Carrie Johnson

Jon Austria/Daily Times via AP

The abduction and murder last week of an 11-year-old girl on the Navajo Nation has highlighted the tribe’s lack of an Amber Alert system. Now, a task force will develop an emergency notification method for the 27,000-square-mile reservation. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Coconino County Sheriff's Office

Authorities say a rescue team has found the body of an Arizona State University professor who had been reported missing from a northern Arizona campground.

Coconino County Sheriff's officials say in a news release the body of 59-year-old Debra Ann Schwartz was found about 11:10 a.m. Sunday in an unnamed slot canyon. She was about a half-mile from her camping spot in the Pine Flat Campground in Oak Creek Canyon.

The sheriff's office received a call from the campground about 9 a.m. Friday when Schwartz failed to check out as scheduled.

Arizona lawmakers are hoping to wrap up the 2016 legislative session, but first they have to complete votes on bills that have been stalled because of work on a state budget.

The Arizona House alone has set Friday votes on more than 130 bills. Senate calendars hadn't been posted late Thursday.

The House acted on only about two dozen bills Thursday and the Senate voted on a similar number.

Both chambers are aiming to adjourn the session Friday, but there's no guarantee that will happen.

Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP

Several hours after a stranger abducted an 11-year-old Navajo girl as she played near her home, few outside the reservation knew she was missing.

Cellphone alarms jolted New Mexico residents at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, giving the first warning beyond the Navajo Nation to keep watch for Ashlynne Mike and the man who lured her into his van. He took the girl and her brother Monday afternoon soon after they got off the school bus in a desolate stretch of the reservation.

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

If a tree falls in the forest and no one's there to hear, does it make a sound? It definitely makes sound waves, according to wood scientist Dave Auty of Northern Arizona University. Auty uses "acoustic evaluation technology", or sound wave probes, to determine the stiffness and quality of a tree before it's harvested. It's a technique new to northern Arizona forests.

Dave Heramimtschuk-USGS/Freshwater Illustrated

Several species of aquatic insects are mysteriously missing from the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Scientists now know that’s because dam managers rapidly change the river’s level to meet electricity demand.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Roundtail Chub populations have declined to the point where the fish is being considered as a candidate for the Federal Endangered Species Act. But their numbers are just fine in central Arizona. In fact, the Roundtail Chub is thriving on the Salt and Verde Rivers.

Courtesy photo

A 27-year-old New Mexico man arrested in the abduction and death of an 11-year-old girl on the Navajo Nation is expected to appear in court Wednesday.

The FBI says 27-year-old Tom Begaye of Waterflow, New Mexico, will appear before a federal magistrate in nearby Farmington.

Ashlynne Mike was abducted in the Fruitland area Monday afternoon, and searchers found her body Tuesday morning south of the monolithic rock that gives the community of Shiprock its name.

Arizona Navy SEAL Killed In Iraq

May 4, 2016
US Department of Defense

The Navy SEAL killed in Iraq on Tuesday was identified as Charlie Keating IV, a former Phoenix high school star distance runner and the grandson of the late Arizona financier involved in the 1980s savings and loan scandal.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Keating died in an Islamic State group attack near the city of Irbil.

He's the third American serviceman to die in combat in Iraq since the U.S.-led coalition launched its campaign against the Islamic State in the summer of 2014, according to military officials.


Federal wildlife officials say they'll be doing a thorough review of legislation introduced by two U.S. senators that would affect endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest.

Arizona Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake have introduced a measure that would push the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work more closely with states to revamp a decades-old recovery plan for the wolves.

The agency has already agreed as part of a settlement with environmentalists to have a recovery plan crafted by the end of 2017.


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Carrie Johnson is a Justice Correspondent for the Washington Desk.

She covers a wide variety of stories about justice issues, law enforcement and legal affairs for NPR's flagship programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as the Newscasts and

While in this role, Johnson has chronicled major challenges to the landmark voting rights law, a botched law enforcement operation targeting gun traffickers along the Southwest border, and the Obama administration's deadly drone program for suspected terrorists overseas.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2010, Johnson worked at the Washington Post for 10 years, where she closely observed the FBI, the Justice Department and criminal trials of the former leaders of Enron, HealthSouth and Tyco. Earlier in her career, she wrote about courts for the weekly publication Legal Times.

Outside of her role at NPR, Johnson regularly moderates or appears on legal panels for the American Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and others. She's talked about her work on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, and other outlets.

Her work has been honored with awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has been a finalist for the Loeb award for financial journalism and for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for team coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Benedictine University in Illinois.

The chief judge of the federal district court in Washington, D.C., notified the White House he would retire this week, the same day a Utah woman filed a lawsuit accusing him of assault and predatory sexual behavior 35 years ago, when he was a civil rights prosecutor and she was a 16-year-old eyewitness in a murder case.

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Inmates challenging their confinement in special prison units where their communications are monitored non-stop will get one more chance to revive their case against the Federal Bureau of Prisons Tuesday.

Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights will try to convince a three-judge panel that placement in a "Communication Management Unit" represents a "fundamental disruption" to their clients' liberty interests, a fate far more troublesome and stigmatizing than the typical response to inmates who misbehave.

The legal world has a new blogger: former constitutional law professor and current President Barack Obama.

The president took to SCOTUSblog, the leading online chronicle of the Supreme Court, on Wednesday to offer some "spoiler-free insights" into what he is seeking in a justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

A federal judge said he will allow a conservative watchdog group to take steps to find out whether the State Department and former Secretary Hillary Clinton "deliberately thwarted" an open records law by using a private email server.

The Obama administration has made "virtually no progress" to increase transparency and accountability for its lethal drone program, a new report has concluded, with only months left to spare before the White House hands control of the targeted killing apparatus to a successor.

The report by the nonpartisan Stimson Center said the administration is failing to release fundamental information about the program or to significantly overhaul it — even after a 2015 strike mistakenly left American contractor Warren Weinstein and Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto dead.

The unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the looming face-off between the White House and the Senate over his replacement have revived proposals that would limit the tenure of U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Legal scholars from both political parties renewed a call Tuesday to reconsider how much time justices spend on the high court. Many of them cited, with disapproval, a bruising and protracted clash building between President Obama and the GOP-controlled Senate over when and how to fill Scalia's vacancy.

Justice Antonin Scalia loved a good fight.

So it's only fitting that news of his death at age 79 ignited an immediate and partisan battle over who might take his place on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The director of the federal government team that interrogates key terrorism suspects has a message for people who want to see a return to waterboarding and other abusive strategies: They don't work.

Frazier Thompson, who leads the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, said research demonstrates that "rapport-based techniques elicit the most credible information."

In an interview at FBI headquarters this week, Thompson added: "I can tell you that everything that we do is humane, lawful and based on the best science available."

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