Local news
YHS student wins second place at national Educators Rising competition in Washington D.C.
Yelm High School senior Taliah Boyd made the most of her trip to Washington D.C. for the 2024 Educators Rising National Conference, June 28 to July 1. Boyd earned second place in the nation in the …
Roy council approves first phase to address water issues
The Roy City Council voted unanimously to accept and use more than $600,000 in grants and encumbered funds to address the city’s contaminated source water at its meeting, Monday, July 8. …
Roy mayor, council express concerns regarding communication, transparency
Roy Mayor Kimber Ivy and the Roy City Council traded jabs and accusations about City communications during its Monday, July 8 study session. Ivy returned to the council dais from maternity leave …
Construction of Yelm Loop expected to begin in spring 2025
Construction of the long-anticipated Yelm Loop project is expected to begin in spring of next year. Yelm Public Works Project Manager Pat Hughes gave the Yelm City Council the good news during a …
Lacamas Valley Ranch to host two-day fundraiser for nonprofit
Lacamas Valley Ranch in Roy is hosting a two-day summer market filled with vendors, rummage tables, horse tack, a food truck and farm animals, July 13 and July 14, to raise money to start a nonprofit …
Roy company offers therapy, summer social skills group for local youth
Behavior Connections LLC, an applied behavior analysis (ABA) company based in Roy, has begun hosting summer social groups for neurodivergent children on Tuesdays at Yelm Timberland Library. …
YARD introduces robotics classes to summer program
Youth Athletics Recreation Development (YARD) is introducing its first-ever introductory robotics class to its collection of courses at its Summer Spark Program. The first session, taught by …
Kidder Mathews representatives discuss master planned community at council meeting
The City of Yelm’s plans to develop the 640 acres of land it owns is beginning to take shape. At a meeting July 2, representatives from Kidder Mathews, a West Coast-based commercial real …
Local farm hosting event to celebrate waste storage structure composting facility
Dancing Goats and Singing Chickens Organic Farm, located 14062 Yelm Highway SE in Yelm, aims to celebrate the opening of its waste storage structure (WSS) composting facility with the community and …
Aug. 6 primary election local voters’ pamphlets mailed
The Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division mailed local voters’ pamphlets for the Aug. 6 primary election to all households in Thurston County Monday, July 8. For residents …
County subcommittee discusses costs, facility needs for courthouse renovations
A Thurston County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) subcommittee discussed facility needs, hybrid options and other related costs regarding its current project plan to renovate the Thurston County …
What's Happening: Farmers Market, Farm Demonstration, Movies in the Park
Saturday, July 13 Yelm Farmers Market  The 2024 Yelm Farmers Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 13, at 206 McKenzie Ave., near City Park. The event will …
State & Regional News
Courthouse Campus Subcommittee considers space and maintenance needs
A subcommittee of the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) directed staff to explore additional options for space and facility needs that may differ from the current project plan of …
Nearly 400 endangered frogs relocate from Eatonville to eastern Washington
Nearly 200 Northern leopard frog tadpoles, an endangered species, were relocated from Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville to their new home at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge in Royal …
Thurston County commissioner Wayne Fournier eyes big developments for Grand Mound in run for reelection
Residents of Southwest Washington might soon be able to get a few swings in at Topgolf before finishing their night off with a Double Double and Animal Style fries, if a county commissioner has his …
Thurston County man convicted for brutally killing a dog sentenced to four years in prison 
A Thurston County man convicted in April for killing someone’s dog and throwing it into the Nisqually River in October 2023 was sentenced Friday to 48 months, or four years, in prison.  …
Man accused of fatally shooting his pregnant wife and another man in Thurston County on Thursday 
A 21-year-old Lacey man accused of fatally shooting his pregnant wife and their roommate in Lacey on Thursday is being held without bail on a 72-hour review hold while the prosecutor’s office …
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office creates dedicated cold case and missing persons unit
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office has launched a two-person dedicated cold case and missing persons unit, the agency announced recently. “We are extremely excited about the …
Tenino Quarry Pool renovations nearly finished as grand reopening approaches
One of Tenino’s top summertime attractions will return on Saturday, June 22, as the Quarry Pool will reopen after a several-year hiatus. The improved Tenino Quarry Pool, 399 W. Park Ave., …
Multiple visitor centers remain open along Spirit Lake Highway after 2023 debris flow
Several recreational sites remain open to explore at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument following the May 2023 debris flow, known as the South Coldwater Slide, according to a news release …
Timed-entry reservations begin at Mount National Park’s Paradise Corridor
Mount Rainier National Park timed-entry reservations for visits to the popular Paradise Corridor began Friday, May 24, and will run through Monday, Sept. 2. Many weekend and weekday advance-timed …
Life
Mother 2 Many provides food to youth experiencing homelessness in a number of communities, including Yelm.

