December 27th, 2013

Stephen Watt (right) and Mark Farnham (left) during a recent visit.
Stephen Watt (right) and Mark Farnham (left) during a recent visit.

A crime victim and perpetrator talk about how their unlikely friendship came to be

Restorative justice is an approach to dealing with crime that put the victim of the crime front and center and considers how the offense affected the community, rather than looking at it as an isolated incident. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov has a three part series about restorative justice efforts in Wyoming, starting with a case study.

Restorative justice initiatives in WY are just starting

Restorative justice is an approach to dealing with crime that put the victim of the crime front and center and considers how the offense affected the community, rather than looking at it as an isolated incident. Wyoming Public Radio has a three part series about restorative justice efforts in Wyoming, starting with a case study.

Stigma of suicide hinders emotional recovery for survivors

September is suicide prevention awareness month. Wyoming consistently has one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation, and the state is working hard to change that. One of the reasons that suicide prevention efforts are so important is because of what suicide does to the family and friends of the victim. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that the grief survivors go through can be much more acute than other types of grief.

College Bound Latinas continues to make strides

Roughly three years ago, two women undertook an effort to take a group of middle school girls in Jackson under their wing with the goal of helping them get into college.  The effort is called College Bound Latinas and the program has had some early success.  But a recent interaction with a University of Wyoming Professor is taking the girls even further as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

Reviving local saw mills could limit fire danger in the Rocky Mountain Region

Saw mills are re-opening in Wyoming and Colorado after a decade of being shuttered. They’re harvesting and processing trees that have been killed by beetle infestation.  Still, many are suitable for lumber.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that this uptick in the timber business is helping with forest fire management.

Coal to liquid projects have uphill climb
Over the years, many researchers have looked at a variety of research and economic development projects using Wyoming coal. The idea is to open up new markets for it and to make it more viable for businesses and the public to use. Much of this has surrounded coal gasification. There has been a belief that coal could be used as a form of liquid fuel. That was especially useful when oil supplies appeared limited in the United States but as the country entered a technology revolution and opened up more resources…the interest dropped. Experts say that the other reason interest has waned is because these projects never work out. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

When it comes to environmental policy, science isn’t always as helpful as lawmakers hope

Science has long been something we look to for answers. But when it comes to policy making, science can’t always provide the clear solutions lawmakers and the public want. That has to do with how science works and the politics that sometimes infiltrate. Two issues in Wyoming demonstrate uncannily well the shortcomings of science when it comes to decision making in the environmental sphere.

Pollution spikes in Converse County spark concerns over oil and gas expansion

Converse County is seeing an increasing amount of energy development, and some residents worry that air quality could suffer as a result. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and researchers from the University of Wyoming are now monitoring air quality in the area. On the whole, they’ve found that the air is pretty clean. But they’ve also documented times when pollution levels have spiked. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

Some say Wyoming lawmakers are inconsistent about personal freedoms when it comes to social issues
In recent years the state legislature has seen an increase in conservative Republicans who are focusing more on personal rights and freedoms.  Those rights range from removing federal restrictions on gun laws, to voting against anything that might resemble a tax.  They’ve had mixed success with this approach, but they see their role in the state legislature as important.  But others wonder if they’re consistent.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports from Cheyenne.