Open Spaces

Open Spaces
6:46 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

State Superintendent Cindy Hill Interview

Cindy Hill Superintendent

State Superintendent Cindy Hill Interview

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Open Spaces
6:02 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

November 30th, 2012

Slot Machine Word

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

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.

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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
4:37 pm
Fri November 16, 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
4:34 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Affordable Care Act means insurance rebates for some residents

David Swift, a commercial photographer, and Colleen Thompson, a computer consultant, are both self-employed and self-insured. Getting health insurance for their family costs $1,500 a month. Looking for relief from the Affordable Care Act, they were pleased to get a rebate from their health insurance company.
Credit Rebecca Taylor

Some Teton County residents have found something surprising in their mailbox - a refund check from their health insurance company. Since when do health insurance companies send refund checks? Since the Affordable Care Act instituted something called the Medical Loss Ratio, or 80/20 rule. Rebecca Huntington explains.

HUNTINGTON: Jackson Hole resident Colleen Thompson manages her family's health insurance bills. A computer consultant, she's scanning bills into a digital archive. She says that she was SHOCKED by the amount of the health insurance refund sent to her family.

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Open Spaces
4:32 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

New DEQ director shares his plans for Wyoming

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has a new director, Todd Parfitt, the agency’s former deputy director. He took over after former director John Corra retired. Parfitt has spent about 20 years with DEQ, and he has also worked for an environmental consulting company in Ohio. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Parfitt about his plans for tackling some of the environmental issues facing the state.

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Open Spaces
4:28 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Four more years: What a second Obama administration could mean for energy in Wyoming

Many fossil fuel developers campaigned against President Obama this election season, fearing the effect of regulations and other restrictions on their industry, while environmental activists called for four more years. Now that Mr. Obama has won a second term, Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with some stakeholders about what that could mean for the energy industry in Wyoming.

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Family lawyer discusses custody battles and other effects of domestic violence on children

A few weeks ago, we reported that victims of domestic violence are staying in shelters longer than they used to, in part because it’s gotten harder for them to find jobs and affordable housing. We turn now to a different aspect of domestic violence: children. When a victim decides to leave an abuser, there are often battles over custody. Dona

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Open Spaces
4:18 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Riverton tries again to tackle its drinking problem

For years some in Fremont County have been concerned about the populations rate of alcohol consumption.  In most categories the county ranks at or higher than most counties in the state in areas of concern such as alcohol related arrests or binge drinking.  The county is tops in the state in alcohol related crashes and ranks a solid fifth in alcohol related crimes.   Over the years community leaders in Riverton have periodically tried to address some of these problems.  Since spring a new effort is under way.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.

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Open Spaces
4:15 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Poem: “Devils Tower”

University of Wyoming PhD student, budding ecologist and writer Kristen Gunther reads her poem, “Devils  Tower.”

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Open Spaces
4:11 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

The Importance of Being A Loser

Author Scott Farris can empathize with famous political losers. He was once the Democratic nominee for Congress to Wyoming, but lost to Barbara Cubin in 1998. Farris takes a look at the legacies of some notable-yet-unsuccessful presidential candidates in his book, “Almost President, the men who lost the race but changed the nation.”

This year, Mitt Romney garnered attention for a hard-fought campaign followed by a gracious acceptance speech. Scott Farris tells Rebecca Martinez that speech is a crucial part of every election.      

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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
3:59 pm
Fri November 2, 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.

Watch the Debates Online Here

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Open Spaces
3:56 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Defeated primary candidates launch write-in campaigns, cause discord in GOP

Wyoming votes overwhelmingly Republican. Republicans have held a majority in the state Senate continuously since 1936 and in the state house since 1964. But the upcoming general election has exposed a rift inside the party challenging its unity, especially where primary losers have mounted write in campaigns.  David Koch of the Big Horn Radio Network reports on one of three write-in campaigns for the state’s legislative body.

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Open Spaces
3:49 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Wyoming one of the reddest states in the U.S

Polls show that nearly 57 percent of Wyomingites identify as Republican, making the state one of the reddest in the nation. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden explores why that’s the case, and what it means to be so red.

WILLOW BELDEN: There’s little doubt that Wyoming will vote for Mitt Romney for president, re-elect both Republican members of Congress who are running this year, and maintain a solidly Republican state legislature.

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Open Spaces
3:42 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

UW Professor Phil Roberts on the WY Democratic Party’s Rise and Fall

University of Wyoming History Professor, Phil Roberts, says Wyoming’s Democratic Party lost many of its constituents when the state lost its large railroad and mining labor unions. But the Party also failed to make up for that loss by not painting itself as the party for the modern cowboy.   

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Open Spaces
3:37 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Journalist reflects on AML cuts to Wyoming

Earlier this year Wyoming learned that its share of Abandoned Mine Land money was cut in a congressional conference committee.  Estimates are that it will cost Wyoming more than 700 million dollars and Governor Matt Mead says the cut hurts as the state will have to find new ways to pay for construction or other 1 time projects.  Wyoming author and WyoFile contributor Samuel Western recently wrote about the cut.  He talks with Bob Beck.

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Open Spaces
3:34 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

St. John’s CEO is optimistic about ACA benefits to women

The fate of the Affordable Care Act has been a sticking point for both presidential candidates. Mitt Romney has said he intends to repeal it, while President Obama has promised to protect the promises it makes to reform parts of the healthcare system. Dr. Louis Hochheiser, CEO of St. John’s Medical Center, has studied the ACA, and says the law is already breaking down barriers, especially for women.

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Open Spaces
3:31 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Technology improves health care in rural hospitals

Deborah Lockman is the informatics coordinator at Platte Valley Community Hospital in Wheatland.
Credit Bob Beck

Figuring out cost effective ways to upgrade rural health care is the goal of all hospitals and medical providers in the state. But it’s especially tough for the smallest rural facilities.  The numbers of doctors are small which can lead to mistakes and specialists are at a premium.  But thanks to electronic records and other forms of telemedicine… things are starting to improve.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

(sound of hospital)

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Open Spaces
3:26 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Simpson family to perform dramatic version of epic Civil War poem

We’re joined now by Pete and Lynne Simpson. They’re doing a production of the play “John Brown’s Body,” which they’ll perform across the state this month. Lynne Simpson tells Willow Belden the play is actually an epic poem, written by Stephen Vincent Benet about 50 years after the end of the Civil War.

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Open Spaces
3:19 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Poem: “Old Carbon, Wyoming”

The Carbon Cemetery today.
Credit Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office

Writer Lori Howe readers her poem, “Old Carbon, Wyoming.”

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

October 26th, 2012

Gov. Mead reflects on GREG report, promises cuts
The Consensus Revenue estimating group came out with projections that lawmakers will have about 85 million more dollars to spend this session.  The CREG report is main tool government officials use to forecast how much money the state will have.  Governor Matt Mead joins Bob Beck to discuss the report and the impact it has on his budget as he prepares to present it in December.

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Open Spaces
3:57 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Tim Chesnut is challenging incumbent Sen. Barrasso in US Congressional race

Longtime Albany County Commissioner Tim Chesnut is running for his first federal office this year.  The 46 year old Laramie native is a Democratic candidate for the U-S Senate seat currently held by John Barrasso.  Chesnut says his years as a local government politician helps him better understand the needs of citizens.  He joins me to discuss some of the issues.

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