Alaska News Nightly: May 7th, 2010

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State Says No To Education Funds
Libby Casey, APRN-Washington DC
The state has again decided NOT to compete for
education dollars available under a competitive federal program.  The Race
to the Top competition was designed to get states to develop innovate
education plans.  It’s in its second round, and Alaska was one of 10 states
that did not apply in Round 1. 

Anchorage Teachers Ratify Contract
Len Anderson, KSKA-Anchorage
Anchorage teachers have ratified the tentative agreement
with the school district for a new three year contract.   Yesterday the over
37-hundred members of the Anchorage Education Association voted.  This
morning AEA announced the results.

U.S. Arctic Research Chair Resigns
Libby Casey, APRN-Washington DC
The chair of the U-S Arctic Research Commission is stepping down, and plans to file a letter of intent today (Fri) to run for Lieutenant Governor on the G-O-P ticket.

A New Model for Village Housing
Shane Iverson, KYUK-Bethel
Plans are underway to build a new, energy-efficient,
house  in the Coastal Village of Quinhagak (KWIN-AH-hawk), and the North
Slope community of Point Lay.  The Engineers and the communities hope that the protype will do more than just cut down on fuel expenses.

A Big Electricity Rate Hike for the Capitol City
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO-Juneau
Electricity rates in the capital city are going up.Juneau’s
utility company is proposing an 18 and a half percent rate increase to take
effect next month.  It’s an interim step to a permanent 22 percent rate

Coal Mine Access Road on Hold
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA-Anchorage
Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials have put on hold a
bid to construct road access to a Sutton coal mining site.  This week,  the
Borough Assembly agreed to postpone a vote on a lease for the road to the
Wishbone Hill Coal Mine.  Public testimony regarding the road was mostly
negative at a hearing held on Tuesday.

Talkeetna Copes With No Public Shower
Sue Deyoe, KTNA-Talkeetna
Talkeetna may become the grubby capitol of Alaska in May
and June, when smelly climbers trudge off Denali after three or more weeks
without bathing. But the last public shower in town shut down last winter
and there’s only one public laundromat open for business.

NPR Reporter Reflects on His Alaska Beginnings
Lori Townsend, APRN-Anchorage
 Many National Public Radio personalities got their start in
Alaska. NPR’s one and only sports reporter, Tom Goldman, is one of them. He moved to Anchorage from Oregon fresh out of journalism school and worked as a engineer, reporter and producer of this program, Alaska News Nightly. That was 27 years ago.


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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori