Bobby Allyn | KCUR

Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn is a general assignment reporter for NPR.

He came to Washington from Philadelphia, where he covered criminal justice and breaking news for more than four years at member station WHYY. In that role, he focused on major corruption trials, law enforcement, and local criminal justice policy. He helped lead NPR's reporting of Bill Cosby's two criminal trials. He was a guest on Fresh Air after breaking a major story about the nation's first supervised injection site plan in Philadelphia. In between daily stories, he has worked on several investigative projects, including a story that exposed how the federal government was quietly hiring debt collection law firms to target the homes of student borrowers who had defaulted on their loans. Allyn also strayed from his beat to cover Philly parking disputes that divided in the city, the last meal at one of the city's last all-night diners, and a remembrance of the man who wrote the Mister Softee jingle on a xylophone in the basement of his Northeast Philly home.

At other points in life, Allyn has been a staff reporter at Nashville Public Radio and daily newspapers including The Oregonian in Portland and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has also appeared in BuzzFeed News, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

A native of Wilkes-Barre, a former mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Allyn is the son of a machinist and a church organist. He's a dedicated bike commuter and long-distance runner. He is a graduate of American University in Washington.

The mayor of Phoenix is apologizing to the city following recently released video showing police officers pointing their guns and threatening to shoot a 22-year-old father who was with his pregnant fiancée and two young daughters.

For the second time in recent years, auto workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., have narrowly voted against forming a union.

It was the difference of 57 votes.

Preliminary results show that over three days of voting, 776 workers backed the union, but 833 voted it down.

The outcome is seen as the latest blow against organized labor in the South, where union advocates have tried for years to strengthen representation in auto facilities amid a shrinking union membership base and fierce opposition from many top lawmakers in the region.

Police officials in Kenya say the al-Shabab extremist group is responsible for a deadly explosion Saturday morning that reportedly killed 10 police officers near the country's border with Somalia.

Around 10:50 a.m. local time, a police vehicle carrying 11 officers on patrol hit an improvised explosive device, killing several of the officers, Kenya police spokesman Charles Owino told NPR.

The 10 deaths were reported by The Associated Press but Kenyan officials say they're still trying to confirm the number of police officer casualties, Owino said.

Julian Assange is set to appear before a British court early next year in a hearing on whether the WikiLeaks founder should be extradited to the U.S., a judge in London ruled on Friday.

The charges Assange faces include conspiring to hack government computer networks.

He will have the hearing in February, which could last for several days.

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET Friday

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Thursday ending vaccination exemptions based on religious beliefs, the latest attempt to address the growing measles outbreak, the worst the U.S. has experienced in decades.

A civil disobedience campaign in Sudan has brought the country's capital to a standstill, closing down restaurants, banks and other businesses and turning streets desolate on Sunday, the latest escalation by protesters demanding an end to military rule.

Updated at 1:10 a.m. ET Monday

Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in a show of defiance against a government proposal that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face charges.

Organizers of the protest say more than 1 million turned out to the streets, or roughly one in seven Hong Kong residents, but police estimated the crowds were far smaller.

In the decades since two gunman attacked Columbine High School, ushering in a new era in which mass shootings have become commonplace in America, the building has turned into a tourism magnet for those curious about the school's dark history. And fears have persisted that the site has provided inspiration for copycat killings.

Over the past few months, visitors hoping to glimpse the school have been coming in droves, hitting record levels, perhaps fueled by the shooting's 20th anniversary.

Is it time to demolish the school?

Hours before he walked into his workplace and unleashed a barrage of gunfire that killed 12 people, the Virginia Beach gunman wrote his bosses a two-sentence email that said he was quitting for "personal reasons," according to a copy of the letter city officials released on Monday.

"I want to officially put in my (2) weeks' notice," DeWayne Craddock wrote. "It has been a pleasure to serve the city, but due to personal reasons, I must relieve my position."

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

The gunman who opened fire inside a Virginia Beach government building on Friday shot two supervisors, a high-ranking city government official has confirmed.

When she first heard a woman screaming "active shooter" while dashing down her office hallway, Christi Dewar's first thought was: It must be a drill.

Dewar, 60, of Chesapeake, Va., who has worked in the city of Virginia Beach's public utility department for nearly 13 years, had been there long enough to know that loud sounds were not necessarily cause for alarm.

On Friday afternoon, a workplace renovation was still underway, so when she heard the first blasting pop sounds, she didn't realize she was in the midst of one of America's deadliest workplace shootings.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

A Missouri judge has blocked the state's attempt to close down Missouri's last abortion provider.

Missouri Circuit Court Judge Michael Stelzer granted a request to temporarily prevent state officials from revoking the license of a clinic operated by a St. Louis Planned Parenthood chapter, as the state's health department had sought to do.

