Modern roller derby is a contact sport that features two teams roller skating on a track, attempting to score by passing players of the opposing team. While the sport’s origins can be traced back to beginning of the 20th century, it was revived in the early 2000s in Texas…BY women and FOR women.
Since then, teams have started up all over the world. Wyoming has been a late adopter of the sport, but women here are making up for lost time.
[AMBI Sports announcer: “And she makes it through! That is a grand slam folks!]
In this installment of Wyoming Stories, Stephanie Reutner interviews her neighbor Noel Richardson, both residents of Jelm. Richardson worked for the Forest Service in 1957, spraying trees against beetle kill around Cody and Yellowstone. He remembers a chef that cooked for the camp.
The chef, named Phonograph Jones, was in his 80s then and had also cooked for Buffalo Bill Cody and Prince Albert I on his trip to Wyoming 100 years ago. His great great grandson, Prince Albert II, is in Wyoming this week.
Hailing from the mountains and plains of Northern Wyoming, Luke Bell’s music is shaped by his lineage of ranchers, tobacco farmers and ministers. This young singer-songwriter naturally brings us a blend of the old time blues/country sound and contemporary lyricism about poverty, loss, hardship, and redemption.
Two years ago the Wyoming legislature asked the Wyoming Department of Health to look into the high costs of Medicaid services in the state. The legislature wanted them to find ways to reduce those costs and see if there were also ways to reform Wyoming’s Developmental Disability waiver program, which costs the state 151 million dollars a year.
Roughly a quarter of Teton County residents are living without health insurance. It's the worst rate of health coverage in the state. Beginning in October, those uninsured residents will have a new opportunity to get health insurance through a federally-operated exchange, or marketplace. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more.
REBECCA HUNTINGTON: Dana Gatt is a massage therapist. She's putting towels in a warmer to get ready for her next client.
The fate of a major art collection hangs in the balance, as the estate of renowned Cody artist Harry Jackson looks for a benefactor. And unless a donor steps forward, Jackson’s life work will be piecemealed to pay the bills.
Former lawyer turned fly fishing guide David Riley Bertsch has written a book dealing with both of his passions. Jake Trent is the main Character in the book called Death Canyon.
Trent is a former criminal lawyer turned fly fishing guide who runs a bed and breakfast in Jackson, Wyoming. But some a late season avalanche kills a skier, a French couple may have suffered a bear attack, and Jake himself finds the body of a tourist in fishing gear.
President Obama's call to postpone a vote on a military strike in Syria is being lauded by Wyoming lawmakers. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that while the administration is leaving a military option on the table as it pursues diplomacy, officials can’t expect much support from the Wyoming delegation.
MATT LASLO: Only a handful of lawmakers in the U.S. Senate have gone on record over authorizing military force in Syria. One of them is Wyoming Republican John Barrasso.
Real estate brokers across Wyoming and the west have been seeing more and more people buying ranches for investment purposes. In many cases, that’s changing the way the ranches function and affecting the communities around them. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
WILLOW BELDEN: Art Sigel is a retired chemical engineer from Chicago. Well, sort of retired. He’s no longer a chemical engineer. But now he and his wife own and operate a ranch in southeast Wyoming.
For the first time in decades, Americans are driving less—and Wyomingites are no exception. Driving in the state is down 12 percent from its peak in 2003, according to a new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
At more than 16,000 miles per person per year, Wyoming drivers still log more time on the road than residents of any other state, but the cutback in driving is helping close the gap, according to Phineas Baxandall, who did the analysis.
Labor Day weekend provided a great opportunity for everyone to attend the 5th Annual Snowy Range Music Festival in Laramie. Highlights of the weekend included the March Fourth Marching Band, and Leftover Salmon with guests musicians Sam Bush and Bill Payne (Little Feat). Also Travis Tritt, Jalan Crossland, Canned Heat and many more great musicians. WPR's Paul Montoya was on hand to help MC the event. Attending enjoyed great music, great food, and lots of sunshine.
This weekend marks the fifth annual Snowy Range Music Festival at the Albany County Fairgrounds. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer reports, the festival’s organizer has a grand vision, but it’s up to the region’s music lovers to see it fulfilled.
(MUSIC: Tab Benoit)
MICAH SCHWEIZER: Carl Gustafson’s dream hasn’t been without challenges. He started organizing the Snowy Range Music Festival in 2009.
CARL GUSTAFSON: “Here’s how bad it is…the first time that I had this, six weeks later I had a heart attack.”
We recently reported that an oil and gas company operating in Wyoming was fined by the federal Office of Natural Resource Revenue for not submitting production reports. Turns out, the company has a history of poor behavior in the state, fiscally and environmentally. Although Pure Petroleum’s gross neglect of its responsibilities is somewhat of an exception, it does point to big flaws in the oil and gas industry’s reclamation system.
