Anna King

Richland Correspondent

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.

The South Sound was her girlhood backyard and she knows its rocky beaches, mountain trails and cities well. She left the west side to attend Washington State University and spent an additional two years studying language and culture in Italy.

While not on the job, Anna enjoys trail running, clam digging, hiking and wine tasting with friends. She's most at peace on top a Northwest mountain with her husband Andy Plymale and their muddy Aussie-dog Poa.

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After more than two decades of fighting in court, the Hanford Downwinders case has ended. The approximately 3,000 Downwinders have all either dropped their claims or arrived at a settlement.

Two workers are in critical condition  and three others are satisfactory at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after an explosion Thursday at the Priest Rapids Dam in central Washington state on the Columbia River. A sixth worker was also injured, but not transported to Harborview.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will hold public meetings the week October 12 in Richland, Washington, about opening Rattlesnake Mountain to the public.

President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Tuesday hailed a pending trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal would span 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region including Canada and Mexico.

In some areas of the Northwest, dryland farmers are getting impatient. They need rain to plant winter wheat.


In southeast Washington state, a group of farms has been frozen in time. It’s at Hanford, the area the federal government took over to make plutonium during World War II.

“It’s amazing that it’s been preserved in a way by the Manhattan Project,” said archaeologist Ellen Prendergast Kennedy. “And that some places are still completely untouched.”

Left untouched since 1943, when the government gave people a month to leave. The whole area has been restricted since then to make plutonium for bombs and clean up after it.

Anna King

Harvest is revving up at Gary Middleton’s organic orchards north of Pasco. The autumn sun warms the backs of pickers perched on tall aluminum ladders. But this year the fruit they are picking is smaller - and there is less of it. The scorching heat of June and the summer’s drought stressed orchards region wide.

“Thank God there is next year,” said Middleton. “It’s been a very tough year. It could be much worse if I was a dryland wheat farmer or someone who had very little rainfall.” Middleton says he’s lucky he has uninterrupted irrigation.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit Wednesday against the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors over worker safety at Hanford. We bring you this Q&A from our Tri-Cities correspondent Anna King.

The Chelan and Okanogan Complex fires total more than 230,000 acres. Both fires still threaten more than 8,000 homes.

In the poem “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost lays down the well-worn quote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” In this year’s dramatic Northwest wildfires, ranchers and neighbors are cutting down “good fences” of all kinds.

As ash fell Sunday on downtown Chelan, Washington, a nearby fruit packing cooperative that called itself the world's largest stood in ruins. It's one of dozens of businesses and homes destroyed in the Reach Complex fires.

More than 700 firefighters are attacking fires in Central Washington. The "Reach Complex" fires have forced evacuations, burned at least 25 structures and surrounded the popular vacation area of Lake Chelan.

Fires continue to burn around Lake Chelan in central Washington Monday. Nearly 3,000 residents have been evacuated so far and dozens of homes have burned as firefighters struggle to gain any control over the blaze.

About 10,000 people visit southeast Washington state’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation every year. And after a few hours on the bus, some are dazed like tourists who’ve seen one Italian cathedral too many.

On those tours, they have guides. But even folks who don’t come to Hanford’s physical site have a "tour guide" -- someone who can translate the language of Hanford and its nuclear legacy: Liz Mattson.

Across the Northwest, farmers are already making tough calls because of this year’s drought. The dismal snowpack is to blame.

When Sue Olson started working for the U.S. Army Corps as a young woman, she first heard about Hanford in an urgent message. “Don’t come to Hanford -- it’s rattlesnakes, sagebrush and dust storms.”

A Richland, Washington, florist will pay $1,000 in fines to the state. The flower shop had discriminated against a same-sex couple that wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013.

Several artists in southcentral Washington state are responding to last month’s Pasco shooting.

Kai-Huei Yau

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is one of the most contaminated sites on earth. And Susan Leckband is using her natural curiosity to help clean it up.

  As a girl Leckband just had to call the Frito-Lay company. Their number was clear, right on the back of the crinkly package. And she was curious.

Leckband’s mother and father were not amused.

Herrmann Scholbe


The family of a man shot by police in Pasco, Washington this month is challenging police investigators' autopsy findings.

An attorney representing Antonio Zambrano-Montes' widow said in a press release Thursday police shot the man up to seven times, twice from behind.

Nicholas K. Geranios / AP Photo


Kennewick police investigating the police shooting this month of Antonio Zambrano-Montes told reporters Wednesday bullets entered him from the front, and a rock was found near his body.

Officers fired 17 rounds. Of those, one autopsy shows Zambrano-Montes took five shots, the other said six.

Anna King

New facts are emerging in the police shooting of 35-year-old Mexican farmworker Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, Washington.

Several cellphone videos posted on YouTube show the shooting in grainy but graphic detail. Zambrano-Montes was reportedly throwing rocks in a crowded intersection. Police arrived, tried to stop him then used a Taser on him. Zambrano-Montes ran across the intersection. Shots were fired.

AP Photo/Dario Infante


All the bullet fragments have been recovered from the Pasco police shooting scene and body of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, according to the Kennewick Police Department. 

The department is leading an investigation into last week’s police shooting in southeast Washington.

AP Photo/Dario Infante


Community leaders in Pasco, Washington are asking for a federal investigation by the Department of Justice, though it's not yet clear if they'll get their wish.

Pasco police shot and killed Antonio Zambrano-Montes last Tuesday. Witnesses say he had been throwing rocks at a busy intersection.

Anna King


Tuesday night’s shooting of a man near a popular grocery store by three Pasco police officers has angered many residents there. The shooting was captured in several phone videos (embedded below).

Toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents gathered outside Pasco City Hall on Wednesday night to protest the police shooting.

A man allegedly throwing rocks in Pasco near a popular Latino grocery store was shot dead by police officers Tuesday night.

A YouTube video (embedded below) shows several police officers running after a man across a crowded intersection. Some bystanders caught the incident on cell phone footage and posted the clip.

Anna King


Hanford Nuclear Reservation officials Tuesday made public their plan to improve safety for workers in the so-called “tank farms.”

Hanford is home to 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge left over from World War II and the Cold War.

National Weather Service


Scientists don't yet agree on the cause behind the dirty rain that pelted much of eastern Washington and Oregon last Friday.

The National Weather Service said the dirt may have come from southeast Oregon, near Summer Lake. But another government scientist says he thinks it was ash from a volcano in Japan.



Washington state agriculture officials are preparing for the scenario that highly-contagious bird flu will be in the Northwest — maybe for years.

Since December, Washington state and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have euthanized sick birds and set up quarantines from the Tri-Cities to Port Angeles.

Anna King


Washington state agriculture officials have just finished up the grim task of euthanizing nearly 5,000 birds in Okanogan County.

Now veterinarians will continue to sweep the quarantine zones around those farms to find out whether bird flu viruses there have spread.