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News
8:45 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Pine Bluffs Recovery Center May Close For Lack Of Funds

Credit Jasperdo via Flickr

The Chrysalis house is an addiction treatment center in Pine Bluffs with a unique mission: it provides a home for recovering women and their children.

But the program doesn’t have enough money to stay open much longer.

“We really have been very devoted to the program which is why we took on that financial risk a long time ago,” says Dr. David Birney, Executive Director of Cheyenne’s Peak Wellness Center, which operates the Chrysalis house. “At this point there just aren’t sufficient funds to support it.”

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Legislative
8:02 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Hill Report Could Be Fodder For Impeachment

Credit Associated Press

A special legislative committee investigating Wyoming schools Superintendent Cindy Hill released a scathing report Tuesday concluding she failed to follow legislative funding directives and demanded rank-and-file education department staff to demonstrate personal loyalty to her.

Hill has 15 days to respond before the committee will issue its final report, probably before the end of the month.

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Education
6:10 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Board Of Education Votes To Suspend Science Standards Review

Credit Dennis Wilkinson via Flickr Creative Commons

The State Board of Education is asking the Wyoming Department of Education to stop work on development of a new set of science standards.

The Department recently formed a science standards review committee of about 50 teachers, administrators, higher education representatives and businesspeople to develop new science standards. That group was supposed to meet several times this summer before presenting suggestions to the Board and public in the fall.

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Wyoming Stories
9:02 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Wyoming Stories: A Pioneering Politician And Priest

Linda Fleming

Linda Fleming was the first woman to be appointed or elected for public office in the Carbon County town of Baggs. After her long tenure as both mayor and county commissioner, she turned her leadership talents to ministry.

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Topic of the Week
8:49 am
Mon June 30, 2014

What do you want from the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction?

What do you want from the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction?

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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Open Spaces
6:15 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

June 27th, 2014

Wyoming Coal Versus The Courts

This week’s Supreme Court ruling on the EPA and its ability to regulate carbon is a mixed bag for Wyoming officials and energy producers. It sets the stakes even higher for Republicans in the state who are determined to derail a pending EPA rule on climate change.

Wyoming Does Not Officially Track Health Impacts From Energy

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Open Spaces
6:05 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Wyoming Coal Versus The Courts

This week’s Supreme Court ruling on the EPA and its ability to regulate carbon is a mixed bag for Wyoming officials and energy producers. It sets the stakes even higher for Republicans in the state who are determined to derail a pending EPA rule on climate change.  

Like most all things here in Washington these days, the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the EPA is being read along party lines. But Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi says it’s not just partisanship. He says your opinion also hinges on where you’re reading.

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Open Spaces
5:55 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Wyoming Does Not Officially Track Health Impacts From Energy

As energy development increases across the country many states are starting to look into whether or not it would be a good idea to set up data bases to track possible health impacts directly attributed to energy development.  Colorado has developed an extensive system within its Department of Health to track and investigate health care impacts.  The State of Wyoming has not developed such a data base. Doctor Tracy Murphy is the state epidemiologist. He says the Department of Health rare fields calls of that nature.

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Open Spaces
5:46 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Public Opinion On Gay Marriage Shifting In Wyoming

Credit wyomingequality.org

Public opinion in Wyoming has radically shifted toward legalizing same sex marriage in the last decade.  Bills, both legalizing and banning, have been introduced in the state legislature. But nothing has passed.  And lawmakers are slow to acknowledge the shift in public opinion. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Erin Jones reports, the legislature might not be where the change happens.

ERIN JONES: State Representative Matt Greene grew up without gay marriage on his mind.

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Open Spaces
5:39 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Wyoming Still Has Long Term Care Issues

Tim Lockwood

Wyoming ranks 16th in the nation when it comes to meeting the long term health care needs of older residents.  The ranking comes from a comprehensive state by state scorecard developed by AARP, the Commonwealth fund, and SCAN foundation. 

In Wyoming unpaid family caregivers provide the bulk of care for older Wyoming residents, in part because long term care is unaffordable for most middle income families.  AARP Wyoming’s Associate Director Tim Lockwood says things aren’t all that bad in the state, but they could be better.

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Open Spaces
5:16 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Privacy Concerns Swirl Around Statewide Student Database

A second grade student gets right to work as classes start at Greenwood Elementary School in Des Moines, IA.
Credit Phil Roeder via Flickr Creative Commons

Nationwide, including Wyoming, states are working to build huge databases that can track students from preschool all the way into the workforce. In the brave new world of big data, the thought is—more information means smarter education policy decisions and improved learning. But some parents worry that these systems will go too far.

