A new coal mine may open in Wyoming for the first time in 50 years. State regulators issued a permit for the Brook Mine back in December, paving the way for construction to begin. But now that permit has become the center of a controversy. Landowners, environmental groups, and even a coal company are taking issue with it. Cooper McKim reports.
The wind energy industry is growing worldwide, and so is the global competition between turbine-makers. That battle is now playing out in Wyoming, a state with some of the best wind potential in the nation. In the next few years two massive wind power projects are slated to come on line. To get an edge, a Chinese company is trying to win over the state’s scant pool of workers through free training to become a wind turbine technician. Inside Energy’s Madelyn Beck reports.
Newly minted Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke just took a massive step towards streamlining the permitting process for oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Correspondent Matt Laslo reports from Washington that while Wyoming lawmakers love the move, Democrats fear it’s a dangerous first step down a slippery slope.
Two years ago, Wyoming passed the Food Freedom Act, giving the state the most lenient local food regulations in the country. It allows Wyoming farmers to sell things other states can’t… raw milk, eggs and poultry direct to consumers. But many Wyoming food producers say, there’s still one road block: beef. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports the issue is that federal regulations make it hard to market Wyoming branded beef outside the state where all the customers are.
Summer in Wyoming means a variety of shows dedicated to reenacting the Wild West. There will be cowboys and Indians — except in some locations the Native Americans will be played by white actors in redface – which is the situation in Lusk, Wyoming, where the two day production the “Legend of Rawhide” depicts Native Americans skinning a white settler alive. And as Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard reports, it’s a town tradition.
For thousands of low income children in Wyoming, there is such a thing as a free lunch, at least during the school year. In order to provide healthy food to students who rely on free or reduced meals throughout vacation, schools and other organizations are attempting to offer free summer meals to kids. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Alanna Elder reports, they aren’t reaching everyone.
Schools are a steady source of more than just lunch. Teachers and counselors are also a source of support for kids who are struggling with mental health issues. But just like hunger, which doesn’t pause for summer, emotional turmoil doesn’t take a break either. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death nationally for people between the ages of 10 and 24. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Tennessee Watson reports, that’s why a unique partnership has formed in Campbell County . . . to support kids year round.
One of the major problems in Wyoming is the lack of affordable health care. It’s an old issue and while health insurance is certainly a piece, there are few affordable places people can go who are without insurance or who are underinsured with high deductibles. For many years Laramie has had a clinic for very low income people, it now has another health clinic for those who have fallen through the cracks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.