Kennewick School District staff members Sarah Del Toro, left, and Kelly Bolson fill a food box from the district’s food pantry to be delivered to a school. Schools can request supplies from the food pantry to help students in need, thanks to a new partnership between Second Harvest and the Kennewick School District. The nonprofit now stocks the district’s food pantry, providing a steady flow of food and other items schools can provide to students who face food shortages at home. About half of the students in the district receive free or reduced-price meals at school. The district established a food pantry in the 2016-17 school year with $1,500 in proceeds from a charity basketball game between the Kennewick police and fire departments. That donation went far in helping students in need but more support was needed to keep the pantry stocked. (Courtesy Kennewick School District)
Around Town Gallery
Travis Sylte, right, a precision machining technology program student, demonstrates manual lathe machining during the Careers in Manufacturing event Oct. 20 at Columbia Basin College in Pasco. The event provides students with hands-on learning opportunities with the area’s top manufacturers. (Courtesy Careers in Manufacturing)
Four-time world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, left, thumb wrestles Andy Stirling, Numerica Credit Union’s vice president of Central Washington branches, during a Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties lunch on Nov. 2. The nonprofit raised more than $190,000 at its annual fundraiser Dinner with Friends that same evening in Kennewick, where Holyfield was the guest speaker. He shared his story of taking boxing lessons at the local Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta, Georgia. (Courtesy Jackie Arendell of Photography by Jackie Leigh)
The Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board toured the Hanford site, with a stop at the disposal facility for low-level waste, the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, last month. The board, which met at Hanford Oct. 17-19, brought together the chair and vice chair of each of the eight advisory boards, covering Hanford, Savannah River, Los Alamos, Paducah, Portsmouth, Oak Ridge, Idaho National Laboratory and Nevada National Security Site. (Courtesy Mission Support Alliance)
More than 500 high school students from around the area participated in Tri-Cities Construction Career Day on Oct. 3 at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick. They learned to operate heavy equipment, participated in hands-on activities, such as welding and electrical, sheet metal and concrete work, and learned about career opportunities in construction and construction-related industries. The event was sponsored by the Tri-Cities Construction Council, local National Association of Women in Construction, Tri-Tech Skills Center and numerous other community supporters. (Courtesy National Association of Women in Construction)
Nineteen veterans participated in the 10th annual Wounded Veteran Duck Hunt on Oct. 18 at Barker Ranch in West Richland. The 2,000-acre private ranch and wildlife area is enrolled in a conservation easement with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The veterans were from several organizations, including Vets on the Farm, Richland Rod and Gun Club, Ducks Unlimited, Spokane Conservation District and Benton Conservation District. Most of the veterans harvested their limits of birds before sunset. (Courtesy Benton Conservation District)
A $55,875 check was presented to area food banks from McCurley Automotive Dealerships & Russ Dean RV on Nov. 9 to buy more than 62,000 pounds of food from Yoke’s Fresh Market. With an additional 11,770 pounds of donated food from the public and area Yoke’s customers, the total collected during the 16th annual 33-day Octoberfest food drive topped 73,770 pounds.
