Open Spaces

Open Spaces
4:02 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Cowboy Joe IV will pass along the reigns this football season

Cowboy Joe IV makes his way off the field with his handlers during University of Wyoming's first home football game of the 2012 season. He’s retiring this season, and will be replaced by Cowboy Joe V.
Irina Zhorov

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.

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Open Spaces
3:56 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Poem: Kristen Gunther, “Belay”

Laramie poet Kristen Gunther reads her poem, “Belay”.

Open Spaces, Wyoming Public Media
4:12 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

August 31st, 2012

The creeks that Orville Johnson’s cows would normally drink from are dry this year.
Willow Belden

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.

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Open Spaces
3:57 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Drought, hay shortage mean tough economic times for Wyoming ag industry

The creeks that Orville Johnson’s cows would normally drink from are dry this year.
Willow Belden

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.

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Open Spaces
3:53 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

DKRW secures contract for coal-to-gas plant

DKRW plans to build a coal-to-gas plant in Medicine Bow.
Bob Beck

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.  

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Open Spaces
3:51 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Author discusses new book about epic Teton accident

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.

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Open Spaces
3:47 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Cowgirls Volleyball team has high hopes

UW Cowgirls pause during a match
Bob Beck

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.

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Open Spaces
3:45 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Partners In Health co-founder discusses meeting healthcare challenges in the third world before trip

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.

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Open Spaces
3:41 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Gender wage gap persists in Wyoming

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.

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Open Spaces
3:37 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

AFL-CIO discussing worker safety in Wyoming

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

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Open Spaces
3:31 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Carp are thriving, unpopular in Wyoming waterways; can be composted

Janet “Ogre” Chen stalks common carp with a bow and arrow in Wheatland Reservoir #3.
Rebecca Martinez

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.

(Arrow shot into water)

MARTINEZ: Nuts!

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Open Spaces
3:36 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Two Republicans Distance Selves From Anti-Tax-Hike Pledge

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.  

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Open Spaces
3:33 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Republican Candidates Debate Conservative Values

During Tuesday’s Republican primary election a large number of so called conservative candidates in the state are hoping to make a dent in legislative races.  These are candidates who believe that some office holders have forgotten their Republican values.  Organizations known as WyWatch, Conservative Republicans of Wyoming or Crow and the Tea Party are supporting these candidates who they hope will make changes in how government is run and get more conservative legislation such as anti-abortion measures passed.  A race in Casper appears to be the headliner of this battle between conservat

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Open Spaces
3:30 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Many Women Say Family Responsibilities Keep Them From Public Office

Wyoming’s primary elections are Tuesday, and there are more than three times as many male candidates on the ballot for the state legislature as females. That’s because many women find that serving in office, while also holding down a job and raising a family, is just too difficult. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
3:26 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Cheyenne Independent Runs for US House of Representatives

One candidate for the US House of Representatives wants your help to get on the ballot.  Cheyenne Resident Charlie Hardy got into the race after he found it difficult to communicate with our current congressional delegation.  He’s also concerned that the country remains at war.  Hardy wants to run as an independent.  He’s long written and spoken about issues surrounding foreign affairs and has served as a Catholic Priest and missionary.  Hardy tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that while he opposes the country’s continued war effort, he is not anti-military.

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Open Spaces
3:24 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Drought Stunted Hay Crop Takes Heavy Toll On Ranchers

The drought this season has taken its toll on farmers growing hay. The U-S Department of Agriculture is predicting that Wyoming’s hay crop this year will be the worst since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s. Platte County Extension Agent Dallas Mount joins us now to talk about that. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden the situation is ALREADY very bad.

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Open Spaces
3:21 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Ag Industry Encourages Producers to Add Value To Businesses

Kelsey Hostetler dyes yarn by hand at Mountain Meadow Wool Mill in Buffalo
Rebecca Martinez

Wyoming agriculture producers raise and lots of cows and sheep… but they’re mostly sold out of state, where they’re processed and sold as beef and lamb, making big money for outside businesses. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that state agriculture agencies are now encouraging ag producers of all kinds to add-value to the products they already have to keep their businesses competitive, and circulate the money in Wyoming.

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Bessie Zeller and her late husband Clarence took over his father’s Lovell beekeeping operation in the mid-1940s.

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Open Spaces
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Wildfires Are Impacting Wyoming Wildlife

We’re joined now by Tom Ryder with the Game and Fish Department. He’s here to talk about the how wildlife are affected by the wildfires that have burned this season. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden that, when fires break out, some animals tend to suffer, while others actually benefit in the long run.

