This week the U.S. Senate passed a sweeping and historic bill that would make the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent. A feat many hunters and fisherman, along with environmentalists, had thought was impossible after the GOP allowed it to lapse last year.
Wyoming Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott has retired after 35 years in the department. He was appointed director in 2011. During his tenure, wolves were taken off Endangered Species Act protections and guided the department towards adopting a new strategic plan. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska asks Talbott what his greatest achievement as director is.
Wyoming Senator Eli Bebout is finishing his 12th legislative session in the Senate after 14 years in the House. He was first elected as a Democrat from Fremont County in 1986. A few years later he changed to the Republican party and became Speaker of the House. He later became the Republican nominee for Governor and was appointed to the Senate to fill the term of the late Bob Peck. Bebout recently served as Senate President making him the only person to be both Speaker of the House and Senate President. For the second time in his career he is serving as the Senate Appropriations Chairman. He joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck to discuss his hard-line stance on spending and what’s behind his focus on education spending.
Two years ago this February, University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols launched a sexual misconduct task force. This fall the group released a five-year strategic plan that calls for changes like more bystander intervention training and increased support for survivors. Those efforts have been complicated by proposed changes to federal guidelines brought forward by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Wyoming Public Radio’s education reporter Tennessee Watson sat down with Sean Blackburn, the UW vice president of student affairs, to check in on the process.
The rates of people hurt or killed on the job in Wyoming are higher than in any other state and many of those workers are Latino. Nationally, Latinos suffer workplace accidents more than any other group. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards found out, an obscure law on Wyoming’s books means undocumented workers rarely get compensation when they get hurt and that could be making workplaces more dangerous for everyone.
Allie Gross of the Jackson Hole News and Guide and Melodie Edwards of Wyoming Public Radio collaborated on a story about worker's compensation for undocumented immigrants. They joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to discuss why they decided to co-produce this story.
The idea of learning two languages at a young age is growing in popularity. The benefits are wide-ranging, from being more culturally aware to eventually being more competitive in a global economy. In Wyoming, four school districts have dual language immersion programs. In Campbell County, school officials are looking to expand their program after an explosion in interest. Wyoming Public Radio’s Catherine Wheeler takes a deep dive.
Luis Alberto Urrea has written 16 books, including the novel The Hummingbird's Daughter, and the nonfiction book The Devil's Highway, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Urrea will give a talk at the Gateway Center in Laramie on Tuesday, February 19, at 7 p.m.
Wyoming Public Radio's Erin Jones talked with Urrea about family, the border, and the story of how he came to write his latest novel, House of Broken Angels.