Stories for July 2013


Wednesday, July 31

Ag advocates poo-poo idea of banning manure applications during summer months

GRANGER - For the second time in less than a week a crowd of Yakima Valley residents unanimously sided against a proposal to prohibit manure applications during burn bans.

We're not your typical Nielsen's household

Last week Joni and I completed a session as a Nielsen household. For one week we were asked to document everything we watched on television.

Guest column: Intentional dementia

During Mother's last few months, conversations were extremely difficult to follow because her mind seamlessly switched from one decade to another.

Forum: Re-elect Don Vlieger

I am absolutely amazed at the 70 percent drop in the crime rate within our community in comparison to just four years ago.

Princess Prep slated for Aug. 17

Girls who want to be princesses are invited to spend a day with the 2012-13 Miss Sunnyside Court and 2013-14 candidates for the Miss Sunnyside Pageant learning about nail painting, pageant walking and how to wave like a princess.


Tami Rae Mathison, 41, of Sunnyside was born on March 13, 1972 in Spokane, to Raymond Carroll Hoffman and Gloria Ann (Blanck) Hoffman.

Fundraiser planned for ailing bank manager

Sunnyside branch of American West Bank staff are hosting a silent auction Sunday, Aug. 11, from noon to 3 p.m. to benefit their branch manager, Sandy Purcell.

Book drop box being removed

The community of Sunnyside's book drop box in the parking lot of the Daily Sun News will be removed soon.

Black Rock Creek seniors pulling away in standings

MATTAWA - Powered by Akira Nozaka's even-par 72, the Sunnyside-area Black Rock Creek team notched a second-place finish last week at the eighth stop on the 2013 Mid-Columbia Senior Golf Tour.

WSU Cougar baseball camp in Sunnyside on Aug. 13-14

A WSU Cougar baseball camp will be held at Sunnyside's South Hill Park Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 13-14.

Drinking water survey underway

Students from Heritage University started conducting door-to-door surveys in the Lower Yakima Valley this week to get residents' opinions on drinking water and its safety.

Grandview man shot during drive-by

GRANDVIEW - Last night (Tuesday) just before 9 p.m. a 42-year-old Grandview man was shot in the 200 block of Avenue E.

Clearer picture emerges from spouse of woman who perished in house fire

Despite earlier reports that the woman trapped in a house fire near Sunnyside last Thursday night was standing near an upstairs window and appeared afraid to jump, apparently was not the case.

Newest Catholic Charities development has tenants

GRANDVIEW - Grandview's low-income families now have a new place to call home.

Tuesday, July 30

Families gather here to observe military honors for their loved ones

It was short service, filled with long pauses, accented by the gentle flutter of Old Glory. The military send-off held Monday afternoon at Jerry Taylor Veterans Memorial Plaza attracted a small, but thankful crowd.

CPA office name change

PROSSER - Sattler & Associates, certified public accountants in Prosser, has changed its name to Newhouse & Associates, but the change will not affect the Sattler & Associates office in Sunnyside.

Newspaper a stepping stone for 2012 Sunnyside High grad

Megan Armstrong likes the close-knit community she's found in Sunnyside.

Memorial hospital names new CEO

YAKIMA - Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital didn't have to look far for its next CEO, as current Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Russ Myers was appointed to the post.

Primary care clinic now open in Prosser

PROSSER - Residents from Prosser to Zillah now have a new option for medical care with the opening of the Adventist Health Medical Clinic in Prosser.

Local therapist expands services

Sunnyside physical therapist Micah Heeringa recently acquired Toppenish Physical Therapy and Zillah Physical and Occupational Therapy, as part of a merger handled by an outside health care company.

Area students earn degrees from UW

SEATTLE - Four University of Washington students from Sunnyside earned their Bachelor's degrees during commencement ceremonies held this past June on the Seattle campus.

Fourmidable...Dolphins garner another championship meet title

SELAH - Four and counting....that's how many Mid-Valley Summer Swim League championship meet titles the Selah Dolphins have claimed in the last four years.

Bickleton still safe from raging wildfire

BICKLETON - Despite rumors, Bickleton has not yet received an evacuation order from the Klickitat County Sheriff's office due to the Mile Marker 28 fire, although the entire area is on alert.


Homer Eugene "Gene" Fields, 90, a former Sunnyside resident, passed away on Friday, July 26, 2013, at his home in Cashmere.

