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! 

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Stephanie Joyce / Wyoming Public Media

  

  

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a major part of President Obama's climate change agenda... the Clean Power Plan. That rule, which would limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal fired power plants is now on hold until legal challenges against it are resolved. Wyoming is one of the 27 states to sue the federal government over the regulations. Our Inside Energy reporter Leigh Paterson joins Caroline Ballard to talk about what it all means. 

UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING

Around 12,000 years ago, hunter gatherers began to settle in one place and farm the land. It’s widely thought to be the first time the human population began to grow at a faster rate. However, a recent study published in the scientific journal PNAS and funded by the National Science Foundation is challenging that idea.

Greys River Wildlife Habitat Management Area

The National Elk Refuge's annual supplemental feeding program is underway.  Alfalfa pellets are used to boost the amount of food available to the animals when forage levels drop too low in the winter.

Spokeswoman Lori Iverson says the refuge is taking steps to reduce the transmission of disease during supplemental feeding, due to the elk eating in close proximity.

A group of Republican legislators is sponsoring a bill that would give the final say on a state run refugee resettlement program to the legislature. Wyoming is the only state without a refugee resettlement program and the governor is looking into changing that. 

Republican Senator Ogden Driskill says the bill would put more steps in place to create such a program, and would stop Wyoming Governor Matt Mead from implementing anything on his own. 

Wyoming Association of Churches

The Wyoming Association of Churches shines a light on racism and diversity in Wyoming in a workshop. “Doing Justice in a Red State” will address recent instances of racism in Wyoming, proposed hate crime legislation, and how churches can become involved in social justice issues.

Chesie Lee, the executive director of the Wyoming Association of Churches, says one of the biggest challenges in stomping out racism in the state is the lack of discussion about the topic.

University of Wyoming

Two University of Wyoming archeologists are co-authors on a new paper in the scientific journal PNAS that challenges the traditional understanding of human population growth.

Human population has soared in the last 200 years or so because of the industrial revolution and advances in medicine. Before that, it was thought that the first significant change in human population growth happened around 12,000 years ago, because of the agricultural revolution.

nps.gov

An interagency Board of Review released a report of last summer’s fatal grizzly attack in Yellowstone National Park.

Several organizations, including representatives from the national parks, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the U.S.G.S. Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, compiled a report on the death of Lance Crosby. Crosby was hiking alone, off trail, and without bear spray when he was attacked and killed by an adult female grizzly bear in Yellowstone last August.

National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

A draft of a tri-state grizzly management and hunting practices agreement between Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming has been making the rounds on media sites, prompting outcry from some animal rights groups.

The memorandum plans for a possible delisting of the grizzly bear from the endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It sets population goals, target mortality rates, and, most controversial, percentages of the management area outside the national parks that could possibly be used for hunting grizzlies. 58 percent of the hunt would occur in Wyoming. 

The Wyoming Office of Tourism

The Wyoming Office of Tourism is trying out a new strategy to bring visitors to the cowboy state in 2016. In addition to spot marketing in places like Colorado, Chicago, and Portland the office is launching a nationwide marketing campaign that will feature TV and digital advertisements.

Diane Shober, the executive director at the state’s office of tourism, says the national marketing campaign will launch around the end of February, but it won’t be the only way the office is trying to get the word out about visiting Wyoming.

National Elk Refuge

A partnership between the National Elk Refuge and the Teton Raptor Center will bring new programming to the refuge starting next month.
“Feathered Fridays” at the refuge’s visitor center will feature live appearances by birds from the Teton Raptor Center, such as hawks, eagles, and owls, and will allow guests to see raptors up close. Lori Iverson with the National Elk Refuge says bringing the two organizations together was a no-brainer.

Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy / Facebook

A program that helps at-risk teens could get its state funding extended. The Joint Transportation, Highways, and Military Affairs Committee has drafted a bill that will extend state financial support for the Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy.

The academy is part of a National Guard initiative that recruits at-risk teens who have either dropped out of school or are thinking of dropping out of school. At the Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy in Guernsey, about 250 cadets attend the military-style program and earn a high-school equivalency certificate each year.

Flickr user USACE Europe District / Flickr - Creative Commons

Flu activity has yet to pick up in Wyoming this season. The Centers for Disease Control ranks Wyoming’s current level of flu as “sporadic,” similar to the rest of the country. 

Kim Deti with the Wyoming Department of Health says, with 29 flu-related deaths, last year’s flu season was one of the most severe on record. Deti says the best thing you can do to protect yourself is get a flu vaccine.

