Sara Hossaini


Sara Hossaini is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She brings a blend of documentary journalism and public interest communications experience developed through her work as a nonprofit multimedia consultant and Associate Producer on national PBS documentary films through groups such as the Center for Asian American Media, Fenton Communications and The Working Group. She likes to travel, to get her hands in the dirt and to explore her creative side through music, crafts and dance.

Blood Is Needed

Nov 26, 2012

With a shortage of O negative blood looming this holiday season, area blood banks want folks to consider giving the gift of blood.

Only 6 percent of the population has O negative blood, but anyone can receive it. Hospitals often keep a few units of O negative, which is often referred to as a universal donor, on hand for emergency trauma patients whose blood type is unknown.  

The most recent farm bill expired in September and farmers and ranchers are eager to see when Congress will reach a decision on a new bill covering crop insurance, conservation and disaster relief programs.

Passage of the farm bill has proved challenging, as lawmakers battle over cuts to parts of the bill that deal with nutrition programs like the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.

This October, the small staff at the Laramie Soup Kitchen served nearly 600 more meals than last year during the same month. Executive Director Emily Madden says they’re reaching out to more people, and want to make sure people have healthy food options. This week’s menu included a bacon mushroom and vegetarian cheese quiche, fresh garden salad and desserts. She says that an average of 50 individuals come to the basement of St. Matthew’s Cathedral every weekday to eat, socialize or stock up for the weekend.

Three small fires in the northern Big Horns have been contained.

Susie Douglas, spokeswoman for the Big Horn National Forest, says the Bull Elk Park fire burned 85 acres of grass and two acres of timber near Burgess Junction. The Elkhorn and Fool Creek Ridge fires only saw an acre of damage each. Doulgas hopes that with winter approaching, fires will be less common.

Architectural Design Students at the University of Wyoming are helping to re-design Buffalo, Wyoming’s historic downtown. The focal point will be an antique carousel with a unique local flair. 

With many parents on high alert over recent child abductions in the region, children’s advocates are working to get families talking about how to stay safe. Two girls were abducted by strangers this month, 500 miles apart from one another. Suspects in both cases have been arrested, but the fear remains for many parents, says Lynn Huylar, director of the Child Advocacy Center in Cheyenne .

In a letter to the Laramie Boomerang last week, Subway and Bagelmakers franchise owner Tim Woodward wrote that if President Obama wins re-election, and the Affordable Health Care Act stands, he would sell off two-thirds of his stores by 2014, cancel health insurance for managers, and shift full-time line workers to less than 30 hours a week. The open letter angered a number of area residents who have planned to boycott businesses Woodward and his brother, Rob, operate in Wyoming and Colorado.

Former US Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas believes that fewer laws could make for a more effective and efficient forest service. Mr. Thomas gave a lecture on the UW campus entitled Forks in the Trail: Ecosystem Management in Transition. The former US Forest Service Chief under President Clinton says that the service was originally established with three mandates: water, timber and land protection. Now that the mission has grown to include wildlife and endangered species, he says that number has grown to 64 laws.

A year and a half ago, Don Wills helped to form a new political party in Wyoming, called the Country Party. Today, he is challenging Representative Cynthia Lummis for her seat in the US House.

A business owner in the computer industry,  Wills says his aim is to challenge what he calls liberal, progressive Republicans, and to raise the new party’s conservative profile.  He says there are two main parts of his agenda—the first: the deficit.

This November, incumbent US House representative Cynthia Lummis will defend her seat against a democrat and three third-party candidates. Among them, physician Daniel Cummings, Constitution Party candidate and owner of a family practice in Casper, Wyoming. If elected to the US house, he says he would do his part to stop any increased spending, which he believes could eventually create a state of national violence and collapse.

During this week's presidential debate, President Obama challenged Mitt Romney’s assertion that oil drilling on public lands was down by 14 percent. Almost as soon as they cleared the stage, a flurry of fact-checking revealed that while the rate did drop in one year—mostly due to the moratorium on drilling after the BP oil spill—drilling has increased on public lands during Obama’s tenure. 

Wyoming is reporting much less snowpack this year than last, which could make for a dry summer.

Lee Hackleman is the state’s Water Supply Specialist. He says Wyoming’s snowpack is onethird less than normalthis year.

"It’s hard to believe how much it’s dropped in the last couple of weeks," he says. "No snowstorms and warm temperatures, and we’re supposed to be getting a lot of snowstorms this time of year. So if you don’t get any and then it’s extra warm, too, just the combination of the two makes it really drop."

With an initial Supreme Court vote on the controversial Affordable Care Act expected at any time, a big question remains for Native American communities: what if the entire act is struck down?

This week, the Obama administration announced new regulations  for carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.

When the Environmental Protection Agency determined that carbon dioxide emissions were endangering the public in 2009, Ron Surdam, Director of the Carbon Management Institute at the University of Wyoming, says he saw the writing on the wall: there would be a cap on new power plant emissions, which is exactly what the EPA announced this week.


