NCWLIFE Evening News January 10, 2022
Good evening and welcome to the NCWLIFE evening news. I am Grant Olson. Before we get into what’s in the news, let’s take a look outside our weather window.
And now, some of the stories we follow for you tonight, The Town of Leavenworth continues from last week’s record-breaking snowstorm with help from the National Guard. Blowing snow closed much of the Waterville Plateau on Friday and Saturday, with whiteout conditions and snow drifts causing several roads and highways to be closed. Two major mountain passes leading to north-central Washington reopened last night after last week’s blizzard, but the third remains closed for at least a few more days and taken aback by the blizzard, Wenatchee School District recruited volunteers to help clean up its school grounds and sidewalks, in time for classes to reopen this morning.
But first, our top story tonight. . .
Chelan barn fire -Firefighters worked under difficult conditions to prevent a barn fire in the Chelan area from spreading late Saturday night. Chelan Fire and Rescue said the blaze in the Swanson Gulch area was first reported around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday night. The remoteness of the area, combined with thick snow and the lack of hydrants, made fighting the blaze particularly difficult, the fire district said. The barn was a complete loss, but firefighters managed to prevent it from spreading to a nearby motorhome. Additionally, Chelan Fire and Rescue said the owner was able to safely remove three goats from a pen attached to the barn. Manson and Orondo firefighters responded, with teams on site until 2:30 a.m. Monday.
Leavenworth digs -The town of Leavenworth continued to dig from Thursday’s blizzard today, with the help of approximately 23 National Guard members. The city used its website to compile residents’ requests for help – from impassable walkways to collapsed roofs – then deployed crews to clear snow and deliver food packages. The cold led to the discovery of two major municipal water line leaks under the neighborhoods of Leavenworth. The town in the Haute Vallée received about 36 inches of snow in less than 24 hours from Thursday. Mayor Carl Florea declared a city-wide state of emergency on Friday, allowing the tourist town to take advantage of the state’s National Guard resources.
Waterville’s white veil -The blowing snow closed much of the Waterville Plateau on Friday and Saturday, with whiteout conditions and snowdrifts leading to the closure of several roads and highways. Friday and Saturday, Route 2 from Douglas to Route 17 and Route 172 from Farmer to McNeil Canyon Road were closed due to zero visibility. Route 2 was reopened around 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning while Route 172 remained closed until early Saturday evening. Conditions were so bad on Friday that authorities advised residents of the plateau to take shelter in place.
Mtn. Pass -Two major mountain passes leading to north-central Washington reopened last night after last week’s blizzard, but the third remains closed for at least a few more days. Freeway 97 at Blewett Pass and I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass were both cleared for traffic at 5 p.m. Sunday. But at Stevens Pass, Department of Transportation crews are still grappling with snow slides, fallen trees and four inches of ice on the pavement that need to be removed. In Tumwater Canyon leading to Leavenworth there are approximately 25 snow slides per mile of road. Stevens Pass is not expected to fully reopen until Wednesday.
Wenatchee school shovels -Taken aback by the blizzard, the Wenatchee School District recruited volunteers to help clean up their school’s grounds and sidewalks in time for classes to reopen this morning. The Sunday shovel session was held at all schools in the district except Foothills Middle School. And at Wenatchee High School, administrators woke up on Sunday to find that an anonymous benefactor had spent the previous night cleaning up all sidewalks and hot spots around the building. Only snow shovels could be used for volunteer work; under school insurance and liability restrictions, no snow plows and snow throwers were involved.
TO TEASE – Soon, the town of Cashmere will not need to seek permission from its union to install a facial recognition clock at its sewage treatment plant. Chelan and Douglas counties will continue to fund the health district with $ 1 million in federal funds related to COVID and the Quincy School Board has appointed a new superintendent. I’m Grant Olson and you watch the NCWLIFE evening news.
Welcome back, and in other news. . .
Cashmere clock -The Town of Cashmere did not commit an unfair labor practice when it implemented facial recognition software to track the time of certain employees. That’s the conclusion of the state’s Public Employees Relations Commission, which ruled in November in favor of the city’s plan to use the new software for its wastewater treatment workers. These employees are represented by the Teamsters union, which challenged the ruling, saying it would affect employee privacy and should have been negotiated with the union. A PERC hearing officer denied the dispute, saying the change in timing was within the city’s rights. Cashmere has since negotiated a new collective agreement with the Teamsters which will begin this year.
Funding of the health district -The Chelan-Douglas Health District will start the new year with nearly $ 1 million in federal assistance. Commissioners for both counties voted last week to allocate $ 939,000 under the US bailout to fund the district, which has been instrumental in fighting COVID-19 infections in the Wenatchee Valley. The money comes from ARPA funds allocated at the county level. District health administrator Luke Davies said the agency would use the money for a variety of projects, from modernizing its building and IT systems to upgrading its environmental health program.
Quincy new superintendent -The Quincy school board was quick to appoint its new director. On Tuesday, the board of directors promoted Deputy Superintendent Dr Nick Bergman to the post. Just over a week ago, Superintendent John Boyd announced he was leaving the district to take on the role of Acting Superintendent in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver. Bergman has been with the Quincy School District since 2003, first as a substitute teacher before rising through the ranks to an elementary school principal and then vice-principal.
TO TEASE -You are watching the NCWLIFE evening news. Coming soon, tonight’s report and your full local weather forecast. This and more to come on the NCWLIFE Evening News, stay with us.
Welcome to the NCWLIFE Evening News. . .
Dedicated doctors -When last Thursday’s record snowfall shut down just about everything in Wenatchee, such an option did not exist at Central Washington Hospital. In tonight’s report, Confluence Health CEO Dr Peter Rutherford spoke about the efforts of hospital workers to ensure they are there for the community. . .
TO TEASE –And that’s a preview of your local, upcoming weather forecast, tonight’s sports report with Dan Kuntz and more as the NCWLIFE Evening News continues right after that.
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Now, let’s check in with Dan Kuntz for a preview of what’s happening tomorrow morning on Wake Up Wenatchee Valley, Dan. . .
And that’s going to do it for our newscast tonight. To learn more about these and other stories from North Central Washington, you can find us on Facebook or on our website at ncwlife.com. And, remember, if you see any news happening, we would love to hear from you. You can email us at [email protected], or call us at 888-NCWL (6295). My name is Grant Olson, thank you for being with us and have a good evening.