More than 100 people attended the National Day of Remembrance for Nuclear Weapons Program Workers event Oct. 27 in Richland. Organized by Cold War Patriots, a membership group providing recognition and resources to nuclear weapons and uranium workers by connecting them with the cash compensation and health care they have earned, the event sought to honor and remember the men and women who sacrificed their health – and in many cases their lives – to keep America safe. (Courtesy Cold War Patriots)
Brett Dillahunt, teacher at Prosser High School and founder of the nonprofit Mustangs 4 Mustangs, was surprised as a “Smile Maker” in front of students and staff for his dedication to the Prosser community. The surprise was part of Delta Dental of Washington’s Smile Power tour recognizing those making their community a better place to live. The Tooth Fairy and Smile Power team also visited the Boys and Girls Clubs’ Discovery Preschool in Pasco, The Arc of Tri-Cities in Richland, Enterprise Middle School in West Richland, Ruth Livingston Elementary School in Pasco, Addus HomeCare in Kennewick and Roasters Coffee in Richland. (Courtesy Ben VanHouten of VanHouten Photography)
Columbia Basin College recently offered a free WOW, or Women of Welding, class which allowed for 16 women to create welded garden art, wall hangings or other creative pieces alongside three welding faculty mentors. The program aims to give women hands-on, practical experience learning some welding fundamentals to create a project. (Courtesy CBC)
Loree and Doug Swartz needed help painting their Kennewick home so they reached out to Rebuilding Mid-Columbia, a nonprofit that helps low-income homeowners make repairs to their houses with volunteers and business partners. More than 60 students in the construction trades program at Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick not only painted their home, but replaced the siding on the chimney, fixed roof vents and prepared the yard and garden for winter weather. “They’ve just done far and above what we dreamed and we just can’t believe it,” Loree Swartz said. (Courtesy Kennewick School District)
The Volpentest HAMMER Federal Training Center celebrated its 20-year anniversary Oct. 5. The training facility is globally known for its staff, worker trainers, partnerships and hands-on safety training for workers and emergency responders who protect and safeguard the public and environment. Elected officials, Hanford site leaders, national labor general presidents and others attended the celebration at 2890 Horn Rapids Road. (Courtesy Mission Support Alliance)
Washington Conservation Corps’ AmeriCorps members help install blue tarp on a home in Florida. Members were deployed from all across Washington to respond to the hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria to support response and cleanup efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. As of Oct. 2, Washington’s teams have completed 326 damage assessments, mucked and gutted 84 homes and are supporting seven Volunteer Reception Centers in Texas. (Courtesy Washington Department of Ecology)
Kay Teal of Kay’s Klub hosted bridge players aboard the riverboat American Empress and players from American Contract Bridge League Unit 442. More than 70 players participated in two-section pair games Sept. 27 at the Richland Community Center. Kay’s Klub hosted the event. Unit 442 includes five bridge clubs in the Tri-Cities.
Westgate Elementary School Principal Dale Kern speaks Aug. 29 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new $18.4 million Kennewick school. The new building replaces the original one built in 1952. The two-story, 60,500-square-foot school features 30 classrooms, a gymnasium, cafeteria, library, music room, computer lab, reading rooms and a playground. (Courtesy Kennewick School District)
Royal City Dairy owner Austin Allred digs for worms in the BioFiltro wastewater treatment facility on his farm. About 70 people attended a ceremony Aug. 22 to learn how the system will treat 200,000 gallons of waste water each day through an organic filtration process using worms, microbes and bacteria to produce irrigation-grade water, organic fertilizer (worm castings) and animal feed protein. The Washington State Dairy Products Commission gave Allred a $100,000 grant to continue research funding.
