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Legislative
5:24 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Mead Continues Working On Medicaid Expansion

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says he continues working with federal officials to craft a Medicaid expansion plan for Wyoming.                  

Mead says that he’s concerned that the federal government will not be able to afford the program, but he says it could help people in the state and so he is moving forward with a good faith effort.

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News
1:13 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Cheri Steinmetz Snags Goshen County House Seat

Goshen County representative Matt Teeters lost his legislative seat in Tuesday’s primary election. His challenger, Cheri Steinmetz, says she won because Teeters didn’t recognize how important constitutional rights are to his constituents.

“One of the biggest issues for our country is people want to make sure that their constitutional rights are protected. They see a lot of overreach at the federal level, and some at the state level as well.”

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News
12:28 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Scorecard Gives Lander Management Plan Low Grade

Next year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife will decide whether or not to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species, and a new scorecard released by a coalition of wildlife advocacy groups says the Bureau of Land Management’s new Lander Resource Plan has failed to do enough to keep the bird off that list.

Policy Advisor Steven Holmer is with the American Bird Conservancy, one of six groups behind the new scorecard. He says a team of national scientists was tasked with setting standards for the best way to protect the grouse.

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News
7:35 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Wyoming ACT Scores Up Slightly But Lag Behind Nation

Wyoming high school students who graduated in 2014 did slightly better on the ACT, on average, than those who graduated last year. Performance results released Wednesday by the Wyoming Department of Education show an average ACT score of 20.1 for this year’s test-takers, compared to 19.8 in 2013.

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Sports
4:21 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Wyoming Football Team Continues To Improve

With a little over a week to go before the start of the University of Wyoming football season, Cowboys Head Coach Craig Bohl  likes what he sees. 

Bohl says the offensive line continues to be a work in progress, but he says that unit has improved—and believes they’ll continue to get better.            

“I think we are on task.  You see developments during fall camp as far as guys understanding our system, certainly all the nuances on offensive and defense and certainly the kicking game has taken a positive step since spring ball.”

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Elections
4:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Wyoming Primary Turnout Was 46 Percent

The Wyoming Secretary of State’s office says that Tuesday’s primary election had an average turnout of registered voters.

State Elections Director Peggy Nighswonger says that it was comparable to previous primaries.                           

“Voter turnout for the primary elections was 46 percent of those registered to vote. Turnout is generally much higher for the general election. So if history repeats itself, we’ll likely see a lot more people at the polls on November 4th.”

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Elections
1:15 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Balow To Face Ceballos In State Superintendent's Race

Jillian Balow

Jillian Balow won the Republican nomination for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tuesday night, beating out two other contenders. Now, she’ll face Democrat Mike Ceballos in November’s general election.

Balow is an administrator with the Wyoming Department of Family Services and a former teacher. She received 41 percent of the statewide vote.

Sheryl Lain works as an instructional leader under current Superintendent Cindy Hill.  She got 32 percent of the vote—and former Navy submarine commander Bill Winney got 27 percent.

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News
12:52 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Four Legislative Incumbents Lose Seats In Primary

House Education Chairman Matt Teeters loses his seat

In Tuesday's legislative primaries, four incumbents lost their seats including House Education Chairman Matt Teeters of Goshen County.  

Teeters made headlines in the last budget session when he added a footnote to the budget that blocked the State Board of Education from reviewing the Next Generation Science Standards. He was easily defeated by Cheri Steinmetz who grabbed 59 percent of the vote.  

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Elections
12:29 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Mead Wins GOP Primary

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead overcame strong challenges from Superintendent Cindy Hill and Doctor Taylor Haynes to win the Republican primary. 

Mead won the race despite upsetting the Republican base over his support of legislation that removed State Superintendent Cindy Hill as the supervisor of the Department of Education. Mead says it helped to be able to travel the state and meet with people.

To have a chance in small groups, one and one, and some large groups, take questions and have people hear firsthand from me. I thought that was extremely helpful.”

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News
12:21 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Enzi, Hardy To Face Off In General Election

Credit Senator Mike Enzi (R)

After winning Tuesday's primary, incumbent Republican US Senator Mike Enzi will face off against Democrat Charlie Hardy in the November general election.

The Republican race was once expected to be tight, with Enzi facing a challenge from Liz Cheney, but Enzi won in a landslide after Cheney dropped out earlier this year. His four lesser-known challengers collectively took less than 20 percent of the vote. Going into the general election, Enzi says he won't be campaigning against Democrat Charlie Hardy, but instead promoting his record.

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News
11:42 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Incumbent Mark Gordon Easily Wins State Treasurer Nomination

Credit via Pinedale Online

Incumbent Mark Gordon clinched the Republican nomination for Wyoming State Treasurer in yesterday’s primary by a wide margin. He beat out challenger Ron Redo.

