NCWLIFE Evening News September 14th, 2020


Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. Grant Olson will be along later with our weather report; I’m Jefferson Robbins. It’s Monday, Sept. 14th. 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:

Fire crews come closer and closer to containing North Central Washington’s large blazes.

There’s new ways you can provide resources and do your part for Northwest fire victims.

And the governor visits fire-ravage Bridgeport, where he announces new cash assistance to those in need.

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The Wenatchee Valley remains socked in by hazardous smoke generated by our own regional wildfires, and by those burning all across the Pacific Coast.

Air quality in Wenatchee, as measured by monitors that count the concentration of small particles per cubic meter of air, has been hazardous for anyone to breathe since roughly 2 p.m. Saturday. Before that, it was merely rated unhealthy.

In Leavenworth, which usually holds a pocket of good air in smoky conditions, the quality remains less hazardous, but still unhealthy.

Same story in Quincy, where Columbia Basin winds can usually be counted on to disperse bad air. While these conditions are in play, stay indoors if you possibly can. If you must venture out, an N95 filter mask, not the typical cloth mask used to block the spread of COVID-19, is highly recommended.

Fire crews say the Cold Springs Fire that devastated Okanogan County last week is now about 50 percent contained.

Several homes and outbuildings were lost after the fire erupted Sept. 6th on the Colville Indian Reservation and roared south in heavy gusting winds. The blaze has now consumed almost 189,000 acres and led to the death of a 1-year-old child. Firefighters say they’ve controlled the northeast portion of the fireline, which was their main priority.

On Sept. 7th, that firestorm spawned a second grassland blaze in neighboring Douglas County, the Pearl Hill Fire.

It is now almost 90 percent contained, after damaging the town of Bridgeport and forcing major evacuations. Between the two, almost 413,000 acres of land have burned.

In times of crisis like this one, North Central Washington looks for ways to help.

Charitable groups say what fire victims can most use right now is financial donations.

One great place to focus your giving is the NCW Fire Relief Fund, managed by the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. Another option, the River Warrior Society, is aiding displaced families on the Colville Reservation. Donations can be made to both those organizations at the web addresses on your screen. The massive fires have also caused danger for pets and livestock.

Through the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, you can offer materials from the list of needs shown here, like pet food, collars and crates, or livestock bedding material. Financial donations can also be made at the web address listed at the bottom.

Finally, Jacob and Jamie Hyland, who suffered major burns and lost the life of their toddler son in the Cold Springs Fire, could use your help. Both remain hospitalized and undergoing surgeries. Their families have organized this GoFundMe campaign to help pay their medical costs and related expenses.

The Washington State Patrol’s top cop sees no co connection between the state’s massive wildfires and organized terrorism.

Chief John Batiste on Friday helped shoot down rumors of political activists intentionally setting fires which have burned since Labor Day. He said State Patrol has made two arrests of suspected arsonists, but despite fast-spreading rumors on Facebook and elsewhere, his agency sees no organized effort to cause such destruction:

Coming up next, it may be time to hit the gym again in Washington, at least in a limited capacity. And a reopened library service has to suddenly close again when the air gets too dirty. I’m Jefferson Robbins and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Exercise clubs and other indoor fitness studios in Chelan and Douglas counties can now begin limited reopening, under new COVID-19 guidance released by Governor Jay Inslee on Friday.

Counties like ours in a “modified” Phase 1 had been barred from allowing gym services, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Inslee’s new rules say gyms can operate personal fitness and training programs, small-group fitness classes, and practices for certain low- and medium-contact sports. All indoor services are still subject to social distancing restrictions.

Speaking of COVID-19,Chelan and Douglas counties’ transmission rates didn’t budge much from one week to the next.

Data from the Chelan-Douglas Health District shows for the week ending Sept. 9, the rate of new cases was about 237 per 100,000 members of the population. That’s not much change from the 256 per 100,000 reported the week before.

The counties need to achieve a case rate of 25 per 100,000 if they are to progress to a new phase of reopening. We should see new numbers on Wednesday this week. Nineteen people in the two counties have died from the disease.

