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June 19th, 2020

Catherine Wheeler

Listen to the full show here.

At Small Town Protests, Young Wyomingites See Signs Of Change

The nationwide wave of protests that has followed the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans by police officers has reached all 50 states, and every corner of Wyoming.. including many small towns that have never seen protests before. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler and Savannah Maher have more.

This Time Is Different, As Laramie, Wyoming's First-Time Protesters Demonstrate

Protests against racism and police brutality are NOT new to the US or to our region. However, large, sustained turnout, especially in small, mostly-white towns, is something we've not seen before. For many of those protestors, it's been their first time demonstrating--ever. Wyoming Public Radio's Maggie Mullen spoke to some of them in Laramie.

Wyoming's Response Rate So Far For Census Lags Behind U.S. Average

Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution mandates the government count the people living in this country. That count helps to shape aspects of our lives at the national, state and local levels, including local funding for our communities. So far, Wyoming's self-response rate is 55 percent. But Wyoming Economic Analysis Division principal economist Amy Bittner said that isn't a reason to worry right now. Bittner spoke to Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler about how Wyoming's response rate is stacking up against the rest of the country.

Immigrants Forced To Choose Between Food On Table Or Legal Status

The pandemic has caused thousands of people to file for unemployment. But for many immigrant workers--that's not an option. Even with the new Supreme Court ruling about DACA. And as Megan Feighery reports, a recent federal rule discourages even those that could apply.

Pandemic Tenant, Homeowner Assistance Program Kicks Off

A new state program seeks to help Wyoming residents as many struggle to make rent or mortgage payments during the pandemic. Wyoming Public Radio's Jeff Victor reports the program is off to a slow start, but could grow more critical throughout the summer.

COVID-19 Hit Tourism Hard But State Experts Say There Are Silver Linings

Tourism is the second largest industry in the state. The summer of 2019 was a big year for the industry. More than three billion dollars were spent in the state and tourism generated $230 million in tax revenues. Wyoming Office Of Tourism Executive Director Diane Shober said the state had set even loftier goals for 2020. But when Shober spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska, she said this year COVID-19 has hit tourism hard but there is hope that things could improve.

Jackson Doctor Urges People Not To Make Fear Worse Than The Virus

Like most health care providers across the state, Jackson Doctor Brent Blue wants people to take precautions and follow rules for social distancing. What he doesn't want to see is people panic over COVID-19. Dr. Blue tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that numbers are going up in the state and there are logical reasons for that.

Challenges Of Riverton's Working Class During Ebbing COVID-19 Concerns

Riverton has seemingly returned to normal from months of closed businesses, social distancing, and mask-wearing. This while Fremont County has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state. Wyoming Public Radio's Taylar Stagner reports that some rules exist, but it remains to be seen if they'll be enforced.

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.
Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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.
Savannah comes to Wyoming Public Media from NPR’s midday show Here & Now, where her work explored everything from Native peoples’ fraught relationship with American elections to the erosion of press freedoms for tribal media outlets. A proud citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, she’s excited to get to know the people of the Wind River reservation and dig into the stories that matter to them.
Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.