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News
8:44 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Former Cheyenne Missile Control Facility Could Become Historic Site

Credit Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

Wyoming’s Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife, and Cultural Resources committee recently voted to sponsor a bill that would transform a former missile alert facility near Cheyenne into a museum and historical site. The bill would provide one-time funding to establish the site’s exhibits, equipment, and other needs, as well as allocate yearly operational funds.

State Parks Director Milward Simpson says while the bill sponsorship is a step forward, it may still be a long road to a functional attraction.

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News
6:28 am
Thu October 30, 2014

As Flu Season Approaches Officials Call For Vaccinations

Credit Flickr user USACE Europe District / Flickr - Creative Commons

The Ebola virus may be dominating the headlines and conversations about public health, but Wyoming Public Health officials are trying to educate residents about the threat of another, potentially more dangerous virus: the flu.

Reggie McClinton, with the Wyoming Department of Health, says contracting the flu is a more immediate threat to Wyomingites.

"Influenza also can lead to death in individuals and it can be a severe illness in certain populations so we are receiving reports of cases already from all across the state," he says.

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News
1:06 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Wyoming Remains First In Tax Friendliness

Wyoming continues to rank number one in the nation in taxes for business. That’s from a report released by the Tax Foundation on Tuesday. The state’s lack of corporate and individual income tax has kept in in first place since 2012.

Wyoming Director Tony Gagliardi is with the National Federation of Independent Business’. He says the state deserves only a cautious congratulation since some of Wyoming’s taxes are going up. For instance, fuel taxes have increased and that could hurt farmers and hauling companies.

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News
5:48 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Wyoming Education Association's PAC Pulls Balow Endorsement

Jillian Balow

A political action committee representing Wyoming teachers announced Monday it has pulled its endorsement of Jillian Balow the Republican candidate for Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Wyoming Education Association’s Political Action Committee for Education—known as WEA-PACE—endorsed both Balow and her Democratic opponent Mike Ceballos before this year’s primaries.

But Balow’s rhetoric about organized labor in a recent fundraising letter caused concern among the group of educators. In the letter, Balow criticized her opponent for receiving union support.  

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Arts
4:51 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

UW Symphony Concert Features Three Soloists

UW Symphony Orchestra Music Director Michael Griffith
Credit uwyo.edu

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra performs its second concert of the season this week. Music Director Michael Griffith says the concert challenges some common assumptions about classical music. “We’re starting the concert with a Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp, which is really unusual. You don’t think of harp as a soloist and you certainly don’t think of harp and a flute together as dual soloists.”

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News
4:07 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Wyoming Gas Prices Higher Than National Average

Gas prices around the country have been falling in recent weeks. That's true for Wyoming as well -- but the state hasn't seen quite as big a drop as other places. Gas prices in Wyoming are averaging $3.27 a gallon right now according to analysis from gasbuddy.com. That's $.25 higher than the national average. Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan says that shouldn’t be surprising.

“Gas stations in Wyoming tend to be more rural. They may not have gasoline volumes like other areas. And the changes because of that lag the national average.”

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News
3:01 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

New Legislation Pending For State Parks

Credit Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

A bill proposed in the Wyoming House of Representatives would redirect funds received from state park permits into a special revenue account. The purpose of the account would be to move a quarter of the funds back into general maintenance of Wyoming State Parks. This would give the state’s parks more control over how that money is spent. Right now roughly $500,000 goes into the general fund for construction projects.

Domenic Bravo is the State Parks administrator and says choosing maintenance over new construction projects can be a challenging ordeal.

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Politics
1:05 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

New Election Tool Helps Voters Evaluate Judges

Credit Kim Via Flickr

The Wyoming League of Women Voters is now providing survey results that will help voters decide about whether to retain judges when they go to the polls next Tuesday.

The problem in the past has been that judges who are up for retention aren’t allowed to campaign like other elected officials.

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Natural Resources & Energy
12:06 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

EPA Fines Cheyenne Refinery $153,000

Holly Frontier refinery in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Credit Holly Frontier

The Environmental Protection Agency has fined a Cheyenne refinery $153,000 for allegedly violating several federal regulations. The EPA alleges that Frontier Refining wasn’t properly training its employees in safety practices and that it misreported or didn’t report the presence of certain toxic chemicals on-site. David Cobb works with the EPA’s enforcement office. He says that’s important information.

