Open Spaces

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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Open Spaces
6:58 pm
Fri April 20, 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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Open Spaces
6:55 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Game and Fish closes sage grouse hunting in northeast Wyoming

The Game and Fish Department plans to ban sage grouse hunting in most of northeast Wyoming. Parts of eastern Wyoming are already off limits, and now, sage grouse hunting will be prohibited in Sheridan, Johnson, Campbell and Weston counties as well. I spoke with Tom Christiansen, the sage grouse coordinator for Game and Fish. He says the agency is making the change in large part because of public concern over dwindling sage grouse populations. But he also says stopping hunting won’t solve the problem, because hunting doesn’t actually affect sage grouse populations that much.

Open Spaces
6:53 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Natrona County plans to revolutionize education system

Bob Beck

As most know, school reform is far from novel.  It has been a catch word for many years.  But at a time when Casper was looking a building a new high school, school officials thought that a new approach in education should be part of new construction.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…

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Open Spaces
6:51 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

A look at sexual assault in Wyoming

April is sexual assault awareness month, and Becca Fisher from SAFE Project, a group that provides services to victims, joins us to talk about the problem. She says nearly half of Wyoming women are sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. The incidents can range from unwanted touching to all-out rape, and Fisher says common scenarios are a little different than you might expect.

Open Spaces
6:49 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

STDs on the rise in Wyoming

It’s Sexually Transmitted Disease awareness month and in Wyoming this is a serious issue.  Statistics show that STDs in the state are on the rise.  A number of health care organizations are trying to get sexually active people tested for STDs and to check their HIV status.  Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is engaged in a campaign called GYT – get yourself tested.   Melody Meanor is the Manager of Planned Parenthood’s Casper Health Center.  She says the sharp increase in STD’s in Wyoming is alarming.


 

Open Spaces
6:48 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

New push underway to get free diapers to poor families

For those living below or anywhere near the poverty line, the list of daily struggles is long – and mostly familiar:  food, housing, medical care...  Over the last decade, diaper banks have emerged in some 40 spots throughout the country; Wyoming is not yet one of them.  In the meantime, a new nationwide effort is underway to bring awareness and unprecedented resources to the problem of “diaper need.”  From Washington, Elizabeth Wynne Johnson reports.

ELIZABETH WYNNE JOHNSON: This is a story about connecting dots… and about little things that make a big difference.

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Open Spaces
6:44 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

New push underway to get free diapers to poor families

For those living below or anywhere near the poverty line, the list of daily struggles is long – and mostly familiar:  food, housing, medical care...  Over the last decade, diaper banks have emerged in some 40 spots throughout the country; Wyoming is not yet one of them.  In the meantime, a new nationwide effort is underway to bring awareness and unprecedented resources to the problem of “diaper need.”  From Washington, Elizabeth Wynne Johnson reports.

ELIZABETH WYNNE JOHNSON: This is a story about connecting dots… and about little things that make a big difference.

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Open Spaces
6:42 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Laramie program offers theater experience for those with disabilities

For the last several years ARK regional services in Laramie has run a program called the Cooper Center for Creative Arts.  It offers a multitude of experiences for those with disabilities.  Next month those in the program will be putting on a performance where students will be involved in all aspects from performing to set design.  Cheyenne Christian is the Creative Arts Coordinator for the Center and she explains the program…

Open Spaces
6:39 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Wyoming experiences jackalope shortage

Wyoming has been home to the jackalope since it was “accidently” invented by a taxidermist in Douglas. But over the last two years, jackalopes have been on the decline… at least according to some taxidermists around the state. Wyoming Public Radio’s Tristan Ahtone volunteered to investigate.

Open Spaces
6:35 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

UW students design and build mock lunar rovers

Willow Belden

A team of UW engineering students recently traveled to Alabama to compete in NASA’s annual moon buggy race. The race is for high school and college students who have designed and built non-motorized vehicles that resemble lunar rovers. Teams from all over the world participated, on a race course meant to resemble the surface of the moon. The winning moon buggies aren’t actually going to space, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports, the project is a major learning experience for the students.

