Local news
Sheriff’s office: Suspect dies by suicide amid standoff during investigation into possible human remains near Yelm 
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mike Brooks confirmed that a male died by suicide on Tuesday night following a standoff while multiple agencies investigated potential human remains on a …
Roy city clerk-treasurer thankful for community as new opportunity awaits
Michael Malek’s career in municipal government began by complete accident. After graduating from the University of Washington-Tacoma in 2018 with a degree in public relations, he visited …
Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools to launch “Alumni of Yelm” fundraising program
Local non-profit organization Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools is aiming to give back to the district in a big way with the launch of its “Alumni of Yelm” program. The …
Yelm community raises over $1,000 for victims of house fire
Nathan Reninger was taking a final exam when his fiancée, Brianna Southworth, called his cell phone. He sent her to voicemail, which is typically a sign between the two that he is busy and …
Yelm City Council unanimously votes to pay $12,000 for racial inequality housing study
Due to House Bill 1220, which passed in 2021, requiring cities to plan and accommodate for housing needs, the City of Yelm will pay $12,000 for a study aimed at racial inequality. Yelm City …
Yelm Public Services hosts annual community spring cleanup event
More than 100 households flocked to the Yelm Public Services Department to unload excess garbage and recycling in its free spring cleanup event on Saturday, May 18. Throughout the day, 11 …
Rainier FFA takes home Superior Chapter award at state convention
The Rainier High School FFA team was one of four teams to receive the Superior Chapter award at the 2024 Washington FFA Convention and Expo in Pullman, Washington. Seniors Lilly Johnson and …
Fort Stevens celebrates food drive with macaroni and cheese maze
Fort Stevens Elementary’s Eagle Leaders and Eaglets, the school’s leadership club, collected 5,200 boxes of macaroni and cheese during its food drive in the month of March. The boxes were …
What's Happening: Memorial Day, Rodeo, Color Fun Run
Saturday, May 25 Roy Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony The Roy Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony will take place at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 25, at the Roy Historical Cemetery, 8211 288th St. …
‘Save our education’
Carrying signs with phrases such as “Save our education,” over 150 Yelm Community Schools (YCS) students voiced their concerns over the district’s recent levy failure in a peaceful …
Yelm district makes hundreds of cuts after board approves reduction plan
At least 200 positions at Yelm Community Schools will be cut, and more reductions in force are set to come next week as the school board unanimously approved its reduced education plan on Thursday, …
State & Regional News
Billy Frank Jr. statue sculptor “honored” to work on project
Once the Billy Frank Jr. statue is installed in the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol in Washington D.C., in 2025, sculptor Haiying Wu will be the first Chinese-American to have a …
Roy animal sanctuary takes in nearly 60 roosters rescue from cockfighting
Roy’s Heartwood Haven, a sanctuary that specializes with animals rescued from cruelty cases, recently rescued nearly 60 roosters, stemming from a cockfighting operation bust in eastern …
Braun calls for more legislative action after three infants exposed to fentanyl
Senate Minority Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, has called on the Legislature to take additional action to curb children’s access to fentanyl and other deadly narcotics. The call comes …
Candidate filing week begins May 6
The Nisqually Valley News The opportunity to formally declare candidacy for the 2024 elections opens at 8 a.m., Monday, May 6, online and at elections offices across the state. Mailed …
From Tenino to Bend, Oregon, Love Covers looks to support nonprofits, build relationships through sewing
Sewing has always been a passion and a way to bring people together for Patti Ledesma, of Tenino, and Cathleen “Cat” Wallace, of Bend, Oregon, who have been friends for more than 30 years …
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office warns of increase in scammers
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) warned the community of an increase in scams in which scammers pretend to be members of the sheriff’s office. According to TCSO’s …
Yelm community raises $15K for Lacey woman fighting cancer
The week of March 9, 2024, was one of the toughest weeks of Edith Vanderwal’s life. While watching her son’s soccer game in Aberdeen, the Lacey woman fell down a few sets of bleachers, …
Residents speak out at TCSO forum after hiring of officer acquitted in Manuel Ellis’ death
The roughly 30 Thurston County residents who spoke at the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office’s public forum on Thursday, April 11, had differing opinions on the controversial hiring and …
Area runner after bigfoot report: ‘That Sasquatch running was me’
A recent Sasquatch sighting near Grand Mound, investigated by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), may have been debunked by a Rochester cross country and track athlete. The …
Life
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, …

Yelm district honors volunteers of the year

Yelm Community Schools awarded eight of its volunteers as the 2023-24 Volunteers of the Year during its Thursday, April 18, board meeting. Eight of the nine schools in the district chose one …
Business
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 …
Customers can have their picks of locally grown fruits and vegetables, baked goods and locally crafted items as the annual farmers market returns to Yelm beginning on Saturday, May 4, at 206 McKenzie …
For years, the Nisqually Valley Home & Garden Show was Yelm’s premier home improvement trade show, kicking off the spring season with local businesses, activities and a car show. The …
Sports

Seven Tornados named to SSC all-league fastpitch team

Yelm High School center fielder Elissa Dewees was voted the South Sound Conference's most valuable player for the 2024 season.
Following the conclusion of the Yelm Tornados fastpitch team’s 2024 season, the South Sound Conference announced the members of its all league team for the spring season. Yelm’s senior …
Junior outfielder Kylie Minker high fives freshman third baseman Kamille Kautz, who scored a run prior to the props from her teammate, on May 16,

Yelm fastpitch season ends after 2-3 showing in district tournament

After a 2-3 showing in the District 3/4 3A softball tournament at the Regional Athletic Complex (RAC) in Lacey, the Tornados’ season officially came to an end. Yelm was ultimately eliminated by …
Emma Mathson hoists the 2B District 4 Championship trophy at W.F. West High School on May 17.

