Miles Bryan

Reporter

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

Miles previously worked at American Public Media’s Marketplace and National Public Radio’s Los Angeles bureau. His work has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and on public radio stations across the Northwest. Miles grew up in Minneapolis. He moonlights as a rock guitarist.

Ways To Connect

Aaron Schrank

 

Laramie made history last night when the city council passed Wyoming’s first broad ordinance banning discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

 

The ordinance, which passed by a vote of 7-2,  covers public or private employment, housing, and public accommodations like bars or restaurants. The town of Jackson also has an LGBT anti discrimination ordinance on the books, but it only covers public employees.

 

EmpRes Healthcare

Washington-based EmpRes Healthcare Management has committed to a lease on Rock Spring’s troubled nursing home.

The home’s former owner, Deseret Health Group, abruptly announced its closure and cut off its access to funds last week. Nursing Home Director of Nursing Karen Muto says they got the call that EmpRes was stepping in Tuesday afternoon.

"Right away we called the staff together as well as the residents to make the announcement," she said by phone. "You could not believe how happy everyone was. Everybody was crying, they were so happy."

The Lander-Based media company Pitch Engine will take its community news website platform to at least three new Wyoming cities in the next few months.

 

Cody, Gillette, and Jackson will all get new Pitch Engine backed news sites based on County10.com, which has operated in Fremont County for the last few years.

 

Pitch Engine’s sites publish a stream of press releases, police reports, community, and local ads.

The Wyoming Department of Health is taking over private nursing homes in Rock Springs and Saratoga after their parent company, Deseret Health Group, abruptly announced their closure.

Miles Bryan

Kimberley Enyart was never interested in doing recreational drugs. But then she was in a car accident and her doctor prescribed a powerful opiate for the pain.

“It just, I don’t know it put me off in la-la land it made me feel better,” she said. “I don’t know, I loved it. I loved that high.”

When Enyart’s prescription ran out she did whatever she could to more from other doctors in town. Eventually, she moved on to dentists.

“I even had two back teeth pulled for it.”

Miles Bryan

  

Nathan Brooks drives all over the country delivering goods as a long-haul trucker, and when I met him at a rest stop just outside of Laramie, Wyoming, he was about to start his favorite drive— back home to Alabama. Brooks has been a trucker for twenty-seven years and says the job is getting harder than it used to be.

“Everything is more expensive now. There is a lot more traffic on the road. And you are more likely to get caught up in some kind of accident.”

Mike Higgins / http://bicyclecorps.blogspot.com/

The Train Depot in Laramie will host a talk on the only African-American bicycle corps of the U.S. Army on Saturday, May 2.

The group was formed in Missoula, Montana in the 1890s. Wyoming elementary school teacher Mike Higgins has researched the group for years. He says the corps was the idea of an officer named James Moss, who was looking to make a name for himself. Moss latched onto the idea that bikes could be used in combat.

Cheyenne is severely lacking in affordable housing – and minorities and people with disabilities are feeling the squeeze the most. That’s according to a study released this week by the Cheyenne Community Development Office.

Federal housing authorities require a study like this every five years for cities to be eligible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants.

Cheyenne Regional Medical Center has launched a new program to crack down on prescription drug abuse in the emergency room.

Fatal prescription drug overdoses have more than tripled in Wyoming since 1999.

The state does have a database system that allows doctors to look up the prescription history of suspicious patients, but emergency room doctors don’t always have the time to go through that process, said Cheyenne Regional Emergency Room Director Tracy Garcia

Miles Bryan

Janell Hanson and her son Adrien live in a sunny house just steps away from the historic Ivinson Mansion in Laramie. Their house is gorgeous--it’s actually older than the mansion. But on the day WPR visited, the beautiful oak front door was marred by a hole in its stained glass panel, temporarily sealed with duct tape. The subject came up near the end of the interview. Adrien confessed the damage happened after a fight with his mother. But, he explained, he had meant to shut the door with care. “The air pressure outside blew the door shut,” he said.

Miles Bryan

When WPR visited Wyoming American Civil Liberties Union Director Linda Burt at her sunny Cheyenne office she was packing boxes in between phone calls. She didn’t seem like someone who had just found out she was losing her job.

“A guy who used to be on the [ACLU] board just called me to commiserate,” she said. “He suggested I come visit him in Las Vegas, so I could always do that.”

The Laramie City Council gave initial approval to a proposed ordinance that would add employment and housing protections for gay and lesbian residents.

 

This comes after a heavily backed and well funded statewide LGBT anti-discrimination bill died in the state legislature this year.

 

The Wyoming Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is closing permanently, making Wyoming the only state in the nation without an ACLU office.

The ACLU chapter in Wyoming is one of only a few across the country funded entirely by the national organization. It issued a statement saying the organization was cutting seven percent of its total budget, and the closure of the Wyoming office was a result of that “financial realignment”

Bob Beck

Governor Mead Says The Legislative Session Had Some Disappointments

A few weeks ago the Wyoming legislative session came to a close and Governor Matt Mead admitted that he had a number of concerns. The biggest was the failure of the legislature to pass Medicaid Expansion. The governor tells us that he knew it would be a tough sell, but it was tougher than he thought.

Miles Bryan

Jodi Glover is exhausted. She usually is by the end of the day. Glover works two full time jobs: one as a doctor’s assistant in Cody, the other as the caregiver to her twenty year old son, who was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia.

“Literally he’ll stop eating for three or four days,” Glover said, describing one of her son’s psychotic episodes. “He is totally vacant, irrational, and also has refused to take medication. So as his caregiver, I’ve had to go to some extreme measures.”

Wyoming officials have released the state’s first comprehensive plan to combat homelessness. Titled  “A Home for Everyone,” it lays out the state’s strategy for the next decade. It has been in the works for the last year and half. Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan sat down with Wyoming homeless services coordinator Brenda Lyttle to talk about the plan.

Wyoming’s first comprehensive plan to tackle homelessness was released on Thursday.

Titled “A Home for Everyone,” the fifty-six page document lays out a strategy for how Wyoming will tackle homelessness over the next ten years.

This year, state officials counted 757 homeless people in Wyoming. Few were counted in the western half of the state, where according to the plan, there are no homeless services outside of Jackson.

Wyo. Republicans Now Fighting To Preserve Obamacare Funding

One of the biggest Supreme Court cases of this term could wipe away the insurance subsidies that tens of thousands of Wyoming residents now rely on under so-called Obamacare. Matt Laslo has the story from Washington on how Wyoming Senator John Barrasso is now scrambling to find a Plan B for a law he's staked his name as a doctor opposing.  

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If you want to get the full picture of how the Title 25 process works in Wyoming you need to talk to Chel Bleckler. That’s because she spent over a decade working in an E.R. in Cody, where a big part of her job was working with Title 25 patients.

“Usually they came in with the police,” she said sitting on the couch of a counseling office in Cody. “And you could always tell the ones because they were crying or they were mad or they were handcuffed.”

Miles Bryan

The Cloud Peak Counseling Center in Worland looks more like a nursing home than a psychiatric hospital. It’s a small building with murals on the walls and a game room with leather couches. In fact it isn’t technically a hospital at all. It’s a “Crisis Stabilization Center:” a place where Title 25 patients in the area can be taken for psychiatric treatment for the first three days that they are held. It only has a few beds, but here in in the Bighorn Basin, where the nearest psychiatric hospital is hours away, it has had a huge impact.  

Well known Casper businessman and philanthropist Mick McMurry died early Tuesday morning at home. He was 69.

Miles Bryan

When you hear “law enforcement” what do you picture? A police officer, a sheriff’s deputy, maybe a highway patrol trooper--but probably not a prison guard. That is a problem for Wyoming’s Department of Corrections recruiting division. Right now they’re 20 percent short of guards system wide. A lot of that shortage is due to recent growth in high paying energy jobs, but Corrections has struggled for many years with recruitment and retention, in Wyoming and across the country.

Miles Bryan

A bill that would protect gay, lesbian, and transgender people from being discriminated against in the workplace and in other locations was approved by the House Health, Labor, and Social Services Committee on Friday.

 

It was standing room only for the entire two hour hearing as people lined up to give testimony. The Wyoming Pastor’s Network came out in force against the bill.

 

February 6th, 2015

Feb 6, 2015
Jeremy Wilburn, Flickr Creative Commons

Climate Change In The Classroom: The Debate Continues In Wyoming

Nearly a year after Wyoming lawmakers blocked the State Board of Education from considering a set of science standards that include climate change, a bill to put the standards back on the table is up for debate. When the dust settles, it could mean a change in classroom conversations about climate.

Miles Bryan

If you receive hospice end of life care in the United States it probably comes to you. Nationally about 60% of hospice care is administered at the patient’s home, or in a nursing home. Only about 7% receive care in a facility designed specifically for hospice patients. But in Wyoming, that number is closer to 30%--and its growing.

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