Monday, July 29

Governor appoints independent consultant to YVCC board of trustees

YAKIMA - The Yakima Valley Community College board of trustees has a new appointee. Rosalinda Mendoza, appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this week, is currently an independent consultant who provides expertise in the areas of strategic planning, program and organizational development, operations, and policy.


Marie E. Johnson, 86 of Sunnyside passed away on Wednesday July 24, 2013. Marie Olson was born in Longview, to Anna and Carl Olson. Marie attended elementary school in Longview, before the Olson family moved to the Sunnyside area.

Gang-like shooting occurs early Sunday on S. Outlook Road

Yakima County Sheriff deputies have started the investigation into a shooting in the 300 block of South Outlook Road reported at about 3 a.m. yesterday morning (Sunday).

Suspension of prosecutor leaves city court scrambling

Attorney may seek dismissal of Townhouse Motel case

"It complicates things terribly, as of this moment I'm not sure who I'm supposed to deal with." That's attorney Doug Garrison's take on the lack of a permanent prosecutor in Sunnyside. Last Thursday the Sunnyside lawyer and his clients, Townhouse Motel owners Fred and Helen Kim, felt the full impact of prosecutor Kathleen Hitchcock's suspension from her post due to DUI charges just a day earlier.

Body of fire victim recovered Friday

The cause of a fire that took the life of Sunnyside businesswoman Tami Mathison, 50, last Thursday night is still under investigation, according to the Yakima County Fire Marshal's office.

Grandview man named state's American Legion commander

Jim Davidson of Grandview was elected to serve as the Washington Department Commander of The American Legion at the 95th annual convention held earlier this month in Yakima.

Friday, July 26

Death notice: MARIE E. JOHNSON

Marie E. Johnson, 86, of Sunnyside died on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

TYREE'S TYRADES: Your car's black box...friend or foe?

Maybe you were never told. Maybe you just forgot. But you probably don't think about your car "spying" on you.

What's Happening

What's Happening

Ride for charity open to cyclists

YAKIMA - Cyclists who want to experience Yakima's wine country on a 25-mile journey aimed at helping people in need can sign up now for the first annual Ride D'Vine to be held Saturday, Aug. 10, starting at 9 a.m.

End in sight?

District's patience wearing thin on $30 million-plus high school upgrade

Nearly a week ago, Sunnyside School District administrators learned the district had qualified for an additional $5 million in capital construction funds, which has already been designated to add 13 new classrooms and a multipurpose room at Sunnyside High School.

Sunnyside woman perishes in house fire

The C&S Transport company employees showing up to work early this morning were shocked to learn their employer, Tami Mathison, had presumably perished in a fire at her family home late Thursday night.

New leader at helm

The Sunnyside School Board bade farewell to Miguel Puente last night after first taking its time establishing who would take his place as president of the board.

Sunnyside Municipal Court prosector suspended by city manager following DUI charge

Less than six months after a tearful plea to keep her job, Kathleen Morehouse was suspended from her post as the Sunnyside city prosecutor after she was arrested on DUI charges this week.

Obituary: JOHN MEEK

John "Jack" Meek, 86, of Sunnyside passed away on Thursday, July 25, 2013, at home surrounded by his loving family.


Aurora Escobar, 74, of Sunnyside passed away on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Aurora was born Feb. 23, 1939 in Carrizo Springs, Texas.

Death notice: ARNOLD TREVINO

Arnold Trevino, 66, of Grandview died on Monday, July 22, 2013.

Talking heads

Eight months ago Sunnyside United was formed.

Thursday, July 25

Sunnyside attempting to get handle on glitches

Interim Finance Director David Layden was scheduled to have a budget financial print-out for the first six months of 2013 at Tuesday’s meeting, but he said glitches Tuesday afternoon delayed it.

Sunnyside church steps up community outreach

Sunnyside's Oasis Community Church, known locally for its many efforts to offer comfort to the homeless, has now announced plans to launch a ministry to change for the better lives of at-risk youth.


Ernestina Valdez Castellanos, 88, of Sunnyside went to be with God and her loved ones on Friday, July 19, 2013, after a short battle with cancer.

Block parties planned for National Night Out

National Night Out will be observed in Sunnyside on Tuesday, Aug. 6, with 12 block parties planned, according to the Sunnyside Police Department. National Night Out festivities are designed to bring together residents of local neighborhoods in an attempt to curb criminal activity.

