Sara Hossaini

Reporter

Sara Hossaini is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She brings a blend of documentary journalism and public interest communications experience developed through her work as a nonprofit multimedia consultant and Associate Producer on national PBS documentary films through groups such as the Center for Asian American Media, Fenton Communications and The Working Group. She likes to travel, to get her hands in the dirt and to explore her creative side through music, crafts and dance.

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U.S.
12:55 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Immigration Bill May Keep Wage Exemption For Foreign Herders

Antonio Basualdo Solorzano has worked at the Ladder Ranch in south-central Wyoming for eight years. On his wages as a guest worker, he's supported seven children back home in Peru.
Sara Hossaini for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:53 am

When Patrick and Sharon O'Toole began their ranching business on the Wyoming-Colorado border, they tended the sheep themselves. But eventually, the O'Tooles wanted to settle down and have kids, so they hired foreign ranch hands with H-2A, or guest worker, visas to work on the ranch for $750 a month.

Peruvian shepherds on guest worker visas tend thousands of sheep in Wyoming, but they only make about half of what agricultural workers elsewhere are paid.

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Open Spaces
5:09 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

May 31st, 2013

Uranium yellowcake powder

Wyoming missed out on last uranium boom, but planning for the future

Wyoming Public Radio has for years reported that the state is on the verge of a uranium boom. It turns out the state missed the peak of that boom, and is now betting on slower, more conservative growth. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.

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Open Spaces
4:47 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Are foreign herders the black sheep of immigration reform?

Antonio Basualdo Solorzano
Sara Hossaini

Debate over the immigration overhaul has found its way to the vast open spaces of Wyoming. Here, Peruvian guest workers on H2-A visas tend thousands of sheep. These shepherds make just $750 a month to be on the job around-the-clock, usually alone for months on end. That's around half of what other agricultural guestworkers make because sheep ranchers receive a special exemption from minimum wage requirements. Ranchers say it’s needed in order to save this small, struggling American industry.

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News
5:50 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Wyoming sees an increase in its population rate

Wyoming has the fourth fastest-growing population in the nation. That’s according to recent U.S. Census estimates from July 2011 to July 2012.

Statewide, Wyoming's numbers are up 1.6% after a couple years of slow growth following the recession. Senior State Economist Wenlin Liu says Wyoming is experiencing two types of growth.

"That 1.6 percent was over 9 thousand people," says Liu, "And that 9 thousand people, about 1/3 or 3,000 people, was from natural change."

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News
5:33 am
Thu May 16, 2013

National Parks Service Petitioned to Prohibit Wolf Hunting on its Wyoming lands

It’s been eight months since gray wolves were removed from the endangered species list, but some are concerned that the Park Service has not taken necessary action to close a perceived loophole in legal protections for the animals within national park lands. 

Specifically, they mean the potential hunting of gray wolves along the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, which connects Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

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News
6:41 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

UW offers its blueprint for future top-tier engineering program

Drilling Simulator at UW's College of Engineering and Applied Science
Credit University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has sent Governor Matt Mead a blueprint to transform the College of Engineering and Applied Science into a top program nationwide.

In December, Governor Matt Mead’s Energy, Engineering and STEM Integration Task force released its report on how to turn the College of Engineering and Applied Science into a Tier One academic and research institution. Mead then asked UW to come up with, what Associate Provost Andrew Hansen calls, ‘the dream’ vision for achieving that goal.

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News
8:56 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Medical fund started to help Wyoming wrestler

A fund has been established to help former University of Wyoming wrestler Michael Martinez cover medical costs.

Martinez was helping on his family’s ranch in Colorado when a gas leak caught fire in his field camper. He drove himself several miles to reach help and was airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital, where he was treated for burns to over 80 percent of his body.

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Open Spaces
5:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

April 26th, 2013

Cost of substance abuse in Wyoming is higher than expected
As it addressed issues concerning substance abuse, one thing the state never had were Wyoming specific numbers on the financial impact of substance abuse.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that a recent study has found that the cost of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse is staggering.

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News
9:54 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Wyoming women earn country's most disparate wages

Wyoming women are still bringing home the least income in the nation when compared with men. That’s according to a new study by the National Women’s Law Center.

