NCWLIFE Evening News March 24th, 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, Governor Jay Inslee orders a stay home, stay healthy mandate in an address to the state last night. Several area law enforcement agencies want you to know they won’t be searching for and arresting people for violating Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order. The area’s biggest tourism magnet is following the governor’s example, and, First Responders have organized a Unified Command to coordinate plans, supplies, and resources for the Upper Valley in response to COVID-19.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The body of a young woman found last week near Horse Lake Road is that of a Waterville teenager who went missing last year, and her death is considered suspicious.

Police said she’s 18-year-old Paulina Mosqueda, missing since October. Hikers found her remains March 17th off one of the Wenatchee foothills hiking trails. She had to be identified by autopsy.

Mosqueda’s family had not heard from her since October 14th. Her case remains under investigation by the sheriff’s departments in Chelan and Douglas County, along with the Wenatchee Police.

One resident of the Colonial Vista care center in Wenatchee died Monday from coronavirus complications, and a second resident has tested positive for the illness.

Administrators of Prestige Care at Colonial Vista said the residents, ages 84 and 91, were transferred to Central Washington Hospital last week after showing symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory illness related to the novel coronavirus. Both tested positive for the virus, and the surviving patient remains in hospital care. The death is the second coronavirus-related fatality in the Wenatchee Valley. A Quincy resident suffering from COVID-19 died March 7 at CWH.

Meanwhile, two new coronavirus patients have emerged in Leavenworth. That brings a total to nine positive cases of COVID-19 in the Wenatchee Valley – all but one of them residents of Chelan County.

The newly discovered patients were tested at Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth. The changing number of coronavirus cases comes as no surprise. Health experts say even with social restrictions, like those ordered by Governor Jay Inslee last night, positive test results are expected to climb over the next few weeks as previous exposures come to light. Wenatchee Valley College announced yesterday that two of the nine local patients are WVC employees.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Monday night took the unprecedented step of ordering millions of Washingtonians to Stay Home to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order sidelines employees in many industries while allowing employees in essential jobs to still go to work. . .

Several area law enforcement agencies want you to know they won’t be searching for and arresting people for violating Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order.

Inslee issued the order Monday evening in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The Chelan and Grant County Sheriff’s Offices said rumors of enforcement checkpoints and martial law are not true. Both agencies said they are not being asked to detain, arrest or ticket people.

The Chelan County statement further says when their deputies encounter people not complying with the order they will simply remind them of the restrictions. The Quincy Police Department said they too view their role as educational. The sheriff’s offices also said people working in jobs deemed essential will not need passes or licenses while they’re out, despite rumors to the contrary.

The area’s biggest tourism magnet is following the governor’s example. Leavenworth Mayor Carl Florea issued a stay-at-home proclamation for the city late Monday.

The order closes all public parks, and urges all resident to shelter in place and non-essential businesses to close. It’s a big step for a city that relies on tourism, where multiple hotels have temporarily closed, and restaurants can only offer takeout service. Governor Inslee’s order requires people to remain at home until at least April 6th; the Leavenworth order stays in place until health officials give the all-clear.

First Responders have organized a Unified Command to coordinate plans, supplies, and resources for the Upper Valley in response to COVID-19. Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue Chief Mick Lamar tells us what precautions the Upper Valley is taking to fight this virus and what sacrifices all of us will have to make to overcome it. . .

Coming up next, Okanogan County’s PUD won’t raise its electric rates as scheduled, in light of the coronavirus emergency. Fourteen inmates in the Yakima County Jail used a table to break open a fire door Monday evening, then hopped over a fence, and, The state announced Sunday it is closing all state campgrounds through April 30th to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Okanogan County’s PUD won’t raise its electric rates as scheduled, in light of the coronavirus emergency. The 2.9 percent increase for households was due to go into effect May 1st, giving the PUD an additional 2 percent in yearly revenue. But on Monday, the PUD board voted to suspend all rate increases, and cease disconnections that would have gone ahead due to nonpayment. Other utilities around NCW have taken similar steps.

Fourteen inmates in the Yakima County Jail used a table to break open a fire door Monday evening, then hopped over a fence. Freedom was temporary for eight of the inmates who were quickly recaptured but six remain at large. Sheriff Robert Udell said the men were fearful of the governor’s stay-at-home order. . .

The state announced Sunday it is closing all state campgrounds through April 30th to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The closure includes roofed accommodations like cabins and yurts.

No new campers will be allowed into campgrounds operated by Washington State Parks, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources. Day use areas and trails remain open, though the state urged people to practice social distancing. Anyone who has a reservation through April 30th will be contacted and offered a refund.

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. . .

The Governor’s new public health order means the North Central Regional Library system must curtail even its limited remaining services. In tonight’s feature story, library director Barbara Walters announced the suspension Monday night. She told NCWLIFE it was a hard choice to come to, but, library users still have a lot of online options. . .

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.

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.