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September 23rd, 2016

Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

Listen to the full show here.

Legislative Committee Nixes Wyoming Wind Tax Increase


Wyoming’s wind producers breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when the Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee voted down a bill that would have increased the tax on wind energy production. Wyoming Public Radio’s energy reporter, Stephanie Joyce, was at the committee’s meeting and she joins us now to talk about the day’s twists and turns.

UW President Reacts To Current And Future Budget Cuts

This week, University of Wyoming officials proposed cutting 16 academic programs in order to meet a $15 million budget cut required for the next fiscal year. President Nichols notes that they are also looking at consolidating some programs and so in total she says they are actually looking at 8 to 10 program eliminations. In past years when the University of Wyoming has made budget cuts, it has tried to avoid eliminating academic programs, but Nichols has stood by her position that academic cuts must be considered. 

School Districts Fight Budget Cuts

Earlier this year the Wyoming legislature cut 36 million dollars from money they provide to school district. Since that time districts have been trying to get that money back and convince lawmakers that additional cuts would hurt their ability to adequately teach students. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that it all centers on the state constitution. 

First Of Its Kind Initiative Brings Restorative Justice To Casper

Restorative justice programs are on the rise around the country…facilitating meetings between victims, offenders, and community members, in order to repair some of the harm caused by crime. Now, a group of volunteers in Casper wants to incorporate the method into the state’s legal system. Wyoming Public Radio’s Maggie Mullen spoke with Jen Miner, the Chairwoman of the newly formed Natrona County Restorative Justice Board.

When Women Run, Women Win...Except When They Don't

There aren’t many women serving in Utah’s legislature, but a new law this election year gives hopeful political candidates a new way to get on the their party’s primary ballot. As part of the series Women Run The West, which explores the role of women in western politics, Reporter Jennifer Pemberton looked into whether or not the new alternative to Utah’s caucus-convention system might help more women get elected.

For Women, Winning Elections Sometimes Means Losing First

To get on a primary ballot in Wyoming only takes a few things… meeting age and residency requirements, signing your name, and 200 bucks. But when it comes to actually running a campaign, there’s a whole new set of challenges. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard has the story of one woman who took on the odds of campaigning herself.

German Ambassador Recalls His Country's Coal Downturn

Over the last three years, the German embassy has donated grant funds to educate University of Wyoming students about German history. Recently, the German Ambassador Peter Wittig visited the campus himself and, while he was here, Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards sat down with him to talk about what Wyoming can learn from Germany’s own coal downturn AND the refugee crisis. They started the conversation with what he loves so much about Wyoming.

Artifacts Indicate Prehistoric People Visited Glaciers

In recent years, archaeologists have discovered sites in the highest reaches of Wyoming's mountains where prehistoric people are believed to have lived year round…higher than some researchers believe North American people could have possibly survived. But a new study in the Wind River Range has even found artifacts at the base of a glacier almost 12-thousand feet in elevation. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards hiked the 23 mile into this remote archeology dig to find out what they're learning there.

UW's Musician-In-Residence Reflects On Prolific Career

After public universities opened their doors to women, the chance to study music composition opened up as well. But the best known, highest paid composers still tend to be men. Composer Libby Larsen is one notable exception - she is the eminent musician-in-residence at the University of Wyoming for the 2016 – 2017 academic year. She joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about her music and some of the biggest challenges still facing female composers.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
Maggie Mullen is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. Her work has aired on NPR, Marketplace, Science Friday, and Here and Now. She was awarded a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her story on the Black 14.
Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.