NCWLIFE Evening News May 28th, 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, The Windmill Restaurant’s reopening plans Wednesday evening didn’t last long. Two people are charged in a December hit and run that left a man seriously injured, and a third person is implicated, and, An 18-year-old Wenatchee man earned a nine-month sentence Wednesday for trying influence a robbery victim’s testimony.     

But first, we begin tonight. . .

After hours of court argument a Chelan County judge must now determine whether a lawsuit to end the COVID-19 state of emergency can go forward, and whether it will be heard in Chelan County at all. Local plaintiffs, including four Wenatchee city Council members, want Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency proclamations ended so local business can reopen during the pandemic. The state says the lawsuit, one of four filed in various counties, is without merit, and in any case, it should be heard in Thurston County, where the governor signed the order. Judge Kristin Ferrera, who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, heard the case from her home via Zoom. We gathered some highlights:

Supporters of the lawsuit rallied to endorse an end to the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” executive order. But they’ll have days to wait for a decision. Ferrera scheduled a hearing at 2 p.m. Monday to announce whether she’ll grant the plaintiffs’ restraining order.

The Windmill Restaurant’s reopening plans Wednesday evening didn’t last long, as owner Kevin Smith said shortly after the Wenatchee restaurant opened the state Liquor and Cannabis Board threatened to revoke his liquor license. In-restaurant dining is not allowed during Phase 1 of Governor Jay Inslee’s Stay Home Stay Healthy order. But Smith had been vocal in his plans to defy that order. His reopening did draw several supporters with signs outside the restaurant, including initiative activist and governor candidate Tim Eyman. Smith said his reopening was not a protest of Inslee but an effort to help his business survive.

Two people are charged in a December hit and run that left a man seriously injured, and a third person is implicated.

East Wenatchee police say witnesses identified 21-year-old James Harold Sheppard of Wenatchee as the driver who displayed a pistol during a road rage incident on Grant Road in East Wenatchee, then purposely ran over the driver when he got out of his vehicle in the 700 block. The victim suffered broken legs. Police arrested Sheppard Monday after police identified him from vehicle information and witness statements. Douglas County prosecutors charged him yesterday with vehicular assault. Police say his 21-year-old girlfriend was in Sheppard’s vehicle during the Dec. 18th incident. She has not been charged.

An 18-year-old Wenatchee man earned a nine-month sentence Wednesday for trying influence a robbery victim’s testimony. Brian Solis sent threatening Snapchat messages to a victim robbed last year by Alan Meza Duarte, also 18, who’s now serving 366 days in prison. Solis sent messages including a picture of the victim himself, and a message that read “free my homie.” He pleaded guilty to a count of witness tampering.

Coming up next, Fire officials say kids playing with matches started a small grass and brush fire south of Chelan last night. Grant County, which last weekend was approved to move to Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 reopening plan, now has a mandate requiring face coverings in most public places, and, The Orondo School District has hired its new superintendent and he’s a familiar face in North Central Washington. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Fire officials say kids playing with matches started a small grass and brush fire south of Chelan Wednesday night.

Chelan Fire and Rescue said the fire burned to within 100 feet of structures but their crews were quickly able to knock down and contain the fire.

The fire was first reported shortly after 6:30 p.m. in the area of South Bradley Street and Prospect Street near the Butte Trail. Mop-up work was completed within an hour of fire crews first arriving.

Grant County, which last weekend was approved to move to Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 reopening plan, now has a mandate requiring face coverings in most public places.

Grant County Health Officer Doctor Alexander Brzezny issued the directive Wednesday, saying a sudden surge in cases could put the county back in Phase 1.

The directive applies to any indoor or confined public setting where a person will be within 6 feet of another individual, who does not share the same household. That includes grocery stores, pharmacies, places that sell food and beverages, retail outlets, hairdressers, nail salons, barber shops, public transportation and more.

Brzezny did not say how the mandate would be enforced but urged and asked residents and visitors to assist in the effort. Grant County reported two new cases of coronavirus Wednesday, after reporting seven new cases Tuesday.

The Orondo School District has hired its new superintendent and he’s a familiar face in North Central Washington. Steve McKenna, who previously was the superintendent at both the Cascade School District in Leavenworth and Chelan School District, was hired by the Orondo School Board at its meeting Tuesday. McKenna also is a Chelan County PUD commissioner. He replaces Ismael Vivanco, who left in March to become the superintendent of the Mount Vernon School District.

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. . .

Congresswoman and pediatrician Kim Schrier says there has to be oversight of how the nation spends its pandemic dollars. In tonight’s feature story and in the last of our three-part conversation, the 8th District Democrat spoke to NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins about congressional action, contact tracing and the way we live now under COVID-19. . .

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.

The Seahawks have made a major shift in its offensive line in the off-season, letting go three-fifths of their starters.  They brought in four guys in free agency and drafted another in the 3rd round.  Through it all stands veteran left tackle Duane Brown.

Entering his 13th season in the NFL, Brown says the changes are a sign of the business of football, not a reflection of the line’s efficiency…

Brown was drafted in the first round by Houston in 2008.  He came to Seattle in a mid-season trade in 2018 and has settled in as a leader on the offensive line ever since.  He says the pandemic will make it tough on the younger players…

Brown says he’s not sure how many more years he has left to play, so he’s just focusing on each moment and enjoying life in the NFL and being a Seahawk.

The pandemic couldn’t stop NASCAR from returning to the track, but a tropical storm can…

NASCAR had to push its midweek Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway scheduled for yesterday to today because of inclement weather.  Tropical Storm Bertha is the problem, providing rain and thunderstorms.  Bertha has created a ripple-effect on NASCAR’s Xfinity race scheduled for Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.  The race circuit announced it was moving that race to Monday to allow teams time to travel.

If you heard some loud noises up on Fancher Heights last night, don’t worry.  It was just the first time race cars have been on the track at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval this year.

Thanks to the lessening of COVID restrictions in Washington, WVSO was able to hold its first practice session of the year last night.  Another is planned for next Wednesday.

WVSO Manager Jeremy Anders says they have extended next Wednesday’s practice session to 5-to-9 o’clock and concessions will be open to teams participating.  Cost is 125-dollars per car and teams are limited to five people.  Call ahead to reserve your spot for next week at 884-8592.

The pandemic has forced the delay of the Basketball Hall of Fame induction until next year…

Basketball Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN that the enshrinement ceremony for Kobe Bryan, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and five others will be delayed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The ceremony was to have taken place in Springfield, Massachusetts on August 29th.

Hockey Night is another Great Game of our Past tonight on the NCWLIFE Channel…

We’re headed to the RBC Cup in May of 2018 as the Wenatchee Wild faced the Chilliwack Chiefs in the first game of the championship tournament.  Wenatchee was fresh off the Fred Page Cup and Doyle Cup wins and had high hopes to add another trophy to the case…

Watch the game in its entirety tonight, including the overtime finish with Arch Ecker on the play-by-play.  That’s tonight at 7 here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

Thanks Eric.

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.