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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James Mattis is a retired Marine general and a military history fellow at Stanford -- and Donald Trump picked him for secretary of Defense. When Mattis is not on the road, he’s at his mother’s house in Richland, Washington.

On election night, did you already have a bad feeling about your family Thanksgiving? One Northwest brother and sister did. Jessica Brady and Jeremy Holmes both voted for Hillary Clinton. Their parents didn’t.

The Washington Supreme Court Tuesday heard the case of a florist versus a same-sex couple who wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013. The owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, refused to take the job, saying it was against her religious beliefs.

Wednesday many people who were “with” Hillary Clinton are talking in hushed conversations over cube walls and giving each other hugs. Some had trouble keeping their focus, like one college senior in Richland, Washington. The 23-year-old is a U.S. citizen, born in eastern Oregon. But says she grew up in fear of her mother being deported because she is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.

At the Trump victory party in Spokane Valley, Washington, Republicans said they were looking for a candidate who could bring jobs to eastern Washington and the rest of the nation, who had family values they can support, and who can protect America’s borders.

There’s a huge building with a massive pool of water at the Hanford nuclear site in southeast Washington state. The water glows an eerie neon blue from an effect known as the Cherenkov Glow. The light comes from the decay of the nearly 2,000 highly-radioactive cesium and strontium capsules held in the pool.

For some, death isn’t spooky or scary like Halloween. Hispanic families across the Northwest are preparing to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

Many Washington and Idaho wheat farmers are struggling this year because of a weird crop problem. Researchers at the USDA’s Western Wheat Quality Lab at Washington State University in Pullman are looking into it.

By baking cakes, cookies, bread, pancakes, noodles and pasta.

WASHINGTON STATE DEBATE COALITION

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger Bill Bryant sparred in their last scheduled debate in Pasco Wednesday night over Inslee's record at Hanford and their stances on environmental regulations.

"We’re so focused on getting a lawsuit and a win in court, and being able to issue a press release saying we won," Bryant said of Inslee's approach to Hanford cleanup, "that we’re really not talking to people about how we can move up our time frame and clean up this mess."

In the last six years, about 10 confirmed cases of valley fever have popped up in Eastern Washington. And the state of Washington estimates there are even more exposures that haven’t been diagnosed.

For decades, artifacts of life and work from the Manhattan Project and Cold War era at Hanford have been locked away. Now, these historical items are being trucked off the southeast Washington nuclear site and curated at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

A new federal bill was introduced Monday that would further protect whistleblowers at Hanford and other nuclear sites. The legislation was penned by thee Democratic senators: Oregon’s Ron Wyden, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

More people from across the globe than ever are seeking to transform themselves on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. And as fall comes, the through-hiker season is wrapping up.

As part of the Pendleton Round-Up Rodeo in northeast Oregon, a Western pageant called “Happy Canyon” will kick off its 100th year run Wednesday. The show includes hundreds of volunteer performers, galloping horses, a live orchestra, Old West cowboy antics and real Native Americans.

Firefighters lit off two prescribed fires Thursday in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in central Washington state. It’s part of a wider $800,000 state pilot project to prevent huge fires like the Carlton Complex two years ago.

After two years of some of the worst fires and smoke the Northwest has ever seen, Washington’s Methow Valley is catching its breath. Dozens of businesses didn’t make it through and the fires still throw a long shadow.

The police department in Pasco, Washington, needs to hire more women, more Spanish speakers and have more diversity in general. That’s one finding of a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice that was prompted by the February 2015 shooting of farmworker Antonio Zambrano-Montes by three Pasco police officers.

In southeast Washington, the Range 12 Fire is finally out. But now there’s 176,600 acres of black. And it’s roasted much of the valuable habitat on the Hanford Reach National Monument.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said workers at Hanford tank farms who say radioactive waste is making them sick need to be heard.

The Northwest apple harvest is just underway and pickers are wading into the lush orchards. And so far things look dramatically better than last year.

Tuesday’s high winds set two major new fires raging in Washington state. One ripped across grassy eastern Washington flats near Moses Lake and the other up a steep canyon near the Snake River and Pullman.

The Range 12 Fire in southeast Washington has destroyed some of the most sensitive shrub steppe habitat in the nation.

Officials from the Hanford nuclear reservation and Energy Northwest have been meeting with fire managers in southeast Washington state Tuesday. The nearby Range 12 Fire has grown to more than 177,000 acres and high winds are predicted this evening.

Organic blueberries are really hard to grow west of the Cascades -- too many bugs and too much disease. And east of the mountains, growers must battle the desert. But one company growing blueberries in south central Washington state may have a solution.

Giant tents.

The annual boat races in the Tri-Cities in southeast Washington draw more than 70,000 spectators -- thousands from out of town. It also draws an increase in child prostitution.

Workers at the Hanford tank farms in southeast Washington state stopped work Monday after a group of unions in Richland called for a halt in the early morning. A union leader said that could mess with about 2,000 people’s schedules at the site.

Editor’s note: Anna King’s reports from the 2015 wildfires in Washington state earned national recognition in breaking news and crisis journalism. We asked our Richland correspondent to reflect on fire, safety, and what’s changed over the years. --Phyllis Fletcher

The Northwest saw several red flag warnings and fast-burning fires over the long holiday weekend. And in the last several years, regional firefighters say they are seeing bigger fires that threaten more homes.

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. And in the tiny wheat-farming town of Johnson, Washington, they’re getting ready for the 50th year of what some call “America’s Craziest Parade.”

Every summer, around 4,000 people from across the country flock to Johnson. Population 50.

Fireworks aren’t the only thing firefighters have to worry about this Fourth of July weekend. They have a big battle on their hands and have been bringing in extra crews and equipment to posts east of the Cascades.

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