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.
Local preschool students receive gifts from Energy Northwest employees each year as part of the company’s long-running Head Start Holiday program.

Energy Northwest delivers decades of joy to area preschoolers

Santa and his elves will surprise hundreds of Pasco students for the 39th year running when Energy Northwest employees deliver presents as part of the Head Start holiday program that’s served 14,000 children since it began. “People are just so giving at our company,” said Michelle Curtis, a training specialist for Energy Northwest and the…

A former Kennewick restaurant will be the future site of the Tri-Cities’ second Orangetheory Fitness, a national workout studio franchise that opened its first location in Richland in 2017

Fitness studio franchise expands to Kennewick

Orangetheory Fitness to open in Southridge area this spring A popular fitness studio is opening a second Tri-City location at a visible Southridge corner in Kennewick this spring. Orangetheory Fitness franchise owner Richard Cote said he’d been searching for a location for a while, making offers on three different places before moving quickly when the…

Richland Tumbleweeds owner Keith Moon recently announced plans to raise food prices before the end of the year to offset the higher minimum wage requirement taking effect Jan. 1. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Minimum wage increase likely means higher costs for consumers

Tri-City fast food restaurant owners say there’s no way to avoid raising prices when the latest minimum wage increases kick in at the start of 2020, requiring workers be paid at least $13.50 an hour. “Anybody who thinks that prices aren’t going to go up, you’re fooling yourself,” said Tom Tierney, owner of the Tri-Cities’…

A solar-powered office building is planned for west Pasco on Wrigley Drive, offering class A office space just off the busy Road 68 thoroughfare. (Courtesy Dennis Gisi)

Developers plan $5M solar-powered commercial building in west Pasco

A “green” office building will brighten and lighten up a busy west Pasco neighborhood, courtesy of green paint and green energy. The Wrigley Place development is intended to be the first solar-powered commercial building in the Tri-Cities. Developer Dennis Gisi said Wrigley Drive LLC is behind the $5 million investment on Wrigley Drive, just west…

The city of Richland has identified several projects aimed at improving traffic congestion along its north-south routes. The top-ranked project involves eliminating traffic signals along Highway 240 for ramps, overpasses and underpasses. (Courtesy WSDOT)

Swapping signals for ramps may be best pick for Richland gridlock

Richland council to review final traffic report at Dec. 3 meeting Richland is close to deciding the best way to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion for drivers moving north and south through the city. The top-ranked project calls for removing a number of traffic signals at intersections along the bypass highway. The final proposal,…

Dmitry Hansen, left, recently earned a GED diploma and found a job, thanks to assistance offered by TC Futures and its director, Mark Wheaton, right. The Kennewick program provides career counseling, employment opportunities, on-the-job training, internships, apprenticeships and other employment-related services to young adults who left traditional high schools. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

TC Futures steps up to help youth heading into real world

Young adults can complete free, individualized program to earn GED diploma, get help finding a job The opening of TC Futures in Kennewick has created a home base for young adults looking to earn their GED diploma, get help finding a job or even wash laundry and grab a bite to eat. The site at…

The city of West Richland expects to close on the former Tri-City Raceway before the end of the year, build a new police facility there and then begin wooing future tenants to the remaining 87 acres. (Courtesy city of West Richland)

City hopes new police station will anchor future growth

Port of Kennewick sells former raceway to city, which has big plans to develop it West Richland is close to completing its purchase of the Tri-City Raceway, paving the way for a new police station and a chance to woo future tenants to the property on the west end of town. City officials say moving…

A mixed-use building planned for downtown Kennewick will offer commercial space and luxury apartments in late spring 2021 at 19 W. Canal Drive. (Courtesy The Nineteen)

The Nineteen to arrive in downtown Kennewick in ’21

Investors moving forward with plans to break ground on multimillion dollar project in about six months Luxury apartments are coming to downtown Kennewick as part of a lofty new plan to add a five-story mixed-use building to the corner of West Canal Drive and North Auburn Street. Built from the ground up, the project, called…

Columbia Center mall opened in fall 1969 with 55 stores, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and much fanfare. (Courtesy Columbia Center)

Mall celebrates 50 years of success amid changing retail market

Columbia Center continues to welcome new tenants, hopes to fill vacancies around perimeter of property Vintage advertisements once touted the Columbia Center mall as the “Manhattan of the Northwest,” and likened it to being like “Tahiti all year long,” where it was a balmy 72 degrees indoors, allowing shoppers to escape the wind inside air-conditioned…

Goodwill_Dress

Goodwill’s auction site showcases its ‘coolest, weirdest’ donations

Donations made to Tri-City area Goodwill stores listed for nationwide sales A small team of employees spend their workday at Goodwill Industries of the Columbia sorting through unique instruments, collectible jewelry, antique artwork, vintage toys and often the unexpected—like framed animal teeth. “The teeth I can’t get out of my head for some reason,” said…

Latest News

Governor halts construction during coronavirus stay-home order

Interactive map shows how well (or not) we’re social distancing

Grocery Outlet opens in Richland

Tri-Citians urged to donate N95 respirators, food, cash. Here’s how to help

Chamber, tourism bureau offer businesses way to tell public they’re open

UPDATE: Washington adding more than 2,000 hospital beds in coronavirus fight

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