August 23rd, 2013

Coal lease sales potentially undervalued, leading to possible millions lost for government

The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for coal on federal lands. That coal makes up about 40 percent of total coal production in the U.S. Of the 314 existing federal coal leases, nearly a quarter of the leases are in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Companies acquire these leases by bidding on the right to mine the federal coal. It has generated a lot of income, which the federal government splits with states. But not everyone thinks the program is working as it should and that the government might be losing out on money.

Wyoming’s Congresswoman wants to reform the Endangered Species Act

In September a Congressional subcommittee will hold a hearing in Casper as Congress takes another crack at reforming the Endangered Species Act.  Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis has for years been supportive of reforming the ESA.  While she is quick to acknowledge that it has been a good law, Lummis is frustrated that once something gets on the endangered species list it rarely comes off.  She joins Bob Beck to discuss this.

New Education Director sets sites on improving education in Wyoming

Wyoming’s newly appointed Director of Education Rich Crandall is busy getting acquainted with Wyoming’s Education system.  Crandall began his new duties August first.  He was heavily involved in education as a politician in Arizona and he’s now running the Wyoming Department of Education and working with legislators to implement education policy in the state.  Lawmakers voted to remove those powers from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.  Crandall is focused on what he calls best practices or the best ways to improve education.  We begin by discussing Wyoming’s efforts to improve accountability in education.  He speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

STOP Violence Fall 2013

The University of Wyoming will kick off a new school year on Monday. It’s an exciting time for incoming freshmen, but the college years bring new freedoms as well as new risks. UW’s STOP Violence program offers crisis intervention and support for anyone on campus who’s been affected by sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking, and works to educate students about the issues. Wyoming Public Radio’s Becky Martinez spoke with UW’s new STOP Violence Coordinator Megan Selheim about what new students should bear in mind for the coming school year.

Small business owners face challenges

It has never been easy to start a small business or to keep it going.  Acquiring startup money is always one of the challenges.  In Wyoming, officials say they want to develop more businesses, but unless you are a technology company, it can be difficult to find the necessary support.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

Group Sees Jackson as Future Silicon Valley of the Rockies

A new group is convinced that, with a little coaching, Jackson Hole can become the Silicon Valley of the Rockies. In fact, this ad hoc group has even taken the name Silicon Couloir. They're convinced that within the state the investors exist to help grow more startup businesses. But what's lacking is a venue for investors and entrepreneurs to meet. The possible solution is known as Pitch Day.  

UPSTARTS: Kati Hime publishes magazines in Wyoming, for Wyoming

Now, for the latest edition in our occasional series, Upstarts, we’ll hear from a stay-at-home mom who launched a multimedia publishing company from her kitchen table in Laramie. Kati Hime is the owner and editor of three high-quality magazines that focus on life in and across the Cowboy State. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

Landscape artist Kathryn Turner reflects on her muse, the Tetons

Wyoming landscape painter Kathryn Turner grew up on Triangle X Ranch in Grand Teton National Park surrounded by dramatic views of her favorite subject, the Tetons. And in her words, she’s spent the past 20 years trying to do them justice. “And they are challenging! And what makes them challenging is they’re always changing, with the light, with the seasons, with the way the clouds move over them, obscuring them, changing the shadows. So they provide a lifetime of material,” added Turner.