wyoming

A Play Date With Art

Jul 30, 2014

"Into the Arts: A Personal Journey" shares stories of adults in Jackson Hole who are discovering, rediscovering or furthering their artistic talents. In this vignette, Alex and Kay schedule encaustic painting "play dates."

B. Smith via Flickr Creative Commons

For the first time in decades, scientists are excavating fossils from an 80-foot-deep cave in North Central Wyoming.

The cave is called “Natural Trap Cave,” because it’s become the final resting place for countless animals in past centuries—including many now-extinct ones like mammoths, short-faced bears, and American lions.

Julie Meachen is a paleontologist at Des Moines University. She’ll rappel into the cave with a team of 15 others.

The Western Energy Alliance released a report this week on sage grouse protection measures used by the oil and gas industry. Though the report claims that the industry is doing enough to protect grouse, a local conservationist disagrees.

Erik Molvar is a biologist and campaign director with WildEarth Guardians. He says that the Bureau of Land Management’s own research disputes the WEA findings.

Wallpaperslot.com

The Center for Western Priorities has started a new campaign to show political candidates how important land conservation is to voters.

The campaign is called “Winning the West” and includes paid advertisements, a website, and a series of public events across several western states.

Greg Zimmerman is the policy director at the Center. He says the campaign was started after a Colorado College poll showed that voters across the political spectrum voted for candidates who support land conservation.

The face of Wyoming is changing, slowly but steadily, according to Wyoming’s Principal Economist Wenlin Liu, who says the state will continue to see ethnic diversity as people move here to work. There has been a 17-percent increase in all ethnic groups between 2010 and 2013. Meanwhile, white population growth was only a little over one percent.

Liu says minority populations are also keeping the median age lower than the national average by as much as a year.

A New Perspective: Courage And Passion In Photography

Jul 23, 2014

J Stephan Conn via Flickr

A small town in northeastern Wyoming is now on the market.

The town of Aladdin is home to 15 people, and sits on thirty acres near Devil’s Tower. Judy Brengle and her husband Rick bought the town in 1986.

She says being the mayor, store manager, chief of police, and cleaning person over the years has been tough, but rewarding.

‘There are a lot of people who don’t understand how much work it is to keep everything going. But it is a great place to live and a great place to raise kids and living in Wyoming is pretty wonderful.”

Ben Slater

Dakota Dave Hull is one of America’s premier finger-style guitarists. Based in Minnesota, Dakota Dave logs a lot of miles touring, so here’s a composition that fades out like the highway receding in the rear-view mirror.

Stephanie Joyce

Governor Matt Mead may be changing his mind when it comes to expanding Medicaid services for low income people in the state. After publicly rejecting the notion of Medicaid expansion late last year, the governor says he is negotiating in good faith with the federal department of Health and Human Services to develop a Wyoming specific Medicaid expansion plan. 

Miles Bryan

Last week we told you about how the cost of building a new high school in Rawlins is running millions of dollars more than was expected. Costs are up because construction companies can’t find enough workers in Wyoming. And it isn’t easy to bring them in from out of state.

Jeremy Smith is the Business Manager for Sheridan’s School District One in Ranchester. I met him on a beautiful morning in Northern Wyoming, and he’s excited to show me the new Tongue River Elementary school--or at least the the rolling pasture where the school should be.

Melodie Edwards

Too many jobs, not enough bodies. That’s the dilemma of many Wyoming construction companies these days that can’t keep up with the building demands of the state’s energy boom. An influx of Latino workers are moving to Wyoming to take up the slack. And national figures show that Hispanics lead the nation in fatal injuries. And with Wyoming having one of the worst records for workplace fatalities, the question is: are Latinos putting themselves in the line of fire? 

www.peteilloway.com

Pete Illoway has a background in working for both the U-S and State Department of Agriculture, Wycon Chemical Company, Coastal Chem, Inc. and the economic development operation Cheyenne Leads. He is currently a consultant and lobbyist. Illoway was a state representative from 1998 to 2012. 

During that time he chaired a committee that worked closely with the Secretary of State’s office. He joins Bob Beck.

Learn more about Pete Illoway.

Bill Winney

Three Republicans are seeking the nomination for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. One of them is Bill Winney. He is a retired Naval Officer who wants to bring that leadership experience to help run the state department of education. In the Navy he trained a number of people and says training and education were a key part of his career.

Miles Bryan

A group of artists marking 1821 border between the United States and Mexico traveled through Wyoming over the weekend.

Marcos Ramirez and David Taylor are the artists behind the project, called ‘Delimitations.’ It aims to trace the original, 2,300-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico.

That historic border runs through Medicine Bow National Forest here in Wyoming.

