Take a Trip Through Our Community’s Rich History

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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

- The Yelm Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, held their annual Christmas bazaar on Nov. 27, 1976. The activity went from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scheduled events varied from baked goods, to fancy work, and Christmas Tree Grab Gifts.

- The Association of Retired Enlisted Wives held its regular meeting on Dec. 9, 1976. The group gathered at the NCA Club on McChord and hosted a dinner as well.

- The Pierce County American Red Cross held its banquet on Dec. 1, 1976. The event saw seven volunteer first aid instructors honored for giving at least 500 hours of service each.

- The Yelm Tornados varsity basketball team was named before their first game on Dec. 2, 1976. The team featured three seniors (Doug Cook, Dennis Baker, Kenny Jewell), seven juniors (Nick Judy, Stan Parker, Jim Peters, Gunnar Petersen, Mark Thompson, Andy Wolf and Scott Vandiver), and two sophomores (Chris Day and Pat McCloud).

- A holiday bazaar and baked foods sale was hosted by the Yelm Country Community Chapel on Nov. 27, 1976. Scheduled for sale were homemade sewing items, plants, baked foods and other goodies.

- Custom Cakes recently opened on Yelm Avenue in Edwards Square by Mrs. Pat Fetterly. The pastry establishment featured pies, cookies, cakes, cupcakes and wedding cakes.

- Yelm Middle School announced the winners of their annual turkey contest. The winners of the turkeys were Charles Cowell and Dave Losey, and the winners of the records were Ray Hankins and Carol Dahlberg. The school raised a total amount of $643.23.

A Look Back at This Week, 35 Years Ago

- Over the weekend, Yelm and surrounding areas faced record breaking rainfall in November of 1986. On Sunday in Yelm, 3.39 inches of rain was recorded, breaking the previous record of 1.59 inches which was set in 1964.

- A special committee, built of community leaders, was in charge of rehabilitating Yelm Creek. The committee was made up of Thurston County commissioner Karen Frasure, Neil Aaland of the county planning department, Alexander Coleman and Glen Crandell of the Department of Ecology, as well as others.

- Youth Pastor Kevin Sample was added to the Prairie Christian Church on Nov. 2, 1986. He hosted services for seventh through 12th grade students to attend on Wednesday nights.

- The county planning had typically been a rough topic of discussion in Yelm, but at the city development meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 1986 those in attendance showed sympathy for the department as they learned they were working under nearly impossible circumstances. 

- An eldery man on highway 507 called 911 after experiencing chest pains on Nov. 24, 1986. This wasn’t the only 911 call in Yelm for chest pains as an elderly woman was transported to the hospital by ambulance. 

- The Women’s Aglow Fellowship (WAF) hosted its monthly meeting in the Nisqually Valley Restaurant. The fellowship was open for those who believe in the full gospel of Jesus Christ.

- The Yelm Tornados boys basketball team traveled to Aberdeen on Dec. 6, 1986 where they played the Bobcats.

A Look Back at This Week, 25 Years Ago

- 18-year-old Jason Mantea was arrested Friday, Nov. 22 at Yelm High School on charges of rape of a minor. Mantea provided a statement and planned to work with prosecutors.

- Local residents Alf and Margie Birkland were named grand marshals for Yelm’s Christmas in the Park parade. The couple was selected to be the grand marshals due to their tenure in Yelm. They had lived all across the country, but returned to Yelm to raise their family.

- Michelle Ney and Jennifer Oatis of Yelm High School were selected for Yelm’s Youth of the Year award. Michelle Ney had a 3.956 GPA and was active in the FFA. Jennifer Oatis had a 3.888 GPA and was active within clubs at her school as well.

- For the second straight year, the Yelm Brownie Troop 644 sponsored a gingerbread decorating event at the annual Christmas in the Park event. The gingerbread house decorating event was one of many contests at the event, which also included an essay contest on “My hope for the holiday season.”

- Yelm FFA Chapters sponsored and judged the year’s storefront decorating contest. The winners were recognized by the Nisqually Valley News as well as the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce.

- Daniel Patrick Murphy, a Yelm resident, created a lightweight sculpture that sold for $600 in Eastern Washington. He wanted to make a difference during the holiday season by giving back to the Community Santa program with a donation of the funds.

- Yelm FFA members were recognized at the national convention in Kansas City. Those recognized included Michelle Ney, Roseanne Wood and Leanne Crossland.

A Look Back at This Week, 15 Years Ago

- With many students struggling to meet the math requirement on Washington Assessment of Student Learning testing, the Washington State Board of Education looked to make accommodations for those struggling to pass. The proposed and passed resolution was for the students struggling with the WASL test to take rigorous math courses until they graduate or pass the test.

- Over 600 local workers were put out of work as TransAlta Mining shut down. Although many of the workers were suspecting bad news to arrive, they never expected it to be news this bad. The holiday season is already tough enough for some, and now many are out of jobs right before Christmas, stated the Nisqually Valley News.

- Yelm Community Schools announced they would close for the day as the city was dusted by snow the prior night, and again in the morning. A big reason for the closure was because of the condition that Bald Hills was in. “Bald Hills is a big problem,” said Superintendent Burke.

- The $500 reward Yelm police put out for any tips regarding the vandalized water tower had not been helpful at all, local police said. The vandal painted a male symbol and “Mr. E.” on the downtown water tower and police hoped that collaboration with Crime stoppers would help them find the vandal.

- There were a total of 156 editions of the 2007 Entertainment Book that were available for purchase, with prices ranging from $20 to $40.

- Jamey Ball faced sentencing on drug charges that he admitted to. Police said they discovered a large amount of prescription drugs in Ball’s car, including percocet and oxycontin, worth around $140,000.

- The Rainier wrestling program lost 14 wrestlers due to graduation, but coach Chris Holterman expected the strong tradition of wrestling to continue at the high school. He boasted a roster that featured 18 wrestlers, all who had high expectations, according to coach Holterman.

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