Catherine Wheeler

Phone: 307-222-4208
Email: cwheel11@uwyo.edu

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.

Ways to Connect

Federal Transit Adminstration

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is receiving around $28 million from the Federal Transit Administration to distribute to local agencies stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around $6 million will go to transit systems in Casper and Cheyenne. Forty-one other local transit authorities, like the START bus program in Jackson and the Wind River Transit Authority, will share $12.3 million to help fund their programs for the rest of the year.

Catherine Wheeler

What was supposed to be the 90th celebration of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo has been canceled. The cancelation comes in conjunction with several other major rodeos in the state opting to shut down this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Candace Christofferson

The Riven Country of Senga Munro tells the story of Senga Munro, an herbal simpler or healer, who tragically loses her daughter. Most of the story is set in contemporary Northeast Wyoming, where the book's author, Renee Carrier, has lived for more than 32 years. Her novel takes on themes of place, grief and magic realism. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Carrier about the importance of the story's setting.

The state legislature's Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee met this week to discuss revenue issues facing the state's transportation department.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) presented a potential solution to its revenue shortfall: a road user charge. That's when drivers, both commercial and personal, pay a fee for the miles they drive on state roads and highways. Several states, including some in our region, are working on similar ideas.

NurseTogether / Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Gov. Mark Gordon updated the state on the recent legislation lawmakers passed during last week's special session.

Gordon praised the legislature's ability to work effectively in determining how and when to spend federal CARES Act funding. He said he will be signing the three bills that passed.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) will be meeting with the legislature's Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Committee this week.

Catherine Wheeler

Listen to the full show here.

Fewer Cars On The Road, Fewer Dollars For Highways: What COVID-19 Means For WYDOT

While many businesses are losing money in the state, so are some Wyoming agencies. One that's getting the hardest hit is the Wyoming Department of Transportation. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler explains.

Catherine Wheeler

This is the time of year when lots of drivers are typically on Wyoming highways. But like in so many other ways, this spring has been far from usual.

Wyoming Hunger Initiative

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon's hunger initiative has started a new program, Food From the Farm and Ranch, to get local meat to people in need.

The Wyoming Hunger Initiative is partnering with state groups and agencies like the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture to provide ground beef.

Northern Wyoming Community College District

The Northern Wyoming Community College District will receive some federal dollars to go towards expanding its health sciences program.

The district is set to receive $1.5 million from the federal Economic Development Administration. The money will go towards the remodel and expansion of the district's Health Sciences Center at Sheridan College, which helps to train students like nurses and dental hygienists.

Downtown Laramie, Wyoming
Bob Beck

Listen to the full show here.

Local Government Fears Loss Of Tax Revenue

This is a tough financial time for a lot of Wyomingites. But impacts on the general public also impact funding for local governments, which directly impacts a wide variety of services from law enforcement to streets.

Catherine Wheeler

The coronavirus pandemic has upended everyone's lives. But as Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler found out, for high school seniors across the state it's been especially impactful. She collected their voices and brings us this collage.

Public Domain

After submitting a request to the state to allow bars and restaurants to open at half capacity, Campbell County has had to put that on hold.

On Wednesday, May 6, the 16th case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Campbell County. The newest case is a teenage woman who is quarantined at home. However, due to her job as an essential worker, she had close contact with around 80 people, many of whom are considered high-risk, said Campbell County Public Health Executive Director Jane Glaser.

Listen to the full show here. 

Reported COVID-19 Numbers Are The Floor, Not The Ceiling

Wyoming is one of the states with the fewest number of COVID-19 lab confirmed cases. That's good news. But officials say the state still needs to be careful and not fall into a false sense of security that could cause a second wave and end up being disastrous to the health and economy of the state. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska reports.

Donor Alliance

National Donate Life Month just wrapped up. Every April, advocates celebrate and recognize organ, eye and tissue donation, something that anyone can sign up to do at the time of their death. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Donor Alliance's Wyoming Community Relations Coordinator Ryea' O'Neill.  

Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce has started a relief fund for employed or recently employed locals who need some additional help.

As of Tuesday afternoon, about $270,000 have been received or pledged to the Sheridan Area Employee Relief Fund. The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce started the relief fund to help people who live and work in the county and need extra support. The fund opened for applications on April 6.

State of Wyoming

Existing statewide public health orders will remain in effect until April 30, but Gov. Mark Gordon said the state will soon start to ease restrictions brought on due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Gillette

The Gillette City Council has approved funding that will allow two play areas to be built at a sports complex.

The city is already building three new soccer fields at the Energy Capital Sports Complex to attract more sports competitions like soccer and softball tournaments.

Wyoming Business and Industry Federation

Chambers of Commerce across the state are taking steps to ensure local businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wyoming Business and Industry Federation is made up of several chambers of commerce and advocates for businesses in the state. It's developed a two-phase plan.

Cheyenne Regional Airport

Thanks to recent federal legislation, 33 airports in the state will receive aid to support operations.

The CARES Act includes $10 billion for qualified U.S. airports. Wyoming will receive $49.75 million, spread amongst its airports, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Many have been affected by a lack of travel, with some altering the number of flights coming in or out or pausing operations altogether.

Sheridan Community Land Trust

The Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) has been granted $235,000 to secure two voluntary conservation easements in Sheridan County.

The two easements will help the organization maintain not only the land and water resources but also habitat for animals like greater sage grouse, mule deer and several species of migratory birds.

wyomingfoodbank.org

The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies is deploying its resources to help people who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Food Bank Director Tony Woodell said they are delivering twice the amount of food they regularly bring to their partners across the state.

Sheridan College

A local education foundation, Whitney Benefits, has donated a 3D printer along with supplies to Sheridan College.

Its donation will help the college to make personal protective equipment, or (PPE) in response to an increase in demand after one of the college's printers broke. The gift totals approximately $28,000.

sheridanwyoming.com

This story is part of a two-part series on how schools across the state are handling the switch to adapted learning.

When Superintendent Craig Dougherty first heard Gov. Mark Gordon's orders extending closures of public places through the end of April, he knew the district would have to switch to virtual learning.

Wyoming High School Activities Association

The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) announced it is canceling spring sports this year.

The 3A/4A high school state basketball tournaments were canceled back in March. Now, WHSAA is furthering cancelations, which will affect outdoor track and field, soccer, golf and tennis.

David Maulik

At the start of the week, Tyler Kerr was one of the few people in the office at the University of Wyoming's Student Innovation Center. He and his team had a busy weekend 3D printing 115 face masks for Wyoming.

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