Anna King | KNKX

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 spent an additional two years studying 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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Workers plan to tackle some of the nastiest waste on the massive Hanford cleanup site next month. The so-called K-Basin holds sandy, explosive, potentially flammable and highly-radioactive sludge stored in six large containers.

A Yakama Nation leader, Russell Jim, has died. The 82-year-old was well-known by tribes and environmentalists across the nation for his fight to clean up Hanford.

Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River in southeast Washington state has multiple leaks and structural problems.

The dam is made up of large sections of concrete and steel bound together by 50-foot-long layers of grout. Now, at least four sections of the grout are failing and causing leaks.

Last year about 26 million boxes of Northwest cherries shipped to China, making it a top export market for Northwest cherry growers. When the cherries start coming off the tree in late May or early June, it will be the first crop to face new Chinese-imposed tariffs.

The U.S. Department of Energy is launching a federal investigation into a demolition site at the Hanford nuclear reservation where radioactive waste from the site has been spreading in unexplained ways.

In Central Washington, Grant Public Utility District officials have declared what they’re calling a “non-failure emergency” at the 1950’s-era Priest Rapids Dam northwest of Richland. 

Crews discovered leaking in the dam’s spillway structure when they were drilling inspection holes.

With China threatening to slap the United States with tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. made products,  one group that is worried is Washington state’s apple farmers.

Northwest Senators had a lot of questions for U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry during a Senate committee hearing Tuesday morning. They grilled him on the safety of steel in a massive treatment plant under construction at the Hanford nuclear site.

The U.S. Department of Energy is demanding thousands of pages of documentation from one of its top contractors at Hanford. They want to know exactly what grade of steel is being used in a massive radioactive waste treatment plant at the decommissioned nuclear site. 

Something has gone sour between Washington State University and a Seattle-based biotech company. It's over a new, highly-prized apple variety that has not yet hit the market.

Prompt communication between workers and management at the Plutonium Finishing Plant did not occur,  so radioactive waste continued to spread at Hanford. That’s according to a new report out Thursday.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Wednesday signed legislation aimed at helping workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation. The law will allow workers who have been exposed to toxic chemicals or radioactive waste more easily access compensation for medical treatment.

The National Academy of Sciences is conducting days of meetings in Richland, Washington, this week. On the agenda is what to do with a lot of liquid radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear reservation.

A doctor from Richland, Washington, Monday was awarded the U.S. Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. It’s an honor that is often bestowed upon U.S. presidents.

The recent bite of arctic air is causing real worry for Northwest fruit farmers. They’re fretting over their trees’ tender buds. And it all might get worse as things warm up.

As many as 11 workers may have ingested or inhaled radioactive contamination at the Plutonium Finishing Plant demolition site at Hanford in southeast Washington state. Ten workers are confirmed to have tested positive and one needs more testing to confirm the results.

Hanford workers have called a “stop work” at the Plutonium Finishing Plant demolition site because of worries about radioactive contamination inside government vehicles.

East of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon, it’s been about five to 10 degrees warmer than normal for most of the winter. Those unusually warm conditions have buds on fruit trees and grapevines starting to “push,” or emerge early.

And that has farmers worried.

Lew Zirkle, a doctor in Richland, Washington, works with thousands of surgeons all over the world to treat injuries in poor or war-ravaged countries. He will receive the U.S. Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service—the highest honor the Defense department gives to a non-career civilian—by Secretary James Mattis later this month.

Reaction in the Pacific Northwest was swift to President Trump’s proposed cuts to the cleanup budget at the Hanford Site.

Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, called the proposed $230 million cut “downright dangerous for everyone who lives near the Columbia River.”

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