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John Fannin

Stories by John

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Grandview Port garners aid for business growth

Port of Grandview officials batted two-for-two last week in gaining a nod to fund projects through Yakima County’s Supporting Investments in Economic Development (SIED) program.

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Goin’ old school

Local team runner-up at slo-pitch tournament

For one day, a Lower Valley team of AARP qualifiers turned back the clock and qualified for the championship game Sunday at the Old School Senior Softball Tournament at Sunnyview Park.

Failing schools letters will be sent to local parents

The state of Washington’s unsuccessful federal appeal means most Lower Valley schools will send letters to parents in the next few days announcing that the schools are failing to meet adequate yearly progress.

F as in farewell

Nearly every day I proof-read and edit at least one obituary for the Daily Sun News.

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Momentum building for local fastpitch program

Efforts are underway in the Lower Valley to revive a summer fastpitch softball program on hiatus for the past few years.

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Lower Yakima Valley dairies moving forward on converting manure into renewable natural gas

Turning lemons into lemonade. That’s the essence of a program in the Outlook area pegged to turn cow manure into renewable natural gas.

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Sunnyside instructor ensures a good hair day ..... every day

Kristin Chester’s students are constant cut-ups.

My choice for sheriff

My name is John Fannin and I approve this column. With that said, here’s my take on the Yakima County sheriff’s primary race.

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Mabton program picking up STEAM

MABTON – You can learn a lot from pasta, marshmallows and pipe cleaners.

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2013-14 Miss Sunnyside Court begins farewell tour

From rubbing shoulders with community leaders to entertaining a class of pre-schoolers, the 2013-14 Miss Sunnyside Court has done it all.

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Sunnyside clerk points people where they need to go

Inez Mejia’s customers are driven.

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Last few days for Rohman Street

Within two weeks barricades and orange signs will announce the permanent closure of Rohman Street in Sunnyside.

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S’side High senior presents project at international GENIUS Olympiad

Lavender, dill, peppermint and chili peppers were part of a winning recipe for Sunnyside High senior Juan Casas.

Grizzlies earn win at E. Valley tournament

In its next-to-last game of the summer, the Sunnyside Grizzly 17U baseball team held on for a 7-5 victory over host East Valley last Saturday.

Gunnin’ for office

The Fourth District Congressional race has more guns than a Vegas body-building show.

Pay hike for mayor under consideration

“We’re the only city in the state of Washington that doesn’t have a public works director or city administrator,” Mabton Mayor Mario Martinez told the city council last night.

High demand in Prosser

Altitude draws a large crowd on opening day of recreational pot sales

PROSSER – For a day, anyway, Altitude has cornered the market on retail marijuana sales in the Yakima Valley.

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Port commission convenes meeting at construction site

A daily convoy of 110 to 130 truckloads of rocks and dirt to build the lagoon for the Port of Sunnyside’s new anaerobic digester is coming to a close.

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Sunnyside Port District lists nearly 500 acres for sale

Padelford, wetlands properties no longer needed

The Port of Sunnyside is in the real estate market, as last Friday commissioners agreed to put up for sale nearly 500 acres it owns in the Sunnyside area.

Grizzlies notch one victory at 4th of July Spokane tourney

Martin Gonzalez twirled a three-hitter to lead the Sunnyside Grizzly 17U summer baseball team to a 3-2 victory over Great Falls, Mont. during the 33rd annual Spokane Wood Bat Classic.

No charges filed against Fourth Congressional District candidate

Two charges Ephrata police requested against Fourth District Congressional candidate Gavin Seim will not be pursued.

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Grandview schools reach settlement on teacher contract

Rather than let a high school teacher go as originally planned, the Grandview School District will allow the teacher to stay on board for one more year as a substitute.

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Prosser firm first in Yakima Valley to offer recreational pot

Retail marijuana sales slated to get underway July 8

PROSSER – Indica, Sativa, bud tender, cannabis coach.

More deputies, less bureaucracy, pledge county sheriff candidates

A ratio of nearly one administrator to every three deputies in the Yakima County Sheriff’s office has members of the Sunnyside Republican Club concerned.

Another Stoner

Got a call this week from Jerry Dixon of Prosser in response to my column last Friday about a journalism mentor of mine, Jack Stoner, who passed away recently.

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Grizzlies earn second win of summer hardball season

Damon Hurst drove in six runs yesterday to help the Sunnyside Grizzly 17U baseball team to a doubleheader split against Gonzaga Prep.