Madeleine Gerard, from left, Sharon Yedidia and Hannah Daviswhite were among those who attended a a solar eclipse viewing party Aug. 21 at Bechtel National Planetarium at Columbia Basin College in Pasco. The event provided solar telescopes, solar eclipse viewing glasses, live-streaming feeds from sites within the path of totality and short informational films about eclipses. (Courtesy Mid-Columbia Libraries)
Sena Clara Creston, a Washington State University Tri-Cities fine arts and digital technology and culture professor, works with engineering students in the robotics club on a robot that responds to its environment and to those who try and interact with it. It’s an experiment in the emotional and psychological impacts of interacting with a “live” technological being. Creston will be giving a talk at the TEDx Richland event at 1:05 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Uptown Theater, called “We are not passive observers, but active participants.” (Courtesy WSU Tri-Cities)
Students from Southgate Elementary stand with author Lynn Fielding with a copy of his book, “Why There Is Always Room For Dessert.” Fielding recently donated 4,000 English and Spanish versions of his children’s book to elementary schools in Kennewick, Pasco and Richland. Fielding served on the Kennewick School Board for 24 years, from 1988 through 2011, and has been involved in literacy efforts for years. (Courtesy Kennewick School District)
Trios Health employees celebrate the second year of graduating residents by congratulating Drs. Eric Bai and Kirk Blais, from left, front, and Jeff McDannel, Jazzlyn Gallardo, Scott McDonald, from left, behind. The residents’ ceremonial final walk out of the hospital to the cheers of providers and staff for a cake and punch celebration with employees was June 23. (Courtesy Trios Health)
As part of random acts of kindness week June 19-22, Mission Support Alliance dropped off cookies and water at the Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center in Kennewick. Other random acts of kindness included employees bringing in fresh produce from their own gardens and orchards, buying coffee for strangers and providing treats to various offices at MSA and around the Tri-Cities. Pictured, from left: Elizabeth Holt, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce; Lori Araujo and Renee Brooks, MSA; Liz Renz and Austin Neilson, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy MSA)
Columbia Center Rotary recently received the 2017 Southeast Washington Association of School Administrators Community Leadership Award on behalf of the Kennewick School District. The award recognizes the club’s contributions to the community over the past 30 years, including the hundreds of volunteer hours and tens of thousands of dollars provided annually to the district. The club provided thousands of dollars for student leadership programs at Park and Chinook middle schools, and $20,000 in annual scholarships for graduating seniors at Southridge and Phoenix high schools and Tri-Tech Skills Center this past school year. Its membership also provided $3,000 and donations of coats to help students at Park Middle School. Pictured, back row, from left: Dawn Adams, Steve Schwan, Lisa McKinney, Jessica Schultz, Greg Falk, Greg Luehrs, Peter Kalunian. Front row, from left: Steve Palm, Brian Ace. (Courtesy Kennewick School District)
Chris Meiers, Washington State University Tri-Cities vice chancellor of enrollment management and student services, left, accepts a gift from Nitiphong Songsrirote, dean of the Mahasarakham University Business School, after signing a memorandum of understanding to partner with the Thailand school for language and cultural exchange programs. Mahasarakham University will be responsible for facilitating study abroad opportunities for WSU Tri-Cities students. WSU Tri-Cities also signed an agreement with Vanwest College, which will be responsible for delivering an English as a second language program, academic workshops and sightseeing at its Vancouver, British Columbia, campus. (Courtesy WSU Tri-Cities)
More than 150 people attended Cold War Patriot’s free resource fair June 13 in Kennewick. The community resource advocacy group helps nuclear weapons and uranium workers and their families get the recognition, compensation and healthcare they have earned. The group has been hosting these annual events at locations around the country since 2009. (Courtesy Cold War Patriots)
The Port of Kennewick has been working with Ben Franklin Transit for about two years to bring an artistic bus shelter to the Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village under construction at Columbia Drive. The cost of the shelter, created by Arizona artist Kevin S. Berry, will cost $48,750. The port and city of Kennewick pledged rural county capital dollars, the city is contributing $3,000 through its America’s Best Communities grant funds, Ben Franklin Transit pledged $7,500, the Kennewick Arts Commission contributed $1,000 and Columbia Center Rotary added $10,000. The shelter will be in the city’s first pull-out area, allowing buses to swing out of the busy roadway. (Courtesy Port of Kennewick)
Tri-City officials celebrated the opening of the new Candy Mountain Preserve and a 3.2-mile trail on June 2. The preserve was established after a multi-year effort to secure nearly $1.5 million and purchase agreements with landowners, Mark Ufkes and Bob Margulies, for 185 acres. Friends of Badger Mountain led a community fundraising effort to match grant funding awarded to Benton County by the state Recreation and Conservation Office. Ten acres were donated to the Friends. Benton County added a large parking area to accommodate to 45 cars and four horse trailers. It was designed by AHBL and built by Premier Excavation, both of Pasco, with Benton County Public Works Department managing the project. Construction was completed in May at a cost of $55,000. Other finishing touches will follow over the next several months. The Candy Mountain Preserve is the tenth park in the county portfolio. (Courtesy Benton County)
