Open Spaces

Open Spaces
5:12 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Author and Wyoming native Muffy Mead-Ferro discusses her memoir "Its Head Came Off By Accident"

Credit Courtesy of the Carol Mann Agency

The Hansen-Mead family has been an important part of Wyoming history.  Not only are they well known ranchers in Teton County, but they are have yielded 2 governors and even a writer.  Muffy Mead Ferro has written a memoir of growing up in that family called Its Head Came Off by Accident.  Much of the book focuses on her view of ranch life and of her mother Mary Mead...

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Open Spaces
4:38 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

February 1st, 2013

Open Spaces
4:26 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Some say Wyoming lawmakers are inconsistent about personal freedoms when it comes to social issues

In recent years the state legislature has seen an increase in conservative Republicans who are focusing more on personal rights and freedoms.  Those rights range from removing federal restrictions on gun laws, to voting against anything that might resemble a tax.  They’ve had mixed success with this approach, but they see their role in the state legislature as important.  But others wonder if they’re consistent.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports from Cheyenne…

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Ambassador to Egypt, Israel to visit Jackson

Credit Courtesy Princeton University

A former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Israel will be visiting Jackson next week. Daniel Kurtzer is now a professor at Princeton University and recently edited a book about the Arab-Israeli conflict. During his visit to Wyoming, he’ll be giving a talk entitled “America and the Middle East: Challenges of Change.” He considers it very important for the U.S. to take a leadership role in resolving conflicts in the Middle East and helping countries there transition to Democracy.

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Open Spaces
4:18 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Grizzly Death Triggers Park to Weigh Options for Elk Hunt

Federal and state agencies have been feeding elk for more than a century because human development has taken up the valley floors, curtailing access to natural forage for elk.

The death of a grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park on Thanksgiving Day of 2012 has triggered calls for ending the park's annual elk hunt. A hunting party shot the grizzly after the hunters said the bear charged them. Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott calls the bear's death a travesty. It's the first hunting-related grizzly death in the park. But Scott says her agency, the National Park Service, can't just end the hunt. Rebecca Huntington has more.

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Open Spaces
4:09 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Another year of drought could spell disaster for ag community

Credit Photo courtesy the National Weather Service

Last year was the driest year Wyoming has seen in more than a century, and the dry spell has not let up. As a result, farmers and ranchers have had to make tough decisions and are deeply concerned about their livelihood for the coming year. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
4:06 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

UW program will prepare a new generation of landmen for the booming energy industry

University of Wyoming just initiated a new program out of its burgeoning School of Energy Resources. The professional land management concentration will train landmen. Those are people who look for untapped oil and gas and other resources and negotiate contracts between their owners and companies that want to develop them.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that the program is just in time.

[sound from meeting]

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Open Spaces
4:02 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Found Footage Festival showcases goofy clips found in thrift stores

Credit Courtesy the Found Footage Festival

Next week, an event called the Found Footage Festival is coming to Laramie. We’re joined now by Curator Nick Prueher. He describes the festival as a guided tour through his vast collection of old, funny videos.

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Open Spaces
3:59 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Wyoming Whiskey rides the wave of craft distilling popularity, readies for next release

Distiller Steve Nally stands with the still at Wyoming Whiskey in Kirby. Formerly a master distiller at Maker’s Mark in Kentucky, Nally was hired to create and brand the only bourbon made in Wyoming.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

Craft breweries and distilleries are hot right now. Not to be outdone, Wyoming entrepreneurs created a bourbon distillery in Kirby, using local ingredients from the Bighorn Basin and bearing the name Wyoming Whiskey. After four years of aging the first batch, Wyoming Whiskey flew off the shelves when it was released exclusively in Wyoming in early December. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez visited the distillery and explored the hype. She filed this report.

(bar ambi)

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Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

The La Taifas Quartet brings the music of Moldova to Wyoming

The La Taifas Quartet is celebrated in their home country of Moldova. They’ve been featured in the film The Other Europeans, a documentary highlighting the music of Eastern European communities that have emerged from Soviet domination but which remain relatively unknown to Americans. The nonprofit Worlds of Music is sponsoring the La Taifas Quartet’s tour across Wyoming, and they’ve recently performed in Evanston, Lyman, Thermopolis and Powell with upcoming shows scheduled in Buffalo and Laramie.

