Alaska News Nightly: April 28, 2015

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Icebreakers? Sure, But Coast Guard Boss Says Cutters Come First

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Anchorage

The head of the Coast Guard says the country must invest in new icebreakers to meet a predicted increase in Arctic drilling and marine traffic. But he
also told a U.S. Senate panel today (TUES) the Coast Guard needs a lot of ships, and icebreakers aren’t the top item on his acquisitions list.

As Lawmakers Gavel In For A Special Session, Leaders Ask For A Break And Relocation
Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Immediately after the Legislature gaveled out of their extended regular session, Gov. Bill Walker called them back in for a special one.

Marriage Equality Advocates Ask Governor To “Stop In The Name Of Love.”
Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

On the day the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on marriage equality, more than 40 people gathered at the Dimond Courthouse plaza across from the State Capitol in Juneau to rally through song and dance.

A Moving Target: Stopping Booze At The River
Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

In the Yukon-Kuskowim Delta, the three Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Taskforce (WAANT) investigators can’t be everywhere at once. Some villages are trying to fill in gaps where bootlegged alcohol reaches dry option communities. In the second of a three-part series on the law enforcement efforts to stem the flow of alcohol to the region, a look at Akiak’s tribal approach.

Kick The Bucket: Health Implications Of Third World Conditions In Rural Alaska
Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

More than six percent of Alaskans live without water or sewer systems.  The so-called “honey bucket” situation has frequently been deplored and millions of federal and state dollars have been devoted to dealing with it.

Unalaska Preps For Cruise Passenger Influx
Annie Ropeik, KUCB – Unalaska

Unalaska will get a big population boost this weekend, with the first cruise ship of what’s shaping up to be a busy summer. The Aleutian Islands
usually see a ferry run before the cruise ships start coming — but not this year.

U.S. Army ‘Sugar Bears’ Fly Supplies To Denali
Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

Army helicopters flew the last round of supplies to Denali base camp yesterday for the 2015 climbing season.  The unit, dubbed the “Sugar Bears”
is well-known in Talkeetna, and has a history in Alaska of combining training and supply runs.

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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 18 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 with veteran Alaskan broadcasters Nellie Moore, D’Anne Hamilton, Len Anderson, Sharon McConnell and Veronica Iya. 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