Beginning March 11, Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) is extending fixed route bus and Dial-A-Ride service hours to 10 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. The later hours will also apply to Finley and Tri-Cities General Demand services, with last pickup times for both extending to 9:30 p.m.
When the service rolls out, riders will be able to take advantage of the most-used BFT bus routes and all Dial-A-Ride services until 10 p.m.—two hours later than normal weekday hours, and three hours later on Saturdays. All BFT services currently end at 8 p.m. weekdays and 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
The change will be especially helpful for riders including those who work later shifts at or near retail centers, college students with evening classes, or others who want or need to stay out later at night for various activities.
The extension of service hours will also be a relief to riders who have had to find alternate nighttime transportation after Ben Franklin Transit’s supplemental night taxi service contractor closed its doors in late October. It is the third of three measures approved by the BFT Board of Directors at a special meeting held Nov. 26, 2018 on an interim basis, to solve for resulting gaps in service while additional long-term solutions continue being explored.
Elijah Spencer Saba will be presented with Scouting’s highest honor on March 9, 2019 in Pasco, WA, the Blue Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America has announced.
He is the son of Kim Spencer and Rufino Saba of Pasco. Elijah is a member of Troop 130, chartered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His Scout leader is Steve Christensen.
To achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, Elijah had to earn 21 merit badges and show leadership by planning, developing, and completing a community service project. Elijah also earned a Bronze Eagle Palm for achieving the completion of 26 merit badges by the time he reached Eagle.
For his project, Elijah organized an event for TROT (Therapeutic Riding of the Tri-Cities) helping disabled children build shelves for the riding arena. He organized volunteers to assist with the event and raised needed funds by selling peaches through “Fresh Picks”. His entire project took 163 hours to complete.
Elijah is home-schooled and he also attends Columbia Basin College and Tri-Tech Skills Center where he is learning Japanese animation & game design. In addition to Scouting, he is also involved in horseback riding, coaching gymnastics, & Aikido. Elijah is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is currently serving one weekend a month in the Army National Guard.
The rank of Eagle is earned by less than four percent of all youth who join Boy Scouts of America. In 2018, 121 boys in the Blue Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America earned the Eagle Scout Award, providing over 17,124 service hours.
Calling all superheroes! Mid-Columbia Libraries explores the universe of Marvel and DC comics at the Universe of Superheroes family event Saturday, March 9 from 6 to 8 pm at Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Kennewick Branch, located at 1620 S. Union St.
Superheroes of all ages can enjoy fun-filled crafts, activities, prizes, and a chance to meet favorite characters like Captain America, Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and Spiderman! Costumes are encouraged. The first 500 kids through the door will receive their very own superhero cape.
This program is free and open to the public. Learn more at midcolumbialibraries.org.
WHAT: Audio historian and broadcaster John Jensen presents “Washington State in Wartime: The Home Front in 1942” at Kennewick library. He will shares film clips, radio broadcast excerpts, rarely viewed photographs, stories, and anecdotes about a nation at the start of an all-encompassing conflagration and the exploits of a state that contributed more per capita to the war effort than any other. No state was more profoundly affected economically by the introduction and expansion of war industries than Washington.
This event is free and open to the public. Learn more at
WHEN: Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 pm
WHERE: Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Kennewick Branch, 1620 S. Union St.
Join Washington Policy Center Young Professionals for an evening of thoughtful discussion with our state’s top environmental experts. This is an all-inclusive event opportunity open to the public!
Our panelists will host a discussion and open Q&A on Forest Management- “How Do We Prevent Catastrophic Wildfires from Becoming the ‘New Normal’ in Washington State”.
We will be hearing from:
Todd Myers, Director of Washington Policy Center’s Center for Environment
Gary Berndt, Chair of Department of Natural Resources Wildfire Committee
Phil Rigdon, Deputy Director of the Yakama Nation Department of Natural Resources
Drinks and hors d'oeuvres included with ticket.
Please register at washingtonpolicy.org/events
For additional questions please contact YP Director, Miranda Hawkins at email@example.com or 509-954-244
The next seminar in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Community Science and Technology Seminar Series, “Building Circular Economies,” presented by Corinne Drennan, Market Sector Lead for Bioenergy Technologies in the Energy and Environment Directorate at PNNL, will take place on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at the Richland Public Library (955 Northgate Dr.).
Our economies and supply chains are mostly linear: extract, produce, use, dispose. What if we could master our transformations of matter in a circular fashion? How far could we drive our own supply chain efficiencies and sustainability? This discussion features two vignettes about technologies under development at PNNL that enable circular economies: hydrothermal liquefaction of sewage sludge and jet fuel from alcohol that comes from industrial waste gases. We begin by asking, “What challenges are we really trying to solve?” Then we’ll get to some fun, including pilot plants, industry partnerships, and even a commercial jet flight using fuel developed right here in the Pacific Northwest.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Community Science and Technology Seminar Series was launched to help the general public better understand and explore how science transforms our world.
Benton PUD’s Low Income Discount Programs were recently expanded to reach more customers.
Income-qualified active military and veterans are now eligible for a discount on their electric bill. Customers with an income up to 225% of the federal poverty level can receive a 10% discount. A 15% discount is available for customers with an income up to 200% of the federal poverty level and 25% discount for customers with an income of up to 150% of the federal poverty level.
The new discount aligns with the discount programs offered by Benton PUD to low income senior and disabled customers.
“We are pleased to offer the discount to our military families,” said Chad Bartram, general manager. “We appreciate their service to our country.”
To qualify for the discount customers must provide proof they are currently serving in the military or previously served and were discharged with an honorable or general (under honorable conditions) discharge. Income verification is also required. Verification of military status and income will be performed by the Benton County Department of Human Services located at 7102 W Okanogan Pl in Kennewick.
