NCWLIFE Evening News May 20th, 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 Cashmere man in prison for recruiting a fellow inmate to burglarize his estranged wife’s home cannot withdraw his guilty plea. An East Wenatchee veterinarian is accused of prescribing unneeded medications to her own animals, and, It turns out there won’t be a race in November for a seat on the Douglas County PUD commission after it was found one of the candidates who filed last week lives outside the boundaries for the District 2 seat.     

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The body of a homeless man was found inside a vehicle in South Wenatchee Tuesday morning but police say his death is not suspicious.

Wenatchee Police Captain Edgar Reinfeld said the unidentified 55-year-old man was known to police. His body was found by the owner of the property at South Mission Street and South Wenatchee Avenue near the George Sellar Bridge. The body of another homeless man was found earlier this month in the Columbia River near Ninth Street but Reinfeld said they do not believe the two deaths were connected in any way and neither death was suspicious. . .

A Cashmere man in prison for recruiting a fellow inmate to burglarize his estranged wife’s home cannot withdraw his guilty plea. That’s the ruling this week from the state Court of Appeals, which says Don Phillip Stentz has no basis to overturn his 2019 agreement.

While jailed in Chelan County in 2018, Stentz instructed a fellow inmate to burglarize his wife’s home as part of a continued pattern of harassment. The burglar was arrested with Stentz’s detailed notes and a map to the house. Stentz is now serving seven years in prison for masterminding the burglary, and for violating a no-contact order.

An East Wenatchee veterinarian is accused of prescribing unneeded medications to her own animals.

The state Department of Health says Chanelle Remien, who started veterinary practice in the Wenatchee Valley in 2016, ordered thousands of doses of pain reliever and anxiety medications for her own dogs, without medical justification. The health department says Remien prescribed more than 11,000 tablets of the painkiller tramadol between 2011 and 2018, plus a thousand doses of alprazolam for anxiety. She allegedly claimed the dogs suffered various medical conditions that weren’t supported by documentation. Remien closed her mobile veterinary practice last summer. Her license is now under review.

It turns out there won’t be a race in November for a seat on the Douglas County PUD commission after it was found one of the candidates who filed last week lives outside the boundaries for the District 2 seat.

Rock Island Mayor Randy Agnew had filed to challenge incumbent Commissioner Molly Simpson but Rock Island falls within PUD District 3.

Douglas County Auditor Thad Duvall, who said he has notified Agnew, said confusion may have come from County Commissioner districts. Rock Island is in District 2 for that commission.

Coming up next, The Chelan-Douglas Board of Health withdrew a two-month-old order yesterday that expanded its health officer’s power to penalize businesses that don’t comply with public health rules related to COVID-19. The owner of a venerable Wenatchee restaurant says he’ll reopen for dinner May 27th, coronavirus be damned. The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office 911 Dispatch Center is now capable of accepting text messages to 911 to report an emergency, and, for your morning commute, Columbia Street in Wenatchee will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to noon tomorrow. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The Chelan-Douglas Board of Health withdrew a two-month-old order yesterday that expanded its health officer’s power to penalize businesses that don’t comply with public health rules related to COVID-19.

Former health officer Dr. Francis Collins issued the order March 20th, but the eight-member public health board says existing law already allows for enforcement if a health inspector finds businesses aren’t following social-distancing rules, or are operating while they’re not deemed an essential service. Violators who do not cooperate with public health orders can still be fined $500 to $5,000 a day.

The owner of a venerable Wenatchee restaurant says he’ll reopen for dinner May 27th, coronavirus be damned.

Kevin Smith, owner of the Windmill for the last eight years, tells NCWLIFE he’ll be serving next Wednesday despite state orders closing restaurants as non-essential businesses. His reopening comes just four days before those health orders are set to expire, unless renewed.

Smith says his bills are still piling up despite no income, and he’ll have just eight tables at a time spread out for social distancing. The Chelan-Douglas Health District did not respond to a request for comment on the Windmill’s reopening plan.

Call if you can, text if you can’t. The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office 911 Dispatch Center is now capable of accepting text messages to 911 to report an emergency, but officials say a voice call to 911 is still the best way to report an emergency.

