Business Briefs — March 2016

Alzheimer’s Dementia Conference

The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting the Tri-Cities Alzheimer’s & Dementia Conference from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mar. 31 at the Bethel Church, 600 Shockley Road in Richland.

The event will feature several workshops, including Seeking a Diagnosis, Local Resources and Support, and Legal and Financial Planning.

The cost is $20 for family caregivers and $50 for professional caregivers. Scholarships are available for family caregivers. Continuing education and CEU credits are available for professional caregivers. Breakfast and lunch are included in the cost of the conference.

Register online at or by calling 509-456-0456.


Bingo offered on Mondays

Come play bingo every Monday at the Knights of Columbia Hall, 2600 Chester Road in Richland.

The doors open at 6 p.m. and games start at 7 p.m. There are 14 games played and ten of those are played on hard cards, which sell for 75 cents each, with a four card minimum. Payouts depend on the number of players and range from $15 to $25. There is a brief intermission after the first seven game, when hard cards go on sale for three for $1. Snacks, coffee, soft drinks and hot dogs are available. All proceeds go to the Knights of Columbus to help with its charity work.


Fire district offers injury prevention program

Benton County Fire District No. 4 has launched a new program to help reduce injuries from slips and falls.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of adults 65 years old and older suffer falls each year. Those falls can lead to hip fractures, broken bones and other traumatic brain injuries. Those falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults—and they are mostly preventable.

Benton County Fire District No. 4 firefighters and EMTs will now visit residents’ homes upon request and perform a comprehensive evaluation of the property exterior and interior. The inspections take about an hour.

Once the survey is complete, the firefighter/EMT will review a list of recommendations to reduce the risk of injuries from a fall with the homeowner.

The initiative is the first step to Fire District No. 4 launching its own medical emergency prevention program called ‘FD Cares’ to reduce calls to 911 and lower health care costs.


Gem & Mineral Show planned

The Lakeside Gem & Mineral Club will have its 20th Annual Gem & Mineral Show April 16-17 at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

There will be a large variety of gems, minerals and fossils on display and available for purchase.

The show will be held in Building 1 at the fairgrounds and admission is $5 for adults. Children 14 and under are free if they are accompanied by an adult.

The event includes demonstrations on how to cut spheres out of solid rock, how to crack geodes and the art of jewelry making. There will also be a junior rock hounds corner, where children can experience discovering precious treasures and win prizes.

The show offers door prizes and silent auctions throughout both days at 30-minute intervals. The show opens at 10 a.m. both days and runs until 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.

For information, go to the website at


Proposal Development workshop planned

The Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center, or PTAC, and the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce are offering a government contracting proposal development workshop Mar. 16.

The workshop will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Bechtel Board Room at the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center. Mary Jo Juarez and Mona Carlson, former U.S. Navy contracting officers, will be the presenters. They will show attendees how to understand federal government solicitations and prepare a winning proposal. Attendees will also become more familiar with the types of contracts offered, government requirements and how to effectively respond. Additional topics include: analyzing, interpreting and developing a comprehensive proposal outlines and avoiding common mistakes.

The cost of the workshop is $50, which includes workshop materials and lunch. Space is limited. Register at For more information, contact Ashley Coronado at 509-491-3231.


Free cancer pre-screening

The Tri-Cities Cancer Center is offering free colorectal cancer pre-screening from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Mar. 19 at the Center at 7350 W. Deschutes Ave., Kennewick.

Men and women ages 50 to 75 should consider having the pre-screening done. The pre-screening is not a physical exam or colonoscopy. A health assessment will be conducted to determine whether you should have a colonoscopy.

Appointments are required. Register at or call 509-737-3420.


Contaminated equipment removed from plant

Workers have finished cutting up and removing the two most highly-contaminated pieces of processing equipment, called glove boxes, from the Plutonium Finishing Plant at Hanford.

Workers began removing the glove boxes in June. They finished removal of the first in August and completed removal of the second glove box in February. The two large glove boxes were about two stories tall and heavily contaminated with radiological hazards. These were the most contaminated of the nearly 240 pieces of plutonium processing equipment at the plant that have been removed, or have been prepared to remove, during demolition preparation, according to officials.

The two recently removed glove boxes were too large and too contaminated to remove from the building in one piece. Workers cut the boxes into pieces that have been packaged for eventual permanent disposal. Thirteen small glove boxes are packaged and staged for removal from the main facility immediately before and during demolition, which is expected to start later this year.

