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1:13 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Cheri Steinmetz Snags Goshen County House Seat

Goshen County representative Matt Teeters lost his legislative seat in Tuesday’s primary election. His challenger, Cheri Steinmetz, says she won because Teeters didn’t recognize how important constitutional rights are to his constituents.

“One of the biggest issues for our country is people want to make sure that their constitutional rights are protected. They see a lot of overreach at the federal level, and some at the state level as well.”

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12:28 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Scorecard Gives Lander Management Plan Low Grade

Next year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife will decide whether or not to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species, and a new scorecard released by a coalition of wildlife advocacy groups says the Bureau of Land Management’s new Lander Resource Plan has failed to do enough to keep the bird off that list.

Policy Advisor Steven Holmer is with the American Bird Conservancy, one of six groups behind the new scorecard. He says a team of national scientists was tasked with setting standards for the best way to protect the grouse.

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7:35 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Wyoming ACT Scores Up Slightly But Lag Behind Nation

Wyoming high school students who graduated in 2014 did slightly better on the ACT, on average, than those who graduated last year. Performance results released Wednesday by the Wyoming Department of Education show an average ACT score of 20.1 for this year’s test-takers, compared to 19.8 in 2013.

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12:52 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Four Legislative Incumbents Lose Seats In Primary

House Education Chairman Matt Teeters loses his seat

In Tuesday's legislative primaries, four incumbents lost their seats including House Education Chairman Matt Teeters of Goshen County.  

Teeters made headlines in the last budget session when he added a footnote to the budget that blocked the State Board of Education from reviewing the Next Generation Science Standards. He was easily defeated by Cheri Steinmetz who grabbed 59 percent of the vote.  

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12:21 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Enzi, Hardy To Face Off In General Election

Credit Senator Mike Enzi (R)

After winning Tuesday's primary, incumbent Republican US Senator Mike Enzi will face off against Democrat Charlie Hardy in the November general election.

The Republican race was once expected to be tight, with Enzi facing a challenge from Liz Cheney, but Enzi won in a landslide after Cheney dropped out earlier this year. His four lesser-known challengers collectively took less than 20 percent of the vote. Going into the general election, Enzi says he won't be campaigning against Democrat Charlie Hardy, but instead promoting his record.

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11:42 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Incumbent Mark Gordon Easily Wins State Treasurer Nomination

Credit via Pinedale Online

Incumbent Mark Gordon clinched the Republican nomination for Wyoming State Treasurer in yesterday’s primary by a wide margin. He beat out challenger Ron Redo.

Gordon was appointed Wyoming’s State Treasurer in 2012 after the death of former Treasurer Joe Meyer. Gordon says for the last two years he was obligated to carry out the promises of his predecessor.

“But now that, you know, I have a reasonably good chance of proceeding on into office it really feels a lot more like me and I’m more on the line,” said Gordon. “And that’s a good thing, I like that challenge.

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11:36 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Murray Wins GOP Secretary Of State Nomination In Close Race

Credit Ed Murray for Wyoming (campaign)

Last night Ed Murray emerged with the GOP nomination for Secretary of State after running a close race against Ed Buchanan.

Buchanan was in the lead from when the polls closed at 7pm until almost 11, when results from Laramie County, the state’s largest, tipped the race decisively towards Ed Murray.

“I felt it was going to be a close race from the get go,” said Murray from Cheyenne. “We worked hard every day in anticipation that it would be close.

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10:41 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Lummis Secures Party Nomination For US House

Representative Cynthia Lummis (R)

Incumbent US Representative Cynthia Lummis easily secured her party’s nomination in Tuesday's primary election, and likely also a fourth term in the House. The AP reports her general election challenger, Democrat Richard Grayson, has not been campaigning.

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10:01 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Key Races To Be Decided In Primaries

Caroline Ballard talks to Public Radio News Director Bob Beck to provide some insights on Wyoming's primary elections.

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2:29 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Deadline Extended For Public To Weigh In On Education Governance

The Legislature’s Joint Education Committee has extended the deadline for public input in its study of education governance in Wyoming after receiving almost 1,300 responses.

Under direction from the Legislature’s Management Council, the Committee hired a consulting group in June to survey Wyomingites on what changes should be made to how the state runs its public schools. The firm has interviewed stakeholders and solicited input from the public with an online survey.

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10:45 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Investigators Continue To Search For Clues Into Opal Explosion

The Williams Opal natural gas plant exploded in April.
Credit Rachel Anderson

State investigators have ruled out inadequate maintenance as the cause of an explosion at a natural gas plant in southwestern Wyoming in April, but are still looking into what did happen. The explosion at the Williams Company gas plant forced evacuation of the nearby town of Opal.

