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Laura Gjovaag

Stories by Laura

Attorney says city needs to take action on water rights plans

The city of Sunnyside should take several actions as soon as possible to protect its water rights, according to water rights lawyer Thomas Pors, who presented an overview of the city’s water situation to the council last night.

Frequency of subcommittee meetings reviewed

“I don’t like having meetings just for the sake of having meetings,” said City Manager Don Day near the conclusion of a discussion on the city’s subcommittee meetings.

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Horsemen visit Sunnyside to raise money to fight cancer

Riders from all over the Yakima Valley turned out for the fourth annual Sort 4 the Cause fundraiser held at Sunnyside’s Specks Arena this past weekend.

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Scope of sampling takes center stageat groundwater confab

Detecting nitrates focus of free samplings

GRANGER – A review of the Groundwater Advisory Committee’s work at last night’s meeting turned into questions on whether or not the sampling size and scope will be big enough to properly assess the situation.

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Lodging tax committee gearing up for next year’s requests

Sunnyside’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee had only three members present at last night’s meeting, but it was enough to make short work of the agenda.

Construction will be worth it in the end

It will be nice when the construction is done.

Local Rainier crop sustains some damage

Some cherry growers in the area were hit hard by rains over the weekend that resulted in bruised fruit and damaged trees.

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Salesman balances work with education

Education is important to Eric Garza.

Carbon tax could help boost economy

A new national study commissioned by the Citizens Climate Lobby concludes that a carefully implemented carbon tax would boost the economy.

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City paving the way for residents to raise chickens

The Sunnyside Planning Commission will be drafting an ordinance to allow chickens to be raised within the city limits of Sunnyside.

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Grandview salutes senior class of 2014

GRANDVIEW – Rich Leenhouts Stadium was packed with proud family members, including one woman brought in on a stretcher, as the class of 2014 marched onto the field, 128 strong.

City of Sunnyside will be buying a fourth ambulance

The Sunnyside City Council approved the purchase of a fourth ambulance by the fire department as part of an ongoing effort by the department to update its aging fleet.

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Councilman reveals name of former city employee under investigation for fraud

At last night’s Sunnyside City Council meeting, Councilman Jason Raines – to the consternation of some in attendance – revealed the name of a city employee under investigation for allegedly making personal purchases on a city account and questioned why the employee had been paid by the city.

S’side author celebrates book release this month

Although her book, “My Story Power To Rule,” was already published online through’s CreateSpace, Bridget Lain, aka B.J. Joke, was delighted to get help from Tate Publishing.

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Wall of Fame inductees honored

Along with a new graduating class, the Sunnyside School District inducted four new members into the Sunnyside High School Wall of Fame last Friday and celebrated a previous inductee who was not able to attend last year.

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If at first you don’t succeed...try, try again

Sunnyside High dropped from Washington state’s bottom 5%

Sunnyside High School has been dropped from the state’s priority list made up of the bottom 5 percent of schools in Washington state.

Lower Valley growers encouraged to have soil tested for free

Growers in the Lower Valley area can have their fields tested for high nitrates over the next couple of years for free by contacting the South Yakima Conservation District.

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‘Crowdfunding’ the future with solar roads?

Are we to the point now that normal people can fund projects that will change the future?

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New financial analyst a ‘valuable asset’ to city

Sunnyside’s new financial analyst, Elizabeth Alba, was introduced this past Tuesday night to the city council’s subcommittee on finance and administrative services.

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School board addresses myriad of issues

Down one director with the absence of Dylan Gardner, the Sunnyside School Board took its time last night (Thursday) working through a lengthy agenda.

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Major road projects underway starting today on Sunnyside’s section of Yakima Valley Highway

Travel on Yakima Valley Highway is about to slow down as summer construction projects get underway along the roadway, including a repaving project that will close off the highway in front of the Mid Valley Mall entirely for two days in the next two weeks.

Council happy with Day

The Sunnyside City Council is pretty happy with the performance of City Manager Don Day.

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Water study dispute settled with future work

A long dispute between the city of Sunnyside and CH2M Hill Engineers, Inc. has been settled, with the company offering the city in-kind engineering services after failing to fulfill a water/sewer rate study analysis contract with the city.

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Sunnyside Memorial Day speaker notes freedom must be repeatedly earned

A beautiful sunny day with gentle gusts of wind greeted a large crowd that turned out for Memorial Day services at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside yesterday morning.

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On your mark, get set...

