Irina Zhorov

Reporter

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications. 

In her off time, Irina is pursuing treasure hunters, leafing through photo books, or planning and executing quests.

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News
5:54 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

New report offers recommendations for improving public safety on Indian reservations

A report released by the Indian Law and Order Commission says law enforcement responsibilities on Indian reservations should be placed with tribes, rather than with federal and state governments, as they are now. The report, titled “A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer,” looked at public safety issues in Native American communities nationwide and made recommendations to close the public safety gap by 2024. Public safety in tribal communities often lags behind non-Native communities. 

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Open Spaces
4:16 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

November 15th, 2013

UW Board of Trustees President talks about Dr. Sternberg’s resignation

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees announced UW President Bob Sternberg’s resignation on Thursday. The Trustees spent Thursday and Friday in meetings, but President of the Board David Bostrom sat down to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about what comes next. Bostrom says the Trustees didn’t try to convince Dr. Sternberg to stay.

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Open Spaces
4:04 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

UW Board of Trustees President talks about Dr. Sternberg’s resignation

David Bostrom
Credit www.beaumontenterprise.com

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees announced UW President Bob Sternberg’s resignation on Thursday. The Trustees spent Thursday and Friday in meetings, but President of the Board David Bostrom sat down to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about what comes next. Bostrom says the Trustees didn’t try to convince Dr. Sternberg to stay.

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Open Spaces
3:42 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Guatemalan genocide survivor visits UW

Anselmo Roldan

Anselmo Roldan Aguilar is from Guatemala. He was a young man when the Guatemalan military attacked his town and killed more than 400 people. This was in 1982, in the midst of Guatemala’s internal armed conflict, during which thousands were massacred.

Roldan Aguilar is now president of the Association for Justice and Reconciliation, an organization seeking justice for the survivors and perpetrators. He visited the University of Wyoming to meet with students and talk about his experience and AJR’s work and stopped by the studio to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov.

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News
4:46 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Federal fracking rule criticized by states, industry

The federal rule on hydraulic fracturing proposed by the Bureau of Land Management came under fire today from state and industry representatives at an energy law conference. The regulations establish nationwide standards for cementing wells and disclosure of chemicals used in fracking fluids.

Wyoming already has regulations in place for fracking and industry representatives say a federal rule would kowtow to environmental groups, infringe on states’ ability to control their water supply, and wear away states’ rights.

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News
4:44 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

A conversation about greenhouse gas regulations is needed, says WY lawmaker

At today’s energy law conference in Laramie, one Wyoming lawmaker urged the state to be proactive in the discussion about greenhouse gas regulations.

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News
6:12 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Laramie and Casper Walmarts receive bomb threats

The Laramie Walmart was evacuated this afternoon after a bomb threat was received shortly before 1 o’clock. The Laramie Police Department bomb squad and University of Wyoming bomb dogs searched the emptied building but did not locate any explosives.

A similar threat was called in to the Casper Walmart at the same time. The Cheyenne office of the FBI reports that there were similar incidents around the county.

The Laramie Walmart has reopened. 

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Open Spaces
3:46 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

StoryCorps: Vietnam veteran talks about his time as a POW

Ted Gostas
Credit StoryCorps

For Veteran’s Day we have a StoryCorps segment of veteran Ted Gostas telling his wife Jody Gostas about being taken as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War and his years in solitary confinement. Gostas remained a P-O-W for 5 years, 5 months, and 15 days. Of those captured in Northern Vietnam, he was one of only four POWs to stay in solitary confinement for more than four years. 

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News
5:09 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Cheyenne reports good economic growth, increasing number of commuters

Credit creative commons

Southeast Wyoming is reporting good economic growth and employment numbers. At the Economic Forecast luncheon today in Cheyenne, Cheyenne LEADS CEO Randy Bruns said the gross domestic product for the city in 2012 was 2.42 percent. The first two quarters of 2013 also showed above-average job growth, and rising retail and home sales.

