Articles by Jeff Morrow

Jeff Morrow retired from the Tri-City Herald in 2015. Jeff spent 30 years on the Herald's sports staff, including the last 19 as the sports editor. Although he likes to write, Jeff still finds time to travel, golf and take care of his family's three dogs. He and his wife of 31 years, Connie, have two adult daughters.
Rubi and Tino Robles own Power Athletics Compound, which runs two Tri-City gyms. PAC recently signed a deal with the Tri-City Rush of the American West Football Conference to help the football players stay in shape. (Photo by Jeff Morrow )

Weightlifter-owned gym combines science, nutrition and just the right machine

Valentino Robles played basketball during his high school days in Pasco. Tino, as most people know him, never thought much back then about lifting weights. “I hated lifting weights back in high school,” he said. “I liked being skinny and agile.” But lifting weights – and helping others learn how to lift them – has…

Susan Mendenhall, the franchisee of the Kennewick and Pasco IHOP restaurants, loves the interaction she has with customers. (Courtesy of Lauren Jones)

IHOP owner: Locally-owned franchises are local too

Susan Mendenhall is a fighter. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a pandemic or trying to educate the public that her two Tri-City IHOP stores are local restaurants. She won’t lose her fight because after 20 years with IHOP, she still loves and believes in what she does. She loves the people, whether it’s her employees…

Pat Howard, co-founder and owner of Rock Shop, stands in front of one of the many rock walls at the climbing gym at 1965 Fowler St. in Richland. (Photo by Jeff Morrow)

Richland High grad trades golf career for rock climbing gym

Pat Howard was looking for something that would push himself the way playing golf used to. Howard, a Richland High School graduate, was a standout golfer who went on to compete for Oregon State University. He then worked as an assistant professional at Bellevue’s Overlake Golf and Country Club for the past 15 years. “I…

Bill McIntyre, from left, stands with his granddaughter, Justine VerMulm and her husband Nick and their children at Pasco Golfland at 2901 N. Road 40. McIntyre recently sold the longtime business to the young couple. (Photo by Jeff Morrow)

A new generation takes a swing at Pasco Golfland

For as long as she can remember, Justine VerMulm has known Pasco Golfland as both her playground and her workplace. “My mom was pregnant with me when they were selling golf balls out there from a fireworks stand,” she said. “I worked out there as a kid. As a family, we’ve always celebrated birthdays there,…

Sporthaus Northwest owners Steve McConnell, left, and Bart Munson stand in front of their ski inventory. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the store at 26 N. Columbia Center Blvd. in Kennewick. (Courtesy Steve McConnell)

Sporthaus has been serving Tri-City outdoor enthusiasts for 40 years

Steve McConnell’s life changed the day his parents took him skiing for the first time in his life. “I was a basketball player, but I was lucky that my folks introduced me to skiing when I was in seventh grade,” he said. “From the first time I skied down the hill, I knew I found…

Richland School District Teaching, Learning  & Administration Center, 6972 Keene Road, West Richland. (Photo by Scott Butner Photography)

K-12 Education: Pandemic doesn’t slow new school projects

It’s been an unprecedented year for Tri-City public school districts in the wake of the pandemic. Though students left classrooms in March 2020 and then started the year with remote learning, the districts’ construction projects have been chugging along. Richland School District The most recent state data shows 2019-20 enrollment for the Richland School District…

WSU Tri-Cities academic building, 2710 Crimson Way, Richland. (Photo by Scott Butner Photography)

Higher Education: CBC, WSU-Tri-Cities building for a future when students return to campus

The Tri-Cities’ higher education campuses don’t have many students on campus this fall. The coronavirus pandemic sent the majority to remote learning platforms at Washington State University Tri-Cities and Columbia Basin College for the fall. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t planning for their students’ eventual return to campus. Both institutions are moving ahead with…

Our Cookie House owner Ashley Meehan, center, poses with daughters Brooklyn, left, and Haven in early September as they prepared to open up a storefront at 8530 W. Gage Blvd, Unit D, in Kennewick. (Photo by Jeff Morrow)

Former Tri-Citians return to sell their popular cookies

Ashley Meehan is a cookie connoisseur. She has special recipes for at least 12 types of cookies, all of them large and tasty. And for more than two years, she has been selling them to a famished public – from her car, her house, at pop-up stands. “Just to see the joy it brings people,…

Laura Stogin, HVAC technician at MacDonald-Miller, performs routine heating ventilation and air conditioning maintenance. Many of the recommendations MacDonald-Miller makes are performed during the routine maintenance visits. (Courtesy MacDonald-Miller)

Contractor assesses buildings so businesses can ‘comeback with confidence’

Sooner or later, more Mid-Columbia businesses are going to try to bring their workforce back into their buildings. As a first step toward that goal, MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions is offering building confidence reports through its Comeback with Confidence program. Pat Roberts, general manager for MacDonald-Miller’s Eastern Washington office, said many businesses and workers don’t know…

Susan and Charles Conte Jr. opened Reborn Bike Shop at 1342 George Washington Way, in the Richland Uptown Shopping Center, in May. (Courtesy Reborn Bike Shop)

Bike shop vet opens Reborn in Richland’s Uptown

Charles Conte Jr. decided late last year it was time to move to the Tri-Cities, where his wife Susan’s family lived. In January, the family moved from Virginia, where Charles worked in his  father’s bike shop chain, Conte’s Bike Shop. He intended to work for a local nonprofit. “Susan was born and raised here,” Charles…

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