If the license is not renewed, Missouri will become the first state without a clinic providing abortions since the procedure became legal 46 years ago.

The Australian teenager who became known as Egg Boy after smashing an egg on the head of a right-wing politician has donated $69,000 U.S. to those affected by the mass shootings at the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosques in March.

Will Connolly announced on Instagram that the $99,922 Australian (about $69,000 U.S.) that supporters gave him through crowdfunding sites to cover legal fees and to "buy more eggs" has been directed to two organizations, Christchurch Foundation and Victims Support.

New York commuters have reason to cheer: the Subway Brake Bandit apparently has been apprehended, authorities announced on Friday.

Brooklyn resident Isaiah Thompson, 23, allegedly spent months furtively yanking emergency brakes on city subway trains at least 40 times, prompting as many as 700 trains, along with their riders, to be delayed.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali, who stepped away from his restaurants and television appearances after facing accusations of sexual harassment, pleaded not guilty on Friday in a courtroom in Boston, where he is standing trial over allegedly kissing and groping a woman against her will in 2017.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill on Friday that criminalizes abortions in the state after eight weeks of pregnancy, the latest in a series of sweeping restrictions passed by Republican-controlled legislatures that now threaten nearly 50 years of federal protections for abortion.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

The Trump administration will provide $16 billion in aid to help keep farmers afloat as they reel from the yearlong trade war between the U.S. and China, the latest sign that the world's two largest economies are still far from striking a long-term trade agreement.

The bulk of the support, or about $14.5 billion, is direct aid to farmers, which producers will start to see some time this summer, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.

State corrections officials in Arizona are facing calls to reverse a ban on a book that that explores the impact of the criminal justice system on black men. Prison officials say the book contains "unauthorized content," while civil rights advocates claim that placing the book on a blacklist amounts to censorship.

The New York Assembly passed a bill on Tuesday that closes the "double jeopardy" loophole, permitting state authorities to prosecute someone who receives a pardon from the president. The vote was 90-52.

Top Democrats in the state framed the change as a way to stand up to President Trump by removing a shield that had protected defendants from being prosecuted twice for similar crimes and could have benefited those receiving pardons.

The College Board has been testing a tool that could give the millions of students who take the SATs every year a score measuring their economic hardships and other disadvantages, the nonprofit said Thursday.

The Environmental Context Dashboard includes information about students' high schools, including the rate of teens who receive free or reduced lunch, and their home life and neighborhoods, such as average family income, educational attainment, housing stability and crime.

A nonprofit group in Philadelphia is fighting in court to be allowed to open the first facility in the country for people to use illegal opioids under medical supervision. The group, called Safehouse, has the backing of local government, yet faces a legal challenge from federal prosecutors.

The idea of supervised injection sites is to offer people a space where they can use drugs under the supervision of trained medical staff, who are prepared with the overdose-reversal drug naloxone. Such sites supply clean needles and other supplies, but users bring their own drugs.

After months of threats, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia launched a legal challenge on Wednesday against the nonprofit Safehouse, which is hoping to open what could be the nation's first site where people with opioid addiction can use drugs under medical supervision.

More than two weeks after the nation's worst fire in a century erupted in Northern California, crews are still trying to find hundreds of people.

The Camp Fire has claimed at least 85 lives and, as of Sunday, is 100 percent contained. But now dozens of disaster workers from across the country are coming to the town of Paradise to help out with the search mission.

In Northern California, search crews continue to sift through the burned city of Paradise more than two weeks after the eruption of the fire, which has claimed the lives of 84 people and charred a land area larger than the city of Chicago.

Searchers say they will need several more days to sift through the more than 20,000 structures that the Camp Fire engulfed in this working-class community in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Driving around Paradise is a bleak and haunting scene, made even more grim with dark clouds and rain falling.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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The Department of Justice has launched an investigation of child sex abuse within Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic Church, sending subpoenas to dioceses across the state seeking private files and records to explore the possibility that priests and bishops violated federal law in cases that go back decades, NPR has learned.

In Philadelphia, a battle between local officials and the Trump administration is heating up.

In defiance of threats from the Justice Department, public health advocates in Philadelphia have launched a nonprofit to run a facility to allow people to use illegal drugs under medical supervision. It is the most concrete step yet the city has taken toward eventually opening a so-called supervised injection site.

The non-profit, called Safehouse, was formed after a political heavyweight, former Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell, joined the board.

As the Senate remains in a pitched battle over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court on Monday will begin its new term with far less fanfare.

The high court is launching its nine-month term evenly divided — with four conservative and four liberal justices — as an F.B.I. investigation into sexual misconduct allegations lodged against Kavanaugh delays a full Senate vote on the nomination. Kavanaugh was nominated to fill the vacancy created by the retirement this past summer of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often cast the pivotal swing vote on cases.

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