Anna King | KUOW News and Information

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

In southeast Oregon Monday, about a half-dozen armed men cut fences between government land and a private ranch near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Last February, three Pasco Police officers shot and killed Antonio Zambrano-Montes in a crowded intersection. Zambrano-Montes had been throwing rocks. This week, the Mexican farmworker’s mother filed suit in federal district court.

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.

Native American tribes, cattle barons, trappers, farmers and wildlife advocates have all fought over what’s now known as Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon for centuries.

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.

Conservationists in Washington’s Tri-Cities are nearing a deal to secure a trail right-of-way on a scenic peak. That would get closer to the goal of establishing a 20-mile trail that could offer sunny, dry hiking at times of year when most trails elsewhere in the Northwest are muddy or snow covered.

White Pass near Mount Rainier is open to drivers and skiers, but damage from washouts and rockslides has reduced Highway 12 to one lane in two spots.

In 1944, the U.S. pinned its hope on a secret project to win World War II. The government was counting on the B Reactor at Hanford in southeast Washington state to make enough plutonium in time. One of the physicists working against the clock was a 24-year-old woman: Leona (Woods) Marshall Libby.

About 10,000 people visit southeast Washington state’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation every year. And after a few hours on the bus, some are dazed like tourists who’ve seen one Italian cathedral too many.

On those tours, they have guides. But even folks who don’t come to Hanford’s physical site have a "tour guide" -- someone who can translate the language of Hanford and its nuclear legacy: Liz Mattson.

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.

Last year several flocks throughout the Northwest were killed off and disposed of, plus many more in the Midwest. Now Washington state agriculture officials are better prepared for high-pathogenic strains of bird flu.

Washington’s White Pass on U.S. Highway 12 near Mount Rainier is still closed both eastbound and westbound. Crews are still working 24/7 to open the high Cascade pass by Christmas, but winter storms might slow that work down.

U.S. Highway 12 at White Pass is still closed to all but local residents both east and west. The state’s Department of Transportation is working to clear three rockslides and one washout. But there is still no estimate for reopening the highway.

The federal government announced Friday that it would send $1 million each to Washington and Oregon for fast road repairs after heavy storms this week. Both Washington and 13 counties in Oregon are under emergency declarations.

Washington state transportation officials have crews out assessing the damage to White Pass on U.S. Highway 12 near Mt. Rainier Thursday. There’s no estimate yet of when the high pass will reopen after heavy rains tore the roadway out in several places and caused rockslides.

Washington and Oregon geologists are warning residents of a higher risk for landslides than usual this week. Several storms moving through the region have quickly drenched steep slopes.

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

Wherever she was, she stood out for being half white, or half Japanese. Shirley Olinger will only whisper the racist names she was called as a girl.

Three people are suing the State of Washington over the response to 2014’s Carlton Complex fire. The fire, initially called the Golden Hike fire, was started by lightning. Plaintiffs David and Deannis Schulz and John Clees say it started as just a few acres and that the state could have contained it.

Following a summer of record wildfires across the Northwest, Washington state officials worry that residents in burned-over areas could be facing floods and mud in the wake of incoming storms.

A handful of fairly-famous Eastern Washington winemakers and cult foodies have strong roots in France. One of them, Walla Walla winemaker Gilles Nicault, has felt really far away from his family in the wake of the ISIS attack on Paris.

In 1987, late in the Cold War, in a government reading room in Richland, Washington, a historian was studying newly released documents about the Hanford nuclear reservation. Then, a strange man approached her.

Hanford officials and community boosters In southeast Washington are hosting a celebration Thursday at an historic nuclear reactor. A signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday made the Manhattan Project National Historical Park official.

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.

Cleaning up the central part of the Hanford nuclear reservation will take even longer. That’s the bottom line of a series of regional public comment meetings kicking off Wednesday in Richland, Washington.

Alcoa announced Monday it will curtail major parts of its aluminum operations in Wenatchee and Ferndale, Washington. The move will likely leave hundreds of people looking for work.

Geochemist Frannie Smith would like to see more girls get into science like she did. Women make up only about 25 percent of geoscientists in the U.S. and only a quarter of all the scientists or engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Washington state are female.

For the fifth time in 15 years, the state of Washington is fighting the federal government in court over Hanford cleanup. The state’s top cleanup watchdog in Richland -- who grew up just downstream from the nuclear site -- plays a major role in that case

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