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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.
WoodSpring Suites construction on Tapteal Drive in Richland. (Photo by Shawna Dinh)

Commercial real estate: Costs continue to drive up prices

Commercial real estate agents cite years of ongoing growth for the Tri-Cities’ especially tight market today. “There’s a lot of leasing, a lot of sales, a lot of new construction going on,” said Rob Ellsworth, senior advisor at SVN | Retter & Co. in Kennewick. “Our market might even be too strong right now because…

Duportail Street bridge construction in Richland. (Photo by Taryn Harkness)

City of Richland: New bridge, developments to boost central district

Transformational projects in central Richland will add new housing options, transportation routes and businesses to the city’s core. The long-anticipated Duportail Street bridge is expected to open in fall 2020. The route will connect drivers from the Stevens Drive corridor to the Queensgate Drive retail hub, and provide easier access to locations in central Richland,…

Richland’s Shilo Inn at 50 Comstock St. has remodeled its common areas, repainted and rebranded itself as a riverfront property. The name change will be official at the end of October. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Multimillion dollar hotel projects offer visitors more getaway choices

The Tri-Cities will add more than 300 hotel rooms to the market when multiple hotels open in the next year. And more rooms will be available in 2021 and beyond, with other hotel projects currently in the planning stages. The opening of three hotels with a combined value of $21.5 million will increase the number of available…

Richland’s Lance Frisbee recently received a plaque from YouTube acknowledging 1 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, which focuses on video gaming and specifically the game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (Courtesy Powerbang Gaming)

Richland YouTube celebrity trades 9-to-5 life for professional gamer gig

It’s not easy to describe what Richland’s Lance Frisbee does for a living. He’s a gaming celebrity, social media influencer and YouTuber. “There are a lot of people who are really curious about my line of work. They want to know why I travel all over the world. I am still working on my elevator…

A Kennewick company has sold thousands of boxes of its Soil Savvy home soil-test kits on Amazon. Now, UNIBEST International is poised for an expansion when it goes public this fall. (Courtesy of Dennis Bullock/Evergreen Cottage)

Kennewick company plans to go public this fall

A Kennewick company already selling a popular soil-test kit on Amazon is poised to grow its success when it goes public this fall. “What I see this company doing is going from several million in sales to a whole lot more,” said James Katzaroff, senior vice president for finance for UNIBEST International. “We’re going to…

Individual in-home providers offer care to clients for everything from bathing, dressing and grooming, and also may cover social supervision and respite care.

In-home care employer shift now underway

A Montana-based company soon will manage individual providers who offer in-home care to clients through the state’s Department of Social and Health Services. It’s a switch from the current system that has DSHS handling all administrative functions. Now, Consumer Direct Care Network out of Missoula will become responsible for 20,000 individual care providers across 22…

The team from Western Restaurant Supply & Design welcomes customers to its new showroom at 1957 Fowler St. in Richland, which offers equipment for commercial kitchens and home use. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Restaurant supply store moves, expands showroom

The store may include “restaurant” in its name, but Western Restaurant Supply & Design also is hoping to serve home chefs at its new 10,000-square-foot Richland showroom. “If you’re looking for a $15 knife, I got those, or if you want a $400 knife, I got those, too. We’re always looking to reignite or ignite…

The Kennewick Costco is only serving hot dogs and sodas from a temporary cart while the food court is renovated and expanded to improve customer flow and staff efficiencies. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Costco’s busy food court gets overhaul

Renovation means new counter location, more space for workers, equipment Costco’s food court window is rotating toward the entrance of the store, intending to alleviate backups near the registers while improving efficiencies for workers who are constantly taking and filling orders behind the counter. “It will create internal efficiencies and make it easier for our…

Teacher salary

Tri-City teacher salaries closing in on state average

New state standardized salary schedule responsible for pay discrepancies Kennewick teachers walked out of their classrooms, delaying the start of school by four days this year amid salary concerns. The move resulted in an 8 percent raise for educators in the Tri-Cities’ biggest school district, putting their salaries more in line with neighboring districts. But…

From left: Port of Kennewick Commissioners Don Barnes, Thomas Moak and Skip Novakovich

Kennewick port commissioners face sanctions, appeal following complaint

The Port of Kennewick’s three commissioners have been outspoken as costs pile up for an independent investigation involving two of them that was prompted by the third. Commissioner Skip Novakovich filed an anonymous complaint as a citizen alleging unprofessional behavior during a testy closed-door meeting about the sale of land near Vista Field. It ultimately…

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Karaoke at Lee’s Pasco

November 15 @ 9:00 pm - November 16 @ 1:00 am

Marcus Whitman Winter Bazaar

November 16 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

11th Annual Princess Christmas Market

November 16 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm