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.

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Open Spaces
4:43 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

September 26th, 2014

State Scrambles To Fix Wolf Plan

This week a federal judge placed Wyoming’s wolves back on the endangered species list after ruling that the state’s management plan did not offer adequate protection for the wolves. The plan that the state and federal government negotiated would keep the number of wolves that are outside of National Parks to over 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs. But the Judge ruled that Wyoming’s plan was not binding.

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Open Spaces
4:13 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Sexual Assault Remains Underreported In Wyoming – Why One Woman Is Speaking Out

The STOP Violence Project at The University of Wyoming offers free condoms with messages of consent.
Caroline Ballard

This past Sunday the White House released an ad campaign to address sexual assault on college campuses. It uses celebrities to promote speaking up if you suspect a sexual assault is in the works. But even with renewed awareness efforts, Sexual Assault remains the most underreported crime in the United States. Wyoming is no exception.

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News
8:41 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Goshen County Grenade Launchers Raise Questions Of Police Militarization

Credit Flickr user nukeit1

Police forces nationwide have been criticized for their increased militarization following this summer’s protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Now, Goshen County is coming under scrutiny for owning two grenade launchers. 

The weapons have never been used, but are kept by the Goshen County Sheriff’s department in case they are needed to immobilize a crowd of people. The county is home to only around 14-thousand people, and its jail houses just 25 inmates.

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Open Spaces
6:07 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

September 19th, 2014

Credit Bob Beck

Wyoming Lawmakers Battle The Feds Over Water

There's a water war going on in the nation's capital that has Wyoming lawmakers and land owners worried the federal government is soon going to be regulating most every drop of water that falls from the sky.

37-Year Lawsuit Settles Issue Of Tribal Water Rights

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Open Spaces
5:12 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Dark Side Of The Boom: The Takeaway

Credit Blastcube

This week, Wyoming Public Radio aired a series of stories on workplace fatalities in the oil and gas industry. The series looked North Dakota’s high oil and gas fatality rate, Wyoming’s response to its own rising death toll, and whether there are lessons to be learned from the commercial fishing industry in Alaska, which has cut fatalities in half in the last decade. Emily Guerin of Prairie Public Radio and Stephanie Joyce of Wyoming Public Radio share some of their takeaways after reporting the series.

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Open Spaces
4:09 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

A Wall To Divide Constructed – And Crumbled – On UW Campus

A bystander takes the first swing at the wall.
Caroline Ballard

The Berlin Wall came down in East Germany 25 years ago, but last week a new wall went up here in Wyoming. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard finds out why history is repeating itself.

Young adults with spray paint cans stand in front of a colorful canvas. They graffiti the 32-foot long wall with calls for freedom, unity and love.

The structure is topped with barbed wire and is manned by American and East German guards. No, this isn’t Berlin circa 1989. It’s 2014, and this is the south end of the University of Wyoming.

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Open Spaces
4:09 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

"Altitude Adjustment" Author Recounts Adjusting To Wyoming

Credit Mary Beth Baptiste

After her divorce in the early 90s, Mary Beth Baptiste moved to Grand Teton National Park to work as a seasonal employee. Her memoir Altitude Adjustment: A Quest for Love, Home, and Meaning in the Tetons was published this Spring by TwoDot/Globe Pequot Press, and it chronicles her first years at the park.

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News
12:19 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Health Official Says Comprehensive Sex-Ed Helps Reduce Teen Birth Rate

A Wyoming Department of Health study says that the state’s teen birth rate has dropped every year for the last six years.

In 2008 Wyoming had about 50 births for every 1000 teen girls. That rate dropped to about 35 births in 2013. Some counties have seen even more dramatic decreases.

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Natural Resources & Energy
6:58 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Illegal Wastewater Dumping Grows

As oil production continues to boom in the Powder River Basin, illegal wastewater dumping is a growing problem. Kodiak Oilfield in Converse County was recently cited for illegally dumping produced water, one of 14 water violations in the state so far this year.

Oil fields typically produce about twice as much water as they do oil – water that is high in sodium content and contains hydrocarbons. Dumping this water into streams, rivers, or fields could interfere with natural habitat, soil, and water quality.

