NCWLIFE Evening News March 5th, 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, a few of the stories we’re following for you tonight, A Dryden man was arrested on suspicion of pulling gun on his landlord./ Representative Kim Schrier says Chinese shipping firms are leaving Washington produce-cargo behind, on purpose, and, State health officials are reacting to the sudden inclusion of educators in vaccination tiers.   

But first, our top story tonight. . .

A fire that included an exploding propane tank roared through two connected travel trailers south of Ephrata Thursday night.

Grant County Fire District 13 said the fire and explosion on Road 6 Northwest could be seen from miles away as it threatened several other propane tanks as well as numerous vehicles and a home. The fire did ignite one vehicle before firefighters were able to contain its spread. The two travel trailers and an enclosed front porch that connected them were completely destroyed. The Grant County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

A Leavenworth man suspected of armed assault is free on his own recognizance.

Chelan County sheriff’s deputies arrested 33-year-old Erik Ramos Salamanca late Wednesday, after he allegedly threatened his parents’ landlord in Dryden, and produced a handgun.

Ramos denied brandishing a weapon and no one was harmed in the incident. A judge released him without bond after his first court appearance Thursday. He faces a possible criminal charge of first-degree assault.

A central Washington congressmember is asking for a federal investigation into how foreign shipping firms handle Washington farm exports to China. 8th District Democrat Kim Schrier sent a letter this week to the Federal Maritime Commission, saying growers and exporters have reported foreign-owned ocean carriers are returning to China with empty cargo containers, rather than taking on U.S. goods and produce. She says it poses a real threat to Washington farmers’ access to overseas markets for apples and pears, and it may violate the U.S. Shipping Act. NCWLIFE reached out to Stemilt Growers of Wenatchee, who declined to comment on the matter.

Coming up next, Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort was named 2020 Business of the Year Thursday by the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce./ A Federal Judge tears up Washington farm owners’ use of “piece rate” payment scale for fruit and produce workers, and, This month, the Arbor Day Foundation recognized Wenatchee Valley College as a Tree Campus Higher Education college for the second year in a row. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort was named 2020 Business of the Year Thursday by the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce.

At a virtual banquet, the chamber also named the Wenatchee Downtown Association as its nonprofit of the year. In accepting the award, Mission Ridge General Manager Josh Jorgensen credited his team at the resort for leading them through the toughest year of all their lives.

In accepting the nonprofit of the year honor, Wenatchee Downtown Association Executive Director Linda Haglund said the challenges businesses faced with COVID-19 shutdowns served to create a greater feeling of community than ever and thanked the chamber for working collaboratively with the downtown association in meeting those challenges.

A federal judge says the U.S. Department of Labor used flawed data to set prevailing wages for farmworkers. Salvador Mendoza of the Eastern District of Washington ruled this week that the department wrongly certified those wages based on surveys filled out by agricultural firms in 2019, which would have caused prevailing wages for the workers to plummet in the next agricultural cycle. The department failed to compare employer reports with surveys filled out by the workers themselves, who reported that pay for experienced farm laborers is routinely greater than $20 per hour.

[BRoll: Cherry Orchard]

Mendoza says the system gives employers an incentive to lie about wages. The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought by Familias Unidas, a union of agricultural workers.

This month, the Arbor Day Foundation recognized Wenatchee Valley College as a Tree Campus Higher Education college for the second year in a row.

Tree Campus Higher Education, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities for promoting healthy trees, effective campus forest management and engaging students and staff in conservation goals.

WVC achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, adhere to and report on tree care management, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project. WVC plans to compete for the Tree Campus Higher Education title again next year.

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. . .

In tonight’s feature story, last month, 90-year-old Ruby Thompson of East Wenatchee became the one millionth person in Washington to receive a vaccination against COVID-19. But that was just her first dose. Today, Ruby received the necessary second shot of the Pfizer compound. NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins was there and has more. . .

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.

As we leave you on this Friday night, Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said he wanted to do his part Wednesday to help Washington Special Olympics while at the same time paying tribute to a fallen comrade.

Bryant plunged into the icy water at a park outside Ellensburg named for Kittitas County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Thompson. Thompson was shot and killed two years ago in Kittitas after a vehicle pursuit. . .

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.