NCWLIFE Evening News June 30th, 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, An East Wenatchee man involved in a crash on Highway 28 back in January has died from his injuries. A Peshastin man accused of sexually abusing four children over the course of 20 years is scheduled to enter a guilty plea, and, As expected, and like the rest of the country, the latest unemployment figures for the Wenatchee Valley are in for May and they’re not good.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

A 20-year-old woman and a 16-year-old male were arrested after a high-speed chase early Sunday morning that ended with their stolen car submerged in an irrigation ditch outside Moses Lake.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said it started about 4 a.m. Sunday when deputies responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in George. They soon learned that the suspects had been seen earlier pushing a vehicle that had been stolen in Moses Lake a few hours earlier. The second stolen vehicle was located by Ephrata police about 4:30 a.m. on Dodson Road. In the ensuing chase, speeds reached up to 100 mph before police halted the pursuit.

But Grant County deputies soon spotted the stolen vehicle again on Road 5 Northwest outside Moses Lake and the chase resumed, again at speeds of more than 100 mph.

The suspects drove through a field at Road 5 Northwest and Division Road N before ending up in the irrigation ditch. Arrested were the unidentified juvenile and Tomie Gonzalez of Moses Lake. Both she and the juvenile face numerous charges, including two counts of theft of a motor vehicle, as well as multiple attempts to elude a police vehicle. They were not injured.

A sad ending to a story we first brought you earlier this year. An East Wenatchee man involved in a crash on Highway 28 back in January has died from his injuries.

The Washington State Patrol said 33-year-old Joshua Vines was driving his 1997 Subaru Legacy eastbound on the highway near Trinidad January 14th when he swerved to avoid a dead deer and struck a westbound 2004 Dodge Neon being driven by 40-year-old Wendy Neverez-macias of Ephrata. A 2004 Eastmont High School graduate, Vines died June 2020 at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He is survived by his wife and three children.

A Peshastin man accused of sexually abusing four children over the course of 20 years is scheduled to enter a guilty plea. Theron Jay Heideman, who’s 54, has been jailed in Chelan County for three years since his arrest.

He’s charged with 14 child rape and sexual abuse felonies, the earliest dating back to 2001. Heideman was the subject of police and social services investigations for almost 20 years before his arrest in 2017. Attorneys wouldn’t comment today on details of the plea agreement, but Heideman is set to go before a Superior Court judge July 28th.

As expected, and like the rest of the country, the latest unemployment figures for the Wenatchee Valley are in for May and they’re not good. According to the State Employment Security Department, the Wenatchee MSA’s local unemployment rate jumped from 5.0 percent in May 2019 to 14.3 percent this May.

The local economy lost 6,600 nonfarm jobs (down 14.2 percent), falling from 46,500 jobs in May 2019 to 39,900 in May 2020. Year over year, nonfarm job growth rates in the Wenatchee MSA slipped by 0.2 percent in March 2020 before tumbling by 16.4 percent in April and 14.2 percent in May of this year. The hardest hit of all the major industries is leisure and hospitality where unemployment is between 40 and 50-percent.

Coming up next, Chief administrator Barry Kling departs tomorrow as head of the Chelan-Douglas Health District. Wildland fire crews quickly encircled and knocked down a brushfire that broke out Monday evening in the Chatter Creek drainage, and, just in time for July 4th, the fire hazard level in Chelan County is officially set to HIGH.  I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Chief administrator Barry Kling departs tomorrow as head of the Chelan-Douglas Health District. July 1st is his last day on the job, though he’ll use accumulated vacation and comp time through October 31st.

A copy of Kling’s retirement agreement, obtained by NCWLIFE, shows he and the health district also must agree not to disparage each other once he’s off the job; and he gives up any right to sue the district over his employment.

Kling has managed the district since 2003, but tensions arose between him and the two-county Board of Health, over how to approach the COVID-19 health crisis. Records show he told the board in writing on June 21st of his decision to retire. As of 2017, his salary at the health district was about $94,000 a year.

Wildland fire crews quickly encircled and knocked down a brushfire that broke out Monday evening in the Chatter Creek drainage. The fire, about nine miles up Icicle Road near Leavenworth, took off about 5:45 p.m. But it took just an hour and a half to contain the fire to less than an acre of ground. No injuries were reported, and no structures damaged.

