NCWLIFE Evening News March 13th, 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, On Thursday, the Chelan-Douglas Health District recommended strict limits on large-group events because of Covid-19, leading many non-school activities to be canceled as well. The Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted its first weekly call-in with health officials regarding Covid-19 earlier today, Local churches are changing their approach to worship in light of the Coronavirus outbreak, and, A Wenatchee man facing 18 charges of child molestation and child pornography is likely to be prosecuted in federal court.
But first, we begin tonight. . .

COVID Schools –One day after K-12 school districts took restrictive measures to battle coronavirus, Gov. Jay Inslee says all of them must close until April 24th. This afternoon, Inslee announced the emergency move to slow the state’s COVID-19 epidemic. He’s also expanding limits on public gatherings: No events of more than 250 people will be allowed anywhere in the state. The decision comes as President Trump declared a national state of emergency over the virus, which so far has killed 31 people in Washington, and infected a confirmed 457. School districts across the region yesterday restricted non-student visitors and cancelled sporting events, performances, and meetings.

COVID Conference Call -On Thursday, the Chelan-Douglas Health District recommended strict limits on large-group events, leading many non-school activities to be canceled as well. Most recently, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society announced it will close its doors to the public, at least through the weekend. In a conference call today organized by the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, health district administrator Barry Kling said his office has been ramping up its messaging on how to stay safe from coronavirus infection.

COVID Churches -Local churches are changing their approach to worship in light of the outbreak. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and the Diocese of Yakima have canceled several retreats and meetings through Palm Sunday, changed the way they bestow sacraments, and asked parishioners who feel sick to stay home. First United Methodist Church in Wenatchee is continuing weekend services in larger rooms, to allow more space between worshippers. And several churches are encouraging parishioners to attend service by Facebook live or other online streams. Check with your house of worship for any other guidelines.

Federal Molestation -A Wenatchee man facing 18 charges of child molestation and child pornography is likely to be prosecuted in federal court. Lawyers for Jose Antonio Mendoza told a Chelan County judge on Wednesday the Eastern District of Washington is taking over the case. Wenatchee police said they found multiple images of child pornography on Mendoza’s devices when they arrested him at his home January 9th, including videos that appeared to show him sexually abusing children. Transmission of child porn is a federal crime. Federal charges haven’t yet been filed, but Mendoza, who’s 31, remains in the Chelan County jail on a quarter-million dollars bond.
Coming up next, The Washington State Legislature adjourned Thursday night after approving a 53.4 billion-dollar supplemental budget that included 200 million dollars for efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. Former Vice President Joe Biden appears poised to win Washington’s Democratic presidential primary, despite trailing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders after Tuesday’s election night results, and, The Forest Service has an aggressive plan for prescribed burns this spring in North Central Washington. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.


Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Legislature Adjourns -The Washington State Legislature adjourned Thursday night after approving a 53.4 billion-dollar supplemental budget that included 200 million dollars for efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. That included $25 million for unemployment insurance to help employees laid off during the coronavirus outbreak. The operating budget increased state spending by 1 billion dollars. The budget also spends $170 million for services to address homelessness. But efforts pushed by Governor Jay Inslee to implement a low-carbon fuel standard that likely would have raised the cost of gas an estimated 18 to 45 cents per gallon died in the Senate for the second straight session. The supplemental budget was passed mostly along party lines, with Republican 12th District Representatives Keith Goehner and Mike Steele voting no. It was passed in the Senate by a 28-21 vote, with Sen. Brad Hawkins voting in opposition.

Presidential Primary -Former Vice President Joe Biden appears poised to win Washington’s Democratic presidential primary, despite trailing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders after Tuesday’s election night results. The latest count has Biden up by almost 27,000 votes after trailing him by just over 2,000 votes Tuesday.

Prescribed Burns -The Forest Service has an aggressive plan for prescribed burns this spring in North Central Washington. There are three burns planned in the Chelan area covering more than 900 acres. About 1,100 acres will be burned in the Ardenvoir area and 500 acres at the summit of Blewett Pass. In addition, more than 4,000 acres will be burned in several areas Okanogan County. The low-intensity burns are likely to create smoky conditions in some cases but the Forest Service says they are a valuable tool in lowering the risk of future high-intensity wildfires. No dates have yet been given for the burns. 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. . .
East Wenatchee Police Chief -In tonight’s feature story, East Wenatchee’s police chief says he believes that working conditions are improving within the department. Tom Robbins says a sense of trust is slowly returning after the departure of former chief Randy Harrison. Harrison retired last year after the police officers’ union accused him of mismanagement leading to a no confidence vote. The City ordered an investigation of the union’s complaints by a panel of outside law enforcement officials. The findings of the so-called LEMAP (pronounced LEE-map) study have led to changes that interim Chief Robbins says are being worked on. . .
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.

NCWLIFE Channel Sports

The latest sport to fall victim to the Coronavirus pandemic is BCHL Hockey…

The British Columbia Hockey League Board of Governors announced late Thursday that the remainder of the BCHL season has been cancelled until further notice due to recent concerns regarding the COVIG-19 pandemic.
The decision was made by Hockey Canada to cease operations of all events and activities and this mandate is being supported by all organizations across Canada.

Locally, the situation with the Coronavirus has also scrubbed at least the first game of indoor football at the Town Toyota Center…
The Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks have decided to postpone its first game of the season that was scheduled for Tuesday against the Tri-Cities Rage. Any fans who purchased tickets can obtain a refund at the Town Toyota Center box office or by going on line to the Skyhawk’s website at w-v skyhawks doc com slash tickets. All of the local school districts have now cancelled any extracurricular activities until at least after spring break. The spring sports teams will still be practicing, there just won’t be any games.

For those who are dying to watch some good sports on TV, we have you covered…
We’ll have the Cashmere girls semifinal basketball game from last week’s State 1A Tournament at the Sun Dome tonight at 7 o’clock. This is a repeat of the 2019 semifinal when the Lightning knocked the Bulldogs off. Not to be this time around as Hailey Van Lith scored 15 or her 24-points in the second half to lead Cashmere to the victory. Watch our feed from the NFHS and Eli Sports Network here on the NCWLIFE Channel.
Then Saturday, tune in at 7 o’clock here on the NCWLIFE Channel for the Cashmere boys game at the State Tournament against River View from last Saturday morning. The Bulldogs were led by the 15 points of Sam Phillips and 12 from Carter Alberts in winning the 4th place trophy. Again, the feed is from the NFHS and Eli Sports Network.
Then tomorrow at 9, it’s the Girls 1A State Championship featuring the Cashmere girls and Lynden Christian. Relive the back and forth heavyweight prize fight as one team would grab the lead and then the other. Then watch to see how an 8-point lead for Cashmere in the 3rd quarter would quickly evaporate in the 4th as the Lyncs foiled the Bulldogs attempt to win its first Girls State Title in school history. The NFHS has the feed with the play-by-play provided by the Eli Sports Network. That all begins at 9 o’clock tomorrow night here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

Now that the decisions have been made to cancel events such as the NCAA Tournament, we’re getting reactions. It was a particular bitter pill to swallow for Gonzaga University with its men’s and women’s programs set to enter the tournament and possibly play their first-round games at home in Spokane.
Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth addressed those issues yesterday in a press conference…

The Seattle Mariners, along with the rest of Major League Baseball, are getting used to the idea that the exhibition season is over and there will be at least a two week delay to the start of the regular season.
Mariners majority owner John Stanton says he doubts they’ll get going by the second week of April…
For all the world, it becomes a wait-and-see game for now.


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 weekend.