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

Catherine Wheeler

Outside of the Harley-Davidson dealership in Gillette, it's actually pretty quiet. Employees are moving around some new demo bikes and there are a couple of shoppers inside. But that's unusual for this time of year.

Mike Gatewood and Erin McDaniel

As COVID-19 puts stress on the country's healthcare system, Wyoming medical workers are heading to overwhelmed places with high amounts of cases to help out. Sheridan VA Health System nurses are being sent on two-week stints to veteran and community facilities. LPNs Mike Gatewood and Erin McDaniel, who work at VA satellite clinics in the state, speak about the toll COVID-19 took at a nursing home for veterans in Maryland.

United States Drought Monitor / National Drought Mitigation Center

A new report shows extreme drought throughout the Bighorn Mountains.

The latest data from the University of Nebraska's National Drought Mitigation Center shows most of Wyoming is experiencing some level of drought. That ranges from moderate drought in the south and some eastern parts of the state to severe drought in the central region.

Wyoming PBS

At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Mark Gordon extended statewide public health orders through August 15 following weeks of increasing COVID-19 cases in the state.

In comparison to other states though, Gordon said Wyoming is faring well.

Several state agencies are working together to ensure kids are safe when they return to schools.

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), the Wyoming Department of Education and Wyoming Office of Homeland Security are helping distribute 500,000 face coverings between school districts for when students return in the fall. The coverings were paid for by a donation from clothing company Hanes and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Montana VA Health Care System

A new partnership will allow veterans enrolled in the Montana and Sheridan VA Health Care Systems will provide veterans access to an onsite VA nurse  when they are hospitalized at the Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare.

The nurses will be connected with veterans once they are admitted to the hospitals and help to arrange things like follow-up appointments and physical therapy during their hospitalization and after discharge.

Catherine Wheeler

Gillette Reproductive Health is located in a nondescript building surrounded by many other doctors offices, pharmacies and the hospital. Not many people in the community know it's there or what exactly they do.

Wyoming Department of Education

State agencies and local officials are working together to come up with plans on how to reopen schools this fall after the coronavirus pandemic required them to shut down in the spring.

The Smart Start working group is part of a COVID-19 task force started by Gov. Mark Gordon. It includes representatives from the local school districts, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) and the state's education department.

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

The University of Wyoming and the state's department of education are co-hosting a virtual literacy conference this summer.

At the Embracing Literacy conference, teachers will brush up on the best tools and strategies for teaching kindergarteners through third graders how to read.

Catherine Wheeler

Buffalo, Wyoming is a small Western town with fewer than 5,000 residents. The historic Occidental Hotel still stands on Main Street. Murals of horses paint the sides of old brick buildings. Buffalo's most widely attended event is a four-day long festival that celebrates a fictional sheriff in town based on Buffalo and Johnson County.

U.S. Census Bureau

Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution mandates the government count the people living in this country. That count helps to shape aspects of our lives at the national, state and local levels, including local funding for our communities. So far, Wyoming's self-response rate is 55 percent. But Wyoming Economic Analysis Division principal economist Amy Bittner said that isn't a reason to worry right now. Bittner spoke to Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler about how Wyoming's response rate is stacking up against the rest of the country.

Catherine Wheeler

Gov. Mark Gordon and leaders from some of the top rodeos in the state this month announced the major events would be canceled this year. That's due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health safety measures that would have to be put in place for those events. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Billy Craft and Zane Garstad, the president and vice president of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo. First, Craft explained how they came to the decision to put the 90th anniversary celebration on hold this year.

Ryan Shippy/NWCCD

The Northern Wyoming Community College District is offering a new online program that will train high school and middle school teachers how to teach computer science.

In 2018, the state legislature passed a bill requiring schools to offer computer science classes by 2022. That means middle school and high school teachers need to get official endorsement from the state standard's board before they can teach the subject.

WYDOT

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is closing 10 rest stops in the state in order to save money. The department's revenue is greatly impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a drop in fuel tax revenue, as well as overall underfunding.

"We took a hard look at all of our rest areas and came up with a list of those that we feel we can close with a minimal amount of impact to our travelers," said WYDOT Director Luke Reiner. "It was a hard decision but one that we came to based on the needs of the public and to ensure we maintain a balanced budget."

Julie Greer

When Kristen Czaban started at the Sheridan Press in June 2008 as a new reporter, she thought she'd stay for a year, get experience and move on.

Wyoming Hunger Initiative

A new program will allow hunters in the state to donate game meat to those in need.

Food From the Field is part of First Lady Jennie Gordon's Wyoming Hunger Initiative, which is aimed at raising awareness for food insecurity in our state and supporting local organizations that do so.

Northern Wyoming Community College District

The Northern Wyoming Community College District will be reopening its campuses this fall, but with some changes. Students will be able to utilize both in-person and online courses for the upcoming academic year.

Classes will begin on August 24, which is a week earlier than usual.

Warner Brothers

As major summer events throughout the state get canceled, one more has been added to the list. The Longmire Days festival in Buffalo has called off its in-person activities this year.

The annual festival celebrates the books and subsequent television show about the fictional Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire. The books' author Craig Johnson based the town of Durant, Wyoming on Buffalo.

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.

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