March 9th, 2012

Listen to the Whole Show

Wyoming anticipates arrival of supercomputer in Cheyenne
The National Center for Atmospheric Research is building a supercomputing center in Cheyenne, which will house one of the most powerful computers in the world. Scientists are looking forward to the machine’s arrival … and many in Wyoming say its presence here will put the state on the map. The facility where the computer will be located is finished … and the machine itself is set to arrive in May. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden toured the building … and filed this report.

Wyoming’s wolf management plan is law
Among the issues the Wyoming legislature dealt with this year is a wolf management plan.  Lawmakers approved a compromise crafted between Governor Matt Mead and federal officials that allows Wyoming residents to shoot wolves on sight if they are not in protected areas of the state.  While a judge may need to eventually sign off on the plan, many lawmakers believe they are closer than managing wolves than ever before.  Senator Bruce Burns chairs the committee the oversees wildlife issues in the state.  I spoke with him shortly after the bill passed.

Legislature cuts funding for Healthy Frontiers
Five years ago the state embarked on an innovative preventive medicine approach called Healthy Frontiers.  It offered a version of health insurance to low income people who cannot afford it.  The idea was to try and keep people off of Medicaid and out of the emergency room.  But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports the legislature stripped money from the program essentially killing it.

Tribes demand action and oversight for uranium clean-up
During this year’s Legislative session, lawmakers proposed a joint resolution known as the Riverton Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action bill. Tailings are waste left over from mining operations. In this case, the tailings in question are from uranium mining on the Wind River Reservation. The tailings have caused groundwater contamination, which many residents believe has led to health problems.

Flaming Gorge film goes on tour
Starting next week, the group Trout Unlimited will be screening its new film “Green with Envy” in towns across Wyoming and Colorado. The film focuses on the proposed Flaming Gorge Pipeline, which would transport 81 billion gallons of water per year from the Flaming Gorge reservoir to the Colorado front range. Recently the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected the proposal for lack of sufficient information … but the developer plans to re-apply and move forward with the project.  Colorado has rights to some of the water that flows through the river … but various agencies and environmental groups in Wyoming are adamantly opposed to the plan. I spoke with Charles Card of Trout Unlimited about the film his group will be showing. He says they oppose the pipeline project because it would lower the water level in the reservoir by about 120 feet.

Wyoming has big plans for the state’s film industry
The Wyoming Film Office has grand plans for the state’s film industry, and it’s making progress. A prime-time network sitcom, and a major Hollywood movie have filmed here in the past year, but shooting in the Cowboy State still brings its own challenges. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez filed this report.

Nonprofit seeks to make it easier to shop local
There’s a new nonprofit in Wyoming called “3-0-7 First,” which is aimed at making it easier for people to support local businesses. I spoke with President Bob Moberly about how it works – and why he thinks people should support Wyoming businesses, even if it’s a little more expensive or less convenient than shopping out-of-state or online. Moberly says the 307 First website will include a directory of Wyoming businesses, so that shoppers can search for products they want, and see if those products are available from stores within the state.

Wyoming Basketball legend Kenny Sailors to be inducted into Collegiate Hall of Fame
Former Cowboys Basketball Star and purported creator of the jump shot will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri this fall. At age 91, Sailors is the second Cowboy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with him this week. He says a lot has changed since his days on the court.

Ag program seeks to teach kids about origins of food
The Wyoming Farm Bureau runs an Ag Books for Kids program to help kids better understand where their food comes from. Young ranchers are going into classrooms to spread the Ag gospel. Irina Zhorov went to a classroom in Laramie for the story.