NCWLIFE Evening News September 16th, 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, Management of Douglas County’s Pearl Hill Fire is changing hands. Public COVID-19 testing in Plain have been delayed again by the smoky atmosphere, and, The chief pest inspector for tree fruit in Chelan and Douglas counties is investigating a supply of apples, allegedly brought to central Washington by Gov. Jay Inslee, that contain apple maggot infestation.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

As we all know, our air quality the past week or so has been awful. Tonight, a look at why we’re seeing all this smoke and a hint at when it may be going away. . .

Management of Douglas County’s Pearl Hill Fire is changing hands. The fire, which broke out on Labor Day and destroyed structures in Bridgeport and the outskirts of Mansfield, will now be overseen by a Type 3 incident management team.

Its leader is Dave Nalle (NAIL), a deputy chief with Chelan County Fire District 3 in Leavenworth. Pearl Hill was at 90 percent containment last evening. The Type 3

team will largely be concerned with patrolling firelines and hotspots to prevent new flareups.

The neighboring Cold Springs Fire in Okanogan County was 70 percent contained after destroying 138 structures. Between them, the two large fires have burned more than 412,000 acres of land, or 644 square miles, and caused the death of a young child.

Public COVID-19 testing in Plain have been delayed again by the smoky atmosphere. It’s the second time the drive-through testing organized by the Chelan-Douglas Health District has had to be rescheduled.

The free drive-up testing was first set to start Tuesday, then pushed to this afternoon, but unhealthy air quality that’s persisted since the weekend force another delay.

Testing at Fire Station 93 in Plain is now set to begin tomorrow and Friday, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The testing has taken place in communities throughout the two counties to map the spread of the coronavirus. Organizers warn bad air conditions could cause the testing to be rescheduled once again.

The chief pest inspector for tree fruit in Chelan and Douglas counties is investigating a supply of apples, allegedly brought to central Washington by Gov. Jay Inslee, that contain apple maggot infestation. Will Carpenter, director of the Chelan-Douglas Horticultural Pest and Disease Board, asked the public today for help tracking down apples Inslee might have brought from Thurston County on Saturday on a goodwill visit to Bridgeport and other points damaged by wildfire. Carpenter says apples believed to have been brought by Inslee to Omak were riddled with apple maggot larvae. If correct, that means the governor brought fruit into NCW from the state’s apple maggot quarantine zone, in violation of agriculture rules. . .

The governor’s office didn’t immediately respond today to a request for comment from NCWLIFE. Anyone with information about maggot-infested apples in the Chelan or Douglas County region — brought by Inslee or otherwise — should contact Will Carpenter at (509) 667-6677 or Will.Carpenter@co.chelan.wa.us.

Coming up next, The Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority is again accepting applications for emergency COVID-19 grants for Small businesses. Eastmont Parks and Recreation began taking reservations Tuesday as it prepares to reopen the Eastmont Aquatics Center. If you’ve hiked the Snow Lakes Trail area this summer you may have heard some loud booms, and, The Cold Springs Fire has driven many people from their homes, a lot of them on the Colville Indian Reservation, we will tell you how you can help. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

The Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority is again accepting applications for emergency COVID-19 grants for Small businesses. The grants are $5,000 each for businesses with 20 or fewer employees in Chelan and Douglas counties.

The money can be used to assist with expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The port has already distributed more than 2-point-2 million dollars in federal, state and local COVID-19 funding to more than 400 businesses in the area. Regional Port Board President Rory Turner says there is an additional 1-point-6 million dollars available to local businesses.

Most of the funds have come through a state coronavirus program that distributes money from the federal CARES Act. Businesses can apply through the port’s small business resource page on its website at c-d-r-a-p-dot-org.

Eastmont Parks and Recreation began taking reservations Tuesday as it prepares to reopen the Eastmont Aquatics Center.

For the time being, the pool will be open starting Monday for lap swim and water walking by reservation. The cost is $7 an hour or a 10-punch pass for $60. The pool has been closed not only by COVID-19 restrictions but also a construction work earlier this year.

Reservations can be made by calling 884-8015. There will be no access to locker rooms and one restroom will be open for restroom use only. The parks district this year took over operation of the pool after almost two decades of management by the Wenatchee Valley YMCA.

If you’ve hiked the Snow Lakes Trail area this summer you may have heard some loud booms.

The explosions are from a Forest Service project to clear a rockslide near Nada Lake that has made hillsides unstable for hikers. The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest trail remained open and hikers were ferried around the blast sites during the work that cleared 40 cubic yards of rock.

Pack mules were used to transport 350 pounds of explosives up the mountain. More blasting work in the area is planned for this fall.

The Cold Springs Fire has driven many people from their homes, a lot of them on the Colville Indian Reservation.

Mary Big Bull-Lewis, a Wenatchee graphic designer and Colville tribal member, quickly worked to arrange local donations on their behalf. She’s working directly with four families made homeless on the reservation, as well as local coordinating groups. Mary spoke yesterday with NCWLIFE’s Jefferson Robbins about that effort:

You can contribute to donations headed for the Colville Reservation. Non-perishable goods like toiletries, canned foods, socks, and blankets can be dropped off between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. today and tomorrow at Focal Point Educational Services, 1022 N. Wenatchee Avenue. Items should be unused and in their original packaging.

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. . .

At Tuesday’s school board meeting Wenatchee School District Superintendent Doctor Paul Gordon said the district has been working hard to provide the best education possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, in tonight’s feature story, he also understands the frustrations many parents and students are having with at-home learning. . .

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.

Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games between the Mariners and Giants were pushed back a day and moved to San Francisco due to the poor air quality in Seattle…

With T-Mobile Park impacted by heavy smoke from the numerous wildfires on the West Coast, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday afternoon that the two-game series originally set for Tuesday and Wednesday in Seattle will now be played instead on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. PT and on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. at Oracle Park in San Francisco, though the Mariners will be considered the home team in both games.

Yesterday was Pete Carroll’s 69th birthday.  Seahawks general manager John Schneider has a special gift for his coach in the form of film study…

So what did Carroll think of his present and of Schneider’s assessment?

As far as the game coming up Sunday, coach Carroll was asked about using defensive backs to blitz and help put pressure on the quarterback…

Carroll says adding Cam Newton to the Patriots offense has certainly changed their look, but he has no idea what to expect on Sunday…

Seattle hosts New England Sunday on national television with the Sunday Night crew in town from NBC.  Kickoff is scheduled for 5:20 Sunday evening.

Thanks Eric.

As we leave you tonight, a reminder. . .With high particle pollution from regional wildfires, Chelan County and the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce have stepped up to offer filter masks to the public.

If you lack access to an N95 mask, you can contact the Chamber at 662-2116 to reserve a free one. The county provided the masks from emergency supplies. N95 masks are different from the cloth masks worn to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and are much more effective at filtering smoke particles form the air you breathe.

Now, let’s check in with Eric Granstrom for a look at what’s coming up tomorrow morning on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley, Eric. . .Welcome back 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.