NCWLIFE Evening News March 18th, 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, If your employees don’t have symptoms, don’t send them to get tested for coronavirus, that’s the warning tonight from the Chelan-Douglas Health District. The Chelan County PUD will no longer disconnect customers for nonpayment, the utility said today it won’t cut off service for those who can’t pay while it’s under coronavirus restrictions, and, Safeway and Albertsons stores have set aside shopping hours for seniors and other people at high risk from the COVID-19 virus.
But first, we begin tonight. . .

Body Found -A human body discovered Tuesday off the trails near Horse Lake Preserve had apparently been there for some time. Our LocalTel SkyFi cameras watched while investigators were on the scene today. Jason Reinfeld, chief of special operations with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, said the discovery was made by a group of hikers and their dog. . .
Reinfeld says deputies are coordinating with known missing persons cases in the area, including that of a missing woman reported in Douglas County. Chelan County Coroner Wayne Harris told NCWLIFE he’s working to schedule an autopsy.

COVID CDHD Warning -If your employees don’t have symptoms, don’t send them to get tested for coronavirus. That’s the warning tonight from the Chelan-Douglas Health District, which says some local employers have been asking their workers to get the test to prove they’re not infected. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and respiratory difficulty. The district says testing when symptoms aren’t present uses up time and resources better spent on legitimate patients. In a press statement, the health district says, quote, Please do not impede access to justifiable testing by attempting to have your employees tested just in case.

COVID Utility Bills -The Chelan County PUD will no longer disconnect customers for nonpayment. The utility said today that while it’s under coronavirus restrictions, it won’t cut off service for those who can’t pay. The grace period will last as long as the PUD’s main lobby and public facilities are closed, and the publicly-owned utility will work with customers to make structured payments on their bills. Yesterday, Cascade Natural Gas took a similar step, suspending disconnections and applying for a waiver to dismiss its customers’ late fees.

COVID Senior Shopping -Safeway and Albertsons stores have set aside shopping hours for seniors and other people at high risk from the COVID-19 virus. Fred Meyer officials said Tuesday their leadership team is considering doing something similar. At Safeway and Albertsons stores, seniors, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems can shop from 7 to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As shopping demands have grown, many stores in North Central Washington have reduced the hours they are open so employees can have time to clean and restock shelves.
Coming up next, The doors at Wenatchee City Hall are locked, but Mayor Frank Kuntz says his government’s still working to serve its citizens despite the Coronavirus pandemic. A Chelan suspect is sought on an allegation of child rape. Investigators would like to talk to witnesses to a police shootout in downtown Riverside on March 3rd in which a suspect was killed, and, A lawsuit against the state from the survivors of the 2014 Carlton Complex Fires has failed in the Court of Appeals. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Mayor Kuntz -How does the city of Wenatchee do business during a public health crisis? The doors at City Hall are locked, but Mayor Frank Kuntz says his government’s still working to serve its citizens. The mayor dropped by our NCWLIFE studios this morning to talk with Jefferson Robbins, about managing a town in the time of coronavirus:

Rape Suspect -A Chelan suspect is sought on an allegation of child rape. Sheriff’s deputies say Severo Rodriguez Diaz, who’s 21, sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in Chelan back in February. When the child’s family learned of the alleged assault, deputies said, Rodriguez fled Chelan and may have traveled to California. Prosecutors charged him earlier this month with second-degree child rape. He’s now wanted on a police warrant.

Riverside Shootout -Investigators would like to talk to witnesses to a police shootout in downtown Riverside on March 3rd in which a suspect was killed. Wenatchee Police Sergeant Nathan Hahn, spokesman for the North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit, said after reviewing video footage of the incident there are four people they’d like to interview. They are a man and two women in a Subaru who were seen at the gas pumps at Riverside Grocery at the time of the shooting, and was a man in a Jeep SUV who was seen leaving the store. 39-year-old Ryan Eugene Bass of Okanogan County was shot and killed after being confronted by an Omak Police detective and Okanogan County deputies. The sheriff’s office says Bass pulled a gun and began firing as they were preparing to arrest him on a felony warrant for burglary, domestic violence and cyberstalking charges. The deputies and detective returned fire.

Carlton Fire Lawsuit -A lawsuit against the state from the survivors of the 2014 Carlton Complex Fires has failed in the Court of Appeals. The quarter-million-acre fires destroyed homes in Pateros, Malott and elsewhere, and more than 300 plaintiffs sued Washington’s Department of Natural Resources in 2015, claiming the agency was negligent in its efforts to suppress the blaze on DNR land. But an Okanogan County judge dismissed the case, and on Tuesday, the appellate court agreed. The three-judge panel says under state law and precedent, the DNR has no liability for the fires’ spread.
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…
Free Lunch -In tonight’s feature story, local school districts are doing what they can to ease the burden of parents who suddenly have hungry kids at home. NCWLIFE’s Eric Granstrom 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

The Seahawks have been quiet so far since NFL free agency opened Monday. They did lose a player to the market yesterday…
Defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson has reportedly agreed to 2-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. Jefferson, who will turn 27 later this month, had three-and-a-half sacks, 26 combined tackles, 10-quarterback hits, a fumble recovery and three passes defensed in 14 games in 2019, 12 of which he started.
According to NFL insider Adam Caplan, the Seahawks did sign an offensive lineman Tuesday. B.J. Finney, who has been a backup offensive lineman with the Pittsburg Steelers for the past four years, has agreed to a two-year deal with Seattle. Finney appeared in 59-games over the past four seasons, including all 16 in each of the past two seasons.

Tuesday’s closure of schools across Washington has also meant the cancellation of all spring sports. For high schoolers, that means no games and no practice. It has left coaches and athletic directors with many questions as to what happens when school’s back in session.
The Executive Director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, Mike Hoffman, announced in a video to administrators, coaches and athletes, that the spring state championships will go on…
There has been speculation that some programs will continue holding practices, even without a coach present. Hoffman advises against it…
The Athletic Directors for various schools and leagues are meeting over the phone and electronically to discuss strategies on how individuals and teams will qualify for those tournaments. There’s no decision yet on whether the spring sports schedule will pick up on game dates when school’s back in session or if they’ll try to make up any missed competitions.

With the basic shut down of anything sports related, I’m challenged to find things to report on and we’re certainly missing the chance to broadcast local sports. Today, I continue my series on “No Sports – No Problem!”…

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 night.