NCWLIFE Evening News May 24th, 2021


Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. I’m Grant Olson. Before we get to what’s making news, let’s take a quick look outside our weather window:

And now, here a few of the stories we’re following for you tonight, A 19-year-old East Wenatchee man faces felony charges after allegedly selling psilocybin mushrooms over Snap Chat./ Multiple city council and school boards will see contested races in the August 3rd primary election, and, A Seattle-based music software startup was the big winner at the Flywheel Investment Conference last week in Wenatchee.    

But first, our top story tonight. . .

Level 1 and 2 evacuation notices were issued and Highway 97A was closed Sunday evening for a fast-moving brush fire in and around the Swakane Canyon area.

The 250-acre fire was first reported just before 5 p.m. with crews from Chelan County, Douglas County and the state Department of Natural Resources responding. The highway north of Entiat wasn’t re-opened until about 8 p.m. Level 2 evacuations, meaning get set to leave, were issued for residents of Swakane Canyon Road on the west side of Highway 97A and Rainbows End Boulevard, Pot O Gold Lane and Rams Lane on the east side of the highway. All evacuation notices were lifted this morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A 19-year-old East Wenatchee man faces felony charges after allegedly selling psilocybin mushrooms over Snapchat.

The Columbia River Drug Task Force says Brayden G. Byington offered and sold about 56 grams of mushrooms to undercover detectives, from February through mid-May. He allegedly was helped by a 17-year-old accomplice. Police arrested Byington last week. He’s charged with two counts of unlawful distribution, plus two counts of involving a minor in a drug transaction. He’s scheduled to be arraigned June 2nd.

Multiple city council and school boards will see contested races in the August 3rd primary election.

Two Wenatchee city council members, Jim Bailey and Ruth Esparza, did not file for reelection before Friday’s deadline, meaning their seats in District 2 and 3 respectively are now open for new candidates. One incumbent, Keith Huffaker, will also face a challenger in at-large voting. In East Wenatchee, city council member Sasha Sleiman will defend her seat against Reid Fryhover.

Expect some interesting school board races, too: Every incumbent up for election at the Wenatchee School District now faces at least two challengers, as do two incumbents in the Eastmont district. The top two primary determines which candidates advance to the general election in November.

A Seattle-based music software startup was the big winner at the Flywheel Investment Conference last week in Wenatchee.

Six finalists competed at Pybus Public Market, with ScynFloor selected to receive a $150,000 investment from the Flywheel Angel Network. They also can receive a $50,000 relocation bonus if they decide to move the business to the Wenatchee area. SyncFloor aggregates music content for businesses using a variety of independent catalogs.

In addition, Spokane-based Iasis Molecular Services was awarded $50,000. The company develops methods for preventing the spread of infectious pathogens from surfaces.

Wenatchee’s PetHub received $5,000 as the fan favorite at the conference. The event is hosted by the NCW Tech Alliance, formerly known as GWATA.

Coming up next, Chelan County PUD crews relocate a Native American canoe into the new Discovery Center at Rocky Reach Dam./ The Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority has been named the Washington State Port of the Year, and, A Cashmere High School student and a Wenatchee High School student were honored last week for their artwork at the 48th Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Updating the beloved museum at Rocky Reach Dam required a little heavy lifting last week.

The replica wooden canoe on display at Rocky Reach Discovery Center had to be boxed in a crate, lifted out of its place on the fourth floor, and lowered by crane through a skylight to its new home on a lower level. The Chelan County PUD expects to reopen the Discovery Center later this summer. The renovation is expected to cost about $7.7 million dollars

The Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority has been named the Washington State Port of the Year.

The honor from the Washington Public Ports Association noted that the port was the first in the state to functionally combine two countywide ports into one when the Port of Chelan County and the Port of Douglas County were merged.

In addition to its role in economic development, the Chelan-Douglas Port Authority also has been the lead agency in distributing federal, state and local COVID-19 relief funding, awarding aid to 727 small businesses in the two counties.

A Cashmere High School student and a Wenatchee High School student were honored last week for their artwork at the 48th Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show. The statewide competition culminated with a virtual ceremony Thursday hosted by state school Superintendent Chris Reykdal.

Cashmere’s Ashley Santana received the State Board of Education Award for her mixed-media piece, “Isolation.”

Wenatchee’s Nora Abelsen was an Honorable Mention Award winner for her entry “Set of Blue Nesting Bowls” in the clay/ceramics category.

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, some of the changes we’ve seen during the pandemic may prove to be permanent. Case in point: The Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival, which will have a new name and a new structure when it returns this December. NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins 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.

San Diego completed a sweep of its 9-game home stand with a 9-2 win over Seattle Sunday, handing the Mariners its 6th-consecutive loss…

Fernando Tatis, Jr. did most of the damage for the Padres with two home runs, including a grand slam and six RBI’s.  The only highlight for Seattle was Justin Dunn, both on the mound and at the plate…

Manager Scott Servais was quick to point out Dunn’s great day, but laments the losing streak continuing…

Seattle will head for Oakland to begin a three-game series with the A’s tonight at 6:40 when Yusei Kikuch faces Frankie Montas.

