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.
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…

Dr. Cory Manley traveled to the Philippines and used a bio-microscope to look at the back of patients’ eyes in January 2018. When he retires Dec. 18, he plans to travel to more countries to help people without access to vision care. (Courtesy Dr. Cory Manley)

Longtime Pasco eye doctor sees missions, fun for retirement

After almost 50 years in the same location, Pasco Vision Clinic is moving to a building with better visibility. The business will remain in Pasco but will transition to 2715 W. Court St. around the first of the year, once the inside of a former furniture store is remodeled. Dr. Cory Manley is excited for…

Jeremy’s 1896 Public House at 1232 Wine Country Road was the original home of Prosser’s first mayor. Built in 1896, the home was turned into a restaurant in 2014 after an extensive remodel. It’s listed for sale at $775,000.

Restaurant in heart of wine country on the market for less than $1M

A historic Prosser home converted into an established restaurant is on the market for an eager entrepreneur. Jeremy’s 1896 Public House, an eatery and pub at 1232 Wine Country Road, once was home to the first Prosser mayor, E.W. Taylor. It’s been Sue and Dick Poteet’s restaurant for the past four years. It’s known for…

A multi-tenant office building at 8101 W. Grandridge Blvd. in Kennewick is under construction. It’ll be home to CliftonLarsonAllen and Ticor Title, with 3,500 square feet available for one more tenant. (Courtesy Tippett Co. of Washington)

Final building under construction in Grandridge Business Park

Construction has started on the last building in the Grandridge Business Park, with completion scheduled for next spring. The 19,611-square-foot multi-tenant office building consists of two parcels in the eight-acre business area and marks the end of an era for Grandridge Investors LLC. “That’s an investment group that Tippett Co. of Washington serves and there’s…

A draft design concept for Benton Fire District 4’s third station could be built in the western part of the 52-square-mile district on land purchased from the Port of Kennewick, if rezoning is successful. (Courtesy Benton Fire District 4)

New fire stations in the works around the Tri-Cities

Benton Fire District 4 hopes to have a new station up and running to serve West Richland area residents by summer 2019. Fire Chief William Whealan said a design team is already working on building details; however, the location is not 100 percent secured, though one has been identified. Pasco and Kennewick have plans for…

Fundraising efforts for Columbia Basin College’s 20,000-square-foot culinary center in downtown Kennewick have been put on hold so CBC officials can make sure the facility is financially viable and offers quality curriculum. (Courtesy CBC)

CBC puts fundraising efforts for culinary school on back burner

Fundraising efforts for Columbia Basin College’s culinary school have been put on hold, but that doesn’t mean plans for a facility in Kennewick’s new riverside wine village aren’t moving forward. “The original plan was to start with fundraising, build the building, and while that was going on, build the program and get the approvals,” said…

The Dementia Coach’s Rick Bennett, left, presented the Virtual Dementia Tour at Guardian Angel Homes in Richland in October. Tyson Frantz, a partner at Guardian Angel Homes, said the experience was eye-opening.

Virtual tour helps people understand what it’s like to live with dementia

A man whose mother faced down Alzheimer’s wants to educate others about dementia by giving them a virtual tour through the disease. “We impair your senses to mimic or give your brain the thought of what it might feel like to have dementia,” said Rick Bennett, who owns a business called The Dementia Coach. Bennett’s…

Kelsey Shank and her husband Darren in January started theEDGE, a company that tracks major offices within the Department of Energy to help businesses learn about job opportunities.

Couple creates software to help businesses land DOE contracts

After two decades working in business development for the nuclear industry, Darren Shank decided to stop chasing down Department of Energy dollars and instead make it easier for others to find contracts. “This industry is overwhelming with procurement data from RFPs (Requests for Proposals) to the key intelligence you need to win work,” said Shank,…

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