NCWLIFE Evening News May 29th, 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 judge says two Douglas county commissioners are the wrong plaintiffs to be suing the state over COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have joined the manhunt on Blewett Pass for a suspect in what they’re now calling a murder case, and, A Wenatchee woman and three men are accused of operating a heroin ring out of a residential home.
But first, we begin tonight. . .

Inslee Presser -Governor Jay Inslee said his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will expire at midnight Sunday and be replaced with his new Safe Start Recovery Program. But he did not add any counties to the list of those eligible to move to Phase 2 of his recovery plan. Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties remain in Phase 1. But Inslee did say those counties can now apply for a modified Phase 1 plan, which he called Phase 1 point 5. Inslee said under that modified Phase 1 plan, counties will be allowed some flexibility and some Phase 2 activities can resume. 22 of Washington’s 39 counties have already moved to Phase 2, with four other counties eligible to apply. Inslee also said he will be requiring face coverings be worn at many businesses and workplaces, but it is not clear if there will be any penalties if they are not.

Sutton v Inslee -A judge says two Douglas county commissioners are the wrong plaintiffs to be suing the state over COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. In a hearing today in one of four lawsuits challenging Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamations, Judge Henry Rawson said the Chealn-Douglas Health District is the appropriate party. Otherwise, the case should be moved to a Thurston County court, and consolidated with those similar cases, including one in Chelan County. Here’s some highlights from today’s remote hearing. Lawyers now say they’ll try to recalibrate their lawsuit, and schedule a further hearing next week.

Blewett Pass Manhunt -U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have joined the manhunt on Blewett Pass for a suspect in what they’re now calling a murder case. Kittitas County Sheriff’s detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for 34-year-old Jorge Alcantara-Gonzalez, accusing him of killing missing 41-year-old Kent man Ian Eckles. Eckles was heading to meet friends for a turkey hunt May 16th in Liberty when he disappeared. The sheriff’s office said Friday they found evidence in Eckles’ car indicating he was a victim of homicide. Alcantara-Gonzalez is believed to be on foot in the Mineral Springs area and has eluded capture since Saturday, when he was reportedly found with Eckles’ car. He was last seen Tuesday in the Mineral Springs Campground wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants. He fled on foot as deputies arrived at the campground. The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office is leading the search for Alcantara-Gonzalez, and said he is considered armed and dangerous. In addition to ICE officers, multiple agencies are assisting in the search, including regional law enforcement agencies, the FBI and Border Patrol. For the past two days, searchers have been using dogs to try to track Alcantara-Gonzalez. ICE released a statement Thursday saying Alcantara-Gonzalez, is a Mexican citizen in the country illegally and was arrested and booked into King County Jail on multiple occasions between 2018 and 2019 and QUOTE, released back into the community despite multiple immigration detainers, UNQUOTE. In addition to Eckles’ car, Alcantara-Gonzalez is connected to another stolen car that was used in several April burglaries and thefts in the First Creek area south of Liberty.

Heroin Bust -A Wenatchee woman and three men are accused of operating a heroin ring out of a residential home. The Columbia River Drug Task Force on Thursday arrested 66-year-old Deborah Sue Peek on multiple felony charges, saying she and 54-year-old Daniel Jon Chisholm used their home on Sandy Brooke as a point of sale for drugs. Prosecutors leveled charges on Wednesday against those two, as well as 26-year-old Matthew VanOsten, and 36-year-old Landen Rovang, for allegedly acting as drug couriers. Police say they found about three ounces of heroin last month in a vehicle used by VanOsten and Rovang, and a search of Peek and Chisholm’s home and vehicles found methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and other illicit drugs.
Coming up next, The man who was killed in a shooting Tuesday night outside Moses Lake has been identified. A Spokane driver is charged with DUI and vehicular assault after a crash in rural Douglas County that threw her passenger from the car. As expected, the negative effects of COVID-19-related layoffs on the statewide and local economies became apparent with the release of the latest April 2020 data, and, The Wenatchee School District is sending out a survey on student’s remote learning experiences. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Moses Lake Victim ID -The man who was killed in a shooting Tuesday night outside Moses Lake has been identified as 21-year-old Phoenix Johnson of Moses Lake. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office continues to search for the suspect and is asking anyone in the Larson Housing area with surveillance video to contact them. The shooting happened about 9:15 p.m. in the area of Carswell and Schilling drives and is believed to be connected with gunshots fired earlier in the area. There were no injuries in that shooting. After the shooting, Johnson’s car went over a curb and into the yard of a resident as the suspect’s vehicle fled south. The victim was transported to Samaritan Hospital, then to a Spokane hospital where he died. On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office released a photo of a suspect in the shooting.

