Dustin Jones | WAMC

Dustin Jones

Dustin Jones is a reporter for NPR's digital news desk. He mainly covers breaking news, but enjoys working on long-form narrative pieces.

Jones got his start at NPR in September 2020 as the organization's first intern through a partnership with Military Veterans in Journalism. He interned as a producer for All Things Considered on the weekends, and then as a reporter for the Newsdesk.

He kickstarted his journalism career as a local reporter in Southwest Montana, just outside of Yellowstone National Park. From there he went on to study at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where he focused on documentary production and book publication.

Jones served four years in the Marine Corps with tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. The New Hampshire native has lived all over the country, but currently resides in Southern California.

When Jones isn't writing for NPR, he is reporting for his local newspaper and freelancing as a video producer for the Military Times. Outside of work, he enjoys surfing, snowboarding and tearing up the dancefloor, sometimes all in the same day.

An Olympic sprinter from Belarus is safe in Tokyo after refusing to board a flight home against her will. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, may seek asylum in another European country after Belarusian officials abruptly pulled her from the Tokyo Games and took her to the airport for the flight.

Pockets of the American West continued to burn over the weekend, as another nine large fires were reported on Saturday in California, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.

The 87 fires still active in 13 states have consumed more than 1.7 million acres. Just shy of 3 million acres have been scorched since the start of 2021, with months left in what experts predict will be a devastating fire season.

After removing herself from the women's team finals and the individual all-around competition, Simone Biles — America's most accomplished gymnast — announced late Friday she would not compete in the uneven bars or vault at the Tokyo games.

Civil rights leader Robert "Bob" Moses, a soft-spoken and self-effacing grassroots organizer who championed Black voting rights, died on Sunday at age 86.

Born and raised in Harlem, N.Y., Moses went to the South to join the nascent fight for civil rights in the early 1960s, ultimately becoming a central figure in the movement.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of the rare vocal critics inside the Republican Party of former President Donald Trump, to serve on the special committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Updated July 25, 2021 at 12:28 AM ET

Out-of-state crews are headed to Montana to help fight massive fires there as the western part of the country continues to be ravaged by flames and drought.

More than 11 years after a bullet grazed by his head in Afghanistan, destroying his eardrum and singeing the side of his face, Joe Hardebeck has been awarded the Purple Heart.

But for a long time, the 33-year-old senior Navy corpsman's pride stood in the way. He hadn't really been shot or lost a limb. Hardebeck didn't believe he had been wounded badly enough to deserve the military's oldest award.

While rescuers continue to search for survivors amid the rubble from the building collapse in Surfside, Fla., law enforcement detectives and crime scene personnel are working to identify the human remains recovered from the wreckage.

Updated June 26, 2021 at 10:51 PM ET

Rescue workers in Surfside, Fla., recovered a body amongst the rubble of the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South on Saturday, bringing the death toll to five.

Authorities also notified the families of three previously unidentified victims, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Saturday evening, changing the total to 156 missing and 130 accounted for.

The Pacific Northwest will grapple with a dangerous and unprecedented heat wave this weekend. Record highs are expected with temperatures projected to climb to over 100 degrees. Excessive heat warnings are in effect for the upcoming week in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and parts of California and western Nevada.

Unrelenting rescue efforts are still underway in South Florida. Search and rescue workers and first responders have recovered four bodies from a 12-story building that partially collapsed early Thursday morning.

But 159 people were still unaccounted for as of Saturday. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava remained optimistic of finding more survivors despite none being found in at least 24 hours.

President Biden says his "heart goes out" to the families anxiously waiting for updates as rescuers search for survivors in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South complex in Surfside, Fla.

Biden made the remarks Friday at a ceremony signing H.R. 49, designating the Pulse nightclub a national memorial in memory of the shooting where 49 people were killed in 2016.

­­On July 20, Amazon's founder and billionaire magnate Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark will board the New Shepard suborbital rocket system. The Bezos brothers, one auction winner with $28 million to spare, and a fourth person will become the first crew aboard the reusable rocket for its 11-minute voyage to space.

Since Bezos made the announcement about his journey to space this month, tens of thousands of people have come together to petition against his return to the planet.

