Articles by Wendy Culverwell


Growing ag demand for propane prompts Christensen to invest in Pasco terminal

Christensen Inc. is installing a modern propane terminal at the Port of Pasco to support growing demand for fuel to agricultural drying operations. Propane fuels dryers for onions, hops, mint, corn and even hemp grown in the Mid-Columbia, said Marci Ballard, general manager for Christensen’s Eastern Washington operations. The company, formerly Powell Christensen, will add…

A-Plus Transportation provides long-distance medical transport in the Tri-Cities region. Business is down but owner Tom Ammeman anticipates strong demand when people are able to visit their doctors. (Courtesy A-Plus Transportation)

Three businesses, one pandemic add up to juggling act for Tri-City entrepreneurs

When Rachel and Tom Ammerman took over A-Plus Transportation, a Yakima medical transporter, they had big plans to expand to a new line of business. A-Plus focuses on long-distance transport for Medicaid patients. It is a low margin business, so the Tri-City couple added a small-group charter business to fill what they saw as a…

Total Site Services is wrapping up the $4.9 million  first phase of redeveloping the Port of Kennewick's Vista Field into a mixed-use village/

Vista Field looking less like an airfield, more like future neighborhood

The stage is almost set at Kennewick’s Vista Field for builders to install residential and commercial structures. Total Site Services is close to wrapping up construction of roads, utilities, a water feature and decorative streetlamps at the former municipal airfield in central Kennewick, east of Columbia Center. The Richland contractor was able to complete the…

Ron Lunde, from right, Warren Nicley and Bob Gough share stories and good-natured jabs at a Tri-Cities Wood Carvers gathering in Columbia Park. (Photo by Kristina Lord)

Group carves out new meeting spot to stay connected

You’ll find them gathered in a wide circle a few feet from the Columbia River and at least six feet from each other. Members of the Tri-Cities Wood Carvers take care to spread out in Columbia Park in Kennewick to minimize the spread of coronavirus under Washington’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. The battle against…

Boost Builds project

Low-risk construction gets green light from governor

Some $100 million in residential construction and other “low risk” construction is reviving across the Tri-Cities. Gov. Jay Inslee nudged the door open to an industry he controversially sidelined in the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Under pressure from homebuilders and two eastern Washington congressional representatives, Inslee…

Richland water plant facade current

Richland’s iconic water plant is getting a subdued facelift

A familiar midcentury piece of the Richland waterfront is about to disappear. The city of Richland is updating the façade of its aging water treatment plant on Saint Street. The eye-catching blue and yellow panels will be swapped for a modern, neutral-colored exterior that’s more energy efficient. The city awarded a $400,000 contract to Pasco-based…


UPDATE: Hispanic chamber helps minority businesses apply for aid

Editor’s note: This story was updated April 24 to reflect the addition of new state and federal funds to support small business during the COVID-19 crisis. The Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is helping minority and underrepresented businesses apply for emergency assistance after securing a contract worth up to $30,000 from the Washington Department of Commerce.  The…

The Port of Benton and city of Richland could formally market the North Horn Rapids area for industrial development in 2021. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Former Hanford land will give developers the massive lots they crave

Industrial developers will get a shot at buying sites 200 acres and larger in north Richland as soon as next year. It’s been five years since the U.S. Department of Energy transferred 1,600-plus acres from the Hanford reservation to Tri-City control for eventual development. It’s been four years since most of it came under the…

Maj. Brad Sanders of the Washington Air National Guard was called to active duty to help with the state’s response to the coronavirus emergency. While he’s deployed, his wife Yvette Sanders is overseeing daily operations at their business, the Tri-Cities FastSigns franchise in Kennewick. (Courtesy Washington Air National Guard)

Kennewick business owner called up for Air National Guard duty

It seems like a lifetime ago, but it’s only been a few months since Yvette and Brad Sanders bought the Tri-Cities FastSigns franchise. The January deal had everything it needed to ensure the local business would continue and grow. The couple already had run a business and the sellers were staying on to help with…

Boost Builds, led by David Lippes and John Crook, is a partner in construction of Park Place, an apartment and retail complex being built at Richland’s former pit, 650 George Washington Way. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Small business optimism alive and well in Tri-Cities

In early April, American businesses raced to apply for $349 billion in forgivable loans through the CARES Act’s SBA Paycheck Protection Program. The loans covered payroll costs, rent, benefits and more. Better still, they’re forgiven if businesses maintain employment through the coronavirus pandemic. Locally and nationwide, the numbers are staggering. Washington state reports unemployment claims…

Latest News


Sign-up for our e-newsletter filled with featured stories and latest news.


Write a letter to the editor