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

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

Emergency rooms in Anchorage hospitals cannot keep up with the numbers of patients needing psychiatric care. It's a problem that's pushing people experiencing acute mental crises into more traditional ER's, overburdening staff, delaying care to other patients, and straining an already thin system. Listen now

Immigration has been in the news a lot this year. Most of the coverage involves undocumented immigrants. But what does it take to cross the border legally? The requirements for entry into the U.S. can vary widely from one country to the next and it can be surprisingly hard. LISTEN HERE
Women's Hall of Fame

Alaskan women are smart, hardworking, innovative and tough. They have helped build the state through dedicated service to education, medicine, business, the arts and much more. The Alaska Women's Hall of Fame inducts several of them each spring and this year marks the 10th anniversary. LISTEN HERE

Marijuana has been legal in Alaska since a voter initiative passed in 2014. Retail businesses and commercial growers are operating and paying millions in taxes to the state, but one of only three testing facilities recently shut down and there's still no decision regarding on-site consumption. LISTEN HERE

The Alaska State Troopers face a dilemma. They take on some of Alaska's toughest cases and are seeing increased demand. But even as state budget shortfalls have forced  cuts, the agency is struggling to keep the troopers it already has. How are the troopers coping with staffing issues? Will public safety suffer? LISTEN HERE

100 Years: One Woman's Fight for Justice is the story of Blackfeet tribal member, the late Eloise Cobell. Cobell took on the Interior department over missing funds in trust accounts that were supposed to be paid to Native landowners. Listen now

Governor Bill Walker said today he's heard from legislative staff that committee hearings are moving appropriately on budget discussions. but he says he's disappointed that the House and Senate are still struggling to find consensus. Listen now

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA plans to protest the start of the race in Anchorage tomorrow morning. Former Iditarod champion Jeff King sat down with Lori Townsend recently to talk about the race, his career and his feelings about the animal rights activists who are against racing sled dogs. Listen now

This program is all about long serving Alaska Public Media Program Director Bede Trantina, as well as memories of the early days of KSKA. We sat down with Bede and Alex Hills, the founding general manager of KSKA who hired Bede 39 years ago to find out more about how the station got started and how Bede began her tenure here. LISTEN HERE