This weekend marks the fifth annual Snowy Range Music Festival at the Albany County Fairgrounds. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer reports, the festival’s organizer has a grand vision, but it’s up to the region’s music lovers to see it fulfilled.
(MUSIC: Tab Benoit)
MICAH SCHWEIZER: Carl Gustafson’s dream hasn’t been without challenges. He started organizing the Snowy Range Music Festival in 2009.
CARL GUSTAFSON: “Here’s how bad it is…the first time that I had this, six weeks later I had a heart attack.”
We recently reported that an oil and gas company operating in Wyoming was fined by the federal Office of Natural Resource Revenue for not submitting production reports. Turns out, the company has a history of poor behavior in the state, fiscally and environmentally. Although Pure Petroleum’s gross neglect of its responsibilities is somewhat of an exception, it does point to big flaws in the oil and gas industry’s reclamation system.
Maize geneticist Anne Sylvester is studying corn to see whether she can control the way it conserves water. Her greenhouse on the University of Wyoming campus is set up to simulate the conditions of an Iowa cornfield.
Science can be fascinating, even to non-scientists. But when experts use a lot of industry jargon to explain their research, it can be hard to understand.
Now that funding for research is harder to come by, scientists need to do more to win over the public’s hearts and minds to back their work. The National Science Foundation will be hosting a workshop at the University of Wyoming to help scientists, engineers and other academics to communicate with the rest of us about their research.
Author Ron Carlson new novel “Return to Oakpine” tells the story of four high school buddies reuniting in their fictional Wyoming hometown, now that they’ve reached middle age.
One character, Jimmy Brand, is dying of AIDS, and he and his friends get their high school garage band back together one last time. Carlson tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez that this is a “quieter” book, in which the reader keeps company with these characters.
This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories. Today, we’ll hear from a burlesque performer. Her stage name is Stella Fox, and she talks with her fiancée, Jonathan Green, about her burlesque career.
The piece was produced by Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden with interviews recorded at StoryCorps. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.
It has never been easy to start a small business or to keep it going. Acquiring startup money is always one of the challenges. In Wyoming, officials say they want to develop more businesses, but unless you are a technology company, it can be difficult to find the necessary support. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
BOB BECK: Laramie Economic Development Director Dan Furphy says funding small businesses is scary for lenders.
A new group is convinced that, with a little coaching, Jackson Hole can become the Silicon Valley of the Rockies. In fact, this ad hoc group has even taken the name Silicon Couloir. (Coo-LAR) They're convinced that within the state the investors exist to help grow more startup businesses. But what's lacking is a venue for investors and entrepreneurs to meet. The possible solution is known as Pitch Day.
Now, for the latest edition in our occasional series, Upstarts, we’ll hear from a stay-at-home mom who launched a multimedia publishing company from her kitchen table in Laramie. Kati Hime is the owner and editor of three high-quality magazines that focus on life in and across the Cowboy State. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.
Wyoming landscape painter Kathryn Turner grew up on Triangle X Ranch in Grand Teton National Park surrounded by dramatic views of her favorite subject, the Tetons.
And in her words, she’s spent the past 20 years trying to do them justice. “And they are challenging! And what makes them challenging is they’re always changing, with the light, with the seasons, with the way the clouds move over them, obscuring them, changing the shadows. So they provide a lifetime of material,” added Turner.
Wyoming exported more goods to foreign markets in 2012 than in 2011.
Total revenue went from 1-point-2 billion dollars to 1-point-4 billion dollars. The largest market is Canada, followed by Australia and Brazil. Machinery and raw commodities like coal, and oil and gas are the top exports.
C-E-O of the Wyoming Business Council, Bob Jensen, says there are several factors that contributed to the growth.
His film and TV credits include the recent Smurfs movies, Shrek 2, and Rugrats, but screenwriter David Weiss also attracts attention for his faith. He grew up a secular Jew, converted to Christianity, and later became an observant orthodox Jew. That’s the subject of his lectures Friday and Saturday at the Chabad Jewish Center in Jackson. Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer reached Weiss by phone as he was driving from Los Angeles to Santa Monica to work on a script.
Roughly three years ago, two women undertook an effort to take a group of middle school girls in Jackson under their wing with the goal of helping them get into college. The effort is called College Bound Latinas and the program has had some early success. But a recent interaction with a University of Wyoming Professor is taking the girls even further as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.
With Congress in recess for the month President Obama is preparing to continue pressuring Republicans to work with him on job creation. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that Wyoming’s congressional delegation says that while his speeches rev up his base he still isn’t trying to work with the GOP.
