NCWLIFE Evening News March 30th, 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, Early Sunday morning, an alert citizen called to report a burglary that was taking place on Wheeler Road, at Stoneway Electric in Moses Lake. Investigators have been unable to locate additional witnesses to a March 3rdshooting in downtown Riverside in which a suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement officers, and, Chelan County’s vacation rental operators say they stand ready to house emergency and medical personnel who need it during the COVID-19 crisis.
But first, we begin tonight. . .

Domestic Violence Arrest -A Wenatchee man charged with a violent domestic assault is in custody after police spent three days searching for him. Alex Mitchell Ruiz, who’s 31, allegedly fled from his family’s apartment last Wednesday after threatening both his former partner and their minor children with a knife. The adult victim told police Ruiz forced open her door, shut the children in a bedroom, and held her captive at knifepoint for up to 45 minutes while making violent threats. The woman was able to flee to a neighbor’s home and call police, but Ruiz was gone when Wenatchee police arrived. They found him on Saturday and booked him into the Chelan County jail. He faces possible charges of kidnapping, burglary, assault and felony harassment.

Moses Lake Burglary Suspect -Early Sunday morning, an alert citizen called to report a burglary that was taking place on Wheeler Road, at Stoneway Electric in Moses Lake. A Grant County Deputy was in the area, and attempted to stop the suspect vehicle on Wheeler Road. Instead, the driver of the vehicle chose to flee, shut off his lights, and turned north into a field near International Paper. The vehicle, pulling a trailer and dropping stolen wire, headed north in the dark until it inevitably hit the train tracks and was heavily damaged. Officers located the abandoned wreck a few minutes later, and K9 Rex immediately began to track from the crash-site. K9 Rex tracked the suspect over a mile from the crash out to the Cougar Campground in Wheeler, leading him straight up to the address listed on the suspect vehicle’s registration. When officers made contact at the residence, evidence was located that lead to the arrest of 62-year-old Patrick Thomason. Thomason was booked into the Grant County Jail on charges of Burglary, 2nd degree and Malicious Mischief 2nd degree.

Riverside Shooting Update -Investigators have been unable to locate additional witnesses to a March 3rd shooting in downtown Riverside in which a suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement officers. The Special Investigation Unit says without that additional information, the investigation into the shooting death of 39-year-old Ryan Eugene Bass is substantially completed. Wenatchee Police Sergeant Nathan Hahn, spokesman for the unit, said Bass was wanted on a felony warrant and was the suspect in a recent burglary in Omak when law enforcement was tipped off that he was in a vehicle near Riverside Grocery. Hahn said Okanogan County deputies Jodi Barcus and Justin Malone and Omak detective Brian Bowling were approaching the vehicle when Bass came out shooting. All three returned fire and Bass was struck multiple times. Hahn earlier said video reviewed by investigators showed a man and two women in a Subaru at the store’s gas pumps and a man in a Jeep SUV leaving the store at the time of the shooting but they have been unable to locate the witnesses.

Vacation Rental Response -Chelan County’s vacation rental operators say they stand ready to house emergency and medical personnel who need it during the COVID-19 crisis. Chelan County commissioners last week asked short-term landlords not to advertise their vacation homes to renters from outside the area, and to reserve their vacation homes for medical staff and first responders. In a reply, the Short-Term Rental Alliance of Chelan County says it’s asked the commissioners for details on how they can help, but say their properties may be a reasonable alternative to hotels once the peak of the health crisis has passed.
Coming up next, The Forest Services announces recreational facilities in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest have been closed until at least April 8th. Emergency managers in the Upper Wenatchee Valley are asking outdoor users to change their ways to make social distancing easier, and, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office wants to reassure central Washingtonians there’s no need for a quote, letter of transit to move about in public, during the coronavirus emergency. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Forest Service Closures -Recreational facilities in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest have been closed until at least April 8th, the Forest Service announced Friday. The closure includes trailheads, campgrounds, snow parks, restroom facilities, day use areas, and rentals like cabins and fire outlooks. Following the closure, Icicle Road, Forest Road 7600 was closed, with access only to people with homes on the road. The Forest Service says the closures are necessary to address social distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay at Home order. The move is similar to actions taken by the state last week in closing all its campgrounds and access to its lands.

Outdoor Strategies -Emergency managers in the Upper Wenatchee Valley are asking outdoor users to change their ways to make social distancing easier. The fire districts and health providers serving western Chelan County have one unified command during the COVID-19 crisis. In a statement this weekend, they ask recreationists to avoid group activities; avoid outdoor sites where people are already congregating; give six feet of space to other users of local trails, and avoid risky pursuits like rock climbing, bouldering or high mountain skiing. All these steps help limit the spread of coronavirus, and reduce the need for rescues and medical treatment.

