Open Spaces
1:43 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

June 17th, 2011

Listen to the whole show

A listing of today's stories:

A Conversation with Governor Matt Mead
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is engaged in a lawsuit to stop the new federal health care law. But at the same time he is pushing the state forward in developing a health care exchange system, and looking at other ways to improve health care in the state. The governor joins us to discuss a range of issues, but we begin with health care. Governor Mead says this will remain a priority.

Rare earth elements: the view from Washington

The U-S could be just a few years away from a serious shortage of critical minerals used to make a wide range of modern technologies. Senator John Barrasso wants to highlight the issue – which relates to the economy, national security and his broader opposition to regulatory red tape.

Wyoming’s future in rare earths
Next, a look at a specific plan for mining rare earth elements here in Wyoming. Last fall, Wyoming Public Radio’s Tristan Ahtone reported on the global race to produce rare earths and its progress in this state. In this update, he says that recent exploration work in the northeast corner of Wyoming could position the state as a major player. Those discoveries are at the proposed site of the Bear Lodge mine in Crook County.

Accountability Legislation Continues Moving Forward
During the recent legislative session, lawmakers passed a pair of bills designed to increase accountability in Wyoming’s public schools. Combined, those bills focus on school and student achievement, and they are intended to better measure what is happening in both classrooms and whole schools. A legislative committee is working on follow-up legislation to design the measurements that go along with the law. Wyoming Education Association President Kathryn Valido says she likes where things are heading…

Voices From The Sublette County Boom

In western Wyoming, Sublette County’s natural gas boom is now a decade old. Last summer, the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center began an oral history project to document the local energy boom. The voices in this piece belong to Cally McKee, Leslie Rozier, Laurie Latta, Ward Wise, Steve Smith, Carolyn Bing, Mary Lynn Worl, Mike Nomis, Ann Noble, Linda Baker, Albert Sommers, Meredith Noble and Prill Mecham and come to us courtesy of U-W’s American Heritage Center.

Wyoming May Find A New Way To Recruit Doctors
Wyoming, much like other rural states, has a difficult time recruiting and keeping doctors in some of the states smaller communities. But the Community Apgar project may help. Named after a research doctor… it’s a data collection and feedback system that helps very small or what are called Critical Care hospitals refine the way they recruit.

Expert Has Tips For New Gardeners

Spring in Wyoming often means snow showers and freezing nights that suddenly give way to steady warmth and sun. Sometimes the change is so quick that, for novice gardeners, it’s hard to know just how and when to get plants in the ground. Shane Smith, the founder and director of the Cheyenne Botanic Garden, has decades of experience at getting things to grow in Wyoming. And he says the first step, for the beginning backyard gardener, is establishing good beds – which means getting rid of turf.

The Legend Of The Wyoming Jackalope
In 1985 Wyoming governor Ed Herschler named Douglas Wyoming the official home of the jackalope. In this final installment of her series on Wyoming animals. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kelly Herbinson examines the origins of the state’s most elusive creature.