Local News

Fifth-grader Jose Robles shakes hands with Superintendent Dave Bond of the Kennewick School District during the Amazing Shake contest at Hawthorne Elementary School in Kennewick. In this round, students had 30 seconds to make a good first impression. The seated student is Meshayla Retana. (Courtesy Jason Gradwohl)

Professionals-in-training practice poise under pressure

They worked the room like a boss. They extended their hands and gave a firm shake. They smiled and made eye contact as they introduced themselves. They asked thoughtful questions — and listened to the responses. When another person asked, “Do you mind if I join your conversation?” They replied, “Not at all. We were…

Packaging Corporation of America is set to close a deal with the city of Richland on a 42-acre site at 3003 Kingsgate Way in the Horn Rapids area. The Illinois-based company plans to build a 400,000-square-foot to 450,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.

$1.9M land sale pending for packaging plant

A Midwest paper processing giant is preparing to build a large manufacturing plant in the Horn Rapids area of Richland, bringing with it about 150 family-wage jobs. Packaging Corporation of America, based in Illinois, is set to close on 42 acres in the Horn Rapids Industrial Park. The sale of the city-owned 3003 Kingsgate Way…

The Heatherstone Apartment complex in east Kennewick is undergoing a large remodel that will update all 455 units, thanks to a $19.8 million investment. New owners spent $41.6 million recently to buy the affordable housing complex that spans nearly 25 acres near Park Middle School. (Courtesy Security Properties Inc.)

New owners of Kennewick apartments to invest $19.8M to overhaul 455 units

A massive remodel totaling $19.8 million in improvements is underway at the Heatherstone Apartments in Kennewick, where work will continue through late spring 2020. All 38 residential buildings will receive interior and exterior renovations, including new roofs, siding, parking lots, garage space and landscaping. For the individual units, tenants will benefit from an overhaul to…

Sarah Bray, left, and Sara Quinn, editor-in-chief of Tumbleweird, show off the December issue. Bray and Adam Brault recently became publishers and owners of the two-year-old “positively weird” monthly publication.

‘Weirdo’ publication gets new owners, publishers as it enters third year

The Tri-Cities’ self-proclaimed “local liberal rag” has new owners and publishers dedicated to keeping the scrappy two-year-old independent paper in print. Adam Brault, owner of &yet, and Sarah Bray, &yet’s chief of strategy, bought Tumbleweird — an eclectic alternative community zine (that’s short for “magazine”) in October. The 10-year-old Richland-based &yet is a design and…

Customer Rusty Arnn looks on as Dustin Chesley, assistant manager of the Benton City Tire Center, balances his tire. The store transitioned from Les Schwab to Tire Centers Inc. on Dec. 1.

Les Schwab stores become Tire Centers in Benton City, Wapato

The Benton City Les Schwab store has joined the Tire Centers Inc. family, which has been servicing the Yakima Valley for more than 60 years. Phil Winterholler operates the Benton City store at 744 Ninth St. He became an independent owner of a Wapato store in 1998. The 403 W. First St. store in Wapato…

Dr. Cory Manley traveled to the Philippines and used a bio-microscope to look at the back of patients’ eyes in January 2018. When he retires Dec. 18, he plans to travel to more countries to help people without access to vision care. (Courtesy Dr. Cory Manley)

Longtime Pasco eye doctor sees missions, fun for retirement

After almost 50 years in the same location, Pasco Vision Clinic is moving to a building with better visibility. The business will remain in Pasco but will transition to 2715 W. Court St. around the first of the year, once the inside of a former furniture store is remodeled. Dr. Cory Manley is excited for…

Joel Watson spent a day at Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick, teaching the culinary arts, pastry and baking class to make pie crust. (Courtesy Joel Watson)

He’s just living the dream at Just Joel’s in Kennewick

By Annie Fowler Tucked away in a small building at 1505 W. Kennewick Ave. is one man’s dream. Just Joel’s, a small diner that features homemade breakfast and lunch, had a banner first year, which nearly brings owner Joel Watson to tears when he talks about it. “When you come here, the food is made…

After 40 years of grape production and winemaking on Red Mountain, the two wineries that started it all are collaborating on a limited-edition Cabernet Sauvignon to celebrate their anniversary. Kiona Vineyards and Winery and Barnard Griffin will donate all proceeds from the wine’s sales to Second Harvest. Pictured, from left, are: Scott Williams, JJ Williams, Megan Hughes and Rob Griffin.

Red Mountain pioneers collaborate on Cabernet for a cause

Two Red Mountain wineries are collaborating on a special vintage this year in honor of their 40th anniversary. In 1978, Barnard Griffin’s founder Rob Griffin produced the first Red Mountain commercial wine using grapes grown by John Williams and Jim Holmes at their Kiona Estate vineyard outside Benton City. Forty years later, their kids and…

D. Patrick Jones is the executive director for Eastern Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy & Economic Analysis.

Tri-City entrepreneurship, labor market show mixed signals

By D. Patrick Jones It’s human nature to keep score. Look at all the stats in the sports pages. Or the various top 10 rankings of U.S. cities. So, too, with economic development. An overriding goal of nearly all communities is to create jobs. Chambers of commerce, local government and economic development organizations often keep score with jobs. At…

Jeremy’s 1896 Public House at 1232 Wine Country Road was the original home of Prosser’s first mayor. Built in 1896, the home was turned into a restaurant in 2014 after an extensive remodel. It’s listed for sale at $775,000.

Restaurant in heart of wine country on the market for less than $1M

A historic Prosser home converted into an established restaurant is on the market for an eager entrepreneur. Jeremy’s 1896 Public House, an eatery and pub at 1232 Wine Country Road, once was home to the first Prosser mayor, E.W. Taylor. It’s been Sue and Dick Poteet’s restaurant for the past four years. It’s known for…

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