NCWLIFE Evening News May 14th, 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, Washington state issued emergency rules Wednesday governing farmworker housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A 17-year-old suspect in a stolen car led Moses Lake police on a chase this morning that included driving in circles in the Winco parking lot, and, A Malaga man who conned his victims out of thousands of dollars and bragged about it on social media got a seven-year prison sentence this week.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Chelan and Douglas counties asked to take a half-step toward reopening the Wenatchee Valley economy, but the state Department of Health turned them down. Yesterday the Chelan-Douglas Health District asked for a variance under Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start pandemic recovery program, to reopen small retail stores, medical and dental services, hair and nail salons, pet grooming and additional construction in the Valley.

All would still need to meet social distancing and safety requirements to minimize viral spread. The petition was endorsed by multiple local agencies, towns, businesses and churches. But counties must show no new COVID-19 cases for at least three weeks before they qualify.

Chelan and Douglas counties reported two new cases as recently as Monday. Health Secretary John Wiesman rejected the proposal. Only eight Washington counties have so far qualified to move into Phase 2 of the Governor’s four-phase recovery program.

Washington state issued emergency rules Wednesday governing farmworker housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Farm employers must provide laborers with cloth face coverings and ensure physical distancing at housing sites. That includes all cooking, eating, bathing, washing, recreational, and sleeping facilities. Beds must be at least six feet apart with occupants sleeping head to toe, and bunk beds can only be used in limited conditions. Farmworker advocates have called for even stricter rules to protect laborers from coronavirus. They’ve mounted an ongoing lawsuit against the state departments of Labor and Health in Skagit County court.

A 17-year-old suspect in a stolen car led Moses Lake police on a chase this morning that included driving in circles in the Winco parking lot while flipping off customers who were yelling at him to stop.

Police say the unidentified teen stole the vehicle after it was left running at a local gas station.

As he was leaving the Winco parking lot the suspect ran over spike strips but continued to flee on flat tires before losing control and crashing through a fence and hitting a parked car near the corner of Grape and Central drives. The teen faces numerous charges.

A Malaga man who conned his victims out of thousands of dollars and bragged about it on social media got a seven-year prison sentence this week. 22-year-old Damien Scott Hally pleaded guilty to counts of leading organized crime and intimidating witnesses.

Sheriff’s deputies say he bilked his local victims on banking scams, threatened and harassed them if they cooperated with police, and posted photos and videos of himself handling large amounts of cash on Facebook. He pleaded guilty last week in Chelan County Superior Court.

Coming up next A $660,000 state project to remove loose and unstable rocks along Highway 97A is expected to start next Wednesday after being delayed since April because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Douglas County PUD will sell excess power over the next five years to Portland General Electric, which serves almost 900,000 customers in Oregon, and, In just over two weeks, the $1.2 million dollars in CARES Act funding for students at Wenatchee Valley College has been depleted. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

A $660,000 state project to remove loose and unstable rocks along Highway 97A is expected to start next Wednesday after being delayed since April because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Washington State Department of Transportation says during the work the highway will be closed for extended periods between Entiat and Chelan in three different areas. Rocks and boulders sliding onto the highway has been a persistent problem, with numerous vehicles suffering damage. Work on the project was scheduled to start April 6th but the DOT suspended all its projects after Governor Jay Inslee issued his Stay Home, Stay Safe order March 23RD.

Because of the closures, Link Transit said today its buses will travel from Wenatchee to Chelan and Manson on the Douglas County side of the Columbia River and service between Entiat and Chelan will be suspended.

The Douglas County PUD will sell excess power over the next five years to Portland General Electric, which serves almost 900,000 customers in Oregon.

PUD commissioners approved the contract Monday, agreeing to sell up to 160 megawatts of additional capacity from Wells Dam, which has a peak output of about 840 megawatts. In return, PGE will provide the PUD with some load management and wholesale marketing services.

In just over two weeks, the $1.2 million dollars in CARES Act funding for students at Wenatchee Valley College has been depleted.

The WVC application for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding opened on April 24th. Within three days of the application opening, over 400 applications were submitted. As of May 11th, nearly 930 applications had been submitted and 480 had been processed. The average award is $1,387 dollars.  Student CARES Act funding provides direct emergency cash grants to college students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

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, when COVID-19 first arrived, hospitals encouraged patients to avoid emergency rooms and doctor’s offices unless absolutely necessary. But that didn’t mean stay away forever, and it’s had some un-intendended consequences. In a press conference today, medical officers from across the state urged people not to delay seeking care when they need it, even while the specter of coronavirus still looms:

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.

