February 5th, 2016

Listen to the full show here.  

Living On Top Of Forgotten Oil And Gas Wells

A massive methane leak from a gas storage facility in southern California has been making headlines recently. But Porter Ranch isn’t the only place methane is leaking. There are millions of plugged and abandoned oil and gas wells in the U.S. and recent studies show some of them are leaking small, but measurable, quantities of methane. Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports for Inside Energy.

North Dakotans Reel From Low Oil And Ag Prices

On the surface, North Dakota doesn’t seem like a state full of risk-takers. It’s conservative, faith and family-oriented. Yet many people here are constantly making big bets on how much money they’re going to make next year, or whether they’re going to have a job in a few months. That’s because the state economy is dominated by commodities -- raw goods like crude oil, cattle or wheat. And commodity prices have tanked. As Inside Energy’s Emily Guerin reports, small towns have a front row seat to the downturn.

Without Medicaid Expansion Lawmakers Will Consider Some Alternative Reforms

Legislators have been talking about reforming health care in the state for at least 25 years. Access to health care providers is difficult, finding affordable health care is a challenge, and so after another Medicaid Expansion defeat the legislature’s Health and Labor committee spent the summer trying to find ways to improve health care in the state without spending much money. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that committee members tried to be creative, but it’s unclear if their efforts will have an impact.

Yellowstone Cutthroat Rebounding

Yellowstone Biologists are winning the war against invasive Lake Trout, and bringing back native Yellowstone Cutthroat. Penny Preston went out on the Lake to watch the gill netting boats that are killing the invasives. She recently found the fisheries biologist in Mammoth to discuss the results.

Tribal Liaison Says It'll Take A Lot Of Heart To Ease Racial Tensions

Next Thursday in Fort Washakie on the Wind River Indian Reservation, tribal and non-tribal community members will gather together to talk about escalating racial tensions in the area. The U.S. Justice Department offered to sponsor the meetings following the shooting of two Northern Arapaho men by a white man last summer in Riverton. The forums are part of a four-part curriculum intended to build toward a set of practical goals that the community can agree on. Sergio Maldonado is the Northern Arapaho Tribal Liaison for Governor Mead…and a committee member working on the forums. I sat down with him on the evening of the second meeting to talk about his own ideas for how racial tensions could be eased in the state’s reservation border towns.

Federal Rules For Counting Homeless Population Don't Work For Wyoming, Advocates Say

Last month, communities across Wyoming spent one 24-hour period attempting to count their population of homeless people. It’s called the “point-in-time count,” and it’s mandated by the feds, who use it to track the country's homeless population and divvy up funding. But some homeless advocates say the count is probably off. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan reports, if a homeless person has somewhere to stay during the ONE NIGHT of the count, they AREN’T counted as homeless.

Basketball Legend Kenny Sailors Discusses His Career

Wyoming basketball legend Kenny Sailors died last week at the age of 95. He was widely credited with creating and developing the modern day jump shot and was the first to use it as a pro basketball player. But what should not be missed is that he was one of the great players of his time. 

Study Says "Agricultural Revolution" May Not Have Been So Revolutionary For Human Population Growth

Around 12-thousand years ago, hunter gatherers began to settle in one place and farm the land. It’s widely thought to be the first time the human population began to grow at a faster rate. However, a recent study published in the scientific journal PNAS is challenging that idea. Harvard Astrophysicist Jibran Zahid was the head author of the paper. Co-authors Professor Robert Kelly and Eric Robinson from the University of Wyoming looked at radio carbon dates to determine population size of hunter gatherer communities in Wyoming and Colorado. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard sat down with the two archaeologists.

Tara Pappas Starts Stories In Her Paintings; Viewers Get To Finish Them

Laramie artist Tara Pappas is well known for colorful, whimsical art that looks like it’s lifted from the pages of a story book or fairy tale. Pappas is also an elementary school art teacher…and as she tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer, it was her students who inspired her to get back to work as a studio artist.