NCWLIFE Evening News June 29th, 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, Crowds turned out Sunday for a rally and march in Wenatchee that combined Black Lives Matter concerns with LGBTQ Pride festivities. Bruce Buckles, director of Aging and Adult Care of Central Washington, will lead the Chelan-Douglas Health District as its interim administrator, and, Love them or hate them, the Chelan-Douglas Board of Health is encouraging the use of facial masks when out in public, to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest executive order on coronavirus.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Firefighters were able to contain two separate wind-whipped brush fires Saturday afternoon and evening south of Chelan.

The biggest of the fires was at Daroga State Park on the Douglas County side of the Columbia River, which forced the shutdown of Highway 97 for more than four hours.

That fire, about 19 miles south of Chelan, also burned a power pole, initially knocking out power to about 570 Douglas County PUD customers in the Orondo area.

Power was restored to about half those customers by about 10 p.m. and the remainder about midnight.

The Daroga State Park fire burned in an area between the park’s campground and the highway before jumping the highway and igniting some trees. It first was reported about 4:30 p.m. The highway was shut down about an hour later and wasn’t reopened until about 9:45 p.m.

As crews were fighting that fire, another brush fire was reported on the other side of the river in the Stayman Flats area of Chelan County. Chelan Fire and Rescue said winds pushed the fire into rocky hillside terrain, making it easier to contain. The National Weather Service said its nearest wind measurement site in Entiat recorded wind gusts of up to 45 mph during the fires. Numerous local, state and federal firefighting agencies fought the fires both on the ground and air.

Crowds turned out Sunday for a rally and march in Wenatchee that combined Black Lives Matter concerns with LGBTQ Pride festivities. There were public addresses in Memorial Park, followed by a procession downtown.

The day was marred afterward when someone set fire to this Pride flag outside Pybus Public Market, but overall, organizers marked the event down as a success in outreach and education.

Bruce Buckles, director of Aging and Adult Care of Central Washington, will lead the Chelan-Douglas Health District as its interim administrator with the retirement of longtime chief Barry Kling. The Chelan-Douglas Board of Health voted Friday to accept Buckles, who’s 65, after he was interviewed by three board members Thursday.

Kling, who’s led the district since 2003, announced his retirement this week, after friction developed over a lawsuit brought by some board members to end the state’s COVID-19 state of emergency. At Aging and Adult Care, Buckles oversees social services for some 10,000 senior clients in a six-county area.

He plans to take a leave of absence to lead the two-county health agency, while it searches for a permanent director and deals with the COVID-19 crisis. At the health district, Buckles will earn $9,250 a month.

Love them or hate them, the Chelan-Douglas Board of Health is encouraging the use of facial masks when out in public, to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest executive order on coronavirus. In their Friday remote meeting, the board said all residents of the two counties must adopt masking if the region is to progress under the Governor’s Safe Start program. Douglas County Commissioner and health board vice-chair Dan Sutton, whose own restaurant recently closed, said it’s an easy step to help other businesses stay afloat. . .

Coming up next, The public is being told to avoid all contact with the water in Moses Lake as a toxic blue-green algae bloom has been confirmed. Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest has become the latest community festival to be derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Art on the Avenues, the long-running public art project in downtown Wenatchee, will turn over ownership and maintenance of its public sculptures to the city, and, Beginning Wednesday, the official Washington apple license plates will hit the streetsI’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The public is being told to avoid all contact with the water in Moses Lake as a toxic blue-green algae bloom has been confirmed.

The Grant County Health District investigated after reports from citizens of illnesses and rashes after swimming in the river. The district said the algae levels are higher than state recreational guidelines and the toxins are likely present in all areas of the lake.

People and their pets are being advised to avoid any contact with the water. Warning signs have been posted and the district will test the lake every two weeks until the algae clears up.

Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest has become the latest community festival to be derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Oktoberfest board announced the cancellation of the event Saturday, saying it didn’t appear Chelan County would make it through Governor Jay Inslee’s phased reopening plan in time for the beer-fueled celebration. Oktoberfest 2020 was to be held the first three weeks in October. The board said the biggest concern was that the liquor permits necessary for the event were likely to be denied by the city and state.

Art on the Avenues, the long-running public art project in downtown Wenatchee, will turn over ownership and maintenance of its public sculptures to the city. For the last 25 years, the nonprofit group has installed public art throughout the city, largely on Wenatchee Avenue. Founder Adele Wolford says the transfer of ownership takes place Tuesday. The move involves 42 different public art pieces on the Ave, on the Loop Trail, and throughout the city.

The official Washington apple license plate is about to hit the streets. Beginning Wednesday, the new specialty plate, adorned with a big Red Delicious apple and the words “World’s Finest Apples,” will be available for purchase on the state Department of Licensing website.

The plate will help raise funds for the Washington Apple Education Foundation, which awards more than $1 million in scholarships each year to children from the state’s tree fruit industry. The plates cost $77.25, with a $30 renewal fee. The education foundation will receive $28 for each plate sold.

With the backing of the Washington Apple Commission, 12th-District Sen. Brad Hawkins introduced the apple license plate bill in the 2020 session of the Legislature.

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. . .

In between sessions in D.C., 8th District Congresswoman Kim Schrier has been interviewing constituents remotely about how the coronavirus pandemic has changed their lives. This week, the Congresswoman chatted with Jenny Rojanasthien [row-john-oss-ah-TEE-an], owner of Atlas Fare and Thai restaurants in Wenatchee, about her experience with economic relief programs offered by the federal government. Here’s a sample of their conversation. . .

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.

WE ACTUALLY HAVE SPORTS TO TALK ABOUT TODAY!!!  For the first time in 2020, there was racing Saturday at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval.  Opening night was fan-less, but NCWLIFE Channel cameras were there as Greg Rentz joined Eric Granstrom on the play-by-play…

As we open up the Les Schwab Scoreboard from Saturday night, here you see the final results in the Plumb Perfect Roadrunners with John Doyle first, Alberto Naverete (nah-ver-ett-ay) second, and Kyle Larr third.

Seth Frazier set the fast time and was the winner in the Dick’s Heating and Air Conditioning Thunder Cars.  Terry Osborn was second and Mike Knutson 3rd.

13-year old Allie-Mae Jones of Puyallup won the Bandoleros main event followed by Cannon Delong second and Jordan Mullins third.

Finally on the Les Schwab Scoreboard, in a thrilling 75-lap main event for the Jerry’s Auto Supply Pro Late Models, it was Glenn Knutson grabbing the checkered flag.  His brother Michael was second followed by Josh Ingram 3rd.

After a weekend away for the holiday this weekend, racing returns to Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval July 11th.  The North Valley Mechanical Night will feature the Jerry’s Auto Supply Pro Late Models; Mountain Dew Jr. Late Models; Dick’s Heating and Air Conditioning Thunder Cars; Plumb Perfect Roadrunners; Northwest Vintage Modifieds; and Dwarf Cars.

It looks for now like it will be another race without fans and WVSO has reached out to us at NCWLIFE Channel to broadcast the race.  We’ll have a firm answer on that today or tomorrow.

The Mariners have set their 60-man roster as training camp resumes at T-Mobile Park this week…

The roster excludes injured outfielder Mitch Haniger, who was put on the 45-day injured list as he recovers from back surgery.  The 60 invited players are arriving in Seattle and must pass a COVID-19 test before reporting on Wednesday.

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.