June 7th, 2019

Credit Kamila Kudelska

Listen to the full show here.

Bighorn Basin Proactive As Shopkos Close

If you’ve never been to a Shopko, it’s basically like a small Walmart. You can get groceries, apparel and lawn products all in one place. And they’re usually found in small towns. Back in March - Shopko announced it will be closing all its locations. This is a big deal. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska looked at how towns throughout the Big Horn Basin are being proactive about the news.

XPRIZE Competition Heats Up As Teams Prepare To Set Up Shop

A 7.5 million dollar competition to develop products out of carbon dioxide is less than a year away from its final stage. The NRG Cosia XPRIZE competition will take place at the Integrated Test Center outside of Gillette. Five teams are nearing the point where they can set up operations. Wyoming Public Radio’s Cooper McKim speaks with Marcius Extavour about how teams are progressing and what’s still to come.

State Public Defenders Ask Legislators For Help With Overwhelming Caseload

This week, officials from Wyoming’s Office of the State Public Defender spoke to the legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee about how its workload is hurting its ability to provide representation. The officials say they need more staff to be able to effectively help Wyoming residents in need of legal assistance. Wyoming Public Radio’s Catherine Wheeler reports on how the issue has led to some legal action.

AARP Is Hoping For Long Term Care Solutions

Next week the Wyoming legislature will begin to address a growing and expensive problem in Wyoming…long term care.  As you’ve likely heard…Medicaid costs in Wyoming are a growing concern…at a lot of that is because it’s the way many use to pay for nursing home care.  Sam Shumway is the Director of AARP Wyoming says the lack of available long term care is another problem.  He tells me that they want to present some solutions to lawmakers. 

On Stressed Colorado River, States Test How Many More Diversions Watershed Can Bear

The Colorado River provides water for 40 million people in the southwest. But the river is running short on water. And this is pushing some states to tap into every available drop before things get worse. In the first of a series we’re calling ‘The Final Straw’ - KUNC’s Luke Runyon reports on a controversial effort to make one Colorado reservoir bigger.

Dams Could Protect Ranchers From Climate Change's Drought…But Could They Also Contribute To It?

The state of Wyoming is moving forward to build or expand several reservoirs on the Green River, a main branch of the Colorado River. This would help ranchers prepare for worsening droughts as climate change escalates. In the second part of our series The Final Straw, Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports more dams could actually contribute to global warming.

Utah Presses Forward With Pipeline Plans Despite Colorado River Basin Constraints

Four states -- Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico -- have watched shares of their water from the Colorado River flowing downstream for nearly a century. But now they want to claim that promised water. In the last part of our series “The Final Straw,” KUER reporter Judy Fahys explores the drive behind a massive water pipeline in southwestern Utah.

More Poop On Public Lands Prompts Federal Agencies To Clamp Down On Dispersed Camping

It’s one of the traditions of living in the American West. Getting out in the boonies and camping … for free… on public lands.  But the recent boom in outdoor recreation means more people are heading out and putting down stakes in the region’s forests, mountains and deserts. That means the federal government may start cracking down.

The Prairie Chinatown That Disappeared

Wyoming is one of the least racially diverse states in the country—but it wasn’t always that way. A museum in Evanston chronicles a time when the state bustled with international immigrants. Wyoming Public Radio’s Erin Jones reports.