Open Spaces

Station Activities
2:09 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

WPM News Department Captures Multiple Awards

Bob Beck and the Wyoming Public Media news team. Left to right Willow Belden, Stephanie Joyce, Bob Beck, Rebecca Martinez and Irina Zhorov

In 2013 WPM’s award-winning news department added several more plaques to its wall of awards.  Led by veteran news director Bob Beck, the news team brought home awards in a variety of categories:

Best News Program:  Open Spaces “The Uranium show.”

Best Investigative Story:  Carbon Sink

Best Writing:  Douglas residents fear flaring

Soft Feature:  Carp can be composted 

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Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

October 18th, 2013

Left to right, Tara Heaton, guide Fred Williams, and Crystal Mayfield pose with their antelope on the second day of the hunt.
Fred Williams
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Behind the Scenes
4:44 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Elephants in South Africa

The idea for this story came about when I was reporting on efforts to develop a contraceptive for male coyotes. One of scientists I interviewed, a professor of zoology and physiology at the University of Wyoming, mentioned that wildlife managers in many game reserves in South Africa are using birth control to manage burgeoning elephant populations.

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Open Spaces
5:09 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

May 31st, 2013

Uranium yellowcake powder

Wyoming missed out on last uranium boom, but planning for the future

Wyoming Public Radio has for years reported that the state is on the verge of a uranium boom. It turns out the state missed the peak of that boom, and is now betting on slower, more conservative growth. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.

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Open Spaces
5:22 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

May 10th, 2013

Pollutants including benzene and diesel-range organics have shown up in water wells like this one in the Pinedale Anticline for several years.
Credit Courtesy Linda Baker

Pollutants detected in water wells in Sublette County’s gas fields
Sublette County has been in the news a lot because of its air quality problems, which largely stem from natural gas production. But there’s another issue too: Pollutants have been showing up in water wells. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
5:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

April 26th, 2013

Cost of substance abuse in Wyoming is higher than expected
As it addressed issues concerning substance abuse, one thing the state never had were Wyoming specific numbers on the financial impact of substance abuse.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that a recent study has found that the cost of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse is staggering.

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Open Spaces
4:12 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

April 19th, 2013

Wyoming's Senators Help Defeat Gun Control
After weeks of intense lobbying on Capitol Hill gun control advocates suffered a stinging defeat this week…in part because of opposition from Wyoming’s two Republican senators. Matt Laslo reports from Washington. 

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Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

March 15th, 2013

Emissions from drilling rigs and other production equipment can cause ozone to form.
Credit Willow Belden

DEQ releases ozone strategy for Sublette County
The Department of Environmental Quality has released a plan for tackling the ozone problem in Sublette County. Emissions from the energy industry there have combined to form a type of pollution called ozone, which can be a health hazard. Ozone levels have been so high that they violate federal standards, and the Environmental Protection Agency has given Wyoming three years to fix the problem.

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Open Spaces
5:08 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

March 8th, 2013

UW Economist Anne Alexander discusses the potential effects of the federal sequester on Wyoming
One thing everyone is trying to get a grip on is how the federal sequester will impact Wyoming.  Anne Alexander is an economist at the University of Wyoming.  She joined Bob Beck in the studio to discuss this.

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Open Spaces
3:47 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

January 25th, 2013

Jackson Republican Keith Gingery speaks against SF 104.
Credit Bob Beck
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Open Spaces
4:51 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

January 11th, 2013

Rep. Lummis appointed to US House Subcommittee on Energy
Wyoming’s Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis has been appointed to chair the U.S. House of Representatives’ Science Subcommittee on Energy. The subcommittee will oversee energy research, development and demonstration projects. Lummis spoke with Rebecca Martinez from the Capitol press room in Cheyenne this week.

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Open Spaces
5:02 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

December 7th, 2012

Credit Willow Belden

Converse County oil boom draws concerns from residents
In October, we reported that Chesapeake Energy had drilled a series of oil wells near Douglas, very close to people’s houses. Chesapeake says the area will likely continue to be a core drilling region. That has some area residents uneasy. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
5:10 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Gambling addiction in Fremont County could be on rise, but not on radar

Slot Machine Word

HOST: There have been rumors that Fremont County is experiencing a rise in gambling addiction amongst its residents. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that whether the rumors are true or not is still unclear, but some services are popping up to address it regardless.

ZHOROV: The Wind River Hotel and Casino in Riverton is full of chirping slot machines, game tables, bright lights, and…gamblers.

There are differing opinions regarding how much good gaming has brought to the county and tribes. But there is also concern about gambling addictions.

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Open Spaces
4:50 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Prevention Management Org.’s Rich Lindsey talks about alcohol, tobacco, and suicide in WY

WYSAC

Issues that include alcohol, tobacco and suicide are serious problems in Wyoming.  In recent months Community prevention specialists in each county in the state have been compiling a needs assessment developed by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center, or WYSAC.  The specialists are trying to identify the extent of the problem in each of the three topic areas and the next step is to try and find some solutions.  Rich Lindsey, who represents the Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming says they picked those topic areas for a reason.

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Open Spaces
4:39 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Parents want a dual-language immersion program in Casper; one parent explains why

Back to School Slate

A group of parents are trying to get dual-language immersion programs set up in Casper. They’d like two elementary schools to start these programs, and the focus would be on Spanish and Chinese.

Thea True-Wells is the parent who’s spearheading the effort. She joins me now to talk about it, along with Ann Tollefson, an outside consultant who has evaluated dual language programs in other states.    

To listen to the November 30, 2012 Wyoming Open Spaces program, please click here.

