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Legislative
5:56 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Legislature Kills High Profile Bills

Wyoming lawmakers killed a number of high profile bills Tuesday that failed to meet the requirement that legislation receive two-thirds support before it can be considered. 

One of those bills would have decriminalized marijuana.  Casper Representative Steve Harshman strongly opposed the bill. 

"What’s going on south of us with an all cash business, and with cartels moving in, this is a real serious issue," Harshman said. "I’d vote no on this, I’d say no on this, I’d send the right message to our kids. "

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Legislative
5:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Senate Debates State Park Fee Distribution

Credit Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

The Wyoming Senate has given initial support to a bill that would allow State Parks to use entrance fees on things besides major building projects.  But not everyone loves the idea. 

Senate Majority Floor Leader Phil Nicholas of Laramie said it was difficult to raise park fees to pay for important capital construction and major maintenance  projects and argued that it would be wrong to use the money for another purpose.

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Wyoming Stories
9:13 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Jackson Rodeo Legends Bill And Martha Saunders

Bill and Martha Saunders

Bill and Martha Saunders are long-time Jackson residents. The couple was instrumental in founding the Jackson Hole Ski Club, and their family was also central in Wyoming's rodeo scene. Bill and Martha share memories of their rodeo experiences, including Martha's tour with the Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry.

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News
7:24 am
Tue February 11, 2014

N. Arapaho Tribe Says A Stay On EPA’s Border Decision Could Provide “Breathing Room”

The Northern Arapaho Tribe has written a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to put the brakes on an agency decision regarding the Wind River Reservation’s borders.

The EPA recently granted the Wind River Indian Reservation status as a state for the purpose of air monitoring, and in the process determined that Riverton is on tribal land. That decision has brought up civil and criminal jurisdictional issue for the city, and the state has requested that the EPA hold off on implementing it.

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Arts
7:00 am
Tue February 11, 2014

The Art Behind Creating An Art Exhibition

Curator of Collections Nicole Crawford and Chief Preparator Sterling Smith contemplate a sculpture's placement.
Credit Micah Schweizer

The University of Wyoming Art Museum’s spring exhibitions are now open to the public. Current displays feature everything from visiting artist Bently Spang’s burnt tree rubbings to student and faculty work to American Gothic landscapes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a look at what goes into putting all that art on the wall.

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Legislative
6:16 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Lawmakers Need More Information Before They Can React To Hill Ruling

There is still a long ways to go before the Wyoming legislature is able to react to the Wyoming Supreme Court ruling concerning State Superintendent Cindy Hill. 

The Supreme Court ruled that the law that removed powers from Hill was unconstitutional.  But before the legislature can react to that ruling it needs more information.  

House Majority Floor Leader Kermit Brown says that is likely to come from the District Court who may soon get the case.                  

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Legislative
3:56 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Mead Calls State Strong, Pushes Water Policy

Governor Matt Mead said that Wyoming is strong and getting stronger.  During his annual State of the State address before the legislature, Mead urged lawmakers to invest in Wyoming.

"This investment should include increased support for local government, funding to complete a unified network, increased funding for school and courtroom security, for the elderly and those with developmental disabilities and for upgrading state institutions and facilities.  Pay raises for teachers,UW, and other state employees."

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News
3:53 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Wyo. Chief Justice Addresses Superintendent Ruling

Credit Cindy Hill Superintendent

Wyoming Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kite acknowledges that the court's decision in the superintendent of public instruction case has created concern and challenges.

Kite says there's nothing to be done now but for lawmakers, the governor and the court to embrace those challenges and fulfill their respective constitutional obligations.

Kite addressed the issue at the start of her State of Judiciary speech before a joint legislative session Monday.

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Legislative
3:41 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Troy Mader Replaces Former Rep. Wallis In House

Sue Wallis

The Campbell County Commission has selected Troy Mader as the new representative for House District 52, replacing the late Rep. Sue Wallis.

Legislative leaders said he will be sworn in on Tuesday and begin serving in the Legislature immediately.

Wallis died in January at age 56.

Mader has served as a precinct representative for the Campbell County Republican Party.

He says his first priority for the current legislative session will be to make connections in the Legislature while learning the ropes.

