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 Bachelors in Global Liberal Studies from New York University and her Masters in Journalism from Columbia University. Her work has appeared on WFUV, Brick City Live, the Village Voice, and Uptown Radio. Caroline is an avid world traveler and has lived in France, Portugal, New York, and Virginia.

Ways To Connect

 

The super bowl of energy conferences, called CERAWeek, wrapped up in Houston on Friday. Industry executives, analysts, and policy makers were all there to talk about the current state of the industry and where it's headed. Panels and keynote speakers talked about everything from natural gas, to coal, to of course, oil prices.

Leigh Paterson is a Wyoming-based reporter for Inside Energy. That’s a public media collaboration focused on America’s energy issues. She was at the conference all week and joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to talk all about it.

I-80 is closed in both directions between Walcott Junction and Laramie after a second pileup in five days. One death and over twenty injuries are confirmed.

The crash happened around 8am Monday morning about 18 miles west of Laramie, when two semis reportedly collided, causing one to jackknife across both westbound lanes.

Credit National Sexual Violence Resource Center

April is sexual assault awareness month, and here in Wyoming a new law now offers stricter protections for victims. Becca Fisher is the Executive Director of Laramie’s SAFE project – a crisis center for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. She talked with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard about the progress and challenges still facing sexual assault awareness in the state.

Wyoming Department of Transportation

At least twenty-seven people are being treated for injuries after three massive pile-ups on Interstate 80 between Laramie and Cheyenne Thursday morning. 

The Wyoming Highway Patrol estimates 45 vehicles were involved in the crashes. Both directions of I-80 have been closed indefinitely while the crashes are investigated.

Six to ten inches of snow fell overnight in the area according to the National Weather Service and the Highway Patrol reports ongoing blizzard conditions.

Erin Jones

On Easter Sunday, six hikers tumble out of cars and gather at the East Trailhead of Turtle Rock, east of Laramie. Chuck Adams, the hike’s organizer, gathers them in a circle.

“This is the fourth High Society hike that’s been in the works," he explains. "The other three have occurred in Oregon, so this is the first in Wyoming so congratulations. You should feel special.”

The Shepard Symposium on Social Justice is underway at the University of Wyoming and will be featuring several spotlight events the rest of this week. Two of the events this weekend are photography sessions for The Self Evident Truths Project. iO Tillett Wright is the founder of and photographer for the project, as well as an LGBT activist. She’s attempting to photograph 10,000 people in all 50 states who identify as anything other than 100% straight in hopes of showing Americans the diverse makeup of the LGBT community.

The University of Wyoming’s annual Shepard Symposium on Social Justice began Wednesday night. The four-day event was named for Matthew Shepard and the activism of his surviving family members. It features panels and presentations focusing on race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, and social justice issues.

Wyoming Game and Fish

State wildlife officials suspect intentional poisoning after a raccoon, a skunk, a coyote, and three domestic dogs died near the Timber Creek Ranger Station west of Meeteetse last week.

Alan Osterland is the wildlife supervisor at Cody’s regional Game and Fish office. He says there are several signs that point to intentional poisoning

Robert Earl Keen is one of Americana's biggest stars. His music career spans three decades, he has released 18 albums, and he even strummed and sang his way into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame. He'll be playing in the Town Square of Jackson Hole on Friday for the Jackson Hole Rendezvous Music Festival. Keen's love of music all started in bars in Houston. But as he told Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard, he wasn't there for the bands - he was there for foosball.

http://www.antelopebuttefoundation.org

Residents in the Big Horn Mountains are looking to breathe new life into an old ski area.

The Antelope Butte Ski Area was a small community ski hill that opened in the 1960s and closed in 2004. In 2010 local residents banded together in an effort to revive the hill and created the Antelope Butte Foundation - a nonprofit group.

This year the Forest Service completed an appraisal of the area, and new employees were brought on board to help fundraise over 4 million dollars to reopen it.

Wyo. Republicans Now Fighting To Preserve Obamacare Funding

One of the biggest Supreme Court cases of this term could wipe away the insurance subsidies that tens of thousands of Wyoming residents now rely on under so-called Obamacare. Matt Laslo has the story from Washington on how Wyoming Senator John Barrasso is now scrambling to find a Plan B for a law he's staked his name as a doctor opposing.  

Caroline Ballard

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, politicians, and energy industry reps gathered at the University of Wyoming Monday to break ground on a state-of-the-art building .

The $53.5 million dollar High-Bay Research Facility was funded mostly by the state government, but over $16 million of that came from energy companies. UW President Dick McGinity says their financial support points to a key partnership between industry, government, and higher education.

