YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) _ Linda Ashton, a newswoman in the Seattle bureau of The Associated Press, has been named correspondent in Yakima.

The appointment was announced Tuesday by Seattle Chief of Bureau Dale Leach.

Ashton, 40, joined the AP in New Orleans in 1987. She moved to Spokane in 1990 and to Seattle five years later.

Ashton is a native of Baton Rouge, La., and holds degrees from Oregon State University and the University of Montana. Before joining the AP, she was a reporter for the Daily Town Talk in Alexandria, La.

Ashton replaces Aviva Brandt, who will join the AP's Seattle staff.