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

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.

Flickr

PBS will air a documentary created by Wyoming native Patricia McInroy. Her film Clara: Angel of the Rockies was the winner of PBS’s “To The Contrary: All About Women” film festival in the women’s U.S. history category.

The documentary tells the story of Clara Brown, a former slave who came to Colorado and set up a laundry business for miners, eventually making a fortune. McInroy said Brown ended up winning over almost everyone she met because of her kindness, earning her the nickname “Angel of the Rockies.”

Wyoming Highway Patrol Association

The Wyoming Highway Patrol will continue a holiday safety campaign through January 2nd. More troopers will be out on highways, and those troopers will be more visible than usual in hopes of slowing people down.

Sergeant David Wagener with the Wyoming Highway Patrol said the holidays mean holiday parties.

“And also with those come the consumption of alcohol with those celebrations, so an increase in impaired driving typically comes this time of year as well. So we’ll be out looking for impaired drivers,” said Wagener.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the national suicide rate has risen 24 percent since 1999, but Wyoming’s suicide rate has remained essentially unchanged in the same period.

State suicide prevention coordinator Terresa Humphries-Wadsworth chalked up the flat suicide rate here to increased efforts in education. She said they have been working hard over the past few years to train people to recognize the warning signs that someone may be considering suicide, and then how they can bring up the subject and connect a person with resources – and it seems to be working.

Wyoming Democrats

Wyoming Democratic Chair Ana Cuprill has announced she will run for Secretary of the Democratic National Committee.

Cuprill has led the Wyoming Democrats since 2015. She said, being from a western state, she would be able to advance conversations about the Democratic Party’s poor showing in rural parts of the country, which voted overwhelmingly Republican in November’s election.

Wyoming Highway Patrol

High winds around the state have forced state officials to close several roads to light, high profile vehicles. Some of the road closures include portions of I-25 between Cheyenne and Wheatland, and I-80 between Laramie and Rawlins.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol say it has investigated at least 80 crashes around the state since Monday, many of those involving vehicles that have blown over.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming legislature's Joint Judiciary Committee has drafted a bill that aims to enact criminal justice reform.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman David Miller said the bill would reduce Wyoming’s prison population through a variety of sentencing reforms.

“[Through] not as strict sentencing, letting the prosecutors have a little more leeway, the judges have a little more leeway, and when people are up for parole, giving them possibly more credit for time served, good time served, or if there is a minor infraction not resetting all that back to zero,” said Miller.

CREDIT BLOGTREPRENEUR.COM/LI

In the upcoming session, the Wyoming legislature will consider a Joint Judiciary Committee bill that aims to bring about criminal justice reform. House Judiciary Committee Chair David Miller, a Republican, and Representative Charles Pelkey, a Democrat, joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about the bill.

Wikimedia Commons

President Elect Donald Trump has reportedly asked Montana U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke to be the nation’s next Interior Secretary. The Interior Secretary is tasked with the conservation and management of federal lands, national parks, and natural resources in the United States.

Zinke was an early supporter of Trump. As a member of congress, he has supported the Land and Water Conservation Fund and keeping public lands under federal control, but is also a proponent of logging and energy development on those lands.

Aaron Schrank

Listen to the full show here. 

Teachers Help Students Cope with Uneasy Election

Emotions are running high following the 2016 presidential election. Educators in Jackson are helping their large number of Mexican students cope with emotions they may be encountering at home. Rebecca Huntington has more.

 

Wyoming Women’s Caucus

  

For the last 22 years, women have held Wyoming's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Retiring Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) is being replaced by Liz Cheney. Lummis herself replaced Barbara Cubin, who was elected to the seat in 1994. Cubin was the first woman to ever hold the seat, breaking down barriers that had been in place for generations. 

Women Run The West

Over the last year, Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard and Jennifer Pemberton, formerly of Utah Public Radio and currently working for KTOO in Juneau, Alaska, have tracked the political representation of women in western states in the collaboration Women Run The West.

Wikipedia

The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that government agencies can charge media organizations and individuals for certain costs associated with producing electronic public records.

University of Wyoming

Backpacker Magazine has ranked the University of Wyoming as the third best college in the country for hikers. The high ranking was earned in part because of the school’s Outdoor Leadership Development Series, which is a competitive yearlong program that teaches students to be leaders through outdoor activities and wilderness training.

Dan McCoy, the assistant director for campus recreation at the University of Wyoming, said the many opportunities to get outside at UW make for a great recruiting tool.

Matt Micheli

Wyoming U.S. House Representative Cynthia Lummis is rumored to be on the short list for Secretary of the Interior in the Trump administration and the Wyoming Republican Party is doing what it can to make that happen.

State party chairman Matt Micheli said at this point it’s just a matter of trying to put in a good word in Washington.

“You know the transition team is assembled and there are people on the transition team that I know well," he said. "We can raise our hand and say ‘hey.'”

Irina Zhorov

After an extremely mild and dry fall, winter weather is finally making an appearance in Wyoming. Most of the state is under Winter Storm Warnings, Watches, and Winter Weather Advisories through tonight and Thursday, with the heaviest snowfall hitting Thursday morning. 

Daniel Mayer

The National Elk Refuge and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have released a new management plan detailing how the refuge will be managed for the next 15 years.

Wikimedia Commons

  

Donald Trump promised sweeping reforms to the energy industry during the campaign. He vowed to bring back coal jobs, boost domestic oil and gas production, back out of international climate change agreements and gut the Environmental Protection Agency.

Robert Kelly

As America contemplates its future with a new president, one man has been looking to the past for cues about our future. Robert Kelly, an archaeologist at the University of Wyoming, has written a new book called The Fifth Beginning.

In it, he argues humanity has encountered four transition points - or “beginnings” - in its history: the invention of technology, like stone tools, culture, agriculture, and the state. He sat down with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to discuss the period of transition humans are facing right now.

Wyoming State Legislature

There will be fewer women serving in Wyoming's legislature after Tuesday's election. A large number of women ran for seats in the state house and senate, 37 total. But only 10 won their races.

Currently, Wyoming has the lowest representation of women in its legislature in the country, with just 12 women currently in office.

Cathy Connolly, the House District 13 representative, said she is at a loss for why the state ended up losing female representatives.

Brett Neilson

Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard interviews News Director Bob Beck about what the outcomes of several key races mean for Wyoming.

Marian Orr

Marian Orr has been elected to be Cheyenne’s next Mayor.  Orr won Cheyenne’s hotly contested mayoral race with 56 percent of the vote.

Throughout her campaign, she said she was focused on repairing infrastructure in the city, especially roads, and improving the city’s police force. Now she said it will be a matter of moving funds around.

Pages