NCWLIFE Evening News, March 5, 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, Sheriff’s deputies say an East Wenatchee woman physically abused her 13-year-old child, then stole a phone that contained video of the incident. The man shot by law enforcement officers Tuesday in Riverside later died of his injuries at the hospital, and, The head of an illegal betting ring that gave odds on international soccer matches pleaded guilty Wednesday to money laundering and professional gambling.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The COVID-19 coronavirus has officially arrived in the Wenatchee Valley.

One patient from Grant County returned what’s called a presumptive positive test for the virus Wednesday, and remains in isolation at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee. A presumptive positive test means the patient’s specimen returned a positive result for COVID-19 at a state health laboratory. The virus has now infected 70 known patients in Washington and resulted in 10 deaths. Worldwide as of this morning, it’s sickened almost 98,000 and killed 3,347 people, most of them in mainland China. Exposure among health care workers has been a concern since the outbreak began. Canning says Confluence Health staff who’ve cared for the infected patient since admission to CWH, quote, “have been notified and will be monitored appropriately.”

Gov. Jay Inslee announced today the state will change workers’ compensation rules to provide coverage for coronavirus exposures in the line of duty. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says he’ll now require insurers to waive copays and deductibles for anyone requiring COVID-19 testing. A $100 million appropriation to pay for public health response in the state is up for negotiation in the Legislature. Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to visit Inslee at the state’s emergency management center at Camp Murray this afternoon, near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, with central Washington Congressmembers Dan Newhouse and Kim Schrier joining the delegation.

The coronavirus’ symptoms are similar to a common cold or flu, including fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Health officials warn that the elderly and those with existing immune deficiencies or respiratory ailments are the most at risk, because secondary infections can take hold. Washing hands, covering your mouth when you cough, and staying home when feeling ill are the best strategies for preventing the virus spread.

Sheriff’s deputies say an East Wenatchee woman physically abused her 13-year-old child, then stole a phone that contained video of the incident.

Prosecutors in Douglas County charged 30-year-old Martha Albor Florencia with third- and fourth-degree assault, third-degree theft and tampering with evidence. They say she slapped the child, pulled his hair and struck him with a belt on the morning of March 1st, then attacked and wrestled the phone away from a family member who was recording the assault. She’s been jailed in Okanogan County since the incident, and faces arraignment March 16th.

The man shot by law enforcement officers Tuesday in Riverside later died of his injuries at the hospital, that according to the unit investigating the shooting. Sergeant Nathan Hahn, spokesperson for the North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit, said when an Omak police detective and Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office deputies spotted the wanted man’s vehicle on Main Street and contacted him the suspect reportedly fired several shots at the officers.

The deputies and detective returned fire. Deputies started CPR on the man before he was transported to the hospital, Hahn said. The suspect has not yet been identified but Hahn said he was wanted on a felony warrant. The downtown shootout took place shortly after 11:30 a.m. All deputies and the detective involved have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, a standard procedure in police shootings. The North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit is comprised of officials from numerous law enforcement agencies in the region.

The head of an illegal betting ring that gave odds on international soccer matches pleaded guilty Wednesday to money laundering and professional gambling.

54-year-old Joe Guadalupe Torres of East Wenatchee admitted in Chelan County court to six felony counts, and Judge Travis Brandt sentenced him to six months in jail. He may serve part of his term on work release. The gambling ring operated out of several businesses in Wenatchee, Cashmere and Quincy, and laundered an estimated $364,000 in illegal betting proceeds from 2013 to 2017. Prosecutors agreed to drop the most serious counts against Torres, including a charge of leading organized crime, which could have led to a prison sentence up to five years. An accomplice in the scheme, Lucy Isabel Villa of Wenatchee, pleaded to a gross misdemeanor and earned 10 days in jail. Two other defendants charged with complicity are scheduled for trial in the next few months.

Coming up next, The state House approved a controversial bill early this morning requiring school districts to offer comprehensive sex education to all public-school students grades kindergarten through 12. The apple license plate isn’t the only thing on state Sen. Brad Hawkins’ agenda in Olympia. 12th District Republican Brad Hawkins got a hydropower bill through the Senate last month, and, A Douglas County medical assistant was sanctioned after taking some unusual steps to admit a patient. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The state House approved a controversial bill early this morning requiring school districts to offer comprehensive sex education to all public-school students grades kindergarten through 12.

The bill already has been approved in the Senate but differences with the House version will need to be reconciled before it goes to Governor Jay Inslee for his signature. It was strictly a party-line vote, with Democrats in favor of Senate Bill 5395 and Republicans opposed. The debate began shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday dragged on until the 2 a.m. vote, with Republicans proposing more than 200 amendments that failed. Senator Mike Steele of Chelan said it was frustrating that Democrats on the House Education Committee refused to work with Republicans to make the bill more acceptable.

If the differences in the bill are worked out between the Senate and House, which are both controlled by Democrats, and Inslee signs the bill the sex education instruction would begin in the 2021-22 school year for grades 6th through 12th, and in 2022-23 for grades kindergarten through 5th.

The apple license plate isn’t the only thing on state Sen. Brad Hawkins’ agenda in Olympia. The 12th District Republican got a hydropower bill through the Senate last month, and through a key House committee this week. The bill plugs a hole in the Clean Energy Transformation Act, which gave tax incentives to a variety of renewable energy sources, but not hydropower. It’s supported by Hawkins’ 12th District counterparts in the House, Mike Steele and Keith Goehner. The House Finance Committee on Wednesday recommended the bill for passage through the full chamber.

Douglas County medical assistant was sanctioned after taking some unusual steps to admit a patient. When a patient refused to have her blood pressure, vital signs or weight checked during a visit in 2018, the clinic worker simply filled out the patient’s chart with an average blood pressure from her past visits, plus weight and vital signs taken during her most recent appointment. The medical assistant admitted the violations to the state Department of Health, and agreed to pay a $500-dollar fine and complete an ethics training program.

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. . .

Time now for our weekly Kennel Kameos feature from the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society. Tonight, NCWLIFE’s Megan McPherson introduces us to Chewy the cat. . .

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.

Finally tonight, Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Dunlap was presented with the Lifesaving Award Tuesday by Sheriff Brian Burnett for her efforts to save a heart attack victim in Leavenworth.

Dunlap applied patches from an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, to the 60-year-old man and administered a shock. Emergency room physician Dr. Lance Jobe was on hand Tuesday to praise Dunlap for her life-saving efforts.

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.