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

Skagit Valley is working to diversify its economy. All Things Considered host Ed Ronco talks about that and other stories ahead of our KNKX Connects broadcast.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

MOUNT VERNON, WASH. — Today, All Things Considered broadcasts from Mount Vernon City Library for KNKX Connects to Skagit Valley. Host Ed Ronco talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick — live from Edgewater Park on the banks of the Skagit River — about some of the stories you’ll hear this afternoon 3-6 p.m.

Reign FC's Beverly Yanez  models her team's new  jersey Jan. 17 during an event to unveil a jersey sponsorship with Zulily. The Reign is moving to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, and S2 is rebranding as Tacoma Defiance.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

More soccer is coming to Tacoma. Seattle Reign FC announced Wednesday that the professional women’s team will play its 2019 matches at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. And with the move down Interstate 5, the team also will bear a new name: Reign FC.

Craig Romano's wife, Heather, stands at a lookout in Mount Vernon's Little Mountain Park.
Courtesy of Craig Romano

MOUNT VERNON, WASH. — KNKX Connects to Skagit County this Thursday, when All Things Considered broadcasts live from the Mount Vernon City Library. In this sneak peek of our show we meet Craig Romano, who is an award-winning guidebook author. He hiked to the summit of Little Mountain with producer Geoffrey Redick.

Capitol campus
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins says it’s hard to tell what will become a lightning-rod issue during the “fire hose” phase of the legislative session. So far this week, the lightning rod centered on hair salons. Jenkins talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about some of the many issues being discussed in Olympia.

This file photo from 2015 shows the main entrance to Washington state's Special Commitment Center next to a fence lined with razor wire on McNeil Island, Wash.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

It’s a question that isn’t so easily answered: what exactly is the Special Commitment Center? The prison on McNeil island closed in 2011, but the SCC still operates there. It houses sex offenders who have already served their prison time, but have been deemed too dangerous to release into society. 

KNKX reporters Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel took a deep dive into the center in Episode 2 of their six-part podcast, Forgotten Prison. They talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about what they learned. 

This Oct. 20, 2015 photo shows the grounds of Washington state's Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island, Wash.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Two episodes into the Forgotten Prison podcast, we talk about a place that isn’t a prison at all — at least not technically.

medical examiner van
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

UPDATE, Feb. 1: Pierce County's medical examiner faces another complaint from his second-in-command, according to a complaint obtained by KNKX. This one was sent to regulators with the state Department of Health, her attorney Joan Mell said. 

The chief medical examiner with Pierce County is accused of violating a laundry list of laws and standards, according to a whistleblower complaint filed with human resources Thursday.

The second-in-command at the Medical Examiner’s Office accused Thomas B. Clark of altering death certificates, mismanaging evidence and creating a toxic work environment, according to the complaint.

Former designated hitter Edgar Martinez, right, greets former teammate Ken Griffey Jr. during a ceremony retiring his No. 11 before a baseball game in 2017. Martinez, who retired at the end of the 2004 season, will join Griffey as the second Hall of Famer
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

It took a decade to get there, but Edgar Martinez is headed to Cooperstown.

The legendary designated hitter beloved by Mariners fans was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, after receiving enough votes in his final year of contention. 

Download now   Washington Gov. Jay Inslee points as he steps into his car after speaking at Saint Anselm College, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, in Manchester, N.H.
Mary Schwalm / The Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee is in New Hampshire today, testing the waters in the early primary state for a potential run for president in 2020. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins is covering the trip, and talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick from across the country at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

KNKX reporters Paula Wissel and Simone Alicea have spent the past year digging into the history of McNeil Island, in partnership with the Washington State History Museum. They're sharing what they found in the six-part podcast, Forgotten Prison. They talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about what they learned.

Seatco Territorial Prison
Courtesy of Washington State History Museum

This story is the result of research from a yearlong project in partnership with the Washington State History Museum. It supplements Episode 1 of the podcast Forgotten Prison, a six-part series from KNKX Public Radio hosted by reporters Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel.

Similar to McNeil Island, the town of Bucoda has remnants of a prison now forgotten. But what sets this historic site apart is the active effort to forget.

Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at a Selma, Ala., church in this January 1965 photo.
The Associated Press

Martin Luther King Jr. was a jazz fan who wrote eloquently about the music he loved, as well as how jazz and the artists who created it influenced and shaped the dialogue of the civil rights movement. We celebrate King’s life on Monday with a special program dedicated to his appreciation for and influence on the genre.

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.

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