Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

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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

The deadly influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu, killed millions of people world wide but hit Alaska particularly hard. Thursday evening, an Anchorage lecture will examine the impacts to the Bristol Bay region and how the canneries there helped the local population. Listen Now
wooden mask

Yupik carver Drew Michael and painter Elizabeth Ellis created 5 foot tall masks in an exhibit called ‘Aggravated Organisms’ to represent the 10 most prevalent diseases impacting Alaskans. After 3 years of touring the masks to Alaska communities across the state and a showing in Seattle, Michael has decided to end the educational journey of these masks through the traditional method of burning. The ceremony will be held on the lawn of the Anchorage museum. At the same time, Michael plans to put out a statewide call to promote healing through community cohesiveness and mutual support. Listen now
Palmer Jr. Middle School 7th grader, Shania Sommer, 12, announced the amount of the 2015 Permanent Fund Dividend. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

What was the original intent of the Alaska Permanent Fund? A rainy day savings account for Government funding after oil was depleted or a fund to pay citizens a dividend and subsidize programs? What happens if the fund is drawn down to help shore up budget shortfalls? We’ll discuss a UAF course designed to answer these questions with former state government officials who were there during the early days.

Alaska's bears haven't changed in the last two decades, but scientific understanding of them has. Back country enthusiast and writer Bill Sherwonit has released an updated version of his book Alaska's Bears. Listen now

In U.S. House Race, both claim labor's love; As waters warm, Arctic fish populations change; An increase in students for Skagway's school; Weekend shooting in Fairbanks leaves one dead, two others injured; Tanana road opens; Planning underway for youth court in Juneau; Pre-school Aluttiq Immersion program planned by Kodiak's Sun'aq Tribe; Want to learn Tlingit? Yes, there's an app for that; New photo id cards for Southeast tribe Listen now

More than two dozen murders have taken place in Anchorage since the beginning of the year. APD reports that of the 15 homicides since June, six were engaged in drugs or other criminal activity. Four were domestic violence killings. Five were in isolated areas of the city in the late evening/early morning hours, prompting APD to caution citizens to “Be extra aware of their surroundings and to report any suspicious person or activity to police.” The long message also says, “If you plan to be out late at night, make sure you travel with several friends and not alone.” Listen Now

Alaska's new Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth is no stranger to litigation. Lindemuth has been practicing law in the state for nearly 20 years and has argued cases before the Alaska Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Lindemuth also represented clients pro bono, including one of the men known as the Fairbanks Four, helping to secure the release of the men after 18 years in prison. Listen now
Jim Johnsen at a meet and greet in Juneau, July 7, 2015. Johnsen is a candidate for University of Alaska president. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

The pinch of state budget cuts is being felt across the state. How will these impacts affect Alaska University system campuses, especially the smaller campuses? What can the university system do to build in sustainability and long term fiscal stability? Listen Now

There's a lot of former Midwesterners in Alaska, and if you lived in Minnesota or Wisconsin in the 1970s and got your news from KSTP in Minneapolis, then Barry ZeVan the weatherman was a celebrity you knew. Listen now
A fast-moving storm is set to move through the Copper River Basin, Mat-Su, Anchorage and the Northern Kenai Peninsula in the evening of Thursday, 6/30/16. (Image courtesy National Weather Service)

There was a lot of concern about a big fire season this summer after a winter of very low snow fall and a dry spring. There were some burns but the season was not remarkable for fire, it was more of note for hot temps, then rainfall, mudslides and flooding. El Nino is getting to the geriatric stage and La Nina may be moving in. What will that mean for the next 6 months? We’ll talk to the climate experts and find out. Listen Now

Alaskan author Bill Streever likes to tackle big topics in his writing. His best selling book Cold, covers everything from avalanches to expeditions into the world's most frigid places. His next book, Heat was a similar examination of the science and stories of the world's hottest places. His newest work seems like the biggest challenge yet, a fascinating focus on moving air. Streever's -And Soon I Heard a Roaring Wind- is a look at the natural history of wind through science, stories and his own narrative as he and his wife sailed the Gulf of Mexico. Listen now

Wind impacts everything from seed distribution to powering light bulbs. In the fascinating, deep dive tradition of his first two best-selling books ‘Cold’ and ‘Heat’, author Bill Streever examines all aspects of moving air in his latest book, ‘And Soon I Heard a Roaring Wind.’

Opioid abuse and addiction is a national crisis and Alaska is suffering the impacts of prescription and illegal drug problems right along with the rest of the country. An upcoming summit on opioid abuse will take place in Palmer next week and the nation’s top Health and Veterans officials will be here for it. Listen Now

Governor Walker’s plans for overhauling the system of funding state government has met with resistance from lawmakers and the public. Lawmakers are unhappy with his vetoes and cuts to the PFD but they haven’t mustered an override and they haven’t passed a fiscal plan. What can possibly break the divide between the Governor’s plans and the desires of lawmakers and the public? Listen Now

After nearly 30 years on the bench, former Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Dana Fabe has retired. She was the first woman to serve on and lead the state's high court. Fabe spoke with APRN's Lori Townsend earlier this summer and reflected on the changes she's seen since she first became a judge in 1988. Listen now

Alaska is a paleontological candy store. Those are the words of Texas-based scientist Anthony Fiorillo. He's spent the last 19 years studying dinosaurs in Alaska. Listen now
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan. (Photo by Josh Edge/APRN)

Is Donald Trump considering Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan for vice president? A piece by People magazine speculating the senator may be on the list of potential VP picks was ricocheting around social media yesterday. So, what does the senator say? Listen now

Alaskans took first place in all 3 divisions of the annual 4th of July mountain race in Seward. In the men's division, The Alaska Dispatch reports Fairbanks skier David Norris not only won the race, he set a new record-41 minutes, 26 seconds. In the women's division, Christy Marvin of Anchorage took first place with a time of 51 minutes, 2 seconds.

Tribes in Alaska can move forward with petitioning the federal government to take lands into trust. A federal appeals court today dismissed the state of Alaska's challenge in the trust litigation. Download Audio

The loss of high paying oil industry jobs has economic impacts that ripple throughout the state’s economy. From industry support service jobs to engineering firms and even the local coffee shop, further job losses are not only possible, but likely. How are Alaskans dealing with these cuts and how much might industry job loss affect the broader economy? Download Audio