Lawmakers in Washington are debating whether to export more natural gas to combat Russian threats to cut off its gas supplies to Europe. Our D-C reporter Matt Laslo has a look at what that could mean for Wyoming’s economy – and environment.
Wyoming Public Radio improves its signal in Torrington, and surrounding areas. The signal at 89.9, with call letters KEUW, includes Guerney and reaches into Nebraska, significantly improving Wyoming Public Radio’s signal in a critical part of Wyoming. Wyoming Public Radio is part of the Wyoming Public Media State Network, which provides three public radio services in Wyoming as well as an online service at wyomingpublicmedia.org. Wyoming Public Media serves as Wyoming’s NPR affiliate.
Ice jams in the Bighorn River have caused flooding, which in turn caused damage to several homes and businesses in northern Wyoming. High snowpack could bring more floods this spring. Troy Staples is the business preparedness manager for the Red Cross in Wyoming and Colorado. He teaches business owners how to be prepared in case natural disasters or other catastrophes strike their businesses. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov spoke with him. She asked why it’s so hard to re-open after a disaster.
Wyoming has a long tradition of sheep ranching. The first flocks arrived with Mormon pioneers in the eighteen-eighties. By the early nineteen-hundreds there were six million sheep and Wyoming led the nation in wool production. Now, there are fewer than 400-thousand sheep in the state and competition in the global market is stiff. But Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards visited one family that believes that—against all odds--the life of the flockmaster is worth keeping alive.
Wyoming’s statewide unemployment rate fell very slightly from four-point-four percent in December to four-point-three percent in January. The Wyoming Department of workforce services says most of the state saw improvement from the same time during previous year. But Economist David Bullard says it was not all good, noting that job growth was slow.
My name is Claire Dunne, I live in Worland Wyoming with my husband Richard Dunne, who’s also an NPR listener, and I’d like to tell you story of how we first found Wyoming Public Radio. We moved from a city to a farm in Manderson Wyoming in 1984 and for a year we couldn’t get any NPR reception.
A new report by the American Public Transportation Program shows that public transit use across the nation is on the rise, including in Wyoming. Jackson racked up its largest ridership ever this winter. Ridership on Cheyenne buses has increased as well. Joe Dougherty is director of the Cheyenne Transit Program. He says ridership has increased about 10 percent a year since 2006 to a high of almost 300,000 people in 2013. Dougherty says seniors and those with disabilities use the system regularly, and so do others.
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead made it official, he is running for re-election. In his announcement Mead said that he has helped enhance Wyoming’s business climate and has been successful fighting the federal government. He noted that when he took office the feds were not releasing coal leases.
Wyoming has some of the longest wildlife migration routes in the U.S. Animals travel in some cases over 100 miles from summer ranges to winter habitats. Protecting the migration routes is important for maintaining healthy populations. But land managers and other decision makers often don’t actually know where the animals travel. Now, scientists are tracking their routes. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
The Lincoln Highway is 100 years old this year, and Wyoming PBS will be screening a new documentary about it this weekend. Much of what was the Lincoln Highway in Wyoming is now Interstate 80, but parts of the original route are still separate. The film tells the story of the highway in Wyoming. Producer Tom Manning joins us now. He says the Lincoln Highway holds an important place in Wyoming’s history and in the history of the U.S. as a whole.
Our Engineers Shane Toven, Reid Fletcher and Ben Slater were hard at work replacing our transmitter and antenna to upgrade the 89.9 signal in Torrington. It's now running at 6000 watts, up from 250 watts.
For all our listeners in the Torrington area, 89.9 should be much stronger in the region.
When our Cultural Affairs and Production Director Micah Schweizer was out and about in Evanston, he found evidence of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team. This small Wyoming town helped train and send the Jamaican team to the 2014 Olympics.
A report by the National Park Service indicates that parks are major economic drivers for surrounding communities.
The report shows that park visitation generated more than $700 million in Wyoming in 2012 and supported thousands of jobs and local businesses. Nation-wide, tourists spent more than $26 billion when visiting parks.
Wyoming Republican John Barrasso is leading a fight in the U.S. Senate to change regulations on timber harvesting in national forests. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that environmentalists and foresters are suspicious of his idea.
Walt Niekamp and his wife, Dorothy, lived in Casper years ago where they taught in the Natrona County schools. He has never forgotten Wyoming’s hospitality and landscape. Walt describes how his love for Wyoming, as well as his own career in media, inspired him to support Wyoming Public Media.
A number of speakers asked the Legislature's Joint Labor and Health Committee to pass a bill that would expand Medicaid services in the state. However the committee adjourned and did not return to vote on the bill.
The measure would use federal money to provide insurance well over 17-thousand uninsured people in Wyoming. Supporters ranged from Laramie County who's concerned about raising taxes to make up for 12 million dollars in uncompensated care to those who can't afford health insurance.
The State Senate approved additional funding for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, but not without discussion.
The bill provides $14 million for the department to pay for health insurance and grizzly management. It’s intended to address financial issues within the Department, after a hunting license fee increase was defeated last year.
Senator Phil Nicholas says the fee hike was defeated because the Game and Fish has incurred the wrath of those who pay the fees.
Wyoming lawmakers are voting on the state budget this week and are considering proposals to strengthen the energy industry in the state.
15 million dollars is proposed for a facility to study the capture, sequestration, and management of carbon emissions from a coal fired power plant. Senator Jim Anderson of Glenrock says it’s important to the future of Wyoming Coal.
“Perhaps bring Wyoming into a new era and it would certainly in regard to our reliance on coal and other things that are carbon based be a blessing if in fact we could do this.”
Becky and Aaron Maddox own the Snowy Range Ski Area west of Laramie. Becky is a fourth generation Laramie resident, and Aaron grew up in Steamboat Springs.
The couple grew up skiing, and their love for the sport motivated them to invest their lives in Snowy Range. Becky and Aaron describe how the ski area is not only their business, but is their passion, their family, and their life.
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.
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.