Chelsea Biondolillo

Reporter

Chelsea Biondolillo is originally from Portland, Oregon and comes to Laramie by way of several southern cities, including New Orleans, Austin, and Phoenix. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Wyoming in creative nonfiction and environmental studies and her prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Phoebe, DIAGRAM, Birding, and others. Chelsea loves plants, birds, and rocks, and tries to spend as much time as she can around them.

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News
6:56 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

100th Anniversary Of Arapaho Pack Trip To Be Held In Estes Park

Rocky Mountain National Park
Credit Amit Rawat via Flickr Creative Commons

This weekend, the Northern Arapaho Tribe and Rocky Mountain National Park will celebrate the 100th anniversary of a historic pack trip through Estes Park with presentations and performances in Bond Park.

The 1914 trip was a collaboration between three tribal leaders from the Northern Arapaho and translators and historians from areas around the park. The tribal leaders shared place names, histories and stories with Oliver Toll who compiled them in a pamphlet which is still available at ranger stations today.

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News
4:37 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Energy Lobby Ad Campaign Targets Endangered Species Act

Credit Wikipedia

The energy industry lobbying organization Western Energy Alliance has begun an ad campaign to highlight the dangers of listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. 

The campaign includes radio and online advertisements that focus on the potential impacts that federal management of the sage grouse presents to Wyoming industry, agriculture, and tourism.

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News
10:37 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Car Camping May Be Allowed In Jackson

Car camping for one night might soon be legal within Jackson Hole, according to proposed changes to the city’s camping ordinance.

The municipal camping rules are designed to keep public areas clear and campers safe. The original law, however, does not offer any flexibility to motorists who want to stay in their vehicle for a night.

Councilman Jim Stanford says that the city needs this flexibility, however, to accommodate a growing seasonal workforce coupled with a housing shortage in Jackson Hole.  

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News
10:27 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Conservationist Expresses Concern Over Sage Grouse Protections

The Western Energy Alliance released a report this week on sage grouse protection measures used by the oil and gas industry. Though the report claims that the industry is doing enough to protect grouse, a local conservationist disagrees.

Erik Molvar is a biologist and campaign director with WildEarth Guardians. He says that the Bureau of Land Management’s own research disputes the WEA findings.

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News
3:59 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

New Campaign Tells Candidates That Land Conservation Is A Non-Partisan Issue

Credit Wallpaperslot.com

The Center for Western Priorities has started a new campaign to show political candidates how important land conservation is to voters.

The campaign is called “Winning the West” and includes paid advertisements, a website, and a series of public events across several western states.

Greg Zimmerman is the policy director at the Center. He says the campaign was started after a Colorado College poll showed that voters across the political spectrum voted for candidates who support land conservation.

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News
4:24 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Missing Hiker's Body Recovered In Grand Teton National Park

Credit Teton Park

On Tuesday, park personnel recovered the body of Will Cornyn, a hiker in Grand Teton National Park who had been reported missing on Monday. Cornyn was found at the foot of a steep drop near Inspiration Hill after a six-hour search. He is the fifth visitor to die in the park this year.

Most fatalities that occur in the park are caused by risky activities such as rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking in the backcountry.

Park official Jackie Skaggs says that planning ahead, understanding one’s own physical limitations, and being prepared makes for a safer trip.

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News
11:15 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Whooping Cough Cases On The Rise In Wyoming

Credit Wyoming Department of Health

Wyoming is seeing an increase in cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, according to numbers released by the state Department of Health.

Pertussis begins with cold-like symptoms but then progresses to a violent, uncontrollable cough within a few weeks. So far this year 43 cases have been reported, which is higher than this time in any of the last four years. 

Kim Deti with the Department of Health says the agency is particularly concerned with several cases in and around Gillette.

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News
10:55 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Wyoming National Guard Sends Air Tankers To Fight NW Wildfires

A MAFF equipped C-130 drops fire retardant on a California fire
Credit Wikipedia

The Wyoming Air National Guard will send two military air tankers to Boise, Idaho to help fight wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest.

The planes are equipped with a special fire-fighting device called a MAFF –which stands for Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System and can drop up to 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds.

Deidre Forster with the Wyoming Military department says that sending the planes to the northwest will not impact Wyoming’s own fire-fighting abilities.

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News
10:49 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Laramie Considers E-smoking Regulations

Credit Steam Vapor Co.

The Laramie City Council is discussing whether or not it wants to regulate e-cigarettes. They have held one informational meeting so far, and are expected to decide in the coming weeks whether or not to add vaporizing and electronic cigarettes to the citywide public smoking ban or to develop a separate ordinance.

