Stories for June 2013


Friday, June 28


A story well re-told

Based on real-life adventures of the pioneer Ebey family that helped found settlements on Whidbey Island, Widow Walk by Gerard LaSalle brings this little-known history to life. A work of historical fiction, the book rewards readers who patiently navigate through the scene-setting opening chapters to weave a story of love, death and determination. LaSalle, a Puget Sound resident, has a background that ranges from filmmaker to emergency medicine and puts them all to use well in Widow Walk . Central character Isaac Evers is based on the real-life Isaac Neff Ebey, a 19th century pioneer, lawyer and soldier who helped found white settlements on Whidbey Island. Ebey's Landing near Coupeville is named for him. Yet, Widow Walk is far more than just a re-telling of Ebey's life and work on Whidbey. Seamlessy, LaSalle the story teller puts his filmmaking expertise at work by introducing each of the characters in the story from their respective points of view. Chapters are named for characters discussed or introduced along the way. Chapter 1, for example, is named "Isaac." LaSalle convincingly gets into each one's psyche, informing his readers what makes them tick. Those characters include compelling stories about Evers' wife, Emmy, and his nemesis, Haida native warrior Anah-nawitka. LaSalle doesn't flinch from the realities of mid-19th century life in the wilds of Washington. He details violent, repugnant abuses by both whites and native Americans. He also casts a light on the fact Whidbey Island was home to a prosperous slave trade. While the reader of Widow Walk may be familiar with whites who enslaved African-Americans and other minorities, LaSalle describes how some Native Americans in the Whidbey Island area went on raids to capture whites and other tribal members to sell as slaves. If Isaac Evers dominates the first half of the book, it is his wife Emmy who holds it down the rest of the way. LaSalle depicts her struggles to make her own decisions and own way, and hurdles she faced that were common to women in that day. Widow Walk has graphic violence, so it's not for the little ones, but families and even teachers might enjoy the read to get an even greater appreciation and sense of Washington's history. By the way, the book's inner sleeves provide a nice map of Whidbey Island to get readers situated into the unfolding story. Widow Walk is published by Greenleaf Book Group Press and carries a price tag of $19.95.

June 28, 2013 3:57 p.m. read more..

Crisis advocate training offered at Sunnyside center

Lower Valley Crisis & Support Services (LVCSS) will be offering volunteer core training for those wishing to make a difference in the community, beginning Monday, July 8, at the agency, 600 North Ave., Sunnyside. LVCSS, a non-profit, United Way agency serving Yakima County, provides crisis services and education for community members on issues regarding sexual assault/abuse and domestic violence. The volunteer core training is designed to give advocates the tools they need to work with victims and their families. The training will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. July 8 through July 24. According to center director Leticia Garcia, LVCSS relies on trained community volunteers to help run its 24-hour hotline. She said volunteers respond to calls on the agency's 24-hour crisis hotline to provide emotional support, crisis intervention, referrals and information to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as their non-offending family members. All calls are dispatched to the volunteer's home or cell phone through the agency's answering service to keep their personal contact information confidential. Hospital advocates respond to sexual assault or domestic violence calls from local hospitals and law enforcement agencies. For more information about volunteering call Garcia at 509-837-6689.

June 28, 2013 3:52 p.m. read more..

Summer camps for youngsters being hosted by Grandview church

GRANDVIEW - The Faith Family Fellowship Church in Grandview is hosting two special summer camps for youngsters pre-school age to 11 years old. Youths are invited to become a member of the Watermelon Club on Wednesday, July 10. In addition to children's evangelism fellowship activities the one-day camp will include games and snacks, as well as a seed-spitting contest. The fun is slated to begin that day at 2 p.m. A five-day "Jesus My Savior & Friend" camp is scheduled at the Grandview church July 15-19. The 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. five-day club activities will include Bible lessons, musical activities, crafts and snacks. Key Bank is helping to underwrite the cost of the camp supplies and materials. Pre-registration is not required. Children just have to show up during club and camp hours to participate. There is no cost to attend. Church spokesman Eileen Duncan said parents and guardians are welcome to attend, as well. The Lower Valley Christian & Faith Family Fellowship Church is located at 1915 W. Fifth St. in Grandview.

June 28, 2013 3:51 p.m. read more..

Panthers take two from Sunnyside Christian

FINLEY - The Sunnyside Christian High School senior Babe Ruth baseball squad battled before losing 15-5 and 9-6 to the host Riverview Panthers last night, Thursday. In the opener, Riverview pushed across eight runs in the second inning and never looked back. The Knights made things interesting by pulling within 11-5 after four innings of play, but the Panthers plated four more scores in the home-half of the fifth frame to win the contest. The first game ended after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. Brandon Moore went the distance in pitching game one for Sunnyside Christian, yielding 16 hits but just two walks to Riverview batters. Brant Bosma was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate in the opener with one RBI and two runs scored. Moore had an RBI on one base hit. Game two was a much closer affair, with the Knights actually leading Riverview 5-3 in the fourth inning. But the big inning undid Sunnyside Christian again, as the Panthers rallied for six runs in the bottom of the sixth frame. The sixth proved to be the final inning last night, as Babe Ruth rules limit play to just two hours. Wyatt Hoff took the mound for Sunnyside Christian in the nightcap, getting nicked for eight hits while issuing just three free passes in six innings of work. Bosma continued his hot hitting by going 2-for-3 at the dish in game two, with a double and a run batted in. Drew Puterbaugh was also 2-for-3 at the plate for Sunnyside Christian with an RBI. Sunnyside Christian Coach Tyler Alseth was pleased with his team's effort, especially his pitching crew in surrendering just five walks in 11 innings of combined action. "That's what we're looking for, getting the pitches around the plate," he said. The Knights, winless in their first year ever of summer ball, host Burbank next Tuesday, July 2, at 4 p.m.

June 28, 2013 3:50 p.m. read more..

State lawmakers strike late budget deal

OLYMPIA - Waiting until the final hours of the final working day of the fiscal year, Washington state lawmakers finally struck a deal to avert a shutdown of many government services. As of press time today, Friday, the legislature was expected to hammer out a final budget for the 2013-15 biennium that would meet a court mandate for increased school funding and address an anticipated shortfall of $800 million. Lawmakers are in their second special session and have been putting in late nights to get a budget in place by June 30. Without a new budget to fund state operations for the 2013-2014 fiscal year that starts July 1, many agencies - ranging from parks to social services - would have shut down and put thousands of state employees out of work. "One of the key pressures was that we would not treat our employees and our constituents to a 'shut down of government'," said Sen. Jim Honeyford. In comments to the Daily Sun News this morning, Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) said the sticking point in reaching a compromise was the state Supreme Court's McCleary decision mandating increases in state spending for K-12 education. "The Senate wanted to be sure that we had a real billion dollars to address the McCleary decision and the House wanted to put more funding for larger government and social spending," he said. "The final budget puts more than $1.5 billion in new funding for education and was dependent upon some education reforms." The stalemate between the House, controlled by Democrats, and Senate, a coalition leadership headed by Republicans, found a breakthrough yesterday. Even so, it wasn't until 11:30 p.m. last night before a summary and agency detail of the budget proposal was finally published. In comments yesterday afternoon shortly after a breakthrough was first announced, Rep. David Taylor reflected on the large task still ahead in finalizing a 2013-15 budget by the end of today. "I really can't comment on a budget I haven't seen," he told the Daily Sun News yesterday. "We received a briefing from the 50,000-foot level, but haven't received any specific details as of yet," said Taylor (R-Moxee). Following the budget summary release late last night, details of the compromise have emerged: - State spending will increase to about $33.5 billion for 2013-15, an uptick of just more than $2 billion from the 2011-13 biennium. - Revenues are also expected to increase by about $2 billion, pegged at $33.5 billion for 2013-15. - New revenues proposed for state coffers during 2013-15 include a tax on residential phone services that are already paid by cell phone users and restored estate taxes. - Cost of living allowances for state employees are suspended in the budget compromise now in the works. Gov. Jay Inslee yesterday expressed delight at the budget compromise, which came just days after he ordered pink slips issued to state employees to be laid off effective July 1. "I am happy and I know we are all relieved to report to you that lawmakers have reached agreement on an operating budget for the next biennium," Inslee said. "Government operations will not be interrupted. Washington will be at work Monday."

