casper

Tyler Peters

If you're in Casper and you’ve too drunk too much to drive home, you now have options. You can call a cab, or you can call Hammered Helper: a car service that will ferry you around town free of charge--although they do take tips. Hammered Helper is the brainchild of Tyler Peters, a 24 year old Casper native. Peters started the service in selling pot. Now clean and sober, Peters dedicates five nights a week to Hammered Helper. Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan spent a Friday night with him, and has this postcard.

stephensonmusic.com

In classical music, there’s a long list of composers who are also conductors. One of them is Chicagoan Jim Stephenson. What sets Stephenson apart is that the audience will help him compose the music the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra will play at its family concert on November 8th. Stephenson has performed the ‘Compose Yourself’ program hundreds of times since 2002, but this performance will only be the second time with a full symphony orchestra.

Wyoming Game and Fish

Wyoming Game and Fish say antelope were targeted by rifle fire last week on a stretch of county road near Casper. That’s according to a report newly released by the office. Janet Milek, spokeswoman with the Casper regional office says a single witness reported seeing what appeared to be an AK-47 style rifle shooting out of a newer red Nissan X-terra.

Milek says that while assault rifle poachings are not common, but do happen occasionally.

Screenshot via YouTube

Dean Kelly, the principal at Natrona County High School in Casper resigned Wednesday. The announcement of his resignation followed the news that several staff members were placed on leave for their participation in an inappropriate skit performed at the school.

The Natrona County School District released a video of the incident in question on Tuesday after a records request from the Casper Star-Tribune newspaper. The video and accompanying transcript were redacted to protect privacy.

The University of Wyoming Family Medicine Residency programs in Casper and Cheyenne have received an important new federal designation that will help both the programs and patients. 

UW Health Sciences Dean Joe Steiner says it will mean enhanced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and better recruitment and retention of doctors—and will allow the programs to serve more patients.                

cloudzilla via FLICKR

Two men who appeared in a political advertisement say they were tricked into attacking candidates for Casper City Council.

Cecil Harris and Wilbur Yankey are part of the Bessemer Vigilance Committee, a Casper-area group that dresses in Old West clothing and stages mocks shootouts with 19th century firearms.

Miles Bryan

In late July President Obama signed the Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act. The bill is designed to get people with disabilities working in commercial businesses, and get them out of service provider owned companies, known as “sheltered workshops.” State officials here in Wyoming are on board with these changes, but some providers say closing sheltered workshops will leave people with disabilities with few options.

Josh Hallett via Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Casper is looking to upgrade its image and raise its profile as a tourist destination. And it’s taking special care to make sure the people of Casper are behind the city’s new brand. 

Last year, the city hired Casper-based firm AdBay to create a re-branding campaign for $80,000. Since then, they’ve been in research mode. Creative Director Shawk Houck says asking Casperites what they think gives their city personality has been key to the process.

The city of Casper will become the national headquarters for a rare total solar eclipse in the summer of 2017. The event is expected to temporarily double the city’s population. That’s because Casper will be in the middle of the path of the moon’s shadow, which will enter the US in Oregon, cut a swath across the width of the country, exiting in South Carolina.

Money Blog News via Flickr

Riverton, Casper, and Lander have all seen a wave of prepaid debit card scams in the last few days.

Green Dot Visa cards are debit cards that can be loaded with cash at a convenience store.

Riverton Police Captain Eric Murphy says citizens have been asked to use Green Dot cards to send money to scammers pretending to be representatives of big cash prizes like Publishers Clearing House, or the IRS.

“One local lady here in town had paid $28,000 worth of Green Dot cards to these people.”

Bob Beck

Many people have ideas for small businesses, but not many of them quit their day jobs to try something unique, especially when it’s something they know little about. But that’s exactly what the Pollock family of Casper did in starting Backwards Distilling Company

“My son’s an absinth drinker and absinth is hard to come by and he and she were talking… why don’t we just make some make some… and then we all looked at each other and we all stopped and went hmmm.”

wyomingtalesandtrails.com

Dick Sedar grew up in Casper, in a working-class neighborhood called “the Sandbar.” His parents emigrated from Croatia in the early 1920’s to seek work in the coal and oil industries. Dick was one of 16 children and tells the story of his childhood in Casper.

One of Dick’s Sedar’s brothers, Mike, worked in the Douglas Prisoner of War camp during World War II.  Dick remembers his brother’s experience working with the prisoners, and the lasting friendships he made.

credit DJ Lein via Flickr

As military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan has wound down, military armored vehicles have been making their way back home.

Big Horn County and the cities of Cheyenne and Casper have all received heavily armored vehicles designed to protect soldiers from mines and rocket attacks in the Middle East.

“Our new [armored vehicle] can protect us against rifle rounds. Whereas our old [civilian armored vehicle] couldn’t,” says Cheyenne Police Department spokesperson Dan Long.

Women in the United States have been fighting for equal wage rights since the early 1900s.  In 1963 the government passed the Equal Pay Act, which aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex.  But the act excluded professional careers.  Starting in 1971, Marilynn Deiss juggled work as the Executive Director of the Wyoming Board of Pharmacy and as a single mother.  She tells her daughter, Debra Swedberg, how gender discrimination affected her life.

