Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage

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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

An advocate for a revolution in education has been touring the nation and recently spent eight days visiting Alaska schools. Ted Dintersmith is a former venture capitalist turned education innovation enthusiast.

The Iditarod Trail Committee Board released a statement today regarding rules related to musher conduct. Recent reports of domestic violence charges against musher Travis Beals have prompted Iditarod officials to disallow any 2017 application from Beals. Download Audio

Fire season has already started. The mild winter and lack of snow in Southcentral Alaska has firefighters nervous about the tinder dry conditions in and around the state's largest urban center. Interior Alaska is also an area of high fire danger this spring. Green up is early, but how much would new growth slow a big burn?

The state Republican Convention started this afternoon in Fairbanks. We sent APRN reporter Liz Ruskin to check it out. Download Audio

Former Alaska U.S. Senator Mike Gravel is in Alaska this week. The outspoken Democrat is known for being fiercely independent, famously reading the Pentagon papers on the floor of the Senate in 1971 at a time when President Richard Nixon refused to release them to reporters. He also attempted a run for President in 2008. Download Audio

Going beyond known risk factors for breast cancer has led to research that looks at the ecology of risk. Dr Ted Schettler is the science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network. He is also the author of The Ecology of Breast Cancer: The promise of prevention and the hope for healing. Dr Schettler says considering all the conditions that cancer arises from, means not just individual risks such as genetics, but community, ecosystem and societal concerns. Download Audio
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

The Point Thomson gas development on the North Slope has started production. In a web release, ExxonMobil states it will initially produce 5000 barrels per day of gas condensate and 100 million cubic feet per day of recycled gas that will be re-injected for future recovery. Download Audio
Chris Hanna, of Soldotna, skis on the Harding Icefield on Friday, April 8, 2016, with the Kenai Fjords and mountains surrounding Seward, on the Kenai Peninsula, in the background. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Neyman)

Alaska is a state known for extremes: Both beauty and risk. The dramatic rescue of two skiers from a glacier this month highlights the need to be prepared for the what ifs of fast-changing weather that could leave you stranded in a storm We’re talking with the adventurers who were huddled in a snow cave for five days and the Air National Guard who rescued them on the next Talk of Alaska. APRN: Tuesday, 4/19 at 10:00am Download Audio

With just over a week left in the legislative session, lawmakers are wrangling over the always-contentious issue of oil taxes. Gov. Bill Walker had requested a complete overhaul of the state's oil and gas tax credit program. The House Resources scaled back that proposal. Now, a third committee has weighed in. The House Finance committee chose a middle route -- while also introducing some changes that weren't even in the governor's bill. Download Audio

Lawmakers are in the final days of the regular legislative session and there is still a lot of daylight between the budget plans of the House and Senate and the Governor. Where do the fiscal plans stand currently and what are the potential impacts to the state's economy? APRN: Tuesday, April 12 at 10:00am

Self-contained two-way about tonight's Anchorage election. You can follow on the live blog, too! Download Audio
Gov. Bill Walker’s plan to fund state operations with Permanent Fund earnings is up for public comment before the Senate State Affairs Committee. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Governor Bill Walker's plan to solve the state's 4 billion dollar budget deficit has it all- budget cuts, new taxes and lower Permanent Fund Dividend payments in the years ahead. But his approach has plenty of critics in the legislature. What do you think? Join host Lori Townsend for a discussion on the state budget on the next Talk of Alaska statewide. Download Audio

Alaskans are getting involved in the state budget process in big and small ways. On the next Talk of Alaska our guests are representatives of three groups who are offering ideas for how they want state leaders to handle the fiscal crisis. APRN: Tuesday, 3/29 at 10:00am

Cuts to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson's 4-2-5 infantry brigade combat team in Anchorage have officially been put on hold. Alaska's congressional delegation is celebrating today's announcement by the army. Download Audio

Once little discussed, the Arctic and its future is becoming a popular topic for debate among those who live in it and those who are attracted to its resources. The U.S.-led Arctic Council will meet in Fairbanks during Arctic science summit week. What are the priorities? APRN: Tuesday, 3/15 at 10:00am

Alaska Republicans are holding district conventions around the state this month. Last week, Ted Cruz won 12 Alaska delegates in the state GOP Preference Poll, followed by Donald Trump with 11 and Marco Rubio with 5. The state republican party will choose 28 delegates to represent those votes at the state convention in Fairbanks at the end of April. The national convention takes place in Cleveland in July. Download Audio

Public safety and crime prevention will be more challenging for the state's department of law as budget cuts force closure of district attorney offices in some areas of Alaska. I'm Lori Townsend. How will prosecutors handle increased caseloads and long distance court proceedings? APRN: Tuesday, March 8 at 10:00am Download Audio

February rain in Fairbanks, breaking a no snow record in Anchorage and off the charts warmth in the Arctic. Alaska is blowing its reputation as the land of ice and snow. APRN: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 10:00am Download Audio

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock grew up in Alaska but she says she could never have written her debut novel if she hadn't moved out of state. Her young adult book, published February 23rd, is called The Smell of Other People's Houses. Set in 1970's Alaska, the book tells the story of four teenagers who live very different lives in different parts of the state, but end up coming together in surprising ways. Download Audio
(Photo by Josh Edge/APRN)

What does it mean to have equity? Is it a simple measure of equal access to employment, housing and education, or something much deeper? APRN: Tuesday, 2/23 at 10:00am