Anna King

Richland Correspondent

Anna King, KPLU’s and N3’s Richland-based reporter, has been covering the Mid-Columbia since the spring of 2007. Before that she was a print reporter for the Tri-City Herald where she covered the environment, Native Americans, agriculture and Northwest wine. A Washington native, she's also a regular contributor to the magazine Wine Press Northwest and was a contributing author to the guide book Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest. Anna's memorable moment in public radio: "Being dusted from head-to-toe by a potato digger during harvest. Every square inch of me was covered in fine sand. Public radio is a dirty job!"

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:07 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Hanford Workers Say They’re Not Satisfied With Working Conditions At Tank Farms

Dozens of workers from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation gathered for public meeting organized watchdog group Hanford Challenge.
Anna King

Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers who are worried about getting sick turned out in droves for a public meeting Wednesday night in Richland organized by a Seattle-area watchdog called Hanford Challenge.

About 45 people squeezed into tight rows in a small conference room.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:21 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Hanford Vapors: It's Still Difficult To Track Down The Fix

Handheld air monitors are used in the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's tank farms to help keep workers safe. But a human nose can detect far less concentrated chemicals, than this high-tech machinery.
Anna King

Since the spring, many workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have needed medical attention from exposure to chemical vapors. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy led a busload of journalists to points across the site to show off what they’re doing to keep workers safe.

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Growing Marijuana
8:49 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Legal Wash. State Pot Stores Opening Soon, But Production Lags

Eric and Katey Cooper stand amid their flowering marijuana.
Anna King

Eric Cooper has a sort of "The Dude" vibe: Hawaiian shirt, leather brown sandals and a bushy silver goatee. He smoked weed for the first time when he was about 14. He’s a former contractor and registered nurse. Cooper grew medical marijuana, and now he’s one of the owners of Monkey Grass Farms in Wenatchee, Washington.

Monkey Grass Farms is one of the big boys: a tier-3 Washington state-licensed indoor pot grow. That means they can nurture about 21,000-square-feet of marijuana plants.

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Darrington Rodeo
11:47 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Rodeo Band-Aid: Roping, Riding Helps People Heal From Oso Landslide

Alexis Blakey, 20, of Oso, Washington says running barrels with her horse Tax helps her hit the pause button on memories of the landslide for a few brief moments.
Anna King

The Timberbowl Rodeo in the town of Darrington, Washington saw some of its largest crowds ever this past weekend. Neighbors gathered at the event to hug, shake hands and heal from the tragic Oso landslide.

Alexis Blakey knows nearly everyone in the small town that lies 74 miles northeast of Seattle. A native of nearby Oso, Washington, 20-year-old Blakey said the landslide that made her town infamous is branded on her brain. She was at these same rodeo grounds that day when she saw ambulance after ambulance headed for Oso.

“I don’t know," Blakey said. "We were all just like, 'What is going on? Is this really happening right now?'”

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
4:09 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Wash. State, Feds Set New Deadline For Hanford Cleanup

Tobin Fricke Wikimedia

Washington state and the federal government just gave themselves a 40-day deadline to come up with a cleanup plan for leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

If you think you’ve heard that before, it’s because you have.

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Radioactive Waste
5:00 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Japan Looks To Richland-Made Filters To Treat Radioactive Water

John Raymont, founder and president of Kurion, stands inside one of his company’s containerized mobile strontium filter units.
Anna King

Japan’s crippled nuclear plant is bleeding hazardous radioactive water at a mind-staggering rate. Officials at Fukushima Daiichi are filling 27-foot-tall tanks nearly every other day. Now, in southeast Washington, a company called Kurion is developing and building a mobile filter system to help deal with that troublesome radioactive wastewater.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:42 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Time's Up For Court-Ordered Hanford Cleanup Negotiations Between Feds, Wash. State

File photo of a nuclear waste storage tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Anna King

This week is the deadline for the state of Washington and the U.S. Department of Energy to reach an agreement on how to clean up radioactive tank waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The two sides can’t agree on a timelinel; it seems the state and the Energy Department have very different views of where things are.

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Wildfire Danger
2:47 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Northwest Fire Season Ramps Up Ahead Of Schedule East Of The Cascades

File photo of a 2013 wildfire near Goldendale, Washington.
Washington Incident Management Team #2/InciWeb

With conditions at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation tinder dry, workers were told Wednesday to practice fire safety at work and at home.

The news is about four weeks ahead of schedule for these types of fire weather alerts — a sign of a long, hot summer ahead.

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Wildlife
5:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Young-Adult Cougars Looking For A Home Of Their Own Can Cause Problems

File image
AP Photo/ Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

This time of year, young Northwest cougars are getting kicked out of the nest by their mother cats. That means many of these young adults are looking for their own home range.

But these rookie hunters are in a cat-crowded field, and that sometimes ends in trouble.

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Northwest Wildlife
9:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Pneumonia Outbreaks Hitting Northwest’s Wild Bighorn Sheep

Kim Keating USGS

Bighorn sheep in the Northwest have their lambs in early spring. About now, those babies start playing together in the mountains — a sort of lamb daycare.

But that sweet, social behavior is spreading a deadly disease in several herds throughout the region.

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Development
5:00 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Preserve Vs. Road: Tri-Cities' Growing Pains Erupt In Public Planning Battle

Scott Woodward shows off Amon Creek Natural Preserve in Richland, Washington.
Anna King

The Tri-Cities are growing faster than most other metro areas in the Northwest and the nation. From a high spot like Badger Mountain, it’s easy see how rapidly new neighborhoods are leveling off ridgelines and hacking into fruit orchards.

Nearly every week, development in the wide-open spaces of eastern Washington is celebrated with golden shovels and ribbon cuttings. But that’s beginning to change.

Now there’s a very public pinch point: a small track of wildland versus a planned city road.

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Northwest Wines
8:00 am
Sun May 25, 2014

What Northwest Wine Experts Are Drinking At Their Holiday BBQs

Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue edit Great Northwest Wine.
Courtesy of Great Northwest Wine.

The Northwest is quickly becoming world famous for high-quality wine. So what are the region's wine experts splashing into their glasses over Memorial Day weekend?

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Wanapum Dam
3:14 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Residents Upstream Of Wanapum Dam Make Do With Low Columbia River

Docks are high and dry for the long weekend near Eugene and Karen Penix's home at Sunland Estates near Vantage, Washington.
Anna King

The dramatic drawdown of the water behind the damaged Wanapum Dam in eastern Washington means boaters are out of luck on that stretch of the Columbia River.

Those who own vacation homes upstream from Wanapum at Sunland Estates say they are getting creative for the long weekend.

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How Does Your Garden Grow?
11:33 am
Mon May 19, 2014

New Northwest-Developed Organic Fertilizer Not As Smelly, Popular With Farmworkers

Alan Schreiber is an organic and research farmer. He’s testing a new better-smelling organic liquid fertilizer at his farm near Eltopia, Washington.
Anna King

When you think organic, you probably visualize fresh, sweet-smelling fruits and vegetables. But what makes that delicious organic produce grow?

The answer is digested fish parts mixed with molasses, which smells so bad that it’s been known to make farm workers gag.

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Wanapum Dam
10:12 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Inslee: Cracked Wanapum Dam A Unique Problem, Not Systemic In River System

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee toured the cracked Wanapum Dam on Wednesday.
Governor's Office

Gov. Jay Inslee got an up-close view of the drilling machines at work on the damaged Wanapum Dam in central Washington Wednesday, just one day after officials announced the dam’s massive crack was caused by fundamental design errors and bad concrete pours in 1960.

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