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

Listen to the full show here. 

Energy Bill Could Help Wyoming

The U.S. Senate put its partisan tendencies aside this week and passed a sweeping bill aimed at modernizing the U.S. energy sector. Matt Laslo reports from Washington the bill includes provisions that could help the state’s ailing energy industry.

Uranium miner Cameco has announced it is laying off 85 workers in Wyoming and Nebraska.

Ken Vaughn, a spokesman for Cameco, says the cuts are a result of an ongoing downturn in the uranium market.

“Well there’s just an oversupply on the market at present. Part of that is due to the fact that most of the Japanese nuclear plants have been offline for the Fukushima disaster,” says Vaughn.

istockphoto.com

A viral essay written by a University of Wyoming computer science student is inspiring real change at the university.

In a speech marking National Park Week, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell praised efforts by states like Wyoming to collaborate with private industry and federal agencies to keep the Greater Sage Grouse off the endangered species list.

"That’s the model for the future of conservation. That big picture, roll up your sleeves, get input from all stakeholders kind of planning is how land management agencies should orient themselves in the 21st century," said Jewell.

Wyoming is sometimes called the Equality State — it had the nation's first female governor and was the first territory to give women the right to vote. But that legacy isn't visible on the floor of the state Senate. Just one of the 30 state senators is a woman.

"I am the queen of the Senate. I have my own little tiara," jokes Bernadine Craft, a Democrat who represents the mining town of Rock Springs.

Democratic voters in Wyoming have decided: Sen. Bernie Sanders has won the state's caucuses, according to The Associated Press. But the victory over Hillary Clinton will not ensure Sanders more delegates. The state's 14 delegates will be split evenly between the two candidates.

​Hillary for America Campaign Manager Robby Mook released the following statement on Clinton's tie in pledged delegates in Wyoming:

Casper College

A new musical premieres this month at Casper College. “Mulberry” is set in the late 1990s, and focuses on the patriarch of a family in a small town in Wisconsin. James Olm is a voice and musical theatre instructor at Casper College, and is the writer and composer of the musical.

He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard that the inspiration to write the show actually came from a difficult time in his own life.

Wikipedia Commons

The Shepard Symposium on Social Justice celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. One of the keynote speakers for the event is Masha Gessen, a Russian-American journalist, author, frequent contributor to the New York Times and New Yorker, and LGBT activist. She joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard for a conversation about Russia's anti-gay campaign and LGBT refugees finding new lives in the United States.

The Wyoming Office of Tourism’s 2016 campaign “That’s WY” is focused on answering why people should visit Wyoming.

One of the biggest changes the campaign has introduced is a new website design and URL at travelwyoming.com. The new site is image based with a so-called responsive design, which means the site looks the same whether viewed on a cell phone or desktop computer.

Diane Shober, executive director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism, says, in addition to the new site, the office is also expanding its reach in radio and television.

Conservation groups Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and Defenders of Wildlife filed a legal challenge Wednesday against a 2014 National Park Service decision to give authority over inholdings in Grand Teton National Park to the state of Wyoming. Inholdings are parcels of land that are located inside the park, but are either state or privately owned.

Tim Preso is the attorney representing the conservation groups. Preso says the park service’s decision reversed 60 years of protections for wildlife within the boundaries of the park.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is changing some of its rules for this year’s antler rush to make it safer by giving people a head start.

Wyoming Outdoor Council

This May, the University of Wyoming will award an honorary doctoral degree to Tom Bell. Bell is 92 years old, a writer, World War II Veteran, and renowned conservationist. In 1967 he founded the Wyoming Outdoor Council and in 1970 started High Country News. He joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about how conservation has changed since he first came to Wyoming.

Wyoming Outdoor Council

Longtime conservationist Tom Bell will be awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Wyoming. Bell is 92 years old and founded both the Wyoming Outdoor Council and High Country News.

Bell says when he founded the council in 1967, no one was paying attention to the health of the planet. Over time, he says people have slowly changed their minds about conservation for a few reasons.

Wyoming Humanities Council

The Wyoming Humanities Council and Wyoming PBS are hosting a panel discussion on refugee resettlement next week. It's part of a Humanities Council series exploring the issue in Wyoming, the only state without a refugee resettlement program.

The panel will feature former refugee and teacher Bertine Bahige , UW law professor Suzan Pritchett, and state Representative Tom Reeder.

Rebecca Huntington

Jackson and Teton County officials have decided to let voters decide whether to use 6 million dollars raised from a sales tax to fix a slow moving land slide. 

The slide began about 2 years ago and has cut off access to a neighborhood and a Walgreens. It also threatened underground water pipes and split a home in two.

Jackson Mayor Sara Flitner says if the slide is not completely fixed, natural events like a wet day or an earthquake could put residents in danger.

Wikipedia Commons

2016 has been the worst year for avalanche deaths in Wyoming since 2009. So far this year there have been five avalanche deaths in Wyoming, more than any other state.

Bob Comey is a forecaster with the Bridger Teton Avalanche Center. He says part of the problem is that there are more inexperienced people heading into the backcountry.

"You know we have more people going out taking more risks, and some of them are maybe not as knowledgeable and as experienced or prepared as they could be," says Comey.

commons.wikimedia.org

As spring approaches, Yellowstone National Park’s grizzly bear population is starting to wake up. The first grizzly was spotted out of hibernation February 22nd.

Amy Bartlett is a spokeswoman for Yellowstone National Park. She says the bears are coming out of hibernation on schedule, even though it still feels like winter.

Caroline Ballard

  

Across the United States, women make up just under a quarter of state legislators. In Wyoming, the statistics are even worse – only 13 percent of legislators are women. That makes the “Equality State” 50th in the nation. Part of the problem is no one is asking them to run. 

Bernadine Craft is a state senator from Sweetwater County, and she is the only woman in the state senate. She says that the main reason she is there is because she was asked to run by Senator Rae Lynn Job, who once held the senate seat Craft has now.

The Wyoming legislative session comes to a close today. Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck joins Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to look back at this year's budget session.

National Weather Service Riverton

Wyoming is seeing some of its famous wind today in a weather event that has sustained winds of 40 to 50 miles an hour, and could produce gusts in excess of 75mph around the state. A winter storm system that has dumped several inches of snow on the western mountains is causing the wind.

Trevor LaVoie is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Riverton. He says driving in wind like this is risky, but for now, that is the only factor.

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.

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