The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees met today/Thursday to discuss a proposed tuition and fee increase that would begin this fall.   If passed, that option would bump up in-state tuition by 2% for the next two years. Non-residents could pay 4.5% more this fall. 

Each year, Iranians gather with their families on the first day of spring to herald a new year. UW Persian Student Association President, Mohammad Soltaniehha, says that at the center of a family’s celebration is a symbolic table filled with elements of creation and life, "This table always reminds me of family because that’s the time we have tried always be together."

University of Wyoming Board of Trustees will discuss whether or not to increase tuition rates this week, with a final vote taking place on Friday. Under the proposal, in-state tuition would increase by 2%, while non-residents would pay 4% more this fall, and an additional increase of 2% the following year.

Next spring, children of eligible inmates at the women’s prison in Lusk will have the opportunity to spend critical bonding time with their mothers as part of the legislature’s decision to fund a one million-dollar prison nursery.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for several low-lying areas of Wyoming due to the current warm, dry and windy conditions in eastern and northern counties.

Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser says Wyoming's normal fire season stretches from June through October, but spring-like conditions in many low-lying areas of the state create the potential for rapid and extreme fires.

Members of Congress are having a tough time agreeing on what a national transportation bill should look like.  Transportation funding is usually a safe bet for lawmakers on both sides of aisle, but in this election year, and as current transit measures are set to expire at the end of the month, it’s looking like a bumpy road.  Although the U.S.

Carol S. Bock

Yellowstone National Park and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee have released the results of their investigation into a fatal August 2011 bear attack.

Two hikers exploring the Mary Mountain Trail in Hayden Valley last August discovered the mauled body of 59-year old John Wallace of Michigan. Following several months of investigation, two reports released today confirmed that Mr. Wallace died from traumatic injuries following a bear attack.

Hal Wedel / Biodiversity Conservation Alliance

Last week, conservationists won what should be a decisive victory in the battle over the Roadless Rule. The rule bars development on nearly 60 acres of pristine national forest. On Thursday, 10th Circuit Denver Court denied the Colorado Mining Association and State of Wyoming’s request for a rehearing. The court had previously overruled a Wyoming judge’s decision to block implementation of the rule, finding that the state had abused judicial discretion.

This week is Wyoming’s annual “Through with Chew Week,” a campaign to get people to stop chewing tobacco. Wyoming has the nation’s highest rate of smokeless tobacco use among adults. And a 2011 study shows that 1 in 5 Wyoming high school boys chewed.Wyoming Department of Health Spokesperson Kim Deti says the Wyoming Quit Tobacco Program provides folks who want to quit with an important support system—and maybe even some free gas.

A proposed bill by Sen. Charles Scott of Natrona County would give state agencies more power to acquire private lands in Wyoming for public use, including by eminent domain.

Sara Hossaini

Listen to the story

Most residents we spoke with seem to be excited about the opportunities DKRW could bring. Wyoming Public Radio's Sara Hossaini heard from some of them.

TONI GEORGE: My name is Toni George, owner of JB stop and shop in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. I’m very much for it.   

Beginning Thursday, the National Park Service will call on the public to give its feedback on their latest ideas for winter use of Yellowstone Park. This is part of the Supplemental Impact Statement which will help inform the final winter management plan expected to be ready by December of this year. The most controversial part of the proposal deals with reduced snowmobile numbers. It would require that all snowmobiles be guided and that only between 110 and 330 will be allowed inside Yellowstone.  Cody Chamber Director Scott Balyo says he would like to see substantially more  allowed.

Many people in the natural gas industry are hoping that current low prices have hit rock bottom—and there’s no way but up. That, according to Jim Robinson, Senior Economist with the Economic Analysis Division. He says the price of gas at Wyoming’s Opal Hub is $2.75 per thousand cubic feet (mcf). That’s after an October forecast by the Consensus Estimating Group, or CREG, estimated that gas would sell at $4 mcf.

Robinson says there are three key reasons for the discrepancy.

Come February, needy Casper families with children will be able to collect one quart of milk per child each month from their local foodbank. Joshua’s Storehouse CEO Jay Martin says the group fed over six-thousand youngsters last year, and the new monthly addition of milk will mean important nutrition for these children.

“We have been looking over the last year at things that are really missing in the food bank business for us,” says Martin, “and one of the things we come up absolutely the shortest on is milk.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) Thursday that offers guidelines for how national forests draw up their management plans. Under the proposed new rule, forests may update their plans as needed, instead of the previous standard of every fifteen years.

The Wyoming Department of Economic Analysis says that the state had fewer commercial airline passengers in 2011 than in 2010.

However, Casper/Natrona County International Airport Manager Glenn Januska says thatairlines that fly in and out of Wyoming have cut seats to ensure fuller, more profitable flights.

He says that unlike many areas, there is still plenty of demand in Wyoming, That’s a message he and others are trying to convey to the airlines.