Passenger Ejected -A Spokane driver is charged with DUI and vehicular assault after a crash in rural Douglas County that threw her passenger from the car. The State Patrol says on May 21st, 38-year-old Tammy Lynn Alder Fisher rolled her 2001 Volvo on Highway 2 near Moses Coulee. Her boyfriend, 40-year-old Nicholas Rochon of Tacoma, had no seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle. Troopers said Fisher admitted drinking before and after the crash. Douglas County prosecutors charged her this week.

Unemployment -As expected, the negative effects of COVID-19-related layoffs on the statewide and local economies became apparent with the release of the latest April 2020 data. According to the latest report from the Economic Security Department, the Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area local unemployment rate jumped from 5-point-4 percent in April 2019 to 15-point-1 percent this April. Also, the local economy lost 7,200 nonfarm jobs falling from 45,600 jobs in April 2019 to 38,400 in April 2020. One of the industries which has been particularly hard hit (statewide and locally) by COVID-19 related layoffs is leisure and hospitality where unemployment numbers in the Wenatchee Valley plummeted to over 56-percent in April of this year.

WSD Survey -With the virtual school year ending, the Wenatchee School District wants to know how students and parents managed their quarantine education. The District this week launched its Remote Learning Focus Groups, with teams of teachers, staff, students and parents in the middle school and high school levels. Groups focused on lower grade levels will follow, and on June 17th, the District will roll out an online and email survey, asking what went well and what didn’t after schools statewide closed over COVID-19 concerns.
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. . .
Inslee on Lawsuits -Washington Governor Jay Inslee said lawsuits seeking to end his COVID-19 state of emergency in Washington and lift restrictions on businesses and others is having no bearing on his decision-making during the pandemic. In tonight’s feature story, responding to a question at a Thursday news conference about a possible Monday ruling on a Chelan County Superior Court case, Inslee said he’s confident the state will prevail. . 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.

NCWLIFE Channel Sports

A week ago, reports around the NFL claimed the Seahawks had made a deal to sign free agent running back Carlos Hyde.  Yesterday, it became official.

Seattle had to make room on the roster for the veteran running back and did so by waiving offensive guard Demetrius Knox Thursday.  Hyde’s deal is reportedly for one-year and worth up to 4-million dollars.

Cashmere has been awarded the Caribou Cup for the third-straight year…

The Caribou Cup is awarded annual to the school that performs the best across the board in competition in the Caribou Trail League.  In each sport, points are awarded based on the CTL regular season finish.  In addition, the CTL champion receives 5-points and the runner up 4, on down the line.  In 8-sports, Cashmere averaged 3.9 points.  Omak was second at 3 and Okanogan third at 2.8.

Here’s what we have coming up on the NCWLIFE Channel sports schedule for the weekend…

It begins tonight with Big-9 volleyball from this past October when the Wenatchee Panthers hosted the Moses Lake Chiefs.  Eric Granstrom has the play-by-play tonight at 7 o’clock.

Tomorrow features Big-9 soccer between Wenatchee and Eastmont from Wildcat Stadium. This game is from April of 2018 with Sebastian Moraga on the play-by-play.  Kickoff is set for tomorrow at 2.  Then at 7, it’s another Great Game from our Past as the Wenatchee Wild battle the Steinbach Pistons in the RBC Cup from May of 2018.  Arch Ecker has the call.

And then on Sunday, more Wenatchee Wild hockey from this past season at 2 o’clock with the Wild taking on the Prince George Spruce Kings.  The 7 o’clock Sunday evening game features the Wild and Langley Rivermen.  It’s all this weekend on your home for local sports, the NCWLIFE Channel.

We thought we’d end sports for today and this week with the incredibly inspirational story of Shakeem Griffin, as told by the NFL Network.

You can watch the entire video and learn more about Shakeem Griffin at Seahawks dot com.

Thanks Eric.
Watershed Cancelled -As we leave you tonight, another major COVID-19 victim as word was sent out this morning that the popular Watershed Music Festival at the George has been cancelled for this year. Organizers say the festival has been rescheduled for July 30, 31st and August 1st, 2021 and all 2020 Watershed purchases will be honored for the 2021 show. Also added to the lineup for next year is Country music superstar Tim McGraw.
**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.