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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Prose Pros
2:15 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

State Poet Laureate Wins Book Award for Hanford-Based 'Plume'

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Flenniken.

Washington state’s poet laureate Kathleen Flenniken has been awarded the Washington Book Award.

Flenniken’s new work of poetry, titled “Plume,” recounts her childhood in the nuclear-company town of Richland.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
9:53 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Hanford: Tank Farm Closure Given Federal All-Clear to Resume Work

The tank farms at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington are cleared to resume work after a high-radiation incident briefly shut down much of the site last month.

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apples by delivery
1:54 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Recent WSU Grads Offer Weekly Apple Delivery Service to Offices

Apple-A-Day's recent college grad owners Danielle LaRiviere, left, and Lexi Schmidt.
Anna King

We’ve all been there. You’re hungry. You want something good, but there’s no time. You hit the vending machine for sugar or salt.

Two recent Washington State University graduates want to change that. They've launched an urban apple delivery service called Apple-A-Day, and it’s taking off.

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washington apples
6:01 am
Sat August 24, 2013

New Wash. Apple Not Yet in Stores, But Plenty Others Will Be

The new Washington State University apple WA-38 is one consumers can’t get their hands on just yet.
Washington State University

Northwest apple growers are expecting a bumper crop this year. Harvest is already beginning on some farms, but growers are excited over an apple variety you can’t even get in stores yet.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
3:26 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Seattle Band to Release Pop Song Inspired by Hanford Tank Waste

From left to right, the band members are: Toby Kuhn, guitar, Miro Justad, drums, Ryan Baker, bass, and Marika Justad, vocals, guitar and keyboard.

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation has inspired documentaries, museum exhibits, art shows, and even a book of poetry.

Now, a Seattle band call Tangerine is about to release a new song that tackles the leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the federal site.

“I guess it’s a slightly unusual topic for a pop song, especially one that has a romantic angle,” said Marika Justad, who sings, plays the guitar and the piano for the alternative-pop band.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
10:01 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Investigation into Abnormal Radiological Reading at Hanford

Crews at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are investigating increased radiological readings at a tank farm there.

Part of the massive site was shut down following the reading Wednesday night.

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washington wine
8:01 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Northwest Winemakers Ready for ‘Intense’ Vintage

Vineyard manager Dick Boushey.
Anna King

Wine grapes throughout the Northwest are ripening faster this year because of the hot dry summer. Vineyard managers and winemakers are preparing for a breakneck harvest over the next few weeks—that is, if it stays warm.

This year, eastern Washington had record-setting heat in July, while Oregon had consistently warm weather. Growers throughout the Northwest are hoping for cooler temperatures so the grapes don’t race to ripeness.

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climate change
9:01 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Scientists Look For Climate Change Clues in Wildfire Soot

You may know that on a hot, sunny day, it’s better to be sitting in a white car than a black one. White reflects sunlight, while black absorbs more of it.

The same concept applies to researchers trying to figure out what effect wildfires have on climate change. And part of the answer is whether the smoke particles are dark or reflective.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
9:19 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Judge Rules Yucca Mountain Must Move Forward with Licensing

U.S. Department of Energy

Washington’s state attorney is praising an appeals court decision on a nuclear waste repository in Nevada. The ruling requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to get the licensing process back on track for Yucca Mountain.

The state of Washington wants Yucca Mountain to be the permanent waste repository for radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. But President Barack Obama buried the project because of opposition from Nevada’s political leaders. Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has to continue forward with the licensing of the facility. 

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landslides
4:18 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Landslides Complicate Firefighting Near Wenatchee

Milepost 10 Fire, south of Wenatchee.
Washington Department of Natural Resources

Torrents of mud and debris have closed three roads near Wenatchee in central Washington. The landslides were caused by thunderstorms on Sunday, along with wildfire damage.

The mudflows have hampered firefighting efforts on the Mile Post 10 fire, which has grown to 6,000 acres since Friday. Some residents and fire trucks were stranded. 

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endangered plant?
8:53 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Bladderpod Endangered Listing Stirs Up Questions from Farmers

White Bluffs bladderpod
Anna King

A group of farmers in southeast Washington is trying to stop the federal government from giving endangered species protection to the White Bluffs bladderpod, a rare plant that grows on a narrow ribbon of federal land and farms.

A farmer group is using genetic tests to claim that the plant is not as rare as it seems.

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blueberry boom
10:44 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Nation’s Monster Blueberry Crop Smashes Prices for Farmers

Leonard Flores, 27, a forklift operator checks out the just picked fruit at Middleton Farms near Eltopia, Wash.
Anna King

North America’s blueberry crop is so substantial this year that prices are dropping, according to farmers. Thae boom follows about a decade of rapid expansion of new plantings.

The Northwest is one of the top producers of blueberries in the nation, and July is the peak of harvest. 

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GMO produce
4:23 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Northwest Wheat Farmers Look Forward To Restored Market

A wheat combine offloads—or “banks out”—into a waiting truck near Patterson, Washington.
Anna King

The first bushels of Northwest wheat are coming off honey-colored fields in southeast Washington. The harvest comes just as Japan and South Korea say they’ll resume buying Northwest wheat.

The Asian countries banned the U.S. grain after some genetically modified plants were found in Oregon this spring. The rebound is a huge relief for Northwest farmers, but market confidence remains shaken.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
4:42 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Massive Hanford waste dump reaches 15 million-ton mark

Crews at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say have cleaned up 15 million tons of radioactive soil and debris from near the Columbia River, managers announced on Tuesday.  

The debris has gone to a massive dump at the center of the site. The Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, called ERDF for short, is the size of 52 football fields.

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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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