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Laura Gjovaag

Stories by Laura

Pressing issues with school district’s athletic facilities

Even though the Sunnyside School District’s athletic levy went down to defeat in last month’s General Election, the district still needs to deal with pressing issues with its facilities for student-athletes.

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ALICE newest girl on Sunnyside High School campus

New safety training to begin in January

Training in the ALICE protocol, a new way to respond to threats in schools, will start at Sunnyside High School on Monday, Jan. 5.

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Water rate changes planned in 2015

If the Sunnyside City Council follows all the recommendations of Engineer Ted Pooler of Huibregtse, Louman Associates and of city staff, the average water bill for a residential home will go down by a couple of dollars a month.

FBI data shows criminal activity

No matter how you crunch the numbers, crime rates in Sunnyside and Grandview have been dropping the past five years.

Inexperienced ’Hounds fall to Ephrata Tigers

The Grandview Greyhounds struggled against the Ephrata Tigers last night, losing 64-18 in their first regular dual meet of the season.

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Chamber’s on again, off again funding for 2015 back on again

It appears the Cinco de Mayo Festival and the Lighted Farm Implement Parade will come off without a hitch next year.

Foundation of downtown Sunnyside is very solid

Downtown Sunnyside was amazing Saturday night.

Lady Vikings still undefeated

The Lady Vikings trampled the Tri-Cities Prep Jaguars last night, 73-41, in a non-league road game for Mabton.

Local businessman asks city council for marijuana decision

“This is my town, too,” David Rand told the Sunnyside City Council Monday night as he asked for a vote that would allow his retail marijuana business to move forward.

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Multi-agency effort puts two behind bars

According to Sunnyside Police Chief Al Escalera, his department had a “very good hit” over the weekend, thanks to a multi-agency effort that resulted in the apprehension of burglars and the recovery of items stolen from a Sunnyside business.

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Issue of human trafficking tackled at Sunnyside forum

Those who traffic in human lives, whether they sell people to work in the fields or pimp girls out in the sex trade, use a variety of threats to coerce their victims.

Irrigation engineer from Uzbekistan learning water conservation techniques

Setting aside its ancient history as part of the Great Silk Road, its more recent history as part of the Soviet Union and the fact that its main crop is cotton, Uzbekistan looks a lot like the Yakima Valley.

Welcome to the police cam era

The Washington State Attorney General just issued an opinion on the legality of police officers wearing body cameras on their uniforms.

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City council takes recreational marijuana 101 class

Edible marijuana, licenses, revenue sharing and the impact of the legal market for recreational marijuana on the black market were some of the topics the Sunnyside City Council discussed with Liquor Control Board Director Rick Garza at Monday night’s council workshop meeting.

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Shopping local helps the community

When people spend money in their own communities, those dollars tend to circulate several times over instead of heading out of town.

School board hesitant in re-asking voters to approve athletic facilities levy

The Sunnyside School Board showed reluctance at its Tuesday night meeting to putting another levy request before voters to build athletic facilities for Sunnyside students, but asked the superintendent to bring back ideas for the board’s next meeting.

New school plans meet approval of local board

The new Washington Elementary School design is proceeding on time and on budget, according to Gary Wetch of Loofburrow Wetch Architects.

City pulls back funding from S’side Chamber

Turns out, the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce may not have the financial backing of the city, after all.

City of Sunnyside’s $23 million budget for 2015 in place

Sunnyside’s 2015 budget was adopted at last night’s city council meeting with very few changes from the preliminary budget first presented to council in October.

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Work is a joy for Sunnyside woman

Work is a joy for San Juanita Fernandez.

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Who’s on your left and on your right?

Choosing friends who won’t hold you back one of the keys to success

GRANDVIEW – It can be hard to keep the attention of 800 middle school students, but Pastor Micahn Carter managed the feat during an assembly at Grandview Middle School this past Tuesday.

‘Complete streets’ ordinance could enhance funding opportunities

A “complete streets” ordinance may assist Sunnyside in applying for funding in the future, making it a “win-win,” according to Sunnyside Planning Commission chair Deann Hochhalter.

There’s plenty of fine dining to be had right here

I usually don’t spend a lot of time in Mabton, but I had a chance last week to not only get down there for a city council meeting, but also to drop in at the Stop ‘n’ Go for dinner before the meeting started.