Updated June 20, 2021 at 8:19 PM ET

Tropical Storm Claudette was downgraded to a tropical depression after battering the Southeast over the weekend. Heavy rains, high winds and flash flooding contributed to the deaths of 13 people in Alabama Saturday, and while the storm has weakened, it is expected to regain strength as it makes its way toward the East Coast.

Updated June 13, 2021 at 9:16 PM ET

For the first time in more than a decade, Israel has welcomed a new prime minister. Naftali Bennett was sworn in on Sunday after a new coalition unseated longtime Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

The newly elected prime minister was appointed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in a 60-59 vote, with one minister abstaining.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak met with members of the Nevada Indian Commission in Carson City on Friday as he signed legislation removing racially discriminatory identifiers or language from schools. Additionally, counties can no longer sound "sundown sirens," which once signified it was time for certain people to leave town.

The law will require schools to change any name, logo, mascot, song or identifier that is "racially discriminatory" or "associated with the Confederate States of America or a federally recognized Indian tribe."

The Pentagon confirmed Friday it will not allow rainbow pride flags to fly at military facilities in celebration of Pride Month. That fell in line with the Pentagon's 2020 decision to permit only certain flags at Department of Defense installations.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters the DOD chose not to make an exception to the existing flag policy after careful consideration.

The California Public Utilities Commission announced Friday that Cruise, a self-driving car service out of San Francisco, has been authorized to participate in the state's first pilot program to provide driverless ride services to the public.

The company is not allowed to charge passengers for rides.

Eight companies have permits for testing driverless vehicles in California, but Cruise is the only company approved for giving rides to passengers without a safety driver on board. However, the vehicles still have to have a link to a remote safety operator.

Brazilian auto racer Helio Castroneves made history after winning his fourth Indianapolis 500 race on Sunday. He is now one of four drivers to win "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" four times.

Castroneves, who took the checkered flag in 2001, 2002 and 2009, held off runner-up racer Alex Palou, winning by a mere .4928 of a second. Castroneves claimed his first three wins with Team Penske, but Sunday's win was the first Indy 500 win for Meyer Shank Racing.

President Biden visited the Delaware Memorial Bridge in New Castle Sunday where he spoke in observance of Memorial Day. The annual memorial service, hosted by the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, is frequently attended by Biden.

Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates people who died in U.S. military service.

Ralph "AK" Angkiangco enlisted in the Navy in April 2008 one year after graduating high school. He was an 18-year-old kid uncertain about what he wanted in life, apart from fleeing his parent's place in San Diego. He had initially considered joining the Marine Corps, but with America's Global War on Terror in full swing, his father persuaded him to become a hospital corpsman in the Navy instead.

An Alabama man is suing a Jefferson County sheriff's deputy for excessive force and civil rights violations, alleging that handcuffs he says were secured too tightly resulted in the amputation of his left hand.

A transit worker opened fire early Wednesday morning at a light-rail facility in downtown San Jose, Calif., fatally shooting nine people and taking his own life. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told NPR's Morning Edition that the gunman set fire to his own home before the shooting.

When Seattle Mariners backup catcher José Godoy took the field in San Diego Friday, he made history as Major League Baseball's 20,000th player in 150 years.

Updated May 24, 2021 at 12:32 PM ET

An Italian prosecutor says she is considering a number of possible crimes related to the cable car disaster that killed 14 people Sunday, including multiple manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.

Prosecutor Olimpia Bossi made the statement to local journalists Monday, according to The Associated Press.

An independent inquiry into former BBC reporter Martin Bashir revealed the journalist had forged documents in order to secure an interview with Princess Diana. Bashir has since apologized and admitted his wrongdoing, but denied that the interview had any effect on Diana.

Updated May 23, 2021 at 8:46 AM ET

Hurricane season in the Atlantic is off to an early start for the seventh consecutive year with subtropical storm Ana forming near Bermuda Saturday.

A recent survey found that nearly 80% of Asian Americans don't feel respected and say they are discriminated against by their fellow Americans. Additionally, a significant portion of respondents of multiple races said they were unaware of an increase in hate crimes and racism against Asian Americans over the past year.

Members of the United Nations Security Council met virtually Sunday to deliberate on the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Over the last past week, more than 180 Palestinians and 10 people in Israel have been killed.

Hamas militants have fired thousands of rockets into Israel while Israel has responded with airstrikes.

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