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.

Ways to Connect

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Moms and dads hoping to pack an apple in their children’s lunches might have to budget a bit more this year. That’s because even though the Northwest has seen a bumper crop in apples, elsewhere there’s a shortage.

valoharth / Flickr

Washington State University is known for its study of agriculture. This week, the university is dedicating a site that will be a research hub for wine.

For nearly a decade, scientists and Northwest tribes in Washington state fought bitterly over whether to bury or study the 9,500-year-old bones known as Kennewick Man. Scientists won the battle, and now, after years of careful examination, they're releasing some of their findings.

For starters, Kennewick Man was buff. I mean, really beefcake. So says Doug Owsley, head of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and the man who led the study of the ancient remains.

Photo by Brittney Tatchell / Northwest News Network

For nearly a decade, scientists and Northwest tribes fought bitterly over whether to bury or study the 9,500 year old bones known as Kennewick Man. Now, after years of careful examination, scientists are releasing some of their findings to tribes at meetings this week in Central Washington. As correspondent Anna King reports, Kennewick Man grew up on the coast.

Photo by Brittney Tatchell / Northwest News Network

Kennewick Man spent most of his life on the coast, not in the region on the Columbia River where he was found. So says the federal scientist who fought for nearly 10 years to study the 9,500 year old bones. The scientist released some of his findings at a conference this week with Northwest tribes

Kennewick Man’s bones give an indication of what he ate, and how he lived. The research shows he wasn’t fond of oysters or clams but instead his menu included big sea creatures like seals.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

This week we are looking at why Latinos have so little clout in Northwest politics, even though they’re the region’s largest minority group. One reason: Latinos are a younger demographic. And younger people -- no matter what their ethnicity -- are much less likely to vote than older people. But one issue that’s energized many young Latinos is the DREAM Act. It would create a path to citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants. Anna King has our story.

Most of us may be enjoying the fall sunshine, but Northwest wheat farmers are instead wishing for a little rain. Correspondent Anna King caught up with one Northwest wheat grower in the vast Horse Heaven Hills near Prosser, Washington.

U.S. Dept. of Energy

A federal nuclear watchdog is pushing Hanford managers to come up with a fix for flammable gas that may be building up in underground waste tanks. This is the latest round of criticism of the nuclear reservation in southeast Washington.

Photo Credit: Wiki Commons

A federal contractor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation mistakenly sent a contaminated excavator to a repair shop offsite several weeks ago. No one caught the mistake until the excavator was checked back in late Monday.

In western Michigan, there aren't enough apples to pick because bad weather decimated 85 to 90 percent of the crop. But Washington state has the opposite problem — there's an abundance of apples, but not enough pickers.

This should be the happiest, busiest time of year in Washington apple orchards. But now — just as the peak of apple harvest is coming on — Broetje Orchards manager Roger Bairstow is wincing.

Vince Patton / OPB

About a dozen wildfires are still burning in the Northwest, keeping the air hazy and unhealthy. But experts predict few, if any, long-term health effects. Correspondent Anna King reports.

Photo Credit: Anna King

Washington state apple growers are harvesting the second-largest crop in history, but it appears there won't be enough workers to get the fruit off the trees quickly enough. The bulk of the region’s fruit will be picked in the next few weeks. As Correspondent Anna King reports, the labor shortage comes as apple prices are high.

Dept. of Energy

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire says she’s hoping the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s personal attention to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation can avert a lawsuit over cleanup delays there. She made the comments today after a speech about Hanford in the Tri-Cities in southeast Washington.

Kennewick Man is coming back into the news. A new book includes some of the key findings about the 9,000-year-old skeleton found on the banks of the Columbia River in 1996. And next month, the book’s author and the lead researcher on Kennewick Man plans to share the results of years of study.

Two fires in Central Washington state near the resort town of Wenatchee have merged together. Firefighters are struggling to get the blaze contained.

The Wenatchee Complex wildfire is sending a thick blanket of smoke through the Central Washington town. Some residents of Wenatchee and nearby communities have fled their homes. Several fires have combined to make a more than 1,000-acre blaze in the hills near town. A lightning storm Saturday night started more than two dozen fires in the area; many are still burning.

Anna King


Washington state apple farmers are gearing up to harvest the second-largest crop in history, but it appears there won't be enough workers to get the fruit off the trees quickly enough. The shortage comes as apple prices are high because of crop damage elsewhere in the country. Correspondent Anna King has our report from an apple orchard outside of Prescott, Washington.

Anne Burgess / Wikimedia Commons

Washington state apple farmers have the second largest crop in history but too few pickers to get it all in this harvest. A worker shortage means there won’t be enough people to get the fruit off the trees quickly enough.

Energy Northwest

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is looking into an 11-year emergency planning mistake at the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant. Officials at the Columbia Generating Station in southeast Washington used faulty estimates of how much radiation could escape during a crisis.

Dept. of Energy

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu is at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation this week. Chu’s taking time out of his schedule to personally investigate concerns raised about Hanford’s massive waste treatment plant in southeast Washington.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

This week fire crews declared the Taylor Bridge fire 100-percent contained. Now that the massive blaze in central Washington is controlled forest scientists say Northwest residents should brace for more large fires like this. Munching insects, parasitic plants and global climate change are part of the problem. Correspondent Anna King reports from the field with one of Washington’s top forest managers.

This week we heard that yet another top-level government engineer has serious concerns about the design and construction of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant.

Photo courtesy Dept. of Energy

Another top-level engineer at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has stepped forward airing serious concerns about the site’s massive waste treatment plant.

In a newly-released memo, the chief engineer charges there are serious problems with Bechtel National’s design and construction of the plant. And that the company should be taken off key portions of the project. Correspondent Anna King reports.

Next month scientists at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation plan to use a robotic rover to examine an underground tank full of radioactive waste that has possibly leaked. The spill isn’t a threat at this point to people or the environment. But the possible leak is raising questions about long-term plans for treating and storing 56 million gallons of radioactive waste.

Susan Leckband chairs the Hanford Advisory Board. She says the possible leak isn’t a game changer – she thinks the government can still figure out how to bind up that waste into more-stable glass logs.

Department of Energy

Scientists and engineers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington are investigating a possible leak between two walls of a double-shelled nuclear radioactive waste tank there. In September, a robotic rover will explore the tank in question to see where this radioactive material might be coming from, and if the vessel is stable.

Photo courtesy Wash. Department of Ecology

Firefighters are getting a better handle on the Taylor Bridge fire burning in central Washington State. Fire crews say they have the fire 90 percent contained. So far the blaze has destroyed more than 50 homes and displaced many residents and livestock. Correspondent Anna King reports.

Jessica Payne / Washington Department of Natural Resources

Firefighters in Central Washington are contending with heavy winds today as they try to get control of the Taylor Bridge fire near Cle Elum. Gusts of up to 30 miles per hour have been testing the fire lines. So far the blaze has scorched more than 23,000 acres, and crews have it 57 percent contained. More than 1,000 people are working to put out the blaze.

Jessica Payne / Washington Department of Natural Resources

Fire crews expect to contain the Taylor Bridge Fire in central Washington by Tuesday afternoon. Crews are now working in steep terrain on the northwest side of the blaze.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Over a hundred volunteers are helping to evacuate, sort and care for animals burned or displaced by the Taylor Bridge Fire near Cle Elum in Washington State.

Fire officials in central Washington are investigating whether construction at a bridge near Cle Elum sparked the 23,000 acre wildfire there. Incident commanders won’t say definitively what started the fire. But they do say the blaze was human caused and it began near the bridge construction site.

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