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Lady Knights fourth at State

Best ever finish for Sunnyside Christian

The defining moment of the Sunnyside Christian volleyball team’s run this year may have been in the final match at the SunDome. Down by two sets and trailing 24-18 in the third, senior Mirella Jimenez was accidentally elbowed in the nose, causing a nosebleed.

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Mabton budget contains major utility projects

MABTON – Last night, Wednesday, the Mabton City Council reviewed the city’s 2015 budget, including holding a public hearing.

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Winterize yourself

Brace yourself for the cold!

Shared Work plan helps employers keep great workers

GRANGER – Using a Shared Work plan, businesses going through economic downturns can retain valued employees, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.

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Beagle charms fans at special Sunnyside screening of ‘The Last Unicorn’

A small voice at the front of the movie theater as a special screening of “The Last Unicorn” came to its conclusion last Friday night summed up the experience for everyone there: “I don’t want it to end.”

Effort underway to lessen chamber’s tourism role

Tom Denlea wants the city of Sunnyside to hire a full time tourism promoter with lodging tax money, instead of giving that funding to the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce for its tourism promotions.

Resounding NO cast for Sunnyside athletic levy

Voters in Sunnyside are resoundingly rejecting a six-year, $6.9 million levy put forward by the school district to upgrade athletic facilities.

No surprises in 15th Legislative District races

Voters are overwhelmingly approving the incumbents in the 15th Legislative District races.

Grandview school athletic levy barely failing

With 30 percent of the ballots returned so far, Grandview School District’s Proposition No. 1 is trailing by 79 votes.

Let’s stop changing clocks twice a year

I am not a fan of daylight saving time.

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Furniture store offers second life to Sunnyside couple

Jose Morales describes opening a furniture store in downtown Sunnyside as the start of a second life.

New safety/security plans presented to school board

The Sunnyside School District has a new safety and security expert, Salliejo Evers, who is implementing new national standards for school safety plans.

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District employees honored for helping Cheney football team

Sunnyside School District Athletic Director Bill Daley, Transportation Director Dairie Hoyle and mechanic Victor Ochoa were honored at the school board meeting Thursday night for rescuing the Cheney football team from an unsafe bus during the team’s visit to Sunnyside in September.

Newhouse is not a liar

I went to a Clint Didier rally early this month, covering the event as a reporter.

Fall season ends for Sunnyside harriers

Sunnyside High School harriers finished out the season at the District meet yesterday (Thursday) on a wet day.

City manager earns council approval

The Sunnyside City Council has given City Manager Don Day a positive performance evaluation.

Fellow councilmen displeased with Raines’ actions with lawsuit

A local councilman was taken to task last night.

$20 car tab fees a no-go for now

The Sunnyside City Council discussed Monday night whether or not to start the process of forming a Transportation Benefit District.

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Flu a bigger threat to us than Ebola is

Are you scared of Ebola?

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Bookkeeper finds joy in family ties

Family is extremely important to Kerri Greene, who works at Sunnyside’s Tire Factory as a bookkeeper.

Injuries, illness plague Lady Pirates

Down to only six players, the Bickleton volleyball squad still gave its best shot against the host Klickitat Vandals, falling in three sets, 25-17, 25-13, 25-12.

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New cars, employees focus of budget meeting

Two new police cars, a new face at city hall, better trained officers and an upgraded ambulance fleet were part of the 2015 preliminary budget discussed last night (Tuesday) by the Sunnyside City Council.

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Sunnyside budget discussions include vehicle registration fees for local residents

Based on preliminary budget discussions, Sunnyside residents could be paying as much as $20 for each car they own, maybe even more.

Former councilman’s claim against city rejected by judge

Sunnyside business owner Donovan Vlieger was unable to prove in small claims court that the flooding which damaged his home and business on Sept. 5, 2013, was due to negligence by the city.

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Congressional candidates offer up opposing views at forum

The sharp contrast between the two candidates wanting to represent Washington State’s 4th Congressional District was apparent during a forum sponsored by the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce last week.

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Public safety committee schooled on gang-free efforts

Sunnyside’s subcommittee on public safety met at the Sunnyside United-Unidos headquarters next to Pioneer Elementary School on East Lincoln Avenue last Thursday night to learn how the organization and Sunnyside police are fighting the gang problem in local schools.

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Sunnyside United conducting annual community survey

At its monthly meeting yesterday, Thursday, the Sunnyside United-Unidos coalition discussed a variety of matters, including the annual community survey and the organization’s new online presence.