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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Wildlife
5:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Young-Adult Cougars Looking For A Home Of Their Own Can Cause Problems

File image
AP Photo/ Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

This time of year, young Northwest cougars are getting kicked out of the nest by their mother cats. That means many of these young adults are looking for their own home range.

But these rookie hunters are in a cat-crowded field, and that sometimes ends in trouble.

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Northwest Wildlife
9:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Pneumonia Outbreaks Hitting Northwest’s Wild Bighorn Sheep

Kim Keating USGS

Bighorn sheep in the Northwest have their lambs in early spring. About now, those babies start playing together in the mountains — a sort of lamb daycare.

But that sweet, social behavior is spreading a deadly disease in several herds throughout the region.

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Development
5:00 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Preserve Vs. Road: Tri-Cities' Growing Pains Erupt In Public Planning Battle

Scott Woodward shows off Amon Creek Natural Preserve in Richland, Washington.
Anna King

The Tri-Cities are growing faster than most other metro areas in the Northwest and the nation. From a high spot like Badger Mountain, it’s easy see how rapidly new neighborhoods are leveling off ridgelines and hacking into fruit orchards.

Nearly every week, development in the wide-open spaces of eastern Washington is celebrated with golden shovels and ribbon cuttings. But that’s beginning to change.

Now there’s a very public pinch point: a small track of wildland versus a planned city road.

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Northwest Wines
8:00 am
Sun May 25, 2014

What Northwest Wine Experts Are Drinking At Their Holiday BBQs

Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue edit Great Northwest Wine.
Courtesy of Great Northwest Wine.

The Northwest is quickly becoming world famous for high-quality wine. So what are the region's wine experts splashing into their glasses over Memorial Day weekend?

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Wanapum Dam
3:14 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Residents Upstream Of Wanapum Dam Make Do With Low Columbia River

Docks are high and dry for the long weekend near Eugene and Karen Penix's home at Sunland Estates near Vantage, Washington.
Anna King

The dramatic drawdown of the water behind the damaged Wanapum Dam in eastern Washington means boaters are out of luck on that stretch of the Columbia River.

Those who own vacation homes upstream from Wanapum at Sunland Estates say they are getting creative for the long weekend.

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How Does Your Garden Grow?
11:33 am
Mon May 19, 2014

New Northwest-Developed Organic Fertilizer Not As Smelly, Popular With Farmworkers

Alan Schreiber is an organic and research farmer. He’s testing a new better-smelling organic liquid fertilizer at his farm near Eltopia, Washington.
Anna King

When you think organic, you probably visualize fresh, sweet-smelling fruits and vegetables. But what makes that delicious organic produce grow?

The answer is digested fish parts mixed with molasses, which smells so bad that it’s been known to make farm workers gag.

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Wanapum Dam
10:12 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Inslee: Cracked Wanapum Dam A Unique Problem, Not Systemic In River System

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee toured the cracked Wanapum Dam on Wednesday.
Governor's Office

Gov. Jay Inslee got an up-close view of the drilling machines at work on the damaged Wanapum Dam in central Washington Wednesday, just one day after officials announced the dam’s massive crack was caused by fundamental design errors and bad concrete pours in 1960.

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Superfund Site
10:21 am
Wed May 14, 2014

At Idaho Superfund Site, Pavement Used To Help The Environment

A street in Wallace, Idaho was repaved last fall as part of the Superfund cleanup in the Coeur d'Alene Basin.
EPA

With the weather warming up, work has resuming at one of the largest Superfund sites in the nation. The EPA is trying to clear decades of mine pollution from Idaho's Coeur d'Alene River Basin and the upper reaches of the Spokane River. And this summer, managers are using an environmental remedy you might not expect: pavement.

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Wanapum Dam
3:29 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Wanapum Dam Crack Symptom Of Several Big Problems

This undated photo shows the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River.
Grant County PUD

A host of problems caused the massive crack in Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River, the Grant County Public Utility District said Tuesday.

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Northwest Farmers
2:35 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Washington Farmers Expecting Third Largest Cherry Crop Ever This Season

Northwest sweet cherry growers say they'll likely pick 20 million boxes full — their third largest haul ever — this season. But there’s plenty that can happen to cherries before then, even on the day of harvest.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah grow about two-thirds of the nation’s sweet cherries. And this year, demand should be even higher for those candy-like fruit as a result of the dismal cherry growing weather in California. The continuing drought in that state and poor pollination has thinned out their crops. 

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
2:26 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Time Ticking On 40-Day Negotiations Over Cleanup Of Hanford Tanks

Tobin Fricke Flickr

The clock is ticking on the 40-day, 40-night compromise deadline between Washington state and the federal government for cleaning up Hanford’s leaking radioactive waste tanks.

But at Hanford’s annual update for the public in Richland this week, it was clear that any agreement between the state and the federal government is still a ways off.

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Northwest Farmers
9:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

High Prices Of Milk And Beef Spur A Northwest Cattle Rush

Dean Hibbs, with All West Select Sires, could be called the date doctor for dairy and beef cows. He’s tallying their traits and seeing which bull might be the best match to produce the highest-quality dairy calf in Sunnyside, Washington.
Anna King

We’ve all heard of the Western Gold Rush. But how about the Northwest cattle rush?

Farmers in our region are taking advantage of record prices worldwide for dairy and beef. And on the front lines of this Northwest herd expansion is your friendly artificial insemination technician. So when you douse milk on your morning cereal, think of guys like Dean Hibbs.

Hibbs has been on breakneck drive to breed more cattle and hasn’t had a day off in weeks. He says cows in heat wait for no man.

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Legal Marijuana
5:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Washington Pot Growers May Not Get Federal Irrigation Water

File image
Ed Andrieski AP Photo

Farmers in eastern Washington who want to get into the marijuana business may face an immediate hurdle.

The U.S. government is currently deciding whether it will give growers access to federal water. The agricultural heart of the state depends on these irrigation systems. 

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Wanapum Dam
4:56 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Wanapum Dam Fix Could Total $61 Million, Says Grant County PUD

Grant County PUD

The cost fixing the cracked Wanapum Dam will total $61 million, according to Grant County PUD officials.

About one-third of the cost is the result of the investigation into the crack, the guarding of the river and the loss of power production. The rest will cover the fix itself.

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Salmon Runs
2:14 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Endangered Chinook Hitching A Ride On Trucks Around Cracked Wanapum Dam

Workers scramble to place temporary fixes on the fish ladders at the cracked Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River.
Anna King

Hundreds of Chinook salmon are being rounded up and loaded into tanker trucks that will drive them around the cracked Wanapum Dam in southweast Washington.

The Columbia River will remain drawn down at least until June, which means fish can’t reach their traditional ladders. Engineers are working on extensions and water slides of sorts to get fish ladders working again. But work to install this new equipment has been difficult, with cranes, man baskets and the whipping wind.

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