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Open Spaces
3:35 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Buford, Wyoming auctioned off to foreign bidders; after 30 years, Population: 1 retires to CO

The Buford Trading Post closed in December, when owner Don Sammons – the lone resident of Buford – decided to retire. The 10-acre “town” was auctioned off Thursday for $900,000.
Rebecca Martinez

 

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An Oklahoma-based company auctioned off Buford, Wyoming Thursday afternoon. For a winning bid of $900,000, the property will move to the control of two unnamed businessmen from Vietnam. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez has more.

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Open Spaces
1:47 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Wyoming Weather Modification Projects Still Waiting for Results

View from the plane used in cloud seeding research.
Irina Zhorov

Wyoming is host to two of the world’s most comprehensive weather modification studies. The studies are unique due to our geography, but they’re also more comprehensive than past research has been. And the water-hungry world is waiting for results. Irina Zhorov reports. 

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Open Spaces
1:39 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

UW student seeks to revolutionize crop growing

Nate Storey tends a tower of lettuce in his greenhouse in Laramie
Willow Belden

A doctoral student at the University of Wyoming has developed a new method for producing and selling vegetables. The student’s name is Nate Storey, and he’s designed a growing system in one of the university’s greenhouses that requires no fertilizer, produces virtually no waste and yields four times as much produce as traditional greenhouse setups. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
1:36 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Regulators to collect feedback on wolf management plan

Next week the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will begin a series of public meetings. They’ll gather public input on the rules and regulations the department will use to manage wolves in the state.   The rules will be finalized by the Game and Fish Commission in April. Chief Game Warden Brian Nesbit and the Department Director Scott Talbott talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Open Spaces
1:33 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Sheep shearers travel further, work harder to meet rising demand

Rindy Harkness, 30, runs Top Notch Shearing and Fitting, a contractor that shears sheep in seven states, including Wyoming. In the off season, Harkness shears in Australia and New Zealand
Rebecca Martinez

The American sheep industry has exploded in recent years, causing many producers to expand their operations. But more sheep means more people are needed to shear them, and the number of professional shearers has declined over the decades. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez tagged along with a Wyoming-based shearer during a gig in Douglas and filed this report.

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Open Spaces
1:29 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Study warns Powder River Basin sage grouse could die out

A new report by researchers at the University of Montana warns that unless energy development slows down, sage grouse populations in the Powder River Basin could die out. The study, which was commissioned by the BLM, was meant to determine whether the sage grouse population there can survive, given current oil and gas drilling activities, and what would happen to the birds if more drilling occurred or if there were new West Nile Virus outbreaks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Dave Naugle, who co-authored the report. He says the sage grouse population in the Powder River Basin has already declined by 82 percent as a result of energy development.

Open Spaces
1:17 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Northern Arapaho Tribe Wins Right To Capture Two Bald Eagles

Wyoming’s Northern Arapaho Tribe is being allowed to capture and kill two bald eagles for religious purposes. The permit comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which has issued similar permits for golden eagles in the past, but never before for bald eagles. Wyoming Public Radio’s Tristan Ahtone reports.

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Open Spaces
1:11 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

What’s next with Wyoming’s Health Care?

Earlier this month the state legislature ended funding for an experimental program called Healthy Frontiers, it was Wyoming’s latest effort to save the state health care money.  The idea was also supposed to reduce costs to Wyoming’s Medicaid program and reduce the numbers of those who drive up costs by depending on the more expensive emergency room to cover their health care needs.  Some say Wyoming’s problems will be solved by the federal health reform plan known as the Affordable Care Act, but the future of that plan is unknown.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

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Open Spaces
1:08 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis praises water quality dialogue

State Representative Cynthia Lummis joins us to talk about a number of issues affecting the state. The Wyoming Republican most recently had a discussion with the head of the EPA concerning water pollution in Pavillion.  She tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck the good news is that there seems to be a dialogue.

Open Spaces
4:42 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Wyoming anticipates arrival of supercomputer in Cheyenne

The NCAR supercomputing center is located on the western outskirts of Cheyenne
Willow Belden

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The National Center for Atmospheric Research is building a supercomputing center in Cheyenne, which will house one of the most powerful computers in the world. Scientists are looking forward to the machine’s arrival … and many in Wyoming say its presence here will put the state on the map. The facility where the computer will be located is finished … and the machine itself is set to arrive in May. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden toured the building … and filed this report.

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