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Laura Gjovaag

Stories by Laura

Mabton council approves engineering work

Gray and Osborne Engineering will design and provide oversight for the city’s “Safe Routes to Schools” grant capital improvement project.

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Brothers to lead lighted parade

The grand marshals of this year’s Lighted Farm Implement Parade are brothers who spent nearly their entire lives in the community, running a business together and serving their city.

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City clerk looking for new challenge

A five-year goal for the city to have the best finance department in the county is prompting the city clerk to change jobs at city hall.

New coordinator seeks input on programs

Jeffries hits ground running

Do you run a youth program in the city? Is there a sport or activity you’d like to see the city pursue or develop further?

Grandview schools name suspended aide

A teacher’s aide at Harriet Thompson Elementary School, suspended after using tape to “secure” two pre-school students, has been identified by district officials.

Sunnyside chamber website up and running

In response to multiple requests from its members, the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce has a new website.

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Hanford clean-up: long, expensive job

The clean-up of Hanford has accomplished a lot since it was started in the 1990s, but the entire project may take more than 70 years and $112 billion to complete.

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Museum visits Chief Kamiakin

The lunch­room at Chief Kamiakin Elementary School was a mini-museum last night, filled with fossils, masks, dolls, bones and a variety of activities for children of all ages to explore.

Organization fights for science in state irrigation usage

Private sector funding is one way the state can improve its irrigation infrastructure, according to Darryll Olsen of the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association.

State water laws encourage industry

Washington state law on water rights is focused on using water to improve the economy, according to Peter Mohr, an attorney at Jordan Ramis PC.

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Scouts summit Mount St. Helens

A group of 10 people from Sunnyside, six of them local Boy Scouts between the ages of 12 and 17, hiked the Monitor Ridge Trail to the summit of Mount St. Helens last Friday, Nov. 6.

Bumping Lake incident illustrates need for water safety

Although water safety is usually perceived as a summertime issue, there are water perils in this area later in the year as well.

Town hall helps state explain education standards, testing

Parents across the state are concerned about Common Core standards and the levels of testing their children are facing in school.

New officer dedicated to serving Mabton

Officer Stephanie Scheurer is devoted to keeping this city safe.

Para-pro remains suspended with no pay after tape incident

A para-professional employed by the Grandview School District for 14 years is still suspended without pay after an incident involving two four-year-old children in mid-October.

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Veteran wishes he had spent more time in the military

Bob Kelly doesn’t make a big deal out of his military service, but will talk about it if you ask.

Teacher’s aide suspended due to ‘restraint’ issues

Yesterday, two mothers learned details of why a Harriet Thompson Elementary School para-professional was suspended after an incident involving their children in mid-October.

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Mabton council handles routine business

The City Council approved several pieces of legislation at its Tuesday night meeting, including approving a collective bargaining agreement with its staff and adjusting staff members allowed to write checks for the city.

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Traffic signal installation will disrupt major intersection

The replacement of the traffic signal at the intersection of 16th Street and Lincoln Avenue was approved by the City Council Monday night.

No public comment on $25 million budget

A public hearing was conducted on the city’s preliminary budget Monday night, but no member of the public had any comment.

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Cougars deny Pirates state berth

The Bickleton Pirates lost a heart-breaker of a match Saturday night to dash their hopes of going to the state 1B volleyball tournament.

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Bickleton falls to Lyle-Wishram

The Bickleton Pirates left everything on the court, but the back-to-back matches against champions Sunnyside Christian and always tough Lyle-Wishram were too much for the home team, who will not be headed to the state tournament.

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Sunnyside Christian crowned District 5 champs

Knights defeat Bickleton in four sets

The Sunnyside Christian Knights volleyball team won the District 5 championship by defeating Bickleton in four hard-fought sets.

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Sunnyside Christian, Bickleton to play for District 5 championship

Both teams win openers

Both Sunnyside Christian and Bickleton won their opening matches at the District 5 playoffs this morning in Bickleton and will play for the championship title.

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Sunnyview Park to benefit from Grizzlies’ need for fields

The softball fields at Sunnyview Park will have a new look this coming spring thanks to the Sunnyside High School team, which will play there for a single season.

