Loon populations in Wyoming have dropped to only 14 pairs and are the rarest nesting bird in the state, according to an initiative by the Biodiversity Research Institute based in Gorham, Maine.
The birds nest mainly in the northwest parts of Wyoming. Executive Director David Evers says loons need large lakes with islands for safe nesting. The initiative—known as “Restore the Call”—will use several innovative strategies to help loons feel less threatened. One way is nesting rafts.
After meeting with its actuaries, the Wyoming Retirement System learned it’s doing better than expected. That’s thanks to the legislature’s increases to the state’s contributions to the fund, and investment returns that came in above projections. Executive Director Ruth Ryerson says the long term outlook for the retirement fund is excellent.
“Pretty much, every plan is projected in 30 years or less to be 100 percent funded. And that’s the goal. That means you have every dollar you need to meet every liability you have.”
Wyoming Public Media is opening the position of Director of Engineering and Technology. Shane Toven, long-time Director of Engineering at WPM, has taken a new position as Editor of Radio Magazine. He will remain with WPM in a part-time capacity.
This position offers a rare opportunity to work with a state network and travel throughout Wyoming, one of the most beautiful states in the union. The network is financially strong, and recently received a $1 million state appropriation for infrastructure upgrades.
For the first time, Laramie’s Snowy Range Summer Theatre is doing a touring show. ‘Swingtime Canteen’ is in Laramie June 19-21 and 26-28 (opening night is free to the public). In between, the show will travel to Riverton on June 22, Rock Springs on June 23, Lander on June 24, and Dubois on June 25. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with the director, Leigh Selting.
The University of Wyoming’s undergraduate elementary education program has work to do to meet standards for effective teacher training. That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality—a think tank that pushes for tougher evaluations of classroom teachers.
The report includes a ranking of U.S. teaching colleges, and found that the vast majority of programs failed to prepare teachers for the classroom.
Governor Matt Mead joined his counterparts in eight other states Monday in asking the Environmental Protection Agency to scrap its new carbon pollution rules. The rules call for a 30 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from US power plants by 2030.
In a letter to the agency, the governors say that effectively bans coal-fired power. The EPA disagrees, projecting that coal will still provide 30 percent of the nation’s electricity after the rules are implemented, down from almost 40 percent today.
Despite violations at sister plants, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Service never inspected a sugar beet plant in Lovell where an employee was killed in January. Western Sugar Cooperative's Torrington plant received 15 citations in 2013, including one for improper guard rails -- the same problem that led to the death of 28-year-old Anfesa Galaktionoff.
Cigarette smoking rates among high school students have dropped significantly in recent decades—in Wyoming and the rest of the country. That’s according to the results of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey released last week.
Last year, 17 percent of Wyoming high-schoolers reported regularly smoking cigarettes. That’s slightly above the national average, but down from 40 percent in 1991, when the survey began.