Archives for May 2020

Local Coronavirus Update

The Grant County Health District reports 8 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday with the total at 215. The new confirmed cases include residents in Ephrata, Moses Lake and Mattawa. 6 of the new cases are linked individuals where they contracted COVID-19 through the community and spread through family and social gatherings, 1 new case is linked to travel outside the county and 1 is still under investigation. 2 patients remain hospitalized and 106 are listed as recovered.

ML Shooting Victim Identified

The victim of a Tuesday night fatal shooting in the Larson Housing community is identified as a 21-year-old Moses Lake man. Police say they were called to the area of Carswell Drive and Schilling Drive after multiple reports of shots fired and an investigation found that a car’s driver identifgied as Phoenix Johnson was shot by someone in a second car. Anyone knowing the shooter’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Grant County sheriff’s office at 509-762-1160.

WA Uncovers $300M In Fradulent Unemployment Claims

The State Employment Security Department reports they have recovered $300 million paid in fraudulent unemployment benefit claims amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine says the information of tens of thousands of people in the state was used to file the claims. According to investigators much of the money went to a West African fraud ring using identities stolen in prior data breaches. Three other states reported similar fradulent claims.

Caravan In Ephrata On Friday

Ephrata School District staff are taking part in a “Tiger Strong” caravan this afternoon as a way for to connect with students. Staging takes place at the transportation department at 1 p.m. and the caravan will begin around 1:30 p.m. The planned route will head in and around Ephrata and is expected to last until about 3 p.m. Families are encouraged to head outside, while maintaining social distancing from others as the caravan makes its way through town.

3 Free State Parks Days Next Month

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced there will be three free days in June where a Discover Pass is not needed for day use. The days are Saturday, June 6, in recognition of National Trails Day; Sunday, June 7, as part of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Free Fishing Weekend; and Saturday, June 13, to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day. Two days that were lost in April due to the coronavirus are to be rescheduled.

Inslee Orders COVID-19 Tests For Nursing Homes

Governor Jay Inslee ordered increased coronavirus testing at the state’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities. All workers and residents of nursing homes will need to be tested for COVID-19 by June 12, while testing at assisted living housing that have memory care residents needs to be completed by June 23. Inslee also ordered additional COVID-19 protections for farm and agricultural workers including face covering access and more hand washing stations.

GC Fair Cancelled

The Grant County Fair is cancelleddue to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. Fairgrounds Director Jim McKiernan says the decision was influenced by the health district and the desire to keep residents safe. Under Governor Jay Inslee’s state reopening guidelines, a fair with a carnival and a festival music setting wouldn’t be allowed until Phase 4, which isn’t expected to happen until the end of summer. As of now the fair’s livestock sale is still planned for Aug 18-Aug 22.

ML Shooting Victim Dies

The victim of a Tuesday night shooting in the Larson Housing community has died. Police say they were called to the area of Carswell Drive and Schilling Drive after multiple reports of shots fired and an investigation found that a car’s driver was shot by someone in a second car. The car with the wounded driver then crashed into a home’s yard. Anyone knowing the shooter’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Grant County sheriff’s office at 509-762-1160.

Local Coronavirus Update

The Grant County Health District reports 2 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday with the total at 207. The new confirmed cases include residents in Moses Lake. 2 patients remain hospitalized and 106 are listed as recovered. Grant County Health Officer, Dr. Alexander Brzezny is issuing a Health Officer Directive mandating the use of face coverings in any indoor or confined public setting where a person will be within six feet of another individual who does not share the same household.

Blewett Pass Fugitive Still On The Run

The fugitive wanted in Kittitas County for the disappearance of a man from Western Washington is still on the run. Police say they came in contact with 33-year-old Jorge Alcantara-Gonzalez. in the Mineral Springs area. He was armed and fled after being confronted. Alcantara-Gonzalez is Hispanic, 5’7” and 175 pounds with short dark hair. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants.