Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017

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Federal Appeals court throws out one convictions of former Fairbanks militia leader Schaeffer Cox.

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A federal appeals court has thrown out one of the convictions of former Fairbanks militia leader Schaeffer Cox. A 9th Circuit Court of appeals decision filed on Tuesday, vacates Cox’s conviction of solicitation to murder federal officials.

Health Care Authority could save state government millions of dollars

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Alaska’s state government would save more than $200 million a year if it formed what’s called a health care authority. That’s according to a long-awaited study by three consultants that was released today.

Alaska Soldiers to deploy to Afghanistan

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Alaska-based soldiers will start deploying to Afghanistan within the next week. Over the course of the coming month the Army is sending about 1,200 members of the 4th Brigade Combat Team 25th Infantry Division — or 4-2-5 — from Anchorage’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Investigators drop inquiry dropped in Zinke calls to Alaska Senators 

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington DC

The inspector general’s office for the U.S. Interior Department has dropped its inquiry into whether the Interior secretary threatened to retaliate against Sen. Lisa Murkowski for voting against proceeding on a health care reform bill.

Sitka Coast Guard members deploy to Texas

Emily Kwong, KCAW – Sitka

The largest tropical downpour in U.S. history has given way to catastrophic flooding in Texas. Before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, several Sitka-based Coast Guard members were deployed there to assist with relief efforts.

St Paul ramps up reindeer program to improve food security

Laura Kraegel, KUCB – St Paul Island

For the last century, reindeer have roamed St. Paul Island without much oversight. But now, the tribal government is stepping up its management style — to boost subsistence options and the local economy.

Mat Su fish meeting causes tension for Cook Inlet commercial and sport fishing

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A disagreement over management of salmon in Cook Inlet continues to simmer following a public meeting last week between top Fish and Game officials and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s Fish Commission.

The second lives of eagles

Berett Wilber, KUCB – Unalaska

When eagles die in Unalaska, it’s the beginning of a long journey.

Ketchikan breaks record for rainiest summer

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

Early this morning, Ketchikan broke the record for the most summertime rainfall. With more than 45 inches at last count, this summer is officially the soggiest Alaska’s First City has experienced in recorded history.


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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