NCWLIFE Evening News May 7th, 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 man in his 60s was reported this week as Okanogan County’s second COVID-19 death. In a ruling yesterday, a Moses Lake police officer was justified in the February 28th shooting death of a suspect, and, An Okanogan County couple will get a new trial in their lawsuit against the rural electric co-op they blame for the loss of their home.    

But first, we begin tonight. . .

Wenatchee police are investigating an apparent arson on the athletic fields at Wenatchee High School, believed to be the second such arson at a neighborhood sporting facility in the last month. Firefighters were called to the baseball dugout behind WHS shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. Police Captain Brian Chance said a fire in the dugout burned up a support post and scorched the wall panel. It’s reminiscent of an April 10th fire police investigated in another dugout at nearby Morris Little League park. Damage was relatively minor in both cases. Chance says evidence and photos from both scenes, including security footage from the high school, are being reviewed.

A man in his 60s was reported this week as Okanogan County’s second COVID-19 death.

Okanogan County Public Health said the man died at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee after being transferred there in early April when his condition worsened.

A 44-year-old Okanogan County woman died at her home April 18th. Five people in Chelan County have died from the virus, two in Douglas County and three in Grant County.

A Moses Lake police officer was justified in the February 28th shooting death of a suspect and QUOTE “acted with the highest level of professionalism as a trained police officer, UNUOTE, that announcement from Grant County Prosecutor Garth Dano on Wednesday. Officer Nick Stewart shot and killed 22-year old Jose L. Rivera after a vehicle and foot chase in the Cascade Valley community.

Rivera, a suspect in several robberies, turned and fired a handgun during the foot chase, hitting K9 Chief in the eye. It started with Rivera being pursued in his pickup by Moses Lake Police and Grant County Sheriff’s deputies. After Rivera’s vehicle was disabled by spike strips he started running. Chief has since recovered, though he lost his eye and suffered a broken jaw. He was retired from the police force last month. The Columbia Basin Investigative Team investigated the shooting, which led to Dano’s announcement that there would be no charges against the officer.

An Okanogan County couple will get a new trial in their lawsuit against the rural electric co-op they blame for the loss of their home. A fire in 2015 destroyed the property near Omak owned by Edwin Wells and Ann Minor.

Its cause was traced to equipment owned and maintained by Nespelem Valley Electric Cooperative. The homeowners first lawsuit failed when an Okanogan County judge issued a verdict in favor of the co-op, but the state Court of Appeals said Tuesday the case should have gone to a jury.

Coming up next, Town Toyota Center plans to feed some of the community’s most essential public servants. The state of Washington has unveiled a new way to keep tabs on its pandemic-fighting progress. Citing social distancing concerns, the U.S. Forest Service has cancelled all overnight permits in the Enchantments area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and, A rare plant only known to grow in Chelan County will have more protection after a state land swap. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Town Toyota Center plans to feed some of the community’s most essential public servants. On Friday, the sports and concert venue will deliver more than 800 lunches to local first responders and healthcare workers. It’s part of a Mother’s Day outreach to those helping to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

General manager Mark Miller said TTC reached out to its business partners hoping to offer just 500 lunches … but response from almost 40 donors made 800 boxed meals possible.

TTC caterers will prepare the meals, and they’ll be delivered by staff and volunteers to 15 locations including local hospitals, clinics, fire and police departments, and skilled nursing facilities.

The state of Washington has unveiled a new way to keep tabs on its pandemic-fighting progress.

The online COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard tracks the state’s preparedness in five categories, including testing capacity, where Washington still falls short, and overall disease activity, which as of this week is low and falling. The data used to create the dials is the same as that used to guide progress in the governor’s Safe Start reopening plan.  You can check out weekly updates to the measurements every Wednesday at the state’s main COVID-19 webpage, coronavirus.wa.gov.

Citing social distancing concerns, the U.S. Forest Service has cancelled all overnight permits for May 15th through 31st in the Enchantments area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

The permits were won through a lottery system and will be refunded. The Forest Service said it will reassess its permits going forward every two weeks.

In addition, a daily walk-up lottery system for permits has been cancelled for the rest of the year, with those permits added to the online reservation system.

A rare plant only known to grow in Chelan County will have more protection after a state land swap. Whited’s milk-vetch is a flowering shrub that can only be found within a 10-square-mile region near Malaga.

To preserve it, the Department of Natural Resources said this week it’s exchanged almost 2,200 acres of state trust land for roughly the same acreage owned by Ravenwing Ranch near Malaga.

The new land will become part of the Upper Dry Gulch Natural Area Preserve, and help protect the plant from further habitat loss. Whited’s milk-vetch is on the state endangered species list, and it’s a species of concern for federal authorities.

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. . .

Wenatchee civic leader Steve Maher will join an advisory board to help guide social services while the state recovers from coronavirus.

Maher is executive director of Our Valley Our Future, a group that’s studied economic and housing inequality in the Wenatchee Valley since it was founded five years ago. Gov. Jay Inslee, who appointed Maher to the group, says the new Social Supports advisory board will help make sure the state’s most vulnerable residents aren’t left behind in a recovery. The team held its first virtual meeting today. In tonight’s feature story, Maher joined NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins to talk about its mission. . .

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 NFL’s complete 2020 game schedule will be announced today on the NFL Network.  Seahawks fans who want a sneak peek at Seattle’s schedule can get it on Seahawks dot com…

Seattle’s opponents for this season include home games against Arizona, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, New York Giants, New England, New York Jets and Minnesota.  The road games will be against the Cardinals, Rams, 49ers and in Washington, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami and Buffalo. 

Details are available at Seahawks dot com or by downloading the Seahawks app.  The NFL Network will have the entire league’s schedule announced in a program beginning at 5 o’clock.

ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball expects to offer a proposal to bring back baseball in the next two months…

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the plan would have players begin a “spring training” by June 10th with a season beginning by July 1st.  Several hurdles would have to be overcome before anything could be finalized, including approval by the Player’s Union, national public health officials and even the White House.

As with what’s planned in many parts of the country, baseball’s return would be a ramp-up proposition.  Play would begin without fans and possibly in regions such as Arizona and Florida.  Then slowly return to home parks as COVID-19 numbers allow.  It’s also suggested the season would be reduced from 162 games to between 80 and 100.

Hockey Night tonight on the NCWLIFE Channel features a Great Game of our Past as we reach back to that magical playoff run for the Wild in 2018…

It’s Game 6 of the BCHL Playoffs between Wenatchee and the Vernon Vipers from the Town Toyota Center.  The Wild were up 3-2 in the series with each team winning on home ice.  Wenatchee desperately wanted to end the series at home and not have to make a return trip to Vernon.

Arch Ecker had the call on the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Network…

Watch the dramatic finish tonight at 7 here on your home for the Wenatchee Wild, the NCWLIFE Channel.

And again, here’s a reminder of the rest of our sports schedule this week…

We have AppleSox baseball tomorrow night at 6:30 from last July as the ‘Sox host the Bellingham Bells.

The first of two Great Games of our Past Saturday features girls basketball from the NCW Showcase from December of 2017 between Rogers of Puyallup and Eastmont at 2 o’clock.  Then at 6:30, it’s Eastmont and Sunnyside football from October of 2018.

Sunday’s doubleheader features Eastmont and Wenatchee volleyball from October of 2018 at 2 followed by the Wild and Vernon Vipers from this year’s playoffs at 7.

Fishing reopened in Washington Tuesday, but with great weather in the forecast, tons of anglers will be headed for the water this weekend.  The Department of Fish and Wildlife are warning anglers to maintain social distancing or face the potential of having the season shut down again.

In an effort to remind anglers of the does and don’ts, Addicted Fishing came out with a helpful video…

It’s funny, but true.  Maintain a six-foot separation.  No overnight trips.  And fish only with those from your household.  We all want to continue having access to our favorite pastime.

Thanks Eric. Recapping tonight’s top story. . .

Wenatchee police are investigating an apparent arson on the athletic fields at Wenatchee High School … believed to be the second such arson at a neighborhood sporting facility in the last month. Firefighters were called to the baseball dugout behind WHS shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. Police Captain Brian Chance said a fire in the dugout burned up a support post and scorched the wall panel. It’s reminiscent of an April 10th fire police investigated in another dugout at nearby Morris Little League park. Damage was relatively minor in both cases. Chance says evidence and photos from both scenes, including security footage from the high school, are being reviewed.

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.