Wyoming was once wet, balmy, and full of creatures like dinosaurs. Today, their fossils are slowly weathering out of the ground. If the bones happen to be on public land, researchers are granted permits to dig for them and the fossils have to end up in a public repository. But on private land, anyone can dig and they can do whatever they want with the specimens. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that commercial, or independent collectors, are sometimes eyed warily.
As schools look at new ways to improve education, in Thermopolis they are hoping that new technology and the access it brings to data bases, videos, and better access to the outside world will improve learning and teaching. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.
A school in Casper has started teaching some of its classes in Chinese. The idea is that the students in those classes will grow up bilingual. This is the first Chinese immersion program in a Wyoming school, but data from other states that have similar programs show a wide range of benefits. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
The Park County Board of Commissioners is concerned that its decision to comply with statewide environmental standards by building a new lined landfill cell will continue to take a financial toll on the County if the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality doesn’t act soon.
In order to renew their permits, the DEQ has required operators to prove their landfills aren’t leaking, or to build a leak-resistant lined landfill cell, or move their trash somewhere that’s leak-resistant. Park County built a new lined cell at the Cody landfill.
Author, poet, and filmmaker Sherman Alexie spent the past several days on the University of Wyoming campus as a guest of the American Indian Studies Program. His visit started with a public lecture--more like an improv comedy sketch about Native American identity--and Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer sat down with Alexie to discuss some of the themes in his talk.
How to deal with future variability in water supplies was the topic of conversation at a conference Wednesday about water use and energy development.
Wyoming Water Development Commission Director Harry LaBonde says managing the state’s water supply will require a multi-pronged approach: conservation, storage and weather modification, or cloud-seeding.
Now that the government shutdown is over, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks have re-opened, and local communities are hoping business will pick up again.
Scott Balyo with the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce says the area saw a 25 to 30 percent drop in business while the parks were closed.
“The first couple of days of the shutdown, we probably saw a slight increase in business, because people were hopeful that it would be short lived,” Balyo said. “So we had people who were willing to stay in the area and wait and see if the park would reopen.”
Grand Teton National Park has reopened after the federal government shutdown forced it to close for 16 days. The park furloughed about 200 employees and the remaining crew worked straight through the closure.
Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott says there were significant losses to gateway communities as well as to the park itself.
Over the past decade, traditional singer Julie Fowlis has built a career singing songs in the native language of her Scottish island home. Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer reached her by Skype in advance of her performance Friday, Oct. 18 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
The government shutdown has hobbled Teton County, gateway to two national parks. But just south of the barricades, the National Museum of Wildlife Art offers dramatic views of wild animals in a new photo exhibit.
When the parks are open, tourists cruising by might miss the museum discretely built into the hillside. With the parks closed, fewer tourists are making the trip. Being overlooked is a theme in a new exhibit ‘The Wild Wonders of Europe.’ Museum president and CEO Jim McNutt says it shows wildlife can be seen in unexpected places.
HOST: Wyoming was once wet, balmy, and full of creatures like dinosaurs. Today, their fossils are slowly weathering out of the ground. If the bones happen to be on public land, researchers are granted permits to dig for them and the fossils have to end up in a public repository. But on private land, anyone can dig and they can do whatever they want with the specimens. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that commercial, or independent collectors, are sometimes eyed warily.
Opinion is sharply divided on a proposed rule that would require water testing at oil and gas wells before and after drilling.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been taking public comment on the rule since August. Two dozen groups and individuals submitted written comments, and a handful spoke at a public hearing in Casper on Tuesday.
Bob LeResche is vice-chair of the Powder River Basin Resource Council, a group that represents landowners. He says as they stand, the rules have no teeth.
The University of Wyoming has solidified plans to provide financial aid to student veterans affected by the government shutdown.
Spokesman Chad Baldwin says UW has decided to assess each vet’s case individually, and will pay for tuition, university fees and on-campus housing expenses during the shutdown and hope for federal reimbursement later.
Baldwin says that the university is committed to providing this support because of a sense of responsibility towards student veterans.
The Wyoming legislature’s management council voted unanimously today/Tuesday to provide 100-thousand dollars to a special committee investigating State Superintendent Cindy Hill.
Hill is accused of mismanaging federal funds, abusing state resources, and creating a hostile work environment. Hill has denied the allegations.
Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau says they need extra help to complete what he says is a complicated investigation. Normally the Legislative Service Office helps lawmakers with this work, but he says the L-S-O is limited by law in what they can do.
The results of Adequate Yearly Progress for the last school year have been released and fewer schools met the required standard.
A-Y-P is a federal measure of achievement that's determined through A-C-T data and the Wyoming Proficiency Assessment. Schools that score poorly on A-Y-P can lose the ability to decide how they spend federal funds.
David Holbrook of the Wyoming Department of Education says that those interested in how their schools fared can look at the Department’s website.
Gooding is soul-stirring, animated Rock ‘n’ Roll from the plains. Guitarist/Singer and namesake “Gooding” and his band of brothers, Jesse Rich and Billy Driver, have been touring nonstop for 8 years. Their live shows are infused with the confident energy and heart-on-your-sleeve emotion that only comes from 3 childhood friends living out their dream on the road.
In college football, Wyoming bolted to a 21 point lead, but had to hold on Saturday to beat New Mexico 38 to 31.
The Cowboys jumped ahead 21-0, watched New Mexico tied it at 24 early in the fourth quarter, before Brett Smith scored on back to back touchdowns including a 48 yard run that put the game away. Smith was concerned that the offense stalled in the middle of the game, but he said once the Lobos tied it, it seemed to energize the team.
As the deadline to raise the nation’s debt ceiling nears, Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis says she’s willing to raise it with no strings attached.
Republicans continue to plummet in national polls and now they’re frantically looking for ways to reopen the entire federal government. Party leaders also want to avoid being blamed for potentially defaulting on the nation's debt.
Although she wants concessions from the White House, Congresswoman Lummis says she could support a temporary bill to extend the debt ceiling.
The forced closures of Wyoming’s national parks have frustrated tourists and slowed business in gateway communities, but tourism offices in the state are working to draw visitors to other locales that aren’t as strongly affected by the shutdown.
The Albany County Tourism Board has released a series of web graphics to encourage people to visit the region.
Spokeswoman Brittany Richards says they have spread virally over social media. One poster reads “The Tetons may be closed, but the Snowy Range is wide, wide open.”