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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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News
9:56 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Wyoming Falls In Child Well-Being Rankings

Young girl at school
Credit Elizabeth Albert via Flickr Creative Commons

Wyoming has dropped several spots in its ranking in a national report on children’s well-being.

The 2014 Kids Count Index ranked Wyoming 19th in the country, down from 15th last year. The report weighs several factors. Wyoming earned a sixth place ranking for children’s economic well-being, but ranked 45th in health.

Some of the factors contributing to that low ranking include rates of teen alcohol abuse, the number of children without health insurance, and the number of babies born underweight.

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News
9:22 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Wyoming Town Up For Sale

Credit J Stephan Conn via Flickr

A small town in northeastern Wyoming is now on the market.

The town of Aladdin is home to 15 people, and sits on thirty acres near Devil’s Tower. Judy Brengle and her husband Rick bought the town in 1986.

She says being the mayor, store manager, chief of police, and cleaning person over the years has been tough, but rewarding.

‘There are a lot of people who don’t understand how much work it is to keep everything going. But it is a great place to live and a great place to raise kids and living in Wyoming is pretty wonderful.”

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News
12:01 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Wyoming Energy Export Forum

Wyoming Public Media

Stephanie Joyce, Wyoming Public Media's Energy & Natural Resources Reporter, moderated a discussion on Wyoming's raw commodity exports, primarily focused on coal and natural gas. Speakers with a diversity of perspectives were invited to participate in the conversation.

The Energy Export Forum will air on Wyoming Public Radio's Open Spaces Friday, Aug. 15 at 3 pm.

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News
10:30 am
Tue July 22, 2014

UW College Of Education Responds To Criticism

Credit MDV via Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Wyoming’s College of Education is taking issue with complaints made about the quality of its graduates.

Last week, at a UW Trustees’ meeting, Governor Mead’s education policy adviser Mary Kay Hill said that the most qualified K-12 teachers in the state “are not coming from UW.”

She pointed to a 2011 report that shows nearly 70 percent of new school district hires in Wyoming came from institutions outside of the state. That’s up from 50 percent in 2000.

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Spoken Words
8:46 am
Tue July 22, 2014

H.L. Hix: The Seasons, In Verse

H.L. Hix

H. L. Hix teaches in the Philosophy Department at the University of Wyoming.  His most recent poetry collection is As Much As, If Not More Than (Etruscan Press, 2014); the poems recorded here are from his book First Fire, Then Birds (Etruscan Press, 2010). Hix has been recognized with an NEA Fellowship, the Grolier Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and the Peregrine Smith Award. His poems have been translated into Spanish, Russian, Urdu, and other languages.

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News
5:39 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

2015 Appropriations Bill Passes House

Credit Cynthia Lummis

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations has approved a budget for the Interior and Environment for 2015, and Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis says, if passed into law, the bill would have a huge impact on Western states like Wyoming. 

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Behind The Scenes
3:37 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Family From Staten Island Visits Wyoming Public Media

Andy, Leanna, WPR’s Grady Kirkpatrick and Carole Kass.
Diana Denison

The Kass family from Staten Island, NY are WPR members and part of the "Greater Cowboy Diaspora."

They visited Wyoming Public Media in July on their summer trip.

Single Shot Live
1:27 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Dakota Dave Hull: The Long Drive Home

Guitarist Dakota Dave Hull poses with "Ranch Breakfast" host Tom Wilhelm.
Ben Slater

Dakota Dave Hull is one of America’s premier finger-style guitarists. Based in Minnesota, Dakota Dave logs a lot of miles touring, so here’s a composition that fades out like the highway receding in the rear-view mirror.

Elections
12:00 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Mead Negotiating For Wyoming Medicaid Expansion

Credit Stephanie Joyce

Governor Matt Mead may be changing his mind when it comes to expanding Medicaid services for low income people in the state. After publicly rejecting the notion of Medicaid expansion late last year, the governor says he is negotiating in good faith with the federal department of Health and Human Services to develop a Wyoming specific Medicaid expansion plan. 

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Wyoming Stories
9:05 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Wyoming Stories: She'd Rather Ride A Horse

Alice Fales
Credit Wayne Thomas

Alice Fales lives in Cody, WY. She recalls fond memories of the role horses played in her youth and riding a horse to school.

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News
9:02 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Wyoming Officials Will Not Oppose Primary Fundraising For Third Parties

Credit Kim Via Flickr

The State of Wyoming will not oppose third party candidates raising money during the primary season.

