Caroline Ballard

Morning Edition Host

Phone: 307-766-2241
Email: cballar2@uwyo.edu

Caroline comes to Wyoming by way of New York City, where she received her BA in Global Liberal Studies from New York University and her Masters in Journalism from Columbia University. Her work has appeared on Marketplace, NPR, WFUV, and the Village Voice. Caroline is an avid world traveler and has lived in France, Portugal, New York, and Virginia. In her free time, she likes to cook, knit, and explore all Wyoming has to offer! 

Ways to Connect

When Congress recessed earlier this month, Senators Enzi and Barrasso and Representative Cheney all held office hours and visited communities around Wyoming – but did not hold larger public events in the state.

The annual Leap Into Leadership Conference begins Monday in Cheyenne. It’s hosted by the Wyoming Women’s Legislative Caucus as a way to encourage women, and give them the tools to run for public office. This year the focus is on civil discourse and debate, with one of the panels titled “How Do We Disagree Without Being Disagreeable?”

University of Wyoming

  

A bill to allow individuals with concealed carry permits to carry guns on the University of Wyoming’s campus and community colleges was defeated this week by the State Senate. Those in support of the legislation say it would have made campuses safer, while those opposed to it worried about potential dangers.

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In today’s political climate it can be difficult to even talk to a neighbor or a friend about contentious issues, not to mention trying to work across the aisle within Congress. Former Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe has built a career on bipartisanship and now serves on the board of directors for the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Wikimedia Commons

The Associated Students of the University of Wyoming, or ASUW, will propose a resolution to the Student Senate to fly the rainbow LGBT pride flag on campus in June for Pride Month. 

Chris Ryan, director of governmental affairs at ASUW, said the authors of the resolution wanted to show support for the LGBT community in light of recent and historic events.

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The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will begin collaring elk in the Bighorn Mountains as part of a study on brucellosis, a disease found primarily in elk and bison that can spread to livestock and result in animals aborting their young.

Jennifer Martin

The Peggy A. Kelley Wyoming Cannabis Act of 2016 will not appear on the 2018 General Election Ballot. The applicants who brought forth the effort to legalize marijuana in Wyoming were unable to collect the required 25,000 signatures by the February 14 deadline.

Frank Latta is the director of Wyoming NORML – The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws – one of the groups helping collect signatures. He said inexperience may have played a role in coming up short.

Big Horn County Sheriff's Office / Facebook

Flooding in the town of Worland started to subside as an ice jam there finally cleared.

The Wyoming National Guard was called into the town on Saturday to help fill and stack sandbags, and about 100 homes were evacuated because of the water. Those people were allowed to return Tuesday afternoon, but Lieutenant Colonel Paul Phillips with the National Guard said they are keeping their eyes on the ice from that jam as it travels north.

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The House Education Committee passed a bill Friday that provides updated guidelines for virtual education in Wyoming.

House Bill 35 sets out how students taking courses online should be enrolled in schools, and how school districts will be funded when it comes to students who split time between different programs.

The bill also changes existing language concerning “distance education” to “virtual education”

Kari Eakins with the Wyoming Department of Education said this could potentially open up more opportunities for students around Wyoming.

pixabay

The State Senate approved a budget amendment Friday that mandates school districts cannot use state funds to sue the legislature. The amendment passed 20 to 10.

The language was added as a footnote to the Budget Bill, and is similar to legislation that died in both the House and a Senate committee.

Sheridan Senator Dave Kinskey was in favor of the amendment, and said Wyoming could avoid mistakes of the federal government by approving it.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Senate passed its version of the budget Friday, after considering 34 amendments and adopting 18 to the bill. One of the largest amendments passed would cut $91 million from K-12 education funding.

One amendment intended to strip a measure cutting two percent of salaries of 100 series government employees, not including those in public education, generated considerable discussion.

National Museum of Wildlife Art

Adam Duncan Harris is the curator of art and research at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and is a recipient of one of the 2017 Governor’s Art Awards. He sat down with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about the award and his approach to managing the museum's collection. 

State of Wyoming Legislature

An amendment approved in the Wyoming Senate’s version of the state budget that would cut the salaries of certain state employees by two percent has some concerned, especially senators in districts with large populations of people who work for the government, specifically Cheyenne.

The amendment excludes school district employees and those who work for Community Colleges and the University of Wyoming.   

Cheyenne Senator Tara Nethercott is opposed to the amendment, and said she was surprised she didn’t hear more input from constituents after it passed.