Maize geneticist Anne Sylvester is studying corn to see whether she can control the way it conserves water. Her greenhouse on the University of Wyoming campus is set up to simulate the conditions of an Iowa cornfield.
Science can be fascinating, even to non-scientists. But when experts use a lot of industry jargon to explain their research, it can be hard to understand.
Now that funding for research is harder to come by, scientists need to do more to win over the public’s hearts and minds to back their work. The National Science Foundation will be hosting a workshop at the University of Wyoming to help scientists, engineers and other academics to communicate with the rest of us about their research.
Author Ron Carlson new novel “Return to Oakpine” tells the story of four high school buddies reuniting in their fictional Wyoming hometown, now that they’ve reached middle age.
One character, Jimmy Brand, is dying of AIDS, and he and his friends get their high school garage band back together one last time. Carlson tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez that this is a “quieter” book, in which the reader keeps company with these characters.
This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories. Today, we’ll hear from a burlesque performer. Her stage name is Stella Fox, and she talks with her fiancée, Jonathan Green, about her burlesque career.
The piece was produced by Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden with interviews recorded at StoryCorps. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.
It has never been easy to start a small business or to keep it going. Acquiring startup money is always one of the challenges. In Wyoming, officials say they want to develop more businesses, but unless you are a technology company, it can be difficult to find the necessary support. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
BOB BECK: Laramie Economic Development Director Dan Furphy says funding small businesses is scary for lenders.
A new group is convinced that, with a little coaching, Jackson Hole can become the Silicon Valley of the Rockies. In fact, this ad hoc group has even taken the name Silicon Couloir. (Coo-LAR) They're convinced that within the state the investors exist to help grow more startup businesses. But what's lacking is a venue for investors and entrepreneurs to meet. The possible solution is known as Pitch Day.
Now, for the latest edition in our occasional series, Upstarts, we’ll hear from a stay-at-home mom who launched a multimedia publishing company from her kitchen table in Laramie. Kati Hime is the owner and editor of three high-quality magazines that focus on life in and across the Cowboy State. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
Wyoming landscape painter Kathryn Turner grew up on Triangle X Ranch in Grand Teton National Park surrounded by dramatic views of her favorite subject, the Tetons.
And in her words, she’s spent the past 20 years trying to do them justice. “And they are challenging! And what makes them challenging is they’re always changing, with the light, with the seasons, with the way the clouds move over them, obscuring them, changing the shadows. So they provide a lifetime of material,” added Turner.
Wyoming exported more goods to foreign markets in 2012 than in 2011.
Total revenue went from 1-point-2 billion dollars to 1-point-4 billion dollars. The largest market is Canada, followed by Australia and Brazil. Machinery and raw commodities like coal, and oil and gas are the top exports.
C-E-O of the Wyoming Business Council, Bob Jensen, says there are several factors that contributed to the growth.
His film and TV credits include the recent Smurfs movies, Shrek 2, and Rugrats, but screenwriter David Weiss also attracts attention for his faith. He grew up a secular Jew, converted to Christianity, and later became an observant orthodox Jew. That’s the subject of his lectures Friday and Saturday at the Chabad Jewish Center in Jackson. Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer reached Weiss by phone as he was driving from Los Angeles to Santa Monica to work on a script.
Roughly three years ago, two women undertook an effort to take a group of middle school girls in Jackson under their wing with the goal of helping them get into college. The effort is called College Bound Latinas and the program has had some early success. But a recent interaction with a University of Wyoming Professor is taking the girls even further as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
With Congress in recess for the month President Obama is preparing to continue pressuring Republicans to work with him on job creation. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that Wyoming’s congressional delegation says that while his speeches rev up his base he still isn’t trying to work with the GOP.
Today, the long awaited ground breaking for the 41 million dollar Wind River Job Corps took place. The project was first conceived in 2005 and thanks to support of Senator Mike Enzi it finally received federal approval. It’s the first Job Corps for Wyoming which is the only state without such a facility.
Sandy Barton of the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services or BOCES spearheaded the effort from the start. She told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it will have a major impact on Fremont County and the state.
Science has long been something we look to for answers. But when it comes to policy making, science can’t always provide the clear solutions lawmakers and the public want. That has to do with how science works and the politics that sometimes infiltrate. Two issues in Wyoming demonstrate uncannily well the shortcomings of science when it comes to decision making in the environmental sphere.
IRINA ZHOROV: Remember that scene in Ghostbusters, when Bill Murray’s character is pursuing a seemingly irrelevant line of questioning with a laid out woman as a concerned man stands by?