Remembering Nancy McGuire

Nancy at the layout table preparing the Nome Nugget. (Photo courtesy of Peggy Fagerstrom)
Nancy at the layout table preparing the Nome Nugget. (Photo courtesy of Peggy Fagerstrom)

Early this morning, long time Nome Nugget editor and publisher Nancy McGuire died. McGuire had been battling cancer and in her last editorial bid a fond farewell to her beloved Nome community and residents. John Handleland is a former mayor of Nome and was a long time friend of the tenacious journalist. He says McGuire was born and raised on a Pennsylvania farm. She became an educator and moved to Nome in 1973 and bought the Nome Nugget in 1982. He says she was proud that the paper is the oldest in Alaska. McGuire was given the Alaska Press Club 1st Amendment award in 2012.
Handleland says he got to know her when he became mayor in 1985 and was sometimes taken to task in her paper.

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Nancy McGuire was 72 when she died this morning. A funeral mass will be held at the St Joseph Catholic Church in Nome at 2 pm on Saturday.

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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