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5:00 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Casper The Friendly City?: Resident Input Fuels Rebranding Effort

Casper Mountain.
Credit Josh Hallett via Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Casper is looking to upgrade its image and raise its profile as a tourist destination. And it’s taking special care to make sure the people of Casper are behind the city’s new brand. 

Last year, the city hired Casper-based firm AdBay to create a re-branding campaign for $80,000. Since then, they’ve been in research mode. Creative Director Shawk Houck says asking Casperites what they think gives their city personality has been key to the process.

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Business
4:01 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Retailers Announced For Wyoming Lottery

Credit WyoLotto

WyoLotto released its list of the approved retailers on Tuesday. Starting August 24th, people won’t have to travel across state lines to buy tickets. Convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, bars and restaurants across the state will sell Powerball and MegaMillions Tickets, making it the 44th state to do so.

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News
3:07 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Casper, WY To Host Total Solar Eclipse Event In 2017

The city of Casper will become the national headquarters for a rare total solar eclipse in the summer of 2017. The event is expected to temporarily double the city’s population. That’s because Casper will be in the middle of the path of the moon’s shadow, which will enter the US in Oregon, cut a swath across the width the country, exiting in South Carolina.

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News
2:34 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Data Center Expansion Opens In Cheyenne

Credit Sean Ellis via Flickr

A Data Center celebrated the grand opening of its massive expansion Wednesday in Cheyenne.

Green House spokesperson Wendy Fox says Wyoming’s cool climate allows the data center to regulate its temperature only using the outside air.

Green House spokesperson Wendy Fox says Wyoming’s cool climate makes it uniquely suited to the data center’s needs.

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Arts
6:05 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Laramie Theatre Company Turns To Crowdfunding For New Production

Anne Mason

Laramie-based Relative Theatrics is raising money for a new production through the crowdfunding website IndieGoGo. Anne Mason is the founder and producer of Relative Theatrics. She tells Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard that many people don't realize the hidden costs that figure into a community theater's budget.

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News
6:02 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Effort To Curb Pinedale Ozone Moves Forward

Credit Dustin Bleizeffer/WyoFile

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has proposed new rules for controlling emissions from oil and gas operations in the Upper Green River Basin, and they're getting push-back from all sides.

The area around Pinedale is out of compliance with federal air quality standards for ozone, a harmful pollutant, because of nearby gas fields. Half a dozen groups have submitted written comments on the proposed rules for cutting emissions from existing oil and gas sites.

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News
2:59 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Debit Card Scammers Target Wyoming

Credit Money Blog News via Flickr

Riverton, Casper, and Lander have all seen a wave of prepaid debit card scams in the last few days.

Green Dot Visa cards are debit cards that can be loaded with cash at a convenience store.

Riverton Police Captain Eric Murphy says citizens have been asked to use Green Dot cards to send money to scammers pretending to be representatives of big cash prizes like Publishers Clearing House, or the IRS.

“One local lady here in town had paid $28,000 worth of Green Dot cards to these people.”

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Business
1:43 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Forum Brings Federal Labs And Western Businesses Together

Credit Courtesy: WBT Open Innovation Marketplace

An event that connects businesses with researchers from federal labs and Universities is coming to Denver for the first time next month. The one-day event, called WBT's Open Innovation Forum, aims to show small to mid-size companies and advanced manufacturers in the West how to partner with federal labs.

Amanda Radovic, the CEO of WBT's Innovation Marketplace, said these partnerships can lead to scientific innovation.  

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Arts
1:24 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

A Play Date With Art

"Into the Arts: A Personal Journey" shares stories of adults in Jackson Hole who are discovering, rediscovering or furthering their artistic talents. In this vignette, Alex and Kay schedule encaustic painting "play dates."

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News
11:34 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Hundreds Pack EPA Hearings On Proposed Carbon Rules

About 400 people are expected to provide feedback on the EPA's proposed carbon rules this week in Denver alone.
Credit Dan Boyce

Mark Fix has been ranching outside of Miles City, Montana since the mid-1980s, raising cattle, alfalfa and grain on his 9,700 acre plot of land. But severe weather events have been stacking up in recent years: a tornado tore through his barn, flooding stranded his cows. It’s impacting his bottom line, and he’s convinced it’s from human-caused climate change.

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Arts
10:11 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Wyoming Author Wins Prestigious PEN Literary Award

Nina McConigley

A Wyoming author is among this year’s winners of the prestigious PEN Literary Awards, announced this morning in New York.

