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.

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.

The jurors who will be chosen to hear the first case against a police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore will be anonymous, at least for now.

A judge has ruled that their identities can be shielded from the public. That practice is controversial, but not unheard of in high-profile cases.

The bipartisan effort to overhaul the criminal justice system for drug offenders has hit a speed bump.

Some members of Congress are trying to tie those lighter punishments for drug defendants to a new bill that the Justice Department says would make it harder to prosecute a range of crimes from food safety to business fraud.

The plan, passed by voice vote by the House Judiciary Committee to little notice last week, would require prosecutors to prove guilt to a higher standard in many cases, by default.

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The mayor of Gary, Ind., acknowledged Thursday that police in some cities may be stepping back because of a rise in public scrutiny of their actions, a controversial phenomenon known as the Ferguson effect.

The chief of the Justice Department's civil rights division says "too many barriers still exist in courts across America" when it comes to providing lawyers to poor criminal defendants.

In a speech to the first-ever National Consortium on the Right to Counsel, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta said, "The bottom line is this: Denying one's Sixth Amendment right to counsel can negatively impact public safety. And it also drains precious taxpayer resources."

This story was updated at 2:15 p.m. ET Thursday

The acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration said the police may be "reluctant to engage" for fear "rightly, or wrongly, that you become the next viral video," adding a new voice to the debate over public scrutiny of law enforcement.

Over the past few days, thousands of federal prisoners have been leaving confinement early and returning to their communities — the result of changes to sentencing guidelines for drug-related crimes.

And who will be monitoring those former inmates?

In some ways, the buck stops with Matthew Rowland. He's the chief of the probation and pretrial services office at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Dana Bowerman walked out of a federal prison camp in Bryan, Texas, Monday morning and for the first time in more than a decade, she chose her own breakfast.

"I had five pieces of different kinds of pizza," Bowerman told All Things Considered in an interview. "Been waiting 15 years for that. I about choked though because I got kind of emotional and I'd have a mouthful of pizza ... and it still feels very surreal."

The FBI Agents Association honored fallen colleagues and the former head of U.S. Special Operations in a star-studded charity gala in Washington on Wednesday.

The second-annual awards dinner generated money to help provide scholarships for children of FBI workers and funds that offer "special assistance" to agents and their families.

The top Republican and Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee are preparing to introduce a bill Thursday they're billing as "companion" legislation to the major Senate sentencing overhaul unveiled last week.

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