Anna King

Richland Correspondent

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.

The South Sound was her girlhood backyard and she knows its rocky beaches, mountain trails and cities well. She left the west side to attend Washington State University and went abroad to study language and culture in Italy.

While not on the job, Anna enjoys trail running, clam digging, hiking and wine tasting with friends. She's most at peace on top a Northwest mountain with her husband Andy Plymale and their muddy Aussie-dog Poa.

In 2016 Washington State University named Anna Woman of the Year, and the Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington Pro Chapter named her Journalist of the Year. Her many journalism awards include two Gracies, a Sigma Delta Chi medal and the David Douglas Award from the Washington State Historical Society.

Ways to Connect

Jane Abel/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Right now, in the Northwest’s high desert, the biscuit root should be ready to bloom.

Pregnant ground squirrels should be up to the surface, munching fresh shoots. But that’s not happening.

On much of Washington’s and Oregon’s eastside, snow has been on the ground for six weeks, and it has some experts wondering how life will shake out for stressed flora and fauna.

Heidi Newsome, is a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service out of Burbank, Wash.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Almond bloom comes nearly all at once in California — a flush of delicate pale blooms that unfold around Valentine's Day.

And beekeeper Bret Adee is hustling to get his hives ready, working through them on a Central Valley ranch before placing them in orchards.

He deftly tap-taps open a hive. "We're gonna open this up, and you're going to see a whole lot of bees here," Adee says.

Under the lid, the exposed sleepy occupants hum away. He uses a handheld smoker to keep them calm and huddled around their queen.

Energy Northwest

The federal government recently doled out two “green findings” to the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear reactor.

The Columbia Generating Station, near Richland, is run by the utility Energy Northwest.

GARY KING

In the Northwest’s Cascades, there’s snow at high elevations, but it’s scored by vertical lines showing where rain has run downhill.

This warm El Niño winter in the region is worrying water managers and farmers. Many Washington and Oregon reservoirs aren’t filling up like they should, and snowpack levels are below average in many areas.  

ANNA KING / NORTHWEST NEWS NETWORK

new proposal from the Trump administration could dramatically change the way the government cleans up radioactive tank waste at t

Hanford sign
ANNA KING/NORTHWEST NEWS NETWORK

There are several agencies and a group of stakeholders who watch over cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. But the partial government shutdown is blocking some of that important oversight.

In the past 10 years, the Environmental Protection Agency office in Richland has shrunk from nearly 10 experts working on Hanford issues to just three – including the top manager.

Casey Grogan is owner of Silver Bells Tree Farm, 400-acres of Christmas trees, in Silverton, Ore.
ANNA KING/NW News Network

 

The Christmas holiday is centered around peace. But an escalating marketing war for families’ hearts is developing between the real and fake tree industries.

 

The companies behind each type of tree are going at it with ad campaigns online, trying to convince you that their tree is better.

 

Grant County PUD

Crews have finished drilling around 230 core samples in Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River in central Washington state.

Oregon Department of Forestry

From Bend, Oregon, to Ellensburg, Washington, there is a fire weather watch Friday for hot temperatures, low humidity and breezy weather.

Washington DNR

A large wildfire is burning outside of Naches, in central Washington state. The fire, called the Conrad Fire, started Sunday afternoon. It’s currently estimated at 5,200 acres and about 20 percent contained.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

U.S. beef ranchers who voted heartily for President Donald Trump are getting a bit skittish about his trade wars. International tariffs are set to hit U.S. beef the first week of July.

Benton County Fire District 4

Residents of Prosser, Washington, were told to prepare to evacuate last night as fire spread in the hills above the city. 

About 150 firefighters worked all night to fight what is now being called the Montecito Fire which erupted Wednesday evening. 

Anna King / Northwest News Network

In the shadow of remote Dry Mountain, branding is the only way to guarantee a fair sorting of cattle between ranchers in the fall.

Animals’ ear tags can rub off in the rough, sage-studded country. So each year, before cattle are let out to graze on summer range, the young are branded, castrated and vaccinated. Neighbors gather in the early morning to do the work.

Daderot / tinyurl.com/y7dy7pyt

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a narrowly focused ruling Monday that favored Masterpiece Cakes, a Colorado bakery, which refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Roger Harnack / Inciweb - tinyurl.com/ydfc3bfe

Firefighters scrambled Sunday night at the Hanford nuclear reservation to corral a 2,800-acre wildfire. Hanford officials said the wildfire started Sunday evening.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

American fruit growers are starting to ship more containers of fresh fruit into China again. In recent weeks, some fruit shipments were stuck in customs in China. Public radio has learned that special flights to bring Northwest cherries to China had even been canceled.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

The U.S. House of Representatives recently failed to pass a farm bill and Northwest farmers are worried that the process is not plowing ahead.

Photos courtesy of Icicle-Peshastin Irrigation District.

Outside of Leavenworth, Washington, crews have been working on a dam in trouble. 

Energy Northwest

The Northwest’s only commercial nuclear reactor went offline Friday morning in an unplanned event. The Columbia Generating Station went offline around 7 a.m. when its main power transformers automatically disconnected from the grid.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

The National Weather Service is predicting possible thunderstorms later this week around the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, Washington. That could cause the Eightmile Lake Dam above the town to fail.

And a simmering dispute between the local irrigation district and the U.S. Forest Service isn’t helping.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

The National Weather Service is concerned about this week’s warm weather rapidly melting snow upstream of Leavenworth, Washington, this week. There may also be storms on the way.

Flickr Photo Courtesy Richard Kassan

A nearly 100 year-old dam near Leavenworth, Washington, is under heavy pressure from melting snow this week and officials are warning downstream residents to be prepared to evacuate if the dam breaks.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Tribes across the West are trying to restore their forests and grasslands to the way they were before white settlers arrived. Their goal is to return traditional foods like roots, huckleberries and big game.

But it’s a complex job.

Grant Public Utility District

Crews are drilling deep into southeast Washington's Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River to find out the extent of damage after leaks were recently discovered. 

Inciweb

Senator Maria Cantwell questioned the acting head of the U.S. Forest Service, Vicki Christiansen, this week. Among the senator's top concerns: there may not be enough air support for fires in the West this year.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

A federal watchdog agency said Wednesday that it's hard to prove that Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant is safe. 

U.S. Forest Service

In Seattle, there’s a national fire research lab where scientists have been working on a new computer model to better aid land managers as they predict how fires will behave and where smoke will go. But now that federal work’s been halted.

Stuart Palley / U.S. Forest Service

We’ve seen more wildfires burning into urban communities  lately. But there’s  a lot homeowners can do to protect themselves,  according to top scientists at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab.

Frank Wolf

East of the Cascades, wheat farmers say there has been plenty of moisture over the winter and all things point to a good harvest. But the price and demand for that crop is very much in question.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

In the wake of school shootings like Sandy Hook and Parkland, everyone from school officials and parents to first responders and politicians have looked for ways to protect children from gunfire. Now sensor technology originally made for missiles is being put to the test.

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