Two years ago the Wyoming legislature asked the Wyoming Department of Health to look into the high costs of Medicaid services in the state. The legislature wanted them to find ways to reduce those costs and see if there were also ways to reform Wyoming’s Developmental Disability waiver program, which costs the state 151 million dollars a year.
Roughly a quarter of Teton County residents are living without health insurance. It's the worst rate of health coverage in the state. Beginning in October, those uninsured residents will have a new opportunity to get health insurance through a federally-operated exchange, or marketplace. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more.
REBECCA HUNTINGTON: Dana Gatt is a massage therapist. She's putting towels in a warmer to get ready for her next client.
The fate of a major art collection hangs in the balance, as the estate of renowned Cody artist Harry Jackson looks for a benefactor. And unless a donor steps forward, Jackson’s life work will be piecemealed to pay the bills.
Former lawyer turned fly fishing guide David Riley Bertsch has written a book dealing with both of his passions. Jake Trent is the main Character in the book called Death Canyon.
Trent is a former criminal lawyer turned fly fishing guide who runs a bed and breakfast in Jackson, Wyoming. But some a late season avalanche kills a skier, a French couple may have suffered a bear attack, and Jake himself finds the body of a tourist in fishing gear.
President Obama's call to postpone a vote on a military strike in Syria is being lauded by Wyoming lawmakers. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that while the administration is leaving a military option on the table as it pursues diplomacy, officials can’t expect much support from the Wyoming delegation.
MATT LASLO: Only a handful of lawmakers in the U.S. Senate have gone on record over authorizing military force in Syria. One of them is Wyoming Republican John Barrasso.
Real estate brokers across Wyoming and the west have been seeing more and more people buying ranches for investment purposes. In many cases, that’s changing the way the ranches function and affecting the communities around them. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
WILLOW BELDEN: Art Sigel is a retired chemical engineer from Chicago. Well, sort of retired. He’s no longer a chemical engineer. But now he and his wife own and operate a ranch in southeast Wyoming.
As we just heard, many Wyoming ranches are being purchased by out-of-state residents. Many of these ranches are up for sale in the first place because older ranchers don’t have heirs who want -- or know how to -- run a ranch full-time. Or the kids can’t agree on what to do with the family ranch after their parents pass away.
With help from a five million dollar USDA grant, the University of Wyoming and two local groups are conducting a study of the health benefits of gardening. They found fourteen volunteers with significant medical issues to start growing food in their own backyards. The goal is to see if gardening improves their health. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports.
David Romtvedt teaches in the MFA program for writers at the University of Wyoming and served as the state's poet laureate from 2003 to 2011. Today, we’ll hear three of his poems about his daughter.
Sunday Morning Early
My daughter and I paddle red kayaks across the lake. Pulling hard, we slip through the water. Far from either shore, my daughter is a young woman and suddenly everything is a metaphor for how short a time we are granted:
We recently reported that an oil and gas company operating in Wyoming was fined by the federal Office of Natural Resource Revenue for not submitting production reports. Turns out, the company has a history of poor behavior in the state, fiscally and environmentally. Although Pure Petroleum’s gross neglect of its responsibilities is somewhat of an exception, it does point to big flaws in the oil and gas industry’s reclamation system.
Maize geneticist Anne Sylvester is studying corn to see whether she can control the way it conserves water. Her greenhouse on the University of Wyoming campus is set up to simulate the conditions of an Iowa cornfield.
Science can be fascinating, even to non-scientists. But when experts use a lot of industry jargon to explain their research, it can be hard to understand.
Now that funding for research is harder to come by, scientists need to do more to win over the public’s hearts and minds to back their work. The National Science Foundation will be hosting a workshop at the University of Wyoming to help scientists, engineers and other academics to communicate with the rest of us about their research.
Shannon Smith is the new Executive Director of the Wyoming Humanities Council. Smith comes to the Council after years working at a non-profit focusing on advancing higher education through the use of information technology.
Wyoming is not a big tax state, so it might not be much of surprise to learn that Wyoming’s Beer Taxes are the lowest in the country. Beer is taxed two cents a gallon and according to the Tax Foundation that amounts to a penny a six pack for a consumer.
There have been several efforts to raise the tax in recent years, but those proposals are typically dead on arrival. In a few weeks the Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee will re-vist the issue as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
Author Ron Carlson new novel “Return to Oakpine” tells the story of four high school buddies reuniting in their fictional Wyoming hometown, now that they’ve reached middle age.
One character, Jimmy Brand, is dying of AIDS, and he and his friends get their high school garage band back together one last time. Carlson tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez that this is a “quieter” book, in which the reader keeps company with these characters.
This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories. Today, we’ll hear from a burlesque performer. Her stage name is Stella Fox, and she talks with her fiancée, Jonathan Green, about her burlesque career.
The piece was produced by Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden with interviews recorded at StoryCorps. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.
The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for coal on federal lands. That coal makes up about 40 percent of total coal production in the U.S. Of the 314 existing federal coal leases, nearly a quarter of the leases are in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Companies acquire these leases by bidding on the right to mine the federal coal. It has generated a lot of income, which the federal government splits with states. But not everyone thinks the program is working as it should and that the government might be losing out on money.
In September a Congressional subcommittee will hold a hearing in Casper as Congress takes another crack at reforming the Endangered Species Act.
Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis has for years been supportive of reforming the ESA. While she is quick to acknowledge that it has been a good law, Lummis is frustrated that once something gets on the endangered species list it rarely comes off. She joins Bob Beck to discuss this.
The University of Wyoming will kick off a new school year on Monday. It’s an exciting time for incoming freshmen, but the college years bring new freedoms as well as new risks.
UW’s STOP Violence program offers crisis intervention and support for anyone on campus who’s been affected by sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking, and works to educate students about the issues.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Becky Martinez spoke with UW’s new STOP Violence Coordinator Megan Selheim about what new students should bear in mind for the coming school year.
It has never been easy to start a small business or to keep it going. Acquiring startup money is always one of the challenges. In Wyoming, officials say they want to develop more businesses, but unless you are a technology company, it can be difficult to find the necessary support. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
BOB BECK: Laramie Economic Development Director Dan Furphy says funding small businesses is scary for lenders.
A new group is convinced that, with a little coaching, Jackson Hole can become the Silicon Valley of the Rockies. In fact, this ad hoc group has even taken the name Silicon Couloir. (Coo-LAR) They're convinced that within the state the investors exist to help grow more startup businesses. But what's lacking is a venue for investors and entrepreneurs to meet. The possible solution is known as Pitch Day.
Now, for the latest edition in our occasional series, Upstarts, we’ll hear from a stay-at-home mom who launched a multimedia publishing company from her kitchen table in Laramie. Kati Hime is the owner and editor of three high-quality magazines that focus on life in and across the Cowboy State. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
Wyoming landscape painter Kathryn Turner grew up on Triangle X Ranch in Grand Teton National Park surrounded by dramatic views of her favorite subject, the Tetons.
And in her words, she’s spent the past 20 years trying to do them justice. “And they are challenging! And what makes them challenging is they’re always changing, with the light, with the seasons, with the way the clouds move over them, obscuring them, changing the shadows. So they provide a lifetime of material,” added Turner.
Last month, Bob Sternberg took over as the new president of the University of Wyoming. In recent weeks, has explained that he wants UW to attempt to be an inclusive University that doesn’t focus on things like a student’s ACT scores, and rather looks more at the whole package.
President Sternberg tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it’s more important to make sure students are properly prepared for higher education, and their future is much more important than test scores.