NCWLIFE Evening News June 26th, 2020


Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. Grant Olson is back from vacation next 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: A father and son barely avoid catastrophe when a tubing adventure on the Wenatchee River goes wrong. Goats get the upper hand on fire danger around one of the city’s most scenic gardens. And 50 years after the big burn in the Entiat Valley, the ground is still giving up important scientific data.

But first . . .

A Chelan Falls man faces multiple charges after a two-car accident yesterday afternoon on Highway 2 one mile south of Orondo.  The Washington State Patrol reports that just before 4:30 a Cadillac Seville being driven by 62 year-old Patrick Brighton crossed the center line and struck a Chevy pickup head-on. Brighton and a passenger in the pickup, 56 year-old Bryan Williams of Wenatchee, were transported to Central Washington Hospital with unknown injuries. The driver of the truck, 20 year-old Cesar Ramos Guerra of Entiat, was not hurt.  Brighton faces charges of DUI, vehicular assault and driving without a valid license.

Rescuers say a father and son are lucky to be alive: Their float tube tipped in treacherous water yesterday on the Wenatchee River at Leavenworth, but they were able to negotiate severe rapids and pull themselves to safety.

Chelan County Fire District 3 says the 56-year-old father and his 10-year-old son overturned as they tried to exit from the river near Barn Beach. They were swept downstream to a point just above what’s known as Boulder Bend, a hazardous area that only experienced paddlers should try this time of year. The father, who’s 56, managed to put his son back on the tube, but he himself was left in the water and buffeted by the rapids until the two pulled themselves up on the riverbank. Neither was wearing a flotation device; both refused medical treatment. Assistant Chief Glenn Brautaset says the risk of river accidents right now is very high.

That fatal accident involved 65-year-old Alyson Berman of Leavenworth.

She died after a June 19 paddleboard accident, in which she fell into the Wenatchee River and was trapped by a snag near Blackbird Island. A bystander was able to reach her only after she’d been underwater for several minutes. Berman died in hospital care on Monday.

A motorcyclist had to be transported to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee after he collided with a deer on Highway 97 early this morning. Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said passing motorists found 67-year-old James Featherstone of Chelan and his 2004 BMW R-Twelve-hundred in the middle of the highway about 2:12 a.m. and the badly injured dear nearby. By the time a trooper arrived Featherstone was up and walking around but complaining of neck and back pain. Bryant said the deer had to be dispatched by a trooper. In addition to the state patrol, Orondo firefighters and medical aid crews responded to the wreck, about six miles south of the Beebe Bridge.

One of the jewels of the Wenatchee landscape,Ohme Gardens is closed for the season due to coronavirus concerns, but some special guests are being welcomed. The gardens rented about 300 goats this week to help clear brush on their property to the west.

Goats and their huge appetites have become a popular way of making an area less vulnerable to wildfires. Here in Wenatchee we first saw them being used in the wake of the 2015 Sleepy Hollow Fire, to consume fire-prone vegetation around neighborhoods in the foothills.

Coming up next, the Entiat Burn is still big news for forest scientists, five decades after it happened. And a young helper steps up when he sees state troopers in need of refreshment. I’m Jefferson Robbins and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News. . .

Fifty years after it scorched 122,000 acres of wildland, the famous Entiat Burn is still being studied … and providing answers about fire recovery.

That fire struck in August 1970, threatening the town of Ardenvoir. It also became the subject of this short film, “Wildfire!,” released in 1971. A new study from the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station finds that areas in the burn zone that were salvage-logged and seeded over the last 40 years showed less soil erosion and runoff than areas that were left to recover on their own. The researchers say there’s many reasons that could be true, and there and endless possibilities for further study. 

An effort to ensure that all children will have a mask assuming they return to school this fall begins Saturday with a mask collection at the Town Toyota Center. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers can drop off masks, with a need for masks of all sizes but especially medium. Coordinators are asking that the masks be in a ziplock bag with a label identifying their size. The event is being sponsored by Columbia Valley Community Health, Serve Wenatchee Valley and the Eastmont and Wenatchee school districts.

While investigating the car crash on Highway 2 Thursday afternoon in 90-degree heat, Washington State Patrol Troopers received some welcome assistance from 11-year-old Evan Dalke of Waterville. Trooper Jeremy Weber said it was much appreciated.

Up next, East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford is still having fun bringing video newsbites from around her community. Eric Granstrom brings you that story, plus weather and sports, just ahead on the NCWLIFE Evening News. Stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News…

East Wenatchee Mayor Jerry Lee Crawford welcomes Kelley Kennedy in her Coffee with Crawford video this week.  Kennedy is the CEO of Impact Events, the organization in charge of the Wenatchee Valley 4th of July celebration…

It was a hot and windy day today and those winds are predicted to continue all through tonight and tomorrow.

As we look outside our weather window, brought to you by SkyFi Wireless Network from LocalTel, you can see the sunshine, blue skies, and shaking of the camera from our strong winds.

Let’s take a look at our weather almanac for the Wenatchee Valley today…
Today’s High – 95       Normal High –
Today’s Low – 68        Normal Low
Record High – 102 in 2015       Record Low – 43 in 1976
Precipitation – 0.00” yesterday, 2.66” for the year
Sunrise – 5:06am       Sunset – 9:02pm

It will be incredibly windy for all of our region over the next 24-hours, so let’s see how that impacts our high temperatures on Saturday…
Moses Lake – 82
Ephrata – 81
Quincy – 80
Ellensburg – 72
Wenatchee – 81
Cashmere – 78
Leavenworth – 75
Lake Wenatchee – 62
Entiat – 80
Chelan – 82
Omak – 82

We’ll start off our surface loop tonight with the cloud cover because it will really show what’s happening with the winds.  Whenever the pressure gradients get close together like this, especially in front of a weather system moving in from the northwest, gives us very windy conditions.  We’ll see sustained winds 20-to-25 over the next 24-hours with gusts to 40-miles an hour.  Our precipitation models still show a large front moving through on Sunday, bringing a good chance of lightning and showers.  With the high temperatures we’ve had the past few days, that means an increasing risk of fire, so be very careful.  Those showers will linger into Monday and Tuesday before things dry back out as we head towards Independence Day next Saturday.  Temperatures show near 100-in the Tri-Cities and mid-90’s for the Columbia Basin and Wenatchee today.  Things will cool down considerably tomorrow and Sunday before warming back up into the 90’s again by the 4th of July.

