The Observer

Mitchell Roland, News Editor

News Editor- Spring 2021

Editor-in-Chief - Winter 2021

Editor-in-Chief - Fall 2020

Senior Reporter - Spring 2020

 

All content by Mitchell Roland
Seniors say goodbye: Making the difficult decisions

Seniors say goodbye: Making the difficult decisions

June 2, 2021

On Sept. 13, 2019, my doctor told me a CT scan revealed a benign cyst on my brain, that I would need to consult with a neurosurgeon. This came after a summer of the worst head pain I’ve ever experienced,...

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CWU awarded over $65 million from the legislature for renovations

May 19, 2021

During their latest session, the Washington State Legislature awarded CWU more than $65 million which will be used to renovate several buildings on campus. According to a press release from CWU, $55.5...

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Editorial: There is a mental health crisis in America

May 12, 2021

Over the past year, there has been a drastic and concerning rise in people reporting mental health issues in America. According to a study published by Boston University, half of all college students...

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CWU will require COVID-19 vaccine in fall

CWU will require COVID-19 vaccine in fall

May 6, 2021

CWU will require all students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before coming to campus in the fall. President James L. Gaudino made the announcement on May 6. In the announcement,...

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Editorial: Violence and discrimination against the AAPI community have drastically increased over the past year , which must be addressed.

May 5, 2021

While May is AAPI heritage month, there has been a troubling increase in violent crimes, racism and prejudice against their community.  Racism against Asian Americans is not new, though for far too...

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Gaudino recognized as Washingtonian of the day

Gaudino recognized as Washingtonian of the day

May 5, 2021

Outgoing President James L. Gaudino was recognized by the state’s governor as the Washingtonian of the day for April 27. Gov. Jay Inslee made the announcement during his recent visit to campus. This...

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Vaccine requirement for students under discussion

Vaccine requirement for students under discussion

April 27, 2021

While Washington’s public universities are currently set to decide, Gov. Jay Inslee said a state vaccination requirement for students to attend classes on college campuses in the fall is “under consideration.” Inslee...

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CWU announces on campus vaccine clinic

CWU announces on campus vaccine clinic

April 9, 2021

CWU has announced a vaccine clinic on April 13 for 14 university departments, as well as for those who are otherwise eligible. Presented by CWU Student Health Services and Kittitas Valley Healthcare,...

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ASCWU frustrated by lack of additional learning materials

ASCWU frustrated by lack of additional learning materials

April 7, 2021

ASCWU currently has a list of faculty who students have said are not providing enough learning materials in their classes. This comes after a year of complaints from students that faculty members have...

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Students, CWU to split $24 million in stimulus money

Students, CWU to split $24 million in stimulus money

April 7, 2021

Students are set to receive $12 million of aid through the university as part of the third COVID-19 relief package that was passed last month. The legislation, which is officially known as the American...

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Several academic programs face reduced funding from S&A committee

March 13, 2021

The four CWU student media outlets – The Observer, Central News Watch, PULSE and Wildcat films – are among the programs the Services and Activities Committee (S&A) are considering either reducing...

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ASCWU calls for additional learning materials

ASCWU calls for additional learning materials

March 10, 2021

Following a year of complaints from students, both the ASCWU Senate and Executive teams released resolutions last week that said some professors have not done enough to adapt to remote learning. In...

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ASCWU condemns rise in discrimination against Asian Americans

ASCWU condemns rise in discrimination against Asian Americans

March 10, 2021

Due to a rise of racism against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, ASCWU is calling on students, faculty and staff to condemn the discrimination. Advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate said they’ve received...

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Flood in Barge Hall causes significant damage

March 3, 2021

 Early estimates show that a recent flood inside Barge Hall caused $500,000 in damage, though the total cost could be much higher. The flooding, which occurred around 1 a.m. on Feb. 13, resulted from...

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80 CAH staff and faculty sign a petition objecting to an ‘arguably unethical’ fundraiser

80 CAH staff and faculty sign a petition objecting to an ‘arguably unethical’ fundraiser

February 27, 2021

Some staff and faculty members in the College of Arts and Humanities (CAH) say they have felt pressured to donate to a fundraising campaign that will award funding towards department projects based on...

