NCWLIFE Evening News March 16th, 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, A Catholic priest in Mattawa was diagnosed this weekend with coronavirus. A Wenatchee man is accused of abusing two children by choking and punching them in the stomach, and, A Soap Lake police officer was pepper sprayed by a suspect late Saturday night.
But first, we begin tonight. . .

COVID Shutdowns -Starting at midnight tonight, an emergency order from Governor Jay Inslee will temporarily shut down all restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in Washington, and limit all public gatherings to 50 or fewer people. Grocery stores and pharmacies are exempt from the closures, but retail stores must limit the amount of people inside to 50 or less people at any given time. Restaurants can provide takeout and delivery, but customers will not be allowed to dine inside.
This follows Friday’s announcement that the Governor has ordered all K thru 12 schools in our state to close starting tomorrow, until at least April 24th. It’s not just restaurants. Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort outside Wenatchee said this morning it’s shut down for the season. Vail Resorts closed all of its mountain ski areas, including Stevens Pass, for at least a week. Confluence Health, the Wenatchee Valley’s largest medical provider, says it will postpone elective surgeries and routine patient visits for at least the next six weeks. Local governments are postponing public meetings, or figuring out ways to hold them virtually. And the Chelan County PUD closed its lobby to the public until further notice, all because of coronavirus concerns. As of Monday, the Washington State Department of Health has confirmed 769 COVID-19 cases in Washington State. 42 deaths have been reported, including one Grant County resident who died in hospital care in Wenatchee.


COVID Confluence -Large-scale and convenient testing for the novel coronavirus has come to Wenatchee. Over the weekend, Confluence Health opened its first-drive-through center for patients who worry they might have been exposed to the infectious disease. They can get their results in about 72 hours. NCWLIFE visited the pop-up facility for a closer look. . .

Grant County COVID -A Catholic priest in Mattawa was diagnosed this weekend with coronavirus. Father Alejandro Trejo, pastor of Our Lady of the Desert parish, becomes the third case of COVID-19 identified in the county. The local health district and the Diocese of Yakima alerted parishioners on Sunday. They say Trejo has been hospitalized since March 1st in Richland, for treatment of pneumonia. Bishop Joseph Tyson said in a statement, quote, “Father Alex continues to recover well and we are appreciative of the prayers of many, many parishioners, and the excellent care of hospital staff.” It’s unknown how Trejo contracted the virus.

Child Assault -A Wenatchee man is accused of abusing two children by choking and punching them in the stomach. Wenatchee police on Thursday arrested Albert Alex Rivas, who’s 35, on suspicion of child assault. They say he routinely choked one of the children, an 11-year-old girl, almost to the point of unconsciousness, and also choked and punched a 9-year-old boy. Prosecutors are likely to bring criminal charges this week. Rivas is currently held in the Chelan County jail on $100,000 dollars bond.

Officer Pepper Sprayed -A Soap Lake police officer was pepper sprayed by a suspect late Saturday night. It started just before midnight when Officer Robert Geates spotted a vehicle with no lights blocking Lakemoor Drive near Yenney Storage Units. Police say 26-year-old Fernando Camarena, one of the vehicle’s occupants, admitted the car was stolen, gave a false name, then took off running. A foot chase covered several blocks before Camarena turned and pepper sprayed Geates, who then used a Taser on Camarena. The officer and Camarena were both treated for injuries before Camarena was charged with numerous crimes, including felony assault.
Coming up next, A suspected car thief went off-road this morning during a police pursuit in Quincy, with the chase ending in a big pile of rocks and debris. An early morning fire Sunday near Ephrata destroyed a trailer house, The race to replace outgoing Chelan County Commissioner Doug England grew to three in an announcement last night, and, If you’re looking for an opportunity to get away from it all, the Forest Service began taking reservations today for campsites at the Lake Creek Campground about 28 miles up the Entiat River Road. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.


Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Quincy Truck Theft -A suspected car thief went off-road this morning during a police pursuit in Quincy, with the chase ending in a big pile of rocks and debris. 25-year-old Mary Aldana of Quincy faces numerous charges after allegedly stealing a 2016 GMC Duramax 2500 in the thousand block of Intermodal Way. When an officer located the stolen truck about 7:30 a.m. it led to a short pursuit before the truck crashed into the large debris pile at Division Road and 1st Avenue Southeast. Police say Aldana was found on the ground outside the truck and was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Trailer Fire -An early morning fire Sunday near Ephrata destroyed a trailer house. About 3:30 a.m., firefighters from Grant County Fire District 13 and Ephrata responded to the fire in the 13-thousand block of Drumheller Road to find the trailer fully engulfed. The modified trailer, which had been used as a home, was completely destroyed and a nearby pumphouse received substantial damage. There were no reported injuries. Firefighters spent about two hours putting out the fire.