Letters of Transit -Gov. Jay Inslee’s office wants to reassure central Washingtonians there’s no need for a quote, letter of transit to move about in public, during the coronavirus emergency. Some employers in essential industries have provided voluntary letters, vouching for their employees. Salvador Salazar, the governor’s liaison for central Washington, says that’s led to rumors that official letters are needed just to go about your day – especially among those whose first language is not English. Salazar sent a memo Sunday to partner agencies to squelch those rumors. Among other steps, the state Department of Health has launched a Spanish language blog to keep more residents informed during the crisis.
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. . .
Jon DeVaney -The world public health emergency has almost every business sector changing the way they do things, including the tree fruit industry. In tonight’s feature story, Washington Tree Fruit Association president Jon DeVaney spoke with NCWLIFE about how orchardists around the state are weathering the storm. . .
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

Former University of Washington Coach and player Jim Lambright passed away Sunday at the age of 77…

Lambright played for the Huskies after graduating from Everett High School in 1960.  He played under Coach Jim Owens 1964, earning All-Coast honors as a defensive end his senior year. 

Lambright was named the defensive coordinator at Washington before the 1978 season under head coach Don James.  When James retired in 1993, Lambright was immediately promoted to head coach.  He helped lead Washington to a Pac-10 championship in 1995.

Current Husky A-D Jennifer Cohen said in a statement, quote, Coach Lambright is synonymous with Husky football and gave so much to this program both as a player and coach.  I’m deeply saddened by the news of Coach Lambright’s passing, end quote.

Jim Lambright was 77.  The family did not immediately provide the cause of death.

The Associated Press has named Cashmere guard Hailey Van Lith its Girls Player of the Year…

Van Lith was a unanimous selection on the girls side in voting from sports writers and editors around the state.  Bound for Louisville next season as one of the most-decorated players in state history, Hailey capped her career with Cashmere averaging 34-points and 10-rebounds.

Mount Si’s Jabe Mullins was voted the boys AP Player of the Year.  He led his team to the 4A State Championship and was named the MVP of the state tournament.

Baseball for Christmas?!?!  Could be.  Major League Baseball owners ratified a 17-page agreement with the union on Friday with players willing to extend the season as long as possible to cover as much of a full-season as possible. 

Even if it involves neutral sites in warm-weather cities and domes.  Even if it involves playing in empty ballparks.  Even if it involves lots of day-night doubleheaders.  And, even if it means expanding the playoffs from 10-teams.

This could mean the World Series would bump well into December.

I received a call from a viewer asking about upcoming hunting seasons slated for April.  Well, here’s what I know as of this afternoon…

The State Department of Fish and Wildlife just updated their closures to extend to the spring bear and youth turkey hunts, so far.  The youth turkey hunt scheduled for April 4-5 is canceled. Six game management units that were scheduled to open on April 1 for spring bear hunting will now be closed pending further evaluation.

According to the Department, nearly 90 percent of spring bear permit holders in northeast Washington would be traveling from outside the area.

Youth who were planning to hunt on April 4th or 5th may still use their tags in the regular spring or fall turkey seasons, pending further impacts. The spring turkey season is scheduled to run April 15 through May 31.

Fish and Wildlife will reassess its ability to open the impacted hunting areas, as well as several other upcoming hunting seasons on April 6th.

Of course, public lands needed to hunt have had restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 Stay Home and Stay Safe recommendations from the governor.  All State Wildlife Areas are closed.  All camping on State Land is closed.  All developed sites on the Forest Service have been closed including trails, campgrounds, boat ramps and OHV riding areas.  Campgrounds and boat launches around Lake Roosevelt are closed.  And there’s a ton of restrictions in place on DNR and BLM lands.

Marion and I were pretty bummed that we weren’t able to go camping and fishing last weekend with the Stay Home and Stay Healthy order.  So we did our best to do it all in the backyard…     

Here’s what we have coming up on the NCWLIFE Sports Broadcast Schedule this week..

It begins tomorrow night at 7 with Quincy and Wenatchee Boys Soccer.

We’re going back to Hockey Nights on Thursday Nights and this week features the Wenatchee Wild and Langley Thursday night at 7.

On Friday, it’s Eastmont and Sunnyside Boys Soccer at 7.

Then on Saturday, we’re featuring boys lacrosse at 2 between the Wenatchee Valley Thunder and Selah.  That’s followed by more Wenatchee Wild hockey as they take on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Thanks Eric.
Birthday Girl -Finally tonight, a feel-good story amidst all this chaos. . .with the coronavirus outbreak preventing any gatherings, Brooklyn Eberth was facing a quiet 8th birthday Friday. But her family and friends would have none of that. So, a safe-distance parade was quickly organized outside her Wenatchee home Friday, giving a beaming Brooklyn what she called “the best birthday ever.” Take a look. . .
If you have a video of the day, you’d like to see on the NCWLIFE Evening News, message us on our Facebook Page at the NCWLIFE Channel.
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 stay safe and have a great night.