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 cleanup
3:21 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Hanford Managers Focus on Flammable Gas in Waste Tanks

File image
Associated Press

Managers and scientists are working against the clock to solve a new possible problem at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

How much sludge can be dumped into a double-shelled radioactive waste tank before flammable gas might build up in a big bubble?

At a group of waste tanks called the C-Farm, workers are pumping the radioactive sludge out these old single-shelled tanks into the more stable double-hulled ones This radioactive witch’s brew constantly generates hydrogen and other flammable gases.

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washington crops
12:59 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Washington Crops Rose in 2012, Apples Remain King

Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission.

Washington’s agricultural crops rose 6 percent in 2012 from the previous year, according to federal bean counters.

A recent USDA report say agricultural products reached nearly $10 billion. Some of the products that saw rapid growth in Washington include dry edible beans, barley, and apples.

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Environment
5:00 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Inslee: Ellensburg Area Stream Restoration Good for Salmon

Governor Jay Inslee signs his name to some of the pipe that will put water back in Manastash Creek near Ellensburg, Wash.
Anna King

A dried-out 3-mile-stretch of creek in central Washington will soon swell again with water. It’s part of a project near Ellensburg to pipe irrigation water from the Yakima River to keep water in the creek for salmon and steelhead.

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Putting the Spa in Spawn
4:27 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

A Spa For Fish: Yakama Nation Creates Refuge for Exhausted Fish

Joe Blodgett, right, with the Yakama Nation's steelhead rehabilitation center, lifts a fish out a tub where they're fed highly nutritious pellets.
Anna King

When a Columbia River steelhead completes its epic journey from ocean to spawning grounds, it’s usually too exhausted to go downriver again. Often, the fish just dies. But the Yakama Nation is changing that circle of life.

Tribal biologists have created a rehabilitation center that helps steelhead recover so they can spawn again in the future. And the Yakama fish spa is seeing more success.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
4:50 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

EPA Fines Hanford Contractor for Asbestos Violations

Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy faces a $115,000 fine for the way a contractor handled asbestos at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

The alleged violations occurred during building demolitions in 2009 and 2010 when federal stimulus money sped up deconstruction projects.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
2:19 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Let-Go Hanford Whistleblower: 'My Career is Dead'

Rajah Bose

In early November, a federal appeals court will consider the case of a well-known Hanford whistleblower. Walter Tamosaitis argues his career was essentially killed after he voiced safety concerns at the nuclear cleanup site.

Earlier this month, the high-level manager was laid off for good. It wasn’t retaliation according to the federal contractor that employed him. But U.S. senators and watchdog groups fear this turn will make other workers with safety concerns clam up.

Tamosaitis has had, as he puts it, a lot of stomach acid these past couple of weeks.

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Election 2013
5:01 am
Thu October 17, 2013

GMO-Labeling Initiative: A Tale of Two Northwest Farms

Eric Maier farms 7,000 acres of wheat and cattle near Ritzville, Washington.
Anna King

From the lush valleys north of Seattle to the orchards of the Columbia Basin, to the rolling fields between Spokane and Walla Walla, the state of Washington grows about 300 types of crops.

Ask any of those farmers about Initiative 522, and you’ll get every kind of answer. If passed this November, it would require labeling of genetically modified foods. The initiative would not ban GMOs, as they’re known, but it could have a big impact on Washington agriculture.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
3:54 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Watchdogs Disappointed Hanford Deadlines Likely to be Missed

AP Photo

State officials say they’re disappointed but not surprised by news that the federal government will likely miss several more cleanup deadlines at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

At Hanford, radioactive sludge stews in aging underground tanks not far from the Columbia River. A 1989 agreement created the timeline for treating that caustic gunk. But the task has proven extremely difficult. A Waste Treatment Plant has been plagued by whistleblowers, critical federal investigations, cost overruns, and delays. 

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Northwest Craft Beers
6:37 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Craft Breweries Keep Pouring Into Market, But Is There a Bubble?

Patrick Smith is a fourth-generation hop grower.
Anna King

Northwest farmers are wrapping up this year’s hop harvest at a time when the craft beer industry is seeing huge growth. The change in Americans’ beer-drinking habits means hop farmers are selling more of their crop to smaller breweries than ever before. But all this success begs the question: is there a craft brew bubble?

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the science of wine
3:10 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

WSU Breaks Ground on Wine Science Center in Tri-Cities

Artist rendering courtesy of Washington State University.

Dignitaries and leaders of the Northwest wine industry braved a drizzle Thursday for a ceremonial groundbreaking at Washington State University’s new Wine Science Center in the Tri-Cities. 

There are now nearly 800 licensed wineries in the state of Washington, up from about 40 three decades ago.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
2:35 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Inslee: Hanford Plan Doesn’t Include Immediate Solution for Leaky Tanks of Waste

Ted S. Warren AP Photo

A new proposal to phase-in portions of cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is an intriguing idea, but it doesn’t solve immediate problems of leaking waste tanks, said Gov. Jay Inslee during a visit Thursday.

The Democrat was responding to a new plan this week from U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. 

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
5:01 am
Thu September 26, 2013

JFK Visited Hanford 50 Years Ago, Trying to De-Escalate Cold War

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy stepped off a Marine helicopter into the dry heat of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

He was there to see the massive new N Reactor. The reactor was the first to produce both plutonium and power in the U.S. The visit was also part of Kennedy’s efforts to de-escalate the Cold War.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
12:17 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Feds Propose Plan for Hanford’s Tank Waste Challenges

Ted S. Warrena Associated Press

There’s a new plan for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The federal government is looking for ways to process certain types of radioactive waste more quickly, while managers there figure out how to solve major technical challenges at its massive Waste Treatment Plant.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz released the new framework Tuesday after a year of study.

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fish consumption
11:55 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Warning: Some Columbia River Fish Not Safe to Eat

WSK_2005 Flickr

Some fish in the Columbia River aren’t safe to eat, according to advisories issued Monday by health officials in Washington and Oregon.

The warnings do not apply to ocean-going fish like salmon and steelhead.

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bio-fuel research
12:30 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

WSU Tri-Cities to Head Federal Jet Bio-fuel Research Center

Washington State University will lead a new federal research center focused on finding new biofuels for jet airplanes.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., made the announcement Friday at the university’s new science labs in the Tri-Cities.

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