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

Sen. Joe Nguyen is sworn in at the Capitol.
Aaron Barna / Washington State Legislature

OLYMPIA — Joe Nguyen doesn’t look like your typical lawmaker. He’s the first Vietnamese member in the state Senate. And at 35, he’s one of the youngest.

“People are realizing that I’m a senator and not a staffer,” Nguyen said. But, he added, people do sometimes ask "who do you work for?" 

Microsoft President Brad Smith speaks Thursday during a news conference in Bellevue to announce a $500 million pledge by Microsoft to develop affordable housing for low- and middle-income workers in response to the Seattle's housing crisis.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Microsoft has pledged to contribute $500 million for affordable housing efforts in Seattle and the Eastside. King County Council member Claudia Balducci says this is a significant down payment on addressing the housing crisis. She talked with All Things Considered host Ed Ronco about the announcement.

Aretha Franklin performs at the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on Wednesday July 25, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

We may have left 2018 behind, but we will always remember the musical greats we lost last year. John Kessler marked the end of the year with a two-hour special honoring the lives of those artists. (This show originally aired Dec. 29, 2018.)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. locks arms with his aides as he leads a march of several thousands to the court house in Montgomery, Ala., March 17, 1965. From left: Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Foreman, King, Jesse Douglas, Sr., and John Lewis (partially out
The Associated Press

Music was an essential part of the civil rights movement. This weekend, KNKX’s John Kessler will host a special hourlong program highlighting the most important songs of the era, as well as the milestones they marked.

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at the Battle Born Progress Progressive Summit, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Inslee pitched his record tackling climate change, gun control measures, raising the minimum wage and expanding paid family leave i
John Locher / The Associated Press

Ahead of Gov. Jay Inslee’s State of the State address Tuesday afternoon, Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about what to expect. They discussed the two-year spending plan and other issues that should arise during the 2019 legislative session.

In this February 2015 photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) a new baby orca swims alongside an adult whale. A new calf was spotted Friday. No calf born in the past three years has survived.
NOAA, Candice Emmons / AP file

A new calf was spotted Friday among the population of critically endangered Southern Resident orcas.

Ken Balcomb, of the Center for Whale Research, told The Seattle Times that the calf — just weeks old — was first seen today at the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 

The tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle has been a long time coming. Replacement discussions have been underway since the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, and several options were studied before the Legislature approved funds for a deep-bore tunnel in 2009. Voters approved it two years later.

David Zeeck, left, testifies in Olympia last year, after lawmakers wanted to exempt themselves from the state Public Records Act.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

David Zeeck grew up in West Texas, but considers Tacoma home.

“Texan by birth, Tacoman by choice,” the outgoing News Tribune publisher told Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick, referring to his biography on the newspaper’s website. Friday is Zeeck’s last day at The News Tribune, where he worked for a quarter century, including the past decade as publisher.

In this long-exposure photo taken Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, headlights and taillights of Alaskan Way Viaduct traffic lines the highway ahead of an upcoming closure of the roadway, as the city's sports stadiums are seen in the distance, in Seattle. The doubl
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

The Alaskan Way Viaduct closes forever Friday, marking the beginning of a three-week disruption that’s been dubbed the Seattle Squeeze — a period of heavy congestion around the region, especially in and out of the Emerald City. After the new tunnel opens in February, demolition of the waterfront structure will begin, eliminating what’s been known for decades as “the working man’s view.”

Water moves through a spillway of the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River near Almota, Washington. It is one of the four dams on the lower Snake River, which advocates have argued should be removed to provide better habitat for Chinook salmon.
Nicholas K. Geranios / The Associated Press

The Army Corps of Engineers has trimmed a year off the timeline for its court-ordered environmental review of the 14 dams and reservoirs in the Columbia River system. The agency is now aiming to sign off on a decision for how to manage the system and its impacts on endangered salmon by the end of September 2020.

donald trump graphic
Chelsea Beck / NPR

Tonight from the Oval Office, President Donald Trump will address the nation about border security amid an ongoing, partial shutdown of the federal government. Watch live at 6 p.m.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, photo, the afternoon sun illuminates the Legislative Building, left, and the Insurance Building, right, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Washington’s Legislature convenes for the 2019 session in less than a week. Lawmakers will come together starting Monday for a 105-day, budget-writing session. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins joined Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick to talk budget and the many other issues on the docket.

Gov. Jay Inslee talks to reporters at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Seven years after the state legalized the adult use of marijuana, Inslee said Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, that he plans to pardon thousands of convictions for misdemeanor pot possession.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Gov. Jay inslee announced Friday that he will pardon thousands of people statewide who were previously convicted of low-level marijuana charges, an action that appears to be the first of its kind in the country.