Today, the long awaited ground breaking for the 41 million dollar Wind River Job Corps took place. The project was first conceived in 2005 and thanks to support of Senator Mike Enzi it finally received federal approval. It’s the first Job Corps for Wyoming which is the only state without such a facility.
Sandy Barton of the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services or BOCES spearheaded the effort from the start. She told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it will have a major impact on Fremont County and the state.
Science has long been something we look to for answers. But when it comes to policy making, science can’t always provide the clear solutions lawmakers and the public want. That has to do with how science works and the politics that sometimes infiltrate. Two issues in Wyoming demonstrate uncannily well the shortcomings of science when it comes to decision making in the environmental sphere.
From Mountain West Voices, Clay Scott tells about Laramie’s Paul Taylor.
Paul Taylor has been on walkabout for most of his adult life. He is an incredibly gifted storyteller and musician, and I met him as he was travelling from Laramie, Wyoming, to a school in Eureka, Montana to hold a week-long story-telling and art workshop.
Stephen Watt and Mark Farnham are best friends. But it’s a friendship that came out of violent circumstances. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov spoke to both of them at the Torrington Medium Correctional Institution, where Farnham is an inmate. In the first part, Watt and Farnham talk about how they met. In the second, they discuss how their friendship has changed their lives, they say, for the better, and their desire to work towards more restorative justice programs in the criminal justice system.
Loggers from Saratoga Forest Management cut down Lodgepole and Ponderosa pine trees. The saw mill can use both live and beetle-killed trees to make two-by-fours.
Credit Rebecca Martinez
About half of the Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines on Elk Mountain have been killed by bark beetles, which carry a fungus that leaves blue rings in the trunk. Saratoga Forest Management can use both live and beetle-killed trees to make two-by-fours.
Credit Rebecca Martinez
About half of the Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines on Elk Mountain have been killed by bark beetles. Saratoga Forest Management can use both live and beetle-killed trees to make two-by-fours.
Credit Rebecca Martinez
Saratoga Forest Management uses a machine called a feller-buncher to cut and stack trees on Elk Mountain. The Wyoming State Forestry Division says private saw mills own the heavy equipment necessary to clear large swaths of highly-flammable beetle-killed
Credit Rebecca Martinez
Saratoga Forest Management’s saw mill uses large circular saws cut pine logs. They are then cut into two-by-fours.
Saw mills are re-opening in Wyoming and Colorado after a decade of being shuttered. They’re harvesting and processing trees that have been killed by beetle infestation. Still, many are suitable for lumber. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that this uptick in the timber business is helping with forest fire management.
One of the main things that threatens sage grouse is human development and fragmentation of their habitat. But another big worry is West Nile Virus.
The disease is carried by mosquitoes, and researchers are now testing a new method for keeping mosquitoes in check. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Brad Fedy, who’s leading the project. He says West Nile Virus is a major concern for sage grouse.
Trona mining is a widely forgotten part of the state’s extraction industries. But in Sweetwater County, it’s a big deal. Just west of Green River, there’s a hidden labyrinth of tunnels far below I-80. And the industry is a major part of the county’s economy. But some worry that environmental issues could be a major burden for trona mining. Amanda Le Claire has more.
Kurt Johnson of Wilson is the author of a new field guide for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Johnson about the book. He says that while there were already a lot of field guides for those parks, he felt he could still add something.
Laramie residents have been noticing more rabbits than usual in town this year. Some experts say it’s because there are fewer predators, but others aren’t so sure. Wyoming Public Radio’s Chelsea Biondolillo reports.
CHELSEA BIONDOLILLO: Melissa Gelwicks has had a backyard garden next to Undine Park for about 7 years. She grows everything from squashes and herbs to cabbages, beets and greens. She’s used to rabbits frequenting her garden, but this year there seem to be more of them.
This week Wyoming’s senior senator, Mike Enzi, was surprised to learn he’ll be facing off against Liz Cheney in what’s expected to be one of the most heated Republican primaries in the nation. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that right now, the Republican Party is wrapping its arms around Enzi.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov caught up with Governor Matt Mead to check in about some big changes in the state in the coming months. Her first question was about the Environmental Protection Agency’s report on contaminated water in Pavillion and the state’s takeover of the study.
Though the entities involved in the study have previously expressed skepticism over the EPA’s findings, Governor Mead says he has no doubts that the state’s study will be unbiased.