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.
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.
MATT LASLO: After the amendment to put in place near universal background checks failed… families from Newton, Connecticut huddled together…hugging each other as tears streamed down their faces. Erica Lafferty’s mom is Dawn Hochsprung (Hock-sprung) - the principal who was gunned down protecting her students at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Wyoming has one of the highest rates of suicide in the country … nearly twice the national average. Until recently, efforts at preventing suicide were left up to individual counties. But now, the state is trying a new tactic which they hope will save more lives. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
We’re joined now by BJ Ayers. Not one, but two of her sons killed themselves … and since then, she’s dedicated her life to trying to prevent suicide. She started the Grace for Two Brothers foundation and is now the suicide prevention coordinator for southeast Wyoming. Her son Brett was 19 when he died in 2005.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission recently okayed an aquifer exemption that would permit Encana Oil and Gas to pump waste water from their oil and gas projects in the Moneta Divide into the Madison Aquifer, about 60 miles outside of Casper. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that the exemption isn’t exactly a rarity, but it does bring up some big questions.
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has been running an Engine Emissions Study for almost two years now. For the most part, Wyoming oil and gas fields are not connected to the grid and so they end up running on engines, which emit pollutants into the air. The study set out to evaluate emissions from these generators around the state. Results from the study show that a large percentage of the engines fail the tests. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov spoke with the DEQ Air Quality Engineer in charge of the study, Jon Walker, about why that is.
Over the years, many researchers have looked at a variety of research and economic development projects using Wyoming coal. The idea is to open up new markets for it and to make it more viable for businesses and the public to use. Much of this has surrounded coal gasification. There has been a belief that coal could be used as a form of liquid fuel. That was especially useful when oil supplies appeared limited in the United States…but as the country entered a technology revolution and opened up more resources…the interest dropped. Experts say that the other reason interest has waned i
‘Gasland’ is a documentary about the negative effects of natural gas drilling. The narrator in the movie is seeking answers about natural gas development in light of a growing play around his own home in the Delaware River Basin, and his inquiries take him on a road trip to communities around the U.S. that have already been drilled into and have something to say about it. When the movie came out, it made big waves, and ‘Gasland-2’ premiers this weekend. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports on what’s changed since the first movie came out in 2010.
Author and historian David McCullough is a two time winner of the Pulitzer prize, he has twice won the National Book Award, and has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his books on American History. He spoke about history, education and a number of topics at the University of Wyoming this week. I was able to catch up with him following his talk.
We recently reported that the federal government – and consequently Wyoming – might be getting shortchanged when it comes to royalty payments on coal going overseas. Turns out, the government is missing out on royalties in other ways, too. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that right here in Wyoming, companies are quite literally burning up both federal and state royalty money when they flare natural gas.
Wyoming Republican lawmakers are up in arms over efforts by the Obama Administration to regulate carbon emissions through the Executive Branch. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on the energy debate that’s boiling on Capitol Hill.
When we think about the Bureau of Land Management, dinosaurs and other ancient creatures aren’t necessarily the first things that come to mind. But the agency has a small team of paleontologists whose job it is to manage fossils on public land. Brent Breithaupt is one of those paleontologists. He’s based here in Wyoming, and he says public land in the west is full of fossils – many of which haven’t been discovered yet.
In our occasional series “Upstarts,” we profile Wyoming entrepreneurs. Today we take you to Teton County where we meet an entrepreneur who has invented a way to improve your water bottle. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more.
REBECCA HUNTINGTON: Like lots of inventions, Steve Kitto's started with a problem that needed fixing.
Schools across the country have embraced sweeping anti-bullying measures in recent years. Universities and schools districts are encouraging teachers to celebrate diversity and discourage exclusionary language, but at the upcoming Shepard Symposium on Social Justice, the University of Wyoming will host a group that say teachers need to beexplicit about their acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning students.
A long time Wyoming Public official has written a new book about the suicide of former Wyoming U-S Senator and Governor Lester Hunt. Hunt was a democrat who was Wyoming’s Governor for six years, before getting elected to the U-S Senate, where he served from 1949 until his death in 1954. In his book called Dying for Joe McCarthy’s sins, Rodger McDaniel says that Hunt was well thought of in Wyoming…
Every year, the Bureau of Land Management removes thousands of horses from public land in Wyoming. They ship most of the horses to long-term holding facilities in the Midwest. But that’s expensive … and they’re running out of space. So now the BLM has partnered with ranchers to create a so-called horse “ecosanctuary” right here in the Cowboy State. It’s the first of its kind in the nation. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden 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.
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.
BOB BECK: 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.
The effects of automatic spending cuts or sequestration are being felt in the Cowboy State. Because of the automatic spending cuts Yellowstone has been forced to cut 1.75 million dollars from their operating budget. That has caused Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk to delay plowing operations within the park, a move that has upset some gateway communities and caused others to find a solution. Cody officials have been working hard to find a way to open the East Gate on time despite the federal government. From Cody David Koch has more
A small corner of southeast Wyoming sits over the Ogallala Aquifer. The Ogallala is a huge aquifer that stretches from Wyoming and Nebraska all the way to Texas. It’s a key source of water for agriculture, but it’s being depleted faster than it can recharge. So the Natural Resources Conservation Service is trying to help save it. Here in Wyoming, they’re doing that by encouraging farmers to give up their water rights. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
Social workers play a big role in Wyoming and the month of March honors their work. Kimberly Harper is the Executive Director of the National Association of Social workers. She tells Bob Beck that like a lot of organizations, they are dealing with budget cuts.
When we talk about domestic violence, we usually focus on the perpetrators and the victims. But children in abusive families are also deeply affected. We’re joined now by Haylee Reay. She’s a sophomore at UW, and her father killed her mother.
The 13th Joe Pickett novel by Wyoming author C.J. Box has hit the stores. Box is both a bestselling and award winning author for both his Joe Pickett series which surrounds the trials and tribulations of a Wyoming game warden and for three additional novels. Box says he writes a book and a half a year. He joins us to discuss the latest novel Breaking Point, but also reflects on his career. Box tells Bob Beck that it took awhile before he had success as a writer.
LuLing Osofsky graduated from UW’s Master of Fine Arts program in writing. She frequently wrote about feeling displaced – both culturally and geographically – when she came to Wyoming. In this essay, she writes about international students celebrating the Hindu festival of Holi on UW’s campus. Holi celebrates the coming of spring and the colors that it spring brings. This year it will be celebrated on March 27th.
The Antelope Butte ski area in the Bighorn Mountains has been closed since 2004. Now, the Antelope Butte Foundation is raising money to reopen the ski-resort… this time as a nonprofit. The Foundation has applied for a Wyoming Business Council Grant to refurbish the resort. But the owner of the nearby Meadowlark Ski Lodge is worried that the competition could kill his business. Wyoming Public Radio’s Luke Hammons reports.
The University of Wyoming invites thinkers and doers from all corners of academia to visit and work at the university and add some perspective to the curriculum. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program has invited poet and labor activist Mark Nowak to serve as its Eminent Writer in Residence for a few weeks this year.
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.