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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Legal Marijuana
5:01 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Yakama Tribes Take Pot Stand On Traditional Lands

File image
AP Photo

Leaders of the Yakama Nation in central Washington say they see little benefit to sales or farming of legalized marijuana on their traditional lands. And the tribes are making moves to prevent anyone from operating a pot business on an area that adds up to one-fifth of the state’s land mass.

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Stuff of Legends
7:01 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Sasquatch-Hunting Reality Show Filmed In Northwest Premiers This Week

Courtesy of Spike TV.

A new cable reality show features rugged Northwesterners tromping through the region’s beautiful landscapes in search of Sasquatch.

Spike TV threw together big-game hunters, dedicated Big Foot aficionados called “squatchers” and animal-loving pro photographers. The new eight-week reality show on SpikeTV is called “10 Million Dollar Big Foot Bounty,” and comes, as the name suggests, with a $10 million prize. It premiers Friday.

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Liquor Laws
10:56 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Wash. Liquor Privatization Leaves Northwest Craft Distilleries Hungover

Courtesy of Dry Fly Distilling in Spokane, Washington.

A Hood River distillery has the top-selling brand of liquor, according to sales numbers released by the state of Oregon. But other craft distillers say those hot numbers don’t reflect their experience.

Before liquor sales were privatized in Washington state in mid-2012, small local distilleries were featured in state-owned shops there and throughout the Northwest. Now, top craft distillers say national brands are hogging the shelf space in Washington, the biggest market in the region.

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Washington Wheat
1:32 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Investors, Farmers May Return To Grain West Of The Cascades

Courtesy of Brook Brouwer with Washington State University.

When you think of Northwest wheat, you might picture the rolling golden fields of eastern Washington. But it used to be that a lot of grain was grown west of the Cascades, and it may soon grow here again.

Investors, policy makers and farmers are leading an effort to bring grain back to western Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.

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Three Kings Day
9:22 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Northwest Mexican-American Bakeries Ready For Three Kings Day

Alejandro Vacscez, 22, has been baking since he was 11 years old. He says the bakery will make close to 1,000 of these traditional breads for Three Kings Day will be busy at Viera’s Bakery in Pasco, Wash.
Anna King

Monday is a big day for Mexican-American bakeries across the Northwest. It’s Three Kings Day or the Epiphany, a Christian celebration of the day the magi came bearing gifts for Jesus. 

At Viera’s Bakery in Pasco, workers were hustling in preparation for a traditionally busy day.

“I think it’s one of the main days of all year that we sell a lot of bread,” said Alejandro Vacscez, who works at the bakery.

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Spirit of the Season
5:01 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Massive Nativity Collection Represents More Than Just The Christmas Story

Neil Allen, the interim pastor at Northwest United Protestant Church in Richland, holds one of his most prized crèche, a wood carving from Ecuador.
Anna King

‘Tis the season for the drone of cheery Christmas music. You’re even bombarded with it at the gym. It’s easy to get stressed out or even blue during the holidays. But at a small Presbyterian church in Richland, one pastor has been trying to spread a little solace with an unusual exhibit.

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Doing The Math
12:00 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Do Costs Of Northwest Nuke Plant Pencil Out? Depends Who You Ask

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

There’s a new debate raging over the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant. It’s not about safety or how to dispose of nuclear waste, but about dollars and cents.

A new report asks whether the Columbia Generating Station pencils out for the region. But the facility’s owners are fighting back with their own numbers.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:14 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Manhattan Project Park Left Out of Defense Bill

This is a World War II photo of the historic "B Reactor" at Hanford, Wash., which was the world's first plutonium production reactor.
AP Photo

A plan to turn part of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation into a national park has been dropped from a compromise defense authorization bill moving through the U.S. Congress.

The idea is to designate Hanford’s B Reactor as part of the Manhattan Project National Park, along with sites at Los Alamos, New Mexico and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

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mental health services
9:10 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

New Rural Mental Health Funding Called a Good Start

Northwest mental health experts are cautiously optimistic about a new federal grant program. But they call it a modest attempt to improve mental health care in rural areas.

The Obama administration announced Tuesday, the federal Department of Agriculture’s plans to spend up to $50 million over the next three years.

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
11:09 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Hanford Whistleblower Emerges on Timecard Fraud Case

File image
Associated Press

There is a new whistleblower at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington, but it doesn’t have to do with technical concerns.

It’s the latest twist in an ongoing timecard fraud case.

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northwest wine
4:15 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Northwest Wine Grape Growers Brace for Cold Damage

Anna King

Northwest wine grape growers expect this week’s very cold weather to do some damage to their vineyards. But it’s not clear yet how much of next year’s fruit might be affected.

Deep cold on wine vines isn’t good, but several factors determine just how bad it is. There’s the cold itself, and how long it lasts. There’s the elevation, colder air tends to settle in lower valleys. Then, there’s the variety of grape—is it German-tough or less cold-hardy Mediterranean?

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cold cattle
11:18 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Cold Weather Challenges Wash. Ranchers and Dairies

Len McIrvin checks on his Herford cattle in the cold weather in southcentral Washington outside of Patterson.
Anna King

The region’s cold snap has many dairy operators and ranchers taking extra care with their livestock. When it’s cold, cattle and other types of livestock tend to eat more to stay warm.

Despite the low temperatures intensified by a slight wind in central Washington, Len McIrvin’s Herford cattle just lowed at his passing pickup. They’re munching on what’s left in a harvested cornfield a few miles from the Columbia River.

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megaloads
9:22 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Megaload Pulls Out of Northeast Oregon Port Despite Protesters

Cathy Sampson-Kruse is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation.
Anna King

A massive load of oil equipment is on its way to Canada, along a winding route that began near Hermiston, in northeast Oregon. Protesters tried to stop the shipment by getting in the way, but the so-called megaload rumbled forward on its journey through Oregon and Idaho.

About two dozen protesters held signs and blew horns while police kept them away from the truck and trailer. The megaload takes up two lanes and stretches 380 feet. 

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HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION
4:15 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Layoffs At Hanford Due to Budget Uncertainty

Associated Press

Three federal contractors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say they’ll lay off 450 workers over the next year. The companies say Thursday’s announcement is largely due to federal budget uncertainty.

The three companies work on Hanford’s tank farms cleaning up contaminated groundwater and providing support services at the nuclear site. Many of the 450 workers will be let go in the next few months, and the others will be laid off by next fall.

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hanford cleanup
3:21 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Hanford Managers Focus on Flammable Gas in Waste Tanks

File image
Associated Press

Managers and scientists are working against the clock to solve a new possible problem at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

How much sludge can be dumped into a double-shelled radioactive waste tank before flammable gas might build up in a big bubble?

At a group of waste tanks called the C-Farm, workers are pumping the radioactive sludge out these old single-shelled tanks into the more stable double-hulled ones This radioactive witch’s brew constantly generates hydrogen and other flammable gases.

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