NCWLIFE Evening News May 1st, 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, Wenatchee Valley businesses are raising alarms about the impacts of COVID-19 shutdowns. Confluence Health’s incoming CEO says thanks to public efforts, local hospitals and clinics haven’t been overwhelmed by coronavirus catastrophes like those in other part of the country. Governor Jay Inslee this week opened the door for hospitals to resume non-emergency surgeries and Confluence Health says it is prepared to do so next week, and, After documenting the regions trials and tribulations for more than 80 years, the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center wants you to help tell the story of COVID-19.     

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Governor Jay Inslee this afternoon extended his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order until May 31st,  but will begin easing some of those restrictions sooner as part of a four-phase plan.

He said he expects camping, gatherings of five or less people, new construction, auto sales and some curbside retail sales to resume around mid-month or later. The order, which has closed all businesses not considered essential since March 23rd, was due to expire Monday at midnight. Inslee also warned that restrictions will be imposed if cases of COVID-19 spike again in Washington.

Wenatchee Valley businesses are raising alarms about the impacts of COVID-19 shutdowns.

According to a Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce survey, stay-home recommendations and other efforts to stop the virus from spreading mean more than two-thirds of businesses in the valley will not be able to sustain operations for another six months without assistance. Fifty-three percent of businesses surveyed believe that they can sustain their businesses for less than three months. Another 28 percent are “not sure” how long they can remain in operation. More than half of businesses report that revenues are down by more than 50 percent; about a third put their lost revenue at 80 percent or more. The chamber survey took responses from more than 270 businesses during three weeks, from late March to early April.

Confluence Health’s incoming CEO says thanks to public efforts, local hospitals and clinics haven’t been overwhelmed by coronavirus catastrophes like those in other part of the county. Dr. Doug Wilson, who’ll take the reins from Peter Rutherford, said Wednesday despite illness and loss, social distancing and other measures have saved lived in the Wenatchee Valley. . .

Wilson warns that social distancing, masks and other protective steps will still have to be observed in the near future.

Governor Jay Inslee this week opened the door for hospitals to resume non-emergency surgeries and Confluence Health says it is prepared to do so next week.

Confluence CEO Doctor Peter Rutherford said that should help stem the huge financial losses Confluence and Central Washington Hospital have incurred since the COVID-19 outbreak. Those losses have amounted to $26 million since March, he said. And that’s after receiving

some federal assistance earlier this month. Doctor Jason Lake of Confluence said resuming surgeries at Central Washington Hospital will come after a series of safety measures have been followed. Those measures include extensive cleaning and testing of all surgical patients for COVID-19 prior to surgery.

Rutherford said the financial struggles at Confluence have led to salary reductions for their executive team, physicians, physician’s assistants and others but no layoffs yet. With the surgeries returning, there is hope those losses will diminish.

After documenting the regions trials and tribulations for more than 80 years, the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center wants you to help tell the story of COVID-19.

The museum said Thursday it’s asking residents to share their everyday stories of life in the pandemic, including images, by email or postal mail. They’ll become part of the museum’s special collections and archives. Remembrances can be emailed to collections@wvmcc.org. You can visit the museums website or Facebook page for more information.

Coming up next, An East Wenatchee man remains in jail tonight accused of molesting the child of his girlfriend. Two active duty military members have been arrested as suspects in the death of a man whose body was found last Saturday north of Ellensburg. After a series of car prowls in a neighborhood near Moses Lake, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects, and, The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society is seeking information on a dog that was shot Wednesday near Number 1 Canyon Road in Wenatchee. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

An East Wenatchee man is accused of molesting the child of his girlfriend.

Police arrested 24-year-old Mauricio Bustos Morfin on Monday, on suspicion of sexually touching the five-year-old victim back on March 17th. Douglas County prosecutors filed a count of first-degree child molestation on Wednesday.

Bustos denied the charge, and pleaded not guilty at a Superior Court hearing. He remains held in the Okanogan County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Two active duty military members have been arrested as suspects in the death of a man whose body was found last Saturday north of Ellensburg.

Kittitas County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Raylin D. James, 20, and Joshua Q. Gerald at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Pierce County.

