NCWLIFE Evening News July 28th, 2021

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Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. I’m Grant Olson. Before we get to what’s making news, let’s take a quick look outside our weather window:

And now, here a few of the stories we’re following for you tonight, The county health administrator says the spike in new COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties in the past two weeks is being driven by the Delta variant of the virus./ A Waterville man who proposed a sexual encounter between himself, his wife, and a 15-year-old boy will now spend 16 months in prison, and, A legal orchard burn near Monitor from back in April sprung back to life early Monday morning.

But first, our top story tonight. . .

Rising case rates in Chelan and Douglas counties have led to a new high in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Twenty-four people were under care at Central Washington Hospital as of Tuesday, the highest number since January.

New positive tests are on the rise: The two counties now have a case rate of 199 per 100,000 members of the population, for the week ending July 25th. Health officials continue to encourage vaccination, masking, and social distancing to bring the coronavirus under control.

The county health administrator says the spike in new COVID-19 cases in Chelan and Douglas counties in the past two weeks is being driven by the Delta variant of the virus. Luke Davies of the Chelan-Douglas Health District was interviewed today by NCWLIFE’s Dan Kuntz about why we’re experiencing yet another wave of COVID-19. Dan’s full interview can be seen tomorrow on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley. . .

A Waterville man who proposed a sexual encounter between himself, his wife, and a 15-year-old boy will now spend 16 months in prison.

23-year-old Dylan L. O’Gara-Smith pleaded guilty Monday in Douglas County Superior Court to seven charges including felony harassment, assault, communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, and wielding a firearm. His wife, Adreanna Renee Jones, is charged with third-degree child rape. Prosecutors said O’Gara-Smith propositioned the youth in August 2019, and after Jones had sex with the victim that October, he threatened the boy with a shotgun. Sixteen months is the high end of the sentencing range for the most serious of the charges. Jones is scheduled to enter a plea to her statutory rape charge later this week.

A legal orchard burn near Monitor from back in April sprung back to life early Monday morning. Firefighters received a call at 4:02 a.m. of visible flames in an orchard in the 3100 block of Fairview Canyon Road.

Chelan County Fire District 1 spokeswoman Kay McKellar said somehow the winds and sustained heat reignited the burn. Chelan County Fire District 6 responded to the fire, which was being doused by the property owner.

Coming up next, Fire officials say even with stronger winds expected today the air quality in the Winthrop area isn’t likely to improve and could get even worse today./ Central Washington’s two representatives in Congress are asking for drought relief for America’s farms and orchards./ The final segment of the Leavenworth foothills bike trail has been approved by Forest Service, and, The Moses Lake Police Department was again featured on the Discovery network program Body Cam last night and we will show you the video. I’m Grant Olson and you’re watching the NCWLIFE Evening News.

Welcome back, and in other news. . .

Fire officials say even with stronger winds expected today the air quality in the Winthrop area isn’t likely to improve and could get even worse today.

Smoke from a pair of big nearby fires has choked Winthrop and Twisp for more than a week. Throughout the evening and this morning the air quality in Winthrop was again measured at hazardous levels. The Cedar Creek to the south of Winthrop has burned more than 38-thousand 500 acres and the Cub Creek Fire to the north has burned more than 52-thousand acres. Fire commanders said today a stronger up-valley flow will improve conditions in some areas of the Methow Valley but the winds are likely to channel additional smoke into communities closer to the fires, like Twisp, Winthrop and Mazama.

Central Washington’s two representatives in Congress are asking for drought relief for America’s farms and orchards.

Dan Newhouse of the 4th District and Kim Schrier of the 8th signed on to a letter Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking for financial and technical aid amid this year’s historic drought and heatwave. They say Northwest cherry growers have already lost an estimated 20 percent of this year’s crop, and similar damage is expected in other fields of agriculture. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray also endorsed the letter.

Mountain bike enthusiasts have won approval from the Forest Service to improve a trail complex near Leavenworth.

The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance can now develop the last planned section of the trail system above the Leavenworth Ski Hill. The improvement will join a new uphill trail to the popular Rosy Boa Trail, adding more than a mile of distance with 300 feet of elevation. Trail builders say getting the work approved as part of the Ranger District’s master plan will create new options for backcountry cyclists in the Upper Wenatchee Valley.

The Moses Lake Police Department was again featured on the Discovery network program Body Cam Tuesday night.

This time, the program showed police body cam footage from the fatal shooting of a robbery suspect February 28th in Moses Lake. During that incident, K9 Chief was shot in the eye by the suspect. Chief later recovered but did not return to active duty. The program is still available to watch on the streaming services Investigation Discovery or Discovery Plus.

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. . .

