Local news
Yelm PD, TCSO arrest suspect after shooting at Cherry Meadows residence
A suspect faces attempted first-degree murder charges after a person was shot at a residence on Chad Drive Southeast, Sunday, Aug. 14. Yelm Police Sgt. Kevin Taylor said that he and another YPD …
State report indicates overall serious crime down in Yelm in 2023
According to the annual Crime in Washington 2023 report, serious crimes in Yelm decreased 19.68% from 2022 to 2023. According to the report, last year, 518 “Group A” crimes were …
YMCA, financial advisors offer specifics about potential project
Prior to deciding if the fate of a Yelm-based YMCA should be turned to voters, Yelm City Councilors met with representatives from the city’s financial advisor and the South Sound YMCA for a …
Prairie Soccer Club providing competition amid YCS athletics uncertainty
Prairie Soccer Club (PSC), based in Yelm, is gearing up for a fall season that may feature more students than usual. The club, which has served the Yelm community for nearly 40 years, has …
YARD representatives hopes to expand, form partnerships in city
Another local business has stepped up to offer services in light of the recent school district levy failure. Dustin and Michelle Stephan, owners of Youth Athletics Recreation Development (YARD), …
Sirens
Driver crashes into pedestrian in Rainier, flees on foot in Grand Mound A man crashed his truck into a ditch on Binghamton Street in Rainier after midnight, Tuesday, July 16. The Thurston County …
City Council approves new agreement of Region 3 Mutual Aid Omnibus agreement
Yelm City Councilors unanimously authorized Mayor Joe DePinto to sign the Region 3 Mutual Aid Omnibus Agreement, which serves as a response agreement between counties in case of emergency. Yelm …
Prestige Senior Living Rosemont Rodeo returns for free family fun
Prestige Senior Living Rosemont’s annual rodeo is back for a free afternoon of country fun, including live music, a barbecue dinner, farm animals and more. The event will take place from 3 p.m. …
BBQ Rally youth burger champion hungry for more hardware
Brendan Coulliette, an incoming seventh grader at Eagle View Christian School, is determined to further cement himself as the best youth burger chef in the Nisqually Valley during the Nisqually …
What's Happening: BBQ Rally, Movies in the Park, Jazz in the Park
Saturday, July 20 Yelm Farmers Market  The 2024 Yelm Farmers Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 20, at 206 McKenzie Ave., near City Park. The event will …
Trump assassination attempt: Washington state politicians respond after former president bloodied by shooter
Responses from Washington state politicians poured in following the attempted assassination of former U.S. President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. Trump suffered …
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 …
State & Regional News
JBLM’s DuPont gate set to close from July 29 – Aug. 5 for road construction
Beginning 5 a.m. Monday, July 29, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord DuPont gate will close to all travelers. The gate will reopen 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5 The closure of this gate allows crews to …
Thurston County Fair accepting entries for foods, art, hobbies and crafts
The Thurston County Fair is accepting open class entries from July 22 through July 29 at the Thurston County Fairgrounds. Categories include open class photography, foods, hobbies and crafts, art and …
Thurston County Voter Services opening in new location
Voter services are now available at a new location in Tumwater, at 2915 29th Ave. SW. Thurston County residents can register to vote and receive other voting services at this new location. …
Thurston County initiates countywide fire safety burn ban
Effective last week, the Thurston County fire marshal has initiated a countywide outdoor burn ban from now through September. According to a Thurston County press release, the decision was made …
Man who dived on his family to protect them killed at Trump rally shooting
Corey Comperatore, a 50-year-old man from Buffalo Township, Pa., died after a gunman opened fire during a rally for former President Donald Trump on Saturday evening. The former volunteer fire …
WSU professor says assassination attempt is stark reminder that heated political rhetoric must cool
Saturday's assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump could be a moment of unity, for partisan politicians to ease back toward civility. Or it could just make things worse, said Cornell …
Trump calls for unity, vows to move forward morning after attempted assassination
Former President Donald Trump said Sunday morning that it was "God alone who prevented" his death after he survived a Saturday evening assassination attempt at a campaign rally north of Pittsburgh. …
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 …
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
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. …
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 …
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 …

Recent YHS graduate O’Neal prepares for national bull-riding high school competition

Just over a month after graduating from Yelm High School, former student Auto O’Neal will soon depart to Rock Springs, Wyoming, to compete in the National High School Rodeo. He’ll leave …
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 …

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

Nick Brown best candidate for AG

Editor, I am writing to encourage you to vote in the Aug. 6 primary for Nick Brown for attorney general. Your vote is important this year, not only for national elections but also for state …
Letters to the editor can be submitted to yelmnews@yelmonline.com.

Dreon best candidate for District 2 commissioner

Editor, As a resident of Yelm deeply invested in the future of Thurston County, I write to urge my fellow community members to consider Rachel Dreon for Thurston County commissioner District 2 …

VET PFAS Act 2023 could bring aid to vets suffering from PFAS-related illnesses

Military veterans across the country are suffering from illnesses caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), to which they were exposed while serving at an army facility. However, the …
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 …
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.