NCWLIFE Evening News March 20, 2019

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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, Preliminary estimates for Chelan and Douglas Counties show the average annual unemployment rate fell from 5.1 to 4.8 percent between 2017 and 2018.  

But first, we begin tonight. . .

A Kittitas County Sheriff’s deputy was killed and another police officer injured in a shooting Tuesday night in Kittitas. The suspect in the shooting was also shot and later died at Kittitas County Valley Hospital.

Killed was 42-year old Kittitas County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Thompson, a Washington state native who leaves behind a wife and three children. 22-year old Kittitas Police Officer Benito Chavez was also critically wounded in the shooting. Thompson responded to a report of a road rage driver in the Badger Pocket area of Kittitas County at 7:30 p.m.

The driver led the deputy on a chase into the city of Kittitas, where at the end of Pierce Street the suspect exited the vehicle and began firing at Thompson and Officer Chavez. Thompson died of his injuries at the hospital and Chavez was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he is listed in satisfactory condition. At a press conference this morning, Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana, Kittitas Police Chief Chris Taylor and Ellensburg Police Chief Ken Wade all spoke about the fallen officers and where the investigation goes from here. . .

The Ellensberg Police Department is leading the investigation.

Preliminary estimates for Chelan and Douglas Counties show the average annual unemployment rate fell from 5.1 to 4.8 percent between 2017 and 2018. This 4.8 percent reading for 2018 was a historically low average annual rate. However, monthly rates have started to creep upwards. The not seasonally adjusted rate elevated one- tenth of a point between the Januarys of 2018 and 2019, from 6.9 to 7.0 percent.

Meanwhile, the non-farm labor market provided 1,300 new jobs between 2017 and 2018, an increase of 2.9 percent, more robust than the state’s 2.6-percent job growth rate during 2018. Between the Januarys of 2018 and 2019 the number of nonfarm jobs in Chelan and Douglas counties rose by 500, a 1.1 percent upturn.

Coming up next, Chelan County PUD proceeds with plans to build four new substations to meet future growth in the Chelan, Wenatchee, Cashmere and Leavenworth areas. County Commissioners from across the Country met in Washington DC earlier this month to support full, mandatory funding of Payments In-Lieu of Taxes, and, The Washington State Apple Blossom Festival needs your help, we will tell you how. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news…

Chelan County PUD proceeds with plans to build four new substations to meet future growth in the Chelan, Wenatchee, Cashmere and Leavenworth areas. Commissioners were presented with an update on those plans at Monday’s meeting. The Utility’s distribution director, Chad Rissman, says today’s substation standards include a lot of new technology. . .

Rissman says using 2-acre sites, rather than 1 acre, gives room for advance monitoring, switching and metering equipment, improves safety and offers the ability to install additional capacity to meet growth. He said the new site standard will guide land purchases for future substation locations. . . 

PUD officials say work is on track to start building the Ohme Substation north of Wenatchee this year.

New substations in Leavenworth and on the north shore of Lake Chelan are set for construction next year. They add that growth in downtown Wenatchee led to the need to enlarge the Wenatchee Substation on Worthen Street. Construction is targeted for next year. PUD staff also is focused on finding a location for a new substation near the Chelan Dam and for one south of Wenatchee towards Malaga.

County Commissioners from across the Country met in Washington DC earlier this month to renew their plea to Congress to support full, mandatory funding of Payments In-Lieu of Taxes and a long-term solution for the Secure Rural Schools program. During the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, House representative Cathy McMorris-Rogers voiced her support during a news conference at the Capital . . .

Counties, such as Chelan and Okanogan Counties, benefit from both the PILT and Secure Rural Schools programs. payments. With public lands in their jurisdictions counties often provide critical services on those lands including law enforcement, search and rescue, fire management and emergency medical services. The U.S. Department of the Interior makes PILT payments to over 1,850 counties in 49 states. Over 85 percent of Chelan County is publically managed lands and the annual PILT payment comprises about a third of the county’s total operating budget.

The Washington State Apple Blossom Festival needs your help.

To celebrate the 100th Apple Blossom Festival next month they are bringing back over 100 Past Royalty members from the 50’s, 60’s, 70s , 80’s, 90’s and 2000-2018 for the Stemilt Growers Grand Parade on May 4th! They are in desperate need of convertibles or jeeps with drivers. According to Festival Administrator Darci Christoferson, the festival needs about 40-50 convertible type vehicles. If you have a convertible or jeep and would like to participate, go to appleblossom.org and fill out the dignitary car driver app.

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. . .

With the Washington Legislature closing in on its final month, State Senator Brad Hawkins said in the coming weeks Democrats will begin rolling out their proposed budgets, which almost certainly will include tax increases. With heavy Democratic majorities in both houses, Hawkins told NCWLIFE’s Cal FitzSimmons he is not optimistic there will be anything he can vote for.

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.

The Cowichan Valley Capitals beat the Wenatchee Wild 5-3 in Game 3 of their playoff series in Duncan, B.C. last night and now lead 2-games-to-1…

The Caps scored the game’s opening goal in the final minute of the first period to lead 1-0 at the first intermission.  The host team came out and scored the first two goals of the second period to grab a 3-0 lead.  At this point, Coach Bliss Littler pulled goalie Austin Park and put in Cal Sandquist.

Two minutes later, the Wild began its comeback.  Arch Ecker had the call on the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Network with the video courtesy of Hockey TV…

Wenatchee will try to even the best-of-seven series tonight at the Island Savings Centre at 7 o’clock.

Turning to the Les Schwab Prep Soccer Scoreboard…

Eastmont traveled to Moses Lake and came away with a 4-3 victory to improve to 2-and-oh in Big 9 play.  In the Apple Bowl, West Valley scored the game’s only goal in the 10th minute and held on for a 1-nil win over Wenatchee.  It was the Panther’s first loss of the season and their first game in Big 9 play. 

In Caribou Trail League play, Cashmere blasted Okanogan 6-to-1.

In high school baseball yesterday…

Royal swept a doubleheader from Cashmere, winning the opener 5-3, and then the nightcap 9-5.  Ephrata took care of Cascade 15-to-2.

On the Les Schwab Prep Softball Scoreboard…

Ephrata edged Cascade 8-5.

And in tennis Tuesday…

The West Valley boys shut out Eastmont 7-0.  It was the same score in the girl’s match, with the Rams coming out on top over the Wildcats.

The Mariners played the opening game of the Major League Baseball season in Tokyo, edging Oakland in a high-scoring affair 9-7…

Domingo Santana had a grand slam home run while Tim Beckam had a great Mariner debut, going 3-for-3 with a two run home run and scoring three runs.  On the mound, Marco Gonzales earned the victory, going six innings and allowing 4-runs on 7-hits with four strikeouts. 

The two teams will play again tomorrow morning at 2:35 with Yusei Kikuchi (You-see Kick-ohchee) getting his Major League debut, facing Marco Estrada.

Thanks 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). Also, keep it right here on the NCWLIFE Channel tomorrow morning for Wake Up Wenatchee Valley with host Dan Kuntz. I’m Grant Olson, thanks for joining us and have a great night.