Open Spaces: Podcast


A news and public affairs program about Wyoming and the West.

You can subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts or find us on Stitcher

Open Spaces September 25, 2020

Sep 25, 2020

On this episode, in several states Sequel Youth and Family Services is under investigation for abuse. There a concerns about their juvenile treatment facility in Wyoming too. The life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had an impact on some Wyoming attorneys and Judges. After a fatal grizzly bear-human encounter near Jackson, Teton County decided they may need to figure out a different approach to respond to these types of incidents. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces September 11, 2020

Sep 11, 2020

On this episode, the 80th annual One Shot Antelope Hunt is cancelled due to the pandemic. Critics hope organizers will take the opportunity to retire racist elements of the event. Kids are back in schools, and districts around the state are taking different approaches to how they're sharing positive COVID-19 cases with the public. The Fort Belknap Reservation has a successful history returning native species to their habitats. And they've recently started their newest reintroduction effort. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces September 4, 2020

Sep 4, 2020

On this episode, the first transfer of 40 Yellowstone National Park bison to 16 tribes across the nation occurred. Why has this been so hard? Bob Beck will speak with the Director of Wyoming's Department of Workforce services who says all is not lost. We will also look at Wyoming's enhanced efforts towards Carbon Capture and there's no Cowboy football this fall…or the Western Thunder Marching band. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces August 28, 2020

Aug 28, 2020

On this episode, we will explain what it might take for some in the legislature to consider tax increases and what that means for the state. A controversial plan for restoring Medicine Bow National Forest has just been approved. And the first Wyoming chapter of a mountain mentor biking program aims to teach girls friendship and self growth. Those stories and more.

On this episode, we'll hear a march from Riverton that focused on substance abuse five years after two Northern Arapaho men were murdered at a Riverton detox center. This fall, high school sports are on. But the challenge is keeping them on track. And a conversation on Wyoming's legislative primary between moderate Republicans and conservatives. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces August 7, 2020

Aug 7, 2020

On this episode, an influx of visitors will be in Northeast Wyoming because of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. And officials are preparing. We take a look at how meat producers are trying to get inventory out to their customers as processing plants are backed up. The Trump administration is pushing for schools to reopen in-person this fall. We'll hear from one school counselor and parent about the things they're weighing. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces July 31, 2020

Jul 31, 2020

On this episode, we will have an interview with new UW President Ed Seidel on topics ranging from his goals to reopening the University. Wyoming's community colleges are planning for the fall semester. Without federal guidance, each is developing a unique plan for its campus, from the classroom to the dorm. Wyoming's Congressional delegation has different ideas from the President regarding COVID-19 and we continue our series on racial tension in Fremont County. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces July 17, 2020

Jul 17, 2020

On this episode, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon announced the start of $250 million of budget cuts with more announcements on the way. Three years ago, a federal court ruled that the City of Riverton is not part of the Wind River Reservation. But a more recent ruling calls that into question. People are doubting science, and there are many theories why. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces July 10, 2020

Jul 10, 2020

On this episode, we'll hear from food service businesses about how they've adapted to a "new normal" during the COVID-19 pandemic. RVs and trailers are having a moment right now, with Americans looking for a way to vacation without sacrificing their safety. And how the pandemic is affecting the pocketbooks of professional cowboys. Also, a new coal mine is coming to the Powder River Basin and an update on Laramie's Pilot Hill project. Those and more.

Open Spaces June 26, 2020

Jun 26, 2020

On this episode, a local reproductive health clinic in Gillette lost its county funding and it could have big impacts on the people it serves. We will bring you the latest on efforts by the state of Wyoming to purchase millions of acres of land in southern Wyoming and it's not easy being a Wyoming artist. Plus why the Wyoming delegation is excited about efforts to get rid of regulations. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces June 19, 2020

Jun 19, 2020

On this episode, we will visit some of the smaller towns where Black Lives Matter protests have occurred. It's been a scary time for undocumented workers. And a town remains skeptical about COVID-19 despite being the county with the most cases. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces June 12, 2020

Jun 12, 2020

On this episode, we'll hear from Black Wyomingites who've been protesting around our state in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. We bring you a story exploring some of the opposition to the movement. We'll also visit with State Health Officer Doctor Alexia Harrist who will discuss where we are with COVID 19 and where she hopes to be. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces June 5, 2020

Jun 5, 2020

On this episode, we bring you a special episode on the 150th anniversary of women's suffrage in the Equality State. We'll look at the history of Wyoming getting involved in women's voting rights. We'll also revisit the challenge of getting women elected to the legislature. We'll also hear from the first woman publisher at the Sheridan press, who's putting her focus on the community. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces May 29, 2020

May 29, 2020

On this episode, recently Wyoming Public Radio won Regional Edward R. Murrow awards for best hard news, investigative and sports story. We also won for best use of sound, best continuing coverage and best documentary. Today we thought we'd play you some of those pieces. One story looks at the lack of police training when it comes to sexual assault. To challenges surrounding long term care and finding work if you're a laid off miner. We will look at an extreme sport you may not have heard of. And what climate change does to ice fishing. Kick back and join us for the next hour.

