Open Spaces

Open Spaces
4:28 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

May 18th, 2012

This well pad near Pinedale is outfitted with a variety of green features meant to capture ozone-causing emissions.
Willow Belden
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Open Spaces
4:17 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Wyoming strives to curb ozone levels to meet federal mandate

This well pad near Pinedale is outfitted with a variety of green features meant to capture ozone-causing emissions.
Willow Belden

Sublette County is home to two of Wyoming’s major oil and gas fields … and emissions from the energy production have caused smog to form – a type of smog called ozone. Ground-level ozone can cause and exacerbate respiratory problems. It’s also a problem for legal reasons: ozone levels in Sublette County have exceeded federal limits several times in the past few years. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency is stepping in. It’s designating Sublette County a “nonattainment area,” which means Wyoming is obligated to fix the problem.

Open Spaces
4:15 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Wyoming ACLU evaluates treatment of inmates statewide

The Wyoming Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has studied those who are in jail or in prison in Wyoming for a number of years.  Wyoming is a state that likes to put people behind bars.  The U.S. Justice Department notes that in 2010 Wyoming’s crime rate was 17-percent lower than the national average… but Wyoming’s incarceration rate is only four percent lower.  Meaning that if you commit a crime, you will probably get some time.  Director Linda Burt of Wyoming’s ACLU tells Bob Beck about how those inmates are being treated.

Open Spaces
4:13 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Two Wyoming hospitals explore a partnership

Medical staff congregates in the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Emergency Room.
Bob Beck

The Cheyenne Regional Medical center and the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper are considering a partnership that they believe may be necessary to remain financially strong in the future.  They are looking at ways to share things from medical providers to joining together to enhance health care across the state.   Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that neither hospital CEO is positive the partnership will work, but they both believe they need to give it a shot in order to remain financially viable.

(Sound of hospital)    

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Open Spaces
4:10 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Wyoming Development Authority nudges first-time buyers into real estate

The Wyoming Community Development Authority is encouraging people to buy houses – especially if they’ve never owned a home before. They’re launching a campaign called “Buy Now” – putting up flyers in real estate offices, and offering classes to help first-time buyers navigate the process of purchasing a home. The group’s executive director, David Haney, talks with Willow Belden about the initiative. He says conditions are excellent for buyers at the moment.

Open Spaces
4:06 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

NRCS predicts tough, dry summer for farmers and ranchers

Lee Hackleman is a water supply specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He speaks with Willow Belden about what the warm, dry spring means for Wyoming. He says the snowpack has gotten extremely low, which will make for a tough year.

Open Spaces
4:03 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Casper’s yard waste ban could save the city big bucks

The Casper Landfill grinds the city’s discarded branches into woodchips of varying grains, which is sells to commercial operations and the public. The city’s new yard waste ban will likely increase the amount of compost and woodchips the landfill produces
Rebecca Martinez

Casper has begun banning grass clippings and other yard waste from the trash that goes into their landfill. Officials expect it to save the city tens of thousands of dollars, but people who are into living green are pretty excited, too. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

(sound of mulch mower cutting grass)

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Open Spaces
4:00 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

National Museum of Wildlife Art turns 25

This week, the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  It kicks off a number of events that will be part of the celebration.  The museum was a dream that’s come a long ways from its humble beginnings.  Co-founder Bill Kerr tells Bob Beck that the idea was to feature art that may have been overlooked.

Open Spaces
3:57 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

An MFA student reads her “Letter to Wyoming”

Irina Zhorov is a graduate of the University of Wyoming’s MFA program, and she reports for Wyoming Public Radio.
Tristan Ahtone

During Wyoming Public Radio’s relationship with UW’s Master of Fine Arts program, we have also acquired some people who wanted to learn to be public radio reporters.  Three people have joined us, including this next writer.  Irina Zhorov is an accomplished photographer who wanted to develop her writing skills.  She recently graduated from the M-F-A program.  When Irina came to Wyoming from Philadelphia she had questions about her new state.  Today she tells us about her conclusions in her “Letter to Wyoming.”

