Anna King

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.

In Burns, Oregon, this Friday night there’ll likely be two big shows in town. The armed group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge plan to hold a community meeting. But 7 p.m. is also when the new Star Wars movie debuts.

Early this year, piles of deep snow drifted into Burns, Oregon, and so did the outsiders and their money. Gas stations, cafes and hotels are seeing packed crowds in normally sleepy winter.

For businesses, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation is a boom. After Christmas in Burns, some local businesses just shutter for months until spring. Others, like the America’s Best Value Inn usually lay off most of their staff.

Maid Liz Houer said she usually doesn’t have enough work this time of year to keep on.

In east Oregon, Harney County has seen more tourists -- a lot of them Baby-Boomer birders. Now bird-watchers and business leaders alike are fretting over the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by an armed group.

Many eastern Oregon school children are getting a few more days of holiday this week near Burns. Parents and school officials are worried about security for children since an armed group began occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Some southeast Oregon ranchers near Burns can sympathize with the armed group that’s taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ranchers in Harney County said they are frustrated with federal policy that can complicate ranching, logging and farming.

This winter’s heavy snows have brought hungry elk and deer down out of the hills into Northwest towns. That’s a recipe for trouble.

Federal officials are conducting an investigation after plutonium escaped off the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state. The plutonium is left over from a Cold War era factory at Hanford where plutonium was processed from a liquid into a solid form for bombs.

A fresh agricultural foe has orchardists bulldozing and burning cherry trees across Washington and Oregon.

Northwest farmers are watching several bills closely in Congress that would try to keep trade moving through ports in the event of a labor dispute.

For the next week temperatures in Washington’s farmland are predicted to be mild. But wine grape growers and orchardists still worry a cold snap could hurt them.

The summer’s early snowmelt, record temperatures and drought in the Northwest killed young hatchery fish and adult fish returning to spawn. And federal experts are expecting 2016 to be even worse for fish.

Updated -- Officials with the Grant County Public Utility District say an electrical equipment failure is to blame for an explosion at Priest Rapids Dam Thursday that injured six workers, two critically.

President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Tuesday hailed a pending trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal would span 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region including Canada and Mexico.

In some areas of the Northwest, dryland farmers are getting impatient. They need rain to plant winter wheat.

Harvest is revving up at Washington’s apple orchards. But this year the fruit they’re picking is smaller -- and there is less of it.

Wildfires continue to burn across the state and it's hitting ranchers hard in central Washington.

The U.S. Forest Service confirmed the names of three firefighters killed in a wildfire Wednesday night in Twisp, Washington.

Fires continue to burn around Lake Chelan in central Washington with the smoke now visible from space. Firefighters have the Chelan Complex fires about 60 percent contained but they're still battling other blazes and its unclear when all fires will be under control.

The Chelan Complex Fire in central Washington has now topped 100,000-acres and about 3,000 people have been evacuated.

The Blue Creek Fire burning about 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, has grown to more than 5,500 acres. Evacuations remain in place as about 600 firefighters try to head off the flames burning in grass, bush and timber.

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