Kari Plog | KNKX

Kari Plog

Digital Content Manager

Kari Plog is an eager newcomer to public radio and a longtime admirer. Her background as a print journalist started at The News Tribune in Tacoma, where she covered government and communities across Pierce County.

Her work included an award-winning investigation into a deadly boat launch in Tacoma. Before joining KNKX in November 2018, Kari worked for her alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, where she served as senior editor of the institution’s magazine, producing long-form storytelling from Parkland to Norway.

Kari also worked for several years as a college newspaper adviser at the University of Puget Sound, and continues to serve as a passionate advocate for aspiring journalists and student media. She’s a lover of orca whales, wine and Prince. She lives in Tacoma with her husband and their lovable 75-pound lapdog, Bernie.

Ways to Connect

Former Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez smiles as he addresses a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Seattle. Martinez will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, on Sunday.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

Edgar Martinez, the beloved designated hitter who spent his entire career with the Seattle Mariners, will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. 

Finally. 

“It took 10 years for the baseball world to understand Edgar’s contribution and status,” KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel told Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick in their weekly chat. 

Adrian Florez / KNKX

Before Kevin Yamamoto was hired to run the City of Puyallup in 2015, he witnessed a revolving door of four city managers. Now, he's joining their ranks. 

But he’s not leaving empty handed.

Puyallup City Council members accepted a notice of resignation, effective immediately, from Yamamoto in a late-night vote Tuesday.  

Daniel Lyon and his girlfriend, Megan Lanfear, on a recent road trip.
Courtesy of Daniel Lyon

As soon as Daniel Lyon jumped out of the wrecked fire engine in Twisp, he was burning alive.

“It was the loudest, brightest thing you’d ever seen,” he said of the wall of flames. “It sounded like a freight train all around you.”

Lyon crawled up the ravine to the dirt road and took off running, toward the wildfire safety zone. That, he says, was the easy part.

Sound Effect host Gabriel Spitzer shares his story during our live event on June 4 at The Collective in Seattle.
Adrian Florez / KNKX

For this special edition of Sound Effect, the theme is “Small Miracles,” tales from our live storytelling event. Host Gabriel Spitzer recounts his brush with death after years of humiliation in swim class. Ty Reed recalls how a random encounter saved his life after he fell into homelessness and addiction. Cindy Healy is moved to tears seeing a special spacecraft in a Matt Damon movie. Queen Mae Butters remembers a powerful friendship formed at the end of her hospice patient’s life. And Paul Currington learns to breathe through the smoke of his past.

Paul Currington as a boy.
Courtesy of Paul Currington

Sitting in an emergency room, trying to catch his breath, Paul Currington had one thought playing over and over in his mind: “Please, God, please don’t let my last thoughts on Earth be of my mother.”

They weren’t his last thoughts, especially of his mother.

Growing up, Currington’s mother smoked two to three packs a day — always enveloped in clouds of smoke. She had a volcanic temper, he says: “I would do anything to not have to go home so I wouldn’t have to show up in her crosshairs.”

rearview mirror
Juan Karita / The Associated Press

When you look back at things, from a perspective of a new time and place, they tend to look different. That’s our theme for the latest episode of Sound Effect, “Benefit of Hindsight” — how a little time passing can reveal the things we were once blind to.

“Almost Live” cast members reflect on a Space Needle prank that went sideways. A woman shares her experience discovery her lack of smell. A country singer reunites with his “kitchen mom,” who inspired one of his songs. A Seattle woman talks about how a call from the FBI revealed her childhood friend’s home as a house of horrors. And a longtime musician reflects on offensive lyrics in her past. Also, in the full broadcast audio, we hear about a woman who saved Sound Effect producer Posey Gruener’s birthday, after a cult took it away.

A sign points to a remote toilet on a trail near Mount Baker.
Geoffrey Redick / KNKX

For this episode of Sound Effect, we're talking toilets — how these things we'd just as soon ignore actually have profound effects on our lives. We meet an author who is, among other things, teaching women how to pee in the woods without peeing on themselves. A Seattle man explains how he uses portable toilets to connect with his homeless neighbors. We hear what Seattle can learn from San Francisco’s approach to cleaner and safer public toilets. We talk with the Snopes.com founder about abundant toilet myths and their possible origins. And we try to settle a debate between writers at The Stranger: seat up or seat down?   

