NCWLIFE Evening News March 3rd, 2021

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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, here are a few of the stories we’re following for you tonight, A Grant County man convicted of child rape told an appeals court his accusers were motivated by their immigration status./ President Joe Biden gave a directive yesterday to prioritize teachers and school staff for COVID-19 vaccinations, and Washington is responding, and, In a survey in January, about 20 percent of adults in Washington said they would not seek vaccination for the coronavirus.     

But first, our top story tonight. . .

The two suspects arrested in East Wenatchee over the weekend in a string of fraudulent credit card purchases are also suspected of similar crimes in Wenatchee.

One of them, 33-year-old Anthony Nobel Johnson of Moses Lake, was sought by Wenatchee police at the time for purchasing goods on a stolen credit card at Stan’s Merry Mart. Both he and a female suspect, 27-year-old Lexus Zarbok, allegedly admitted to purchases at stores around the valley using stolen cards. Johnson is jailed in Chelan County on possible charges of identity theft and possessing stolen property.

A Grant County man convicted of child rape told an appeals court his accusers were motivated by their immigration status. Carmelo Hernandez Sierra was convicted in a jury trial in 2019. In his appeal, Hernandez said the family members who accused him were using claims of abuse to try to get a U-Visa, available to immigrants who are victims of domestic violence or sex offenses.

Yesterday, the state Court of Appeals turned down that claim, saying Hernandez had a chance to provide evidence for it during his trial, and was even allowed to question one of his accusers in court. Hernandez is serving an indeterminate prison sentence of at least 25 years for the crime. He could remain in prison for life.

President Joe Biden gave a directive yesterday to prioritize teachers and school staff for COVID-19 vaccinations, and Washington is responding.

Governor Jay Inslee added teachers, school staff, and licensed childcare workers to those eligible in the current vaccination Phase 1B tier. Until now, that group has been limited to people 65 years and older, plus those 50 and older who live in multigenerational households.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal says school employees everywhere in the state will have access to at least one dose of the vaccine this month. The federal government expects to gather a healthy stockpile of the three approved coronavirus vaccine in the next few months —enough to inoculate every American adult by the end of May.

However, that being said, in a survey in January, about 20 percent of adults in Washington said they would not seek vaccination for the coronavirus.

But more than half said they would accept the possible lifesaving shot. Mass vaccinations have been underway for more than a month here in NCW. At a press conference yesterday, Chelan-Douglas Health District administrator Luke Davies said vaccine hesitancy so far has not been a problem. . .

State and federal health officials say it will take a vaccination rate of about 70 percent for the population to gain herd immunity to the virus.

Coming up next, The state says Snoqualmie Pass has recorded its snowiest season in more than 20 years and crews are still dealing with the aftermath./ The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is offering a series of free virtual presentations exploring some hidden aspects of our local ecosystems, and, The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society is offering pet microchip clinics each Wednesday in March beginning March 10th. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The state says Snoqualmie Pass has recorded its snowiest season in more than 20 years and crews are still dealing with the aftermath.

The pass was closed again this morning for avalanche control work, one of numerous closures in recent weeks.

The pass recorded its heaviest one-day snowfall ever on February 12th with 31-and-a-half inches. That broke a record set in 1975. By Tuesday of this week, a total of 412 inches of snow had fallen in the pass, far above the 317-inch average by this time.

That snow has led to more than 50 hours of pass closures for wrecks and avalanche control. Stevens Pass also has been hammered this season, with record snowfall in February and its own share of closures.

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is offering a series of free virtual presentations exploring some hidden aspects of our local ecosystems.

On three consecutive Thursdays in March, experts will share information about our natural surroundings, followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

The series begins Thursday, March 11th on Salamanders of Central Washington followed by a Pacific salmon presentation on Thursday March 18th and will end on Thursday March 25th with information on restoring un-seen desert diversity. The 45 minute zoom talks are free and for more information go to www.cdlandtrust.org.

The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society is offering pet microchip clinics each Wednesday in March beginning March 10th. The clinics are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with appointments required. All pets are eligible for the microchips at a cost of 25 dollars. You can make an appointment by calling the Humane Society at 662-9577. 