DISTRICT CHAMPS: Rainier girls track and field claims 2B District 4 championship

Even though several athletes had just won the 4x400 relay moments prior, the Rainier High School girls track and field team still had enough energy to jog around the track with the 2B District 4 …
Acacia Murphy breaks a

IN FOCUS: Rainier track athletes celebrate school records by breaking vinyl records

Rainier High School track and field athletes Acacia Murphy and Ella Marvin set school records en route to winning Central 2B League titles on Friday, May 10 at Kalama High School. To celebrate, their …
Yelm softball senior Carley Waite smiles and poses with her family to celebrate senior day on May 9.

Tornados softball shines on senior day with 12-3 victory over Hawks

Despite a slow start from the Tornados offense, the Yelm softball program shined on senior day as the team secured a 12-3 victory over the River Ridge Hawks on May 9. Following the contest, Yelm …

Five Tornados tennis athletes qualify for districts following conference tournament

Following a first-place finish in the South Sound Conference, Yelm High School’s girls tennis team competed in the conference tournament and five Tornados punched their tickets to the district …

Japanese culture celebrated at Tenino festival

Rainier girls claim league crown, track program notches 10 individual titles

Rainier's Jazzlyn Shumate (right) leans across the finish line to beat Toledo's Onica Chase in the 400-meter dash during the Central 2B League Championships on Friday at Chinook Stadium in Kalama.

The Rainier High School girls track and field team proved it was the top dog in the Central 2B League with a dominant performance en route to the league title on Friday, May 10, at Kalama High …

Mountaineers golfer wins district tournament, team finishes third in inaugural season

Rainier freshman golfer Joshua Peralta poses for a photo with the 2B District 4 champion trophy on May 9 at Mint Valley Golf Course in Longview.

After sinking a final 6-foot putt for par, the Rainier High School contingent cheered, and freshman Joshua Peralta was all smiles as he was crowned the newest 2B District 4 champion on Thursday, May …

Mountaineers fastpitch season ends with shutout loss to Ilwaco in districts

Ryleigh Cruse releases a pitch against Ilwaco in the 2B District 1/4 Tournament on May 13.

The Rainier High School softball team’s recent stretch of offensive firepower was abruptly shushed in the Mountaineers’ season-ending loss to Ilwaco, 2-0, in the opening round of the 2B …

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

Teens can ensure their voices are heard by pre-registering to vote

Editor, I am dismayed each time I see high school students protesting for something essential that earlier generations enjoyed and took for granted … and now deny to younger generations. …
Letters to the editor can be submitted to yelmnews@yelmonline.com.

Support state funding for schools

Editor, It has been shocking to see the Yelm school district levy fail and the accompanying job losses. One positive thing we can do is elect representatives who will support state funding for …
Letters to the editor can be submitted to yelmnews@yelmonline.com.

Loss of teachers, staff will be detrimental in more than just classrooms

Editor, I am a freshman at Yelm High School, an honor roll student, who cares about the education system. Without the school, I wouldn't be here now. I am writing this to voice my concerns on …
Sen. John Braun in Olympia from the Capitol on Friday, Feb. 15, 2024.

Braun: College campus protests call for decisive leadership

During the first half of May, administrators at the University of Washington patiently negotiated with pro-Hamas protesters about voluntarily dismantling their illegal encampment at the center of the …
Letters to the editor can be submitted to yelmnews@yelmonline.com.

Yelm schools levy failure disappointing

Editor,  I was so saddened by the failure of the Yelm Public Schools levy not passing for the second time. I am an 88-year-old widow living on a fixed income, and I have never voted against …
Obituaries
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.
In Loving Memory of Alice Marjorie Smith 1935 ~ 2024
Marjorie Smith passed away peacefully on April 9, 2024, at her daughter’s home in Yelm, Washington, at the age of 88. She was born to Louis Barons and Nelsie Barons Foss on Oct. 1, 1935, in …
In Loving Memory Of Penny Kleine 1962 ~ 2024
On March 21, 2024, Penny Marie (Sherfey) Kleine passed away in Lubbock, Texas, at the age of 61 from pancreatic and ovarian cancer.  Penny was born on June 25, 1962, in Sacramento, …
In Loving Memory of “Frenchie” - Orval French 1937 - 2023 We regret to announce the passing of “Frenchie,” Orval D. French, 85, of Yelm, Washington. He died unexpectedly Aug. 31, 2024, of natural causes. Frenchie was born Sept. 13, 1937, to Orval E.
We regret to announce the passing of “Frenchie,” Orval D. French, 85, of Yelm, Washington. He died unexpectedly Aug. 31, 2023, of natural causes.  Frenchie was born Sept. 13, …