Gillian Ferris

News Director and Managing Editor

Gillian came to KNAU in 2001 as a freelance reporter after careers as a river cook, baker and teacher. Her first story won an Arizona Associated Press Award. Since then, Gillian has won more than a dozen regional and national Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in feature reporting, writing, editing and documentary work. She served as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition for well over a decade before becoming news director and managing editor at KNAU. As much as she loves reporting, Gillian has found her true soul work in editing and producing other journalists’ work. When not in the newsroom, she’s outside hiking, surfing, playing disc golf, running rivers and hanging out with her beloved dogs and friends.

Ways to Connect

Two journalists who founded a weekly newspaper in Phoenix and later created the lucrative classified site Backpage.com went on trial today on charges of facilitating prostitution and laundering money in what authorities say was a scheme to knowingly sell ads for sex on the site. Michael Lacey and James Larkin also are accused of using cryptocurrency and wiring money to foreign bank accounts to launder revenues earned from the site’s ad sales after authorities say banks raised concerns that they were being used for illegal purposes.

dreamstime.com

Authorities say an inmate at the state prison in Florence has died of an apparent  suicide. Officials with the Arizona Department of Corrections said Monday that 43-year-old Mario DeLuna died “from an apparent act of self-harm by hanging.” Prison staff say they discovered DeLuna unresponsive in his assigned housing location Saturday morning. He was pronounced dead by responding paramedics. DeLuna was sentenced in 2019 out of Maricopa County on one count of dangerous drug violation and narcotic drug violation.

Robyn Feeley

In 1968, a stay-at-home mom named Iris Feeley joined a class action lawsuit against American Airlines. It challenged the company’s policy that “stewardesses” – as they were then called – had to quit their jobs when they got married. The suit was one of many that year aimed at the airline industry’s gender-specific rules about marriage, pregnancy and body weight. Iris’s daughter Robyn was 8 at the time and didn’t realize the magnitude of the situation.

istock.com

State health officials say appointments are no longer required at state-run vaccination sites as Arizona currently has enough COVID-19 vaccine to meet demand in metro Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and Yuma.

Getty Images

The Arizona Senate today announced it has hired a group of independent auditors to review the 2020 election in Maricopa County. The review will include a hand recount of 2.1 million ballots.

Kayla Gundrum

Schools across the country are beginning to resume in-person classes. The return marks one year since the coronavirus pandemic catapulted students and teachers out of their classrooms, and dropped them in front of their home computers. KNAU checked in with three families to see how they managed this past year. 

Kayla Gundrum and Odin

Kayla: I’m Kayla.

Odin: I’m Odin.

Poetry Friday: The Grand Finale

Dec 25, 2020
istock.com

It’s the last Friday of 2020, and that means it’s the last Poetry Friday of the year, as well. Today, we take a look back at a difficult year by way of the poems listeners submitted: from a frontline nurse, to a teenager stuck at home, to an up-and-coming poet who uses writing to manage his OCD.

This year’s Poetry Friday segments represent a timeline of how the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the world and our lives.

Poetry Friday: The Last Butterfly

Dec 18, 2020
worldwildlife.org

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tough year filled with a lot of uncertainty. Many people turn to nature for solace in times of trouble, and living on the Colorado Plateau, we are fortunate to have an abundance of open space to do just that. In this week’s Poetry Friday segment, Rose Houk, a writer for KNAU’s Earth Notes series, shares her thoughts on the healing power of the natural world, as well as a poem by the late American anthropologist and nature science writer Loren Eiseley.

Navajo Police Department

Navajo Nation Police are searching for two missing sisters last seen Sunday in Ft. Defiance. They are seven year old Jayda John and fourteen year old Jaylee Spencer.


istock.com

The Arizona Department of Health Service has suspended some transfers of patients from other states as the state’s hospitals admit an increasing number of COVID-19 patients.

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