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.
A Framatome employee loads a shipping container with fuel assemblies. The Richland company has been an active participant in the city of Richland’s energy efficiency program for more than a decade, taking advantage of incentives and reducing energy consumption by 20 percent. (Courtesy Framatome)

Energy-saving rebates available to Richland businesses

Thanks to a partnership between the city of Richland and the Bonneville Power Association, commercial and industrial businesses within city limits are being rewarded for reducing their carbon footprint. The energy efficiency program offered through Richland Energy Services works with 30 to 50 commercial and industrial customers a year. After providing a no-cost energy analysis…

Al Nihart, owner of Nihart Clock Repair in West Richland, has been servicing and fixing antique clocks for more than six decades.

West Richland clock repairman continues to see uptick in workload

Al Nihart took apart his first clock before the age of 10. Like his father, Nihart was a mechanic at heart. But that’s where their similarities end. “He was a watch repairman, and I hate watches,” Nihart said. “You don’t fix a watch. You open it up and take out a broken or rusty part…

NW Farm Supply assistant manager, Mason Vickerman, left, and manager, Kevin McClure, a Prosser native, help prepare the new Prosser store for its June opening at 451 Wine Country Road.

NW Farm Supply selects Prosser for its fourth store

NW Farm Supply expects to open a new store in Prosser this month. The new 13,000-square-foot building sits on 2.78 acres at 451 Wine Country Road, adjacent to Shopko Hometown. The company opened its first store in Hermiston in 1995. The Oregon shop, started by Nathan Crowther and John Lloyd, serves as the NW Farm…

Justin Toner, from left, Josh Toner, Brad Toner, Ann Manley, Brooke Manley Rodriguez, Tina Randles and Laauli Faamausili stand in front of Manley Crop Insurance, which was acquired by Basin Pacific Insurance & Benefits in May. The Prosser office will keep its location and name. 

Kennewick business acquires Prosser crop insurance company

After years of referring business to one another, Basin Pacific Insurance & Benefits acquired Manley Crop Insurance in Prosser for an undisclosed amount. Brad Toner, owner of the Kennewick insurance and benefits agency, said the transaction—which was solidified in May—felt more like a merger because the two companies share such similar business philosophies. “We had…

A patient in Don and Lori Watts Pediatric Center is taken to surgery in a wagon to make the experience a little less stressful. The wagon, as well as a big wheel for patients, was paid for through the Kadlec Foundation. (Courtesy Kadlec Foundation)

Pooled income donor program helps Kadlec address unmet health needs

Four years ago, the Kadlec Foundation kicked off a new donor program called K-Life to allow people to make an investment in local health care while enjoying the tax savings benefits of a charitable trust. K-Life uses a pooled income fund with three major benefits: bypassing capital gains taxes, increased lifetime income and a partial…

A $1.5 million theater expansion project at the Academy of Children’s Theatre in Richland will transform the existing rear storage warehouse into a multi-use theater with 300 seats. (Courtesy ACT)

Academy of Children’s Theatre kicks off theater renovation project

The Academy of Children’s Theatre kicked off an expansion project this month to build a larger performance stage at its Richland headquarters at 213 Wellsian Way. Construction of the $1.5 million project will take place over the course of three years. This isn’t the first time ACT has undergone a transformation. Shortly after moving into…

Construction continues on the new Vintner Square strip mall that will be home to Panera Bread and Tri-City Kids Dentistry in Richland. (Photo: Paul T. Erickson)

Commercial real estate market: It’s hot

Rusty Morse has been a part of the Tri-City commercial real estate scene for 25 years, and while he’s seen plenty of growth in the area, he said the last five to 10 years have been phenomenal. “It just continues to grow,” said Morse, managing broker at Coldwell Banker Commercial. “I look at my production,…

APRIL DOT1

State gears up to build rock fence, improve I-182, Highway 12

Work is expected to begin in May on the biggest rock fence in Washington state’s history—and it’s not along the slopes of Snoqualmie Pass but along Highway 730 south of the Wallula junction. “That whole stretch from the Oregon border to the Wallula junction, there’s boulders in the ditch and there have been cars and…

APRIL Vintners Omnitracs-1598

New federal regulations aim to keep workers safe, help track shipments

Kennewick business owners support use of required electronic logging devices The transportation industry is feeling the effects of new regulations that went into effect at the end of 2017. After a 24-month phase-in period, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, now requires carriers and drivers to use electronic logging devices, or ELDs, to…

Scott Eckstein, clinical assistant professor of hospitality business management, takes program students on a field trip to gain real-world experience to help them better understand senior living. (Courtesy Washington State University)

WSU hospitality school rolls out Institute for Senior Living

A Washington State University professor knows firsthand the importance of hiring well trained, qualified “senior living” professionals. Scott Eckstein lived in an assisted living facility for a while to help settle his maternal grandparents into one. He also believes living in one may have prevented his grandmother’s death. He knows the business side of the…

Latest News

Martini bar to open in Kennewick’s Cynergy Centre

General Mattis set to speak at Young Professional’s event

Double Canyon opens tasting room in West Richland

Trios Health to emerge from bankruptcy

Kadlec CEO announces retirement, successor picked

  • Advertisement for Obrien Construction

E-Newsletter

Sign-up for e-newsletter filled with featured stories and latest news.

Around Town Photo Gallery

Calendar