Articles by Wendy Culverwell

Jackson Contractor Group Inc. of Walla Walla will construct the Pasco Fire Department’s new headquarters and fire station after submitting the winning bid of $7.5 million to build Fire Station 84 at 4929 W. Court St. Work begins in July. (Photo courtesy TCA Architecture and Planning)

Pasco tees off on its next fire station project in July

Jackson Contractor Group Inc. of Walla Walla breaks ground in July on the Pasco Fire Department’s long-anticipated new fire station and headquarters. Jackson submitted the winning bid of $7.5 million to build the 21,800-square-foot Fire Station 84, administrative offices and storage at 4929 W. Court St. The project is expected to be completed in February…

Bruce Barnes, the Tri-City franchisee for Dutch Bros Coffee, has agreed to buy land at Wellsian Way and Stevens Drive on the approach to Richland’s Duportail Bridge for the seventh local location for the popular Oregon-based coffee brand. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Dutch Bros adding coffee stand on approach to Duportail Bridge

Dutch Bros Coffee, the popular Oregon coffee chain with a dedicated fan base, will open its seventh local stand in Richland, where it has a deal to buy land on the road leading to the new Duportail Bridge. Bruce Barnes, a Pasco-based Dutch Bros franchisee, will buy a 42,000-square-foot site for the Tri-Cities’ seventh Dutch…


Uncertainty abounds: What does 2020 hold for agriculture?

While Lamb Weston and Mid-Columbia potato growers were dealing with an unexpected surplus of spuds this spring, Mid-Columbia asparagus farmers had a different tale to tell. They had the skilled cutters they needed to bring in the harvest and prices were strong. 2020 was a solid year for the iconic first shoots of spring, thanks…

Washington posted a modest increase in agricultural exports in 2019 even with trade wars and other challenges. The Covid-19 crisis poses a new set of challenges in 2020 to a sector that is second only to airplanes for export activity. (Photo courtesy state Department of Agriculture)

To market: Exporters turn to new trade agreements, Zoom

Washington’s agricultural exporters faced brutal headwinds in 2019 and they are facing them again in 2020. Trade wars, retaliatory tariffs targeting the state’s most iconic crops and a new Pacific Rim trade alliance that didn’t include the U.S. marred the 2019 season, driving producers to seek new markets in Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, among…

Courtesy USA Hops

Brewing storm: Hop growers pull back as beer drinking shifts

Growing conditions are strong on Washington hop farms but growers are curtailing expectations of modest growth as beer-drinking patterns shift and an entire industry is disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The unknowns mean 2020 will look a lot like 2019, when the National Agricultural Statistics Service said Washington growers produced about 82 million pounds of…

Shaun Ehlers, owner of Free Culture Clothing, is scheduling private shopping appointments at his downtown Kennewick store at 509-948-8187. He said if Benton County doesn’t move to Phase 2 soon, his business will not survive. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Updated: Face masks could be key to reopening Tri-City businesses

Shaun Ehlers ended 2019 on a contented note. He’d opened a second edition of his small fashion boutique in Columbia Center mall in September. By year’s end, the Free Culture Clothing stores in downtown Kennewick and at the mall were breaking even. He knew the first few months of 2020 would be rough. January is…

The Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco could come out ahead as the Covid-19 crisis prompts airlines to cast off old, unprofitable runs and pursue new opportunities, according to a consultant who says anything is possible, including restoring the region’s connection to Portland International Airport. (Courtesy Tri-Cities Airport)

Could Covid-19 restore air service to Portland?

The Covid-19 crisis blew a hole in the aviation industry, but there could be opportunity hidden in the mayhem for airports with strong underlying business models like the one in Pasco. The Tri-Cities Airport could gain new air routes and even see airlines resume direct service to Portland International Airport. That’s the scenario laid out…

Lamb Weston is known for its frozen french fry products but it also produces shredded potatoes, diced potatoes formed potatoes (hash browns and Tater Puffs), chips, mashed potatoes, appetizers and vegetables. (Courtesy Lamb Weston)

Lamb Weston pulls back curtain with first-ever sustainability report

 The region’s largest potato processor sheds new light on french fry-making in its first-ever corporate sustainability report. Lamb Weston Holdings Inc. issued its 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report on June 2. In it, the Eagle, Idaho-based company describes its corporate and environmental goals, the steps it is taking to meet them and the progress…

Columbia River Walk, a $7 million, 60-unit apartment project at 2120 W. A St., is Pasco’s first new apartment project in recent years. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Upscale living for renters taking shape on Pasco waterfront

Some of the finest homes in the Tri-Cities line the Pasco riverfront. Soon, renters will be able to call the Columbia River shoreline home too. The first 60-unit phase of a 288-unit luxury complex opens to residents in September at 2120 W. A St. in Pasco. Columbia River Walk, named for its intimate proximity to…

The main phase of the Duportail Bridge project is nearly complete with the second phase, reconstructing the intersection of Duportail Street and Highway 240, up next. This file photo was taken July 2019.

Apollo Inc. building second phase of Duportail Bridge

Editor’s note: This story is updated to reflect the award of a contract for the second phase of Richland’s Duportail Bridge project. Richland is preparing to move to the next phase of its $38 million Duportail Bridge project. The main phase — building the bridge over the Yakima River — is wrapping up. Now, Apollo…

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