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.

Wikipedia

Students at the University of Wyoming will pay higher fees for academic programs after the Board of Trustees approved the increase. The fees will go towards program supplies and materials, enhanced advising and career preparation, and are meant to offset university-wide funding reductions. 

Starting fall of 2018, students will pay a fee per credit hour for each class they take, and the cost will depend on the course. Fees range from $3 to $25 per credit hour, and students in labs or visual and performing arts classes can expect to pay higher amounts.

Wyoming Department of Corrections

A class-action suit alleging the Wyoming Department of Corrections violated a woman’s constitutional rights faced an unexpected hurdle this week. A federal judge ruled the plaintiff cannot represent all women in similar situations, so the case cannot now move forward as a class-action lawsuit.

When Taylor Blanchard was convicted of drug charges, she was a first-time offender and under the age of 25, making her eligible for boot camp. Instead, she’s serving a six to ten year term at the Women’s Center in Lusk, because there is no women’s boot camp in the state.

Tech Jobs Tour

This Tuesday, November 7, an event in Cheyenne called Tech Jobs Tour will aim to help diverse and non-traditional workers find jobs in the local tech industry.

Casper Police Department

A recently completed outside review of the Casper Police Department reveals morale is up. That’s following controversy that began last year when 30 women accused the department of mishandling their sexual assault cases.

The review, completed by the Center for Public Safety Management, makes 75 specific recommendations for changes at the Casper Police Department, including updating facilities and filling vacancies.
It also recommends more training for officers dealing with crimes like sexual assault, to ensure investigations are not compromised by inexperience.

sheridanwyoming.org

The Sheridan City Council passed a non-discrimination resolution, though it lacked any protections for or language referencing LGBT people.

UW College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Women engineers face a lot of challenges, some of which begin as early as their college education, where they are highly outnumbered by their male peers in the classroom.

To address this disparity, the University of Wyoming has launched a new mentoring program, that pairs female engineering undergraduates with female alumni working in the field. Wyoming Public Radio’s Maggie Mullen spoke with Teddi Freedman, a Senior Coordinator for UW’s College of Engineering that is heading up the new program.

National Park Service

The National Park Service is considering raising entrance fees at 17 popular parks during peak visitor season in order to pay for improvements to aging infrastructure, including roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, and bathrooms.

 

Right now, that entrance fee per one private, non-commercial vehicle is $30 at both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. If the increase is implemented, the fee would be $70 during peak season—that’s over a 100 percent increase.

Wyoming Department of Education

When lawmakers created the Hathaway Scholarship in 2005, it was meant to encourage all Wyoming high school students to go to college by making it easier to afford.

However, there is one group of Wyoming students that will never qualify for the Hathaway Scholarship: those without U.S. citizenship.

Isabel Perez entered the Wyoming public school system when she was ten years old, shortly after her family left Mexico City for Green River. Perez came to the U.S. without documentation, but said she grew up to be a regular American teenager.

University of Wyoming Geological Museum

The University of Wyoming Geological Museum and Coe Library are teaming up to digitize more than 5,000 specimens from the museum’s rare fossil mammal collection. The project was made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, has changed one of their major protocols when it comes to making arrests—they will now consider arresting anyone they encounter who is undocumented, even if they have no criminal history or prior deportations.

Cut It Out program

Last year, Illinois passed legislation that requires cosmetologists to receive domestic abuse prevention training as part of their licensing process. Many people form strong bonds with their hair stylist. Now Wyoming is interested in turning to cosmologists for help spotting abuse in a similar way.

Katie Hughes works for the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the organization offering the training. She said the Cut It Out Program will teach hair stylists to understand the dynamics of abuse, how to offer support and where to refer victims to services.

Maggie Mullen

Ten years ago, the Cheney International Center launched on the University of Wyoming’s campus. On Friday, former Vice President Dick Cheney and wife Lynne gave a talk on American politics to mark the anniversary.

The international center was built using a more than $3 million donation from the Cheneys, which was matched with funds from the state. The donation was also used to create a scholarship for UW students studying abroad, and to date, it has supported more than 2,000 students.

Wyoming Women's Antelope Hunt

In 2013, when the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt was launched, it was the first of its kind in the country. Since then, it has grown and now includes more hunters than ever.

During the second weekend in October, first-time female hunters will pair up with an experienced mentor in hopes of harvesting an antelope on the Ucross Ranch east of Buffalo.

The Williams Institute

Gays and lesbians in Wyoming can be discriminated against when it comes to employment and housing. Wyoming has a non-discrimination law, but it does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. According to a recent study by the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law, that leaves more than 15,000 LGBT residents vulnerable.

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.

This story is the first in a series on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Listen to the other stories below:

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.

 

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