Reflections 2 0 1 2
A look back at the stories and photos that made the news this past year daily suN
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Special Supplement to the Sunnyside Daily Sun News Jan. 10, 2013 & Sun News Shopper Jan. 16, 2013
Reflections of 2012
2 - Daily Sun News
january 10, 2013
The top stories from the 256 editions the Daily Sun News published in 2012
January 2 0 1 2
Jan. 2, 2012 – At the urging of Councilwoman Sophia Sotelo, the Mabton City Council pared back the $1,000 per month pay raise planned for Police Chief Rick Gutierrez to $700 because of concerns that police department expenditures would over-extend the city’s 2012 budget. The Sunnyside site manager for the Older American Nutrition Program senior citizen meals, Leslie Deardorff, was let go because of budget cuts. Deardorff was to be replaced by the Grandview site manager, Terri Fischer, who had agreed to take on both jobs. Jan. 3, 2012 – A hearing examiner’s findings revealed the city of Sunnyside could annex property on Midvale Road into the city limits, but an RV park planned for the site by the company MBM Development was incompatible with neighboring agricultural and industrial uses. Sunnyside Community
officials attempting to address a $2 billion budget shortfall, and the near certainty that medical facilities would be forced to absorb huge revenue cutbacks, Sunnyside Hospital CEO Jon Smiley Community Hospital CEO was selected as vice chairman Jon Smiley began planning of the Yakima County New for the worse and announced that steps were being taken Vision board of directors. to eliminate expenditures. Smiley confirmed that the local hospital and its clinics would be eliminating nine staff positions, and each remaining employee would be absorbing a 4.5 percent cut Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder in pay. Port of helped welcome in 2012 by playing air S u n n y s i d e hockey with 16-year-old Brady Clair at c o m m i s s i o n the annual New Year’s Eve party for ers approved a teens at the Sunnyside Community $512,000 payCenter ment to the Army Corps of Jan. 4, 2012 – Detective Engineers to keep a wetlands Erica Rollinger was project, with an overall price named officer of the year tag of $7.5 million, on track. by the Sunnyside Police Jan. 6, 2012 – Sunnyside Department. She also was named the recipient of the Schools Superintendent Dr. Eli O’Brien Award, which is Rick Cole was one of many presented by Sunnyside re- educators to testify before the serve officers to the person Washington State Supreme they deem as their most in- Court, which ruled that state legislators were not fluential mentor. Jan. 5, 2012 – With state
Russell Crane Service began demolishing what remained of the Safari and El Conquistador buildings in downtown Sunnyside, which had been razed by fire nearly eights months prior.
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fulfilling their constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education and were relying too heavily on local levy funding assistance. Jan. 9, 2012 – Sunnyside police were searching for Manuel Angel Torres, 30, of Sunnyside on an attempted murder charge, for allegedly stabbing a 25-year-old woman at a home near South 16th Street and East Lincoln Avenue. He was found in Yakima and taken into custody the next day. Alejandro Valle-Vasquez and David Gomez, two 24-year-old men from Sunnyside, were taken into custody by Pasco police on Sunnyside-area native Dan Newhouse, the director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture, spoke at the annual Yakima Ag Expo in the Yakima Valley SunDome and warned farmers that because the economic downturn was still in full force, budget cuts were most likely in store for the state’s ag producers.
a charge of kidnapping and extortion, much like what Pasco police described as a crime being committed by the Mexican drug cartels. Heriberto Saucedo, 19, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the December 2009 first-degree murder of Chelsie Stoneking, 16, of Grandview. Adilene Barajas tossed in a school-record eight 3-pointers to lead the Mabton High School girls basketball team to a 6520 victory over the Royal City Knights. Jan. 10, 2012 – Mike Farmer, via a 4-3 vote by the city council, was selected to replace Jim Restucci as Sunnyside’s new mayor. Sunnyside Christian High School senior Trevor Wagenaar formally committed to playing basketball for the Dordt College men’s basketball team. Jan. 11, 2012 – Eagle Rehabilitation Administrator Mary Arthur detailed for Sunnyside Rotarians the $3 million expansion of the Sunnyside nursing home facility that
was expected to be completed by month’s end. Jan. 12, 2012 –The military veterans working on the construction of Jerry Taylor Veterans Plaza in downtown Sunnyside announced that a granite wall was being prepared in Seattle, but there was still room on the wall to place the names of 40 veterans on the specially engraved plaques. Jan. 13, 2012 - Emergency rescue personnel and firefighters from throughout the Yakima Valley turned out in full force to pay a final tribute to former Sunnyside Fire Chief Jim Stanton, who was laid to rest at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens. Stanton had succumbed to cancer on Dec. 29, 2011. Jan. 16, 2012 – The Grandview City Council approved the rate for rental fees for groups wanting to use the newly constructed community center, ranging from $100 to $550 depending on profit, non-profit and fundraising status. Jan. 17, 2012 – Port of Sunnyside commissioners see “January” next page
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A farewell celebration was held for Rev. Mike Hughes (center) and his wife, Linda. Hughes had served as pastor of Sunnyside’s First Baptist Church for 30 years.
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Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
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learned that the firm Arion Energy was interested in setting up shop in the Lower Yakima Valley for the purpose of converting manure and other agricultural waste into methane gas, which in turn would be used as an energy source. Jan. 18, 2012 – The
Manuel Abalos was one of numerous local residents shoveling snow at his Sunnyside home. The National Weather Service was predicting another three to seven inches of the fluffy white stuff to fall.
brought forth by members of the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian parties. Jan. 23, 2012 – Life Options held a grand opening for its new pregnancy medical center, next to its existing office in Grandview. Former Sunnyside City Manager Leo Fancey, 82, died in Richland. Jan. 24, 2012 – Robert and Erin Medina opened the “Second Chance” thrift store on Yakima Valley Highway in Sunnyside. The Sunnyside City Council put on hold a “step up” pay hike for Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck, which was to compensate him for filling in for Police Chief Ed Radder, who was out of work for five months in 2011 because of medical issues. Two weeks later the Washington State auditor’s office ruled that such a retroactive pay raise would be in violation of state law if compensation was granted “…after services (were) rendered.” Jan. 25, 2012 – Catholic Charities Housing Services, in wrapping up a 19-home housing development project on Meadowlark Road in Grandview, began laying the groundwork for a sevenhome project on Groom Lane in Grandview. Jan. 26, 2012 – A Sunnyside family lost its double-wide mobile home in the 1000 block of Yakima Valley Highway to fire. Initial indi-
Daily Sun News - 3
cations were that the blaze started in the attic. Jan. 27, 2012 – The final tally from the annual homeless count in Sunnyside wouldn’t be tabulated for several months, but based on the turnout it appeared homeless numbers were on the rise in the Lower Yakima Valley. The Sunnyside School Board voted to have the high school sports teams remain in the Columbia Basin Big Nine League, instead of joining the Tri-Cities schools in a newly formed league for the 2012-13 season. Jan. 30, 2012 – Eagle Rehabilitation held an open house to showcase the $3 million expansion of its Sunnyside facility. The addon included a 2,400 square foot gym, 24 private rooms, a dining hall, café and chapel. Family and friends of Mildred Maxey Moran showed up at the Sunnyside Community Center to help the local woman celebrate her 100th birthday. Jan. 31, 2012 – Jon Smiley, CEO of Sunnyside Community Hospital and Clinics since 1992, announced he was retiring the first of March. Chad Werkhoven was named the “Volunteer Firefighter of the Year” by the Sunnyside Fire Department.
Sunnyside City Council approved a plan to seek grant funding to revitalize the downtown city core. Jan. 19, 2012 – Lower Valley Crisis and Support Services in Sunnyside received a $42,261 state grant to help the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless. T h e Sunnyside City Council was informed that approximately $1.2 million had been withdrawn from city reserves the last six months of 2011 to keep police department operations fully functional. City administrators told the council the city’s general fund balance was approximately $15,000 in the red. Jan. 20, 2012 – The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court upheld Wa s h i n g t o n state’s voter- Sunnyside High School’s coaching staff erupted when the unbeaten approved “Top Grizzly wrestling team, trailing the also undefeated Pasco Bulldogs Two” Primary by a 28-10 score, won the final five bouts of the night and pulled off Election, reject- a 39-28 victory, assuring the Grizzlies of the 3A league championing challenges ship.
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Reflections of 2012
4 - Daily Sun News
january 10, 2013
February 2 0 1 2
Feb. 9, 2012 – Washington state’s Department of Health issued a warning that Whooping Cough cases had significantly spiked, roughly 50 percent from the previous year. Vaccinations were encouraged as a means to prevent coming down with the serious respiratory illness. Feb. 10, 2012 – Two of the big three credit rating agencies changed Washington state’s rating from “stable” to “negative,” affecting the state’s ability to sell bonds for construction projects. Feb. 13, 2012 – A study and analysis by MGT of America of the Sunnyside Police
Department, commissioned at a cost of about $50,000, revealed a wide range of ineffective operations. MGT officials concluded in the 133-page study that “…while the departsee “February” next page
Sunnyside City Manager Mark Gervasi, who had been hired in August 2010, dropped a bombshell on the city council when he unexpectedly announced his retirement. Gervasi was the fifth different city manager the city had employed since 2004.
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Feb. 1, 2012 – Sunnyside Community Hospital received Level II cardiac status and Level III stroke status as part of the Washington State Department of Health’s emergency cardiac and stroke system. Feb. 2, 2012 – Kristen Wedam of Sunnyside was crowned Washington State Alternate Dairy Ambassador. Feb. 3, 2012 – Sunnyside native Bernie Barker was appointed to the Sunnyside Planning Commission. Sunnyside’s First Baptist Church announced Rev. Glenn Layne would be filling in as interim pastor for the recently retired Rev. Mike Hughes. Feb. 6, 2012 – Joey Castilleja began working with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce to improve membership, a project he took on to help complete his Ph.D. studies in training and performance improvement in the fields of education and human resources. Behind the individual championships earned by Jesse Barajas, Santos Guerrero, Nathan Gonzalez, Miguel Guzman and Austin Carman, the Sunnyside High School wrestling team won the CBBN District Tournament title. Both, the Sunnyside Christian High School boys and girls basketball teams completed perfect 8-0 runs through Greater Columbia 1B League play. Feb. 7, 2012 – News surfaced that Steve Bradley of Prosser, co-owner of the Prosser Funeral Home, had purchased the Grandview Herald newspaper building from long-time owner John Fournier Jr. Individual titlists Abigail Elizondo and Sonia Romero led the Sunnyside High School girls wrestling team to the SubRegional Tournament title. Feb. 8, 2012 – The Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District board of directors, at the request of landowners in Grandview, agreed to merge operations with the Grandview Irrigation District. The Sunnyside City Council, in an effort to address a shortfall in the operating budget, decided to focus on cutting back police officers’ overtime pay and reducing legal fees. The Sunnyside High School boys basketball team dropped a 68-60 decision to Southridge in a 3A District tournament playin game. The defeat ended the Grizzlies’ season and left them with an overall record of 9-12.
Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
We’re proud that we were able to
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ment is currently enjoying the wide support of the community and its council, such unfettered spending without an increased level of accountability is unsustainable.” For the first time since 1996, the Sunnyside High School wrestling team claimed the Regional Tournament title. In the process, long-time SHS Coach George Paulus was named both the CBBN and Regional coach of the year. Feb. 14, 2012 – The Sunnyside City Council opted to not annex property owned by MBM Development on Midvale Road into the city limits. The annexation process had been in the works for about two years, but had become cloudy when objections were raised to MBM constructing an RV park at the site. Feb. 15, 2012 – Voters overwhelmingly approved maintenance and operation levies for both the Sunnyside and Mabton school districts. Feb. 16, 2012 – Sunnyside School District Network Operations Manager David Peterson was named the ESD 105 Regional Classified School Employee of the Year. Feb. 17, 2012 – Sponsored and hosted by the group Family Connections Yakima Valley, a dinner was held at Grandview’s Church of the Nazarene for police, fire and other emergency first responders and their spouses.
As has become a tradition at Sunnyside High School, a flood of Valentine’s Day gifts came pouring in, and were being sorted and catalogued here by SHS staff member Holly Ohler. Feb. 20, 2012 – State Republicans released their budget proposal for Washington. The plan called for fully funding levy equalization for school districts and new funding for gang prevention measures, but called for the elimination of the Washington State Basic Health Plan, under which about 36,600 low-income individuals were being provided with health insurance coverage. The Sunnyside High School girls basketball team saw its season come to a close with a 52-38 loss to Hanford in the 3A District tournament. The Lady Grizzlies finished the year with an overall mark of 11-11. Mabton’s Mary Gutierrez and Jesenia Meza placed fourth and eighth, respectively, at the WIAA State girls wrestling tournament in Tacoma. Grandview’s Marizza Birrueta claimed sixth place honors at State.