Bob Beck

Returning from military service back into so called normal society continues to be a challenge for many veterans.  It doesn’t help if they have difficulty getting Veterans Administration Services.  In Wyoming, the two VA hospitals have been criticized for the amount of time veterans need to wait to get care.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that social service providers say they are trying to provide adequate services to a growing population of vets. 

facebook.com/CoryPMcdanielMusic

Casper's Cory McDaniel (guitar) and Amy Gieske (bass) play one from the new record, The Tremors.

Gretchen Wheeler - Casper WY

Jun 5, 2014

My name is Gretchen Wheeler, this is Casper Wyoming. I probably really became addicted about four years ago. I listen to it every single morning coming to work and every single evening going home. I just love the special interest stories that they have on it, I love the little tidbits.

Richard Masoner via Flickr Creative Commons

Two Wyoming bicyclists have been killed in the past several days, spurring calls from Wyoming’s cycling community for increased rider awareness and safety legislation.

On Friday, Matthew Harker, 39, died of brain trauma—one day after he was struck by an SUV in Casper.

On Saturday, 65-year-old Larry Hurst of Sheridan was killed after he and his wife were struck by a vehicle in on U.S. Highway 87 in Sheridan. His wife, Sarah, was critically injured in the crash and taken to a hospital in Billings.

Aaron Schrank

Graduation season is here. Commencement ceremonies around the state mark the start of a new chapter for many of Wyoming’s high school seniors. Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank caught up with the class of 2014 to see how they feel about the big day—and the future.

It’s the last hurrah for graduating seniors at Casper’s Kelly Walsh High School. The Casper Events Center is packed, and the graduates are in high spirits.

Micah Schweizer

Steve Frame and his fellow Western Rebel Jim Halsey, aka Jimmy Harper, perform a song written for workers in the western oil fields.

via National Weather Service

A tornado that touched down on Casper Mountain Friday afternoon caught forecasters by surprise. Trevor LaVoie, with the National Weather Service, says the storm systems moving through Natrona County today didn’t show any signs of producing tornadoes.

“These types of storms are more general thunderstorms in nature," LaVoie says. "We’re not really seeing a lot of heavy rain, they’re short-lived, and their depth is relatively shallow. They’re only about 15,000 feet thick.”

The tornado wasn’t visible on radar, but it was reported by numerous observers.

Irina Zhorov

Sixty years ago a group of women in Casper whose husbands were always leaving them for long shifts out on the oil patch got together to commiserate and lunch. The group became known as the Geowives - wives of geologists - and it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary this spring. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov attended the Geowives’ monthly luncheon and has this story. 

IRINA ZHOROV: Bette Faust is one of the charter members of the Geowives, and a Wyoming native who came to Casper in the 1950s.

Jordan Giese

As the Oil City Casper has seen its fate is closely tied with the energy industry and the recent boom in production is seeing Casper's population expand at an astounding rate. One thing not expanding fast enough however is affordable housing. Wyoming Public Radio's Jordan Giese reports.

JORDAN GIESE: Despite new commercial development one thing in Casper you'll struggle to find are for-sale and rent signs. With all the new energy work, people have poured into Casper, sometimes leaving little for the residents already there.

Casper College

Gretchen Wheeler grew up in Nebraska and moved to Wyoming to teach in the Communications Department at Casper College.  As a “non-native” Wyomingite, Gretchen shares her observations of the cultural differences between Wyoming and Nebraska.

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra in Casper has teamed up with an illustrator for this weekend’s season finale concert. Igor Stravinsky’s 'Petrouchka' was originally written as a ballet about the story of a young puppet brought to life by a wizard. Wyoming Symphony music director and conductor Matthew Savery will tell the audience the story and have the orchestra demonstrate how the music replicates human movement.

Since 2010, homelessness has gone down in most places in the U.S., but not in Wyoming. A national report found that in 2013 Wyoming had nearly a thousand homeless people, up 64-percent in that time. About a quarter of those people are chronically homeless. Now, Casper wants to try a program focused on helping those individuals. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.

Shane Toven

WPM completed installation of a new transmitter and antenna near Kaycee that bridges the stretch of Interstate 25 between Casper and Buffalo.  The new signal provides a good amount of overlap with the 91.3 signal from Casper and fades where the 90.5 Buffalo signal begins.  A number of new areas between the 90.5 Buffalo and 90.9 Gillette signals along Interstate 90 are also now covered.

“The new signal, 88.7 KUWK, improves listening in an area that historically has suffered weak coverage” says Shane Toven, WPM Director of Engineering. 

Tenors Un Limited

The trio Tenors Un Limited bills itself as ‘the Rat Pack of Opera.’ The group is starting the New Year with just four U.S. concerts before continuing the tour in the U.K., where they’re based. Two of those American engagements are in Wyoming, as Paul Martin explains to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

Because this was recorded during WPR’s fall pledge drive, we have thoughtfully edited out the talking. Enjoy the music of Casper-born, New Orleans-residing Spencer Bohren—guilt-free!

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