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Laura Gjovaag

Stories by Laura

Mabton students argue proposals in Olympia

MABTON – A hands-on civics project took 34 Mabton High School students to Olympia this past weekend for a competition at the State Capitol.

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Stonies files lawsuit against city of Sunnyside

The business owner who wants to sell recreational marijuana in the city of Sunnyside has filed suit against the city, claiming it improperly issued building permits for his business and did not conduct a necessary environmental review.

Only three contested races in Lower Valley this fall

Four public office seats draw no candidates

Only three Lower Valley races in this fall’s election will be contested, although the fate of four seats is still up in the air due to a lack of candidates.

Seven more file for public office in Lower Valley

Seven more candidates, including four incumbents, joined the race for seats on Lower Valley councils and boards yesterday.

Parade horseman displaying upside-down American flag apologetic, ‘very embarrassed’

A horseman who displayed the United States flag upside-down during Sunnyside’s Cinco de Mayo Parade two Sundays ago is “very embarrassed” and will be writing a letter of apology to the community, according to Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce President Victor Frausto.

Plenty of public office seats still to be filled

With only two days to go to file for this fall’s elections, 15 of the 25 positions that are up for grabs in the Lower Valley have yet to draw a candidate.

Grandview mayor sole candidate from Lower Valley to file yesterday

Mayor Norm Childress of Grandview was the only Lower Valley candidate to file for public office yesterday, the second day of filing week for the November elections this fall.

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City sewer system responsibility of new treatment plant supervisor

The new supervisor of Sunnyside’s wastewater treatment plant, Raul Sanchez, was introduced to the city council at Monday night’s meeting.

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Emergency notification system presently in the works

An emergency notification system is one of the big projects in the works at the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management, according to its new director, Scott Miller.

Incumbents first to file for this fall’s General Election

YAKIMA – Six Lower Yakima Valley candidates threw their hats into the ring Monday during the first day of filing for office for the November General Election.

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4-Her moves from pork to mutton

TOPPENISH – This is Jessica Scheenstra’s first year showing lambs at the Central Washington Junior Livestock Show.

Poetry, stories draw readers into the life of a migrant field worker

The opening pages of Ramón Ledesma’s “Migrant Earth” talk about the hope inherent in growing up as a migrant worker.

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SHS junior confident in ring

TOPPENISH – Mickayla Wert showed no signs of nervousness as she prepared to enter the ring at the Central Washington Junior Livestock Show this past Monday.

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Award-winning apps being developed by HMS students

Harrison Middle School students are jumping into the world of technology with three award-winning apps designed to solve real world problems.

Visit Sunnyside Library at new location

I visited the Sunnyside Library this past weekend in its new location downtown... and I was impressed.

Bickleton’s boys, girls garner runner-up honors at Agar invite

Bickleton and Mabton athletes competed at last Friday’s Jeff Agar Memorial Invitational in Glenwood. Bickleton athletes had a great day while the Vikings had some difficulty.

Sunnyside schools embracing technology

The Sunnyside School District is trying to integrate technology smoothly into classrooms by embedding it in the curriculum and using it to improve communication and collaboration among staff.

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Award winners showcased for Sunnyside School Board

The Sunnyside School Board spent more than an hour last night honoring students and staff who had won a variety of awards ranging from an art contest to a welding competition.

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Plans for Grandview business park moving forward

GRANDVIEW – The next step in preparing the Port of Grandview’s newest property for development will happen at Grandview City Hall on Tuesday, May 19, at 3 p.m.

Teachers are heroes

There was another school shooting this week, here in Washington state.

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New dentist brings experience to Sunnyside office

Dr. Sara Thomas won’t be in Sunnyside every day, but she hopes to meet plenty of people in town while working at Rodriguez Dental Center every Friday.

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Utility companies need to welcome solar power generation

It’s going to take a paradigm shift for solar power to reach its potential in this country.

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Sizzle put back into branding iron

The bronze statue of pioneer cattleman Ren Farrell is once again whole, thanks to the original artisan returning to Sunnyside to make repairs.

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Local students MESA winners

More than 160 Sunnyside middle school students traveled to WSU’s Tri-Cities campus in Richland last Saturday for the regional MESA Day competition.

