September 14th, 2012

Gov. Mead considers expanding Medicaid
Governor Matt Mead is confronted with the issue of whether or not the state should expand Medicaid services to serve more residents.  It’s a proposal that was included in the Affordable Care Act, but this summer the US Supreme Court ruled that states should be allowed to make this decision.  The argument for doing it is that it would help bring down long term costs of health care, because those who cannot get or afford insurance would be covered under Medicaid.  That should reduce cost shifting.   But there is an expense to the state and a recent study commissioned for the Department of Health suggested that it could cost the state millions over a six year period.  Governor Matt Mead joins Bob Beck to describe why he is concerned.

Volunteers make EMS possible in rural Wyoming, but numbers are dwindling
An ambulance staffed a team of experienced first-responders can make a world of difference in an emergency. This is especially true in rural Wyoming, where the hospital can be an hour away or more. What many people don’t realize is that most of Wyoming’s Emergency Medical Services – or EMS – workers are volunteers, and their numbers are dwindling. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez filed this report.

History lesson: Wyoming State Parks
This is the 75th year of State Parks in Wyoming.   Dominic Bravo oversees State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails.   He tell Bob Beck that state parks have an interesting history.

Symphony: Michael Griffith previews the season
The University of Wyoming Symphony opens its season next week.  Director Michael Griffith joins Bob Beck.

Beetle killed trees are bad for wildlife
More than a million acres of forest in Wyoming and Colorado by the beetle kill epidemic. That means lots of dry fuel for forest fires. But it also might have an impact on wildlife. So the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is conducting a study to figure out how beetle kill is affecting elk, and elk hunters. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with wildlife biologist Tony Mong, who’s heading the study. He says the worry is that dead trees could be restricting access to certain parts of the forests.

Cheyenne Police Dept. seeks to keep the homeless out of jail
The Cheyenne Police Department has launched an initiative that’s meant to help the homeless get access to shelter and other services, and keep them out of jail. The cops and the one shelter in town are optimistic about the program. But various advocacy groups have major concerns. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

Laramie sets stage to attract tech industry
The City of Laramie has not been famous for its economic development success.  Laramie has seen a growth in technology jobs, but didn’t have the infrastructure to attract at least narrowly two large mega data centers.  In an effort to change that city leaders are going all out to purchase property and develop what will initially be a 160 acre technology park.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that officials are hoping for a big splash.

Cowboy Joe IV will pass along the reigns this football season
With the start of football season, comes the start of Cowboy Joe’s work season. Cowboy Joe, if you don’t know, is one of two University of Wyoming mascots. He’s a pony with a lot of attitude who arguably has more admirers than the football players themselves. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that the current mascot is actually Cowboy Joe four, and he’s passing the reigns to Cowboy Joe five.

Poem: Kristen Gunther, “Belay”
Laramie poet Kristen Gunther reads her poem, “Belay”.