Two other hazardous tasks at the Plutonium Finishing Plant also continue — preparing chemical tanks for removal and decontaminating a long, tall concrete room where plutonium was separated from plutonium-bearing waste.


Kreidler fines Regence

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler fined Regence BlueShield of Seattle $40,000 for denying health insurance to Medicaid-eligible consumers. According to Kreidler’s office, Regence was denying health insurance coverage to Washington consumers who indicated they were eligible for Medicaid coverage or who had previously been enrolled in Medicaid. Medicaid is called Apple Health in Washington state and is administered by the state Health Care Authority. The Insurance Commissioner became aware of the issue after a consumer complained. The Commissioner’s investigation revealed that 65 Washington consumers were denied covered in the past two years. The affected consumers will be given the opportunity to re-apply for health insurance from Regence.


Northwest Farm Credit Services reports earnings

Northwest Farm Credit Services, a financial cooperative supporting agriculture and rural communities, reported 2015 earnings of $255.6 million, an increase of $27.5 million, or 12 percent, compared to 2014 earnings of $228.1 million. The increased earnings were primarily the result of continued loan growth and positive credit quality trends. Total capital increased 8.6 percent during the year to $2.1 billion.

As a cooperative, Northwest FCS returns a share of its net earnings to customer-members in the form of patronage dividends. The Northwest FCS board recently approved an increase in patronage from 0.75 percent to 1.0 percent of a customer’s eligible average daily loan balance. Cash patronage returned for 2015 totaled a record $91.9 million, compared to $64.1 million for 2014.


Grant County businessman sentenced for sales tax theft

The owner of motorcycle shops in Moses Lake and Wenatchee was sentenced in early March in Grant County Superior Court for stealing more than $41,000 in sales tax.

Juan Manuel Ormaechea, owner of Desert Thunder Custom Cycles, was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay back the $41,024 in sales tax he admitted to stealing on transactions made by his businesses. The sentence included punishment for continuing to illegally operate his Moses Lake location after the state revoked his license. Ormaechea closed his Wenatchee shop in June.

Ormaechea was charged last April with one count of first degree theft and two counts of filing false tax returns to evade reporting state taxes from his shops. The Washington State Department of Revenue discovered the falsified returns during an audit of Ormaechea’s corporation, Desert Oasis Investments.


AREVA donates to Delta

AREVA Inc. presented a $5,000 donation to Delta High School to help fund scholarship for student pursuing a college education in a STEM-related field. The donation was made in early March, during National Engineers Week. Ron Land, AREVA’s Richland site manager, and other AREVA engineers spoke to students about the benefits of STEM education, the importance of engineering, the demand for engineers in the workforce, and how to prepare for an engineering career.


ACT presents Diary of Anne Frank

The Academy of Children’s Theatre is staging the iconic play, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Mar. 25-26 and Apr. 1-2.

The Diary of Anne Frank is based on the true story of a 13-year-old Jewish girl living in Nazi-occupied Holland who goes into hiding with her family.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. nightly and matinee performances will be at 3 p.m. Mar. 26 and Apr. 2.

All shows will be at the ACT Black Box Theatre, 213 Wellsian Way, Richland.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $7 for those ages 12 and under.

Tickets are available by calling 509-943-6027 or online at


Celebrate Live United

The United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties will have its annual LIVE UNITED Celebration from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. April 19 at the Three Rivers Convention Center.

The festive luncheon celebrates the faces of United Way — those who help turn vision into reality. The program includes success stories, recognition, campaign results and the presentation of the Distinguished Volunteer of the Year Award.

The cost is $20 per person. Register online at


Glow golf to benefit TCUGM

Leadership Tri-Cities Class XXI will have a Glow Golf Fundraiser to benefit the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission April 1. The unique event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Columbia Park Golf Course in Kennewick. The cost is $100 per golfer, which includes a dinner catered by 13 Bones Urban BBQ, glow gear and prizes. For more information or to register, go to Eventbrite.


Foundation plans fundraiser

The Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation will have its 16th Annual Fundraising Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Mar. 17 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. There is no cost for the breakfast, which is sponsored by Mission Support Alliance, but attendees will be asked to financially support the Tri-Cities Cancer Center. RSVP by calling 509-737-3373.


Richland stage to open

The grand opening of the HAPO Community Stage in John Dam Plaza in Richland will be April 9. The program begins with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m., followed by live music by nearly 20 local performing arts groups. Food and beverage vendors will be onsite and the event is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blanks so they can sit and enjoy the live entertainment, which is expected to end at about 8 p.m.

