Lamb Weston broke ground recently on a $3.4 million storage warehouse in Pasco as it nears completion of a new $200 million French fry expansion in Richland.
The new 49,500-square-foot building will be located at 5410 N. Commercial Ave. in Pasco near the King City truck stop. The building’s footprint will cover more than an acre.
Teton West of Washington LLC is the general contractor. Murar Engineering and Design Inc. of Boise is the architect/engineer.
Lamb Weston also plans more than $92,300 in improvements at its Columbia Basin Blends warehouse about a mile away from the new Pasco warehouse at 3330 Travel Plaza Way.
Siefken and Sons of Richland is remodeling the bathroom and office area, adding a new ceiling grid, floor coverings, bathroom fixtures and painting, a project valued at $22,311.
Ray Poland and Sons of Kennewick is expanding the silo and blower room, a project valued at $70,000.
Lamb Weston announced plans a year ago to invest $200 million to expand its Richland facility with a new French fry processing line. The expansion is expected to add 128 full-time jobs.
Completion is scheduled for fall 2017.
Worldwide demand for frozen French fries continues to increase, with growth expected at 2.6 million pounds by 2020, according to a Lamb West news release.
After the Richland line is finished, it will increase the company’s annual processing capacity by more than 300 million pounds.
Lamb Weston’s existing Richland facility, built in 1972, employs about 500 people. The company also has several offices and facilities in the Tri-Cities, including an Innovation Center in Richland, corporate offices in Kennewick and two additional manufacturing facilities in Pasco.
It’s one of the largest employers in the Columbia Basin with about 4,500 employees in the region.
It operates 22 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China.
Lamb Weston spun off from ConAgra Foods in November.
Sunset at Southridge, a large food truck event, kicked off this month at Southridge Sports and Events complex and runs on various Fridays through Sept. 1.
Every food vendor offers a $7 dinner special that includes a free carousel ride, and every week features live music and a free children’s activity.
A few tables are available but people are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets.
Visit the Sunset at Southridge’s Facebook page for a list of food vendors and music lineup.
Three participants graduated at the Benton County Mental Health Court’s first graduation ceremony May 24 at the Benton County Justice Center.
The program is 12 to 24 months and available to defendants with a primary diagnosis of a serious and persistent mental illness. Participants must either stipulate to the charges brought against them or already be sentenced and on probation.
Mental Health Court is designed as an alternative to incarceration with emphasis on treatment and accountability for qualifying mentally ill individuals involved in the Benton County criminal justice system.
CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company workers finished installing in late May a 40,000-square-foot heavy plastic protective cover over a tunnel near the Hanford site’s Plutonium Uranium Extraction facility that partially collapsed May 9.
The cover provides additional protection while a longer-term plan to reduce future risk of collapse is developed and implemented.
On June 1, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it will honor additional commitments to 10 previously selected Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy for a total of $20 million.
Richland-based Molecule Works Inc. will receive $2.3 million of that to develop a modular reactor for producing ammonia using air and water at low temperatures. The process will greatly increase the diffusion rate of nitrogen gas compared to conventional approaches.
The Washington State Department of Revenue recently released 2016 taxable retail sales statistics that showed a record of $145.9 billion, a 7.8 percent increase over calendar year 2015.
The biggest gains were made in construction and new and used auto sales. Retail trade sales also showed an increase of 6 percent to $63.2 billion.
Benton and Franklin counties did not make the top-10 county list, nor did any city within the counties make the top-10 city list for highest taxable retail sales in the state.
Visit Tri-Cities is accepting nominations for its annual Excellence in Service award through Sept. 1.
The award recognizes members of the local tourism and service industry for their commitment to providing exceptional customer service.
The winner will receive a $500 gift card sponsored by Battelle and will be announced at Visit Tri-Cities’ annual meeting in November.
For more information or to submit a nomination, go to visittri-cities.com/excellenceinservice.
Benton County ranks No. 3 in the state among places where Social Security dollars go further, according to a recent SmartAsset study.
The financial technology firm analyzed Social Security income, cost of living data and taxes across all counties in Washington. Benton County’s index ranked at 78.07, trailing only Lincoln and Wahkiakum counties at 79.57 and 84.7, respectively.
Franklin County ranked No. 19.
Review the full study at smartasset.com/retirement/social-security-calculator#Washington.
Legends Casino Hotel recently distributed more than $947,000 to nonprofit organizations as well as law enforcement, fire and health care agencies in central and southeastern Washington.
As part of its Yakama Cares program, $440,000 was distributed to more than 200 nonprofits, including 14 in Benton and Franklin counties: Pit Bull Pen, Prevent Homeless Pets, Children’s Reading Foundation, Edith Bishel Center, Project Warm Up, Safe Harbor, city of Pasco, Royal Family Kids Camp, Prosser Heights Elementary, Prosser School District, Early Childhood Learning Center YMCA, Pet Over Population Prevention, Rebuilding Mid-Columbia, YMCA of the Greater Tri-Cities and Royal City Food Bank.
Yakama Cares donates funds annually to create positive impacts on communities Legends Casino serves. Nonprofits submit applications between Jan. 1 and March 31.