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Arts
12:19 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Silhouettes Of Women Shed Light On Body Image

Credit Real Women Real Bodies

An exhibit at UW’s Gallery 234 space is aiming to promote positive body image among young women. The Real Women Real Bodies gallery features 22 black and white silhouettes of nude women – all of whom are volunteers and UW students. Sydney Stein is a sophomore at UW, and the president and founder of Real Women Real Bodies. She sat down with Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to discuss her vision. 

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News
11:01 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Common Core 101: The Lowdown On Controversial Education Standards

Tonight, Wyoming Public Radio and Wyoming PBS will host a panel forum at UW exploring the Common Core State Standards for education. WPR Education Reporter Aaron Schrank will moderate the event, and he joined Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to talk Common Core and what to expect from the forum.

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Natural Resources & Energy
8:57 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Open Season Starts For Proposed Pipeline

There's a new pipeline project proposed from North Dakota to Oklahoma that would run through Wyoming. On Friday, Enterprise Product Partners LLC announced an "open season" for the Bakken-to-Cushing pipeline. Open seasons are a way to gauge interest and demand for a pipeline.

If built, the line would run from the Williston Basin in North Dakota, and would pass through oil plays in Eastern Wyoming and Northern Colorado. The line would end in the Cushing hub in Oklahoma, where oil is priced.

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Open Spaces
5:36 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

September 5th, 2014

Wyoming Lawmakers Fight For Conservative Health Bill

During the last two elections Wyoming Republicans campaigned on repealing and replacing so-called Obamacare – but House Republicans have yet to vote on a replacement. Matt Laslo has a look from Washington on the debate dividing Republicans in Congress. 

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Open Spaces
4:24 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

PEN Open Book Award Gives Author Platform To Discuss Wyoming Immigrant Experiences

Credit Courtesy photo

Nina McConigley is the author of Cowboys and East Indians, and a recent winner of the PEN Open Book award. She joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to discuss the award and said the news of her win took a little time to reach her.

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News
3:59 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Wyoming's Obesity Rate Spikes

Obesity rates around the country are rising drastically, and Wyoming  is no different - that’s according to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Around 27.8% of the adult population in Wyoming is obese, nearly double the rate 20 years ago.

Between 2012 and 2013, the state’s obesity rate rose 3.2%. That was one of the biggest spikes in the nation.

Joe Grandpre with the Wyoming Department of Health says the reasons for the state’s growing waistbands are simple.

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News
8:07 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Controversial Tax Up For Vote In Jackson

Jackson’s 2-percent lodging tax is up for a vote in November, and a new breakdown by Jackson Hole News&Guide shows 40-percent of lodging tax revenues go back to the county. Unlike Jackson’s 60-40 split, most towns only see about 10-percent of revenues from their lodging taxes – the rest going back into tourism.

The tax had been up for a vote ever since 1994, but had been continually struck down over fears it would hinder tourism. The measure finally passed in 2010 after promises of higher returns for the local economy. 

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News
10:32 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Green River Will Return Train Depot Funds To State

Green River Train Depot.
Credit Jasperdo via Flickr Creative Commons

Green River will return $1 million it got from the state to renovate its historic Union Pacific train depot.

The community received a $1 million grant through the Wyoming Business Council, but those funds were contingent upon the city raising the other $2 million needed to complete the project.

The Business Council denied a two-year extension to come up with the funds. Green River City Councilwoman Lisa Mays says they had little choice but to give the money back.

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News
3:31 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

WYDOT To Begin Construction On Cheyenne "Quiet Zone"

Construction will begin Wednesday in Cheyenne on a new quiet zone at West Lincolnway and Southwest Drive’s railroad crossing, where train noise will be kept to a minimum. The area around the intersection is home to several hotels and motels. New railroad crossing gates and a barrier wall will block cars from sneaking around the shut gates and across the tracks.

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Natural Resources & Energy
11:40 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Forum Highlights Risks Of Owning Land Near Energy Development

Glenrock residents are invited to attend a forum next week that will address the impacts of the oil and gas industry on landowners. The two key speakers for the event will be a private property attorney and a Wyoming resident who was evacuated from her land because of an oil blowout. They will discuss the development of the oil industry around Glenrock, as well as risks to nearby landowners such as emissions, spills, evacuations, and the devaluing of property in the area.

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News
9:11 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Governor Appoints UW Science Task Force

Credit UW

The University of Wyoming is looking to upgrade its science programs in an effort to become a top-tier research University.

