May 11th, 2012

Election year politics are derailing efforts to improve Wyoming’s economy.
President Obama is chiding Congress for not acting on his slimmed down plan to spur economic growth in Wyoming and elsewhere. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that election year politicking is expected to derail this latest effort to get the economy moving.

Wyoming hopes to overhaul UW’s outdated College of Engineering
Earlier this year the Wyoming legislature set aside some 30 million dollars in matching money to help pay for a major upgrade in U-W’s College of Engineering.  With an anticipated cost of nearly 100 million dollars, it would be U-W’s most expensive building project.  The last major addition to the College occurred in 1980.  Right now labs are too small, classrooms are crowded and the front portion of the building has a distinct 1920’s flavor.  As Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…at a time when other building projects were occurring on campus…the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee said skipping the College of Engineering would have been a crime.

Casper mayor opposes smoke-free ordinance
The city of Casper is considering a ban on smoking in all public places.   It’s an issue that supporters have been pushing for a number of years and next week there will be a public hearing on the issue.  In the past, supporters of the ordinance have been on board with the program, but not everybody is in love with it.   So today we will hear from an opponent.  Former Mayor Mike Reid is the co-owner of Poplar Wine and Spirits in Casper that includes an adjoining smoke free bar.  Reid tells Bob Beck the smoke free approach has worked well.

Wyoming museum uses 3D technology to create fossil, dinosaur replicas
We tend to think about scanning and printing as something that you do with pieces of paper – two dimensional objects. But now, a geological museum in Wyoming is scanning and printing things in 3D. They’re using 3D scanners and printers to make plastic replicas of dinosaur bones and other fossils, which can help with research and make collections accessible to scientists and museum goers around the world. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden went to Casper and filed this report.

Gov. Matt Mead discusses proposed budget
Bob Beck recently spoke with Gov. Matt Mead in his office about a number of topics including proposed state budget cuts.

Ozone spikes put Sublette County on federal list of air quality violators
It’s official: The Environmental Protection Agency says Sublette County and parts of neighboring counties are violating federal air quality standards because ozone levels have gone above the legal limit multiple times in the past few years. It’s widely recognized that the problem stems from emissions in the oil and gas industry. When you get the right combination of two types of emissions -- NOX and VOCs  -- coupled with certain wintertime weather conditions, ground-level ozone forms. Ground-level ozone is the main component of smog and can cause respiratory problems.

Wind River Reservation residents still worry about uranium waste in tap water
Last week, the Department of Energy announced that uranium at nearly twice the legal limit had been found in the tap water of four households on the Wind River Reservation. The event marks another incident in a long and troubled history in the area.  Wyoming Public Radio's Tristan Ahtone brings us this report on the find.

Author Alyson Hagy discusses her novel “Boleto”
Laramie-based author Alyson Hagy has a new novel that just came out called “Boleto.” She joins us to talk with us about the book, which tells a story of a young man from rural Wyoming named Will Testerman.

Mother’s Day: Tiffany Bishop reflects on young motherhood
Before I had children, I thought I had it all figured out.  I would roll my eyes at mothers in the grocery store who couldn’t seem to keep their kids in the cart and out of aisles, or cringe when the host at a restaurant would seat a family with an unruly toddler near my table.