Wikimedia Commons

After hours of testimony Thursday, two bills concerning abortion passed a Senate Committee.

House Bill 116 would make selling fetal tissue a felony. House Bill 182 would require doctors to tell women that they can see an ultrasound before having an abortion.

People on both sides of the issue came out to show their disapproval and support of the bills.

Mary Bowd is retired nurse from Cheyenne. She said letting women know they could see an ultrasound would be consistent with standard medical practice.

Gage Skidmore

From cabinet picks to environmental regulations, there has been a lot of energy news in the first few weeks of the Trump Administration. Inside Energy reporter Leigh Paterson joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard from Denver to talk about some of the changes happening in Washington and how they could affect the West.

Caroline Ballard

After President Donald Trump was inaugurated, marches and protests were held in cities around the world, and in communities around Wyoming. Cheyenne, Casper, Rock Springs, Jackson, Cody, Lander, and Pinedale all hosted marches and thousands of Wyomingites participated. Now, many of them are asking themselves what comes next.

Wyoming Game And Fish Department

According to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, collisions between wildlife and vehicles have been on the rise in recent months.

Doug Brimeyer is the Deputy Chief of Wildlife for the Game and Fish and he says after so many winter storms, the deep snow is limiting winter forage, and so animals are being forced to look for food at lower elevations. Brimeyer said it’s easier for animals to travel where the snow has been plowed back, but that big snow banks on either side of the road, especially in parts of western Wyoming, can trap them.

Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck joins Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to discuss the latest news from the Wyoming Legislature.

PEDIGREE Stage Stop Race

The PEDIGREE Stage Stop Race, a dog sledding race, begins January 27 in Jackson. The competition lasts eight days and travels through four national forests and eight communities, including Jackson, Driggs, ID, Alpine, Pinedale, Lander, Big Piney, Kemmerer, and Uinta County. The race will end back in Jackson on February 4.

Fourteen teams of mushers and dogs will be competing for a 1st prize of $10,000.

The Eukanuba Eight Dog Classic is a three day race that will begin at the same time as the Pedigree Stage Stop Race and will have ten teams competing.

Courtesy Wyoming Humanities Council

For the past few years, the Wyoming Humanities Council has put on a series of events called “Ignite” where locals gave short multimedia presentations in a format similar to TED-talks. This year, the council is kicking off another series of presentations in Cheyenne, Casper, and Laramie with a name change and a shift in focus to storytelling. Jason Burge joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about some of these changes.

University of Wyoming Cultural Programs

  

As the University of Wyoming begins another semester, a new line-up of cultural programming at the school is on the horizon. Janelle Fletcher is the director of Fine Arts Outreach and Cultural Programs at the University of Wyoming, and she joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about what Spring 2017 has in store for students and the public.

 

U.S. Senate

Listen to the whole show here. 

Wyoming Senators Look to Dump the ACA 

Wyoming's two senators are set to play a key role in the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. Senate Republicans, led by Senator Mike Enzi took their first steps towards repealing the Affordable Care Act in a late night session.

governor.gov.wyo

In his State of the State message, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead focused on the state’s continued revenue shortfall, particularly the shortfall in K-12 education.

The School Foundation Program will face a $1.5 billion deficit over the next six years, not including school maintenance or facilities. Last year, Mead asked to form an education taskforce with input from legislators, teachers, students, and the public to find solutions for funding, and in his State of the State he renewed that request.

The Wyoming legislative session is underway, and one of the main challenges facing lawmakers is a revenue shortfall due to a downturn in the energy industry.

House Majority Floor Leader David Miller defended the state’s reliance on the energy industry for revenues in a speech to the House of Representatives.

“Diversifying the economy will not diversify the tax base. In fact, every non-mineral job is a further drain on our limited revenues. Minerals can support Wyoming in perpetuity, however that requires access to the minerals,” Miller said.

Flickr

A new documentary will air on PBS that tells the biographical story of Clara Brown, a former slave who came west and made a fortune. The film Clara: Angel of the Rockies was a winner of PBS’s “To The Contrary: All About Women” film festival in the women’s U.S. history category.

Its creator Patricia McInroy grew up in Wyoming and went to Casper College. She joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to talk about Clara Brown's life and the upcoming documentary.

Clara: Angel of the Rockies will air on Wyoming PBS Sunday, January 8 at 11 a.m.

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