Features

Photo courtesy Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck spoke with author and historian Mac Blewer about his entertaining book called “Wyoming’s Outlaw Trail.”  It’s about the outlaws that frequented Wyoming in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  For instance he says Baggs, Wyoming was a popular hangout.

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The Wyomericana Caravan pulled into Wyoming Public Radio on May 14, 2013 ahead of their kickoff show in Laramie.  J Shogren, Jalan Crossland and Screen Door Porch each played their Wyoming brand of Americana music.  They also talked with Grady Kirkpatrick about the tour.

Sheridan-based historian Val Burgess is passionate about World War II Prisoners of war. Through her non-profit, Wars’ Voices, she and her husband Jerry are working to record and archive the stories of World War II P-O-Ws.

Sheridan author Tom McIntyre has a new book out called “The Snow Leopard’s Tale.” It’s a story that takes place on a high Tibetan plateau and is written from the point of view of a snow leopard named Xue Bao. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with McIntyre about the book, and he described it as more of a fable than a novel.

Zarif Khan: A Wyoming Life

May 31, 2013

Zarina Khan speaks about Sheridan’s Zarif Kahn on Mountain West Voices.

As a graduate student in UW’s Creative Writing Program, LuLing Osofsky was fascinated by the various ways she saw Indian culture present in Laramie. South Asian students celebrated traditional festivals on campus, and the town had a good place to get curry. She writes about experiencing these pockets of India in her series of vignettes called “Wild Wild East: Finding Hints of Asia in the West.”

Devils Tower National Monument is asking climbers to avoid the monument during the month of June.

The monument has implemented a voluntary climbing ban each June since 1996 out of respect for Native Americans.

Spokesperson Nancy Stimson says the tower and surrounding areas are sacred to tribal communities, and important ceremonies take place there in June.

The national Nammy Awards ceremony took place in Niagara Falls this month. Gary Small and the Coyote Brothers won an award for Best World Music for their percussive, Reggae-inspired album “Hostiles and Renegades.”

Gary Small is a Northern Cheyenne Indian. Previously, he has won for songwriter of the year, best rock recording, and best male artist. Previous albums had a range of musical styles, from surf rock to rockabilly.

Kit Freedman is a graduate of University of Wyoming, who did his thesis research on the Wind River Indian Reservation. In this essay he reflects on his family’s multi-generational history in Lander.   

Laramie has been included on a national list of “playful cities” with policies that promote play among children.

Children today play less than any previous generation, according to a statement from KaBOOM!, a non-profit that helps communities build playgrounds. The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics says play is necessary for social, emotional and physical well-being of children.

Laramie has a housing development ordinance that requires new developments to donate to a local parks fund, or set aside space for parks.

Next week the Cheyenne International Film festival gets underway. The event begins May 16th and runs through the 19th.  The producer of the event is Alan O’Hashi who’s been active in helping Wyoming movie makers and this venue gives them a chance to showcase their work, but as the title suggests, International films will also be shown.   O’Hashi tells Bob Beck the event was started five years ago and continues to grow.  He says they will be showing a wide range of films.

Former Newspaper reporter and author Tom Rea has a new venture, he is the Editor of WyoHistory.org. It is a history website about Wyoming.  He tells Bob Beck the idea for the website came as he was doing a job for the Natrona County School district.

Pinedale singer-songwriter Jared Rogerson has been influenced as a musician from 17 years of bronc’ riding in rodeos. He’s also explored thousands of miles in the remote Wyoming backcountry as a brucellosis biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. His new album, Dirt, was released April 17.

Luke Bell Music Review

Apr 30, 2013
Luke Bell

Cody, Wyoming native, Luke Bell wrote, sang, and produced all of the songs on the self-titled album, Luke Bell, which was released the spring of 2012. Luke Bell falls under the “Americana” genre, consisting of versatile tracks that adopt country, honky-tonk, blues, rock, and bluegrass styles. From playful jams to dramatic blues, Luke Bell caters to diverse listeners who may also enjoy the likes of Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, The Black Keys, and The Soggy Bottom Boys. 

Rebecca Martinez

Going to the movies has been a favorite pastime since the dawn of film… but Hollywood studios expect to stop printing movies on actual film before the end of this year. They’re switching over to a digital format, which requires all-new equipment… and the cost of the transition is proving prohibitive for some small Wyoming theaters. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez filed this report.

(struggling to open reel box)

University of Wyoming Foundation

Author and historian David McCullough is a two time winner of the Pulitzer prize, he has twice won the National Book Award, and has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his books on American History. He spoke about history, education and a number of topics at the University of Wyoming this week. I was able to catch up with him following his talk.

