Many retired people take up a hobby -- knitting, bird watching, bingo. But two Laramie retirees have decided to spend their days in pursuit of a decidedly less mainstream pastime: solving the energy challenges of our time. Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce has the story.
STEPHANIE JOYCE: It’s a sunny fall day, and Dave Earnshaw is standing outside the central energy plant at the University of Wyoming, staring out over the empty field that sits next to it.
Hillery Lynn, Birgit Burke, and Pryce Taylor make up the local Laramie band Whiskey Slaps. Hillery has been playing guitar, singing and writing songs most of her life. Birgit has been writing songs, singing, and playing various musical instruments most of her life as well. Their songwriting, guitar playing and mandolin playing lift elements from 1920’s blues, old-time, Appalachian folk and country western. Pryce Taylor joins on electric and upright bass, grounding the songs with solid rhythm.
The forced closures of Wyoming’s national parks have frustrated tourists and slowed business in gateway communities, but tourism offices in the state are working to draw visitors to other locales that aren’t as strongly affected by the shutdown.
The Albany County Tourism Board has released a series of web graphics to encourage people to visit the region.
Spokeswoman Brittany Richards says they have spread virally over social media. One poster reads “The Tetons may be closed, but the Snowy Range is wide, wide open.”
Based in Laramie, Alice Freeman provides unforgettable music on her pedal harp, traditional Celtic harp, carbon fiber Celtic harp or hammered dulcimer. Alice is certified as a Healing Musician, a Therapeutic Harp Practitioner and a Clinical Musician. She maintains a private practice providing soothing harp music at bedside in several local health care facilities.
Listen to her harp rendition of a traditional Scottish tune, "Mist Covered Mountains" by John Cameron.
On October 2nd, the University of Wyoming College of Education will be hosting University of Southern California Professor Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang who will be the keynote speaker at the annual Ellbogen Symposium for teaching and learning.
She will discuss how emotions shape learning, motivation and self. Dr. Immordino-Yang is an expert on neuroscience and education. She tells Bob Beck that emotions and our social experiences are a big part of learning.
Modern roller derby is a contact sport that features two teams roller skating on a track, attempting to score by passing players of the opposing team. While the sport’s origins can be traced back to beginning of the 20th century, it was revived in the early 2000s in Texas…BY women and FOR women.
Since then, teams have started up all over the world. Wyoming has been a late adopter of the sport, but women here are making up for lost time.
[AMBI Sports announcer: “And she makes it through! That is a grand slam folks!]
According to the Laramie main street alliance’s executive director, Trey Sherwood, business owners in retail and food services look forward to the football season’s home games to boost Laramie’s foot traffic and the overall number of people walking through their doors.
“We see the most feedback from our restaurants in terms of them being busy for either lunch or dinner, depending on what time the game is.”, says Sherwood.
She also says that bars see their business pick up the most on the nights after home games.
Labor Day weekend provided a great opportunity for everyone to attend the 5th Annual Snowy Range Music Festival in Laramie. Highlights of the weekend included the March Fourth Marching Band, and Leftover Salmon with guests musicians Sam Bush and Bill Payne (Little Feat). Also Travis Tritt, Jalan Crossland, Canned Heat and many more great musicians. WPR's Paul Montoya was on hand to help MC the event. Attending enjoyed great music, great food, and lots of sunshine.
This weekend marks the fifth annual Snowy Range Music Festival at the Albany County Fairgrounds. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer reports, the festival’s organizer has a grand vision, but it’s up to the region’s music lovers to see it fulfilled.
(MUSIC: Tab Benoit)
MICAH SCHWEIZER: Carl Gustafson’s dream hasn’t been without challenges. He started organizing the Snowy Range Music Festival in 2009.
CARL GUSTAFSON: “Here’s how bad it is…the first time that I had this, six weeks later I had a heart attack.”
The University of Wyoming will kick off a new school year on Monday. It’s an exciting time for incoming freshmen, but the college years bring new freedoms as well as new risks.
UW’s STOP Violence program offers crisis intervention and support for anyone on campus who’s been affected by sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking, and works to educate students about the issues.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Becky Martinez spoke with UW’s new STOP Violence Coordinator Megan Selheim about what new students should bear in mind for the coming school year.
Now, for the latest edition in our occasional series, Upstarts, we’ll hear from a stay-at-home mom who launched a multimedia publishing company from her kitchen table in Laramie. Kati Hime is the owner and editor of three high-quality magazines that focus on life in and across the Cowboy State. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
From Mountain West Voices, Clay Scott tells about Laramie’s Paul Taylor.
Paul Taylor has been on walkabout for most of his adult life. He is an incredibly gifted storyteller and musician, and I met him as he was travelling from Laramie, Wyoming, to a school in Eureka, Montana to hold a week-long story-telling and art workshop.
University of Wyoming Police hosted a three-day active shooter training session in the Classroom Building. The purpose was to train law enforcement agencies from across Albany County to collaboratively handle someone who is killing, or trying to kill, people in a confined and populated area.
