November 13th, 2015

Listen to the whole show here. 

In Coal Country, No Cash In Hand For Billions In Cleanup


In Wyoming, over 170 thousand acres of land is currently dug up and built on for mining operations. Mine reclamation...filling those pits with dirt and then recreating the ecosystem that once was is expensive. Inside Energy has found that Wyoming has three billion dollars in outstanding mine clean up costs, over two billion of that isn’t backed up with cash. And so, as the dramatic fall of the coal industry rapidly advances, Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson reports that the state is ground zero when it comes to the fate of our massive coal mine clean-up costs.


Legislative Committee Prepares To Discuss Revenue Needs

State Representative Mike Madden and the joint revenue committee will be busy next week. They have a number of issues from local government funding to how to pay for school construction that they need to address. With the recent revenue projections, the committee will need to see if there are new ways to pay for such things. One idea could even be a property tax. Madden who chairs the House Revenue Committee talks with Bob Beck. 

Tobacco Tax Hike Could Curb Smoking

Earlier we heard Representative Mike Madden discuss two key funding challenges the Joint Revenue Committee will tackle next week, one other topic of discussion will be whether to raise the state tobacco tax. A dollar increase would raise 20 million dollars but the hope is that it will also curtail smoking.

Jason Mincer is the government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. His organization is strongly in favor of increasing the tax.  

Wyoming Continues To Struggle With Rising Diabetes Rates

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and the percentage of Wyoming adults with diabetes has nearly doubled in the last 15 years. That’s causing concern at the Wyoming Department of Health, where Chronic Disease Epidemiologist Joe Grandpre has been watching the situation unfold. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard checked in with Grandpre to find out why diabetes is a growing problem.


Going The Distance: Who Are Wyoming's Virtual Learners?

More than 1 percent of the public school students in Wyoming will not set foot in a classroom this year. They attend virtual schools that exist entirely on the web. As interest in online schools surges nationwide, state education officials are working to improve and expand this option for kids. In the first of a series of stories on virtual education in the Cowboy State, Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank looks at why some families choose this unconventional approach.     


Wyoming Black 14 Members Say Things Were Different At Missouri

The news that African American football players at the University of Missouri threatened not to play a football game against Brigham Young reminded some Wyoming players of the time they got kicked off of their team prior to a game with BYU. In Wyoming lore, they are known as the Black 14.


New Red Cloud Biography Reckons With His Controversial Legacy

One of the most controversial figures in the history of the American West is Ogalala chief Red Cloud. To some a brilliant warrior and politician, to others, to blame for the Ogalala’s loss of the Black Hills. Now, there’s a new biography called Red Cloud: Ogalala Legend. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards talked with research historian John McDermott about how the Ogalala ended up in Wyoming, and why giving up these lands meant the end of their way of life.


UW Symphony Gets Political With Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony

There’s a dramatic backstory to the next University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra concert. “If you think about it, what a composer is feeling, what a composer is thinking, can often have a profound influence on what the music sounds like,” says symphony director Michael Griffith.

In 1937, that was very much the case for Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, as Griffith explains to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.