Articles by Guest Contributor

Miramac Metals signed a two-year lease with the Port of Pasco last May for one of its warehouses in the Big Pasco Industrial Center, located off Ainsworth Avenue along the Columbia River. Demand for products is prompting the steel roofing manufacturer to plan for an expansion.

Miramac Metals eyes expansion of Pasco manufacturing plant

By Laura Kostad Miramac Metals Inc. opened a new manufacturing facility a year ago in Pasco and is already considering a future expansion. The Mead-based company supplies a diverse offering of customized steel products, including corrugated, ribbed and snap-lock panel profiles, to commercial and residential customers in the rapidly growing Tri-City region. Miramac signed a…

Cloyd Bowers, 93, right, and Dave Car, 61, use the seated steppers at the city of Richland’s new gym COR Fit at the Richland Community Center.

New Kennewick, Richland gyms aim to offer affordable workouts

By Robin Wojtanik The availability of inexpensive fitness options is increasing in the Tri-Cities with the opening of COR Fit in Richland and the new Planet Fitness in Kennewick. Each gym is available to users on a month-to-month basis, with no long-term contracts required. COR stands for “city of Richland” and is the new name…

Verizon Wireless expands at Columbia Center Mall

Verizon Wireless to expand in Columbia Center

An expanded Verizon Wireless store is under construction at Columbia Center mall in Kennewick. The cellphone store is expanding into 1,400 square feet that will encompass the former Starbucks shop inside suite 802 to create more space for suite 805. Starbucks moved to a kiosk in front of the mall’s food court last fall. The…

Farmers should make time for mid-year estate tax planning

Farmers should make time for mid-year estate tax planning

By Paul G. Neiffer Farm couples can be worth about $11 million and not owe any federal estate tax. However, farmers in Washington state are subject to a state estate tax which starts at a little more than $2 million of net worth and the tax rate reaches 20 percent at $9 million (the highest…

Marijuana enthusiasts have kept Steve Lee’s Green2Go retail store in unincorporated Kennewick busy. Lee said he foresees continued steady growth as the state’s pot industry matures. Retail sales of marijuana in Benton County were up by 75 percent in the 2016 fiscal year compared to the previous year, from about $2.8 million to more than $4.9 million. (Courtesy Michael Schroeder of

Marijuana sales budding in Benton County, statewide

By Michelle Dupler Benton County and Washington state marijuana retail sales bloomed in fiscal year 2016, and the high appears to have continued into 2017, according to data from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. [blockquote quote=”We’re your grandma’s cannabis store.” source=”Steve Lee, owner of Green2Go” align=”right” max_width=”300px”] Retail sales in Benton County were…

Tri-Cities offers plenty of options to savor farm-to-table fare

Tri-Cities offers plenty of options to savor farm-to-table fare

By Marilou Shea This column is exclusively about one of our universally favorite things: food. It contributes to our economy in all kinds of ways, from agriculture, processing and manufacturers, to talented entrepreneurs, cultural heritage, restaurants, food trucks, farmers markets and farm-to-table efforts. Farm-to-table is a cool concept but it needs clarification. Simply put, it’s…

Family farm LLC offers best choice for business succession

Family farm LLC offers best choice for business succession

By Beau Ruff As the center of Washington’s agricultural empire, it is important to recognize the planning opportunities afforded the Washington farmer in the Tri-Cities. This column explores the use of the family farm LLC for business succession planning. The quintessential farmer is land rich and cash poor. And, the farmer recognizes the value of…

H-2A guest worker program helps state address agriculture labor shortage

H-2A guest worker program helps state address agriculture labor shortage

By Aaron Sparks In a tight agricultural labor market, many Washington state farmers and fruit growers struggle to find workers during harvest season. In Washington, of course, much of the discussion revolves around apples, the state’s top crop, which, at $2.4 billion, accounts for nearly 25 percent of the state’s agricultural production value.  Washington leads…

Karen Jarrett, owner of Sandy’s Fabrics and Machines, inspects the inner workings of one of the sewing machines at the downtown Kennewick shop. Sandy’s has remained relevant and successful at its location at 24 N. Benton St. by adjusting as the industry changed. The store opened in 1977 and expanded to machines in 1981.

Technology stitches solid future for downtown Kennewick store

By Robin Wojtanik The transformation of sewing from a mother’s necessity to a high-tech hobby has kept Sandy’s Fabrics and Machines in business for 40 years. Today, most sewing projects have moved beyond garment making but Sandy’s shows no sign of slowing. The downtown Kennewick store is filled with computers that use a needle and…

Longship Cellars winemaker Kyle Welch did an internship in Spain and fell in love with Rioja, the famous Tempranillo-based red wine. His first wine, Invader, is a Tempranillo using Destiny Ridge grapes. (Courtesy Wine News Service)

Winery embraces Viking theme, opens tasting room on Richland waterfront

By Wine News Service Norway doesn’t have much of a winemaking history, but that doesn’t stand in the way of Kyle Welch, owner of tiny Longship Cellars in Richland. [blockquote quote=”Here I am, wine industry, I’m coming for you!” source=”Kyle Welch, owner of tiny Longship Cellars” align=”right” max_width=”300px”] Welch grew up in Pasco, surrounded by…

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