Sunnyside swimmers drench Tarpons

TOPPENISH - The Sunnyside contingent of Katelyn Banks, Kalie Bestebreur, Summer Hazzard, Aidan Hudgens and Lindsay Schilperoort rang up a 65-0 scoring advantage in the girls 16&U division last night.

Currier top golfer in ladies competition

Playing under a scorching, sun-soaked sky, Maryanne Currier of Prosser sizzled on the links this past Tuesday in 18-hole ladies play at Black Rock Creek Golf Course. Play of the day was to post the low gross score on the front nine at the Sunnyside-area course.

Wednesday, July 24

Increased staffing levels sought by Grandview department heads

GRANDVIEW - In all areas things are looking good in Grandview, but department heads here say they need more staffing.

Money tight in Bickleton School District

BICKLETON - Bickleton School District may need to dip into its cash reserves to meet operating expenses this next year, according to Business Manager Judy Naught.

Forum: Vlieger a good leader

Don Vlieger may be not a politician, but one heck of a good leader and role model.

WORDS FROM WASHINGTON: Our national policies need to reflect needs of local farmers

Central Washington farmers are working harder than ever to produce some of the world's finest and most diverse agriculture products.


Christina Knoth, 61, of Outlook died on Monday, July 22, 2013.

Prison time for Grandview man

YAKIMA - Alejandro Guadalupe Martinez of Grandview has been sentenced to just more than 19 years in prison for the murder of Mariano Cuevas in 2011.

Mabton water woes still center stage

MABTON - Could a new city well be in Mabton's future? While public works crews continue to work to get well #4 back on line, Mabton City Council has found itself worrying that well #5, now supplying the city's water lines, won't hold.

Crime down, needs up for Grandview police

GRANDVIEW - The rate of major crime in Grandview is the city's lowest in at least a decade. It's been slashed by half in a span of just five years.

Tuesday, July 23

YouthBuild program builds more than houses

GRANDVIEW - Why would a teenage mom of a 4-year-old boy want to get up at 5 a.m. each day to learn how to use a hand saw? Ask Gisel Sandoval, a 2013 graduate of YouthBuild, who is currently working with Habitat for Humanity on a Granger construction site.

Death notice: DOLORES MONSON

Dolores (Alba) Monson, 80, of Yakima died on Friday, July 19, 2013.


Ernestina V. Castellanos, 88, of Sunnyside died on Friday, July 19, 2013.

Family owned business returns to its roots

Schreiner Title Co., a business with long ties to the Sunnyside community, has relocated to the offices located at 308 Yakima Valley Highway.

Sunnyside home to one of Maverik's top convenience stores in the nation

The Maverik chain of convenience stores, based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, has been selected to receive the 24th annual Convenience Store Decisions Chain of the Year Award.

Perry Tech grads named

YAKIMA - Crystian Ramirez, Pedro Garibaldo, Victor Aguilar and Yonic Quiroz, all of the Sunnyside area, were among the students to graduate from Perry Technical Institute during ceremonies held June 20 at the Yakima technical school.

Apple harvest opening eyed for Cosecha Court

GRANGER - It may have missed the asparagus and cherry seasons, but there's optimism Cosecha Court will open in time for next month's apple harvest.

School logo should be a no-go, says Mabton parent

MABTON - If it's July there must be a school uniform brouhaha at Mabton Jr./Sr. High School.

Council approves tree trimming funds

"It seems like every time I come to the city council I come to beg, borrow and steal," said Bill Flower at last night's Sunnyside City Council meeting. "And tonight I've come to beg." Flower explained that he wanted money to trim the trees in the downtown core.

Mabton finalizes new school budget for 2013-14

MABTON - Following a 45-minute study session, the Mabton School Board last night approved a $10.6 million general fund budget for the 2013-14 school year.

Monday, July 22

World traveler making plans to teach in Russia

Combining a love of teaching, travel and linguistics, Sunnyside's Hannah Vlieger will be teaching English in Russia beginning this coming fall. Vlieger said she is planning to help both children and adults in Obninsk, which is about an hour-and-a-half's drive from Moscow.

Airport drill this Wednesday

An emergency drill will be taking place at the Sunnyside Municipal Airport on Wednesday, July 24, starting at about 7:30 p.m.

DUI charge sought following police pursuit

A motorist whom police believe was intoxicated attempted to avoid being taken into custody last Saturday night in Sunnyside.

