Open Spaces

Open Spaces
4:54 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Wyoming Works With Companies To Clean Up Contamination

Evanston Chamber of Commerce
Credit Evanston Chamber of Commerce

There are a number of contaminated sites across the state that are expensive to clean up.  The contamination comes from a variety of sources including industrial sites and businesses that use chemicals. 

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Wyoming’s Workplace Safety Effort Continues

Regulation has been a hot-button topic when it comes to worker safety in Wyoming over the last few years. Despite pressure from worker advocacy groups, legislators have been reluctant to write new laws tackling workplace injuries and fatalities, instead opting for an incentives-based approach.

Dr. Mack Sewell is the state’s occupational epidemiologist. He’s been on the job for about a year and a half, and he recently spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce about his latest report on workplace accidents, released in November, and how the state should move forward.

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Open Spaces
3:02 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

December 27th, 2013

Stephen Watt (right) and Mark Farnham (left) during a recent visit.

A crime victim and perpetrator talk about how their unlikely friendship came to be

Restorative justice is an approach to dealing with crime that put the victim of the crime front and center and considers how the offense affected the community, rather than looking at it as an isolated incident. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov has a three part series about restorative justice efforts in Wyoming, starting with a case study.

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Open Spaces
4:32 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

December 20th, 2013

UW Interim President prepares for the Legislative Session

Following the resignation of Bob Sternberg, Dick McGinity has taken over reins at the University of Wyoming as Interim President.  McGinity was simply a faculty member at UW until Sternberg promoted him to be part of the administration and now he’s running the show.  Among his first duties is getting UW priorities through the legislature.  He tells Bob Beck that includes pay raises.

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Open Spaces
4:20 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

UW Interim President prepares for the Legislative Session

Following the resignation of Bob Sternberg, Dick McGinity has taken over reins at the University of Wyoming as Interim President. 

McGinity was simply a faculty member at UW until Sternberg promoted him to be part of the administration and now he’s running the show.  Among his first duties is getting UW priorities through the legislature.  He tells Bob Beck that includes pay raises.

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Open Spaces
4:13 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

New Institute Runs Business Boot Camp For Entrepreneurs

Teacher Sandy Hessler speaks to participants
Rebecca Huntington

We've all heard stories about businesses that start in a garage or on the back of a cocktail napkin. But it takes a lot more than a great idea and some elbow grease to build a business from scratch. So a new Jackson program, called the Start-Up Institute, is running a business boot camp for entrepreneurs. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more. 

REBECCA HUNTINGTON: This is what you might consider finals for sixteen students completing Jackson's first-ever Start-Up Institute.

KELLIE HOTEMA: I'm too tired to be nervous.

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Open Spaces
4:07 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Ranchers produce more meat with fewer animals

Irina Zhorov

The U.S. cow herd is small right now because of the extended drought that’s plagued large swathes of the country. But though dry conditions have driven ranchers to sell off animals they would have otherwise kept, the decreasing size of the national herd is a trend decades in the making. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports on how livestock producers in Wyoming are turning out more meat with fewer animals.

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Open Spaces
4:04 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Skiing faces challenges in warming world

Skiing has been a popular pastime in the West for decades, but with climate change, the future of the sport is in question.

Porter Fox is the features editor at Powder magazine and the author of DEEP: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow. Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce spoke with Fox about his new book, and what’s in store for Wyoming.

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Open Spaces
3:59 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Writer Mark Jenkins speaks about a recent assignment in Asia

Mark Jenkins
Credit uwyo.edu

We’re joined now by Mark Jenkins of Laramie. He recently went to a remote area in Asia for a story for National Geographic.  He speaks with Willow Belden. 

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Open Spaces
3:44 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Wyoming’s memory care units are filled to capacity

Over half of Wyoming’s nursing home residents currently have moderate to severe dementia…and that number is expected to rise steeply in coming years.  By 2020, there may be as many as 13,000 people who are experiencing serious memory loss in Wyoming.  And there’s not enough space for all them in Wyoming’s nursing homes.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports.

