NCWLIFE Evening News November 25th, 2020


Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. Grant Olson is away tonight, I’m Jefferson Robbins. 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 driver accused of running down a woman in a Wenatchee crosswalk is charged with vehicular assault. And local hospitals brace for the delayed effect of so many coronavirus cases. But first, we begin tonight. . .

Douglas County Fire District 2 has parted ways with its fire chief of the last seven years.

The three-member board of fire commissioners voted unanimously last night to terminate Chief Dave Baker’s employment, effective Dec. 15. Baker was placed on leave earlier this month, and will receive a negotiated severance. Commissioners didn’t disclose the reason for his firing or the terms of his severance at the special meeting where the vote was taken.

Baker was a professional firefighter for 25 years before taking charge of the district, which protects greater East Wenatchee, Pangborn Airport and Rock Island. Baker led an expansion of the department’s hiring and its vehicle fleet over the past year. Assistant Chief John Glenn will now head the district as acting chief.

The alleged driver in a Nov. 16 hit-and-runthat injured a Wenatchee woman is now charged with vehicular assault.

57-year-old Timothy Shales remains in the Chelan County jail after his arrest on Nov. 19. Wenatchee police say he struck the woman in a crosswalk at Fifth and Emerson streets, after spending four hours in a nearby tavern, where he was caught on video entering and leaving.

Police said they used that video to identify Shales’ vehicle and connect it to the incident; he allegedly lied to police about his whereabouts at the time. He’s also charged with felony hit and run, and making a false statement to police.

Confluence Health has started to scale back some of its medical services to make way for the demands of COVID-19.

With 132 new positive cases just reported today in the valley, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Lake told us yesterday the health system faces some real challenges:

Dr. Lake says hospitalizations for COVID-19 tend to lag behind exposures by 10 to 21 days, so Confluence believes its patient numbers will continue to rise in coming weeks. The hospital system does have a plan to expand its number of beds in case of extreme need.

The Wenatchee School District is asking parents, staff and students how well they think the district is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district returned grades pre-K through second grade to classrooms half time on November 2nd but last week announced it was delaying the return of more students because of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the county. The survey asks how people feel about having more grades go to that hybrid learning model, and how well their families are handling the changes caused by the pandemic. There is a link to the survey on the district’s website at Wenatchee-schools-dot-org.

Coming up next, the suspect in a Grant County police chase is also accused in a Douglas County holdup; and some funny money comes to light in East Wenatchee. I’m Jefferson Robbins and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Douglas County Sheriff Kevin Morris says the man arrested after a spree of armed robberies, a vehicle chase and gunfire in Grant County is also responsible for an armed holdup at BJ’s Shell station in Rock Island. 24-year-old Jesus Torres is already jailed and facing charges for the incidents in the Moses Lake area Nov. 17, in which he allegedly shot a pursuing deputy in the foot.

Morris now says Torres also robbed BJ’s armed with a handgun that same day, threatening a clerk and a customer and making off with cash and a jug of antifreeze. The two sheriff’s departments shared information to identify Torres. He’s now likely to face additional Douglas County charges of armed robbery and possessing firearms with a felony conviction.

East Wenatchee Police Department is warning that one of its officers has come across a counterfeit 50-dollar-bill.

The department says people should note the differences in the between the fake bill on top and real bill below it. In addition, police said a real bill has a different feel than a fake one. Anyone who encounters a fake bill is asked to contact RiverCom on its non-emergency line at 663-9911.

The Community Foundation of North Central Washington disbursed more than $735,000 in grants this cycle, including half a million dollars in CARES Act money earmarked for COVID-19 recovery.

SAGE, Upper Valley MEND and the Wenatchee Valley YMCA are among the familiar recipients. Other grants, ranging from $1,000 all the way to $15,000, went to local arts, charity and outreach organizations.