Community And Camaraderie: Tap Dancing Your Way To Happiness

Jul 16, 2014

"Into the Arts: A Personal Journey" shares stories of adults in Jackson Hole who are discovering, rediscovering or furthering their artistic talents. In this vignette, we meet Debbie Schlinger who brings her "sassy self" to Amelia Terrapin's adult tap class at Dancers' Workshop. The mental and physical challenges along with the comaraderie are why Debbie shows up each week.

americanindian.net

In coming years, visitors to Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation will see new historical perspectives on roadside signs and markers. That’s the proposed outcome of the new Wind River Interpretive Plan. It's believed to be the first such collaboration between tribes and state government on a reservation-wide interpretive plan.

A coalition of science advocacy groups have launched what they’re calling a Climate Science Bill of Rights to push for climate change to be taught in schools around the country. The campaign says all students deserve to explore the causes and consequences of climate change, free from political interference.

The groups behind the bill include Climate Parents, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the National Center for Science Education and the Alliance for Climate Education. 

commons.wikimedia.org

The clock is ticking about whether to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species.  Such a listing could all but shut down mineral development in the bird’s habitat.  The state has already tackled sage grouse protections.  Now it’s the federal government’s turn.  It’s been 30 years since the Lander Resource Management Plan was revised.  And so the Bureau of Land Management took the opportunity to put more protections in place for the grouse while they were at it. 

The Lander Resource Management Plan is hundreds of pages and covers a lot of ground. 

Rock Springs Republican Clark Stith is one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Secretary of State.  Stith practices business law and is on the Rock Springs City Council.  He is also the former chairman of the Sweetwater County Republican Party.  Stith tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that one thing he’d like to do is streamline the office.

Stephanie Joyce

In the first quarter of 2014, the United States surpassed both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. It already hit that mark for natural gas late last year. All of that oil and gas has to be transported from the fields where it’s drilled to refineries and processing plants, and most of that is done by pipeline, but the nation’s pipeline infrastructure isn’t currently up to the task.

Aaron Schrank

It’s a tense public meeting in Rawlins. School District officials here recently learned that the latest contractor bid to build a new Rawlins High School is $7 million dollars over budget. Carbon County School District 1 Superintendent Fletcher Turcato says Rawlins isn’t interested in making cuts.

“Four months ago, we were within budget—and because of a bidding climate, now they want us to continue to take money out of this project,” Turcato said. “That’s not going to happen. The Board said it’s not going to happen. We’re not going to do that to the people of Rawlins.”

Bob Beck

Many people have ideas for small businesses, but not many of them quit their day jobs to try something unique, especially when it’s something they know little about. But that’s exactly what the Pollock family of Casper did in starting Backwards Distilling Company

“My son’s an absinth drinker and absinth is hard to come by and he and she were talking… why don’t we just make some make some… and then we all looked at each other and we all stopped and went hmmm.”

Dan Hayward

This was almost the year of the thoroughbred horse, with California Chrome's run for the elusive Triple Crown. But here's the story of a smaller, scrappier horse that overcame long odds with the help of a Wyoming family. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer has this postcard from a visit with the Spanish Mustang.

Living history comes thundering over the ridge. This is America’s original horse.

Micah Schweizer

Fresh off the 2014 release of ‘Dave and the Gin Mill Gypsies’, Laramie guitarist, singer, and songwriter David Wiatrolik assembles a stripped down trio (Dana Robertson, drums and Luke Woodbury, bass) to perform live at the WPM studios.

What's the most under reported issue in the state?

Jul 11, 2014

What's the most under reported issue in the state? 

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Learning To Play: Musical Pursuits And A Childhood Wish

Jul 2, 2014

This week’s Supreme Court ruling on the EPA and its ability to regulate carbon is a mixed bag for Wyoming officials and energy producers. It sets the stakes even higher for Republicans in the state who are determined to derail a pending EPA rule on climate change.  

Like most all things here in Washington these days, the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the EPA is being read along party lines. But Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi says it’s not just partisanship. He says your opinion also hinges on where you’re reading.

As energy development increases across the country many states are starting to look into whether or not it would be a good idea to set up data bases to track possible health impacts directly attributed to energy development.  Colorado has developed an extensive system within its Department of Health to track and investigate health care impacts.  The State of Wyoming has not developed such a data base. Doctor Tracy Murphy is the state epidemiologist. He says the Department of Health rare fields calls of that nature.

Wyoming ranks 16th in the nation when it comes to meeting the long term health care needs of older residents.  The ranking comes from a comprehensive state by state scorecard developed by AARP, the Commonwealth fund, and SCAN foundation. 

In Wyoming unpaid family caregivers provide the bulk of care for older Wyoming residents, in part because long term care is unaffordable for most middle income families.  AARP Wyoming’s Associate Director Tim Lockwood says things aren’t all that bad in the state, but they could be better.

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