Last week Governor Matt Mead appointed a task force to look into steps the University of Wyoming can take to raise the caliber of its science programs.

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News
7:12 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Wyoming Lottery First Day Sales Strong

Credit WyoLotto

The first Powerball and MegaMillions tickets were sold in the state Sunday. The Wyoming Lottery Corporation – or WyoLotto - reported nearly $200,000 in sales on its opening day. Natrona County sold the most tickets of any Wyoming county, taking in about $36,000.

Jon Clontz is the CEO of the Lottery Corporation. He said the day’s sales exceeded his expectations.

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Open Spaces
4:52 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Ukrainian Ballerina Brings Message Of Peace

Olga Aru demonstrates a stretch during a masterclass in Casper.
Caroline Ballard

For the last two weeks, Moscow Ballet soloist Olga Aru has been teaching ballet master classes at studios in Gillette and Casper. She now lives in Italy, but Aru was born in Donetsk, Ukraine – a disputed part of the country that has seen intense fighting. Her international touring has brought her close to conflict, as well. She was performing in Cairo when the 2011 Egyptian Revolution erupted. She sat down with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about her experiences.

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News
12:47 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Wyoming Unemployment Rises

Wyoming’s unemployment rate rose 0.4 percent in July. It’s a statistically significant jump, but Tom Gallagher, with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, said this rise in unemployment could actually indicate positive growth for the economy, and may not mean people are losing their jobs.

People who have stopped actively looking for work are not counted in unemployment statistics. Gallagher said a spike in unemployment rates could mean those workers have started up their job searches again.

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News
10:01 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Key Races To Be Decided In Primaries

Caroline Ballard talks to Public Radio News Director Bob Beck to provide some insights on Wyoming's primary elections.

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News
11:24 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Fair Highlights STEM Careers For Girls

Credit Courtesy Wyoming Council for Women's Issues

Wyoming’s Council for Women’s Issues will host its ninth annual career fair next month.

Open to high school girls in 9th and 10th grade, the Go WEST! fair will highlight careers in science, technology, engineering and math – fields largely dominated by men. According to the national science foundation, just 18.6 percent of US undergraduate engineering students were female in 2011.

Carma Corra, chairperson of Wyoming’s Council for Women’s Issues, says knowing the options is the first step to getting girls interested in studying science and math.

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News
11:06 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Wyoming Ranked Most Expensive State To Own A Car

Credit Wikipedia Commons

A new survey by Bankrate.com ranks Wyoming as the most expensive state in which to own a car. The survey calculated the cost of gasoline, insurance, and repairs to come up with the rankings.

According to the survey, Wyomingites typically spend about $2700 a year on expenses related to their car, with about $1600 of that going to gas – the most of any state. The wide distances between communities in Wyoming, as well as the many opportunities for hiking, camping, and activities outside city limits increases gas consumption.

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News
2:39 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

VA Awards Wyoming $3.4 Million In Grants

Courtesy: SW-WRAP

The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded two grants of $1.4 million and $2 million to Wyoming to prevent homelessness among veterans.

Announced Monday, the grant will fund services provided by the Southwest Wyoming Recovery Access Program, or SW-WRAP, like housing counseling, legal assistance, temporary financial assistance, and childcare for veterans and their families.

Cathie Hughes, founder and CEO of SW-WRAP, said that making these services visible is one of the biggest challenges.  

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Natural Resources & Energy
4:18 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

State Approves Largest US Windfarm

The state Industrial Siting Commission gave the Power Company of Wyoming its blessing Wednesday to move ahead with plans to build the largest on-shore wind farm in the United States.

A thousand wind turbines would be erected in Carbon County if the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm is built, covering about 2,000 acres of private and public lands. The turbines would produce enough power for a million homes.

But Kara Choquette, with the Power Company of Wyoming, said none of that power will be used in the state.

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Business
4:40 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Analysis Shows Wyoming Is Most Mining-Dependent Economy

Credit Energy Information Administration

According to a recent analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, mining occupied approximately 35 percent of Wyoming’s GDP in 2013, up from around 29 percent in 2003. That makes Wyoming the most mining-dependent state in the country.

The increase comes despite calls from the Wyoming Business Council to diversify the state’s industries.

Wyoming Principal Economist Jim Robinson said that after concentrating on energy for so long, growth in areas outside energy is slow.

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