At Laramie County Community College, a classroom full of people is talking about control groups and independent variables. It’s not as exciting as it sounds, but it is important.

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Open Spaces
4:51 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Montana Crude Rail Routes Revealed

Credit insideenergy.org

A dozen or more trains carrying crude oil from the Bakken region are moving across northern Montana every week, skirting the edge of Glacier National Park. More trains -- far fewer in number - pass through populated regions farther south.

Governor Steve Bullock released the route information this week, making Montana the latest state after Washington to buck railroads’ requests to keep the information out of public hands.

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Yellowstone Celebrates The Renovation Of Its Oldest Lodge

Yellowstone's Lake Hotel
Credit yellowstonenationalparklodges.com

Yellowstone Park is celebrating completion of a two year, 29 million dollar renovation of its oldest lodge: Lake Hotel. Now all of the Lake Hotel’s redecorated rooms are ready for guest now. Penny Preston reports people worked through two bitter winters to complete the project.

In 1889, 27 years before there was a National Park Service, construction began on Lake Hotel.  It is Yellowstone’s oldest.  Two years ago, reconstruction started.

“The old hotel had been touched pretty harshly over the years.

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Open Spaces
3:48 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Rare Mammoth Site Excavated In Douglas

Mammoth Rib Bone.
Melodie Edwards

In 1986, a large mammoth rib bone was found jutting out of the bank of a creek a few miles from Douglas.  The state archaeologist, Dr. George Frison, did a hasty 4-day excavation at the time.  But a thorough excavation has never been done because the land owners weren’t interested in hosting an archaeology dig on their property.  That left archaeologists with a big question--was LaPrele Creek a mammoth kill site?  But recently the land sold and archaeologists have finally been allowed to dig. 

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Legislative
8:06 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Lawmakers Latest Effort To Change Ed Management Will Go Slowly

The Legislature's Joint Education Committee is moving forward with an effort to study alternative ways to manage the Wyoming Department of Education and will seek input from education stakeholders and the public in that process.

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News
4:54 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Lander Land Use Plan Balances Community Priorities

Wind River Range
Credit Wikipedia

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a new plan for land use in the Wind River Basin today/Thursday, which supporters say balances the needs of industry, conservation, and recreation.

The new Resource Management Plan is the result of a cooperative process involving federal, state, and local agencies as well as land owners and recreation enthusiasts.

Wyoming representative for The Wilderness Society, Dan Smitherman, says that the plan’s release does not mean that the conversation about how best to use these lands is over.

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News
9:54 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Grants Available For Wyoming Public Transportation Projects

Smaller Wyoming communities considering public transportation programs can get help from the Business Council starting in July.

While federal funds exist to support transportation programs, many towns and cities need help financing the pre-planning. Energy efficiency program manager Sherry Hughes says that there’s where these grants come in.

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News
7:19 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Military Surplus Vehicles Make Their Way To Wyoming

Credit credit DJ Lein via Flickr

As military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan has wound down, military armored vehicles have been making their way back home.

Big Horn County and the cities of Cheyenne and Casper have all received heavily armored vehicles designed to protect soldiers from mines and rocket attacks in the Middle East.

“Our new [armored vehicle] can protect us against rifle rounds. Whereas our old [civilian armored vehicle] couldn’t,” says Cheyenne Police Department spokesperson Dan Long.

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News
4:48 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Funnel Cloud Prompts Cheyenne Tornado Warning

A view of Wednesday's funnel cloud from I-80, West of Cheyenne.
Credit Aaron Schrank/WPR

A funnel cloud prompted a brief tornado warning in Cheyenne on Wednesday.The National Weather Service sounded the alarm at about 2 p.m., soon after the funnel dropped down from a small thunderstorm in the high country west of town. Minutes later, the funnel dissipated without touching down - though not before several people snapped photos of the twister and posted the images online. The storm caused nothing worse than some light rain in the capital city. Sheriff's officials say no damage was reported.

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News
4:32 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Wheatland Tornado Shelter Project Wins National Prize

Christian Moody, Jacob Stafford, Joey Madsen, and Haiden Moody present their project in Washington, D.C.

A group of 8th graders from Wheatland Middle School who built a tornado shelter for a school competition won the top national prize for their efforts last week.

Haiden Moody, Christian Moody, Joey Madsen and Jacob Stafford spent the past few months engineering a tornado safety shelter converted from an old set of school lockers. It was part of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math competition put on by the U.S. Army called eCYBERMISSION.