Parking will be available in the Richland Parkway, as well as in the parking lot adjacent to the Federal Building.


March for Meals

Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels, a program of Senior Life Resources Northwest Inc., will participate with the national Meals on Wheels America in celebrating March for Meals. Several events are planned in the Mid-Columbia throughout March.

There will be Meals on Wheels informational tables at Yoke’s Markets in Richland and Pasco and at Harvest Foods in Connell.

The inaugural LepreCon Pub Crawl fundraiser will be 6 – 10 p.m. Mar. 17 in Richland. The event, hosted by the Tri-City Chiver’s Chapter, starts at Joker’s Nightclub. For more information, find Tri-City Chivers KPR on Facebook.

Throughout March, USA Brake and Auto Repair in Kennewick will donate a portion of the proceeds for every repair to Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels Blue Brigade T-shirts are available for a $10 donation and supporter magnets are being sold for $5.

In addition, the Country Gentleman Restaurant in Kennewick will accept Meals on Wheels donations at the registers.

Throughout March, community members and leaders are invited to deliver meals with one of the Meals on Wheels volunteers to learn what it means to a senior to receive a warm meal and a friendly visit each day. For more information, call 509-735-1911.


Powell named to transition team

Washington State University Regent Lura J. Powell and Bob Drewell, former chancellor at WSU North Puget Sound, will co-chair a presidential transition team as the university plans for the appoint of its next chief executive.

Interim President Daniel J. Bernardo will work closely with Powell and Drewel to ensure a smooth transition.

The interview process with candidates is ongoing. The initial pool of about 200 prospects has been narrowed to eight, including university presidents and provosts, as well as a candidate from the private sector. The candidate’s identities are being kept confidential. WSU’s 25-member search committee will make recommendations regarding the presidential selection, and the Board of Regents will make the final decision.


Exhibitors sought

Mission Support Alliance is seeking exhibitors for the 2016 Health & Safety Expo. The Expo will be7 a.m. – 7 p.m. May 10-11 at TRAC in Pasco.

This year, the Expo will focus on STEM education, in partnership with the Washington STEM Foundation and the Mid-Columbia STEM Network.

The Expo’s goal is to engage the community while promoting health, safety and STEM at home and in the workplace. All booths must be directly related to one of these categories. Interactive demonstrations geared to support STEM education are desired.

The Expo provides a great opportunity to share expertise and promote the importance of safety and health with Hanford employees, their families and the general public. There is no cost for exhibiting at the Expo and the event is free to the public. Exhibitor space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact Terri McEvoy at 509-376-1496 or


Banquet helps recovering addicts

The Pacific Northwest Adult & Teen Challenge Tri-Cities Campus will have a banquet to support its addiction recovery services in the Tri-Cities. The banquet will feature a talk by a recovering addict and how his life was changed by the program.

The event is at 6 p.m. April 22 at the Red Lion Hotel. Tickets are $25 and are available at the door. For more information, call 509-845-7711, email, or go to


Leadership TC offers information

Leadership Tri-Cities is seeking leaders from across the Tri-Cities to apply for its 2016-2017 class. An informational session will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 19 at the Hampton Inn in Richland for those who would like to learn more about the program.

Leadership Tri-Cities is a 10-month program for professionals offering a thorough and behind-the-scenes look at issues impacting the region. The program begins with a planning and team-building retreat and continues with monthly sessions featuring stimulating speakers and visits to businesses and organizations throughout the state. Participants in the program will gain leadership skills, gain access to an informed network of colleagues, and have a better understanding of the realities and challenges of living and working in the region, as well as an opportunity to bring about positive change within it.

Applications are available online and will be accepted until May 2. To apply or learn more, go to


Trios Foundation announces scholarships, awards

The Trios Foundation raised more than $389,100 for patient programs, services and equipment during its 2015 fundraising campaign. The results were announced at the Trios Foundation’s Annual Breakfast, Feb. 17 at the Three Rivers Convention Center. About 300 people attended.

Michelle Fain, patient access manager at Trios Health was presented with the 2016 Jim Mokler Outstanding Leadership Award. Six scholarships were also awarded during the event to students pursuing healthcare-related degrees. Scholarship winners were: Aryambda Esparza, Kennewick, Sally Rutherford Scholarship, $3,000; Marisa Molina, Pasco, $1,000; Hannah Templeton, Richland, $1,000; Kylie Lopez, Pasco, $1,000; Ashley Hennessey, Kennewick, $1,000; Rasheal McNabb, Kennewick, $2,000.