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Faculty Senate calls for earlier vaccine access for university personnel

Faculty Senate calls for earlier vaccine access for university personnel

February 25, 2021

Members of CWU’s Faculty Senate sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this week asking for higher education personnel to be included in the state’s 1B tier 2 category of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The...

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Opinion: The pain of a Mariners fan

Opinion: The pain of a Mariners fan

February 24, 2021

While it’s a tradition for the Seattle Mariners to disappoint their fanbase, they managed to do so in record time this year and before their season even started. Over the weekend, a 46-minute video...

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Men’s basketball returns to action

Men’s basketball returns to action

February 23, 2021

While its excitement in the first two games didn’t match the results in the box score, the CWU men’s basketball team was just relieved to be back out on the court this weekend. Over the past year,...

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GNAC announces plans to play spring sports, hold championships

February 23, 2021

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) announced on Feb. 18 that the conference plans to hold several conference seasons in the spring, culminating with conference championships throughout May. In...

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GNAC announces plans to play spring seasons, championships

GNAC announces plans to play spring seasons, championships

February 18, 2021

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) announced that the conference plans to hold several conference seasons in the spring, culminating with conference championships throughout May. In a Feb....

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Basketball game postponed due to positive COVID-19 test

February 15, 2021

 While CWU’s men’s basketball team was slated to start their season late last week, the game was postponed after a positive COVID-19 test in the program. A member of the program’s tier one, which...

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False spike in COVID-19 registration caused by computer error

February 12, 2021

A drastic spike in COVID-19 vaccine registration in Kittitas County last week was caused by computer error, not by people from outside the county coming to register for the vaccine. The Kittitas County...

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Virtual Lobby Day

February 4, 2021

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Commencement to be virtual

Commencement to be virtual

February 2, 2021

On Jan. 21, students and families received confirmation that the 2021 commencement held at the end of spring quarter would be online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the CWU Provost Michelle...

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2021 commencement to be conducted virtually

January 28, 2021

For the second year in a row, CWU’s commencement ceremony will be held completely virtually due to health and safety risks associated with the ongoing pandemic. During this year’s commencement,...

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President A. James Wohlpart

President-designate lays out future of CWU

January 20, 2021

While he isn’t scheduled to assume the office for up to six months, CWU’s president-designate has already begun mapping out his early tenure at CWU. CWU announced A. James Wohlpart as its next president...

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A. James Wohlpart

CWU announces 15th president

January 14, 2021

The Board of Trustees (BOT) announced today that A. James Wohlpart will be the 15th president in CWU’s history. It is not known when Wohlpart will officially take over for James L. Gaudino. Wohlpart...

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Community group works to stop local hate

January 12, 2021

A group started over four years ago which aimed to bring the Ellensburg community together has recently relaunched with the assistance of ASCWU President Mickael Candelaria. Not in our Kittco (NIOK)...

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Local legislators prepared for an unconventional session

Local legislators prepared for an unconventional session

January 12, 2021

The Washington State Legislature convened yesterday, and representatives from the 13th district are ready for a session which will look very different from previous years. While state representatives...

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Then next president of the university will be introduced on Jan. 14, though it is unknown when the will takeover for outgoing President James L. Gaudino

Next president to be introduced, meet campus groups next week

January 8, 2021

CWU will name President James L. Gaudino’s successor next week, though the identity of the next president is still publicly unknown. The Board of Trustees (BOT) will convene for an executive session...

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White nationalist materials found on campus, in town

White nationalist materials found on campus, in town

December 23, 2020

Stickers from Patriot Front, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) calls a “racist, anti-Semitic white supremacist group,” were found on campus and in Ellensburg this week. The stickers featured...

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Board of Trustees to offer presidency to unknown candidate

Board of Trustees to offer presidency to unknown candidate

December 18, 2020

The Board of Trustees (BOT) voted Friday morning to offer the presidency to a candidate who has not been publicly identified. In a unanimous decision during a special meeting on Dec. 18, the trustees...

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APOYO reaches agreement with CWU to stay on campus

November 18, 2020

Allied People Offering Year-Round Outreach (APOYO) and CWU have announced a deal that will allow the food bank to stay in their current site on campus until Oct. 31, 2022. A Nov. 17 press release from...

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The identity of the candidate the BOT will negotiate with is not yet known.

