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News
7:12 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Wyoming Lottery First Day Sales Strong

Credit WyoLotto

The first Powerball and MegaMillions tickets were sold in the state Sunday. The Wyoming Lottery Corporation – or WyoLotto - reported nearly $200,000 in sales on its opening day. Natrona County sold the most tickets of any Wyoming county, taking in about $36,000.

Jon Clontz is the CEO of the Lottery Corporation. He said the day’s sales exceeded his expectations.

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News
5:52 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Cheyenne Population Growth Forces Some Students Out Of Their Neighborhood Schools

School bus.
Credit Via Tsuji via Flickr Creative Commons

Tuesday was the first day of school for students in Wyoming’s largest school district—Laramie County School District One. But rapid population growth in parts of Cheyenne means some students can’t attend the schools in their neighborhoods. 

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News
5:02 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Group Hopes To Bring Attention To Cancer

University of Wyoming Athletics, the American Cancer Society, Wyoming Community Foundation, and Cameco resources kicked off the Cameco Teams for Dreams partnership that is attempting to fight cancer through prevention.   

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Sports
4:54 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Kirkegaard Is Ready To Lead The Pokes

When the Wyoming Cowboys football team plays Saturday, the Pokes will have a new starting quarterback. While Colby Kirkegaard has played in several games…it will be a new experience for him to be start the season as the number one quarterback.   

Coaches say that Kirkegaard has played with a lot of poise during fall camp and they hope that continues. While he is excited about being the starter, Kirkegaard says he doesn’t feel any pressure, because it will be a team effort.

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News
4:17 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Checkerboard Horse Roundup Delayed By Lawsuit

A court decision has sided with a wild horse advocacy group, delaying a wild horse roundup that was scheduled to take place last week in an area near Rock Spring’s known as “The Checkerboard.”  

In 2013, a state court decision ordered all horses—as many as 950—to be rounded up from the patchwork of private and public property adjacent to Adobe Town in the Red Desert after a judge ruled that private landowners had a right to request the horses be removed from their property.

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Behind The Scenes
3:28 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Sheridan Meet-And-Greet

Christina Kuzmych and Micah Schweizer with Ace Young at Java Moon in Sheridan.

The Meet-and-Greet is a WPR tradition that takes the General Manger out of the office and into Wyoming’s cities and towns to meet with listeners and hear their thoughts. Often other WPR staff members traveling through the state on assignments join in the fun and add to the conversation.

Topic of the Week
10:38 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Should police departments acquire and adapt surplus military vehicles and equipment for use at home?

Should police departments acquire and adapt surplus military vehicles and equipment for use at home?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

By contributing your comment, you consent to the possibility of having it read on the air.

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Wyoming Stories
9:09 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Stem Cell Transplant Transforms A Life

Val Burgess

Val and Jerry Burgess are residents of Sheridan. In this story, Val asks her husband to reflect on his experience receiving a stem cell transplant.

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Open Spaces
5:23 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Landowners Connect To Negotiate With Pipeline Companies

Credit Hiland Crude, LLC.

There’s a huge, mostly invisible web of pipelines crisscrossing the country that make it possible for our stoves to light and our cars to turn on. Those pipelines run from oil and gas producing regions to refineries and processing plants, crossing miles of private property along the way. The people whose land they cross don’t often benefit, but a new strategy may help.

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Open Spaces
5:08 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Why Is It So Hard To Study The Public Health Effects Of Oil And Gas Development?

Fracking the Bakken Shale Formation in North Dakota.
Credit Joshua Doubek, Wikimedia Commons

The current oil and gas boom, fueled by a technique called hydraulic fracturing, has opened massive shale gas and oil formations in states like Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania.

But unlike past booms, this time drilling is bumping right up against communities. With oil and gas development now at their doorsteps, people are worried about the health impacts.

But the industry has taken off so quickly that scientific research about those impacts - which is timely, costly, and complex - is playing catch up.

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Open Spaces
5:00 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

First-Aid Approach Tackles Mental Health Stigmas

Citizens put together a puzzle to test how well they remember the steps to offering mental health first aid.
Credit Rebecca Huntington

Mental health. It's a topic that can be hard to talk about. So the National Council for Behavioral Health has taken a cue from successful CPR and first aid programs and designed a similar training to help everyday citizens know how to respond in a mental health crisis.

