Articles by Jessica Hoefer

Jessica Hoefer is a freelance writer based in Prosser and a contributor to numerous print and online publications. When she’s not working on a news story, she can be found on the soccer field, at her local library or holed up in her office working on her next Young Adult novel.
Wine O Clock

Wine O’Clock celebrates 10 years

For the first five years of business, Bunnell Family Cellar operated out of the Susan and Ron Bunnell’s home. Located in the country, people visited by invitation, traveling down a gravel road to taste wines and visit with the couple. That was in 2004, a time when the number of wineries in the state hovered…

Planting agriculture

Winter’s snow adds strain to agriculture industry

Mid-Columbia farmers facing Yakima basin drought declaration on top of delay in planting, harvest This year’s growing season may be challenging for farmers with possible drought conditions and delayed plantings after winter’s heavy, prolonged snow. Wheat, wine grape, apple, asparagus and potato industry officials reported weather-related delays because of the record snowfall that blanketed the…

Kennewick’s Hawthorne Court plans $1 million in renovations to its common areas, such as dining rooms and lobbies, to better serve more than 100 residents. Common areas are used for eating, visiting, as well as social activities. (Courtesy Hawthorne Court)

Kennewick retirement community to undergo $1M in renovations

As long as Mother Nature cooperates, renovations will begin in April at Hawthorne Court, a senior living facility in Kennewick. The retirement community at 524 N. Ely St. is home to more than 100 residents, and has a mix of apartments for independent and assisted living. It’s managed by Leisure Care, which has retirement communities…

Nash, from left, Garry and Tracie Lamberson are celebrating 40 years of serving the Tri-Cities with their carpet cleaning business Guarantee System Carpet Cleaning & Dye Co. Garry and Tracie started the company in 1979 and now work with their son, Nash.

Small business keeps Tri-City carpets clean for 40 years

Guarantee System Carpet Cleaning & Dye Co. is celebrating 40 years of serving the Tri-Cities. Owners Garry and Tracie Lamberson said though they moved to Kennewick before the economic downturn of the 1980s, phones were ringing off the hook right after opening. “Business was good from the start,” Tracie said. Before moving to Eastern Washington,…

A new ice plant at the Three Rivers campus in Kennewick will replace a 30-year-old system, helping improve the quality of ice. Hockey players say poor ice can make it difficult to skate or move the puck. (Courtesy Toyota Center)

Construction begins on Kennewick’s new $3.4M ice plant

Mother Nature recently shared her wintry mix with the Tri-Cities, but the Three Rivers campus wants to be able to create its own ice year-round. Construction of a new $3.4 million ice plant is underway at the Kennewick campus, which is home to the Toyota Center, Toyota Arena and Three Rivers Convention Center. The Toyota…

An architectural rendering of the Gesa branch at 4824 Broadmoor Blvd. off Road 100 in Pasco. It is expected to open this summer. (Courtesy Gesa)

Gesa to open new Pasco branch, improve Richland headquarters

Road 100 branch to feature 7,000 square feet; $645,000 in improvements planned at headquarters Gesa Credit Union will open its 18th branch this summer in Pasco. Construction on the $2 million project already has begun on the two-acre plot of land at 4824 Broadmoor Blvd. Kennewick-based Banlin Construction is the general contractor for the project.…


Manufacturing jobs on the rise in Benton, Franklin counties

Regional manufacturing jobs to grow 1.84 percent this year Manufacturing jobs in Benton and Franklin counties are expected to grow at a faster rate than the state average as food manufacturing rebounds in 2019. Locally, there are more than 8,100 manufacturing jobs, which accounts for about 7 percent of total nonfarm employment in 2018, according…

Franklin County Assessor Peter McEnderfer reviews levy calculations. He’s optimistic taxpayers will feel relief in their tax bill this year.

Assessor anticipates decrease in property tax bills

Despite a higher state school tax levy in 2018, families in Eastern Washington may see some relief on their property tax bill this year. That’s because the state collected more than it anticipated, and to alleviate the tax burden for 2019, the state rate of $2.70 per $1,000 of assessed property value will drop to…

Chris Porter, a partner at Richland’s PorterKinney PC, said thanks to this year’s tax code overhaul “almost all of us will pay less in taxes in 2018. … It’s not political, it’s math.” Overall, most of the tax adjustments have been beneficial to business owners, according to two local certified public accountants. (Courtesy PorterKinney PC)

Local CPAs optimistic most business owners will pay fewer taxes in 2018

Although business owners were anxious to see how the tax code overhaul affected their bottom line in 2018, many are scratching their heads as regulations fall into place. “I’ve put in enough hours at this point it feels as though I’m getting ready to take another CPA exam,” said Ty Schatz, a certified public accountant…

Customer Rusty Arnn looks on as Dustin Chesley, assistant manager of the Benton City Tire Center, balances his tire. The store transitioned from Les Schwab to Tire Centers Inc. on Dec. 1.

Les Schwab stores become Tire Centers in Benton City, Wapato

The Benton City Les Schwab store has joined the Tire Centers Inc. family, which has been servicing the Yakima Valley for more than 60 years. Phil Winterholler operates the Benton City store at 744 Ninth St. He became an independent owner of a Wapato store in 1998. The 403 W. First St. store in Wapato…

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