The city regulates where smoking can occur.  Councilwoman Vicky Henry says that the council is trying to decide if it wants to regulate electronic cigarettes and how to go about it. E-cigarettes and vaporizers produce a liquid vapor, rather than smoke.

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News
4:56 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Computer Error Means More Hunting Licenses Available For Sale

A computer error has left the Wyoming Game and Fish with nearly 700 leftover hunting licenses. The agency reported today that the error only affected a small percentage of online sales.

Jennifer Doering with Game and Fish says that website visitors who attempted to reserve group licenses didn’t see a confirmation screen after making their purchase. The result was that many people thought their sale had not gone through—so they tried again.

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News
9:50 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Proposed Clean Water Act Change Causes Controversy

Rhetoric is heating up in Wyoming over new proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency. Governor Matt Mead and Senator John Barrasso both claim it will have a huge impact on Wyoming farmers, ranchers and businesses and will give the EPA jurisdiction over more water than ever before.

But Professor Mark Squillace of the University of Colorado School of Law disagrees.

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News
10:57 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Lake Owen Fire Update: 80% Contained

Credit Aaron Voos, U.S. Forest Service

The Lake Owen forest fire, in the Medicine Bow National Forest area, is now 80% contained the U.S. Forest service reports. 

The fire covers approximately 500 acres and has caused the evacuation of nearby campers. Residents along Fox Creek Road and in Woods Landing, Jelm, and Albany are still being urged to shelter in place. Three heavy air tankers and 150 personnel are currently working on the fire.

Favorable weather conditions on Tuesday helped firefighters secure much of the blaze, and today crews expect to continue securing the line as well as assessing spot fires. 

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News
4:31 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Economic Outlook For Wyoming Shows Moderate Growth

The June edition of Wyoming Insight, published by the Economic Analysis Division, shows positive growth in a number of areas across the state.  The report tracks economic conditions in Wyoming.

State economist Jim Robinson is the author of the report.  He says the revenue outlook for the state is consistent across both energy and business indexes.

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News
10:09 am
Wed July 2, 2014

UW Molecular Biology Professor Wins Pew Award

Jay Gatlin
Credit University of Wyoming

Assistant Professor Jay Gatlin has won the first Pew Scholar award for the campus.

Gatlin was awarded the highly competitive research grant—which comes with 200 and 40 thousand dollars of research funding—based on his promising work in biomedical sciences.

“I study the cellular machinery,” Gatlin explained, “that’s responsible for separating the copies of DNA during cell division.”

This machinery is important, says Gatlin, because it might hold keys to new treatments for cancer—a disease marked by very rapid cell division.

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News
9:55 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Mule Deer Migration Route Passes Through A Variety Of Agency Lands

A mule deer migration route between the Red Desert and Hoback may present unique challenges to agencies and landowners.

The route is used twice a year by up to 5-thousand migrating deer. Hall Sawyer, a research biologist with Western Ecosystem Technologies says the discovery is a big one.

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News
4:54 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Lander Land Use Plan Balances Community Priorities

Wind River Range
Credit Wikipedia

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a new plan for land use in the Wind River Basin today/Thursday, which supporters say balances the needs of industry, conservation, and recreation.

The new Resource Management Plan is the result of a cooperative process involving federal, state, and local agencies as well as land owners and recreation enthusiasts.

Wyoming representative for The Wilderness Society, Dan Smitherman, says that the plan’s release does not mean that the conversation about how best to use these lands is over.

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News
9:54 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Grants Available For Wyoming Public Transportation Projects

Smaller Wyoming communities considering public transportation programs can get help from the Business Council starting in July.

While federal funds exist to support transportation programs, many towns and cities need help financing the pre-planning. Energy efficiency program manager Sherry Hughes says that there’s where these grants come in.

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News
12:14 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Wyoming Roads To Get New 80 MPH Speed Limit

The new Wyoming 80 mile per hour speed limit will go into effect July first. It will impact large sections of I-25, I-80, and I-90.

Del McOmie of the Department of Transportation says the speed limits were approved by the legislature after a D.O.T. study looked at the impacts on roads, accident history, and traffic volume.

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Spoken Words
2:20 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Chelsea Biondolillo: Three Short Essays On Dead Bugs

Credit Chelsea Biondolillo

Chelsea Biondolillo is a prose writer living in Wyoming. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Shenandoah, River Teeth, Passages North, Hayden’s Ferry Review and others. She has a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming in creative writing and environmental studies, and is currently working on a book about vultures.

These essays were originally published in The Fiddleback.

