Open Spaces

Pamela Ten Eyck

WPM News Department Captures Multiple Awards

Feb 5, 2014

In 2013 WPM’s award-winning news department added several more plaques to its wall of awards.  Led by veteran news director Bob Beck, the news team brought home awards in a variety of categories:

Best News Program:  Open Spaces “The Uranium show.”

Best Investigative Story:  Carbon Sink

Best Writing:  Douglas residents fear flaring

Soft Feature:  Carp can be composted 

The idea for this story came about when I was reporting on efforts to develop a contraceptive for male coyotes. One of scientists I interviewed, a professor of zoology and physiology at the University of Wyoming, mentioned that wildlife managers in many game reserves in South Africa are using birth control to manage burgeoning elephant populations.

May 31st, 2013

May 31, 2013

Wyoming missed out on last uranium boom, but planning for the future

Wyoming Public Radio has for years reported that the state is on the verge of a uranium boom. It turns out the state missed the peak of that boom, and is now betting on slower, more conservative growth. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.

May 10th, 2013

May 10, 2013
Courtesy Linda Baker

Pollutants detected in water wells in Sublette County’s gas fields
Sublette County has been in the news a lot because of its air quality problems, which largely stem from natural gas production. But there’s another issue too: Pollutants have been showing up in water wells. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

Cost of substance abuse in Wyoming is higher than expected
As it addressed issues concerning substance abuse, one thing the state never had were Wyoming specific numbers on the financial impact of substance abuse.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that a recent study has found that the cost of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse is staggering.

Wyoming's Senators Help Defeat Gun Control
After weeks of intense lobbying on Capitol Hill gun control advocates suffered a stinging defeat this week…in part because of opposition from Wyoming’s two Republican senators. Matt Laslo reports from Washington. 

Willow Belden

DEQ releases ozone strategy for Sublette County
The Department of Environmental Quality has released a plan for tackling the ozone problem in Sublette County. Emissions from the energy industry there have combined to form a type of pollution called ozone, which can be a health hazard. Ozone levels have been so high that they violate federal standards, and the Environmental Protection Agency has given Wyoming three years to fix the problem.

UW Economist Anne Alexander discusses the potential effects of the federal sequester on Wyoming
One thing everyone is trying to get a grip on is how the federal sequester will impact Wyoming.  Anne Alexander is an economist at the University of Wyoming.  She joined Bob Beck in the studio to discuss this.

January 25th, 2013

Jan 25, 2013

Rep. Lummis appointed to US House Subcommittee on Energy
Wyoming’s Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis has been appointed to chair the U.S. House of Representatives’ Science Subcommittee on Energy. The subcommittee will oversee energy research, development and demonstration projects. Lummis spoke with Rebecca Martinez from the Capitol press room in Cheyenne this week.

Willow Belden

Converse County oil boom draws concerns from residents
In October, we reported that Chesapeake Energy had drilled a series of oil wells near Douglas, very close to people’s houses. Chesapeake says the area will likely continue to be a core drilling region. That has some area residents uneasy. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

Slot Machine Word

HOST: There have been rumors that Fremont County is experiencing a rise in gambling addiction amongst its residents. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that whether the rumors are true or not is still unclear, but some services are popping up to address it regardless.

ZHOROV: The Wind River Hotel and Casino in Riverton is full of chirping slot machines, game tables, bright lights, and…gamblers.

There are differing opinions regarding how much good gaming has brought to the county and tribes. But there is also concern about gambling addictions.

WYSAC

Issues that include alcohol, tobacco and suicide are serious problems in Wyoming.  In recent months Community prevention specialists in each county in the state have been compiling a needs assessment developed by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center, or WYSAC.  The specialists are trying to identify the extent of the problem in each of the three topic areas and the next step is to try and find some solutions.  Rich Lindsey, who represents the Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming says they picked those topic areas for a reason.

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.