Tri-Citian of the Year

Nominations are being accepted for the 2016 Tri-Citian of the Year. The Tri-Citian of the Year exemplifies the highest standards of community service, leadership and the voluntary contribution of selfless acts to positively impact community development, economic growth and the overall well-being of mankind. Nomination forms are available at and the deadline is Mar. 17.

The Tri-Citian of the Year will be named at the annual banquet, which will be 6 p.m. April 21 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.

Matt Potratz, an elite snowmobile free-rider, will be the keynote speaker.

Tickets are $50 per person. For reservations or more information, call Ruby Ochoa at 509-572-4056 or email


CBC offers project leadership course

The Columbia Basin College Project Management Program is offering a 16-credit hour continuing education opportunity March 24-25.

The workshop is designed for experienced project managers, team leaders and other technical professionals moving into leadership roles who have completed fundamental project management training.

The two-day workshop will be 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the CBC Pasco campus. The cost is $500 and scholarships of $250 to $400 are available.

For more information, contact Anthony Lopez at 509-542-4564 or


IsoRay reports losses

IsoRay Inc., a Richland-based medical technology company and innovator in seed brachytherapy and medical radioisotope applications for the treatment of certain cancers, reported revenue of $1.19 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2016, which ended Dec. 31.

That revenue was a 12 percent increase from the second quarter of 2015, when revenue was $1.07 million.

Operating expenses for the 2016 second quarter were $1.44 million, compared to $980,000 during the same quarter of 2015. The company reported an operating loss of $1.41 million for the second quarter of 2016, compared to a $1.02 million loss in the same period of 2015.


Extension offers volunteer training

The Washington State University Extension service will provide training for Master Food Preserver volunteers in Benton and Franklin counties beginning April 19.

Participants receive more than 30 hours of intensive training on all aspects of food safety, food storage and food preservation. Once trained, volunteers are asked to provide 50 hours of time helping others in the community through education and outreach. Volunteer time is most often completed by staffing educational booths at local Farmer’s Markets, teaching classes or answering consumer questions on the phone.

There is a $75 registration fee to cover the cost of training materials. For more information, contact the WSU Benton County Extension office in Kennewick at 509-735-3551.


Firefighters participate in event

A group of more than 22 Richland firefighters, including Chief Tom Huntington, traveled to Seattle for the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb event.

Participants are challenged to climb 69 flights of stairs in full bunker gear to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb supports the mission of the Society by raising money through sponsorships, fundraising and entry fees. In 2015, the event featured 1,900 firefighters representing more than 330 departments and brought in a record $2.2 million for blood-cancer research and patient services.

Participants climb the 788-foot Columbia Center in downtown Seattle — the second tallest building west of the Mississippi. It takes 69 flights of stair — a total of 1,356 steps — to reach the observation deck.

Each year the Richland firefighter team identifies a Richland resident who is battling blood cancer and climbs in their honor. This year’s honoree is Dean Neshem, 35, who has been battling Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma for nearly two years.

To learn more, go to


Annual Pooch & Pal planned

The 16th Annual Pooch and Pal Run & Walk will begin at 9 a.m. Mar. 19, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. at Columbia Point Marina in Richland.

This year’s theme is Superhero Edition 2016 and pooches and people are encouraged to dress accordingly.

The run and walk is one mile or 5K, and the event features vendors.

The cost is $20 and all proceeds benefit Pet Over Population Prevention to support homeless dogs and cats.

For more information, contact Kim Hobbick at 509-947-4982 or 509-375-1342, or email, or go to


Lourdes Foundation presents awards

The Lourdes Foundation hosted its Ninth Annual Lourdes Legacy Luncheon Feb. 10 at the Pasco Red Lion. More than 200 people attended the event, which celebrated Lourdes Foundation achievements over the past year, recognized some of the Foundations outstanding contributors and raised more than $32,000 to support Lourdes Counseling Center Children’s Summer Day Program. Contributions will help provide a safe, educational and therapeutic summer program for children struggling with mental health issues.

The Lourdes Foundation presented the following awards during the luncheon: Compassionate Spirit Award, Meier ArchitectureŸEngineering, Kennewick; Outstanding Community Partner, United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties; Outstanding Employee Partner Award, Dennis Malone; Outstanding Service Award, Healed with a Kiss Committee; Outstanding Physician Partners, Dr. James Campbell MD, Dr. Jeffrey Markle MD, and Dr. Stanley Hales MD; In recognition of exemplary service, board members David Bergevin and Richard Quigley.

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