Open Spaces
5:42 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Mother’s Day: Tiffany Bishop reflects on young motherhood

Before I had children, I thought I had it all figured out.  I would roll my eyes at mothers in the grocery store who couldn’t seem to keep their kids in the cart and out of aisles, or cringe when the host at a restaurant would seat a family with an unruly toddler near my table. 

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

May 11th, 2012

Election year politics are derailing efforts to improve Wyoming’s economy.
President Obama is chiding Congress for not acting on his slimmed down plan to spur economic growth in Wyoming and elsewhere. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that election year politicking is expected to derail this latest effort to get the economy moving.

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Open Spaces
4:28 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Election year politics are derailing efforts to improve Wyoming’s economy

President Obama is chiding Congress for not acting on his slimmed down plan to spur economic growth in Wyoming and elsewhere. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that election year politicking is expected to derail this latest effort to get the economy moving.

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Open Spaces
4:23 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Wyoming hopes to overhaul UW’s outdated College of Engineering facilities

The Engineering College at the University of Wyoming
Rebecca Martinez

Earlier this year the Wyoming legislature set aside some 30 million dollars in matching money to help pay for a major upgrade in U-W’s College of Engineering.  With an anticipated cost of nearly 100 million dollars, it would be U-W’s most expensive building project.  The last major addition to the College occurred in 1980.  Right now labs are too small, classrooms are crowded and the front portion of the building has a distinct 1920’s flavor.  As Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…at a time when other building projects were occurring on campus…the chairman of the Senate Appropriations

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Open Spaces
4:20 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Casper mayor opposes smoke-free ordinance

The city of Casper is considering a ban on smoking in all public places.   It’s an issue that supporters have been pushing for a number of years and next week there will be a public hearing on the issue.  In the past, supporters of the ordinance have been on board with the program, but not everybody is in love with it.   So today we will hear from an opponent.  Former Mayor Mike Reid is the co-owner of Poplar Wine and Spirits in Casper that includes an adjoining smoke free bar.  Reid tells Bob Beck the smoke free approach has worked well.

Open Spaces
4:18 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Wyoming museum uses 3D technology to create fossil, dinosaur replicas

This image of a Nothosaur skull was created through 3D scanning.
Courtesy of Steven Cowley

We tend to think about scanning and printing as something that you do with pieces of paper – two dimensional objects. But now, a geological museum in Wyoming is scanning and printing things in 3D. They’re using 3D scanners and printers to make plastic replicas of dinosaur bones and other fossils, which can help with research and make collections accessible to scientists and museum goers around the world. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden went to Casper and filed this report.

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Open Spaces
3:59 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Gov. Matt Mead discusses proposed budget

Bob Beck recently spoke with Gov. Matt Mead in his office about a number of topics including proposed state budget cuts.

Open Spaces
3:56 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Ozone spikes put Sublette County on federal list of air quality violators

 It’s official: The Environmental Protection Agency says Sublette County and parts of neighboring counties are violating federal air quality standards because ozone levels have gone above the legal limit multiple times in the past few years. It’s widely recognized that the problem stems from emissions in the oil and gas industry. When you get the right combination of two types of emissions -- NOX and VOCs  -- coupled with certain wintertime weather conditions, ground-level ozone forms. Ground-level ozone is the main component of smog and can cause respiratory problems.

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Open Spaces
3:52 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Wind River Reservation residents still worry about uranium waste in tap water

Last week, the Department of Energy announced that uranium at nearly twice the legal limit had been found in the tap water of four households on the Wind River Reservation. The event marks another incident in a long and troubled history in the area.  Wyoming Public Radio's Tristan Ahtone brings us this report on the find.

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Open Spaces
3:48 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Author Alyson Hagy discusses her novel “Boleto”

Laramie-based author Alyson Hagy has a new novel that just came out called “Boleto.” She joins us to talk with us about the book, which tells a story of a young man from rural Wyoming named Will Testerman.

