Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

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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

Having a criminal record can hamper efforts to find a job, get a loan or even a place to live. The Alaska Criminal Justice Commission has new recommendations to redact or hide from public view, some past convictions. Will it help those who are working to improve their lives after completing their sentences? What about the public's right to know?

Alaska has been in recession for more than three years. Our unemployment rate is currently the highest in the nation. Will the recession continue into next year or are there signs that job loss is slowing and stability may return? Are recovery and growth are on the horizon? Listen now

October is domestic violence awareness month, but in Alaska, the consistently high rate of violence and sexual assault presents a year round need for education and assistance. What needs to change for people to have better outcomes? On the next Talk of Alaska, University of Alaska legal and medical experts discuss the evolving science and intersection between law enforcement, victim services and health care. Listen now

Alaska Pacific University or APU in Anchorage is working towards becoming a tribal university, so what does that mean? On the next Talk of Alaska, artists Joe and Martha Senungetuk will discuss their work as APU's elders in residence. They're teaching art and culture and bringing in other Native artists for classes.

Alaskans take DIY food to the extreme. They fill freezers with wild game, fish and berries that they harvest themselves then transform the raw ingredients into hearty meals like Salmon Pot Pie and moose meatballs. Food blogger and Anchorage Daily News Editor Julia O'Malley is testing classic Alaska recipes for a new project called How Alaska Eats. Listen now

The race for Alaska's sole seat in the U.S. House has an independent candidate fighting to unseat the long term incumbent. Alyse Galvin is running for office for the first time. She says she wants to go to congress to fight for healthcare reform, education funding and combat climate change. What's her plan to get all that done? Listen now

Ballot measure one is a hotly contested initiative that has divided Alaskans over what may sound like a simple request-stand for salmon. But it's a complex question that's pitting environmental groups against mining and oil companies. So what does a yes or no vote mean? Both sides claim that if they lose, the results could be disastrous, but what's really at stake? Listen now

Over the past two weeks, the top challengers campaigning to be Alaska's next Governor have outlined their positions on the state's future needs. Now it's the incumbent's turn. Independent Bill Walker joins us to make his case for keeping the job of Alaska's top elected official. What would he focus on if he wins a second term? Listen now

As the race for Alaska's next Governor heats up, Talk of Alaska is featuring all three candidates in September. On the next program, Democrat Mark Begich joins us. What does he see as the best path forward for the future of Alaska? LISTEN HERE

The field is set for the general election and the campaign for Alaska's next Governor is in full swing. Talk of Alaska will feature the three gubernatorial candidates over the next few weeks, starting with Republican Mike Dunleavy. What is his vision for the future of our state? LISTEN HERE

Indian Country is a term used to describe reservation and other trust lands. The designation allows tribes to have greater economic and legal control of the land that is held in trust for them by the federal government. It can unlock federal funds for development and also precludes state and borough governments from taxing the trust property. The authority has only been in place since 2014 after years of legal battles. Now it’s on hold. How much land has been placed in to trust in 4 years and what does the review mean for future applications? LISTEN HERE

Two young journalists from Pakistan completed their assignments in Anchorage last week. Tarhub Asghar and Shaista Mairaj spent three weeks at an Anchorage Fox News affiliate as part of an international journalism exchange through the U.S. State and Education Departments. Listen now

Vacations and books are wonderful companions. PBS is sponsoring the Great American Read this summer and people across the nation are voting on their favorite novels. But with the ease and portability of online reading, how important are books and the libraries that house them? What does the future look like for the places that care for literature, documents and other archives? LISTEN HERE

Gun violence can happen anywhere. Chelan Schreifels knows that all too well. Her daughter Caia Delavergne was shot by an Anchorage man, Christian Beier in October 2015. Beier was recently found guilty after a trial in Anchorage. Listen now

It's the middle of summer but students seeking higher education are making plans for fall. The University's new Alaska College of Education aims to train more state residents to take teaching jobs here. The idea is to keep good teachers in rural Alaska communities. LISTEN HERE

Dr. Eric Green, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health says the project’s signature accomplishment was reading out the three billion letters that make up the human genome sequence. Dr Green gave the keynote address at a Southcentral Foundation conference in Anchorage last week. Listen now

Alaska has a lot of entrepreneurs. Small business owners do everything from walk dogs to design clothing. How has the small business climate evolved in the state and what's on the horizon? Where can people with big plans get support and capitalize on the interest in buying locally? LISTEN HERE

Rural Alaska has long had a lack of adequate law enforcement. State budget cuts have exacerbated the problem and recent reporting reveals trouble with how or if some local law enforcement officers are screened before they're hired. What's being done to make rural Alaska safer? LISTEN HERE

A program that provides millions of dollars in federal subsidies to help pay rural Alaska healthcare facilities' high internet bills has been on hold for nearly a year. Listen now

Recent reporting in the Anchorage Daily News has exposed a long-standing problem in Alaska of rural communities hiring village police officers with past criminal convictions. That includes some who later committed crimes while they were officers -- as the ADN headline puts it -- going from "criminal to cop and back again." Listen now