So here’s your 7-day forecast brought to you by Patriot Plumbing Heating and Cooling…

Tonight – Clear and windy with northwest winds 14-to-21 with gusts to 34mph, a low of 62
Saturday – Sunny and windy, winds 18-to-23 with gusts to near 40mph, a high of 80
Saturday night – winds gusting to 40 should decrease overnight, a low of 55
Sunday – Increasing clouds with a 50-percent chance of showers and thundershowers, a high of 75, winds should be light
Monday & Tuesday – Showers and thundershowers mixed with partly sunny skies, highs in the mid-80’s, lows around 60
Wednesday-July 4th – Mostly sunny and warm, highs in the 80’s and lows in the upper 50’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.

37 cars and drivers have signed up to race this weekend at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval…

Most will take to the track tonight for the third practice session of the season on Fancher Heights.  Then they’ll begin hot laps at the Oval tomorrow afternoon at 4 o’clock.

Fans will recognize many of the names participating this weekend, including last year’s points champion in the Jerry’s Auto Supply Pro Late Models Glenn Knutson out of Quincy.  He’ll face a challenge from brother Michael Knutson, Josh Ingram and former three-time track champion Terry Halverson.

Last year’s Dick’s Heating and Air Conditioning Thunder Car champion Terry Osborn will look to take the checkered flag tomorrow night.  2019 runner-up Cameron Doyle will have something to say about that.

It’s a family affair in the Plumb Perfect Roadrunners as Moses Lake sisters Emily and Jamy Macken will battle alongside cousin Breanna Macken.

And you’ll have some fun watching the Bandolero class made up of 8-to-14 year old’s that include racers from Yakima, Spokane, Ephrata, Puyallup and Charlo, Montana…

Our coverage on the NCWLIFE Channel will begin at 6 o’clock during qualifying.  Racing gets underway at 6:30. The night will include heat races in each class of cars and main events in all four categories.  It will be a 25-lap main for the Roadrunners; 35-laps for the Thunder Cars; 20-laps for the Bandoleros; and a 75-lap finale for the Pro Late Models.

Following the release of restart guidelines for athletics and activities for schools across the state by the WIAA this week, local conference leaders met to discuss a plan of attack.  Eastmont athletic director Russ Waterman says the Big-9 AD’s met Thursday morning.  He said while there’s a push to find normalcy for student-athletes, schools will be hamstrung by there their county is on the Phased Safe Start plan…

NCWLIFE Channel is working with local districts on a broadcast schedule for the fall.  Right now, everything is in limbo until we see the direction of the pandemic.  We’ll have more with Waterman tonight on the NCWLIFE Evening News.

The new Seattle NHL hockey team doesn’t have a name yet, but the arena in which they’ll play does…

Amazon bought the naming rights to what was the Key Arena and announced Thursday it will be called the Climate Pledge Arena.

The facility will be powered 100-percent by renewable electricity and seek to achieve a zero-carbon footprint.  Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos broke the news Thursday on Instagram.

NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke (LIE-wick-EE) said in an interview Thursday that the arena aims to produce zero waste, will source food locally and reduce all plastics by 2024.

Climate Pledge Arena is expected to be open by late next summer.

Eastern Washington University had already considered budget cuts across the board due to declining enrollment.  Then the coronavirus hit, and those cuts will slash deeper…

Eagle athletics were already facing a 5.9-million dollar deficit when things were shut down in March.  Now the department is being asked to take an additional 20-percent cut, an estimated 2.1-million dollars.

Athletic Director Lynn Hickey said Thursday that each of Eastern’s athletic programs will lose 30-percent of their operating budgets.  Administrators and coaches have been asked to take reductions in salary and roughly 12 vacant positions won’t be filled.

Hickey says they’re also having to be creative in an approach to travel, such as commercial rather than charter flights as well as bussing instead of flying. Hickey was quoted in the Spokesman Review article as saying, “instead of eating a team meal at the hotel, you go to Golden Corral.”

Thanks Eric.

Pybus Public Market says its Fourth of July artisan vendor event is on this year, but it’ll be held outdoors and with COVID-19 precautions in place. Local craftspeople will set up on the outdoor plaza at the market. Guests can enter a mask-decorating contests to win Pybus gift certificates, and all the shops and restaurants inside the market are open, with health restrictions. The event runs 8am to 1pm on the Fourth.  

Finally tonight, exciting news from the Entiat National Fish Hatchery: The first tagged summer Chinook salmon of the year has made it back to the mouth of the Entiat River. The hatchery’s tagging system detected the returning fish on Monday as it took a hard left from the Columbia to head back to the area where it spawned. The chinook doesn’t have a very memorable name for a valiant explorer, though: Under the tag system, he or she is simply known as 3DA.1A19AF17CE. We’ll have to hold a contest to come up with a better one.

Now here’s Dan Kuntz with a look at what’s coming up Monday morning, on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley.

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, Grant Olsen is back on Monday. Have a great weekend, and don’t forget your mask.