NCWLIFE Evening News September 22nd, 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, Two men who forcibly trafficked women throughout eastern Washington, including Wenatchee, must pay three victims more than $180,000 in restitution. Governor Jay Inslee issued new guidelines Monday that will allow agritourism businesses to resume operations in Chelan and Douglas counties, and, The lightning storm that passed through North Central Washington last Friday night sparked 10 fires across the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.   

But first, we begin tonight. . .

The man suspected in the disappearance and presumed death of a Kent motorist in the Blewett Pass area has pleaded guilty to eight lesser charges. A Kittitas County judge on Friday sentenced Jorge Alcantara Gonzalez to eight years in prison on eight felonies including vehicle theft, burglary and theft of two firearms.

Prosecutors say keeping Alcantara in prison will give them time to build their case in the presumed murder of 41-year-old Ian Eckles, who disappeared near Mineral Springs last May.

Deputies say Alcantara was later found driving Eckles’ vehicle. Eckles’ body has never been found. If you have information about his case, call Kittitas County sheriff’s dispatch at 509-925-8534.

Two men who forcibly trafficked women throughout eastern Washington, including Wenatchee, must pay three victims more than $180,000 in restitution.

Robert Samuel Tillman of California and Brandon C. Campbell of New York state pleaded guilty in July to federal sex trafficking charges. The two men forced three victims into prostitution in Arizona, Utah and Washington, advertising them for sex online and arranging meetings in local hotel rooms. One victim escaped in Pasco in 2018, and another, who was 17 at the time, was arrested by police in an undercover sting operation in Tacoma.

U.S. Attorney William Hyslop announced the restitution order yesterday. Campbell is serving seven and a half years in federal prison; Tillman was sentenced to 15 years.

Governor Jay Inslee issued new guidelines Monday that will allow agritourism businesses to resume operations in Chelan and Douglas counties.

The change now allows all agritourism to operate in modified Phase 1 of the state’s COVID-19 phased reopening plan. In late August, Inslee modified his Safe Start guidelines to allow most agritourism activities for all counties except the five still in modified Phase 1.

Both Chelan and Douglas counties have been in a modified version of Phase 1 since June 10th. U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse last week was highly critical of the governor’s ban on agritourism, calling the order frustrating and misguided. Agritourism can be anything from corn mazes to petting zoos to orchard tours.

The lightning storm that passed through North Central Washington last Friday night sparked 10 fires across the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest that had firefighters jumping from blaze to blaze Saturday and Sunday.

The Forest Service says most of the fires were quickly contained but others were remote and inaccessible and will be monitored. Chelan District Ranger Kari Grover Wier said one small lightning-caused fire near the Stormy Mountain trailhead in the Entiat Ranger District was reported by hikers who quickly dug a line around it and smothered the fire as best they could with dirt and water before reporting it.

Coming up next, Federal disease scientists are in the Wenatchee Valley to observe how it’s coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. The first in a series of meetings designed to help victims of the Cold Springs Fire is tonight at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds with more meetings to follow. The Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce will be holding two days of candidate forums in October via Zoom and Facebook Live, and, COVID-19 has forced many public events into virtual venues this year and the Chelan County Public Works auction of surplus equipment is no exception. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Federal disease scientists are in the Wenatchee Valley to observe how it’s coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team of four physicians told the Chelan-Douglas Board of Health yesterday they’ll study the impacts of the coronavirus on the Valley’s populations, including Hispanic and migrant worker residents.

The team leader is Dr. Edgar Monterroso, a CDC physician with more than 30 years experience in epidemiology, who serves as part of the agency’s overall COVID-19 emergency response. He previously oversaw HIV programs in Mozambique.

During the pandemic, he’s specialized in COVID-19 impacts on Latino communities. Pandemic response in the two counties is currently being handled by a state incident management team that answers to the Chelan-Douglas Health District.

The first in a series of meetings designed to help victims of the Cold Springs Fire is tonight at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds with more meetings to follow.

Okanogan County Emergency Management and the Colville Tribal Emergency Operations Center say they’ll be providing information on financial and other assistance available for victims, as well as gathering donations of cash, household items and ranch supplies such as hay and fencing. The Cold Springs Fire has burned almost 190,000 acres in the county since starting September 6th and destroyed at least 78 homes and 60 secondary buildings. The fire is now 95 percent contained and all road closures and evacuations levels were lifted Monday.

The Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce will be holding two days of candidate forums in October via Zoom and Facebook Live. Candidates from the 4th and 8th congressional districts will be featured in an October 14th forum from 8 to 9 a.m.

In the 8th District, incumbent Democrat Doctor Kim Schrier is challenged by Republican Jesse Jensen.

In the 4th District, incumbent Republican Dan Newhouse faces Democrat Douglas McKinley.