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Testimonials
2:28 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

David Shelles - Cheyenne WY

Credit Micah Schweizer

My name is David Shelles and I live here in Cheyenne, Wyoming. When I moved from Davenport, Iowa to Laramie, Wyoming in December of 2008, of course I had the privilege of driving Interstate 80 across Iowa and Nebraska. On the second day of my trip, I crossed the border from Nebraska into Wyoming at Pinebluffs and of course I started messing with the radio and it stopped on 91.9 and I heard Pat Gabriel's voice and that's actually kind of when I knew I was back home.

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News
12:14 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Wyoming Roads To Get New 80 MPH Speed Limit

The new Wyoming 80 mile per hour speed limit will go into effect July first. It will impact large sections of I-25, I-80, and I-90.

Del McOmie of the Department of Transportation says the speed limits were approved by the legislature after a D.O.T. study looked at the impacts on roads, accident history, and traffic volume.

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News
5:20 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Laramie's WyoTech Faces Uncertain Future

WyoTech West Campus
Credit JohnAndAlynda via Flickr Creative Commons

Laramie’s WyoTech automotive trade school will remain operational, but faces an uncertain future.

WyoTech’s parent company—Corinthian Colleges—is clashing with regulators, who accuse the for-profit company of falsifying job placement rates and misleading students about financial aid.

Monday, Corinthian reached an agreement with the Department of Education which will keep federal aid flowing—and the doors on its 90 campuses nationwide open—while a long-term operational plan is developed.

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News
4:57 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Report Shows UW's Economic Footprint On State

University of Wyoming
Credit MDV via Flickr Creative Commons

A University of Wyoming report says that UW brings $130 million dollars in external funding into the state each year, spurs $129 million in other economic activity, and is responsible for creating more than 2,200 jobs.

The report sought to quantify economic impacts that would not occur in Wyoming if the University wasn’t in the state, including spending by non-resident students and visitors, and startup businesses stemming from UW research.

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News
4:35 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

First Crude Oil Train Rolls Out of Black Thunder Terminal

Credit credit Andrew Goodson via Flickr

Another rail loading facility for crude oil opened in Wyoming last week, bringing the total to at least seven.

Seventy- thousand barrels of Wyoming oil rolled out of the Black Thunder terminal in the Powder River Basin, headed for a refinery on the East Coast.

“We believe that the location of this particular terminal may be a little more unique to the business as it is in the heart of the basin," says  Steven Huckaby, CEO of Meritage Midstream, the company behind the crude loading facility. "It has a great location advantage to some other terminals."

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News
4:28 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Sheridan County Commissioners Ask Feds To Loosen Aviation Rules

credit Lara604 via Flickr

Air service in Sheridan and Buffalo is suffering, say commissioners in Sheridan County. And now they are asking Wyoming’s congressional delegation for help.

A federal regulation that went into effect last year raised the number of training hours pilots needed before they could fly small commercial planes, from 250 to 1500.

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News
4:13 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Unemployment Up Slightly

The Wyoming unemployment rate rose slightly last month.   

The Department of Workforce Services says the rate was 3.8 % in May a point-one percent increase from April.  But the Department says that is due to young people leaving school and entering the workforce. 

The unemployment rate dropped nearly a full percentage point from May of last year where it stood at 4.6%. 

The lowest unemployment rate was in Converse County at 2.8%, the highest unemployment rate was in Teton County at 5.7%. 

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News
2:20 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Proposed Rule To Make Tribal Oil Pricing Fairer

The federal government is trying to create a better system for pricing oil and gas on Indian reservations. The Office of Natural Resource Revenue brought together government, tribes and the energy industry to write the new rule. 

Claire Ware is the Director of the Shoshone-Arapahoe Tribes Minerals Compliance Program and sat on the committee.  She says the old rules put tribes at a disadvantage.   

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News
8:12 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Wyoming's Manufacturing Sector Is Struggling

Credit Nina Hale via Flickr Creative Commons

Wyoming’s manufacturing sector is weak, and its low population is slowing growth. That’s the finding of the Manufacturing and Logistics Report, a survey conducted annually by Ball State University in Indiana.

This year the survey gave Wyoming good marks for its tax climate and for its workers’ generally high level of education. But the state’s manufacturing grade was a D minus. Last year, it was a C minus.

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News
8:04 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Sheridan College Gets Donation For New Ag Center

Sheridan, Wyoming
Credit Jacdupree via Flickr Creative Commons

Sheridan College has received a $4 million dollar donation to help build a new agriculture center on campus.

The donation, announced Friday, is from longtime benefactor Forrest Mars, Jr. of Big Horn. The new center will cost $8 million, and $2.7 million has already been allocated by the state.

College President Paul Young says the 15,000-sqaure foot building will bring a much-needed impact to the school’s agriculture programs.

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