Irina Zhorov

J.D. Darnell is a resident of Jeffrey City and has served as Sheriff's Deputy since the 1970s. The town is a lot quieter now than it was during the last uranium boom, which brought miners to the region, and plenty of excitement. That was all over by the mid-80s.Darnell looks back on Jeffrey City then, and now. 

To listen to the entire November 30, 2012 Wyoming Open Spaces program, please click here.

A poem about Jeffrey City by Lori Howe

Nov 30, 2012

Jeffrey City might look like a lonely area to some, but it can also be inspirational.  Laramie writer and poet Lori Howe shares her thoughts in this piece called Jeffrey City, Wyoming.

To listen to the entire November 30, 2012 Wyoming Open Spaces program, please click here.

Willow Belden

INTRO: Each year, the Game and Fish Department discovers dozens of wildlife crimes in Wyoming. They range from hunting without a license, to killing an animal from the road. The department takes these infractions very seriously, and runs a cutting-edge wildlife forensics lab to investigate them. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow visited the lab and filed this report.

Bob Beck

Wyoming Animal Shelters are overcrowded and that means many pets get killed every year.  But some organizations are taking an aggressive approach in trying to get more animals adopted and have fewer animals put to death.  One of those is the Black Dog Animal Rescue in Cheyenne.  The program involves a number of volunteers and a strong on-line and social media effort.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

Health Department director proposed new Medicaid Idea 
One of the costs that continues to grow in Wyoming’s budget is the cost of Medicaid.  Lawmakers were so distressed that they ordered the Department of Health to look for ways to control those costs. Department of Health Director Tom Forslund has proposed a plan to address the issue.  But first he explains why those costs have gone up.

Riverton House and Senate Debate Recap
On Thursday night, candidates for U-S House and Senate gathered in Riverton for a set of debates. They answered questions ranging from how to address the Medicare shortfall … to their views on climate change and the energy industry. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck was one of the moderators … and he joins Willow Belden from Riverton to talk about the debate.

Jennifer Tennican

Wyoming's Wolf Hunt Begins

Nearly 3,000 hunters have purchased permits to target wolves in Wyoming's first regulated wolf hunt, which began on Monday. Conservation groups, meanwhile, are preparing to challenge Wyoming's approach in court. As of Thursday, hunters had reported killing six wolves since opening day. Rebecca Huntington has more.

Jennifer Tennican

HOST INTRO: Nearly 3,000 hunters have purchased permits to target wolves in Wyoming's first regulated wolf hunt, which began on Monday. Conservation groups, meanwhile, are preparing to challenge Wyoming's approach in court. As of Thursday, hunters had reported killing six wolves since opening day. Rebecca Huntington has more.

David Koch

INTRO:  Throughout the west a natural process is being witnessed that in some areas has had devastating impacts. The Bark Beetle epidemic has affected millions of acres of forest and caused public officials to ponder what if anything can be done about it. Big Horn Radio Network’s David Koch reports that officials recently looked at the situation in northwest, Wyoming. 

Cynthia Lummis

Rep. Cynthia Lummis is running for her third term in the US House of Representatives.  Lummis is a fiscal conservative who is a member of the appropriations committee.  She joins Bob Beck on the campaign trail.

Chris Henrichsen

Democrat Chris Henrichsen is a political newcomer who teaches Political Science at Casper College.  He is running against incumbent Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis to focus attention on working people and the middle class.  Henrichsen is hoping to be the first Wyoming democrat in Congress since  1978.  He is battling a lack of funding, against one of the wealthiest members of Congress.  But Henrichsen hopes he views will give him a chance.

Rebecca Martinez

HOST: The number of Northern Arapaho tribe members who speak their native language is dwindling. Tribal entities have been working for decades trying to preserve the language. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that they’ve been having mixed success.

(Sound: kids speaking Arapaho)

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Tribal elder Alvena Oldman is the director of an Arapaho language immersion preschool in Ethete.

OLDMAN: Hinono’ Eitiino’ Oowu’. Arapaho Language Lodge.

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