NCWLIFE Evening News May 13th, 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, A 15-year-old driver on a learner’s permit allegedly crashed into a Chelan County sheriff’s deputy towing a small boat Tuesday, causing an accident and traffic delay on the east edge of Leavenworth. An East Wenatchee man allegedly followed another driver in traffic, and displayed a pistol to threaten him, and, Fire officials say children playing with matches started a wildfire that threatened structures and vehicles outside Ephrata shortly after noon Tuesday.      

But first, we begin tonight. . .

A 27-year-old Peshastin man was arraigned today on second-degree murder charges, in the death of a toddler two weeks ago in Yakima County. Police and prosecutors believe Terrence Chip Ogle inflicted injuries on the 15-month-old child of his girlfriend that led to the boy’s death.

Ogle remains in the Yakima County Jail on $1 million bond. EMTs were called to the West Valley apartment April 27 when the toddler stopped breathing. The boy died that same day after being transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Investigators say he died due to blunt force trauma consistent with abuse, which left him with several skull fractures.

A 15-year-old driver on a learner’s permit allegedly crashed into a Chelan County sheriff’s deputy towing a small boat Tuesday, causing an accident and traffic delay on the east edge of Leavenworth.

The Washington State Patrol says the deputy was westbound on Highway 2 about 11:05 a.m. when the teen driver turned left into the SUV’s path. The deputy had a green light and the right of way. The young driver, who had a learner’s permit and a licensed passenger, suffered minor injuries but was not taken to the hospital. Troopers wouldn’t identify either driver in the crash. Sheriff’s Chief of Special Operations Jason Reinfeld said the deputy was towing the department’s swift-water rescue boat. The accident partially blocked the highway for about 90 minutes.

An East Wenatchee man allegedly followed another driver in traffic, and displayed a pistol to threaten him. Ricardo Andreas Medina, who’s 22, remains in the Chelan County jail on $25,000 bond.

Wenatchee police say on Monday afternoon, Medina pulled alongside another man’s car at Cherry and Miller streets, warned him to stay away from his partner, and either held up or pointed a handgun at the victim. A judge ordered Medina held Tuesday on suspicion of second-degree assault. He has not yet been charged with a crime.

Fire officials say children playing with matches started a wildfire that threatened structures and vehicles outside Ephrata shortly after noon Tuesday.

Grant County Fire District 13 and Ephrata firefighters were able to contain the fire in the 12000 block of Road C5 Northwest to about two acres. None of the homes or vehicles were damaged.

Coming up next, Two new deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported in the Wenatchee Valley, one of them the youngest so far. The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is reminding visitors its recreation areas are still closed, saying heavy guest use is continuing despite COVID-19 closures. A community effort is under way to send a special thanks to essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, Our Valley Our Future, the nonprofit team focused on growth and equity in the Wenatchee Valley, wants to hear how COVID-19 has affected your social and economic well-being. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Two new deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported in the Wenatchee Valley, one of them the youngest so far. The Chelan-Douglas Health District reports today a man in his 50s has died from the virus.

Previously, the youngest of the nine deaths attributed to coronavirus in the two-county area was no younger than age 60. The health district reports the ages of coronavirus victims as a range. Four of the local deaths have been patients aged 90 or older. The other person most recently pronounced dead from the disease was a woman, age 60 to 79.

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is reminding visitors its recreation areas are still closed, saying heavy guest use is continuing despite COVID-19 closures.

U.S. Forest Service managers published images Tuesday on Facebook of parking lots full of cars at National Forest locations. They want users to avoid crowding while they make use of the backcountry.

Closures in the forest include all developed recreation areas like trailheads, campgrounds, day use areas, restroom, and sno-parks. If an area is crowded, the Forest Service says, please find another location.

A community effort is under way to send a special thanks to essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Central Accountable Community of Health is asking people to nominate their favorite essential worker, who will then have a chance to receive a gift card to a local business. Dominick Bonny of Digital Media Northwest produced a video highlighting some of those workers and explained how you can nominate a worker. . .

Our Valley Our Future, the nonprofit team focused on growth and equity in the Wenatchee Valley, wants to hear how COVID-19 has affected your social and economic well-being. The group  launched a community survey today to gauge how the pandemic has affected local residents, and to seek ideas on ways for the region to recover.

