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Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage

ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori

Alaska Supreme Court Affirms Tribal Court Jurisdiction

The Alaska Supreme Court issued a decision today in a long running tribal court jurisdiction case. The case stems from a Minto tribal court decision that terminated parental rights.

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July 18, 2014 - 5:13 pm

Smithsonian Channel Program Attempts To Encapsulate 49th State

A program airing this Sunday on the Smithsonian Channel tries to capture the majesty of the 49th state. Toby Beach is the producer and director of Aerial America. The show features all 50 states, but only Alaska was given a two hour treatment rather than one. Beach says the program cuts through the distorted view of Alaska that people may get from the flood of so-called reality TV shows about the state.

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July 4, 2014 - 4:42 pm

ANTHC Wins $153 Million Settlement

153 million dollars is the huge new settlement for back contract support costs due the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium from the Indian Health Service. The settlement clears up a 15-year backlog of underpayments and was announced on Friday.

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June 30, 2014 - 5:25 pm
Alaska Edition: Earthquakes

Alaska Edition: Earthquakes

Even by Alaska standards, there has been a lot of seismic activity recently. Alaska is located in the Ring of Fire, so it’s not unusual for there to be frequent earthquakes and volcanoes kicking up occasionally, but starting in April, there has been some unusual seismic activity in the Brooks Range. An area near Noatak has, since April, seen a spike in earthquakes after a 30-year quiet period.

KSKA: Friday, June 27 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 28 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 28 at 4:30 p.m.

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June 27, 2014 - 7:00 am
(Graphic from Marine Exchange of Alaska)

Shipping Safety Advocate Criticizes Arctic Preparedness Plans

As the summer arctic shipping season gets underway, a member of a group that formed after the Selendang Ayu ran aground a decade ago, is calling for more rescue tugs, monitoring and risk management measures in the Bering Strait and Unimak Pass.

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June 24, 2014 - 4:51 pm
(Photo by Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage)

Urban Yeti Improv Group Enters Second Season

How can you tell when a town has matured into a city? You could use sheer population numbers, but that’s boring. How about entertainment offerings? Anchorage can now boast two comedy Improv groups. Scared Scriptless has been around for several years, and newcomer Urban Yeti Improv is starting its second season.

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June 12, 2014 - 5:55 pm
NCAI president Brian Cladoosby. (Photo by Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage)

Land Trust For Alaska Tribes Is A Popular Concept

At a wide ranging press conference during day three of the NCAI gathering in Anchorage today, BIA Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn said the concept of taking land into trust for Alaska tribes is a popular one.

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June 10, 2014 - 5:39 pm
Justice Department To Work With Tribes To Enhance Voting Access

Justice Department To Work With Tribes To Enhance Voting Access

The National Congress of American Indians is holding their mid-year conference in Anchorage this week. Titled-Claiming our Rights and Strengthening our Governance, the conference started yesterday and runs through Wednesday.

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June 9, 2014 - 5:34 pm
(Photo by Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage)

Graduation Marks 10th Anniversary Of Dental Health Aide Therapist Program

A group of six dental health aide therapists graduated from training Friday in Anchorage. The ceremony also marked the 10th anniversary of the innovative program that places mid-level dental practitioners in under-served rural communities across Alaska. 81 villages in the state now have therapists.

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June 9, 2014 - 5:31 pm
Wind Gusts Push Over Trees In West Anchorage

Wind Gusts Push Over Trees In West Anchorage

Wind conditions in Anchorage were not predicted to be strong enough to cause damage today, but sporadic gusts fell at least two trees in the Turnagain neighborhood in west Anchorage.

May 31, 2014 - 1:44 pm
Begich Speaks On VA Care In Alaska

Begich Speaks On VA Care In Alaska

Amid national outrage over the Veterans’ Administration’s handling of medical services for veterans and congressional calls for the resignation of VA secretary General Erik Shenseki, Senator Mark Begich today stopped short of calling for a resignation, but Begich said officials from the top down will be held accountable when Shenseki’s report comes out.

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May 29, 2014 - 5:32 pm
Evacuation Order Lifted for Funny River Road Residents

Evacuation Order Lifted for Funny River Road Residents

Residents of the Funny River Road community were allowed to start returning to their homes as state fire officials lifted the evacuation order at 9 am this morning. Although all evacuation orders have been suspended at this time, residents were cautioned that there is still an evacuation advisory in place which could result in another evacuation order should conditions change.

May 27, 2014 - 2:45 pm

Tyonek Fire Almost Contained

The Tyonek fire, which started a week ago Monday, is currently burning at just over 1,900 acres. The blaze is between the villages of Tyonek and Beluga. Tyonek fire incident commander Bob Allbee reports the fire is now 85% contained with full containment expected by tomorrow, May 28th.

May 26, 2014 - 5:05 pm

Feds Updating Development Scenarios for Chukchi

The federal government on Friday released a status update on the court ordered revision of an Environmental Impact Statement for Lease Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found in an April ruling that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) had underestimated how much oil may be recoverable in Arctic Ocean development.

May 26, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Anchorage Air Quality Affected by Funny River Fire

Smoke from the Kenai Peninsula wildfire drifted into Anchorage and Eagle River this weekend. The Anchorage Municipal air quality hot line reported Monday afternoon that conditions in Anchorage were considered moderate, but for Eagle River residents, the index was 110, which means the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

May 26, 2014 - 4:10 pm

Conditions Challenging As Funny River Fire Grows to More Than 140,000 Acres

Amid strong winds and dry conditions the Funny River fire has continued to advance through the weekend. State Fire Information officer Michelle Weston said this evening the fire has grown well past 140,000 acres although she did not have a new estimate.

May 25, 2014 - 7:46 pm

Former ADN Executive Editor Pat Dougherty Speaks On Newspaper’s Sale

It’s been a little more than two weeks since the Alaska Dispatch took ownership of the Anchorage Daily News. Pat Dougherty was the Executive Editor of the Daily News and had been with the paper for 34 years. He’s speaking publicly about the sale for the first time. He says he retired from that position when the sale became final because he and Dispatch founder Tony Hopfinger wouldn’t have been able to work together.

Dougherty says he was surprised when he first heard that Alaska Dispatch publisher Alice Rogoff was buying the paper. And he says there’s one thing about the sale he wants the community to understand.

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May 19, 2014 - 5:21 pm

How Much Is The Pipeline Worth?

This week the State Assessment Review board or SARB has been holding hearings in Anchorage over the dispute in how much the Trans Alaska Pipeline should be worth.

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May 15, 2014 - 5:43 pm

Old And Bold Pilots: Chuck Sassara

Alaska is celebrating a century of aviation. As part of an occasional series on Alaska aviators, we’re gathering stories of flying. Chuck Sassara came to Alaska in 1955 after graduating from UCLA. He and his wife Ann drove the Alaska Highway in a VW bus. He got a job the day they got to Anchorage with Pacific Northern Airlines.

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May 14, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Old And Bold Pilots: Warren Polski

Alaska is celebrating a century of aviation. As part of an occasional series, we’ve invited seasoned aviators to tell us about their adventures at the controls. Retired Anchorage pilot Warren Polski came to Alaska with his family when he was 9 and got his pilot’s license at age 16. He flew with the Civil Air Patrol for the next 50 years on search and rescue missions. One memorable flight was right after the 1964 earthquake. Polski took the first plane into Whittier, flying in two workers from the department of public safety. He says the ground was covered in debris and he needed to attempt to land on an airstrip maintained by the railroad.

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May 13, 2014 - 5:42 pm