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Mabton full STEAM ahead for youth programs

MABTON – Starting next Tuesday, July 1, Mabton youth will enjoy some STEAM in their summer with a new program set to kick off.

Sunnyside High nine gives Blues competitive game

Making his first start for the Grizzlies’ 17U summer baseball team, freshman Alexis Amaro pitched three perfect innings in a close 5-4 loss in the doubleheader opener at Yakima yesterday.

Local group tries again for charter school

Backers of the proposed Sunnyside Charter Academy are hoping the second time is the charm, as the group earlier this month filed a notice of intent to apply with the Washington State Charter School Commission.

Grizzlies compete at Selah tourney

...with spring in their steps

SELAH – Fielding a youth movement of primarily freshmen, sophomores and even a seventh grader, the Sunnyside Grizzly 17U summer baseball team is playing with spring in mind.

Proud to be a Stoner

High school, college, taking on new responsibilities; those are times when you expect or at least hope to find a mentor.

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Sunnyside mulls organizing a local co-ed softball league

A park and recreation program dormant in Sunnyside for several years may be getting a new start.

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Nitrate testing, drinking water help available

Dairy settlement reached

A settlement reached with a Sunnyside area dairy in February of this year will pay for testing of groundwater for nitrate contamination and assist property owners with installing reverse osmosis systems for drinking water.

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SHS grad helping run family business

Samantha Lopez graduated from Sunnyside High School just a few days ago, but she is still learning this summer.

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Port OK’s city groundwater tests

The city of Sunnyside is expanding its research on groundwater contamination at the airport.

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Bonding, standards key to reducing childhood risks...says workshop speaker

“This is not rocket science, it’s a whole lot harder!” With that, Spokane educator Marcia Via launched a presentation in Sunnyside yesterday focused on risk factors facing youth.

Speaker shares peace found in God

Life lessons from a love of animals and God’s love for her were at the heart of Roberta Morin’s message this past Tuesday to the Lower Valley Christian Women’s Connection.

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Church opens doors on new book house

“A library has to grow and change with the times…it’s not just books on a shelf,” retired librarian Nan Ide says of the inspiration for a new book house, or outdoor library, erected by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Sunnyside.

Chicken scratch

I want to grow marijuana in my back yard. It’s legal in this state, and since I want to grow it everyone should be able to do it.

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Futbol the Pele way

Soccer, futbol as it’s known to the rest of the world, takes center stage for the next few weeks with the latest installment of the quadrennial World Cup.

Mabton launching summer programs for youngsters

In response to concerns by parents in the community there is a lack of things for their children to do, the Mabton City Council last night agreed to fund a park and recreation program this summer.

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‘Heart to heart’ talk sends SCHS grads out into the world

GRANDVIEW – Turning the podium so it faced the Sunnyside Christian High School class of 2014 instead of the audience, Dana Clark had what she called “…one last heart to heart between my kids and me.”

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Attitude of gratitude for Bickleton High grads

BICKLETON – One theme consistently came through last Saturday during commencement exercises for Bickleton High School’s three graduates.

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Grizzlies earn first win of summer

Tim Martinez and Erick Heisey combined to hold the Yakima Jr. Beetles scoreless for five innings to lead the Grizzly 17U baseball team to its first victory of the summer.

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Too much of a good thing

Mild spring, early crop push down asparagus prices

“It’s been a tough year…the toughest we’ve had in a good long while,” is how Sharon Heer describes the 2014 asparagus season.

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Grads urged to keep the faith

“I just love having church at school!” Sunnyside High School teacher Nick Paulakis exulted during his charge to the class of 2014 during a baccalaureate service last night.

Sunnyside makes Top-25 ‘safe list’

Sunnyside is safer than Ellensburg, Port Angeles and Edmonds and nearly 50 other Washington cities with a population of more than 10,000.

Learning to fly

This is my 14th year, while working for newspapers, to provide coverage of high school graduations.

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Mabton residents weather road woes

MABTON – Not only have state officials closed the SR 241 bridge just outside of town to rigs weighing more than three tons, the road (also known as the Sunnyside-Mabton Highway) is also undergoing resurfacing, as is the roadway near town at SR 22.

SVID approves increase in water rights contracts

SVID’s sale of irrigation water rights to property owners has operated under essentially the same policy for nearly 100 years.