Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

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

A new book called Master of Alaska portrays a side of Aleksandr Baranov that other historical writings have not considered. Roger Seiler wrote a novel based on meticulous research of Baranov's letters and other material. Seiler grew up in King Salmon and was long fascinated by Barnov's story. Seiler said Baranov was a critical figure in Alaska's early history.

Steve Lindbeck is running against Don Young for Alaska’s lone U.S. House position. Lindbeck is a first time candidate. He's worked for non-profits for decades including as General Manager of Alaska Public Media. We’ll find out what he would work to achieve if Alaskans decide to send him to Washington. Listen Now

By a margin of six votes, residents of Barrow have voted to change the name of their city back to its Inupiaq name, Utqiagvik. City council member Qaiyaan Harcharek started the process this summer. Listen Now

Museums are usually a place for appreciating art that will be around for centuries. But earlier this month, the Anchorage Museum hosted a ceremony to burn ten beautiful Alaska Native masks. The artists who created the masks wanted to inspire community conversations about illness and healing. Listen Now

Stories and poetry that celebrate the urban wilderness interface in Alaska through the lens of LGBTQ writers is brought together in a new anthology called Building Fires in The Snow. Authors and editors Lucian Childs and Martha Amore helped bring it all together. Listen Now

It started as a feminist magazine and in the last 24 years, Alaska Women Speak has grown with the times and the topics that are important to women. Carmen Davis is one of the volunteers that has kept the publication thriving. She says at a recent retreat, supporters re-imagined its mission and changed the size but maintained its print persona. Listen Now

Margaret Stock is running as an Independent for U.S. Senate. The first time candidate says she will promote a strong national defense and support military veterans. She’s also pro-choice. She is the first in a series of candidates we’ll feature on TOA over the next few weeks. Listen Now

The difficult and painful topic of sexual assault and the trauma that follows will be the discussion tomorrow evening at the Anchorage museum. The conversation be held after a staged reading of a personal essay called White Horse, about a campus rape and the aftermath, written by Elise Goldbach and featured in the current issue of The Alaska Quarterly Review. Listen Now

Child abduction is a nightmare not many parents have had to deal with, but Anchorage author Lizbeth Meredith knows first hand how terrifying it is. In 1994, her former husband kidnapped their two young daughters and took them to Greece. It took two years to get them back. Listen Now

Ilarion Merculieff, is an Aleut educator and has traveled the world working with indigenous people. He's written a book called Wisdom Keeper, that's available now, chronicling the stories of his people of the Pribilof Islands and messages from Native elders in Alaska and other countries. It also highlights the science and technology that his sea going people were adept at. Listen Now

Learning from the past helps inform the future. Clive Thomas’s new book on policy, people and the institutions that helped create the political structure of Alaska is an exhaustive examination of topics such as the state’s constitution and how it differs from others, being an owner state, the politics of lobbying, the federal relationship, transportation, economic realities, state courts and a wide range of political issues. I do mean wide range. The book is more than 1200 pages and weighs 5 pounds! Listen Now

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