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News
5:17 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Encana breaks ground on water treatment facility

Encana broke ground today on a treatment facility for produced water -- the contaminated water that's pulled up along with oil in the drilling process. The Neptune Water Treatment Facility will sit outside of Casper and serve the Moneta Divide field, which currently has about 300 wells but could eventually have more than 4-thousand. The facility will treat some of the produced water from current wells. A controversial plan to inject wastewater into the Madison Aquifer is another water disposal method Encana plans to use in the field.

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News
9:25 am
Tue November 5, 2013

University faculty on edge after another dean’s resignation

University of Wyoming College of Law students delivered an open letter Monday to UW President Bob Sternberg demanding more transparency about their dean’s resignation. College of Law Dean Stephen Easton’s resignation is the latest in a series of departures from the University's top ranks. Since July, five deans have been replaced along with several provosts.

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News
9:21 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Wyoming will soon have a restorative justice program for adults

Wyoming is working on establishing its first adult restorative justice program. Restorative justice is a method of dealing with a crime that seeks to repair the damage done, rather than just punish the perpetrator, and to give more of a voice to the victim. It often involves a mediated meeting between victim and perpetrator.

There are already restorative justice programs in the state for juvenile offenders. But Victim Services Coordinator, Randi Losalu, says this is the first adult program she knows of in Wyoming. 

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News
8:55 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Bill seeks answers for issues facing Native children

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp has introduced a bill to create a Commission on Native Children. The Commission’s goal is to investigate problems specific to Native children and make recommendations for improving them.

Mortality has increased for Native children since 2000, and they're overrepresented in foster care, have high suicide rates, and lower graduation rates than white students. On the Wind River Indian Reservation the graduation rate for students is around 50 percent. The statewide graduation for all students is closer to 80 percent.  

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News
5:03 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Wyoming's NRCS office probed for mismanagement

The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wyoming office has mismanaged at least $14 million in easement payments, and employs supervisors who lack the knowledge to properly administer easement programs in the state. That’s according to a report from the Office of Inspector General. Easements are used to permanently retire a piece of land for conservation purposes.

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Open Spaces
3:52 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

New conservation tools help WY ranchers stay sustainable

Snake River Ranch
Credit Snake River Ranch

Ranchers have always planned for the next season and the next generation…and as such have been natural conservationists. But new management tools in the conservation toolbox are making it easier for land owners to be successful stewards of their land. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that ranchers are up for the challenge. 

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WYDOT funding
5:13 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Gov. Mead will consider additional funding for WYDOT

The Wyoming Department of Transportation may be one of the state agencies that benefits from the better than expected earnings Wyoming brought in this fiscal year. The state’s general fund is about $333 million over what the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, or CREG, predicted.

  Governor Matt Mead says he’s gone through WYDOT’s budget once, but may review it again.

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Coal
5:04 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Gov. Mead says WY coal exports still a good idea

Governor Matt Mead says there’s no question that Taiwan and South Korea want Wyoming coal. Mead just returned from a trip to those countries where he met with government leaders, trona industry representatives, and attended events promoting tourism in Wyoming. He says exporting Wyoming coal is still a good idea.  

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News
12:13 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

WY general fund does well in 2013, CREG report says

Fiscal Year 2013 has been a good year for Wyoming economically. The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, or CREG, report says the state’s general fund exceeded 2013 projections by $333 million.

Governor Matt Mead says much of that comes from investments. Mead cautions that revenues from coal and natural gas are lackluster, but says oil did better than expected.

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News
6:13 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

State parks seeking more funding for operations and maintenance

State parks are seeking legislative approval to use fees for general operations and maintenance. Parks generate about two million dollars per year, but right now that money can only be used for capital construction and interpretation.

Director of State Parks and Cultural Resources, Milward Simpson, says funding for his agency is like a three-legged stool that’s getting wobbly.

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Open Spaces
5:49 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Author of “Coal in Campbell County” talks about her motivation for writing about coal

Mary Kelley

Mary Kelley is the author of Coal in Campbell County, a book that traces the lineage of each of Gillette’s major coal companies in the area. It’s her second book about the coal industry in Gillette. She and her husband both worked for the AMAX coal company for many years. Kelley told Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov that she wanted to preserve the history of the coal companies, but also show how they helped create a good life for people like her in Campbell County.

