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, Triââ

The blueberries on your morning cereal are less expensive this year. That's because farmers are harvesting a bumper crop this summer. It's good news for berry lovers, but the bounty might wreck some blueberry growers.

In Richland, Wash., Genoa Blankenship pops open the lid on a box of blueberries. Her three young children struggle to stop wiggling. Blankenship loves the idea of healthy snacks that are easy to take along to soccer practice.



In Washington State, radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is leaking from underground containment tanks. The site contains the leftovers from plutonium production, some from World War II, most from the Cold War. And it turns out the federal budget sequester is slowing the cleanup.

From Richland, Washington, Anna King of the Northwest News Network has that story.


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.

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.

Over the course of just a few sun-soaked weeks every summer, Chukar Cherries in central Washington state dries 250,000 pounds of fresh cherries.

"It's almost like going into your mom's kitchen and she's just taken a cherry pie out of the oven," says co-owner J.T. Montgomery. "A little bit like that."

Not surprisingly, the dried fruit goes into lots of Chukar Cherries' products, including the company's most popular: chewy, semi-dried cherries, rolled in oval nuggets of chocolate.