Multi-sports star Grace Erdmann has decided to stay close to home to continue her basketball career…

The Cashmere senior signed a letter of intent to become a Wenatchee Valley Lady Knight this fall.  Erdmann was a 4-year starter on Cashmere’s dominant basketball team.  She helped lead the Bulldogs to a 48-and-oh league record and 95-and-7 overall mark in her four seasons.  She was a three-time 1st Team All-Caribou Trail League selection and First Team All State selection last year.

Coaches and staff members of the Seattle Mariners were told this week that they will lose money, but still have a job…

The team informed their personnel working under uniform employee contracts that certain employees will have a five-month reduction in pay, but there will be no furloughs or layoffs through the end of October.

The pay reductions of at least 20-percent are for staff making 60-thousand dollars or more.  The contract covers major league coaching staff, coaches and coordinators in the minor league system, scouts and performance coaches.

Those with larger salaries are expected to take a cut more significant than 20-percent.  The team had previously told employees working under the contract tha they would receive full pay through May 31st in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

While humans are dealing with the coronavirus, elks herds in Washington are dealing with hoof rot disease…

An article in today’s Yakima Herald says one of 13 elk in the Yakima herd captured earlier this year had early-stage elk hoof disease.  It’s the first case in the Yakima herd and second in all of Eastern Washington.  The wildlife department chose to euthanize the infected elk to reduce potential spread, said Margaret Wild, WSU’s lead scientist for the study of the untreatable disease, agreed.

She said, quote, when you catch just 13 animals and one of them has a lesion it makes you think that’s likely not the only animal with a lesion in the herd.  Obviously, the disease is much more widespread than we’d realized previously, end quote.

In our state, confirmed cases of elk hoof rot have been found in all 10 herds except the Colockum herd in Kittitas County and the Selkirk herd north of Spokane.

Hunters and wildlife watchers are encouraged to report any signs of hoof rot disease to the State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Washington State University, like everyone else, is hoping the pandemic allows for a full, 12-game football season this fall for the Cougars.  But just in case, the school is preparing season ticket holders for the worst…

       The school’s ticketing website posted a message to season ticket holders yesterday that they’ll have three options if the football season is impacted by the pandemic.

One, they can donate the tickets and parking to the school as a gift, which is tax-deductible.

Two, they can get credit on this season’s tickets and parking towards tickets and parking for next season.

Or three, they can get a refund.

The message to Cougar fans comes a day after the California State University system announced it would be reverting to mostly online courses this fall, potentially harming the five football-playing members that fall under the CSU tree: San Diego State, Fresno State, San Jose State, Cal Poly and Sacramento State.  In addition, UCLA, Cal and UC-Davis plan on only a partial reopen this fall.

2018 was a special year for the Wenatchee Wild.  It was “Year Ten in the Den.”  The 10th season of amateur hockey at the Town Toyota Center. 

The Wild finished 3rd in the Interior Division of the BCHL that year, but were gaining momentum towards the playoffs.  In the first round, Wenatchee swept Merritt in four games.  Then they ousted Vernon in the second round in a hard-fought, six-game series.  They dusted Trail in five games and then faced Prince George in the Fred Page Cup Finals…

On tonight’s Hockey Night on the NCWLIFE Channel, we bring you Game 5 between the Wild and Spruce Kings at the Town Toyota Center.  This Great Game of our Past was truly fantastic as the Wild gave Wenatchee something it never had before…a championship…

Our buddy Arch Ecker had the thrilling call on the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Network.  Be sure to watch the game in its entirety tonight at 7 here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

And here’s the schedule for the rest of the weekend with a girls soccer match tomorrow night from a frigid night last October when Cashmere hosted Cascade.  That’s a 7 o’clock.

Then on Sunday at 1:30, it’s Wenatchee and Moses Lake baseball from May of 2017 at Recreation Park.  That’s followed at 6:30 by the AppleSox and Portland Pickles from last July.

Sunday’s lineup has Eastmont girls soccer in the state tournament from last November against Mead at 2 o’clock, followed by the Wenatchee Wild and West Kelowna at 7.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight, nearly 100,000 pounds of potatoes and onions will be given away for free this weekend in East Wenatchee.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in partnership with AgriNorthwest and River Point Onions will distribute 70,000 pounds of potatoes and 20,000 pounds of onions this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the LDS Church located at 667 10th Street Northeast. Farmers all across the country have been forced to either give away their product or destroy it because most of it is sold to restaurants who have been closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.