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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Environment
3:48 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Methow Valley Irrigation Gets Overhaul For Salmon, Steelhead, Bull Trout

Methow River
myriverguide.com Flickr

Construction begins this week on a state project in the Methow Valley to give fish a boost of cold, clean water in rivers near Twisp, Washington. The state and a trout conservation group are pouring about $10 million into a whole new irrigation system there.

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Gun Initiative
10:25 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Rural Farmers On I-594: Make Your Gun Laws, But We Won’t Abide

From left to right, Ben and Frank Wolf are brothers who farm together in the Palouse in southeast Washington.
Anna King

In rural parts of the Northwest, many believe owning a gun is sort of like owning a garden trowel. You just have one or two around.

In November, Washington voters will decide on two gun-related initiatives. Initiative 594 aims to close loopholes on gun sales without background checks. The initiative is likely to pass, according to a recent poll. But in rural Washington, some people are skeptical the initiative will hit its intended target.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:51 am
Thu October 16, 2014

EPA Fines Hanford For Stagnating Radioactive Waste Near Columbia River

The K-East and K-West reactors were shut down in 1970 and 1971.
U.S. Department of Energy

The Environmental Protection Agency intends to fine the U.S. Department of Energy up to $10,000 per week if radioactive waste just a stone's throw from the Columbia River isn’t cleaned up.

Behind the old called the K-West reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is a huge concrete swimming pool-like basin. It was built in the 1950s and meant to last for 20 years. That’s where workers dumped hot irradiated rods until they cooled. Later, they were shuttled off to be further refined into plutonium for bombs.

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Disaster Relief
10:18 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Washington State's Largest Wildfire Not Big Enough To Merit More Federal Assistance

A plane drops fire retardant over a wildfire as clouds of smoke billow behind and above Saturday, July 19, 2014, near Carlton, Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

People of the Methow Valley and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation were hoping for more money to rebuild hundreds of lost homes and livelihoods.

But the federal government, for the second time, turned down the application by Washington state for more aid. This time, FEMA said the effects of the fire were not severe enough "to warrant the designation of Individual Assistance.”

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Northwest Salmon
5:11 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Chinook Salmon Head Up The Columbia In Big Numbers

Retired Hanford pipe fitter Melvin Miller, 60, was fishing early for Chinook salmon on the Columbia River near Columbia Point Marina in Richland, Washington.
Anna King

Fisheries experts say the return of chinook salmon to the Columbia River may not quite break records this fall as expected.

Last year’s run of nearly 1.3 million salmon was a record, but future years may not bring those kinds of numbers.

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Preserving History
10:24 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Federal Grants To Help Preserve History Of WWII Japanese Internment Sites

Five men playing board game in barracks at the Kooskia Internment Camp. ca. 1944.
University of Idaho Digital Initiatives

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, U.S. government officials rounded up Japanese Americans and sent them to harsh, ill-equipped camps. Now, the National Park Service has announced $3 million in new grants to help preserve that important history.

Stacey Camp, an associate professor at the University of Idaho, is leading an effort to survey the Kooskia Internment site with help from federal Park Service grants.

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Northwest Wine
10:17 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Crushing Northwest Wine Grapes: Hot Summer Makes For Strong Juice

Jim Holmes, of Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on Red Mountain, says this year's grapes don't show signs of disease, mold, bird damage.
Anna King

As autumn’s golden light bathes the Northwest, wineries across the region are harvesting, crushing grapes and making wine full bore. This year’s fruit looks petite and powerful.

Jim Holmes, owner of the Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on Red Mountain in southeast Washington, is one of the godfathers of the state’s wine industry. He says this year's grapes don't show signs of disease, mold or bird damage. 

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Rebuilding
9:22 am
Tue September 9, 2014

After Fire And Mud In Washington's Methow Valley, Some Choose To Leave

The day after the flood near Twisp, Washington, Patty Cho and her boyfriend Sal Asaro, 24, pick on the porch of their yurt and plan their next move. With no power, running water and surrounded by mud, they were looking for a new home.
Anna King

Hunkered low on the front deck of a yurt are two twentysomethings. The hut is plopped in the middle of a winding mountain canyon in Washington’s Methow Valley near the town of Twisp.