Weather-damaged cherry harvest ends with a bang

The 2013 Yakima Valley cherry harvest has wrapped up, and despite the unpredictable weather, the season ended with growers shipping 400,000 boxes of cherries a day during the past few weeks, said B.J. Thurlby of Northwest Cherry Growers.

Friday, July 19

City severs ties with SASA

The city of Sunnyside has hired a recreation coordinator, Megan Razey, and as a result the city's existing arrangement with the Sunnyside Arts and Sports Association (SASA) has changed.


Vera Vern Roderick, 92, of Grandview passed away quietly on Thursday, July 11, 2013, at Grandview Health Care Center.


Nancy Carole Schaneman, 65, formerly of Sunnyside passed on to heaven on Monday, July 8, 2013, surrounded by her family and friends.


John (Jack) Philip Norling, 87, of Grandview died on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. He served in the U.S. Army.

Another vote taken from voters

I was disappointed to learn the League of Women Voters of Washington is part of a coalition that is challenging the constitutionality of Initiative 1240.

Guest column: Zimmerman case is no grounds for gun control

From the beginning, people who would ban all private guns if they could have used the George Zimmerman case to push their agenda.

Good policing by Sunnyside's finest?

Last week the police came knocking at my door late at night. I was told someone had called and complained about me.

Recording artist to be featured at local jamboree

MABTON - The July Gospel music jamboree in Mabton will welcome back Charlie Walker of Prineville, Ore. He will be the featured musician on Sunday, July 21, at the Mabton Grace Brethren Church.

Sunnyside United looks to change youth attitudes toward marijuana

Lacking a quorum with only five of its 13 board members present, the Sunnyside United group pressed on during its monthly meeting yesterday. Sunnyside United is a community coalition that essentially has taken the place of Sunnyside's Promise in receiving funding from the city, school and hospital. Its focus is on steering youths away from drugs, alcohol and gangs.

Shuttle service to be provided at Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo

GRANDVIEW - Those who are ages 55 and older or who have a disability can enjoy a free shuttle service provided at this year's Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo in Grandview.

Rapist receives sentence

A 21-year-old Sunnyside man who pled guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl was sentenced yesterday to 12 months and one day in prison.

Sharks improve league record to 8-2

GRANDVIEW - Chalking up 55 victories on the night compared to the 16 first-place finishes notched by the Grandview Neptunes, Sunnyside's summer swim team strode off with a dominating 602-168 decision Thursday evening.

Long-time vet closing up shop

After 47 years of serving the medical needs of Lower Valley animal owners, Dr. Jonathan Mercer of Sunnyside is closing the doors of The Veterinary Clinic, located on Zillah Avenue.

Miss Sunnyside candidate Ashley Davis

2013-14 Miss Sunnyside candidate Ashley Davis has always enjoyed reading. As someone who has found books to be enjoyable since she was a young child, she would like to inspire younger children to pick up a book for the same reason.

Dollars and cents..future rosier for local schools

Financial directors in the local school districts can breathe a little easier thanks to the recently approved state budget, which restores funding for some basic education programs. Sunnyside School District, based on the 2012-13 budget figures, will receive nearly $3.4 in additional funding from the state for the 2013-14 school year.

Port district pulls in more than $4 million yesterday for local economic development

It was a banner day for the Port of Sunnyside, as yesterday it garnered funds totalling more than $4 million for local development and jobs. Thursday, the state's Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) awarded the port a $1 million package that includes $850,000 in loan and $150,000 in grant proceeds.

Thursday, July 18

Sunnyside's H2O appears to be AOK

Heading to a mailbox near you is the city of Sunnyside's 2012 water quality report, which is scheduled to be inserted in the next batch of water bills to city businesses and residents. The report measures a laundry list of compounds found in city water, ranging from iron to calcium and arsenic.

Mabton water shortage

MABTON - Mabton city water users are facing a water shortage after city officials learned of a pump failure early this morning (Thursday).

Health care summit establishes groundwork for Washington state to comply with Obamacare

SEATTLE - Gov. Jay Inslee, joined by federal and state health care leaders and a coalition of more than 100 local organizations from across the state, this past Tuesday announced a plan to educate Washington residents about new opportunities for health care coverage under Medicaid expansion and Washington's health benefit exchange.

