By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Omar Benitez

Omar Benitez, Senior Reporter

Senior Reporter - Winter 2023

Staff Reporter - Fall 2o22

All content by Omar Benitez
President Wohlpart giving his introductory speech.

Diversity and Equity awards honor CWU and Ellensburg community members

Omar Benitez, Senior Reporter
March 8, 2023

The ninth annual CWU President’s Diversity awards kicked off on March 2 in the SURC Ballroom.  The night began with an introduction from President Jim Wohlpart where he recognized the native tribes...

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Alex pouring beer. Photo by Andrew Ulstad

Showcasing local eats, brews, musicians and businesses at Winterhop Brewfest

Omar Benitez, Senior Reporter
March 1, 2023

Locals and travelers alike gathered in the streets of downtown Ellensburg for a taste of local brews at this year's edition of the Winterhop Brewfest on Feb. 25.  This year marked the 19th edition...

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Photo courtesy of Pexels

Top Five Animes you should be watching right now

Omar Benitez, Columnist
February 22, 2023

2022 was a great year for anime. 2023 is looking to be another great year with some beloved and popular anime like ‘One-Punch Man,’ ‘Demon Slayer’ and ‘Attack on Titan’ finally making their...

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FISH Food Bank to combine operations under one roof with $5 million expansion set for April

FISH Food Bank to combine operations under one roof with $5 million expansion set for April

Omar Benitez, Senior Reporter
February 22, 2023

The planned $5 million 6,000 square feet expansion to FISH Food Bank is set to begin construction in April, with plans for completion set for November. According to FISH Food Bank CEO Peggy Morache,...

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Cynthia Coe, New Ellensburg School Board member.

CWU professor appointed to Ellensburg School Board

Omar Benitez, Senior Reporter
February 20, 2023

A 20-year Ellensburg resident, 20-year CWU professor and now a part of the Ellensburg School Board; Cynthia Coe is a professor in the philosophy and comparative religion department, and was also appointed...

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Photo Courtesy of Flickr

Drug overdoses fall as mental health emergencies increase in Kittitas County

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter
February 8, 2023

In an otherwise typical year for crime in Kittitas County, drug related crimes have fallen while mental health crises have increased.  Overdoses and drug crimes: Drugs, specifically fentanyl, have...

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Our Enviroment Booth.

Kittitas Environmental Education Network Winter Fair back in action for first time since pandemic

Omar Benitez, Staf Reporter
January 26, 2023

Groups and organizations ranging from APOYO, Our Environment, CWU’s Zooarchaeology and Anthropology and Biological Science departments, Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group and others lined the Hal...

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Search and rescue member Katie Ybarra and Ember on a practice run

New search and rescue center set to break ground this year

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter
January 25, 2023

After receiving over $1 million in funding, the Kittitas County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) now has a new plan for a search and rescue/emergency operations center. According to Kittitas County...

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Photo courtesy of CWU Flickr

Several CWU clubs awarded funding by SLICE

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter
January 18, 2023

The Anime Club, Cosplay Club, Horn Club, Art and Design Club, and the Exercise Science/Clinical Physiology Club, among several clubs, were awarded with funding this past Thursday Jan. 12 by Student Leadership,...

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Photo courtesy of Pexels

My top five favorite hip-hop albums of all time

Omar Benitez, Senior Reporter
January 18, 2023

If you’re a returning reader, you may know that I recently created a similar list to this one in the past (See “Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of the 2010’s” on our website) which goes over what I thought...

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Photo courtesy of APOYO on Facebook

APOYO starts new after-school sports program “Amigos Atléticos” with $22,500 grant from Kittitas County Public Health Department

Omar Benitez and Katherine Camarata
January 11, 2023

Amigos Atléticos or “athletic friends” in English, is a new sports club started by Allied People Offering Year-long Outreach (APOYO) aimed to help youth around Ellensburg get active and spend time...

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Photo courtesy of Pexels

Five reasons why you should watch the 2022 World Cup

Omar Benitez, Columnist
November 22, 2022

An Arab/Muslim country is hosting the World Cup Despite all the controversy surrounding the hosts Qatar and their treatment of migrant workers and claims of corruption in the world cup bidding proccess,...

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Photo courtesy of Pexels

Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of the 2010’s

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter
November 16, 2022

I wanted to start off by saying I feel terrible about leaving out so many good albums.  Only 10 can make the list, so honorable mentions are listed after. Now on to the official Top 10 list: 1999...

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Pear Street Books & Gifts.

Ellensburg downtown association awards six local businesses with grant

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter
November 16, 2022

The Ellensburg Downtown Association (EDA) announced the winners of this year's second bi-annual business awards program. The EDA awarded six downtown businesses a grant of $1,000 to help make improvements...

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Photo courtesy of Pexels

Scammers impersonate local deputies

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter
November 9, 2022

Residents of Kittitas County have been experiencing scam calls impersonating Deputy Sheriff Scott Hoffman. According to Kittitas County Sheriff's Office Inspector Chris Whitsett, the calls impersonating...

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Kim Schrier (left) and Matt Larkin (right) take to the stage for the Congressional Debate. Photo by Brevin Ross.

Schrier and Larkin battle it out for House seat at Congressional Debate

Evan Couch and Omar Benitez
October 31, 2022

Incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Kim Schrier and her Republican challenger Matt Larkin faced off during their congressional debate on Oct. 28 at McConnell Hall. The debate marks the last time the two...

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Multiple CWU campus buildings faced power outages

Multiple CWU campus buildings faced power outages

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter
October 26, 2022

Residents of Dugmore Hall were left without power late at night on Oct. 18.  “When I went to go up stairs in the elevator I hit four for the fourth floor and everything started flickering,” Dugmore...

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Photo courtesy of Central Transit

Planned flood reduction project planning underway for Ellensburg

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter
October 25, 2022

The Middle Reach Reecer Creek flood reduction project began the last phase of construction on Oct. 17. The project’s aim is to reduce the impacts of flooding on the Reecer and Currier creeks and the...

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City of Ellensburg hoping to combat rising rent prices and housing shortage

City of Ellensburg hoping to combat rising rent prices and housing shortage

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter
October 12, 2022

The City of Ellensburg is currently facing an ongoing housing crisis according toCommunity Development Director Jamey Ayling. The city has enacted a housing action plan aimed to combat the shortage. This...

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Community members run during the 5k Run for the Brave.

[Photo] Run for the Brave 5k fundraises for veterans

Omar Benitez with contributions from Jahleel Breland, Staff Reporters
October 5, 2022

Community members run during the 5k Run for the Brave.

Counterfeit blue percocet pills like these often contain or are laced with fentanyl and are at the center of this epidemic (Posted by Ellensburg Police Department Facebook page)

Local first responders and police work to combat fentanyl overdoses

Omar Benitez, Contributor
November 11, 2021

Four to six minutes. That's all the time EMS teams have to try to prevent permanent brain damage in a person who is overdosing on fentanyl and has stopped breathing, according to Rich Elliot, deputy chief...

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