Daily Sun News - 5
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Sunnyside High School 106-pounder Jesse Barajas pinned Kennedy Catholic’s Kendall Momon enroute to a second-place finish at the WIAA 3A State wrestling tournament in Tacoma. All told, the Grizzlies had five grapplers medal at State, giving the Sunnyside boys a 10th place finish in the team standings. SHS junior Abby Elizondo earned a fourth-place medal at the State girls wrestling tourney. Feb. 21, 2012 – Sunnyside Port District $102,000 in a state appeals court decision. The commissioners began discussing salary ranges court ruled that the Department of Ecology and the job description for a new executive di- was too slow in responding to a public inforrector, as long-time executive director Amber mation request by the farm’s owners. The Sunnyside Christian High School boys Hansen had informed the commissioners she and girls basketball teams both qualified for would be retiring in December. Feb. 22, 2012 – Sunnyside High School the 1B State tournament in Spokane in losergraduate Toni Castillo, a freshman at Pacific out Regional games. Feb. 28, 2012 – Sunnyside’s Blue Moon Bar Lutheran University, won first-place honors in the 100-yard butterfly at the Northwest Conference Women’s Swim Championships. Feb. 23, 2012 – The popular Guerra’s Coffee Company shop on South First Street in Sunnyside unexpectedly closed its doors. The owner cited the recent downturn in the local economy as the reason for the closure. Feb. 24, 2012 – State Democrats released their budget proposal for Washington state, which was currently facing a $1 billion shortfall. The highlights of the budget plan included delaying $400 million in payments Kayla Rodriguez as Dorothy and Avery Gardner as to school districts, retaining levy the Cowardly Lion took center stage in the Sunnyequalization funding for school side High School drama club’s production of “The districts but adjusting the fund- Wizard of Oz.” ing formulas, and eliminating & Grill reopened for business, following a approximately 1,500 state jobs. Feb. 27, 2012 –Grandview’s Double H 10-month closure that was caused by a fire Farms, which had been fined $200,000 by that razed the Safari and El Conquistador the Department of Ecology in 2010 because restaurants. Jason Raines, citing the right to freeinvestigators unearthed hazardous materials that had been dumped at the site, was awarded dom of speech, was the lone member of the Sunnyside City Council to vote against a motion by Councilman Nick Paulakis that called for the council code of conduct to include the clause that council members were required to treat one another with respect and dignity. Feb. 29, 2012 – Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder informed the Sunnyside City Council he would be retiring the end of March. After eliminating nine staff positions the previous month, Sunnyside Community With little fanfare, Darigold closed the Hospital was forced to cut another four podoors to Sunnyside’s Dairy Fair gift shop sitions. Hospital spokesman Tom Lathen and snack bar. A company spokesman said the positions were eliminated in the said the downturn in the economy was emergency department because of continued declining patient volumes. the primary reason for the closure.
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Reflections of 2012
6 - Daily Sun News
january 10, 2013
march 2 0 1 2
March 1, 2012 – LaDon Linde of Sunnyside was named to be Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s election chairman for the Lower Yakima Valley area. March 2, 2012 - Sunnyside City Councilwoman Theresa Hancock, saying she believed that the state’s Open Public Meetings Act had been violated by her peers in a closeddoor executive session, released the notes she took while in the specially called meeting to the local press, as well as to the city’s legal firm and the city manager. Hancock alleged that the initial reason for going into executive session transitioned into “..ripping apart the job performances of other staff members.” 2 0 0 9 Sunnyside High School graduate Steven Romero earned a runner-up finish in the 125-lb. Sunnyside Christian’s weight class Jackson Haak, seen at the National here driving the paint Junior College against the Mt. Rainier A t h l e t i c Lutheran Hawks at the A s s o c i a t i o n 1B State boys basketball W r e s t l i n g tournament in Spokane, C h a m p in helped lead the Knights ionships to a fourth-place finish. R o c h e s t e r , Sunnyside Christian’s Minn. M a r c h girls hoop team earned a fifth-place finish at 5, 2012 – Emerging as State. the top choice from the Yakima County Republican Presidential Caucuses was Mitt Romney. March 6, 2012 – The Sunnyside City Council, following an hour and a half long executive session, voted 5-2 to begin negotiations with Selah’s former city administrator, Frank Sweet, to replace outgoing City Manager Mark Gervasi. March 7, 2012 – The SS Equipment company held a grand opening barbecue at its newly opened shop on Sunnyside’s Factory Road. Sunnyside Noon Rotary Club guest speaker Curtis Campbell revealed that three of the Sunnyside School District’s four elementary schools had been rated in the top 5 percent of the new Washington State Achievement Index. March 8, 2012 – Less than a month after submitting a proposal to piece together a marketing and development plan for the former Monson feedlot, which the Sunnyside City Council OK’d at a cost of $33,000, former Sunnyside City Manager Dave Fonfara informed city officials he was no longer interested in overseeing the project. March 9, 2012 - Following a call from a concerned citizen about a possible domestic violence incident, Grandview police found 25-year-old Corina Santos had been
Dr. Jon Mercer (foreground) presented Jon Smiley with a plaque of recognition for serving as CEO of Sunnyside Community Hospital for nearly 20 years, at a retirement party held at Snipes Mt. Brewery and Restaurant.
killed in her East Washington Street apartment. Police soon after arrested Daniel Uvalle, 28, naming him as the primary suspect in the homicide investigation. March 12, 2012 – Betty Johns, 83, was the guest of honor at a surprise party thrown in her honor by members of the Sunnyside Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge. Johns was being recognized for her nearly 40 years of work for the local FOE. March 13, 2012 – In a report to the Sunnyside City Council prepared by the city’s new crime analyst, Courtney see “March” next page
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Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
continued from page 6
Percival, the data revealed that there had been fewer shootings in the city since the police department had been beefed up with more officers. March 14, 2012 – Eight young ladies announced their intentions of seeking the title of Miss Grandview. The 2012-13 candidates included Gabriela Avalos, Briana Nettles-Briggs, Daniel Charvet, Danielle Diaz, Kaylee Greene, Amanda Marquez, Laura Mendoza and Sonia Orozco. March 15, 2012 – The Lucky 7 bike shop mentoring program, operated by Sunnyside’s Promise, ceased operations when Grace Brethren Church officials notified the non-profit group they had other uses in mind for the building they had allowed Sunnyside’s Promise to use at no cost. The city of Grandview held a grand opening celebration at its newly constructed community center. March 16, 2012 – A dozen firefighters from Yakima County Fire District 5, wearing full gear and oxygen tanks, climbed the 69-floor Columbia Center tower building in Seattle as participants in the annual Scott Firefighter Stair Climb, a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. March 19, 2012 – The honorees at the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Spirit of Sunnyside Awards” banquet included the Sunnyside Police Explorers (youth award), Rachel Carrera (volunteer of the year), Tom Dolan (educator of the year), Mary Arthur (health care award), Dulcenea Salon owner Crystal Cervantes (community beautification award), Morris
Despite the objections of several citizens attending a Sunnyside City Council meeting, the council voted 4-2 to hire former Selah city administrator Frank Sweet, shown here talking with Councilwoman Theresa Hancock. Sweet was retained to serve as Sunnyside’s interim city manager, at a salary of just over $8,000 per month.
Floral & Gifts owners Mark and Sara Cook (business of the year), Advanced Collision coowner DeAnn Hoch-halter (business person of the year), Suzi Carpino (Hero award), John and Sally Saras (Pioneer award), Jim The foursome of (L-R) Restucci (pubShirley Martin, Mary lic official of the Espersen, Gini Stag- year) and Pam (comgers and Audrey Edes Craig were regular attendees munity service of the Silver Sneakers award). Under the exercise program at the of Sunnyside Community leadership Joyce Johnson, Center. the Sunnyview Women’s Republican Club was formed in Sunnyside. Leticia Garcia was named the interim executive director of Sunnyside-based Lower Valley Crisis & Support Services. Erik Sauve and Mitchel Wagoner each twirled a no-hitter in the Grandview High School baseball team’s doubleheader sweep of the Toppenish Wildcats. March 20, 2012 – A passenger in a vehicle that rolled and crashed on Van Belle Road near Sunnyside, 32-year-old Alfredo Rivera, died at the scene of the wreck. 83-year-old Art Pittillo of Grandview recorded the first hole-in-one of the year at Sunnyside’s Black Rock Creek Golf Course. March 21, 2012 - Sunnyside Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole announced that Ryan Maxwell would replace Chuck Salina as principal at Sunnyside High School at the end of the current school year. Maxwell had been serving as assistant principal at SHS. Long-time Sunnyside High School boys soccer coach Juan Pineda tendered his resignation. David Guevara and Sergio Licona Sr. were given charge of the team. March 22, 2012 – An 18-year-old Sunnyside High School student was shot to death at South Hill Park. Police initially declined to identify the victim. March 23, 2012 - Sunnyside police took into custody Ismael Garcia, 18, of Prosser, the prime suspect in the murder of 18-yearold Francisco Bautista, shot multiple times in the upper torso while at South Hill Park
Daily Sun News - 7
Councilman Don Vlieger indicated he was going to introduce two motions sanctioning Councilwoman Theresa Hancock for revealing to the public discussions that had taken place behind closed doors in executive session. In addition to a noisy outcry from those in attendance, Councilman Nick Paulakis tendered his resignation, saying he no longer wanted to be a part of the governing body. Paulakis was talked into retaining his seat, and the motions to sanction Hancock were never formally introduced that evening. March 28, 2012 – The city of Sunnyside was notified it had been chosen to receive a $250,000 state grant to help with revitalizing the downtown core. A Yakima County Superior Court judge set bail at $1 million for Ismael Garcia, 18, of Prosser for his role in the March Jerry Cardenas was the lone dancer who 21, 2012 murder of 18-year-old Francisco performed at Sunnyside High School’s Bautista of Sunnyside. An affidavit preannual talent show. More than $2,000 sented to the prosecuting attorney’s office was raised for Lower Valley Hospice & revealed that Sunnyside police believed Palliative Care. the motive for the killing was retribution for testimony given by Bautista during a the night before. March 26, 2012 – State testing results 2007 burglary investigation. March 29, 2012 – Grandview City Clerk revealed that Bickleton High School’s Anita Palacios was named the recipient of the sophomore class from the year before earned the No. 1 ranking from the 433 Washington Municipal Clerks Association schools statewide in end-of-course exams. President’s Award of Distinction. March 30, 2012 – Newly hired interim The Bickleton sophomores scored 100 city manager Frank Sweet opted to not percent in both math and reading. March 27, 2012 – Bedlam broke out at name Sunnyside Deputy Police Chief Phil a Sunnyside City Council meeting when Schenck as the acting police chief. Longtime Police Chief Ed Radder was retiring the following day, but Sweet said appointing an interim police chief was not a decision he should rush. The Sunnyside School Board approved a request by Special Services Director Cody Gardiner to have the district provide dental servicJerry Cardenas and Roger Lozano (L-R) were members of the es at the new Sunnyside High School Grizzly dance team that placed second in health center the Hip Hop division at the 3A State competition, held at the Ya- that was being kima Valley Sundome. SHS Coach Melodie Griffin also returned constructed at home with hardware from State, as she was named coach of the Sunnyside High year by the Washington State Dance/Drill Coaches Association. School.
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Reflections of 2012
8 - Daily Sun News
january 10, 2013
april 2 0 1 2
April 2, 2012 – Pacific Power reached a settlement with state regulators to pass along a 1.5 percent rate hike to its residential customers. April 3, 2012 – Jose Manuel Correa, 40, of Sunnyside - reported missing the previous day - was found dead with a severe head injury next to his burned-out pick-up truck near Granger. Floyd Koontz of Benton City was found guilty of first degree manslaughter in the May 2011 killing of Mabton’s Pedro Flores. April 4, 2012 – Sunnyside native Michael L. Christensen was among a class of 44 graduates of the 99th basic training class of the Washington State Patrol. Mabton High School hoop standout Josh Sanchez was named to the AP all-state boys basketball first team. Earlier in the season Sanchez set the school’s single-game scoring record with 45 points. April 5, 2012 – Javier and Judy Arce announced the opening of their new clothing and accessory store in Sunnyside, Yunique Styles. April 6, 2012 – The Olivares family of Sunnyside lost their home on Randel
Sunnyside’s Francisco Rodriguez and Jonica Bridges enjoy a lighter moment at a tri-chamber social event hosted by the Prosser Chamber of Commerce at Desert Wind Winery.