June 28, 2013 3:40 p.m. read more..

Two suspects face murder charges

YAKIMA - Two suspects in the murder of Alberto Martinez of Sunnyside are being held on $1 million bail in Yakima County Jail. Elliot White and Guillermina Sanchez-Cardenas face charges of second degree murder and will be arraigned on July 8. According to police, Sanchez-Cardenas lured Martinez to a remote part of US Highway 97 near mile post 51 where he was killed by White. Sanchez-Cardenas allegedly told police that White, her boyfriend, was angry that she was communicating with another male. Sanchez-Cardenas said she, White and two other people drove to the location where Martinez was found, but denied any involvement in his death. A law enforcement officer in the area found Sanchez-Cardenas and White walking in the area the evening of the murder and transported them out of the area. White was located and arrested after a vehicle pursuit with law enforcement officers. At the time of his arrest, police say White was wearing shoes belonging to Martinez. Martinez was found without his shoes.

June 28, 2013 3:34 p.m. read more..

Purple Heart veteran chosen as July 4th parade grand marshal

World War II Purple Heart recipient Delvin Householder of Sunnyside has been selected to serve as the Sunnyside Lions Fourth of July Parade grand marshal. Householder will lead the parade set to be held Thursday, July 4 beginning at 11 a.m. Householder's selection as the parade leader was made "...because we want to recognize the sacrifices people like Mr. Householder have made to keep this country free," said Barbara Bloomfield-Lange, chairperson of the Lions Fourth of July Committee. Householder, 88, served in the U.S. Army's 96th Infantry Division during World War II fighting in the Battle of Okinawa. While there he was wounded, which led to him receiving a Purple Heart. He also was the recipient of two Bronze Stars for bravery and courage and a double cluster for his military service. His division was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation in January 2001 for its heroic actions during World War II. Householder, who now splits his time between his home in Sunnyside and in Ellensburg, has three sons, Leroy and Allan, both of Sunnyside, and Douglas of Spokane. His sons, Leroy and Douglas, also served in the military. Next Thursday's parade will begin on Warehouse Avenue, following South Sixth Street to Centennial Square, turning east on East Edison Avenue and proceeding east to South 16th Street, ending at the Sunnyside High School and Harrison Middle School parking lots.

June 28, 2013 3:31 p.m. read more..

Thursday, June 27


Deputies say drug argument led to killing of Prosser man

KENNEWICK - Yesterday morning (Wednesday) one of the suspects in the homicide of Preston Yahne, 22, of Prosser appeared in court in Benton County. Robert McCorkindale, 24, of Grandview has not been charged but the judge determined that the court had probable cause to detain him. In a statement made to detectives, they say McCorkindale admitted to driving to a remote location for a drug deal with Yahne on June 14. During an argument, McCorkindale claimed he stabbed Yahne and ran him over with his own car, twice. McCorkindale said he then put Yahne in the trunk of the car. McCorkindale told detectives that he returned the next day and set the car on fire to dispose of the evidence. The burned out vehicle was discovered June 18, at a gravel pit on Emerald Road near Sunnyside. Also arrested was Laura Bancroft, 19, also of Grandview. She is in the Yakima County jail also awaiting charges.

June 27, 2013 2:57 p.m. read more..

National Night Out support sought here

This August the Sunnyside Police Department will again be hosting National Night Out block parties in Sunnyside. But to make it happen each year, the department needs help from the community. "We depend on the continued support of our local businesses; it is because of the support of our local businesses and service providers that we are able to host the Lower Valley block parties," said Officer Sam Ramos. He says in 2012 that community support aided police in hosting 16 block parties throughout Sunnyside. "In tough economic times like these it is more important that we come together as a community to support each other," Ramos adds. He notes the police department is as committed as ever to coordinating National Night Out block parties. Ramos says the goals for National Night Out are to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. In July a representative from the Sunnyside Police Department will be contacting businesses and service providers about participation in this year's National Night Out. For more information or to make a donation of items for the block parties, call 837-2120.

June 27, 2013 2:56 p.m. read more..

Sunnyside native earns national award

Carolyn Williams, a native of Sunnyside living in Portland, Ore., was recently awarded a Heroes of Infection Prevention Award from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, an international group trying to make the world safer by preventing infection. Williams, who grew up in Sunnyside, always wanted to be a nurse, according to her father, Roger Garrison. She worked hard at the goal, volunteering at Sunnyside Community Hospital and training for all circumstances. One of her goals was to become a Red Cross nurse, and she eventually joined the Red Cross disaster services branch as a volunteer. She has been deployed by the Red Cross to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and fires all over the world and was one of the first responders on 9/11, helping to set up the headquarters for the Red Cross in the disaster zone. She received a commendation from President Bush for her work in New York at Ground Zero. She has also received the Ann Magnussen Award, considered one of the highest awards possible to earn in nursing. This latest award is in response to her efforts to protect first-responders and municipal workers from being infected by or spreading infectious diseases. As part of her work for the city of Portland, she taught 45 infection prevention classes to almost 1,900 city employees in 2012. With knowledge gained from this effort, she spearheaded development of the Guide to Infection Prevention in Emergency Medical Services, a free resource available to emergency medical and public safety personnel nationwide. Her work on this evidence-based guide earned her the award in the field of education.

June 27, 2013 2:54 p.m. read more..

Wednesday, June 26


Grandview teen off to Arizona to hone leadership skills

Alondra Perez is off on a great adventure this week as a member of the Free the Children Take Action Camp. The teenager, who will be a freshman at Grandview High School in August, recently won an-all expense paid, five-day trip to the youth leadership camp after writing an essay about how she planned to spend her summer. Perez, who will be the president of her class, wrote she planned to sell snacks at local weekend soccer matches. "I want to raise money to aid the homeless programs in our community," she said. Perez had targeted SunnyView Park, located midway between Grandview and Sunnyside on Yakima Valley Highway, as the location for her food sales. Her winning essay is now giving her the unique opportunity to attend the summer camp, located near Patagonia, Ariz., explained Kevin Chase, Grandview School District superintendent. He said the "Take Action" camp is a social justice- theme camp designed to give young people leadership skills, confidence and peer support. "We're all very proud of her," said Jack Dalton, her middle school counselor. "I could not be happier for this young lady. She is the nicest and hardest working middle school student I have ever met, and I have been at GMS for 10 years," Dalton said. He described Perez as a hard working student. She carries a 4.0 GPA and hopes one day to be president of the United States, he added. "No one is more deserving of this trip than she is," he said.

June 26, 2013 3:02 p.m. read more..

Two arrested on homicide charges

Two arrests have been made in connection with a suspected homicide discovered Tuesday, June 18, near Sunnyside. The Yakima County coroner has confirmed that remains found in the burned out car located near Sunnyside are those of the owner of the car, Preston Yahne, 22, of Prosser. Detectives arrested a 19-year-old female and a 24-year-old male, both residents of Grandview, yesterday (Tuesday). The arrests were the result of inquiries made to associates of the victim. According to the Yakima County Sheriff's office, information developed in the course of the arrests indicates that the alleged homicide occurred in Benton County rather than in Yakima County. One of the suspects was booked at Benton County jail and the other at Yakima County jail. Benton County authorities will likely take custody of the suspect booked at Yakima, according to deputies.