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Open Spaces
3:38 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Wyoming Democratic Party Chairman disappointed in Governor Mead’s Medicaid recommendation

Pete Gosar

Recently Governor Matt Mead made it clear that he does not support using federal dollars to expand Medicaid services for Wyoming’s poor.  State Democratic Party Chairman Pete Gosar tells Bob Beck that’s the wrong move.

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Open Spaces
3:33 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

New fossil prep lab at the geology museum offers opportunity for students and community

University of Wyoming student Mitchell Lukens works in the new preparation lab in the Geology museum.

The geology museum at the University of Wyoming recently re-opened after a long remodel. One of the features unveiled is a new fossil preparation lab. This lab offers U-W students, museum visitors, and the community a variety of opportunities to learn more about fossil prep. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo has more.

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Open Spaces
3:28 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Old Steps Come To Life At Laramie Swing Dance

Kevin and Tamara Bretting and Charles and Jennica Fournier

Classic dances like the Jitterbug, the Charleston, and the Lindy Hop are being revived at a community swing dance series in Laramie. Swingin’ Around Town started this summer as a way to rekindle social dance.

It now happens on the first and third Friday of every month at Blossom Yoga in downtown Laramie, and Lindy Hop lessons start in January at the Laramie Recreation Center. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with Swingin’ Around Town co-founders Kevin Bretting and Charles Fournier.

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Open Spaces
4:41 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Study shows Pinedale water contamination mostly unrelated to gas drilling

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 have been showing up in water wells in the Pinedale Anticline gas field since 2006. Until recently, no one knew where the contamination was coming from. Now, the Bureau of Land Management and Department of Environmental Quality have released a report indicating that most of the problem was not caused by energy production. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Wyoming’s little talked about pollution source: trona mines

One of FMC’s processing facilities
FMC Corporation

Wyoming’s biggest export is soda ash, which comes from trona mines in Sweetwater County. Last year, the trona industry produced 17 million tons of soda ash for which the state received nearly $90 million in various taxes and royalties. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov report, the industry has a dirty side, too. 

IRINA ZHOROV: Wyoming is used to superlatives. The biggest coal bed, the largest mine, the most wind! Here’s another:

[VIDEO PLAYING: The silver retreats of Wyoming, USA is home to the largest reserve of trona. ]

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Open Spaces
4:28 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

State Superintendent Cindy Hill discusses her dispute with the legislature

It’s been a long year for State Superintendent Cindy Hill.  After legislators determined that she was undermining some of their education reform efforts, they voted to take away her ability to run the state department of education and assigned her to less essential tasks. 

Later a report suggested mistreatment of employees, possible misuse of the state aircraft, and misuse of Department of Education money.  That last piece is being investigated by a legislative committee who is trying to determine if impeachment charges should be brought against Hill. 

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Open Spaces
4:25 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

New Wyoming Travel App Raises Cash for Conservation

Story Clark

More than half the U.S. population uses smartphones and apps. And as the appetite for mobile information continues to grow, some Wyoming entrepreneurs are poised to cash in, for the sake of conservation. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more.

REBECCA HUNTINGTON: When Story Clark gets into her Prius, she doesn't just start her engine. She also revs up a new mobile app that she's developed with her business partner Madi Quissek.

STORY CLARK: So I'm hooking it up. It's TravelStorysGPS. The app is hands-free. And we're going to get going right now.

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Open Spaces
4:21 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Governor Matt Mead defends his opposition to Medicaid expansion and other topics

Last week Wyoming governor Matt Mead released his proposed budget for the next two years.  The governor joins us to discuss something he did not recommend and discusses other topics, such as whether he will run for re-election. 

