Carrie Johnson

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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.

FRIENDSOFANIMALS.ORG

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 NPR.org.

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.

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to file court briefs by Wednesday explaining why some portion of the remaining Hillary Clinton emails, subject to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Vice News, cannot be produced by Feb. 18.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras said after a 30-minute hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C., that the government "has put me between a rock and a hard place" with respect to 7,000 pages of yet-to-be-released Clinton emails from her tenure at the State Department.

The decision by Hillary Clinton to use a private email server as secretary of state has spawned an FBI investigation, multiple congressional inquiries and dozens of private lawsuits that demand copies of her messages. It's also become an issue in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Republicans on the campaign trail have raised the prospect that Clinton could be charged with a crime — even as she downplays the FBI probe and asserts she wants voters to be able to see all of her messages from that time.

The Justice Department has named a veteran prosecutor from Philadelphia as the new leader of its pardon office, which is trying to review more than 9,000 petitions in the final year of the Obama presidency.

Robert Zauzmer, 55, has worked since 1990 at the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Justice Department leaders said Zauzmer represented a "natural choice" for the pardon job, in part because of his experience training prosecutors all over the country in how to evaluate prisoners' requests for early release.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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A bipartisan task force created by Congress issued "an urgent call to action" Tuesday to overhaul the nation's federal prisons and reduce the number of U.S. inmates by 60,000 over the next decade.

For months, FBI Director James Comey has been warning about a troubling spike in homicides in some of America's biggest cities.

On Tuesday, the bureau released preliminary crime statistics that back up some of his concerns. The FBI reported that violent crime rose in the first six months of 2015, with murders increasing by more than 6 percent over that same stretch the year before.

It's not every day the White House and Republican leaders in Congress have a meeting of the minds.

But before he left for the holidays, the president singled out an issue he considers ripe for compromise next year. "I still want to work with Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, to reform our criminal justice system," President Obama said.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has been sounding a hopeful note, too, telling an audience recently: "I do believe that there are things where we can find common ground on next; criminal justice reform is a good example."

The Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania unanimously ruled Wednesday that a state law that prevents convicted criminals from getting full-time jobs in nursing homes or long-term-care facilities is unconstitutional.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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