June 26, 2013 2:58 p.m. read more..

Council candidates have police backgrounds

MABTON - The current vacancy on the Mabton City Council has attracted only two candidates, both of whom were interviewed during Tuesday night's regularly scheduled meeting. However, following a brief executive session, Mayor Vera Zavala announced that no decision was forthcoming regarding the pair's applications. "We have a variety of concerns to address before we can make a final decision," Zavala said. The candidates are Johnnie Gusby of 202 Cedar St. and Richard Pena of 307 Pine St. The council's concerns centered on conflict of interest issues involving the possible appointment of Pena, whose wife Yolanda Pena is a city hall employee. Pena said he didn't feel his wife's employment with the city would be an issue as the Council does not have direct supervision of staff. The council decided to review its policies before making any decision on either candidate. During the interviews of the candidates, Gusby, a Sunnyside police officer, said he hoped to be able to serve his community and ...give my input on helping this town become bigger." Gusby said he felt his law enforcement background would be of value to the council. "I feel I am open and approachable towards all members of the community. "I currently am in law enforcement which gives me knowledge of criminal, civil laws and safety measures, which is needed to run a great community," he wrote in his application for the council seat. Gusby, a former Mabton police reserve officer, has volunteered in the community with National Night Out. He is also a member of the Mabton Booster Club, and is involved with the Mabton AAU program. His family has lived in Mabton for 17 years, where his children also attend school. Pena served as a provincial police officer on the Mabton city force from 1996 to 2000. He is currently retired. He also is a member of Mabton's National Night Out Committee. "I feel I can contribute my law enforcement and management expertise in helping solve (city) issues," he said. The law enforcement background of Pena, who has lived in Mabton since 2004, includes working on the gang task force and domestic task team, and working with the Lower Valley Crisis and Support Services in Sunnyside. Pena was a crisis advocate assisting domestic violence victims through the judicial process. The council expects to make a decision regarding the council seat vacancy at its July 9 meeting. The chosen candidate will complete the remaining three years of position #5, left vacant by Zavala, who was selected to fill the position of mayor until the general election.

June 26, 2013 2:47 p.m. read more..

Great Mabton Dog Round-up underway

MABTON - Mabton dog owners who allow their pets to run loose throughout the community will have to drive to Union Gap to retrieve them come Thursday, according to Mabton City Mayor Vera Zavala. Zavala told the Mabton Council Tuesday night that on Wednesday (today) the Mabton public work department in conjunction with the Yakima County Humane Society will be rounding up all dogs caught running at large. In order for dog owners to reclaim their erstwhile pets, they will have to provide proof that "Fido" has his rabies shot. Owners will also be required to purchase a Mabton city dog license, which will be available from the Humane Society. The cost for the dog license is $15 for spayed or neutered animals and $20 for unaltered animals. In addition there will be a $25 per dog penalty levied to dog owners who've allowed their animals to run wild, said Mabton City Clerk-Treasurer Ret Stewart. Stewart explained that according to the city's agreement with the Humane Society, animals will be kept for three days before being shipped to Seattle to be put up for adoption. Police Chief Rick Gutierrez said the dogs have become a huge danger to the residents of the community. "It's a big problem," he said. "The message is 'keep your dogs secure or lose them'," Gutierrez said. At last report only 50 dog licenses had been purchased in the community where dogs reportedly outnumber the residents.

June 26, 2013 2:47 p.m. read more..

Tuesday, June 25

Sunnyside Community Hospital offering new program for employers

Sunnyside Community Hospital is now offering a new program designed to work hand-in-hand, helping local businesses and industries with their many employee health needs, especially controlling costs associated with workers compensation. The program is called WellnessWorks. There is no cost to enroll in the WellnessWorks program. "WellnessWorks is a win-win. Companies are able to reduce costs and streamline communications, and Sunnyside Community Hospital provides the health care services they need," said Sunnyside Community Hospital CEO John Gallagher. He said, "As a hospital, we are here to serve our community, and that includes helping businesses and industries improve the overall health and wellness of their work force." The WellnessWorks concept has aided businesses and industries for more than 10 years. Gallagher said Sunnyside Community Hospital is proud to have the opportunity to offer this unique program to the community. The hospital has put in place a physician panel consisting of general practitioners and physician specialists who are interested in helping the local work force become healthier and more productive in the workplace. The four basic components that make up the WellnessWorks program are as follows: 1. Injury Prevention Services - Sunnyside Community Hospital WellnessWorks program provides employers with easy access to health care information and services. This includes providing on-site safety talks and health events to scheduling physicals and drug screenings. 2. Injury Intervention Services - The program offers a cost-effective and efficient group of physicians to aid employers to establish return-to-work strategies and help minimize treatment time and lost work days. 3. Service Coordination - Sunnyside Community Hospital WellnessWorks provides a centralized communication hub within the health care system to assist employers with scheduling and tracking cases. The service coordination department acts as a liaison between all parties involved with managing employee health care needs. 4. Wellness Promotion - This aspect of the program helps employers to educate the work force regarding general health policies and plans. A variety of services are available such as health events, health education talks, corporate health club incentives and more. There is no cost associated with enrolling in the WellnessWorks program. A brief enrollment and implementation process is required to ensure that the health care providers are informed and aware of the employers' requirements and protocols for handling health care needs. The corporate health consultant works with employers to customize the program to meet any specific needs. To enroll or request more information about taking advantage of these services, contact Michelle Gonzalez. Sunnyside Community Hospital WellnessWorks corporate health consultant at 888-991-3627.

June 25, 2013 3:06 p.m. read more..

Gina Popovic named YVFW media contact

YAKIMA - Gina Popovic has been named new senior communications manager for Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. Popovic, who started at the agency in May, will serve as the organization's primary media contact. She comes to Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic after spending nine years with Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho. While employed by Planned Parenthood, her primary role was to manage public relations, communications and asset management for the organization, prior to and throughout the merger between the Washington and Idaho groups. Popovic has more than 16 years experience in public relations, communications, relationship building, external affairs, management and leadership.

June 25, 2013 3:03 p.m. read more..

Farm Workers Clinic dental department has new director at helm

TOPPENISH - Stephen Davis, DDS, has been named director of the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Dental Department. Currently the lead dentist at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Toppenish Medical-Dental Clinic, Dr. Davis will assume this new role in addition to his current responsibilities. The Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic offers a dental residency program and recently began a new dental training program in partnership with YV Tech in Yakima. Dr. Davis' position was created to help meet the growing dental services provided by the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, according to agency spokesperson Gina Popovic. In addition, the dental services provided at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic are expanding to better provide patients with dental and medical care under one roof. This concept follows the recent movement to more centralized Patient Centered Health Homes. Dr. Davis has taken a leadership role in helping build that philosophy within the clinics. Dr. Davis began working with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic in 2007. He will be working alongside Mark Koday, DDS, who has been leading the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Dental Department since 2000. Dr. Koday will assume the title of Chief Dental Officer to better align with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic corporate administrative structure. Both dentists will share the administrative management of the dental department.

June 25, 2013 3:01 p.m. read more..

Monday, June 24


New Day dawns in Sunnyside

The first candidate interviewed turned out to be the first choice, as last Saturday the Sunnyside City Council selected Donald Day of New Mexico as the next city manager.

June 24, 2013 2:02 p.m. read more..

Friday, June 21


Thursday, June 20

A joyful noise?

Is there a point when a church's constitutional right to make a joyful noise to the Lord becomes annoying and a nuisance to neighbors?

June 20, 2013 2:17 p.m. read more..

Wednesday, June 19


Tuesday, June 18

Historic warehouse now home to local barber shop

A building interior that was once covered in dust and dirt now sports shiny, clean floors with barber chairs at regular intervals, a foosball table to make the wait go by faster and ample seating for people waiting for either a haircut or a tattoo.