You can make a tax-deductible donation to the Community Foundation anytime through their website,

You’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Coming up next, your Thanksgiving weather, plus a Wenatchee native and former CDC epidemiologist says the COVID-19 surge in the Wenatchee Valley frightens him like nothing else in his career. That’s still to come on the NCWLIFE Evening News, stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News. . .

Dr. Peter Houck is a Wenatchee native who spent his career as an epidemiologist, investigating disease outbreaks around the world with the Centers for Disease Control. Now retired, he’s working with health authorities in the Wenatchee Valley to combat the spread of COVID-19. When I spoke with him again this week, Dr. Houck told me the course of the pandemic now depends on the choices everyone makes right now: 

Now with this evening’s weather outlook we turn to Dan Kuntz. Dan?

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.

There will be no Wenatchee Wild hockey this season as the team announced yesterday that COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Governor and the closer of the border between the United States and Canada made playing hockey this year in the BCHL an impossibility.

The press release said QUOTE We are not opting out of the season we are being forced out because the United States and Canadian border are closed and the restrictions on gyms and ice arenas in the state of Washington. Wild owner David White said QUOTE “We are very saddened by events that are out of our control and have forced us to not have a 2020-21 season for our BCHL Wenatchee Wild.  We will continue to develop players on our four other development teams, and I will keep all Wild staff on board, as this is a temporary setback for the BCHL Wild. We will be back with the Wild for the 2021-2022 season and we appreciate all of our supporter’s patience and understanding.”  Wild General Manager Bliss Littler said QUOTE “This is a sad day for the Wenatchee Wild organization. We feel for our players, housing families, fans, season ticket holders, corporate sponsors, and the Town Toyota Center. Not a good day for any of us. This will hurt for a while for sure, but I know we will get through this and we will be back better than ever for the 2021-2022 season. I will challenge the hockey operations staff building next year’s team to recruit harder and smarter than ever. We will challenge our front office to upgrade everything we do. We are proud of the show we put on right now but want make it the most entertaining event in junior hockey.”

The Washington Huskies have found an opponent for this weekend to take the place of the Cougars:  the Utah Utes will take on the Dawgs Saturday night at Husky Stadium.

The Huskies’ originally scheduled game for this week, the Boeing Apple Cup Friday at Washington State, was called off Sunday night due to WSU not having the required number of available players due to positive COVID-19 tests and resulting contact tracing and isolation. That game was declared a no contest, under Pac-12 guidelines. Earlier Tuesday, Utah’s scheduled game at Arizona State this Sunday was canceled as well, leaving both teams without an opponent.  The Huskies and Cougars could still meet on Saturday, December 19th. if neither team qualifies for the conference championship game.  Saturday night’s game with Utah will kick off at 7:30 and be televised nationally on ESPN.

The Seattle Seahawks have the highest winning percentage of any team in the 50 years of Monday Night Football.  The Hawks hope to continue that dominance Monday in Philadelphia against the Eagles. At 3-6-1, the Eagles lead the woeful NFC East but they still have Carson Wentz at quarterback and coach Pete Carroll says stopping Wentz is always a challenge:

The Seahawks and the Eagles wrap up Thanksgiving weekend Monday night. Kickoff is at 5:15 on ESPN.

Thanks Dan.

Washington counties certified their results from the 2020 election yesterday.

Both Chelan and Douglas counties boasted huge turnouts of voters, 86 and 83 percent respectively, and both cast the majority of their votes for Donald Trump and governor candidate Loren Culp. Those candidates failed on the statewide level, however.

Trump lost Washington to Joe Biden by a 19-point margin, and Governor Jay Inslee retained his job by a gap of almost 13 points. Secretary of State Kim Wyman says she plans to certify the statewide results on Dec. 1st.

Now let’s check in with Dan Kuntz to hear about a worthy charitable project that could use your involvement. 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 Jefferson Robbins, we won’t see you again here on the nightly news until Monday, Nov. 30th. Be good to yourself this Thanksgiving, and do what you can for those you love. Stay healthy.