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.
PNNL chemical engineer Jian Liu observes laboratory equipment used to extract rare earth elements from various water sources. This magnetic separation loop system works in tandem with tiny, magnetic particles that are added to the water, quickly drawing out the element for easy extraction. (Courtesy Andrea Starr of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

PNNL patents method of extracting lithium from water

The alchemists of yore sought to convert low-value lead into high-value gold. A solution to that puzzle remains elusive, but researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered something more…

Expectant parents can choose one of three rooms offered at Columbia Birth Center. The River Suite, pictured, is the largest and features pops of warm color. (Courtesy Columbia Birth Center)

Columbia Birth Center offers alternative to hospital at new location

Columbia Birth Center pulled up roots this spring. The hospital and home birth alternative for those seeking more holistic health care services moved to an updated and more spacious location…

Great harvest of ripe red cherries on a tree branch. Selective f

Growers report good volumes despite chilly spring

It’s hard to say how 2022 will play out for Washington’s cherry growers. “It’s always a weather-vulnerable crop, and there are many ways the cherry crop can be sabotaged by…


Apple industry renews focus on domestic market

As summertime approaches, consumers begin to look to local markets for the parade of fresh fruits, and apple orchards buzz with preparations for the late summer harvest. Last year, 122…

Doctor’s Pharmacy team members were hand-picked for their passion and enthusiasm for serving patients. The Richland pharmacy offers an array of services free of charge to customers, including delivery and medication sync dispensers that combine all routine medications into one box with individual dose packets grouped by the date and time to take. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Richland pharmacy redefines customer service

Doctor’s Pharmacy has been making steady inroads within the Tri-City community through its customer service-focused business model since opening last year. The pharmacy, at 65 Columbia Point Drive in the…

Sisters-in-law Julie Dawes and Julie Zirker teamed up to open a Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise at 110 Gage Blvd., Suite 200 in Richland. The bakery makes nothing but Bundt cakes, though an array of decorations and small gifts also will be available for sale. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

New franchise owners want to bake joy into their Bundt cakes

Tri-Citians need a little more cake. That’s what Julie Zirker believes. She’s the co-owner of the first Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise in the Tri-Cities. It’s opening at 110 Gage Blvd.,…

Plastic bags get tangled in the sorting equipment and can shut down an entire facility, posing safety hazards to workers who have to remove them from the machinery. (Courtesy Waste Management)

What is the state of recycling in the Tri-Cities?

Though each of the Tri-Cities offers curbside garbage service, each handles recycling differently. Pasco, West Richland and greater Benton County (including Finley, Burbank and other Tri-City burbs) are serviced by…

Shannon Franklin, owner of Atomic Alchemy, helps clients create custom signature fragrances made from pure ingredients at her shop at 226 Williams Blvd. in Richland’s Uptown Shopping Center. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Modern-day alchemist helps customers find their signature scent

A small shop in the Uptown Shopping Center helps customers create their own signature scent. Shannon Franklin is a fragrance alchemist who offers custom fragrances as a way to “help…


Owners of Pasco’s oldest restaurant plan to retire

Pasco’s oldest continuously operating restaurant has been serving the Tri-City community for 58 years. Chinese Gardens at 1520 N. Fourth Ave. has been a Pasco cornerstone since late founder Jack…

Lindsay Kirby, owner of Sculpt Tri-Cities Wellness Center, opened the doors to a second location at 5224 Outlet Drive in Pasco. Sculpt, which has a clinic in Kennewick, offers clients access to cryotherapy, red light therapy, infrared sauna, vitamin IV drips, functional medicine, aesthetic services such as body sculpting, Botox and more. (Photo by Laura Kostad)

Sculpt Wellness opens second location in emerging Pasco wellness mall

Business is booming for Sculpt Tri-Cities Wellness Center, with the March opening of a second location at Broadmoor Park off Sandifur Parkway in Pasco. In the wake of the Covid-19…

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