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Laura Gjovaag

Stories by Laura

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Sunnyside’s newest pastor adjusting to small town living

Pastor Jordan Huff first felt the pull toward the ministry when he was in high school.

Grizzlies absorb shut-out against Davis

YAKIMA – The Grizzly tennis squads lost again on the road, this time to the Davis Pirates, with both the boys and girls teams shut-out yesterday, Thursday.

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Harrison robotics team to compete at world championship next week

The next generation of Sunnyside robotics experts, practicing their skills at Harrison Middle School, have earned a trip to the VEX Robotics World Championships next week.

Local state legislators speak to GOP club

“The legislature this year was on time, on budget with no new taxes,” State Sen. Jim Honeyford told the Sunnyside Republican Club last Friday morning at its meeting at Bon Vino’s Bistro and Bakery.

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City clerk is face of Sunnyside

Gina Chavez is often the first person people meet when dealing with the city of Sunnyside.

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Heritage Enactus earns national honors

Students from Heritage University proved their mettle against 225 other college and university teams, earning third-place honors in a national competition two weeks ago in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rohman Street closure proposed

The Sunnyside City Council subcommittee on public works discussed the need to close the intersection of Rohman Street and Scoon Road in north Sunnyside due to dangerous conditions caused by careless drivers.

Marijuana debate continues in council

Although the public hearing on Sunnyside’s plans regarding a marijuana retail store in the city will not be held until the next regular meeting on Monday, April 28, much of the discussion at last night’s council meeting was on the subject.

Grizzlies still looking for first win

EAST WENATCHEE – The Grizzlies had no answer for the Wildcats bats as Sunnyside’s baseball squad fell in both ends of a doubleheader to Eastmont last Friday.

Lady Vikings fall to Ki-Be Bears

MABTON – The Lady Viking fastpitch squad is still looking for its first win of the season after an error-filled doubleheader last Saturday against the Kiona-Benton Bears.

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Sunnyside students go hi-tech at state competition

BELLEVUE – Sunnyside High School’s Cody Pillatos-Stiltner knows how to keep a wooden plane in the air, and he can now claim to be the best in the state at his craft.

Rare outage affects 9-1-1 lines statewide

The 9-1-1 emergency line suffered from outages this morning, Thursday, across Washington state, starting at about 1 a.m. Service was completely restored before 8 a.m., according to officials from Centurylink, the company responsible for maintaining the lines.

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SHS boys victorious

The tennis league opener against Eisenhower was a mixed bag for Sunnyside. The boys squad (1-0, 1-3) managed a solid 6-1 victory, but the girls squad fell 6-1 to the Cadets.

If you are toking you are still breaking the law

Marijuana is still illegal.

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Grizzlies blanked by Eastmont ’Cats

The Sunnyside Grizzlies continue to hit the ball, but unfortunately those hits tend to fly right into opposing players’ gloves for easy outs.

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Street designation ordinance could help city’s funding chances

A “complete streets” ordinance does not have to be complicated to give the city an edge in receiving potential funding for future street projects.

Public safety subcommittee against allowing marijuana sales in Sunnyside

Marijuana was the topic at the Monday night meeting of the Sunnyside subcommittee on public safety.

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Book on young baseball player fun for readers of all ages

The first in a proposed series of six, “Lilly Camara Catches Heat” by Linda Estela, introduces the reader to an energetic 12-year-old baseball nut and her friends, family and teammates.

Crash stats scary enough to keep me off the road

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission recently released its list of statistics from 2012.

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Spring break camp draws in Outlook students

OUTLOOK – School’s not in session, but students in Outlook have been able to spend several days this week at Outlook Elementary having fun while learning along the way.

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Experiment in bio-pesticides earns Casas trip to New York

Juan Casas figured that chili peppers would make the most effective bio-pesticide against tobacco hornworms due to the plant’s capsaicin content, but to his surprise he was completely wrong.

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Credit union’s vision is to plant seeds of opportunity for a better tomorrow

Big things are happening at Lower Valley Credit Union, including a recent award for service to the underserved and certification as a community development financial institution.

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New burger shop owner hopes to whet Mabton appetites

MABTON – Laura Vasquez wants people to just visit and try her food once, because she believes that once they try it, people will be coming back for more.

Public officials now required to undergo public disclosure law training

Starting July 1, public officials in the state of Washington will need to be trained in both the public records and open public meeting acts due to a new law passed by the legislature last month and signed into law by the governor last week.

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Downtown S’side construction work expected to continue until at least October

Businesses to remain open

Downtown merchants would love people in Sunnyside to check out the construction on the downtown revitalization project, and while folks are around to visit their businesses.

Grizzlies have few bright spots against Riverhawks

PASCO – The good news is that the Lady Grizzly team of Mirella Ramirez and Stephanie Herrera won their first doubles match of the season against the Chiawana Riverhawks this past Saturday.

’Hounds notch first win

TOPPENISH – The Greyhounds took drew first blood in a match this past Saturday against the Toppenish Wildcats, scoring 13 minutes into the game on their way to a 2-1 victory in the non-league encounter.

Strike three for Grizzlies

After two one-run losses to open the season a week ago, the Sunnyside High School baseball team has suffered three straight spankings.

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Children who yearn to fly welcome at Young Eagles event

It’s time again for children who want to fly to get their parents to sign them up for a Young Eagles free flight.

Logo a no-go

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs the Sunnyside School Board was not, in terms of selecting the new logo for the local school district.

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Pro-pot testimony dominates planning commission hearing

Nearly 50 people packed a Yakima County Planning Commission meeting last night for a public hearing on the county’s proposed ban on the production, processing and retailing of marijuana in unincorporated areas of the county.

Grizzly errors on diamond prove costly

Errors dropped the Sunnyside Grizzlies into an early hole in Tuesday’s opening game against Riverview, and Sunnyside couldn’t come back, losing 18-11.

Jaguars scratch out wins over Mabton girls

The Lady Vikes dropped both halves of a doubleheader to Tri-City Prep yesterday, losing the first game 13-3 and the nightcap 7-3.

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West Nile virus vaccinations underway in Lower Valley for 2014

GRANDVIEW – Horse owners in the Lower Valley headed to Grandview Country Park this past Saturday to vaccinate their animals against West Nile virus.

More oversight of advisory boards

The Sunnyside City Council amended the rules regarding certain advisory boards and commissions last night to make sure those boards have enough members and the council is regularly updated on the actions of the boards.

Sunnyside’s city finances still a mess

The city of Sunnyside still has a long way to go before it is financially secure with accounting processes that all employees understand and can use, but the current administration is continuing to make progress.

Lady Vikings lose to Burbank in season opening twin bill

Although the scores don’t show it, Mabton Coach Jesus Sustaita said his girls played well in their season opening double-header this past Saturday.

Sunnyside competitive against 4A Bulldogs

The Grizzlies kept their first games of the season tight against the 4A Bulldogs, but weren’t quite able to pull off a win in the doubleheader at Pasco.

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Sunnyside drops 4-3 decisions to Toppenish Wildcats

The Grizzly tennis squads both dropped 4-3 decisions against the Toppenish Wildcats in yesterday’s season opener, but Coach Dave Downing said he’s proud of the effort his players showed.

Sunnyside parks and rec board discusses summer programs

The use of city soccer fields and the opening date of the city pool were the main topics of discussion at yesterday’s Sunnyside board of parks and recreation meeting.

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Port of Sunnyside chemist finds new job a lot less risky

Working for the Port of Sunnyside promises to be a lot less risky than some of the jobs Darren Taitch has done in the past.

Microlending: helping the world $25 at a time

I received an email Monday morning that told me I have about $12 in a special online account.

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Online with Insight

Students have alternatives when it comes to succeeding in school

In many ways, Otilia Cantu is having a typical junior year of high school.

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Prosser man cleaning Lower Valley carpets

Todd Taylor is hoping to get the word out that there is a Chem-Dry franchise serving the Lower Valley again.

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Dire financial straits

State auditors confident current leadership team on the right track to fixing city’s problems

The city of Sunnyside has some serious problems, including a possible case of misappropriated funds from its public works department and five findings of serious issues in its 2012 accountability audit.

Happy Pi Day!

It’s March 14, better known to nerds like me as 3.14, which is the start of the value of the mathematical term π, also known as pi and pronounced the same as “pie.”

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Apples and Oranges

The Sunnyside City Council decided last night to provide $30,000 in funding to Merit Resources Services and FIRME Outreach to provide gang resistance counseling to youth.

New soccer field park in Sunnyside to be named after Christina Knoth

After a letter from Nicholas Steckler was read to the Sunnyside City Council at last night’s meeting, the council unanimously approved naming the newest city park after Christina Knoth.

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Spirit of Sunnyside awards presented

The Spirit of Sunnyside Awards Banquet last Saturday night honored people who have worked hard to make Sunnyside a better place to live and work.

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Teach, Tour & Taste

The fifth annual Teach, Tour & Taste event at Yakima Valley Community College’s teaching winery was a big success despite a rainstorm dampening the area Wednesday night.