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, Local mayors and county officials this week moved to take extra steps in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including declaring states of emergency. Douglas County and the city of East Wenatchee have shuttered their non-felony court systems. Law enforcement agencies throughout North Central Washington are altering their normal operations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and, Cases of COVID-19 in Grant County, where the first cases were discovered east of the Cascades, are now up to seven.
But first, we begin tonight. . .
COVID Chelan Douglas -The coronavirus pandemic has officially arrived in the Wenatchee Valley. A 56-year-old man from Chelan and a 29-year-old man from Leavenworth are both in self-isolation tonight, the first in Chelan or Douglas County to positive for the COVID-19 virus. Both cases were detected by Confluence Health in Wenatchee; health system spokesman Clint Strand says one of the men was tested at a new drive-through medical station set up just for this emergency. .
Confluence Health says neither man is under hospital care at this time. The Chelan-Douglas Health District is tracing their contacts in the community. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. More than 900 infections have been detected in Washington, and 48 patients have died.
COVID City Measures -Local mayors and county officials this week moved to take extra steps in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including declaring states of emergency. East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford issued an order Monday that allows her to impose curfews, close businesses, and close public spaces if needed to combat the virus. In Wenatchee, the city canceled all upcoming public events likely to draw more than 50 people, including the scheduled St. Patrick’s Day parade, and said it will take social-distancing measures for all public meetings that involve fewer than 50 people. City Hall and the police station lobby are closed to the public. Chelan County commissioners voted Tuesday morning to declare a state of emergency in the county. That allows emergency purchases, special meetings, and eligibility for state and federal aid.
COVID Court Shutdown -Douglas County and the city of East Wenatchee have shuttered their non-felony court systems. On Monday, East Wenatchee Municipal Court Judge Chancey Crowell signed an order continuing all cases until at least April 27th. The same day, Douglas County District Court Judge Eric Biggar ordered all jury trials stricken until May 1st. Biggar says both courts made the decision to help stall the spread of coronavirus. . .
COVID Law Enforcement -Law enforcement agencies throughout North Central Washington are altering their normal operations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak but it in no way means it’s open season for criminals. For most, like the Wenatchee Police Department, it simply means changes like suspending fingerprinting, handling more calls over the phone and officers keeping their distance from people when responding to calls. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office is operating the county’s Emergency Operations Center in Ephrata, which was activated Monday in response to county commissioners declaring a local emergency. Grant County has seven confirmed cases of the coronavirus and the operations center coordinates efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. But the Grant County Sheriff’s Office says its continued enforcement of laws will not be affected.
COVID Grant County -Cases of COVID-19 in Grant County, where the first cases were discovered east of the Cascades, are now up to seven. The county health department says clusters of the disease have appeared in Quincy and Mattawa, including a staff member at Quincy High School, and a Mattawa parish priest with the Catholic Diocese of Yakima. Health officials are working to trace their contacts in the community.
Coming up next, If the concept of social distancing is causing some confusion, there’s a graphic for that, well show you. The Washington State Department of Licensing closed its offices today but hopes to reopen by Monday, and, IN late news, the state crime lab is being called in to investigate after a body was found off Horse Lake Road outside Wenatchee this morning. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.
Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Social Distancing -If the concept of social distancing is causing some confusion, there’s a graphic for that. Governor Jay Inslee distributed a handy chart outlining all the measures included under his emergency order, which closed restaurants, theaters, taverns and other gathering places effective today. On a personal level, social distancing involves keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people; waving instead of shaking hands; doing away with personal meetings in favor of telephone or online conferences; and washing your hands both regularly and thoroughly. Most of all, if you are sick, stay at home.
Department of Licensing Closed -The Washington State Department of Licensing closed its offices today but hopes to reopen by Monday. According to the DOL, they’ll be preparing their offices to implement social distancing measures. The agency said even when they reopen, they won’t be administering vision tests because they don’t have adequate supplies to continually clean the machines. They’re also preparing to allow more people to renew online at dol-dot-wa-dot-gov. For now, drivers will not need to appear in person every other time they renew their licenses and people over 70 will be able to renew online. DOL said even though they hope to reopen Monday, residents should prepare for the possibility of an extended closure.
Body Found at Horse Lake Road -The state crime lab is being called in to investigate after a body was found off Horse Lake Road outside Wenatchee this morning. Deputy Chief Jason Reinfeld of the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office said this afternoon that investigators remain on the scene and few details are currently available. Crime lab personnel are en-route from Cheney. The body was found about 9:30 this morning.
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. . .
Aging and Adult Care -As an agency that provides vital services to seniors and vulnerable adults, the COVID-19 outbreak has been especially challenging for Aging and Adult Care of Central Washington. In tonight’s feature story, Bruce Buckle and Diane Tribble of Aging and Adult Care talked with Wake-Up Wenatchee Valley’s Dan Kuntz today about the changes they’ve had to make to protect both their staff and their clients. . .
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 Seattle Seahawks have re-signed Jarran Reed to another two years…
As NFL’s free-agency period began last night, the Seahawks were quick to sign their 2nd round draft pick in 2016 to a two year extension, worth 23-million dollars.
ESPN’s Adam Shefter and Jeremy Fowler are reporting that Seahawks offensive tackle and sometimes tight end George Fant has signed a three-year, 30-million dollar deal to join the New York Jets.
The next big question marks for Seattle as free agency begins is defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson. Clowney has drawn interest from teams throughout the NFL, but his price tag could put him out of reach.
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…
Yes, it’s the cast of Gilligan’s Island showing there’s proof you can live without toilet paper! .
And now, I continue my many-part series on No Sports? No Problem!
And that’s what a sports guy does when there is no sports.
Tumbleweed Burning -As we leave you tonight, if you see fire burning alongside highways it isn’t necessarily a sign of an early fire season. It’s more likely an attack on tumbleweeds, which can be a driving and fire hazard. State Transportation and Fish and Wildlife crews were most recently out on Highway 24 in the Othello area burning the troublesome tumbleweeds. In late December, Highway 240 near West Richland had to be shut down for about 10 hours after the tumbleweed accumulations grew so big they actually trapped several cars and a semi.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call 888-NCWL (6295). I’m Grant Olson, thanks for joining us and have a great night.
Good morning Dan. Coming up tonight on the NCWLIFE Evening News…All the latest on the Coronavirus pandemic, I’ll have your very spring-like Northcentral Washington weather forecast and Eric Granstrom will find something to talk about in sports. That, and more coming up tonight at 5, 6 and 10 on the NCWLIFE Evening News, hope to see you then, Dan.