NCWLIFE Evening News June 2nd, 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, The Chelan-Douglas Health District expects to submit a new application to move into the next phase of COVID-19 recovery within a few weeks. They filed their lawsuits May 22nd, seeking a quick end to Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home COVID-19 order. Now the plaintiffs will have to wait until at least tomorrow to learn the fate of their case, and, A Cashmere man accused of exposing himself to schoolchildren will face no charges if he completes a mental health diversion program.     

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Firefighters in Chelan battled a blaze at the Lake Chelan E-Z Mart on Woodin Avenue early this morning that collapsed part of the building’s ceiling and forced crews into defensive fire operations.

Chelan Fire & Rescue said the fire was reported just after 4 a.m. as light smoke inside the building. That was quickly upgraded to a commercial structure fire as flames began shooting through the roof.

Crews used a ladder truck to attack the fire from above as fire crews from Manson, Orondo and Entiat arrived to assist.

The combined efforts of 33 fire personnel had the fire under control by 5:30 a.m. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District expects to submit a new application to move into the next phase of COVID-19 recovery within a few weeks.

Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan allows counties to move into phases of greater and greater economic activity as they show progress in the fight against coronavirus, especially a slowdown in the rate of infection. The two-county Board of Health voted Monday to make a new application, after their first attempt was rejected in May. Twenty-seven of Washington’s 39 counties are now in Phase 2 of the four-phase plan. Chief medical officer Dr. Malcom Butler said the new state guidelines appear within the district’s reach. . .

The current rate of new COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties is estimated at 93 per 100,000 people in the population.

They filed their lawsuits May 22nd, seeking a quick end to Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home COVID-19 order. Now the plaintiffs will have to wait until at least tomorrow to learn the fate of their case.

Attorney Joel Ard withdrew one lawsuit against the governor in Douglas County to focus on the Chelan County lawsuit before Judge Kristin Ferrera, which now features 46 plaintiffs. State attorneys want the case moved to Thurston County. The court held a preliminary hearing Monday, and we captured some highlights. . .

Plaintiffs in that case now include three Wenatchee city councilmembers, two pastors of Grace City Church, state Republican committeewoman Marcy Collins, Windmill restaurant owner Kevin Smith, and NCWLIFE host and former state representative Cary Condotta.

A Cashmere man accused of exposing himself to schoolchildren will face no charges if he completes a mental health diversion program.

29-year-old Christopher Robert Miller was arrested last December after Wenatchee police said he exposed himself to two 13-year-old Foothills Middle School students, and to a 17-year-old WestSide High School student.

In each case, he allegedly asked directions from the students while they were walking near their schools, then exposed himself when they approached his car. Last week, Miller agreed to enter six months of treatment. If he completes it successfully, the city will dismiss three gross misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct.

Coming up next, Wenatchee Valley College president Jim Richardson has weighed in on the death in police custody that’s sparked national confrontations between protestors and police. The body of a Snohomish County firefighter who had been missing since Saturday was found Monday evening on a Peoh Point cliffside near Cle Elum. Okanogan County commissioner Jim DeTro is facing criticism and calls for his resignation after sharing a Facebook meme that made light of violence against protestors in the death of George Floyd, and, The thunderstorm that rolled through the Wenatchee Valley Saturday evening was brief but fierce. . .we’ll show you time lapse video of the storm as it rolled in. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Wenatchee Valley College president Jim Richardson has weighed in on the death in police custody that’s sparked national confrontations between protestors and police.

In a statement Monday to all WVC staff and students, Richardson called the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, quote, “evidence of systemic racism.” He went on to say, “We should always uphold the worth and dignity of all people.

Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility to advocate for each other and our community.” Richardson asks the WVC community to care for each other, and referred students to on-campus counseling services if needed.

The body of a Snohomish County firefighter who had been missing since Saturday was found Monday evening on a Peoh Point cliffside near Cle Elum. 24-year-old Marcus Carroll of Redmond had been hiking alone to the viewpoint on Peoh Point, just south of Cle Elum, on Saturday.

He was last heard from at about 5 p.m. Saturday when he sent a text message His truck was found on the access road to the viewpoint, triggering a search by the Kittitas County Search and Rescue team. Using a drone, they spotted Carroll’s body on the west side of the cliff face just before dark Monday.

Because of the technical challenges of working in the dark, Carroll’s body was not recovered until Tuesday morning.