Sisters ride to find a cure

For the Messmore sisters, their planned 80-mile cycling tour through Skagit Valley is more than an opportunity to take part in the 2013 Ride to Defeat ALS. The two-day cross country bicycle tour is a ride being done with love and commitment for and in memory of their late mother, Loni Messmore of Sunnyside.

Wednesday, July 17

Improving public’s lives goal of local health district

Yakima Health District Administrator André Fresco is impressed with the wide array of healthy foods grown in the Yakima area.

Lawmakers break through with big bucks for Sunnyside

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn yesterday announced the release of more than $185 million in capital construction money - made available by the legislature and approved by the governor - to school districts throughout the state.

Tuesday, July 16

‘Immediate care’ medical center opening in Sunnyside

The Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic will soon be opening an “immediate care” facility in Sunnyside.

Popular eatery in Grandview now under new ownership

GRANDVIEW - Chyanne Diener-Hurst is relying on her more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant business to revive the L&L Drive-In and make it a popular destination for those seeking a quick and tasty meal in Grandview.

Friday, July 12

Life-saving journey shared

For Barb Binder, the odds that either of her daughters would be a viable organ donor match were slim.

Unbeaten Dolphins deluge Neptunes

GRANDVIEW - It’s always daunting for Grandview when the Neptunes have to compete against the powerful and much larger Selah team.

Miss Sunnyside candidate Jessica Cardenas

Jessica Cardenas believes there are no limitations to what girls can accomplish.

June building starts valued at $4.7 million

Sunnyside officials OK Safari building permit

It was another banner month for new building starts in Sunnyside this past June. Total valuation was $4.7 million for new projects greenlighted by Sunnyside city officials during the month of June.

Local Bi-Mart store shares in Lotto winnings

The Sunnyside Bi-Mart store not only sold the winning Washington Lotto ticket worth $6.1 million last Saturday, it also received a piece of the cash.

Thursday, July 11

Self-taught balloon twister making special appearance at Bleyhl's Western Days

Job Wise’s inspiration for learning how to twist balloons was a party clown at his sister’s birthday celebration when he wasn’t yet a teenager.

Fire house construction blamed for damage to nearby buildings

Sunnyside Attorney Doug Garrison is somewhat concerned about damage he said his building has sustained as a result of the recent fire station construction.

Outlook teen completing his Eagle Scout project

There's an ornamental garden popping up at Lower Valley Hospice and Palliative Care's office on North Outlook Road.

Wednesday, July 10

Rainbow babies

The U.S. Supreme Court must love the nightlife, because they just struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and invalidated California's Proposition 8, which set off parties in every major city in America.


Here's what the immigration bill overlooks

Christian club speaker describes raising children as organized chaos

PROSSER - "A typical Wednesday," said Victoria LaMar. "The roofer says it will cost $1,200 to fix the roof, but you have only $64 to last until pay day." She went on to describe the other distractions of the moment, including the phone ringing, the children playing and food needing attention on the stove. LaMar, a volunteer with Stonecroft Ministries, was the featured speaker at the Lower Valley Christian Women's Connection monthly luncheon at the Barn Restaurant in Prosser Tuesday. She spoke about the importance of keeping God in mind during the difficult times of raising children and keeping a home. LaMar described her life as "organized chaos" while her children were growing up. "My life has been up a mountain, down a hill, around a curve, down a hole and stuck in a sand pit," she told the group. She told the group how her husband lost his job when their first child was only three months old. "I know about not having money," she said. "I know about taking Christmas presents back to the store." She said the family lived on leftover soup, an idea from an aunt. As food was left from meals, even a teaspoon or two was put in a to jar and when the jar was full, a little bit of water and a soup was born. She also said casserole surprise was a common meal, leading her son to try to figure out what meat might be in the casserole each night. She said that when times were toughest she would pray for a little money. The next day the family might receive an insurance check they weren't expecting, or a neighbor might bring over $50 for something purchased in the past. "We always made it through," she said. "God helped us."

Policeman sworn in as Mabton councilman

MABTON - The Mabton City Council chose Johnnie Gusby to join the council last night following a short discussion about conflict of interest and nepotism issues. Gusby, a Sunnyside policeman, and Richard Pena, a retired law enforcement officer, were the only candidates for the position left vacant last month when longtime councilwoman Vera Zavala was appointed city mayor. Pena's eligibility was called into question because his wife, Yolanda Pena, is a city employee, explained Zavala. Zavala explained the Association of Washington Cities guidelines regarding nepotism and conflict of interest rulings explain that married couples, where one serves in a governing capacity and the other as a public employee, is deemed to be a conflict of interest. Upon hearing the ruling, Pena withdrew his application for the council position. The council then voted to accept Gusby as the new councilman. Gusby will fill out the remaining two and half years of a four-year term, according to Mabton City Clerk Ret Stewart, who administered the councilman's oath of office.

