Gillian Ferris

Managing Editor

Gillian came to KNAU in 2001 as a freelance reporter. Her first story won an Arizona Associated Press Award. Since then, Gillian has won more than a dozen Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting, writing and documentary work. She served as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition for 8 years before moving into a full time reporting position in 2012. Gillian covers everything from environmental issues to sports, with a penchant for human interest stories of all kinds. When she’s not working, Gillian revels in the natural world and is an avid hiker, skier, swimmer, river runner and surfer. She also enjoys making fancy cakes and reorganizing her collection of fabulous shoes… 70 pairs and counting.

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This week marks one year since the Slide Fire broke out in Oak Creek Canyon. It burned more than 33 square miles and forced the evacuation of nearly 300 residents and visitors. It now stands as the largest wildfire in the history of the Coconino National Forest. Each day this week, KNAU will revisit the Slide Fire: checking in with evacuees, taking a look at how flora and fauna are doing, hearing from local officials about lessons learned in firefighting and community preparedness. KNAU's Aaron Granillo starts our series with an update on the investigation into the human-caused blaze.

Two more public schools in Flagstaff were put on lockdown today after receiving threatening phone calls. The calls were made to Mount Elden Middle School and Marshall Elementary shortly before normal release time this afternoon. They were immediately put on lockdown. At least 3 other nearby schools were put on "lockout" status, including Puente de Hozho, Flagstaff High School and Thomas Elementary. "Lockout" status means that regular activities are conducted, but no one is allowed to leave or enter the building.

NAU Highlanders

The hit movie "Pitch Perfect" and the soon-to-be-released sequel "Pitch Perfect 2" are helping revive the popularity of A cappella music. The setting for the films is the International Championship of Collegiate A cappella, or ICCA. It's a real event, happening this weekend in Tempe. And this year, all 3 A cappella groups at Northern Arizona University qualified for the first round of competition. Though collegiate A cappella went out of fashion for a few decades, Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, it's reinvented itself to emerge as a creative mish-mash of musical styles.

The Mueller Family / NPR

Islamic State militants claim that an aid worker from northern Arizona, held hostage by the group, has been killed in a Jordanian airstrike in Syria. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, ISIS released a statement today claiming the victim is 26 year old Kayla Mueller, a Prescott native and graduate of Northern Arizona University.

azcentral.com

Today in Flagstaff, hundreds of mourners gathered along the funeral procession route of fallen police officer Tyler Jacob Stewart. Stewart was killed in the line of duty last Saturday while following-up on a domestic violence incident. He was a rookie officer, just 24 years old. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, Stewart's family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers remembered him as compassionate and loyal.

alisonhawthornedeming.com

If you have readers on your holiday gift giving list, you might consider something written by an Arizona author. In the latest installment of KNAU's Southwest Book Reviews, 3 graduate students in Northern Arizona's creative writing program review the latest works from 3 local authors.

webmd.com

It's been almost 60 years since the U.S. Surgeon General officially announced that smoking tobacco can lead to lung cancer. Even so, an estimated 1 in 5 American adults still smoke, and today The American Cancer Society hopes those people will collectively give up the habit. It's the 37th annual Great American Smokeout, a national awareness campaign encouraging smokers to use the day as their "quit date". But, as Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, giving up nicotine isn't always that easy, especially for long-time smokers.

Life Magazine

This story originally aired on Veteran's Day of 2006. It's a personal story produced by KNAU's Gillian Ferris recounting her grandfather's experience as a prisoner of war during WWII. But, it's also a story of how her grandmother and mother endured the anguish of waiting to know his fate. Gillian has reproduced the original story following the recent death of her grandmother and shares it with us on this day of remembrance.

azredistricting.org

Democratic incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick will face-off in the November 4th election against Republican House Speaker Andy Tobin to see who will represent Arizona's Congressional District 1. It's the state's largest district and the 10th largest in the nation. A couple of weeks ago, KNAU's news team asked listeners to submit questions for the candidates, who addressed them in this previously recorded, unedited debate.

wisegeek.com

Federal investigators are at Grand Canyon National Park this week looking into allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation by some Park employees, including Rangers. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, at least 12 people have come forward with claims that Park officials were aware of the harassment, but did little - or nothing - about it.

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