September 13th, 2013
Two years ago the Wyoming legislature asked the Wyoming Department of health to look into the high costs of Medicaid services in the state. The legislature wanted them to find ways to reduce those costs and see if there were also ways to reform Wyoming’s Developmental Disability waiver program, which costs the state 151 million dollars a year. The most popular waiver provides funding for home and community based services that can keep a child with disabilities from being institutionalized. The Department is looking into the possibility of reducing funding for some people and using that savings to reduce a waiting list for others who also need services. It’s generated quite a firestorm as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
Roughly a quarter of Teton County residents are living without health insurance. It's the worst rate of health coverage in the state. Beginning in October, those uninsured residents will have a new opportunity to get health insurance through a federally-operated exchange, or marketplace. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more.
The fate of a major art collection hangs in the balance, as the estate of renowned Cody artist Harry Jackson looks for a benefactor. And unless a donor steps forward, Jackson’s life work will be piecemealed to pay the bills.
Former lawyer turned fly fishing guide David Riley Bertsch has written a book dealing with both of his passions. Jake Trent is the main Character in the book called Death Canyon. Trent is a former criminal lawyer turned fly fishing guide who runs a bed and breakfast in Jackson, Wyoming. But some a late season avalanche kills a skier, a French couple may have suffered a bear attack, and Jake himself finds the body of a tourist in fishing gear. The mysterious deaths has the town on edge and some think Jake may be involved. Jake finds a park ranger to help him investigate the deaths and determine who is trying to frame him and it leads to some scary discoveries. Author David Riley Bertsch joins us and says his personal life led to this book.
President Obama's call to postpone a vote on a military strike in Syria is being lauded by Wyoming lawmakers. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that while the administration is leaving a military option on the table as it pursues diplomacy, officials can’t expect much support from the Wyoming delegation.
Real estate brokers across Wyoming and the west have been seeing more and more people buying ranches for investment purposes. In many cases, that’s changing the way the ranches function and affecting the communities around them. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
As we just heard, many Wyoming ranches are being purchased by out-of-state residents. Many of these ranches are up for sale in the first place because older ranchers don’t have heirs who want -- or know how to -- run a ranch full-time. Or the kids can’t agree on what to do with the family ranch after their parents pass away. So ranching advocacy groups are trying to come up with ways to help manage non-traditional succession plans. Jim Magagna of the Wyoming Stock Grower’s Association tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca that it’s important to find ways to help farmers get their money’s-worth for their land while keeping it in production.
With help from a five million dollar USDA grant, the University of Wyoming and two local groups are conducting a study of the health benefits of gardening. They found fourteen volunteers with significant medical issues to start growing food in their own backyards. The goal is to see if gardening improves their health. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports.
David Romtvedt teaches in the MFA program for writers at the University of Wyoming and served as the state's poet laureate from 2003 to 2011. Today, we’ll hear three of his poems about his daughter.