A half dozen Jackson community members are gathered in a classroom in the basement of St. John's Medical Center. Their instructor, Adam Williamson, has handed out poster-sized paper and markers and asked them to draw a picture of anxiety.

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Open Spaces
4:52 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Ukrainian Ballerina Brings Message Of Peace

Olga Aru demonstrates a stretch during a masterclass in Casper.
Caroline Ballard

For the last two weeks, Moscow Ballet soloist Olga Aru has been teaching ballet master classes at studios in Gillette and Casper. She now lives in Italy, but Aru was born in Donetsk, Ukraine – a disputed part of the country that has seen intense fighting. Her international touring has brought her close to conflict, as well. She was performing in Cairo when the 2011 Egyptian Revolution erupted. She sat down with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about her experiences.

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Open Spaces
4:40 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Revamped Cowboys Look To Improve

Wyoming Cowboys during football practice.
Credit Bob Beck

The Wyoming Cowboys football season fell apart last year. The Cowboys finished with five wins and seven losses, but lost five of their last six games. After the season ended the Cowboys also lost their Coach, and watched their starting quarterback AND his backup leave the team. New Coach Craig Bohl had a lot of success coaching at North Dakota State where he won three National Championships in a division below Wyoming. The question is whether he and his coaching staff can turn things around in Laramie. 

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Open Spaces
4:20 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Holocaust Survivor To Speak In Jackson

Eva Schloss

On August 28th Eva Schloss who is the step sister and childhood friend of Anne Frank will give a talk about her time in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. She will appear at the Center for the Arts in Jackson at 7 p.m. at an event hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center of Wyoming.  She tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck about how she met Anne Frank.

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News
4:09 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Powder River Basin Coal Producers To Increase Exports To Asia

View of Port Metro Vancouver from Canada Place, Vancouver BC Canada.
Credit Totororo.roro via Flickr Creative Commons

The Port of Vancouver approved plans Thursday to build a nearly $14 million-dollar terminal to ship coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to Asian markets.

The decision came just days after state regulators in Oregon rejected a proposal for such a terminal amid opposition from fisherman and environmentalists.

Coal producers in the Powder River Basin have been looking to sell more coal to Asia, but these ambitions have been restricted by limited port capacity on the West Coast.

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Open Spaces
4:05 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

In Cheyenne, Police Adapt Surplus Military Vehicles For Use At Home

Cheyenne SWAT members setting up cones for driver's training.
Miles Bryan

One of the most riveting images that has emerged out of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri is of civilian police officers using military vehicles for crowd control. For years, the Department of Defense has distributed equipment and vehicles to law enforcement offices all across the country, including some in Wyoming. I rode along with the Cheyenne SWAT team as they trained with their new military vehicle.

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Open Spaces
4:03 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Conservation Program Brings Urban Teens to Heart Mountain

Alisa Walton, Alicia Griffin and Angel Carter.
Melodie Edwards

This summer, a Nature Conservancy Program called LEAF offered urban high schoolers the chance to live and work in the shadow of Heart Mountain north of Cody. The hope is to get the kids to love Wyoming so much they’ll come back for its colleges and its jobs in conservation. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards has more.

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Open Spaces
3:25 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Saints And Sinners: Artist Puts Halos On Drug Dealers In "Street Bible"

"Freeway Rick Ross"; silkscreen with gold leaf; 22 x 30; 2012
Aaron Wallis

It was the Protestant reformer Martin Luther who proposed that we are simultaneously saints and sinners. Jackson artist Aaron Wallis is illustrating the idea by placing drug dealers and gang leaders in the context of Christian iconography: putting halos around criminals' heads. The newest collection of illuminated manuscript prints in his Street Bible series opens August 29th at the Rose and the Pink Garter Theatre in Jackson.

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News
12:47 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Wyoming Unemployment Rises

Wyoming’s unemployment rate rose 0.4 percent in July. It’s a statistically significant jump, but Tom Gallagher, with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, said this rise in unemployment could actually indicate positive growth for the economy, and may not mean people are losing their jobs.

People who have stopped actively looking for work are not counted in unemployment statistics. Gallagher said a spike in unemployment rates could mean those workers have started up their job searches again.

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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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