Hillery Lynn, Birgit Burke, and Pryce Taylor make up the local Laramie band Whiskey Slaps. Hillery has been playing guitar, singing and writing songs most of her life. Birgit has been writing songs, singing, and playing various musical instruments most of her life as well. Their songwriting, guitar playing and mandolin playing lift elements from 1920’s blues, old-time, Appalachian folk and country western. Pryce Taylor joins on electric and upright bass, grounding the songs with solid rhythm.
While some states are considering using their own money to open national parks and help underfunded federal programs which are struggling due to the federal shutdown…Wyoming will not participate.
Governor Matt Mead says there is no doubt that the federal shutdown has far reaching implications, but his spokesman, Renny MacKay, says the state has no intention of spending state money on federal programs.
State agencies say they continue to work on contingency plans in case key programs run out of money.
Women still only make up a small percentage of all hunters, but that number has increased significantly in recent years. Now, organizations like the Wyoming Women’s Foundation want to encourage more growth through mentorship. The group says hunting is an important way to teach self-sufficiency and economic independence. Wyoming Public Radio's Irina Zhorov tagged along on the state's inaugural Women's Antelope Hunt and filed this report.
A noted historian says that cross dressing was common in the historic old West.
Washington State University Professor Peter Boag spoke on sexuality and gender issues of the American West at the University of Wyoming. Boag says it was a man’s world in the 19th century, so it was not unusual to find that some women dressed like men.
HOST INTRO: As the government shutdown continues, the impacts are evident in Teton County where the economy is closely tied to federal lands and federal workers. Rebecca Huntington has more from Jackson.
REBECCA HUNTINGTON: Foreign visitors inspect a three-D model of Jackson Hole and use the public restrooms at the Home Ranch welcome center, located on the main highway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. This is where the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce has set up a temporary table to help tourists locked out of national parks by the government shutdown.
Historically, many museums have been neatly divided: by genre, by artist, by time period. Now curators are mixing up exhibits, so works are in conversation (or in contrast) with one another. A prime example is the Whitney Western Art Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in Cody. Curator Mindy Besaw explains why she displays old and new works side by side.
Based in Laramie, Alice Freeman provides unforgettable music on her pedal harp, traditional Celtic harp, carbon fiber Celtic harp or hammered dulcimer. Alice is certified as a Healing Musician, a Therapeutic Harp Practitioner and a Clinical Musician. She maintains a private practice providing soothing harp music at bedside in several local health care facilities.
Listen to her harp rendition of a traditional Scottish tune, "Mist Covered Mountains" by John Cameron.
Starting October first, Wyomingites will be able to go online and shop for medical insurance coverage from the participating providers in the state’s insurance marketplace.
Under the healthcare marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act, Wyomingites will be able to choose from about 16 plans, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. The average premium for the cheapest, medium-coverage plan will be $489 per month. That’s the most expensive in the country.
More than 500 industry people gathered in Jackson this week for the 17th Annual Wyoming Oil and Gas Fair. Wyoming Public Radio’s energy and natural resources reporter, Stephanie Joyce was there, and she joins us now to talk about the event.
BOB BECK: So, what are the biggest issues on the mind of Wyoming’s oil and gas industry right now?
Last week we ran a story concerning proposed cuts in the Developmental Disability waiver program. The belief is that there are some in the program getting more money than they need.
Advocacy groups and those in the program worry that cuts could actually take money away from those who need services. Senator Charles Scott is the Chairman of the Senate Labor, Health and Social Services Committee. He joins Bob Beck to explain the legislature’s position on the issue.
In this time of job insecurity and a changing medical landscape, the University of Wyoming’s School of Pharmacy Education is graduating dozens of doctoral students who – for the most part – can count on a securing a good-paying job once they get their degree, if not before. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
(phone rings, “Thank you for calling Walgreens…”)
REBECCA MARTINEZ: Sarah Pence is a pharmacist at Walgreens in Laramie. She says her store fills hundreds of medications on a daily basis, and there’s a lot she loves about her job.
September is suicide prevention awareness month. Wyoming consistently has one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation, and the state is working hard to change that.
One of the reasons that suicide prevention efforts are so important is because of what suicide does to the family and friends of the victim. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that the grief survivors go through can be much more acute than other types of grief.
The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service wants Grizzly Bears taken off the Endangered Species list, but the agency's effort has been blunted by the courts. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on the battle over Wyoming's Grizzlies.
MATT LASLO: In 1975 government officials worried the west could one day be grizzly-less. Using the Endangered Species Act the government became a great protector of the Bears that play a vital role in the region's ecosystem. But by 2007 the federal government recorded a massive rebound in the population, so they delisted Grizzly Bears.
National AARP President Rob Romasco is in the state this week for some activities with the Wyoming Chapter of the organization. He tells Bob Beck that Social Security and Medicare remain important issues.
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.