Articles by Guest Contributor

Producers from HGTV’s “House Hunters” film Darin and Sierra Foster as they discuss the features they were looking for in a home during the opening scene. (Courtesy the Fosters)

‘House Hunters’ features Tri-City couple, showcases local real estate

By Jennifer L. Drey When Sierra and Darin Chase Foster decided it was time to buy their first home, they naturally gravitated toward watching “House Hunters,” a popular television show on HGTV that takes viewers behind the scenes with homebuyers as they choose between three potential properties. As newlyweds with two dogs, a cat and…

The Port of Tacoma recently received eight new cranes as part of $250 million in improvements being made to the Husky Terminal. The Northwest Seaport Alliance led the U.S. in exports of eggs and dairy, vegetables, coffee and tea, oil seeds and prepared fruits and vegetables in 2017. (Photo: Northwest Seaport Alliance)

Export uncertainties: Recent changes in trade policy cause worry

By Jennifer L. Drey Washington’s agricultural exports increased significantly in 2017, but uncertainty surrounding U.S. trade policy has some producers worried the state may be on the verge of losing its competitive edge overseas. Although the numbers are still being finalized, Washington’s agricultural exports appear to have increased by at least 10 percent in 2017.…

The average annual wage for those working in agriculture in Benton County in 2016 was $27,300, and in Franklin County it was $28,150. (Photo: Washington State Wine Commission/Andrea Johnson Photography)

Fierce wage competition: Farms compete for laborers as worker shortage continues

By Jennifer L. Drey An ongoing shortage of agricultural laborers is forcing some Washington farms to get creative in their efforts to attract and retain workers, while others are looking to the federal government’s guest worker program to bring in the help they need. More than 96 percent of Washington farms experienced a labor disruption…

Favorable growing conditions allow Washington wheat growers to produce some of the highest yields in the nation. (Photo: Washington State Department of Agriculture)

Looming concerns: Wheat farmers wary of proposed trade policies

By Jennifer L. Drey Washington wheat farmers face challenging times as the industry navigates changes in U.S. trade policy and potential cuts to crop insurance and key conservation programs included in the U.S. Farm Bill. Industry representatives have already taken to Washington, D.C., to make sure they have a seat at the table as the…

mint

Mighty mint: Growers help meet world demand for mint

By Jennifer L. Drey When it comes to mint, a little goes a long way. One drop of mint oil can flavor 2.5 tubes of toothpaste, 31 sticks of gum or  125 mint candies. But when it comes to Washington-grown mint, it may be more accurate to say that a lot goes a long way…

Homes and schools are being built to fill the demand of the growing population in the Tri-Cities. These homes and Kennewick elementary school No. 16 are being built in south Richland. (Photo: Paul T. Erickson)

Experts say region poised for continued growth

By Michelle Dupler Everywhere you look in the Tri-Cities, there are new faces, new businesses and new homes being built. The area is in the midst of economic and population booms that keep ranking it on lists of desirable places to live, work and play. And local experts say the steady growth should continue at…

Lola Franklin, CEO of the Tri-City Association of Realtors, said this year’s residential home sales look similar to last year’s. Through August 2017, the association reported a total of 2,813 homes sold, and an average sold price in August of $272,400. In 2016, a total of 4,423 homes sold, compared to 4,153 in 2015, an increase of 6.5 percent. (Photo: Paul T. Erickson)

Residential market hungry for homes

By Michelle Dupler The Tri-City area continues to be a hot market for real estate, offering continued affordability, low unemployment and an attractive local economy in comparison to many other metro areas in the United States. Local experts said single-family home construction continues to boom, as do sales of existing homes, while both the average…

Students stroll past the new Student Union Building on the campus of Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland. The $5.73 million building, completed this year, is used for student leisure, study, meetings and events. (Photo: Paul T. Erickson)

Dorms, new buildings shape college campuses

By Stacey Denny Columbia Basin College’s new student housing opened in September, and Washington State University Tri-Cities officials expect to open the doors to their new housing complex next year. It’s a sign the Tri-City colleges are becoming destination campuses. Site and weather-related delays pushed back WSU Tri-Cities’ plans for its new 800-bed dormitories, but…

Kennewick elementary school No. 16 will be 76,664 square feet, featuring 38 classrooms. (Photo: Paul T. Erickson)

More students mean more schools

By Stacey Denny As the Tri-Cities’ population swells, so have its schools and classrooms. The start to the 2017-18 school year saw student enrollment increases at each of the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland school districts. Kennewick saw the biggest student enrollment increase with 455 more students, for a total of 18,016 students. Pasco School District…

Simplifying life can simplify administration of an estate after death

By Beau Ruff Above all else, two issues impact the complexity, time and cost of the administration of a person’s estate more than the rest: the assets and the heirs. One of the keys from a planning perspective is to determine how best to position yourself to limit the complexity caused by those two issues.…

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