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Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage

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

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

Panel Discussion Addresses Effects Of British Columbia Mines

Over the weekend, the Western Mining Action Network held a panel discussion in Anchorage on the development of large scale mines in British Columbia that could impact the Taku, Stikine and Unuk rivers. All are prolific salmon producers for Alaska.

Chris Zimmer is the Alaska Rivers without Borders campaign director. He says there are a number of mines proposed for BC and two of the most concerning are the Tulsequah Chief mine and the much larger Kerr Suphurets Mitchell or KSM prospect which is half the size of the Pebble mine proposal and 50 times larger than Tulsequah.

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May 12, 2014 - 6:16 pm

Study Finds No Discernable Impact From Tulsequah Chief Mine Discharge On Fish

Chieftan Metals Corporation, based in Toronto, is the owner of the Tulsequah Chief Mine. Company President and CEO Victor Wypryski was traveling and could not be reached for comment today, but a recent posting on the company’s website highlights the results of a February water quality study.

Conducted at the request of the British Columbia ministry of the environment, the study tested four sites on the Tulsequah River, near the confluence of the Taku River near the mine site. Chinook, Coho, sockeye salmon and dolly varden were tested. Researchers reportedly found no discernable impact in fish tissue samples from historic mining discharge.

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May 12, 2014 - 6:16 pm

UAF Mining Extension Offering Basic Prospecting Class

The University of Alaska Fairbanks mining extension program will offer a basic prospecting class in Palmer on Saturday.

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May 9, 2014 - 4:44 pm

Major General Thomas Katkus Responds To National Guard Sexual Assault Allegations

Governor Sean Parnell has been responding to allegations that sexual assault crimes within the state’s National Guard were reported to him four years before he requested a federal investigation. The Governor says as soon as he had specific information, he acted. Parnell’s commissioner of the Department of Military and Veteran’s Affairs, Major General Thomas Katkus says the federal investigation should help improve the system.

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May 1, 2014 - 6:04 pm

‘Arctic Sun: Fulfilling The Dream’ Chronicles Family’s Wilderness Adventures

A documentary showing statewide on 360 North this evening, chronicles the wilderness adventures of Jean Aspen and Tom Irons. “Arctic Son: Fulfilling the Dream” is the story of Jean, her husband Tom and their son Luke as they spend a year in the Brooks Range, out of contact and building their own cabin. When she was in her 20s, Jean went into the arctic with her first husband, living off the land for four years.

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April 30, 2014 - 5:28 pm
Gov. Parnell Says He Took Immediate Action On Sexual Assault Allegations

Gov. Parnell Says He Took Immediate Action On Sexual Assault Allegations

Governor Sean Parnell is defending his decision to wait four years to request a federal investigation into reports of a sexual assault problem in the Alaska National Guard. Anchorage Daily News columnist Shannyn Moore wrote Sunday that Parnell first learned about misconduct in the Guard in 2010, when he was approached by three guard chaplains. Parnell says he took those charges seriously, but lacked the details to prompt an investigation until February.

He says after the initial concerns were raised, he went to Major General Thomas Katkus to make sure the systems were in place to protect guard members. Then in February, Parnell says he was able to talk with a guard member who provided specifics.

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April 29, 2014 - 5:25 pm

Whale Earwax Offers Opportunity For Unique Insight

A biologist from Baylor University in Texas has discovered a unique way to determine changes in hormone and contaminant levels in baleen whales – through their ear wax. Stephen Trumble is a whale biologist who studied at UAF. He says museums have collected these earwax plugs for a century and the Smithsonian alone has more than 500. They are commonly used to determine a whales’ age – like tree rings.

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April 28, 2014 - 5:27 pm

Southcentral Foundation Reaches Historic Settlement With IHS

Anchorage based Southcentral Foundation announced a settlement with the Indian Health Service over contract payments that at $96 million represents the largest IHS settlement in history.

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April 24, 2014 - 5:41 pm
Jeff King Wins Kobuk 440

Jeff King Wins Kobuk 440

Jeff King is the winner in this year’s Kobuk 440. King crossed the finish line at 12:12 am Sunday morning, followed by Tony Browning and Hugh Neff.

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April 14, 2014 - 6:36 pm

Retired Detective Discusses ‘Finding Bethany’

Retired Anchorage Detective Glen Klinkhart has written a true crime memoir called Finding Bethany. The story reveals the years of work it took Klinkhart and others within APD to find the killer of Bethany Correira, a young woman from Talkeetna who had moved to Anchorage for college and in 2003 was murdered by Michael Lawson, the man who managed the apartment building where she lived. Klinkhart says he also wanted to tell the stories of the dedicated people who helped solve the case in big and small ways.

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April 10, 2014 - 5:27 pm

Howard Weaver Speaks On Anchorage Daily News Sale

There are still a lot of unknowns about how the sale of the Anchorage Daily News to Alaska Dispatch will play out. But former Anchorage Daily News writer and managing editor Howard Weaver is thinking a lot about that question. Weaver wrote the book “Write Hard, Die Free” about the Anchorage newspaper wars in the 1970s and 80s. Weaver says he was saddened to learn about the sale of the Daily News.

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April 9, 2014 - 5:27 pm

Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame: Mary Jane (Evans) Fate

Mary Jane Fate, a Koyukon Athabascan born in Rampart, labored tirelessly to improve all aspects of Alaska Native people’s lives. As one of the original Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act lobbyists, she worked with others to convince the White House and Congress of the fairness and justice in conveying 40 million acres and $1 billion to Alaska Natives through the passage of the Native claims act in 1971.

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April 8, 2014 - 6:02 pm

Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame: Beverly D. Dunham

Beverly, “Bev”, Dunham is a pioneer in Alaska journalism and a tireless community advocate. She is described as being ahead of her time and a strong role model to many women and young girls growing up in Alaska.

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April 8, 2014 - 6:00 pm

Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame: Eleanor Andrews

Eleanor Andrews has been building the human infrastructure capacity of Alaska for nearly five decades. She has been a successful business woman, as the owner of the Andrews Group, and also has been a highly regarded public servant. But it is the effectiveness and sweeping nature of her advocacy on behalf of community that is most amazing. Andrews is most widely known as a “civic entrepreneur” – that is a person who inspires institutions, businesses and individuals to invest in the community at the same time that they being successful at their work.

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April 8, 2014 - 5:58 pm
Jane Angvik. (Alaska Women's Hall of Fame photo)

Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame: Jane Ruth Angvik

Jane Angvik has been involved in Alaska public life since 1973. She has served as an elected member of the Anchorage Assembly and the Anchorage Charter Commission and has taught many women how to conduct campaigns for public office.

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April 2, 2014 - 12:00 pm