Take a Trip Through Our Community’s Rich History


Enjoy these snapshots of articles written in past issues of the Nisqually Valley News from 45, 35, 25 and 15 years ago, respectively.

A Look Back at This Week, 45 Years Ago:

- Western Airpark was honored by the Federal Aviation Administration for its achievement in the overall improvement and environmental enhancement of the airport.

- Jan Loutzenhiser was the guest of honor at a “special dinner” in Olympia due to her efforts at Morningside Rehabilitation Center.

- Irene L. DittBenner and Bradley Seiffert were married Sept. 18 at the Roy First Congressional Church.

- The Yelm school district adopted its final budget with $2,624,624 total expenditures planned. There was a fund balance of $89,242 at the start of the year, with the district expecting to have $60,568 at the school year’s end.

- A benefit playday with the horses of Yelm Horseman’s arena was scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 17. The family of Vickie Johnson was set to receive the proceeds.

- More than 1,700 flu vaccines were administered in Thurston County during the first five days of a two-month vaccination program.

- James Newman became the manager of the Yelm branch of the Bank of Olympia.

A Look Back at This Week, 35 Years Ago:

- Richard E. Case was selected as the interim principal of Yelm Middle School. He previously held similar positions with the district.

- Volunteer registered nurses were popular in a health occupation program at New Market Vocational Skills Center. Students were set to learn as much as they could from them.

- Yelm Mayor Ron Lawton held a meeting with community stakeholders to discuss the revitalization of Yelm’s downtown corridor in October of 1986.

- Tony Nyitray, Yelm High School senior class president, requested the Yelm School District allow seniors to have an open campus. The school board agreed to the request.

- Yelm Future Farmers of America alumni donated $2,500 to a greenhouse at Yelm High School.

- A letter to the editor stated that a Yelm resident wanted people to “consider the facts” of the proposed bond measure to afford a new sports stadium and swimming pool. “It will cost money to build and maintain,” the letter read.

- William “Bill” Anderson, 68, of Yelm, died Oct. 10, 1986. Anderson was born Aug. 28, 1918.

- The Yelm boys varsity cross country team beat Fife High School 20-43 on Oct. 9, 1986.

A Look Back at This Week, 25 Years Ago:

- Leia Kelsey and her 14-month-old son, Grant, were shot in the head. Sean Thomas Jones, 19, was accused of the murders. Kelsey and her father had previously appeared before Pierce County Court Commissioner James Marshall. Kelsey asked for a restraining order against Jones, but was denied the order, which was replaced with anti-harassment measures.

- Yelm Community Schools was set to make plans for the following six years in October of 1996. Deputy Superintendent Alan Burke said a large cross section of the Yelm community would need to be consulted as plans moved forward.

- The Let Me Be Free run, which featured about 30 young people who ran through Yelm, was part of a 1,500-mile trip around Washington state. The participants declared freedom from drugs and alcohol.

- Annamae Natalie Blakely, 58, a former resident of Rainier, died of cancer on Saturday, Sept. 28, 1996. Blakely was born on June 17, 1938.

- Guadalupe and Charles Bowers announced the birth of a son on Oct. 6, 1996. Michelle and Ron Morgan announced the birth of a son on Oct. 7, 1996. Lisa and Aaron Belleveau announced the birth of a son on Oct. 14, 1996.

- The Tornados football team had been shutout of victories so far in the 1996 season, but all that changed on Thursday, Oct. 10, when they beat Washington High School 13-12.

A Look Back at This Week, 15 Years Ago:

- The Nisqually Valley News reported the two candidates for Thurston County coroner were remarkably similar on paper, yet they represented two different approaches to the job. Terry Harper said his managerial and administrative experience is what he would use most in the role, while Gary Warnock said his approach was one of compassion and empathy.

- The Yelm Community Schools dropout rate was 4.4%, which was lower than the statewide dropout rate of 5.1%.

- Yelm city planners were in the middle of debating whether the municipality should use mixed use zoning of commercial and high-density housing in October of 2006. Commissioners endorsed the idea, but said more work needed to be fleshed out before the Yelm Comprehensive Plan came out the following year. Yelm Community Development Director Grant Beck said sustainable development meant “nothing in, nothing out,” an idea Beck said would never happen.

- The city of Olympia and Sightline Institute were set to host a sustainable economics seminar. While the group held similar events in the past, 2006 was the first year anyone from Yelm was invited.

- Chris Maun, who traveled around the region teaching kids about the Nisqually Watershed, met with the Yelm City Council to give a presentation on his program. He came armed with large cards made by Yelm students about the watershed.

- The Yelm volleyball team lost at home against Capital High School on Monday, Oct. 2, 2006. Capital won three out of three sets.


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