John Ysebart heads up Wyoming’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health. He says the state sent two investigators to look into the incident, and so did the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. Ysebart says that agency doesn’t normally get involved.

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2:31 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Wild West Renactors Claim They Were Duped In Political Ad

Credit 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.

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11:24 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Fair Highlights STEM Careers For Girls

Credit Courtesy Wyoming Council for Women's Issues

Wyoming’s Council for Women’s Issues will host its ninth annual career fair next month.

Open to high school girls in 9th and 10th grade, the Go WEST! fair will highlight careers in science, technology, engineering and math – fields largely dominated by men. According to the national science foundation, just 18.6 percent of US undergraduate engineering students were female in 2011.

Carma Corra, chairperson of Wyoming’s Council for Women’s Issues, says knowing the options is the first step to getting girls interested in studying science and math.

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11:06 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Wyoming Ranked Most Expensive State To Own A Car

Credit Wikipedia Commons

A new survey by Bankrate.com ranks Wyoming as the most expensive state in which to own a car. The survey calculated the cost of gasoline, insurance, and repairs to come up with the rankings.

According to the survey, Wyomingites typically spend about $2700 a year on expenses related to their car, with about $1600 of that going to gas – the most of any state. The wide distances between communities in Wyoming, as well as the many opportunities for hiking, camping, and activities outside city limits increases gas consumption.

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10:21 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Ancient Anteater-Like Fossil Found In Bighorn Basin

Skeleton Parts of Palaeanodon
Chris Amerman

A paleontology field school in the Bighorn Basin found an incredibly well-preserved fossil of an ancient anteater-like mammal this summer. The fossil is a Palaeanodon, a ground-dwelling insect eater the size of a cat that lived about 53-million years ago. Colorado State University Field School Instructor Kim Nichols discovered the skeleton and says the fossil is a very rare find because so much of the animal’s skeleton was found. Such small creatures are hardly ever discovered intact.  Its excellent condition is also unusual, Nichols says.

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10:11 am
Thu August 14, 2014

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Withdraws Wolverine Listing Proposal

A proposal to list the wolverine as an endangered species was formally withdrawn by the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service Wednesday. A coalition of wildlife advocacy groups says it's planning to sue the government over the decision. Drew Kerr with Wild Earth Guardians, one of the groups, says the wildlife service’s decision to withdraw the proposal shows they are caving to political pressures.

“Their own biologists and a panel of experts convened to review the matter were unanimous in concluding that climate change is a significant threat warranting listing.”

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10:01 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Candidates Spar Over Funding For Local Communities

Credit Curtis Cronn via Flickr

The State Loan and Investment Board distributes state funds throughout Wyoming. It came up during the Republican primary debate for Secretary of State last night. And it brought some sharp words.

The question was whether the board was doing enough for small Wyoming communities far from Cheyenne.

Ed Buchanan said yes, funds were being distributed evenly, while Clark Stith suggested the board would benefit from a candidate hailing from Western Wyoming

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9:48 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Republican Primary Candidates For Secretary Of State Disagree Over Lobbying

Credit Julia Manzerova via Flickr

Candidates disagreed about how much political lobbyists should have to disclose during last night’s Republican Primary Debate for Secretary of State.

The Center for Public Integrity ranks Wyoming as having the second to least rigorous reporting requirements for lobbyists. Ed Buchanan said he would consider tweaking the requirements, but he says there isn’t a problem.

“We really don’t have an issue with lobbyists in Wyoming doing anything that is unethical.”

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2:39 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

VA Awards Wyoming $3.4 Million In Grants

Courtesy: SW-WRAP

The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded two grants of $1.4 million and $2 million to Wyoming to prevent homelessness among veterans.

Announced Monday, the grant will fund services provided by the Southwest Wyoming Recovery Access Program, or SW-WRAP, like housing counseling, legal assistance, temporary financial assistance, and childcare for veterans and their families.

Cathie Hughes, founder and CEO of SW-WRAP, said that making these services visible is one of the biggest challenges.  

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12:32 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

State Intervenes In Elk Feeding Grounds Lawsuit

Last week, the state filed a motion to intervene in support of the Wyoming Game and Fish in a lawsuit over five elk feeding grounds in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Attorney Andrea Santarsiere with Western Watersheds Project, the plaintiff in the case, says concentrated numbers of elk at feeding grounds cause severe damage to land and water quality.  

But feeding grounds have long been used to keep elk and cattle from mingling, thereby stopping the spread of diseases that the two species are capable of exchanging. But Santarsiere says there’s an easier way—fences.

