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December 21st, 2018

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Tennessee Watson
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Listen to the full show here.

A Reopened Clergy Abuse Investigation Highlights Why Police Need Sexual Violence Training

Sixteen years ago, the Cheyenne Police Department received a report that a former Catholic Bishop had sexually abused a teenage boy in the 1970s. The lead detective told the prosecutor there was no evidence and the case was closed. Earlier this year that case was reopened and multiple victims have since come forward. This second chance at justice reflects how law enforcement attitudes toward sexual abuse are starting to change.

Father And Daughter Discuss Catholic Influence And Abuse On The Wind River Reservation

Earlier this month, the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church released a list of priests who have credible accusations of sexual abuse against them. Two of the priests—Paul Pilgram and Anthony Short—served at Saint Stephens Mission on the Wind River Reservation in the 1970s and 80s. 

Driver's Licenses May Be On Your Phone Soon

What do driving and buying a six pack of beer have in common? You usually need to have your license. But what if you could use your smartphone instead? Four states are testing out digital driver's licenses, and two are right here in the Mountain West - Colorado and Wyoming.

Big Tow Bills In Wyoming

Can you imagine paying a tow bill of six figures? In an effort to stop this type of gouging, the Wyoming Highway Patrol has appointed a "Tow Coordinator" based in Cody. He's working to make a change statewide.

Gordon Ready To Become Governor

Wyoming's next Governor Mark Gordon has been holed up trying to hire a staff, while also trying to get prepared for the legislative session. He took a few minutes to tell Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck what he's been up to since the election.

Wind Energy Capacity To More Than Double In Wyoming After Years Of Stagnancy

Seven states have wind energy projects underway that will double their capacities - the total amount of electricity that could be generated by wind. Wyoming - the largest coal-producing state - is among them. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim reports the surge comes after a decade of almost no growth in the state.

Dentist Office On Wheels: Bringing Brighter Smiles To The Wind River Reservation

Kids from rural communities still have a hard time getting to see the dentist. But that's especially on the Wind River Reservation. Lack of reliable transportation and long distances into town can make it hard to get to town for a checkup. 

CWD Detected In Teton County, Do Elk Feed Grounds Need To Go?

Chronic Wasting Disease is a contagious brain disease affecting deer, elk and moose that usually leads to death.  In November, it was in Teton County for the first time. It’s been present in other parts of Wyoming for a while.  Some biologists and wildlife managers are afraid the infectious disease will transmit to elk - especially feed ground elk - with dire consequences. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska reports from one of the most famous feed grounds, The National Elk Refuge.

NOLS President John Gans Will Retire At The End Of The Year

The longtime President of the National Outdoor Leadership School or NOLS is stepping down this month.  John Gans actually started with the organization in 1979 and became its president in the early 90s and oversaw some tremendous growth. Gans has been named a White House Champion for Change and has received a number of state and community awards. He joins us to discuss NOLS and the outdoors.

Bob Beck has been News Director of Wyoming Public Radio since 1988. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
Before Wyoming, Cooper McKim has reported for NPR stations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. He's reported breaking news segments and features for several national NPR news programs. Cooper is the host of the limited podcast series Carbon Valley. Cooper studied Environmental Policy and Music. He's an avid jazz piano player, backpacker, and podcast listener.
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.
When Penny Preston came to Cody, Wyoming, in 1998, she was already an award winning broadcast journalist, with big market experience. She had anchored in Dallas, Denver, Nashville, Tulsa, and Fayetteville. She’s been a news director in Dallas and Cody, and a bureau chief in Fayetteville, AR. She’s won statewide awards for her television and radio stories in Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and Wyoming. Her stories also air on CBS, NBC, NBC Today Show, and CNN network news.
Taylar Dawn Stagner is from Riverton, Wyoming and is Arapahoe and Eastern Shoshone. A graduate of the undergraduate American Studies program, Taylar is accustomed to working at the intersections of activism, art, and academia. She was a McNair Scholar and a recipient of funding from the Social Justice Research Center for her research about the Wind River Reservation. She has presented her research at conferences across the country and loves to act and perform. The opportunity to work with talented staff at Wyoming Public Media is a privilege and she is ecstatic to learn and help as much as she can.
Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.