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News
12:29 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

UW Professor Appointed To National Coal Council

Dr. Maohong Fan

The U.S. Energy Secretary has appointed a University of Wyoming professor to serve on the National Coal Council.

Dr. Maohong Fan is a UW School of Energy Resources professor who focuses his research on coal conversion. The National Coal Council advises the Department of Energy on coal issues.

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8:44 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Former Cheyenne Missile Control Facility Could Become Historic Site

Credit Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

Wyoming’s Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife, and Cultural Resources committee recently voted to sponsor a bill that would transform a former missile alert facility near Cheyenne into a museum and historical site. The bill would provide one-time funding to establish the site’s exhibits, equipment, and other needs, as well as allocate yearly operational funds.

State Parks Director Milward Simpson says while the bill sponsorship is a step forward, it may still be a long road to a functional attraction.

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News
6:28 am
Thu October 30, 2014

As Flu Season Approaches Officials Call For Vaccinations

Credit Flickr user USACE Europe District / Flickr - Creative Commons

The Ebola virus may be dominating the headlines and conversations about public health, but Wyoming Public Health officials are trying to educate residents about the threat of another, potentially more dangerous virus: the flu.

Reggie McClinton, with the Wyoming Department of Health, says contracting the flu is a more immediate threat to Wyomingites.

"Influenza also can lead to death in individuals and it can be a severe illness in certain populations so we are receiving reports of cases already from all across the state," he says.

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News
1:06 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Wyoming Remains First In Tax Friendliness

Wyoming continues to rank number one in the nation in taxes for business. That’s from a report released by the Tax Foundation on Tuesday. The state’s lack of corporate and individual income tax has kept in in first place since 2012.

Wyoming Director Tony Gagliardi is with the National Federation of Independent Business’. He says the state deserves only a cautious congratulation since some of Wyoming’s taxes are going up. For instance, fuel taxes have increased and that could hurt farmers and hauling companies.

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News
5:48 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Wyoming Education Association's PAC Pulls Balow Endorsement

Jillian Balow

A political action committee representing Wyoming teachers announced Monday it has pulled its endorsement of Jillian Balow the Republican candidate for Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Wyoming Education Association’s Political Action Committee for Education—known as WEA-PACE—endorsed both Balow and her Democratic opponent Mike Ceballos before this year’s primaries.

But Balow’s rhetoric about organized labor in a recent fundraising letter caused concern among the group of educators. In the letter, Balow criticized her opponent for receiving union support.  

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News
4:07 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Wyoming Gas Prices Higher Than National Average

Gas prices around the country have been falling in recent weeks. That's true for Wyoming as well -- but the state hasn't seen quite as big a drop as other places. Gas prices in Wyoming are averaging $3.27 a gallon right now according to analysis from gasbuddy.com. That's $.25 higher than the national average. Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan says that shouldn’t be surprising.

“Gas stations in Wyoming tend to be more rural. They may not have gasoline volumes like other areas. And the changes because of that lag the national average.”

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News
3:01 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

New Legislation Pending For State Parks

Credit Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

A bill proposed in the Wyoming House of Representatives would redirect funds received from state park permits into a special revenue account. The purpose of the account would be to move a quarter of the funds back into general maintenance of Wyoming State Parks. This would give the state’s parks more control over how that money is spent. Right now roughly $500,000 goes into the general fund for construction projects.

Domenic Bravo is the State Parks administrator and says choosing maintenance over new construction projects can be a challenging ordeal.

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News
7:55 pm
Sat October 25, 2014

Former Legislator Wiederspahn, Husband of Rep. Lummis, Dies At 65

Rep. Cynthia Lummis
Credit Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Alvin Wiederspahn, a former Wyoming state legislator and the husband of U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, has died at age 65.

Wiederspahn-Radomsky Chapel of the Chimes funeral director Amy Peterson confirmed Wiederspahn's death and says arrangements are being handled by the funeral home his parents started.

She says she does not know how Wiederspahn died.

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News
4:25 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Wyoming Ranks #1 In Nation For Gun Deaths

Credit Newsday.com

Wyoming ranks number one in the nation in gun-related deaths. That’s according to a new report from the Violence Policy Center. While the national average is just over ten deaths per 100,000 people, Wyoming has more than twice that beating out states like Louisiana, Alaska and Mississippi. The report shows that most western nations like the United Kingdom have rates of less than one death 100,000 people.

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News
6:22 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Legislature's Education Committee Supports Inflation Adjustments For School Funding

Senate Minority Floor Leader Chris Rothfuss (D-Laramie) made the motion to reinstate adjustments to school funding based on inflation.

The Legislature’s Joint Education Interim Committee voted 10 to three Thursday to support providing adjustments to school funding based on inflation.

