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February 5th, 2021

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U.S. House Office of Photography
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Listen to the full show here.

After Showdown, Rep. Cheney Moves Forward

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.

A Notorious Laramie Landlord, And Dropped Civil Suits: A Renter's Nightmare

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.

State Superintendent Talks School Funding, Cuts

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.

Native Students Need More Support In Higher Ed. Here is How CWC Is Doing The Work.

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.

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Moving Forward While Officials Urge Patience

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.

Wyoming Businesses Received At Least $1.5 Billion In Federal Support

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.

Tax Reform Debate Could Heat Up

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.

New Method May Help Find Ancient Artifacts In Wyoming

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 During COVID-19

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.

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.
Based on Capitol Hill, Matt Laslo is a reporter who has been covering campaigns and every aspect of federal policy since 2006. While he has filed stories for NPR and more than 40 of its affiliates, he has also written for Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, The Daily Beast, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Guardian, The Omaha World-Herald, VICE News and Washingtonian Magazine.
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.
In addition to reporting daily on the happenings in Northwest Wyoming, Kamila is also the producer of the Kids Ask WhY Podcast and the History Unloaded Podcast.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.
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.
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 a freelance journalist published in the Laramie Boomerang and WyoFile, among others.
Naina Rao comes to Wyoming Public Radio from Jakarta, Indonesia. She has worked at NPR for Story Lab and the nationally syndicated show, "1A". Naina graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 with a B.A. in Journalism. Naina enjoys swimming, listening to podcasts and watching Bollywood movies.
Ashley is a PhD student in Astronomy and Physics at UW. She loves to communicate science and does so with WPM, on the Astrobites blog, and through outreach events. She was born in Colorado and got her BS in Engineering Physics at Colorado School of Mines. Ashley loves hiking and backpacking during Wyoming days and the clear starry skies at night!