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Laura Gjovaag

Stories by Laura

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Sunnyside RadioShack to remain open...for now

The good news is that the Sunnyside RadioShack is not among the 25 Washington state stores slated for possible closure.

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Grandview girls claim wrestling team title at State

One by one, the opponents of Grandview’s Viannei Perez, Marizza Birrueta and Desiree Zavala fell.

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Sunnyside Bi-Mart store right fit for single mom

Romana Gonzalez has only been working at the Sunnyside Bi-Mart since last August, but she said it’s already one of the best jobs she’s had.

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‘Tech Petting Zoo’ in Sunnyside next Tuesday

A variety of smartphones, tablets and computers are a part of the Tech Petting Zoo visiting the Sunnyside Library on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

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Airport advisory board looks to the past and the future

The Sunnyside Municipal Airport Advisory Board met last night to discuss its past year of work and plan for the coming year.

Beware... scammers attempting to steal our IRS tax returns

As if it weren’t already a pain to file taxes every spring, there’s a new and obnoxious twist that means people need to file their taxes as soon as possible.

Grandview’s levy passing by just four votes

A week after the special election, the results are looking more positive for Grandview’s capital improvements levy, while Bickleton’s three-year maintenance and operations levy faltered slightly, but is still passing with more than 76 percent of the vote.

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Water line breaks flood Sunnyside neighborhood

A water line break on South 14th Street in Sunnyside last Thursday night may have caused a chain reaction that led to two other breaks in the city on Friday, Feb. 13.

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Sports programs upgrade continues

About 40 area residents showed up at the Sunnyside High School library last night to further discuss the needs of the athletic programs of the school district.

Grandview voters say no to school levy

Bickleton School District patrons overwhelmingly approve $450,000 maintenance and operations levy

While Bickleton School District’s three-year maintenance and operations levy passed by a landslide in yesterday’s special election, Grandview’s capital improvements levy is currently failing.

Parents: please, vaccinate your kids

I remember chicken pox. I remember how painfully itchy it was and how I sobbed and begged my mom to make it go away.

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Sunnyside to debut new tasting room

Once a thriving railroad station, then a doctor’s office, the beautiful old building at 1412 E. Edison Ave. in Sunnyside is about to find new life as a wine tasting room for Côte Bonneville.

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SIX MORE MONTHS!

Council renews moratorium on recreational marijuana

After more than two hours of comments from 42 members of the public, the Sunnyside City Council voted 5-2 to renew the city’s moratorium on the production, processing and retail sale of recreational marijuana within the city for another six months.

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Heart-stopping tragedy becomes political tour-de-force

As a 22-year-old vegetarian skiing and sailing instructor, Beverly Elmer isn’t the type of person you’d expect to have heart problems.

Time for businesses to get rolling downtown

Now that the renovations to downtown streets are pretty much finished, I think we need some new businesses to open.

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Top school official notes it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish that matters

Sunnyside Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole gave his annual state of the schools address to the school board last night, saying the district is in good shape.

Temporary athletic facility repairs OK’d

Two temporary fixes for Sunnyside School District athletic facilities, which will cost the district about $60,000, were approved by the school board last night.

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Counting connections

Homeless survey held in Sunnyside

The annual count known as the Point in Time homeless survey returned to Sunnyside during an all-day event Wednesday at the St. Joseph’s gym.

School officials addressing changes in sports programs

During its annual retreat last weekend, the Sunnyside School Board discussed the future of athletics in the district.

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Another marijuana moratorium likely

The Sunnyside City Council last night voted 4-3 to hold a public hearing to renew the existing moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses in Sunnyside for another six months.

Garbage rate hikes will be automatic each year

The Sunnyside City Council last night approved an ordinance that will allow Yakima Waste to increase its rates in the city annually based on the consumer price index for Seattle, starting in 2016, along with a 2015 rate increase of 4.5 percent.

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New food services director brings wealth of experience to Sunnyside

Sunnyside School District’s new director of food services, Kelly Barth, plans to bring his own system to build on what he calls a “great program” already in place.

New head tennis coach looks to bolster the ranks

With spring sports starting on March 1, Mike Thorpe is hoping to reach out and get more students interested in playing tennis at Sunnyside High School.

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United States Postal Service hits hard times

After 200 years of daily deliveries, the United States Postal Service has fallen on tough times.

