Open Spaces

Open Spaces
5:09 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

May 31st, 2013

Uranium yellowcake powder

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.

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Open Spaces
4:57 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

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

Uranium yellowcake powder

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. 

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Open Spaces
4:50 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Study explores effects of receding glaciers on Wind River streams

Glacier in the Wind River Mountain Range
Credit John Scurlock

Glaciers in the Wind River Mountain Range have been receding for a long time, and a new study looks at how that’s affecting the ecosystems in high alpine streams. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Craig Thompson, one of the authors of the report. He’s a professor of engineering and applied science at Western Wyoming Community College, and he’s been studying these glaciers for more than two decades.

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Open Spaces
4:47 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Are foreign herders the black sheep of immigration reform?

Antonio Basualdo Solorzano
Sara Hossaini

Debate over the immigration overhaul has found its way to the vast open spaces of Wyoming. Here, Peruvian guest workers on H2-A visas tend thousands of sheep. These shepherds make just $750 a month to be on the job around-the-clock, usually alone for months on end. That's around half of what other agricultural guestworkers make because sheep ranchers receive a special exemption from minimum wage requirements. Ranchers say it’s needed in order to save this small, struggling American industry.

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Open Spaces
4:35 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Cora’s Legacy: Letters allow Sheridan historian to uncover WWII POWs’ stories

Sheridan-based historian Val Burgess is passionate about World War II Prisoners of war. Through her non-profit, Wars’ Voices, she and her husband Jerry are working to record and archive the stories of World War II P-O-Ws.

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Open Spaces
4:31 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Wyoming Trails Summit hopes to improve communities

For the first time, non-motorized trail enthusiasts will gather formally to discuss ways that communities, land managers, and others can improve trails across the state. Tim Young of Wyoming Pathways and Angela Emery, the Director of Casper’s Platte River Trails talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck about the Wyoming Trails Summit.

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Open Spaces
4:07 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Sheridan author discusses “Snow Leopard” fable

Sheridan author Tom McIntyre has a new book out called “The Snow Leopard’s Tale.” It’s a story that takes place on a high Tibetan plateau and is written from the point of view of a snow leopard named Xue Bao. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with McIntyre about the book, and he described it as more of a fable than a novel.

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Open Spaces
4:05 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Zarif Khan: A Wyoming Life

Zarina Khan

Zarina Khan speaks about Sheridan’s Zarif Kahn on Mountain West Voices.

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Open Spaces
4:01 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Poem: “Wild, Wild East: Finding Hints of Asia in the West”

LuLing Osofsky

As a graduate student in UW’s Creative Writing Program, LuLing Osofsky was fascinated by the various ways she saw Indian culture present in Laramie. South Asian students celebrated traditional festivals on campus, and the town had a good place to get curry. She writes about experiencing these pockets of India in her series of vignettes called “Wild Wild East: Finding Hints of Asia in the West.”

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Open Spaces
12:41 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

The Wind River Casino is doing well, but some tribal members expect more

The Northern Arapaho Tribe opened the doors to its full-scale casino in 2005. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that eight years into the venture, the casino is making money but some wonder where it’s going. 


IRINA ZHOROV: The Wind River Casino has been open for almost a decade but it’s still a novelty to walk into; whirring slot machines, dimmed lights, card tables, all on the edge of Riverton on a piece of prairie.


[sound of machines]

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Open Spaces
6:31 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Efforts to grant tribes more authority are met with resistance from non-tribal lawmakers

The extent of sovereignty for Native American tribes has long been like a tug-of-war between tribal and non-tribal governments in the United States. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that the issue of sovereignty trickles down to everything, even the issuance of traffic tickets, and lawmakers are moving nowhere fast to fix problems caused by disagreements over self-government for tribes.  

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Open Spaces
6:27 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

New Northern Arapaho Business Council resolves to fix tribe’s poor financial management

The Northern Arapaho Tribe is a mess, financially. They’re behind on their audits, past audits have not been flattering, and change has been slow to come. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov has been looking into why the audits are less than ideal and the status of the Tribe’s future financial solvency.   


BOB BECK: To start, why is a federal governmental agency even auditing a tribe, if the tribe is supposed to be pretty much sovereign?

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Open Spaces
6:20 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

UW’s Native American graduates are important to the Wind River Reservation

In the mid 1990’s the University of Wyoming made a conscious effort to attract more Native American students to the University. Over the years recruitment and retention of students from the Wind River Reservation has been challenging.  New efforts could change things and many believe that will be important for the long term health of the Reservation.

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Open Spaces
6:16 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Arapahoe School Superintendent leaves after pivotal school year

During Jonathan Braack’s time as superintendent of Fremont School District 38, the Arapahoe School met federal education standards for the first time. Braack Arapahoe this week to become Niobrara County’s School Superintendent. Chantell Denson will take over as superintendent of Fremont #38.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

The once-faltering Fremont School District 38 in Arapahoe turned a complete 180 since Superintendent Jonathan Braack took the helm in January 2012.

