Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

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Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at ltownsend@alaskapublic.org or call 907-350-2058.

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

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 the changes quickly.

LISTEN: Alaskans asked to weigh in on Arctic Research Plan

Researchers are planning out what the next five years of scientific investigation in the Arctic will look like, and they want Alaskans to weigh in.
Show host talks to guest over Zoom.

How the pandemic has further strained recovery resources | Alaska Insight

has consumed the attention of many of us over the past year, but another killer has continued to claim lives. Overdose deaths are on the rise, and the need for substance abuse resources in Alaska is pressing. How have recovery programs around the state adjusted their services to meet the demand?
a bottle of pills

LISTEN: The other epidemic

Overdose deaths are on the rise, and the need for resources in Alaska is pressing. How have recovery programs around the state adjusted their services to meet the demand amid the pandemic?

Alaskans discuss some of the state’s biggest boondoggles | Alaska Insight

Alaskans have dreamed and schemed some big tourism and economic ideas for the 49th state through the decades. Everything from a giant styrofoam igloo lodge, to a city under a dome and a freshwater pipeline to California.
Show host talks to guests via Zoom.

PBS American Portrait on Alaska Insight | Special LIVE Episode

Alaskans have a lot of can-do spirit and a deep sense of connection to Alaska. In this episode of Alaska Insight we explore some of what it means to be an Alaskan in this time of social and political unrest and how we can come together to create an Alaska that is a leader in the nation for equity, health, and wellness.
a nurse administers a vaccine to a patient

LISTEN: Medical professionals answer Alaskans’ questions about the COVID-19 vaccine

Alaska is leading the nation in COVID-19 vaccination rates, bringing us closer to the herd immunity needed to return to normal life. But some people still have concerns about getting the shot and other questions.

LISTEN: Alaskans discuss the power of storytelling

What do you love about living and working in Alaska? The PBS American Portrait series invites people to submit videos and narratives on a range of issues, and Alaskans responded.

Alaskans address violence against Asian Americans and racial bias in tech | Alaska Insight

Racial bias permeates government policy and justice systems. It's also ubiquitous in the technology that we engage with on a daily basis.

Sexual assault survivors advocate for change in Nome and statewide | Alaska Insight

The high rates of sexual assault and violence against women in Alaska are long-standing problems. In Nome, survivors have been speaking out about how law enforcement has handled assault cases in the community.
A white man in a black suit

LISTEN: Gov. Mike Dunleavy discusses pandemic recovery

Economic recovery from the pandemic and long term budget stability are some of the big tasks in front of state leaders during the current legislative session. How closely aligned are the Governor’s priorities with state lawmakers?

LISTEN: As Alaska grapples with high rates of sexual assault, what can we learn from Nome?

High rates of sexual assault and violence against women have plagued Alaska for decades. The collective damage affects entire communities. Survivor advocates and journalists have helped uncover how widespread the problems are. In Nome, some advocates are working to raise awareness and push for change.

Recognizing women’s contributions in Alaska | Alaska Insight

The accomplishments of Alaska women are as varied as they are wide ranging. From CEOs running major corporations to vessel captains to community leaders

Alaska businesses look for relief to make it through another dry tourism season | Alaska Insight

Business owners, workers and communities reliant on tourism are facing another summer without cruise ships. Will the latest federal relief package be enough to keep them afloat until next season?

LISTEN: Examining the often overlooked role of women in Alaska’s history

Women in Alaska are known for being hard working, resourceful and tough, but their role has often been overlooked. Join us as we celebrate the kick off to Women’s History Month.
The bow of a white cruise ship

LISTEN: Alaska communities prepare for another lean tourism season amid slow economic recovery

No major cruise lines will return to the state in 2021. How will tourist-dependent communities weather this extended dry season? When federal relief does arrive, will it be enough for businesses to survive?
Lori Townsend talks to Lisa Busch about climate change and landslides in Southeast Alaska on set during Alaska Insight on February 19, 2021.

Collaborative research aims to better predict landslides in Southeast Alaska | Alaska Insight

geologists learned from destructive landslides in Alaska and how might that science inform future development plans and early warning systems for communities?
A landslide on a mountainside as seen from the air

LISTEN: How Alaskan communities are adapting to a warmer climate with more landslides

As Alaska warms, landslides are projected to be a growing problem. What have we learned from the deadly landslides in Sitka and the more recent event in Haines?