Gordon was appointed Wyoming’s State Treasurer in 2012 after the death of former Treasurer Joe Meyer. Gordon says for the last two years he was obligated to carry out the promises of his predecessor.

“But now that, you know, I have a reasonably good chance of proceeding on into office it really feels a lot more like me and I’m more on the line,” said Gordon. “And that’s a good thing, I like that challenge.

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News
11:36 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Murray Wins GOP Secretary Of State Nomination In Close Race

Credit Ed Murray for Wyoming (campaign)

Last night Ed Murray emerged with the GOP nomination for Secretary of State after running a close race against Ed Buchanan.

Buchanan was in the lead from when the polls closed at 7pm until almost 11, when results from Laramie County, the state’s largest, tipped the race decisively towards Ed Murray.

“I felt it was going to be a close race from the get go,” said Murray from Cheyenne. “We worked hard every day in anticipation that it would be close.

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News
10:41 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Lummis Secures Party Nomination For US House

Representative Cynthia Lummis (R)

Incumbent US Representative Cynthia Lummis easily secured her party’s nomination in Tuesday's primary election, and likely also a fourth term in the House. The AP reports her general election challenger, Democrat Richard Grayson, has not been campaigning.

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Elections
8:05 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

2014 Primary Election Results: Key Races

This post will be updated as results become available. Last updated: August 20 12:27 AM.   U.S. Senate 2014 Dem - Primary     482 of 482 precincts - 100 percent
     x-Charlie Hardy 7,193 - 48 percent
     Rex Wilde 3,010 - 20 percent
     Al Hamburg 2,989 - 20 percent
     William Bryk 1,670 - 11 percent

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Elections
10:47 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Turnout Could Make The Governor Sweat

Due to the summer, turnout may not be high during today’s primary election. That will mean that fewer people will decide some key races. 

One of the hotly contested races involves Governor Matt Mead and challengers Taylor Haynes and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill. University of Wyoming Political Scientist Jim King said the governor needs his supporters to vote.

“The concern I would think in the Mead camp right now would be making sure that people don’t just assume that everything is fine and find something else to do that day.”

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News
10:01 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Key Races To Be Decided In Primaries

Caroline Ballard talks to Public Radio News Director Bob Beck to provide some insights on Wyoming's primary elections.

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News
2:29 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Deadline Extended For Public To Weigh In On Education Governance

The Legislature’s Joint Education Committee has extended the deadline for public input in its study of education governance in Wyoming after receiving almost 1,300 responses.

Under direction from the Legislature’s Management Council, the Committee hired a consulting group in June to survey Wyomingites on what changes should be made to how the state runs its public schools. The firm has interviewed stakeholders and solicited input from the public with an online survey.

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News
10:45 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Investigators Continue To Search For Clues Into Opal Explosion

The Williams Opal natural gas plant exploded in April.
Credit Rachel Anderson

State investigators have ruled out inadequate maintenance as the cause of an explosion at a natural gas plant in southwestern Wyoming in April, but are still looking into what did happen. The explosion at the Williams Company gas plant forced evacuation of the nearby town of Opal.

John Ysebart heads up Wyoming’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health. He says the state sent two investigators to look into the incident, and so did the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. Ysebart says that agency doesn’t normally get involved.

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Open Spaces
5:16 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

August 15th, 2014

In Jackson, Seasonal Workers Struggle To Find Affordable Housing

The town of Jackson has long struggled to find enough affordable housing for its seasonal workers. Right now, the average rental property there is going for 2800 dollars a month.  But lately, the popularity of house sharing websites have transformed the housing problem into a housing crisis. And that’s got local business owners looking in new places for their for seasonal hires.

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Open Spaces
5:04 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

In Jackson, Seasonal Workers Struggle To Find Affordable Housing

Christen Johnson and the van she's living out of a few miles outside Jackson, Wyoming.
Miles Bryan

The town of Jackson has long struggled to find enough affordable housing for its seasonal workers. Right now, the average rental property there is going for 2800 dollars a month. But lately, the popularity of house sharing websites have transformed the housing problem into a housing crisis. And that’s got local business owners looking in new places for their for seasonal hires.

It's midmorning at a campsite just outside of Jackson and Christen Johnson is setting up her camp stove for a cup of coffee before work--”it came with the van,” she tells me.

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Open Spaces
4:56 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Low Turnout Could Be A Concern For Governor Mead

Dr. Jim King

Tuesday is Wyoming’s primary election and while it’s not that unusual for incumbent legislative candidates to have contested races, this year several top elected officials will also have to fend off challengers.