June 18, 2013 2:58 p.m. read more..

Heslop, Ott lead Black Rock Creek to first-place finish

Taking advantage of some home course knowledge, Gary Heslop and Ken Ott led the local Black Rock Creek contingent to a first-place finish at last Thursday's Mid-Columbia Senior Golf Association event. The Thursday, June 13, stop on the senior tour, hosted by Black Rock Creek, was the fifth of 12 events that will be staged this summer. Through the first five stops, the Sunnyside-area Black Rock Creek team has emerged victorious three times. To date, Black Rock Creek sits atop the 2013 senior golf tour standings with 67 team points. The Pendleton Country Club is in second place with 54.5 points, followed by the Columbia Point and Walla Walla Veterans golf course squads with 51.5 and 38 team points, respectively. In capturing first-place honors last Thursday on its home course, which drew a field of 109 players representing 12 different teams, Black Rock Creek got a 4-over-par 76 from Heslop. Teammate Bob Barker added an 83 for the host club. Ott had the low net round for the winners. He posted a handicap-aided 63. Also shooting below their established handicaps were Black Rock Creek's Pete Laverman (net-66), Bud McGuiness (net-69), Eli Gonzales (net-70), Bernie Schutt (net-70) and Randy Boast (net-71) Team scores at each of the senior tour competitions are formulated by adding the two low individual gross rounds to the six low individual net rounds. Black Rock Creek's team total last Thursday was a 568. The Walla Walla Veterans Golf Course team claimed runner-up honors with an aggregate 596. The next stop on the 2013 senior golf tour will be Tuesday, June 25, at Moses Lake Golf Course. Local seniors who want to tee it up that day for the 9 a.m. shotgun start have until Sunday, June 23, to sign up in the Black Rock Creek pro shop.

June 18, 2013 2:46 p.m. read more..

Homeless numbers decline in Yakima County

The results of the homeless count taken this past January are in and the numbers are down throughout Yakima County. A few numbers rose, including the number of children reported homeless. But, most of the numbers declined. Overall, the numbers of people reporting to be homeless this past January totaled 899, down from the 996 figure from 2012. Although most of the county has seen a decline in the homeless numbers, Grandview has a 100 percent increase in the number of individuals reporting they are homeless. There were 20 individuals from Grandview who indicated they were homeless in 2012 and 40 individuals reported they were homeless this year. Sunnyside had a 31.8 percent drop in the number of individuals reported as homeless this year, from 107 in 2012 to 73 homeless individuals this year. There are a number of conditions under which the homeless live, according to the Point in Time report, released by the Homeless Network of Yakima County. The number of individuals finding themselves homeless after being released from jail rose from 77 to 87 from 2012 to 2013. However, those released from other institutions like substance abuse treatment centers, a hospital or other facility has declined. Last year 96 people reported finding themselves homeless after being released from a hospital for medical treatment. This year, that number dropped to 69 people. Yakima County's homeless individuals reported suffering from a physical medical condition more than any other condition in 2013. There are 152 individuals who reported this condition, which is five fewer than last year. However, last year's homeless count resulted in a total of 206 individuals reporting to have a mental health condition. That number declined by 34 percent during 2013. The number of veterans reporting they are homeless increased by just one individual in 2013 from the previous year and eight of them indicated they receive veterans benefits. The inability to pay for housing is the number one reported cause of homelessness in Yakima County. There was a 42.5 percent increase in the number of individuals reporting they could not afford rent or a mortgage, whereas the number of individuals reporting a job loss as the cause for being homeless declined by nearly 28 percent. The Point in Time homeless count also took into account the level of education of those reporting to be homeless. More than 200 of those surveyed indicated they have earned a GED or a high school diploma. There were 90 individuals reporting to have a post high school education. The number of homeless indicating they have not completed high school is 250. However, 335 of the individuals included in the homeless count are 17-years-old or younger. That number increased from 297 children reported homeless last year. The number of adults between the ages of 26 and 35 reporting homelessness in Yakima County was 146, a nearly 9 percent decline. The largest age group to be included in the homeless count included children up to the age of 5-years-old, making up 18 percent of those included in the survey. There were a total of 165 youngsters in that age group who are reportedly homeless. Of the 899 individuals who were surveyed in the homeless count this past January, just more than 200 said they temporarily live with family or friends, more than 260 live in an emergency shelter, just more than 250 live in transitional housing and 135 live in a permanent supportive housing situation. None of the individuals with children included in the survey reported that they were without shelter of any kind. There were 47 unsheltered individuals without children included in the Point in Time homeless count. This is the 10th annual homeless count survey in Yakima County. Project Homeless Connect events are held in Yakima and Sunnyside each year.

June 18, 2013 2:38 p.m. read more..

Weather-related incidents keep police busy

A citizen's report of shots fired near the 800 block of the South Fourth Street last night turned out to be unfounded. The noise was the result of electrical transformers in the area popping due to wet weather conditions, according to Sunnyside police. The transformer noise was not the only weather related incident reported to the Sunnyside police in the past 24 hours. Officers discovered a fallen tree blocking South 16th Street near Ida Belle Street early this morning (Tuesday). Sunnyside city crews were called to remove the weeping willow tree trunk, which was also blocking the sidewalk. Meanwhile large pools of standing rain water are causing drivers concern in several areas around town. Motorists are reminded to drive cautiously through standing water to avoid hydroplaning. According to the National Weather Service, the Lower Valley can expect more rain through Thursday.

June 18, 2013 2:35 p.m. read more..

Monday, June 17

Esperanza Leon new Miss Mabton

MABTON- The cute and the talented, the adorable and the poised all serve to describe the candidates who competed in the 2013-14 Miss Mabton and Little Miss Mabton pageants held this last Friday night.

June 17, 2013 2:03 p.m. read more..

Friday, June 14

Neptune swimmers fall to Toppenish

GRANDVIEW - The home-pool advantage wasn't enough for the Grandview Neptunes swim team last night, Thursday, as the squad fell to visiting Toppenish 510-196. Nathaniel Gutierrez paced the Neptunes by claiming first-place honors in two events. Competing in the boys 12and under age bracket, Gutierrez bested the field in the 40-yard breaststroke with a clocking of 34.51. The 12-year-old swimmer then came back to grab top honors in the 40-yard individual medley event in a time of 2:44.12. Also taking home a top prize for the Neptune boys was Daniel McGhan. Competing in the 10and under age bracket, McGhan topped the podium with a time of 48.63 in the 40-yard breaststroke. In boys 12and under competition, Grandview's Nicolas Cortez bested the field by nearly six seconds in the 40-yard breaststroke with a clocking of 36.36. In the boys 14and under age group, Grandview's Tavian Valenzuela swam to top honors in the 40-yard breaststroke with a time of 28.04. It was Shaun Diener of the Neptunes topping the podium in the boys 8and under 40-yard freestyle. The eight-year-old swimmer bested the field with a clocking of 53.25. Grandview had two other boys grab individual gold last night. Angel Morales swam to a first-place finish for the Neptunes in the boys 12and under 40-yard freestyle with a time of 29.78. Maurice Prieto garnered first-place honors for Grandview in the boys 14and under 40-yard freestyle, crossing the finish line in 21.24. Morales, Gutierrez, Tad Dawson and Joquin Cortez swam to a first-place finish for Grandview in the boys 12and under 40-yard freestyle. The foursome won the event in 2:14.32. The only Grandview girl to top the medal stand was Reagan Colson. Competing in the girls 14and under 40-yard breaststroke, Colson grabbed first-place honors with a clocking of 32.46. For all its efforts, though, Grandview couldn't catch the Tarpons. The Toppenish squad had two swimmers win at least four events in their respective age groups. Alexis Medelez ruled the pool for the Tarpons, winning all five of the individual races in the girls 18and under group. The 17-year-old swimmer won the 40-yard individual medley in 2:06.76, the 40-yard freestyle in 21.97, the 40-yard backstroke in 26.75, the 40-yard breaststroke in 29.53 and the 40-yard butterfly in 23.19. Samuel Olsen also had a nearly perfect day for Toppenish, competing in the boys 10and under age group. The 10-year-old cruised to victory in the 40-yard butterfly with a clocking of 47.68, the 40-yard backstroke in 39.66, the 40-yard freestyle in 32.92 and the 40-yard individual medley in 3:40.53. Last night's loss dropped Grandview to 0-2 on the season, which includes a 534-229 loss to Prosser in the season opener this past Tuesday.

