The state Board of Education met in Casper today to adopt some state standards, including a controversial set of national Next Generation Science Standards. The legislature prohibited the Board from adopting those standards. Bob Beck joins us to talk about what happened at the meeting.
About 60 Jackson residents remain under an evacuation order due to a slow-moving landslide on the lower flank of East Gros Ventre Butte that has buckled pavement, cracked retaining walls and undermined water lines.
Some homes in the Budge Drive Hillside area are not at direct risk from the slide. But the slide has compromised the only road to the homes and broken the main waterline. During a tour of the area today, Jackson Fire Chief Willy Watsabaugh said those problems make it unsafe to reoccupy those homes at this time.
The State Board of Education today deferred taking action on the Next Generation Science Standards for Wyoming students. The legislature, during the last session, barred the Board from adopting the national standards wholesale and today’s meeting left no clear resolution and no clear plan on when Wyoming might see science standards and what they would look like. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck was at the meeting. He says many people came out to support the standard’s passing.
Former U.S. Senator Al Simpson is appearing is a commercial in support of marriage equality, which is airing across Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.
Wyoming currently does not allow same sex marriage. Simpson not only supports gay marriage but also says same-sex couples should be treated the same as heterosexual couples, when it comes to having or adopting children.
“I have seen the most dysfunctional children come out of a union of a man and wife that I have yet to observe out of a same sex couple," Simpson says.
The first rare earth minerals mine to open in the U.S. in decades could be here in Wyoming. Permitting gets underway this week for the Bear Lodge mine, near Sundance. Rare earths are a group of metals that are critical to high tech devices like smartphones and lasers. They’re currently mined almost exclusively in China. Rare Element Resources’ George Byers says the company is hoping to change that.
They’ve been called the secret ingredient of everything. Rare earths are a group of elements that make much of today’s technology possible, from smartphones to wind turbines to precision-guided missiles. For decades, China has dominated the rare earth market, but amid questions about the wisdom of allowing one country to control the supply chain, a mining project in Wyoming is getting underway. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, if the mine opens, it would be only be the second one in the United States and the first new one in decades.
Several years ago, there were days when air pollution in Pinedale was worse than in Los Angeles. Residents complained of respiratory problems, and visits to local medical clinics increased. In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency said the area was violating federal air quality standards, and gave Wyoming three years to fix the problem. Since then, air quality has been better. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports, nobody knows whether the problem is really fixed, and some worry that the state is not doing enough to prevent similar problems from happening elsewhere.
It’s been called miner's phthisis, grinder's asthma, potter's rot. Silicosis is a disease of the lungs that’s caused by inhaling tiny particles of crystalline silica dust, basically sand. Those particles cut the lung tissue, causing inflammation and scarring that make it difficult to breathe.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill will soon be returning to lead the Wyoming Department of Education. Unless you’ve been under rock, you know that the Superintendent had her ability to oversee the department removed by the legislature and the governor last year.