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.
Ideal Option’s Benjamin Rae, center, an advanced registered nurse practitioner, talks with patients. The Kennewick-based clinic employs about 300 people across five buildings in Kennewick, plus locations in Pasco dedicated to administrative support. It operates 65 clinics throughout the Northwest, Maryland, Minnesota and North Dakota. (Courtesy Ideal Option)

Kennewick’s Ideal Option tackles the opioid crisis

Ideal Option grew from one to 65 clinics over eight years A nondescript and unassuming collection of buildings along Kennewick’s busy West Gage Boulevard provides a lifeline to patients saddled with opioid addiction, including the rising use of fentanyl pills.  What started as a small clinic grew into a veritable campus and epicenter for a…


Somali immigrant opens small retail market in Kennewick

A new store catering to east African immigrants with halal meat, handmade furniture and clothing from Turkey has opened in Kennewick. Elias Reda and his family opened Elias Halal and Designer Imports at 4603 W. Clearwater Ave., a storefront tucked next to Leisure Pool & Spa and across from Winco Foods, in a space once…

Pipsqueaks owner Lisa Steele, left, and employee Kari Judy both feature children’s clothing lines at Steele’s Kennewick boutique called Pipsqueak at 1408 N. Louisiana St., near Costco. Photo by Robin Wojtanik.

Unique children’s boutique offers one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items

‘Local Etsy’ store in Kennewick offers custom children’s items A Kennewick children’s boutique is striving to make its mark with handcrafted and custom items, offering what Pipsqueaks owner Lisa Steele lovingly refers to as “fluff.” “I’m not one that carries gear, like cribs. It’s really just the fun, finer things of life,” she said. Steele…

Nena Cosic, who creates elaborate charcuterie platters for home catering and other events, has opened a storefront to sell handmade desserts Friday through Sunday in downtown Kennewick. Courtesy Nena Cosic

Bosnian proprietor serves up European desserts, appetizers

Downtown bakery sells individual desserts, cakesto order, charcuterie platters in downtown Kennewick Decades after Nena Cosic was forced out of her homeland as a young child and separated from immediate family for years, the Bosnian refugee is finding success as a baker and caterer. Cosic recently launched European Desserts & Appetizers by Nena with a…

Land within Kennewick’s Opportunity Zones could be ripe for development for investors looking to offset capital gains taxes. The two zones include areas off Edison Street east of the blue bridge, Vista Field, downtown Kennewick, Clover Island, Columbia Drive, Columbia Gardens Urban Wine and Artisan Village and commercial areas on Clearwater Avenue.

Developers can reap tax benefits by investing in Opportunity Zones

Time is running out for investors looking to capitalize on the first phase of incentives available to those wanting to develop or improve land in the Mid-Columbia’s three Opportunity Zones. “This is a great opportunity for local and regional investors to sell existing projects and reinvest their gains, while eligible, into quickly growing areas of…

DOE awards $4 billion support services contract

DOE awards $4 billion support services contract

A new contractor will head up support services at the Hanford site, replacing Mission Support Alliance for the $4 billion contract paid out over five years. The contract went to Hanford Mission Integration Solutions of Richland, a company owned by Leidos Intergrated Technology, Centerra Group and Parsons Government Services. The first two companies also are…

Framatome’s new 11,000-square-foot scrap uranium recovery facility will separate uranium dioxide from other materials when it opens in Richland at the end of this year.

New $20M Framatome facility to open by year’s end

Richland plant set to begin operating new 11,000-square-foot scrap uranium recovery facility A $20 million facility is set to open before the end of the year at Richland’s Framatome, coinciding with the nuclear fuel manufacturing company’s 50th anniversary in town. “The longevity of the Richland facility illustrates our employees’ commitment to innovation and excellence, year…

Packaging Corp of America industrial site, Horn Rapids industrial zone

Economic leaders reflect on top accomplishments of 2019

Expansions, visions cited as year’s biggest successes Those focused on growing, promoting and improving the Tri-City economy are counting up their 2019 successes and looking ahead to plans for the upcoming year and decade. Recent wins include plans for an expansion of the Three Rivers Convention Center, a new nonstop flight from Pasco to Chicago,…

It’s up for debate whether the city of West Richland has the right to easements on lots in these two areas of West Richland and unincorporated Benton County. The parcels were established as far back at the 1930s, when the Hanford nuclear reservation was taking shape.

Land use questions draw concern in West Richland

Some West Richland, Benton County residents worry about fate of their land due to an obscure 81-year-old law Whose land is it anyway? When it comes to portions of lots in West Richland, it depends on who you ask. “Legally, under my impression, this land has been mine, because Benton County has done all their…

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…

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