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.
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…

James Swinyard, pictured, and his childhood friend and business partner Zach En’Wezoh have launched a natural energy drink called Bissy, which contains the African kola nut. (Courtesy Zach En’Wezoh and James Swinyard)

Kamiakin High grads create Bissy energy drink from African nut

A pair of Kamiakin High graduates have teamed up to create a natural energy drink that uses the kola nut, hoping to introduce the nation to an ingredient that’s been enjoyed in West Africa and other tropical climates for many years. James Swinyard and Zach En’Wezoh borrowed $45,000 from friends and family to launch a…

Washington River Protection Solutions employees participate in leadership classes to advance their professional development and improve their skill set. (Courtesy Washington River Protection Solutions)

Hanford contractors invest in leadership training

Hanford contractors place an ongoing emphasis on growing employee leadership skills to bolster their talent pool and retain workers. “Just like many employers across this country, we’re having a ‘silver tsunami,’ where a large part of our workforce is eligible for retirement in the next five to seven years,” said Todd Beyers, vice president of…

Best Buy employees stand near the new service area for customers to pick up orders placed online. The dedicated storage area with attendants is part of a nearly $500,000 remodel of the interior of the Kennewick store. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Best Buy completes large remodel in Kennewick

Overhaul of Best Buy includes updates for modern shopping An interior remodel of the Kennewick Best Buy store included new bathrooms, flooring and layout of registers. General Manager Mitch Davis called the nearly $500,000 project that took place over five weeks a “full facelift.” Davis said most of the work was done after hours, but…

Darci and Dave Mitcham have owned Cedars Restaurant on Kennewick’s Clover Island since 2006. 
They requested a change to their restaurant’s long-term lease with the Port of Kennewick to accommodate its sale.

Cedars Restaurant lease change could pave way for sale

Port of Kennewick commissioners agree to lease update with Clover Island eatery The process to sell Clover Island’s Cedars Restaurant is moving forward, following the Port of Kennewick’s revision of its long-term lease. The waterfront restaurant in Kennewick was first listed for sale in 2017 for $2.62 million. The property at 355 Clover Island Drive was…

Kris Lapp, former president and founder of i-3 Global.

Companies fight Lapp’s efforts to discharge bankruptcy debts

New claims have been filed against a Kennewick businessman in an attempt to stop him from discharging some of his debts under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Two separate court filings—from E2 Consulting Engineers and Integrated Global Staffing—allege “false representation,” “embezzlement,” and “fraud” against Kristopher Lapp, former president of the now defunct i-3 Global, which…

A new gas station and convenience store that will feature a fast-food chicken restaurant is under construction in the Badger Mountain South development, north of Rancho Reata, at 5151 Trowbridge Blvd., just off Dallas Road. The original plan put the housing development’s completion at 2030, but following a slow start, the revised date is now 2037. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Construction on south side of mountain points to more growth

Signs of new construction on the south side of Badger Mountain—including a new service station and convenience store that will include a fast-food chicken restaurant—signal more growth coming to the planned development that’s been years in the making. Badger Mountain South’s owner and developer Nor Am Investments has an end-goal of building 5,000 household units,…

Construction on Benton County’s new $1.79 million Public Services Building for permitting and land use needs is underway at 102808 Wiser Parkway near Interstate 82. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Benton County consolidates public services under one roof

3 departments merged near Tri-Cities, expanded services coming to Prosser The process of jumping through the required hoops to start new construction projects is set to run more efficiently in Benton County once a new “one-stop shop” opens in the Tri-Cities, replicating some services currently only available in Prosser. The move will merge the county’s…

The first nonstop, daily flight to LAX arrived at the Tri-Cities Airport to much fanfare this past spring. The route addition was the result of years of effort on behalf of the airport and its hired consultant to offer a nonstop Southern California flight daily to and from Pasco. Now airport officials want to add capacity to current markets. (Photo courtesy Port of Pasco)

Tri-Cities Airport eyes increased flight capacity

Following a successful effort to land a daily, nonstop flight to Los Angeles, the Tri-Cities Airport is setting a course for adding capacity to existing routes. “I think that’s more realistic than trying to get some new market when you don’t have any grant dollars,” said Buck Taft, director of the airport. “Add capacity to…

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