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Laura Gjovaag

Stories by Laura

City council debates school district’s share of school resource officer costs

It took quite a bit of discussion this past Monday evening before the Sunnyside City Council came to an agreement on a contract it was willing to enter into with the Sunnyside School District. Specifically, the agreement is a continuation of the policy of the city providing the schools with on-site police officers.

Former Monson feedlot site on the market

The old Monson feedlot site will soon be listed for sale by Almon Commercial Real Estate.

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Other projects on drawing board following downtown revitalization work

Sunnyside’s downtown revitalization project is complete except for the last few pieces of paperwork, but city staff is still working on other projects.

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Renovations planned at city hall

A small but significant renovation will be completed in the next few months at Sunnyside’s city hall.

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Cutting cows enjoyable hobby for local horseman

It’s been a long road for Ben Sartin from his start with trail riding horses to breeding and competing with cutting horses.

Not everyone needs a college degree

John W. Gardner, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1965 to 1968, is quoted as saying:

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Congressman lends ear to ag teachers

A shortage of ag teachers and constant threats to funding for vocational training were topics of discussion when U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse visited a class of agriculture educators at Prosser High School yesterday morning.

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Bicycle safety focus of rodeo

Sunnyside’s Holy Trinity Church held a bicycle rodeo this past weekend, free to all children who brought a bike to participate.

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Alpacas center stage at fiber fest

A dramatic moment for the seniors visiting Sage Bluff Alpacas in Prosser this past Saturday came when a herd of young animals raced into the paddock in front of them.

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Changes ahead in Mabton due to ag teacher shortage

A shortage of agriculture teachers has led to a shifting of responsibilities at Mabton High School for the coming school year.

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Town hall meeting, gang problem discussed by Sunnyside United coalition

Members of Sunnyside United are looking toward the future and already planning a town hall meeting to be held Thursday, Sept. 17, in Sunnyside.

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Good leadership improves profits, says HR expert

Companies often throw away 20 percent of their potential profits due to poor leadership, according to Ermelindo Escobedo, a human resources specialist who spoke at Sunnyside’s Daybreak Rotary Club meeting last Wednesday morning.

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Irrigation ditch project garners $850,000 grant

The project to cover the open irrigation ditch along 16th Street between Edison Avenue and Yakima Valley Highway passed another hurdle this week.

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Roza to increase water flow next week

Roza customers will be getting slightly more water slightly sooner than originally planned.

Don’t leave animals in cars on hot days

I don’t really need to warn people about leaving pets in cars on these very warm days, do I?

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New Grandview band teacher hopes to inspire achievement in music

GRANDVIEW – Adam Harris hopes to jazz up Grandview High School when he starts as band teacher at the school this fall.

My favorite Martian

There’s a Martian working for Yakima County, and what he does is really useful.

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Daley out as S’side AD

Bill Daley, who has been a fixture at Sunnyside High School for more than two decades, will be resigning from his position as athletic director at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

Sunnyside School Board makes short work of agenda

The Sunnyside School Board quickly worked its way through a short agenda Thursday night, approving several routine plans and schedules, and having a short discussion on the district’s achievement plans.

Routine business matters handled by Sunnyside City Council

The Sunnyside City Council zipped through its business meeting this past Monday night, passing three resolutions and approving a plan for public participation.

Sunnyside has its wild places

I grew up across the street from a horse pasture.

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City council favorable to idea of outdoor cafe seating

The Sunnyside City Council held two first readings of new ordinances Monday night, including one that would allow downtown businesses to offer outside seating.

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Bank of America closing Lower Valley financial centers

Bank of America is closing its Sunnyside and Grandview branches in the Lower Valley, although both cities will continue to have automatic teller machines available for banking needs.

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Parks and rec report delivered to Sunnyside Daybreak Rotarians

Sunnyside’s Daybreak Rotary Club is considering what it can do to improve Sunnyside’s parks after a short presentation by Megan Razey this past Wednesday morning about the state of the city’s parks and recreation programs.

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Trees on school property deemed dangerous, being removed

A number of large trees on the grounds of the Sunnyside School District’s administration building at the corner of South Sixth Street and East Lincoln Avenue are being removed because they are dying or diseased and pose a direct threat to the community.

