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 snowboarding, clam digging, hiking and wine tasting with friends. She lives in Richland with her husband Andy Plymale.

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NPR Story
4:30 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

WSU Researchers To Create Sperm Bank For Honey Bees

Scott Butner Flickr

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 3:06 pm

Washington State University scientists are developing a sperm bank to capture the biodiversity of honey bees. The hope is to breed stronger pollinators, since populations keep declining.

Researchers are preparing to use liquid nitrogen to create a frozen semen bank. They’re also trying to come up with a new super-bee subspecies that could thwart the phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.

To extract semen from a bee you need a powerful microscope and petit glass tubes.

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Radioactive Soil
4:22 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Swallows Bring Radioactive Soil Into Hanford Waste Plant

Bechtel

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 10:07 am

Workers are back on the job at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. Work stopped this week when radioactive soil was found under the nests of some swallows.

Swallows used some radioactive mud to make nests on exposed beamwork in Hanford’s waste treatment plant. That’s the $12 billion factory designed to bind-up radioactive sludge in glass logs. The nests were found during routine tests, but this is the first radioactive contamination of the new plant.

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Agricutural mistakes
6:53 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Careful Wheat Farmers, Seed Purveyors Say Mistakes Still Happen

Uniontown, Wash., area farmer Frank Wolf.
Credit Anna King

There’s been a lot of speculation but few answers so far about how genetically modified wheat ended up in an Oregon field.

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GMO Wheat
3:31 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Monsanto: Oregon GMO Wheat Isolated, Not Widespread

Mim Tasters Flickr

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 4:34 pm

Agribusiness giant Monsanto says genetically modified wheat found in Oregon could be the result of an accident rather than a widespread planting of the controversial seed. In a call Wednesday morning with reporters, the St. Louis-based company says its provided its specific tests to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for use in the investigation.

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GMO Wheat
4:56 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

USDA Boosts Investigation Of Oregon GMO Wheat

Mim Tasters Flickr

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:14 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has increased the number of investigators and field staff looking into the genetically modified wheat found on an Oregon farm. There are now 15 people on the ground in the Northwest, up from nine last week.

In about a month, Northwest wheat farmers will rev up their tractors for harvest. That means USDA investigators have a limited time to figure out how the genetically modified wheat sprouted up.

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Endangered Plants
1:28 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

White Bluffs Bladderpod Brouhaha In Southeast Washington

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:50 am

An ankle-high plant with a funny name is stirring up controversy in southeast Washington. The federal government is considering whether to list a yellow-flowering plant known as the White Bluffs Bladderpod as a threatened species. Landowners worry the listing could curtail farming.

I’m out on the edge of a ridiculously steep precipice on the Hanford Reach National Monument – it’s a swath of protected federal ground. This spot overlooks old nuclear reactors just across the brimming Columbia River.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
4:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Sen. Murray Hopes New Leadership Brings Change To Hanford

US Senate

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:05 pm

Washington Senator Patty Murray says she’s looking for some change at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation with new leadership at the top. A new manager is taking over at a key contracting company that handles the leaking radioactive tank farms. And the Department of Energy has a new secretary, Ernest Moniz.

Murray toured the southeast Washington nuclear site Thursday to get briefings on the massive waste treatment plant being built and the ongoing cleanup of radioactive waste.

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Northwest Cherries
4:40 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Fewer But Bigger Northwest Cherries Expected This Year

Northwest Cherry Growers

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:09 pm

Northwest cold snaps this spring mean not as many cherries this summer. Flower buds and bees don’t like low temperatures. And the cherries don’t like the rain.

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Protection Of Rare Plant Delayed
4:34 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Federal Protection For Bladderpod Plant Pushed Back

Carrie Cordova US Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 4:34 pm

The federal government has pushed back the possible threatened listing of two rare plants that could affect farmers in southeast Washington. Umtanum desert buckwheat and the White Bluffs bladderpod have become very controversial, because part of the plants’ habitat spans valuable crop ground.

It’s a big topic of conversation at the Country Mercantile restaurant where many Franklin County farmers lunch. Ami MacHugh is an area cherry and horse farmer whose land could be affected by the possible federal protections.

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Ernest Moniz
4:42 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

New Energy Secretary: Nuclear Waste Cleanup Among Top Priorities

US Department of Energy

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:51 pm

The Obama administration’s new secretary of energy says his top priorities are responding to climate change, safely managing the nation’s nuclear stockpile and fostering scientific research. Ernest Moniz made the comments at his swearing-in ceremony Tuesday.

He also mentioned the need to clean up the nation’s Cold War legacy waste. That would include work at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington, “Including attention to the communities and workforce as we go into a somewhat uncertain future again, especially in terms of the budget environment.”

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