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

Lael Wilcox is a woman of many firsts. The 29 year old Anchorage resident and world bicycle traveler just won the 4200 mile Trans Am bike race. She was the first woman and the first American to win the grueling race. Wilcox started the race on June 4th in Astoria, Oregon and won yesterday in Virginia. The Trans Am race is self supported. Wilcox said you have to carry what you need or buy it along the way. Download Audio

Alaska Pridefest week runs from June 18th to the 25th and is an opportunity to celebrate and support diversity in the broadest sense, mixing fun with education about the triumphs and ongoing struggles for equality for LGBTQ citizens. This year's event will also be a time of somber reflection after the Orlando massacre. We'll discuss pride week, respect and safety on the next Talk of Alaska. Download Audio
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

Dr Michael Johnson will be the new commissioner of education and early development. In a state release today, Governor Bill Walker said he was pleased to have Dr Johnson begin his new appointment on July 1st. Download Audio

Crews are battling a large blaze about 50 miles southeast of McGrath, dubbed the Medfra Fire.

Alaskans will be headed outdoors to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend - the unofficial start of summer for many, but fire managers are reminding state residents that the risk of wildfire is extremely high and they are urging caution. Download Audio

Lawmakers couldn't pass a budget plan during 121 days of regular session and will now try to break the gridlock in a special session. All current proposals include using permanent fund earnings to fill the deficit. But the idea of the permanent fund is that it will be...permanent and some Alaskans say, don't touch it.

6:24 pm- The Anchorage fire department is working to contain a five to seven acre brush fire west of Elmore road, near Sundance Circle.

Helicopter sent to assist containing Southside blaze.

What happens when a ship runs aground or sinks in Alaska and the owner abandons it? The state is potentially on the hook for what can be a huge expense. Derelict vessels are a big problem in Alaska. State, federal and environmental organizations work together to try to get these hazards out of our waterways but it's difficult and dangerous.

Alaskans have strong, wide-ranging opinions on just about any topic, but one thing most agree on is a love of the state’s most iconic fish - salmon! A new book brings the stories of 50 Alaska writers together to celebrate what many will be doing this summer-casting nets and lines, hoping for a good story and a great meal.

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