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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Tuesday the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission scolded the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant. The NRC said the Columbia Generating Station in southeast Washington improperly packaged, mis-labeled and shipped too-hot radioactive waste.

Returning an ancient skeleton known as Kennewick Man to the earth was a private affair. After decades of legal battling, a couple hundred people gathered in the early-morning chill of February for the burial.

A Catholic bishop is preaching a message that’s tough for some of his white parishioners to hear: that they have to love their undocumented immigrant neighbors.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

In Washington state, experts say probably more than half of the workers harvesting the apples you eat and the asparagus you grill are undocumented. And farmers and undocumented workers are bracing for deportations President Donald Trump has promised.

Over the weekend a large diesel spill developed on the Columbia River near downtown Wenatchee, Washington. So far state officials haven’t been able to locate the source of the spill.

The Northwest has had above-average snowpack and rain in many areas this winter. That’s good -- it’s wiped out drought. But all that water has wildland fire managers concerned about the terrain’s greening cheatgrass.

Wine scientists and grape growers will converge in the Tri-Cities, Washington, next week to talk about how to produce high-quality wine when the climate is getting more extreme.

Roads in a large swath of central and eastern Washington and Oregon have been devastated by melting snow and heavy rain. The flood of potholes and washouts has stalled heavy trucks carrying wheat, cattle and equipment.

Kennewick Man was reinterred Saturday by several Northwest tribes in a private ceremony. It ended a 20-year battle between scientists who wanted to study the bones and tribes who wanted to lay them to rest.

The Washington State Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a florist who declined to do flowers for a same-sex wedding broke the state’s anti-discrimination law. But the same-sex couple who won the case, isn’t celebrating too enthusiastically just yet.

Northwest residents are surrounded by thousands of dams, some in disrepair. And now the emergency at California’s Oroville Dam has sharpened interest in dam safety.

In Washington and Oregon, head-high piles of snow are starting to melt out east of the Cascades. But even Northwest cities that are used to clearing abundant snow are tallying up extra costs this winter.

President Donald Trump signed executive orders to increase immigration enforcement officers, deport individuals living in the country illegally and build a wall along the border with Mexico. All while Northwest farmers say they can’t hire enough people to pick fruit or work in packing houses.

During winter’s coldest months, snow can protect winter wheat like a blanket on a bed. But if it hangs around too long it can cause problems.

Mike Licht / Flickr

The recent testy back-and-forth between President Trump and Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto could end in real cash losses for agriculture in the Northwest.

Nearly $140 million of apples, $83 million of dairy and $26 million of frozen fries were shipped from Washington state to Mexico in 2015. For Oregon, farmers shipped $12 million in live trees and $15 million in wheat gluten and starch. Plus pears and prepared fruits and veggies.

Washington Apple Commission President Todd Fryhover said even talk of tariffs, or presidential-ego-bashing can result in canceled orders.

Most farmers in rural eastern Washington state say they only hire legal workers. But there’s a polite fiction of living and working there. Federal immigration officers raid farms and ranches here. And people get deported.

Old Man Winter has struck again east of the Cascades. Residents woke up Wednesday to find the deep snow covering the area frosted by an ice storm.

In the Tri-Cities, children have had nearly a dozen snow days and late-start days this winter. Piled on with airport, mountain pass and work closures -- many parents are feeling quite trapped.

The inauguration of Donald Trump and the next session of Congress mark the end of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for the United States. The trade deal proved to be a divisive issue during the presidential election -- and not just among politicians.

Two closely-tied agriculture exporters in the Northwest, beef producers and hay farmers, will be affected by the end of  TPP in very different ways.

A major storm east of the Cascades has dumped snow and closed businesses and schools Monday. The weather has also been a factor in several accidents and deaths. Bend, Oregon, has nearly three feet of snow in some places.

Low temperatures, snow drifts, and northeasterly winds east of the Cascades are making things difficult for Northwest ranchers and dairy owners. They are struggling to keep their animals hydrated, fed and warm.

Several Northwest tribes are meeting this week with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and with the Washington state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to discuss the imminent reburial of the Ancient One, or Kennewick Man.

A failed energy substation caused the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant to have to power down Sunday. Bonneville Power Administration officials are still investigating why it went offline, but it might be related to very cold weather.

A coroner’s inquest this week cleared the three Pasco police officers who shot a farmworker in February 2015. The Franklin County Coroner has fought for nearly two years to hold the examination into the facts of the death.

The federal government Monday started up a special inspection at the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, is looking into why a shipment of low-level nuclear waste was mislabeled and too radioactive.

A coroner’s inquest is set to begin Monday in Pasco, Washington, spotlighting the police shooting death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes. The Franklin County coroner has been fighting and negotiating for nearly two years to have it.

Members of the U.S. House and Senate expect to pass a law in the next few days that would return a 9,000-year old set of human remains to Northwest tribes. “Kennewick Man” was found along the banks of the Columbia River in 1996 by two students.

James Mattis is a retired Marine general and a military history fellow at Stanford -- and Donald Trump picked him for secretary of Defense. When Mattis is not on the road, he’s at his mother’s house in Richland, Washington.

On election night, did you already have a bad feeling about your family Thanksgiving? One Northwest brother and sister did. Jessica Brady and Jeremy Holmes both voted for Hillary Clinton. Their parents didn’t.

The Washington Supreme Court Tuesday heard the case of a florist versus a same-sex couple who wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013. The owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, refused to take the job, saying it was against her religious beliefs.

There’s a huge building with a massive pool of water at the Hanford nuclear site in southeast Washington state. The water glows an eerie neon blue from an effect known as the Cherenkov Glow. The light comes from the decay of the nearly 2,000 highly-radioactive cesium and strontium capsules held in the pool.

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