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KNAU and Arizona News
1:28 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

Lawmakers Divided on Lawsuit Challenging Indian Child Welfare Act

State Sen. for Legislative District 7 Carlyle Begay. He, along with State Rep. Jennifer Benally, want to see changes made to some parts of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Credit Courtesy

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute has filed a class-action lawsuit challenging parts of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, Native American lawmakers are split on whether to support the move.

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KNAU and Arizona News
7:50 am
Thu July 16, 2015

Brain Food: Following The Sand In The Colorado River In Grand Canyon

3-D images show the deposition and transport of sediment along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
Credit NAU Geology

Researchers studying sand deposits along the Colorado River are cautiously optimistic that controlled water releases from Glen Canyon Dam are restoring sandbars in the Grand Canyon.

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KNAU and Arizona News
7:48 am
Thu July 16, 2015

Scientists Impressed By Pluto Images; Name Heart-Shaped Area For Tombaugh

This image provided by NASA shows a region near Pluto's equator with a range of mountains captured by the New Horizons spacecraft.
Credit NASA

  Mankind's first close-up look at Pluto did not disappoint Wednesday: The pictures showed ice mountains on Pluto about as high as the Rockies and chasms on its big moon Charon that appear six times deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Especially astonishing to scientists was the total absence of impact craters in a zoom-in shot of one rugged slice of Pluto. They said that suggests that Pluto is geologically active even now and is being sculpted not by collisions with cosmic debris but by its internal heat.

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KNAU and Arizona News
12:41 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

State Officials Review Public Comments for Coal-Fired Plant Proposal

The coal-fired Cholla Power Plant near Joseph City. The plant is co-owned by Arizona Public Service Co.
Credit APS

State officials are sifting through public comments on a proposal that would stop coal from being used to run the Cholla Power Plant near Joseph City. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, conservation groups say the plan doesn’t go far enough to protect the environment.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:11 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Judge Grants Request To Halt Suit Against Board Of Education

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas

  A judge has granted the state Board of Education's request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas over authority to oversee and fire the board's staff.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Patricia Starr ruled Tuesday that part of Douglas' suit was a "political question" inappropriate for a court to decide. The judge also said other parts of the suit were too abstract to warrant a court ruling.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Flagstaff Scientists Celebrate Pluto Flyby

Planetary scientists with Flagstaff ties speak to KNAU from Laurel, Maryland during the Pluto flyby. From left to right: Simon Porter, Will Grundy, Marc Buie, Cathy Olkin, and W. Lowell Putnam, IV, the great-grandnephew of Percival Lowell.
Credit Kevin Schindler

When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto yesterday, KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny was patched into mission operations in Maryland. She was talking to some of the Flagstaff scientists who were there to celebrate the big event. It was a reunion for past and present planetary scientists of Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered 85 years ago. 

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Earth Notes: Protecting the Bear's Ears

Credit Bears Ears Coalition

Among the most prominent landmarks of southern Utah are the Bear’s Ears—a pair of buttes south of the Dark Canyon Wilderness that are visible for many miles. They’re known to Navajo people as the birthplace of the celebrated “Headman” Manuelito, who was known for resisting federal efforts to forcibly remove Navajos from the region.

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KNAU and Arizona News
2:44 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

The Pluto-Flagstaff Connection: An Interview From Mission Control

Clyde Tombaugh, an astronomer at Flagstaff's Lowell Observatory, is credited with discovering Pluto in 1930.
Credit New Mexico State University

Earlier today, after nearly a decade of interplanetary travel, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft recorded the first up-close images of Pluto. It was discovered in 1930 by astronomers at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. That's where Dr. Will Grundy works, he's a co-investigator for the New Horizons mission. Arizona Public Radio's Justin Regan spoke with him from Mission Control in Maryland about today's historic event.

JR: This is obviously a very big day for you and your team. What's the mood like in the control center right now? How are you feeling?

WG: Pretty euphoric. The spacecraft is too busy taking data right now to communicate with us, so we're not in communication, but this is exactly what it was designed for. So, we're pretty confident that it is doing its job and filling up the memories with some absolutely fabulous data.

JR: Tell us about the fly-by today. Can you tell us what you were able to see?

WG: Well, we see nothing yet. It's all an interesting dance of celestial mechanics and the limited speed of light. So the spacecraft, as you said, flew by Pluto and the Pluto system a while ago. It's now turning its cameras back towards the direction of the sun, and it's watching the sun set through Pluto's atmosphere and rise on the other side. And then we'll do the same thing behind Charon's atmosphere - if it has an atmosphere. That'll be a chance to discover something that hasn't yet been seen. We transmitted a radio transmission several hours ago from the deep space network that will arrive at Pluto just in time for New Horizons to watch that radio transmission through Pluto's atmosphere. And, of course, when it phones home it takes four and a half hours for the radio signal to come back down and be received at Earth, and we'll get that message this evening.

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KNAU and Arizona News
12:07 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Congress Moves to Block Proposed Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument

The proposed Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument would encompass 1.7 million acres surrounding Grand Canyon National Park.
Credit Jim Dougherty

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment to a bill that would limit the president’s ability to set aside federal lands for conservation. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move is aimed in part at preventing the possible designation of a Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:14 am
Tue July 14, 2015

Arizona GOP Lawmaker To Announce She'll Take On McCain

State Sen. Kelli Ward

  A Republican Arizona lawmaker who has been exploring a challenge to longtime U.S. Sen. John McCain is set to reveal her decision at a Lake Havasu City news conference.

State Sen. Kelli Ward announced in April she was considering taking on the five-term incumbent in next year's Republican primary. She's scheduled a news conference Tuesday afternoon to announce her decision.

McCain announced in April that he'll seek to extend his nearly three-decade career in the Senate by running for a sixth term.

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