Mother 2 Many: Couple feeds local youth at skate parks

Joann Wittler heard God’s voice, crystal clear, say to her at church in 2013 that she “will be the mother to many.” She had raised four children of her own, but she had no idea what …
Terry Smith and his mother Lola Smith smile for a photo at Prestige Senior Living Rosemont's art walk on May 10.

Prestige Senior Living Rosemont hosts resident art walk

Eleven residents of Prestige Senior Living Rosemont in Yelm displayed their talents on Friday, May 10 as the assisted living facility hosted an art show. The displays featured oil paintings, …
Aurora Decker, pictured at Yelm City Park on May 8, will travel to Dallas, Texas, in July for the International Cinderella Scholarship Pageant.

Yelm student named 2024 Washington Cinderella Teen Queen

Aurora Decker has competed in pageants since she was 6 weeks old. She recalls her mother, Anna Farley, standing behind her at the competitions and making her wave and blow kisses to the audience at a …

Yelms Lion Club here to serve

The motto of the Lions Club is “We Serve,” and the Yelm Lions Club has taken that to heart, working to empower volunteers and serve the community. Locally, the Yelm Lions are busy, …
Business
Business is booming for The Riot Fitness in Yelm less than three months after it opened in March. Fitness and dance classes are filling up daily, and the salon is as busy as ever for owner Kayla …
Kaos Dance Elite (KDE), a children’s dance school in Yelm, is moving into a larger studio location in town ahead of its summer sessions, Monday, June 17. The business, currently located at …
As InGenius! Gallery & Boutique celebrates its third anniversary this summer, the Yelm business opened a new space dedicated to its arts program called InGenius! Artventures on Saturday, May 11. …
Cyndi Doud never envisioned herself as a business owner. She is no stranger to leadership roles in the professional sphere, but when she purchased The Shiplap Shop & Coffee House in April, she …
After a weeks-long search, the Yelm Chamber of Commerce hired Tina Richardson as its next executive director. Richardson replaces Amanda Muñoz, who stepped down last month after more than a …
Sports

YHS graduate commits to McPherson College for bowling

Miranda Hunt poses for a photo while at the state championships in Tukwila in February.
Miranda Hunt, a recent Yelm High School graduate and former Tornados varsity bowler, was handed a split and was tasked with turning it into a spare when it came to her college decision. She had …

NyaStrong Warriors win fourth grade Hoopfest championship in Spokane

The Tenino- and Nisqually Valley-based NyaStrong Warriors basketball program continued its winning ways in late June as the team defeated five other programs en route to becoming the fourth grade …
Kadin Emmons fires a pitch for the Nisqually Basin Youth Baseball 11-U Tornados in the Cal Ripken state tournament at the Regional Athletic Complex on July 5.

11-U Tornados fall short in Cal Ripken state tournament

The Nisqually Basin Youth Baseball 11-U Tornados bounced back from a loss in the Cal Ripken state tournament opener by putting together a dazzling display of offensive and defensive fireworks on …
The Nisqually Basin Youth Baseball 11-U Tornados enjoy ice cream after winning the Rally in the Valley tournament in Puyallup on June 23.

11-U Tornados rally to claim title in the valley

By Dylan Reubenking dylan@yelmonline.com All hope appeared lost for the Nisqually Basin Youth Baseball 11-U Tornados in the Rally in the Valley tournament championship game in Puyallup …
Junie Smiley poses for a photo after winning three medals at the Portland Track Festival Youth Meet in early June.