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9:49 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

WDE Holds Native American Education Conference In Riverton

Credit Jimmy Emerson via Flickr Creative Commons

The Wyoming Department of Education will hold its fifth annual Native American Education Conference this week in Riverton. The goals of the conference including boosting communication between schools and the Native American families they serve—and integrating tribal culture into curriculum.

Last year, the high school graduation rate for Native American students in Wyoming was 42 percent, compared to 78 percent for all students. Conference coordinator Keja Whiteman says that gap signals the need for this event.

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9:16 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Candidates Debate Guns In Schools

Two of the three Republican candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction say it should be left up to local school boards to determine if teachers or others can have guns in schools. Bill Winney was adamant that the issue should be decided locally.

“There’s something in me that says a teacher shouldn’t be standing in front of a classroom with a pistol on their hip…I got that. But that’s not the real point…the real point is the authority and local control of our school boards.” 

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3:11 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Albany County Library Receives Emergency Cash

Credit Suriel via flickr

The Albany County Library received an emergency infusion of over $100,000 this week.

That money was allocated by the Albany County Commissioners to help the library cover a budget deficit of around $70,000 dollars for this fiscal year.

“We would have had to completely gut the programming and materials. No more programming and materials for the year,” says library manager Joey Dingess. “To be quite honest, we wouldn’t be able to pay our bills the rest of the year.”

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1:32 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Great Lakes Loses Partnership With Frontier

Credit Aero Icarus via Flickr

Great Lakes Airlines will be losing a partnership with the national Frontier Airlines. That’s the latest in a series of setbacks Wyoming’s only airline has suffered recently.

Under the partnership, Frontier has been marketing and selling tickets for Great Lakes. That practice, called “code sharing,” will come to an end.

Riverton airport manager Paul Griffin says the change means people flying Great Lakes are going to have more to worry about when they transfer to Frontier.

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8:35 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Election 2014 - Wyoming Primary Debates

This week Wyoming Public Radio will broadcast a series of debates from Central Wyoming College in Riverton. The debates will be hosted by Wyoming PBS and are co-sponsored by Wyoming Public Radio and the Wyoming Business Report.

Listen live on Wyoming Public Radio Monday through Thursday, August 11-14.

Monday, August 11
7 p.m.
Governor
Republican Candidates

  • Cindy Hill
  • Matt Mead
  • Taylor Haynes

8 p.m.
State Treasurer
Republican Candidates

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3:38 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

PETA Announces "Dog In A Cage" Billboard For Laramie

Credit Arturo de Albornoz via Flickr

An animal rights group has announced plans to erect a billboard in the Laramie area that depicts a dog locked in a cage. This comes after the news that a child was allegedly kept in a cage in Albany County.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, plan to put up a billboard will read quote “no one belongs in a cage. Never crate your dog.”
PETA campaigner Matt Bruce says this case is a tragedy.

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3:28 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Yellowstone Officials Worried By Personal Drone Use

Credit Andreina Schoeberlein via flickr

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park have seen a growing number of people operating personal drones inside park territory.

Last week someone crashed their drone into Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Hot Spring. Park spokesperson Al Nash says the park has struggled to recover the device.

“So far we haven’t been able to spot it. We are actually considering flying an authorized manned helicopter over it to see if we can spot it from the air.”

Last week an employee of Grand Teton issued a citation for drone use, a first for that park.

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6:56 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

100th Anniversary Of Arapaho Pack Trip To Be Held In Estes Park

Rocky Mountain National Park
Credit Amit Rawat via Flickr Creative Commons

This weekend, the Northern Arapaho Tribe and Rocky Mountain National Park will celebrate the 100th anniversary of a historic pack trip through Estes Park with presentations and performances in Bond Park.

The 1914 trip was a collaboration between three tribal leaders from the Northern Arapaho and translators and historians from areas around the park. The tribal leaders shared place names, histories and stories with Oliver Toll who compiled them in a pamphlet which is still available at ranger stations today.

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6:17 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Report Finds No Problems With Pavillion Gas Wells

There’s no link between gas wells and groundwater contamination near Pavillion, according to a draft study out Wednesday from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. It’s the first of three reports looking into what caused the contamination, which some blame on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The reviewers looked at the gas wells themselves to determine if they were leaking or otherwise damaged.

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4:46 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Rock Climber Struck By Lightning at Vedauwoo

A woman struck by lightning in the Vedauwoo Recreation Area near Laramie Tuesday afternoon is currently being hospitalized for injuries. Fire Chief Dan Johnson says the woman was climbing higher on the rocks than her six companions when a fast-moving storm descended. He says after the strike she was able to climb down on her own.

“She was able to come off the rocks to meet our ambulance crew down at the ground level so there was no type of a rock rescue or any kind of a rope rescue that needed to be done.”

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