A University of Wyoming Department of Agriculture project in Sheridan hopes to share knowledge between current and future grape growers in the state about what works and what doesn’t at Wyoming vineyards.

Dying for Joe McCarthy’s Sins: The Suicide of Wyoming Senator Lester Hunt, is a book about former Wyoming U-S Senator Lester Hunt who killed himself after his son was arrested and convicted for soliciting a same sex relationship with an undercover police officer. 

Willow Belden

When we think about the Bureau of Land Management, dinosaurs and other ancient creatures aren’t necessarily the first things that come to mind. But the agency has a small team of paleontologists whose job it is to manage fossils on public land. Brent Breithaupt is one of those paleontologists. He’s based here in Wyoming, and he says public land in the west is full of fossils – many of which haven’t been discovered yet.

Rebecca Huntington

In our occasional series “Upstarts,” we profile Wyoming entrepreneurs. Today we take you to Teton County where we meet an entrepreneur who has invented a way to improve your water bottle. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more.

REBECCA HUNTINGTON: Like lots of inventions, Steve Kitto's started with a problem that needed fixing.

Study after study says that children are not as active as they used to be and many groups and organizations are promoting various ways for children to develop a healthy lifestyle.  In Laramie, a young woman is trying to do this with yoga…for kids.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.        

An interim legislative committee is planning to study Wyoming's beer and liquor tax this summer.

Wyoming's 2-cents-per-gallon tax on malt beverages is the lowest in the nation. It has remained unchanged since it was first passed in 1935, about a year after Prohibition was repealed.

The study is among several tax studies assigned to the Joint Interim Revenue Committee this summer and fall.

LuLing Osofsky graduated from UW’s Master of Fine Arts program in writing. She frequently wrote about feeling displaced – both culturally and geographically – when she came to Wyoming. In this essay, she writes about international students celebrating the Hindu festival of Holi on UW’s campus. Holi celebrates the coming of spring and the colors that it spring brings. This year it will be celebrated on March 27th.

Rebecca Martinez

The University of Wyoming invites thinkers and doers from all corners of academia to visit and work at the university and add some perspective to the curriculum. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program has invited poet and labor activist Mark Nowak to serve as its Eminent Writer in Residence for a few weeks this year.

Gary Small and the Coyote Bros. have been nominated for ‘Artist of the Year’ and ‘Best World Music Album’ for the Native American Music Awards. Small is a Northern Cheyenne Indian, living in Sheridan, Wyoming. He says he plays everything from surf and rockabilly, to blues and zydeco, but he says this album is dedicated to telling Native American stories.

A documentary about the construction of the transcontinental railroad is set to air on Wyoming PBS this weekend. The film will show how the building of the railroad shaped Wyoming into the place it is today. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with the film’s producer, Tom Manning. He says before the railroad was built, there was no Wyoming. The film, “End of Track,” premieres on PBS on March 10th at 7 p.m.

Being Bahá'í in the Cowboy State

Feb 22, 2013

Most Wyomingites have long since taken down their Christmas trees and wrapped up their winter holidays… But for people who practice the Bahá'í faith, the Festival of Ayyám-i-Há – where families get together and exchange small gifts, is right around the corner.

The Bahá'í religion is a relatively young one. Founded in Persia in the mid-1800s, it follows the teachings of two prophets – The Báb, and Bahá'u'lláh. They taught about the oneness of God and of religion, and that God continues to reveal truths to humanity throughout time. 

LuLing Osofsky is a graduate of U-W’s graduate program in creative writing. She writes poetry and essays on topics as disparate as Jewish boxers who fought during the Holocaust and being Chinese in mostly white Wyoming. She graduated in 2012. This is poem called The Pines. 

Wyoming native, Jeff Troxel, is a  guitarist, composer, and songwriter from Cody.  Jeff Troxel has released three albums, his newest Spirit of Our Time, was released in 2011. Troxel became the National Flatpicking Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival after winning state championships in both Wyoming and Utah.

A new report from the Outdoor Industry Association quantifies the economic benefits of outdoor recreation in all fifty states. The study looked at direct spending, jobs, salaries and tax revenue. 

Spokesperson Avery Stonich says the data demonstrates the value of outdoor recreation beyond the obvious – natural beauty and fun.

“Wyoming has a lot of really great recreation opportunities,” says Stonich, “this produces consumer spending to the tune of four and a half billion dollars every year that’s going directly into the state economy.”

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