Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A few of our favorites: Memorable stories KNKX covered in 2023

Vanessa Castle and Matt Beirne from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe head up the Elwha River to a fishing hole.
Bellamy Pailthorp
Vanessa Castle and Matt Beirne from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe head up the Elwha River to a fishing hole.

In 2023, KNKX brought you stories from Seattle, Tacoma and across the Pacific Northwest region. As this year comes to a close, we asked the newsroom to pick an important, overlooked, fun, special or memorable story they wanted to share.

Some of these stories might be familiar, and some you might have missed. Each one is the result of original reporting, they connect you with local communities and share information you might not know.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Mayowa Aina, Special Projects Reporter and Producer

"I picked this story because I worked really hard to accurately and effectively capture the voices of those family members. It was important to me that we broaden the view of the impact of police violence and try to put a spotlight on the number of families that experience and the diversity of experience within that.

So, I think about this story and their voices and their advocacy often as we continue to cover police violence and accountability."

RowVaughn Wells cries as she and her husband Rodney Wells attend the funeral service for her son Tyre Nichols at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. Nichols died following a brutal beating by Memphis police after a traffic stop.
Following the news of what happened to Tyre Nichols in Memphis, three Washington families talk about how losing loved ones to police violence impacted them and turned them into advocates.

Jared Brown, Reporter

"I think my coverage of ongoing sewage issues in the Pierce County Jail was unique and compelling because it features the voice of a jail inmate, the federal legal action hasn't been reported elsewhere, county leaders weren't aware of the complaints and attorneys for the inmates are working to bring a class action."

An inmate huddles under a heavy blanket on a bunk in the psychiatric unit of the Pierce County jail in Tacoma, Wash. in 2014.
Inmates at the Pierce County jail say persistent raw sewage backflow and putrid smells are causing illnesses and infections.

Grace Madigan, Arts & Culture Reporter

"I hadn't been to Vien Dong before this story, but its reputation preceded it. I knew that I could probably find a story there, and I was right. Kevin and Linh bring so much love to that restaurant, and it's impossible not to feel it. Loved just taking a peek into this business and sharing it with others."

Vien Dong was opened in 1989 by current owner Linh Le's parents, who were part of the wave of Vietnamese refugees moving to Washington state in the '80s.
Vien Dong's owners were a part of the wave of Vietnamese immigrants who settled in Washington. The iconic pho restaurant opened in Tacoma's Lincoln District in 1989.

Kirsten Kendrick, Morning Edition Host

"This is my favorite interview that I did this year. It's from my Going Deep series. It was wonderful to talk with Jennifer Huffman about her grandfather, Joe Rantz, whose is a central character in the book and the movie The Boys in the Boat.

I was fascinated that it all started with a scrapbook that she made for her grandfather. The story that came out of those photos and news clippings helped us all learn more about what her grandfather and the other eight boys in the boat had to overcome on their way to making history."

A woman in a red puffy jacket smiles and points at a blonde actor in a large movie poster behind her.
"The Boys in the Boat" tells the story of the University of Washington rowing crew and their quest for gold at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Joe Rantz's story is central to both the book and movie. And it all started with a scrapbook that his granddaughter put together.

Bellamy Pailthorp, Environment reporter

"The Elwha story is one that I waited a decade to be able to report, having covered the tail end of the dam removals when I first started on the environment beat...and it's always so rewarding to take those trips.

Just seeing how the river has rebounded and noting how even though the restoration is slow, the Elwha tribe was celebrating a truly significant milestone. Their patience for more progress is also amazing!"

Vanessa Castle and Matt Beirne from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe head up the Elwha River to a fishing hole.
Members of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe harvested about 200 coho salmon from their home river in October – fewer than expected, but it marked a milestone for river restoration and a new subsistence fishery.

Subscribe to the KNKX Weekly News Round-Up for more original stories like these in 2024.

Cara Kuhlman is KNKX's online managing editor. Prior to KNKX, she worked at Seattle-based technology and business news site GeekWire for six years. A University of Oregon graduate, she's also studied narrative nonfiction writing and journalism entrepreneurship.
Tera Watson is a digital producer at KNKX.