Board of Trustees to begin negotiations with unidentified presidential candidate

November 13, 2020

The CWU Board of Trustees (BOT) unanimously agreed on Friday to begin negotiations with the “top choice” to succeed President James L. Gaudino, though the identity of the candidate is not yet known. A...

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A look back on an adventurous quarter

A look back on an adventurous quarter

November 10, 2020

As the quarter ends and The Observer prints our last issue until our January return, I felt a need to reflect on the businesses of the quarter. Over the past two months, The Observer staff has covered...

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Then next president of the university will be introduced on Jan. 14, though it is unknown when the will takeover for outgoing President James L. Gaudino

Presidential search enters next phase

November 10, 2020

As the search for a new university president continues, the process has reached a new milestone with five candidates being named finalists for the position. While the names of the candidates have yet...

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Handout depicting city council members, activists found in Ellensburg

November 10, 2020

A flyer featuring caricatures and nicknames mocking several Ellensburg activists and elected officials, as well as a letter, was found throughout the Ellensburg area and on social media over the past several...

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Sheriff candidates make their pitches

Sheriff candidates make their pitches

November 3, 2020

On election day 2020, the two candidates for the Kittitas County Sheriff’s are making their final push for the job. Current Sheriff Clay Myers has been on the job for just under a year after being...

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The battle for the 8th district

The battle for the 8th district

October 27, 2020

With just a week left until election day 2020, candidates for Washington’s 8th congressional district are making their final pitches to voters. Incumbent Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Issaquah) is facing off...

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Wendell Hill Hall B sees ‘concerning’ increase in COVID-19 cases

Wendell Hill Hall B sees ‘concerning’ increase in COVID-19 cases

October 26, 2020

After a total of 14 students tested positive for COVID-19 in Wendell Hill Hall B, CWU has conducted a second round of testing to see if any additional residents have COVID-19. The university first announced...

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Gaudino gives his final State of the University speech

Gaudino gives his final State of the University speech

October 24, 2020

In his final State of the University speech as President of CWU, James L. Gaudino outlined the progress the university has made towards meeting his three university-wide goals, while also previewing the...

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DSC_0233

[Photo] Water main break causes flooding

October 22, 2020

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Use this one for covid story

[Photo] COVID-19 outbreak in Wendell Hill Hall B

October 22, 2020

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While the plan isn’t finalized, ASCWU is working to build a new multicultural center.

[Photo] Old Heat may be new Center for Cultural Innovation

October 20, 2020

While the plan isn’t finalized, ASCWU is working to build a new multicultural center.

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COVID-19 cluster detected in CWU residence hall

COVID-19 cluster detected in CWU residence hall

October 18, 2020

CWU announced early Sunday evening that six students have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Wendell Hill B Residence Hall. The remaining residents of the hall will be required to self-isolate in their...

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At the top of the trail hikers find scenic views of Ellensburg and its surroundings.

Rattlesnake Dance Trail: It’s the climb

October 13, 2020

A mere 15 minutes outside of Ellensburg, the Rattlesnake Dance Trail trail offers a full view of the valley and a unique perspective, all while hiking about a mile each way. Gear to Pack A sturdy...

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CWU announces layoffs, outlines budget shortfall

CWU announces layoffs, outlines budget shortfall

October 5, 2020

 Citing a decline in students enrolled and living on campus as well as a challenging financial outlook, CWU announced 56 layoffs on Sept. 30 that will impact 48 employees tied to residential services. Soon...

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GNAC announces plans for winter, spring athletics

October 3, 2020

The GNAC has announced a delayed start for winter athletics, while also announcing a plan for some fall sports to move to the spring of 2021. In a press release on Friday, Oct. 2, the GNAC announced...

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President Gaudino announces layoffs

September 30, 2020

Citing reduced enrollment and a limited number of students living on campus, CWU President James L. Gaudino announced in an email to the campus community this morning that 56 positions at the Ellensburg...

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Find all the little things in life

Find all the little things in life

September 27, 2020

On a broad level I believe that in 2020, with a pandemic that makes it impossible to hang out in large groups, wildfires that made the air unsafe and a recession that strikes fear in the hearts of college...

