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.

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

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.


Electric Vehicle Charger
4:33 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

An Electric Vehicle Charger To Help Balance The Grid

Northwest researchers have developed a smart charger to help balance the grid and save the user money.
Credit Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Charging your electric vehicle could help balance the grid and save you money. Northwest researchers have developed a smart charger to do just that.

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Boardman Coal Port
5:29 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Ambre Energy Asks For Coal Export Permit Delay

Ambre Energy hopes to move coal from Wyoming and Montana to Asia through a facility at the Columbia River Port of Morrow in Boardman.
Credit EarthFix

An Australian coal company has asked for more time to answer questions from the State of Oregon about its plans for a coal port in Boardman.

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Gray Wolves
5:36 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Oregon Commission Hears Gray Wolf Update

Two new wolf packs formed in Oregon last year. That brings the state’s total to six packs.
Credit Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Two new wolf packs formed in Oregon last year. That brings the state’s total to six packs. Friday the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission learned what this could mean for possibly removing endangered species protection for the wolves.

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National Parks Budget
4:20 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

How Possible Budget Cuts Could Change Your Vacation Plans

Budget cuts would mean a popular visitor center will close at Mount Rainier National Park.
Credit Northwest News Network

Automatic budget cuts could affect your vacation plans. That’s because the U.S. Department of Interior says those cuts will reduce what national parks can spend if Congress doesn’t come to an agreement by Friday.

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BPA Exposure
5:38 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Study Challenges BPA Exposure

A new study out of the Pacific Northwest has found people may be exposed to far less of the chemical BPA than previously thought. BPA, also known as bisphenol A, has been linked to genital defects, early onset of puberty and obesity.

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Yakima Valley Dairies
5:14 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Groups Sue Dairies Over Groundwater Pollution

Two environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit against several Yakima Valley dairies. The groups say the dairies harm people’s health and the environment.

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Oregon Water Projects
4:55 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Kitzhaber Signs Water Eastern Oregon Water Plan

Governor John Kitzhaber signed a plan that will move several eastern Oregon water projects one step forward.

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Growing Canola
5:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Controversial Canola Plan To Allow Canola In Willamette Valley

Willamette Valley farmers can now grow a total of 2,500 acres of canola a year.
Credit John O'Neill / Wikimedia Commons

Some Willamette Valley farmers can now grow canola. The crop has been controversial in Oregon. That’s because organic seed farmers fear new pests and cross-pollination.

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Groundwater Decline
4:29 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Study Analyzes Trends In Groundwater Decline

The study covers a region that runs through Eastern Washington, Oregon and western Idaho.
Credit U.S. Geological Survey website

A new study is providing the most comprehensive look yet at what’s causing groundwater to decline in parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

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Energy Secretary Steps Down
4:55 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu Announces Plans To Leave

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu

  U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced in a letter Friday he will step down from his position at the end of this month.

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