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

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

Working with families in crisis is stressful and social workers have a high burn out rate. A new program within the Office of Children's Services aims to help OCS field workers by providing mentors who can help them learn the skills they'll need to not only survive, but thrive in a challenging occupation. How will that ultimately help children and families? LISTEN HERE

The state health care system has been stretched thin by rising rates of addiction, a growing need for more mental health treatment beds and Medicaid expansion. These needs were under the budget lens during the legislative session. How will health care providers meet the challenge of treating sick Alaskans during the funding crunch? LISTEN HERE

The Palmer trial of Erick Almandinger is in its second week. Almandinger is one of several teenagers who are accused of murdering 16-year-old David Grunwald in 2016. Listen now

Documenting the rich diversity of the lives of African Americans is the mission of a national group called The Historymakers. Videographers are in Alaska this week for the first time to capture the stories of 11 Alaskans. Listen now

A family story of the early gold rush days in Alaska was featured in Anchorage on May 14th at the Alaska Jewish Museum. The documentary, A Rose in Candle, was directed by Anchorage history enthusiast Russ Reno and tells the story of a young Jewish woman who was a violist from Romania.

Alaska has the largest state park system in the nation. And with the summer season about to launch into high gear, Alaskans are preparing for state park adventures. On the next Talk of Alaska we'll hear from park managers on what they're doing to make even the most remote parks more accessible. And we'll discuss the future of the park system as the state continues to make budget cuts. LISTEN HERE