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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First Cut
5:00 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Are Security Requirements For Legal Pot Grows Enough?

Even though the grow area at Black Dog Acres in Goldendale, Washington, is in the middle of a 20-acre lot, regulations mandated that the fence and all the other security protocols be followed.
Joe Barrentine The News Tribune

Washington state’s new pot grow operations have state-required alarm systems, dozens of cameras and tall fences. But some growers said they aren’t worried about theft and violence.

Should they be?

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First Cut
5:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Where Does A Strait-Laced Farmer Get Pot-Growing Expertise?

Research farmer Alan Schreiber and research assistant Tom Balotte, of Ag Development Group, talk about an ongoing research project in the fields of the 105-acre farm north of Pasco, July 2, 2014.
Joe Barrentine The News Tribune

In eastern Washington, a pair of very different guys teamed up to embark on an experiment to grow Washington’s latest agricultural crop, legal marijuana. 

One of them, Alan Schreiber, is a strait-laced farmer. The other, Tom Balotte, is not a farmer; he’s a video-gaming techie.

Balotte also doesn’t smoke weed, but he does like to build things.

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First Cut
5:01 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Mary, How Does Your Pot Garden Grow? The Tricky Business Of Yielding The Best Crop

Growing marijuana outside is a tricky venture, as farmer Susy Wilson can attest to.
Jordan Schrader The News Tribune

Figuring out how to maximize yields on legal marijuana in Washington state will be tricky, and not every licensed farmer will survive the competition and the tight margins.

Take Susy Wilson’s farm near Dallesport in the Columbia Gorge. Her pot crew and support includes low-paid family and friends. And a few waist-high pot plants in her fenced-off compound look a bit sad.

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Wildfire Danger
11:49 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Lightning-Sparked Wildfire In Central Washington Grows

The Snag Canyon Fire is sending plumes of smoke mixing with storm clouds above tinder-dry hillsides just outside of Ellensburg, Washington.
Anna King

Firefighters are battling the lightning-sparked Snag Canyon Fire that has grown quite large just north of Ellensburg.

The blaze, which has burned nearly 2,000 acres, is challenging firefighters who are trying to secure lines closest to town.

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Wildfire Damage
10:30 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Winds Blowing Ellensburg-Area Wildfire Away From Homes

This map shows wildfires active in Washington state as of 2 p.m. Sunday.
Northwest Interagency Coordination Center

Kittitas County Commissioner Obie O’Brien said he fears about a dozen homes have been lost to a fast-growing wildfire in the foothills north of Ellensburg, Washington. Those losses have not been confirmed.

State Department of Natural Resources regional manager Todd Walker said hundreds of firefighters have been called in to corral the fire.

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First Cut
10:09 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Is It Better To Grow Marijuana Indoors Or Out?

Judy Bodily waters freshly planted pot plants at Black Dog Acres outside of Goldendale, Washington.
Joe Barrentine The News Tribune

As legal pot growing operations spring to life from urban King County to remote corners of Washington state, an ongoing debate has developed within this new farming community: Should marijuana be grown indoors or out?

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First Cut
5:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Reporter's Notebook: 'First Cut' Tells Stories Of Washington's Marijuana Farmers

"First Cut," a collaborative series produced in partnership with the Tacoma News Tribune, tells the stories of the farmers behind Washington's marijuana crop.

Correspondent Anna King and Tacoma News Tribune’s Jordan Schrader talked to Austin Jenkins about their joint effort.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:07 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Hanford Workers Say They’re Not Satisfied With Working Conditions At Tank Farms

Dozens of workers from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation gathered for public meeting organized watchdog group Hanford Challenge.
Anna King

Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers who are worried about getting sick turned out in droves for a public meeting Wednesday night in Richland organized by a Seattle-area watchdog called Hanford Challenge.

About 45 people squeezed into tight rows in a small conference room.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:21 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Hanford Vapors: It's Still Difficult To Track Down The Fix

Handheld air monitors are used in the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's tank farms to help keep workers safe. But a human nose can detect far less concentrated chemicals, than this high-tech machinery.
Anna King

Since the spring, many workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have needed medical attention from exposure to chemical vapors. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy led a busload of journalists to points across the site to show off what they’re doing to keep workers safe.

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Growing Marijuana
8:49 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Legal Wash. State Pot Stores Opening Soon, But Production Lags

Eric and Katey Cooper stand amid their flowering marijuana.
Anna King

Eric Cooper has a sort of "The Dude" vibe: Hawaiian shirt, leather brown sandals and a bushy silver goatee. He smoked weed for the first time when he was about 14. He’s a former contractor and registered nurse. Cooper grew medical marijuana, and now he’s one of the owners of Monkey Grass Farms in Wenatchee, Washington.

Monkey Grass Farms is one of the big boys: a tier-3 Washington state-licensed indoor pot grow. That means they can nurture about 21,000-square-feet of marijuana plants.

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Darrington Rodeo
11:47 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Rodeo Band-Aid: Roping, Riding Helps People Heal From Oso Landslide

Alexis Blakey, 20, of Oso, Washington says running barrels with her horse Tax helps her hit the pause button on memories of the landslide for a few brief moments.
Anna King

The Timberbowl Rodeo in the town of Darrington, Washington saw some of its largest crowds ever this past weekend. Neighbors gathered at the event to hug, shake hands and heal from the tragic Oso landslide.

Alexis Blakey knows nearly everyone in the small town that lies 74 miles northeast of Seattle. A native of nearby Oso, Washington, 20-year-old Blakey said the landslide that made her town infamous is branded on her brain. She was at these same rodeo grounds that day when she saw ambulance after ambulance headed for Oso.

“I don’t know," Blakey said. "We were all just like, 'What is going on? Is this really happening right now?'”

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
4:09 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Wash. State, Feds Set New Deadline For Hanford Cleanup

Tobin Fricke Wikimedia

Washington state and the federal government just gave themselves a 40-day deadline to come up with a cleanup plan for leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

If you think you’ve heard that before, it’s because you have.

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Radioactive Waste
5:00 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Japan Looks To Richland-Made Filters To Treat Radioactive Water

John Raymont, founder and president of Kurion, stands inside one of his company’s containerized mobile strontium filter units.
Anna King

Japan’s crippled nuclear plant is bleeding hazardous radioactive water at a mind-staggering rate. Officials at Fukushima Daiichi are filling 27-foot-tall tanks nearly every other day. Now, in southeast Washington, a company called Kurion is developing and building a mobile filter system to help deal with that troublesome radioactive wastewater.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:42 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Time's Up For Court-Ordered Hanford Cleanup Negotiations Between Feds, Wash. State

File photo of a nuclear waste storage tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Anna King

This week is the deadline for the state of Washington and the U.S. Department of Energy to reach an agreement on how to clean up radioactive tank waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The two sides can’t agree on a timelinel; it seems the state and the Energy Department have very different views of where things are.

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Wildfire Danger
2:47 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Northwest Fire Season Ramps Up Ahead Of Schedule East Of The Cascades

File photo of a 2013 wildfire near Goldendale, Washington.
Washington Incident Management Team #2/InciWeb

With conditions at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation tinder dry, workers were told Wednesday to practice fire safety at work and at home.

The news is about four weeks ahead of schedule for these types of fire weather alerts — a sign of a long, hot summer ahead.

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