John Fadial teaches violin at the University of Wyoming. On Thursday, April 17 he’ll perform with pianist Theresa Bogard at 7:30 pm at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. Fadial says the recital emphasizes contemporary repertoire for violin and piano written since 1995, including works by Richard Danielpour, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Arvo Pärt.
Interim Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson says he's making it a priority to review Wyoming's setback rules.
Setback rules govern how close oil and gas development can be to things like houses and streams. The current limit is 350 feet.
At an Oil and Gas Commission meeting Tuesday night in Casper, several residents said they'd like to see the distance raised to a mile, because of concerns about potential health impacts of energy production. Watson says they're asking a lot.
On Monday, the Jackson Town Council voted to increase emergency spending from $50,000 to $750,000 to deal with the slow-moving landslide beside the town's main thoroughfare. Town officials say the money is needed to manage the slide and to build a buttress to create pressure at the base of the slide to slow it down.
The Council voted four-to-one to approve the funding. Councilman Jim Stanford cast the lone dissenting vote.
Several remote communities in the state will be able to receive better internet service in the near future. Visionary Communications has announced a plan to expand its fiber optic line to connect the towns of Chugwater, Guernsey, Pinedale and Torrington to the rest of the state.
A company proposing to open an underground coal gasification demonstration site in Wright has been charged with environmental violations in Australia. The charges could cost the company over two million dollars per violation.
Underground coal gasification involves igniting coal seams deep underground to produce syngas, which can then be processed into various liquid fuels or other chemicals.
What exactly the environmental harm is has not yet been revealed.
An evacuation order is being downgraded to an advisory for some homes and apartments under threat from a slow-moving landslide in Jackson. An evacuation order will remain in effect for five residences within a high-risk zone where geologists are seeing slope movement of about an inch a day.
Even though residents in lower-risk areas are allowed to move back, Acting Police Chief Cole Nethercott says he's not encouraging them to do so.
When John Simms moved to Jackson, he started a business giving tours of the Flag Ranch. After getting married, he started Jackson White Water Trips. In this story, John tells his daughter Morrison about an unexpected late night visit to their Jackson home.
The state Board of Education met in Casper today to adopt some state standards, including a controversial set of national Next Generation Science Standards. The legislature prohibited the Board from adopting those standards. Bob Beck joins us to talk about what happened at the meeting.
About 60 Jackson residents remain under an evacuation order due to a slow-moving landslide on the lower flank of East Gros Ventre Butte that has buckled pavement, cracked retaining walls and undermined water lines.
Some homes in the Budge Drive Hillside area are not at direct risk from the slide. But the slide has compromised the only road to the homes and broken the main waterline. During a tour of the area today, Jackson Fire Chief Willy Watsabaugh said those problems make it unsafe to reoccupy those homes at this time.
The State Board of Education today deferred taking action on the Next Generation Science Standards for Wyoming students. The legislature, during the last session, barred the Board from adopting the national standards wholesale and today’s meeting left no clear resolution and no clear plan on when Wyoming might see science standards and what they would look like. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck was at the meeting. He says many people came out to support the standard’s passing.
Former U.S. Senator Al Simpson is appearing is a commercial in support of marriage equality, which is airing across Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.
Wyoming currently does not allow same sex marriage. Simpson not only supports gay marriage but also says same-sex couples should be treated the same as heterosexual couples, when it comes to having or adopting children.
“I have seen the most dysfunctional children come out of a union of a man and wife that I have yet to observe out of a same sex couple," Simpson says.
The first rare earth minerals mine to open in the U.S. in decades could be here in Wyoming. Permitting gets underway this week for the Bear Lodge mine, near Sundance. Rare earths are a group of metals that are critical to high tech devices like smartphones and lasers. They’re currently mined almost exclusively in China. Rare Element Resources’ George Byers says the company is hoping to change that.
They’ve been called the secret ingredient of everything. Rare earths are a group of elements that make much of today’s technology possible, from smartphones to wind turbines to precision-guided missiles. For decades, China has dominated the rare earth market, but amid questions about the wisdom of allowing one country to control the supply chain, a mining project in Wyoming is getting underway. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, if the mine opens, it would be only be the second one in the United States and the first new one in decades.
Several years ago, there were days when air pollution in Pinedale was worse than in Los Angeles. Residents complained of respiratory problems, and visits to local medical clinics increased. In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency said the area was violating federal air quality standards, and gave Wyoming three years to fix the problem. Since then, air quality has been better. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports, nobody knows whether the problem is really fixed, and some worry that the state is not doing enough to prevent similar problems from happening elsewhere.
It’s been called miner's phthisis, grinder's asthma, potter's rot. Silicosis is a disease of the lungs that’s caused by inhaling tiny particles of crystalline silica dust, basically sand. Those particles cut the lung tissue, causing inflammation and scarring that make it difficult to breathe.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill will soon be returning to lead the Wyoming Department of Education. Unless you’ve been under rock, you know that the Superintendent had her ability to oversee the department removed by the legislature and the governor last year.
University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity wrapped up his first legislative session last month and he calls it quite a learning experience. He joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck to review the session.
Wyoming is a largely rural state with limited diversity. But as the population grows and the state attracts all sorts of newcomers. Wyoming is learning to accommodate the changing population. One of the areas where the state is making headway is interpretation services in its courts. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.
Last month the University of Wyoming opened a Literacy Research Center and clinic that should enhance literacy at all levels across the state. It will allow face to face tutoring, train tutors and teachers, and use technology in interesting new ways. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
VICKI GILLIS: “I see this as being on the cutting edge of work in literacy, K-12, and beyond.
An exhibit opening this weekend at the University of Wyoming Art Museum is among the first major displays of astrophotography as art.‘Starstruck: The Fine Art of Astrophotography’ is a dazzling exhibition, ranging from night skies and landscapes to deep space photography.
A geologist and landslide consultant says the chance of a sudden, catastrophic slope failure on East Gros Ventre Butte in Jackson is only about 5 percent. As a result, town emergency services have downgraded their evacuation order, allowing most businesses in the Hillside building to reopen this morning. Some businesses and many residences remain under an evacuation order.
At a community meeting last night, Acting Chief of Police Cole Nethercott asked residents not to take unnecessary risks by entering the evacuation area on their own.
The life-size copper Tyrannosaurus rex statue that stands guard outside the University of Wyoming Geological Museum is celebrating its 50th birthday today. The museum will host two cake parties—one today over lunch, and again from noon until 2 pm Saturday. Wyoming Public Radio’s Anna Rader and Micah Schweizer visited the T. rex and heard from passers-by and well-wishers.
Recently released data compiled by the federal government shows oil production on federal lands is up from last year, while natural gas production is down. Overall, the energy sector is booming, but industry analysts say companies are shifting from natural gas to wetter plays because of low natural gas prices. But even though production is up, some industry groups point out that it's increasing more quickly on private lands and blame the trend on slow permitting by the federal government.
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says that he wants the State Board of Education to adopt rigorous science standards.
He recently signed into law a budget footnote that prevents the State Board of Education from adopting a set of national standards called Next Generation Science Standards. The governor says his only objective in doing that was to get the board to consider a variety of options as it develops Wyoming education standards.
Rural states are bristling over proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions from wood stoves.
Currently, wood stove manufacturers must keep emissions down to 7.5 grams of particulates per hour. But the proposed rules would reduce the allowable amount to less than two grams over the next five years. Soot emissions are a serious public health concern in some areas of the country because they can cause lung problems and heart attacks.