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Topic of the Week
11:03 am
Mon February 10, 2014

What are your thoughts on the Wyoming Early Childhood Education Bill?

What are your thoughts on the Wyoming Early Childhood Education Bill?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

News
9:29 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Study Says Small Gardens Can Be As Productive As Factory Farms

In collaboration with the University of Wyoming, a local food advocacy group conducted a study to find out just how many vegetables a backyard garden in Wyoming can produce.  The project is called Team G.R.O.W., or Gardening Research of Wyoming. 

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News
7:12 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Megatons-to-Megawatts Program Ends

A program that recycled Russian nuclear weapons into fuel-grade uranium has run its course, and Wyoming Mining Association Director Marion Loomis says that may leave more room in the marketplace for Wyoming’s uranium. 

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News
6:25 am
Mon February 10, 2014

24/7 Sobriety Program Bill To Be Considered In Wyoming Legislature

Under the program, individuals who are awaiting trials or hearings for alcohol-related misdemeanors would be released from jail provided they agree to a once- or twice-a-day sobriety test.  Judges may also order the individuals participate in the program after adjudication.

Jackson Representative Keith Gingery says that South Dakota piloted the 24/7 Sobriety Program.  He says when a group of legislators went to Rapid City to see the program first hand, they saw a line of people waiting for their turn at an intoximeter.

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News
6:03 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Inspector General Focuses On Coal Leasing Problems

Coal sales in western states are under increased scrutiny from lawmakers after revelations of problems including reserves of the fuel sold at prices below market value.

A letter from the U.S. Department of Interior Inspector General released Friday shows federal officials in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico accepted below-market bids for coal or sold the fuel without full appraisals.

Inspectors said that violated federal rules including the 1920 Mineral Leasing Act, which requires coal sales to be competitive.

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News
6:01 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Wyo. Lawmakers Wrestle With Superintendent Ruling

Credit Cindy Hill Superintendent

A panel of Wyoming lawmakers is drafting a bill that could lead to a special legislative session to deal with fallout from the state Supreme Court decision in the superintendent of public instruction case.

The state Supreme Court ruled 3-2 last week that a law enacted last year that took away many of the superintendent's duties was unconstitutional. The court said the Legislature went too far.

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News
5:56 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

State Lands Board Votes To Support Teton Land Exchange

The State Lands Board voted yesterday four-to-one to support an agreement that would trade 1,300 acres of prime wildlife habitat in Grand Teton National Park for federally-owned property. The state is obligated by law to manage or sell state lands to maximize revenues for the State Education Trust.  But the land in question is appraised at $107 million, if commercially developed.

The Grand Teton Conservation Association’s Sharon Mader says ideally the feds would have bought the land outright, but the swap would still be a great boon for Wyoming schools.  

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News
5:16 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Michigan Musher Shares His Obsession With Wyoming Sled-Dog Racing

www.magnussonracing.com/blog/

Sixteen sled dog teams are racing more than 300 miles this week across western Wyoming and neighboring states. This is the nineteenth year for the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. This weekend is the end of the 8-day race that started in Jackson and finished in Evanston. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington caught up with one of the racers, Bruce Magnusson.

CROWD: Go dogs, go!

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Open Spaces
4:42 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

February 7th, 2014

Federal Courts’ Distance From Wind River Reservation A Hardship

Major crimes committed on the Wind River Indian Reservation end up in federal court. But federal courthouses in Wyoming are really far from the reservation, which leads to logistical, constitutional, and social problems. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.  

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Federal Courts’ Distance From Wind River Reservation A Hardship

Federal Court House in Cheyenne.

Major crimes committed on the Wind River Indian Reservation end up in federal court. But federal courthouses in Wyoming are really far from the reservation, which leads to logistical, constitutional, and social problems. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.  

IRINA ZHOROV: John Crispin’s son was murdered in 2011. He told me about it on a snowy night in the parking lot of a convenience store in Ethete, Wyoming, on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

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Open Spaces
4:25 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Author Blames Drugs For Matthew Shepard Murder

The common story behind the murder of Matthew Shepard is that he was targeted in Laramie’s fireside bar because he was gay and was the victim of a robbery.  Law enforcement authorities say that Shepard was driven to the edge of Laramie and tied to a fence by Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. 

