In tonight's broadcast we bring you several stories from the Columbia Basin including a report on the death of a worker at the Moses Lake Genie plant, and we announce the results of the Moses Lake Irrigation and Rehabilitation District. We look at a report of a pack of wolves inside the town of Soap Lake, and how Moses Lake is spending $190,000 to replace trees.

In sports we talk about the mens and women's basketball teams for Big Bend Community Colleges and have news of a WSU basketball player named the PAC 12 player of the week.

Our SPOTLIGHT story tonight is about how a Moses Lake church is celebrating Christmas. And we have the latest weather forecast for the Columbia Basin from the iFIBER One Weather Center

Our top story tonight – 31-year-old MICHAEL BENJAMIN HUNTLEY died after a piece of equipment fell and pinned his head at the Moses Lake Genie Plant. At about 7:25 p.m., last night emergency crews responded to the plant just north of Moses Lake.

HUNTLEY was taken to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Grant County Coroner CRAIG MORRISON released his identity after HUNTLEY’s family was notified.ley. The state Department of Labor and Industries is investigating, and company officials said that the plant has temporarily ceased operations as the investigation proceeds.

The company says it is providing on-site counseling to help other plant workers deal with the tragic event.

The Moses Lake Irrigation and Rehabilitation District held an election to fill a third board position. Here with the report is RYAN LANCASTER.

Big Bend Community College is warning people of a scam where a young man is asking for cash to send a college wrestling team to Japan. College spokesperson DOUG SLY said Big Bed Community College does not have a wrestling team.

Residents in Moses Lake reported the suspicious activity to the college, who enlisted help from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. One woman became suspicious when the young man declined a donation unless it was in cash. The suspected con man is described as a young Caucasian male, standing 5 foot 6 inches tall, with short sandy colored hair. The college received reports of the suspect working on Admiral Road.

The college asks that anyone with information about the suspected scammer call the Grant County Sheriff’s Office at 509-754-2011 or if you encounter him, you can call 9-1-1.

You are going to pay about $5 more each month for electricity from the Grant County PUD. The PUD commissioners reviewed comments made at a series of public hearings and moved forward with the 2013 budget of $305 million.

The commission approved a plan to increase rates by 6 percent for all Grant County customers. The plan is connected to revenue generation for the 2013 budget. The extra money is needed for turbine and generator replacements at Wanapum Dam, hatchery improvements and construction, recreation site enhancements and improvements to the electricity grid for increases stability.

PUD commissioner TOM FLINT said, “These are not easy decisions, but ultimately I believe we found a balance between the needs of the public and the demands of aging infrastructure. By working together, we were able to reduce the proposed increase from 8 percent down to 6. I believe it’s important for the public to know that we are making good on our commitment to our customers while fulfilling the obligations of our federal license to operate Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams.”

Reports of a wolf pack roaming the streets of Soap Lake turned out to be nothing more than large Huskies on the loose. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. CHRIST ANDERSON said the agency was contacted by people on the west side of town. They said when they let their dog out at about 5:30 a.m., they saw three large wolves or wolf-breed dogs in their yard close to their deck.

A state biologist responded to look into the matter and determined the resident had seen large domesticated dogs, not wolves.

Moses Lake city council decided to spend $190,000 to replace trees. Here with the story is RYAN LANCASTER.

A new livestock processing facility will open this spring in Odessa. The Odessa Public Development Authority contracted Spokane-based GAR-CO Construction to design and build a 7,000 square foot USDA livestock processing facility in the Odessa Industrial Park, according to The Star newspaper.

The facility is scheduled to open in May. It will serve small to mid-sized producers, offering USDA carcass inspection, processing, packaging and improved access to retail markets – previously unavailable to local producers.

The facility is expected to bring 10 to 15 jobs to the area while improving food security for the region by giving consumers pasture to plate traceability.

In segment two we take a look at the weather forecast for the Columbia Basin for Wednesday, Dec 12th, 2012 including Moses Lake, Ephrata, Quincy, Soap Lake, Coulee City, Wilson Creek, Warden, Royal City, and more.

Washington State University men's basketball senior Brock Motum has been named the Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week.  Beth O'Donnell reported the story on the Cougar Athletics YouTube Channel. [Video: Sports-WSU AOTW.mp4] Washington State is 6 and 4 so far this season and their next game is on Thursday against Jackson State.

The Big Bend CC basketball teams are sporting some new uniforms this year and  both the Men and Women's teams are off to a good start. Green seems to be a good color the Runnin Vikes.

The Big Bend Men's basketball team is 6-2 this week after a loss to Bellevue CC last weekend 75 to 72. The Vikings held a 2 point lead at half time but Bellevue had 20 points coming turnovers which gave them the 3 point win.

Brendan Westendorf led the Vikings with 21 points and 7 rebounds, Kamen McCullough had 20 points, and Kyle Nield added 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.

On Friday the Vikings will travel to the Treasure Valley Crossover Tournament.  Vikings will take on Shoreline CC at noon.

Big Bend Women are 5-1 after beating Quest University last Saturday, 87 to 62.  The Lady Vikings shot 44% from the field and out-rebounded Quest Univserty 48 to 30.

Jessica Sorensen led the Lady Vikings with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 assists. Sierra Zollinger added 10 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 steals and Alli Winters threw in 15 points.

On Friday, they'll travel to play in the Whatcom Crossever Tournament.  Lady Vikings will take on Lower Columbia at 4:00pm. We want to wish to both teams good luck this weekend.

Our SPOTLIGHT story tonight is about Christmas lights and how one church has out done itself in Moses Lake. Here with the report is BILL STEVENSON.

In Northwest news we found Christmas lights are done a little differently in Portland than in the Columbia Basin. Here with the report is BILL STEVENSON.

The legislative committee is looking at taking away the ability for a college or university to charge more for high demand programs. The ability to set different tuitions was approved by the legislature in 2011, but was suspended in 2012. There were concerns about how the different tuitions would impact the people taking advantage of the state’s prepaid tuition program.

The Guaranteed Education Tuition – or GET – program is already underfunded by about $600 million. An eight-member legislative committee met yesterday.

The Seattle Times reports that four members said they favor taking away the right to charge different tuition rates for different majors because it could negatively affect the GET program. Panel members must make a recommendation to the Legislature by Jan. 14, when the legislative session begins.

That's going to do it for us here at iFIBER ONE News. We want to thank you for watching and we'll see you again tomorrow.



(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.