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Letter from the editor

Letter from the editor

September 15, 2020

  My name is Mitchell Roland, and I am the current Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. This is my first quarter in this role, and it will be my third quarter at CWU. While I’m new to CWU, I’m...

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Work continues to fully implement new Title IX regulations at CWU

September 15, 2020

As the new school year begins and some students return to campus, new Title IX rules around sexual misconduct are in the process of being implemented on college campuses across the country. Passed in...

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Students protest peacefully against police brutality and racism in honor of those who have died.

Students continue to lead protests in Ellensburg

September 15, 2020

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota in May, race relations have once again dominated headlines as protests take place across the country, including in Ellensburg. Two current CWU students...

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The street outside of Ellensburg City Hall where organizers plan to paint a Black Lives Matter mural.

Organizers raise over $5,000 for Ellensburg BLM mural in one day

July 18, 2020

A GoFundMe fundraiser to paint a Black Lives Matter (BLM) street mural in Ellensburg has raised over $6,000 in donations so far, including a $500 donation from ASCWU. The mural is planned for downtown...

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GNAC suspends all competition through November 30

GNAC suspends all competition through November 30

July 17, 2020

In a decision that will impact four fall sports at CWU, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) announced that all athletics have been suspended through Nov. 30. In a press release on July 17,...

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MLB’s return is a recipe for disaster

MLB’s return is a recipe for disaster

July 6, 2020

While I was originally ecstatic for Major League Baseball’s return, it has become clear that baseball’s return will be below typical MLB play standards and come with severe risks that outweigh the...

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2020 Ellensburg Rodeo cancelled

2020 Ellensburg Rodeo cancelled

July 2, 2020

The annual Ellensburg Rodeo has been cancelled for  2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, scheduled to take place over the Labor Day weekend in September, traditionally includes a parade, concerts...

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CWU junior Jonah Gilley piloting a small aircraft from Arlington to Bellingham.

Hopeful student pilots left looking for a place to land

June 29, 2020

CWU’s suspension of admittance into their professional pilot program has left several students' futures up in the air. Citing the lack of a long-term facility, among other reasons, CWU announced on...

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CWU considering 26 budget reduction ideas

CWU considering 26 budget reduction ideas

June 25, 2020

In an effort to alleviate a $12 million budget deficit, CWU’s President’s Budget Advisory Committee (PBAC) has proposed 26 different ideas to reduce expenses on campus. In a memo to CWU President...

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Enrollment for CWU professional pilot program suspended

Enrollment for CWU professional pilot program suspended

June 17, 2020

CWU’s professional pilot program will no longer accept new enrollees. Students who were already accepted into the program for the fall have had their admission to CWU rescinded, while current students...

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ASCWU letter outlines claims of systemic racial issues on campus

ASCWU letter outlines claims of systemic racial issues on campus

June 13, 2020

Echoing the sentiments of Ellensburg protesters over the last week, two ASCWU members released a letter saying CWU has “continued to fail faculty and students of color over and over again.” Introduced...

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Protesters continue to rally in Ellensburg, despite fears of violence

Protesters continue to rally in Ellensburg, despite fears of violence

June 6, 2020

Hundreds of protesters filled the streets of Ellensburg on Friday to continue protesting national systematic racism and police violence. Almost 300 protestors marched from Barge Hall down Main Street...

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Staff face furloughs, reduction in hours during summer

June 5, 2020

Due to a “significant” impact on the university’s budget due to COVID-19, CWU President James L. Gaudino announced a reduction in staffing over the summer in an email this morning. According...

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Title IX changes will overhaul sexual assault policy at CWU

June 3, 2020

When students eventually return to campus, one major change they will find is a change in the processes around sexual misconduct allegations. Originally passed in 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments...

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The main walkways through campus, usually occupied by students, were empty all quarter due to the campus shutdown caused by COVID-19. Most buildings were closed as well.

Gaudino outlines changes to campus

June 3, 2020

While COVID-19 will likely remain for the near future, campus is being prepped and classes are being planned for students to return for fall quarter. In an email to campus, CWU President James L. Gaudino...

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Peaceful protesters rally in Ellensburg

Peaceful protesters rally in Ellensburg

June 3, 2020

Chanting “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace,” several hundred peaceful protesters marched through Ellensburg on Monday, June 1 against police brutality. This was one of several...

