Bobby Allyn | Connecticut Public Radio
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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.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

The Department of Justice will not bring criminal charges against the New York City police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, citing insufficient evidence, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Imagine throngs of people who have never met each other assembling in mid-September before dawn in a Nevada desert town to rush the entrance of Area 51 in search of aliens.

It is a fantastical idea conceived of as a joke on social media, but its popularity has spread fast. On Monday, the number of people who signed up for the tongue-in-cheek Facebook call to "Storm Area 51" exceeded 1 million.

And now, U.S. military officials say they are monitoring the situation.

Updated July 15 at 8:55 a.m. ET

A group of four minority Democratic congresswomen targeted by President Trump in a series of Sunday morning tweets denounced his racist remarks and accused him of "stoking white nationalism."

Updated at 8:26 p.m. ET

Though life-threatening flooding still poses a threat to Louisiana, weakening winds on Sunday marked Barry's downgrade from a tropical storm to a tropical depression.

The National Weather Service forecasts that the center of the storm will continue to move through northwest Louisiana toward Arkansas through Monday.

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Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET Friday

Thousands of people who were evacuated from parts of central Maui on Thursday after a large fire broke out over parched land are returning to their homes following the blaze, which scorched 10,000 acres. The fire fed on large swaths of fallow, former sugar cane fields and dry brush, Hawaii officials told NPR.

Yet the fire is still burning on the island, according to Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino.

Updated at 1:44 p.m. ET Saturday

Federal prosecutors in New York and Chicago unsealed sweeping charges against R&B singer R. Kelly on Friday, accusing him of abusing women and girls for nearly two decades, including kidnapping, forced labor and sending child pornography across state lines.

The bombshell indictments, the first federal criminal charges against Kelly, come a day after he was arrested while walking his dog outside his home in Chicago's Trump Tower. He faces a total of 18 federal counts.

Top officials from 13 states are joining Philadelphia in urging a federal court to allow a site to open where people can inject illegal opioids under medical supervision, the latest escalation in a legal battle with the Justice Department that may determine whether such facilities, known as supervised injection sites, can start to operate in America.

U.S. authorities have unsealed a corruption indictment against two former top officials in Puerto Rico for directing some $15.5 million in contracts to favored businesses, allegedly edging out other firms for the lucrative government work despite allegations of being unqualified.

The two former Puerto Rico leaders — Julia Keleher, who was the secretary of the island's department of education before stepping down in April, and Ángela Ávila-Marrero, who led Puerto Rico's Health Insurance Administration until last month — were arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday.

Rip Torn, the eccentric and temperamental Texan actor who won an Emmy Award for his influential role in the 1990s sitcom The Larry Sanders Show, died Tuesday at the age of 88.

In a statement to NPR, Torn's publicist did not release a cause of death, but said he was at his home surrounded by family in Lakeville, Conn.

California has become the first state in the country to offer government-subsidized health benefits to young adults living in the U.S. illegally.

The measure signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday extends coverage to low-income, undocumented adults ages 25 and younger for the state's Medicaid program.

A federal judge on Monday stopped a Trump administration initiative that would have required drugmakers to reveal the sticker price of their drugs in television ads.

Under the rule, if a medicine's list price was more than $35 a month, it would have to be stated during the commercial. The challenge, opponents say, is that a drug's list price and estimates of what people can expect to pay vary widely depending on coverage.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the extradition bill that prompted weeks of street demonstrations is "dead," admitting that the government's handling of it was a "total failure."

The measure would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trials in courts controlled by the Communist Party, sparking fears of politically motivated prosecutions targeting outspoken critics of China.

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have seized a large container ship from a global shipping company weeks after authorities raided its cargo and found more than 35,000 pounds of cocaine, or about $1 billion worth of the drugs.

Officials described the June bust at the Port of Philadelphia as the largest cocaine haul in American history.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Greeks elected a conservative party led by the scion of a powerful political dynasty in national elections on Sunday, a rejection of the country's left-wing government seen as being too slow in improving the economy after a long financial crisis.

The northern Spanish city of Pamplona this weekend opened its famous running of the bulls festival, a nine-day traditional event that draws thousands of spectators who come to watch people dodge bulls bolting down tight streets.

The festival makes Pamplona's population of nearly 200,000 residents jump to about a million visitors, and is considered one of Spain's biggest tourist attractions.

