The nationwide wave of protests that has followed the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans by police officers has reached all 50 states, and every corner of Wyoming.. including many small towns that have never seen protests before. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler and Savannah Maher have more.
Protests against racism and police brutality are NOT new to the US or to our region. However, large, sustained turnout, especially in small, mostly-white towns, is something we've not seen before. For many of those protestors, it's been their first time demonstrating--ever. Wyoming Public Radio's Maggie Mullen spoke to some of them in Laramie.
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.
The pandemic has caused thousands of people to file for unemployment. But for many immigrant workers--that's not an option. Even with the new Supreme Court ruling about DACA. And as Megan Feighery reports, a recent federal rule discourages even those that could apply.
A new state program seeks to help Wyoming residents as many struggle to make rent or mortgage payments during the pandemic. Wyoming Public Radio's Jeff Victor reports the program is off to a slow start, but could grow more critical throughout the summer.
Tourism is the second largest industry in the state. The summer of 2019 was a big year for the industry. More than three billion dollars were spent in the state and tourism generated $230 million in tax revenues. Wyoming Office Of Tourism Executive Director Diane Shober said the state had set even loftier goals for 2020. But when Shober spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska, she said this year COVID-19 has hit tourism hard but there is hope that things could improve.
Like most health care providers across the state, Jackson Doctor Brent Blue wants people to take precautions and follow rules for social distancing. What he doesn't want to see is people panic over COVID-19. Dr. Blue tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that numbers are going up in the state and there are logical reasons for that.
Riverton has seemingly returned to normal from months of closed businesses, social distancing, and mask-wearing. This while Fremont County has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state. Wyoming Public Radio's Taylar Stagner reports that some rules exist, but it remains to be seen if they'll be enforced.