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L&I adopts 3.7% workers comp rate increase for 2005

The Department of Labor & Industries this past Tuesday finalized an average 3.7 percent rate increase for workers compensation insurance in 2005.

The increase takes effect Jan. 1 and will raise an additional $52 million to cover cost-of-living increases and rising health care costs.

G’view teen’s car shears power pole

Thanksgiving Day 2004 will be memorable for one Grandview teen.

Yesterday, 18-year-old Abigail Alvarez of Grandview sustained cuts to her face after her 2004 Plymouth Neon struck a power pole in the 400 block of Maple Grove Road, near Sunnyside.

According to Yakima County Sheriff's deputies, Alvarez was southbound on Maple Grove Road at about 10:20 p.m. She told deputies she swerved to avoid hitting a cat. Alvarez's car veered off the roadway and struck a power pole. Deputies said the force of the impact broke the power pole off approximately 10 feet from the ground. No power lines fell to the ground, though.

Alvarez walked to a nearby house for assistance and was transported by private party to Sunnyside Community Hospital. Deputies said Alvarez was wearing a safety restraint, and deputies said that alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

New inn to host after-hours event

The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce's next business after-hours event will be held at the new Best Western GrapeVine Inn, 1849 Quail Lane. Tom Denlea, manager of the inn, is inviting all Chamber members to attend the Monday, Dec. 6, event.

An open house ceremony is scheduled that afternoon at 4:30 p.m., with the after-hours social to begin half an hour later. Denlea and his staff will conduct guided tours of the facility, and he will explain about his plans to serve tourists.

Honeyford named Farm Bureau prez

The Yakima County Farm Bureau, at its annual meeting recently, elected Jerri Honeyford of Sunnyside as its new president.

Others named as Yakima County Farm Bureau officers include Betty Jo Murray as vice president, Gail Thornton as vice president, Gene Jenkins as vice president, and board members Mark Barrett, Heinz Humann, Carol Newhouse, Sue Olson and David Taylor.

Seniors, parents urged to attend Dec. 1 meeting

MABTON - A senior/parents night will be held at Mabton Jr./Sr. High School Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m.

Mabton seniors and their parents will be provided information on senior portfolio requirements, graduation participation and college applications and financial aid. Resource people and translators will be available.

Hastings lands financial aid for asparagus growers

WASHINGTON D.C. - A quarter of a million dollars sought by Congressman Doc Hastings to help Washington state asparagus growers has been included in a final spending bill that has been approved by Congress.

Hastings (R-Pasco) said he has been working to secure the funds because "...our asparagus growers are working very hard to meet the challenges presented by increased duty-free imports and they deserve support." He explained that American asparagus growers compete at a disadvantage in the domestic market because of increased asparagus imports from Peru.

He said the $250,000 will be used to reduce manual harvesting costs through the development of mechanical harvesting technology.

The 2005 final spending bill has already been approved by both the House and Senate. It needs only be signed by President George W. Bush.

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