February 14th, 2014

Credit Bob Beck

Medicaid Expansion Faces Challenges In Wyoming

For over a decade the state has struggled with making sure all citizens had access to health care.  Much of this had to do with the fact that many Wyoming citizens can’t afford health insurance.  The federal affordable care act was supposed to help.  A key part of the act would provide states several million dollars to provide Medicaid to the working poor, in Wyoming that could help between 17 thousand and 18 thousand people.  States have to opt into the program, Wyoming legislature will consider one bill , but it may have a long road ahead.   Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.

Bill Rekindles Debate Over Split Estate

There’s a fight brewing in Wyoming over the rights of landowners who don’t own the minerals below their properties. In 2005, the legislature passed a Split Estate law, but now, one lawmaker is saying it may be time to revisit the issue, in light of changes in drilling technology and intensity. Senator Jim Anderson introduced a bill this week that would increase bonding on split-estate properties. Wyoming Public Radio energy reporter Stephanie Joyce joins us to discuss the bill, and its implications.

New Grand Teton Superintendent Says Collaboration Is Key

The National Park Service named a new superintendent for Grand Teton National Park this week. David Vela will replace former superintendent Mary Gibson Scott, who retired last year. Vela is currently an associate director for the Park Service in Washington DC. He has worked at parks and historic sites in Texas, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and directed the Park Service’s southeast region for four years. He says one of his goals is to listen to visitor feedback.

Author Discusses What He’s Learned Raising Bear Cubs

Author Ben Kilham has studied black bears for decades and has also raised orphan bear cubs. His new book is called “Out on a Limb: What Black Bears Have Taught Me about Intelligence and Intuition.” He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck, and said his interest in bears came by accident.

Negotiation Vs. Litigation: A Look At The Reservation Borders Decision

The governments of Riverton, Fremont County, the state, and of the two tribes who share the Wind River Indian Reservation are arguing, again, over the reservation’s borders. An Environmental Protection Agency decision last December drew the borders to include Riverton as tribal land, something Wyoming contests. The tribes saw the move as righting a historical wrong, but Riverton and the state say the EPA didn’t have the jurisdiction to make that call. But perhaps one question not being asked is: why are we still fighting over reservation borders in 2014? Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov takes a look.

Marion Loomis Reflects on 40 Years As Mining Lobbyist

Marion Loomis has been with the Wyoming Mining Association, one of the state’s most influential interest groups, for almost 40 years. Earlier this week, he announced that he would be retiring that post in April. Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce caught up with Loomis at the Capitol to discuss his career and what the future holds for the state’s mining industry.

12-Year-Old Piano Prodigy Competes In Paris

12-year-old Laramie pianist James Wilson was one of only two Americans to compete in the prestigious Lagny-sur-Marne piano competition in Paris last month.

Wyoming Stories: Bill Briggs Makes History Skiing Grand Teton

Bill Briggs, a Dartmouth graduate from Maine, moved to Jackson Hole and became North America’s “father of extreme skiing.” In Jackson he worked as a climbing and ski guide for many years, driven by his own passion and encouraged by the supportive outdoor community to surmount the insurmountable. In 1971, Briggs was the first person ever to descend the Grand Teton on skis, a feat most considered to be impossible.  His friend Spark M asks him to describe the experience.