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Wyoming Stories
8:51 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Jackson Attorney Shares Exploits From Wyoming To India

Ed Bushnell
Credit Rebecca Huntington

Die-hard skier Ed Bushnell invented his own helmet-mounted video camera long before the device became de rigueur for skiers. He recalls filming clients with his contraption while working for a photo concession at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. He describes how clients developed “Kodak courage” when they hired him. Bushnell later became a Wyoming private eye and shares a funny incident about how being a PI isn’t quite how it’s portrayed on TV. Bushnell also shares a story about performing an impromptu musical concert in India while traveling with the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole.

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Politics
6:52 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Wyoming's Congressional Delegation Will Go To Congress To Get Wolves Delisted

Wyoming’s Congressional Delegation is drafting legislation that would remove wolves from the endangered species list in the state. 

Montana and Idaho had their wolves de-listed via federal legislation and U.S. Senator Mike Enzi says the delegation is gathering support for its own bill. The proposed legislation would put Wyoming’s wolf management plan into law. That plan allows wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state. 

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Wyoming Stories
9:10 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Dude Ranching In The Shadow Of The Tetons

Roy Chambers
Credit Rebecca Huntington

Roy Chambers was born to Ida and Andy Chambers in 1924 in a log cabin still standing on Mormon Row in the shadow of the Tetons in what’s now Grand Teton National Park. Roy worked hard on the family’s homestead cattle ranch. He met his wife, Becky, a nurse at St. John’s Hospital, and they married in 1956. Two years later, they bought the Flying V Ranch (today known as the Gros Ventre River Ranch) and went into the dude ranching business. Roy talks about the joys of running a guest ranch with Rob Cheek, who first came to Jackson Hole as teen-age “dude,” or tourist. 

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News
7:55 pm
Sat October 25, 2014

Former Legislator Wiederspahn, Husband of Rep. Lummis, Dies At 65

Rep. Cynthia Lummis
Credit Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Alvin Wiederspahn, a former Wyoming state legislator and the husband of U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, has died at age 65.

Wiederspahn-Radomsky Chapel of the Chimes funeral director Amy Peterson confirmed Wiederspahn's death and says arrangements are being handled by the funeral home his parents started.

She says she does not know how Wiederspahn died.

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Open Spaces
5:39 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Gay People Can Get Legally Married In Wyoming. They Can Also be Legally Fired

Linda Mahaffey and Teresa Bingham got their marriage license.
Credit Miles Bryan

Same sex marriage is now legal in Wyoming, which means same sex couples now have access to all the legal rights that come with marriage. Even so, some disparities remain. For one, Wyoming lacks any legal protection for LGBT people in employment. That means gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Cowboy State may be able to be legally married, but they may also be legally fired.

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Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Will A Republican Senate Help Wyoming Energy Companies? Maybe

What would the nation’s energy policy look like if Republicans capture the Senate this November? Matt Laslo caught up with Wyoming lawmakers and energy analysts to find out the potential impact on the state’s energy sector if the GOP gains control of the upper chamber.

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Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

INSIDE ENERGY: The Campaign Trail: Climate Change Science In The Classroom

Natalia Macker, candidate for Wyoming's State House, door-knocks with her family near their home in Hoback Junction.
Credit Leigh Paterson

Climate change is a controversial topic in this election cycle, especially when it comes to teaching it in school.  So far only 12 states have adopted a new set of science education standards that include the human impacts on global warming  - and Wyoming is not one of them.

Natalia Macker, who is running to represent District 22 in the Wyoming State House, said something shocking during our recent interview:

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Open Spaces
5:13 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Cheyenne Has High Hopes For The West Edge Plan

Building on the west edge of Cheyenne.
Credit City of Cheyenne

The western edge of Cheyenne’s downtown features older, run down, and in some cases abandoned buildings. The rest of the historic downtown features a mix of remodeled older buildings and some that could use an upgrade. To address all of this Cheyenne has embarked on what’s called the West Edge plan.

Cheyenne Planning Services Director Matt Ashby said the city has an effort that could eventually lead to modernizing the downtown and to make the capitol city a player on the Front Range. 

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Natural Resources & Energy
5:05 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Wyoming Coal Mines Hiring Appalachian Workers

Coal companies in the Powder River Basin are hiring, and some of those workers will likely come from Central Appalachia.

Companies there have been laying off miners and shuttering operations in recent years. But in Wyoming, companies like Cloud Peak Energy are hiring.

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Open Spaces
5:01 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Fort Washakie Stories Part I: A School In Transition

Isaac takes online math class through Edgenuity.
Aaron Schrank

Fort Washakie High School on the Wind River Indian Reservation was a charter high school until a few years ago. Now it’s a public school. Most of its classes used to be online. Now, it’s building a brick-and-mortar building for 150 students.

