Articles by Robin Wojtanik

Robin Wojtanik spent most of her career in broadcast journalism, working at television stations around the country. She spent nearly a decade managing newsrooms in the Tri-Cities and Yakima. She enjoys volunteering for Junior Achievement and Christ the King School and serves on the board for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Northwest chapter. She lives in Richland with her husband and children.
King of Kings Lutheran Church will nearly double its overall footprint when it moves into its new building at 3315 S. Sherman St. in fall 2019. (Courtesy King of Kings Lutheran Church)

Lutheran church building new $3.5 million building in Southridge area

After 40 years in an A-frame building off Edison Street, a Lutheran church soon will move to the Southridge area of Kennewick. Pastor Tim Wilkens, 34, said King of Kings Lutheran Church has outgrown its current space and hopes to be in the new building by late next year. The church has been at 5209…

All-American Gymnastics and Sports Center co-owner AJ Schneider and office manager and pre-team coach, Sarah Olsen, stand in the upstairs parents’ viewing area at the gym’s new location on East Reata Road.

Gymnastics facility vaults into custom-built gym in south Richland

AJ Schneider didn’t expect the hobby of a former girlfriend would one day lead to a role as co-owner and partner of a gymnastics facility and head team coach. “I have no background in gymnastics. I’d drop her off for tumbling and I’d stick around and watch, and I learned by watching. And one day…

Energy Northwest leaders aim to better promote benefits of nuclear power

Energy Northwest recently announced some changes, including a new CEO and promotions within its leadership team. This includes a decision by the company’s executive board to name Brad Sawatzke as chief executive officer, after serving as interim CEO since the end of March. Prior to being named CEO, Sawatzke had most recently served as the…

The Bradley, a tapas restaurant and bar, is now open at 404 Bradley Blvd. in Richland. It offers handcrafted, classic cocktails and small plates. (Courtesy The Bradley)

New tapas restaurant serves up small plates, unique experience

When the ladies’ restroom is a must-see stop, you know the partners behind The Bradley want customers to notice every elegant finish of Richland’s new tapas restaurant and bar. “We put so much attention into detail,” said co-owner Zac Mason. “We obsessed over getting everything right.” Located in the former Rosy’s Diner at 404 Bradley…

Work is underway on a $6 million remodel and expansion project at the FedEx hub at 1705 Argent Road in Pasco. 

FedEx facility gets $6 million overhaul in Pasco

A major expansion of the FedEx footprint is underway at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco. The local hub is getting a $6 million overhaul, increasing in size from 14,000 square feet to 51,000 square feet. The goal “is to have it look like a brand new building,” said developer Chris A. Smith of CAS Properties.…

A drone manufacturing shop in Tri-Tech Skills Center’s newest building is adjacent to a classroom where students will learn flight simulation and aviation.

Tri-Tech to offer high school training for in-demand drone careers

Tri-Tech Skills Center officials hope a new program that includes drone-making will show students the sky’s the limit when it comes to job opportunities and careers in the unmanned flight and manufacturing industry. The new program launches this fall in a building recently constructed on the school’s Tri-Tech East campus in Kennewick. The building also…

A new restaurant opened this month on the second floor of The Lodge at Columbia Point, which takes advantage of a river view and features a locally-grown head chef serving regional cuisine. (Courtesy The Lodge at Columbia Point)

New riverfront restaurant open for dinner at Columbia Point

Committing to the belief that “it will be fun,” those behind the new Drumheller’s Food & Drink at The Lodge at Columbia Point are excited to open a restaurant before the boutique hotel even celebrates its one-year anniversary. “I feel like we’ve been opening the hotel for a year,” said General Manager Wendy Higgins, citing…

The existing Chicken Shack restaurant, on Van Giesen Street in West Richland, opened in 2015.

The Chicken Shack spreads its wings to west Pasco

A popular West Richland restaurant is expanding to west Pasco and eventually Kennewick. The Chicken Shack owner Steve LaMarr and his wife, Tracy, are preparing to open a second restaurant near Road 90, not far from Russ Dean RV. “There’s not a ton of choices for restaurants where we are,” Steve LaMarr said. The new…

A new two-story building is under construction at 3200 Duportail St., in the Queensgate area of Richland. It will house a pediatric dental practice and orthodontists under the same roof with the ability for additional tenants on the ground floor. (Courtesy Terence L. Thornhill Architect)

Queensgate dental hub to include five dentists, orthodontists

Multiple pediatric dentists and orthodontists are combining their talents to open two new offices in a new two-story building under construction in the Queensgate area of Richland by spring 2019. This will include the offices and doctors from Smile Surfers in Richland, Tri-City Orthodontics in Kennewick and Parkinson + Butler Orthodontics in Richland. The five…

Workers who operate a potato processing line at Lamb Weston are employed in non-durable manufacturing, an industry that saw little growth in the past year locally. (Courtesy Lamb Weston)

Benton, Franklin counties’ manufacturing job growth slows

Jobs in manufacturing have slowed down progressively during the last year across Benton and Franklin counties. The region appears to finally be catching up with the state growth rate for manufacturing jobs, which has been minimal. The most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics for April 2018 show manufacturing jobs have decreased…

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