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Groundwater contamination brings downtown stormwater project to a screeching halt

Workers digging out a space for a stormwater vault at the corner of Sixth Street and Decatur Avenue in Sunnyside hit oil a week ago, but not in a good way.

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New museum board president has big plans for city’s ‘hidden secret’

After 35 years of leading the Sunnyside Museum Board of Directors, John Saras is happy to be stepping down.

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Sunnyside community turns out to ‘meet a farmer’

A steady stream of people showed up at the second annual Meet Your Farmer event held this past Sunday, at Heavenly Hills Harvest near Sunnyside.

Tracking timeline crucial to groundwater group’s work

GRANGER – A conflict about who can make decisions in working groups led to a short debate at last night’s Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee meeting.

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Lack of programs for youths frustrating parks and rec officials

As if on cue, while the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Board of Directors sat in the lobby of the Sunnyside Community Center discussing the lack of organized programs for the city’s youth, a young girl entered the building to ask what programs might be open to her.

Vaccination crackdown a move in the right direction

Spokane School District has booted 143 kids from classes after their parents failed to provide documentation that the children were vaccinated or are exempt from being vaccinated.

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Imperial Printing adds x-ray technician to staff

Rachel Fernandez just started working at downtown Sunnyside’s Imperial Screen Printing and Embroidery, but she’s already enjoying the work.

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Seniors’ mobility issues at the center of Grandview seminar

GRANDVIEW – Staff at Orchard House Assisted Living in Grandview had plenty of questions for representatives of Howard’s Medical Supply about items that can help provide mobility to seniors.

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Ale festival gets warm reception from lodging tax advisory group

Sunnyside’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee members were very impressed with a pitch for funds from organizers of a first ever ale festival.

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Get framed at new Sunnyside shop

Sunnyside-area folks with posters or artwork that need to be framed now have a local place to get the work done.

Officially, some local schools still struggling ...but gains are clearly evident

Although the Sunnyside School District has experienced unprecedented improvements in the last few years, three of the district’s schools are on the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s annual list of struggling schools released last week.

My escape from reality

I spent last weekend in Wonderland.

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Local financial experts note there can be hope for overcoming debt

Fewer than half of the U.S. population has a three-month rainy day fund and nearly 60 percent are spending more than they earn.

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Men at work on Decatur Avenue

People trying to travel along Decatur Avenue in Sunnyside have noticed some major construction work over the last couple of weeks.

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Port director gets job description, raise

GRANDVIEW – The executive director of the Port of Grandview, Jessica Hansen, received an official job description and a 6 percent raise at last night’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

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GHS students off to Ecuador this summer

GRANDVIEW – Grandview High School sophomore Alondra Perez says she looking forward to trying new experiences this coming August when she and seven other GHS students head to Ecuador on a nine-day service trip.

Let’s ditch the traffic lights

I really like the downtown improvements...maybe it’s time to spread some of it a little further?

Council unable to reach accord on marijuana

The Sunnyside City Council is split on whether or not to even discuss the possibility of asking citizens to vote on a potential ban on recreational marijuana sales in the city.

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Road closure saga continues with council

The ongoing, and seemingly never ending, discussion of whether or not to reopen South Hill Road in Sunnyside to through traffic continued at last night’s Sunnyside City Council meeting, with a decision planned for the council’s first meeting in April.

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City’s financial mess still being cleaned up...years later

Sunnyside City Manager Don Day told the council’s subcommittee on finance and administration that the city has a tough decision to make regarding its financial records from 2011 and 2012.

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Teacher happy to be working with students again

After seven years as a math coach, Rob McCracken said returning to the classroom was a “...shock to the system.”

Entrust wants to help Sunnyside merchants save time, money

Entrust Community Services is looking to help a few businesses save some money.

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Sunnyside students to compete in state welding competition

Two Sunnyside welders will be demonstrating their skills in a state welding competition after earning first- and second-place honors in the district and regional competitions.

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Dry times ahead?

I was born and raised in the greater Seattle area, with webbing between my fingers and toes, and moss growing on my north side.

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Sunnyside Christian FFA receives $2,500 grant

The Sunnyside Christian High School FFA Chapter is the recipient of a $2,500 check from the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program.