Yakima Waste Systems employees were busy distributing new garbage bins to Sunnyside households. The bins were designed to be picked up and emptied via a hydraulic, extendable arm controlled from inside the cab of the garbage truck. Road due to a blaze that started atop the kitchen stove. With six State titles to his credit and an overall record of 374-91, Dean Wagenaar resigned as coach of the Sunnyside Christian High School boys basketball team. April 9, 2012 – Nearly 50 people were left homeless when an apartment building on East Harrison Avenue in Sunnyside caught fire in the early morning hours on Easter day. Preliminary infor-
Wilson Tramel won top honors in the annual Mr. SHS competition, earning the high school student a $500 college scholarship. All told, the Mr. SHS contestants in the three months leading up to the competition raised approximately $6,500 for Memorial Hospital’s Children’s Village program.
mation revealed that barbecue briquettes that hadn’t been extinguished started the blaze. April 10, 2012 – The Grandview School Board officially notified the district’s teachers that based on revenue forecasts for the following school year, there could be a reduction made in staffing levels. The Sunnyside City Council approved a budget amendment, paving the way for the city to spend $38,000 to have the former site of El Conquistador Restaurant cleaned up. The owner of the downtown restaurant, which had been razed by fire, had filed for bankruptcy. April 11, 2012 – Yakima County commissioners approved putting a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax on the August Primary Election ballot to help fund operations and security improvements at the county jail. Commissioners warned that if voters turned down the proposal, the money to make the jail improvements would have to be taken from the county’s road improvements fund. April 12, 2012 – A crew from O.L. Luther Company was busy resurfacing the tennis courts near Mabton High School. April 13, 2012 Washington state lawmakers reached a compromise and adopted a balanced budget, closing what had been estimated as a half billion dollar deficit. Fears of cutting levy equalization funding to rural school districts never materialized, but legislators did have to dip into the state’s reserve fund, lowering it from 5 to 1 percent of the overall budget. April 16, 2012 – A sev-
en-term state representative from Washington’s 30th Legislative District, Mark Miloscia, made a campaign
stop in Sunnyside to stump for votes for state auditor. April 17, 2012 - Sunnyside Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole broke the news that the local school district had been approved for $6.2 million in state funding to proceed with construction of a vocational/technical skills center.
April 18, 2012 – Sunnyside voters, in a specially called election, approved a $5.3 million bond, to be used for the construction of a new fire station and the purchase of a new ladder truck. Bickleton voters also approved a three-year maintenance and operations levy for their see “April” page 10
Briana Nettles-Biggs (center) was crowned 2012-13 Miss Grandview. Named as princesses to the royal court were Danielle Charvet (left) and Gabriela Avalos (right).
B.J. Hougen tried maneuvering a Bad Boy lawnmower through an obstacle course at the grand opening of Sunnyside New Holland, owned by John Riehl. The tractor and farm equipment dealership provided a free barbecue lunch for all who attended.
Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
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Reflections of 2012
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january 10, 2013
may 2 0 1 2
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school district, which was anticipated to bring in approximately $450,000. April 19, 2012 – The suspect charged with pointing a gun at a Sunnyside policeman a day earlier, Marcus Torres, and then fleeing on foot, was found and taken into custody at a home in the 100 block of Arrowsmith Road, just outside the city limits. Torres, according to Yakima County Sheriff’s detectives, was one of five people believed to be responsible for beating to death Jose Manuel Correa of Sunnyside in early April. April 20, 2012 – The newly designed Sunnyside community float, sporting the theme “Fly to Who You Are,” made its 2012 debut in Sunnyside’s annual Torchlight Parade. April 23, 2012 – An 8-year-old boy playing with a lighter in a nearby shed started a blaze that razed a home in the 100 block of Parkland Drive in Sunnyside, leaving the local family without permanent housing. April 24, 2012 - Sunnyside Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer
Byron Olson tendered his resignation in order to take a similar job in Port Angeles. The Sunnyside City Council unanimously approved a resolution to renew the city’s commitment to an ongoing gang elimination strategy. April 25, 2012 – In a liturgy held at St. Aloysius Church in Toppenish, Sister Mary Rita Rohde of Sunnyside celebrated her 50th anniversary of serving as a vowed Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. The Grandview City Council accepted a bid of $909,079 from A&B Asphalt to take on an upgrade project of North Birch Street. Yakima County commissioners OK’d a $1 million contract with Bothell-based PowerCom, Inc. to upgrade fiber optic connections at numerous government agencies in the Lower Yakima Valley. A twin bill sweep of the Lyle/Wishram Cougars gave the Sunnyside Christian High School baseball team, under first-year Coach Tyler Alseth, the Greater Columbia 1B League title.
April 26, 2012 – Washington’s whooping cough epidemic continued to plague state residents, as health officials announced that confirmed cases had already topped 1,000 for the year, which was more cases reported in the state in all of 2011. April 27, 2012 – The annual Yakima Valley Dairy Ambassador competition drew no contestants, leaving the local dairy industry without a goodwill representative for the coming year. Despite an approximate $30 million renovation and expansion to Sunnyside High School, which hadn’t even yet been completed, local officials said the school was already bulging at the seams. A plan was pitched to the local school board to take on an add-on project to the recently constructed two-story classroom building at the site. April 30, 2012 – The Sunnyside community float won the Sweepstakes Award at the annual Granger Cherry Festival Parade. Grandview’sRikkiVerduzco hit for the cycle in the Lady Greyhound softball team’s 17-1 win over Toppenish.
May 1, 2012 – The Sunnyside family of Alvino Luis Carranza Sanchez was presented the Washington Gift of Life Award by Gov. Christine Gregoire. Sanchez, 26, died two years earlier, but his decision to be an organ donor ultimately resulted in five other people receiving vital organs to continue on with their lives. George and Eva Curiel purchased the Zingis Mongolian BBQ restaurant in Sunnyside. The Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church congregation broke ground on a new church building on North 16th Street. The new church was to be 36,000 square feet in size with a price tag of about $5 million. May 2, 2012 – In a lunch stop with the Sunnyside Republican Club, U.S. Congressman Doc Hastings explained the reason Democrats were unable to pass a national budget in the U.S. Senate, despite being in the majority, was a lack of support for tax
Sunnyside High School’s Abel Martinez takes a shot on goal, ending the match with two goals, to lead the Grizzly soccer team to a 6-1 victory over the West Valley Rams. The win propelled Sunnyside on to the 3A Regional tourney, where the team defeated Spokane’s University High School 1-0 in the opening round, lost to Eastmont by a 2-1 score and was then eliminated in a winner-to-State game by Mt. Spokane High School via a 1-0 score. Sunnyside finished the season with an overall mark of 10-9-1. increases called for by the Obama Administration. The Sunnyside High School baseball team concluded its season with a dismal 0-20 record. The Grizzlies were shut out in 11 of the losses, and were outscored 287-26 in the
Derek Rodriguez and Denise Granados, deciding on a photo package, were one of just many couples who attended Sunnyside High School’s annual spring prom.
20 games. May 3, 2012 – A team of students from Sunnyside High School, under the direction of Advisor Carl Walther, competed at the world robotics championships in St. Louis, and ended up ranked 66th from the 100 teams in its division of competition. May 4, 2012 – The Sunnyside clinic of Neighborhood Health Services learned it had been awarded a federal grant of $4.7 million, which was to be used to double the size of its existing facility and offer new services, such as a vision center. The Grandview High School boys soccer team claimed a 1-0 shootout victory against Selah to advance to the 2A District tournament semi-finals. May 7, 2012 – The Rolling Hills Chorus, with some of see “May” next page
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Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
cont. from page 10
its members hailing from the Lower Yakima Valley, won top honors in a regional vocal competition in Spokane in the small-group division. Sunnyside High School’s girls fastpitch softball team concluded its season with a winless 0-20 record. May 8, 2012 – Port of Sunnyside commissioners reacted favorably to the news from Executive Director Amber Hansen that the port’s former property development and project manager, Jay Hester, had agreed to replace her when Hansen retired at the end of the year. May 9, 2012 – Sunnyside High School officials released the names of the seniors making up the top 5 percent of the 2012 graduating class, based on grade point averages. The academic standouts included Maria Quintero, Abbagail Gomez, Eugenio Rivera, Cynthia Van Wingerden, Emily Wolfe, Huimei Yan, Berenice Aballi, Adilene Palencias, Manuel Rivera, Christeen Woods, Elizabeth Sustaita, Diana Cervantes, Kendra Hollmeyer, Amanda Villarreal, Juan Macias, Juliet Quiroz, Kimberling Garibay, George Villalobos, Gabriela Arellano and Lionor Galindo. The Grandview High School boys soccer team claimed a 4-3 loser-out victory against Ellensburg in
Children from Sunnyside’s Panda Bear Daycare danced along the parade route during Sunnyside’s annual Cinco de Mayo Festival, which again drew thousands of people into the city for the annual celebraton. the District playoffs to earn a berth to Regionals, but the Greyhounds’ season came to a close with a 2-1 loss to Pullman. Grandview finished the season with a record of 9-10-1. May 10, 2012 – The chief administrator at a hospital in Anniston, Ala., John Gallagher, was named to replace recently retired Jon Smiley as the CEO of Sunnyside Community Hospital. Jose Sarmiento Sr. and family opened The Ranch of the Eagle near Granger, which included a rodeo arena, concessions and beer garden area, a performance stage and bleachers, as well as parking accommodations. May 11, 2012 – A standoff at a home near Mabton between county deputies and a man wanted on a felony war-
Sunnyside American Legion Post Commander Greg Schlieve (L) gives Washington state’s first gentleman, Mike Gregoire, an up-close look at the work that had been completed on Sunnyside’s downtown Jerry Taylor Veterans Memorial Plaza.
rant ended quietly when the suspect, who had barricaded himself inside the house, surrendered. Sunnyside Christian High School’s baseball team dropped a 9-2 loser-out District tourney game to the Oakville Acorns. The Knights concluded their spring campaign with an overall record of 7-10. May 14, 2012 – As part of her senior project, Juliet Quiroz spearheaded a welding project and gifted an ornate graduation gate to Sunnyside High School, in which graduating seniors could march through during commencement exercises. May 15, 2012 – The Sunnyside City Council approved a funding request of about $9,500 for the hanging flower baskets project in the downtown core. The Washington State Senate approved a resolution recognizing C. Speck Motors of Sunnyside for maintaining its auto dealership for 100 consecutive years. May 16, 2012 – The Valley Theater Company, which was formed in Sunnyside in 1961 but in recent years had made Prosser its base, broke the news that it was just $50,000 short of its fundraising goal to purchase the Princess Theatre in Prosser. May 17, 2012 – More than a dozen people were left homeless in Grandview when an evening fire struck a fourplex on East Second Street. Firefighters believed a cigarette that was thrown out onto a balcony started the blaze. May 18, 2012 - Announcing their candidacy for the title of 2012-13 Miss Sunnyside were Amanda Cervantes, Vanessa Serna, Jasmine Gonzalez, Selesty Rosales, Maria Morfin, Perla Alcantar, Kelli Wilson, Jenny Hall, Elizabeth Bobadilla, Stefani Anciso, Ebony Chavez, Aidee Cisneros, Madison Marquez and Josie Marro. see “May” next page
Daily Sun News - 11
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Reflections of 2012
12 - Daily Sun News
cont. from page 11
May 21, 2012 – The annual Lower Valley Relay for Life, held at Grandview’s Rich Leenhouts Stadium, generated approximately $56,000 for the American Cancer Society. Sunnyside High School ‘s Eric Amaro won the javelin competition (167-5) at the 3A Regional track and field meet held in Richland. Trini Madrigal and Zach Wanderscheid, with 14 birdies and one eagle between them, won top honors in the annual Bill Christie Memorial TwoMan Best Ball Tournament at Sunnyside’s Black Rock Creek Golf Course. The duo finished 10 strokes better than their closest competitors. May 22, 2012 – A bomb threat believed to have been called in from a convenience store on North Avenue forced Sunnyside School District officials to evacuate the local high school. Public Works Supervisor Shane Fisher informed the Sunnyside City Council that a street sweeper purchased the previous December at a cost of $200,000 was the
World War II veteran Joe Gordon played “Taps” during the Memorial Day tribute paid to former military personnel from Sunnyside. More than 100 people attended the Memorial Day services at Sunnyside’s War Veterans Memorial.
wrong machine for the city and wasn’t performing up to expectations. Brittany Pierce, 22, of Springfield, Ore. claimed top honors in the 2012 Washington State Open Cribbage Championships,
Chef Jillian Patterson of Grandview’s Café Grande Vue prepared herb-buttered prawns at the annual Grape to Glass Gala hosted by the Yakima Valley Community College’s Grandview campus viticulture and enology program students.