Curbside pickup at all 30 public libraries in North Central Washington, which was scheduled to resume today after a six-month closure in Chelan and Douglas counties, has been shuttered due to the hazardous or unhealthy air quality throughout the region. NCW Libraries closed all its branches and drop-off services last spring on public health orders from the state, but has gradually reopened for curbside service in the last month or so.

The libraries still plan to revive the service in the Wenatchee Valley, so watch their website and Facebook page for updates. In the meantime, mail order for books and library materials will still resume today.

You’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News. Coming up next, Governor Inslee visits the fire-ravaged town of Bridgeport, and orders aid for those most affected by fires. And Grant Olson will have your complete local weather forecast. That plus sports and much more still to come on the NCWLIFE Evening News, stay with us.

Welcome back to the NCWLIFE Evening News. . .

Governor Jay Inslee visited the east side of the state this weekend, meeting with citizens of Bridgeport and the Colville Confederated Tribes. Both the town of Bridgeport and the Colville reservation have been seriously damaged by the fires that broke out over Labor Day weekend. On his stops, the governor announced an executive order provide cash assistance to fire-affected residents through the state’s Family Emergency Assistance Program. And he tied the devastating fires to ongoing climate change, just as he did in this Friday news conference.

Now with a look at the weather for today and this coming week, here’s NCWLIFE’s Grant Olson. Grant?

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.

It was a smoky night in the Wenatchee Valley for Saturday’s Jerry Berschauer Memorial 100 at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval.  A field of 87 cars in five classes competed throughout the evening and we showed it all LIVE on the NCWLIFE Channel.

Eric Granstrom was joined by Greg Rentz for the play by play…

Once again, it was Quincy’s Michael Knutson winning the Jerry Berschauer Memorial 100 in the Jerry’s Auto Supply Pro Late Models.  Lake Stevens’ Tyson Lang was second followed by Yakima’s Kaiden Anderson 3rd.

Puyallup’s Levie (lev-ee) Jones won the Shepherds Oil Wenatchee Legends Cup.  Tacoma’s Chris Belanca was 2nd followed by West Richland’s Trace Thompson third.

12-year old Kasey Kleyn of Quincy won his debut at WVSO in the Mountain Dew Jr. Late Models.  Kennewick’s Kaidyn Moran was second followed by Haley Constance of Snohomish in third.

The Bandolero main event win went to Puyallup’s Allie-Mae Jones.  Second was Prosser’s Ryker Ohler and third to Ephrata’s Cannon Delong.

And in the Plumb Perfect Roadrunner finale, Jarden Ingram slid sideways across the line for the win followed by R.T. Greiner and Brandon Knouff.

The final race of the season is in two weeks at WVSO and features the Neal Newberry 125 presented by Pepsi.  We’ll have it LIVE here on the NCWLIFE Channel.

Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes to lead the Seahawks to an opening-day win over Atlanta 38-25…

Wilson was 31-of-35 for 322-yards, throwing two touchdown passes to Chris Carson, and one-each to DK Metcalf and Greg Olson.  Wilson became the first Seahawks quarterback in franchise history to throw four touchdowns in a season-opener.

Coach Pete Carroll was happy to see the work in training camp carry over into the first game…

Next up for the Seahawks is a Sunday night matchup with the 1-and-oh New England Patriots.  The game will be on NBC Sunday night at 5:20.

The Mariners beat Arizona 7-3 Sunday to take two of three over the weekend from the Diamondbacks…

With the season winding down, Seattle is using a lot of its young talent from the minor league system.  On Sunday, Jose Marmolejos (mar-moh-LAY-ose) was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.  Donovan Walton also drove in three runs with a 1-for-4 performance.

The Mariners return home today for a makeup doubleheader with Oakland.  The first game starts at 2:10 with Marco Gonzales facing Jesus Luzardo.  Today’s games are being made up from a couple weeks ago when they were cancelled due to a positive COVID test in the A’s organization.

Thanks Eric.

Eleven educators in the Wenatchee School District have helped hundreds of non-English-speaking students officially achieve English fluency. In the 2019-2020 school year, 262 students graduated from the State Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program. That’s 50 more students than the year before. The district recognized the 11 teachers last week with its Outstanding Migrant/Bilingual Educator Award.

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, I’ll see you again Monday night. Stay safe this weekend and don’t forget your mask.