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Open Spaces
3:49 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Sonnet: “Dispatches from the Western Front”

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, University of Wyoming student Zack Anderson began advertising his services around campus. The English and French major is offering customized sonnets for a fee. Wyoming Public Media requested that Anderson write a love poem… for us.

Here, nigh the end of our postmodern age,

the news is bred on free-range server farms

and in the brains of citizenry rage

incertitude, distress, ennui, alarm,

complacency.  These bitter villains leach

the human spirit from our cynic scene.

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Open Spaces
3:47 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

January 25th, 2013

Jackson Republican Keith Gingery speaks against SF 104.
Credit Bob Beck
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Open Spaces
3:37 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Some Legislators say Superintendent reform is overdue

Jackson Republican Keith Gingery speaks against SF 104.
Credit Bob Beck

The Wyoming House of Representatives has joined the State Senate in passing a bill that would strip a number of powers from the State Superintendent and give them to a Governor appointed Director of Education.  The Superintendent would remain on state boards and commissions with the other four elected officials.  But the new Director would run the State Department of Education.  Top lawmakers crafted the legislation right before the legislative session; and many believe that the legislature is moving too quickly.  But some observers say the move is overdue.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck

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Open Spaces
3:34 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Laramie residents react to a bill that would create a governor-appointed Director of Education

As the bill that would take power away from the State Superintendent gains traction in the Legislature, Wyoming Public Radio’s Luke Hammons took to the streets in Laramie to ask the public what they think.

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Open Spaces
3:32 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Wyoming moves ahead with Pediatric Cancer Program

A problem for children who are diagnosed with cancer in Wyoming is finding local care.  Treatment typically requires long drives to cities.  But Wyoming's Comprehensive Cancer Control Program is trying to change that.  The program has hired an Oncologist who specializes in pediatric care to come to Casper once a month to treat children.  Plans are underway to get more doctors involved in the effort.  The Pediatric Oncologist is Doctor John Dr. vanDoorninck. He joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck at the State Capital to discuss the program....              

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Open Spaces
3:29 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Sen. Enzi says Congress needs to make the most of the committee process

Wyoming’s Senior US Senator Mike Enzi is the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions… and also sits on the budget and finance committees. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with him about a number of issues the Senate will be facing this year. Enzi says he thinks Congress has been neglecting the role of committees, and that’s why it’s been harder to get things done.

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Open Spaces
3:26 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Wyoming's Delegation reacts to the President

Wyoming’s congressional delegation isn’t happy with what they heard in President Obama’s second inaugural address. Matt Laslo reports from Washington the state’s three Republicans in Congress are already preparing to blunt what’s being both hailed and decried as a liberal second term agenda.

REP. CYNTHIA LUMMIS: I was very surprised by his tone. He was addressing issues that he has not raised as emphatically in the past. It was non-conciliatory in its tone. It was, I thought, an abrasive, in your face, ideological message.

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Open Spaces
3:21 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Air quality research seeks to find answers to Pinedale ozone problem

Sublette County violates federal air quality standards, because of high levels of ozone, or smog. The ozone forms when emissions from oil and gas development mix together, under certain weather conditions. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for fixing the problem, but there are a lot of unknowns about how ozone forms. Now, researchers at the University of Wyoming are trying to find some answers. We’re joined now by Rob Field. He’s an atmospheric scientist, and he’s been monitoring air quality in Sublette County for several years. to find some answers.

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Open Spaces
3:18 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

For UW’s School of Energy Resources, transparency about funding is key.

The School of Energy Resources at the University of Wyoming is funded in large part with money from the energy industry. Other universities have gotten heat lately for not being open enough with their funding sources. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that some stakeholders are concerned about too much influence from energy at UW, but SER promises transparency. 