Legends’ Community Impact Fund aids larger projects and is administered by an independent committee including representatives of Toppenish, Wapato or Yakima, the state gaming commission, the Yakama gaming commission and the Yakama Tribal Council.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientist Michael Brambley led the development team for the Sensor Suitcase, a high-tech suitcase.
The portable case has easy-to-use sensors and equipment to make it possible for anyone to identify energy-saving opportunities in small commercial buildings. The automated and reusable system allows users to save about 10 percent on their energy bills.
Two companies have licensed the suitcase and plan to provide products and services based on the technology.
The deadline to sign up for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Franklin County Farm Service Agency’s Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs is Aug. 1. Farms must be enrolled into a contract each year to receive ARC/PLC coverage.
The agencies are also accepting farm record change requests for fiscal year 2017 until Aug. 1, and farm crop acreage reports for spring crop through July 15.
For more information, visit fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc or to set an appointment to enroll in the programs, call 509-545-8543.
Wafla, a seasonal employers’ human resources association with offices in Kennewick and Lacey, is bringing dramatic tenor Jose Iniguez, the Ballard Civic Orchestra, Bailadores de Bronce and Mariachi Las Aguilas de EWU to Othello’s Lions Park on July 29.
Doors to Encanto Sunset Concert, directed by Fernando Luna, open at 5:30 p.m. and music starts at 7 p.m. Food and vendor booths will be available.
The event is in appreciation for retiring Wafla founder and business owner Jon Warling, and honors farm workers completing the cherry harvest and gears up for the upcoming fall apple harvest.
Adult tickets are available through Brown Bag, encantosunsetconcert.bpt.me for $25; they will not be available at the door. There is no cost for children under 17 who are accompanied by adult family members.
The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and Washington River Protection Solutions are accepting applications for the annual Small Business Incentive Program.
Started in 2011, the program has provided 240 grants totaling $180,000 to small businesses for training, signage, computers, website design, software and more.
Applications are due to the chamber office by Aug. 11.
Visit tricityregionalchamber.com for eligibility requirements, program details and a copy of the application.
With money from public safety tax funds, Benton County has contracted with Partners for Early Learning for $78,272 for 2017-18.
Partners for Early Learning’s Building Resilience through Family Support program provides home visitor support to families with young children in high-poverty areas within the Richland School District, as referred by Communities in Schools and the district.
Public safety tax funds will pay for the salary of the home visitor as well as educational supplies. United Way and the Children’s Reading Foundation donated program materials and supplies.
Partners for Early Learning is a group of professionals from the early learning, public health and business sectors committed to ensuring that all children come to school with the skills and resources needed to succeed.
Visit partnersforearlylearning.org for more information.
A planned review process of the information management system at Trios Health exposed a breach of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The review found that an employee accessed the electronic health records of about 600 patients outside of normal job functions between October 2013 and March 2017. The employee has since been terminated.
After an assessment of the breach, the Washington State Attorney General and Office of Civil Rights, which enforces privacy and security rules, will likely impose fines per violation found.
Patients whose medical records were accessed without authorization have been notified by mail and have the option to enroll in free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services for one year at Trios’ expense.
Trios Health is the Kennewick Public Hospital District’s system of care serving the greater Tri-Cities.
Patients concerned about their health records may call 509-221-5720 or visit trioshealth.org/privacy.
The Arts Subcommittee of the Historic Downtown Prosser Association is seeking applications from artists to paint miniature animals native to the Prosser area on buildings there. The project will culminate Sept. 22-24 with a street painting event coinciding with the town’s annual Harvest Festival.
Applications are due July 15; selected artists will be notified by Aug. 15.
Visit historicprosser.com or call 509-786-3299 for more information or an application.
Second Harvest’s Mobile Markets will be providing fresh, perishable and frozen grocery products for about 250 families in a two-hour period on June 20 and 28.
The markets run mid-March through mid-November and are made possible through sponsor partners and volunteers.
Distribution is on a first come, first serve basis.
Here’s the schedule:
Beef will be distributed on these two dates.
Call 509-545-0787 or visit 2-harvest.org for more information, including future Mobile Market dates.
In This Together Music Festival, an original musical gathering highlighting awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder, is from 1 to 10 p.m. July 8 at the Wine and Food Park in Prosser.
The second annual day-long, family friendly music festival features six Pacific Northwest bands: Nick Foster, Four on the Floor, Landrance, The Rafael Tranquilino Band, Scott Pemberton Band and Dusty 45s.
Early-bird tickets are available for $25 at inthistogethermusicfestival.com through June 30; prices increase to $30 in July. Children ages 16 and under are free with a paid adult ticket.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties recently received 20 LG G Pad 7.0 tablets from U.S. Cellular.
The donation was presented at a tour of U.S. Cellular’s Richland business office. During the tour, U.S. Cellular associates talked with students about their career aspirations and shared stories about their own professional journeys.
Mid-Columbia Libraries’ annual summer reading challenge runs through Aug. 19.
Participants of all ages can read, explore and create to win prizes. Many activities, including visiting parks, baking goodies or listening to audiobooks count toward completing the challenge.
Get more details and sign up for the program at any branch or online at midcolumbialibraries.org/events/summer-reading-challenge-2017.
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