staged in Sunnyside. May 23, 2012 – The Sunnyside School District presented its annual Golden Apple Awards to Deb Dale, Anna Maldonado, Hector Guzman, Curtis Campbell, Heather Hazzard, Jessica Schenck, Joshua Schlegel, Jean Guyer, Michelle Hutson, Karen Edes, Alberto Mercado, Stacy Alseth, Emma Saucedo, Tracy Bunch, Charla Graff and Anselmo Gaspar. May 24, 2012 – The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation released its annual list of most endangered historic properties. The Sunnyside building at the southwest corner of Franklin Avenue and Ninth Street – constructed in 1908 to serve as the headquarters for the Sunnyside division of the Yakima Irrigation Project – was owned by Sunnyside Community Hospital and had been included on the list because it had been slated for demolition, although those plans had recently
january 10, 2013
been scrapped. May 25, 2012 – The Sunnyside School Board approved honoring the late John Hughes, a former district employee who had worked to keep youths safe from substance abuse, by naming the new health center building that was being constructed after him. Sunnyside Police Officer Chico Rodriguez, cited as always going the extra mile, was named the “Latino Officer of the Year for the Yakima Valley” at the annual Azteca Awards Heritage Banquet. May 29, 2012 – Sunnyside High School senior Miguel Guzman was the only Grizzly of the four who qualified to compete at the 3A State track and field meet to medal. He captured third-place honors in the javelin, besting his previous best mark by 11 feet with a State meet performance of 179-0. Bickleton High senior Nic Venema won the boys pole vault and 110-meter high hurdles titles at the 1B State track and field meet, leading the Pirates to a fourth-place finish in the team standings. Venema’s younger sister, Jamie, also returned to Bickleton with a State title in hand, that coming in the girls pole vault. May 30, 2012 – Mabton School District Business Manager Gina Grow reported to the school board that enrollment had slipped to 856 students district-wide, the lowest it had been in the month of May since 2006. Grow cautioned that in preparing the 2012-13 budget, revenue projections would have to be based on the shrinking numbers. May 31, 2012 – A 20-yearold Sunnyside man was arrested for allegedly shooting at a can he had set up as a target in his back yard.
june 2 0 1 2
June 1, 2012 – Mabton High School officials named the students who comprised the top 10 percent of the 2012 graduating class, based on grade point averages. The six students included Jaqueline Cruz, Marlen Chavez, Karen Mendoza, Isabela Ahumada, Jazzee Sustaita and Eric Huesca. Fire District 5 officials believed an arsonist was to blame for a blaze that burned up 50 tons of hay on the George DeRuyter Dairy near Outlook. June 4, 2012 – Sunnyside Christian, Grandview and Mabton high schools held commencement exercises, graduating 14, 127 and nearly 50 seniors, respectively. June 5, 2012 – A Superior Court judge ruled that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which had filed a nearly $2 million lawsuit claiming sexual harassment in the work place against Evans Fruit at its Sunnyside-area orchard, did not engage in a good faith conciliation effort and ordered the agency
to negotiate with the firm instead of going to trial. Three seniors – Aymie Osborne, Nic Venema and Konrad Grabner – graduated from Bickleton High School June 6, 2012 – The Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Management Area Advisory Committee, charged with addressing nitrate-tainted groundwater, held its first meeting in Sunnyside. The 20-plus member group brought different perspectives to the table, but all agreed that the source of contamination and how to properly deal with the issue was of paramount concern. Paula Cherry of Grandview recorded her first ever holein-one at Sunnyside’s Black Rock Creek Golf Course. June 7, 2012 – In a move that had been long discussed, the city of Sunnyside moved the front office of its community development division to a spot off the main lobby at city hall. Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District officials held a ceremony that see “June” next page
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Reflections of 2012
Daily Sun News - 13
continued from page 12
noted the completion of $759,000 state grant, bringPhase I of the Sunnyside ing the total in grants and Conservation Project. The loans recently received to work involved creating $6.4 million, for upgradthree reservoirs, which act- ing and expanding the ed as buffers for water flow municipality’s wastewater in the local canals. treatment plant. June 8, 2012 – Jessica The Yakima County Estrada, 15, of Sunnyside Department of Emergency and missing from her home Management named the for over a year, was fea- Grandview Fire Department tured on the television show its 2012 Agency of the Year, “America’s Most Wanted.” citing the firefighters’ abiliSunnyside ties to service Sierra Vista the emergenM i d d l e cy medical S c h o o l needs of the health and community fitness teachdespite not er Crystal having its Cardenas own ambuGarcia was lance service. n a m e d June 14, Mabton High 2012 – The School’s new Sunnyside volleyball S c h o o l In an effort to help feder- District incoach. June 11, al and state government ducted three 2012 – Angel officials understand the more SHS Perez, 21, of issues Lower Yakima g r a d u a t e s S u n n y s i d e Valley growers were into its Wall was the victim facing, White House Un- of Fame – of a drive-by der-Secretary for Farm 1951 grad shooting that and Foreign Agricul- Joe Baze, took place tural Services Michael who became near the Scuse (L) and Washing- a nationally S u n n y s i d e ton State Department of r e n o w n e d S c h o o l Agriculture Director Dan professional District of- Newhouse paid a visit jockey; 1966 fices on East to the Grandview cherry grad Chico L i n c o l n orchard owned by Don R o d r i g u e z , Avenue. Perez Olmstead Jr. a long-time was flown to Sunnyside Harborview Medical Center policeman; and 1973 grad in Seattle to receive medical Dan Newhouse, a long-time treatment for his injuries. farmer who went on to earn Work crews at Mountain a seat in the Wash-ington States Con-struction of State House of RepreSunnyside were ramping up sentatives and eventually for a $139,768 expansion was appointed director of the and modernization of JM Wash-ington State DepartEagle’s pipe-making plant ment of Agri-culture. in Sun-nyside. Yakima Housing Authority June 12, 2012 - Sunnyside broke ground on a new, $3.5 Council-man Jason Raines, million, 10-unit seasonal ag questioning whether or worker housing complex in not Sunny-side’s Promise Granger. June 15, 2012 – Data rewas living up to the terms of its agreement with the leased from the Point in city, requested payments be Time homeless survey conwithheld to the non-prof- ducted earlier in the year it agency until the issues showed the Lower Valley were resolved. Interim City homeless numbers had fallManager Frank Sweet re- en from 306 people in 2011 ceived permission from the to 297 this year. June 18, 2012 - Sunnyside council to delay action unPioneer Elementary School til the end of the month, in hopes any conflicts could be Food Service Manager Accordia Horn received resolved. June 13, 2012 – The city of Mabton was awarded a Valedictorian Maria J. Quintero, one of 330 seniors capping off their prep careers, shared her reflections at the Sunnyside High School graduation ceremony.
the Louise Sublette a redesign of the Lower Award of Excellence Valley Transfer Station near from the School Nutrition Outlook. The remodel of the garbage dump site was Association. June 19, 2012 – Citing to include fixing a sinking time constraints, Lupe driveway and repairs to the Maldonado submitted his shed area where waste maletter of resignation from terials were dumped. The Sunnyside Police the Mabton School Board. June 20, 2012 – Former Department blocked a secWashington State Supreme tion of the roadway on Court Justice Bobbe West Edison Avenue and Bridge, and an advocate NW Crescent Avenue, imfor “Project Respect,” was peding through-traffic, as a a guest speaker at a Yakima means to prevent criminal County Commissioners’ gang activity in that part of meeting in Sunnyside that town. 57-year-old James Wofocused on human trafficking. She said the four C’s mach died in a tractor (collaboration, coordina- accident in his Grandviewtion, communication and area cherry orchard on clarity) were vital in local Ware Road. June 28, 2012 – In a residents effectively putting an end to the sexual landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the exploitation of children. Administration’s June 21, 2012 – The Obama Sunnyside Senior Citizens Affordable Care Act, dubbed group received a $3,000 Obamacare by most. June 29, 2012 – Pioneer Teresa Puente, a teacher at Sunnyside’s Sun Valley Eldonation from Legends Casino in Toppenish, with Elementary School Vice ementary School, bid farewell to her students on the which they planned to pur- Principal Kimberly Frank last day of school, which included this warm hug rechase a new flat screen was chosen to replace Julie ceived by Ruby Galvan. television and stove for the Schmick, who was approved for a leave of absence, as local senior center. June 22, 2012 - Sunnyside principal at Sunnyside’s native Samantha Arola, 19, Chief Kamiakin Elementary garnered a ‘Top 10’ finish School. in the sixth annual Old Town Days Idol Singing Contest in Union Gap. June 25, 2012 – The Sunnyside police and fire departments hosted a public safety fair at the Law and Justice Center, in an effort to Kaiya Salinas received a little help from Lower Yakima Valley native TSgt. Joey Castilleja, a give children Gretchen Chronis (L) and Deanna Car- member of the Air Force Band’s Wingspan musical an opportu- penter (R) at a tumbling camp hosted group, rocked out on his guitar during a free concert nity to get to by the Grandview Parks and Recreation staged at Sunnyside’s Centennial Square. know local Department. public safety officials. June 26, 2012 – At the request of Interim City Manager Frank Sweet, the Sunnyside City Council approved a 5 percent pay hike 1410 Yakima Valley Hwy. for Deputy Police Chief Phil Sunnyside • 839-8473 Schenck, who had been fillDave, Nancy, Rob & Dan Greene www.sunnysidetirefactory.com ing in as head of the police department since the resigWe can handle all your tire needs specializing in nation of Ed Radder. Eagle Rehabilitation in Sunnyside hired Idaho nasprayer tires Truck tires tractor tires Farm and Dairy tive Steven Saunders as its pick-up tires loader tires lawn-garden tires full-time speech therapist. Tire Specialists atv tires hyster tires passenger tires June 27, 2012 – Yakima County commissioners We Do all Auto Repair Work! approved a contract for • Lube, Oil & Filter • Wheel Alignment • Brake Work engineering services for
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Reflections of 2012
14 - Daily Sun News
january 10, 2013
july 2 0 1 2
July 2, 2012 – Despite a severe storm that brought both rain and hail, local cherry growers weathered Mother Nature, and by and large went on to harvest a profitable crop. Sunnyside City Councilman Jim Restucci, who traveled to St. Petersburg, Fla. to represent Washington and Oregon at the National Association of Regional Councils at its 44th annual conference, said on his return that one of his first jobs was to try and preserve the current system of metropolitan planning organizations, which he noted, was being threatened by new legislation introduced by Congress. Mabton police, following both a vehicle and foot pursuit, took an 18-year-old man into custody as the primary suspect in a drive-by shooting that occurred earlier in the day, in which another person sustained non-life threatening injuries. July 3, 2012 – Port of Sunnyside commissioners approved accepting a $500,000 loan from the Yakima County Supporting Investments in Economic Development agen-
A watermelon eating contest was one of the highlights during Sunnyside’s annual Fourth of July celebration. cy, for the future development of a 182-acre wetlands project. Tetra Tech was given the OK to begin the final project design. Habitat for Humanity crews began the construction of a new three-bedroom house on Tacoma Avenue in Sunnyside. July 5, 2012 – The day before the Fourth of July, Mabton City Council cham-
bers were packed with a vocal crowd protesting discussions to ban fireworks in the city. The council opted not to take action on the proposal to ban the fireworks, but left open the door the possibility to review such a ban in the future. Brianna Desmarais won all the girls 10&U races to lead the Grandview Neptunes swim club to its first win of see “July” next page
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Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
cont. from page 14
the summer, that coming against Naches. The victory improved Grandview’s record to 1-5 on the season. July 6, 2012 – The Rathbun family made a stopover in Sunnyside on its annual, 350mile Seattle to Walla Walla bicycling trip. For youngest son Rowan, it was the youngster’s first time getting to pedal his own bicycle. July 9, 2012 – Concerned with vandalism issues at the Mabton Cemetery, Mayor Angel Reyna said the city’s insurance carrier would be contacted to learn if any financial restitution would be forthcoming to fix the damaged property. July 10, 2012 – Interim City Manager Frank Sweet remained tight-lipped on his decision to terminate Charlotte Hinderlider, who had served seven years as the administrative assistant to the Sunnyside police chief. July 11, 2012 – Results from a study conducted by the Financial Consulting Solutions Group revealed that Sunnyside’s ambulance service was costing more to operate than the city was taking in through utility rates. July 12, 2012 – Citing financial woes, the Grandview
Michelle Luders of Bothell was one of many visitors to Sunnyside’s Tucker Cellars to sample wine during the winery’s 30th anniversary celebration.