The Team Pasco Home at 4805 Pinehurst Drive is listed for $324,900 and is the 19th built since the student-led program began 20 years ago as Bulldog House. Construction trades students from Chiawana, New Horizons and Pasco high schools built the home under the guidance of teacher John Weatherby, with contributions from agriculture science, floriculture and metals and welding technology students. Vicki Monteagudo of Century 21 Tri-Cities, a Pasco High graduate, donates all the commission for the home listing to the Students for College Scholarships. Monteagudo participated in the building program as a student and called it “an exceptional experience that includes hands-on training and demonstrates to the students the real-life business decisions that need to be made to build a home.” The house was dedicated during a ceremony May 26. (Courtesy Pasco School District)
Patsy Hull, 89, of Kennewick, gets a hug from her son, Mickey Hull of Hermiston, after walking a victory lap around Columbia Center mall in Kennewick on May 15 to celebrate logging 15,000 miles. She started tracking her miles as part of the Kadlec Healthy Ages mall walkers program 25 years ago. Hull, who walks six days a week, received a plaque from the Healthy Ages group for reaching the milestone. The program, which focuses on the health care needs and concerns of the older population, boasts seven other seniors who have reached the 15,000-mile mark or higher.
Mrs. Tri-Cities Deidra Murphy is the first married woman from the Tri-Cities to win the Mrs. Washington title, competing against 20 other women across the state on May 20 at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia. The Kennewick woman is the owner of Style by Deidra, Personal Stylist and Image Consulting. Her platform focuses on the healing powers of holistic health and chiropractic care. (Courtesy HeadSpinner Photography)
The city of Kennewick recently celebrated the opening of a new outdoor gym, Sunset Park Fitness Station, the first of its kind in the city, that features 12 workout stations. Outdoor gyms are a new approach to health and fitness that utilize a lot of the same equipment found in indoor gyms, according to the city. The new fitness center is designed to accommodate all ages and abilities. The cost of the project, which includes a shade structure, was about $120,000. It is located next to Sunset View Elementary School at 711 N. Center Parkway.
Shawn and Morgan Taber of Red Mountain Field Case Management in Benton City were among the exhibitors at the Washington Self-Insurers Association’s 46th annual conference May 11-12 in Kennewick. Nearly 300 people attended to learn about improving workplace safety, getting injured workers back to work and managing the high cost of workplace injuries. WSIA is a statewide business organization representing the workplace safety and workers’ compensation interests of major Washington employers who self-insure their risk of industrial injury. Tri-City area employers who self-insure for workers’ compensation include Areva, Lourdes Health Network, Educational Service District 123, Kennewick School District, city of Richland, Twin City Foods, ConAgra, Bechtel and Energy Northwest, as well as most major retailers and grocers. (Courtesy WSIA)
Longtime Tri-Citians Steve and Shirley Simmons, owners of CG Public House and Catering (formerly Country Gentleman) in Kennewick, were named Tri-Citians of the Year on April 27 for serving up “generous portions” of community service for decades that include donations of food and staff support, financial contributions, hours of volunteer work and “their unfailing belief that community service is the foundation for a better quality of life,” according to their nomination letter. (Courtesy Artistic Portraits)
An April 27 ground-breaking ceremony officially kicked off the start of construction of a new $10.4 million 40,000-square-foot men’s facility at the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission at Third Avenue and Columbia Street, behind the Thunderbird Motel in Pasco. The current 100-year-old shelter purchased in 1958 is no longer adequate to meet the needs of the growing community, mission officials said. The new building will accommodate 154 beds and should be complete in July 2018. (Courtesy Tri-City Union Gospel Mission)
About 55,000 pounds of paper went into the shredder during Better Business Bureau’s free Shred Day event on April 21 at Numerica Credit Union in Richland. Consumers filled 450 bins and nearly six trucks. BBB officials estimate nearly 5 million documents were shredded to protect people from identity theft. (Courtesy BBB)
The Chiawana Lacrosse Club, based in Pasco and comprised of players from Chiawana, Hanford, Pasco and Kiona-Benton City high schools, was one of two teams nationwide to receive $20,000 worth of lacrosse equipment from the Bill Belichick Foundation. The equipment includes helmets, shoulder pads, gloves, sticks and arm pads for 24 players plus a full set of goalie equipment. Nike also provided the team with practice pennies with the club and Belichick Foundation logos. More than 40 applications were received for the grants. (Courtesy Chiawana Lacrosse Club)
Students from Jason Lee Elementary School in Richland brush paint onto their fish models for their gyotaku, or traditional fish printing, project, on April 25. The painting station was one of many the students rotated through to learn about salmon during Benton Conservation District’s annual Salmon Summit on April 25-26 in Kennewick. About 2,600 Tri-City area elementary students released salmon they raised in their schools into the Columbia River during the two-day event in Kennewick.
