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Year in review: Top stories that defined 2017 Yelm Blog news

– These were the top Yelm Community Blog stories during each month in 2017:

– January
A new era begins today in Yelm’s City Hall – City Administrator Michael Grayum takes the helm,
Debuts City of Yelm Government Facebook page
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Rainier Historical School House ribbon-cutting Saturday, Jan. 7th, 2017
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The Seattle Times investigation: Yelm Police jail arrangement with Nisqually Tribe under scrutiny after death of Andrew Westling, age 19
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National Wrestling Hall of Fame to induct YHS Coach Gaylord Strand
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Thurston County utility studying prescription medications in wastewater –
Yelm was warned about this issue over a decade ago
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Nisqually Tribal Chair, Farron McCloud, first interviewee in “Who’s Who in the Nisqually Watershed”
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– February
AlertSense emergency notification system activated – Sign-up for Yelm or Thurston County residents
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JBLM Commander Colonel Daniel S. Morgan spoke in Yelm
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JZ Knight’s remarkable 40th anniversary with Ramtha – Begins 5th decade channeling Ramtha for the world
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State Auditor issues Yelm 3rd “historic” deficiency finding – All 3 reports from Harding’s lack of management skills, Interim Mayor Foster to enact new procedures
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Yelm High’s Girls Wrestling Team achieve first State Title
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– March
Ed Bergh passes away, 2014 Washington History Teacher of the Year
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Rainier Mayor Randy Schleis dies – Was set to deliver State of City, Tuesday, March 14
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Bald Hills Rd. flooding within Yelm’s city limits creates public safety issue
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Are elected officials’ endorsements of Foster appropriate this early?
Is this REALLY in Yelm’s public interest, before May’s Filing Week?
Read more

Yelm Town Hall conducted on Public Safety
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Rainier’s Phoenix Rising School has UW’s Drawing Contest Winner
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– April
Rainier Education Foundation receives $50,000 from JZ Knight
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Councilor Joe DePinto announces Yelm mayor candidacy, Yelm voters get first contested mayoral ballot in 12 years
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Previously unopposed Councilor Russ Hendrickson’s Pos. 7 seat gets challenger James Blair – Hendrickson subsequently decides to vacate Pos. 7, runs for Pos. 3
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Yelm Habitat for Humanity relocates store for the future
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RSE draws hundreds of worldwide visitors to Yelm
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Yelm Food Co-op recognized for 10 year anniversary here
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– May
YHS 2008 Co-Valedictorian Akel Hashim accepted into UC–Berkeley PhD program
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Yelm-based PCI Pest Control awarded Small Business of the Year
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Nisqually Tribe’s Red Wind Casino celebrates 20 years of service
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Oly VCB’s new branding unveiled: “Experience Olympia & Beyond” – New website highlights Yelm area attractions
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Standing Room Only (SRO) Theater Group dazzles Yelm stage with 12 Angry Men
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3 new candidates step-up to serve Yelm City Council, yet 3 incumbents have no challenger to garner public debate!
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Yelm Farmers Market opens 7th season
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– June
The Seattle Times investigation: Yelm settles tribal jail death for $375,000– June
Read more

Rainier HS Valedictorian Jess Nubbe awarded $20,000 Scholarship – JZ Knight’s Humanities Foundation donated the REF scholarship
Read more

Yelm’s council adopts YBA’s Food Truck regulations proposal
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Harding & his city councils’ growth policies now coming home to roost – Taxes, fees, bonds considered for Yelm taxpayers in budget talks
Read more

Cows From Northwest To Vietnam make quarantine stop near Yelm
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Seattle P-I’s Blog ‘The Military Wire’ on The BluRoom® – invented in Yelm
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Councilor Carmody gets STP Bicycle Classic stop moved to Yelm
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Yelm’s water tower receives Washington Heritage Register designation
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– July
“Who’s Who in the Nisqually” guest JZ Knight garners standing room only crowd and newspaper reporters
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YHS coaches’ summer camp behavior puts YCS in cross-hairs
Yelm leaders continue to show lapses in “appearances of conflicts of interest”
Overshadows good new about YCS feeding students during summer
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Yelm Public Works infrastructure reaching critical point – Millions of dollars needed for water/sewer upgrades – residents to bear much of the cost
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Washington’s distracted driving law takes effect
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Yelm holds first annual UFO Fest & Symposium
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Thurston Commissioners FINALLY get it! County drops Convention Center proposal to tax residents
Read more