Local firefighters worked on putting out a blaze at a home on Sunnyside’s South Emerald Road, but to no avail. The house was deemed a total loss, leaving the Doroteo Alvarez family no option but to turn to relatives for temporary lodging. VFW closed its post home. Officials said they had to choose between selling the building or turning the mortgage back over to the bank. Although an early draft of the 2012-13 Mabton School District budget showed $200,000 less in expenditures than the current school year, Finance Director Gina Grow told the school board more cuts were needed to eliminate a projected deficit of $770,000. July 13, 2012 – Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce board members Gerald Roy and Joey Castilleja, at the chamber’s monthly meeting, shared that the group’s newly designed website was continuing to receive multiple “hits” from as far away as Seattle and New York. July 16, 2012 – Sunnyside’s Jenny Hall, 16, earned a bronze medal at the Genius Olympiad-International Science Fair in New York City for her project that researched which natural filter was the most effective in urban runoff water. The Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley group moved its base of operations to a building on South Seventh Street. Its members were working on two major projects – creating a business incubator in Sunnyside and
organizing a pepper festival to be held in conjunction with Sunnyside’s Sunshine Days. July 17, 2012 – Presenting the monthly financial report to the Sunnyside City Council, newly hired Interim City Manager Frank Sweet reported that the city’s budget, which he described as a mess of spaghetti, needed to be reworked while at the same time moving forward with operations. July 18, 2012 – Meeting with the Sunnyside Municipal Airport Advisory Board, Interim City Manager Frank Sweet announced the city would not be continuing its inter-local agreement with the Port of Sunnyside in terms of airport operations. Sweet indicated that although the city
Daily Sun News - 15
would be making all decisions concerning the airport, he didn’t rule out a future working arrangement with port officials. July 19, 2012 – Interim City Manager Frank Sweet asked the members of the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Board to get behind the idea of supporting the creation of a parks district, which would allow local property taxes to be raised slightly to help fund park and rec operations. July 20, 2012 – Sections of SR-241 and SR-24, about 16 miles north of Sunnyside, were closed to motor vehicle traffic for eight hours while firefighters battled a grass fire that encompassed approximately 4,000 acres of land. July 23, 2012 – A summer squall, pouring down ping pong ball-sized hail, ripped through the Sunnyside area, damaging crops, structures, vehicles and homes. A state audit of the city of Sunnyside’s finances revealed that local officials had improperly transferred $900,000 from the utility fund account into the general fund to help cover day-to-day expenses. July 24, 2012 – Dipping into the beginning fund balance and eliminating such positions as school resource officer and two ‘C’ squad coaches, the Mabton School Board approved the 2012-13 general fund budget, which totaled $10.6 million. July 25, 2012 – During
Jaelei Grant of Grandview, shown here competing in the butterfly, was one of the swimmers representing the Neptunes at the Mid-Valley Summer Swim League championships in Naches. The Selah Dolphins came out on top to secure their third consecutive title. The Sunnyside Sharks, thanks in large part to the six victories chalked up by Jolissa Mendoza in the girls 12&U division, finished a close second. Grandview brought up the rear in the seven-team field.
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a Grandview City Council retreat discussions turned to finding replacements for three key city employees, all expected to retire by the end of 2014. The three staff members nearing retirement included City Administrator Cus Arteaga, Police Chief Dave Charvet and Assistant Police Chief Mark Ware. July 26, 2012 – Mabton High School students took to the streets carrying protest signs, objecting to the school board’s decision to begin implementing closed campus and school uniform policies at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. Boys 10&U swimmer Clay Schilperoort of the Sunnyside Sharks set two pool records in Othello and was in on two other records in relay competitions, in both teams’ last meet of the regular season. July 27, 2012 – Yakima County Sheriff’s detectives released the names of the two men involved in a shooting in Mabton two days earlier, apparently because of a dispute over money owed for vehicle parts. Adrian Garcia, 18, of Sunnyside was charged with shooting 19-year-old Jesus Gastelum of Mabton. July 30, 2012 – 3-year-old Julian Vargas-Lua of Mabton was struck by an SUV when he ran into the street and died from his injuries. In a report to the Grandview
Former NASA astronaut and Outlook native Bonnie Dunbar and her niece, Sydney Squires, were on hand for the unveiling of a bronze statue at the entryway to Sunnyside’s Central Park. The statue was designed to highlight Dunbar’s love of reading and learning from local teachers as a youngster, while also depicting her in NASA gear that was worn on her five space shuttle missions. City Council, Police Chief Dave Charvet noted that the overall crime rate in that community had dropped 8 percent in 2011 from the previous year. July 31, 2012 – During an undercover drug buy by DEA officials in Yakima, Sunnyside’s Manuel Sanchez attempted to run over an agent with his vehicle and was shot while trying to escape.
Connie Hauver, herding a cow towards a gate, was one of more than 600 people who competed in the annual “Sort 4 the Cause” fundraiser at Sunnyside’s Specks Arena. Organizers said the 2012 event exceeded the $15,000 that was raised in 2011 for Children’s Wishes & Dreams, Wellness House and the Tri-Cities Cancer Center.
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Reflections of 2012
16 - Daily Sun News
january 10, 2013
New Location...New Projects! W
e're excited to be in our new office at 2640 E. Edison in the Golob Landing Development. Stop in and we'd be proud to show you around. The Port of Sunnyside prides itself on its many accomplishments over the past 49 years and will continue to do so well into the future. We continue to work to bring new businesses to the area while creating infrastructure for local businesses to succeed. We are thankful for these opportunities to help enhance our local community today and into the future.
The Port is moving forward wth the environmental cleanup and development plans for the former Carnation plant. We look forward to creating a model development that will bring the area into productive use and back on the tax rolls.
The plans are ready and construction is gearing up for the school district's YV Tech skills center. The more than 13,000 sq. ft. facility located on Barnard Loop on Port donated land will offer technical training programs for local high school students. The legislature approved $6.2 million in funding this past spring.
A Special Thanks To You... American River Ag Bleyhl Propane Distribution Center Centennial Tank City of Sunnyside Curfman Steel Darigold, Inc. DRR Fruit EnTrust Community Services
Envirotech Services, Inc. Independent Foods JM Eagle Johnson Cannery Johnson Foods, Inc. KIE Supply LTI-Milky Way Sunnyside Beauty Academy
Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District Swofford & Halma Clinic United States Dept. of Agriculture U.S. Bank U.S. Dept. of Commerce U.S. Dept. of Ecology
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For your years of Dedicated Service to the Port and the Community of Sunnyside.
Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
Daily Sun News - 17
august 2 0 1 2
Aug. 1, 2012 – Speaking at a Daybreak Rotary meeting, Sunnyside Police Detective John Chumley reported there had been a drop in crime rates in the city in the first half of
2012. He credited the fewer crimes to having more officers on the streets, who in turn were making more DUI and drug arrests. Grandview Library officials
announced that by the end of the month a new e-book service would be offered to local patrons. Aug. 2, 2012 – Fiesta Foods in Sunnyside was the venue for a community health fair, hosted by the local grocery store, Sunnyside Community Hospital and the Sunnyside Lions Club. Aug. 3, 2012 – Gov. Christine Gregoire and Washington State Department of Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse toured Lower Valley vineyards and orchards to assess the damage sustained as the result of a recent hail storm. Dave Erho of Quiring Monuments helped lower one of two granite slabs, bearing the names of local military veterans, at Jerry Taylor Veterans Memorial Plaza in downtown Sunnyside. The refurbishment of the monument was being taken on by the Sunnyside American Legion post, headed up by Greg Schlieve.
Aug. 6, 2012 – Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church members, touring the site of their soon-to-be new church on North 16th Street, saw firsthand that the foundation of the building had already been constructed. The $4.6 million construction project, to date, was the largest in the city of Sunnyside in all of 2012. Aug. 7, 2012 – After a couple of months serving on an interim basis, Leticia Garcia was named the new executive director of Lower Valley Crisis & Support Services in Sunnyside. In presenting a draft of the 2013 preliminary budget to Sunnyside Port District commissioners, Finance Director Carol Carter explained that based on inquiries from land developers, $1.5 million had been plugged into the budget due to potential land sales. Carter said if the property deals didn’t materialize, the port budget would remain at the 2012 level of $1.58 million. Aug. 8, 2012 – Yakima County voters rejected a one-
Rosalba Posso, swinging from a hoop suspended overhead, was one of the performers for a circus that rolled into Sunnyside for several days. tenth of 1 percent sales tax hike that would have been used to make improvements to the county jail, despite county commissioners’ warnings that voting no on the proposition would force them
to transfer several hundred thousand dollars from the road improvement fund to the Department of Corrections. A large crowd, yelling and cursing at cops, attempted to see “August” next page
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Reflections of 2012
18 - Daily Sun News
january 10, 2013
continued from page 17
block Grandview police from reaching a 15-year-old teen who had been shot in the foot. The boy was eventually transported to Prosser’s hospital. Aug. 9, 2012 - Vancouverbased Prestige Care, Inc. purchased 10 properties owned by Eagle Rehabilitation, including the two convalescent centers in Sunnyside and Grandview. Aug. 10, 2012 – West Nile virus was found in mosquitoes that were collected in the Lower Yakima Valley and tested. Aug. 13, 2012 – The Yakima Regional Clean Air
Authority presented its annual Air Quality Excellence Awards, based on efforts to improving air quality, to Sunnyside’s CanAm Steel Corporation and Mabton dairyman Bill Wavrin. Aug. 14, 2012 – The morning after Interim City Manager Frank Sweet was offered the job on a permanent basis by the Sunnyside City Council, he was arrested and placed in Yakima County jail on charges of stealing Selah city property and possessing public records owned by the city of Selah. After a four-year stint as a
McGruff the Crime Dog hugged Mirella Guizar while Rosa Noriega shook the hand of a crash test dummy at one of the many National Night Out block parties held in Sunnyside.
public defender for Yakima County, Sunnyside-area native Alex Newhouse opened his own private practice at the Sunnyside law offices of Roger and Doug Garrison. Aug. 15, 2012 – A group of dog owners, with Becky Cantu as their spokesman, sought support from the Grandview City Council in establishing a dog park in the city. The council recommended she talk with parks and rec director Mike Carpenter to explore grant funding opportunities. Aug. 16, 2012 – Meeting in a hastily called executive session, the Sunnyside City Council decided to take a wait-and-see approach on the news that its interim city manager, Frank Sweet, had been arrested and charged with theft and taking public records during his time as Selah’s city administrator. The Department of Ecology issued a public health warning concerning air quality, due to smokefilled air caused by the Taylor Bridge fire near Cle Elum. Aug. 17, 2012 – Yakima County commissioners, because of a recent court ruling that struck down a portion of the city of Yakima’s adult business ordinance regulations, imposed a six-month moratorium on processing licenses sought by those seeking to open adult-themed
Sisters Marika and Cobi Van Slageren (L-R), here showing their dairy calves Chocolate and Buttercup, were two of the more than 200 4-H and FFA youths who participated in the annual Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo in Grandview.
businesses to give county staff time to revisit the county’s own regulations. Aug. 20, 2012 – A passenger in a car, 24-year-old Sandra Y. Guzman of Grandview was killed in a rollover accident on I-82 near Benton City. Washington state Free Masons conducted a cornerstone dedication ceremony at Sunnyside High School, which was on the verge of completing a $36 million expansion. Aug. 21, 2012 – After Menke Jackson Beyer Ehlis & Harper LLC of Yakima terminated its contract with Sunnyside, city staff began actively recruiting for an inhouse attorney. Sunnyside Port District commissioners authorized port staff members to ink a contract with a Pasco engineering firm to complete a feasibility study on increasing the port’s wastewater treatment plant’s capabilities. Citing financial concerns, Sunnyside’s Promise Executive Director Mark Baysinger announced the group would most likely be ceasing operations at the end of September.
Aug. 22, 2012 – As the certifying agency, the Yakima County Commission approved Phase 1 of a downtown Sunnyside revitalization plan. The city had received a quarter of a million dollars to pay for the design work of making sidewalk improvements and installing new light fixtures. Aug. 23, 2012 – Commercial Tire moved its operations from Yakima Valley Highway in Sunnyside to the much larger downtown building once owned by Tom Denchel Ford. Aug. 24, 2012 – 2008 Sunnyside High School graduate Emily Shuttleworth, speaking to a crowd gathered at Sunnyside’s Our Saviours Evangelical Lutheran Church, detailed the experiences from her recent two-week mission trip to the country of Cambodia. She noted 80 percent of the population in Cambodia is under the age of 30 because millions of young and middle-aged educated people were killed in a mass genocide by the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979. Aug. 27, 2012 – Sunnyside firefighters closed Yakima Valley Highway from Swan Road to First Street to motorists because of a chlorine leak from city well No. 8. Aug. 28, 2012 – Despite recommendations made by several local citizens, led by Pastor Bob Widmann, to put
Interim City Manager Frank Sweet on administrative leave until the legal issues surrounding Sweet’s theft charges had been resolved, the Sunnyside City Council stood firmly in its conviction that the city manager be retained. Aug. 29, 2012 – A Grandview-area horse had to be euthanized after it tested positive for West Nile virus. Sunnyside Interim City Manager Frank Sweet entered a plea of not guilty during arraignment proceedings, where he was facing three charges brought forth by the city of Selah related to theft and destroying public records. Aug. 30, 2012 – Sunnyside’s Promise board member Nate Bridges, seeking a $217,000 commitment from the city’s subcommittee on finances and administrative services to keep the group’s programs operational for the following year, was told by the group that the city of Sunnyside could not afford to take on that kind of expense. Freedom Socialist candidates for the U.S. Presidency and his running mate, Stephen Durham and Christina Lopez, made a quick campaign stop in Sunnyside. Aug. 31, 2012 – The Sunnyside School Board adopted a $64 million general fund budget for the 2012-13 school year.
Mabton City Councilman Mark Gourneau was put on the hot seat by his fellow councilmen concerning his many unexcused absences from meetings, but after receiving a commitment from Gourneau that he planned on taking a more active role, the council excused his absences and decided not to pursue actions in having him removed from the governing body.
Orlun McGuffin won top honors in the Pro-West bareback riding competition at the annual Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo in Grandview.
Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
Daily Sun News - 19
september 2 0 1 2
Sept. 4, 2012 – Although the results were mixed, some Sunnyside school children showed a marked improvement in state standardized test scores from the previous year. The gains included 38 percent of fifth graders passing the science exams compared to 25 percent in 2011; 25
percent of eighth graders passing the science exams compared to 22 percent in 2011; 73 percent of 10th graders passing the writing exams compared to 63 percent the previous year; and 48 percent of third graders passing the math exams compared to 43 percent in 2011.
A Sunnyside police officer sustained a cut to his forehead and a broken finger while attempting to break up a brawl involving at least 20 people at a social gathering at the Forum Dance Hall on Morgan Road. Sept. 5, 2012 – Yakima County officials approved a $30,825 contract with a Seattle firm to install a monitoring well and collect groundwater samples to address soil contamination at the former Cascade Natural Gas office site on Decatur Avenue in Sunnyside. The building had once been
Sunnyside High School QB Eduardo Salmeron, here escaping the rush of Grandview’s Diego Degadillo, accounted for four touchdowns in the Grizzly football team’s season opening 54-14 victory over the Greyhounds. Sunnyside finished the season with an overall record of 3-7, but one of the Grizzlies’ wins included a 27-24 Homecoming victory over the Moses Lake Chiefs.
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operated by county road crews, who were suspected of contaminating the soil when performing maintenance on vehicles. Sept. 6, 2012 – Although work crews were still onsite at the $36 million expansion of Sunnyside High School, classes opened on time at the start of the new school year. The only real snag was that the high school’s band room was not yet ready for occupancy because of electrical issues. Sept. 7, 2012 – Sunnyside School District officials said they planned to appeal a state audit finding, which showed the district had been overpaid more than $213,000 in state funding Mario Vivanco of team “Static Cling” did the stomping while Nancy Wheeler and Nicole Vivanco (L-R) directed the juice into a jug at the annual Great Grandview Grape Stomp on the YVCC campus.
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Jose Vazquez-Tellez, who had been on Washington’s Most Wanted List and was being sought by Lewis County police for a 2004 crime that involved multiple stabbings, was taken into custody by Mabton police following a tip from a local resident. Sept. 13, 2012 – About 50 people showed up for a community forum on human trafficking, at Sunnyside’s Oasis Community Church. Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck admitted to those in attendance that it had taken eight months for a group of citizens working on eliminating the trafficking of children in Sunnyside to convince him there was a problem here, “…and it wasn’t until I asked our crime analyst to run the numbers that I was convinced. I was not happy with what we found,” Schenck told those at the gathering. Sept. 14, 2012 – Jax Slegers, son of Sunnyside’s Jarred and Bre Slegers,
for its alternative learning experience program. Sept. 10, 2012 – Yakima Health District officials announced that a man in his 30s had been diagnosed with West Nile virus. Work crews were busy with an almost half million dollar remodeling project of an apartment building on East Harrison Avenue, which had been severely damaged by fire earlier in the year. Sept. 11, 2012 – Amber Hansen, who had served as executive director of the Sunnyside Port District for 22 years but was retiring at year’s end, was named by the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce to lead the annual Sunshine Days Parade as its grand marshal. A safety valve at a pressure regulator station at the Grandview Cascade Natural Gas building malfunctioned. Fire department officials decided to evacuate the nearby J.M. Smucker and Fruit Smart plants. Sept. 12, 2012 – Refugio
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Reflections of 2012
20 - Daily Sun News
September was named the cutest baby in America on the “LIVE! With Kelly and Michael” television show aired from New York City. Sept. 17, 2012 – A 32-year-old Grandview man took his own life after shooting his estranged wife, a 36-year-old Sunnyside woman, after she arrived at the Grandview home to pick up her three children. Four men were found guilty for their roles in a March 2011 incident described by police as a high-profile, gangland-
january 10, 2013
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style shooting that riddled an Outlook home with seven people inside. The four – Armando “Rascal” Lopez, Nicholas “Little Rascal” James, Jose “Solo” Jesus Mancilla and Jaime Lopez – were awaiting sentencing. Sunnyside’s subcommittee on finances and administrative services agreed to recommend to the city council to more than double the utility rate for ambulance services, in order to make the ambulance service self-sufficient. If
Sunnyside Sun Terrace Assisted Living & Retirement Center resident Ken Taylor, pictured here with his wife Pearl, was the guest of honor at a 100th birthday celebration.
approved, the committee noted, local residents would see their bills jump by nearly $2.50 a month. Sept. 18, 2012 – Two new Sunnyside businesses held grand opening ribbon cutting ceremonies – Western Stockmen’s and Imperial Printing. Sept. 19, 2012 – Yakima County Commissioner Kevin Bouchey, speaking at the newly formed Sunnyview Republican Women’s Club meeting in Sunnyside, explained that because voters had recently rejected a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax to make state-mandated improvements at the county jail, $2.8 million would have to be transferred from the county roads improvement fund to complete the jail upgrades. Sept. 20, 2012 – State officials announced that as of Oct. 1, as approved by the 2012 state legislature, driver’s license renewal fees would be jumping from $25 to $45, CDL renewal fees from $61 to $85, and license applications and exams from $20 to $35. Sept. 21, 2012 – Three
Newly crowned Miss Sunnyside Madi Marquez (L) was all smiles as she posed with the princesses on her 2012-13 court, (L-R) Jenny Hall, Vanessa Serna and Josie Marro. Sunnyside residents – Jacqueline Ramirez, 19, Augustine Avalos, 36, and Manuel Silva, 19 – were arrested in Grandview on charges of throwing Molotov cocktails at a truck in the 300 block of Davie Street. Grandview police said they believed the incident was to draw police attention away from the opposite side of town to help facilitate a vehicle theft. Sept. 24, 2012 – Alexia Verduzco, 20, of Grandview had to be flown to Seattle’s
Harborview Medical Center following a two-vehicle accident on I-82. Sept. 25, 2012 – A formal request from Sunnyside’s Promise board member Nate Bridges for $217,000 in funding to keep the nonprofit group functioning for see “September” next page
Marilyn McGann, displaying an animal print dress, was one of the models at the Sunnyside Nouvella Club’s annual fall fashion show.
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Reflections of 2012
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the next year received a chilly reception from the Sunnyside City Council. Interim City Manager Frank Sweet recommended the council deny the request because of the city’s poor financial situation, but council agreed to review the request at its next meeting in October. Sept. 26, 2012 – United Way kicked off its fundraising campaign in the Lower Yakima Valley at a rally held at Sunnyside’s Bon Vino’s Bistro & Bakery. United Way spokesman John Warren indicated that the goal was to raise at least $1.8 million, the same amount of money that was pledged from this area in 2011. Sept. 27, 2012 – Work crews were busy filling the hole where the downtown Sunnyside Safari Restaurant once stood. Rigoberto Carrasco, according to city records, had already submitted a business permit application to rebuild the restaurant, which had been razed by fire in the spring of 2011. Port of Sunnyside officials learned that the Community Economic Revitalization Board had approved $1 million in grant and loan monies to aid the port in putting in a pipeline that would transfer treated wastewater to a wetlands area that was being developed by the port district. Sept. 28, 2012 – At a public meeting held in Granger, Environmental Protection Agency officials claimed, after conducting on-site surveys at five cow-milking operations, that local dairies were responsible for 65 percent of the nitrate-tainted groundwater in the Lower Yakima Valley.
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Reflections of 2012
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Man of the year 2 0 1 2
Reyna takes the lead in righting Mabton’s ship
by John Fannin
MABTON – Turmoil, disputes, an aged wastewater system bulging at the seams and searing audit reports all plagued Mabton for the past several years. Today in Mabton there is relative harmony, a new union contract, wastewater upgrades in the works and clean audits. That all didn’t happen over night, but it did happen under the watch of Mayor Angel Reyna, the Daily Sun News 2012 man of the year. Vera Zavala is a Mabton councilwoman, and credits Reyna’s ability to communicate as a key to the council/mayoral working relationship. “He’s been really good, our mayor always informs us, calls us,” she said. “There are no shocks anymore. I appreciate that so we don’t read things first in the paper.” Zavala further praised public works progress in Mabton, including Reyna’s outreach to Grandview City Administrator Cus Arteaga. Also Grandview’s public works director, Arteaga, noted Zavala, has helped Mabton and its mayor “rework the way we do our public works.” That includes a new wastewater treatment plant that is underway which received state grant monies. All told, Mabton last summer garnered more than $6 million in a mix of grant and loan funding for the much-needed wastewater treatment plant update. Sen. Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside worked with Reyna to obtain the funds for Mabton’s wastewater upgrades. “I believe he is really on the ball,” Honeyford said of Reyna. “He’s not leaving any stone unturned.” He praised Reyna and Mabton for spending some of its own funds to handle pre-design work. That strategy, in turn, opened the possibility for Mabton to receive state help for the wastewater problems. “They’re on the move,” Honeyford said of Mabton’s mayor and council. Another project under Reyna’s leadership that is helping the city’s residents stay on the move is street repairs. He helped steer Mabton towards implementing a $20 car tab fee and recent road improvements such as Seventh Street. “That was really a needed thing,” Zavala says of improvements on Seventh. “It looks really good.” Mario Martinez is part of that “on the move” council, and he praised Reyna’s cooperative efforts. He says the progress is more than just projects on the ground, but about working with people. “Through Angel in working with staff we have a new 3-year bargaining agreement,” Martinez said. “He provides day-to-day leadership and works really well with staff.” Martinez added that certainty in having a deal with employees secured is a plus for the city when it comes to writing a budget, and for employees in knowing they don’t have to face renewed negotiations for awhile. Speaking of budgets, in recent years
Mabton Mayor Angel Reyna is pictured sharing a proposal during a Mabton City Council meeting. During his time as mayor, Mabton has seen a number of improvements such as moving forward with upgrading the wastewater system and a clean audit of the city’s books.
there has been many unknowns for Mabton and its budgeting. With help from City Clerk Ret Stewart, Mabton has gone from a point just three years ago when it didn’t even know its budget status to the point now that its books are receiving a clean bill of health from state auditors. Stewart has worked closely with Reyna on the city’s financial situation since he was elected mayor in 2009. “He’s positive, very encouraging to work with as a boss,” says Stewart. She noted his role has included serving as something of a liaison between her office and council in conducting the city’s day-to-day business. “He’s a very good listener,” Stewart says. “He has definitely made a real effort for the city.” Stewart said Reyna’s interest and concern for the city is demonstrated in other ways, such as serving as Santa Claus during a recent community holiday event and his leadership at resurrecting Community Days. The Mabton community under Reyna and the city council has made great strides in the past year. It’s safe to say this Viking ship has been righted. It’s a ship that’s been righted, but isn’t resting on that accomplishment. “We’re at about 25 percent of where we want to be,” Martinez said of other plans such as addressing the city’s municipal water system and attracting more business. “We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.” - John Fannin can be reached at email@example.com or at 837-4500.
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Reflections of 2012
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Daily Sun News - 23
Woman of the year 2 0 1 2
Dunbar shows that “dreams can come true”
compiled by John Fannin
From Outlook to outer space, Bonnie Dunbar’s story continues to inspire local residents. So much so that last July a life-sized bronze statue was erected in Sunnyside. She is the first living person to be honored by Sunnyside’s bronze society. Dunbar is the Daily Sun News woman of the year not just because of that statue, though, but for the spirit and dreams it portrays. “She’s living proof that dreams can come true no matter how big they are,” Sunnyside Mayor Mike Farmer said last summer when the statue was unveiled. Dunbar’s dream of space flight came about while she was still a girl on that family farm and continued for the 1967 SHS grad through high school. Her childhood dreams were spurred on even more by her love of reading. Appropriately, Dunbar’s statue not only portrays her as an astronaut, but also as a girl sitting on a hay bale and enjoying a book. Even as a model scholar, Dunbar juggled a wide range of extracurricular activities growing up. She made the SHS debate team and the Honor Society, became a cheerleader, and was voted most athletic girl in her class. “I wanted to be everything I could be,” Dunbar has said. Her desire to be part of the “space race” started as a girl following the path of the USSR’s Sputnik satellite. It continued through her undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Washington, followed by the University of Houston, where she received her doctorate. A key initiative to meet the challenge of outpacing the Soviet Union in space was the 1958 National Defense Education Act (NDEA). It was the ticket to the budding astronaut’s dreams. “If it hadn’t have been for the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) that provided scholarships and grant money to students willing to study science and engineering and teachers willing to teach the subjects, I wouldn’t be sitting here,” Dunbar has noted.
Outlook native and NASA space shuttle astronaut Bonnie Dunbar was honored last year with the unveiling of a bronze statue to celebrate childhood dreams that became historic accomplishments Without hard work and scholarships, Dunbar has said she might still be working in a Sears Home Repair Office or sorting corn. Dunbar’s education and diligence all came to fruition in 1985 when NASA employed her as an astronaut in the space shuttle program.