Current state law says those candidates cannot raise money until after the primary.

That law was challenged in federal court last month by Jennifer Young, Secretary of State Candidate for the Constitution party.

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News
8:54 am
Mon July 21, 2014

State Fines Denver-Based Sugar Company

Credit J Stephan Conn via Flickr

Wyoming regulatory officials have cited Denver-based Western Sugar Cooperative for hazards at its Torrington and Lovell facilities.

The department of Workforce Services and Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the company almost two hundred thousand dollars. The fines were for inadequate safety standards and failure to guard equipment, among other problems.

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Open Spaces
5:38 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

July 18th, 2014

Governor Mead Seeks Second Term

Governor Matt Mead is seeking his second term in office. The governor is facing Cheyenne Businessman and Doctor Taylor Haynes and Superintendent Cindy Hill in the Republican primary. Mead spoke with Bob Beck. They begin by discussing some of the challenges facing the state.

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Open Spaces
5:31 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Governor Mead Seeks Second Term

Governor Matt Mead is seeking his second term in office. The governor is facing Cheyenne Businessman and Doctor Taylor Haynes and Superintendent Cindy Hill in the Republican primary. Mead spoke with Bob Beck. They begin by discussing some of the challenges facing the state.

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Open Spaces
5:24 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Wyoming Construction Workers Are In Short Supply

The future site of the new Tongue River Elementary.
Credit Miles Bryan

Last week we told you about how the cost of building a new high school in Rawlins is running millions of dollars more than was expected. Costs are up because construction companies can’t find enough workers in Wyoming. And it isn’t easy to bring them in from out of state.

Jeremy Smith is the Business Manager for Sheridan’s School District One in Ranchester. I met him on a beautiful morning in Northern Wyoming, and he’s excited to show me the new Tongue River Elementary school--or at least the the rolling pasture where the school should be.

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Open Spaces
5:07 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Latinos At Higher Risk For Workplace Injury

Construction site in Laramie, WY.
Credit Melodie Edwards

Too many jobs, not enough bodies. That’s the dilemma of many Wyoming construction companies these days that can’t keep up with the building demands of the state’s energy boom. An influx of Latino workers are moving to Wyoming to take up the slack. And national figures show that Hispanics lead the nation in fatal injuries. And with Wyoming having one of the worst records for workplace fatalities, the question is: are Latinos putting themselves in the line of fire? 

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Open Spaces
5:00 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Pete Illoway Is A Candidate For Secretary Of State

Credit www.peteilloway.com

Pete Illoway has a background in working for both the U-S and State Department of Agriculture, Wycon Chemical Company, Coastal Chem, Inc. and the economic development operation Cheyenne Leads. He is currently a consultant and lobbyist. Illoway was a state representative from 1998 to 2012. 

During that time he chaired a committee that worked closely with the Secretary of State’s office. He joins Bob Beck.

Learn more about Pete Illoway.

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Wyoming Music Teachers Find Community At UW Summer Program

Professor Rod Garnett leads his group of graduate students in a gamelan session.
Aaron Schrank

It’s before 8 o’ clock in the morning, and there’s a surprising amount of noise coming from a basement classroom in UW’s library.

Inside is a group of about 25 sitting in a circle, playing instruments or humming along. For most of the year, these people are music educators teaching in schools all over Wyoming. But in the summer, they’re students themselves—in a UW summer master’s program. Today, they’re learning a melody by ear.

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Open Spaces
4:37 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Former Navy Commander Seeks State Superintendent Nomination

Republican candidate for State Superintendent Bill Winney.
Credit Bill Winney

Three Republicans are seeking the nomination for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. One of them is Bill Winney. He is a retired Naval Officer who wants to bring that leadership experience to help run the state department of education. In the Navy he trained a number of people and says training and education were a key part of his career.

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News
10:49 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Laramie Considers E-smoking Regulations

Credit Steam Vapor Co.

The Laramie City Council is discussing whether or not it wants to regulate e-cigarettes. They have held one informational meeting so far, and are expected to decide in the coming weeks whether or not to add vaporizing and electronic cigarettes to the citywide public smoking ban or to develop a separate ordinance.

The city regulates where smoking can occur.  Councilwoman Vicky Henry says that the council is trying to decide if it wants to regulate electronic cigarettes and how to go about it. E-cigarettes and vaporizers produce a liquid vapor, rather than smoke.

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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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