Libing Zhang presents a business plan to commercialize a Washington State University-patented jet fuel technology during the investment round of the University of Washington Business Plan Competition on April 26. Zhang’s Washington State University Tri-Cities team advanced from an initial pool of 82 teams. The team is composed of Zhang, a recent doctoral alumna, and master’s in business administration students Manuel Seubert and Taylor Pate. The final round of the competition is May 25 in Seattle. Paul Skilton, WSU Tri-Cities associate professor of management, and professor Bin Yang are advisers for the WSU Tri-Cities team. (Courtesy WSU Tri-Cities)
Washington State University Tri-Cities held its annual College Planning Day on March 14 and students from all over the region visited the Richland campus to learn about different universities in the Pacific Northwest, and plan for their college experience. The annual statewide event is organized by the Washington Council for High School-College Relations, whose mission is to assist Washington students access and engage in post-secondary opportunities. (Courtesy WSU Tri-Cities)
Gretchen Guerrero, operations manager, from left, Visit Tri-Cities; Cory Pearson, executive director, Three Rivers Campus; and Kris Watkins, president and CEO for Visit Tri-Cities, spoke March 28 at the Administrative Professionals of the Tri-Cities’ panel and training event, Partnering for Success, held at the Mission Support Alliance Auditorium. The panel also included managers and executive administrators from Mission Support Alliance and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The panel shared techniques for creating powerful partnerships and the significance they can have with one another and the company. (Courtesy Mitch Lewis of Focal Point Marketing & Multimedia)
Tyler Banning of West Richland, a fifth-year apprentice at the Southeast Washington/Northeast Oregon Sheet Metal Training and Technology Center, works on a project in the service division of the Northwest Apprentice Contest, held March 30-31 in Pasco. The regional competition was open to union training centers in the Northwest, Canada and surrounding areas served by the International Training Institute, the education arm of the unionized sheet metal, air conditioning and welding industry. (Courtesy Tiffannie Bond/International Training Institute)
Energy Northwest’s Executive Board chairman Sid Morrison describes the amount of energy a nuclear pellet provides to community members attending the grand opening of the Columbia Fountain exhibit, which promotes the benefits of nuclear energy, at the Reach museum on March 29 in Richland. The outdoor fountain was made possible with support from Legacy Pool, Lampson International, Rowand Machinery, Ray Poland & Sons, American Wheel Specialist and Basin Sod & Gravel. The new exhibit is a representation of the clean, carbon-free energy generation Columbia Generating Station brings to the region. (Courtesy Energy Northwest/Ben Stewart)
The Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser recently completed a two-year project to bring a variety of displays for tasting room guests to enjoy. Installed in early February, the pieces display history and stories of the people and geologic factors that set the stage for agricultural success. Boston Productions Inc. worked on the project and brought in Rainer Industries for fabrication and installation. Donations to the Clore Center paid for the work. Key to the success of the project was support from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and creative director Debra McCloskey, who consulted on the design. (Courtesy Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center)