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Open Spaces
3:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Medicare and Medicaid Forecast

We are joined now by Mike Fierberg who works for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services for the US Department of Health.  He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck what seniors can expect from Medicare this year, but we start by asking him how competitive the insurance marketplace will be now that the U-S Supreme Court has approved most of the Affordable Care Act.

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Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Coal production slows, prices drop

The Jim Bridger coal fired power plant has already had to retrofit its stacks with cleaning technology and plans to do more work in the next couple of years.
Irina Zhorov

Coal production and coal prices are down and stakeholders are offering up lots of reasons as the cause, from weather to new policies and competing fuels. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that it’s a combination of all these factors. 

Irina Zhorov: There is no doubt coal is struggling right now. Karim Rahemtulla is the Senior Correspondent for investment blog Wall St. Daily.

Rahemtulla: The predominant trend that’s in the market right now is a slowdown in consumption, directly related to coal, not necessarily other energy sources.

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Open Spaces
5:20 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Former Bush Administration official says EPA is improperly affecting energy market

A Bush administration official has been speaking to members of the media this week about his concerns that the Environmental Protection Agency is overstepping its bounds.   Bud Albright is the former undersecretary for the Department of Energy.  Albright’s main point is that the EPA is unfairly making it difficult for energy companies to operate.  He says they are unfairly impacting the energy market.  He speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Open Spaces
5:17 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Cleaner technology could give Wyoming coal a bright future

Professor KJ Reddy, right, and others working on the project inspect the flue gas and fly ash reactor before running more tests.
Irina Zhorov

In the midst of a coal slowdown nationwide, not all is dark. Wyoming has been investing millions in research that would make coal a clean, viable resource in the future, despite its dirty reputation. The state has also been making strides towards friendship and collaboration with other big coal stakeholders, like China. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.

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Open Spaces
5:13 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Enthusiasm for wind energy high outside Wyoming

Next on the show is the a Wind Energy expert and the author of the book Harvest the Wind:  America’s Journey to jobs, energy independence and climate stability.  Phil Warburg tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that while it appears that enthusiasm for Wind Energy has slowed down in Wyoming, that is not the case in the rest of the country.

Open Spaces
5:10 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Tea Party offers up several candidates in Big Horn Basin

In 2008 when Barrack Obama won the presidency and democrats controlled the house and senate the Republican Party was declared dead. However to the right of mainstream republicans a new movement arose, the tea party.  The more conservative arm of the party also found some fans in Wyoming.   David Koch has more.

DAVID KOCH:  Tea party activist Jo Walker moved to Cody in 2009 from Portland Oregon because in her mind, it had become too liberal,

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Open Spaces
5:07 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Hospice offers end-of life dignity, families say

In seems that most people are afraid of a Hospice.  Statistics show that if they are used, people will wait until the final days of someone’s life until they are called upon.   But those who run Wyoming’s 18 Hospices would like to change that.   Hospice care is a less expensive option than a nursing home or hospital that is focused on helping the patient die with dignity while also healing the family.  Most who have been through the process say it actually is a positive experience.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.

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Open Spaces
5:05 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Yellowstone raptor study examines impact of human disturbance on eagles

We’re joined now by Charles Preston. He’s the senior curator at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, and he’s overseeing a research project involving golden eagles in the Bighorn Basin. The first goal of the project is to get baseline numbers on eagles in the area. Then, they’re looking at how human disturbances – like energy development, or just people recreating – are affecting the birds.

Open Spaces
5:02 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Researchers study contraception as a potential coyote management tool

Marjie MacGregor weighs one of the test coyotes
Willow Belden

Talk to almost anyone who raises sheep in Wyoming, and they’ll tell you they’ve had problems with coyotes.  Traditionally, the response has been to kill the coyotes, often by aerial gunning. But researchers at the University of Wyoming are trying to come up with an alternative management tool, which they hope will work better in the long-term and be more  humane. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
4:58 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Dancers’ Workshop showcases Jackson talent nationwide

Artistic Director Babs Case in front of her art studio, where she finds inspiration for her choreography and teaching.
Rebecca Huntington

First started in 1971, Dancers' Workshop has been teaching dance in Jackson for more than four decades. Today, the non-profit dance school reaches nearly 500 students, from toddlers to adults. And the group brings dance into the lives of thousands of more people through its performances, including a series that presents world-renown companies from New York to San Francisco. But the school's audiences and students are not just in Jackson. Rebecca Huntington has more...

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