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
8:36 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

EPA fines Hanford for improperly handling radioactive waste

Ted S. Warren Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to pay $136,000 in fines allegedly mishandling certain lab waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The penalty comes from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Energy contractors allegedly stored some radioactive waste without permits, and placed some of it in a landfill before treating it. We’re talking about contaminated science glove boxes, lab equipment and concrete. Environmental regulators studied records from the late 1980s through 2011 in this investigation.

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honey bees
6:44 am
Sun June 9, 2013

WSU researchers to create sperm bank for honey bees

Scott Butner Flickr

Washington State University scientists are developing a sperm bank to capture the biodiversity of honey bees. The hope is to breed stronger pollinators as populations keep declining.

Researchers are preparing to use liquid nitrogen to create a frozen semen bank. They are also trying to come up with a new super-bee subspecies that could thwart the phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.

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Hanford nuclear reservation
10:50 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Swallows Bring Radioactive Soil Into Hanford Waste Plant

Bechtel

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 10:07 am

Workers are back on the job at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. Work stopped this week when radioactive soil was found under the nests of some swallows.

Swallows used some radioactive mud to make nests on exposed beamwork in Hanford’s waste treatment plant. That’s the $12 billion factory designed to bind-up radioactive sludge in glass logs. The nests were found during routine tests, but this is the first radioactive contamination of the new plant.

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GMO produce
12:51 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

USDA adds more investigators to Ore. GMO wheat probe

<> Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has increased the number of investigators and field staff looking into the genetically-modified wheat found on Oregon farm.

There are now 15 people on the ground in the Northwest—up from nine last week.

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Nortthwest farmers
7:01 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Fewer but plumper Northwest cherries expected this year

digitonin Flickr

The spring's cold snaps will mean not as many cherries this summer. Flower buds and bees don’t like low temperatures. And the cherries—well, they don’t like the rain. But there is a silver lining. a week.

Here’s the good news: When there are fewer cherries on the tree, that means the fruit that remains usually get plumper. Norm Gutzwiler, who farms near Wenatchee, is a bit grumpy about the recent rains on his 100 acres of cherries.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
1:17 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Japanese officials visit Hanford to learn nuclear cleanup strategies

Bags of decontamination waste from cleanup of tennis courts at the Tomioka Town Sports Complex in Japan.
Mark Triplett PNNL

The people overseeing the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are learning some valuable lessons from the long-running cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A Japanese government delegation recently toured some of the southeast Washington site this week.

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Gay Rights
12:55 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Controversial florist sues Wash. state, says she 'will not wilt'

The Richland florist who refused to sell flowers for a same sex-couple’s wedding has filed a counter suit.

Arlene’s Flowers owner Barronnelle Stutzman says she "will not wilt." She argues there are plenty of other shops in the Tri-Cities that could cater to a gay or lesbian wedding. 

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
5:20 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Some Hanford water cleanup moving faster than expected

At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the 100-DX Pump and Treat system, which treats groundwater near the D and DR reactors along the Columbia River.
Photo courtesy of CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company.

Cleanup of a hazardous chemical in the groundwater at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is going faster than expected.

Hexavalent chromium is the nasty stuff that made Erin Brockovich famous down in California. The chemical was used to inhibit rust in coolant water in Hanford’s reactors. But that water was dumped into the desert, and now the carcinogen is making its way toward the Columbia River in large groundwater plumes.

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Wildfires
4:39 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Wildfire Awareness Week begins with 2 blazes burning in W. Wash.

The Dog Mountain fire is seen burning on Monday, May 6, 2013.
Washington State Department of Transportation

Wildfire Awareness Week began Monday with record-breaking heat and crews working to contain two blazes that broke out over the weekend in Western Washington.

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Gay Rights
3:36 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Controversial florist stirs back-and-forth on social media

Anna King

Business is bustling at the Richland florist who faces a lawsuit over same-sex marriage. The florist says she was standing up for her Christian values when she refused to sell flowers for a gay couple’s wedding. Now, the case has become a focal point of intense debate on social media across the globe. 

On Arlene’s Flowers' Facebook page, right alongside advertisements for corsages and boutonnieres, there are hundreds of posts for and against same-sex marriage. 

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from critic to winemaker
7:01 am
Sun April 21, 2013

Well-known Northwest wine writer starts wine venture

Anna King

In the wine business, one good review can mean a lot of money. 

Now, one of the most prominent wine writers in the Northwest is getting into the wine business himself. And the news has agitated some in the industry.

Former Seattle Times columnist Paul Gregutt defends his winery in southeast Washington, but others see a conflict of interest.

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Farm life in the Northwest
7:00 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Northwest asparagus comes a tad early

Laura Middleton shows off a few freshly-cut spears of asparagus at her family’s farm near Pasco, Washington.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Northwest farmers are beginning to harvest the first asparagus of the year this week in southeast Washington. That’s a tad earlier than usual. And after last year's farm-labor shortage, growers across the region are keeping an eye on how many asparagus workers show up for the harvest.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
5:00 am
Sat March 30, 2013

What makes Hanford's 'TRU' tank waste different from the rest?

Gov. Jay Inslee addresses journalists at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation on March 6, 2013.
Anna King Northwest News Network

The U.S. Department of Energy says its wants to send 3 million gallons of radioactive tank waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to a storage site in New Mexico. That’s 3 million gallons out of a total of 56 million gallons of some of the most toxic stuff on earth.

But what is different about this waste in particular, and why some groups are against moving it to New Mexico?

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
11:24 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Song about Hanford furloughs picks up viewers on YouTube

Jason Strickling and his wife Lana of Pasco, Wash. are planning some extra time with the kids this summer. That’s because she works for a Hanford Nuclear Reservation contractor in southeast Washington and her employer is requiring her to take about five weeks of unpaid leave before September.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
4:21 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Hanford cleaup slows while tanks leak, tratment plant stalls

Gov. Jay Inslee toured the Hanford plant earlier this month.

Every day, up to three gallons of radioactive waste at Hanford seeps into the desert sand from underground tanks, not far from the Columbia River.

That has prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to tour the remote site along with buses full of officials and media that roll through a sea of sagebrush.

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