Open Spaces
10:48 am
Wed November 9, 2011

November 12th, 2010

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A listing of today's stories

Democrats Regroup and Look to the Future
The situation looks bleak for Wyoming Democrats in the wake of the midterm elections. Come January, there will be no Democrats holding statewide elected office. In the Wyoming legislature, there will be only four Democratic Senators out of thirty. In the House, Democrats will hold just ten of sixty seats. In fact, the Wyoming Legislature will have the largest Republican majority in the country. So what are Wyoming Democrats to do? Wyoming Public Radio's Molly Messick reports.

Governor-Elect Mead Starts Work on his Administration
In Wyoming's modern history every governor has served multiple terms. That means Matt Mead is only the fourth person in 35 years to make the transition into the governor's office. Mead, a Republican won the November second election in a landslide. He told Renny MacKay that things are coming along and he's got some key players in place for his transition team.

Jobs not Easy to Come by for Older Residents
Wyoming currently has an abundance of older workers trying to find jobs. The reasons they are unemployed in the first place are numerous. But Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports that those looking for work are having mixed results.

Wyoming Tries to Reach Out to Vulnerable Teens
This fall, there's been significant national attention given to bullying of gay youth. In the wake of several suicides among young gay people, sex columnist Dan Savage began what he's calling the "It Gets Better" campaign. It's a series of YouTube videos in which regular people talk to gay youth, and tell them to have hope. Keith Hotle is a Suicide Prevention Specialist with the Wyoming Department of Health. He tells Molly Messick that here in Wyoming, the state has been working for years to reach young people who are suffering because of bullying, and feelings of isolation.

Could Wyoming take on China in Rare Element Market?
Many of today's technologies are only possible because of a special mineral group called rare earth elements. Rare earths are among 17 elements on the periodic table with exotic names like dysposium, neodymium or europium. Wyoming Public Radio's Tristan Ahtone says a global race to produce rare earths is underway and Wyoming may be on the verge of becoming a major player.

How a Species Becomes a Species, or Doesn't
Most people don't realize that the category of "Species" is not as clearly defined as it seems. Evolution happens slowly and constantly, making species a fluid category, and one that is difficult for scientists to pin down. A University of Wyoming Ornithologist recently dealt with the species question. He proposed that a variety of Red Crossbill be formally recognized as its own species. It was received with mixed results. Wyoming Public Radio's Kelly Herbinson reports.

The Red Desert in Photos as Heard on the Radio
There's a new book out about Wyoming's Red Desert. It's a large-format photo book, and it's edited by Erik Molvar, who heads the Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance. The Red Desert is an approximately six million acre area of open range in southwest Wyoming, and Molvar has been visiting it for years. He thinks of this book as a photographic tour of an area that not many people get to see. One of his favorite places in the Red Desert is called Adobe Town.

The Plight of Extreme Skiers
Each year at this time, before ski season starts in earnest cities around the west are visited by films with titles like, Steeper and Deeper, High Life, In Deep, and Wintervention. What they have in common is hardcore music, death defying ski and snowboard action, and usually a few horrible crashes.
Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports one Wyoming company is emerging as a leader in the ski film industry, which is big on risk and short on reward.