June 14, 2013 3:33 p.m. read more..

Thursday, June 13

Baby back home, but a bit traumatized

MABTON - A three-month old pit bull named Baby is recovering from having her ears incompetently cropped after she wandered from her yard this past Monday. According to owner Angelica Morfin of Mabton, Baby was let out Monday afternoon. When the owners called for her a few minutes later, she didn't respond. After searching the neighborhood, the family asked friends to look out for the animal. On Tuesday a friend showed up at Morfin's workplace and said, "Let's go get your dog." The friend told Morfin that the people who had Baby wouldn't give the dog to him, but he was certain they would give Baby back to Morfin. Her friend took her across town, and she spotted her dog being walked on a chain. "I said, 'Stop! There's Baby!' and got out to confront the guys," she said. "They didn't say anything, just asked for their chain back." When she saw Baby's ears, she was stunned. "I said, 'What did you do to her ears!' but they just stood there," Morfin said. "Her head was still covered in blood. I think they must have done it that morning." Morfin describes herself as a person who didn't care all that much about animals... until Baby came into her life. "I've really bonded with this puppy," she said. "I never thought I would love an animal so much. She's my baby." Morfin called police to report the incident, but was told it is a civil matter. Mabton Police Chief Ricardo Gutierrez explained that, because the dog was loose when she disappeared, they couldn't prove that the dog was stolen. "We have a lot of problems with loose and unlicensed dogs in this town," he said. As for the ear cropping, there is a civil infraction with a fine of $500 for abusing a dog, but they would have to prove who did the deed. Morfin admits that Baby isn't licensed yet, but said they had planned to do the licensing soon. The dog has had all her shots, but she needs more medical attention for her damaged ears. "I was going to ask them what they had used to cut off her ears," she said. "Then I decided I didn't want to know." Mabton is one of the cities in Yakima County that does not have a contract with the Yakima Humane Society. Unlike some branches of the organization, the Yakima Humane Society is not a part of the government and is run entirely on donations and adoption fees, according to Executive Director Wendy St. George. "I don't know what would motivate someone to do something so ghastly to an animal," St. George said. While some breed standards call for cropping of the ears or docking the tail, such work is always done professionally with anesthesia, according to St. George, and most animal lovers don't approve of it in any case. The job done on Baby was shoddy and the dog clearly was traumatized. "She barked all the way home," said Morfin. "Her own mother didn't recognize her when we got her home. She finally ate a little food last night after we cleaned her up, but she's still suffering."

June 13, 2013 1:14 p.m. read more..

Wednesday, June 12


Gardening in dishes gaining in popularity

For anyone who enjoys playing in potting soil, it might seem a bit silly to plant miniature gardens. But for the true gardener, there really is no wrong way to garden, as business partners Julie Spalding of Bickleton and Wendy Clawdus of Pasco have discovered. Whether creating indoor gardens for placement as centerpieces for the coffee table or outside gardens for added color on the family patio, this pair enjoys doing their gardening in a diminutive fashion. The owners of Bella Fleur began their adventure creating fairy and dish gardens by accident. "I have always liked decorating with miniature items," said Spalding. One day she found herself adding the miniatures to her indoor plants as tiny decorations. The result charmed the creative woman so much she started doing more small decorating touches until she shifted her focus to creating actual gardens with fairy-sized yard art. Soon, her best friend and future business partner revealed that she too liked working with miniature decorative pieces. Soon their efforts outgrew their space since each container within reach was transformed into a tiny weed-free garden. Being weed-free is a bonus for the dish style gardens, as is no physical exertion from digging holes in the yard from massive plantings. All of the planning and care for the little gardens can be accomplished while you're sitting down, Clawdus explained. While Bella Fleur's owners don't have a store front yet, they are busy attending vendor and craft shows around the area, promoting the joys of fairy gardening. During the past six months the duo has displayed and sold their gardens at holiday shows, in the Tri-Cities and at benefit events in Sunnyside. With each garden they sell, they include a short care instructions sheet to help new dish gardeners maintain their new gardens. "We hope to be offering classes at some point for the gardening technique," Clawdus said. Yes, the women know their business name is a combination of French and Italian words, meaning simply "pretty flower." And the women's Bella Fleur is all about promoting beauty - just on a very small scale. To learn more about fairy and dish gardening check out Bella Fleur-custom gardens on facebook.

June 12, 2013 2:32 p.m. read more..

Longtime SHS coach hangs up his whistle

Ron Rowe's name is nearly synonymous with Grizzly basketball. However, he won't be standing courtside, shouting instructions to the Sunnyside High School cagers as they compete next season. That's because Rowe has decided to step back and let someone else take the reins. He won't disappear altogether because he will continue to teach history at SHS. As for Rowe's career as head basketball coach, he has been instrumental in shaping young Sunnyside athletes for 11 years overall. He coached for SHS from 1988 to 1993 and in 2007, Rowe began coaching again. During the past six seasons the Grizzlies recorded 50 wins. Rowe has coached 262 games overall at Sunnyside High School. The Grizzlies qualified for the WIAA State playoffs in 1990 and two times the team has qualified for Regionals under Rowe's guidance. "Twenty-one of the 25 years I coached my teams qualified for Districts," said Rowe, noting he coached in Goldendale before coming to Sunnyside High School. "You enjoy the kids, watching them develop and become stronger individuals physically and mentally...and as a team," Rowe said of coaching. He said he enjoyed the competition, as well as the staff and coaches with whom he worked while serving as head basketball coach. Rowe said, "It all comes down to those with whom you work...the kids and the staff." He said he will miss the competition and working with the players. "You learn to become attuned to the kids, seeing them do things that will help them become successful." Rowe said the league in which Sunnyside now plays (the Big Nine) is challenging, but the Grizzlies always knew they had to be prepared to play. "They always come together for a common goal," said Rowe, stating the Sunnyside basketball players knew their responsibilities as a team and as individuals. He said Geoff LaBrant, who has served as an assistant coach for the past four years, is set to take over the head coach position. "He's got a lot of energy and is good at working with a team concept...I think the kids will respond to him well," said Rowe.

June 12, 2013 2:29 p.m. read more..

