Articles by Wendy Culverwell

Regional planning group chooses new director

Regional planning group chooses new director

The Benton-Franklin Council of Governments has tapped Michelle Holt to succeed Stephanie Seamans as executive director. Holt will begin on Feb. 15. She comes to the job from the College of Eastern Idaho, where she has served as executive director for Workforce Training and Continuing Education since December 2016. She previously held leadership positions with…

Gov. Jay Inslee’s new reopening strategy organizes Washington into eight regions, which must collaborate to reduce Covid-19 infection and hospitalization rates. Above, members of the National Guard operate a free testing station in Pasco. Free testing is now offered at the back parking lot of the Toyota Center in Kennewick. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Inslee’s new recovery plan forces six counties to coordinate on Covid-19

It’s back to basics for Washington state businesses as Covid-19 infections rates rise. Gov. Jay Inslee debuted a new Covid-19 strategy that organizes Washington into eight regions and sets tough targets before restrictions meant to curtail the spread of the virus that causes the disease are loosened. Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery launched Jan.…

Banker and client shaking hands after business loan grant.

Banks brace for third round of PPP loans

Mid-Columbia lenders are ready to begin processing a new wave of Paycheck Protection Program loans. As a third edition of the popular forgivable loan ramped up in mid-January, local lenders said they would apply the lessons they learned from the first two but stood ready to respond to their customers, defying word that some lenders…

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Cheering through the pain: Business groups lose members but not focus

As members of the Prosser Chamber of Commerce struggled to pay renewal fees under pandemic-related financial pressure, the executive director found a novel solution. John-Paul Estey asked Yakima Federal Savings and Loan to allow it use sponsorship dollars for canceled events to cover dues owed by cash-strapped members. The bank agreed. Yakima Federal was on…

A judge cleared Don Barnes, chair of the Port of Kennewick, of misconduct in discussions about a private land sale to Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic for its Miramar Health Center project. A judge cleared Don Barnes, chair of the Port of Kennewick, of misconduct in discussions about a private land sale to Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic for its Miramar Health Center project. (Photo by Scott Butner Photography)

Judge clears Kennewick port commissioner of misconduct in Vista Field land sale

An independent judge cleared Kennewick Port Commissioner Don Barnes of misconduct in a case that roiled the port for more than two years. Judge Paris K. Kallas overturned the findings of an earlier investigation by an outside attorney. Barnes, the board’s current chair, appealed the results of the investigation into his conduct concerning the private…

Architect Terence “Tere” Thornhill designed the LIGO Hanford Exploration Center, or LExC, to echo the colliding black holes detected in 2016, a scientific breakthrough that netted the team a Nobel Prize for Physics. (Courtesy Terence L. Thornhill Architect)

LIGO gets visitor center worthy of its Nobel Prize-winning science

With nearly 27 years designing homes and other buildings in the Tri-Cities under his belt, Pasco architect Terence “Tere” Thornhill is too diplomatic to call out a favorite. They’re all his babies, said Thornhill, who believes buildings should tell the story of what is happening inside. “I’m a believer in the evocative nature of architecture,”…

Ex-Tri-City Fever players Lionell Singleton and Houston Lillard are developing Vertisee, a 24-unit apartment building as Richland’s Columbia Park Trail East stretch gets a facelift from the city. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Ex-Tri-Cities Fever duo heating up stretch of Richland waterfront

Lionell Singleton and Houston Lillard were fierce competitors when they played for the Tri-Cities Fever, an indoor football league. They clashed on the field – Singleton as a defensive back and Houston as quarterback. Off the field, they were the best of friends and roommates who leveraged their good fortune to help students succeed. The…

Neo’s Nation Foundation submitted the winning bid for the contract to operate the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter and Control Services, 1312 S. 18th Ave., Pasco. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Tri-Cities Animal Control has new management, renewed hopes for a new building

The Tri-Cities Animal Shelter and Control Services in Pasco has a new operator and a renewed interest in breaking ground on a long-anticipated new building. Rebecca Howard and Dr. Julie Chambers formed the nonprofit Neo’s Nation Foundation to submit the winning bid for the contract to operate the animal shelter and control facility, 1312 S.…

Jason Zook of Smile A Mile Painting is developing an infill apartment complex at 3120 W. Fourth Ave., Kennewick. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

In-fill apartment project brings needed units to central Kennewick

Jason Zook is best known in the Tri-Cities for Smile A Mile Painting, a residential and commercial painting business with operations in the Tri-Cities and Central Oregon. But Zook has a background in construction and has always built projects for himself, something he treats as a hobby. “I know the steps from the concept on…

2746 & 2770 Battelle Blvd, Richland, WA

GF Blends soars on demand for gluten-free mixes

A family-owned Richland company is expanding to a new building, thanks to rising demand for its gluten-free bread, cake and other mixes. GF Blends will occupy a 20,000-square-foot production facility on Battelle Boulevard when construction wraps in April, said owner Glen Call, who is also a contractor. Allpro Inc. is developing the property for GF…

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