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

Michael Polito Source: Wikimedia Commons

  

The community of Gillette has seen tension recently with plans for a Quran burning and protests over Gillette’s first mosque. Writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Kathryn Schulz heard this and wondered how a Muslim community came to be in coal mining Wyoming.

Caroline Ballard

  

Nearly 150 years ago, Wyoming was the first place in the country to grant women the right to vote. Congress didn't pass the 19th amendment, guaranteeing all American women the right to vote, until 1919, and it was ratified by states in 1920. Wyoming was ahead of its time, giving women the vote in 1869, but there are conflicting accounts as to why the state was a trailblazer.

Habib M’henni / Wikimedia Commons

At a rally this weekend in Gillette, a Wyoming anti-Islam group is planning to burn a Quran.  

According to the group’s website, members of Americans For A Secure Wyoming are calling to “ban Islam from Wyoming,” though the group does not explain how that could be enforced.

Last year, members of a different online group Stop Islam In Gillette protested the opening of Gillette’s first mosque.

Gillette mayor Louise Carter-King said the protests do not reflect positively on what she describes as a welcoming community.

Wyoming Game and Fish

After sightings of mountain lions around Casper this summer, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will hold a workshop to educate residents about mountain lion behavior and how to prevent conflicts with the animals.

Janet Milek, a spokeswoman for the Casper region of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said mountain lions have recently been spotted three times in town. 

Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney clinched the Republican nomination for U.S. House, Ryan Greene won the Democratic nomination for the same seat, and upsets in state legislative races spell uncertainty for leadership positions in the next legislative session. Wyoming Public Radio's Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard speaks with News Director Bob Beck about Tuesday's state primary results.

A Partnership For A New American Economy

Keeping international students at the University of Wyoming in-state after graduation could create 136 jobs, according to a new report from the Partnership for a New American Economy, a national coalition of mayors and business leaders. The group commissioned the report as part of a national campaign about immigration reform this election season.

Caroline Ballard

This week, the New American Economy issued a report on the economic impact of immigrants in every state, highlighting the role immigrants play as entrepreneurs. One place where immigrants are starting new companies in Wyoming is the Wyoming Technology Business Center – a business incubator for start-ups.

The University of Wyoming broke records last year for private donations, with total gifts in fiscal year 2016 totaling $63.1 million. 

The record year comes amid a major downturn in the energy sector, the state’s number one industry. 

“Let me just say, [it] could not be better timing,” said Ben Blalock, president of the University of Wyoming Foundation. 

Blalock said they didn’t expect the increase, but that when you look at where private giving comes from it is less surprising.

An undercover operation that led to the arrests of 15 people during Cheyenne Frontier Days has put a spotlight on human trafficking in the state. The sting was a joint effort by the Cheyenne Police Department, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, and the FBI, and several individuals involved in the operation were members of the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

Wyoming Democratic Party

The Democratic National Convention wrapped up Thursday night with the official nomination of Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential candidate.  

Wyoming is a reliably red state, voting republican in every presidential election since the 1960s, so the Democratic candidate is typically an afterthought to most voters. But Ken Chestek, a DNC delegate from Laramie, said he doesn’t think Donald Trump will get much support in Wyoming.

Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources

After 10 years, Milward Simpson is leaving his post as Director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Simpson was appointed to the position in July of 2006 by former Governor Dave Freudenthal.

During his time in office, Simpson established a new electronic records management system for the state archives, created programs to get families in the outdoors, and coordinated state and federal land management agencies.

Simpson said he is particularly proud of putting on statewide conferences for things like the arts, culture, and historic preservation.

Rick Edwards (AMNH)

Wyoming looked pretty different 50 million years ago. It was tropical, with lots of trees and wet, humid conditions. Scientists know this because of the many fossils found from this time period in the Green River Formation in Southwest Wyoming.

Will and Jim Pattiz / More Than Just Parks

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial this year, and already 2016 is on track to break records for the number of visitors at national parks in Wyoming. But if you can’t make it to a national park this summer, there’s a new way to see one right from your computer or smartphone.

More Than Just Parks is a project by brothers Will and Jim Pattiz, who have set out to document every national park with its own short film. Each video is a few minutes long and features time lapse photography of landscapes and wildlife.

U.S. Forest Service

Climate change is hurting certain fish species in North American streams and lakes, according to the July issue of Fisheries Magazine.