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Open Spaces
4:32 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

December 20th, 2013

UW Interim President prepares for the Legislative Session

Following the resignation of Bob Sternberg, Dick McGinity has taken over reins at the University of Wyoming as Interim President.  McGinity was simply a faculty member at UW until Sternberg promoted him to be part of the administration and now he’s running the show.  Among his first duties is getting UW priorities through the legislature.  He tells Bob Beck that includes pay raises.

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Open Spaces
3:33 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

New fossil prep lab at the geology museum offers opportunity for students and community

University of Wyoming student Mitchell Lukens works in the new preparation lab in the Geology museum.

The geology museum at the University of Wyoming recently re-opened after a long remodel. One of the features unveiled is a new fossil preparation lab. This lab offers U-W students, museum visitors, and the community a variety of opportunities to learn more about fossil prep. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo has more.

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Wyoming Stories
11:05 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Wyoming Stories: Food and friends on Christmas Day

The Biondolillos do nothing in moderation at Christmas -- including Santas.
Credit Chelsea Biondolillo

    

This holiday season, the Wyoming Public Radio news team is sharing stories about memories and traditions that stand out to them. In this piece, reporter Chelsea Biondolillo tells us about her family's tradition of welcoming those without anywhere else to go.

CHELSEA BIONDOLILLO: My family lives in Phoenix AZ, where a balmy 55 degrees is expected on Christmas Day. But our traditions started in Oregon, where my sister and I were born.

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News
5:10 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Americans dissatisfied with management of public lands

Public lands are not a partisan issue, according to new research from the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington DC.

The center analyzed responses to a national parks and public lands survey conducted after the 2013 government shutdown.

Matt Lee-Ashley is a senior fellow with the center. He says that both preservation and management issues were key areas of voter dissatisfaction.

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News
5:17 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Award honors books on the outdoors

The National Outdoor Book Award winners were recently announced. The winning books all focus in one way or another on the outdoors.

Laramie resident and author Sophie Osborn has been a judge in the Natural History Literature category for the last five years. She loves the broad range of topics that the contest brings in, and the new voices she can discover in the entries.

“We have a very outdoorsy population in Wyoming, and for people like that, the National Outdoor Book Award provides a really diverse list of great books on interesting and relevant topics,” Osborn stated.

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News
9:40 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Cloud seeding may continue in the Wind River Basin

Cloud seeding may become more than an experimental endeavor in Wyoming, if recent proposals from the Wyoming Water Development Office are approved in the next session.

Harry LaBonde of the Development Office says they are optimistic about the projects getting funded. “One of the projects considered last week was to take the ten generators in the Wind River range, and convert them from a scientific program to an operational program,” he stated.

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News
7:39 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Report shows wildlife refuges benefit communities

The National Elk Refuge is one of Wyoming’s National Wildlife Refuges
Credit Wiki Commons

According to a new report released by US Fish and Wildlife Services, Wyoming's wildlife refuges may be providing quite a bit of economic benefit to the state.

The report looked at nearly one hundred refuges across the country, including the Seedskadee and Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuges in Wyoming. The report shows that these refuges brought in nearly half a million dollars to the surrounding area in 2011.

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News
5:15 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Avalanche risk at moderate for Western mountains

Breccia cliff area avalanche event, November 1, 2013
Credit Bridger Teton Avalanche Center

Avalanche season in Wyoming has begun, and the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center in Jackson raised the avalanche risk from low to moderate on Thursday afternoon.

Bob Comey, director of the avalanche center, says that early snow in September followed by dry, warmer weather in October has contributed to avalanche conditions. That warmer weather melted some, but not all of the early snow.

“It has become what we call a persistent weak layer, that has since been covered by quite a bit of new snow that fell in late October and early November,” Comey says.

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Open Spaces
3:48 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Wyoming Wine project creates new opportunities for academics and landowners to work together

Undergraduate student Braxton Tyree, professors Dan Bergey and Sadanand Dhekney, and graduate students Ali al Hassan and Raju Kandel check their research grape vines on the edge of Sheridan College.
Chelsea Biondolillo

Wyoming might not be the first choice for grape growers and aspiring vinters, but a group in Sheridan is working to change that. Professors, graduate and undergraduate students at UW and Sheridan College are using advanced techniques to identify traits in different grape varieties that make them well suited to Wyoming. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo reports.

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News
6:27 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Grant awarded to study Wyoming bees

The US Department of Agriculture has funded a grant for the University of Wyoming to study the business of beekeeping. The grant is just under $50,000 and will be used to study methods to maximize the economic impact of bee keeping in Wyoming.

Associate professor in agriculture and applied economics, Mariah Ehmke, was one of the researchers awarded the grant. She says that colony collapse disorder has contributed to declining honey bee numbers in the US, but that isn’t the only issue facing the beekeeping industry.

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