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Forum informative, sparsely attended

The turnout to a public forum hosted by the school district and the city was not as large as officials had hoped, but citizens who attended were able to fill out surveys and talk with city and school staff about their own priorities for projects in the city.

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Volleyball 1B playoffs this Saturday

Sunnyside Christian, Bickleton both contenders for district title

Greater Columbia Gorge District 5 1B volleyball tournament set for Saturday in Bickleton.

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Citizens with skills wanted to share in after-school program

A new 21st Century after-school program at Compass High School is looking for community members who want to share a skill set or talent with local children.

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Funding in place for road improvements

Bonnieview decision must be made first

Funds are in place if the city moves forward with a project that would upgrade the intersection of Wine Country and Euclid roads and widen Forsell Road to accommodate heavier truck traffic from Smucker’s and FruitSmart.

Hicks takes solid lead in council race

With slightly more than 500 votes counted in the race for the City Council Position No. 7 seat, incumbent Craig Hicks has a solid lead over challenger Victor Ochoa in the general election.

Hanson leads Bickleton race

Two political newcomers vie for school board seat

Mary Jo Hanson is leading Jennifer Wutzke in the race for School Board Position No. 4.

Port challenger holds slight lead

The race for the District No. 2 Commissioner of the Port of Grandview seat is too close to call after last night’s initial ballot count.

Hanson leads Bickleton race

Two political newcomers vye for school board seat

Mary Jo Hanson is leading Jennifer Wutzke in the race for School Board Position No. 4.

Challenger leads in Grandview port race

The race for the District No. 2 Commissioner of the Port of Grandview seat is too close to call after tonight's initial ballot count.

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Sunnyside clinics moving to hospital’s 50-acre site

Price tag estimated at $70 to $90 million

Last week Sunnyside Community Hospital announced plans to build a replacement hospital campus on nearly 50 acres in the southeast corner of Sunnyside.

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City of Sunnyside employee survey left in hands of city manager

A city council meeting planned to determine what questions to ask city employees in a survey turned into a discussion Monday on why the survey is being conducted.

Cell phones helpful, hazard for children

Cell phones are more than just tools these days. The handheld devices have more computing power than the desktop computers of a decade ago, along with the ability to keep a person constantly in touch with others.

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Sunnyside hospital plans major move

After weeks of speculation, the rumors have been confirmed.

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Former SHS dance team coach open for business in Grandview

Melodie Griffin is pursuing a dream in Grandview by opening her own dance studio.

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Mabton Council reviews next year’s preliminary budget

The Mabton City Council began the budget process last Tuesday night, reviewing the city’s preliminary 2016 budget.

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Too much of a good thing

My favorite holiday is rapidly approaching.

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Technology may be to blame for increase in traffic accidents

A dramatic rise in traffic accidents this year is getting the attention of law enforcement officials.

New method of treating manure from dairies in the works

Big changes are coming to the way dairies treat cow waste, according to Organix founder Russell Davis, speaking to the Sunnyside Noon Rotary Club Monday.

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First ever water system in Bickleton

A water system seven years in the making was dedicated in Bickleton yesterday morning.

Doctor’s stories worth a good look

Reading “Tales of a Country Doctor” is a bit like sitting down with an old friend and swapping stories.

Even here in the Valley, it’s wise to know earthquake survival skills

The recent ShakeOut earthquake drill reminded me of my own limited experience with earthquakes.

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Sunnyside Rite Aid now a Wellness Store

A recently completed remodel at Sunnyside’s Rite Aid store has customers and staff smiling. “It’s a great new look,” said Store Manager Terry Smith, who oversaw the updates.

Workforce ballooning in Mabton

People in Mabton will soon be seeing new faces serving them at city hall and the police station.

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Engaged citizens enjoy ‘Coffee with a Cop’

While the turnout wasn’t huge for the first “Coffee with a Cop” meet-and-greet event at Holy Pies Thursday morning, several people did show up to talk with Sunnyside Police Chief Al Escalera about his department and its programs.

Exercise your right to vote

The ballots are coming! The ballots are coming!