Felix Contreras is co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's web-based program about Latin Alternative music and Latino culture. It features music as well as interviews with many of the most well-known Latino musicians, actors, film makers and writers.

Previously, Contreras was a producer and reporter for NPR's Arts Desk and covered, among other stories and projects: a series reported from Mexico introducing the then-new musical movement called Latin Alternative; a series of stories on the financial challenges facing aging jazz musicians; and helped produce NPR's award winning series 50 Great Voices.

News
3:11 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

State Begins Plugging Orphaned Wells

Credit NETL/DOE

The state has started plugging some of the thousand-plus orphaned wells in the Powder River Basin. The wells are relics of the coal-bed methane bust, when many companies went bankrupt and walked away without closing their wells. The state has taken on responsibility for plugging them, using a combination of revoked bonds and funds from a production tax.

Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson says they had hoped to start plugging wells a little bit sooner, but that there were scheduling conflicts to take into account.

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News
9:33 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Eastern Shoshone Tribal Liaison Resigns

The Eastern Shoshone tribal liaison has stepped down from her position, saying the governor and legislature were disrespectful to her, both as a woman and tribal member. But the Governor's office says she wasn't fulfilling her responsibility to mediate between the tribes and the state. 

Tensions have been mounting between the governor’s office and the Wind River Indian tribes for months. The Environmental Protection Agency recently ruled that the city of Riverton falls within reservation boundaries, setting the state and tribes at odds.

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Arts
4:32 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Laramie Mural Project Celebrates Tenth Public Artwork

Artist Lindsey Olson paints her ‘windsock’ trout.
Credit Rebecca Golden

The Laramie Mural Project will celebrate its tenth public artwork with an outdoor party on Friday, June 13. The Mural Project is collaboration between artists, the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Laramie Main Street Alliance. Since 2011, it has decorated the sides of downtown buildings with images ranging from migrant farm workers to prairie dogs. 

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News
11:03 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Wyoming Educators To Push Reforms At NEA Meeting

National Education Association headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Credit Alice B. via Flickr Creative Commons

This month, thousands of educators from around the country will gather in Denver to discuss public education issues and set policies for the coming year at the National Education Association’s annual meeting. 

Wyoming Education Association President Kathy Vetter says one the biggest problems in the state is that teachers' perspectives are often absent from policy initiatives in public education.

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News
7:28 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Wyoming Department Of Health Is Concerned About Measles Outbreaks

There is an increase in measles cases across the U-S and it has federal health officials worried. http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

They say measles is being transmitted by international travelers and is infecting those who do not have a measles vaccination.  Wyoming Department of Health spokesman Kim Deti said state officials are monitoring the situation.

“In Wyoming we haven’t had a case reported since 2010.  What seems to be different here than everywhere else?  Well, the real truth is…we’ve been lucky.”

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News
5:48 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

St. John's Medical Center Adds Surgeons

Credit UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science via Flickr Creative Commons

St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson is hiring several new surgeons and doctors to join the public hospital’s physician group.  It will be the first time the hospital has directly employed surgeons. 

St. John’s CEO Lou Hochheiser says the new hires are needed to meet demand in the area.

“A year and a half ago, we had 4 and a half surgeons in this community,” Hochheiser said. “We have lost two and a half of those surgeons, leaving us with two. Therefore, it was the hospital’s responsibility to make sure that gap was filled.”

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News
4:08 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Colorado Ground Zero For Political Wars Over Fracking

A screenshot of an ad by the industry-funded group Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development.
Credit Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development

Political spending both for and against potential anti-fracking ballot measures is already washing over Colorado.

Colorado is quickly becoming ground zero for a political war over the future of hydraulic fracturing. Drill operations are pushing deeper into populated areas these days and some local governments and activists are supporting ballot measures that would give communities greater control over the industry.

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News
10:03 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Wyoming Regulators Evaluating EPA Carbon Rule

Jim Bridger Power Plant near Rock Springs, WY

In the week since the Obama administration unveiled new rules to curb carbon emissions from the nation’s power plants, Wyoming regulators have been digging in, trying to figure out exactly what they’ll mean for the Cowboy State. So far, they have more questions than answers.

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News
5:13 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

UW Hosts Veterans In Higher Education Conference

War Memorial Stadium at the University of Wyoming
Credit Wyoming_Jackrabbit via Flickr Creative Commons

Higher education institutions from around Wyoming are working together to develop strategies to better serve military veterans on their campuses.

The first-of-its-kind, three-day conference features representatives from colleges and vocational schools statewide.  They say veterans returning to civilian life face challenges and have special needs—and entering into a higher education setting adds to that.

Conference organizer Marty Martinez is project coordinator at UW’s Veterans Services Center.  He says becoming a veteran-friendly school is easier said than done. 

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