Open Spaces

Open Spaces
3:07 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Wyoming Public Media's 2014 Forum On Coal On Open Spaces

Speakers Rita Meyer, Leslie Glustrom, and Mark Gordon with Moderator Stephanie Joyce.
Ray Mitchell

The WPM Forum On Coal was a moderated discussion about the challenges coal is currently facing politically, economically and environmentally, how that could impact Wyoming in the future, and ways the state is innovating to keep coal relevant.

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Open Spaces
4:16 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Faces Challenges In Wyoming

Chris Rothfuss in the Wyoming Senate.
Credit Bob Beck

For over a decade the state has struggled with making sure all citizens had access to health care.  Much of this had to do with the fact that many Wyoming citizens can’t afford health insurance.  The federal affordable care act was supposed to help.

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Open Spaces
4:12 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Bill Rekindles Debate Over Split Estate

Senator Jim D Anderson

There’s a fight brewing in Wyoming over the rights of landowners who don’t own the minerals below their properties. In 2005, the legislature passed a Split Estate law, but now, one lawmaker is saying it may be time to revisit the issue, in light of changes in drilling technology and intensity.

Senator Jim Anderson introduced a bill this week that would increase bonding on split-estate properties. Wyoming Public Radio energy reporter Stephanie Joyce joins us to discuss the bill, and its implications.

WILLOW BELDEN: So, what does this bill do?

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Open Spaces
4:06 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

New Grand Teton Superintendent Says Collaboration Is Key

The National Park Service named a new superintendent for Grand Teton National Park this week. David Vela will replace former superintendent Mary Gibson Scott, who retired last year.

Vela is currently an associate director for the Park Service in Washington DC. He has worked at parks and historic sites in Texas, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and directed the Park Service’s southeast region for four years. He says one of his goals is to listen to visitor feedback.

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Open Spaces
4:02 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Discusses What He’s Learned Raising Bear Cubs

Author Ben Kilham has studied black bears for decades and has also raised orphan bear cubs. His new book is called “Out on a Limb: What Black Bears Have Taught Me about Intelligence and Intuition.” He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck, and said his interest in bears came by accident.

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Open Spaces
3:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Negotiation Vs. Litigation: A Look At The Reservation Borders Decision

The governments of Riverton, Fremont County, the state, and of the two tribes who share the Wind River Indian Reservation are arguing, again, over the reservation’s borders.

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Open Spaces
3:49 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Marion Loomis Reflects On 40 Years As Mining Lobbyist

Marion Loomis has been with the Wyoming Mining Association, one of the state’s most influential interest groups, for almost 40 years. Earlier this week, he announced that he would be retiring that post in April. Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce caught up with Loomis at the Capitol to discuss his career and what the future holds for the state’s mining industry.

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Open Spaces
3:00 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

12-Year-Old Piano Prodigy Competes In Paris

James Wilson in recital at the University of Wyoming in 2012.
Credit AP Photo/Casper Star-Tribune, Dan Cepeda

12-year-old Laramie pianist James Wilson was one of only two Americans to compete in the prestigious Lagny-sur-Marne piano competition in Paris last month.

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Open Spaces
4:42 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

February 7th, 2014

Federal Courts’ Distance From Wind River Reservation A Hardship

Major crimes committed on the Wind River Indian Reservation end up in federal court. But federal courthouses in Wyoming are really far from the reservation, which leads to logistical, constitutional, and social problems. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.  

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Federal Courts’ Distance From Wind River Reservation A Hardship

Federal Court House in Cheyenne.

Major crimes committed on the Wind River Indian Reservation end up in federal court. But federal courthouses in Wyoming are really far from the reservation, which leads to logistical, constitutional, and social problems. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.  

IRINA ZHOROV: John Crispin’s son was murdered in 2011. He told me about it on a snowy night in the parking lot of a convenience store in Ethete, Wyoming, on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

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Open Spaces
4:25 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Author Blames Drugs For Matthew Shepard Murder

The common story behind the murder of Matthew Shepard is that he was targeted in Laramie’s fireside bar because he was gay and was the victim of a robbery.  Law enforcement authorities say that Shepard was driven to the edge of Laramie and tied to a fence by Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. 

He was then pistol whipped and left for dead.  But for years some say there was more to the crime then that and author Steve Jimenez has explored those rumors.  His book called “The Book of Matt.  Hidden Truths about the murder of Matthew Shepard” paints a different narrative.

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Law Professor Discusses Report Claiming Federal Coal Lease System ‘Out Of Date’

Mark Squillace
Credit colorado.edu

The Government Accountability Office released a report earlier this week that outlined problems in the federal coal leasing system. The report called the Bureau of Land Management’s process ‘out of date.’

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Open Spaces
4:16 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid To Be Featured On American Experience

Credit Courtesy of PBS

On Tuesday the latest PBS American Experience will explore the lives of the famous western Outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Writer and Director John Maggio looks closely into their lives.

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Open Spaces
4:08 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Outdoor Enthusiasts Lock Horns Over Emerging Sport Of Snow Biking

Bikers take off on the first ever snow bike race in southeast Wyoming.
Credit Willow Belden

If you’ve been out snow shoeing or cross country skiing this winter, you may have noticed bicycle tire marks on the trails. That’s because of a new sport called snow biking. It’s gaining popularity fast, and cyclists and bike shops are thrilled. But some skiers feel the bikes present safety risks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
4:00 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Conversation Expert Says It’s Important To Have A Plan

Credit Debra Fine

On Thursday acclaimed author and speaker Debra Fine will appear at the University of Wyoming Ballroom at 4:30  discussing the art of a conversation.  Fine is a former engineer and the founder of the company called The Fine Art of Small Talk.

