Alaska News Nightly: April 30, 2015

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Legislature Votes To Allow Hearings Outside Of Juneau

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

While Gov. Bill Walker has ordered the Legislature hold its special session in Juneau, lawmakers may have found a workaround: He can’t control where they hold their committee meetings, or how often they have their floor session.

Mat-Su Gets First Look at Borough’s FY16 Budget

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Palmer

Matanuska Susitana Borough officials got an early look at the Borough’s FY 2016 spending plan  Thursday. Borough manager John Moosey opened the discussion, saying the budget would be “very conservative”, compared with previous years.

ASD’s revised budget cuts 57 filled positions

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

The Anchorage School District plans to cut 57 currently-filled positions next year because of a $16.7 million dollar budget cut from the state legislature. That includes 37 classroom teachers and 12 literacy coaches.

Death Toll Now at 2 in Shooting Near Talkeetna

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

Alaska State Troopers say that both men involved in a shooting on April 18th have died. Troopers say that 57-year-old Billy Kidd of Willow died of his injuries in an Anchorage hospital. Previously, Kidd had been listed in critical condition. The other man, 33-year-old Andre Lafrance died at the scene of the incident, and was identified shortly thereafter.

 U.S. House Panel Advances Fisheries Law

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Anchorage

In Congress Thursday the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee moved a bill to renew the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the nation’s bedrock fisheries law. The sponsor, Alaska Congressman Don Young, says the law has kept foreign fishing fleets off America’s shores and sustained healthy fisheries.

UAF Steps Into Spotlight Amid Arctic Council Transfer

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Now that the United States has assumed chairmanship of the Arctic Council, UAF’s top two administrators say the University of Alaska Fairbanks will play a central role in carrying out the U.S. agenda in the region.

Kick The Bucket: With Fleeting Funding, Projects Die

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Even rural communities that have raised the money to build modern sanitation systems face the threat of their ultimate failure due to the lack of funding for operations and maintenance, wiping away whatever health gains were achieved.

Campaign Silent On Revelations Of Military Service, Divorce

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

New documents are coming to light that complicate the biography of Anchorage mayoral candidate Amy Demboski.

Red Chris Mine Inches Forward After Settlement

Katarina Sostaric, KSTK – Wrangell

A British Columbia mine upriver from Wrangell and Petersburg is one step closer to full production after reaching a benefits agreement with a First Nation group.

YWCA Alaska Holds Summit On Gender Pay Gap

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

YWCA Alaska is holding a Gender Pay Equity Summit Friday in Anchorage to focus attention on the wage disparity between men and women in Alaska.

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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