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. . .

Citizens during the pandemic have gotten used to doing business with government offices that are closed or only open by appointment. Now, local officials are talking about timelines for when they might be able to throw their doors open to the public once more. Wenatchee Mayor Dan Kuntz brought up the subject Tuesday in a Zoom meeting with Chelan County’s commissioners. . .

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 Cashmere girls soccer team started the season off on the right foot last night, downing visiting Chelan 9-nil…

The Bulldogs struck early and often as junior forward Molly High scored on a breakaway goal in the first minute of action to put Cashmere ahead 1-0. The home squad tacked on two more goals in the first half to take a 3-0 lead at intermission.

Sophomore Grace Norman scored 3 goals to pick up the hat trick, and she also added 3 assists. Elizabeth High added two goals, and Carley Diaz scored a goal and picked up two assists. Abby Fritz and Natalie Dart also added goals for the Bulldogs, and Zoe Brown added an assist.

Cashmere had 29 shots on goal, and limited the Goats to just 4 shots. Goalkeeper’s Tess Scott and Ava Courtney combined on the shutout.

You’d certainly understand if Eastmont was a little weary after its dramatic, 2-1 shootout win over rival Wenatchee Saturday.  Especially since the Wildcats were on the road last night for it’s first trip to Ephrata High School…

Eastmont showed no sign of letting up, jumping out to a 5-nothing lead at half and coasting to a 7-nil victory.  Jayden Brown and Megan Chandler each had two goals to help the Wildcats to a 2-and-oh start on the season.  Also contributing a goal apiece in the offensive onslaught were Paige and Rylee Fischer.  The Tigers scored an owl goal just before half.

Part of the challenge for local athletic directors, besides trying to put together high school sports during a pandemic, is appeasing the families of players who want to watch them play.  Due to phasing restrictions on capacity percentages, most schools in the region are allowing very few, if any fans to physically attend games.

An attempt at a solution is the NFHS Network.  This is an online streaming service that, for a nominal fee, allows supporters of a school or team watch games on-line.  Wenatchee athletic director Jim Beeson admits there are limitations…

Eastmont A-D Russ Waterman says they’re trying to use social media as much as possible to help fan follow along, but is happy to have NCWLIFE as a partner in broadcasting games throughout the season…

We will broadcast girls swimming and diving tomorrow from the Eastmont Aquatic Center featuring Eastmont, Wenatchee and Moses Lake.  We’ll be at Lee Bofto Field at the Apple Bowl Friday at 6:30 for Wenatchee and Moses Lake football.  Then on Saturday at 1, we’ll be at Eastmont’s Wildcat Stadium for Eastmont and Moses Lake girls soccer.

Beeson also had high praise for NCWLIFE after a debacle last weekend in Wenatchee’s soccer game with Eastmont…

Cashmere athletic director Jeff Carlson was also on that Zoom conference with sports director Eric Granstrom.  You can see his entire interview by going to our website at NCWLIFE dot com.

The Mariners are 1-and-1 in Cactus League play after a 6-1 loss at the hands of Cleveland Tuesday…

Yusei Kikuchi got his first start of the spring for Seattle, allowing a run on a hit with three strikeouts and 1-walk in 2-innings.  Manager Scott Servais says he was happy with how Kikuchi looked…

Seattle travels to Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona to take on the Chicago Cubs today at 12:10.

The Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament gets underway today at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas…

It gets underway this morning at 11 when Oregon State takes on Cal.  That’s followed by USC and Arizona State at 2.  The Washington State women take on Utah in the first round at 5, followed by Washington at Colorado at 8.  All the games will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight, the Washington State Department of Transportation pulled out a string of references to the Beatles’ Abbey Road album after its camera captured an image of four deer using a crosswalk Tuesday in Twisp.

First, WASH-DOT dubbed the deer John, Paul, George and Ringo. They then added QUOTE, something in the way they move has us glad to see them come together. UNQUOTE. WASH-DOT then speculated the deer were possibly headed to an octopus’s garden.

If you have a video or picture 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 and have a great night.