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.
Traffic Jams is a family affair owned by Ron Brooks, center, and assisted by sons Bryan, left, and Brandon, right, to complete a wide range of services to outfit homes, cars and watercraft. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Traffic Jams offers ways to keep audio, video out of sight, out of mind

“Anything you can think of that’s fun in a house, that’s what we do.” That’s how Bryan Brooks describes the services offered by his family’s business, Traffic Jams. The Kennewick-based…

Eric and Jillian Wong opened a math learning center focused on building confidence and mastery in math for students through 12th grade. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Math enthusiasts hope to multiply their ranks

When a STEM-focused couple discovered their own passion for math instruction, they left their former high-demand careers behind and moved to the Tri-Cities to open the area’s first Mathnasium franchise.…

A new driving school has pulled into town. Top-Notch Driving School at 1350 N. Louisiana St., Suite E, opened in Kennewick this summer. From left are: co-owners Kaylea and Steven Nundahl, lead instructor Pam Homer and co-owner Myel Nundahl. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Experienced driving instructors turn the key on new school

A new driving school opened in Kennewick, offering instruction and Department of Licensing testing from three professionals with a combined 20 years of experience in traffic safety, teaching and education.…

The Reach Museum at 1943 Columbia Park Trail in Richland offers private event rentals. The museum overlooking the Columbia River opened in 2014 and celebrates the natural and scientific history of the Mid-Columbia along with its people and cultures. (Courtesy Reach Museum)

Richland’s Reach Museum emerges
from pandemic leaner and stronger

The Reach Museum survived the pandemic, increasing admissions beyond pre-pandemic levels, celebrating its eighth anniversary and looking to the future with hope for an expansion at its Richland facility overlooking…

The Platinum Automotive team looks forward to moving into its new building at 8504 W. Clearwater Ave. in Kennewick in the coming months. From left, Nathan Goetsch, Tom Smith, Eric Muhlbeier and Aaron Swier. (Courtesy Platinum Automotive)

Kennewick auto repair shop gears up for expansion

After growing his business from a mobile shop run out of a Jeep, Nathan Goetsch looks forward to rolling up the doors at his new 5,600-square-foot automotive repair building at…

Blake and Brittney Kluse, left, purchased a Kennewick cheer gym and rebranded it to IMPACT elite all-stars, which they’ll run with Lexi and Jordan Chavallo, right. (Courtesy IMPACT Elite)

Established cheer gyms change owners; two new ones open in last year

Cheer teams continue to attract a wide range of athletes across the Tri-City community, now filling four gyms in the area with participants in both competitive and recreational options. Two…

Owners of Lil’ Moon Diner, Frances and Jamie McCallum, and their children, Lilia and Logan. The family-run restaurant opened in the West Richland space that held JD Diner for many years. (Courtesy Lil’ Moon Diner)

West Richland diner reopens under new ownership, new name

A longtime West Richland diner once named for Jamie McCallum is now owned by Jamie himself, and the first order of business was changing the restaurant’s name – to honor…

WHECO Corp. recently opened in Pasco, adding a second Tri-City location to its list of nationwide and international facilities for machinery repair. Its corporate headquarters are in Richland. (Courtesy WHECO Corp.)

Crane repair company expands
Tri-City footprint

A 51-year-old crane repair company recently opened its second location in the Tri-Cities. WHECO Corp. started out as a parts supplier in Dayton and then expanded to six facilities across…

The number of employees in manufacturing roles increased about 0.3% year over year. While this is an upward trend, manufacturing employment has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, estimated at 8,200 jobs in the industry. (Courtesy Pasco Machine)

Area manufacturing jobs rebound but not to pre-pandemic levels

The state predicts the number of manufacturing jobs will drop in the next decade, yet industry groups intend to do everything they can to not only buck that trend but…

Sergey Oleynik, instructor at Pasco’s T Enterprises, trains students to receive their commercial driver’s license. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Demand for truckers keeps CDL schools ‘busier than ever’

Truck drivers are in demand for jobs based in the Tri-Cities. Teresa Maki, who has been in business for more than 30 years as owner of T Enterprises, a Pasco…

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