Brandt Cappell -The race to replace outgoing Chelan County Commissioner Doug England grew to three in an announcement last night. Brandt Cappell, a 33-year old Sunnyslope resident, announced his candidacy last night in a press release. Brandt currently works as a legislative assistant to Representative Keith Goehner after working as a legislative assistant to former Representative Cary Condotta. Cappell, a Wenatchee High School graduate, joins two other declared candidates for the seat: England’s brother Dale England and Chelan resident Tiffany Gering. All three are Republicans.

Campground Reservations -If you’re looking for an opportunity to get away from it all, the Forest Service began taking reservations today for campsites at the Lake Creek Campground about 28 miles up the Entiat River Road. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance at recreation-dot-gov. About half the 18 campsites can be reserved in advance, with the others on a first-come, first-served basis. Campsites are 10 dollars a night, with an 8-dollar reservation fee if booked online.
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. . .
COVID Churches -In tonight’s feature story, the outbreak of coronavirus and new restrictions on gatherings have local churches thinking up new ways to serve the faithful. NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins has more. . .
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

Cashmere’s Hailey Van Lith will have to make a little more room on her trophy shelf and wall of plaques for one more…
Van Lith was named the Seattle Times All-State Girls Player of the Year. The Cashmere senior finished her brilliant high school career a week ago at the State 1A Tournament scoring 27-points in a Championship loss to Lynden Christian. Hailey averaged over 32-points her senior year and finished with 2,994 career points, most-ever in state history.
Van Lith is quoted in the Seattle Times article that she’s put the devastating loss of the title game behind her and is now focusing on her future at Louisville. She said she hopes people remember the way she played the game and that, quote, my opponents remember hating playing me because I was the worst (to play against). End quote.

Today was the final day athletes around the state had to turn in their spring sports gear. Today is the last day of school for everyone in Washington until late April. School districts were expecting any equipment or uniforms to be returned today since there will be no practice allowed over the next month-plus.
We’ve reached out to area athletic directors to learn what the plan is once school resumes the end of April. According to our records, the first available game once school is back in session would be April 28th. We’ll find out if leagues will try to make up any games or just pick up a shortened-schedule once school resumes.

Lord knows we could use a little levity in our days right now, so that’s what I’ll try to do over the next few weeks…
Here’s an actual sign posted at the Juneau International Airport warning of coyote activity. It says, quote, coyotes are wild animals and can be dangerous. Do not encourage them to approach. They are smart, fast and will take what they can get. All pets MUST be kept on a leash or under competent control for your safety and for the safety of the animals. Keep them at a distance! Never feed coyotes!
And then, if you read carefully…
Call Airport Wildlife or Airfield Maintenance if you see dangerous coyote activity such as:

  • Coyote carrying box marked “Acme”
  • Coyote detonating explosives/TNT
  • Coyote in possession of giant magnet
  • Coyote holding sign such as “detour” or “free bird seed”
  • Coyote in possession of a catapult
  • Coyote dropping anvil from hot air balloon.
    And of course, the pertinent phone numbers to call if you see such wiley activity. (SLIDE) 5-SPORTS GUY WITH NO SPORTS
    And now, the first of my many part series…
    And that’s what a sports guy does when there’s no sports.


Thanks Eric.
Correction -A story last week about a home in East Wenatchee proposed as housing for felons from the state’s earned-release program contained some inaccuracies. The appeal of the city’s decision to block the proposal was filed by the homeowner, not the State Department of Corrections. In addition, it is a private citizen hoping to use the home for that purpose, not the state. We apologize for the inaccuracy.

Elise Shae Engagement -Finally tonight, a former Apple Blossom princess wound up in a high-profile engagement over the weekend. Elise Shae, who was part of the festival royalty in 2011, had to cancel a trip to Paris with her fiancé, CNN reporter Oliver Darcy. But Oliver decided to propose anyway in New York City on Friday, and announced it to the world on CNN’s Reliable Sources show on Sunday. Elise is a Wenatchee High School graduate now living in Manhattan. She’s the daughter of Chelan County Prosecutor Doug Shae, and attorney Susan Hinkle.
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.