While the fiscal cliff has cast a dark shadow over the nation's economy, for some, there's what you might call a platinum lining. Individuals or families, who own estates or businesses worth five million dollars, can cash in on what appears to be a chance of a lifetime. But the clock is ticking. Rebecca Huntington has more.
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State Treasurer Mark Gordon took over his new duties a few weeks ago, following the death of Joe Meyer. Gordon has an extensive background on issues involving finances to state lands. He tells us that Wyoming’s portfolio looks good.
The Wyoming library system has been working hard to keep up with residents’ needs in the digital age, but they might have some trouble if the legislature approves sweeping budget cuts in January. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with Wyoming State Librarian Lesley Boughton about it. Boughton says she says the Wyoming library system works well because of how it was created.
With the federal election concluded, many members of Congress are back to disagreeing over the issue of immigration reform. Wyoming's delegation has an interest in the debate. Matt Laslo has more from Washington...
LASLO: Wyoming's immigration issues are different than those faced in other parts of the country. Seasonal workers are needed to help staff up the tourism industry, but Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis points out a less well known reason the state needs migrant workers.
Business has been booming for the Wyoming Liquor Division. The arm of the state Department of Revenue distributes all wine and liquor to retailers across the state. Over the last 7 years, there’s been a huge increase in the amount of alcohol sold… and the revenue going back to the Cowboy State. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
Wyoming is still a frontier of sorts, a place where many continue to hunt in wide open spaces. And sometimes they sing about it, too. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that Julian Saporiti is collecting those cowboy poets’ songs to share with others.
ZHOROV: Julian Saporiti is not from Wyoming…
JULIAN SAPORITI: Like this how not-Wyoming or Western I am. I’ve never ridden a horse in my life. I’ve been on a pony ride going around in a circle in a grocery store parking lot when I was 6. That’s the extent of my cowboyisms.
Converse County oil boom draws concerns from residents In October, we reported that Chesapeake Energy had drilled a series of oil wells near Douglas, very close to people’s houses. Chesapeake says the area will likely continue to be a core drilling region. That has some area residents uneasy. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
In October, we reported that Chesapeake Energy had drilled a series of oil wells near Douglas, very close to people’s houses. Chesapeake says the area will likely continue to be a core drilling region. That has some area residents uneasy. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
In the last several years, states have received fewer federal dollars for highways. During the energy boom the legislature made up for the shortfall by providing periodic funding for construction and maintenance.
But the Wyoming Department of Transportation wants long term and stable funding. After spending the summer looking at the issue, a legislative committee could only agree on one substantial plan, a ten cent increase in the state gas tax. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.
Last week, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead released his proposed budget and he will present that budget to the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee on Monday. The budget features some cuts and a couple of policy decisions. The Governor joins us now.
Wyoming Republicans in Washington are advocating for phasing out the Wind Production Tax Credit, which has helped give the state a robust energy portfolio. Matt Laslo reports on the future of the tax credit in the near and long term.
The Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is getting started with a new study about sage grouse core areas. Matt Kauffman heads the group, and he joins us now to talk about the study. Matt, tell us what you’re trying to find out.
We’re joined now by author Steve Horn. He lives between Laramie and Cheyenne, and earlier this year he published a novel called “Another Man’s Life.” The book tells the story of a Vietnam veteran from Wyoming after he returns home from the war. So Steve, without giving too much away, tell us about the story.
“The Hitching Post Inn: Wyoming’s Second Capital” is the story about an iconic hotel in Cheyenne that was home to legislators, lobbyists and others over the years. That includes big name entertainers. The main portion of the facility burned to the ground in 2010. Sue Castaneda is the author and she says it was more than just a hotel.
Now we’ll play the first installation of a segment we’re calling “Upstarts”. It’s an occasional series where we profile Wyoming entrepreneurs and explore what makes them – and their businesses – tick. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with 38-year-old Nathan Heineke, owner of N.L. Heineke Incorporated, where he designs and builds upscale custom hunting rifles in Laramie. He started his business eight years ago, and business is good but, he says it could be a while before he starts to see a profit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.