For now, around 50 kids and a dozen teachers make do in makeshift classrooms. The school’s last reported graduation rate was just 7 percent, but as it morphs into a more traditional high school, the current crop of students has high hopes for the future.

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Open Spaces
4:46 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Interior Secretary Signs Sage Grouse Conservation Agreements With Wyoming Ranchers

Secretary Jewell and Rancher Brad Bousman visit a solar pump that replaced one of Bousman's windmills.
Credit Melodie Edwards

Last week, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was in Pinedale, taking part in a ceremony to sign up Wyoming ranchers to help protect sage grouse. These conservation agreements are called Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances or CCAA’s. They’re supposed to protect the birds on private lands, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports, some wildlife advocates question whether the program really has the teeth to make a difference.

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Natural Resources & Energy
4:42 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Game Bird Farm Program Under Review

Credit Wyoming Game and Fish

The Wyoming Game and Fish will be reaching out for public input about the future of the state’s Game Bird Farm Program. It will hold public meetings until November 18th and an online survey until the 20th. The program stocks several hunting areas across the state and is now under review to gauge hunter’s willingness to help fund the program.

Wyoming Game and Fish Spokesman Robin Kepple Game and Fish says the results from meetings and survey are crucial to the future of the program.

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News
4:25 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Wyoming Ranks #1 In Nation For Gun Deaths

Credit Newsday.com

Wyoming ranks number one in the nation in gun-related deaths. That’s according to a new report from the Violence Policy Center. While the national average is just over ten deaths per 100,000 people, Wyoming has more than twice that beating out states like Louisiana, Alaska and Mississippi. The report shows that most western nations like the United Kingdom have rates of less than one death 100,000 people.

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Open Spaces
4:19 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Enzi Hopes To Lead Efforts To Reform The Affordable Care Act

Credit Senator Mike Enzi (R)

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi is facing Charlie Hardy in the upcoming General Election.  In his time in office Senator Enzi has been a key player on issues such as No Child Left Behind and the Affordable Care Act. We begin our conversation by discussing the ACA.

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Open Spaces
3:46 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

INSIDE ENERGY: Climbing The Wind Energy Job Ladder

The wind energy training lab at Laramie County Community College has a variety of equipment, including these electrical trainers.
Credit Stephanie Joyce

Wind power is a growing part of the energy mix in the United States. And along with that growth, there are new job opportunities for people to install and repair the 30-story-tall wind turbines. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, a unique skill set is required -- the fearlessness of a pro rock climber along with the know-how of a skilled mechanic.

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Open Spaces
3:21 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Mormon Teens Re-Enact Handcart Disaster To Bring History To Life

Boys reenact the Sweetwater Rescue by carrying girls across the Sweetwater River at Martin’s Cove, Wyoming.
Credit Micah Schweizer

Nearly 150 years ago, Mormon pioneers set out from the Midwest, bound for Salt Lake City. They walked, pulling their belongings in wooden handcarts. Two groups got a late start and were stranded in Wyoming by a devastating October blizzard. And for the past 20 years, thousands of Mormon teenagers have been returning to that site to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.

When the blizzard struck on October 19th, 1856, the lagging handcart companies were still weeks from Salt Lake City. More than 200 people died of exhaustion, hunger, and cold.

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Natural Resources & Energy
1:42 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Wyoming Company Pioneers Tech To Cut Cost of Shale Drilling

A Laramie company is testing a device that could help cut the cost of producing shale oil. WellDog announced this month that it’s doing field testing of what’s called a “Raman spectrometer.” The device can help pinpoint oil and gas reservoirs thousands of feet underground. WellDog CEO John Pope says right now, hydraulic fracturing or fracking doesn’t work thirty to fifty percent of the time, but that this technology could dramatically improve that.

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Wyoming Stories
9:13 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Wyoming Stories: From Broadway To Buffalo Valley

Credit Ryan Janek Wolowski via Flickr

Now residents of Buffalo Valley on the border of Grand Teton National Park, BJ and Marius Hanford danced on Broadway in New York City for many years before moving West. Marius recalls what it was like to go from being a military man to learning ballet. The couple shares stories of their love of dance and of one another.

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Politics
7:22 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

CREG Unveils Its Revenue Projections

Wyoming’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group says there is good news and bad news with this year’s revenue forecast.  General fund revenue is forecast to increase by over 37 million dollars. CREG Co-Chairman Dan Noble says the forecast looks good for sales and use tax and other things.

“Mineral valuations for oil are excellent, we are actually projecting around a 14 and a half percent increase in oil. Gas is continuing to climb as it relates to production, pricing is pretty stable. Coal, we are down from 400-million tons to 380-million tons.”

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