Anna King

Northwest News Reporter

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.

The South Sound was her girlhood backyard and she knows its rocky beaches, mountain trails and cities well. She left the west side to attend Washington State University and spent an additional two years studying language and culture in Italy.

While not on the job, Anna enjoys trail running, clam digging, hiking and wine tasting with friends. She's most at peace on top a Northwest mountain with her husband Andy Plymale and their muddy Aussie-dog Poa.

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Ed Suominen / Flickr Creative Commons

US Highway 12 just east of White Pass, will close Wednesday, July 27. 

The annual boat races in the Tri-Cities in southeast Washington draw more than 70,000 spectators -- thousands from out of town. It also draws an increase in child prostitution.

People who live in the country who want to play Pokémon Go have a problem.

There are a lot of techie reasons why Pokémon stops are found more often in cities. But generally speaking, where there are more players or people there is usually more Pokémon activity on the game -- it just works better.

Workers at the Hanford tank farms in southeast Washington state stopped work Monday after a group of unions in Richland called for a halt in the early morning. A union leader said that could mess with about 2,000 people’s schedules at the site.

Editor’s note: Anna King’s reports from the 2015 wildfires in Washington state earned national recognition in breaking news and crisis journalism. We asked our Richland correspondent to reflect on fire, safety, and what’s changed over the years. --Phyllis Fletcher

Ben Brooks / Flickr

More homes now are built in rural and wildland areas. And fire managers are now seeing more wildfires spread from rural areas into cities and towns. Firefighters went up against these country-to-city fires last year in Chelan, and this year in California and Canada.

The Northwest saw several red flag warnings and fast-burning fires over the long holiday weekend. And in the last several years, regional firefighters say they are seeing bigger fires that threaten more homes.

Photo courtesy of Kathy Wolf

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. And in the tiny wheat-farming town of Johnson, Washington, they’re getting ready for the 50th year of what some call “America’s Craziest Parade.”

This story has been updated.

A wildfire that broke out near Cle Elum Saturday has been fully contained according to the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office. The 50-acre fire caused several homes to be evacuated and threatened Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.

Fireworks aren’t the only thing firefighters have to worry about this Fourth of July weekend. They have a big battle on their hands and have been bringing in extra crews and equipment to posts east of the Cascades.

Monday is Kirk Schulz’s first official day as the 11th president of Washington State University. In some brief public appearances across WSU’s campuses, the president’s wife has been greeting students and colleagues too.

And you can call both of them Dr. Schulz. Noel Schulz starts as an electrical engineering professor at Washington State in August.

Several Northwest tribes including the Umatilla in northeast Oregon and the Yakama in central Washington state are in Washington D.C. this week. They’re asking for the passage of one more law to help rebury the remains known as "Kennewick Man" or the "Ancient One."

Early this winter, skiers in the Northwest were excited. But then after about Christmas things turned dour. The once-epic snowpack is now long gone. In Washington state, it melted down in record time to less than half of average for early June.

And there hasn’t been much rain this spring either. The Cascades, Olympics and Blues are all hurting.

If you're at the Gorge Amphitheatre in central Washington and there's a large wildfire -- you might want to consider missing the next set of your favorite band. Just on Sunday, a 600-acre wildfire raged about three miles from the main stage where Alabama Shakes and The Cure were playing.

Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel has called repeatedly for an inquest into the 2015 police shooting of farmworker Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, Washington. Zambrano-Montes was throwing rocks in a crowded intersection when he was shot to death by three Pasco police officers.

"You're not funny, Bob."

That was the opinion of one man who shouted his disapproval after tepid applause for Bob Parks, Kennewick city councilman Tuesday night.

In Northwest farm country, tiny blueberry buds are already starting to plump up. But cold snaps could kill them. To save more of those fruit-bearing buds, blueberry farmers are currently waging an epic battle against frost.

The emergence of nine cases of a fungal infection known as Valley Fever in southeast Washington over the last five years has state and federal health officials concerned. This week, the state and the CDC are launching a $50,000 study.

A southeast Washington city council member posted anti-Latino comments to his personal Facebook page last week. It followed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ visit to Yakima.

Higher-level managers for major Hanford contractors testified in a three-day U.S. Department of Labor hearing this week. The case is over the layoff of a whistleblower at the southwest Washington nuclear site’s under-construction waste treatment plan.

Hanford construction workers and managers testified in day two of a U.S. Department of Labor hearing Wednesday in Kennewick, where a different image emerged of  the site's under-construction waste treatment plant than is usually presented to the public.

Several former Hanford construction workers testified in a U.S. Department of Labor hearing in Kennewick Tuesday, saying managers at the nuclear site played dangerous pranks that ended in workers with bloodied fingers, an injured knee, a hurt arm and glue smeared across the face. 

A federal court ordered the U.S. Department of Energy Friday to step up its solutions and timeline to clean up tank waste at Hanford in southeast Washington.

On Monday, Amtrak opens its Cascades trains to cats and dogs between Eugene, Oregon, and Bellingham, Washington. But there are some guidelines.

Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel has been fighting for a juried-review into the shooting of a Pasco, Washington, farmworker for more than a year. Wednesday, Franklin County officials promised they’d fund the inquest on the death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes.

At the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station, a recent anonymous letter has spurred a $150,000 investigation so far into the plant’s performance. The letter was penned by an apparent insider.

Independent investigators are onsite at the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station, north of Richland, Washington.

In Northwest farm-country, tiny blueberry buds are already starting to plump up. But cold snaps could kill them. And that’s a bummer for your morning smoothie. Now, Northwest scientists are trying to help farmers by studying how low blueberries can go.

For a decade, one woman has been the top watchdog on the Hanford nuclear reservation for Washington state. Jane Hedges retires February 26.

A couple winters ago, a team of Northwest scientists jumped in a pickup and traveled hundreds of miles around the U.S. and Canadian backroads. They were after samples of dirty snow.

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