On October 15th the focus will shift to the race for Chelan County Commissioner between Dale England and Tiffany Gering, both Republicans, and 12th District incumbent state representative Keith Goehner and challenger, Democrat Adrianne Moore, also from 8 to 9 a.m. The chamber says each of the candidates will be asked three questions during the forum.

COVID-19 has forced many public events into virtual venues this year. The Chelan County Public Works auction of surplus equipment is no exception.

The county needs to get rid of more than 50 pieces of surplus, including vehicles, tools, and attachments. The September 26th event can’t be held in person, so it’s online through Chuck Yarbro Auctioneers, starting at 9 a.m. Yarbro has recently been the online auction house for other big local sales like the NCW District Fair youth livestock sale. All items are offered as-is.

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. . .

tonight’s feature story, Alma Castillo and Lupita Espinoza of the Chelan-Douglas Health District hit the streets of East Wenatchee recently, going door-to-door handing out masks and educational materials on COVID19. Castillo said they were well-received at the homes they visited. . .

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.

31 Northwest Super Late Model drivers have already signed up to race in the season finale Saturday at Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval…

They’ll be taking part in the Neal Newberry 125, presented by Pepsi.  WVSO manager Jeremy Anders will join us later this week on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley and asked if we could start our broadcast a little early Saturday.  Of course, we said yes and will begin our Facebook stream LIVE at 5:30.

In addition, there will also be a big field for the Tommy Wentz Classic for the Dick’s Heating and Air Conditioning Thunder Cars.  The track championship will also be determined in the Holaday Custom Muffler B-Mods and the Plumb Perfect Roadrunners.

Join Eric Granstrom and Greg Rentz for all the action LIVE on the NCWLIFE Channel.  Again, we’ll start on Facebook at 5:30 and on TV at 6 o’clock.

Sunday night’s win for the Seahawks over New England was a costly one.  Coach Pete Carroll delivered the bad news Monday that two starters on defense are out for the season…

The Seahawks also put Phillip Dorsett on injured reserved today.  They kept the wide receiver on its roster for two weeks without him being able to play because of a foot injury.  Dorsett will now have three weeks to heal.

Cam Newton and the Patriot offense put up nearly 400-yards passing on Seattle’s defense.  While Jamal Adams had a sack and tackle for a loss, he also gave up some big plays on pass coverage.  Coach Carroll says Adams and the rest of the defense will have to be better going forward…

Seattle hosts Dallas Sunday at CenturyLink Field at 1:25 on FOX.

Coach Carroll is also lighter in the pocket today after the NFL fined him 100-thousand dollars for not wearing his mask Sunday…

The team was also fined 250-thousand dollars by the NFL, which is trying to collect more than a million-dollars in fines total from three teams for coaches not wearing masks.

The fines came a week after the NFL sent a memo to teams warning of fines for coaches not properly wearing facial coverings. 

The Mariners got a great pitching performance from former AppleSox Marco Gonzales and beat Houston 6-1 at T-Mobile Park last night…

Gonzales went 8-innings, allowing no-runs on 7-hits with 6-strikeouts and one walk.  On the other side of the diamond, Lance McCullers, Jr. carried a no-hitter into the 6th.  Marco says that helped fuel his own fire…

Tim Lopes double in the 6th broke up the no-no and Seattle got to McCullers for four runs in the 7th, including a 3-run home run by Evan White…

Gonzales, who improved to 7-and-2 on the season, lowered his ERA to 3.06.  Kyle Seager picked up his 700th career RBI and Ty France was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.  Seattle and Houston will go at it again tonight at 6:10 with Ljay Newsome facing Framber Valdez.

Checking the rest of the American League West last night…

With Houston’s loss, Oakland wrapped up the American League West title without having to play last night.

In the only other game in the A-L West last night, Jared Walsh’s grand slam home run highlighted a 7-run 4th for the Angels in Los Angeles’ 8-5 win over Texas.

This year’s expanded playoffs mean the top two teams from each division get in.  And as we look at it now, Seattle is just 3-games behind Houston with two more games between the two and the Mariner’s four-game series against Oakland to wrap up the season.  Unfortunately for Seattle, Houston wraps its season with four games against Texas, who are 19-and-35.

So yes, fans, there’s still a chance…

Thanks Eric.

As we leave you tonight, citizens are fighting back against graffiti in a Moses Lake neighborhood with the Painted Mailbox Project.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said the work by local artists from ages 10 to 50 has made a difference in the Larson Community where they’ve seen a decrease in graffiti since the project began.

The Painted Mailbox Project is being led by Christy Welch who encourages other artists to join in and welcomes any donations of supplies or money. She can be reached at 509-431-2139 or donate money at the Painted Mailbox GoFundMe page.

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.