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Open Spaces
3:12 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Lander musher offers a glimpse into the world of dog sled racing

Jerry Bath of Lander has competed in the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race for several years with his team of Alaskan huskies.
Credit Jerry Bath

One of the world’s most competitive dog sled races is starting in Jackson tonight. The International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog race will cover more than 400 miles, over the course of eight days. Joining us now to talk about the race – and about dog sledding in Wyoming – is Jerry Bath from Lander. He’s doing the race for the fifth year in a row. Bath says his dogs are bred for just this kind of event.

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Open Spaces
3:08 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

University of Wyoming Athletes earn highest GPAs in a decade

Credit UW Athletics

In the 2011-2012 academic year, UW athletes involved in NCAA sanctioned sports brought in an average GPA of 3.04. That’s the highest GPA in a decade, and it’s even higher than the general student body average. Wyoming Public Radio’s Sara Hossaini reports.

SARA HOSSAINI: Women’s basketball forward Chaundra Sewell is a fan favorite with nearly a thousand points scored at UW. She’s also a pharmacy student with a 4.0. She says that academics are more important to her than athletics.

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Open Spaces
5:38 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

DEQ discusses plans to manage ozone levels in Sublette County

The Department of Environmental Quality hosted a meeting on Thursday to discuss how it plans to fix Sublette county's air quality problems. Emissions from oil and gas production in the area have caused ozone, or smog, to form at levels that exceed federal limits. Wyoming Public Media's Willow Belden has the story.

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Open Spaces
4:51 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

January 11th, 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.

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Open Spaces
4:41 pm
Fri January 11, 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.

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Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

In Wyoming, lobbying is not about money

Credit Irina Zhorov

Thanks to the occasional national scandal those who lobby government officials don’t always have the best reputation.  A lobbyist is someone who tries to persuade legislators to support measures that benefit his or her employer or special interest.  But while big money and gifts make a big difference on Capitol Hill, those involved in the legislative process say that in Wyoming…it’s more about trust and relationships.   Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…

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Open Spaces
4:32 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Legislature considers big changes for the State Board of Education

The Wyoming Legislature is considering a few bills that would change the way the Department of Education is run. This week, the Senate Education Committee voted to have a governor-appointed director to oversee education issues in the state and redefine duties of the State Superintendent. Alternately, the House has plans for the State Board of Education, will consider removing the Superintendent as a voting member of the Board of Education. The board would become a state agency, and be in charge of education accountability.

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Open Spaces
4:27 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Chief Game Warden says smooth wolf hunt validates Wyoming’s management plan

Wolf hunting season ended on New Year’s Eve, and Wyoming’s chief game warden, Brian Nesvik, joins Willow Belden now to talk about it. He says overall, the hunt went smoothly.

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Open Spaces
4:24 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

NRDC says Wyoming’s wolf management plan leaves too few wolves

Wyoming’s chief game warden, Brian Nesvik, tells Willow Belden the smoothness of this year’s wolf hunt shows that the state’s wolf management plan is sound. But Sylvia Fallon, the director of the wildlife conservation project for the Natural Resources Defense Council, disagrees. Her group is one of several environmental organizations that’s suing the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to remove Wyoming wolves from the Endangered Species List. She says state quotas for how many wolves can be killed are too generous.

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Open Spaces
4:19 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

‘Ecosanctuary’ offers haven for horses, seeks to attract tourists

Credit Willow Belden

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.

AMBI: Ecosanctuary

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Open Spaces
4:13 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Eugene’s Tasty Tea: Never too young for tea…or running a business

Eugene demonstrates how he makes his tea, in the WPR studio.
Credit Irina Zhorov

For our occasional series, Upstarts, we’re featuring entrepreneurs around the state. Our second featured businessman is Eugene Gerow-Mathew, of Eugene’s Tasty Teas, who makes organic teas and proves that you’re never too young to be an upstart.  

EUGENE GEROW-MATHEW: My name is Eugene, I’m currently the manager and owner of Eugene’s Tasty Tea Company.

ZHOROV: Eugene has been in business for about three years now. He makes specialty, organic teas.

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