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

Militia Trial Continues For Third Day

Prosecutors in the third day of the Fairbanks Peacemaker’s militia trial spent the morning introducing evidence and interviewing an FBI agent about the items that were seized. Throughout the course of the morning, evidence revealed weapons and ammunition that was taken from a white utility trailer belonging to Coleman Barney.

Peacemaker’s Militia Trial Gets Underway with Opening Statements and First Witnesses

Portrayals of Peacemaker’s militia members as dangerous men plotting to kill federal employees were juxtaposed with characterizations of the men as hapless big mouths who exaggerated a lot but were harmless – during this morning’s opening statements in day two of the Schaeffer Cox, Lonnie Vernon and Barney Coleman federal trial in Anchorage.

Jury Selection Begins For Fairbanks Militia Trial

Jury selection got underway in Anchorage federal court Monday in preparation for the trial of Fairbanks resident and Alaska Peacemaker’s militia leader Francis Schaeffer Cox. Cox is charged along with Coleman Barney and Lonnie Vernon of plotting to kill government employees. Cox founded the Second Amendment Task force and claims he is a sovereign citizen. The trial is expected to last at least a month.

Agreement Allows All Alaska Veterans Care At Tribal Clinics

A new agreement signed today between 14 Alaska Native tribal health programs and the department of Veterans Affairs will allow both Alaska Native and non-Native vets to receive health care services in tribal clinics in various parts of Alaska, so they won’t have to travel to Anchorage or Seattle to receive services.

UAA Handing Out First Doctorate Degrees

The University of Alaska Anchorage is going to award its first doctorate degrees next week. The Ph.D.s in Clinical Psychology will go to two students in a program administered jointly by UAA and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In the past, UAF has handed out the doctoral degrees for the program, but now UAA’s name will also appear on the diploma.

Methane Hydrates Could Prove To Be Vast Untapped Resource

The U.S. Department of Energy says it was able to safely extract a steady stream of natural gas from methane hydrates this winter on Alaska’s North Slope. The agency partnered with oil companies to test new technology to remove methane trapped in ice crystals beneath the sea floor. The federal government calls methane hydrates a vast untapped resource with enormous potential.

Parnell Blames Unresolved Oil Tax, Gas Line Bills On Senate

Governor Sean Parnell is laying blame for the failure of the Special Session squarely on the state Senate. The session wrapped up Monday evening when the Alaska House followed the Senate’s lead and adjourned. That left the in-state gas pipeline bill unresolved. Earlier, the governor pulled his oil tax bill from consideration. Lawmakers did pass one bill to strengthen the state’s human trafficking laws.

New Research Sheds Light On Mercury Pollution

Mercury pollution is a growing problem in the Arctic. And new research is offering some insight into how mercury reacts with the sea ice that covers much of the Arctic Ocean. Sandy Steffen is a Physical Scientist with Environment Canada. She studied mercury pollution on the sea ice outside of Barrow and is presenting her work this week at the International Polar Year conference in Montreal.

Alaska Tribes Angry With VAWA Exemption Error

Alaska tribal advocates are upset by a section in the federal reauthorization of the 2000 Violence Against Women Act. Section 905 of the act would expand tribal court jurisdiction by allowing those courts to issue protective orders against ‘any person’ including non-Native offenders.

Group To Renovate Northwest Alaska Boys And Girls Clubs

An organization that focuses on volunteerism will be in five northwest villages this summer renovating Boys and Girls Club buildings. Hope Worldwide is an international faith based group that helps match up local and Americorp volunteers with communities in need. The group will be conducting what they call Arctic Regeneration camps in villages blending leadership training and mentoring for young people with the work of sprucing up clubs.

Tribal Organizations Await Results Of Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Case

Tribal organizations in Alaska and across the country are anxiously waiting for a decision in a case just argued before the U.S. Supreme court.

Alaska Native Leader Passes Away

A long time Alaska Native leader and executive director of the Nanuuq commission died recently. Charlie Johnson, an Inupiat from the Nome area passed away on April 12.

Report Says More Needs To Be Done To Make Offshore Drilling Safer

The former members of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Commission aren’t handing out any “A’s” as they grade the progress industry, Congress and the Interior Department have made since the accident two years ago.

Ken Anderson Wins Kobuk 440

The Kobuk 440 wrapped up over the weekend in Kotzebue with the first three mushers getting back to Kotzebue Sunday. Ken Anderson won at 11:47 yesterday morning, reaching the finish line with six dogs. Kobuk 440 time keeper Liz Moore says the second place finisher is the rookie of the year Scott Smith.

Kobuk 440 Starting Tonight

The Kobuk 440 gets underway tonight at 6pm in Kotzebue. The race runs through six area villages including Norvik, Ambler and Kiana. The race is a qualifier for the Iditarod. Ten mushers are competing.

Alaskan Dropped from FCC Board Amid Questions

An Alaskan appointed to a federal Communications Commission board, was dropped after a letter from Governor Sean Parnell's Chief of Staff asked for a change. In early March, Senator Mark Begich's staff put forth...

Bill Would Expand Right To Self Defense

A State House bill that would expand the right to self defense in Alaska has been getting increased attention, in part because of the Trayvon Martin case.

Prairie Home Companion Sound Effects Guru Visits Anchorage

Making funny noises had landed many kids in hot water during school or other quiet occasions, but for Fred Newman, the talented live sound effects guy for Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion show, it’s how he makes his living. Newman is in Anchorage to help Cyrano’s Theater Company celebrate its 20th anniversary. When I asked about his title, he said there isn’t one.

AK: Redefining Alaskan Art

When someone says Alaska Native art, the first thing that comes to mind is often traditions like ivory carving, skin sewing or intricate weaving. But a new group of young Alaska Native artists in Anchorage is working to expand that image to one that embraces modern life as well as honoring their heritage.

Health Care Legislation Heading To Supreme Court

This Friday marks the two year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act- President Obama’s health care overall. Its birthday present will be a trip to the Supreme Court next week. Justices will hear arguments on whether two aspects of the law are constitutional- the individual mandate requiring citizens to purchase health insurance and the Medicaid expansion. Alaska is one of 26 states suing to overturn the law. But the state has also benefited from the Affordable Care Act.