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Groundwater advisory group continues to have issues

The Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee last night managed to continue its work toward reducing nitrate concentration in groundwater despite a contentious start, a competing meeting and a procedural argument that revealed deep disagreements in how the group should be operating.

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Farmers not the only ones affected by drought

Short water supply impacts local cemetery

It’s difficult to keep a park-like setting green when there is not enough water to go around.

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World is more complicated than we usually think it is

The best laid plans often go wrong, because the world isn’t as predictable as we’d like to think.

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Science on the go

Science doesn’t require a lab coat, a crazy hairdo or the constant wearing of goggles.

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Dental hygienist loves Eastern Washington...except for the tumbleweeds

Moving to Sunnyside was a big change for Brenda Crawford, a dental hygienist with lots of experience.

Mabton High’s AP statistics students recommend regulating salaries of superintendents in all state schools

MABTON – Students in a Mabton High School AP statistics class used data analysis to determine that school superintendent salaries in the state should be regulated like teacher salaries to help fix the state’s budget crisis.

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‘Heavy hitter’ loves his job

Mariano Morales loves what he does.

Granny Who... I’ll miss her

My husband’s grandmother, Helen Gjovaag, passed away this past Sunday afternoon.

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Annexation proceeds with one minor bump

The proposed annexation by the city of Sunnyside of several properties along Emerald and Wells roads is moving forward without a property owned by Roseland LLC.

Pot shop shuttered by city of Sunnyside

The city of Sunnyside closed down Dave’s Place yesterday morning

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Sunnyside native raising money for independent film

Sunnyside native Octavio Mora has a dream, and he’s currently trying to raise enough money to make it happen.

Sunnyside School District officials fix mistakes discovered during audit

An audit of the Sunnyside School District’s finances for the 2013-14 school year turned up some minor mistakes, along with an issue with the district’s bidding process for fruits and produce.

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Sunnyside Christian graduating 21 seniors tomorrow

The 21 graduates from Sunnyside Christian High School this year will be represented by four co-valedictorians.

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Anti-bullying efforts focus of grassroots arts organization

An organization whose goal is to empower Yakima Valley communities through arts and entertainment is focusing on an anti-bullying campaign for 2015.

Let’s start small with local recycling effort

Recycling didn’t happen in Seattle overnight.

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New Sunnyside park utilizing historic Yellowstone Trail in the works

City officials, once reluctant, now seem poised to preserve a section of the historic Yellowstone Trail.

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Recycling eyesore caused by irresponsible citizens

The recycling bins at the Sunnyside Community Center consistently are overfilled, with items spilling out into the parking lot.

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Handbook for female farmers good for anyone who wants to live on a farm

At first glance, a handbook on farming may seem useless for an area with so many experienced farmers, but a flip through “Woman-Powered Farm” reveals a manual that any farmer might find useful.

Reporters have opinions, too

When I entered Western Washington University many years ago to earn my college degree, I started out in the journalism department.

S’side City Council gives OK for piping, airport runway, sidewalk, city hall upgrades

The Sunnyside City Council approved a number of grant applications and task orders at last night’s regular meeting, including holding a public hearing for a community development block grant to replace water mains along 11th Street and Kearney Avenue.

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Inaugural ‘Fallen Heroes 5K Run’ given approval by Sunnyside officials

Representatives of American Legion Post 73 and the Sunnyside Events Committee were on hand at last night’s Sunnyside City Council meeting to promote the Fallen Heroes 5K Run, a new event planned for Sunnyside’s Fourth of July celebration.

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New office manager happy to be part of port operations

She’s only been working at the Port of Sunnyside for about a month, but Nikki Jech says she already loves her new job as the port’s office manager.

Roza irrigation shut-off extended to June 1

Water in the Roza Irrigation District, which was shut off May 11, will continue to be shut off until at least Monday, June 1.

Weather plays role at District meet for Sunnyside girls 4x200 relay squad

If the Sunnyside girls 4x200 relay team doesn’t qualify for the 4A State track and field meet tomorrow, the weather might legitimately get some of the blame.

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Chamber of commerce’s executive director moves on

In a bid to keep the groups working to improve Sunnyside on the same page