Articles by Wendy Culverwell

2746 & 2770 Battelle Blvd., Richland.

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…

Chaplaincy Health, which provides spiritual guidance to individuals and families facing end-of-life challenges, is terminating its palliative care program at the end of December for budgetary reasons. The nonprofit is based at 1480 Fowler St., Richland. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Pandemic pressures force closure of Chaplaincy palliative care

Chaplaincy Health Care, the Richland nonprofit that serves the terminally ill and the grieving, will close its palliative care program at the end of December. Gary Castillo, executive director, cited fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and an unsustainable financial model for the move. He notified staff and the program’s 160 patients of the decision in…

Gordon Brothers Cellars, operating as Gordon Estate Winery, opened a tasting room at the Port of Kennewick's Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village in Kennewick earlier this year. The Pasco winery and its related vineyard filed for bankruptcy in November.  (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Pasco’s Gordon Brothers Cellars files for bankruptcy

The state’s oldest estate grown winery is curtailing operations after its largest creditor compelled it to file for bankruptcy. Gordon Brothers Cellars Inc. and its related vineyard, Kamiak Vineyard Inc., filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in November, shortly after the Bank of Eastern Washington unexpectedly entered a…

Kyaw Htoo Kayunar, left, a Habitat for Humanity homebuyer who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Myanmar, and Jet Richardson, the Tri-City nonprofit’s new executive director, pause in a home under construction in east Pasco. The men removed their face masks just long enough to be photographed. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Globe-trotting Richland native is back home, at helm of Habitat for Humanity

Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity has a new executive director, a Richland native who came home after exploring the country and the world. Jet Richardson signed on as the Richland-based nonprofit’s new leader just months before the pandemic struck. He spent the first year focusing on Habitat’s mission to build affordable homes with donations and…

Randy Johnson and his wife, Dawn, purchased the former Bamboo Garden
restaurant, 8021 W. Grandridge Blvd. in Kennewick and are renovating it as the
new home for their closed-door pharmacy serving long-term care centers. The
couple, both pharmacists, also operate the Tri-Cities RX retail pharmacy at
Richland’s Kadlec Medical Center campus.
(Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Tri-Cities RX repurposes Chinese restaurant for ‘closed door’ pharmacy

In one of the more unusual real estate moves in recent memory, a Chinese restaurant in Kennewick is being refashioned into an independent, closed-door pharmacy catering to adult family homes, nursing homes and similar facilities. Pharmacists Randy and Dawn Johnson, owners of Tri-Cities RX, bought Bamboo Gardens at 8021 W. Grandridge Blvd. in August as…

Mezzo Thai Fusion, 110 W. Gage Blvd. in Richland, will close at the end of December. The owners plans to announce a new location in January.

Thai restaurant downsizing to smaller spot in 2021

Jacqui Wright will move her popular Mezzo Thai Fusion restaurant to a smaller spot in early 2021. Wright will close the 3,000-square-foot restaurant at 110 W. Gage Blvd. in Richland at the end of December. She plans to announce a new location in January. Fans can support Mezzo Thai by ordering meals for pickup or…

Portland General Electric Company permanently shuttered its Boardman Generating Station in Eastern Oregon’s Morrow County this fall. Boardman was the only coal-fired power plant in Oregon. (Courtesy PGE)

Goodbye to coal: PGE burned its last load of coal in Boardman this fall

Portland General Electric completed its 10-year plan to mothball its 600-megawatt coal plant at the Port of Morrow in Boardman in October. PGE, which owns a 90% stake in the plant blamed for toxic haze in the Columbia Gorge, agreed to shut down the plant in 2010 under pressure to meet clean energy goals and…

A rendering shows what a future TerraPower plant could look like. TerraPower and X-energy each received $80 million in initial funding to build advanced nuclear reactors within 5-7 years. The future reactors will be at Energy Northwest’s nuclear campus north of Richland. (Courtesy TerraPower)

Federal awards put Tri-Cities on map for next generation nuclear power

Tri-City economic development officials are over the moon after the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would invest millions into the advanced nuclear reactor ambitions of two Energy Northwest partners. Bellevue-based TerraPower, founded and helmed by Bill Gates to develop safe, carbon-free power, and X-energy, based in Rockville, Maryland, each received $80 million in initial…

HONG KONG, FEB 14: two robot lego mini characters from different

No shame here: UW bioethicist advocates for sex robots for seniors

The term “sex robots” may raise some eyebrows, but Nancy S. Jecker, professor of bioethics and humanities at the University of Washington, is not having it. Jecker published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics encouraging the manufacturers developing sex robots for young, straight men to expand their market. The existing technology could be…

Carmen Villarma and her husband, Dennis Pavlina, are expanding their Vancouver-based real estate and homeowner association management businesses to the Tri-Cities. They broke ground on a two-story office at 30 S. Louisiana St. in Kennewick to house the new office this fall. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Vancouver real estate firm plants $2.4M outpost in growing Tri-Cities

A Vancouver real estate management and development firm is expanding into the Tri-Cities, drawn by the area’s growth. Carmen Villarma, president and founder of The Management Group (TMG), broke ground on a two-story office at 30 S. Louisiana St. in west Kennewick this fall. It includes ground floor space for both TMG and AMS Northwest,…

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