NCWLIFE Evening News May 6th, 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, An extensive effort to clean up homeless camps and illegal dumps along the Apple Capital Loop Trail in Douglas County in late April led to more than 1,800 pounds of garbage being hauled out. The reopening of vacation rentals in Chelan County during the COVID-19 emergency has angered Leavenworth’s mayor, and, Grant PUD crews were busy early this morning restoring power to about 300 customers between Quincy and Ephrata after a power pole fire.      

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Area firefighters battled a pair of brush fires Tuesday afternoon and were able to keep both from spreading widely. First, three spot fires just after noon in Hay Canyon near Cashmere drew firefighters from numerous local agencies as well as the Forest Service and Department of Natural Resources. Ground crews and a helicopter contained the fires to about 10 acres. The cause of the fires has not been determined.

Then about 3:45 p.m., a controlled burn on Carlson Loop Road in South Wenatchee spread and threatened a home before Chelan County Fire District 1 crews were able to contain it to about an acre.

An extensive effort to clean up homeless camps and illegal dumps along the Apple Capital Loop Trail in Douglas County in late April led to more than 1,800 pounds of garbage being hauled out.

Douglas County Solid Waste said with help from the Eastmont Metro Parks Department they cleared out garbage, scrap metal, needles, drug pipes, knives, a machete and a shopping cart from 10 camps. The county said the proximity of the camps to the Columbia River made them especially troubling. The effort began in February when they began identifying camps and distinguishing between active and abandoned sites. Using grant money, Solid Waste intends to continue the cleanup efforts along the river.

The reopening of vacation rentals in Chelan County during the COVID-19 emergency has angered Leavenworth’s mayor.

In a letter to county commissioners, Mayor Carl Florea says it’s a mistake not to extend the moratorium on short-term rentals the county imposed in early April. Commissioners allowed that ban to expire yesterday in unincorporated areas, and Leavenworth has its own restrictions on vacation rentals in the city. But Florea says any return of weekend rental visitors puts Leavenworth at risk of further virus spread, even while most of its tourist-friendly businesses are closed to the public. His letter says, quote, “It is getting harder and harder to hold back the floodgates of people interested in traveling to Leavenworth”, unquote.

Grant PUD crews were busy early this morning restoring power to about 300 customers between Quincy and Ephrata after a power pole fire.

Power went out just after 4 a.m. Usually, the PUD is able to isolate the outage and quickly restore power, but in this case the damaged pole needed to be replaced, so the work took several more hours to complete.

Coming up next, Local counties want Gov. Jay Inslee to allow them to move out from under his emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 is also having an impact on the Wenatchee real estate market.  The Douglas County PUD’s move to manufacture industrial hydrogen got a boost in a supplement to the state capital budget, and, The Chelan County Moderate Risk Waste Facility will reopen on Thursday. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Local counties want Gov. Jay Inslee to allow them to move out from under his emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But so far, neither Chelan nor Douglas County qualify to start reopening under the governor’s phased recovery plan. To do so, small counties must go three weeks without detecting a new case of coronavirus, but the Chelan-Douglas Health District reported new COVID-19 cases as recently as two days ago.

A total of 233 had been detected in the two counties as of this morning, including seven deaths. Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett wrote an open letter yesterday to Gov. Inslee, urging reopening. However, on the same day, Chelan County commissioners extended their own state of emergency until at least June 1st.

The effects of COVID-19 is also having an impact on the Wenatchee real estate market.

According to the latest real estate snapshot from Pacific Appraisal Associates, total home sales are down 10-percent compared to the same time last year while active home listings are down from 132 in 2019 to 114 this year, a 14-percent drop. The median sales price in the Wenatchee real estate market rose slightly to 345,000 dollars compared to just under 340,000 dollars last year, a 2-percent rise.  The Wenatchee real estate market includes: Wenatchee, Malaga, East Wenatchee, Orondo and Rock Island.

The Douglas County PUD’s move to manufacture industrial hydrogen got a boost in a supplement to the state capital budget.

The state awarded $250,000 dollars to the program, at the request of 12th District State Rep. Mike Steele. With excess power from Wells Dam, the PUD hopes to produce hydrogen for fuel and other industrial use at a planned facility in Baker Flats. That ambitious project is scheduled for launch in 2021.

The Chelan County Moderate Risk Waste Facility will reopen Thursday and return to its normal hours 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The Wenatchee facility on Highway 97A has been closed since mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. People dropping off waste will be asked to stay in their vehicles while staff unloads their household hazardous waste. They must have ID showing they are a Chelan County resident. The new waste drop-off site opened last December.

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. . .

Garlini’s restaurant in Wenatchee is giving back to the community that has supported them through the COVID-19 pandemic by giving away 1000 free meals. In tonight’s feature story, Garlini’s owner, Craig Still, says it’s his way to say thanks for supporting not only the business but the employees that work there as well. . .

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.

New Seattle Seahawks tight end Greg Olsen is trying to adjust to his new team, remotely.  He was hoping he’d be in camp getting to know his teammates face-to-face by now when he signed in February, but the pandemic has forced a different approach…

Olsen and the rest of the team got a surprise last Thursday when Pete Carroll arranged for comedian Will Farrell to appear in a virtual team meeting, playing the part of Greg Olsen…

Olsen was in the booth for Fox broadcasting XFL games before the league was suspended due to Coronovirus.  He’s been asked why not just retired after a successful 14-year career…

Greg Olsen joins a very full, virtual tight end room with the Seahawks and fans are hoping he truly does have something left in the tank.

While ESPN is doing what it can to help baseball fans scratch their itch by broadcasting Korean League games, there’s another offer out today.  MLB.com is featuring a continuous stream of 42 of the most memorable half-innings in modern baseball history.  Each half-inning will be show in its entirety, beginning in chronological order…

Just log onto MLB.com and turn up the volume for a day and night of 42 epic half-innings.

Thanks Eric.

Finally tonight, the city of Quincy has unveiled a plan for sprucing up the west entry into town.

The city has been working with a team from Microsoft, the owners of a large data center in town, to make a stretch of Highway 28 from the recently installed roundabout to downtown more welcoming and appealing.

The plan calls for earthen berms lining both sides of the highway that will be filled with native grasses, rocks and trees. There is not yet a timeline for the project.

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.