Tuesday, July 9

Law office merger expands resources

The Hart and Winfree law offices of Sunnyside now have a larger pool of expertise to drawn upon for their Lower Valley clients' legal needs. As of January this year, the longtime local law officers merged with Halverson Northwest Law Group of Yakima. "We actually began the merger process last year, but were waiting for a final decision on a name change for the group before making the merger announcement," explained Steve Winfree, one of the founding partners in the Hart and Winfree offices. Winfree originally began practicing law in Sunnyside in 1976. Paul Hart, who came to Sunnyside about the same time, worked with Charles Shoemaker before going out on his own. In 1980 Winfree and Hart opened their Sunnyside law offices in then the brand new Kamiakin Building on Franklin Avenue. They were later joined by lawyers Raymond Alexander in 1988 and Robert Faber in 1999. Winfree, who also serves as the Sunnyside Port District counsel, said the merger with Halverson Northwest has added a whole new list of attorneys to the local firm. He said the Yakima based office has lawyers specializing in everything from water rights and real estate issues to employment laws and land use planning. "The merger gives us the ability to give our clients a broader range of legal resources and services," Winfree explained.

Bleyhl's gearing up for Western Days

GRANDVIEW - Marc Rea has been around horses his whole life, and always considered himself to be a pretty good hand. Then a friend talked him into attending a Pat Parelli clinic. It changed his life. Rea, then a Winthrop realtor, knew he'd stumbled onto something special when he heard Parelli speak and saw the extraordinary results he was getting with horses. Rea immediately started on a journey that led him to become one of the first instructors trained in Parelli's method of natural horsemanship. Now, 20 years later, Rea is a top-ranked instructor who's spent thousands of hours teaching Parelli's approach to students of all ages. "Natural horsemanship" doesn't train horses per se, but teaches horse owners how to better communicate and build a trusting relationship with their animals. Rea will share his knowledge in a free two-hour presentation this coming Saturday, July 13, at the Bleyhl Country Store in Grandview. Starting at 1 p.m., Rea and his two equine assistants - Little Mary and Desi - will demonstrate what's possible when people and horses understand each other. A question and answer time will follow. "Horsemanship skills are important, but the foundation of the Parelli method is building on the relationship between horse and owner with the principles of love, language and leadership as guides," Rea says. Parelli's approach works with the horse's natural instincts, psychology and behaviors, making it much easier for the animal to understand human demands. "The best way to learn horsemanship is by getting out there and doing it, but it's easy to become overwhelmed, frustrated and confused," Rea says. "I help horse owners accelerate progress and refine techniques so they're more successful in achieving their goals." Rea and his wife, author Mary Rea, live on their ranch in the Methow Valley in north central Washington during the summer. In winter, they live in Las Vegas, where he continues teaching and training horses. For Rea's clinic information, visit or While expected to draw a large crowd, Rea's presentation is only one of many activities slated for Bleyhl's Western Days event. Country western singer/songwriter Cale Moon returns to Grandview for free concerts July 13 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Moon entertained local listeners at both the 2011 and 2012 Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo events in Grandview. The Benton City native now tours full-time with his family. He has performed extensively throughout the Northwest, including gigs at the Central Washington State Fair and Pendleton Round-Up. Moon is described as "a country boy whose voice is as deep and rich as the 100+ songs that he's written." He recently recorded his second album in Nashville. CDs will be available for purchase. Learn more about him at or become a Facebook fan. The Bleyhl's event also will provide visitors a chance to meet volunteers and their canine friends from Wags To Riches Pet Rescue, a no-kill animal shelter based in Yakima. Anyone interested in adopting a dog must complete an online application and be approved prior to the July 13 event. The application is available at There will be free activities for children, including a face painter and balloon twister from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Youngsters can take a turn to grab for a prize in "the cube." Everyone can enjoy free hot dogs, chips and drinks 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to in-store specials, adults can sign up for door prizes, including free Wrangler jeans and an Echo chainsaw. Purina nutrition expert Mike Miller will give away $5 off coupons, good that day on any Purina feed. Customers also get double punches that day on any Equis brand feed purchase.

