NCWLIFE Evening News October 22nd, 2021

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Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. Grant Olson is away tonight; I’m Jefferson Robbins. We’ve got a lot of news for you tonight, but before we get to that, let’s take a quick look outside our weather window:
The light rains across our region are good news for the soil and the forests, signaling a nice start to autumn in North Central Washington. After the morning rains, most areas settled into cool, cloudy conditions. We can probably expect to see similar conditions throughout the weekend, with a possible sunbreak arriving on Monday. Dan Kuntz will be along a bit later with your full weather outlook.
And now, A few of the stories we’re following for you tonight: A newly appointed judge picks up the gavel in Grant County. A bill from 8th District Congresswoman Kim Schrier could help the Forest Service keep more money to repair wildfire damage. Plus, find out why all local phone dialing is going to ten digits starting this Sunday.
But first, our top story tonight. . . A school bus collision this afternoon outside East Wenatchee. The wreck occurred when a Wenatchee School District bus was struck by another vehicle shortly after noon, in the area of Nile Avenue and Grant Road just east of the city. School district communications director Diana Haglund says no one on the bus was injured. It was carrying Pioneer Middle School students en route to a field trip; all of them were quickly transferred to another bus to continue on their way. NCWLIFE has reached out to the Douglas County sheriff about the crash. We’ll bring you any new information as it becomes available.
New GrantCo judge – Grant County has a new Superior Court judge. Anna Gigliotti will take the seat on the bench previously held by Judge David Estudillo. Governor Jay Inslee announced Gigliotti’s appointment on Thursday. She’s currently a Grant County court commissioner, who hears cases assigned by elected judges, and formerly worked as a deputy prosecutor. Estudillo resigned from the Grant County judgeship after President Joe Biden appointed him to the U.S. District Court of Western Washington. Gigliotti will serve out the rest of his elected term.
Tesla hater-The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has released a surveillance photo of a man they suspect of doing significant damage to a Tesla parked at Bavarian Lodge in Leavenworth. The man reportedly threw several rocks at the Tesla. The sheriff’s office said the vandalism occurred last Saturday about 4 a.m. Anyone with information on the man is asked to call the RiverCom non-emergency line at 663-9911 and ask for Corporal Randy Lake.
Art in the Park theft – On the same night as that vandalism, one of Leavenworth’s biggest seasonal downtown markets was also burglarized.
Village Art in the Park, a nonprofit that hosts Northwest traveling artists and raises money for local art scholarships, says someone entered three of its tented booths after midnight on October 16th, and made off with prints, stickers, paints, hats, jewelry supplies, a blanket, and a small amount of cash. The entry was caught on grainy security video. Anyone with information on the burglary and theft is asked to call the Chelan County sheriff’s office.
Schrier forest bill – A bill from Representative Kim Schrier to help forest agencies keep more money for wildfire remediation is making its way through Congress. The bill passed unanimously out of the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday. The 8th District congresswoman says right now, the U.S. Forest Service has money slipping through its hands that could be used to repair damaged wildlands, to the tune of about $7.5 million over the last five years.
TEASE -Coming up next: New COVID-19 cases decline in the local area, but hospitalizations are up. A federal grant will enable new technology for Okanogan County medical outreach. And the state Department of Natural Resources puts together its own humorous video on how to get ride out an earthquake. I’m Jefferson Robbins, and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Thermographic and hospital-Though the rate of new COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties remains high, the numbers did show a decline this week. Still, at the same time hospitalizations from the virus are rising. The Chelan-Douglas Health District said Thursday the rate of new cases is at 608 per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks. That’s down from 702 new cases per 100,000 reported last week. Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 at Central Washington Hospital rose sharply. A week ago there were 33 COVID-19 patients at the hospital, but by this week the number had grown to 46. 12 of those patients are in the intensive care unit, double the number reported last week. There are currently 23 Chelan County residents hospitalized with the virus; 9 from Douglas County; and 10 from Grant County.
Okanogan health grant – Family Health Centers of Okanogan County will receive more than $212,000 to purchase laptops, phones, headsets, and take-home monitoring devices. The money comes from a federal grant to expand access to healthcare in underserved areas. Since its opening in 2014, Family Health Centers has worked with patients living with poverty or other challenges, including migrants experiencing high rates of COVID infections. The new technology is designed to help with remote care, and cut down on unnecessary in-person clinic visits.
**Shakeout ** – The Great Washington Shakeout was yesterday. That’s the statewide earthquake drill designed to help prepare Washingtonians for the inevitable big one. If you missed it, the state Department of Natural Resources put together its own humorous video on how to weather a quake, with Chief Hazards Geologist Corina Allen in a starring role. Take a look:
You can view that entire video on the Washington DNR Facebook page.
TEASE -You’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Coming up next, Dan Kuntz has your complete local weather forecast. Plus, find out why all local phone dialing is going to ten digits starting this Sunday. That and much more still to come on the NCWLIFE Evening News, stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News. . .
10 digit dialing – Beginning this Sunday, making a phone call or sending a text will change for everyone calling within the 509 area code. With the establishment of a national 3-digit suicide prevention hot line, it will mean dialing 509 before the phone number, even for local calls. Dave Tosh, executive director of the Wenatchee Senior Activity Center, and Kerri Ramirez, an assistant manager with LocalTel, talk about how this came about and the many things it will mean.
TEASE – 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.

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 Jefferson Robbins, thanks for joining us and have a great weekend.