Open Spaces
4:31 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Jeffrey City Sheriff Deputy J.D. Darnell looks back on Jeffrey City during the boom and bust

Jeffrey City is mostly empty today, though it once was home to a significant uranium boom that brought thousands of workers to the town.
Irina Zhorov

J.D. Darnell is a resident of Jeffrey City and has served as Sheriff's Deputy since the 1970s. The town is a lot quieter now than it was during the last uranium boom, which brought miners to the region, and plenty of excitement. That was all over by the mid-80s.Darnell looks back on Jeffrey City then, and now. 

To listen to the entire November 30, 2012 Wyoming Open Spaces program, please click here.

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Open Spaces
4:27 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

A poem about Jeffrey City by Lori Howe

Jeffrey City might look like a lonely area to some, but it can also be inspirational.  Laramie writer and poet Lori Howe shares her thoughts in this piece called Jeffrey City, Wyoming.

To listen to the entire November 30, 2012 Wyoming Open Spaces program, please click here.

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Open Spaces
4:17 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Laramie-based wildlife forensics lab uses DNA to solve poaching cases

Lab Director Dee Dee Hawk examines evidence at the Wildlife Forensics Lab in Laramie.
Willow Belden

INTRO: Each year, the Game and Fish Department discovers dozens of wildlife crimes in Wyoming. They range from hunting without a license, to killing an animal from the road. The department takes these infractions very seriously, and runs a cutting-edge wildlife forensics lab to investigate them. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow visited the lab and filed this report.

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Open Spaces
4:12 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Black Dog Animal Rescue saves lives

Bob Beck

Wyoming Animal Shelters are overcrowded and that means many pets get killed every year.  But some organizations are taking an aggressive approach in trying to get more animals adopted and have fewer animals put to death.  One of those is the Black Dog Animal Rescue in Cheyenne.  The program involves a number of volunteers and a strong on-line and social media effort.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

November 16th, 2012

Health Department director proposed new Medicaid Idea 
One of the costs that continues to grow in Wyoming’s budget is the cost of Medicaid.  Lawmakers were so distressed that they ordered the Department of Health to look for ways to control those costs. Department of Health Director Tom Forslund has proposed a plan to address the issue.  But first he explains why those costs have gone up.

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Open Spaces
4:10 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

November 2nd, 2012

Riverton House and Senate Debate Recap
On Thursday night, candidates for U-S House and Senate gathered in Riverton for a set of debates. They answered questions ranging from how to address the Medicare shortfall … to their views on climate change and the energy industry. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck was one of the moderators … and he joins Willow Belden from Riverton to talk about the debate.

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Open Spaces
4:38 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

October 5, 2012

Wisconsin hunters set up camp above the Gros Ventre River, where they're pursuing deer but some Wyoming hunters are targeting wolves.
Jennifer Tennican

Wyoming's Wolf Hunt Begins

Nearly 3,000 hunters have purchased permits to target wolves in Wyoming's first regulated wolf hunt, which began on Monday. Conservation groups, meanwhile, are preparing to challenge Wyoming's approach in court. As of Thursday, hunters had reported killing six wolves since opening day. Rebecca Huntington has more.

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Open Spaces
4:05 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Wyoming's Wolf Hunt Begins

Wisconsin hunters set up camp above the Gros Ventre River, where they're pursuing deer but some Wyoming hunters are targeting wolves.
Jennifer Tennican

HOST INTRO: Nearly 3,000 hunters have purchased permits to target wolves in Wyoming's first regulated wolf hunt, which began on Monday. Conservation groups, meanwhile, are preparing to challenge Wyoming's approach in court. As of Thursday, hunters had reported killing six wolves since opening day. Rebecca Huntington has more.

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Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Forest Service studies the impacts of Beetle killed trees

Clint Dawson
David Koch

INTRO:  Throughout the west a natural process is being witnessed that in some areas has had devastating impacts. The Bark Beetle epidemic has affected millions of acres of forest and caused public officials to ponder what if anything can be done about it. Big Horn Radio Network’s David Koch reports that officials recently looked at the situation in northwest, Wyoming. 

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Open Spaces
3:48 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Incumbent US Rep. Cynthia Lummis talks about Medicare, AML funds

Cynthia Lummis

Rep. Cynthia Lummis is running for her third term in the US House of Representatives.  Lummis is a fiscal conservative who is a member of the appropriations committee.  She joins Bob Beck on the campaign trail.

Open Spaces
3:38 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Conversation with Democratic Congressional Challenger Chris Henrichsen

Chris Henrichsen

Democrat Chris Henrichsen is a political newcomer who teaches Political Science at Casper College.  He is running against incumbent Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis to focus attention on working people and the middle class.  Henrichsen is hoping to be the first Wyoming democrat in Congress since  1978.  He is battling a lack of funding, against one of the wealthiest members of Congress.  But Henrichsen hopes he views will give him a chance.

Open Spaces
3:27 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Northern Arapaho tribal entities work to preserve their language in the face of extinction

Arapaho Preschool
Rebecca Martinez

HOST: The number of Northern Arapaho tribe members who speak their native language is dwindling. Tribal entities have been working for decades trying to preserve the language. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that they’ve been having mixed success.

(Sound: kids speaking Arapaho)

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Tribal elder Alvena Oldman is the director of an Arapaho language immersion preschool in Ethete.

OLDMAN: Hinono’ Eitiino’ Oowu’. Arapaho Language Lodge.

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Open Spaces
3:20 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Residents near Douglas fear becoming ‘another Pinedale or Pavillion’

Flares like this one at a new oil well near Douglas are raising concerns amongst area residents.
Willow Belden

INTRO: This spring, an oil rig blew out near Douglas. Natural gas spewed into the air, and residents from a nearby neighborhood were evacuated for several days. Since the blowout, Chesapeake Energy has drilled several new wells around that same neighborhood, and residents have new concerns. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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