Wyoming's legislative session is coming to a close. Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck joined Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard for an overview of this year's goings-on.

Judge Nancy Freudenthal has ruled on a federal court case concerning a controversial wild horse round-up that took place last year in southwestern Wyoming.

Freudenthal said that the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in the roundup, which means there was not sufficient study of the potential environmental impacts of the roundup.

Opening arguments were heard Monday in the case.

  

Some Call It A Disappointing Legislative Session

The Wyoming legislative session is coming up on its last week. It’s a session that’s seen the defeat of Medicaid Expansion and some other key issues. Because of that, critics say they really haven’t accomplished much, and some legislators agree.  

Caroline Ballard

Latino influence is growing in America across the board, including in conservation issues and outdoor recreation. One of the people leading this charge is Jose Gonzalez, the founder of Latino Outdoors, an organization that aims to increase the Hispanic community’s contact with the outdoors.

Caroline Ballard

Southeastern Wyoming may be seeing heavy snow this weekend, but if you have tried skiing there over the past month or so, you may have run into a problem: dirt. With temperatures consistently in the 40s and 50s and little precipitation, snowpack in this part of the state is well below average. 

Cross country skiing on the icy slush isn't fun. Just ask Matthew Klump, a sophomore at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He’s just finished  skiing a Valentine’s Day weekend race at Happy Jack, and is recounting the race with some of his teammates.

Caroline Ballard.

Protesters gathered Tuesday at an event on the University of Wyoming campus to protest former vice president Dick Cheney. Cheney and his wife Lynne were in Laramie for a discussion of her new book about James Madison.

About 15 protesters from the group Wyoming Citizens Against Torture stood outside the entrance of the University's Gateway Center, holding signs saying "Arrest Cheney Now" and "Torture Is A War Crime."

Laramie Resident Bob Strayer helped organize the protest.

University of Wyoming

Hands-on problem solving is the aim of a new project at the University of Wyoming. “WyoMakers” gives Junior High students in Laramie access to UW students and resources to work on design projects.

Tonia Dousay is the project’s founder, and says students think about problem solving more deeply when they create something, as opposed to simply memorizing information. For example, she says designing model boats with 3D printers gives students an opportunity to look closely at building materials and dimensions in a tangible way.

Wyoming Public Radio's news director Bob Beck checks in with Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to discuss the session as the state legislature passes the halfway mark.

Even though Medicaid Expansion was killed in the State Senate last week, Wyoming’s free clinics will continue providing primary care to the so-called “working poor.”

Sarah Gorin is the Executive Director of the Downtown Clinic in Laramie, which supported the bill.

"It’s pretty disappointing because it would have benefitted our clients," she said.

Above-average temperatures mean grizzly bears have started to emerge from hibernation in Yellowstone National Park. Over the last five years grizzlies have tended to emerge during the first half of March, which puts Monday’s first sighting of activity 2-4 weeks sooner than usual.

Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash says that could be a problem for visitors who are more used to preparing for potential grizzly encounters in the warm summer months.

University of Wyoming

Jason Collins is a retired NBA player and was the first professional player in a major American sport to come out as gay. Since his announcement in 2013, Collins played briefly for the Brooklyn Nets and is now a public speaker and LGBT advocate. He's visiting the University of Wyoming as the keynote speaker for UW's MLK Days of Dialogue, and he joins Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to talk about his career.

The event takes place tonight at 7:30 pm in the Wyoming Union Ballroom, and is open to the public.

Patricia Lavin

Scientists at the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center are analyzing 250 tissue samples of elk, wild bison, and livestock in an effort to better understand how the disease brucellosis spreads.

Brucellosis sickens large mammals like elk and cattle, and can cause them to abort their young.  U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Pauline Kamath says a commonly held theory has been that Yellowstone’s wild animals have been infected with brucellosis by elk on Wyoming feed grounds. But her data shows that may not be as common as previously thought.

The second week of Wyoming's state legislature is wrapping up today. Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck speaks with Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard about what we've seen so far this session.

A board of former politicians, business leaders, and law enforcement is looking to push for employment protections for LGBT people in Wyoming.

Currently the state has no workplace protections for LGBT people, which means workers can be fired simply for being gay.

Former U.S. Senator Al Simpson is a member of the new board, put together by the advocacy group Compete Wyoming. He says he wants to emphasize this is not about gay marriage. 

The Wyoming legislative session kicked off yesterday and this morning Governor Matt Mead will give the annual state of the state address. Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck is attending his 31st legislative session and joined Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard for a preview of the action.

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