Articles by Laura Kostad

Laura Kostad is a freelance reporter for the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business and Senior Times. After completing her bachelor’s degree in creative writing at the University of Washington in 2015, she moved to Kennewick to pursue new opportunities and launch her career. She has been with the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business since 2017 and has enjoyed getting to know her new community through journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys working on the many book ideas she has and the occasional poem.
LeAnn Touchette, owner and resident manager, stands outside Cherry Creek Adult Family Home at 2616 W. 44th Place in Kennewick. The new facility will provide specialized care for six people in a homelike setting. It is scheduled to open in late September or early October. (Courtesy Cherry Creek Adult Family Home)

Residential adult family home bridges care gap between assisted living, nursing home

A nurse with a heart for geriatric care has transformed her former Kennewick home into an adult family home, realizing a longtime dream and goal that took shape after losing her grandfather. Called Cherry Creek Adult Family Home, the single-family house built in 2018 in the Cherry Creek Estates neighborhood east of Canyon Lakes has…

Caleb Knutzen processes a card transaction using the all-in-one BlockChyp payment terminal at Pasco’s Knutzen’s Meats at 6404 W. Court St. Knutzen’s was the first Tri-City company to adopt Kennewick-based BlockChyp’s blockchain-encrypted payment terminal technology, which enables merchants to process all payment types on one terminal. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

BlockChyp payment terminals adapt alongside Tri-City businesses

A Kennewick tech startup is transforming the way businesses process their payment transactions, even as coronavirus shutdowns and restrictions threatened its business model. “It’s interesting because we’re focused on brick-and-mortar transactions, so when Covid hit, we thought we were dead,” said Jeff Payne, BlockChyp’s chief technology officer. BlockChyp designs payment terminals using blockchain technology to…

James G. Espinoza, president of Patriot Rooter & Irrigation LLC, recently landed a contract with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) laboratory in Seattle, where their crew will maintain the grounds per the center’s unique needs. (Courtesy Patriot Rooter & Irrigation LLC)

Veteran-owned small business lands third government contract

Tri-Citians know a lot of the bigger names in the federal government contractor arena thanks to the proximity of the Hanford site. But not all government contracts have to do with Hanford and not all government contractors are big companies. Patriot Rooter & Irrigation LLC is a locally-owned and -operated small business earning its bread…

Redefined Meals prepares healthy five-day meal packages for delivery or pickup. (Courtesy Redefined Meals)

Kennewick health-focused meal delivery service redefines midday lunch run

While Tri-City businesses have been reorganizing to continue serving customers and weather the fallout from Covid-19 stay-home orders, one pair of young entrepreneurs have leveraged the austere conditions to launch their dream business. Redefined Meals, a weekday lunch service, delivers healthy meals prepared fresh from scratch that morning to desks and doorsteps, liberating busy parents…

WA Retail Assoc

State’s retail sector projected to see growth this holiday season

Washington Retail Association monitoring several key issues affecting retail sector this legislative session It’s already starting to look a lot like Christmas as retailers rearrange their store layouts and offer new merchandise for the holiday season. With Thanksgiving a week later than usual—this year it falls on Nov. 28; in 2018 it fell on Nov.…

Vista Field construction. (Courtesy Port of Kennewick)

Port of Kennewick: Projects aim to transform city center, riverfront areas

Port of Kennewick projects to transform more than 100 acres in Kennewick’s retail core and a neglected waterfront into pedestrian-focused developments are taking shape. The $4.9 million first phase of the Vista Field development is expected to be completed in January 2020. The project lays the groundwork to turn the former air field into a vibrant, urban,…

Steve Ackerman and Mimi Geibel perform as Waterbound at last year’s Tumbleweed Music Festival. This year’s event is Labor Day weekend and they’ll be performing again. (Photo courtesy David Carson)

Richland folk fest pays tribute to power of music

The 23rd annual Tumbleweed Music Festival in Richland Labor Day weekend pays homage to a folk music legend who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. It seems fitting for the Tri-Cities to celebrate Pete Seeger, an American folk singer who won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The banjo-strumming Rock and Roll Hall of…

Numerica Pasco

Numerica to open new Pasco branch off Road 100

Spokane-based Numerica Credit Union is building a new branch off Road 100 in Pasco. The 3,152-square-foot new office at 4845 Broadmoor Blvd. will replace the credit union’s 626-square-foot branch at 4820 N. Road 68, which opened in 2007 inside Walmart. “This branch will be much more convenient for our members,” said Kelli Hawkins, public relations…

Todd Halterman speaks at the Benton-Franklin Humane Society’s Feel the Love event about Our Forever Friends, a pet protection plan that enables pet owners to allocate money in their estate to pay for their pets’ long-term care after their death. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Investment advisor offers pet care plan

Forever Friends plan aids pets after their owners die Many seniors’ wills include provisions for who gets their dog, cat, horse, guinea pig or other furry or feathered friend when they die. But what if the appointed guardian for the surviving pets can’t or won’t take them? What if the pets unintentionally end up at…

Vista Field

Construction underway on Vista Field

In less than a year, Vista Field’s first shovel-ready parcels are expected to be available to developers. Plans to turn the former airport into a 103-acre pedestrian-focused urban center took a tangible step forward with a ground-breaking ceremony in April. Around March 2020, the first shovel-ready parcels are expected to be made available through the…

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