Oakland comes into tonight’s game having taken two of three from the Angels over the weekend.  Los Angeles salvaged the final game of the series with Justin Upton’s sacrifice fly, RBI in the bottom of the 8th to give the Halos a 6-5 win.

In Texas, Adolis Garcia’s RBI-single in the bottom of the 10th gave the Rangers a walk-off, 3-2 win over Houston.

The A’s have retaken the lead in the American League West at 28-and-20.  Houston is a game-and-a-half back at 26-and-21 after losing two of three to Texas.  The Rangers have moved into 3rd place along with the Mariners, 6-and-a-half games back.

We had a fun Saturday here on the NCWLIFE Channel with two broadcasts for your pleasure.  The first featured boys lacrosse as Wenatchee hosted Snohomish…

The visitors were certainly up for the challenge with a 14-nothing victory.  Owen Wallace led the Panthers with 5-goals on the day.

Eric Granstrom and Brandon Parker had the call here on the NCWLIFE Channel…

Wenatchee has three more games on the schedule.

We shifted gears to high school basketball Saturday night as the Wenatchee Panthers hosted the Davis Pirates.  And, despite 22-points from Garrett Long and 17 from Joe Dorey, Wenatchee couldn’t convert its chances down the stretch and fell 55-48.

Grant Olson had the call here on the NCWLIFE Channel…

In other action Saturday, Moses Lake beat Eisenhower by 20, 78-58.  Cashmere knocked off Ephrata 68-51 as Sam Phillips eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in his career with 24 on the night including 5, 3-pointers. 

Royal stopped Cascade 63-46.  Chelan got by Okanogan 52-47.  Wahluke edged Quincy 69-65.  Warden topped Omak 47-36.  Soap Lake beat Bridgeport 71-52.  Pateros knocked off Manson 67-58.  Oroville had no trouble with Waterville-Mansfield, winning 63-25.  And Almira-Coulee/Hartline took care of Tonasket 75-34.

The girls got things going Friday with Okanogan downing Liberty Bell 57-to-3.  On Saturday, Kristina Blauman scored 16-of-Wenatchee’s 29 points in a 57-29 loss at Davis.  Riley Johnson had 19-points to lead Cashmere to a 50-35 win over Ephrata.

Okanogan beat Chelan 43-27.  Quincy opened with a 59-26 win over Wahluke.  It was Warden over Omak 64-46.  Pateros edged Manson 60-52.  Waterville-Mansfield beat Oroville 68-41.  Bridgeport stopped Soap Lake 64-28.  And Tonasket mauled A-C-H 75-43.

Wenatchee Valley College came up short in both ends of doubleheaders Sunday against Big Bend baseball and softball…

The Vikings beat the Knights on the baseball diamond 11-2 and 15-to-5.  Big Bend swept both  on the softball diamond 17-6 and 16-14.

The WVC Men’s and Women’s basketball teams are at Yakima Valley tomorrow with the ladies at 5:30 followed by the men at 7:30.

Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval saw another four classes of cars race last weekend on the quarter-mile asphalt…

The featured race of the night was the Jerry’s Auto Supply Pro Late Model 75-lap main event.  Snohomish’s Jesse Jensen finished first, followed by Mike Knudtson and Garrett Huffines.

The 8-to-14-year old class of Bandoleros main event was won by Ephrata’s Cannon Delong.  Makenna Lutz was second and Ryker Ohler 3rd.

East Wenatchee’s Seth Frazier was a winner again in the Dick’s Heating and Air Conditioning Thunder Car main event.  Cameron Doyle took second followed by Luke Schall third.

And in the visiting class of Northwest Vintage Modifieds, Mount Vernon’s Kyten Jones took the checkered flag followed by Sumner’s Steve Woods and Auburns Ken Kaitschmidt.

WVSO will be back racing in a couple Saturday’s on the Class of 2021 Night June 5th.  The night will feature the Dick’s Heating and Air Conditioning Thunder Cars; Holaday’s Custom Muffler B-Mods; Plumb Perfect Roadrunners; Northwest Pro 4 Trucks; and the WMRA Midgets.

Thanks Eric.

As we leave you tonight, the Brave Warrior Project raised almost $24,000 at its annual Superhero Walk ‘n Roll in Wenatchee over the weekend.

The Wenatchee-based group raises money to help and support children with illnesses or disabilities in North Central Washington. Teams of superheroes gathered Sunday at Riverfront Park for the walk, with the money to be used to provide financial support, scholarship programs, gas cards and more for kids with special needs and chronic illnesses.

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 And, remember, if you see news happening we’d like to hear from you.  You can send us an email at, or give us a call 888-NCWL (6295). I’m Grant Olson, thanks for joining us and have a great night.