Sharks open summer swim season with 440-320 win over visiting Tarpons

The Toppenish Tarpons are no slouch, never have been. And as expected, they rolled into Sunnyside last night for the 2013 Mid-Valley Summer Swim League opener and gave the host Sharks a tussle. But as is often the case the home team usually has more swimmers at its disposal, and Sunnyside utilized its deep bench to post a convincing 444-320 victory. The Sharks also had Aydan Harrington on the blocks last night, who, if MVP awards were handed out at each meet, would have collected that honor. Harrington, simply put, dominated the girls 14and under age division. She nailed down wins in all five individual events. Her margins of victory in the four 50-meter races ranged from 2.19 seconds in the freestyle to 6.33 seconds in the butterfly. In the ironman 200-meter individual medley Harrington was heads-and-shoulders above the field, touching the wall 20.19 seconds before the next closest finisher. In one of the more highly anticipated match-ups of the night, in the girls 18and under events, Toppenish's Alexis Medelez and Sunnyside's Brittany Broersma didn't disappoint. The two teens are picked by many as the ones to beat in that age grouping this summer. Medelez emerged victorious in the 50-fly and 200-IM, while Broersma won the 50-breast, back and free races. A relatively new name surfaced for Sunnyside last night, in terms of stepping into the winner's circle. Mighty mite Chamelle Abringe, a girls 8and under swimmer, walked off with top honors in the 50-meter backstroke and freestyle events. She also secured a third-place finish in the 50-fly. Toppenish's standout Tuesday evening proved to be girls 16and under swimmer Katrina Johnson. She won all five individual events in her age bracket, although two of the Sharks gave the Tarpon a run for her money. Katelyn Banks came in just seven-tenths of a second behind Johnson in the 50-fly, and Kalie Bestebreur was only nine, one-hundredths of a second behind Johnson in the 50-breast. The Tarpons, too, received a strong effort from boys 14and under competitor Nate Koerner. He won three of the five individual events for his age grouping. Preventing Koerner from making it a clean sweep was Sunnyside's Adrian Heffron, who nailed down victories in the 50-meter breaststroke and freestyle races. The Sharks also received a three-win performance from boys 12and under swimmer Parker Van de Graaf. He captured top honors in the 50-meter fly and free events, and in the 200-IM. Sunnyside's swim team is scheduled to travel to Othello this coming Thursday. The Sharks will then host the defending league champion Selah Dolphins next Tuesday, June 18. TOPPENISH 320 - SUNNYSIDE 444 200-Meter Medley Relay Girls 10and under 1st-Toppenish 4:09.79 Boys 10and under 1st-Sunnyside 4:04.71 Girls 12and under 1st-Toppenish 3:00.61 Boys 12and under 1st-Toppenish 4:16.05 Girls 14and under 1st-Toppenish 3:01.99 Boys 14and under 1st-Toppenish 2:43.62 Girls 18and under 1st-Sunnyside 2:38.10 Boys 18and under 1st-Toppenish 2:20.56 50-Meter Butterfly Girls 8and under 1st-Natalia Sanchez (T) 1:16.55, 2nd-Tayler Bonzi (S) 1:16.87, 3rd-Chamelle Abringe (S) 1:17.87, 4th-Lexi Dorr (T) 1:38.47 Boys 8and under 1st-Riley Pasicaran (S) 1:17.26, 2nd-Paul Stewart (T) 1:23.28, 3rd-Cody Smeenk (S) 1:26.26, 4th-Kaden Ruggles (T) 1:28.66 Girls 10and under 1st-Ryen Bonzi (S) 51.09, 2nd-Emmalee Nishi (T) 56.89, 3rd-Bianca Aguilar (S) 57.85, 4th-Arianna Sanchez (S) 59.38 Boys 10and under 1st-Jaden Siller (S) 54.32, 2nd-Logan Rodriguez (S) 1:03.96, 3rd-Myles Newhouse (S) 1:04.89, 4th-Samuel Olsen (T) 1:07.17 Girls 12and under 1st-Janealle Sutterlict (T) 42.70, 2nd-Chloe Messmore (S) 44.26, 3rd-Kylah Bunch (S) 45.29, 4th-Janessa Frank (S) 46.09 Boys 12and under 1st-Parker Van de Graaf (S) 44.28, 2nd-Johnny Heffron (S) 50.62, 3rd-Clay Schilperoort (S) 54.85, 4th-Ethan Weaver (S) 58.86 Girls 14and under 1st-Aydan Harrington (S) 36.95, 2nd-Sara Van Corbach (T) 43.28, 3rd-Mildred Lopez (T) 45.03, 4th-Emily Banks (S) 45.99 Boys 14and under 1st-Nate Koerner (T) 35.63, 2nd-Adrian Heffron (S) 38.23, 3rd-Rhyan Gonzales (T) 39.65, 4th-Sam Clark (T) 39.99 Girls 16and under 1st-Katrina Johnson (T) 34.89, 2nd-Katelyn Banks (S) 35.58, 3rd-Lindsay Schilperoort (S) 39.63, 4th-Brenda Garcia (T) 50.20 Boys 16and under 1st-Alex Perez (S) 32.29, 2nd-Jordan Supnet (T) 32.89, 3rd-Joe Clark (T) 33.69, 4th-Alex Davalos (T) 33.88 Girls 18and under 1st-Alexis Medelez (T) 32.15, 2nd-Brittany Broersma (S) 33.58, 3rd-Tara Van Corbach (S) 36.15, 4th-Alexandra Newhouse (S) 38.06 50-Meter Breaststroke Girls 8and under 1st-Natalia Sanchez (T) 1:13.58, 2nd-Tayler Bonzi (S) 1:32.76, 3rd-Lexi Dorr (T) 1:46.64 Boys 8and under 1st-Riley Pasicaran (S) 1:20.47, 2nd-Blake Bazaldua (T) 1:21.28, 3rd-Kaden Ruggles (T) 1:39.71 Girls 10and under 1st-Angelina Norman (T) 1:01.97, 2nd-Abigail Albrecht (S) 1:02.15, 3rd-Emmalee Nishi (T) 1:02.63, 4th-Arianna Sanchez (S) 1:02.65 Boys 10and under 1st-Samuel Olsen (T) 1:07.28, 2nd-Logan Rodriguez (S) 1:08.94, 3rd-Jaden Siller (S) 1:11.33, 4th-Chase Yanez (S) 1:12.47 Girls 12and under 1st-Brielle Newhouse (S) 46.95, 2nd-Janessa Frank (S) 47.69, 3rd-Alexis Gonzales (T) 47.88, 4th-Chloe Messmore (S) 49.17 Boys 12and under 1st-Johnny Heffron (S) 46.47, 2nd-Parker Van de Graaf (S) 49.29, 3rd-Clayton Robert-Hill (S) 59.59, 4th-Alex Bazaldua (T) 1:01.11 Girls 14and under 1st-Aydan Harrington (S) 46.73, 2nd-Leah Sample (S) 49.52, 3rd-Sahara Maltos (T) 50.46, 4th-Emily Banks (S) 51.18 Boys 14and under 1st-Adrian Heffron (S) 41.24, 2nd-Sam Clark (T) 43.61, 3rd-Rhyan Gonzales (T) 48.57, 4th-Jace Ziegler (S) 49.00 Girls 16and under 1st-Katrina Johnson (T) 46.32, 2nd-Kalie Bestebreur (S) 46.41, 3rd-Katelyn Banks (S) 46.59, 4th-Lindsay Schilperoort (S) 49.33 Boys 16and under 1st-Fox Rodriguez (S) 38.18, 2nd-Jordan Supnet (T) 38.53, 3rd-Alex Perez (S) 38.95, 4th-Joe Clark (T) 41.76 Girls 18and under 1st-Brittany Broersma (S) 40.60, 2nd-Alexis Medelez (T) 44.03, 3rd-Alexandra Newhouse (S) 46.46, 4th-Tara Van Corbach (S) 47.30 50-Meter Backstroke Girls 8and under 1st-Chamelle Abringe (S) 1:00.32, 2nd-Tayler Bonzi (S) 1:13.30, 3rd-Lexi Dorr (T) 1:18.60, 4th-Avery Bonzi (S) 1:19.21 Boys 8and under 1st-Kaden Ruggles (T) 1:01.71, 2nd-Riley Pasicaran (S) 1:15.19, 3rd-Blake Bazaldua (T) 1:18.55, 4th-Levi Campos (S) 1:20.98 Girls 10and under 1st-Ryen Bonzi (S) 57.61, 2nd-Eternity Yanez (S) 59.03, 3rd-Amerie Stroh (S) 1:00.31, 4th-Emmalee Nishi (T) 1:01.79 Boys 10and under 1st-Samuel Olsen (T) 55.92, 2nd-Jaxon Smith (T) 58.63, 3rd-Jaden Siller (S) 1:03.29, 4th-Alex Alaniz (S) 1:06.36 Girls 12and under 1st-Janessa Frank (S) 47.08, 2nd-Kylah Bunch (S) 47.09, 3rd-Makayla Koerner (T) 47.87, 4th-Chloe Messmore (S) 48.68 Boys 12and under 1st-Clay Schilperoort (S) 47.63, 2nd-Parker Van de Graaf (S) 49.75, 3rd-Johnny Heffron (S) 1:00.93, 4th-Juan Zuniga (S) 1:05.40' Girls 14and under 1st-Aydan Harrington (S) 41.36, 2nd-Sara Van Corbach (T) 45.29, 3rd-Emily Banks (S) 49.58, 4th-Mildred Lopez (T) 50.05 Boys 14and under 1st-Nate Koerner (T) 38.08, 2nd-Adrian Heffron (S) 41.57, 3rd-Sam Clark (T) 45.17, 4th-Josue Garcia (T) 47.16 Girls 16and under 1st-Katrina Johnson (T) 40.01, 2nd-Kalie Bestebreur (S) 41.54, 3rd-Lindsay Schilperoort (S) 41.78, 4th-Katelyn Banks (S) 43.19 Boys 16and under 1st-Christopher Martin (S) 35.29, 2nd-Alex Davalos (T) 35.59, 3rd-Alex Perez (S) 38.73, 4th-Fox Rodriguez (S) 39.01 Girls 18and under 1st-Brittany Broersma (S) 38.29, 2nd-Alexis Medelez (T) 38.46, 3rd-Alexandra Newhouse (S) 44.59, 4th-Madi Marquez (S) 45.39 50-Meter Freestyle Girls 8and under 1st-Chamelle Abringe (S) 55.51, 2nd-Natalia Sanchez (T) 58.90, 3rd-Avery Bonzi (S) 1:00.23, 4th-Lexi Dorr (T) 1:10.19 Boys 8and under 1st-Kaden Ruggles (T) 55.77, 2nd-Riley Pasicaran (S) 1:03.83, 3rd-Paul Stewart (T) 1:14.23, 4th-Blake Bazaldua (T) 1:15.65 Girls 10and under 1st-Ryen Bonzi (S) 34.13, 2nd-Angelina Norman (T) 45.66, 3rd-Emmalee Nishi (T) 47.00, 4th-McKayla Goudy (T) 50.33 Boys 10and under 1st-Logan Rodriguez (S) 49.16, 2nd-Alex Alaniz (S) 49.17, 3rd-Jaden Siller (S) 49.86, 4th-Myles Newhouse (S) 49.99 Girls 12and under 1st-Janealle Sutterlict (T) 36.34, 2nd-Makilie Hernandez (S) 38.19, 3rd-Emily Broersma (S) 38.38, 4th-Janessa Frank (S) 38.81 Boys 12and under 1st-Parker Van de Graaf (S) 37.27, 2nd-Johnny Heffron (S) 40.67, 3rd-Clay Schilperoort (S) 41.20, 4th-Juan Zuniga (S) 47.83 Girls 14and under 1st-Aydan Harrington (S) 35.08, 2nd-Sara Van Corbach (T) 37.27, 3rd-Emily Banks (S) 38.87, 4th-Mildred Lopez (T) 39.45 Boys 14and under 1st-Adrian Heffron (S) 30.41, 2nd-Nate Koerner (T) 32.25, 3rd-Sam Clark (T) 32.75, 4th-Carlo Rodriguez (S) 36.13 Girls 16and under 1st-Katrina Johnson (T) 32.58, 2nd-Summer Hazzard (S) 34.50, 3rd-Kalie Bestebreur (S) 34.67, 4th-Katelyn Banks (S) 35.02 Boys 16and under 1st-Alex Davalos (T) 28.77, 2nd-Alex Perez 29.04, 3rd-Joe Clark (T) 30.72, 4th-Nate Scheenstra (S) 30.96 Girls 18and under 1st-Brittany Broersma (S) 30.56, 2nd-Alexis Medelez (T) 31.43, 3rd-Tara Van Corbach (S) 34.89, 4th-Alexandra Newhouse (S) 36.55 Boys 18and under 1st-Jared Churchill (S) 34.12 200-Meter Freestyle Relay Girls 10and under 1st-Toppenish 3:40.31 Boys 10and under 1st-Sunnyside 3:45.13 Girls 12and under 1st-Toppenish 2:46.73 Boys 12and under 1st-Sunnyside 3:06.14 Girls 14and under 1st-Sunnyside 2:44.95 Boys 14and under 1st-Toppenish 2:26.20 Girls 18and under 1st-Sunnyside 2:23.51 Boys 18and under 1st-Sunnyside 2:07.66 200-Meter Individual Medley Girls 10and under 1st-Emmalee Nishi (T) 4:39.36, 2nd-Arianna Sanchez (S) 4:59.12, 3rd-Abigail Albrecht (S) 5:03.43 Boys 10and under 1st-Logan Rodriguez (S) 4:55.85, 2nd-Jaxon Smith (T) 4:57.68, 3rd-Samuel Olsen (T) 5:07.63, 4th-Cesar Vargas (S) 5:27.14 Girls 12and under 1st-Janealle Sutterlict (T) 3:36.98, 2nd-Chloe Messmore (S) 3:45.59, 3rd-Brielle Newhouse (S) 3:56.21, 4th-Makayla Koerner (T) 3:57.86 Boys 12and under 1st-Parker Van de Graaf (S) 3:53.72, 2nd-Johnny Heffron (S) 4:11.09, 3rd-Clay Schilperoort (S) 4:15.06, 4th-Alec Bazaldua (T) 4:52.87 Girls 14and under 1st-Aydan Harrington (S) 3:28.28, 2nd-Sara Van Corbach (T) 3:48.47, 3rd-Leah Sample (S) 3:55.61, 4th-Emma Stewart (T) 3:58.46 Boys 14and under 1st-Nate Koerner (T) 3:25.79, 2nd-Sam Clark (T) 3:31.10, 3rd-Adrian Heffron (S) 3:37.11, 4th-Carlo Rodriguez (S) 3:42.81 Girls 16and under 1st-Katrina Johnson (T) 3:13.16 Boys 16and under 1st-Alex Davalos (T) 2:58.27, 2nd-Alex Perez (S) 2:59.61, 3rd-Matthew Marquez (S) 3:17.68, 4th-Jordan Supnet (T) 3:18.29 Girls 18and under 1st-Alexis Medelez (T) 2:59.64, 2nd-Alexandra Newhouse (S) 3:48.70, 3rd-Natalie Clark (T) 4:04.83

