A sculpture, called Carbon Sink, installed on the University of Wyoming campus, has generated a lot of controversy in the past couple of years. It was a pin wheel of charred logs that sought to draw a connection between coal, global warming, and increased beetle kill. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that this supposedly anti-carbon message certainly got the attention of law makers, donors, and those in industry.
IRINA ZHOROV: The piece was installed in 2011 and was removed in May of 2012, a year earlier than expected.
Bark Beetles and forest fires continue to grab the attention of Wyomingites. In fact many believe that climate change is behind both problems. Butch Blazer is the Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment for the US Department of Agriculture. We sat down with him as he visited with regional foresters in Cheyenne last week. Blazer says Beetle kill remains a serious problem in the Rocky Mountain West
When you think of climate change, you might think of forest fires and heat waves, you might not think of respiratory disease, cardiac arrest, or viruses. As former Open Spaces Co-Host and the current health reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio Kristin Espeland Gourlay discovers, doctors and scientists are beginning to focus attention on the most vulnerable to these ailments: the elderly.
University of Wyoming College of Education students will now be part of a Comprehensive Teacher Performance Assessment that will determine the student teachers performance in a variety of skills. UW was among the institutions that helped develop the assessment that is called edTPA. Some states already require teachers to pass an assessment like this to get licensed, that is not the case in Wyoming. But the College of Education will require the Assessment to help develop better teachers. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
The Sinclair Refinery near Rawlins has had four fires or explosions since May, and Wyoming’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has been investigating what went wrong. OSHA has completed its investigation into one of the incidents. It was a fire on May 25, which injured two workers. Wyoming OSHA Administrator John Ysebaert joins us to talk about what they found. He says one of the main problems is that Sinclair wasn’t properly training its workers.
The Cheyenne Concert Association started in 1935 as a way to bring a variety of music to community. Funding for the association comes from the Wyoming Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts and other organizations. Mary Cox with the Concert Association tells us that their new season begins October 16th at the Cheyenne School Administration building with the group New Odyssey.
Over the past few years, a growing number of people in Wyoming have been constructing buildings with an eye to making them more energy efficient. But Wyoming still lags behind the rest of the country when it comes to “green” building. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
An ambulance staffed a team of experienced first-responders can make a world of difference in an emergency. This is especially true in rural Wyoming, where the hospital can be an hour away or more. What many people don’t realize is that most of Wyoming’s Emergency Medical Services – or EMS – workers are volunteers, and their numbers are dwindling. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez filed this report.
More than a million acres of forest in Wyoming and Colorado by the beetle kill epidemic. That means lots of dry fuel for forest fires. But it also might have an impact on wildlife. So the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is conducting a study to figure out how beetle kill is affecting elk, and elk hunters. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with wildlife biologist Tony Mong, who’s heading the study. He says the worry is that dead trees could be restricting access to certain parts of the forests.
The Cheyenne Police Department has launched an initiative that’s meant to help the homeless get access to shelter and other services, and keep them out of jail. The cops and the one shelter in town are optimistic about the program. But various advocacy groups have major concerns. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
The City of Laramie has not been famous for its economic development success. Laramie has seen a growth in technology jobs, but didn’t have the infrastructure to attract at least narrowly two large mega data centers. In an effort to change that city leaders are going all out to purchase property and develop what will initially be a 160 acre technology park. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that officials are hoping for a big splash.
With the start of football season, comes the start of Cowboy Joe’s work season. Cowboy Joe, if you don’t know, is one of two University of Wyoming mascots. He’s a pony with a lot of attitude who arguably has more admirers than the football players themselves. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that the current mascot is actually Cowboy Joe four, and he’s passing the reigns to Cowboy Joe five.
Drought, hay shortage mean tough economic times for Wyoming ag industry The U.S. Department of Agriculture says this year’s hay crop will be the worst in decades, because of the drought. Hay is already in short supply, and prices have spiked. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that the hay shortage is forcing ranchers to make tough choices and could have a lingering economic impact on the state’s ag industry.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says this year’s hay crop will be the worst in decades, because of the drought. Hay is already in short supply, and prices have spiked. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that the hay shortage is forcing ranchers to make tough choices and could have a lingering economic impact on the state’s ag industry.
Earlier this year we told you about an effort to turn coal into gas in Medicine Bow. Today DKRW Advanced Fuels has announced that it has secured a contract to its Medicine Bow project with the Sinopec Engineering Group in based out of China. Bob Kelly is Executive Chairman and co-founder of DKRW, and he tells Bob Beck that getting an actual bid on the facility puts wheels in motion.
Willow Belden talks with author Jennifer Woodlief. She recently published a new book about a particularly disastrous climbing accident in the Tetons. The book is called “A Bolt from the Blue,” and it describes the accident … and the ensuing rescue operation.
The University of Wyoming Cowgirls Volleyball team believes that this could be their year. 18 years after their last NCAA tournament appearance and coming off two strong seasons, the Wyoming squad believes it will take a big step forward this year. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.
Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl, who founded the group Partners in Health, will be speaking in Jackson on September 6th. Partners in Health is a nonprofit that provides healthcare to impoverished people around the world. They started in Haiti in 1987 and now work in 10 different countries. Ophelia Dahl joins us now to talk about their work. She tells Willow Belden, the basic approach is to partner with local governments to accomplish things.
The gender wage gap in Wyoming is the largest in the nation. And that’s not news, either…it’s been this way for years. Groups around the state are working to fix it through policy, training programs, and education, but Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that it could be the state’s industries that keep the gap firmly in place.
It’s Labor Day weekend, which means there will be a lot of discussion surrounding workers in the state. Kim Floyd is the Executive Secretary of the Labor Organization the AFL-CIO. He tells Bob Beck it’s an interesting time for many workers
Wyoming fisheries no longer stock state waterways with carp, but the species is still alive and well throughout the state. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez filed this end-of-summer postcard about her first experience with the common carp… and with bow-fishing.
(Arrow shot into water)
REBECCA MARTINEZ: For the unskilled archer, shooting a carp – even a massive one – with a bow and arrow is no easy task. I learned that first-hand this summer during an afternoon of bow-fishing at Wheatland Reservoir Number Three.
Two of Wyoming’s three Republicans in Congress have signed a pledge to never raise taxes. The Taxpayer Protection Pledge is vilified by critics who say its sponsor, Grover Norquist, now controls the Republican Party when it comes to tax policy. Correspondent Matt Laslo reports that those two Wyoming lawmakers are now moving away from the Pledge.