Nina McConigley is a lecturer in the University of Wyoming’s English Department. Her collection of short stories, ‘Cowboys and East Indians,’ is one of two winners of the PEN Open Book Award. The $5,000 award is for a book-length work by an author of color. McConigley’s father is Irish; her mother is from India. 'Cowboys and East Indians' draws on her multicultural upbringing in Wyoming.

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News
10:04 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Western Wyoming's Water Basins Are Healthy

Credit CocoaBiscuit via flickr

Western Wyoming’s Snake and Salt River Basins are in good shape, according to a new report by the Wyoming State Geological Survey.

Karl Taboga is a hydrologist with the agency. He says the basins’ high rainfall means they should be able to provide water for decades to come.

“Most semi-arid basins in Wyoming receive anywhere from 11 to 15 inches of average annual precipitation and the Snake and Salt river basins receive about 33 inches”

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News
8:22 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Johnson County Schools Recognized For Teacher Training

Johnson County Library in Buffalo, Wyoming
Credit Simon Gibson via Flickr Creative Commons

A Laramie-based education foundation that focuses on professional development for teachers has recognized Johnson County School District #1 for the number of teaching staff there who have earned National Board Certification.

National Board Certification is a voluntary and rigorous assessment program to develop and recognize accomplished teachers. The John P. Ellbogen Foundation awards Wyoming schools where at least 20 percent of staff earn the certifications. Johnson County One is the first district in Wyoming to achieve that in each one of its five schools.

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Behind The Scenes
3:48 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn Stops By Wyoming Public Media

Jarl Mohn new CEO at NPR paid a visit to Wyoming Public Radio in Laramie July 27th. Many staff members came in to meet NPR's new chief.
Diana Denison

When Jarl Mohn, NPR’s new CEO, first mentioned that he planned to make a short trip across the U.S in a single-engine plane, dropping in on stations along the way, Wyoming Public Radio got on the list. We were warned that if selected, we would have to be ready immediately, and we would have to flexible just in case weather and flight logistics got in the way. In short, the plan needed to be quick, simple, and adjustable.  No disappointment if it didn’t happen!

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News
10:48 am
Mon July 28, 2014

NPR CEO Is Optimistic About The Future

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn is visiting NPR member stations across the country and recently stopped by Wyoming Public Media. Mohn took over his position July first. He has worked in commercial broadcasting in both radio and television and has experience with MTV, the E television network, and even XM. He tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck how that background will help him guide NPR.

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News
10:37 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Car Camping May Be Allowed In Jackson

Car camping for one night might soon be legal within Jackson Hole, according to proposed changes to the city’s camping ordinance.

The municipal camping rules are designed to keep public areas clear and campers safe. The original law, however, does not offer any flexibility to motorists who want to stay in their vehicle for a night.

Councilman Jim Stanford says that the city needs this flexibility, however, to accommodate a growing seasonal workforce coupled with a housing shortage in Jackson Hole.  

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News
10:30 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Scientists To Excavate Wyoming Cave Full Of Prehistoric Fossils

Giant Mammoth. Morrill Hall, University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
Credit B. Smith via Flickr Creative Commons

For the first time in decades, scientists are excavating fossils from an 80-foot-deep cave in North Central Wyoming.

The cave is called “Natural Trap Cave,” because it’s become the final resting place for countless animals in past centuries—including many now-extinct ones like mammoths, short-faced bears, and American lions.

Julie Meachen is a paleontologist at Des Moines University. She’ll rappel into the cave with a team of 15 others.

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News
10:27 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Conservationist Expresses Concern Over Sage Grouse Protections

The Western Energy Alliance released a report this week on sage grouse protection measures used by the oil and gas industry. Though the report claims that the industry is doing enough to protect grouse, a local conservationist disagrees.

Erik Molvar is a biologist and campaign director with WildEarth Guardians. He says that the Bureau of Land Management’s own research disputes the WEA findings.

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News
4:11 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Native Bacteria Used To Clean-Up Uranium Mines

A bacteria found naturally in the soil around uranium deposits may become a powerful tool in cleaning up old mine sites. A group of University of Wyoming scientists are collaborating with Cameco, a uranium mining company in Converse County. They’re experimenting with the bacteria’s ability to convert soluble uranium that can contaminate groundwater into less harmful solid form.

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News
3:59 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

New Campaign Tells Candidates That Land Conservation Is A Non-Partisan Issue

Credit Wallpaperslot.com

The Center for Western Priorities has started a new campaign to show political candidates how important land conservation is to voters.

The campaign is called “Winning the West” and includes paid advertisements, a website, and a series of public events across several western states.

Greg Zimmerman is the policy director at the Center. He says the campaign was started after a Colorado College poll showed that voters across the political spectrum voted for candidates who support land conservation.