Okanogan County commissioner Jim DeTro is facing criticism and calls for his resignation after sharing a Facebook meme that made light of violence against protestors in the death of George Floyd.

DeTro, the Republican chairman of the commission, shared the meme May 30th and has since removed it from his personal Facebook page. He defended its use in media interviews, but later posted on his page that he had been hacked.

The thunderstorm that rolled through the Wenatchee Valley Saturday evening was brief but fierce. NCWLIFE’s Tucker Wagner created a time lapse of the storm using footage from our LocalTel SkyFi cameras. Take a look. . .

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. . .

Wenatchee residents gathered last night along the sidewalks of Chelan Avenue in protest of the death of George Floyd. In tonight’s feature story, here with coverage from the demonstration is NCWLIFE’s Kyle Montgomery. . .

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 senseless death of an African-American in Minneapolis at the hands of a white police officer has been felt throughout the country, including the sports community.  The Seahawks put out a statement Monday, supporting the goal of equality and togetherness…

The statement reads, in part, quote, The Seahawks family is dismayed by the unacceptable act of violence that occurred against George Floyd last week in Minneapolis and grieve that loss, along with countless others in a similar manner, including most recently Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Our heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, and every other family that has had to endure the pain from similar atrocities. These biased actions are systemic and have plagued our society for generations and have culminated to the current state of unrest we are experiencing. The Seahawks are guided by overall principles of acceptance and understanding that help us create a culture of respect, equality and inclusiveness both on and off the field. We, as an organization and as individuals, represent and respect a wide range of human differences, personal experiences and cultural backgrounds. We stand with Seattle, and every community in uniting to help heal our society and overcome the hurt, anger and frustration through peaceful protests and acts of togetherness. End quote.

The organization went another step in saying it will provide recipients with grants from the Seahawks Players Equality and Justice for All Action Fund in the amount of half a million dollars.

Coach Pete Carroll took significant time in a team video conference to allow players to express their feelings and experiences about what’s going on in the country. 

Bobby Wagner began his Monday press conference by inviting the media involved to tell the story of the black experience in America…

L.J. Collier said he understands the anger and frustration by the black community…

Duane Brown met with reporters just two days after the death of Floyd and was saddened by the senseless taking of a life…

Russell Wilson posted a lengthy response on Twitter yesterday, saying in part…

 “We cannot continue to ignore racism as though it has ended, or never happened.  The continual violence inflicted upon blacks and people of color must stop.  We need change now.  We need love.  We need compassion.  We need grace and forgiveness even in the midst of pain.”

Those involved in athletics across Eastern Washington are also speaking out against racism and the death of George Floyd.  Washington State Athletic Director Pat Chun…

 “Fifty years ago, my parents immigrated to the United States from South Korea, filled with promises and ideals of the American Dream. Unbeknownst to them, the hope of the American Dream that brought them to a new land was filled with historical systemic inequities, injustices and gross social disparities. Unfortunately for our country, there are countless examples of oppression that still exist today, specifically against our African-American communities, and this is unacceptable.”

Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few…

 “Growing up the son of a minister, and in a Christian family, I was taught and modeled that every person on this earth is equal and should be treated the same no matter their race, color of skin, gender or socioeconomic status. Actions are more important than words. Myself and our program will continue to be an active part of enacting change locally, regionally and nationally.”

Washington State basketball player Isaac Bonton…

 “As long as we can BREATHE, we should not be SILENT. And that goes for everybody!”

How about something uplifting? It was on this day in 1990 the Big Unit, Randy Johnson, made Mariner history by throwing the first no-hitter.  Dave Niehaus had the call on a night when the Detroit Tigers had no answer for the tall leftie…

Johnson struck out eight, but also walked six batters on the night.  Seattle won the game 2-nothing.  By the way, two Tiger pitchers combined to allow just four hits by the Mariners in the same game.

Thanks Eric.

An awesome story now as we leave you tonight. . .Emma Lopez of Soap Lake says her son Olekzander is still talking about the special day he had Saturday celebrating his 5th birthday.

After Emma asked if there was something law enforcement could do to help make the day special, Soap Lake Police Officer Trevor Jones and Grant County Deputy Jason McDonnell quickly stepped up.

They escorted a parade of well-wishers in vehicles past the boy’s home, then stopped in for a visit. Olekzander was born with Caudal Regression Syndrome and has struggled with setbacks and surgeries his entire life, including open heart surgery when he was just 4 days old. But on one special day it was nothing but smiles for Olekzander, who will start kindergarten this fall.

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.