The state is supposed to account for annual fluctuations in the costs of goods and labor when funding schools, but these inflation adjustments haven’t been made for the past four years. A coalition of school districts who spoke before the Committee Thursday say this has cost Wyoming’s school districts more than $150 million—and led to salary freezes, layoffs and program cuts.

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News
1:21 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

University of Wyoming Opens New "Front Door"

One of the several sculptures in the center made with elk horns sourced from Jackson.
Credit Jordan Giese

October 24th is the grand opening of the University of Wyoming’s new Gateway Center, which will serve as a "front door" to the university for new students and families. 

The thirty-five million dollar facility will house UW’s admissions office, career services, alumni association and the UW Foundation, which secures private donations for the school. The Foundation’s President Ben Blalock says the building has had significant help from many prominent UW alum and other Wyomingites. Blalock says the private funding was crucial. 

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News
12:41 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

4th Annual Local Fest Moves To Lander

The 4th annual Local Fest is moving from Pinedale to Lander this year. The festival is a celebration of Wyoming foods. It starts today with a free film festival at the Lander Public Library and runs through this weekend. 

Steve Doyle is a Riverton farmer who helped organize the event. He says this year’s event will be longer and more intensive than in the past. He says there are lots of success stories around the state.

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News
9:13 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage In Wyoming: What You Need To Know

Credit Sushiesque via Flickr

As of yesterday morning, same-sex marriage is now legal in Wyoming. Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan has been following the story, and he joined Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard in the studio to break down what’s been going on.

  

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News
6:27 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Wyoming Advocacy Group Celebrates Same-Sex Marriage

Tina Johnson and Stacey Maloney were the second same-sex couple to get married just outside the Laramie County Clerk's office. Unitarian Reverend Audette Fulbright officiated.
Credit Aaron Schrank/WPR

The gay rights advocacy group that has been fighting Wyoming’s gay marriage ban in state court for the past year celebrated the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state Tuesday.

Wyoming Equality’s executive director Jeran Artery stood outside the Cheyenne court house and watched two couples emerge with marriage licenses--and then tie the knot in brief official ceremonies near the court house entrance. 

Artery says this is what his group has been working for.

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News
6:09 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Superintendent Cindy Hill Sounds Off In Schools Report

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill
Credit Yellowstone Gate via Flickr Creative Commons

In a report on the status of Wyoming’s schools released last week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill says that the Legislature has overstepped its authority when it comes to education issues in the state.

Hill says lawmakers have used their responsibility for funding K-12 education as an excuse to manage it.

“The legislature has the power of the purs

  e,” says Hill. “Yes, they’re responsible for funding, but not all of the decisions that are related.”

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News
5:34 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage Arrives In Wyoming

AJ McDaniel and Jennifer Mumaugh become the first same-sex couple in Laramie County to wed. McDaniel is a transgender man, but legally female, so the couple was unable to marry until Tuesday.
Aaron Schrank/WPR

On Tuesday morning Wyoming county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples for the first time in the state’s history. Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan was at the Albany County Courthouse for that historic event, while Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank was in Cheyenne, at the Laramie County Courthouse. Together, they have this report.

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News
3:57 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Same Sex Marriage Starts Tomorrow At 10am

County clerks all across Wyoming should begin issuing same sex marriage licenses Tuesday morning.

This comes after Wyoming’s Attorney General said the state would not appeal last week’s federal court ruling that overturned Wyoming’s same sex marriage ban.

Cheyenne resident AJ McDaniel plans to get his marriage license as soon as he can. He says he had a wedding party last week.

“And we did the whole wedding ceremony and the church and reception for all our friends and family. So now we are just really excited to make it legal.”

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News
3:56 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

UPDATED: Judge Strikes Down Wyoming's Same Sex Marriage Ban, Mead Won't Appeal

A federal judge has overturned Wyoming’s ban on same sex marriage.

The court has ordered that Wyoming must begin issuing same sex marriage licenses, but it has stayed that order until next Thursday, or until the State decides not to appeal the ruling.

“I’ve reached out to the State Attorney General’s office and asked them if they would file a notice with the court indicating they don’t intend to appeal,” says James Lyman, an attorney with the plaintiffs. “If they do not appeal the order will go into effect immediately. I have not yet received a response from them.”

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9:08 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Jackson Entrepreneur Earns Spot On Time's 25 Most Influential Teens Of 2014

Courtesy Megan Grassell.

Wyoming teen Megan Grassell was listed as one Time’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014 this week, joining the ranks of Malia Obama and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard about her success.

With the help of a kickstarter campaign that raised $42-thousand dollars, Grassell created her own company. Yellowberry makes training bras for pre-teen and teenage girls. Grassell, 19, was inspired after taking her younger sister shopping for her first bra. All of the training bras she tried on were padded and mature-looking. 