He was then pistol whipped and left for dead.  But for years some say there was more to the crime then that and author Steve Jimenez has explored those rumors.  His book called “The Book of Matt.  Hidden Truths about the murder of Matthew Shepard” paints a different narrative.

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Law Professor Discusses Report Claiming Federal Coal Lease System ‘Out Of Date’

Mark Squillace
Credit colorado.edu

The Government Accountability Office released a report earlier this week that outlined problems in the federal coal leasing system. The report called the Bureau of Land Management’s process ‘out of date.’

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Open Spaces
4:16 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid To Be Featured On American Experience

Credit Courtesy of PBS

On Tuesday the latest PBS American Experience will explore the lives of the famous western Outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Writer and Director John Maggio looks closely into their lives.

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Open Spaces
4:08 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Outdoor Enthusiasts Lock Horns Over Emerging Sport Of Snow Biking

Bikers take off on the first ever snow bike race in southeast Wyoming.
Credit Willow Belden

If you’ve been out snow shoeing or cross country skiing this winter, you may have noticed bicycle tire marks on the trails. That’s because of a new sport called snow biking. It’s gaining popularity fast, and cyclists and bike shops are thrilled. But some skiers feel the bikes present safety risks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
4:00 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Conversation Expert Says It’s Important To Have A Plan

Credit Debra Fine

On Thursday acclaimed author and speaker Debra Fine will appear at the University of Wyoming Ballroom at 4:30  discussing the art of a conversation.  Fine is a former engineer and the founder of the company called The Fine Art of Small Talk.

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Open Spaces
3:55 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

StoryCorps: Pete Simpson Discusses His Parents And Growing Up Near Heart Mountain

Credit StoryCorps

This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories.

Today, we hear from two members of one of Wyoming’s most famous families.  Milward Simpson, the grandson of former Governor and U.S. Senator Milward Simpson, interviews his father Pete Simpson, a noted historian, educator, Republican nominee for Governor, and former legislator.  They begin their conversation talking about Pete’s parents.  

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Wyoming Stories
8:34 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Wild Times At The Stagecoach Bar

Wilden and Phil Round

Phil Round is a guitarist and singer from Jackson Hole.  He’s a member of the fabled Stagecoach Band, which holds down a weekly Sunday night gig and dance at the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson. Phil shares some early memories from the bar with his son, Wilden.

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News
6:42 am
Fri February 7, 2014

CMS Launches Rural Healthcare Demonstration Project

In an effort to increase medical services to rural communities, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are now accepting applications for the Frontier Community Health Integration Project (F-CHIP).

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News
5:17 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Barrasso Gets Pushback On His Timber Proposal

Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso received pushback from the chief of the U.S. Forest Service on his bill to expand timber harvesting on federal lands. 

Barrasso’s legislation would greatly expand the Forest Service’s timber program throughout western states. The senator says it would create jobs and provide a new funding stream for schools in rural areas. Environmentalists accuse Barrasso of trying to gut environmental laws. At a hearing on the bill Thomas Tidwell, the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, told Barrasso he’s wary of how the bill undoes regulations.  

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News
4:51 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Lawmaker Proposes Plan To Fund Substance Abuse Prevention

The Wyoming state legislature may consider a bill that would divert funds from the alcohol tax to programs that provide treatment for substance abuse.

It’s estimated that alcohol abuse costs the state 843 million dollars a year.

Casper representative Bunky Loucks is sponsoring the bill. He says the bill would ta

ke 15 percent of the funds raised from alcohol tax, or roughly two million dollars and give it to the Wyoming Department of Health to help combat substance abuse.

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News
4:41 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

SLIB Grants 13 Million To Gun Related Company

The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board has approved $13 million in grants to help a Colorado producer of ammunition magazines for guns move its manufacturing operations to Wyoming.

Erie, Colo.-based Magpul Industries is moving its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne and its headquarters to Texas. The company is making good on its vow to leave Colorado after that state enacted gun control laws last year.

Magpul will bring about 90 new jobs to Cheyenne.

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