Abigail Lynch, a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, is one of the guest editors for the special issue. She said she looked at several previous scientific studies when compiling the July issue and found worrisome trends, like how prolonged droughts impact fish that are normally used to having a lot of space in their habitat.

David Swift

 

When someone gets sick, it can be difficult to know what to do for them. Should you bring flowers, food, a card? Jackson resident Kathleen Neiley is providing an answer to that question and employing rural women around the state with her new business Full Circle.

Quilts. The company creates custom, group funded t-shirt quilts for cancer patients, and its workforce will be made up of women in rural areas of Wyoming. Neiley told Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard the idea came from her own experiences.

National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Two grizzlies that were raiding trash cans east of the town Dubois along the Wind River have been euthanized.

Brian Debolt, the large carnivore conflict manager for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said the bears were displaying bold behavior around people.

“In the last week I’ve probably had 50 reports of people either seeing the bears or knowing the bears have been through their property. You know, their trash cans tipped over, a bag of trash pulled out of their pickup, or picture on their trail cam, bird feeder torn down, those types of situations,” said Debolt.

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a Wyoming law that criminalizes taking photos or collecting data on private lands without permission.

Judge Skavdahl dismissed the lawsuit, saying there is no constitutional right to trespassing on private lands. Skavdahl had been concerned about a previous provision that banned the public from open land, but lawmakers removed that from the law earlier this year. 

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

If trends continue, Wyoming will close its gender wage gap last out of all 50 states – in the year 2159. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research predicted that date by looking at salary rates in the state from 1969 to 2013.

Julie Anderson is a Research Associate at the institute, and she joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to discuss why Wyoming is such an outlier when it comes to the wage gap.

BLM Wyoming

New fire restrictions for public lands in Sheridan, Johnson, and Campbell counties will go into effect Friday. Those counties been dry and hot in recent weeks, and lightning strikes have caused two fires in the area.

The new Bureau of Land Management restrictions will prohibit things like building fires outside of designated fire grates and smoking on public lands. 

Wyoming Highway Patrol

Several thousand gallons of crude oil are believed to have leaked from a tractor-trailer following a crash near Wright in northeast Wyoming Sunday morning. 

According to a press release, the commercial truck was hauling a semi-trailer and pup trailer full of crude oil when it ran off Wyoming State Highway 450 and into a ditch. Truck driver Nathan Gibson then tried to steer the truck back onto the highway, but was unsuccessful, and the truck rolled.

the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue

The Beaver Creek fire in the Routt National Forest has grown to more than 5,300 acres and 40 homes are now threatened by the blaze in Northern Colorado, just two miles south of the Wyoming-Colorado border.

Michelle Kelly, Public Information Officer with the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue, said containment has been difficult because of windy conditions and beetle kill trees.

Wikipedia Creative Commons

If trends continue, Wyoming will close its gender wage gap last out of all 50 states – in the year 2159. That’s based on historical wage data from between 1959 and 2013 analyzed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Julie Anderson, a research associate at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said, unlike much of the country where wage growth has been relatively stagnant, men’s salaries in Wyoming have been on the rise.

The New WOrld Atlas Of Articial Night Sky Brightness

A new global study of light pollution has identified Northwest Wyoming as having some of the darkest skies in the lower 48 states. The New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness was a collaborative project to map the brightest and darkest places on earth.

Dan Duriscoe, the National Park Service scientist who worked on the atlas, said the area including Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks is very dark, and it is likely to stay that way.

Phil, CDC

Cities and towns across Wyoming have begun mosquito prevention efforts. Fogging and spraying are underway to kill adult mosquitos, and larvicide is being applied to areas of standing water like wheat fields and ponds.

Keith Wardlaw, the mosquito crew supervisor for the city of Laramie, said areas that have seen lots of rain and snowmelt, like Southeast and Central Wyoming, may also see more mosquitos this summer.

“We’ve had a very wet spring. There’s certainly a lot of habitat available right now for mosquitos to be produced in,” said Wardlaw.

M&R Glasgow, Flickr Creative Commons

Listen to the full show here.

Wyoming Lawmakers Oppose New Gun Measures In Wake Of Orlando

In the wake of the tragic slayings in Orlando last weekend, gun-control unexpectedly dominated Congress this week. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on why Wyoming lawmakers think the debate is misguided. 

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