U.S. National Park Service

Yellowstone National Park is now open for winter tourism. Park guests can purchase guided tours for cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and snowmobiling. This is also the second year the park will let snowmobilers get permits to enter the park without commercial guides.

Amy Bartlett with Yellowstone National Park says guests visiting the park in the winter time should be prepared.

uwyo.edu

The third and final candidate for the University of Wyoming presidency visited the Laramie campus Monday.

Jeremy Haefner is Provost at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The next President may need to cut the U.W budget by as much as $5 million. When Haefner was the Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs he was faced with a 20% budget cut. He says his approach was to brainstorm with faculty and staff about what could be done. Haefner says he’d take a similar approach at Wyoming.

Wikimedia Commons

The avalanche risk warning for Northwest Wyoming is “Considerable,” right now, or a 3 on a 5 point scale.

Bob Comey  is the director at the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center. He says this risk level is associated with the most avalanche deaths, because more people are still willing to take the chance on venturing into the back country, as opposed to when the risk level is “High” or “Extreme”.

Comey cautions skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, and snowshoers to check avalanche conditions before heading out, and be more conservative when assessing risks.  

Following the terror attacks in Paris last month, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead joined several other governors in saying that he does not think the state should accept any Syrian refugees until more security checks can be promised by the federal government.

Currently, Wyoming has no refugee resettlement program, and Mead admits that puts the state at a disadvantage.

Wyoming Humanities Council

  

After it was discovered that some of the suspects involved in last month’s terror attacks in Paris may have come to France as refugees, governors around the U.S. have announced that their states will not accept Syrian Refugees until more security checks could be promised. Wyoming governor Matt Mead was one of them, but Wyoming still does not have a refugee resettlement program to bar Syrians from in the first place.

Connor Ortman / SpeakLikeAGirl.com

Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood make up the feminist, spoken-word duo Speak Like A Girl. They perform their poems around the country to call attention to issues like body image, rape culture, street harassment, and the patriarchy, and their next stop is Laramie, Wyoming. They’ll be performing at the University of Wyoming in the Education building’s auditorium at 8pm Wednesday night. Gatwood and Falley joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to talk about using poetry to address misogyny.

You can find out more at www.speaklikeagirl.com

Wikipedia Commons

The holiday shopping season is off to an official start in Wyoming, with Black Friday sales now taking place almost the entire weekend.

The deals started Thursday night, with big stores like Target and Walmart opening their doors at 6 pm on Thanksgiving. Wyoming shoppers were ready. Jake Pappas works for the Target in Cheyenne. He says it took about 20 minutes to get everyone who was in line inside, and that was just the beginning.

Wyoming Humanities Council

Last week, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead joined other governors in calling on the U.S. to halt the flow of Syrian refugees to the country. Currently, Wyoming accepts no refugees at all, as it’s the only state without a refugee resettlement program. But that won’t stop the Wyoming Humanities Council from going forward with a campaign to hold discussions about refugee resettlement and what it could mean for Wyoming.

jacksonhole.com/50

As the snow piles up and people across the west begin to break out their skis and snowboards, Wyoming’s biggest ski resort is getting ready to celebrate its 50th winter season. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort now has 116 ski trails, 13 lifts, an aerial tram, and 2500 acres of terrain, but back in 1965, it saw just a handful of skiers going up on 2 chair lifts.

The resort’s Business Development Director Bill Lewkowitz joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about the resort’s past, present, and future. 

Caroline Ballard

The recent terror attacks in Paris that killed 129 people also triggered an emergency response protocol at the University of Wyoming. Three UW students are currently studying in France, though only one UW student was in Paris this weekend, but the University reached out to all of them to make sure they were safe.

Anne Alexander is the Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs. She says despite fears of more attacks, she does not think the events in Paris will impact enrollment in European study abroad programs for next semester.

User TesaPhotography / pixabay

 

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and the percentage of Wyoming adults with diabetes has nearly doubled in the last 15 years. That’s causing concern at the Wyoming Department of Health, where Chronic Disease Epidemiologist Joe Grandpre has been watching the situation unfold.

Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard checked in with Grandpre to find out why diabetes is a growing problem.

Wyoming Department of Transportation

Winter weather this week caused I-80 to close across most of the state. The first major closure of the winter driving season was prompted by near zero visibility and blowing snow across much of interstate 80.

Sergeant David Wagener with the Wyoming Highway Patrol says the most important safety tip for winter driving is wearing your seatbelt, something he says everyone should be doing no matter what the weather conditions are.

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