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
2:26 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Time Ticking On 40-Day Negotiations Over Cleanup Of Hanford Tanks

Tobin Fricke Flickr

The clock is ticking on the 40-day, 40-night compromise deadline between Washington state and the federal government for cleaning up Hanford’s leaking radioactive waste tanks.

But at Hanford’s annual update for the public in Richland this week, it was clear that any agreement between the state and the federal government is still a ways off.

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Northwest Farmers
9:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

High Prices Of Milk And Beef Spur A Northwest Cattle Rush

Dean Hibbs, with All West Select Sires, could be called the date doctor for dairy and beef cows. He’s tallying their traits and seeing which bull might be the best match to produce the highest-quality dairy calf in Sunnyside, Washington.
Anna King

We’ve all heard of the Western Gold Rush. But how about the Northwest cattle rush?

Farmers in our region are taking advantage of record prices worldwide for dairy and beef. And on the front lines of this Northwest herd expansion is your friendly artificial insemination technician. So when you douse milk on your morning cereal, think of guys like Dean Hibbs.

Hibbs has been on breakneck drive to breed more cattle and hasn’t had a day off in weeks. He says cows in heat wait for no man.

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Legal Marijuana
5:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Washington Pot Growers May Not Get Federal Irrigation Water

File image
Ed Andrieski AP Photo

Farmers in eastern Washington who want to get into the marijuana business may face an immediate hurdle.

The U.S. government is currently deciding whether it will give growers access to federal water. The agricultural heart of the state depends on these irrigation systems. 

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Wanapum Dam
4:56 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Wanapum Dam Fix Could Total $61 Million, Says Grant County PUD

Grant County PUD

The cost fixing the cracked Wanapum Dam will total $61 million, according to Grant County PUD officials.

About one-third of the cost is the result of the investigation into the crack, the guarding of the river and the loss of power production. The rest will cover the fix itself.

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Salmon Runs
2:14 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Endangered Chinook Hitching A Ride On Trucks Around Cracked Wanapum Dam

Workers scramble to place temporary fixes on the fish ladders at the cracked Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River.
Anna King

Hundreds of Chinook salmon are being rounded up and loaded into tanker trucks that will drive them around the cracked Wanapum Dam in southweast Washington.

The Columbia River will remain drawn down at least until June, which means fish can’t reach their traditional ladders. Engineers are working on extensions and water slides of sorts to get fish ladders working again. But work to install this new equipment has been difficult, with cranes, man baskets and the whipping wind.

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Northwest Farmers
11:13 am
Tue April 15, 2014

'This Is The Kind Of Hay Year That Makes A Hay Farmer Smile'

Drex Gauntt grows some of the earliest-harvested alfalfa in the Northwest near Burbank, Wash.

 

Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer. Rain can leach nutrients out of drying hay and rot away any profits. 

But this year, hay markets are primed if growers can duck the storm clouds. Drought in California and parts of the Midwest means hay buyers are focusing in on Northwest crops. 

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Wanapum Dam
5:58 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Keeping Bones, Cultural Artifacts Safe In Central Washington Proving Costly

The drawdown of water behind the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is exposing dozens of human gravesites and hundreds of Native American cultural artifacts. Grant County officials are working overtime to protect these sensitive sites, but that work isn’t cheap.

Grant County utility district says it’s spending about $600,000 per month protecting 80 miles of Columbia River shore.

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κρυπτοσ
12:11 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Contest Challenges Northwest College Students To Break Secret Code

Here's a challenge from the 2013 competition.
Central Washington University

Code language is probably as old as language itself. Now, two Northwest professors have launched a competition to test students’ code-breaking skills.

Called Kryptos, the competition is geared toward undergraduate students all around the Northwest. But the region’s high school students are also encouraged to try and break the codes.

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Northwest Farmers
5:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Low Prices Prompt Northwest Asparagus Growers To Try To Delay Harvest

Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco. The green points are the first crop harvested in spring.

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Wanapum Dam
3:34 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

A Long, Dry Summer For River Resort Communities Behind Cracked Dam?

Boat launches and docks in the community have been left high and dry from the drawdown of water behind the damaged dam.
Anna King

For one resort community in central Washington, this summer could be a bust. A crack in the Wanapum Dam there has forced operators to draw down the Columbia River more than 25 feet, leaving boat docks hundreds of feet from the water.

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Wanapum Dam
2:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Winds Hamper Exploratory Drilling On Wanapum Dam’s Giant Crack

Photo courtesy of Grant County PUD.

High winds on the Columbia River are hampering forensic work on the damaged Wanapum Dam in southeast Washington. Workers first noticed a giant crack in the structure over a month ago. Investigators are trying to figure out just how bad it is and how to fix it.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:31 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

State of Washington To Feds: Cleanup At Hanford Must Go Faster

AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson complained Monday that the federal government will likely miss major deadlines for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

They want the feds to stick to agreed upon deadlines and are demanding new tanks to replace the leaking old ones. But the feds say they, too, have a plan.

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Unearthed Remains
7:29 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Bones Found Near Wanapum Dam Repatriated To Northwest Tribes

Anna King

Two skeletons found upstream of the cracked Wanapum Dam have been handed over to Northwest tribes.

The remains were found near each other several weeks ago along the newly-exposed Columbia River shore.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
2:28 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Wash. State Orders Hanford Managers To Empty Leaking Tank

FILE - Routine periodic visual monitoring (via camera) of the AY-102 annulus found material previously not seen.
U.S. Department of Energy

The state of Washington has ordered the federal government to pump out a leaking double-shell tank of waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The state says pumping must begin by Sept. 1.

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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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