Applications for each discount are available online at Benton PUD.org or by contacting Customer Service at (509) 582-2175 in Kennewick or (509) 786-1841 in Prosser.
The extreme cold in February is causing customer usage to be up substantially from normal levels at Benton PUD and utilities across the region. This is resulting in large increases in customer bills as compared to the previous couple of months and prior years.
“If a customer has a question regarding the increase in their bill or needs extra time to pay, we encourage them to call us or contact us through our website,” said Paula Ball, Director of Customer Programs and Services. “We can discuss payment options, such as payment arrangements or the budget payment plan which levelizes monthly payments over the year and avoids spikes with extreme temperatures.”
For December and January, average customer bills were down about 5-15% from what they typically would have been. Temperatures in December were about 5ºF warmer than normal and January was 2ºF warmer than normal.
Temperatures plummeted around February 4 and have remained consistently colder. Average daily temperatures in February were between 10º to 20º F below normal with the trend currently projected to continue through the first week of March.
Because the cold spell has lasted many weeks, the higher usage may affect one or more bills a customer receives. Bills issued in the last week of February are showing average increases in the range of 20-25% or higher over bills issued in January. Bills issued in the next week or two could be even higher if cold trends continue.
Each customer is different and may experience higher or lower increases depending on specific circumstances such as heating source. During cold weather, furnaces work longer which accounts for nearly two-thirds of an average home’s usage. In addition, people tend to be home more in inclement weather, which means more electricity is used for lighting, electronics, appliances and heating water.
We encourage customers to use Benton PUD’s SmartHub® which offers the ability to monitor usage on an hourly, daily or monthly basis and track trends over time.
Customers can also set up usage alerts to be notified when daily usage exceeds established thresholds. These tools will help customers take steps to reduce usage and lower their bills in the future. Benton PUD energy advisors are also available to speak to customers or visit their home to help identify steps to lower bills.
There is some good news. Benton PUD’s advanced meters are read remotely eliminating the need to estimate meter reads when a customer’s meter is inaccessible due to snow.
On Tuesday, March 19th, the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation will host its 19th Annual Cancer Crushing Breakfast at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick from 7:30 – 8:30AM. The entire community is invited to attend.
The breakfast provides the Foundation an opportunity to share the progress of the Cancer Center and to raise funds in support of cancer patients and their families. Attendees will enjoy a can’t miss event for our community as the Foundation shares exciting news in cancer care for our region at this year’s breakfast. Invest & Serve & Dream & Crush Cancer. If interested in attending as an individual or being a table host, please call our Foundation office at (509) 737-3373. Reservations are required by Friday, March 8th.
The Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation Breakfast is generously sponsored by Leidos and Centerra, parent companies of Mission Support Alliance, Kadlec, Lourdes Health, and Trios Health. All funds raised stay local and provide valuable non-reimbursed cancer programs and services for patients, their families, and the community.
The Foundation provides Support Services for individuals in our community, which are instrumental in helping patients and their families deal with the diagnosis of cancer. We offer assistance in understanding treatment options; dealing with the side effects of treatment; coping with the feelings and questions of family and friends; and understanding how to talk to a child about the diagnosis of cancer. Our desire is to address the needs of patients and their families not covered by insurance. In addition, we offer the Ralph R. Peterson Library (cancer resource library), free community cancer screenings, rehabilitation, our Palliative Care and Survivorship programs, a Resource Center to address the unique needs of cancer patients and so much more. We offer numerous non-reimbursed services and education, which are available to those affected by cancer in our region no matter where they are receiving their treatment. These offerings are funded through the generous community support of the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation.
A first-of-its kind local workshop series for small businesses starts April 9 at Fuse in Richland. The weekly series, called Launch Startup, runs 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday through June 4. Entrepreneurs who have already started their company and are now looking to deepen their business knowledge and develop a plan for improvement are ideal candidates for this course.
This is the second in the Launch series of classes for startups. Weekly topics include financial growth and control, sales and marketing, product solutions, team building, building a customer service culture and financial growth and control. Instructors are seasoned business owners willing to share their experiences of success and challenges in growing a small business.
Each class follows the same general structure, which includes an introduction and leadership focal point, instructor presentation, group work time, class discussion, wrap up and networking time. The classes are interactive where students learn, do, share both in class and through homework assignments.
Instructors include Neal Taylor, attorney from Gravis Law; Torey Azure, chief marketing officer from Wildland and Brandcraft; Terry Smith, engineering manager from Sign Fracture Care; Jason Bell, chief of core training for the US Army; Casey Stratton, chief financial officer for Gravis Law; Ty Mulholland, CEO for Wildland and Brandcraft; and Lynn Carlson, IT specialist and community leader.
The class is $297 for Fuse members or $397 for nonmembers. Non-members receive free coworking at Fuse for the duration of the eight-week series.
Launch is a series of workshops that helps entrepreneurs in all stages of business development. Launch has a workshop for all levels of business, from the dreaming stage to the million-dollar brick and mortar. From techies to foodies, entrepreneurs can find their connections, resources and tools to succeed. Upcoming Launch workshops include Launch Weekend, a team competition event, July 12-14 and Launch Accelerator, a 14-week advanced series, in August.
Fuse SPC focuses on innovation, collaboration and community building. Located in Richland’s The Parkway, it offers small business and idea development, coworking space and offices for rent.
For more information, the public may visit fusespc.com/fuse-launch-startup.
Email your press release and a photo to Austin Regimbal, Marketing & Communications Director. Press releases are posted in their entirety. This is a free benefit for members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber.