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Wyoming Stories
8:24 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Love, Just Not Quite At First Sight

Pat and Phyllis McKee

Pat and Phyllis McKee both grew up in ranching families in Elk Mountain. As kids, they avoided each other, but that didn't stop a whirlwind romance when they got older. They were married in 1990 and have three daughters.

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News
4:56 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Computer Error Means More Hunting Licenses Available For Sale

A computer error has left the Wyoming Game and Fish with nearly 700 leftover hunting licenses. The agency reported today that the error only affected a small percentage of online sales.

Jennifer Doering with Game and Fish says that website visitors who attempted to reserve group licenses didn’t see a confirmation screen after making their purchase. The result was that many people thought their sale had not gone through—so they tried again.

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News
3:41 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Artists Trace U.S.-Mexico Border Through Wyoming

Credit Miles Bryan

A group of artists marking 1821 border between the United States and Mexico traveled through Wyoming over the weekend.

Marcos Ramirez and David Taylor are the artists behind the project, called ‘Delimitations.’ It aims to trace the original, 2,300-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico.

That historic border runs through Medicine Bow National Forest here in Wyoming.

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News
3:23 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Cheyenne Group Seeks To Lift Backyard Chicken Ban

A group in Cheyenne hopes to reverse a city ordinance that bans backyard chickens in the city limits. The group calls itself CLUCK, which stands for Cheyenne Local Urban Chicken Keepers. They have scheduled meetings with Cheyenne city council to write a new ordinance to allow as many as four hens to be kept.  Laramie County horticulturalist Catherine Wissner is working with the group. She says the fresh eggs and garden compost that chickens provide is great.  But they also make wonderful pets.

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News
2:10 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

State Lawmakers Want More Dialogue With UW

University of Wyoming Department of Agriculture
Credit Wyoming_Jackrabbit via Flickr Creative Commons

Wyoming state legislators want more communication and coordination with the University of Wyoming.

The UW Board of Trustees met with several House and Senate members in Casper this week to discuss the relationship between the Legislature and the school. Senate President Tony Ross says the meeting was a good first step, but lawmakers need to play a bigger role in the future.

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Arts
12:43 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Community And Camaraderie: Tap Dancing Your Way To Happiness

"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, we meet Debbie Schlinger who brings her "sassy self" to Amelia Terrapin's adult tap class at Dancers' Workshop. The mental and physical challenges along with the comaraderie are why Debbie shows up each week.

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News
11:46 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Proposed Fishing Regulations Would Relax Rules

Credit Fishthefly.com

Thanks to a bill passed in the last budget session, it may soon be legal to use artificial light and out-of-state live bait when fishing in Wyoming.  Dave Zafft with Wyoming Game and Fish says its long been against the rules to use lights to draw fish to the lure.  Now it could be allowed for nearly all kinds of fishing.

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News
9:25 am
Wed July 16, 2014

UW Professor Publishes Research On Creative Thinking In Robots

Jeff Clune, a UW associate professor of computer science, and Jingyu Li, a recent Laramie High School graduate, pose with a copy of the paper they wrote that was published in the Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference.
Credit Courtesy UW

University of Wyoming Computer Science Professor Jeff Clune saw his research published this week showing that robots’ problem-solving skills can be improved by encouraging ‘creative thinking’ in artificial intelligence.

The research was accepted in ‘Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference,’ a peer-reviewed publication.

The robots Clune and his team experimented with were rewarded when they ‘had ideas’ they never had before—basically when their simulated neurons displayed new patterns.

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News
6:00 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Wyoming School Discipline Data Shows Racial Disparities

Credit Emory Maiden via Flickr Creative Commons

Students who identified as racial minorities received a greater number of the state’s out-of-school suspensions in the last school year, according to Wyoming Department of Education data.

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Arts
1:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tribes And State Collaborate To Tell Wind River Reservation History

Historical marker on the Wind River Reservation.
Credit americanindian.net

In coming years, visitors to Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation will see new historical perspectives on roadside signs and markers. That’s the proposed outcome of the new Wind River Interpretive Plan. It's believed to be the first such collaboration between tribes and state government on a reservation-wide interpretive plan.

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News
9:50 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Proposed Clean Water Act Change Causes Controversy

Rhetoric is heating up in Wyoming over new proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency. Governor Matt Mead and Senator John Barrasso both claim it will have a huge impact on Wyoming farmers, ranchers and businesses and will give the EPA jurisdiction over more water than ever before.

But Professor Mark Squillace of the University of Colorado School of Law disagrees.

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News
5:09 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

National Groups Push For Climate Science In Classroom

A coalition of science advocacy groups have launched what they’re calling a Climate Science Bill of Rights to push for climate change to be taught in schools around the country. The campaign says all students deserve to explore the causes and consequences of climate change, free from political interference.

The groups behind the bill include Climate Parents, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the National Center for Science Education and the Alliance for Climate Education. 

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Open Spaces
6:50 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

July 11th, 2014

Federal Highway Money Remains At Risk

The federal pot of money that’s supposed to keep local roads and bridges intact may soon be empty, yet lawmakers on Capitol Hill are miles apart from each other. It remains unclear if they’ll be able to bridge the gulf. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on how the Wyoming delegation is weighing in on the debate that’s sucking the air out of Washington this summer.

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Open Spaces
6:41 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Federal Highway Money Remains At Risk

I-80, Wyoming
Credit Doug Mahugh via Flickr

The federal pot of money that’s supposed to keep local roads and bridges intact may soon be empty, yet lawmakers on Capitol Hill are miles apart from each other. It remains unclear if they’ll be able to bridge the gulf. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on how the Wyoming delegation is weighing in on the debate that’s sucking the air out of Washington this summer.

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Open Spaces
6:18 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Wyoming Highway Patrol Struggles To Attract Recruits

Cadets at the Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas practice a roadside stop.
Credit Miles Bryan

It’s not unusual for some employers in Wyoming to have a hard time finding enough workers. That can be a headache for business owners, but lately it’s the cause of some public safety concern as well. The Wyoming Highway Patrol is down almost twenty percent of its officers, and it is struggling to attract new ones.

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Open Spaces
6:04 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

A Plan of Firsts: Lander Resource Management Plan Tackles Big Picture

Sage Grouse
commons.wikimedia.org

The clock is ticking about whether to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species.  Such a listing could all but shut down mineral development in the bird’s habitat.  The state has already tackled sage grouse protections.  Now it’s the federal government’s turn.  It’s been 30 years since the Lander Resource Management Plan was revised.  And so the Bureau of Land Management took the opportunity to put more protections in place for the grouse while they were at it. 

The Lander Resource Management Plan is hundreds of pages and covers a lot of ground. 

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Open Spaces
5:53 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Clark Stith Discusses His Run For Secretary Of State

Rock Springs Republican Clark Stith is one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Secretary of State.  Stith practices business law and is on the Rock Springs City Council.  He is also the former chairman of the Sweetwater County Republican Party.  Stith tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that one thing he’d like to do is streamline the office.

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Open Spaces
5:47 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Booming Oil And Gas Production Taxes Pipeline Network

The "pig trap" for a pipeline at a tank farm in Guernsey, Wyoming.
Stephanie Joyce

In the first quarter of 2014, the United States surpassed both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. It already hit that mark for natural gas late last year. All of that oil and gas has to be transported from the fields where it’s drilled to refineries and processing plants, and most of that is done by pipeline, but the nation’s pipeline infrastructure isn’t currently up to the task.

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Open Spaces
5:28 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

School Construction Faces Current Labor Shortage, Future Revenue Decline

Aaron Schrank

It’s a tense public meeting in Rawlins. School District officials here recently learned that the latest contractor bid to build a new Rawlins High School is $7 million dollars over budget. Carbon County School District 1 Superintendent Fletcher Turcato says Rawlins isn’t interested in making cuts.

“Four months ago, we were within budget—and because of a bidding climate, now they want us to continue to take money out of this project,” Turcato said. “That’s not going to happen. The Board said it’s not going to happen. We’re not going to do that to the people of Rawlins.”

