KNAU and Arizona News

KNAU and Arizona News
7:36 am
Wed July 22, 2015

Navajo Nation Loosens Language Requirements For Top Leaders

Tom Smith Sr. and his daughter Alissa Lee, fill out paper work, Friday, July 17, 2015, before voting at the Navajo Election Administration - Northern Agency Office in Shiprock, N.M.
Credit Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP


  Navajos voted Tuesday to loosen language requirements for their top leaders, eliminating the need for them to be fluent in Navajo and giving voters more discretion in who can hold elected office.

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KNAU and Arizona News
6:58 am
Tue July 21, 2015

New York Man Arrested In Threatening Hoax Calls

A New York man suspected of placing numerous threatening phone calls to Flagstaff, Arizona, schools has been arrested.

Viktor Lisnyak, of Staten Island, New York, was arrested on July 17. He faces five counts of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce.

Officials say Lisnyak, who is 29 years old, made calls between March and May in which he threatened to kill school children. He made the calls to two elementary schools, one middle school and a preschool, police say.

KNAU and Arizona News
8:01 am
Mon July 20, 2015

Trump: McCain Is A War Hero -- But Also Abondoned Vets

Donald Trump, speaks Saturday, July 18, 2015, at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa. where he was one of Republican presidential candidates in attendance.
Credit Associated Press

Donald Trump is doubling down on his controversial comments aimed at Arizona Senator John McCain. As Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo reports, Trump not only questioned McCain’s status as a war hero, he’s now attacking the senator’s record on veteran’s issues.

Over the weekend, the republican presidential candidate said he likes soldiers who are not captured, instead of POWs like McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. On Monday's NBC’s Today, Trump clarified his comments, and says he has no problem calling McCain a war hero.

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KNAU and Arizona News
1:28 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

Lawmakers Divided on Lawsuit Challenging Indian Child Welfare Act

State Sen. for Legislative District 7 Carlyle Begay. He, along with State Rep. Jennifer Benally, want to see changes made to some parts of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Credit Courtesy

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute has filed a class-action lawsuit challenging parts of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, Native American lawmakers are split on whether to support the move.

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KNAU and Arizona News
7:50 am
Thu July 16, 2015

Brain Food: Following The Sand In The Colorado River In Grand Canyon

3-D images show the deposition and transport of sediment along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
Credit NAU Geology

Researchers studying sand deposits along the Colorado River are cautiously optimistic that controlled water releases from Glen Canyon Dam are restoring sandbars in the Grand Canyon.

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KNAU and Arizona News
7:48 am
Thu July 16, 2015

Scientists Impressed By Pluto Images; Name Heart-Shaped Area For Tombaugh

This image provided by NASA shows a region near Pluto's equator with a range of mountains captured by the New Horizons spacecraft.
Credit NASA

  Mankind's first close-up look at Pluto did not disappoint Wednesday: The pictures showed ice mountains on Pluto about as high as the Rockies and chasms on its big moon Charon that appear six times deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Especially astonishing to scientists was the total absence of impact craters in a zoom-in shot of one rugged slice of Pluto. They said that suggests that Pluto is geologically active even now and is being sculpted not by collisions with cosmic debris but by its internal heat.

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KNAU and Arizona News
12:41 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

State Officials Review Public Comments for Coal-Fired Plant Proposal

The coal-fired Cholla Power Plant near Joseph City. The plant is co-owned by Arizona Public Service Co.
Credit APS

State officials are sifting through public comments on a proposal that would stop coal from being used to run the Cholla Power Plant near Joseph City. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, conservation groups say the plan doesn’t go far enough to protect the environment.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:11 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Judge Grants Request To Halt Suit Against Board Of Education

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas

  A judge has granted the state Board of Education's request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas over authority to oversee and fire the board's staff.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Patricia Starr ruled Tuesday that part of Douglas' suit was a "political question" inappropriate for a court to decide. The judge also said other parts of the suit were too abstract to warrant a court ruling.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Flagstaff Scientists Celebrate Pluto Flyby

Planetary scientists with Flagstaff ties speak to KNAU from Laurel, Maryland during the Pluto flyby. From left to right: Simon Porter, Will Grundy, Marc Buie, Cathy Olkin, and W. Lowell Putnam, IV, the great-grandnephew of Percival Lowell.
Credit Kevin Schindler

When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto yesterday, KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny was patched into mission operations in Maryland. She was talking to some of the Flagstaff scientists who were there to celebrate the big event. It was a reunion for past and present planetary scientists of Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered 85 years ago. 

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KNAU and Arizona News
2:44 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

The Pluto-Flagstaff Connection: An Interview From Mission Control

Clyde Tombaugh, an astronomer at Flagstaff's Lowell Observatory, is credited with discovering Pluto in 1930.
Credit New Mexico State University

Earlier today, after nearly a decade of interplanetary travel, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft recorded the first up-close images of Pluto. It was discovered in 1930 by astronomers at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. That's where Dr. Will Grundy works, he's a co-investigator for the New Horizons mission. Arizona Public Radio's Justin Regan spoke with him from Mission Control in Maryland about today's historic event.

JR: This is obviously a very big day for you and your team. What's the mood like in the control center right now? How are you feeling?

WG: Pretty euphoric. The spacecraft is too busy taking data right now to communicate with us, so we're not in communication, but this is exactly what it was designed for. So, we're pretty confident that it is doing its job and filling up the memories with some absolutely fabulous data.

JR: Tell us about the fly-by today. Can you tell us what you were able to see?

WG: Well, we see nothing yet. It's all an interesting dance of celestial mechanics and the limited speed of light. So the spacecraft, as you said, flew by Pluto and the Pluto system a while ago. It's now turning its cameras back towards the direction of the sun, and it's watching the sun set through Pluto's atmosphere and rise on the other side. And then we'll do the same thing behind Charon's atmosphere - if it has an atmosphere. That'll be a chance to discover something that hasn't yet been seen. We transmitted a radio transmission several hours ago from the deep space network that will arrive at Pluto just in time for New Horizons to watch that radio transmission through Pluto's atmosphere. And, of course, when it phones home it takes four and a half hours for the radio signal to come back down and be received at Earth, and we'll get that message this evening.

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