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5:09 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Tornado Touches Down On Casper Mountain

Credit via National Weather Service

A tornado that touched down on Casper Mountain Friday afternoon caught forecasters by surprise. Trevor LaVoie, with the National Weather Service, says the storm systems moving through Natrona County today didn’t show any signs of producing tornadoes.

“These types of storms are more general thunderstorms in nature," LaVoie says. "We’re not really seeing a lot of heavy rain, they’re short-lived, and their depth is relatively shallow. They’re only about 15,000 feet thick.”

The tornado wasn’t visible on radar, but it was reported by numerous observers.

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News
2:49 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Mountain Passes Open In Time For Memorial Day

Credit David Koch

All but one of Wyoming’s mountain pass highways will be open for Memorial Day weekend.  The Wyoming Department of Transportation shuts down several of the state’s passes because of deep snow during winter months.  Maintenance engineer Tim McGary says it wasn't clear they would be able to get Snowy Range Pass between Centennial and Saratoga open in time.

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News
7:36 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Cheyenne VA Controversy Angers Some Wyoming Veterans

Secretary of Veterans Affiars Eric Shinseki and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta testify before a joint session of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee for Veterans Affairs at the Rayburn building in Washington D.C., July 25, 2012.
Credit Chuck Hagel via Flickr Creative Commons

Veterans’ advocates in Wyoming are upset over reports that staff at the Cheyenne VA Medical Center may have falsified records to make it look like patients were getting appointments faster than they actually were.

Bob DeBernardo is with Veterans of Foreign Wars of Wyoming and receives regular treatment at VA facilities. He says the revelations don’t come as much of a shock.

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Behind The Scenes
4:38 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Seattle Musician Jill Cohn On Morning Music

Dave Sampson (with Simone) and Jill Cohn pose with Paul Montoya after their live set on Morning Music.
Anna Rader

Seattle singer-songwriter Jill Cohn and her guitarist Dave Sampson stopped by Wyoming Public Media on May 22 and played a live set on Morning Music with Paul Montoya. Jill played at Laramie's Coal Creek Coffee Company the night before. They were accompanied by Jill's well traveled pup Simone.

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Program
3:38 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Memorial Day Special: Hearing Voices - For The Fallen

Credit Hearing Voices

For Memorial Day weekend, Wyoming Public Radio brings you the voices of veterans remembering their comrades.

Host Major Robert Schaefer of US Army Special Forces Green Beret and poet, Colonel Robert Schaefer, US Army, hosts the voices of veterans remembering their comrades. We talk with troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, reading their emails, poems, and journals, as part of the NEA project: “Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience.”

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Arts
3:23 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

From Gunshots To Good Times: Stories From The Stagecoach Bar

Credit JenTen Productions

The Stagecoach Bar in Wilson has kept Jackson Hole fed, watered, and entertained since 1942. The historic bar is home to cowboys, hippies, and the famous Stagecoach Band, which has played every Sunday night for over 40 years.

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News
2:29 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Bar None, The Town Of Bar Nunn Sees Fastest Growth

Casper is the seat of Natrona County, sixth fastest growing metro area in the country

Wyoming population is continuing to grow, increasing by one percent in 2013.  That’s according to a new report by the Department of Information and Administration.  Senior economist Amy Bittner says migration to cities in the energy-rich central part of the state accounted for most of the growth.   

“Several of those towns at the top of the list are in the central part of Wyoming,” she says.  “You have Bar Nunn, you have Mills, which is also outside Casper, and then you have Douglas.  You know, that’s due to the economic activity with the energy industry.”

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News
12:20 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Wyoming Graduation Rates Fall For Fourth Straight Year

High school seniors on graduation day.
Credit U.S. Department of Education via Flickr Creative Commons

High school graduation rates in Wyoming dropped for the fourth year in a row, according to data released Monday by the Wyoming Department of Education. 

About 78 percent of Wyoming high school students graduated on time during the 2012 - 2013 school year, down from more than 80 percent four years ago.

In the same period, Laramie 1 school district in Cheyenne, the largest district in the state, saw its graduation rate fall from near 77 percent to below 72 percent.

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News
11:52 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Flooding Could Shed Light On Contaminants At Uranium Tailings Site

The Department of Energy is closely monitoring the potential for flooding this spring at the site of a former uranium mill on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Tailings from the mill contaminated groundwater in the area decades ago. DOE had planned to let the uranium dissipate naturally over the next century, then flooding in 2010 caused an unexpected spike in contamination levels.

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News
11:10 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Coming Soon To A Convenience Store Near You: Wyoming Lottery Sets A Date

Wyoming is starting a state lottery and vendors interested in selling tickets can now start submitting applications. Brian Gamroth is Chairman of the Wyoming Lottery Corporation. He says they’ve set a firm date of August 24 to begin selling the tickets.  “With the applications out now, our first retailers will be picked in the next five or six weeks.  And machines will start going out, training will start…There’s a lot to get done in a short amount of time.”

