Ellensburg Police Department Plans on Lowering the Crime Rate for Consecutive Years in 2014

By: Kyle Kuhn

Though the year is barely half over, Ellensburg Police Department Capt. Dan Hansberry sees no reason why the crime rate would be on the rise for 2014. The Department’s annual report hasn’t been released (and won’t be until the end of the year) but Hansberry noted some positives.

“We’re not seeing a trend of the crime rate going up,” Hansberry said.

There have been some recent violent crimes which may have led people to think that the crime rate would be above where it was last year. Though the recent crimes have been drawing attention from the community, Hansberry made the point that in smaller communities violent crimes tend to attract more attention. Crimes like homicide and grand theft auto don’t happen that often in Ellensburg (based on the Ellensburg Police Department annual report.)

The EPD’s annual report shows that the crime total in Ellensburg has been dropping over the past decade. The “violent crime” total stays about the same each year. When you compare the violent crime total, to the total calls put out, that’s when you realize how safe this town really is. Violent crimes play a very small role in Ellensburg’s criminal activity.

Having to deal with homicide is all too common for police in large cities. In Ellensburg, homicide is usually a single digit statistic. The EPD takes pride in their jobs and the feeling of safety they provide to the citizens. Having to get used to seeing death and violence on the local news is something you’ll never have to do while living in the city of Ellensburg.



CWU Officials Look to Change Summer School Misconceptions

By Forrest Hollingsworth

Central Washington University just spent around $38,000 on advertising summer classes with sunglasses, buttons, flyers and more only to find out that enrollment decreased from last year’s summer quarter.

According to data from the Public Affairs office, 42 percent of regular academic year students took summer classes last year compared to 41 percent this year. One percent isn’t a huge drop per se, but it is enough to have school officials and students alike wondering what to do to make summer quarter the best that it can be.

Iron Horse Brewery Starts Using Aluminum Cans With Popular Brew

By: Kyle Kuhn

Many companies are looking to cut costs wherever they can. By using aluminum cans instead of glass bottles Iron Horse Brewery will be able to accomplish lowering the cost of production. There’s just one problem though, they are afraid some patrons wouldn’t buy their product solely based on the fact that their beer would be in a can instead of a glass bottle.

CWU Makes Rugby A Varsity Sport

By Justin Nunez

Last year CWU took a large step and decided to make the school rugby teams, both men’s and women’s, a varsity sport.

This was in part to the men’s long winning tradition and the growing popularity of women’s rugby.

“There will be new student athletes coming to Central that would’ve not come to Central if we didn’t have varsity rugby,” Dennis Francois, CWU Athletic Director, said.

Mid-Air Collision Claims One Life, Other Survives

By Kyle Fenton

CWU aviation professor Amy Hoover survived a mid air collision, between two small planes, 70 miles north of Boise near Landmark Airstrip.

Both planes had no passengers aside from the pilots flying them. The collision killed the other pilot, 45-year-old Michael Bond of Fort Collins, Colo.

Central Washington University Federal Credit Union Merges with Washington State Employee Credit Union

By Kyle Kuhn

Central Washington University Federal Credit Union (CWUFCU) has been falling behind on the times and has been lacking the ability to provide their members with all of the banking services. By Aug. 1, CWUFCU will have fully merged with the Washington State Employee Credit Union (WSECU.)

For the first part of the transition, Farrell Hall will remain the temporary place of business for CWUFCU while WSECU and CWU try to work out where the main branch will be in Ellensburg.

Kitna Wildcat Classic Tees Off

By Justin Nunez

Tomorrow the 12th annual Kitna Wildcat Classic, sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors, kicks off.
The golf tournament is held each year in honor of Jon Kitna, former CWU quarterback who went on to play in the NFL for 16 years. It helps raise funds that go directly into the Wildcat Club which funds scholarships for CWU’s student athletes.

“It’s going to be exciting, of course Jon is going to be there so it’s going to be a great day,” CWU Athletic Director Dennis Francois said.

Recreational Marijuana Sales: Union Gap is on the Map

Union Gap has made the list of one of the first cities in the first batch of 24 recreational pot shops in the state of Washington.

Instead of the July 8 statewide first day of marijuana sales, Adam Markus, owner of Station 420, will be ready just one day later.

Station 420, located at 4007 Main St. in Union Gap, near the Yakima Valley Mall, will be opening at 11 a.m. on July 9.

“Be Patient, the growers were just licensed a short time ago, were not going to see a lot of market stability until October, when all the outdoor grows are harvesting,” Markus said.

He is talking about price per gram and how they might not be exactly what the consumers want at first.  Markus said that in his shop he will have cannabis for sale between the prices of $17 and $25 a gram, depending on THC content.

He predicts lower prices as time progresses because there will be a greater number of producers with a lot more weed, forcing growers to sell their pot for cheaper.

When asked how he got his foot in the door, in the marijuana world, Markus had a very tragic story.

Ever since his sister passed away from respiratory failure due to an accidental prescription overdose Markus has been somewhat turned onto marijuana.

“You know maybe, just maybe, if she was using medical marijuana that could have cut back on her usage of prescription medication,” Markus said, describing what one of his friends said to him after his sister’s unexpected death.

“I can tell you straight forward, I have not had any marijuana since 1980,” Markus said.

Markus obtained a medical marijuana card not to be an active user, but to study the medical markets to assist the learning process.

Prior to July 8, 2014, if you wanted to see the Washington cannabis market in person, you needed a medical marijuana license.

Ellensburg’s New Airwaves

By Justin Nunez

Ellensburg is getting a new radio station very soon. It’s called Ellensburg Community Radio and it is a non-profit radio station located in the 420 Building and is dedicated to education.

ECR will be streaming online during its infancy, but the station has already applied to the FCC for a low power FM radio signal and is hoping to get that approved as soon as possible.

They plan to be community run and are aiming to share stories, news, events and music. ECR is going to be primarily funded by sponsors and donations and expects to be fully up and running in late July.