Governor Matt Mead says he is continuing to pursue legal action over the federal roadless rule as he tries to work out a compromise in Wyoming. Mead says the lawsuit is trying to delay making hundreds of acres off limits to development, while state officials work with the forest service to determine what should actually be off limits.
For years, Eastern Wyoming has struggled with poverty and it appears things have not changed.
The Center for Rural Affairs says that 2010 census numbers confirm that poverty in Eastern Wyoming is at a rate that is actually higher than many urban areas, especially for children. Report Author Jon Bailey says that part of the problem is that federal subsidies for large farms is harmful to rural development.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Built by Eldorado Wall Company of Boulder, Colorado the tower has a circumference of 74 feet and a height of 42 feet, replicating Wyoming's famous Devil's Tower National Monument. The Climbing Tower is the focal point for the entrance of the Recreation Center Lobby. Climbers of all ages and skill levels enjoy top rope climbing, lead climbing, bouldering and the use of the Trueblue auto belay system. To date, over 3,500 individuals have climbed the tower at least once with over 400 individuals becoming belay certified.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In August, 2006, Gillette College began an annual summer tradition when they hosted the first Donkey Creek Concert. Held on the College lawn near the banks of Donkey Creek that first concert included only one band and an audience of about 50 people. By 2010 that single concert had grown into a two day festival featuring two full days of music. The music, food vendors, artist booths, and other activities are enjoyed by thousands over the weekend.
Wyoming’s census numbers have leveled off. After seeing a net annual migration that was near 10-thousand people a year from 2006 to 2009, Wyoming saw about 45-hundred new people move into the state last year.
Economist Wenlin Liu of the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division says economic improvement elsewhere has reduced the number of people coming to Wyoming looking for work.
“The main reason is that the rest of the nation had an economic recovery. We had a lot less immigrants moving into the state from California and Michigan."
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.
The State of Wyoming has settled a federal lawsuit filed by an anti-abortion group. Under the settlement, the state admitted that state officials violated the constitutional rights of WyWatch Family Action by removing a display of materials it posted in a tunnel leading to the state Capitol last year. U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal approved the settlement and dismissed the lawsuit on Thursday. Under the settlement, the state admits that it unconstitutionally prevented WyWatch from engaging in protected
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A recent report from the Center for Public Integrity ranks Wyoming 48th in the nation when it comes to accountability in state politics. According to the report, Wyoming and a number of other western states seemed to operate with a live-and-let-live attitude when it came to government, stressing a strong preference for informal societal controls as opposed to legislative actions that regulated oversight.
Gordon Witkin is with the Center for Public Integrity. He says Wyoming is too relaxed when it comes to oversight and auditing processes.
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.
Among the issues the Wyoming legislature dealt with this year is a wolf management plan. Lawmakers approved a compromise crafted between Governor Matt Mead and federal officials that allows Wyoming residents to shoot wolves on sight if they are not in protected areas of the state. While a judge may need to eventually sign off on the plan, many lawmakers believe they are closer than managing wolves than ever before. Senator Bruce Burns chairs the committee the oversees wildlife issues in the state. I spoke with him shortly after the bill passed.
During this year’s Legislative session, lawmakers proposed a joint resolution known as the Riverton Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action bill. Tailings are waste left over from mining operations. In this case, the tailings in question are from uranium mining on the Wind River Reservation. The tailings have caused groundwater contamination, which many residents believe has led to health problems.
Former Cowboys Basketball Star and purported creator of the jump shot will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri this fall. At age 91, Sailors is the second Cowboy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with him this week. He says a lot has changed since his days on the court.
Fort Caspar is a reconstructed 1865 military post located at a major river crossing on the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, Pony Express, and transcontinental telegraph trail corridor. This Central Wyoming regional history museum features exhibits on prehistoric peoples, Plains Indians, ranching, the energy industry, and the City of Casper as well as the western emigrant trails and frontier army.