Ken Anderson Wins Kobuk 440

The Kobuk 440 wrapped up over the weekend in Kotzebue with the first three mushers getting back to Kotzebue Sunday. Ken Anderson won at 11:47 yesterday morning, reaching the finish line with six dogs. Kobuk 440 time keeper Liz Moore says the second place finisher is the rookie of the year Scott Smith.

Ten teams ran this year. Moore says the trail conditions were good and there were no spring storms to contend with. She says the weather was great. The mushers will gather this evening in Kotzebue for the awards banquet. Moore says the purse was $50,200. Paying first place at $12,000, second at $9,000 and third at $7, 500. Mushers also get unique trophies for the race.

Moore says the Kobuk 440 has been running for 20 years and the organization is working to raise money for a larger pay out to attract more mushers in future years. She says the one of the main goals is to bring young people into the sport to teach them responsibility in dog handling, some regional history and fitness.

Gerry Riley was the red lantern finisher this year. He reached Kotzebue this morning at 8:15 with five dogs.

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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 24 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. 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