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Wyoming Stories
3:50 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Handicap Ramp Opens Doors

Nancy Casner

On July 26, 1990 President George H W Bush signed into law the Americans With Disabilities Act. Among other things, the ADA has accessibility requirements for public places—such as stores or restaurants. But the Elk Mountain Trading Company was built 1895, long before the idea of handicap accessibility. Nancy Casner, who owns the Crossing Café housed in the building, recalls what it meant to add a ramp to the historic building.

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News
2:48 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Rangeland Fire In Sage Grouse Core Area

With winds and low precipitation causing fire danger to escalate in rangelands around the state, the Bureau of Land Management is keeping a close eye on sage grouse habitat. Senior Resource Advisor Pam Murdock says they’re working hard to control the fires.

"I know that there are a few going on currently," she says. "We have one, I was just informed of yesterday, that did get ignited over the weekend that was in sage grouse core area up in the Bighorn Basin."

She says it isn't easy juggling conflicting priorities. 

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News
1:55 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

School Districts Request Inflation-Adjusted Funding

Teacher in classroom
Credit Audio Luci Store via Flickr Creative Commons

Seven school districts in Wyoming are arguing that the state has underfunded K-12 schools in the past several years by failing to adjust for inflation.

The coalition says the state owes Wyoming’s school districts $151 million dollars for the last three years.

State Representative Tim Stubson of Casper is on the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee. He says the Legislature does account for inflation in school funding—and granted an external cost adjustment—or ECA—this year.

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News
7:10 am
Thu July 24, 2014

New Rules Target Crude Train Safety

An oil train waits to be loaded at the Upton Logistics Center, in Upton, WY.
Credit Stephanie Joyce / WPM

The federal government has released new rules for trains transporting crude oil. They come in response to a number of dramatic crude train derailments over the last year, including one that destroyed the town of Lac Megantic, Quebec. 

The draft rules make a number of recommendations, the biggest of which is phasing out a type of tank car called DOT-111s over the next two years. Those cars have been disparagingly called "Coke cans" because they're thin-walled and often rip open in derailments, but they're the most common way to transport crude oil by rail.

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News
4:24 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Missing Hiker's Body Recovered In Grand Teton National Park

Credit Teton Park

On Tuesday, park personnel recovered the body of Will Cornyn, a hiker in Grand Teton National Park who had been reported missing on Monday. Cornyn was found at the foot of a steep drop near Inspiration Hill after a six-hour search. He is the fifth visitor to die in the park this year.

Most fatalities that occur in the park are caused by risky activities such as rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking in the backcountry.

Park official Jackie Skaggs says that planning ahead, understanding one’s own physical limitations, and being prepared makes for a safer trip.

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News
3:56 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Wyoming Becoming More Ethnically Diverse...Slowly

The face of Wyoming is changing, slowly but steadily, according to Wyoming’s Principal Economist Wenlin Liu, who says the state will continue to see ethnic diversity as people move here to work. There has been a 17-percent increase in all ethnic groups between 2010 and 2013. Meanwhile, white population growth was only a little over one percent.

Liu says minority populations are also keeping the median age lower than the national average by as much as a year.

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News
2:31 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Legislative Committee Releases Final Cindy Hill Report

The special legislative committee investigating Wyoming schools Superintendent Cindy Hill has released a final report sharply criticizing her performance. 

The report released Wednesday concludes Hill failed to follow legislative budget directives and intentionally violated the law by requiring permanent Education Department employees to certify she could fire them at any time.

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Arts
1:27 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

A New Perspective: Courage And Passion In Photography

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News
11:15 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Whooping Cough Cases On The Rise In Wyoming

Credit Wyoming Department of Health

Wyoming is seeing an increase in cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, according to numbers released by the state Department of Health.

Pertussis begins with cold-like symptoms but then progresses to a violent, uncontrollable cough within a few weeks. So far this year 43 cases have been reported, which is higher than this time in any of the last four years. 

Kim Deti with the Department of Health says the agency is particularly concerned with several cases in and around Gillette.

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News
10:55 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Wyoming National Guard Sends Air Tankers To Fight NW Wildfires

A MAFF equipped C-130 drops fire retardant on a California fire
Credit Wikipedia

The Wyoming Air National Guard will send two military air tankers to Boise, Idaho to help fight wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest.

The planes are equipped with a special fire-fighting device called a MAFF –which stands for Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System and can drop up to 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds.

Deidre Forster with the Wyoming Military department says that sending the planes to the northwest will not impact Wyoming’s own fire-fighting abilities.

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