The body of Leroy Scott, 20, was found in a creek along Smithson Road after being spotted by a passing motorist. Scott, originally from Louisiana, was a former member of the military. According to the sheriff’s office, the two suspects and the victim were connected through mutual friends and had attended a party in Ellensburg the night of the murder.

After a series of car prowls in a neighborhood near Moses Lake, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.

In addition to the car prowls, a vehicle was stolen early Wednesday morning in the Pelican Point community. Surveillance video shows a man and two women prowling a pickup with what is believed to be their light-colored minivan in the background. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society is seeking information on a dog that was shot Wednesday near Number 1 Canyon Road in Wenatchee.

The silver Weimaraner-type dog was roaming in his neighborhood and returned home about 2 p.m. with a gunshot wound. The owner took the dog to a veterinarian, who found a small-caliber bullet in his abdomen. Renee Parkins with the Humane Society said the dog died overnight. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Animal Care and Control at 662-9577, option 1.

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. . .

Agricultural work is hard labor in tough conditions, and the coronavirus pandemic has made it even harder. Familias Unidas, a union that’s represented Washington ag employees since 2013, has helped improve working conditions in places like Quincy, and even won a state Supreme Court case establishing how fieldworkers are paid. In tonight’s feature story, the group’s political director, Edgar Franks, told NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins they’re now suing the state to establish firm rules for health conditions in the Washington fruit industry.

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.

What’s in a number?  Apparently, a LOT.  Two days ago, Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed posted on Twitter that he was taking his old #90 back.  The SAME #90 that Jadeveon Clowney wore last season.  The speculation from that announcement was that Seattle was out of the running for the free agent and Clowney wouldn’t be back this season…

General Manager John Schneider said Thursday as a guest on ESPN Radio in Seattle that he didn’t remember approving a number switch for Reed.  Now, Reed has deleted his entire Twitter account, so there’s no record of it…other than what we grabbed while it was up…

Schneider explained that the door is still open to negotiate with Clowney and Seattle has visited with he and his agent several times.  In the meantime, the team had to move forward with planning for this season.  That meant signing free agent defensive ends Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa and drafting Alton Robinson and Darrell Taylor.

So, the wait continues to see who will be wearing #90 this season.  If it’s not Clowney, it apparently will be Reed.

The Seahawks are in the process of having team meetings via video conference while the pandemic has forced social distancing.  Yesterday, their meeting was interrupted by a special guest.  Coach Pete Carroll introduced a new player to the roster…

Farrell and Coach Pete Carroll have a friendship that goes back to Carroll’s day coaching at USC.

NASCAR fans finally have something to cheer about…

The racing circuit announced Thursday that it will resume its season without fans starting May 17th at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.  The premiere Cup Series will then race three more times in a 10-day span.

Following Darlington, the Coca-Cola 600 will take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 24th.  NASCAR joins the UFC as the first major sports organizations to announce plans to return since the coronavirus pandemic shut down US sports in mid-March.

Speaking of racing, tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the race track in East Wenatchee now known as Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval.  In recognition, WVSO General Manager Jeremy Anders has arranged for a Race Car Cruise…

The WVSO Race Car Cruise will get underway at 6pm.  Again, the route is from Gateway Cinemas at Olds Station, down Wenatchee Avenue, across the George Sellar Bridge, up Grant Road to Eastmont Community Park and then back along the same route again.

Here’s a reminder of what’s coming up this weekend on the NCWLIFE Sports schedule…

It begins with another Great Game of our Past tonight at 7 when we rebroadcast Wenatchee and Eastmont girls soccer from last November.  Sebastian Moraga and Matt Wisen have the play-by-play.

Then tomorrow at 1:30, Eric is joined by Paul Piva for the call of Eastmont and Wenatchee girls bowling from January of 2018 as the teams position for a run at the State Championship.  Then at 6:30, it’s our first broadcast of AppleSox baseball from last June as the ‘Sox battled the Walla Walla Sweets at Paul Thomas, Sr. Stadium.

Sunday’s schedule begins at 2 o’clock with Moses Lake and Eastmont volleyball from last October at Eastmont High School.  Then at 7, Arch Ecker has the call of Wenatchee Wild hockey against the Chilliwack Chiefs in a game from February at the Town Toyota Center.

Thanks Eric.

Now let’s check in with Dan Kuntz for a look at what’s coming up Monday 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 weekend.