February 5th, 2021
This week Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney beat back an effort to oust her from the GOP leadership. The party is now showing a unified face, but the right wing of the party is still frustrated with Cheney and Democrats say the debate shows how today's GOP lives in an alternative reality. Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.
Back in 2019, a rental housing resolution was put up to a vote by the Laramie City Council. Among other things, it could have led to safety and health standards for rentals. It was a response to the many complaints that some council members had heard that described harsh living conditions and deceptive leases. But the resolution failed. Reporter Jeff Victor has taken a deeper look at the issue and noted one landlord's name that appeared in court documents again and again. Wyoming Public Radio's Maggie Mullen spoke with Victor about his investigative reporting recently published in The Laramie Boomerang.
Wyoming schools are looking at a big cut and calibration to the state's school funding model this year. Educators are worried about what this means for their students and instruction as lawmakers are considering the next steps.
Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow about how this time the cuts will impact education in a big way.
Community college is an affordable first step into higher education for both high school graduates and non-traditional students. Central Wyoming College in Riverton, is making this step easier for Native students. Wyoming Public Radio's Taylar Stagner.
February has brought a couple of changes to Wyoming's COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Even with more doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine delivered this month, State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist told Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska that the biggest challenge is the state not having enough vaccines.
Many small businesses throughout the country have taken a hit during the pandemic. But in Wyoming, various grant programs have helped Wyoming businesses, nonprofits and even churches whether the storm. Wyoming Public Radio's Jeff Victor has more.
Wyoming lawmakers have been in a cutting mode since coal revenues started to decline, but with oil and gas also bringing in less money than usual it's tougher for the state to pay for services. Lawmakers plan to address their budget shortfall by approving a number of cuts to the current state budget when they meet in March.
One solution is to raise taxes, but for many the solution is to reform the tax structure, so that energy does not pay the majority of taxes in the state. Ashley Harpstreith is the Executive Director of the Wyoming Taxpayers Association. She explains why her organization likes this approach.
Tiger chert is a stone that was used to make tools in prehistoric times. Artifacts made from the rock are found around the west. New techniques might make it easier to identify more of them. Wyoming Public Radio's Ashley Piccone explains.
Lunar New Year begins on February 12, 2021. And usually, the holiday involves huge festivities with fireworks, dancing, and family reunions. But as the pandemic continues into this year, the celebration will look and feel different this new year. Wyoming Public Radio's Naina Rao reports this story.