Mabton schools deal with shrinking pains

Budget hearing set July 22

MABTON - The good news is the Mabton School District is about to receive more state dollars.

Neon Alley one of many topics discussed at public works meeting

The Sunnyside City Council subcommittee on public works met last night and made short work of the agenda, but also touched on a variety of topics not formally scheduled to be addressed.

New city manager officially on board

Sunnyside officially has a new city manager. The Sunnyside City Council approved a contract with Donald Day of New Mexico at last night's regular council meeting.

Monday, July 8

Mabton FFA program tops in the state

MABTON - An FFA revival among Mabton middle school and high school students has not gone unnoticed, as it was recently named the outstanding program for the state of Washington.

Volunteers honored in special photo exhibit

A first-of-its-kind photo gallery is now on display in Bon Vino's Bistro and Bakery in Sunnyside.

Friday, July 5

Power to the people

Staff at the state's Utilities Transportation Commission (UTC) issued a statement last month breathlessly announcing how they rejected two-thirds of Pacific Power's rate hike request.

Miss Sunnyside candidate Kayla Bautista

Every girl in Sunnyside should take advantage of the opportunity to compete for the Miss Sunnyside title.

Wednesday, July 3

Too hot, too hot...

On the west side of the Cascades, very few homes have air conditioning because the expense isn't justified by the three or four days a year the units might be necessary.

Scouting on the grow here

Scouting is on the upswing in a big way in the Lower Yakima Valley and elsewhere in the Chief Kamiakin District.

Always another disease on the horizon

The main work that Dr. Gary Grove does at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser involves trying to understand and prevent disease on fruit trees in the area.

Corvette owner victim of tagger last night in S'Sside

One of Mike Kennard's treasures is his 2007, 400-horsepower, bright yellow Corvette convertible.

State of the art MRI now in place at hospital

Sunnyside Community Hospital staff welcomed the community to view its shiny, new, state of the art MRI unit now permanently housed at the hospital.

Tuesday, July 2

Equine therapy being used to help soothe angry hearts

Working around horses has always been a favorite pastime for Sunnyside's Betty Hames

More than 50 jobs available at Legends Casino

TOPPENISH - While Yakima County's unemployment rate continues to decrease, Yakama Nation Legends Casino is keeping that trend moving forward, as it seeks to fill more than 50 positions in the food and beverage department during the month of July. Those looking for employment may apply directly during a job fair at the Yakima Convention Center on Wednesday, July 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for positions ranging from cashier to server to cook. Yakama Nation Legends Casino offers a minimum wage starting at $10 per hour, including full health benefits with skilled positions such as Cook 2 or 3 beginning at a higher rate. "Over the past year our food and beverage team leadership implemented changes, including creating all buffet selections from scratch," commented Kristin Lumley, assistant general manager. "These more exacting standards coupled with our commitment to each guest's experience prompted the job fair." Applicants will apply via an online application system during the event. Select candidates will complete all stages of the interview process with the potential to receive an offer during the event. Applicants should arrive at the event with a valid state or tribal ID and a social security card to ensure quick processing. All offers extended to candidates will be conditional based on passing both the background and drug tests. Positions available include cook, deli associate, busser, hostess, server, utility worker and cashier.

All-out DUI patrol kicks off tonight

Starting tonight (Tuesday), people who choose to drink and drive in Yakima County stand a greatly increased chance of being caught and convicted. That's the message from virtually all of the county's police agencies, whose officers, deputies and troopers are forming a Target Zero Team - a multi-agency task force that will intensely hunt impaired drivers around the county. "As a state we are not only strengthening our DUI laws, but strengthening our approach to catching impaired drivers in the first place," said Gov. Jay Inslee. The Target Zero Team in Yakima County is funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The project goes far beyond traditional DUI squads of the past. * Experienced planners will use the latest GIS mapping software to guide patrols. Team members will know where crashes are occurring and which roads lead to high-collision areas. * State troopers, sheriff's deputies and city police officers will be out every night of the week looking for impaired drivers. Each officer was selected by his or her agency because they are the most motivated and experienced at arresting impaired drivers. * Traffic safety resource prosecutors will work with officers to improve the quality and content of officers' investigations and reports. These prosecutors are also available, upon request, to assist local prosecutors in presenting the best possible cases in court. "These will be intense, multi-agency, data-driven patrols with the goal of reducing fatalities and serious injuries," said Darrin Grondel, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. "We will use objective data to make sure we're patrolling the right roads, at the right time, to make sure we're arresting those who choose to drive while impaired," he said. The core of Yakima's Target Zero Team will be seven members of the Washington State Patrol working full time at the locations where history shows that DUIs have repeatedly killed themselves or others. County and local agencies will contribute deputies or officers as time and resources permit.