A visitor walks through the National Park Inn at Longmire at Mount Rainier National Park, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018, in Washington state as a sign reads that the road to the Paradise area of the Park further up the mountain is closed due to the partial U.S.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

The federal government shutdown is now in its second week, causing trash to pile up and outhouses to overflow at national parks in the Southwest. But here in the Pacific Northwest, a lack of park personnel is causing access issues.

A pedestrian walks along a sidewalk as windblown waves crash at high tide Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, in Seattle. Another winter storm is passing through the Pacific Northwest today and into Friday.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

The Pacific Northwest is bracing for a winter storm today and tomorrow. Courtney Obergfell, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Seattle, talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about what to expect.

A photo taken of J-17 on New Year's Eve showing "peanut head," which indicates starvation.
Center for Whale Research

Last year was bleak for the critically endangered Southern Resident orca population, and 2019 is showing little reprieve so far. A regional expert on the pods says two whales, J-17 and K-25, are ailing and likely will die by summer.

Washington running back Myles Gaskin, top, scores the last of three touchdowns in the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl on Tuesday. The Huskies lost to Ohio State 28-23.
Mark J. Terrill / The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — The Washington Huskies gave fans a reason to stick around until the end of the 105th Rose Bowl on Tuesday, despite a slow start against Ohio State. But the impressive fourth-quarter rally wasn’t enough to defeat the Buckeyes. The Big Ten champions defeated the Pac-12 champions 28-23.

Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez, top, and Princesses, clockwise from lower left, Georgia Jane Cervenka, Sydney Grace Pickering, Julianne Elise Lauenstein, Alexandra Marie Artura, Savannah Rose Bradley and Lauren Elizabeth Buehner ride on their float at th
Michael Owen Baker / The Associated Press

Hours before the Washington Huskies take the field at the 105th Rose Bowl, a large cohort of local high schoolers will represent the Pacific Northwest in the massive celebration preceding the historic college football game.

A communications officer Michael Ryan works in the 911 dispatch center at the Rensselaer County Public Safety Building in Troy, N.Y.
Mike Groll / The Associated Press (file)

A massive CenturyLink internet outage knocked out 911 emergency call services across Washington state Thursday, a problem that persisted into Friday for some.

All Blues host John Kessler recently released his annual top 10 list of blues albums. He sat down with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick to discuss the music — a mix of old and new sounds. Listen to their chat and some of the tunes now.

Seattle streetcar
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has nominated a new head of the city's Department of Transportation. Sam Zimbabwe has worked for the trasnportation department in Washington, D.C. for seven years, most recently as chief project delivery officer.  

state capitol
The Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee announced his proposed budget Thursday, calling for an additional $10 billion in state spending over the next two years. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins breaks down the plan, and state Rep. Bruce Chandler (R-Granger) reacted to it in an interview with All Things Considered host Ed Ronco.

Orca whales swimming
The Associated Press

People who love Puget Sound orcas and want to save them from extinction will rally in Olympia tomorrow. And Gov. Jay Inslee plans to join them, immediately after announcing his budget priorities for the coming year.

Gov. Jay Inslee
Ted S. Warren / AP file

Gov. Jay Inslee is rolling out his proposed budget for the next two years, covering everything from climate change and mental health to orca recovery. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked in depth about some of the details on Morning Edition with Kirsten Kendrick. 

Ted S. Warren / AP file

Following eight months of meetings, a workgroup on the prevention of sexual harassment in the Washington state House is recommending the formation of an independent office where victims could report misconduct, among other reforms.

In an on-air chat with All Things Considered host Ed Ronco, Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins said the full set of recommendations is robust.

Gov. Jay Inslee
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Gov. Jay Inslee’s possible presidential campaign is getting financial backing, with more than $112,000 raised since October. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked about this story with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

Seattle skyline
Ted S. Warren / AP

As Seattle drivers start making plans to deal with the longest major highway closure the Puget Sound region has ever seen, the state Department of Transportation is outlining plans for demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct

Officials hosted a groundbreaking for the long-awaited Seattle Center Arena renovation project on Wednesday. It will be the home to the NHL's newest franchise starting in 2021.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

It's official — finally. Seattle is home to the next National Hockey League team, after the organization announced the expansion Tuesday morning. The announcement was followed by a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday. 

Goose Point oyster farm in Grays Harbor.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY, WASH. — The narrative you often hear about this place is that it’s depressed, that the economy has not been kind. Indeed, that's part of the story. But there’s so much more. In this special presentation, we offer a broader picture of the area — the challenges facing residents here and the reasons they love calling it home. Included in our coverage are stories about government, business and history. 

Pages