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Jeff Chiu / The Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee continues his latest presidential campaign trip with a stop in Detroit today. Meanwhile, here in Washington state, there is good news for people who purchase individual health insurance. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talks about both in his weekly chat with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

Rodeo clown J.J. Harrison gets trampled by a 2,000-pound bull at a rodeo in Hobbs, New Mexico. Listen to his story and others on this week's episode of Sound Effect, "Bouncing Back."
Courtesy of J.J. Harrison

This episode of Sound Effect, “Bouncing Back,” features stories about people who take the hits and come right back for more. We meet a Walla Walla man who became a rodeo clown to scratch his cowboy itch. Then, we meet a legally blind Seattleite who experienced Tokyo with his other senses. An East Side Tacoma woman shares how her experience hitting rock bottom informs how she gives back today. Hear how two rival, “real-life superheroes” fell in love. And, in the full broadcast of the show, meet a woman who helps fellow women of color heal through writing.

Thomas Kyle-Milward (center) with his Milk and Scotch teammates at the Columbia County Fair in Oregon in 2014. He was "very insulted" when competitors talked trash about his overalls. But they weren't laughing after he beat them to the finish line.
Courtesy of Thomas Kyle-Milward

Thomas Kyle-Milward wears a tie to work, but deep down he’s still a farm boy.

Kyle-Milward grew up on a small family farm outside Portland, Oregon. The farm had its own rhythm: morning and evening chores, planting, harvest. And every year — the Columbia County Fair.

Kyle-Milward is building a life in urban Tacoma now, but he still makes it out for the fair each summer. And, as he’ll proudly share, he brings along bragging rights as the 2014 wild cow milking champion.

Rainbow Bingo players blot out the numbers as they're called at Ballard Northwest Senior Center.
Posey Gruener / KNKX

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories about how numbers can be the difference between winning and losing, spending and saving, or even life and death. We meet Seattle drag queen Sylvia O’Stayformore, who hosts Rainbow Bingo at the Ballard Northwest Senior Center. A Seattle doctoral student explains how she uses music to help people make sense of complicated climate data. An auctioneer reflects on winning the Chicago Marathon at 15 years old. We tag along with two women and learn the art of eating three meals a day on $75 per month. A champion wild cow milker explains what he reluctantly calls a sport, and how he stays connected to his rural roots. And we hear how one man’s fight against the draft board during Vietnam led all the way up to the office of the president.

The 8 million-gallon containment tank is seen from a distance on Tacoma's tideflats at the site of a liquefied natural gas plant currently under construction.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Puget Sound Energy CEO Kimberly Harris wasn’t surprised to receive a call from Gov. Jay Inslee the afternoon of May 8. But she was surprised to hear what he had to say.

vape pen
Nam Y. Huh / The Associated Press (file)

Gov. Jay Inslee will be signing several bills today, including one that allows a new tax on vaping products. The money will be used to fund cancer research and tobacco cessation and prevention efforts. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked about his reporting on the subject with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

In this Sept. 14, 2016 photo, Pat McCarthy speaks at the AWB Policy Summit in Cle Elum during her campaign for state auditor.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from Wapato City Administrator Juan Orozco. KNKX reached him after our broadcast deadline.

State auditors don’t normally make house calls. But the unprecedented findings in a small Central Washington city earlier this month required a higher level of attention, Washington State Auditor Pat McCarthy says.

“Wapato is a city in pretty dire crisis right now,” she told KNKX’s Ed Ronco. “This one really did rise to the level.”

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner being built for Turkish Airlines takes off on a test flight, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Renton, Wash. Passenger flights using the plane remain grounded worldwide as investigations into two fatal crashes involving the airplane c
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

There’s a reason Dominic Gates has stayed on the same beat at The Seattle Times for 16 years. The aerospace reporter says he’s fortunate to cover people across a wide spectrum of perspectives and life experiences: white collar engineers, blue collar manufacturers, corporate executives, scientists.

“My expertise comes from all the people I talk to,” Gates told All Things Considered host Ed Ronco in an interview about his Northwest aerospace coverage. “I like the people of Boeing.”

Chambers Bay at sunset in 2017.
Kari Plog / KNKX

Residents who packed the Pierce County Council chambers agreed on at least one thing Tuesday: Chambers Bay Regional Park — including its accompanying championship-caliber golf course — is a jewel of the South Sound.

But five hours of polarizing public comment revealed that’s about where agreement stops when it comes to new plans for development there, and even supporters expressed reservations about the project.  

Growler jets
John Froschauer / The Associated Press

A national parks organization filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy last week, related to jet training at Air Station Whidbey Island.

The nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association sued the Navy to get more information about the exercises, which are planned for one of the quietest places in the lower 48.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks, Friday, March 1, 2019, during a campaign event at A&R Solar in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

The Washington Legislature adjourned its regular session more than a week ago, but Gov. Jay Inslee has been busy signing bills passed by lawmakers. He’s also been out on the campaign trail in his bid for the presidency in 2020. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins shares the latest in his weekly chat with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

Recycling is changing dramatically. So, a Seattle Public Utilities staffer put on some gloves, rolled up her sleeves and sorted through the recycling at a local coffee shop with KNKX Public Radio. Here are the top 10 tips she shared.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Recycling the right way is a point of pride around here. “Obsessive Compulsive Recycler, you’re one of us,” local insurance company Pemco says in one of its cheeky Northwest Profiles.

But getting it right has become more difficult, after China stopped accepting most of our recyclable waste. With so much piling up, some worry if their careful efforts are ultimately keeping the items out of landfills.

A construction crane collapsed on Mercer Street near Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle. The Seattle Times tweeted that several vehicles and a building were damaged.
Chelsea Oughton / via The Associated Press

UPDATE, April 28, 7:15 p.m.: Adds information about the state investigation and more.

A construction crane collapsed in downtown Seattle on Saturday afternoon, damaging buildings, pinning cars beneath it and killing four people. 

Roses sit on the ground near the state Route 410 overpass at Angeline Road in Bonney Lake the day after a concrete slab fell and killed a family of three. A new law signed by Gov. Jay Inslee Friday grants parents more rights in wrongful death cases.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Four years ago, Rhonda Ellis made the long drive from Anacortes to Olympia with her daughter, Makayla. The grieving mother knocked on as many doors as she could, seeking justice for her Joy Boy. That’s what people called her son, Joshua Ellis.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

UPDATE, April 25: A previous version of this story inaccurately conflated two separate environmental reviews.  

The U.S. Navy is in the middle of an environmental review process for a proposal to conduct training and testing activities in offshore areas along the West Coast, including Washington, and associated airspace. Now, the public is getting more time to weigh in on the impacts.

A legislative page walks on a sidewalk near the Insurance Building and the Legislative Building, Monday, April 22, 2019, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Monday marked the start of the last week of the regular session of the Legislature.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

We’re in the final week of the regular legislative session. And state lawmakers have been busy, passing bills and continuing negotiations for the state’s two-year spending plan. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins provided the latest updates in his weekly chat with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

capitol campus in Olympia
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

We’re less than two weeks away from the Legislature’s scheduled end date for the regular session. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about the action in recent days.

A whale watching boat, from a distance, watches one of several transient killer whales during a whale watching trip last month.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Experts and enthusiasts agree, whether on water or on land: it’s difficult to describe the feeling people get in the presence of orcas.

“I wish you could bottle what happens when people see whales,” said Donna Sandstrom, while passing out binoculars to passersby in West Seattle. “The sheer joy and the awe is always moving.”

April, a critical month for protecting snowpack and filling reservoirs, is shaping up to be wetter than normal.
Tim Durkan Photography

Major April showers are dousing the Pacific Northwest, and they're bringing more than flowers. Environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp talked with weather expert Cliff Mass, who provided the latest forecast and an update on the water situation in the region following an unusually dry March.

Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Pierce County’s chief medical examiner is facing a new complaint, this time in court. The family of a 16-year-old Puyallup boy, whose death was ruled a suicide after he fell from a highway overpass, is seeking a change to the teen’s death certificate.

The Capitol dome is seen through cherry blossoms on Friday, March 29, 2019 in Olympia.
Rachel La Corte / The Associated Press

Washington’s legislative session is in its final three-week stretch. The House and Senate must negotiate a final budget, and a lot of bills remain in play. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked about the latest updates with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

Dr. Rebecca Partidge (left) talks with Michelle Peterson (right) and her son, Jack, during a recent checkup.
Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Kids travel from as far as Spokane to see Dr. Rebecca Partridge at her clinic in Issaquah. Caring for people with Down syndrome, and their families, is her mission.

Six years ago, she started the clinic with Virginia Mason Hospital. It’s the only one of its kind in the Northwest, focusing on the unique medical needs of children with Down syndrome, a chromosomal disorder.

Sasha Im and her brother, Thomas, as kids.
Courtesy of Sasha Im

Sasha Im says her brother, Thomas, was always tired when they were growing up. He would come home from school, drop his backpack on the floor, and sleep for long stretches of time.

During his waking hours, Thomas experienced much more intense emotions.

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