Encana broke ground today on a treatment facility for produced water -- the contaminated water that's pulled up along with oil in the drilling process. The Neptune Water Treatment Facility will sit outside of Casper and serve the Moneta Divide field, which currently has about 300 wells but could eventually have more than 4-thousand. The facility will treat some of the produced water from current wells. A controversial plan to inject wastewater into the Madison Aquifer is another water disposal method Encana plans to use in the field.
Nina McConigley is a lecturer in the University of Wyoming’s English Department. Her new book is a collection of short stories called Cowboys and East Indians.
Her book tells the stories of a variety of Indian characters living in Wyoming, and explores what, often, reads as an unusual combination. McConigley’s father is an Irish-born petroleum geologist, and her mother, Nimi McConigley, was the first Indian-born person to serve in the Wyoming Legislature. Nina tells Rebecca Martinez she grew up in Casper.
The Casper Police Department is using a new approach to get crime tips. The department has added a text message reporting system and smartphone app crime reporting services.
People can now send a text message to a special number with Casper as the first word of their message followed by the information they’d like to report. If the user has an Apple or Android smartphone, they can download the TipSubmit app to report crime. The app offers users the option to send pictures and G.P.S information to police.
Thomas Leighton clears branches and tree limbs from the street in central Casper, Wyo. on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. A major storm dumped heavy, wet snow over Wyoming, bringing down trees and power lines along the way.
WEB: branches down Casper was hard hit by last week’s early winter storm. The heavy snow felled many branches around the city, causing extensive damage. Assistant Public Services Director for the City of Casper, Peter Meyers, says branch cleanup will likely continue for the next several weeks.
The Metropolitan Planning Committee for the city of Casper and surrounding areas is looking to make roads safer and more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians and is inviting the public to contribute ideas and comments.
The proposed plans include the creation of new walking and biking paths, the extension of existing paths, painting bike lanes on roadways, improving signage, and revising intersection markings. Project analyst, David Hough, says in addition to safety, the project’s goal is to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to get where they’re going.
The maternity ward at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper is seeing a baby boom.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported this week that 123 babies were born in July -- the most in a single month in the last 27 years. Nurses said the influx of energy jobs has been drawing young families to the area.
A survey of registered voters in Casper has found that the majority do not want the city council to overturn the city’s smoking ban.
When the Casper City Council began to discuss overturning the law, the American Cancer Society Action Network and the American Heart Association hired a firm to survey Casper residents about the efforts. More than 600 Casper voters supported the smoking ban.
Jason Mincer of the Cancer society says the law is popular, with 62-percent of public support.
A dual-language immersion program will be tried in a Casper elementary school this fall. The Natrona County School Board voted to allow a pilot program where enrolled children will be taught in English for half the day and Mandarin for the other half.
Mark Peterson is one of the parents who’s been pushing for dual-language instruction. He says knowing a language like Mandarin is important, because of the opportunities for exporting Wyoming resources to China.
The Department of Environmental Quality has installed air quality monitors in Casper and Rock Springs.
DEQ Spokesman Keith Guille says they want to find out what pollutants are in the air, and whether they’re occurring at levels that are hazardous to public health.
“It’s important to get a baseline of right now what we’re seeing for air quality,” Guille said. “And then also if we do find some issues, obviously we need to start looking into what may be leading into higher levels of certain constituents.”
Wyoming gay marriage supporters are holding a rally in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s hearings on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, and Proposition eight that repealed a gay marriage law in California.
This Sunday at noon, people from across the state are invited to don red clothing and gather in Casper’s Pioneer Park to rally for marriage equality and the repeal of both the DOMA, and Proposition 8.
The Casper Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will be unveiling a new 25-year transportation plan for Casper and the surrounding communities, later this month. Plan organizers will be looking for public input from residents and businesses at several public meetings throughout the next year.
MPO planner, Sally Kerpchar, says the plan covers the new highway bill, plus much more.
“The long range transportation plan looks at absolutely every mode of travel—anything that moves people or goods, it looks at,” said Kerpchar.
Next month the Casper City Council will vote to remove or change the city’s smoking ban. At the very least, councilors are considering exempting bars, health care facilities, and private clubs from the ban.
The smoking ban was implanted last summer.
Anna Edwards of the group Smokefree Natrona County says her group will fight to keep the ban in place. She says they are trying to protect the health of a lot of people, including employees.
A group of parents are trying to get dual-language immersion programs set up in Casper. They’d like two elementary schools to start these programs, and the focus would be on Spanish and Chinese.
Thea True-Wells is the parent who’s spearheading the effort. She joins me now to talk about it, along with Ann Tollefson, an outside consultant who has evaluated dual language programs in other states.
To listen to the November 30, 2012 Wyoming Open Spaces program, please click here.
The Sheep Herder Hill fire near Casper remains fifty percent contained. There are currently 354 people fighting the fire and evacuations remain in place. Public Information Officer, Susan Ford, says that at least 37 homes have been destroyed.
Ford says wet, colder weather has helped fire fighters with the blaze, but this weekend promises hot, dry conditions once again.
The Casper Landfill grinds the city’s discarded branches into woodchips of varying grains, which is sells to commercial operations and the public. The city’s new yard waste ban will likely increase the amount of compost and woodchips the landfill produces
Casper has begun banning grass clippings and other yard waste from the trash that goes into their landfill. Officials expect it to save the city tens of thousands of dollars, but people who are into living green are pretty excited, too. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
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.
Casper residents should think twice before tossing yard clippings in the garbage. In May, the city will begin implementing its ban on putting yard waste in dumpsters to be landfilledas a cost cutting measure.
Casper has a composting program that turns yard waste into wood chips and compost for soil, but branches, grass, leaves and other organic matter still make up about 18-percent of what the city pays to put in the landfill.
Sexually transmitted diseases have been on a rapid rise in Wyoming and a number of health organizations want to do something about it. In Casper, the local chapter of Planned Parenthood is offering ten dollar STD testing this week in an effort to get people to learn their status.
Casper Health Center Manager Melody Meanor says they want all residents to make STD testing part of their regular medical routine. She says they also want to encourage communication.
The Tate Geological Museum was founded in 1980 through a gift from Marion and Inez Tate. It was originally designated as the Tate Earth Science Center and Mineralogical Museum. Because ‘geological' encompasses earth science, mineralogy and paleontology, the name was changed to the Tate Geological Museum in 2001.
Located on the Casper College campus, the museum is a great resource for the community. Many local schools and groups come to the museum to add to their students’ learning experience.
The Casper City Council has moved forward with an ordinance that would prohibit people from openly carrying guns into city meetings.
Councilmembers passed the measure 5-4 Tuesday in the second of three required readings. A final vote will be taken Dec. 20.
The ordinance, which would ban all dangerous weapons from city meetings, passed an initial vote 6-3 last month. On Tuesday, Councilman Bill Brauer changed his previous vote in support of the ordinance, saying "I think we have enough restrictions on people."