Patty Cho and Sal Asaro are picking out a few tunes. They felt the urge to sing Creedence Clearwater’s “Bad Moon Rising.” Asaro tunes up his banjo, and Cho, cross-legged, starts singing softly in tune while picking her guitar.

“I see a bad moon a-risin’,” she sings. “I see trouble on the way, I see earthquakes and lightnin', I see bad times today.”

This is their new theme song.

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Rebuilding
12:42 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

It's Always Been Home: Sticking It Out After Fire And Mud In Washington's Methow Valley

Kent Stokes, 28, of Twisp, Washington surveys the ruins of his large shop and home. He estimates his family lost about 20,000 acres of grazing land in the fires this year.
Anna King

Kent Stokes can’t believe who survived the Carlton Complex wildfire. It was both his pet cat, and his arch nemesis: an early-morning chattering gray squirrel.

When 28-year-old Stokes returned to the ruins of his burnt-up shop and home, he was happy to find at least the cat.

“I heard him meowing through the brush or whatever was left,” Stokes said. “He came running out. He came through fine. Not a singe mark on him. The squirrel and the cat made it through all that fire.”

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Northwest Wine
12:22 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Small Tract Of Northwest Wine-Growing Soil Attracting Big Outside Investment

Gewurztraminer grapes are seen at Kiona Vineyards on Red Mountain.
JJ Williams Kiona Vineyards

Wine harvest is underway in a small growing region in southeast Washington called Red Mountain. The dusty wedge of earth has been attracting an increasing amount of investment from winemakers from Napa, Canada and even Italy.

In the late-1970s, Red Mountain was mostly sagebrush. A primitive road slashed through the desert. Today, there are only small islands of desert peeking out from a sea of green grape vines.

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Recovery
2:13 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Inslee Declares State Of Emergency After Severe Rainstorms Hit Okanogan County

In this photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation crews work near a damaged road east of Twisp, Washington, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014.
AP Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a state of emergency proclamation for Okanogan County Thursday after severe rainstorms pounded the area earlier this month.

The rains last week ended in flash floods, mudslides and debris flows that blocked two state highways.

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Science
4:06 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Out Soon: Long-Awaited Scientific Volume On 'Kennewick Man' Skeleton

A new book about Kennewick Man is due to hit bookstands in mid-September.
Texas A&M University Press

A skeleton some 9,000 years old is giving up a few of his secrets. A new book about the so-called Kennewick Man, whose remains were found 18 years ago, is due to hit bookstands in mid-September.

Kennewick Man was found resting in the shallow water of the Columbia River. His early story was that of some strife; a rock-point was found buried in his hip bone.

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Recovery
12:10 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

After Massive Wildfire, Town Of Twisp Digging Out From Flash Flooding

This steep hillside in Finley Canyon shows the story.
Anna King

Residents near the town of Twisp, Washington are digging out from mud that ripped through Finley Canyon last week. Because the record-breaking Carlton Complex wildfires have left soil and rock primed to run downhill, more damage could be on the way.

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Disasters And Accidents
12:23 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

After The Fire, Heavy Rains Trigger Landslides Near Twisp

In this photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation water pours over a damaged road east of Twisp, Wash., Friday, Aug. 22, 2014.
WSDOT

Heavy rains near Twisp, Washington have triggered flash floods and landslides on hills and ranches left charred by the Carlton Complex wildfire. Highways have been closed in Okanogan County and traffic has been rerouted.

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Radio Silence
4:59 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Wash. State Radio Station For The Visually-Impaired Fades To Quiet This Week

Volunteer Richard Berndt will read the Evergreen Radio Reading Service’s last Seattle Times on Friday at noon, 6 and 11 p.m.
David Junius

For more than 40 years, a radio station called the Evergreen Radio Reading Service has been broadcasting all day, every day across Washington state for the print-disabled — people who are visually-impaired or unable to hold or turn a page.

But the station is fading to quiet today.

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