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COVID-19 may have long term impact on employment

COVID-19 may have long term impact on employment

May 28, 2020

As the days get longer and the weather gets nicer, some students are beginning a search for a part-time job for the summer. However, finding employment in Ellensburg will likely be more difficult than...

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SURC Fresh Bar opens despite pandemic

SURC Fresh Bar opens despite pandemic

May 22, 2020

While few students remain on campus, those who do have a new dining option. The new option, Fresh Bar, opened at the start of spring quarter in the SURC. The new eatery features a menu including items...

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Photo source: Google, labeled for reuse

Opinion: Court ruling is the latest sign the NCAA is dying

May 21, 2020

During a press conference at 2014’s Final Four in the glamorous Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas, UCONN basketball player Shabazz Napier described “hungry nights,” where players on the team literally...

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40 days of quarantine: How one local family was impacted by COVID-19

40 days of quarantine: How one local family was impacted by COVID-19

May 18, 2020

Editor’s note: Trinidad Serrano’s comments have been translated from Spanish to English by her son, Juan.    When Trinidad Serrano’s COVID-19 tests came back, Juan Serrano was nearly speechless. “Once...

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Students virtually escape from quarantine

Students virtually escape from quarantine

May 13, 2020

Imagine living on your own private island, that you are able to decorate as you please, while fishing and roaming around freely in clear and sunny weather 365 days a year. There’s no need for social...

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A sight of the Yakima river at Canyon River Ranch, near Wymer. Local businesses are introducing sanitation and social distancing measures to tackle COVID-19, but most services are still operating.

Fishing guides anxious to get back on the water

May 4, 2020

While rules for recreational fishing have been relaxed in the state, fishing guides statewide are still anxiously waiting to hold tours. Last week Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans to allow fishing in...

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Students use stimulus check for debts and miscellaneous shopping

Students use stimulus check for debts and miscellaneous shopping

May 2, 2020

As layoffs and furloughs continue due to  COVID-19, some CWU students believe the stimulus check has helped but more may be needed. As part of the CARES Act, which was passed by Congress to try to...

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I can’t wait for baseball to return

I can’t wait for baseball to return

April 22, 2020

I miss baseball. A lot. On the west side of the mountains, winter days are the same monotony of gray skies and dreariness. There’s a yearly glimmer of hope in early February. The day Mariners pitchers...

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CWU Football student athletes have had to get creative for working out. Whether they returned home for the quarter or stayed in Ellensburg, all gyms across the country are closed. Some of the student athletes think the team’s physical shape will take the biggest hit due to COVID-19.

CWU Football players find creative ways to stay active

April 22, 2020

With sports on an indefinite pause in America, CWU football has had to get creative in their offseason program. Due to COVID-19, athletes in fall sports can’t practice and will miss out on other things...

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Jake Forrester was drafted in the 37th round of the June 2019 MLB Amateur Draft by the Cleveland Indians.

Catching up with former CWU pitcher Jake Forrester

April 15, 2020

In baseball, an inside pitch can often lead to a batter breaking their bat if they make contact. But one aptly named former CWU pitcher knows a well-placed pitch isn’t the only way to make firewood. Jake...

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Food banks statewide struggling to deal with increased visitation

Food banks statewide struggling to deal with increased visitation

April 15, 2020

As unemployment continues to rise in Washington due to the COVID-19 outbreak, food banks statewide are seeing a drastic increase in visitation. According to the United States Labor Department, nearly...

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CWU will not reschedule spring commencement

CWU will not reschedule spring commencement

April 13, 2020

CWU has officially decided against rescheduling spring 2020 commencement due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In an email sent today signed by CWU Interim Provost Lynn Franken and Faculty Senate Chair...

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Senior baseball players deciding whether or not to return next year

Senior baseball players deciding whether or not to return next year

April 9, 2020

Senior Cameron McGrath runs towards first base after hitting a ball earlier this year against Western Oregon University. McGrath is one of 15 seniors on the baseball team that received an extra year of...

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Stay-at-home orders impact local businesses

Stay-at-home orders impact local businesses

April 9, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Ellensburg businesses are learning to adjust to a new reality. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a stay-at-home proclamation for the state on March 23 in an effort to prevent...

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By the students, for the students of Central Washington University
Mitchell Roland