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Open Spaces
6:13 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Peer mentoring program aims to prevent substance abuse and keep kids in touch with tribal heritage

Rapper Chief Swagg poses for a photo with students on the Wind River Indian Reservation at the ESCAPE kick-off concert. ESCAPE is a program of the Eastern Shoshone Department of Juvenile Services, and it works to train students to educate their peers about making healthy choices.
Credit windriverescape.org

Substance abuse is a concern for most school districts across the country, but on the Wind River Indian Reservation, it’s a red flag for especially high crime and suicide rates. Tribes have been trying – with mixed success – to keep kids from abusing alcohol and tobacco… But a new program from the Eastern Shoshone Department of Juvenile Services is working to train a league of student mentors to help their peers avoid risky behaviors. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez filed this report.

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Open Spaces
6:02 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Lander native reflects on his family history and relationship with the Eastern Shoshone tribe

Kit Freedman is a graduate of University of Wyoming, who did his thesis research on the Wind River Indian Reservation. In this essay he reflects on his family’s multi-generational history in Lander.   

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Open Spaces
5:22 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

May 10th, 2013

Pollutants including benzene and diesel-range organics have shown up in water wells like this one in the Pinedale Anticline for several years.
Credit 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.

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Open Spaces
5:06 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Pollutants detected in water wells in Sublette County’s gas fields

Pollutants including benzene and diesel-range organics have shown up in water wells like this one in the Pinedale Anticline for several years.
Credit Courtesy Linda Baker
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Open Spaces
5:01 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Wyoming Judicial Branch says there’s nothing left to cut.

Judge Wesley Roberts runs the Riverton Circuit Court. According to a statewide weighted workload study, Roberts does the work of 1.3 judges.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

State agencies worked hard to trim the fat in order to meet an average of 6-percent budget cuts the Wyoming Legislature put into effect this year. The Judicial Branch took a hit of 4-percent budget cut. Because the state revenue forecast is still cloudy, further cuts may be considered. As the state population grows, so does the need for the court system, which makes it next-to-impossible to cut back. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

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Open Spaces
4:50 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

The Cheyenne International Film Festival begins May 16th

Next week the Cheyenne International Film festival gets underway. The event begins May 16th and runs through the 19th.  The producer of the event is Alan O’Hashi who’s been active in helping Wyoming movie makers and this venue gives them a chance to showcase their work, but as the title suggests, International films will also be shown.   O’Hashi tells Bob Beck the event was started five years ago and continues to grow.  He says they will be showing a wide range of films.

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Open Spaces
4:46 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

New website features Wyoming history

Former Newspaper reporter and author Tom Rea has a new venture, he is the Editor of WyoHistory.org. It is a history website about Wyoming.  He tells Bob Beck the idea for the website came as he was doing a job for the Natrona County School district.

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Open Spaces
4:42 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Elk Antler Auction benefits habitat at National Elk Refuge

If you’re looking for big, stately elk antlers to hang on your wall, the National Elk Refuge in Jackson would be a great place to find them… except the public isn’t allowed onto the elk habitat. Instead, the Refuge and the Jackson Boy Scouts are gathering and bundling antlers to sell at the annual Elk Antler Auction in Jackson next weekend to benefit elk habitat projects. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with the Refuge’s Lori Iverson about it. Iverson says she understands why people want elk antlers, but protecting the wildlife is her first priority.

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Open Spaces
4:28 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

The word ‘amnesty’ might misrepresent new immigration legislation.

A US senate committee has introduced an immigration reform plan that includes a path to citizenship for immigrants living illegally in the U.S. Opponents claim that such a path rewards people who have broken the law by giving them amnesty.

Under current law, many immigrants seeking residency have to leave the country. Sometimes for ten years or more.  But this deportation often has side-effects.

Wyoming Public Radio's Luke Hammons has more.

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Open Spaces
4:25 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Arts and Sciences Dean to retire after 43 years at UW

Oliver Walter came to the University of Wyoming in 1970 to teach political science and became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1989. This summer, he’ll be retiring. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov sat down with him talk about his tenure at UW and the future for both the school and himself. He started out talking about some changes he witnessed in his decades as dean.

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Open Spaces
4:21 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

UW graduates praise their education

Credit Courtesy of University of Wyoming

This weekend a new set of graduates are leaving the University of Wyoming.  For some, they are facing an unknown job situation, but others are ready to jump into their careers.  The graduates also talked about Wyoming’s efforts to keep them in-state. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck sat down with three graduates from U-W’s College of business and found that two are leaving and one thinks he’ll hang around a bit longer.

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Open Spaces
4:17 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Rock Springs Holistic health care store is gaining popularity

Alternative medicine and the vast red desert of Southwestern Wyoming are not often thought of as synonymous. The endless miles of sagebrush and open range lend themselves to an idea of a rougher existence. Not the sort of place where you might expect to find a good cup of organic herbal tea. But in our occasional series on young upstarts, one woman believes the area has a growing interest in natural health remedies and she’s out to prove it. Wyoming Public Radio’s Amanda LeClaire has more.

(shop ambi)

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Open Spaces
5:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

April 26th, 2013

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.

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Open Spaces
4:54 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

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.

BOB BECK:  This is the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center or WYSAC  today people in the state are being asked about their tobacco use.

“And how old were you when you first smoked at least one cigarette every day for 30 days in a row?  16? All right…”

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Is Wyoming warming to gaming?

For years, Wyoming has been timid when it comes to gambling. But things might be changing. With a casino on the Wind River reservation, an increase in poker clubs and the recent passage of a lottery bill, many are now wondering how far this issue will go. Wyoming Public Radio’s Sara Hossaini has more.

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