She became Washington state’s first female astronaut. What followed was five space missions over a 13-year period that included joint missions with the Soviet Union. She spent a total of 50 days in space and
conducted more than 200 experiments. Dunbar’s dreams carried her a long way, from Outlook to outer space, and during last year’s unveiling she praised the support she received as a child right here in the Lower Valley. “Growing up here, not one person told me I couldn’t follow my dreams,” Dunbar said. Besides the statue, both Sunnyside and the state of Washington officially declared July 16, 2012, Bonnie Dunbar Day. Dunbar’s accomplishments aren’t limited to space – or to a day on the calendar – as following her three decades with NASA she headed the state’s Museum of Flight. While there she was instrumental in helping the museum land a NASA space shuttle training module for the public – and especially youth - to experience. Today, Dunbar strives to share her experience and enthusiasm for science with a new generation. Joyce Stark teaches science at Sunnyside High School, and has worked with Dunbar both as a member of the bronze committee and in bringing her here as a guest speaker in local classrooms. “It’s nice to have the statue there as a permanent reminder of what she represents, the power of education and studying,” Stark said following the unveiling, which attracted several hundred visitors – including state and local government officials. The greatest praise the Daily Sun News woman of the year received in 2012 came not from government officials but from a Sunnyside hero of the “Great Generation.” That hero is long-time Sunnysider Les Amundson, who survived a Nazi prisoner of war camp during World War II. “I think it’s well deserved,” he says of Dunbar’s bronze honor. “She’s probably one of the most important people that Sunnyside has ever produced.” A person not important for who she is… but for what she accomplished in following a dream that led her to - literally – reach for the stars.
- John Fannin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 837-4500.
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Reflections of 2012
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Oct. 1, 2012 – At an assembly held at Sunnyside’s Sun Valley Elementary School, Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole presented a special t-shirt to Alyson Yanez in recognition of the youngster being the 600th student officially enrolled in kindergarten classes. Cole pointed out that comparing kindergarten enrollment on the 10th day of the 2011-12 school year to the 10th day of the current school year, the local school district had seen a more than 10 percent growth rate. Oct. 2, 2012 – The JM Eagle pipe production plant in Sunnyside, which had just made the switch to producing high density polyethylene plastic pipes instead of the PVC variety, began aroundthe-clock, 24-hour shifts. Four documented gang members, convicted the month before for their roles in riddling an Outlook home with bullets in March 2011, received prison sentences ranging from life to more than 160 years. The four included Armando Lopez, Nicholas James, Jose Jesus Mancilla and Jaime Lopez. Oct. 3, 2012 – Yakima Valley Libraries officials said in light of a recent U.S. District Court ruling they could begin being more selective about the content library patrons could access while using the library computers. The officials’ concerns centered on ensuring “little eyes and ears” weren’t accessing inappropriate material on the internet. Oct. 4, 2012 – Sunnyside native Matthew M. Van Wingerden, a 2003 Sunnyside Christian High School graduate, earned a Doctorate degree in organic chemistry at Caltech. Oct. 5, 2012 – Washington state auditors reported the Grandview School District, from 2009 to 2011, lacked adequate controls over its enrollment reporting for its
alternative learning program at Compass High School. Due to the errors in reporting, auditors said the district was responsible for paying back to the state more than $323,000. Schools superintendent Kevin Chase indicated the school district would ultimately appeal the audit finding. Oct. 8, 2012 – A motorist drove his vehicle into a power pole on Alexander Road, which led to more than 1,200 Sunnyside-area homes being without electricity for nearly six hours.
Valley Lanes owner Sue Rice presented a $300 check to Tanner Schaneman for rolling the first perfect 300 game of the season in league play for the 2012-13 season. Oct. 9, 2012 – Sunnysidearea dairyman Dan DeGroot was appointed to the Washington Dairy Products Commission’s board of directors. The Sunnyside City Council voted unanimously to deny a $217,000 funding request by Sunnyside’s Promise, which would have kept the non-profit group operational in organizing children’s and family activities for the next year. The Council, the same night, was also unanimous in voting to have the city enter into a letter of agreement to establish a community development cooperative with the
Joquin Lopez snaps a photo of Sam Powell and Terry Nixon at a special anniversary tea, held in recognition of the Grandview Rebekah Lodge’s 100th anniversary.
Hazeal Negrete, a trumpet player in the Sunnyside High School band, helped entertain the crowd at the annual Sunnyside High School homecoming football game. local school district, hospital and port district…with the focus on presenting a united front to implement community initiatives. Tony Hidalgo, Juan Rojas and Patricia Combs opened a semi-truck driving academy in downtown Sunnyside to aid truckers in securing their CDL certification. The Sunnyside-area Black Rock Creek Golf Course team won its sixth consecutive Mid-Columbia Senior Golf Tour title. Oct. 10, 2012 – The Grandview City Council was informed by a consultant that because water fund revenues were up by a considerable margin in 2012, instead of increasing water and sewer rates by 6 percent in 2013 as had originally been planned, rates would only need to be hiked 2 percent. Oct. 11, 2012 – Sunnyside Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck, who had been fulfilling the duties of police chief since the retirement of Ed Radder earlier in the year, announced he had no intention of applying for the vacant position. Oct. 12, 2012 – Poems that were of an extremely graphic and sexually explicit nature, introduced to her Sunnyside High School English class, resulted in Maria Preston being put on paid administrative leave. Oct. 15, 2012 – A $150,000 check was mailed to the Washington State University Scholarship Foundation from the estate of Dessie Brady, a long-time Sunnyside resident, who had passed away the previous year. Brady was the first female to graduate from WSU’s school of pharmacy. A 24-year-old Pasco man was found dead by Grandview police in his submerged car in an irrigation canal. Competing in Cheney, Samanta Castaneda broke the Grandview High School girls swimming record in the 100yard butterfly with a clocking of 1:17.20. The previous mark of 1:19, which had stood for nine years, had belonged to the current GHS swim coach, Rita Uribe.
Oct. 16, 2012 – An alleged love triangle of sorts resulted in Mabton police taking into custody 41-year-old Ubaldo Munguia-Castellanos, believed to have tried to kill 23-year-old Nicolas Huecias in a shooting spree that sprayed bullets all around the neighborhood in the 200 block of North Third Street. Oct. 17, 2012 – State Rep. Bruce Chandler, the guest speaker at a Sunnyview Republican Women’s Club meeting in Sunnyside, warned that Gov. Christine Gregoire was planning on introducing a budget that called for 5 to 6 percent more in spending. Chandler noted that the state’s pension system was at risk of being under-funded. Oct. 18, 2012 – The Safe Yakima Valley organization presented an outstanding service award to Sunnyside’s Promise Executive Director Mark Baysinger for...”making sure every young person in Sunnyside had access to caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education and opportunities to help others.” Oct. 19, 2012 – With just over 200 people in attendance at the annual Life Options dinner fundraiser in Grandview, more than $159,000 was pledged to help support the local pregnancy center’s mission. Oct. 22, 2012 – Ilda L. Islas, 44, of Prosser and her 14-year-old daughter were killed in a two-vehicle crash. WSP troopers said 21-year-old Jeremy E. Meyer of Mabton, driving a Flord flatbed pickup, crossed the center line and struck the woman’s Honda Pilot SUV head-on. Oct. 23, 2012 – A 3-yearyear Sunnyside boy suffered a
january 10, 2013
gunshot to the face while rid- the 3A District tourney. The ing in a vehicle with his father. Lady Grizzlies concluded the The accidental shooting was fall season with an overall rethe result of the toddler find- cord of 4-11-1. ing a concealed weapon in the Sunnyside High School’s vehicle and mishandling it. girls volleyball team, elimiOct. 24, 2012 – In approv- nated in postseason play by ing a $55.3 million general Hanford, finished the seafund budget, Yakima County son with an overall record of commissioners announced 2-13. that no more than 82 percent Oct. 30, 2012 – Following of the monies could be spent a segment on the TV show by public safety and law and “America’s Most Wanted,” justice officials. the U.S. Marshal’s Office isA San Jose, Calif. native, sued a plea to the public for Eduardo Gallo, was intro- help in locating Daniel Leija, duced as the new Sunnyside a former Sunnyside school area director for the Young bus driver, wanted since 2002 Life organization. on multiple counts of rape and Oct. 25, 2012 – Volunteer exploitation of children. Chore Services Coordinator Sunnyside Community Natalie Curfman public- Hospital Compliance Officer ly thanked the Sunnyside LaDon Linde was presented Daybreak Rotary Club for with the “Outstanding Safety assisting greatly with five of Leadership Award” by the her organization’s projects Washington State Hospitals in 2012. Workers Compensation Trust. Oct. 26, 2012 – JM Eagle Oct. 31, 2012 – Breaking a in Sunnyside unveiled to the five-year trend of 2.5 percent public its new pipe-making pay raises annually, Yakima equipment. Following a two- County commissioners voted year closure, the plant was to up their own paychecks by back up and running, primar- just 1 percent, as well as the ily producing high density paychecks of other elected polyethylene pipe instead of county officials. the PVC pipe it once manufactured. Oct. 29, 2012 – Robin Scott of Sunnyside was named the Yakima County 4-H Leader of the Year by her peers. The Sunnyside High School girls soccer A Northwest Tank Lining and Inspecteam dropped a tion crew was busy removing the 2-1 decision to underground fuel tank in downtown Kennewick in a Sunnyside at the site of what was loser-out match in once Johnny’s Service Station.
Vineyard workers around the Lower Yakima Valley, like this crew working the field next to the Sunnyside Grapevine Inn Best Western, were busy harvesting a plentiful crop of grapes, in this case of the Concord variety.
Sunnyside High School officials hosted an open house ceremony for the public, to showcase its $36 million expansion and modernization.
Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
november 2 0 1 2
Nov. 1, 2012 – A threeweek long investigation by Sunnyside police uncovered what was believed to be three large-scale burglary rings. Approximately a dozen people were taken into custody and more arrests, said local police, were likely. Manuel Angel Torres of Sunnyside was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison on a first-degree attempted murder conviction, in connection with a January 2012 incident when he repeatedly stabbed the mother of his 2-year-old child.
Sunnyside Port District Commissioner Jim Grubenhoff shared a congratulatory letter from Sen. Jim Honeyford with Amber Hansen at a surprise party thrown in her honor. Hansen, the longtime executive director of the local port district, was due to retire at year’s end. Nov. 2, 2012 – A man described only as being Hispanic robbed the Sunnyside branch of Bank of America. He passed a note to the teller at the drive-through window, threatening her safety, and successfully made off with an undetermined amount of cash. The Sunnyside Christian High School football team lost its final game of the season to Touchet, leaving the Knights with an overall record of 3-7. Grandview High School senior Oryian Matheny was named the CWAC Girls Soccer League’s offensive player of the year. Nov. 5, 2012 – Recipients of Social Security checks were informed that as of March 2013 all monthly checks would be distributed by electronic means only. The Grandview High School volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to Colville in a loser-out, winner-to-state match. The Lady ‘Hounds concluded their season with an overall mark of 10-8.
Bickleton High School senior Peter Clinton and freshman Troy Roberts placed 27th and 58th, respectively, at the WIAA 1B State Cross-Country Meet. Nov. 6, 2012 – In honor of 2-year-old Cannon Copeland of Sunnyside, battling an incurable ailment that doesn’t allow a person’s body to absorb copper, nearly three dozen people turned out for an “amazing race” in Sunnyside to help bring awareness to Menkes disease. Nov. 7, 2012 – Republican challenger Mitt Romney, late on election night, conceded the presidential race to incumbent President Barack Obama. Washington state voters approved a referendum to allow same-sex marriages, as well as an initiative that legalized possession of marijuana of one ounce or less. Nov. 8, 2012 – Sunnyside Port District commissioners adopted a 2013 general fund budget totaling $2.49 million, which included a 3 percent rate increase for those industries using the port’s wastewater treatment plant, which was expected to generate $109,000 in additional revenues. Nov. 9, 2012 – A Persian Gulf War veteran, DeLeesa Restucci was holding down the job of quartermaster at the Sunnyside VFW. She was the first female ever named to that post. Nov. 12, 2012 – Three days following a race too close to call on election night, Jay Inslee was declared the winner in the Washington state gubernatorial race over Rob McKenna.