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Open Spaces
3:55 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

StoryCorps: Pete Simpson Discusses His Parents And Growing Up Near Heart Mountain

Credit StoryCorps

This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories.

Today, we hear from two members of one of Wyoming’s most famous families.  Milward Simpson, the grandson of former Governor and U.S. Senator Milward Simpson, interviews his father Pete Simpson, a noted historian, educator, Republican nominee for Governor, and former legislator.  They begin their conversation talking about Pete’s parents.  

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Open Spaces
12:49 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Bill Briggs Makes History Skiing Grand Teton

Bill Briggs' ski tracks can be seen near the top of Grand Teton.
Credit Powder Magazine

Bill Briggs, a Dartmouth graduate from Maine, moved to Jackson Hole and became North America’s “father of extreme skiing.” In Jackson he worked as a climbing and ski guide for many years, driven by his own passion and encouraged by the supportive outdoor community to surmount the insurmountable. In 1971, Briggs was the first person ever to descend the Grand Teton on skis, a feat most considered to be impossible.  His friend Spark M asks him to describe the experience.

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Open Spaces
4:56 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

January 24th, 2014

Potential for Gas Price Increase If Oil Ban Lifted

For forty years the U-S has banned the export of most all crude oil. Matt Laslo reports a new debate is raging in Washington over whether to end the ban.

Sage Grouse Concerns Prompt Changes In Reclamation Regs

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Open Spaces
4:46 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Potential for Gas Price Increase If Oil Ban Lifted

For forty years the U-S has banned the export of most all crude oil. Matt Laslo reports a new debate is raging in Washington over whether to end the ban.

MATT LASLO: The U-S banned crude oil exports after the Arab oil embargo of 1973. It’s been in place since, which has negatively impacted global oil prices. Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso says he’s ready to lift the ban.

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Open Spaces
4:42 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Sage Grouse Concerns Prompt Changes In Reclamation Regs

Pete Stahl and Calvin Strom examine a reclamation demo site to see if any native plants have grown back.
Credit Willow Belden

When energy development happens on public lands, companies have to reclaim the land. That means restoring the landscape after it’s been disturbed. But exactly what’s required varies from one part of the state to another. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that agencies are making those rules more consistent, in hopes of helping keep sage grouse off the endangered species list.

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Open Spaces
4:37 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

A and S Dean Discusses Her Goals

Credit UW News Service

Last summer Paula Lutz from Montana State University was hired to replace longtime University of Wyoming Arts and Sciences Dean Oliver Walter.  She joins us today on Open Spaces to share her vision for the College.  She speaks with Bob Beck.

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Open Spaces
4:35 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Wyoming Legislature Considers Early Childhood Education Bill

Over the years the legislature has not been overly supportive of efforts to fund early childhood education in Wyoming, mostly because of concerns that the state could interfere with private business.  But members of the Joint Education Committee hope that a new proposal can overcome those concerns.  The committee has drafted a bill that will coordinate all the early childhood efforts that currently exist and provide money to improve services.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.                     

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Open Spaces
4:29 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Hospital, Library Navigate Healthcare.gov for the Uninsured

Cheyenne Regional Medical Center is heading a statewide effort called Enroll Wyoming to help people get health insurance through the new online marketplace. The program has trained navigators across the state, including in Jackson where St. John's Medical Center and Teton County Library have teamed up to offer individualized sessions, designed to guide community members through healthcare.gov. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more. 

JULIE: I don't have Internet service myself, and so I was concerned about how I'm going to, you know, fill out this Obamacare insurance.

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Open Spaces
4:26 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Author Discusses America’s First Everest Expedition

Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with author Brot Coburn. He lives in Wilson, and his book “The Vast Unknown” is about America’s first expedition up Mount Everest. Coburn says many of the members of the expedition honed their climbing skills in Wyoming.

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

A New Book Of Family Letters Looks At Wyoming Living In The Early 1900s

Cathy Healy
Credit Chris Windhauser

An Improbable Pioneer is a collection of letters by Edith Sampson Holden Healy. Edith was from a prominent Boston family, but moved to Wyoming in 1911 after she married a sheep rancher from the state. The letters describe daily life in Wyoming in the early 1900s. The book was edited by Edith’s granddaughter, Cathy Healy, who’s a writer and editor. It’s the first imprint of the Washakie Museum’s Legacy Collection, which is an initiative that hopes to encourage the preservation of family archives.

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Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

DEQ Director Todd Parfitt Says Agency Following Its Missions To “Protect, Conserve And Enhance”

Todd Parfitt

We start off today’s show with a look at the agency that’s in charge of protecting the environment in Wyoming. Many of our reporting in the past has led us to conversations with angry landowners, and folks who have concerns about industry’s effects on the environment and human health.

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Open Spaces
5:21 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Growth In Energy Production Prompts Concerns Over Air Monitoring Network

Monitoring stations like this one in Converse County track a range of pollutants in the air.
Credit Willow Belden

We’ve reported often on the effects that energy production can have on air quality. The most obvious example is Pinedale, where federal ambient air quality standards were violated, largely because of emissions from natural gas production. Regulators say the air elsewhere in the state is fine. But some worry that Wyoming doesn’t have a sufficient monitoring network to know for sure. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
5:15 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Small Emission Sources Could Mean Big Pollution, But No One’s Counting

John Fenton stands outside his house in Pavillion, with a small natural gas well nearby.
Credit Irina Zhorov

Some landowners with oil and gas wells on their property complain about emissions affecting their air quality and health. But though there may be a lot of wells, they’re considered small facilities, so their cumulative effects are never counted up and regulations are more lax than for large emitters. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that that could be a problem since in aggregate, their pollution can be significant.  

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