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Open Spaces
4:18 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Bark beetles turn forest into carbon source

Pine and spruce beetles have killed millions of trees across Wyoming and the West. To many, the dying forests are visually unattractive. But there’s a bigger issue. Researchers in the Medicine Bow National Forest are finding that beetle kill has had a major impact on how the forest processes carbon dioxide. Wyoming Public radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
4:11 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Beetle-kill logging project raises questions about value of dead trees

The project's industry partner, Cool Planet Energy Systems, has developed technology for producing biofuels that it says is carbon negative.
Credit Cool Planet Energy Systems

More than 40 million acres of trees have been killed by bark beetles in the Rocky Mountain West over the last two decades. Those trees are an eyesore, and as we heard in the last story, a source of carbon dioxide. But a new project is trying to find an upside to the epidemic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given researchers at five western universities, including the University of Wyoming, $10 million to see if those dead trees can be converted into gasoline.

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Open Spaces
4:06 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Governor proposes budget increase for local government

Credit The photo is courtesy of the Cody chamber of Commerce.

In the governor’s budget last week, one area that didn’t get a lot of attention is a proposal to increase funding to communities and counties by $175 million.  That would be a $40 million increase over his previous proposal.  40 percent of that money would go for infrastructure, such as roads, but the rest would go into operations.  If approved, it would come at a time when most local governments are dealing with less revenue.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

BOB BECK: Governor Matt Mead says he’s tried to make local government funding a priority since he took office.

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Open Spaces
3:52 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Jackson gallery offers views of protected private lands

Ladd Property. Bill Sawczuk. 16 x 20. Oil on linen.
Credit Trio Fine Art

A new exhibit offers three painters’ views of protected private lands in Jackson Hole. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer reports on the first-ever collaboration between the Jackson Hole Land Trust and artists, called View 22.

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Open Spaces
10:29 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Wyoming Stories: Marine tells story from his Iraq tour

Jason Williams
Credit Micah Schweizer

Jason Williams is an Iraq War veteran from Lander. In 2004, he was part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed to Najaf.

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Open Spaces
4:16 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

November 15th, 2013

UW Board of Trustees President talks about Dr. Sternberg’s resignation

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees announced UW President Bob Sternberg’s resignation on Thursday. The Trustees spent Thursday and Friday in meetings, but President of the Board David Bostrom sat down to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about what comes next. Bostrom says the Trustees didn’t try to convince Dr. Sternberg to stay.

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Open Spaces
4:04 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

UW Board of Trustees President talks about Dr. Sternberg’s resignation

David Bostrom
Credit www.beaumontenterprise.com

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees announced UW President Bob Sternberg’s resignation on Thursday. The Trustees spent Thursday and Friday in meetings, but President of the Board David Bostrom sat down to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about what comes next. Bostrom says the Trustees didn’t try to convince Dr. Sternberg to stay.

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Open Spaces
3:52 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Historian offers perspective on Sternberg resignation

Bob Sternberg
Credit trib.com

It’s not often that a president leaves a university as quickly as Bob Sternberg, but it has happened before at UW. Phil Roberts spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden. He says there are often times that people are just not the right fit for a particular position.

For more on UW President Bob Sternberg’s resignation, click here.

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Open Spaces
3:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

In Laramie, those in the drug court are finding the benefits of yoga

Hot Power Yoga
Credit Bob Beck

Lots of people enjoy the calming and relaxing benefits of yoga, but in Laramie a group is trying to use yoga to help those in the drug court program.  And the early returns are good.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more. 

BOB BECK:  It’s Friday night at Laramie’s Hot Power Yoga.  The lights are down and the room is lit with candles.  Nine people connected with the Albany County Drug Court program are here holding various poses in an effort to relax and focus. 

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Open Spaces
3:42 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Guatemalan genocide survivor visits UW

Anselmo Roldan

Anselmo Roldan Aguilar is from Guatemala. He was a young man when the Guatemalan military attacked his town and killed more than 400 people. This was in 1982, in the midst of Guatemala’s internal armed conflict, during which thousands were massacred.

Roldan Aguilar is now president of the Association for Justice and Reconciliation, an organization seeking justice for the survivors and perpetrators. He visited the University of Wyoming to meet with students and talk about his experience and AJR’s work and stopped by the studio to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov.

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