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Bob Beck

Committee Passes Controversial Religious Freedom Bill

A controversial piece of legislation intended to let people practice their religious beliefs in daily life received approval from the House Judiciary committee. House Bill 83 is called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Republican Nathan Winters of Thermopolis wants to keep the government from forcing people to do things that are contrary to their religious beliefs. Linda Burt of the American Civil Liberties Union fears it could go too far. “Deny someone the right to marry because they...
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Topic Of The Week

What do you think about a proposal to require four years of math in Public High Schools?

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A bill that would allow those with concealed carry permits to have guns at schools, colleges, athletic events, and government meetings has received initial support from the Wyoming House of Representatives.  The House has approved a similar bill in the past and today/Thursday the bill passed with no debate.  Evansville Republican Kendell Kroeker says that’s because it’s been debated before.  

 Yoga and competition are not two words people tend to put together. But in Pinedale this weekend, Wyoming will host its first regional yoga competition. 25 competitors of all ages are scheduled to demonstrate a three-minute silent routine with five poses. Darcie Peck is the event’s organizer and the owner of Wind River Yoga and Bodyworks. She says yoga competitions have been held for centuries and were especially popular in India in the 1930’s.

  Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has fired back at a federal provision banning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from placing the sage grouse on the endangered species list for one year. The provision was a rider in the omnibus spending bill, passed last month.

House Gives Approval To Religious Freedom Bill

14 minutes ago
Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Media

 The Wyoming House of Representatives began debate today/Thursday on a bill that could allow people in Wyoming to deny services to individuals when they have a religious conflict with their behavior or actions. 

The State Senate has given initial support to a bill that aims to fix Wyoming’s Tribal Liaison program. 

The two liaisons work with the tribes and state government, but there’s been disputes over funding and other matters.  The legislation provides 200 thousand dollars for the liaisons and makes them an appointee of the governor.

Republican Cale Case of Lander says the bill empowers them to be a more important part of state and tribal government. 

Challenging The Whiteness Of Public Radio

3 hours ago

Editor's Note: This essay originally appeared on Transom.org, with a shorter version published on BuzzFeed. Author Chenjerai Kumanyika will join Code Switch — along with African-American public radio journalists — in a Twitter chat Thursday moderated by lead blogger Gene Demby. Join Code

Patricia Lavin

Scientists at the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center are analyzing 250 tissue samples of elk, wild bison, and livestock in an effort to better understand how the disease brucellosis spreads.

Brucellosis sickens large mammals like elk and cattle, and can cause them to abort their young.  U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Pauline Kamath says a commonly held theory has been that Yellowstone’s wild animals have been infected with brucellosis by elk on Wyoming feed grounds. But her data shows that may not be as common as previously thought.

Concealed guns would be allowed in schools, on college campuses, and in government meetings under a bill that will be considered by the Wyoming House of Representatives. 

The bill would repeal gun free zones and was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on an 8-1 vote. Gun supporters say the legislation could keep schools safe, but education organizations and State Superintendent Jillian Balow oppose the measure. Chris Boswell of the University of Wyoming says the bill is problematic.

The Senate Labor and Health Committee has approved a Medicaid Expansion bill on a 4 to 1 vote.

The bill models the Wyoming Department of Health’s Share plan, but also includes a Health and Wellness account that participants would use for medical co-pays. Despite the vote, the bill continues to have lukewarm support. 

Casper Republican Bill Landen voted for the bill in committee, but he may not support it on the Senate floor.

Ucross Resident Karen Skolfield Reads Poem

Jan 28, 2015

Karen Skolfield recently spent two weeks in Ucross, Wyoming, on a writing fellowship. When she’s not tracking Wyoming wildlife, she teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts. Her book Frost in the Low Areas won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry; new poems appear in Indiana Review, MIRAMAR, Pleiades, Rattle, Southword Journal, Structo, and others.

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