Courtney Flatt

Multimedia Journalist - Based in Richland, WA

Courtney Flatt began her journalism career at The Dallas Morning News as a neighbors editor. There, she also wrote articles for the Metro section, where she reported on community issues ranging from water security to the arts. Courtney earned her master’s in convergence journalism at the University of Missouri and developed a love for radio and documentary film. As a producer at KBIA-FM she hosted a weekly business show, reported and produced talk shows on community and international issues. Her work took her from the unemployment lines, to a Methamphetamine bust, to the tornado damage aftermath in Joplin, Mo.

What I cover
Energy, climate change and the Columbia Basin

Soon to be favorite outdoor activity
Having never lived so close to mountains before, I am determined to learn to snowboard this winter.

A funny thing happened one day in the field...
It was an icy winter morning, and I was trying to get some ambient sound of the Missouri River, which seemed easy enough. I had to make it over a pile of cement rocks to reach this one sandbar. (And if you know me, you know I’m a walking example of Murphy’s Law.)

Realizing this, I securely attached every piece of equipment to my body. Everything except my extra mic. I had climbed halfway across the cement pile when, woosh! My mic fell through a small hole covered by leaves. The mound was probably 10 feet tall.

As I peered down, a fisherman wandered by. He helped me lift a few of the blocks – they probably weighed 50 pounds each. But the mic wasn’t anywhere near the top. Every time I saw the pile after that day, I wondered where my mic wound up.

Likes
Farmers markets, traveling, tea and painting (though I’m pretty bad at it)

Dislikes
There’s not much… Maybe traffic?

If I weren't a journalist, I would be...
Working on an organic farm in Spain. I actually joined the WOOF program right before graduation. Then I got a job.

Pages

Fire Shelters
6:08 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Fire Evacuees Find Help With Donation Centers, Shelters

Volunteers hang cardboard signs to point people in the direction of donation centers and shelters.
Credit Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

Update: You can give to the Red Cross or volunteer to help fire victims by visiting redcross.org/ewa or calling 509-663-3907

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department ordered more homeowners to evacuate this afternoon Monday. These newest evacuations come after firefighters saw a brief relief from high winds and hot weather Sunday. Correspondent Courtney Flatt visited donation centers in the region where people are turning for help.

Read more
Carlton Complex Fire
6:31 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Central Washington Fires Shut Down Power As Uncertainty Grows

Community members file in Sunday night to a meeting in Brewster, Washington.
Credit Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

The most destructive wildfire currently burning in the Northwest has left thousands of people without air conditioning and refrigeration. It’s closed most gas stations and shut down ATMs in north-central Washington. Okanogan County currently estimates 150 to 200 homes burned to the ground. The County Utility District says its electrical system is almost a complete loss. Meanwhile, in Brewster last night, incident commanders of the region’s biggest and most destructive wildfire briefed residents Sunday night. Correspondent Courtney Flatt spoke with residents who are coping without power, and reports from that tense Brewster meeting.

Read more
Spotted Bats
6:45 am
Fri July 18, 2014

How To Listen For A Spotted Bat

An Insect-Eating Spotted Bat.
Credit Paul Cryan / U.S. Geological Survey

When you think of bats, this guy might be the first thing that comes to mind.

“I am Dracula.”

You may find bats scary. But one group of nature lovers doesn’t. They recently spent a night out tracking bats in central Washington. They wanted to check-in on how bat populations are doing in the state. EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt has more.

Read more
Coal Exports
7:23 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Poll Finds Coal Export Supporters Outnumber Opponents

A new DHM Research survey of Northwest residents finds that support for coal exports through the Northwest is up from where it was last year, when the issue was the subject of public debate and news coverage.
Credit Heidi Neilsen / GoodWorks

More people in the Northwest support coal export terminals than oppose them. Those are the results of a new survey. But people who took the survey didn’t feel very strongly about why they support coal exports. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Read more
Washington Fishing
8:36 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Why Washington Wants More Latinos To Go Fishing

Valeria Quinones, left, fishes with her family, Daniel Guerra, Elizabeth Guerra, and Ricardo Quinones during a fishing event geared to get more Latino people fishing.
Credit Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is trying to get more Hispanic people fishing. And they’d like to get them to buy fishing licenses. That’d produce more revenue for the state. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Read more
Concord Grapes
7:23 am
Fri June 20, 2014

What Climate Change Could Mean For Your Grape Juice

Grape researcher Markus Keller.
Credit Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

When you think of grapes in the Northwest, wine is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But Concord juice grapes actually are Washington’s most widely planted grape. It turns out, juice grapes are more susceptible to warming weather than their wine grape cousins. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Read more
Salmon Lawsuit
6:49 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Federal Salmon Plan Heads Back To Courtroom

Fish supporters Tuesday once again challenged the government’s plan to manage dams on the Columbia River to protect endangered salmon and steelhead.
Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

It’s back to court for the federal government and salmon advocates. Fish supporters Tuesday once again challenged the government’s plan to manage dams on the Columbia River and protect endangered salmon and steelhead. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Read more
Birth Defects
6:46 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Washington Health Officials Meet To Discuss Rare Birth Defect

A rare birth defect is affecting more babies in Central Washington. After hosting a series of public hearings, regulators and health officials met Monday to talk about their next steps. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Read more
Sage Grouse
10:31 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Saving The Greater Sage Grouse

Biologists in the Northwest are working to boost the numbers of the greater sage grouse locally.
Credit Pacific Southwest Region/Flickr

The West’s greater sage grouse are in trouble. The birds make their homes in desert sagebrush country. But their habitat is shrinking because of people, wildfires, and agriculture. With fewer wide-open places to live, sage grouse numbers are dwindling.

Read more
LNG Explosion
6:38 am
Wed April 2, 2014

What Plymouth Explosion Means For LNG Proposals

People opposed to exporting liquefied natural gas in Oregon say Monday’s explosion along the Columbia River points out safety problems at these types of facilities.
Credit TruckPR/Flickr

People opposed to exporting liquefied natural gas in Oregon say Monday’s explosion along the Columbia River points out safety problems at these types of facilities. But project supporters say the explosion should not affect decisions about their facilities.

Read more

Pages