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November 20
YVCC to host Tip-Off tourney

​Yakima Herald Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima Valley will host seven other teams in the season-opening YVCC Tip-Off Tournament, which runs Friday through Sunday in Sherar Gym.

The Yaks will conclude the first day’s action at 8 p.m. today against Whatcom. Centralia and Treasure Valley will open the event at 2 p.m. with Chemeketa and Walla Walla meeting at 4 p.m., after which Clark and Blue Mountain will play at 6.

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November 19
YVCC offers new 'High School 21+' program

​Grandview Herald

Grandview Campus - Yakima Valley Community College is excited to offer a new opportunity for individuals over 21 years of age who want to earn their high school diploma. 

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November 19
Ozuna selected to fill city council vacancy

​Grandview Herald

Robert Ozuna, of Grandview was named last week to fill the unexpired City Council term of Diana Jennings, who resigned in September. 

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November 18
Washington wine and juice grape tonnage soars; juice prices fall

​Good Fruit Grower

Trent Ball discusses the 2014 Concord grape crop during the Washington State Grape Society’s annual meeting  in Grandview, Washington on November 13, 2014. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Trent Ball discusses the 2014 Concord grape crop during the Washington State Grape Society’s annual meeting in Grandview, Washington on November 13, 2014.

The year 2014 will be remembered by Washington State’s grape industry as having one of the biggest crops on record for both juice and wine grapes. For wine grape growers, the long, warm growing season resulted in a near perfect vintage.

But many juice grape growers struggled to reach minimum sugar concentrations due to heavy crop loads, and for those selling on the cash market, prices tumbled to levels not seen in a decade.

For the last decade, Washington, which is the nation’s leading juice grape producer, has produced a statewide average of around 190,000 tons.

The 2014 crop, which wrapped up harvest in mid-November, is estimated to reach 264,000 tons, according to Dr. Trent Ball, who spoke during the Washington State Grape Society’s annual meeting last Thursday in Grandview.

“We had a very warm growing year in Washington and a spectacular fall,” said Ball, partner in Agri-Business Consultants LLC and director of the viticulture and enology program at Yakima Valley Community College.

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November 16
Guest editorial: All our students deserve equal education access

​Yakima Herald Republic

The year 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. On Wednesday we will join Humanities Washington, the state’s flagship humanities organization, for a conversation about education and invite you to join us.

Since 1954, students across our state have experienced promising strides toward educational equality. Nevertheless, the dream of achieving, accessing and attaining equitable education remains elusive for many, particularly students of color.

Education settings are increasingly diverse. According to the U.S. Department of Education, from 1972 to 2004 the number of students of color enrolled in public school grades K-12 for states in the western U.S. increased from 27 percent to 57 percent. Unfortunately, students of color have a greater chance of living in poverty, which puts them at greater risk for failure in school.

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November 15
Tri-Cities Wine Festival announces top Northwest wines

​Tri-City Herald

Judges picked a Riesling by Woodinville’s Ancestry Cellars as the top wine out of more than 350 submitted to the 36th annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival.

Ancestry Cellars 2012 Reminiscence Riesling was announced as the Best of Show during the festival Saturday at Kennewick’s Three Rivers Convention Center.

Harry McWatters, one of the festival’s judges, said he had a tough time choosing between the Riesling and a sparkling wine that made it to the very top. The winning Riesling has classic appeal.

Read more here:​

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November 14
YVCC trustees to weigh increasing tuition discount for student athletes


YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima Valley Community College may offer even cheaper tuition to student athletes as a means of being more competitive.

Athletes already get a 15 percent discount on tuition and student fees. The maximum allowed by the state is 25 percent.

A spokesperson for the college says a bigger discount could attract more athletes. YVCC's Board of Trustees is expected to make a decision next week.

November 14
Ozuna appointed to vacant council seat

​Daily Sun News

Grandview City Councilman Mike Bren, with fellow council members Gloria Mendoza and Jesse Palacios in the background, congratulates Robert Ozuna (at right) after he is sworn in as the city’s newest councilman. 

GRANDVIEW – Robert Ozuna was this past Wednesday night appointed to fill the vacant Grandview City Council seat.

The vacancy was created in September when Diana Jennings resigned.

Quinn Plant of Menke Jackson Beyer Ehlis, the law firm representing the city, said Ozuna will fill the seat until the expiration of Jennings’ term next year. As a result, Ozuna will need to run for election in 2015 if he wishes to retain the seat.

Before his appointment Wednesday night, Ozuna and three other applicants for the city council seat spoke to the council about their desire to serve the citizens of Grandview.

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November 14
Juice grape growers see near-record bounty

​Yakima Herald Republic

GRANDVIEW — Swollen, heavy grapes in near-record bounty sums up this year’s juice grape harvest.

That’s good, sort of.

The yield — third-highest on record — was so huge that it barely ripened, leaving growers scrambling to get their loads into processors before the weather brought harvest to a close.

“It’s very unusual to see this, like quite this heavy,” said Mary Ann Bliesner, owner and president of Sunnyside’s Valley Processing, one of a handful of Lower Valley plants that makes grape concentrate for jams, juice, syrups and fruit snacks for companies all over the world.

Washington is the nation’s largest producer of juice grapes, contributing more than half the country’s annual tonnage. The bulk of the state’s crop is grown in and around Sunnyside, Grandview and Prosser.

As Lower Valley processors receive the final few truckloads of juice grapes, growers and industry officials on Thursday swapped stories of rejected loads, last-minute blending, water deprivation and sometimes praying at the annual meeting of the Washington State Grape Society.

The meeting continues today at Grandview Nazarene Church.

A bountiful bloom, a warm spring with little frost damage, a hot summer and then a warm fall conspired to make grapes grow like crazy this year.

Processors averaged 12.3 tons per acre for Concords, well above the 10-year average of 8 or so, said Trent Ball, a Yakima Valley Community College viticulture professor contracted by the industry for an annual statistical report.

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November 14
High School 21+ program at YVCC offers a fresh start

​Yakima Herald Republic

Beginning in January, Yakima Valley Community College will offer students 21 and older another option to obtain their high school diploma.

Under its new High School 21+ program, individuals can apply previously earned high school credit toward their diploma, then finish the rest of the credits by taking classes at one of the YVCC campuses or learning centers.

Because the program is competency based, students can earn credit if they demonstrate proficiency in one of the subjects gained through training or previous work experience.

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