Iraq's ancient heritage has earned a recognition that archaeologists and Middle East experts have long sought: Babylon has been added to the United Nations' list of World Heritage sites.

UNESCO said its World Heritage Committee voted Friday to add Babylon, located south of Baghdad, to its list of about 1,000 World Heritage sites worldwide. The more than 4,000-year-old site was once the capital of the Babylonian Empire.

Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET

Prosecutors dismissed a manslaughter charge against an Alabama woman who was indicted for "intentionally" causing the death of her fetus after someone else shot her in the abdomen.

Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington made the announcement in the unusual case that drew headlines and criticism around the globe.

"This is truly a disturbing and heartbreaking case. An unborn child was tragically lost," Washington told reporters. "There are no winners, only losers, in this sad ordeal."

Signs are pointing to a coming U.S. recession, according to an economic indicator that has preceded every recession over the past five decades.

It is known among economists and Wall Street traders as a "yield curve inversion," and it refers to when long-term interest rates are paying out less than short-term rates.

Updated at 4:16 p.m. ET

It is too soon to tell whether the much-hyped meeting between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un on Sunday will be remembered as a televised spectacle or the start of a breakthrough in talks with the nuclear-armed country.

But Trump did become the first sitting American president to venture into North Korea.

"I was proud to step over the line," Trump told Kim about crossing the demarcation line at the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas. "It is a great day for the world."

Luis Alvarez, a former New York City police detective who became a leading champion for extending health benefits to Sept. 11 first responders, died on Saturday after a battle with cancer he traced to the months he spent helping clean up the World Trade Center site. He was 53.

In announcing his death, the family of Alvarez celebrated him as a "warrior," noting the "many lives he had touched."

President Trump is ordering the Pentagon to rewrite a rule allowing athletes to delay mandatory active service in order to play professional sports directly upon graduation.

"These student-athletes should be able to defer their military service obligations until they have completed their professional sports careers," Trump wrote in a presidential memorandum issued on Wednesday.

The labor union for federal asylum officers is condemning President Trump's policy of sending migrants to Mexico as they wait for their assigned court dates in the U.S., calling the Trump administration's program "fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our Nation."

The asylum officers, who are tasked with carrying out a policy widely known as "Remain in Mexico," said they have a duty "to protect vulnerable asylum seekers from persecution," claiming that Trump's policy creates a conflict between their professional responsibility and the president's directives.

Reddit, the self-proclaimed "front page of the Internet," is restricting a forum that is wildly popular among some of President Trump's core fans.

Officials with Reddit said Wednesday that a community on the message board called The Donald, which has around 750,000 followers and is known for its provocative content, is being "quarantined" over violations of its content policies.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

President Trump is delaying immigration raids that were set to begin this weekend, saying he will give Congress two weeks to make changes to asylum law before dispatching Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents around the country to deport undocumented immigrants.

Immigration rights advocates had been preparing for the planned sweep of recently arrived migrants, which, according to sources familiar with the planned raids, were set to begin as soon as Sunday in 10 cities around the country.

Going on vacation and want some extra security around your home? Someday you may be able to call Amazon's drones.

The Seattle tech giant is moving closer to making that scenario a real possibility after winning approval from federal officials this month for a patent for "home surveillance" drones.

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

A pickup truck in rural New Hampshire struck and killed seven people and injured three on motorcycles Friday night. The crash ignited a small fire in a nearby wooded area and left a wreckage of damaged vehicles and the bodies of victims strewn across the highway.

State police said a Dodge pickup truck with an attached flatbed trailer large enough to haul a car was traveling westbound when it plowed into the motorcycles, which were moving eastbound, around 6:30 p.m. Friday, along U.S. 2 in Randolph.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

Missouri health officials on Friday refused to renew the license of the state's last remaining clinic that provides abortions, but the St. Louis facility will continue to provide abortions for now because a judge's order remains in place.

In a letter to the clinic, state health official William Koebel wrote that the decision to not renew the license was "based on the serious, extensive unresolved deficiencies."

Corrections officials in Arizona are now allowing inmates to read a book criticizing the U.S. criminal justice system after initially pulling it from prisons over "unauthorized content," a state corrections official tells NPR.

An uproar over the ban of Chokehold: Policing Black Men, including threats of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, prompted Arizona prison officials to review a publication blacklist and reverse suspending the book.

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