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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Wanapum Dam
9:57 am
Fri March 21, 2014

With Drawdown, Fruit Farmers Scramble To Irrigate From Lowered Columbia River

Along the Columbia River in Washington state there are thousands of acres of valuable cherry, apple and pear orchards. These pears are damaged, and destined for cattle feed.
Anna King

Dam engineers are working to determine the severity of the crack in the Wanapum Dam’s spillway.

But the drawdown of the spillway to relieve pressure on the ailing structure is having some real consequences for the region’s farmers, tourism hubs and Northwest tribes.

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Wanapum Dam
3:43 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Fish Experts Plan Water Slide For Salmon On Cracked Wanapum Dam

File image of Wanapum Dam.
AP Photo

The ongoing issue with the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is now creating problems for migrating salmon. The drawdown of water between Wanapum and Rock Island dams to relieve pressure on the crack is the roadblock.

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Northwest Farmers
1:12 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Dam Drawdown: Worried Washington Farmers Plead For Help To Water Fruit Trees

Because of the drawdown, this irrigation pipe for cherry orchards that lies four miles downstream from Rock Island Dam cannot reach water in the Wanapum pool.
Anna King

State officials and farmers are scrambling to save orchards at risk of drying as a result of the drawdown of the Columbia River. The drawdown is due to major cracks found on the Wanapum Dam.        

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Unearthed Remains
1:52 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Wanapum Dam’s River Drawdown Churns Up Old Bones, Inundates Guards

Newly exposed riverbank sprawls out upstream on the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam
Anna King

A second set of human remains have been found near the cracked Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River in eastern Washington, according to state officials.

The remains were found about 500 yards downstream from the first set of remains found last week near Crescent Bar.

The first set belongs to a Native American man and could be very old. The second skeleton is also Native American, but its gender is not yet known. Whatever the case, some locals hope to avoid what happened with the discovery of the Kennewick Man.

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Northwest Farmers
4:03 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Upstream Of Damaged Dam, Farmers Can’t Reach Columbia River For Irrigation

Anna King

Thousands of acres of high-value cherry and apple orchards behind the damaged Wanapum Dam are at serious risk in eastern Washington.

It turns out farmers don't have long enough straws to pump out of the Columbia River now that the water has been lowered there to stabilize the dam.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:21 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Hanford Whistleblowers: Senate Hearing Forces Few Answers Into The Open

File photo of Hanford whistlerblower Walt Tamosaitis testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight in 2011.
U.S. Senate

In Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Hanford whistleblowers Donna Busche and Walt Tamosaitis weren’t allowed to speak before a Senate hearing.

The former nuclear site workers had been informally invited to testify before the Homeland Security subcommittee, but that invitation was later blocked by the ranking minority Republican on the committee.

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Wanapum Dam
8:17 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Newly Exposed Bones On Columbia River Shore Churn Up Old Questions

Newly exposed riverbank sprawls out upstream on the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam
Anna King

 

Grant County officials and Native Americans are patrolling round the clock to keep sacred and sensitive sites protected on miles of exposed Columbia River shoreline.

The drawdown of water behind the damaged Wanapum Dam and the nearby Rock Island dam has exposed lots of rocky shoals. But new-found bones are churning up old questions.

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Dam Fix
3:59 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Outside Experts Weigh In On Columbia River’s Damaged Wanapum Dam

File image
Tom Banse

Teams of engineers are scrambling to figure out what’s gone wrong with the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River near Vantage.

The dam’s problem is on a structure called the ogee, a big piece of concrete anchored to the bottom of the river. It’s like a river speed bump; it has a big curve on the top where the water flows over it. When the spillway gate is lifted, the water flows through from the upriver side of the dam to the downriver side over this ogee.

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Unearthed Remains
10:58 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Bones Exposed By Wanapum Dam Drawdown On Columbia River

AP Photo/Grant County Public Utility

Human bones were found along Central Washington's newly-exposed shore above Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River late Tuesday. Grant County PUD officials are drawing down the pool above Wanapum because of a crack found in the structure.

The bones were discovered in an area called Crescent Bar upriver from Wanapum Dam.

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Dam Fix
2:58 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Columbia River Drawdown Continues To Take Pressure Off Wanapum Dam

This undated photo provided by Grant County (Wash.) public utility, the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River, Wash., is shown.
AP Photo/Grant County Public Utility

Water behind the Wanapum Dam near Vantage is being drawn down 26 feet to relieve pressure on the big crack in the structure. Officials say dozens of engineers are on site, and more around the country are studying the problem.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
12:51 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Hanford Tanks: How Much Do We Know?

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:38 am

When it comes to the many underground tanks at Hanford filled with radioactive sludge, just how much do we know? U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says not enough.

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Northwest Wine
8:25 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Northwest Wine Industry Hits Milestone As Wine Grape-Growing Regions Turn 30

This August 2012 photo shows vines spilling down toward the Willamette Valley at Amity Vineyards in Amity, Ore.
Joseph B. Frazier AP Photo

The Northwest wine industry and the region’s grapevines are both getting older.

Many of the distinct wine grape-growing regions are now celebrating 30 years since the federal government recognized them as distinct growing areas also known as “appellations.” And Walla Walla will be the next to celebrate the milestone birthday.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
3:04 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Hanford Whistleblower Fired By Cleanup Contractor

Donna Buesche
Anna King

A prominent whistleblower who raised safety concerns at the nation's most polluted nuclear weapons production site has been fired from her job at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Safety manager Donna Busche says employer URS Corp. told her she was being fired for “unprofessional conduct,” then escorted her out of the building early Tuesday.

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Northwest Wines
5:01 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Walla Walla Winemakers Go On Tour To Woo Urban Drinkers

FILE - In this photo taken Monday, April 27, 2009, assistant wine maker Bill Mansker adjust a barrel of a white blend wine at the L'Ecole No. 41 winery in Lowden, Wash., near Walla Walla, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Washington winemakers are hitting the road in an effort to court upwardly mobile city dwellers while they’re still developing their taste for wine. And they’re taking their show on the road in increasingly flashy style.

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Politics
10:59 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Veteran U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings To Retire; Who'll Be Tapped?

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., speaks during a joint hearing with the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013.
Susan Walsh AP Photo

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings will retire at the end of the year, he announced Thursday.

Political watchers are already speculating on who might run to replace the long-time representative. The district is considered strongly Republican, so a Democratic upset is unlikely.

Hastings served two decades as south-central Washington’s Republican congressman. 

“I turned 73 last Friday, and one more term, I would have been nearly 76, so I just thought this was the right time,” he said.

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