– August
Yelm’s historic first annual Jazz in the Park Festival enacted
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Yelm’s City Hall should begin motor vehicles crack down, though first in their own backyard!
Read more

Candidate/Interim Mayor Foster can and should stop ‘fostering’ campaign divisiveness – Allowing disparaging remarks about a city councilor are not qualities of an effective leader!
Read more

Family of Yelm’s hit/killed bicyclist speaks-out to honor him
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Yelm’s Eclipse maximum occlusion was at 94%
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– September
Thurston County re-opens Deschutes Falls Park to the public after September 1
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Nisqually Land Trust making a difference for Yelm area – Creating “a regional jewel.”
Read more

County Sheriff John Snaza reflects on wisdom gained from accident
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Forest fires smoke blows into Yelm
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Yelm’s past poor decisions now come home to roost – Water, sewer rate increases proposed, storm-water increases approved on property owners’ backs
Read more


– October
Thanks to Councilor Stillwell’s suggestion, public comment restrictions in Yelm council meetings are lifted
Read more

FAKE NEWS: NVN publishes “rumored” info about 2005 mayoral candidate Steve Klein,
NVN never contacted Blogger Klein nor verified inaccurate Oct. 6th headline story.
Read more

Special Report: Yelm’s water allocation is almost fully used – How does Yelm move to the future to develop revenue if unable to issue more residential/business permits because they lack water?
Read more

City of Yelm voter Brian Hess publishes Interim Mayor Foster-approved Q & A –
Foster blames Public Works personnel for council’s $5M well vote,
Denounces DOE on Yelm H2O rights: “arbitrary and obviously inaccurate estimate.”
Read more


– November
Yelm to be designated a “Purple Heart City”
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Yelm Business Assn. & Chamber hosts 2nd annual Yelm Winter Lights Program
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Yelm Farmers Market returns to city center in 2018
Read more

“Young Frankenstein the Musical” breaks records in Yelm!
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Councilors Littlefield and Hendrickson thanked for their service as they both retire
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Yelm’s ‘Ice Chips Candy® Grannies’ featured on Seattle’s KOMO-TV 4
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Yelm’s Community Center continues operating in red ink
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JW Foster sworn-in November 28th as Yelm’s elected mayor, is now in a different position than as an appointed, interim mayor. New council is no longer comprised by a majority of complicit “slam-dunk” councilors voting for the mayor’s policies, rather are expected to be aggressively involved in asking questions of city leaders. Foster has a big job to unify Yelm with half of voters wanting change, especially almost losing to Councilor DePinto in defeating him by only 14 votes! Foster was heavily endorsed by elected officials from the South Sound and while considered a “shoe-in” as the incumbent, this race was so close, yet proved he was not elected until officially certified.
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Port of Olympia approves higher property tax levy in 2018
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– December
Amtrak Cascades acquiring new locomotives with Positive Train Control safety equipment
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Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) announces their dissolution – lack of business participation cited
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Yelm city council post-election gifts to taxpayers – vote on sewer/water rate increases
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Thurston’s visitor bureau “Experience Olympia and Beyond” awarded –
Website recognized for excellence from among small agencies worldwide,
Yelm featured in prominent sections on bureau’s website.
Read more

Yelm in the AP and national media spotlight yet again!
YHS student investigated for groping female choir member
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Yelm continues to be gridlock impacted by I-5 incidents – 4 in 2017,
Local businesses and commerce disrupted during busy Christmas week,
Train derailment reveals our town’s Achilles Heal
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Yelm’s Senior Center receives surplussed Intercity Transit vehicle
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Central/South Puget Sound awakens to the 3rd White Christmas in 100 years
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Coverdale used bankruptcy to absolve loss/debt in JZK, Inc. case –
Said using bankruptcy to avoid court-ordered debt a “victory” – How absurd!
Read more

A Yelm Community Blog Exclusive:
Yelm’s Crowe Law acquires the Law Offices of Bernard Perez
Read more

Posted by Steve on December 27, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink

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