A downturn in the energy economy has caused a crisis in Wyoming education funding. K-12 funding is projected to see a $400 million shortfall at the end of the current two year budget cycle. That deficit will grow if lawmakers can’t find a way to address the shortfall. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that the House and Senate are taking different approaches towards solving the problem.
The state’s budget deficit has forced the University of Wyoming to reduce spending. Dr. Anne Alexander, Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Education, says at this point every possible thing that’s “discretionary” has been cut. But there are folks on campus who think energy conservation should have a more prominent role in cost saving measures. Wyoming Public Radio education reporter Tennessee Watson spoke with Meghann Cranford, Student chair of the Sustainability Coalition, about the effort.
State Representatives Marti Halverson and Cathy Connolly are unlikely allies. Halverson has been a supporter of religious rights bills in the past…while Connolly is the state’s only openly gay lawmaker. But there’s one thing they do agree on…the need for an in-depth study Wyoming’s gender wage gap which reports say is the worst in the nation. As part of our new series called, “I Respectfully Disagree,” I sat down with both of them to hear how they came to co-sponsor a bill. Representative Connolly explained she knew she had to do something when yet another report came out proclaiming Wyoming as the worst gender wage gap in the U.S.
The Wyoming State Board of Education was born 100 years ago during the 1917 Legislative Session. Wyoming Public Radio’s education reporter Tennessee Watson invited Pete Gosar to reflect on the history of the board, and his final months as board chair. Appointees only get to serve one term, and Gosar says that’s part of what makes the State Board of Education an effective institution.
Wyoming’s junior senator, John Barrasso, is now chairman of the committee tasked with crafting President Donald Trump’s call for a massive infrastructure proposal. Trump wants to rebuild roads, bridges, railways and airports across the country. This could be good news for a lot of Wyoming drivers, but Correspondent Matt Laslo reports that Barrasso is being pulled in a thousand different directions.
44 of the University of Wyoming’s students come from the seven different countries included in President Donald Trump’s travel suspension. The executive order is now in the midst of what will likely be a long, legal battle. Until the situation gets resolved, University President Laurie Nichols has discouraged the impacted students from traveling outside the U.S. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Maggie Mullen reports, if it sticks many of the students are now left with limited options and hard choices.
As one of his first actions, President Trump signed an executive order granting his approval for the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Then, on January 31, the Army Corp of Engineers announced they’d grant the final permit. The next day, about 100 protesters clashed with Morton County Police. 23-year-old Northern Arapaho member Micah Lott from Wyoming was among them and told Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards the story of his arrest.
A new book compiles government photos of Japanese-Americans in World War II incarceration camps…including Heart Mountain in Wyoming. For the first time, some of the people in the photos have been interviewed. Those interviews are included in Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II.
As co-author Richard Cahan tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Erin Jones, camp conditions were poor.
Adam Duncan Harris is the curator of art and research at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and is a recipient of one of the 2017 Governor’s Art Awards. He sat down with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about his approach to managing the collection and the award. He says he didn’t get the news that he won quite in the way he expected.