Tanya Ballard Brown

Tanya Ballard Brown is an editor for NPR. She joined the organization in 2008.

As an editor, Tanya brainstorms and develops digital features; collaborates with radio editors and reporters to create compelling digital content that complements radio reports; manages digital producers and interns; and, edits stories appearing on NPR.org. Tanya also writes blog posts, commentaries and book reviews, has served as acting supervising editor for Digital Arts, Books and Entertainment; edited for Talk of the Nation and Tell Me More; and filed on-air news reports. She also has laughed loudly on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and Facebook Live segments.

Projects Tanya has worked on include Abused and Betrayed: People With Intellectual Disabilities And An Epidemic of Sexual Assault; Months After Pulse Shooting: 'There Is A Wound On The Entire Community'; Staving Off Eviction; Stuck in the Middle: Work, Health and Happiness at Midlife; Teenage Diaries Revisited; School's Out: The Cost of Dropping Out (video); Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty; Living Large: Obesity In America; the Cities Project; Farm Fresh Foods; Dirty Money; Friday Night Lives, and WASP: Women With Wings In WWII.

Tanya is former editor for investigative and longterm projects at washingtonpost.com and during her tenure there coordinated with the print and digital newsrooms to develop multimedia content. She has also been a reporter or editor at GovExec.com/Government Executive magazine, The Tennessean in Nashville and the (Greensboro) News & Record.

In her free time, Tanya fronts a band filled with other NPR staffers, sings show tunes, dances randomly in the middle of the newsroom, takes acting and improv classes, teaches at Georgetown University, does storytelling performances, and dreams of being a bass player. Or Sarah Vaughan. Whichever comes first.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET Thursday

British police say two people in their 40s are in critical condition after being contaminated by the same deadly nerve agent used to attack a former Russian spy there in March. They both became sick on Saturday in Amesbury, England.

Next week, Bill Cosby goes to court again to face three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and molesting Andrea Constand more than a decade ago.

Last June, a jury couldn't decide whether to convict or acquit the 80-year-old celebrity on these allegations, resulting in a mistrial.

Now, there's a new jury, new defense attorneys and, with the #metoo movement, a new era of accountability for sexual assault. If found guilty, Cosby faces up to 10 years behind bars for each count.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed legislation tightening gun restrictions in the state. Among other things, the legislation raises the legal age for gun purchases to 21, institutes a waiting period of three days, and allows for the arming of school personnel who are not full-time teachers.

In a statement, Scott's office highlights mental health provisions in the bill:

New York City is one step closer, as part of a larger plan, to shutting the doors on the Rikers Island jail complex. On Wednesday, city officials announced an agreement to start a public review process of proposed sites for smaller jails in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

"This agreement marks a huge step forward on our path to closing Rikers Island," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "In partnership with the City Council, we can now move ahead with creating a borough-based jail system that's smaller, safer and fairer."

As the year draws to a close and the news cycle continues to reset every day, let's pause and revisit some of the most important news events from 2017.


The Inauguration

If you've been convicted of marijuana-related crimes in California, you might be able to have your record wiped clean or the charges greatly reduced under a provision in the state's new marijuana law, Prop 64. More than 4,000 people have already petitioned the courts about their records and sentencing.

Afshin Shahidi misses Prince.

"Nothing seemed impossible, everything was possible for him," he says. "And that's just the way he lived his life and the way he communicated and wanted us to live our life."

The Iranian-born Shahidi grew up in Minneapolis and met Prince in 1993 when he got a call to come to work on a music video shoot as a film loader. Shahidi didn't know how to load film. But, it was for Prince(!) so like a true fan, he jumped at the opportunity to bask in the royal purple glow, and decided to sort out the film loading stuff on the fly.

As investigations continue into the terrorist truck attack in New York City that left at least eight people dead and several more injured on Tuesday, officials are shoring up security for Sunday's kickoff of the New York City Marathon.

With more than 51,000 runners expected, the annual 26.2-mile race is one of the largest in the world. As many as 2.5 million spectators could be along the race route.

Two weeks ago he locked arms and knelt with his players before the national anthem, then stood with them as it played. Now, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says players who "disrespect the flag," won't take the field.

When police entered 64-year-old Stephen Paddock's 32nd-floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo says, they found "in excess of 10 rifles."

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