Ellen Lockyer, Alaska Public Media

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

Drug addiction, long viewed as a moral failing, is now recognized as a chronic brain disease. US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy brought this message to the Alaska Wellness Summit in Palmer on Thursday. Substance abuse caregivers, recovering addicts and health officials rubbed shoulders at the day-long meeting, with the common aim of combating the opioid abuse epidemic in Alaska. Listen now

Cook Inlet Tribal Council runs one of only two detox centers in the state of Alaska. At the Alaska Wellness Summit in Palmer Thursday, CITC CEO Gloria O'Neil announced that the Ernie Turner Center in Anchorage will be sold to Southcentral Foundation.

A group of Alaskan women met last fall with U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, telling the senator their emotional stories about facing addiction. The Wellness Summit is the product of that meeting.

DOC announces Palmer Correctional Center to close.

In a move that may come as no surprise to a cash-strapped state administration, the commissioner of DOC Tuesday announced the shuttering of Palmer Correctional Facility. Listen now

Houston, a community of about 2,000, is asking the Matanuska Susitna Borough to take over its fire and emergency operations.

A wildfire south of Anchorage has tripled in size over night. Listen now

A wildfire at McHugh Creek park south of Anchorage has sparked emergency response.

A 25-acre wildfire began to spread across McHugh Creek about three-quarters of a mile from the Seward Highway south of Anchorage. According to the Department of Forestry, the fire was reported to the Anchorage Fire Department at about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Listen now
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

The spread of a wildfire near the Tok Cutoff has been slowed. Firefighters are dropping retardant on the Cutoff Fire, which has spread to about 40 acres and is burning a a little too close to the highway, according to fire information officer Tim Mowry. Listen now

Anchorage's mayor Ethan Berkowitz got down and dirty on Monday. The mayor wants to encourage local gardening, and part of that plan is a new city composting program Berkowitz introduced at the Anchorage Municipality's solid waste landfill in Eagle River.

Aquatic plant pest could help or hinder wild fish. An ISER economist analyzes the risks. Listen now

A federal judge's ruling in a long-standing court action against a Palmer coal mine is being hailed as a win for environmental groups.

Fallout from Governor Walker's veto pen is hitting the Matanuska Susitna Borough hard. Borough officials are now grappling with a budget shortfall caused by millions of dollars in reduced state funding. Listen now
APD

Anchorage police are ruling homicide in the deaths of two people found on a city bike path early Sunday morning. APD has identified the victims as 20-year-old Brianna Foisy and 41-year-old Jason Netter, Sr. Law enforcement is not releasing any further details on the cause of death, nor is anyone in custody at this time. Listen now

A block party in Big Lake on Saturday drew happy crowds, but there was an underlying somber theme to the event. The day was dedicated to those firefighters, and community residents, who faced the "Big One".. the Miller's Reach blaze of twenty years ago.

Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the Sockeye wildfire, which drove Willow residents from their homes and claimed fifty - five residences. Download Audio

Twenty years ago this month, residents of Big Lake woke to evacuation orders in one of the most devastating wildfires in Alaska's history. The Miller's Reach fire, named for the street of its starting point, jumped from seven acres to 37,000 acres in a matter of days, destroying hundreds of homes in its path.
Photo: National Park Service

Backcountry hikers at Denali National Park and Preserve notified rangers on Tuesday of human remains discovered at an abandoned campsite near the Teklanika River in the park. The site was not visible from the Denali Park Road. Download Audio
Photo: National Park Service

Backcountry hikers at Denali National Park and Preserve notified rangers on Tuesday of human remains discovered at an abandoned campsite near the Teklanika River in the park. The site was not visible from the Denali Park Road.