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News
3:44 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Gay People Can Still Be Legally Fired In Wyoming

Same-sex marriage will probably soon be legal here in Wyoming. But gay people can still be fired simply for being gay.

While Wyoming has laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on age, sex, race, or national origin, the state has nothing on the books preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Laramie Representative Cathy Connolly has been leading the charge to change that. She says Wyoming’s equal employment opportunity office, which deals with workplace discrimination, can’t accept complaints dealing with sexual orientation.

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3:39 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Wyoming Lottery Meeting And Beating Expectations

Credit Wyoming Lottery

The Wyoming Lottery says its first month of sales went better than expected. Wyoming Lottery CEO Jon Clontz says the group expected to make about $1.2 million, but brought in about $1.8 million in its first month selling tickets, which began August 24th.

The lottery uses no state money for its operation. Clontz says the group has to pay back a $3 million private loan before any money reaches local governments.

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News
1:58 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Uptick In Reported Social Media Stalking Cases At UW

Credit Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Wyoming has seen a rise in the use of social media for stalking purposes. That includes things like using Facebook and Twitter to gather personal information, and track someone’s real life whereabouts.

UW Police Chief Mike Samp says the university has seen around four reported incidents of stalking where victims were threatened or harassed by their online perpetrators since the beginning of September. There were 10 reported stalking incidents during all of last academic year.

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10:56 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Speaker Discusses UN Declaration Of The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

Credit Dawn Ballou

Thanks to the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, Native American tribes now have more legal tools than ever before. That’s according to a speaker at a conference on Monday hosted by the University of Wyoming American Indian Studies Program.

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12:59 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

State Economic Health Steady But Housing Costs Rise

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

A new report out from the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information shows that the state continues to do well economically, but housing costs are rising in several counties. Converse County has had a twenty percent increase in both apartment rent and house payments. Teton continues to be the most expensive county to live in comparatively.

Amy Bittner is a senior economist with the department and says the state overall is doing well.

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8:16 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Same Sex Marriage Challenge To Be Heard Next Week

A federal court hearing next week could enable same-sex couples to begin getting marriage licenses in Wyoming. Four same-sex couples and a gay-rights advocacy group filed suit Tuesday seeking the right to marry in Wyoming. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl will consider their request to decide immediately on gay marriage in Wyoming at next Thursday's hearing in Casper.   

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12:53 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Ms. Wheelchair USA Takes Aim At Wyoming Women's Antelope Hunt

Courtesy Ashlee Lundvall

The Wyoming Women’s annual Antelope Hunt kicks off today. The three day event is sponsored by the Wyoming Women’s Foundation and brings together 40 female hunters, including guest hunter and speaker Ashlee Lundvall. Lundvall is Ms. Wheelchair USA 2013-2014, and helped found the non-profit Wyoming Disabled Hunters.

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12:31 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Wyoming Women's Antelope Hunt Kicks Off

Credit Zachary Wheeler

Today marks the first day of the Wyoming Women’s annual Antelope Hunt.

The three-day event is sponsored by the Wyoming Women’s Foundation and brings together 40 women hunters, including guest hunter Ashlee Lundvall, this year’s Ms. Wheelchair USA.

In addition to her pageant title, Lundvall is a stay at home mom and she says that means she contributes to her family’s economic self-sufficiency because it saves them money on childcare.

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10:25 am
Thu October 9, 2014

UW Enrollment Sees Slight Increase

University of Wyoming
Credit Jimmy Emerson via Flickr Creative Commons

Student enrollment at the University of Wyoming has increased slightly over the past year, according to data released this week. On its Laramie campus, enrollment grew by about one percent—or 109 students—to more than 10,500.

UW’s Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Axelson says the slight growth is the result of boosted recruitment efforts.

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9:57 am
Thu October 9, 2014

UW Law Professor: "Gay Marriage Should Be Legal In Wyoming Now"

Credit Mark Fischer via Flickr

On Monday the United State Supreme Court declined to hear challenges to federal court rulings that had overturned bans on gay marriage in states across the country. One of those federal courts was the 10th circuit court, which is based in Denver and has authority over Wyoming.

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3:08 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Another Injury At A Western Sugar Facility

Credit Paul via Flickr

A woman working at the Western Sugar Cooperative facility in Torrington was seriously injured after a high fall last week.

This injury comes after another worker died from a fall at Western Sugar’s Lovell facility in January. Wyoming safety inspectors fined the company almost 200 thousand dollars in July for safety violations.

John Ysebaert is with Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, which oversees safety inspectors. He says Western Sugar has recently seen a complete turnover in management.

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