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Open Spaces
5:09 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

A Casper Family Changes Careers To Make Alcohol

Backwards Distilling bottles.
Bob Beck

Many people have ideas for small businesses, but not many of them quit their day jobs to try something unique, especially when it’s something they know little about. But that’s exactly what the Pollock family of Casper did in starting Backwards Distilling Company

“My son’s an absinth drinker and absinth is hard to come by and he and she were talking… why don’t we just make some make some… and then we all looked at each other and we all stopped and went hmmm.”

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Open Spaces
3:47 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

How America's Original Horse Was Saved By A Wyoming Family

Spanish Mustangs on the Cayuse Ranch running in the late day sunlight.
Dan Hayward

This was almost the year of the thoroughbred horse, with California Chrome's run for the elusive Triple Crown. But here's the story of a smaller, scrappier horse that overcame long odds with the help of a Wyoming family. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer has this postcard from a visit with the Spanish Mustang.

Living history comes thundering over the ridge. This is America’s original horse.

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Single Shot Live
2:52 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

David Wiatrolik: Wishful Thinking

Micah Schweizer

Fresh off the 2014 release of ‘Dave and the Gin Mill Gypsies’, Laramie guitarist, singer, and songwriter David Wiatrolik assembles a stripped down trio (Dana Robertson, drums and Luke Woodbury, bass) to perform live at the WPM studios.

News
1:26 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

State Will Release Draft And Final Pavillion Reports

The state says it will release both the draft and final versions of reports investigating water contamination in Pavillion. The clarification comes after landowners wrote a letter to Governor Matt Mead protesting the state’s plan to release the draft to Encana, the oil and gas company some accuse of polluting the water, before releasing it to the public.

Mead's spokesperson, Renny MacKay, says by releasing both copies, and the comments provided by Encana, the Environmental Protection Agency and an independent expert, the public will be able to see the evolution of the document.

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News
10:56 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Rawlins High School Construction Over Budget

Rawlins High School
Credit Aaron Schrank/WPR

The construction of a new Rawlins High School is delayed—and some in the community are angry—after recent bids by subcontractors put the project $7 million dollars over budget.

The State’s School Facilities Department oversees school construction projects in the state. The Department says the high bid is the result of construction labor shortages and adds that it will work with Rawlins to cut costs.

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News
10:55 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Climb Wyoming Will End Sweetwater Co. Program

Credit Climb Wyoming

Climb Wyoming says it will discontinue its Sweetwater County program due to a decrease in public funding and other considerations.  The non-profit organization trains and places single mothers into career-track jobs. 

Climb Wyoming’s Shannon Brooks Hamby said that the Sweetwater County Operation will shut down on October first despite the fact that the program was very successful. 

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Topic of the Week
9:24 am
Fri July 11, 2014

What's the most under reported issue in the state?

What's the most under reported issue in the state? 

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

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

News
4:07 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Jury Awards Injured Oil And Gas Worker $5.1M

A Wyoming jury has awarded $5.1 million dollars in damages to an oil and gas worker who was injured on the job in 2011.

Then 22-year-old Horr was part of a crew working on a Merit Energy oil well when built-up pressure escaped, sending a piece of rubber through his left arm and shattering it. Attorney Bryan Ulmer with the Spence Law Firm says Horr has lost use of his arm as a result.

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News
2:31 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

International Climbers' Festival Highlights Women

The International Climbers' Festival starts Wednesday, July 9 in Lander. Director Mandy Pohja says this is the 21st year for the rock climbing event and this year’s line-up is particularly strong.

"We have probably the most significant number of professional climbing athletes coming to Lander than any other year.  And also more than any other festival in the world.  So that is a really neat collection of professional climbers from the last 40 years of rock climbing that will be in Lander this coming weekend."

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News
10:57 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Lake Owen Fire Update: 80% Contained

Credit Aaron Voos, U.S. Forest Service

The Lake Owen forest fire, in the Medicine Bow National Forest area, is now 80% contained the U.S. Forest service reports. 

The fire covers approximately 500 acres and has caused the evacuation of nearby campers. Residents along Fox Creek Road and in Woods Landing, Jelm, and Albany are still being urged to shelter in place. Three heavy air tankers and 150 personnel are currently working on the fire.

Favorable weather conditions on Tuesday helped firefighters secure much of the blaze, and today crews expect to continue securing the line as well as assessing spot fires. 

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