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, Triââ
The people overseeing the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are learning some valuable lessons from the long-running cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A Japanese government delegation recently toured some of the southeast Washington site.
In Japan, workers in gloves and masks are grinding down sidewalks and roads, wiping down rooftops and bagging contaminated soil. Now, the problem is where to put all that radioactive waste from Fukushima.
Farmers in southeast Washington packed a County Commission hearing Tuesday morning in Pasco. They’re angry because a flowering desert plant called the White Bluffs bladderpod may be designated as a federally threatened species by next week.
It likes to live on high desert bluffs near the Columbia River. Since farming and development have taken over much of its desert habitat – the plant has become more rare.
Several forest fires are already burning in Western Washington and crews are mopping up a big one in central Oregon. There were also two grass fires that burned near Middleton, Idaho just west of Boise, this past weekend.
Dry winds and above average temperatures predicted this summer and fall, have fire managers preparing for an earlier than usual season.
Business is bustling at the Richland florist who faces a lawsuit over same-sex marriage. The shop's owner says she was standing up for her Christian values when she refused to sell flowers for a gay couple’s wedding. Now, the case has become a focal point of intense debate on social media across the globe.
On Arlene’s Flower’s Facebook page, right alongside advertisements for corsages and boutonnieres, there are hundreds of posts for and against same-sex marriage. Now there’s even a Boycott Arlene’s Flowers Facebook page. It has more than 500 likes.
In a case that’s garnered national attention, a gay couple is suing their once favorite florist in southeast Washington. The case filed Thursday, is in addition to the anti-discrimination lawsuit filed by the state Attorney General last week.
Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll, both professionals in the Tri-Cities, have been a couple for almost nine years. The ACLU is bringing their case agains Arlene’s Flowers. The shop refused to sell flowers to the couple for their September wedding. Doug Honig with the ACLU says that violates the Washington’s anti-discrimination law.
When Louisville plays Connecticut in the NCAA women’s championship Tuesday, fans in Northwest Indian country will be cheering. That’s because two Native American sisters are leading the Louisville Cardinals and they hail from a reservation in northeast Oregon.
Hanford Nuclear Reservation managers are trying to figure out who left a time capsule in the wall of a building there nearly 60 years ago. Demolition workers found a coffee can recently while they were tearing down a building near a reactor at the southeast Washington site. Archeologist Tom Marceau is managing the find.
Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:29 pm
RICHLAND, Wash. – A group of Northwest farmers plans to bring in thousands of legal Mexican guest workers to their fields and orchards this year. Last season many farmers were scrambling to pick their crops because of a worker shortage.
The federal H-2A guest worker program is so cumbersome and expensive, that most farmers haven’t wanted to use it. Employers have to pay for transportation, approved housing and usually more money than the going wage for workers already in the U.S.
Northwest winemakers are trying to whet-the-whistle of China's emerging middle class. Demand for wine is growing significantly there. And that’s drawn Chinese business delegations, restaurateurs and tourists to the region.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered a Canadian bus company to cease operations in the United States after a deadly crash in Oregon in late December. Investigators blame driver fatigue. But not everyone in the Northwest Korean community is glad for the tour company’s shuttering.
The bus accident killed nine people on a treacherous bit of Interstate 84, near Pendleton. Now, the federal government found in an investigation that “Mi Joo Tour & Travel failed to take basic measures to ensure that its drivers are properly rested for safe vehicle operations …”
There’s a new lawsuit in that deadly bus crash in northeast Oregon that happened just before New Year’s Eve. Two young victims of the accident say the driver was fatigued and going to fast.
Two boys, ages 15 and 16, who filed a lawsuit, describe a harrowing scene. The boys are from Korea, in the U.S. on student visas. They say the tour bus flipped end over end as it fell hundreds of feet down an embankment.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 5:35 pm
As winter begins, humming bird experts say more of the tiny birds may be sticking around the Northwest instead of migrating south.
There are three types of hummingbirds Northwesterners might be seeing more of at feeders or in their yards this time of year: the Rufous, the Anna’s or the Allen’s hummingbirds. These little birds are able to survive the cold by lowering their body temperature, hiding in the lees of tree trunks, shivering to warm up and eating a lot.
A tribal court on the Umatilla Indian Reservation is one of the first to hand-down a long prison term under new tougher criminal sentencing laws enacted by Congress in 2010.
It used to be that tribes could only sentence a Native American criminal to up to one year of jail time -- no matter the crime. Typically the U.S. Justice Department was called in for everything else -– but many cases were dropped.
Now, tribal courts have the power to sentence native criminals who commit crimes on a reservation up to three years per count, for up to nine years.
This holiday season, Northwest winemakers are hoping to expand their customer base with a new sales venue. Seattle’s online shopping giant Amazon.com is now shipping wine.
Tom Hedges is co-founder of Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain in southeast Washington. He says his family has only been selling wine on Amazon.com for about a week. It will take a few months to truly see if selling bottles through the site will actually pencil out.
Groves of olive trees might bring to mind sun-soaked Mediterranean or Californian landscapes. But in the last 10 years, a few Northwest growers have significantly ramped-up their production of domestic olive oil.
They harvest just in time for the holidays. The Durant family started in the wine grape business in Yamhill County, OR. The family diversified into olive growing about seven years ago.
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.
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.
Kennewick Man was buff. So says Doug Owsley. He’s the head of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and led the study of the ancient remains.
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.