Ryan Heinsius

Executive Producer/Local Content Manager

Ryan joined the KNAU staff as newscast manager in 2013. He’s covered a broad range of stories from local and state politics to environment, education and economic issues. He’s also covered wildfire in northern Arizona, including the 2014 Slide Fire that became the largest in the history of the Coconino National Forest. From time to time, Ryan interviews both internationally known and regional musicians, and he’s a regular contributor to NPR News and National Native News.

Before making the leap to public radio, Ryan spent a decade working in print media. As the editor of an alternative-weekly paper, he covered arts, entertainment and local culture and dabbled in political writing with a weekly column.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in political science and journalism, and in the past has returned to teach at his alma mater.

Ryan is also a Flagstaff-based musician and has performed and recorded with many bands in the Southwest. He spends as much time as possible with his wife and daughter hiking and cycling the amazing terrain of northern Arizona.

Ways to Connect

NPS

The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has announced his retirement. Dave Uberuaga will step down next month. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move comes after a federal investigation of sexual abuse within the park’s river district.

Arizona voters head to the polls tomorrow to decide on an Education Finance Amendment, Proposition 123. It would settle a lawsuit brought against the state by public schools for failure to increase K-through-12 funding based on inflation during the recession. It would also give a $3.5-billion-dollar cash injection to public schools over the next 10 years. More than 60 percent of that money would come from the State Land Trust, given to Arizona upon statehood in 1912 as a means to generate revenue for schools. Opponents of Prop 123 say the settlement jeopardizes the land trust and should be paid entirely out of the state’s general fund. Supporters believe it’s an immediate opportunity to pump money into K-through-12 education. Both sides admit it’s a short term plan to the issue of school funding. KNAU reached out to voices on both sides of Prop 123. Morgan Abraham, a Tucson investment advisor and the chairman of the No on Prop 123 campaign, spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris. Flagstaff City Councilman, Jeff Oravits supports the amendment and spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius. 


The Arizona Republic

One of the two ballot propositions Arizona voters will decide in tomorrow’s special election is Prop 124. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it would reform the state’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.


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.


The Pueblo Chieftain

Members of the first Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council were sworn into office this week. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the 10-member group was created to give the tribe’s veterans easier access to healthcare and other benefits

Coconino National Forest

The U.S. Department of the Interior will allocate nearly $95 million to a federal land conservation fund. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, Arizona will receive about $2 million through the program. 


Sam A. Minkler/The Guardian

The largest coal company in the U.S., Peabody Energy, announced Wednesday that it’s filed for bankruptcy. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, Peabody has operated on the Navajo Nation since the 1960s.


Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is developing new air pollution permits for three uranium mines near the Grand Canyon. The agency halted the permit renewals last year after elevated levels of uranium were detected near one of the mines. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 


norcalblogs.com

The Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe have been at odds for almost four decades about water rights to the Little Colorado River. Leaders of the tribes recently met with Arizona officials to revive attempts at a settlement. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye is calling on the U-S Senate to quickly fill the open seat on the U-S Supreme Court. He says further delays to consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, would harm American Indian tribes. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


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