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Wyoming Stories
10:34 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Wyoming Stories: A Worldly Wyomingite

Mary Burgess and Val Burgess

Sixty-two-year Sheridan resident Mary Burgess spent much of her youth in the Philippines where her father was a politician. As she tells her friend Val Burgess, when she was thirteen, she was living at an Episcopal boarding school in Baugio when she, her sister, and two other women decided to take a long walk north.

Mary Burgess moved back to the US for college, and eventually joined the WWII effort as a part of the American Red Cross. In this story, she tells her friend Val Burgess about her experience as a woman behind the front lines.

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News
6:46 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Wyoming Uranium Producers Bullish About Future

L-R: Mark Wilcox, Wyoming Business Report; Paul Gorenson, Uranerz; Donna Wichers, Uranium One; Wayne Heili, Ur-Energy; Ken Vaughn, Cameco.
Credit Stephanie Joyce

Uranium producers in Wyoming are optimistic about the future, despite a recent slump in prices. The uranium market tanked after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, with the indefinite shutdown of Japan’s reactors, but speaking during a panel discussion at the Wyoming Energy Summit this week, uranium mining executives like Donna Wichers of Uranium One said while it’s been a setback, it’s just that.

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News
6:35 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Study Shows Early Obesity Indicator Of Serious Obesity

Anna Zajacova

A new study has found people who are obese early in life have a higher chance of being severely obese when they're older.  University of Wyoming Associate Professor Anna Zajacova contributed to the study, which looked at the health risks of people who were overweight in their twenties.

“Early obesity matters," Zajacova says, "but primarily by increasing the chances of morbid obesity or class two or three obesity later in life.”

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Behind the Scenes
1:38 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

The WYOmericana Caravan Kicks Off Its Summer Tour In Laramie

The WYOmericana Caravan with J Shogren Shanghai'd, Screen Door Porch, and Patti Fiasco pose with Morning Music Host Grady Kirkpatrick and our superb audio engineer Ben Slater, after playing a great set on Morning Music.
Anna Rader

The Wyomericana Caravan pulled into Wyoming Public Radio on May 21 ahead of their kickoff show in Laramie at the Gryphon TheatreJ Shogren from Centennial, Patti Fiasco from Laramie/Fort Collins, and Screen Door Porch from Jackson.

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News
5:54 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

New Fracking Project Proposed In Sage Grouse Country

A 5000-well oil and gas project proposed for the Powder River Basin is drawing sharp criticism from a wildlife advocacy group.  Erik Molvar with WildEarth Guardians says the drilling would take place right in the middle of critical sage grouse habitat.

“Well, the 5000 wells are projected in an area of over a million acres to the north of Douglas, stretching all the way up in the Thunder Basin National Grassland and including several core areas that have been proposed priority habitat for sage grouse,” Molvar says.

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News
5:28 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Wyoming Receives The Sixth Highest In Federal Funding

Contrary to its reputation as an independent state, Wyoming receives the sixth highest amount of federal financial aid of any state in the country -- almost 40 percent of state revenue --   according to the Tax Foundation.

Other states that rely heavily on federal aid are Louisiana, South Dakota and Tennessee.  Tax economist Liz Malm says many states have higher numbers of people who qualify for federal programs such as Head Start and Medicaid.   But Wyoming’s federal funding mostly comes from mineral royalties since over 40 percent of its lands are federally owned.

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News
11:18 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Industry Is Concerned About New EPA Standards

L-R: Steve Dietrich, Administrator, Air Quality Division, Department of Environmental Quality; Dan Byers, senior director for policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy ; Tim Rogers, environmental manager, Black Hills Corp
Credit Stephanie Joyce

New regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants are due out at the beginning of next month and industry is warning that they could have a devastating impact on the economy.
 
Speaking at the Wyoming Business Report’s Energy Summit in Casper, Dan Byers, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the cost of the regulations will likely significantly outweigh the climate benefits, pointing out that developing nations are emitting more than ever. Byers says he’s skeptical of how the Environmental Protection Agency will calculate cost-benefit.
 

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Elections
11:05 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Gosar Says Mead Has Lacked Leadership

A Democratic candidate for governor says he is running because he says Governor Matt Mead hasn’t provided the leadership the state needs.  Pete Gosar says Mead has been playing politics with many of his decisions.

“Whether it be Medicaid expansion or climate change or what have you, the governor has just been paying attention to polls and not telling us what he thinks.”

As a member of the state board of education, Gosar says he was upset that Mead did not veto an amendment that kept the board from adopting some peer reviewed science standards for the state. 

