Maggie Mullen

Reporter

Phone: 307-766-5086
Email: mmullen5@uwyo.edu

Maggie Mullen is a fifth generation Wyomingite, born and raised in Casper. Before coming to Wyoming Public Radio, she was a Master’s student in American Studies at the University of Wyoming, where she also earned a BA in English and French. Maggie enjoys writing, cooking, riding bikes, swimming in rivers and lakes, and her Labrador, Jane. She’s also a fervent believer that no meal is complete without hot sauce.

Maggie Mullen

Following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA would be phased out, colleges and universities are trying to reassure impacted students, including those in Wyoming. But there are a few complications. For one, it’s unknown how many students are protected under the program.

University of Wyoming School of Law

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA, would be phased out.

Suzie Pritchett is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Family and Immigrant Justice Clinic at the University of Wyoming College of Law. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Maggie Mullen about how DACA came to be, its relevance to Wyoming, and what is now at stake for its recipients.

THEO STEIN / USFWS

According to a federal appeals court, Wyoming’s data-trespass laws are unconstitutional. The two laws made it illegal for people to cross private land in order to collect data or take photos on public land. 

Old Main by thecoldmidwest is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The University of Wyoming is closely monitoring federal decisions that could affect its immigrant students.

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, would be phased out, University President Laurie Nichols said in a statement the school is keeping a close eye on the situation.

Nichols also said the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, will remain in place at the University of Wyoming.

"Allegiant Air" by Eddie Maloney from Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Natrona County International Airport will see its flight destinations cut by a third after Allegiant Air’s decision to discontinue services to the small airport located just outside of Casper. 

In 2008, Allegiant Airlines began offering direct flights from Casper to Las Vegas for a discounted price, but that bargain flight will come to halt in 2018.

Maggie Mullen

People have been making preparations for years to travel hundreds of miles to see the 2017 total solar eclipse. In Casper, where thousands of people showed up, skies were clear and views under the path of totality were once in a lifetime.

The day before the eclipse, and downtown Casper was hard to recognize. Second Street had been closed off to traffic and hundreds of pedestrians were checking out the food vendors and the many different kinds of eclipse swag on display. Resident and vendor Brooke Hopkins said the most coveted item was going fast.

Maggie Mullen

Wyoming towns in the path of totality for the solar eclipse are expecting huge crowds, including Casper, and hotel rooms there are almost entirely booked. As a result, a record number of locals are using the home sharing service Airbnb to accommodate visitors and to make some of that eclipse cash.

Casper residents Josh Thompson and Rachel Schuh are getting ready to welcome strangers into their home--they’ve signed up to be hosts on Airbnb.

Wikipedia Commons Tony Webster

Albany County Commissioners will soon decide whether to purchase over 5,000 acres of land just east of Laramie in order to create more public land for recreation while simultaneously protecting the city’s water supply. 

The proposed land purchase from the four private landowners would cost $14 million dollars, and would essentially create a corridor where residents and visitors could bike or hike from Laramie city limits all the way up to Happy Jack Recreational area.

Maggie Mullen

Thousands of years ago in northern Wyoming, countless animals fell to their death at the bottom of an 85-foot cave. Natural Trap Cave has long been closed to recreation, but scientists have spent the last four summers unearthing the remains of many now-extinct animals. Excavations will soon come to an end.

 

Wyoming Department of Corrections

In Wyoming, first-time offenders under the age of 25 can qualify for a six-month boot camp, but the program is only available to men. In a lawsuit against the Wyoming Department of Corrections, the American Civil Liberties Union allege the male-exclusive program is gender discrimination. 

Maggie Mullen

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on a proposed wild horse gather in southwest Wyoming — they want to hear what people think about a recent environmental assessment. 

A wild horse gather is a herd management technique meant to remove the animal from the land, before entering them into the agencies wild horse and burro program, where they can be adopted.

Maggie Mullen

This summer, a University of Wyoming trail building program launched a work crew specifically for veterans in need of a job. The crew is the first of its kind in the country. 

At Curt Gowdy State Park, the Wyoming Veterans Trail Crew was hard at work on a trail called “Cliffhanger”— a narrow singletrack with rocky ledges along the edge of a reservoir. 

Near one of Cliffhanger’s sharp curves stands a twenty-foot tall dead tree. Crew member Mickey Finnell said it needs to be cut down before it falls on the trail.  

Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office

A dedication ceremony is set for Saturday, July 8 at the Ames Monument in southeastern Wyoming. It was listed as a National Historic Landmark last November. 

Bobbie Barrasso will act as Master of Ceremonies, while her husband U.S. Senator John Barrasso will be in attendance alongside Governor Matt Mead and U.S. Representative Liz Cheney.

Completed in 1880, the monument was built in honor of Oaks and Oliver Ames—two brothers who helped to finance the Union Pacific Railroad.

By United_States_Capitol_-_west_front.jpg: Architect of the Capitolderivative work: O.J. - United_States_Capitol_-_west_front.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17800708
Maggie Mullen

Throughout the month of June, the National Park Service asks visitors to refrain from climbing Devils Tower to respect American Indian ceremonies. However, the closure is voluntary and the number of climbers in June has been on a steady rise in recent years.

 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Last week, four undocumented immigrants were arrested in Jackson, and two in Cody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Since then, some Wyomingites are concerned that immigration raids are taking place, despite Teton County Sheriff’s Jim Whalen saying earlier this year that would not be happening. 

Maggie Mullen / 1989

The Casper Police Department will host the second and final public panel on sexual assault Wednesday, June 21. The series began after 30 women told the Casper City Council they believed the police neglected or mishandled their cases.

Max Pixel freely distributed with a Creative Commons Zero - CC0.

  

When it comes to sexual assault in the U.S., the majority of victims will not make a report, and Wyoming is not much different than the rest of the country.

    

    

Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley has been involved in sexual assault investigations since 1974. He said he’s come across many cases where he knew a rape took place, but he wasn’t able to move forward with it

    

    

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

In President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, arrests and deportations more than doubled in Wyoming and Colorado. That’s compared to the same time in 2016. 

That figure includes both undocumented immigrants with and without criminal records. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, does not provide data by state, but by “area of responsibility,” so it is unknown how many of those individuals were in Wyoming at the time.

City of Gillette website

Gillette’s city administrator will soon take over the position as city manager in Casper. Carter Napier will replace V.H. McDonald, who announced his retirement in April amidst controversy surrounding his office and the police department. The appointment is subject to city council approval. 

University of Wyoming Art Museum Facebook Page

Contemporary art programming at the University of Wyoming Art Museum is certain to see a boost, after receiving an anonymous gift of $2.27 million. 

U.S. FOREST SERVICE-BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST FACEBOOK PAGE

With wildfire season just around the corner, Wyoming is predicted to have a slightly below average or up to an average year. 

Bill Crapser is the state forester for Wyoming and he said moisture from the unusually high snow pack in the western half could stave off the flames, but the wet spring will also mean high grass and a lot of fine fuels.

The Black Hills in the northeastern corner is a lot drier, and Crapser said they could see a lot of flare ups in July and August since significant lightning activity is predicted for that area.

Senator Mike Enzi (R)

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi is recovering in a Gillette hospital after undergoing an emergency gallbladder surgery on Sunday night. Enzi was in the area for a Memorial Day ceremony. 

After a few days of feeling poorly, Senator Enzi visited Campbell County Memorial Hospital. Enzi’s spokesman Max D’Onofrio said doctors were able to quickly identify the problem and removed Enzi’s gallbladder that same day.

D'Onofrio said Enzi was relieved to be in Gillette when he fell ill.

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