Open Spaces

Open Spaces
3:34 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Gov. Mead reflects on CREG 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
3:31 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Sluggish economy forces domestic violence victims to stay longer at shelters

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and across the state, shelters are reporting that victims are staying for longer periods of time than in the past. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that the reason has a lot to do with the economy.

WILLOW BELDEN: Jamie Barton was 19 when she met the man who would become her abuser. After her first son was born, the violence started.

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Open Spaces
3:26 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

The GOP relies on youth to win the presidential election

Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election with overwhelming support from young voters. This year, the president and Governor Mitt Romney are neck-and-neck in the polls, in part because many young conservatives have mobilized to support the challenger. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with some young movers and shakers in the GOP to hear what makes them tick. She filed this report.

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Open Spaces
3:22 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Incumbent Sen. Barrasso is running to keep his seat

We now turn our attention to a couple of political candidates. U-S Senator John Barrasso was originally appointed to the U-S Senate to fill the seat of the late Senator Craig Thomas.  He then was elected to a four year term in 2008.  Senator Barrasso had previously served as a State Senator and was a Casper Orthopedic Surgeon for 24 years.  Barrasso tells Bob Beck that he has been campaigning across the state and says there has been one main topic on citizen’s minds…

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Open Spaces
2:59 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Why Are WY Democrats Few and Far Between?

There are no democratic members of Congress from Wyoming in Washington DC. And though the state’s seen some democratic governors over the years, currently in the state legislature, 50 of the 60 House seats and 26 of the 30 Senate seats are held by Republicans. So why is it so hard to get elected? Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that wasn’t always the case.

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Open Spaces
2:53 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Exhibit showcases National Geographic’s greatest photography of the American West

This photo, “Nebraska Rodeo” by Joel Sartore, is one of 75 that will be on display in Cody, Jackson and eight other cities around the country.
Credit National Geographic

An exhibit of National Geographic’s greatest photographs of the American West is opening in 10 cities across the country this weekend, including Cody and Jackson. It’s an eclectic mix of both historical and modern-day images, which are meant to showcase the nuances and complexity of the West. The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson spearheaded the show … the museum’s CEO Jim McNutt joins us now to talk about it. He tells Willow Belden that figuring out how to organize the photos intelligently took some creativity.

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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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Open Spaces
4:05 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Documents Show Artwork Removed Early Due to Pressure

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.

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Open Spaces
4:02 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Federal official discusses bark beetles and forest fires

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

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Open Spaces
3:59 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Global warming impacts the elderly

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.

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Open Spaces
3:56 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

A new teacher assessment could help UW Education students improve

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.

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Open Spaces
3:49 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Sinclair fire the result of failure to train workers and other workplace violations, OSHA finds

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.

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Open Spaces
3:46 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

A glimpse into the Cheyenne Concert Association’s upcoming season

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.

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Open Spaces
3:36 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Former Rep. Jorgensen pushes for Medicaid expansion

As you may have heard, Governor Matt Mead is struggling with whether to recommend that the state expand Medicaid offerings.  It would provide federal insurance to more people in the state and supporters say it would save the state health care dollars in the long run.  But the Governor says it could cost the state millions of dollars in up-front costs.  Former State Representative Pete Jorgensen, a Democrat from Jackson, says the long term benefits of an expansion make it worth it.  Jorgensen was a long time member of the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee and is pushing state hea

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Open Spaces
3:31 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

After slow start, ‘green’ building begins to take root in Wyoming

Davey Jackson Elementary in Jackson achieved LEED certification.

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.

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Open Spaces
4:27 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Gov. Mead considers expanding Medicaid

Governor Matt Mead is confronted with the issue of whether or not the state should expand Medicaid services to serve more residents.  It’s a proposal that was included in the Affordable Care Act, but this summer the US Supreme Court ruled that states should be allowed to make this decision.  The argument for doing it is that it would help bring down long term costs of health care, because those who cannot get or afford insurance would be covered under Medicaid.  That should reduce cost shifting.   But there is an expense to the state and a recent study commissioned for the Department of Hea

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Open Spaces
4:24 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Volunteers make EMS possible in rural Wyoming, but numbers are dwindling

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.

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Open Spaces
4:18 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Wyoming State Parks Celebrate 75 Years

This is the 75th year of State Parks in Wyoming.   Dominic Bravo oversees State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails.   He tells Bob Beck that state parks have an interesting history.

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Open Spaces
4:17 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Symphony: Michael Griffith previews the season

The University of Wyoming Symphony opens its season next week.  Director Michael Griffith joins Bob Beck.

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Open Spaces
4:14 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Beetle killed trees are bad for wildlife

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.

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Open Spaces
4:12 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Cheyenne Police Dept. seeks to keep the homeless out of jail

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.

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Open Spaces
4:08 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Laramie sets stage to attract tech industry

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.

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