Back to profile

Laura Gjovaag

Stories by Laura

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

Flu a bigger threat to us than Ebola is

Are you scared of Ebola?

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Look to your right: that car goes first

The “four-way stop of doom” at Yakima Valley Highway and 16th Street will be fixed soon, with new signal lights scheduled to be put up soon after the first of November.

Local charter school bid fails on second attempt

Sunnyside school staff oppose proposal at commission meeting

The Sunnyside Charter Academy will not be opening after the Washington State Charter School Commission unanimously denied its application last Thursday during an all-day meeting held at Yakima Valley Community College.

Granger judge censured by judicial commission for DUI

The Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct has censured former Sunnyside prosecutor and Granger Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Hitchcock, who is currently on probation after pleading guilty to DUI.

Some changes in Sunnyside’s 2015 budget

The city of Sunnyside expects to spend a bit less than $23 million overall next year, about $10.2 million in the general fund. The amount is a 14 percent increase from 2014.

Tease photo

Didier attacks Newhouse during meet and greet

ZILLAH – Clint Didier said he’s lived the American dream, but he sees our rights and freedoms being eroded and is worried his children and grandchildren will not have the same opportunities he had.

Mentoring one method Sunnyside schools use to improve teacher quality

When new teachers first start work in the Sunnyside School District, they step into a district with a consistently improving graduation rate and high standards for students.

Tease photo

Changes are needed if solar power is ever going to be widely used here

The promotional materials for the Yakima Valley often say this area gets 300 days of sunshine a year.

Pacific Power asking for 8.5 percent rate increase

If Pacific Power has their way, residents will soon be paying more for electricity in this area.

Monday morning wake-up... gunfire?

This past Monday morning I woke up suddenly at 5:22 a.m. hearing what sounded to me like gunshots.

Tease photo

Mission trip to Haiti reveals more work remains to be done

Pastor Civil Autoaissains of Jacmel, Haiti and his family lived in a pigpen for more than four years after the devastating 2010 earthquake damaged so much of the country. But now he’s in a new home, built by his own efforts and the work of a team from Yakima.

Tease photo

Former councilman files claim against city for flood damage

A freak storm that caused minor flooding in Sunnyside last year has resulted in a $5,000 claim being filed against the city by former city councilman Don Vlieger.

Lady Knights triumph at home against Crusaders

The 1B Lady Knights defeated the 2B Riverside Christian Crusaders last night at home in a non-league match, winning in four sets.

Tease photo

Lady Pirates win battle in Mabton

Although the squad started slow and tired a little at the end, the 1B Lady Pirates varsity had a great night against the 2B Mabton JV squad, winning in three sets.

Deal allows Sunnyside firemen access to fire district’s vehicles

The Sunnyside City Council last night approved an interlocal agreement with Yakima County Fire District #5 to share apparatus use.

Tease photo

Charter school debated in Sunnyside

A crowd of more than 50 people, mostly supportive of the idea of establishing a charter school in Sunnyside, turned out last night for a public forum in Sunnyside.

Feds dole out nearly $300 million to health care providers

Approximately $800,000 earmarked for two Lower Valley medical facilities

Last Friday the United States Department of Health and Human Services announced $295 million in Affordable Care Act funding would be distributed to 1,195 health centers.

Tale of two halves for Lady Grizzlies in 4A league opener

The Lady Grizzlies essentially played two different games against Davis last night, with precision passing and good communication in the first half but miscues and a lack of communication in the second.

Light pollution

On a recent visit to the Goldendale Observatory, I was able to view the Milky Way Galaxy.

Tease photo

Police fleet needs replacing (soon)

Sunnyside Police Chief Al Escalera told members of the Public Safety Subcommittee last night that the city needs to start replacing police cars within two years.

Tease photo

2015 budget outlook very rosy

A slight uptick in revenues coupled with a city manager willing to work with department heads to meet their needs without breaking the bank has city of Sunnyside officials optimistic about the coming year.

Prev