Open Spaces

Open Spaces
5:45 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Wyoming legislators to study ways to reduce the increasing costs of Medicaid

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A major concern in the state budget is the growing cost of Medicaid.  Medicaid is  matching federal and state funded health coverage for lower income people, children, those with disabilities and elderly nursing home residents.  State officials say that Medicaid costs take up a large chunk of the state budget and recently have been growing between 30 and 40 percent a year.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that has pushed legislators to undertake a major study to find ways to reduce costs.

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Open Spaces
5:42 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Legislators demand funding for clean-up and monitoring of former uranium mill site

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With only a week to go until the legislative session is over, Wyoming lawmakers are reviewing a number of bills, including a joint resolution requesting Congress to provide for increased monitoring and funding for remediation of the Riverton uranium mill tailings site. Tailings constitute waste left over from mining operations. Last year we brought you a story about the site in which the Department of Energy released data showing that uranium levels in the area had spiked as high as 100 times the legal limit, and while legislative action on the issue may sound good, it’s bringing up a lot of questions, and anger. Wyoming Public Radio’s Tristan Ahtone reports.

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Open Spaces
5:39 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Sen. Enzi is eager to wrangle the national budget, Medicare

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Wyoming's Senior US Senator is trying everything to reduce the federal deficit, but in an election year and a partisan Congress, it's hard to do much.  During a recent visit to Cheyenne, Bob Beck sat down with Senator Mike Enzi to discuss the budget and health care.  On the topic of the budget, he says they must act soon.

Open Spaces
5:34 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Civic initiative unites leaders across sectors

Leadership Wyoming participants Doran Fluckiger (left) and Dan Ewart (center) interview KOVE-AM broadcaster Joe Kenney of Lander about entrepreneurship.
Rebecca Martinez

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Since 1999, civic initiative called Leadership Wyoming has sought to connect the movers and shakers from the private, public and non-profit sectors statewide. Participants leave their jobs for a few days each month to learn about different issues in different communities across Wyoming. Recently, Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez tagged along on the group’s visit to Lander. She filed this report.

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Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Chief Justice Kite wants to make young citizens of middle-schoolers

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The Wyoming Supreme Court is endorsing a new program to teach middle school students about Civics.  The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Marilyn Kite joined Bob Beck to explain the program.

Open Spaces
5:22 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Wyoming tests new method for counting deer, hopes to restore herds

Game and Fish officials tag and collar a mule deer in the Platte Valley.
Willow Belden

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Mule deer have been dying off in parts of Wyoming for some time. But until recently, it was unclear how acute the problem was. That’s because the Game and Fish Department wasn’t getting an accurate count of how many deer there were. Now, the agency is trying out a new method for estimating deer populations. It’s much more expensive … but officials say it’s worth the cost because it will help them maintain a healthy deer population. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
5:39 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

February 17th, 2012

County10.com Editor Ernie Over (left) and Pitch Engine CEO Jason Kintzler sit in Over’s office at the Pitch Engine headquarters in Lander. County 10 offers hyper-local, to-the-minute news updates about happenings in Fremont County.
Rebecca Martinez
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Open Spaces
4:59 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Web-based news service keeps a close eye on Fremont County

County10.com Editor Ernie Over (left) and Pitch Engine CEO Jason Kintzler sit in Over’s office at the Pitch Engine headquarters in Lander. County 10 offers hyper-local, to-the-minute news updates about happenings in Fremont County.
Rebecca Martinez
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Open Spaces
4:53 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Wyomingite and National Geographic writer will speak at UW

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Noted Wyoming author Mark Jenkins is currently writing stories for National Geographic.  He will be discussing a recent article called the Healing Fields, the legacy of war and the search for Miss Landmine Cambodia during a lecture in Laramie on February 27ths at five in the UW classroom building.  Jenkins will also make some additional appearances in the state.  He talks with Bob Beck.

Open Spaces
4:51 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Citizens Compromise to Cut Trillions from Federal Deficit

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INTRO: Can citizens do what Congress cannot? That was the challenge put to Teton County residents by the Concord Coalition, a non-partisan group that aims to raise public awareness about the federal deficit. The coalition invited citizens to play Congress for a day to cut the federal deficit and move the nation closer to a balanced budget. Rebecca Huntington has more.

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Open Spaces
7:20 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

February 10th, 2012

Engineer Yulong Zhang shows off a vial of pure methanol in the board room at the Western Research Institute, with Vijay Sethi (left) and Thomas Barton (center).
Methanol Vial/ credit: Rebecca Martinez
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Open Spaces
6:06 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Company proposes boosting Wyoming’s energy economy with coal-to-oil plant

Methanol Vial/ credit: Rebecca MartinezCaption: Engineer Yulong Zhang shows off a vial of pure methanol in the board room at the Western Research Institute, with Vijay Sethi (left) and Thomas Barton (center).
Irina Zhorov

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The town of Medicine Bow is currently planning for a DKRW proposed coal to liquids conversion facility. The plant would be a financial boom for the state and bring jobs to the county. But this isn’t the first time Wyoming is looking into a project that would add value to its coal so it’s undergoing close scrutiny.

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Open Spaces
6:03 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

The science of Syngas

The Western Research Institute in Laramie allows scientists to experiment with turning fossil fuels into synthetic liquid fuel
Western Research Institute/credit: Rebecca Martinez

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DKRW Advanced Fuels has licensed technology from GE and Exxon-Mobil to transform coal into gasoline at a proposed plant in Medicine Bow. But theirs is just one system of creating liquid fuel. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with some experts about how synthetic gas, or syngas, is made.

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Open Spaces
5:58 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Coal-to-oil raises long-term environmental questions despite plans to capture CO2

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As we’ve just heard, existing coal-to-liquids plants emit a lot of greenhouse gases. But the proposed Medicine Bow plant is being touted as exceptionally green. Still, environmentalists have concerns about the plant’s effect on air quality and water reserves. And even if this plant is comparatively eco-friendly, future facilities may not have any incentive to follow suit.

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Open Spaces
5:56 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Energy Journalist weighs in on DKRW

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The Editor and Chief of the on-line publication WyoFile has been busying covering the D-K-R-W project since it was first proposed.  Dustin Bleizeffer has also written about other clean coal projects and he says this one actually might come to fruition.

Open Spaces
5:47 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Medicine Bow readies for a boom

Open Spaces
5:42 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Medicine Bow residents warily optimistic about proposed DKRW plant

Sara Hossaini

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Most residents we spoke with seem to be excited about the opportunities DKRW could bring. Wyoming Public Radio's Sara Hossaini heard from some of them.

TONI GEORGE: My name is Toni George, owner of JB stop and shop in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. I’m very much for it.   

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Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

Wyoming plans to use carrot, not stick, to reduce workplace deaths

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Wyoming has one of the highest rates of workplace fatalities in the nation. Recently, the state epidemiologist issued a report looking at why that’s the case and making recommendations about what should be done. Workers’ rights advocates are pushing for tougher penalties for companies that violate safety regulations. But for now, it seems the state plans to take a softer approach. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
5:25 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

The Coal Industry discusses the reasons for its positive safety record

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While the Oil and Gas industry has had a number of workplace fatalities, that has not been the case in Wyoming’s Coal Industry. Tim McCreary is Safety Manager for the Thunder Basin Coal Company.  He tells Bob Beck workplace safety is a focus.

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