Generations of Cub Scouts have faced the engineering challenge presented by the Pinewood Derby races, and now Harrison Middle School STEM students are learning the secrets of making the small wooden vehicles race as fast as possible.

State grants aim to improve security at local schools

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is awarding nearly $7 million to 80 school districts around the state, including Sunnyside, Grandview, Mabton and Bickleton, to help install emergency response systems.

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Going Up?

Another Sunnyside elevator in the works at Best Western

Sunnyside doesn’t have many elevators, but a new one will soon be operating at Best Western Grapevine Inn.

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Hospital on the grow…sleep center opens in Sunnyside

Sunnyside Community Hospital’s new Sleep Disorders Center was opened yesterday morning with short speeches, a light luncheon and a tour of the facility.

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S’side schools beef up program for deaf students

The Sunnyside School District is striving to meet its goal of serving every child.

School directors up their work load

The Sunnyside School Board met this past Tuesday for a workshop session in which it planned out future workshop topics and added training sessions to its schedule.

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Thinking metrically

I was one of those kids who did really well on standardized tests in school.

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AWOS deemed AOK

Sunnyside airport now has official weather station

The Sunnyside airport’s Automated Weather Observation System, or AWOS, has now been officially commissioned by the FAA.

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Family key in life of local office manager

Family is very important to Tammie Laverman, office manager at Mid-Valley Community Clinic in Sunnyside.

Purple Angels ready to walk come tomorrow

The Lower Valley Relay for Life starts tomorrow, and I don’t envy our team captains.

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Special Olympics meet in Sunnyside arranged by Miss Sunnyside court

The Miss Sunnyside court culminated months of work yesterday by holding a Special Olympics meet at Sunnyside High School for local athletes.

Mabton comes up short in final games of season

Although the Lady Vikings scored an impressive 16 runs during yesterday’s season closing doubleheader, they still came up short against the Goldendale Timberwolves.

Grizzly netters close out regular season with losses

The Sunnyside tennis squads had their final regular season matches yesterday, with Districts starting tomorrow with a loser-out pigtail round before the regular play-offs begin on Saturday.

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SASA, city of Sunnyside at odds again

The Sunnyside City Council faced a packed room Monday night as a group led by Sunnyside Arts and Sports Association (SASA) co-founder Trish Combs came before the council to request intervention in the organization’s negotiations to use the city’s soccer fields.

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Harrison trio competes at world robotic championships

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Three Sunnyside Harrison Middle School students had a blast at the VEX Robotics World Championships in Anaheim at the end of April, despite ranking only 64 out of 75 teams.

Grizzly baseball season over after loss

The Sunnyside Grizzlies baseball team is done for the season after losing 11-1 to Kamiakin in a loser-out District 5 play-in game last night at LaPierre Field in Kennewick.

More awards for Sunnyside School District

The Sunnyside School District was recently honored for its communication efforts by the Washington School Public Relations Association.

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Grizzlies manage a win after 19 straight defeats

Sunnyside’s baseball team went out with a bang on senior night last Friday, earning its only win of the regular season in the bottom half of a doubleheader against Eisenhower.

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Sunnyside wins non-league match-ups against Grandview

The 3A Sunnyside Grizzly tennis squads managed wins over the 2A Grandview Greyhounds last Friday during a brisk and windy afternoon on Sunnyside’s home courts.

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Community seminar reveals lots of issues with marijuana usage

Marijuana is not a stimulant nor a depressant, but it can still get adults fired from jobs and is illegal for anyone under 21 years old, despite initiative 502 and medical marijuana laws.

Mabton drops a pair of games to Warriors

The Mabton girls fastpitch team had a less-than-ideal outing in Cle Elum yesterday, coming home without a win after a doubleheader.

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Outlook native hopes to sing in London, Dublin

It may take some time, but Andrew Myers hopes to visit London, England and Dublin, Ireland at Christmastime to sing Handel’s Messiah with a choir of vocalists from around the world.

Barboza, Murphy earn only win for Grizzlies against Davis

The Davis Pirates outfought the Sunnyside tennis squads yesterday, winning 6-1 over the boys squad and 7-0 over the girls squad, but Grizzly Coach David Downing said his team played well.

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Council to evaluate Day’s performance

The Sunnyside City Council missed giving City Manager Don Day his six-month evaluation, but will be sitting in executive session tomorrow, May 7, to finally accomplish the task.

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Grizzlies still looking for first win

The Grizzlies’ struggles continue as last Friday’s doubleheader against the visiting Wenatchee Panthers ended up as a pair of 10-3 and 10-2 losses for Sunnyside’s baseball team.