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News
11:14 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Mead Urges Support For Carbon Capture Innovation

It’s time to stop looking at carbon as a liability and time to start figuring out ways to turn into an asset, Governor Matt Mead told attendees at the Wyoming Business Report’s Energy Summit Monday. He said carbon capture and utilization technology is not ready for prime-time, but that innovation is possible if the government and others invest in it.

“Everything is crazy until you figure it out. And this issue on coal in particular is an issue that I think we can figure out, and that we need to figure out,” Mead said.

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Topic of the Week
1:31 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Who are you remembering this Memorial Day?

Who are you remembering this Memorial Day?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

Open Spaces
12:29 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Casper Geowives Celebrate 60 Years

Joanie Dunlap and Liz King have been friends and members of Geowives for decades.
Irina Zhorov

Sixty years ago a group of women in Casper whose husbands were always leaving them for long shifts out on the oil patch got together to commiserate and lunch. The group became known as the Geowives - wives of geologists - and it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary this spring. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov attended the Geowives’ monthly luncheon and has this story. 

IRINA ZHOROV: Bette Faust is one of the charter members of the Geowives, and a Wyoming native who came to Casper in the 1950s.

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News
6:21 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Labor Group Blasts Wyoming’s Workplace Safety Record

Credit AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO, a coalition group of labor unions, has released a report blasting industry for failing to make workplaces safer, especially in oil and gas.  Wyoming has ranked as one of the five most deadly states to work in for the last ten years.  In 2012, only North Dakota had more workplace fatalities.  Kim Floyd, Executive Secretary for the Wyoming chapter of the AFL-CIO says it has a lot to do with the focus of both states’ economies.

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Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

May 16th, 2014

Wyo. Lawmakers Reject New Climate Change Report 

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation - including here at home - if action isn’t taken to combat climate change. But Matt Laslo reports from Washington that Wyoming’s Republican senators still aren’t buying it.

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Open Spaces
5:14 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Wyo. Lawmakers Reject New Climate Change Report

Credit www.hsdl.org

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation - including here at home - if action isn’t taken to combat climate change. But Matt Laslo reports from Washington that Wyoming’s Republican senators still aren’t buying it.

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Open Spaces
5:08 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Amid Boom, Regulators Struggle With Staffing

The newly discovered abundance of domestic oil and gas is creating a shortage of something else: the petroleum engineers who regulate drilling activities. Government petroleum engineers approve companies’ drilling plans and inspect wells after they’re completed to make sure they’re not at risk of contaminating water or blowing out, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, there just aren’t enough petroleum engineers to go around.  

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Open Spaces
5:03 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Casper Facing Shortage In Homes

Credit Jordan Giese

As the Oil City Casper has seen its fate is closely tied with the energy industry and the recent boom in production is seeing Casper's population expand at an astounding rate. One thing not expanding fast enough however is affordable housing. Wyoming Public Radio's Jordan Giese reports.

JORDAN GIESE: Despite new commercial development one thing in Casper you'll struggle to find are for-sale and rent signs. With all the new energy work, people have poured into Casper, sometimes leaving little for the residents already there.

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Open Spaces
4:47 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

6th Annual Cheyenne Film Festival Is Set To Begin

Credit cheyenneinternationalfilmfestival.com

The 6th annual Cheyenne International Film Festival kicks off Tuesday.  Alan O’Hashi runs the event and he joins us to tell us what is in store.

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Open Spaces
4:42 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Inside Energy Production And Politics

Credit Jordan Wirfs-Brock

A continuing energy boom in the Rocky Mountains and Northern Great Plains is reshaping the future of what’s powering America, and we’re launching a new reporting project to keep track of that.

Through Inside Energy, we’re teaming up with public radio and television stations in Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota to explore the complex energy issues affecting our lives.

The three states are feeling this new energy economy differently, and it’s changing political realities in different ways.

WYOMING

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Open Spaces
4:30 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Auction Revives History Of Scandal At Teapot Dome

Clarke Turner, Director of the Rocky Mountain Oil Field Testing Center at Teapot Dome oil field, shows off the inside of a heater-treater.
Stephanie Joyce

If you were paying close attention during the latest season of Downton Abbey, you might remember this exchange:

PENELOPE WILTON (as Isobel Crawley): Is it really called the Teapot Dome scandal? It seems so unlikely. What’s it about?

MAGGIE SMITH (as Lady Violet Crawley): What’s it always about? Bribery and corruption. Taking money to allow private companies to drill for oil on government land.”

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Open Spaces
4:29 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

U-W Track Athlete Has High Hopes

UW Shot Putter and Discus thrower Mason Finley.
Credit Bob Beck

The Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships are taking place in Laramie this weekend. Shot Putter and Discus thrower Mason Finley is certainly a headliner. While Finley wants to do well this weekend…he also has his eyes on some upcoming meets. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

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