Review of airport regulations completed

At its first meeting of the year last night, the Sunnyside Airport Advisory Board elected officers, voted on a regular date and time for future meetings and finished its year-long review of the proposed municipal code relating to airport activities.

Pets: good for the soul

Three years ago I got an unexpected birthday present when Inkwell the kitten came into my life.

Retired teacher brings lifetime of local knowledge to planning commission

The newest face on the Sunnyside Planning Commission is not a new face to many Sunnyside residents. Christine Smith has lived in the area all her life and taught at Washington Elementary School for 38 years.

Lottery sales soar, but beware addiction

Washington’s Lottery recently announced its fourth year of record-breaking sales, but a small percentage of people buying those tickets may suffer from a gambling addiction.

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Freedom of the press paid for in blood

I don’t blame you if you’ve never heard of Kirby Delauter.

City-wide improvements detailed for council members

Sunnyside Public Works Director Shane Fisher this past Monday evening updated the city council’s public works subcommittee on the status of various projects.

Sunnyside Council eyes garbage, water rate increases

The Sunnyside City Council discussed garbage and water rates Monday night, holding a first reading of ordinances to change rates for both services.

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Policies, personnel changes approved

GRANDVIEW – Approving personnel changes and adjustments to policies and procedures turned out to be the main action at this past Monday night’s Grandview School Board meeting.

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Online words stick around a long time

Recently I ran across something I had written online in 1994.

Lady Vikes shake off slow start

KITTITAS – The normally dominant Lady Vikings got off to a slow start against host Kittitas last night, taking a three-point lead into the locker room at the half.

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New cell tower likely to be erected near school

Verizon Wireless wants to increase its coverage in Sunnyside by building a new 80-foot cell tower on property leased from the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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Former librarian returns to Chief Kamiakin Elementary

Although Yvette Jaramillo only started working as the assistant principal at Chief Kamiakin Elementary School in Sunnyside this past September, she is no stranger to the school.

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New owner ready to give Sunnyside residents their daily coffee buzz

Fresh from Heritage University with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration, Samantha Zamora is already putting her skills to work as the new owner of the Daily Buzz in downtown Sunnyside.

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Low voter turnout means two people out of every five make decisions for all

As the state and county start to feel the impacts from last November’s General Election, it may be a good idea to reflect that those changes were brought about by the lowest voter turnout in more than 20 years.

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Membership has its benefits

When Rep. Doc Hastings wraps up 20 years of service later this week, the Pasco Republican will retire minus a congressional pension.

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I’m looking forward to a high tech future

It can be fun living in the future.

Lower Yakima Valley mayors look ahead to 2015

Everyone, it seems, wants to know what the new year will hold.

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Lady Vikes lucky to fend off Columbia-Burbank

The 2B Lady Vikings continued their winning ways against 1A Columbia Burbank this past Saturday, pulling out a 52-44 victory despite a rough second half.

Wiggle room in city code for delinquent water bills

The city of Sunnyside is enforcing its municipal code for water shutoffs, which requires customers to pay all past due bills before water can be turned back on.

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Christmas is here to drive away the dark

The solstice was this past Sunday, marking the beginning of winter, but also the shortest day of the year.

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Jewelry maker shares her talents with YV-Tech students

Students in the welding and nursing classes at YV-Tech in Sunnyside spent the last day before winter break learning how to make rings from vintage spoons.

State agencies’ computer security found sorely lacking

The best computer security standards in the world will not work if the people in charge don’t put them into action.

Pressing issues with school district’s athletic facilities

Even though the Sunnyside School District’s athletic levy went down to defeat in last month’s General Election, the district still needs to deal with pressing issues with its facilities for student-athletes.

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ALICE newest girl on Sunnyside High School campus

New safety training to begin in January

Training in the ALICE protocol, a new way to respond to threats in schools, will start at Sunnyside High School on Monday, Jan. 5.

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Water rate changes planned in 2015

If the Sunnyside City Council follows all the recommendations of Engineer Ted Pooler of Huibregtse, Louman Associates and of city staff, the average water bill for a residential home will go down by a couple of dollars a month.

FBI data shows criminal activity

No matter how you crunch the numbers, crime rates in Sunnyside and Grandview have been dropping the past five years.