Texting an emergency should primarily be used by people who are hearing or speech impaired, people who can’t speak because of a medical emergency or for people who have limited or poor cell service. The Sheriff’s office says text to 911 should not be used to report non-emergency situations or for convenience.

A heads up for your morning commute tomorrow. . .

Columbia Street from 1st street to 2nd street in Wenatchee will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to noon. Chelan County Public Works says the sidewalk in that area will also be closed.

A reminder too that work is continuing on Stella Avenue between McKittrick and Walnut Streets in Wenatchee with one lane of traffic open with flaggers in the work zone. That project will continue through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

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. . .

The state showed off its latest tool in fighting wildfires Tuesday. In a demonstration at the Olympia Airport, a helicopter dipped its bucket into a Pumpkin Tank. The tanks are portable, easily refilled with water from natural sources and hold 4,400 gallons of water. They are expected to be especially valuable in remote, hard-to-reach areas.

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.

Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar formally pled not guilty to four counts of armed robbery in a Broward County Circuit Court Monday…

Dunbar is accused of helping New York Giants’ cornerback DeAndre Baker steal 12-thousand dollars in cash and 61-thousand dollars’ worth of watches at a party in Miramar, Florida last Wednesday.

Michael Grieco, the attorney for Dunbar, says his client is innocent and he can prove it.  He says he hopes the state will look at the evidence and five, sworn affidavits he’s collected on behalf of his client and drop the charges. 

In the meantime, Grieco says he requested a jury trial.  A motion was also filed to allow Dunbar to travel out of Florida, if need be, for work with the Seahawks.  Right now, the pandemic has Seattle and the rest of the NFL meeting by remote video conference.  It looks like the soonest workout in Renton would be in July for training camp.

Seahawks former first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin is happy to be back in Seattle.  The defensive end collected 8-and-a-half sacks for Carolina a season ago.  He said watching the Seahawks beat Philadelphia in the playoffs last year made him long to be in Seattle once again.  So how does he feel being back?

Irvin left Seattle following the 2015 season and played with the Raiders for 2-and-a-half years before a stop in Atlanta and Carolina.   He says he owes a huge debt of gratitude to General Manager John Schneider, Coach Pete Carroll, and his longtime mentor, Ken Norton, Junior…

Entering free agency in the off-season, Irvin had chances to go elsewhere but said being back with the Seahawks was his number one objective…

The Seahawks are hoping Irvin’s 9th season in the NFL will help produce more sacks and quarterback pressures.  Seattle was next-to-last in those areas a season ago.

There’s at least one Seattle Mariner who is loving not playing baseball right now.  That’s first baseman Daniel Vogelbach.  The 27-year old power hitter says he loves fishing as much as baseball, and now’s the time to be on the water near his home in Orlando…

Vogelbach appeared on a video podcast called Inside Corner hosted by former AppleSox pitcher Marco Gonzales and Mariner announcer Aaron Goldschmidt.

Vogelbach had a break-out year in 2019, making Seattle’s every-day roster, hitting 34-home runs and driving in 91 RBI’s.  He was the Mariner’s only representative at the All-Star game.  Then he fell off a cliff in the second half.  He says he’s putting last year’s second half slump behind him and hoping for good things if, and when Seattle plays baseball again.  In the meantime, you’ll find him out fishing.

Opportunities to go outside will keep growing when the Forest Service opens the vast majority of its trailheads and day-use facilities this Friday…

The agency announced plans for a phased re-opening in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest to follow the example of its partners in Washington State. Some areas and trailheads still covered in snow will open later and amenities such as restrooms, garbage service and water facilities will be limited.

All campgrounds will remain closed until Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan. The Forest Service said popular areas located within campgrounds will likely reopen sometime in June.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight,Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue will have a new chief after June 1st.

Mick LaMar, who’s headed the rural department since 2012, plans to retire and turn the reins over to current Assistant Chief Dave Walker. In his time as chief, LaMar reduced emergency response times while coping with persistent wildfire threats. He also led the acquisition of property for a planned new fire district headquarters and training facility outside Plain.

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.