You can view that survey and participate at the website ourvalleyourfuture.org, or on the group’s Facebook page. Our Valley Our Future’s director, Steve Maher, was recently appointed to a task force by Governor Jay Inslee to help prepare for the statewide recovery.

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. . .

Mayor Carl Florea has already closed all the parks in Leavenworth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the Bavarian Village will close its busiest downtown streets to vehicles and parking on Friday, and keep them closed for the foreseeable future. In tonight’s feature story, Mayor Florea spoke with NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins and explained why. . .

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.

As the world of sports continues to suffer under the cloud of uncertainty that is the coronavirus pandemic, there are way more questions than answers.  One question plaguing colleges is whether sports can resume if campuses are closed…

University of Washington football coach Jimmy Lake says he’d like the NCAA to step up and set a date for the nation.  In a conference call of Pac-12 football coaches Tuesday, Lake said he would prefer for all major college teams to begin six week so preparation for the season at the same time.

He said, quote, I’m of the opinion it would be great if the NCAA made a blanket rule for the whole nation of when we would start, and I understand some states may be less hit by this than most…I believe the NCAA should step in and say, ‘OK, here’s the date when everybody can start, end quote.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said that his organization will not go that route.  He said he’s leaving the decisions on start dates to state officials and university presidents.

The problem lies when conference states vary on their approach to the pandemic.  While Arizona is opening up to team sports, Oregon governor Kate Brown says sports probably won’t open up in her state until October.  So just within the Pac-12 there are six states involved with six different approaches that could impact competitive fairness. 

Of course, then there’s the question of whether sports can resume at colleges and universities where the campuses are closed to students.  The universal feeling is that if campuses are closed, that means they’re closed to all, including athletes.

The NBA players’ association polled its members Tuesday on whether they want to return to play this season.  Apparently, the answer is yes…

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that a conference call between NBA commissioner Adam Silver and board of governors late Tuesday was positively leaning towards a return to play.

According to the article, owners and executives on the call were encouraged about the league’s progress toward minimizing health risk upon a return.  They were also enthusiastic about results of a text poll of all 450 NBA players on their desire to restart the season.

It sounds more and more like the league, if it does resume, will be in a “bubble-isolation” play in a “campus environment” will all players and teams in one location such as Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort or Las Vegas.

A decision on a return is not expected within the next two weeks.

Things are pretty hush about Major League Baseball’s conference call with players yesterday about a plan to return to play…

The three-to-four hour meeting covered specifics of a plan to begin spring training camps in June with a shortened-season beginning around the 4th of July weekend.

According to sources, one large item that wasn’t discussed was an economic proposal, which is expected to be a sticking point.  Major League owners gave the go-ahead Monday for a proposal that players receive the percentage of their 2020 salaries based on a 50-50 split of revenues.

At this point, it seems fans are much closer to watching NBA games than Major League Baseball.  Neither of which would be in person until at least August or September.

And here’s a reminder of what’s still to come this week on NCWLIFE in terms of sports…

If you weren’t around the valley in 2018 you missed an incredible run through the playoffs by the Wenatchee Wild hockey team.  Tomorrow night is the rebroadcast of Game 5 of the Fred Page Cup playoff series between the Wild and Prince George Spruce Kings.  Arch Ecker has the call at 7 o’clock.

Friday’s Great Game of our Past features girls soccer from last October between Cashmere and Cascade.

Saturday’s doubleheader is all about baseball.  First up is Wenatchee and Moses Lake baseball from May of 2017.  Next up is Wenatchee AppleSox baseball from last July against the Portland Pickles.

Then on Sunday, watch last November’s State Girls Soccer playoffs between Eastmont and Mead at 2 followed by Wenatchee Wild hockey against West Kelowna from last October at 7.

Thanks Eric.

Seasonal snow clearing of the North Cascades Highway linking Eastern and Western Washington is completed allowing the highway to open yesterday.

The Department of Transportation says because the North Cascades Highway, officially state Highway 20, is a main east-west transportation route, clearing of snow was deemed essential even as much road work stopped March 26th during the statewide stay-home order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Highway 20, which traverses Washington Pass and Rainy Pass over the Cascades peaks, connects the Skagit Valley with the Methow Valley. It closes east of Newhalem and west of Winthrop every year in early winter because of avalanche danger.

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.