Sunrise Outreach Executive Director Dave Hanson, the featured speaker at the Sunnyside Ministerial Association’s annual Thanksgiving service, stressed that the community needed to bring more awareness to its local residents that local food banks were in dire need of donations to help serve needy families. By a narrow 50.82 to 49.18 percent margin, an initiative that would allow charter schools to be established in Washington was voted in by state residents. Sunnyside High School sophomore Cassadie Moore, a transfer from Zillah, earned 13th and 14th place honors at the WIAA 3A State Girls Swim Meet in the 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley, respectively. Nov. 13, 2012 – The Seneca Foods Corporation confirmed talks were underway to finalize a deal to purchase Sunnyside’s Independent Foods plant, which for the past 40 years had been canning pears, apples and cherries. Nov. 14, 2012 – The Sunnyside City Council, by a 4-2 vote with Mike Farmer and Nick Paulakis in the minority, approved an ordinance that would allow such groups as the chamber of commerce and the hospital foundation to serve alcoholic beverages at as many as 10 events
per year at the Sunnyside Community Center and Centennial Square. Former Washington state auditor Teresa Hanford began work as the city of Sunnyside’s new finance director. The Sunnyside City Council was receptive to Fire Chief Aaron Markham’s plan to raise local residents’ ambulance utility rates, asking him to return with firm figures in hand that would show how much the rates would need to be raised to make the ambulance service self-sufficient. Nov. 15, 2012 – Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District officials approved a nearly 5 percent increase in annual assessment rates for those on the SVID 2013 rolls, citing an overall increase in the cost of equipment and supplies, labor and fuel. Nov. 16, 2012 – In budget discussions with the city council, Sunnyside jail officials said they had found a way to pare expenses by $72,100 in 2013, but it was a far cry from meeting an anticipated jail budget shortfall of more than $400,000. Under the leadership of newly named Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Commissioner Trish Combs, indoor soccer games for youngsters 5 to 14 years of age were being held at the Sunnyside Community Center. Nov. 19, 2012 – VFW Past National Commander Richard Eubank paid a visit to the Sunnyside VFW post home, spreading the message that all VFW posts must work to care for the active servicemen once they returned home from serving overseas. Nov. 20, 2012 – A 19-yearold woman, out walking along Grandridge Road in Grandview with her boyfriend, a known gang member, was shot by an un-
Daily Sun News - 25
Vocalist Terry Barber was the featured performer during a Lower Valley Community Concert Series Association event staged at the Sunnyside High School auditorium. known assailant from inside a car. Nov. 21, 2012 – Unable to deliver any “birds” to local families the previous Thanksgiving due to mostly empty shelves, thanks to various yard sale fundraisers and numerous private donations the Sunnyside Adventist Community Services food bank was able to provide 300 holiday turkeys to Sunnysidearea homes. Nov. 23, 2012 – Statistics released by city of Sunnyside officials revealed that only 13 building projects had been green-lighted the previous month. The largest of the new building starts in October was a home being built on South 13th Street by Rey’s Construction of Mabton. Former Sunnyside Christian High School basketball player Brian Bosma was hard at work preparing the Knights for the 2012-
Posting a 2-2 record at the 1B State volleyball tournament, the Sunnyside Christian Lady Knights for the second straight year earned the eighth–place trophy. Team members included (standing L-R) Coach Laura Eisenga, Emily Werkhoven, Danika Wagenaar, Shaylon Stuikmans, Maisie Wolters, Stormee Van Belle, Brittany Broersma, Annie Brouwer, McKenzie Benjert, Kate Newhouse, Katelyn Banks, Coach Janelle Draayer and Coach Stephanie Dalrymple; (kneeling L-R) Danika DeGroot and Alexandra Newhouse.
13 season. Bosma had been chosen to replace long-time Coach Dean Wagenaar, who had resigned earlier in the year with multiple State titles to his credit. Nov. 26, 2012 – The Sunnyside Housing Authority was notified it had been approved for $1.5 million in funding by the Washington State Department of Commerce, for the construction of 40 new housing units at its Federal Way site. Catholic Charities Housing Services also received a $2.3 million grant to construct a 61-unit housing project in Granger for farm workers and low-income residents. Nov. 27, 2012 – The Sunnyside City Council voted unanimously to have Century Link provide internet and telephone services for all city operations. The new agreement, said Interim City Manager Frank Sweet, would save the municipality approximately $16,000 annually. The Mabton School Board voted to stiffen high school graduation requirements so that all required classes would meet the minimum requirements for entry into four-year universities. Nov. 28, 2012 – The Mabton City Council authorized Yakima-based Sunrise Outreach Services to take over operations of the Mabton food bank. Washington state labor economist Don Meseck reported that unemployment levels in Yakima County were at their lowest point since see “November” next page
Architect Gary Wetch (L), with high school principal Ryan Maxwell looking on, addressed the Sunnyside School Board and detailed that with money still available from the passage of a bond measure in 2010, another expansion project at Sunnyside High School could be completed, even though the finishing touches were just being put on a $36 million upgrade to the facility. The school board voted unanimously to proceed with the expansion, which called for adding 12 classrooms to the new two-story building at the high school, with the possibility of converting three of them into a childcare facility. The new construction plans also called for building a 6,840 square foot multi-purpose building on the southeast corner of the school gymnasium.
Reflections of 2012
26 - Daily Sun News
2 0 1 2
continued from page 25
October 2011. Nov. 29, 2012 – Interim City Manager Frank Sweet informed the Sunnyside City Council in a 2013 budget discussion meeting that city staff was seeking approval for an across the board 3 percent increase in water utility rates for the following year. Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) was re-elected as deputy floor leader in the Washington State Senate. Angel Tovar, citing time and family commitments, resigned from the Mabton School Board, leaving two seats vacant. Fellow school board director Lupe Maldonado had stepped down earlier in the year, but a replacement hadn’t yet been found for him. Nov. 30, 2012 – Yakima County Sheriff Ken Irwin revealed that three currently vacant positions in his department would remain unfilled in 2013 because of $521,000 in budget cuts.
Century Link employee Raymond Funston was busy stringing lights on the tree in front of Sunnyside City Hall, helping the community get all decked out for the annual Lighted Farm Implement Parade.
january 10, 2013
Dec. 3, 2012 – Brock Ledgerwood surpassed Andy Affholter’s old mark of 152 career victories coaching boys basketball at Mabton High School. Ledgerwood’s school-record 153rd win came in a 60-52 victory over Granger in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic at the Yakima Valley Sundome. Dec. 4, 2012 – Sunnyside School District officials formally dedicated a new health center constructed on the campus of Sunnyside High School, naming the medical facility posthumously in honor of long-time substance abuse counselor John Hughes. Unable to close a $965,000 gap in revenues and expenditures for 2013, the Sunnyside City Council was forced to schedule an eighth budget planning meeting. Dec. 5, 2012 – Sunnyside’s Bronze Society members, in wrapping up work on the larger-than-life statue that was erected earlier in the year, approved the final draft of the text that was to be en-
graved on the descriptive plaque of the Bonnie Dunbar statue. Senior Payton Parrish topped the 1,000-point mark for her prep career in the Grandview High School girls basketball team’s 69-63 overtime victory over Sunnyside. Dec. 6, 2012 – State officials released the news that by year’s end up to 60,000 Washington residents would stop receiving unemployment benefits because the federal government’s emergency unemployment compensation program was expiring as of Dec. 29. Dec. 7, 2012 – Sunnyside Interim City Manager Frank Sweet, taken to small claims court because of a private loan he accepted nearly 10 years previously, reached a settlement and wrote out a check for $5,000 to the man, plus paid all court costs. Dec. 10, 2012 – The chair of Washington state’s Heritage Barn Advisory Committee, Sunnyside’s Jerri Honeyford, was presented an award during the National Historic
Volunteers Vera Zavala and Oping Hutson (at left) dish up turkey dinners with all the trimmings at Mabton’s 39th annual holiday feast, free to all senior citizens. Picking up the dinners in takeout trays for senior citizens unable to attend the dinner at Artz-Fox Elementary School are teens Jazmyn Bates (L) and Maria Martinez.
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A John Deere tractor disguised as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was one of the more than 75 entries that delighted onlookers in Sunnyside’s 24th annual Lighted Farm Implement Parade. Preservation Conference in Spokane. The award was in recognition of the committee’s work in restoring 46 barns statewide, and getting 500 barns added to the state’s historic registry. The Sunnyside High School wrestling team for the fourth consecutive year won top team honors at the annual Larry Brown Invitational in Fife. Dec. 11, 2012 – The Mabton City Council ap-
proved a 2013 budget totaling $2,012,858. Plans called for hiring a full-time wastewater plant operator and adding two more reserve officers to its police force. The Sunnyside City Council approved the expenditure of $107,600 in lodging tax monies in 2013. The specific projects to be funded included $10,000 for the chamber of commerce to promote Sunshine Days, another $10,000 for the chamber
to expand the festivities during the annual lighted farm implement parade, $20,000 to aid in hosting the annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in Sunnyside and $45,000 for the chamber of commerce to continue with its day-today operations of promoting events that would help draw tourists into the city. Dec. 12, 2012 – A threevehicle pile-up on Yakima Valley Highway near Outlook see “December” next page
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Reflections of 2012
january 10, 2013
December claimed the life of 58-yearold Estella Z. Patterson of Outlook. Leaving several staff vacancies unfilled, the Grandview City Council adopted a 2013 budget that totaled $16.8 million. Dec. 13, 2012 – The Grandview School District was notified it would be receiving a $457,274 grant from the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to aid in making energy efficient upgrades to its school buildings. Dec. 14, 2012 – Despite a few minor ‘punch list’ items to be remedied, the $36 million expansion and modernization project at Sunnyside High School was deemed complete. Dec. 17, 2012 – Walla Walla native Spencer G. Kelty, one of 37 newly commissioned Washington State Patrol troopers, was assigned to serve at the WSP’s Sunnyside detachment. Dec. 18, 2012 – Sunnyside Port District officials, after numerous months of checking into liability issues concerning hazardous contamination found on the site, approved the acquisition of the former Carnation milk plant on South First Street in Sunnyside. Dec. 19, 2012 – Scott Orate was named the Sunnyside Police Department’s officer of the year for 2012. Filling one of three vacancies on the Mabton School Board, former Mabton Mayor James Adams was sworn in to office. Dec. 20, 2012 – The manager of Sunnyside’s Goodwill store, Chella Cardenas, discovered more than $10,000 in cash in a shoebox when opening a recent batch of donations. Goodwill officials said an attempt would be made to find the rightful owners of the money. Dec. 21, 2012 – At yet another budget discussion meeting, the Sunnyside City Council disagreed on how much utility fees and taxes would be hiked in 2013. The council did, however, come to the consensus that the Sunnyside Police Department would be kept intact, including retaining the position of deputy police chief, which at an earlier meeting had been discussed as being eliminated. Dec. 24, 2012 – Nearly a dozen Sunnyside residents spent 27 minutes walking through Sunnyside’s Mid
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Valley Mall as a tribute to the 27 people who had recently lost their lives in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Dec. 26, 2012 – Although she was officially on the job until the end of the year, long-time Sunnyside Port District Executive Director Amber Hansen had already departed for Arizona to start her retirement years. Dec. 27, 2012 – City of Sunnyside employees were gearing up to switch from a four-day work week to a Monday through Friday shift. The new work schedule that called for all city facilities to be open five days a week was to go into effect the first week of the new year. Following a seven-year stint as the chaplain for Lower Valley Hospice & Palliative Services, Rev. Allan Johnston retired. Dec. 28, 2012 – The Sunnyside City Council approved taking approximately $800,000 from its $1 million contingency fund to balance the city’s fiscal books for 2012. The Council, by a 6-1 vote, then proceeded to approve the 2013 general fund budget, which totaled $8.4 million. The budget included a three-fold increase in utility taxes, a 3 percent rate hike in water and sewer bills and more than doubling monthly ambulance fees for local residents. Dec. 31, 2012 – Sunnyside police were still searching for 31-year-old Armando Godinez Ramos of Sunnyside, who three nights earlier had
Vernita Coffey, from behind a new spacious desk, was greeting visitors to the Sunnyside Port District’s new office location at Golob Landing on East Edison Avenue. Port officials moved their office operations from downtown Sunnyside to the former Horizon building. been identified by witnesses as the man who had pumped several rounds from a handgun into the ceiling of the Dark Horse Inn. The Sunnyside High School wrestling team cap-
tured top honors at the annual Winter Cup invite at Hanford High School. It was the third tournament championship the Grizzly grapplers had won in the month of December.
Troy Monholland of Sunnyside, a member of the honor guard in attendance at the “Wreaths Across America” ceremony held in Grandview, helped put out 230 wreaths on the graves of military veterans.
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2-year-old Arieana Matheson gets a big hug from Santa while shopping with her family at Sunnyside’s Mid Valley Mall.
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Bickleton’s Jamie Venema hit a lay-up enroute to scoring 29 points in the Lady Pirate basketball team’s 47-29 victory over White Salmon. The win pushed the Bickleton girls’ record to 4-1 on the young season.
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Reflections of 2012
28 - Daily Sun News
january 10, 2013
We would like to thank our students, staff and community for an incredible 2012!
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gradhad a t! 12 0 2 en f lass o rly 80 perc C S H a The S rate of ne n io t a u
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We look forward to an amazing 2013! er lab at e comput h t e s u s research. Student .S. to do M a t is V Sierra Students at Chief Kamiakin Elementary use iPads to practice math drills.
January is School Board Appreciation Month Join us in taking time to thank our award-winning Board of Directors for all the hard work they do in leading the Sunnyside School District
Lorenzo Garza, Jr.
Winners of the 2008 WSSDA School Board of the Year Award and 2010, 2011 & 2012 School Board of Distinction Awards