NCWLIFE Evening News June 3rd, 2021

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Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. I’m Grant Olson. Before we get to what’s making news, let’s take a quick look outside our weather window:

And now, here a few of the stories we’re following for you tonight, A Washington State Patrol trooper based in Wenatchee caused an auto wreck and suffered minor injuries Wednesday on Blewett Pass./ The man accused of attacking and strangling a Wenatchee hotel employee he summoned to his room to fix a toilet pleaded not guilty yesterday, and, The number of people who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Chelan and Douglas counties rose slightly over the past week, unfortunately so did the number of COVID cases.   

But first, our top story tonight. . .

Threatening messages on social media led Quincy Middle School to lock down yesterday, and then cancel in-person classes today.

Quincy police say a 15-year-old made threats on Instagram to open fire at the school, on both the school’s page and a staff member’s personal account. The youth was arrested and police said the threats appeared not to be credible. The school building is scheduled to reopen for classes on Friday.

A Washington State Patrol trooper based in Wenatchee caused an auto wreck and suffered minor injuries Wednesday on Blewett Pass. 47-year-old Trooper Jeremy Weber was parked on the shoulder of Highway 97 four miles north of the summit just before 12:30 p.m., when he made a U-turn back onto the roadway, and struck a northbound SUV. The other driver was not harmed, but both vehicles had to be towed. Trooper John Bryant with State Patrol District 6 says Weber was on duty in an unmarked patrol vehicle at the time. . .

Weber is a Waterville resident who’s been on the State Patrol since 2011. He was treated for a complaint of neck pain, and spent today recuperating at home. Bryant says an internal investigation will review the accident, and Weber may face administrative penalties for causing it.

The man accused of attacking and strangling a Wenatchee hotel employee he summoned to his room to fix a toilet pleaded not guilty yesterday. 32-year-old James Lawrence Jackson-Smith of Michigan is charged with first-degree assault and kidnapping.

He allegedly summoned a female employee to his room at the Wenatchee Super 8 on May 20th, and then tried to choke her unconscious.

The woman fought back and Smith allegedly fled, only to be caught in a traffic stop by East Wenatchee police later on. Judge Lesley Allen set Jackson-Smith’s trial date for July 20th. He remains jailed in the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on $500,000 bond.

The number of people who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Chelan and Douglas counties rose slightly over the past week.

In its weekly vaccination progress report, the Chelan-Douglas Health District reported that 51.14 percent of Chelan County residents and 44.1 percent of Douglas County residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Both those numbers are slightly more than 1 percent higher than numbers reported last week.

The rate of new COVID-19 cases in the two counties was up slightly in the health district’s thermographic this week, with 88.3 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, compared with 82.7 new cases per 100,000 residents last week.

Coming up next, Link Transit said yesterday it will continue to offer free rides on its buses until at least June of 2022./ Good news for a hot summer ahead: The splash pad in Eastmont Community Park will have its opening day on Friday, and, we will tell you about a recently discovered rare plant near Malaga. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Link Transit said yesterday it will continue to offer free rides on its buses until at least June of 2022.

Saying it wanted riders to bypass the fare box and lessen contact between drivers and passengers, Link waived fares on its buses last March in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a press release Wednesday, Link said continuing the no-fare policy is intended to help attract riders back to the system, which has seen a 25 to 30 percent drop in ridership since the pandemic began. Link pointed out it has been operating several fare-free routes for a number of years and fares account for only 3 to 6 percent of its overall revenues.

Good news for a hot summer ahead: The splash pad in Eastmont Community Park will have its opening day on Friday, and operate through the weekend.

The Eastmont Parks and Recreation Department says the splash pad will cease running after this weekend for just a few days, then start operating June 11th for the rest of the summer.

The popular waterplay center was built in 2018, paid for by half a million dollars from a capital improvement bond.

The Department of Natural Resources was out in the foothills near Malaga recently checking on a rare plant called whited’s milkvetch that is only found only in the Upper Dry Gulch Natural Preserve. DNR’s Allison Morrow talks about this year’s survey. . .

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. . .

Time now for our weekly Pause for Pets feature from the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society. Tonight, NCWLIFE’s Megan McPherson introduces us to Milo the dog. . .

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.

Thanks Eric

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.