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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Northwest Farmers
11:13 am
Tue April 15, 2014

'This Is The Kind Of Hay Year That Makes A Hay Farmer Smile'

Drex Gauntt grows some of the earliest-harvested alfalfa in the Northwest near Burbank, Wash.

 

Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer. Rain can leach nutrients out of drying hay and rot away any profits. 

But this year, hay markets are primed if growers can duck the storm clouds. Drought in California and parts of the Midwest means hay buyers are focusing in on Northwest crops. 

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Wanapum Dam
5:58 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Keeping Bones, Cultural Artifacts Safe In Central Washington Proving Costly

The drawdown of water behind the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is exposing dozens of human gravesites and hundreds of Native American cultural artifacts. Grant County officials are working overtime to protect these sensitive sites, but that work isn’t cheap.

Grant County utility district says it’s spending about $600,000 per month protecting 80 miles of Columbia River shore.

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κρυπτοσ
12:11 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Contest Challenges Northwest College Students To Break Secret Code

Here's a challenge from the 2013 competition.
Central Washington University

Code language is probably as old as language itself. Now, two Northwest professors have launched a competition to test students’ code-breaking skills.

Called Kryptos, the competition is geared toward undergraduate students all around the Northwest. But the region’s high school students are also encouraged to try and break the codes.

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Northwest Farmers
5:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Low Prices Prompt Northwest Asparagus Growers To Try To Delay Harvest

Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco. The green points are the first crop harvested in spring.

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Wanapum Dam
3:34 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

A Long, Dry Summer For River Resort Communities Behind Cracked Dam?

Boat launches and docks in the community have been left high and dry from the drawdown of water behind the damaged dam.
Anna King

For one resort community in central Washington, this summer could be a bust. A crack in the Wanapum Dam there has forced operators to draw down the Columbia River more than 25 feet, leaving boat docks hundreds of feet from the water.

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Wanapum Dam
2:25 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Winds Hamper Exploratory Drilling On Wanapum Dam’s Giant Crack

Photo courtesy of Grant County PUD.

High winds on the Columbia River are hampering forensic work on the damaged Wanapum Dam in southeast Washington. Workers first noticed a giant crack in the structure over a month ago. Investigators are trying to figure out just how bad it is and how to fix it.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:31 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

State of Washington To Feds: Cleanup At Hanford Must Go Faster

AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson complained Monday that the federal government will likely miss major deadlines for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

They want the feds to stick to agreed upon deadlines and are demanding new tanks to replace the leaking old ones. But the feds say they, too, have a plan.

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Unearthed Remains
7:29 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Bones Found Near Wanapum Dam Repatriated To Northwest Tribes

Anna King

Two skeletons found upstream of the cracked Wanapum Dam have been handed over to Northwest tribes.

The remains were found near each other several weeks ago along the newly-exposed Columbia River shore.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
2:28 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Wash. State Orders Hanford Managers To Empty Leaking Tank

FILE - Routine periodic visual monitoring (via camera) of the AY-102 annulus found material previously not seen.
U.S. Department of Energy

The state of Washington has ordered the federal government to pump out a leaking double-shell tank of waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The state says pumping must begin by Sept. 1.

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Wanapum Dam
9:57 am
Fri March 21, 2014

With Drawdown, Fruit Farmers Scramble To Irrigate From Lowered Columbia River

Along the Columbia River in Washington state there are thousands of acres of valuable cherry, apple and pear orchards. These pears are damaged, and destined for cattle feed.
Anna King

Dam engineers are working to determine the severity of the crack in the Wanapum Dam’s spillway.

But the drawdown of the spillway to relieve pressure on the ailing structure is having some real consequences for the region’s farmers, tourism hubs and Northwest tribes.

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Wanapum Dam
3:43 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Fish Experts Plan Water Slide For Salmon On Cracked Wanapum Dam

File image of Wanapum Dam.
AP Photo

The ongoing issue with the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is now creating problems for migrating salmon. The drawdown of water between Wanapum and Rock Island dams to relieve pressure on the crack is the roadblock.

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Northwest Farmers
1:12 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Dam Drawdown: Worried Washington Farmers Plead For Help To Water Fruit Trees

Because of the drawdown, this irrigation pipe for cherry orchards that lies four miles downstream from Rock Island Dam cannot reach water in the Wanapum pool.
Anna King

State officials and farmers are scrambling to save orchards at risk of drying as a result of the drawdown of the Columbia River. The drawdown is due to major cracks found on the Wanapum Dam.        

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Unearthed Remains
1:52 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Wanapum Dam’s River Drawdown Churns Up Old Bones, Inundates Guards

Newly exposed riverbank sprawls out upstream on the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam
Anna King

A second set of human remains have been found near the cracked Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River in eastern Washington, according to state officials.

The remains were found about 500 yards downstream from the first set of remains found last week near Crescent Bar.

The first set belongs to a Native American man and could be very old. The second skeleton is also Native American, but its gender is not yet known. Whatever the case, some locals hope to avoid what happened with the discovery of the Kennewick Man.

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Northwest Farmers
4:03 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Upstream Of Damaged Dam, Farmers Can’t Reach Columbia River For Irrigation

Anna King

Thousands of acres of high-value cherry and apple orchards behind the damaged Wanapum Dam are at serious risk in eastern Washington.

It turns out farmers don't have long enough straws to pump out of the Columbia River now that the water has been lowered there to stabilize the dam.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:21 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Hanford Whistleblowers: Senate Hearing Forces Few Answers Into The Open

File photo of Hanford whistlerblower Walt Tamosaitis testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight in 2011.
U.S. Senate

In Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Hanford whistleblowers Donna Busche and Walt Tamosaitis weren’t allowed to speak before a Senate hearing.

The former nuclear site workers had been informally invited to testify before the Homeland Security subcommittee, but that invitation was later blocked by the ranking minority Republican on the committee.

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