Open Spaces May 22, 2020

May 22, 2020

On this episode, Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney talks about the importance of following health orders when it comes to COVID-19. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks partially re-opened this week. A long time National Park Service employee expects a trial and error approach. We'll hear from members of the Wheeler family of Ethete, who lost 3 loved ones on a single day to COVID-19. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

On this episode, the month of Ramadan is a time for Muslims around the world to gather and pray and help the people around them. Usually international students travel home. And we'll hear Wyomingites on your pandemic silver linings. Yellowstone National Park gateway communities are using a unique if smelly way to help monitor covid 19 as tourists start rolling through, by testing the community's poop. Also, the huge hit to WYDOT's budget from the pandemic and how it's crippling hospital's finances. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has upended everyone's lives. But it's been especially disappointing for high school seniors. With casinos closed and oil and gas revenues stalled, The Wind River Reservation is facing tough economic times. Douglas was booming. But the crash in crude demand has caused it to empty out. Businesses across the area are reeling. Those stories and more.

Today on the show, the Wind River Reservation remains under a stay-at-home order, while our state begins to ease restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, experts say people still need to be careful of a false sense of security by looking at the number of coronavirus cases in their counties. Summer usually signals the start of Wyoming's wedding season. But this year things will probably look very different. Those stories and more. 

Open Spaces April 17, 2020

Apr 17, 2020

On this episode, we will be joined by Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon who will discuss the latest state plans connected with COVID-19. One economist says the closure of casinos on the Wind River Reservation could gut reservation economies. As small, rural hospitals in Wyoming are preparing for a potential surge of patients -- they are most worried about their health care providers. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces April 10, 2020

Apr 10, 2020

On this episode, the number of people getting laid off in Wyoming shot through the roof in the last few weeks. And they're starting to feel the pain. While many industries have closed due to COVID-19, others have had to stay open. Some workers and their unions are not happy with the current safety guidelines. And the Albany County Sheriff's Office is being sued for their handling of a sexual assault investigation. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces April 3, 2020

Apr 3, 2020

On this episode, creators around the state are trying to do their part to solve the severe shortages of important hospital equipment. And…the COVID-19 pandemic is claiming another yet victim – local newspapers. We’ll also hear about a just-married couple who left on a rafting trip the day a national emergency was declared. They returned to a new world. Also, how the livestock industry is faring through this crisis, as well as international students stuck far from home. Those stories and more.


Open Spaces March 27, 2020

Mar 27, 2020

On this episode, we'll focus most of our attention on the impacts COVID-19 is having on the state. The coronavirus is identifying the shortage of intensive care unit beds in the United States but there's another shortage that might be even more important in our region. Wyoming's top K-12 education official give us an update on how coronavirus has affected schools. And we'll also hear how parents are scrambling to figure out how to homeschool their kids. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces March 20, 2020

Mar 20, 2020

On this episode, with a growing number of COVID 19 cases in the state, many are on edge.  We will go to Fremont County where one woman is dealing with her mother’s hospitalization. Experts give tips on how to stay mentally healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. We will hear from a couple of University of Wyoming students from China, who were in their country when the original outbreak occurred. It’s impacted their parents. Those stories and more.


Open Spaces March 13, 2020

Mar 13, 2020

On this episode, state officials confirmed the first known case of COVID-19 in Sheridan this week. As Wyoming prepares for the situation to get worse, some will be able to prepare more than others. Legislators say cuts are needed, but what about taxes? We'll spend some time with the first woman from the Wind River Reservation ever elected to the legislature. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces February 28, 2020

Feb 28, 2020

On this episode, lawmakers will soon be reviewing Wyoming's basket of goods with the hope that it could improve education and save money. The recently announced state land purchase promises new revenue, the opening of inaccessible lands, and economic diversification. But it also raises questions for counties about the loss of property taxes and how the state can pay them back. We'll also hear about one Wyoming city that's thinking about how a new winter tradition isn't only fun but is a way to boost the economy over the slow season.

Open Spaces February 21, 2020

Feb 21, 2020

On this episode, we will have a couple stories from the Wyoming legislature including a look at coal. Lawmakers are looking into buying land across southern Wyoming. Governor Matt Mead says it could lead to a more diversified investment portfolio. Former Governor David Freudenthal warns again over-optimism though. Plus a discussion with the new CEO of the Wyoming Business Council. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces February 7, 2020

Feb 7, 2020

On this episode, the shale revolution lowered prices for oil and gas and caused production to skyrocket. But last year, it was too much a good thing… with low prices pushing companies towards major financial issues. Lovell High School has figured out a new innovative way to teach students the skills of building a house to marketing it and selling. The Wyoming Department of Transportation is reminding residents of winter travel tips after a recent spike in drivers hitting snow plows. Wyoming's senators react to the President's goals for the coming year. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces January 31, 2020

Jan 31, 2020

On this episode, after the recent death of a dog who was caught in a snare on public land, some residents of Fremont County are changing their dog-walking habits. Gillette is facing a new future with the decline in coal demand. But it’s not the first coal capital or Wyoming town to watch coal disappear and have to figure out a new path forward. Two former residents of the Wyoming Girls School sat down to talk about how their pasts affect their desire to stay in Wyoming. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces January 17, 2020

Jan 17, 2020

On this episode, a hospital in northwest Wyoming is using telehealth to treat patients with opioid use disorder. Wind generation has taken off in southeastern Wyoming. But one new proposed development isn’t sitting well with rural homeowners… who are nervous about its impacts. As the state nears an economic slow down, one county has been continuing to grow. Those stories and more.

Open Spaces January 10, 2020

Jan 10, 2020

On this episode, schools in our state have been working to encourage female students' interest in STEM subjects but girls at Wyoming Indian High School have taken the initiative on their own. It's been 25 years since wolves were reintroduced to the Yellowstone ecosystem. Since then, the wolf has become one of the park's most recognizable animals. And we'll hear about an effort to reduce coal mine injuries in the state. Those stories and more.