According to 2011 data, Wyoming once again ranks fifty-first in the nation among all states and the District of Columbia when it comes to the wage gap between men and women. The study analyzed census data and found that women in Wyoming make only 66 cents for every dollar that men earn.

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News
6:48 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Farmers warned about prescribed burns

It’s early in the season, but a few prescribed burns have already spread out of control.

Meterologist Chris Jones of the National Weather Service in Riverton says one recent case involved an effort to clear weeds along fence line. Wind spread the fire into a trash pile.

Fire fighters responded and no structures were damaged. But with warmer winds and last year’s drought and subsequent drier soil, Jones expects that more such fires could occur without proper preparation.

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Industry News
6:44 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Governor wants a preferred plan concerning drilling project

Governor Matt Mead is urging the Bureau of Land Management to select a preferred alternative plan for oil and gas development in Carbon and Sweetwater Counties.

The BLM’s 900-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement focuses on the proposed Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development, or CD-C Project. 

Governor Mead says the project could create thousands of jobs, but he wants to make sure it’s done right. 

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News
6:33 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Senator Enzi says more budget cuts are needed

With federal departments already feeling the heat since across-the-board budget cuts took effect March 1st, Wyoming US Senator Mike Enzi says the mandatory cuts—known as the sequester—don’t go far enough.

The sequester, or automatic budget reduction across almost all federal programs, was meant to be an incentive for congress to reach an agreement on how to scale back the nation’s deficit. But the parties could not come to an agreement on how to achieve this and so now, those such as Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk are looking at cutting back on operations.

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Amy Wroe-Bechtel
9:10 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Authorities to investigate new leads in the 1997 disappearance of Amy Wroe-Bechtel

Amy Wroe-Bechtel

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office says it believes Dale Wayne Eaton, Wyoming’s only death row inmate, may have had a role in the 1997 disappearance of Lander woman, Amy Wroe-Bechtel. A former UW track star, Bechtel disappeared near a running trail on the Loop Road outside Lander.

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News
4:55 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Despite improvement, report shows Wyoming still number two in juvenile incarceration

Wyoming is locking up fewer young people than it did nearly 15 years ago according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  

The Foundation analyzed federal census data of incarcerated youth from 1995 to 2010. The results show a marked decrease of over 40% fewer youth in confinement across the country with no decrease in public safety.  Wyoming’s rate is down by 12% since 1997.

KidsCount Director Marc Homer says while the new numbers are positive, the state is still lagging when it comes to implementing effective reform.

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News
10:00 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Outdoor recreation is a big driver of Wyoming’s economy

A new report from the Outdoor Industry Association quantifies the economic benefits of outdoor recreation in all fifty states. The study looked at direct spending, jobs, salaries and tax revenue. 

Spokesperson Avery Stonich says the data demonstrates the value of outdoor recreation beyond the obvious – natural beauty and fun.

“Wyoming has a lot of really great recreation opportunities,” says Stonich, “this produces consumer spending to the tune of four and a half billion dollars every year that’s going directly into the state economy.”

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News
6:27 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Poll Shows Most Wyomingites Are Conservationists

A poll conducted by Colorado College reveals that 73% of Wyoming voters think of themselves as conservationists. Program coordinator Brendan Boepple says polled residents also believe that public lands support the state’s economy and that they should not be sold to alleviate deficits.

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News
4:51 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

WY Supreme Court sides with WY Sec. of State to remove term limits

Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield has won a year-long law suit to remove term limits for most statewide elected officials. Nearly a decade ago, the Wyoming Supreme Court overturned a voter initiative that instituted term limits – but the reversal only applied to state legislators. Secretary of State Max Maxfield says he believed that term limits were also unconstitutional when it came to his own office, and those of other statewide elected officials. So, he waited until he was in this – his final term – to file suit as an individual.

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News
6:52 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Accidental legal drug deaths are on the rise in Albany County

Albany County saw more prescription drug overdoses in the first three months of 2012 than in all of 2011. In fact, a third of non-natural and accidental deaths in Albany County last year can be linked to prescription drug overdoses, according to County Coroner Kathleen Vernon-Kubichek, nearly triple the amount seen in 2011. 