Open Spaces
3:42 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Mother’s Day: Tiffany Bishop reflects on young motherhood

Before I had children, I thought I had it all figured out.  I would roll my eyes at mothers in the grocery store who couldn’t seem to keep their kids in the cart and out of aisles, or cringe when the host at a restaurant would seat a family with an unruly toddler near my table. 

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Open Spaces
4:32 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

April 27th, 2012

Bob Beck

 

Douglas residents react to Chesapeake Energy gas leak
This week, there was an explosion at an oil rig near Douglas. Natural gas spewed from the well, and about 50 people were evacuated from their homes. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden visited Douglas shortly after the accident and put together this montage of residents’ reactions.

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Open Spaces
4:14 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Douglas residents react to Chesapeake Energy gas leak

This week, there was an explosion at an oil rig near Douglas. Natural gas spewed from the well, and about 50 people were evacuated from their homes. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden visited Douglas shortly after the accident and put together this montage of residents’ reactions.

Open Spaces
4:11 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Barrasso defends position against environmental regulation

U-S Senator from Wyoming John Barrasso has been very critical of the Obama administration because of its position on such things as new air standards as it applies to the coal industry… and a number of other EPA-led provisions that, he says, will just kill jobs.  Senator Barrasso joins Bob Beck from the cloak room just outside of the U-S Senate.

Open Spaces
4:07 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Cody looks to summer tourism season, braces for rising gas prices

Analysts are making conflicting predictions about where gas prices will go this summer. Some are forecasting record highs, while others say prices at the pump have already peaked. Businesses in Wyoming’s service industry hope for the latter, as they depend on an injection of tourism dollars each summer. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with several businesses near Yellowstone about what might happen if gas prices climb with the temperature.

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Open Spaces
4:02 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Ag research exhibit opens at Territorial Prison

This harness was used during the time that the Wyoming Territorial Prison grounds served as a University of Wyoming agricultural research facility in the early 1900s.
Willow Belden

The historic Territorial Prison in Laramie is opening a new exhibit this weekend, which focuses on the era after the facility served as a prison – when the University of Wyoming used it for agriculture research. Willow Belden spoke with Deborah Amend, the superintendent of the prison, before the opening to hear about the history of the site, and the important studies that were done there while it was used for ag. She says the prison was built 140 years ago, as a federal territorial prison … but things changed in 1809, when Wyoming became a state.

Open Spaces
3:58 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Job prospects brighten for college grads

Seniors at the University of Wyoming will be graduating next week, and while the job market is still tight around the country, prospects for finding employment have improved significantly this year. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden Reports.

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Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Workforce Services Director says a wide range of jobs open in Wyoming

 

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has been hosting a number of job fairs across the state presumably because there are jobs to be had.  Joan Evans is the Department Director, she tells Bob Beck there are jobs for just about every type of worker, but it might require job training or relocation.

Open Spaces
3:49 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Data centers meant to diversify state economy

Bob Beck

 

Wyoming has long been thought of as a state that focuses on energy, tourism and in some circles ranching.  But the state has been trying to also make itself a player in technology.  It started in earnest a few years back that the National Center for Atmospheric Research or NCAR was coming to Wyoming.  The latest push has centered around Data Centers.  Wyoming is offering sales tax incentives and grant money to try and attract them to the state.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that many believe they could be an important piece in diversifying the economy.

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Open Spaces
3:45 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Mountain West Voices

 

Clay Scott from the University of Montana rejoins the program with his occasional segment called Mountain West Voices.

Open Spaces
7:12 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

April 20th, 2012

 

Increase in coal exports on the horizon
There are more new ports designed for coal export being proposed in the U.S. and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coal producers are training their eye on the developments. With some of the most efficient economies of scale in the world, a larger percentage of PRB coal could be making its way across the ocean soon. What would that mean for Wyoming and the global community? Irina Zhorov reports. 

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