June 12, 2013 2:23 p.m. read more..

Grandview wastewater treatment personnel receive international recognition

GRANDVIEW - Grandview's wastewater treatment plant has for the past seven years been recognized by the Washington State Department of Ecology as an outstanding facility. This month the recognition is extended to international proportions via an international trade magazine, Treatment Plant Operator. Last night Grandview City Administrator and Public Works Director Cus Arteaga told the Grandview City Council about the honor of being featured in the magazine. He said, "It's a pretty exciting time...I was excited for our employees." Arteaga said the employees at the wastewater treatment facility work hard to ensure Grandview meets all the permit requirements and to ensure the wastewater processed at the facility is managed properly. The magazine, he said, recognized the efforts as "Food Friendly" in its headline. Arteaga believes that is of great benefit to the community because it means the partnership between the city and its food processing industry is notable. It also means, "...we have another tool for promoting the community," he told the council members. Arteaga is pleased that the magazine chose to highlight Grandview's wastewater treatment facility and its employees, stating the personnel there deserve the recognition. "They allow me to do more because they are doing's a team effort," said Arteaga, stating the staff makes him proud to work for the city of Grandview. He noted the article also highlights Grandview's efforts to preserve the habitat for wildlife living nearby. The magazine article recognizes the fact that treated water is supplied to state wildlife area lagoons. "They deserve this recognition," Arteaga said of those working at the Grandview wastewater treatment plant.

