Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly 30 years. Radio brought her to Alaska, where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting before accepting a reporting/host position with APRN in 2003. APRN merged with Alaska Public Media a year later. 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. 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. 

What do the results of the 2020 U.S. Census mean for Alaskans? | Alaska Insight

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The demographic landscape is changing in the United States, and new data from the 2020 Census shows that Alaska is no different. Our population is growing and is more diverse than ever.

Alaska News Nightly: Friday, September 10, 2021

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The legislature stalls out on delivering relief to hospitals overwhelmed with patients suffering from covid-19. Plus, villages on the Yukon survive a summer with abysmally low salmon returns.
Rows of cots and plastic totes in a large arena.

Housing insecurity continues to grow as another pandemic winter approaches | Alaska Insight

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Homelessness and a lack of affordable housing are perennial issues in communities throughout Alaska. But the pandemic has made an already difficult situation worse.

Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Alaska lawmakers grapple with the fallout from a dispute that involves the state's dwindling piggy bank. Plus, Elders in Chignik vow to fight for their salmon fishery after years of dismal returns.
a person speaks from behind a podium, next to an art installation, in front of a lagoon

Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, September 7, 2021

With COVID hospitalizations hitting new records every day, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson holds firm against a mask mandate. Also, supply chain woes are making it difficult for Newtok to finish relocating.
A man stands in the snow with ski poles, his dog nearby.

How a man survived a bear attack during a morning walk in Seward

Almost five years ago, Ronn  Hemstock went for his regular 6 a.m. walk around the airport runway in Seward with his dog, Dax. It wasn't long until his morning stroll turned terrifying.
Two people stand in zipper-up jackets and sweatshirts in front of a cruise ship.

Alaska News Nightly: Friday, July 23, 2021

Cordova experiences its worst outbreak of COVID-19. And, a Seward resident tells the story of surviving a brown bear attack on the town runway. Plus, a new app allows fishermen to contribute their ocean observations to science.
A wooden fish wheel on a large river

“It’s the fabric of our culture coming apart”: Yukon River communities face chinook and chum closure

Ben Stevens, a tribal resources manager for Tanana Chiefs Conference says with both the chum and king salmon fisheries closed, Yukon River communities are scared of losing their protein source for the winter. They're also worried about losing their way of life if low runs continue.
A canada flag next to a us flag

Alaska News Nightly: Monday, July 19, 2021

A new lawsuit aims to protect funding for subsidized electricity in rural Alaska. Plus, new music celebrates the work of Indigenous Alaska musicians. Also today, Canada announced it will open the border to vaccinated travelers in August. But is it enough for struggling tourism businesses?
Goose Creek Prison. Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage.

LISTEN: Why are Alaska’s parole numbers so low, and what awaits those who get out?

In the last five years, the rate of Alaskans granted parole dropped by 50%. The reasons are complicated. With fewer people being granted parole, we discuss the ripple effect on lives and the legal system.
A girld in a purple tank top gets a shot from a white man in a red masik

LISTEN: What will it take for Alaska to return to normal after the pandemic?

Nearly 50 percent of Alaskans are now fully vaccinated. What does this mean for what people can do in public, while traveling and when visiting businesses? And what are the plans for convincing more Alaskans to get the shot to protect those with vulnerable immune systems?

Alaskans discuss Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month | Alaska Insight

Lori Townsend speaks with Lucy Hansen, president of the Polynesian Association of Alaska, Filipino Community, Inc. President Edric Carrillo and community organizer Kengo Nagaoka about the rich history of Asian and Pacific Islanders and their hopes for the future.
Stacks of books

LISTEN: Summer reading recs from Alaska authors

Our state has dozens of accomplished and prolific writers and publishers. Who are your favorite homegrown authors and what are you looking forward to reading over the coming months?

LISTEN: Future sustainability of the permanent fund

Lawmakers are still grappling with how to settle on a budget plan for Alaska's future and permanent fund earnings are at the center of the debate. What's the best way forward to ensure the sustainability of the fund and a dividend, while also providing vital state services?
TV host talks to guest via Zoom.

Fire officials talk preparedness amid a changing landscape | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/k4c3qUffya8 Spring is finally here and as the snowpack recedes, wildfire becomes a concern, especially before greenup. What’s the outlook for this year’s fire season and how much will standing, dead spruce affect it? On...
smoke billows from a spruce forest, seen from above

LISTEN: Fire season is getting longer. How can Alaskans better prepare?

Better coordination between state and federal agencies can not only help with responding to fires, but preventing them too. How are the experts planning for the coming summer?

Farm advocates discuss agriculture resources and sustainability | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/H6TbUgQRBGA Farming in Alaska has changed and expanded in recent years. As seasons lengthen and innovations in farming techniques advance, advocates for eco-friendly farming see big potential. On this episode of Alaska Insight, Lori Townsend...

LISTEN: Former foster youth in Alaska push for repayment of benefits

An investigation by NPR has highlighted that many states, including Alaska, take the dependent child’s social security benefits, often leaving them with no money to help them when they turn 18 and age out of foster care.
A female teacher points to a word projected on a white board in a classroom with three students sitting a tables facing the front of the classroom

LISTEN: How are school districts planning to support students this summer?

School districts have worked hard to piece together in-person and distance learning curriculum for students. Now that the end of the regular school year is fast approaching, what are the plans for summer school to help students catch up?
A man sits in the cockpit of a small plane.

Here’s how small airlines in Alaska are surviving the pandemic travel slow-down | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/I6QdijNawtY Air travel came to a halt last year as the pandemic caused closures across the country. In rural Alaska, where planes are a lifeline for many communities, airlines had to pivot and adjust to...