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

U.S. Department of Energy

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation needs new storage tanks for radioactive waste, now that one of the aging double-hulled tanks has been found to be leaking. That was the consensus Friday of a board that advises federal Hanford managers.

Anna King

Just as this year’s Halloween fades into memory, many Northwest Latino families are getting ready for the Day of the Dead. The traditional Mexican holiday is on Friday. Some families blend the two holidays.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

If Halloween spending is an indicator of the economy, Americans appear to be feeling better than this time last year -- or at least more ghoulish.

U.S. Forest Service

Northwest wild mushrooms are in short supply this year. That’s had a big impact on the region’s lucrative mushroom hunting industry. It’s also changed what’s on fall restaurant menus in the Northwest and across the nation.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy

Managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have confirmed that a radioactive waste tank has a slow leak. That waste isn’t getting into the environment. Richland Correspondent Anna King reports.

threefatcats / Flickr

The apple harvest season is starting to wrap up across the Northwest. Despite record yields, many farmers had trouble getting their time-sensitive crop off the trees because of a short labor supply.

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.

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