Articles by Wendy Culverwell

Granite Construction Co. began a $1.3 million project to add turn lanes at the intersections with Queensgate Drive and Keene Road after winning the contract in July.

Duportail gets a spruce up as Richland preps its new bridge 

Two high-profile intersections on Duportail Street in south Richland are getting makeovers as the city prepares to open its new Yakima River span to through-traffic this fall.   Granite Construction Co. began a $1.3 million project to add turn lanes at the intersections with Queensgate Drive and Keene Road after winning the contract in July.  Granite Construction, which is based in Watsonville, California, and specializes in infrastructure development, is using a vacant 11-acre site at Duportail and Keene as a…

The Covid-19 pandemic sent a chill through the Tri-City commercial real estate market in March. Some business has returned but only outdoor dining is allowed in Benton and Franklin counties, leaving traditional indoor dining on hold. Above, diners wait for meals at Ninja Bistro at Columbia Gardens Urban Wine and Artisan Village in Kennewick. (Photo by Melanie Hair)

Pandemic puts commercial real estate on pause in the Tri-Cities

John Corbin is not happy. The Tri-City Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, a franchise he’s helmed for 38 years, closed in March when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order to curtail the spread of coronavirus.  Just 16 months earlier, he’d moved Chuck E. Cheese to a 14,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building near Kennewick’s…

The Three Rivers Community Foundation distributed 33 grants to local nonprofits in 2019, part of a year that saw the foundation’s foundation distribute more than $520,000. (Courtesy Three Rivers Community Foundation)

Three Rivers Community Foundation marshals best of the Tri-Cities

When Kennewick’s Trios Health was sold to a for-profit company in 2018, the managers of the Trios Foundation were left in a pickle. The nonprofit had $2.2 million in assets, lots of worthy targets for donations, and no home. Led by Pete Toolson, the board considered its options. Several worthy charities wanted the cash, but…


Tri-Citians paid half their property taxes in April. October could be another story

The property owners of Benton and Franklin counties didn’t miss a beat when it was time to pay property tax bills on some $31.5 billion in real estate in April, when the first of two payment deadlines came due. The county treasurers who collect taxes say collections were normal, despite widespread economic challenges inflicted by…


Pasco tank hauler has a new owner – its insurance agent

A Pasco company specializing in hauling chemicals, de-icers, pesticides and more has a new ownership group led by the insurance agent who covered its business for decades. Chad Messerly and his partners, Brian May and Morgan Haynes, bought Harms Pacific Transport Inc. in a deal that closed July 1. The sellers were the transportation company’s…

BlessedbyKess, a new Tri-City nonprofit, formed to help young adults relieve stress by exploring 13 virtual realities, including other worlds, above, in interactive virtual reality suites. Terry Brown and Annie Ackerman-Brown established the CHILL program in honor of their late son, Kess. (Courtesy BlessedbyKess)

Faith leads to virtual reality encounters to relieve stress, prevent suicide

Terry Brown and his wife, Annie Ackerman-Brown, didn’t develop a business plan or research how they could best help young people in mental anguish when they launched BlessedbyKess. Faith led them to create the nonprofit, which uses virtual reality, or VR, technology to help Tri-Citians reduce stress and improve mental health. Faith led them to…

Joey Bradbury, from left, and Mikey Patterson of Ice Harbor Brewing Co. drop off meals for cancer patients June 6 at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center in Kennewick as part of the cancer center’s Dine In fundraiser. Pictured at right is Tony Ingersoll of the cancer center. (Courtesy Tri-Cities Cancer Center)

As financial disaster looms, Mid-Columbia nonprofits turn to road trips, drawings and more

The cancellations spread quickly as Washington and the world shut down over Covid-19 in March.  Breakfasts and lunches, a duck race and a Gatsby-themed gala disappeared from the Mid-Columbia calendar. In-person events that generate badly needed dollars to feed low-income seniors, support cancer patients and more were suddenly too dangerous to go on. The pain…

Jerry Rhoads, founder and chief executive officer of KC Help, explains how the Pasco nonprofit sanitizes donated medical equipment before preparing it for area residents who lack insurance or Medicare coverage for wheelchairs, walkers and other home medical items. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Private donation boosts Pasco nonprofit to help region’s most vulnerable

A $40,000 private donation is helping a Pasco nonprofit and the people it serves stand a little taller. An unidentified supporter contributed the money to the Knights Community Hospital Equipment Lend Program, better known as KC Help, through the Three Rivers Community Foundation. The donation supports KC Help’s mission to help the most vulnerable Tri-Citians…

Construction workers pour the foundation for the first phase of Willow Pointe Apartments at 250 Battelle Blvd. in north Richland. Willow Pointe, from Cedar and Sage Homes, is one of two apartment complexes under construction on the Tri-City shoreline this summer. Columbia River Walk in Pasco broke ground earlier this spring. (Courtesy Jed Cazier/San)

Now Richland is getting luxe waterfront apartments

First Pasco, now Richland. Tri-City renters with a craving for waterfront living soon will be able to choose between apartments on either side of the Columbia River.  Cedar and Sage Homes broke ground on Willow Pointe Apartments, a 126-unit “resort” style apartment complex at 250 Battelle Blvd. in north Richland in late July. It is…


Richland winery restarts expansion delayed by Covid-19

Bookwalter Winery in Richland will begin its pandemic-delayed expansion this summer.  The family-owned winery and restaurant secured permits for the $4 million project in late June. It initially intended to break ground in February but “hit the brakes” when the Covid-19 crisis took hold earlier this year.  John Bookwalter leads the winery his father, Jerry,…

Latest News

Bush Car Washes sold to growing Arizona company 

Kadlec, Tri-Cities Cancer Center commit to ‘brand’

Columbia Center owner Simon nixes Thanksgiving hours

Meals on Wheels postpones drive-thru service due to poor air quality

Read with a Child book giveaway canceled because of smoke

Fitness centers, training facilities can reopen, Inslee says

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