Melodie Edwards

Reporter

Phone: 307-766-2405
Email: medward9@uwyo.edu   

Melodie Edwards graduated with an MFA from the University of Michigan on Colby Fellowship where she received two Hopwood Awards in fiction and nonfiction. Glimmer Train published “Si-Si-Gwa-D” in 2002 where it was one of the winners of their New Writers fiction contest. She has published stories in South Dakota Quarterly, North Dakota Review, Michigan Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse and others.  She is the recipient of the Doubleday Wyoming Arts Council Award for Women.   “The Bird Lady” aired on NPR's Selected Shorts and Prairie Schooner nominated the story for a Pushcart Prize.  She has a story upcoming in an anthology of animal stories, published by Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of "Hikes Around Fort Collins," now in its third printing.  She  is circulating Outlawry, a novel about archeology theft in the 1930's with publishing houses. She is currently working on a young adult trilogy about a secret society of crows and ravens.

Melodie Edwards lives in Laramie, Wyoming with her husband and twin daughters. She and her husband own Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse.  When she's not working or writing, she's love to putz in the garden, play guitar, hike and make pilgrimages to hot springs.

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Open Spaces
3:56 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Climate Change Effects On Wyoming Agriculture

Credit ncrsresearch.blogspot.com

In the next half century, scientists are predicting more extreme weather for Wyoming with bigger winter storms and hotter, dryer summers.  That’s according to the latest National Climate Assessment out this month. Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers are skeptical about climate change, but some of them have been forced to adjust their methods of production. 

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News
2:17 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Summer-Like Temperatures Cause More Flooding

Several residents have been asked to evacuate their homes in Wood’s Landing because an access road was flooded by the rising Laramie River.  And residents in the towns of Saratoga and Encampment are on alert for evacuations, as high snow melt floods the North Platte River.  Flooding in Park and Fremont Counties has not led to evacuations, but officials are wary of rainfall this weekend.  

Kathi Metzler is the Emergency Management Coordinator in Fremont County where she’s monitoring the Wind River.

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News
5:12 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Laramie And North Platte Rivers Under Flood Warning

Specialist David Hendricks, of Cheyenne, Wyo. tosses a sandbag on the line between the North Platte River and the Riviera Hotel in Saratoga, Wyo., May 25.
Credit SFC McGuire

Flooding may lead to evacuations in some Wyoming communities this week. Rapid snowmelt and heavy rain have brought the North Platte and Laramie rivers to flood levels.  Kelly Ruiz with Wyoming Homeland Security says Saratoga, on the west side of the Snowy Range, will be hardest hit.

“Right now, the National Weather Service is predicting that the North Platte River at Saratoga, they’re predicting it to be at 10.58 on Friday.  And that’s a record level of water.  The previous record was set in 2011 at 10.49.”

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News
2:49 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Mountain Passes Open In Time For Memorial Day

Credit David Koch

All but one of Wyoming’s mountain pass highways will be open for Memorial Day weekend.  The Wyoming Department of Transportation shuts down several of the state’s passes because of deep snow during winter months.  Maintenance engineer Tim McGary says it wasn't clear they would be able to get Snowy Range Pass between Centennial and Saratoga open in time.

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News
2:29 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Bar None, The Town Of Bar Nunn Sees Fastest Growth

Casper is the seat of Natrona County, sixth fastest growing metro area in the country

Wyoming population is continuing to grow, increasing by one percent in 2013.  That’s according to a new report by the Department of Information and Administration.  Senior economist Amy Bittner says migration to cities in the energy-rich central part of the state accounted for most of the growth.   

“Several of those towns at the top of the list are in the central part of Wyoming,” she says.  “You have Bar Nunn, you have Mills, which is also outside Casper, and then you have Douglas.  You know, that’s due to the economic activity with the energy industry.”

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News
11:10 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Coming Soon To A Convenience Store Near You: Wyoming Lottery Sets A Date

Wyoming is starting a state lottery and vendors interested in selling tickets can now start submitting applications. Brian Gamroth is Chairman of the Wyoming Lottery Corporation. He says they’ve set a firm date of August 24 to begin selling the tickets.  “With the applications out now, our first retailers will be picked in the next five or six weeks.  And machines will start going out, training will start…There’s a lot to get done in a short amount of time.”

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News
5:54 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

New Fracking Project Proposed In Sage Grouse Country

A 5000-well oil and gas project proposed for the Powder River Basin is drawing sharp criticism from a wildlife advocacy group.  Erik Molvar with WildEarth Guardians says the drilling would take place right in the middle of critical sage grouse habitat.

“Well, the 5000 wells are projected in an area of over a million acres to the north of Douglas, stretching all the way up in the Thunder Basin National Grassland and including several core areas that have been proposed priority habitat for sage grouse,” Molvar says.

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News
5:28 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Wyoming Receives The Sixth Highest In Federal Funding

Contrary to its reputation as an independent state, Wyoming receives the sixth highest amount of federal financial aid of any state in the country -- almost 40 percent of state revenue --   according to the Tax Foundation.

Other states that rely heavily on federal aid are Louisiana, South Dakota and Tennessee.  Tax economist Liz Malm says many states have higher numbers of people who qualify for federal programs such as Head Start and Medicaid.   But Wyoming’s federal funding mostly comes from mineral royalties since over 40 percent of its lands are federally owned.

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News
6:21 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Labor Group Blasts Wyoming’s Workplace Safety Record

Credit AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO, a coalition group of labor unions, has released a report blasting industry for failing to make workplaces safer, especially in oil and gas.  Wyoming has ranked as one of the five most deadly states to work in for the last ten years.  In 2012, only North Dakota had more workplace fatalities.  Kim Floyd, Executive Secretary for the Wyoming chapter of the AFL-CIO says it has a lot to do with the focus of both states’ economies.

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News
5:53 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Trees Vandalized In Bighorn National Forest

Credit US Forest Service

On a routine winter patrol, Powder River Ranger District officials discovered over 100 trees carved with deep one-foot-sized arrows.  District recreation staff member Craig Cope says very rarely has he seen such large-scale vandalizing of trees.  And, he says, it was completely unnecessary.

“There’s much more minimum impact ways of route finding through the woods,” Cope says, “from G-P-S to the nylon ribbon flagging that you can put up temporarily and take down when you’re done.”

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News
5:47 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

OSHA Fines Sugar Beet Cooperative $71,000

Denver-based Western Sugar Beet Cooperative has been fined $71,000 for violations that led to the death of an employee  in January at its facility in Lovell.  OSHA and the Wyoming Department of Workforce services allege that because no guard rails had been installed, 28-year-old Anfesa Galaktionoff fell through an opening in the floor into a production pit. 

The company was issued 12 violations for serious and repeat workplace hazards. Wyoming Workforce Services Director Joan Evans said in a statement that the young woman’s death was completely unnecessary.

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News
6:09 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Price Of Beef Impacted By Nation-Wide Drought

The price of beef hit an all-time record this quarter at $5.55 a pound—a full 25 cents higher than last year at this time.  Ann Wittmann, Director of the Wyoming Beef Council, says it’s a case of supply and demand.  A nation-wide drought has reduced herd sizes to the lowest they’ve been in 60 years and that is driving up the price for both consumers and producers.

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News
6:30 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Spring Storm Strands Migrating Birds

Eastern Warbler
Credit Klara Matusevich

The spring bird migration is underway and this week’s heavy snowfall may have left many species searching for shelter and food.

Barb Gorges is the president of the Cheyenne High Plains Audubon Society.  She says as long as the cold weather doesn’t last too long, the birds should be able to hunker down.

“A lot of the birds will just sit tight and I know in our backyard, our bushes were loaded with snow and I think they just kind of buried themselves back in there under the bushes,” Gorges says.

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News
9:15 am
Tue May 13, 2014

UW Police Say Increase In Sexual Assault Complaints Is Due To Education

Credit UW

The University of Wyoming police saw an uptick in the number of reported sexual assaults in 2013.  15 sex offenses were reported in contrast with the eight or nine typical in a year.

In 2012 five were reported. UW Police Chief Mike Samp says he’s sure the increase is due to greater education about the importance of reporting such crimes.

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Open Spaces
4:14 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Women Still Face Barriers For Oilfield Jobs

Melodie with Rig Elevators.
Credit Melodie Edwards

Some of the best paying jobs in Wyoming are in the oil and gas industry, but only ten percent are held by women.  Energy companies are trying to attract more women to fill open positions.  But women who do want to enter the field for the higher-paying jobs face a lot of barriers. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports.

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News
6:44 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Pop-Up Restaurant Arrives In Wyoming

Pop-up restaurants and art galleries have been appearing in cities around the country and now the idea is starting to take off in Wyoming.

Laramie chef Lucas Barbulas has two pop-up restaurant events planned in the next couple weeks.  He says the idea of opening a restaurant or art gallery for a single night or a few days is a concept that’s been around for decades.

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News
2:44 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Internet Services To Expand To Rural Areas

Several remote communities in the state will be able to receive better internet service in the near future.  Visionary Communications has announced a plan to expand its fiber optic line to connect the towns of Chugwater, Guernsey, Pinedale and Torrington to the rest of the state. 

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News
7:16 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Proposed Regulations for Wood Stoves Worry Businesses

Credit sciencenewsonline.com

Rural states are bristling over proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions from wood stoves. 

Currently, wood stove manufacturers must keep emissions down to 7.5 grams of particulates per hour.  But the proposed rules would reduce the allowable amount to less than two grams over the next five years. Soot emissions are a serious public health concern in some areas of the country because they can cause lung problems and heart attacks.  

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News
7:05 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Wage Gap Worsening in Wyoming

Wyoming continues to have the worst gender pay gap in the country, and the gulf is widening. According to a new report released by the National Partnership for Women and Families. Wyoming women made only 64 cents for every dollar that men in the state made. That amounts to an annual wage gap of over $18,000 dollars.

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News
10:02 am
Mon March 31, 2014

UW Students And Gov. Mead Learn About Coal Technologies in Australia

Governor Matt Mead recently attended an Advanced Coal Technology Conference in Australia.  Eight students from the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources joined him.

Graduate student Mary Kate McCarney is a geochemist who attended the coal conference.  She said she appreciated the fact that students were included in the conversation at the conference.

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News
5:10 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Winter Snow Control Takes WYDOT Over Budget

Credit Associated Press

Heavy snowfall this winter has crashed the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s budget.  Budget Officer Kevin Hibbard says WYDOT budgeted $22-million, but the department over-spent that amount at the beginning of March.  

“February this year was the most expensive month,” Hibbard says.  “We had about 6-million dollars in snow control expenditures in the month of February.”

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Open Spaces
3:50 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Wool Production Carries On At Tronstad Ranch

Shearing the sheep
The Tronstad Ranch

Wyoming has a long tradition of sheep ranching.  The first flocks arrived with Mormon pioneers in the eighteen-eighties. By the early nineteen-hundreds there were six million sheep and Wyoming led the nation in wool production.  Now, there are fewer than 400-thousand sheep in the state and competition in the global market is stiff.  But Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards visited one family that believes that—against all odds--the life of the flockmaster is worth keeping alive. 

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News
8:04 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Public Transit Use Way Up In Wyoming

A new report by the American Public Transportation Program shows that public transit use across the nation is on the rise, including in Wyoming.  Jackson racked up its largest ridership ever this winter. Ridership on Cheyenne buses has increased as well. Joe Dougherty is director of the Cheyenne Transit Program. He says ridership has increased about 10 percent a year since 2006 to a high of almost 300,000 people in 2013.  Dougherty says seniors and those with disabilities use the system regularly, and so do others.

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News
6:49 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Green River Trumpeter Swan Populations Soar

Credit Trupeter Swan society

Trumpeter swan numbers rose dramatically this year on the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge near Rock Springs.  This winter, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department conducted an aerial survey of the refuge and counted over 300 trumpeter swans wintering there.

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News
12:11 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Uinta County Schools To Make More Room For Science Education

Uinta County parents and teachers say they were left out of the decision making process when the school superintendent announced he would scale back art classes in elementary schools to make more time for science.  Superintendent James Bailey says students were only getting about 1 or 2 days of science a week, which wasn’t enough since state assessments will soon be testing kids in science.  But last week, Bailey met with teachers and came up with a possible plan to integrate the two subjects.  He says the plan could actually improve the district’s curriculum.

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News
7:54 am
Mon March 3, 2014

New Study To Investigate Declines In Pronghorn Populations

Wyoming’s pronghorn populations have been declining rapidly in the last ten years and a coalition of groups including the University of Wyoming and Game and Fish are trying to figure out why.  In 2010, there were over 500,000 pronghorn in the state.  Today, that number has dropped to a little more than 400,000.

Jeff Beck is an associate professor of Ecosystems Science and Management at UW.  Last November, he and a team of scientists took to the field to figure out why. They helicopter-netted 130 pronghorns in three test areas of the Red Desert. 

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News
8:15 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Wyoming Beef Goes Modern

The Wyoming Beef Council is launching an online campaign in an effort to improve beef’s image with the millennial generation.  That’s anyone born between 1980 and the early 2000’s.  The campaign will feature recipes on social media sites popular with millennials. 

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