Laramie residents have been noticing more rabbits than usual in town this year. Some experts say it’s because there are fewer predators, but others aren’t so sure. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo reports.
CHELSEA BIONDOLILLO: Melissa Gelwicks has had a backyard garden next to Undine Park for about 7 years. She grows everything from squashes and herbs to cabbages, beets and greens. She’s used to rabbits frequenting her garden, but this year there seem to be more of them.
Once again, the annual Rodeo event Jubilee Days has come to Laramie and merchants hope it will bring a surge in tourism. Laramie Chamber of Commerce Vice President Josie Davies says that Jubilee Days brings a diversity of tourists to for the week’s events that includes a rodeo, a carnival, and downtown events. Those events do lead to some street closures. Davies says that while some are concerned, she says that all businesses benefit from Jubilee Days.
Waiting For A Chinook will close out the Snowy Range Summer Theatre season this year. The story follows a reporter from the city who returns to his Western hometown to search for meaning in the writings of his late father.
I spoke to author Gregory Hinton, who, like his hero, returned to Wyoming from California to seek out his own father’s writings in archives of the Cody Enterprise, where G.C. Kip Hinton was an editor.
Leigh Selting directs the play. Performances will run July 9th to the 13th at the Buchanan Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre in Laramie, Wyoming.
In our occasional series on upstart businesses we take you to Laramie to tell you about a software company that is making a dent in the world of medicine. Mona Gamboa started Happy Jack Software in 2004 after she left her software job in Texas to join her husband who took a job at the University of Wyoming. Gamboa got a Master in Science in E Business from U-W and started Happy Jack software in the U-W Student Union. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
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.
The Wyoming State Legislature heard a variety of colorful issues this session—from concealed gun laws, to abortion and gay marriage, to the controversy surrounding the removal of Cindy Hill’s main duties as Superintendent of Education. As the session comes to a close next week, Wyoming Public Radio’s Sara Hossaini talked to people outside of the Albany County Courthouse to see what issues they were following and how their representatives measured up.
Later this month in Laramie, the “Parks, Trails, and Recreation Master Plan Ad Hoc Advisory Committee” will unveil its new 30-year master plan. The committee hopes to get public input about their proposed network of play lots, recreational facilities, and hike and bike paths.
Committee member and City Councilwoman Vicki Henry says that one of the main goals of the plan is to create a long-term vision for Laramie’s parks and trails. The committee hopes that a new multi-sport complex and the proposed trails plan will appeal to a variety of residents.
For our occasional series, Upstarts, we’re featuring entrepreneurs around the state. Our second featured businessman is Eugene Gerow-Mathew, of Eugene’s Tasty Teas, who makes organic teas and proves that you’re never too young to be an upstart.
EUGENE GEROW-MATHEW: My name is Eugene, I’m currently the manager and owner of Eugene’s Tasty Tea Company.
ZHOROV: Eugene has been in business for about three years now. He makes specialty, organic teas.
It’s a good time to fill up in Wyoming, especially if you live in Laramie—which boasts the lowest gas prices in the nation, at $2.47. The state average is $2.83, which is about two and a half dollars less than the national average. That’s according to gasbuddy.com, which collects data from volunteer price spotters around the country.
Gas Buddy Senior Petroleum Analyst, Patrick DeHaan says Wyoming’s location, low taxes, and prolific refineries contribute to the low prices.
The Laramie Mural Project was formed as a collaboration between local artists, the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Laramie Main Street Alliance in order to enhance public art in historic downtown Laramie. For the past two years, with financial and in kind support from the Guthrie Family Foundation, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, Laramie Beautification Committee and City of Laramie, local artists have created large scale murals on blank walls downtown.
The American Heritage Center is the University of Wyoming’s manuscript repository, rare books library, and official archives. The AHC is one of the nation’s biggest, busiest, and best non-governmental archival institutions in the nation: 1) AHC holdings total 75,000 cubic feet (or 18 miles) of manuscripts and archives and 60,000 rare book volumes; 2) AHC assists 5-6,000 researchers every year, from K-12 and undergraduates to senior scholars to documentary filmmakers, and users come from across the globe; 3) in 2010 the AHC received the highest honor possible in the archival profession, th
A charter plane crash at Laramie Regional Airport has left one man dead. The crash occurred a little before three p-m on Friday…the plane was on fire after the crash but fire trucks responded quickly. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash and the airport will not release additional information until the investigation is complete.
In November, Laramie will have a new air carrier. The Laramie airport has decided to end its affiliation with Great Lakes aviation and will instead offer SkyWest as its carrier.
Airport Manager Jack Skinner says the change was made due to an abundance of complaints about the service Great Lakes provided. Skinner says it means that residents will no longer be able to book Frontier tickets to and from Laramie, but he hopes that the larger plan and better service will make up for that.
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.