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.

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.

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?

Foster care doesn't just impact kids. It changes the lives of entire families -- and foster families. So how do we support both those who lose their children and those who take them in? We'll talk about supporting the foster care system on the next Talk of Alaska statewide. 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

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
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
Entrance to Anchorage's Providence Hospital emergency room. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

Alaska has some of the highest health care costs in the world. In the state's Medicaid program- one solution is reducing unnecessary trips to the Emergency Room. We'll discuss a collaborative plan to help patients get the care they need in a less expensive setting than an emergency room. APRN: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 10 a.m.

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

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
(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

How safe is your drinking water? Most communities can be confident that their supply is fine, but Flint Michigan showed the nation that bad things can happen. APRN: Tuesday, 2/16 at 10:00am Listen now

Literature helps us understand our world, ourselves and each other and Alaska is full of great authors. Tlingit author Ernestine Hayes will discuss her book Blonde Indian and the deeper understanding that can come from reading about lives that are different from our own. APRN: Tuesday, 2/9 at 10:00am Listen now
(Via Alaska Earthquake Center)

Scientists have been waiting for a decade for a large earthquake in Southcentral to test an array of seismic sensors in Anchorage. What did seismologists learn from the 7.1 temblor that struck Cook Inlet, rattling the Kenai and Alaska's largest city and how might that inform building codes in the future? APRN: Tuesday, 2/2 at 10:00am Download Audio

The climate changes that have swept through Alaska are now being reflected in our landscape and wildlife - avalanches, fires, species declines, the list goes on. APRN: Tuesday, 1/26 at 10:00am Listen now

University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen was direct in his recent comments about budget cuts the university system is facing. “We face terrible challenges, horrible challenges, tough challenges,” Johnsen said at the recent State of the University address. What does this mean for the future of higher education in Alaska? APRN: Tuesday, 1/19 at 10:00am Listen now

Sea birds are having a tough time in Alaska. Thousands of dead murres have been washing up on beaches in coastal communities and even found inland. biologists are working to pinpoint what's causing this massive die off. Is it El Nino? The warm water blob? Or something else entirely? APRN: Tuesday, 1/12 at 10:00am Listen now