Local track athlete heading to Oregon for regional competition

Nathaniel “Junie” Smiley Jr., 9, Yelm, has qualified for the 2024 United States Track and Field (USATF) Region 13 Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at Mt. Hood Community …
Participants in Total Sports Development's Slay All Day camp pose for a photo while at the class in June.

First month of TSD Cheer classes conclude, new clinics slated for July

After Total Sports Development launched in mid-May, the athletic skills training organization quickly prioritized cheerleading as one of its programs with six different clinics and activities in …

Total Sports Development to include Unified cheer program

Total Sports Development (TSD) has teamed up with the Special Olympics to create the TSD Cheerleader Believers, a Unified co-ed cheerleading team composed of athletes with disabilities. Amber …

Jager Bombers sweep Prairie Days Charity Mushball Tournament

Braden Castleberry-Taylor celebrates after scoring a run during the semifinal round of the Prairie Days Charity Mushball Tournament at Longmire Park on June 23.

The Jager Bombers, a team mostly comprised of Yelm High School football coaches, used dominant pitching and clutch hitting to take home the Prairie Days Charity Mushball Tournament championship and a …

Inaugural Deschutes Dash 5K to raise money for middle school track uniforms

Attendees of the Deschutes Dash 5K on June 29 will receive official T-shirts and a commemorative water bottle.

Brian Spears, a fitness coach at Rainier Functional Training Center, began to notice more students complaining about the inadequate gear for the Rainier Middle School track team. He heard that …

NyaStrong Warriors Academy basketball team gearing up for Hoopfest in Spokane

Members of the NyaStrong Warriors Academy third grade program defend a member of Kelso's basketball program on Sunday, Feb. 25, at Tenino Middle School's second annual 3-on-3 tournament.

The NyaStrong Warriors Academy does not back away from competition, and the fourth grade girls will demonstrate that when they compete in the Spokane Hoopfest basketball tournament on June 29 and …

Opinion
Letters to the editor can be submitted to yelmnews@yelmonline.com.

Hospitals crucial part of robust health care system

Editor, As a firefighter, I know that emergencies don’t respect anybody’s schedule. We first responders have to be on call day and night to respond to whatever crisis may arise. …
Letters to the editor can be submitted to yelmnews@yelmonline.com.

Traffic in area becoming impossible

Editor,  We are all in this together. I'm talking about the traffic that now chokes our roads both in the mornings and starting about 2 p.m. every afternoon. There have been days when …
Letters to the editor can be submitted to yelmnews@yelmonline.com.

Officials should look beyond housing for Yelm’s 640 acres

Editor, How best to utilize the 640 acres, about the area of Central Park in New York City, that Yelm recently acquired after a business improvement commitment was unfulfilled? It gives Yelm an …

Cross-border trade vital to Washington economy

It’s a tradition for the Association of Washington Business to visit the local Costco during our international trade missions. AWB's trade mission to Canada in June was no different. Our …

Green tech hasn't solved disposal, recycling issues

While wind and solar farms generate greenhouse gas-free electricity, there are ongoing concerns over their impacts on our environment, especially as a rapidly growing number of worn-out blades and …
Obituaries
Death Notice: Mary Page
Mary Page, 93, of Olympia, died March 30 at Brich Creek Post Acute & and Rehabilitation.
In loving memory of Kristi Marie Cichon Spark
Kristi Marie Cichon Spark (nee Bircher) passed away on May 22, 2024, in Olympia, Washington, at the age of 50. She was born on Dec. 6, 1973, in Tacoma, Washington, to Vern and Linda Bircher. Kristi …
In loving memory of John Reeves: Feb. 3, 1947 - May 17, 2024
It is with great sadness that we announce John “Papa” Reeves, of Yelm, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2024, at his home in Lake Lawrence, exactly as he wished it to be. He joins …
In Loving Memory of Gary Henslee
Gary Henslee left to join his savior on April 27, 2024.   He was born in Spokane, Washington, to Paul and Garaldine Henslee on May 23, 1939. After graduating from North Central High …
Death Notice: Edward Richard Bauer II
Edward Richard Bauer II, 69, of Yelm, died May 3. Arrangements are under the are of Funeral Alternatives of Washington — Lacey.