NCWLIFE Evening News. Stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News…

Doctor Stu Freed, chief medical director for Confluence Health, says health officials and community leaders are asking residents of the area to volunteer to be tested for COVID-19. Freed said he believes the amount of viral activity in the community is actually low and that random testing could help prove that. For example, he said very few of the hundreds of people being tested at the hospital before surgical procedures are testing positive. The volunteer testing effort includes a series of public service commercials featuring leaders in the valley.

Summer is officially three days old and boy has it kicked into gear here in Eastern Washington.  We’ll see how long the hot and sunny weather will last in a moment, first let’s look outside our weather window.

It was a sunny and HOT one out there today, but not a record.

Taking a look at our weather almanac for today in Wenatchee…
High Temperature – 99      Normal High – 80
Low Temperature – 68      Normal Low – 56
Record High – 105 in 1992
Record Low – 46 in 2009 and 1993
Precipitation – 0.00, 0.16 for the month & 2.66 for year
Sunrise – 5:05am       Sunset – 9:02pm

High Temperatures expected Wednesday in our region…
Moses Lake – 92
Ephrata – 91
Quincy –  90
Ellensburg – 81
Wenatchee – 90
Cashmere – 88
Leavenworth – 84
Lake Wenatchee – 72
Entiat – 87
Chelan – 89
Omak – 89

As we look at the surface loop, we’ll start with the temperature model.  You’ll see the dark red here from Wenatchee down through the Tri-Cities.  That’s 90’s to near 100 degrees.  As we move into tomorrow and the rest of the week, it’s still warm but not as warm as today. As we switch to precipitation and thunderstorm activity, nothing for the next few days, but then watch out for the end of the week and weekend.  We’re expecting thunderstorms to move in Friday and into the weekend.  Luckily, rains are expected to accompany the storms with cooler temperatures Saturday and Sunday.

So here’s your Patriot Plumbing Heating and Cooling forecast for the Wenatchee Valley over the next 7-days…

Tonight – Overcast with a low of 69
Wednesday – Mostly sunny and windy, gusts to 24mph with a high of 89
Wednesday night – Mostly clear and windy, gusts to 32mph with a low of 60
Thursday – Sunny and warmer with a high of 92
Friday – Sunny and warmer with a high of 93
Saturday – Cooling down with increasing clouds, a high of 79
Sunday – Mostly cloudy and rain and thunderstorms possible with a high of 76.  Night time lows will be in the 60’s this week, cooling to the 50’s by the weekend.

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.

In late April, James Elwyn went for his morning run trying to stay fit during a pandemic.  By the end of the day, he was struggling finishing his thoughts and dragging one foot.  Scans at the ER showed that the swimming coach at Wenatchee High School had a mass in his brain…

The race was on, but the battle just couldn’t be won.  And on Saturday, Elwyn passed away.

A GoFundMe page was set up shortly after being hospitalized in April with a goal of 75-hundred dollars.  It currently sits at over 40-thousand.  The outpouring of support for Elwyn and his family has been incredible.

Elwyn began coaching Wenatchee’s girls program in 2005. His team amassed 12 district titles in 14 years and placed at state in each of the past 7-years.  The boys program has also placed in the top 3 at state in each of the past three years.  Elwyn was recently selected as the WIAA 4A Boys Coach of the Year.

Wenatchee High School offered Zoom video conferences earlier today for support to students and staff.  James Elwyn was 51-years old.

It’s a good thing the Seahawks are deep at the tight end position.  Rookie Colby Parkinson has had foot surgery and will be out two to three months…

It was revealed Monday that Parkinson underwent Jones Fracture surgery June 2nd.  The procedure generally involves the placement of plates or screws down the shaft of the fifth metatarsal bone. Other professional athletes such as Kevin Durant, Pau Gasol and Dez Bryant have also had this injury.

Parkinson was a fourth-round draft pick out of Stanford in this year’s draft.  He was listed on the depth chart behind Greg Olsen, Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister.

Russell Wilson was part of a trio of Seattle athletes who hosted the ESPY Awards last Sunday on ESPN.  Wilson was joined by soccer’s Megan Rapinoe and basketball’s Sue Bird in a power opening scene…

The awards show was presented virtually for the first time with restrictions due to the pandemic. 

One day after a noose was allegedly found hanging in the parking garage of NASCAR’s only black driver, Bubba Wallace, the race world responded in a big way…

Prior to Monday’s delayed-start at Talladega, all 39 other drivers and their crews marched down pit road escorting Wallace’s car in a show of solidarity.  Bubba climbed out of his car with tears streaming down his face as he grabbed a selfie.

Wallace didn’t finish first, but he definitely won the race.

Speaking of racing, we’ll have some exciting racing here on the NCWLIFE Channel this Saturday…

We’ll be out at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval to broadcast their inaugural race of the 2020 season.  No fans will be allowed to attend, but we’ll have wall-to-wall coverage here in NCWLIFE.

WVSO came out with the timetable for the week last night.  Friday’s practice will run from 5-to-8pm.  Saturday’s sign-in for crews begins at 2 o’clock and practice begins at 4.

Our cover on NCWLIFE starts LIVE at 6 o’clock with racing beginning at 6:30. We’ll have the race on TV as well as streaming on our website at NCWLIFE dot com and our Facebook page.

Major League Baseball owners voted to implement a 60-game season Monday, hours after the MLB Players Association rejected a 60-game proposal that would have included an expanded postseason…

The season would begin around July 24th with players to arrive at home stadiums to prepare by July 1st.  Players will also have to sign off on a health-and-safety protocol before arriving at facilities as well.

Thanks Dan.

Finally from us tonight, this year’s showcase for student talent at the Apple STEM network may have been virtual, but that didn’t stop the kids from showing up with their best work.

From meme design to virtual science fair demonstrations, the showcase selected nine winners showing creativity and engineering prowess, and gave them each a $100 Visa gift card for their efforts. About 130 students entered the virtual contest, which was originally planned for showings at Pybus Public Market before the public health crisis. You can view their work online at

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 And, remember, if you see news happening we’d like to hear from you.  You can send us an email at, or give us a call 888-NCWL (6295). I’m Jefferson Robbins, I’ll see you here tomorrow night.