May 20th, 2011
A listing of today's stories:
All That Water: Wyoming’s Flood Forecast
With above average snowpack across the state, warm weather, and the arrival of a rainy spring, Wyoming officials are on the alert for flooding. Local emergency management agencies are working to assess water levels and develop plans to deal with the possibility of floods. The National Weather Service is monitoring rivers and weather, and the state Office of Homeland Security is coordinating efforts. Bob Beck Speaks with Tristan Ahtone.
For Land Conservation, a Boom Time
There’s no doubt that Western ranchlands are under threat, and that includes land in Wyoming. A study often cited in conservation circles projects that 2 point 6 million acres of prime Wyoming ranchland could be developed in the next decade. Five Wyoming counties made a list that identifies open spaces prone to future development. But there is a bright spot to be found in that troubling picture. Land trusts across the state say the availability of funding and greater acceptance of permanent conservation agreements makes this an exceptional time for ranchland conservation. Wyoming Public Radio’s Molly Messick has more.
Kansas Pro-Life Group Protests in Jackson
A Kansas-based pro-life group has been protesting this week outside a Jackson clinic that provides abortions. The demonstrators have singled out family physician Brent Blue. They’re asking him to stop performing the procedure, and they’re also asking local people to take up their cause. We hear from those protestors, and Wyoming Public Radio’s Molly Messick talks to Dr. Blue.
How to Build a Health Care Exchange
This summer, Wyoming officials will continue working on what is called a health exchange. It is a web-based system developed under the federal health care legislation that is designed to help the uninsured and self-employed find and purchase health insurance. The hope is that this will facilitate finding affordable insurance. Other western states are already creating their health exchanges. Chris Lehman reports from Oregon.
In Wyo., Unemployment Persists
With Wyoming’s unemployment rate sitting at 6.7 percent, it would appear that not many in the state are looking for work. But in fact, a lot of people are struggling to find good paying jobs, some are severely under-employed and others are facing the prospect of their unemployment benefits running out. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has this story.
Western Wyoming’s Jobless Problem
Teton County is another place where jobs aren’t coming back quickly. Tourism is picking up, but other local industries are not rebounding, which means they're not hiring, at least not in great numbers. And that's leaving people who lost jobs during the downturn with few options for digging themselves out of poverty. And in a place like Jackson Hole, where the cost of living is high, that can be a problem. Rebecca Huntington has more.
Shyatt Returns: The Onetime Cowboys Coach is Back in the Saddle
In March, the University of Wyoming ended weeks of speculation and hired Larry Shyatt to be the Wyoming Cowboys basketball coach for the second time. Shyatt coached the Cowboys to the National Invitation Tournament in the 1997-98 season, but then abruptly left to coach Clemson. In the last few years, Shyatt has been the Associate Head Coach under Billy Donovan at Florida where the Gators have been one of the top teams in the country winning two NCAA titles. Shyatt’s hiring has generated enthusiasm among those who have lost interest in the Cowboy’s program in recent years. He speaks with Bob Beck