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Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Wyoming Looks To Exports For Energy Markets

Energy reporter Stephanie Joyce talks with Speaker of the House, Tom Lubnau, Shawn Reese, head of the Wyoming Business Council, and Roger Coupal who’s an economist at the University of Wyoming during the forum on coal and foreign exports.
Credit Leigh Paterson

In the last few years, the United States has undergone a radical transformation, from energy importer to energy exporter. Liquified natural gas terminals that were built to process natural gas from abroad are being converted for export. The first tanker full of unrefined US crude oil to leave our shores in decade set sail from Texas late last month. Coal companies are increasingly relying on foreign markets to pad their balance sheets. Wyoming Public Radio held a forum recently to discuss how increased foreign exports could affect the state.

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Open Spaces
4:12 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Wyoming Educators Look To Meet Demand For STEM Jobs

Ray DeStefano inspects a Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot at an info session on FIRST robotics competitions at WDE’s STEM Education Conference in Laramie.
Aaron Schrank

As Wyoming teachers gear up for another school year, there’s more emphasis than ever on improving so-called STEM education in the state. STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank reports, the number of jobs in these fields is rapidly rising in Wyoming, and the state’s education leaders are working together to prepare.

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Open Spaces
3:59 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

UW Aims To Preserve ‘Then’ And ‘Now’ With New Historic Preservation Plan

Old Main building at the University of Wyoming.
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

Historic sandstone buildings, granite boulders, giant spruce trees: step onto the University of Wyoming campus, and you know where you are. As new construction projects begin, the University wants to make sure the designs adhere to its iconic image. To that end, the University is working with a team of architectural consultants to come up with guidelines for how to preserve its historic character. 

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Open Spaces
3:56 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Yellowstone Super Volcano Even Bigger Than Previously Thought

Dr. Robert Smith.
Credit National Park Service

Millions of people visit Yellowstone each year to see its geysers, fumaroles, hot springs, and mud pots. It's the largest concentration of thermal features in the world. The park sits on top of the world’s largest active volcano. Called the Super Volcano. Its most recent eruption was more than 600,000 years ago. All that remains is the top, or caldera.

When you come into the Park they’ll give you a map and it has an overlay of the caldera. It’s huge.

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Open Spaces
3:18 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Steven Horn Explores Eugenics Movement In New Novel

Wyoming author Steven Horn’s new novel The Pumpkin Eater is creating quite a stir in the world of brainy mystery literature. It recently won the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Gold Award in Mystery and Suspense. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards sat down with Horn to find out what it was about his plotline that’s keeping readers on the edge of their seat.

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Open Spaces
3:03 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

New Exhibit Presents Mash-up Of Work By 38 Wyoming Artists

One piece created by two artists: “Mandel Station”; oil paint, wood panel, steel, reclaimed truck and tractor sheet metal; 11 ½” x 11 ½”; 2014; J.B. Bond and Linda Lilligraven.
Credit Wyoming Art Party

The Wyoming Art Party is a new arts organization. No, we won’t be seeing Art Party candidates on the November ballot; think party, as in fun and festivities. The Wyoming Art Party’s inaugural event opens with a reception Friday, August 22 at a temporary gallery in Laramie. It’s a collaborative exhibit called ‘A Portrait of Wyoming.’ Laramie artists June Glasson and Meg Thompson are the founders of the Wyoming Art Party. They stopped by to explain the project to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

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News
2:31 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Wild West Renactors Claim They Were Duped In Political Ad

Credit cloudzilla via FLICKR

Two men who appeared in a political advertisement say they were tricked into attacking candidates for Casper City Council.

Cecil Harris and Wilbur Yankey are part of the Bessemer Vigilance Committee, a Casper-area group that dresses in Old West clothing and stages mocks shootouts with 19th century firearms.

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News
11:24 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Fair Highlights STEM Careers For Girls

Credit Courtesy Wyoming Council for Women's Issues

Wyoming’s Council for Women’s Issues will host its ninth annual career fair next month.

Open to high school girls in 9th and 10th grade, the Go WEST! fair will highlight careers in science, technology, engineering and math – fields largely dominated by men. According to the national science foundation, just 18.6 percent of US undergraduate engineering students were female in 2011.

Carma Corra, chairperson of Wyoming’s Council for Women’s Issues, says knowing the options is the first step to getting girls interested in studying science and math.

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News
11:06 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Wyoming Ranked Most Expensive State To Own A Car

Credit Wikipedia Commons

A new survey by Bankrate.com ranks Wyoming as the most expensive state in which to own a car. The survey calculated the cost of gasoline, insurance, and repairs to come up with the rankings.

According to the survey, Wyomingites typically spend about $2700 a year on expenses related to their car, with about $1600 of that going to gas – the most of any state. The wide distances between communities in Wyoming, as well as the many opportunities for hiking, camping, and activities outside city limits increases gas consumption.

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