As we just told you fire season is here, and now, just in time for July 4th, the fire hazard level in Chelan County is officially set to HIGH. County commissioners raised the level yesterday, saying conditions are right for sudden wildfires, and residents must restrict their outdoor burning to attended, recreational campfires on their private property. Yard waste and orchard burning has been prohibited all month. Properly managed campfires at hosted campgrounds are also still allowed.

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. . .

It will far from a normal Fourth of July at Wenatchee’s Walla Walla Point Park on Saturday. Because of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, the park will be closed off this year for the fireworks show. Wenatchee Police Captain Edgar Reinfeld told Wake Up Wenatchee Valley’s Dan Kuntz that means an early closure for the park on its traditionally busiest day. . .

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.

It really comes as little surprise, but the Wenatchee AppleSox officially canceled any chance of a baseball season today…

In a message on its website, owner Jose Oglesby announced the cancellation.  He said, quote, To our fans, sponsors, community members, host families and employees, we thank you for your support as we navigate these unprecedented times together.  After much deliberation between our front office and coaching staff and careful analysis of all facts available, the Wenatchee AppleSox are cancelling the 2020 AppleSox Training Camp, end quote.

As with the rest of the West Coast League, the AppleSox hope to cue it up and play ball again in the summer of 2021.

We had so much fun last weekend at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval, we’re going to do it again!

In fact, we’re actually going to do it two more times!  WVSO’s next race is July 11th and we’ll be there broadcasting it LIVE on NCWLIFE Channel.  The Thunder Cars and Pro Late Models will be racing on North Valley Mechanical Night…

They’ll be joined by the Mountain Dew Jr. Late Models, the Plumb Perfect Roadrunners, Northwest Vintage Modifieds and Dwarf Cars.

Unless a miracle happens in the next 12-days, there will be no fans allowed in the grandstands once again.  Due to COVID restrictions on gatherings, that may also be the case for the race the following week July 18th

We’ll broadcast the Thunder in the Valley night with racing featured by the Economy Midgets – Northwest Focus Midget Series; Granite Super Sprints – Speed Tour Super Sprints; Northwest Mini Stock Tour; and the West Coast Vintage Racers.

Be sure to tune in at 6 o’clock for each of the races LIVE on NCWLIFE.

The head of the NFL Players Association is not happy with Russell Wilson and Tom Brady…

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the star quarterbacks should not be holding workouts with teammates during the pandemic.  He appeared in an interview with USA Today saying if Wilson or Brady contract COVID-19 while taking part, they could land on their team’s non-football injury list, meaning they would not be paid until they were able to come off the list.

Players Union Dr. Thom Mayer advised players to stop activities immediately while the NFL and players association figured out how to move forward 10-days ago.  Both Brady and Wilson posted videos later of working out with teammates…

Video courtesy of Russell Wilson’s Twitter account, “Danger Russ”.

The Mariners are going through last-minute preparations for players to restart spring training tomorrow at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.  Manager Scott Servais is excited to get players back together and finish what they started in early March…

Major League Baseball’s revamped, 60-game schedule has not been released yet.  The Mariners are expecting to play 40-games, or 10-each against their division opponents (Los Angeles, Oakland, Texas and Houston).

Meanwhile, Seattle signed its last draft pick from the 2020 draft yesterday in inking a deal with right-handed pitcher Connor Phillips.  The competitive balance round B pick (64th overall) signed for a one-million dollar bonus.

That makes all six draft picks from earlier this month officially signed as Seattle restarts training camp tomorrow.

Talk about a fish tale!

Jeff Witkowski is a fishing guide on Lake Chelan with Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service.  This is from this morning!  This lucky 8-year old, who only weighs 55-pounds, caught this mackinaw that weighed in at 26.7 pounds!

Jeff told me that Dad had to support the rod, but the youngster did every turn of the reel himself.  Dad never touched the reel.  It took him 15-minutes, but he gotter done!

Speaking of fishing, the Upper Columbia River opens for sockeye salmon fishing tomorrow morning…

Below Wanapum, Rocky Reach, and Wells Dams are popular spots for the fantastic table fare.  Another hot spot will be off the mouth of the Okanogan River in the Brewster Pool.  The limit is two sockeye per day and must be at least 12-inches long.  Any other salmon caught must be released.

Thanks Eric.

As we leave you tonight, a reminder, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society wants the community to know that even though they’ve adjusted how they operate during the COVID-19 pandemic they’re still caring for, taking in and adopting out pets. . .

If you have a video of the day, you’d like to see on the NCWLIFE Evening News, message us on our Facebook Page at the NCWLIFE Channel.

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.