John Stang

John Stang

John Stang is a longtime Pacific Northwest reporter. He is a jack-of-all-trades freelancer with expertise in a variety of topics, including the Hanford nuclear reservation, state government, the environment, science and crime.

Kennewick company fined $5,000 for housing discrimination against veteran

Celski & Associates said incident stems from misunderstanding of an acronym A Kennewick property management firm was one of eight state corporations recently hit with allegation of illegal housing discrimination against veterans by the Washington Attorney General’s Office. However, Jason Celski, owner of Celski & Associates, said the incident stems from an employee at an apartment complex not understanding an acronym when asked whether a prospective tenant could use Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, or VASH, vouchers. VASH is a […]

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B&O tax relief plan for manufacturers fails

Maybe the second time will be the charm. A bill that would have provided tax relief to Franklin County manufacturers died during the last week of the 2018 legislative session.  Now, Mid-Columbia legislators — all Republicans — will have a chance to persuade Democratic legislators have modify the bill next year to make sure the […]

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Legislators reach compromise on controversial water rights bill

Hirst decision agreement gets several construction projects back on track A number of stalled Mid-Columbia construction projects are now shifting into gear since the Washington Legislature reached a compromise on a controversial water rights bill. The irony is despite the rural nature of the well-digging conflict, the compromise does not really affect Benton, Franklin and […]

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State of Washington flag map

Top issues to watch in Washington Legislature this session

Will several delayed Tri-City construction projects finally start up? Will the Washington Legislature reach a compromise on permits for digging wells in rural areas? The issues are among several of interest to Mid-Columbia residents. The 60-day state legislative session began Jan. 8. The ongoing impasse between Democrats and Republicans on the so-called Hirst ruling in 2016 blocks […]

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rural versus urban counties

New jobs report outlines differences between rural, urban counties

State’s rural jobless rates historically lag behind urban counties Washington’s unemployment is hitting a major low, but the state’s rural counties — including Benton and Franklin — are not doing as well as their urban counterparts. That’s because rural counties, which have huge agricultural presences, have less diversified industrial economies than cities, said Asja Suljic, regional […]

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Mid-Columbians in lower-paying jobs earn less than urban counterparts

Mid-Columbians in lower-paying jobs tend to earn less than their counterparts across Washington. That’s what a breakdown of figures show in a state Employment Security Department report on employment and wages released in September. The report’s statistics came from statewide surveys with a 66 percent return rate, said Asja Suljic, a Kennewick-based regional labor economist for […]

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Mid-Columbia legislators ask attorney general to take on Seattle income tax

The Washington Attorney General’s office should help plaintiffs fighting a new Seattle income tax, according to a letter from 36 GOP state representatives. Five of the six Mid-Columbia state representatives signed the letter, voicing concern that a successful legal defense of a new Seattle income tax could lead to local income taxes elsewhere in the state. […]

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Capital budget impasse ties up several Mid-Columbia projects

Plans to speed up construction of a new Washington National Guard center in the Horn Rapids area have stalled because state lawmakers can’t resolve an unrelated water rights dispute. That water rights impasse also has slowed work on upgrading a Highway 395 interchange in south Kennewick, building a science center at the LIGO site, constructing […]

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