June 12, 2013 2:17 p.m. read more..

New avenue to gain job skills being paved by Sunnyside schools

A vision of helping students obtain skills for a future career is becoming a reality in Sunnyside. Sunnyside High School Career and Technology Director Holly Ohler on Wednesday morning was the featured speaker at Sunnyside's Daybreak Rotary Club meeting. She provided an overview of the programs to be offered at the YV-Tech Skills Center currently under construction. Ohler said nursing, welding and construction are the more popular programs that will be available to Lower Yakima Valley students seeking technical skills. The programs were decided upon based on the certification requirements and partnerships with community colleges in Washington state. Ohler said the skills center was a vision of Sunnyside Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole and that vision dates back to 2006. It was last year that legislative support was garnered by Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside). Ohler said Honeyford's support kick-started the process of obtaining state funding for the construction of the new skills center. She said the Port of Sunnyside has agreed to lease 3.6 acres for the skills center at the cost of $2 annually for 80 years. YV-Tech, said Ohler, is set to open at the beginning of 2014 and will boast state-of-the-art facilities. It will also have top-notch equipment available to students. "Added to the programs will be an office skills class with an emphasis on medical services," she told the Daybreak Rotarians. Currently there are 50 Sunnyside High School students enrolled in programs offered by YV-Tech. Ohler said some of those students take advantage of programs offered at the Yakima branch of the skills center. "The largest impact to us (SHS) will probably be the welding program," Ohler said, stating students at SHS will most likely take advantage of the welding program at YV-Tech because it will be easier to obtain certification. "There is continuity...we have difficulty with that because of our trimester system," she said, noting SHS teacher Tom Dolan may be the instructor of the program at YV-Tech. Ohler continued, stating the new YV-Tech campus is designed with future expansion in mind. She said the programs, too, may change over the years. Which programs will be offered will be dependent upon the demand for technical skills in various industries. "It's flexible for the purpose of meeting the changing needs of the community," said Ohler.

June 12, 2013 2:07 p.m. read more..

Tuesday, June 11


Aiken selected interim provost

MOSCOW, IDAHO - Katherine Aiken has been chosen as the interim provost and executive vice president at the University of Idaho. The daughter of Dorothy Aiken of Sunnyside, she has served as the Dean of College of letters, arts and social sciences since 2006 and has worked at the University of Idaho for 29 years. Aiken is a professor of history and currently serves on the Idaho State Board of Education's Professional Standards Commission and chairs the Idaho Humanities Council. Aiken will serve as interim provost and executive vice president for the university while a search is conducted for the permanent position. As such, she is responsible for oversight of all academic programs and the coordination of the activities of the university's vice presidents. Aiken received a Bachelor's degree in history from the University of Idaho in 1972. She earned her Master's degree in history from the University of Oregon in 1974 and her Doctoral degree from Washington State University in 1980.

June 11, 2013 2:31 p.m. read more..

Mabton school garners grant to reward achievers

MABTON - Celebrating success will be easier at Artz-Fox Elementary School in Mabton following a donation last month from Legends Casino in Toppenish. On May 29, casino representatives awarded a $2,500 check to the school to help it reward student achievers in the accelerated reader program. "I applied for the grant because I believe reading is a key component to success in school, college, work and life," said Angelica Reyna, an ELL teacher at the school. "I want students to be exposed to this way of thinking starting at least at the elementary level." Reyna says the money will help the school offer incentives and rewards for achievement in the program, such as a banquet for students and their families or a trip to the movies. "This year we started a store to reward students for reading," Reyna says. "Every month they were paid and had an opportunity to spend their money or save it to buy more expensive prizes." She said some of the prizes were donated by teachers, friends from WSU-Pullman and UW in Seattle. "I had a special breakfast with the superintendent and the principal for students with 50+ accelerated reader points," Reyna said. "The breakfast was so good that their reading doubled for some students in less than a month." She says the focus all along has been to make sure students remember, "The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the smarter you are." The repetition/reward mix is working, as this past school year Artz-Fox accelerated reader students accumulated 8,177 points, more than double the 2011-12 school year's total. Looking ahead to the 2013-14 year, Reyna says the grant will help continue student progress. "I know it is expensive to reward positive behavior, but it is well worth it and this grant will definitely help!"

June 11, 2013 2:28 p.m. read more..

Casino grants $8,000 to schools

GRANDVIEW - Thanks to the grant writing efforts of five Grandview School District educators, Legends Casino of Toppenish has awarded the school district a total of $8,000. The Grandview School Board learned this past Monday night that five teachers representing Harriet Thompson Elementary School, McClure Elementary School, Smith Elementary School and Grandview Middle School had written grant applications seeking additional educational materials for their classrooms. The $8,000 will be used to purchase books, reading supplies, iPads and iPad supplies for the special education program, plus cameras and video equipment for a middle school video club daily news program.

June 11, 2013 2:23 p.m. read more..

Cardoza cashes twice at Alder Creek rodeo

BICKLETON - The lone cowboy to cash in more than one event at the 103rd annual Alder Creek Pioneer Picnic & Rodeo this past weekend proved to be Russell Cardoza of Terrebonne, Ore.

June 11, 2013 2:20 p.m. read more..

Monday, June 10


A class act

Expectations. They were everywhere Friday night and never higher than for the Sunnyside High School graduating class of 2013 - the biggest and most academically accomplished class in school history.

June 10, 2013 11:41 a.m. read more..

SRO puts teens in the driver’s seat

As if life isn’t busy enough for Sunnyside Police Officer Sam Ramos, besides his work as a school resource officer he also helps teach classes at Nuestra Casa and this year began offering driving instruction at Integrity Driving School in Sunnyside.

June 10, 2013 9:15 a.m. read more..

Friday, June 7


Thursday, June 6


Wednesday, June 5

Congratulations, graduates

Right now across Central Washington, caps and gowns are being handed out, well wishes prepared and parties are being planned, as students get ready for graduation.

June 5, 2013 11:21 a.m. read more..

Sunny options ahead

It might sound something like the Monkees’ hit, but a Sunshine Days Sunday might be the way to go for the festival’s future.

June 5, 2013 11:17 a.m. read more..

Amos new hospital auxiliary president

Debbie Amos was installed as the incoming president of the Sunnyside Community Hospital Auxiliary during ceremonies held last Thursday at Conquistador in Sunnyside.

June 5, 2013 11:01 a.m. read more..

Tuesday, June 4


Sunnyside’s newest shop features candy coated apples

The most annoying part of eating a caramel apple can be figuring out how to chomp on the sticky sweet without getting hands or face gooey. Ana Garza has a solution for the problem: she’ll pre-cut the apple for you and provide toothpicks to spear the pieces.

June 4, 2013 9:25 a.m. read more..

Changes afoot in Sunnyside schools

Sunnyside High School has received a lot of attention for its efforts to improve its graduation rate, but the effort isn’t confined to just one school.

June 4, 2013 9:01 a.m. read more..

Monday, June 3


Mabton High graduates 33 seniors

A noisy crowd greeted the 33 members of the Mabton High School Class of 2013 as they entered Mel Todd Gymnasium this past Friday night to celebrate graduation.

June 3, 2013 2:53 p.m. read more..

Sunnyside Christian High grads learning to fly

It may have been the school’s smallest group of graduates since 1987, but the 10-member Sunnyside Christian High School class of 2013 made a big impression during a commencement ceremony held last Friday at the Nazarene church in Grandview.

June 3, 2013 2:44 p.m. read more..