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Kennewick is a city in Benton Countymarker in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Washingtonmarker, near the Hanford nuclear sitemarker. It is the most populous of the three cities collectively referred to as the Tri-Cities (the others being Pascomarker and Richlandmarker). Kennewick is located along the southwest bank of the Columbia River, opposite Pasco and just south of the confluence of the Columbia and Yakima rivers. The population was 67,180 at the state Office of Financial Management's estimate in April 1, 2009.

The nearest commercial airport is the Tri-Cities Airportmarker in Pasco, a regional commercial and private airport.

Forbes magazine named Kennewick the #2 area in the United States for job growth, while nearby Yakimamarker was named #1. The article cites the number of scientists employed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratorymarker and area farmland for this outlook.

History

Kennewick Man is the name for the remains of a prehistoric man found on a bank of the Columbia River in 1996. The remains are notable for their age (some 9,300 years), and also for having Caucasoid features, despite being indigenous. Ownership of the bones has been a matter of great controversy.

The name "Kennewick" is believed to be a native word meaning "grassy place." It has also been called "winter paradise," mostly because of the mild winters in the area. In the past, Kennewick has also been known by other names. Arguably the strangest was "Tehe" which was allegedly attributed to the reaction from a native girl's laughter when asked the name of the region.

During the 1880s, steamboats and railroads connected what would become known as Kennewick to the other settlements along the Columbia River. In 1887, a temporary railroad bridge was constructed by the Northern Pacific Railroad connecting Kennewick and Pasco. That bridge could not endure winter ice on the Columbia and was partially swept away in the first winter. A new, more permanent bridge was built in its place in 1888. Until this time, rail freight from Minneapolismarker to Tacomamarker had to cross the river via ferry. A cable ferry operated between the west end of Kennewick and the Pasco side of the river from 1894 to 1931.

In the 1890s, the Northern Pacific Irrigation Company installed pumps and ditches to bring water for agriculture in the Kennewick Highlands. Once there was a reliable water source, orchards and vineyards sprung up all over the Kennewick area. Strawberries were another successful crop.

Kennewick was officially incorporated on February 5, 1904. In 1912, there was an unsuccessful bid to move the seat of Benton County from Prossermarker to Kennewick.

In 1915, Kennewick was connected to the Pacific Oceanmarker with the opening of the Dalles-Celilo Canal.

Attractions

Kennewick is the host city of the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League, as well as of the Arena Football League's Tri-Cities Fever. They both play their home games in the Toyota Centermarker, which hosts many other regional events. Every year during the summer, hydroplane racing takes place at the Water Follies event on the Columbia River. Residents from all of southeastern Washington come to Kennewick to shop in the city's commercial district, the center point of which is Columbia Center Mall. Also, every year in August, there is the Benton-Franklin County Fair held at the fairgrounds. Kennewick is also the site of the annual Titanium Man (International Distance) and Plutonium Man (Half-Iron Distance) triathlons.

Geography



Kennewick is located at (46.203475, -119.15927).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.3 square miles (63 km²), of which, 22.9 square miles (59.4 km²) of it is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km²) of it (5.67%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 54,693 people, 20,786 households, and 14,176 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,384.9 people per square mile (920.9/km²). There were 22,043 housing units at an average density of 961.2/sq mi (371.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.93% White, 1.14% Black or African American, 0.93% Native American, 2.12% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 9.4% from other races, and 3.37% from two or more races. 15.55% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.2% were of German, 9.6% English, 8.5% Irish and 8.5% Americanmarker ancestry according to Census 2000. 84.6% spoke English and 12.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 20,786 households out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.6 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.6% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,213, and the median income for a family was $50,011. Males had a median income of $41,589 versus $26,022 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,152. About 9.7% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.8% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.

Education

Public schools located in the city are part of the Kennewick School District. The Kennewick School District has thirteen elementary schools (Amistad, Canyon View, Cascade, Eastgate, Edison, Hawthorne, Lincoln, Ridge View, Southgate, Sunset View, Vista, Washington, Westgate), four middle schools (Park, Highlands, Desert Hills, Horse Heaven Hills), three high schools: Kennewick High School (the Lions), Kamiakin High School (the Braves), and Southridge High Schoolmarker (the Suns), and a vocational school operated by Kennewick and other local school districts, the Tri-Tech Skills Center.

Slurpee Capital of the World Controversy

Kennewick aspired to become the Slurpee Capital of the World in 2008, a title which has been held by Winnipegmarker, Canadamarker, for the past 8 years. Don Mariotto, who owns the only 7-Eleven in Kennewick (located 3606 W. Clearwater Ave.), told Franchising.com: “My customers love Slurpees, so I said to myself, ‘Move over Manitoba, Kennewick is king.”’ Mariotto declared Kennewick the slurpee capital of the world in July 2008.

However, Sheila Calder, a 7-Eleven spokeswoman, said “Winnipeg still has the title for the ninth consecutive year,”. On July 11, 2008, the convenience store chain handed Winnipeg the award for being the market with the highest annual sales and consumption of the drinks on the planet.

Calder said the international Slurpee capital honour goes to the urban market area with sales of the highest number of “cups on average per store,” and Kennewick is about 100 cup sales behind Winnipeg. The controversy still rages however, because while Winnipeg had the "highest number of cups on average per store" during 2007, Kennewick leads the world in Slurpee sales dollars and number of cups sold for 2008 through July 31, 2008 . On, July 10, 2009 A United States representative of 7-Eleven reported that Kennewick sells more Slurpees than any store in the world.

Famous residents



Sister cities

Kennewick has the following sister cities:



References

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