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Katie's Law
5:44 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

House committee kills "Katie's Law"

Katie’s Law, a bill that would have allowed the state to collect DNA of people arrested for certain felonies will not move forward in the Wyoming House.

A committee voted 5-3 to kill the bill, which is named after a 22-year-old New Mexico resident whose killer was identified based on DNA matching. Proponents of the bill argued that DNA is the modern equivalent of a fingerprint.

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Guns
4:18 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

House committee approved bill to allow concealed firearms into government meetings

Credit Newsday.com

Legislators have voted to advance two bills relating to guns in government meetings.

One that would allow people to carry concealed weapons into government meetings passed unanimously, after the committee agreed to strike a provision that would have required permission of the meeting’s presiding officer.

Former gun shop owner Maury Jones of Jackson Hole says concealed guns make government meetings safer.

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suicide
4:58 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

2012 was record year for suicides in Fremont County

2012 saw nineteen suicides in Fremont County, an all-time high for the county, which county coroners say has the highest rate in the state.

Wyoming, in turn, has the highest rates in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A task force comprised of the county coroner, county prevention management, and the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribal health offices met last week and offered free prevention classes to the public at Wind River Casino this week.

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News
5:17 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Mixed feelings in WY about extended federal Farm Bill

The farm bill that has been in place for the last five years will be extended at least another nine months as part of a last minute provision under congress’s fiscal cliff package. Instead of a new five-year bill, certain aspects of the old bill will continue until September, like direct subsidies and the food assistance program, SNAP. The extension also offers assistance, including retroactively to last September, for certain programs many Wyomingites hold dear.

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News
6:40 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Mule deer with unusual rack dies

Park officials don’t normally send out press releases upon the natural death of a wild animal. But this case was different. The buck mule deer with the unusually branched forty-inch antlers had become a visitor favorite, the subject of photos and even some YouTube videos.But over the last couple of weeks, rangers began monitoring his limp. Soon after, the buck bedded down and died.

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News
7:15 am
Fri January 4, 2013

New funding for arts and culture in Wyoming

The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund has announced two new deadlines for grants to nonprofit and governmental organizations in Wyoming, the earlier of which is April 1st.

Fund Administrator Renee Bobee says the fund supports groups that enrich the state by providing essential cultural opportunities for residents in a variety of ways, including fairs and exhibitions, archaeological research, musical performances and historical preservation projects. Bobee says the grant can also help organizations to grow and develop.

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Open Spaces
5:02 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

December 7th, 2012

Credit Willow Belden

Converse County oil boom draws concerns from residents
In October, we reported that Chesapeake Energy had drilled a series of oil wells near Douglas, very close to people’s houses. Chesapeake says the area will likely continue to be a core drilling region. That has some area residents uneasy. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Business
7:38 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Wyoming Business Council gives Laramie a record grant

Credit Bob Beck

The Wyoming Business Council voted to approve all five of its Business Ready Community Grants today/Thursday.  Among them is a 5 point 4 million dollar grant to fund construction of a new data and technology park in Laramie.

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News
6:43 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

EPA urges Carbon Monoxide awareness

As winter approaches and temperatures dip, the Environmental Protection Agency is urging people to protect themselves against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tricky to detect. But 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, and 20,000 more are hospitalized.

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News
10:02 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Senator Enzi Hopes to Improve Carbon Capture Tax Credit Law


Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi is one of three U.S. legislators sponsoring a bill that would help ease the process for earning tax credits related to carbon capture.

The existing carbon capture tax credit offers a maximum of 150 million dollars total per year, or a national cap set at 75 million tons of carbon, to companies which capture or reuse greenhouse gases instead of releasing them into the air.  The credit expires once that limit is reached. That breaks down to a credit of $10 per ton for enhanced oil recovery, and $20 per ton for carbon capture.

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Best of Wyoming
4:43 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

UW New Visual Arts Building - Laramie

The University of Wyoming's new Visual Arts Building has faculty and student studios, wood and metal shops, a gallery, and rooms dedicated to perform tasks more safely, including a safe place to spray paint.
Rebecca Martinez

The University of Wyoming dedicated its new Visual Arts building January 20, 2012.

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