Month of July in this area predicted to be a scorcher

It's going to be a hot July, according to the National Weather Service. The climate forecast for July in the Sunnyside area calls for above normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation. Normal day time highs for July in Sunnyside are 90.7 and normal night time lows are 57.1 degrees. Normal precipitation is 0.14 inches, barely enough to wet an umbrella. Sunnyside residents have seen an unusually high amount of precipitation since October. The total precipitation since October has been 9.75 inches, which is 3.07 inches above normal. Just this year Sunnyside has had 1.11 inches more precipitation than usual, reaching 4.98 inches. June was the second wettest on record in the area with 2.43 inches. That total is 1.89 inches above normal and only a heavy mist below the record of 2.47 inches set in 1938. Measurable precipitation, at least 0.01 inch, was received on seven days in June with the heaviest fall, 0.86 inches, on the 18th. Temperatures in June were colder than usual, with an average of 64 degrees, 3.6 degrees below normal. High day time temperatures averaged 77.3 degrees, 5.3 degrees below normal. Low night time temperatures averaged 50.8 degrees, 1.9 degrees below normal. Sunnyside got its highest official temperature of the month on the 29th, hitting 90 degrees. The lowest temperature was 40 degrees on the first day of the month.

Port officials move forward with Bleyhl rail expansion

A second rail spur off of Midvale Road received a push last night in action by Port of Sunnyside commissioners.

Urgent care center to open in Sunnyside

After Aug. 1 Lower Valley residents suffering a touch of heat stroke or a minor athletic injury won't have to make the Sunnyside Community Hospital emergency room their first stop.



Monday, July 1

Boys State convention opens up world to local youth

Back from a week at the Boys State convention on the Central Washington University campus in Ellensburg, Alfonso Ramirez said he has a different view of Sunnyside now.

Cattle sorting fundraiser draws horsemen to Sunnyside

Headstrong heifers, determined riders, electronic timers and all the dust a person can eat made for an excellent weekend of cattle sorting competition at Sunnyside's Specks Arena, site of the third annual Sort 4 the Cause fundraiser.

Summer storm Saturday downs power lines, trees

Sunnyside firemen found themselves answering a myriad of calls following the sudden wind storm which hit Sunnyside and the surrounding area about 5 p.m. last Saturday. Firemen were called out to the intersection of South Hill and Washington Court where power lines were reported down. Power lines were also reported down near the 400 block of West Edison Avenue. No power outages were reported, but PPL was called in to repair the lines. Firemen were called out again last Saturday evening when a tree fell against a building in the 900 block of Ida Belle Avenue. In addition to the storm related calls, firemen responded to a possible garage fire in the 1300 block of South 13th Street, but the fire was out upon the firemen's arrival. In other weekend activities, firemen responded to 17 aid calls, and made 11 transports and seven facility transfers. The firemen also handled five citizen assists.

Grandview man charged with murder

KENNEWICK - Robert Bruce McCorkindale, 24, of Grandview was formally charged with a count of first-degree murder this past Friday in Benton County Superior Court. McCorkindale is suspected in the death of Preston Yahne, 22, of Prosser, who was discovered in the trunk of his own burnt out car on June 18. Police say McCorkindale killed Yahne in a dispute over a drug deal. McCorkindale is being held on $250,000 bail at the Benton County Jail. Also arrested in the case was Laura Bancroft, 19, of Grandview. She is detained on a $500,000 bail in the Yakima County Jail and is still awaiting charges.

YouthBuild Program changing lives of young people, homeowner

GRANGER - The air is filled with the sound of hammers hitting nails, a table saw being used for cutting lumber and the voices of young men and women learning a trade they can build their future on.

Surviving Sunnyside's heat wave

Sun Terrace offers local seniors a place to escape high tempertaures

Triple digit temperatures expected this week in the Sunnyside area have everyone scampering for relief.