The small town of Austin, Indiana is still dealing with an HIV outbreak, fueled by prescription drug abuse.
Senior Field Correspondent Laurel Morales (Flagstaff) believes everyone has an amazing story to tell. You just have to ask the right questions.
Morales seeks new angles and compelling unheard voices like the ex-gang member working to graduate from high school, or the honor guard who stayed with the bodies of the 19 firefighters who died in Yarnell, Ariz., or the art dealer who after visiting the Hopi decided to return sacred artifacts to the tribe.
Morales came to northern Arizona in 2003 from rural Minnesota, where she worked as a reporter after receiving her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She left Minnesota Public Radio after her contact lenses froze to her eyeballs on a short walk from her apartment to the station. While Flagstaff still has snow, the winters are short and bearable.
And there’s never a shortage of stories in northern Arizona. She’s covered environmental issues at the Grand Canyon, the impact of war, water shortages, wildfires and everything in between. Living next to the largest tribe and reservation in the country, many of her stories are about American Indian issues. And many of those stories are picked up by national programs.
She has won several Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards and a national PRNDI award for the only commentary she's ever written. It was about changing her name from Druley to Morales when she got married.
Follow Laurel Morales on Twitter @laurelgwyn.