In tonight’s feature story,Governor Jay Inslee said earlier today that masking requirements for students in kindergarten through 12th grade schools will remain in place for the 2021-22 school year, in large part because of rising infections in the state. For adults and those outside school settings, Inslee said the state will continue to recommend masking indoors, although that will not be mandatory. . .

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’s been a crazy 48-hours for the Seattle Mariners.  First, they won a dramatic 11-8 game over Houston Monday on a grand slam home run by Dylan Moore after trailing at one point 7-nothing.  Then, word came down that relief pitcher Kendall Graveman, a favorite in the Seattle clubhouse, was traded…TO HOUSTON!

Apparently, this didn’t sit well with Mariner players, who reportedly felt betrayed and equipment was damaged in the Seattle clubhouse.  Graveman appeared before reporters in tears prior to Tuesday’s game, saying he loves his teammates with the Mariners and is in shock.

Seattle also traded reliever Rafael Montero.  In return, the Mariners got switch-hitting infielder Abraham Toro and veteran reliever Joe Smith.  Later last night, Seattle also traded with Pittsburgh to get starting left-hander Tyler Anderson in exchange for a minor league catcher and pitcher.

The hangover from the news and crazy game Monday seemed to linger into Tuesday’s contest as Chris Flexen was shelled for 7-runs on 9-hits in 4-innings as the Astros beat Seattle 8-6.

There were some highlights, however, as Kyle Seager tried to help the M’s come back in the bottom of the 1st inning, trailing 3-nothing…

Former Mariner Mike Cameron joined Aaron Goldsmith and Mike Blowers on the broadcast on Root Sports as Seattle was looking for some magic in the 9th, trailing by four, and found a little spark in Abraham Toro’s first-ever at-bat in a Mariner uniform…

But that would be it as Houston holds on for the 8-6 victory.  The two teams will play the rubber match of the 3-game set today at 12:40 with Yusei Kikuchi facing Jake Odorizzi.

The good news for Seattle is that they didn’t lose any ground in the Wild Card race as Oakland fell to San Diego 7-to-4 as Fernando Tatis, Jr. hit a 2-run home run for the Padres.

Joey Gallo’s 3-run home run highlighted a 5-run 4th inning and Texas made it hold up with a 5-4 win over Arizona.

Despite Shohei Ohtani’s 36th homer, the Angels were clubbed by Colorado 12-to-3.

The road trip to Bend didn’t start well for the AppleSox last night as Wenatchee fell to the Elks 10-to-2…

Covering for Joel Norman, Reily Chestnut tells us things got off to a rocky start for Cole Hatton on the mound and it went downhill from there…

Wenatchee and Bend play again tonight at 6:35.

In other West Coast League play, leadoff man Travis Bazzana was 3-for-4 with 3-runs and 2-RBI’s to lead Corvallis to a 6-3 win over Walla Walla.

Willie Lajoie (luh-ZSHWAH) was 3-for-5 with 4-runs and 2-RBI’s to lead Yakima Valley over 12-8.  Rikuu Nishida was a home run away from the cycle for the Bears.

Ryan Guardino’s 3-run home run highlighted a 5-run second inning for Portland as the Pickles topped Port Angeles 9-to-2.

In non-league play, Brady Kasper’s walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th scored Caden Connor as Ridgefield edged Redmond 1-nothing.

The Bells also had a walk-off win over Cascade Collegiate in Bellingham as Ryan Beitel’s RBI-single in the 9th scored AJ Davis for the 4-3 win.

Checking the 2nd half standings in the West Coast League, Yakima Valley holds a 2-game edge over Bellingham in the North while Corvallis is 2-games in front of Cowlitz and Ridgefield in the South.

The Bells are 4-games in front of Wenatchee and Walla Walla in the chase for the 2nd best overall record in the North standings.  If the Pippins hang on to win the second half, the team with the second-best overall record will get the other playoff spot.

Tonight’s schedule across the W-C-L is the same as last night with Wenatchee at Bend; Corvallis hosting Walla Walla; Cowlitz visiting Yakima Valley; Redmond at Ridgefield; Bellingham hosting Cascade Collegiate; and Port Angeles visiting Portland.

Today is the final day of the Wenatchee Wild’s training camp at the Community Rink at the Town Toyota Center…

Over 80-players have spent the last three days trying to impress coaches and administrators for the Wild to earn on spot on this year’s roster.  The final game will be this morning at 9 o’clock and then roster slots will be announced.

Our Eric Granstrom caught up with general manager Bliss Littler on Day-1 of camp to see how the organization made it through COVID…

The Wild will begin the 2021-22 season October 9th at home against the Penticton Vees.

Thanks Eric

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.