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Open Spaces
5:46 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Inaugural Women’s Antelope Hunt a success, despite snow

Left to right, Tara Heaton, guide Fred Williams, and Crystal Mayfield pose with their antelope on the second day of the hunt.
Fred Williams

Women still only make up a small percentage of all hunters, but that number has increased significantly in recent years. Now, organizations like the Wyoming Women’s Foundation want to encourage more growth through mentorship. The group says hunting is an important way to teach self-sufficiency and economic independence. Wyoming Public Radio's Irina Zhorov tagged along on the state's inaugural Women's Antelope Hunt and filed this report.

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Open Spaces
5:31 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Fossils on private lands find collectors and critics

JP Cavigelli looks for small fossils on a private ranch, near Lusk.
Irina Zhorov

Wyoming was once wet, balmy, and full of creatures like dinosaurs. Today, their fossils are slowly weathering out of the ground. If the bones happen to be on public land, researchers are granted permits to dig for them and the fossils have to end up in a public repository. But on private land, anyone can dig and they can do whatever they want with the specimens. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that commercial, or independent collectors, are sometimes eyed warily.

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Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

October 18th, 2013

Left to right, Tara Heaton, guide Fred Williams, and Crystal Mayfield pose with their antelope on the second day of the hunt.
Credit Fred Williams
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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Enthusiasts Encourage More Women To Give Hunting A Shot

Tara Heaton (left) and Crystal Mayfield with guide Fred Williams at a women's antelope hunt in Wyoming. Before the event, both women had hunted almost exclusively with male relatives, not other women.
Courtesy of Fred Williams

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:00 pm

The departure time for Wyoming's inaugural Women's Antelope Hunt was set for 5:30 a.m. — but that was before a snowstorm hit. By 6 a.m., the electricity is still out, wind and snow are howling and antsy women in camouflage are eating eggs by candlelight.

Marilyn Kite, Wyoming's first female state Supreme Court justice and one of the people who dreamed up the hunt, is among them.

"We've found it to be just great recreation, lots of fun, and the camaraderie of it is why you do it, really," Kite says. "But we also really like the meat."

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News
6:47 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Grand Teton National Park reopens

Grand Teton National Park has reopened after the federal government shutdown forced it to close for 16 days. The park furloughed about 200 employees and the remaining crew worked straight through the closure.

Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott says there were significant losses to gateway communities as well as to the park itself.

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News
10:43 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Fossils on private lands find collectors and critics

JP Cavigelli searches for fossils on a ranch near Lusk, WY.
Credit Irina Zhorov

HOST: Wyoming was once wet, balmy, and full of creatures like dinosaurs. Today, their fossils are slowly weathering out of the ground. If the bones happen to be on public land, researchers are granted permits to dig for them and the fossils have to end up in a public repository. But on private land, anyone can dig and they can do whatever they want with the specimens. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that commercial, or independent collectors, are sometimes eyed warily.

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Enrollment
5:51 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

UW enrollment down slightly

Sara Axelson

University of Wyoming enrollment numbers for the fall semester are down about 1.5 percent from the fall 2012 semester. The University’s enrollment report shows that freshman enrollment numbers have stayed steady, but Vice President for student affairs, Sara Axelson, says more significant were other changes in the class makeup. 

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News
2:25 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Inaugural Women’s Antelope Hunt a success, despite snow

Crystal Mayfield stalks antelope through heavy snow.
Irina Zhorov

Women still only make up a small percentage of all hunters, but that number has increased significantly in recent years. Now, organizations like the Wyoming Women’s Foundation want to encourage more growth through mentorship. The group says hunting is an important way to teach self-sufficiency and economic independence. Wyoming Public Radio's Irina Zhorov tagged along on the state's inaugural Women's Antelope Hunt and filed this report.  

Read more

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