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.
Prosser Starbucks store manager Jeff Couch shows off the new Nitro Cold Brew machine, which infuses coffee with nitrogen bubbles for a frothy, foamy texture. The store received $342,000 in improvements over nine weeks.

Prosser Starbucks gets makeover, equipment to craft nitro brews

After more than a decade of business, the Prosser Starbucks got a makeover and some new equipment to create drinks not previously available to customers. The nine-week, $342,000 makeover started in the middle of the summer and included new interior walls, paint and fixtures at the coffeeshop at 10 Merlot Drive. The Prosser Starbucks closed…

CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. supports the STEM Like ME! program with classroom volunteers mentoring middle school students. Hanford contractors offer their employees plenty of opportunities to volunteer and give back to the communities they live and work in. (Courtesy CHPRC)

Hanford employees know as they help charities, they help community

Hanford employees work in a variety of fields, from engineering to management, electrical and pipefitting. But despite their diverse career choices, thousands have one trait in common: philanthropy. “We do about one to two employee-volunteer events a month,” said Reneé Brooks, communications specialist for Mission Support Alliance, the prime contractor for the Hanford site. “There’s…

Wine Country RV Park manager Louann Rockney said their 10-acre park in Prosser has been busy since the season kicked off in March as more people are traveling and camping again.

RV industry picks up speed as customers look to slow down

Employees at Prosser’s Wine Country RV Park knew 2018 would be a good year before camping season took off. Each March, the 10-acre park, which includes 125 RV sites and nine tent sites, hosts a spring opener to get people out on the road earlier in the season. Park Manager Louann Rockney said spots at…

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,…

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“Girls of the Garden Club” by John Patrick

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