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February 12th, 2021

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Listen to the full show here.

Legislature Struggles To Find 'Constitutional' Solution To Education Funding Cuts

For the last several years the Wyoming Senate in particular has been promising to make major cuts to education funding. While there have been reductions, K-12 education has not faced the types of cuts the Department of Health, the University of Wyoming or other areas of state government has faced. This year there seems to be momentum to make those cuts, but the current proposal may not be constitutional. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck explains.

Future School Budget Cuts Bring Up Debates On Activities Funding

Schools are going to have to look hard at the cuts they'll have to make over the coming years to deal with Wyoming's fiscal crisis. And while lawmakers debate changes to the system, many districts are thinking about how to make the necessary cuts NOW for their next budget. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler has more.

Online Indigenous Language Learning Opens Doors For Far-Flung Tribal Citizens

The pandemic has complicated efforts to revitalize Indigenous languages. Many programs have shut down entirely, especially in rural communities. But others are using technology to reach their students, and to bring far-flung tribal citizens into the fold. The Mountain West News Bureau's Savannah Maher reflects on her own experience.

The Oath Keepers: A Look At The Anti-Government Group Born In The Mountain West

It turns out that a number of right-wing groups took part in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. At least one of them was founded in our region. The Mountain West News Bureau's Madelyn Beck has more.

After 14 Avalanche Deaths In Seven Days, Backcountry Educators Explain The Risk

Ninety percent of avalanche deaths are triggered by a person. In the first week of February of this year, avalanches in the United States killed at least 14 people. This is the highest number of deaths in a seven-day period in a hundred years. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska chatted with American Avalanche Institute 's Jenna Malone, who attributed this season's high number of avalanche deaths to the gap in time between the early snow in the fall and more recent storms.

The Colorado River Basin's Worsening Dryness In Five Numbers

Things are very dry in the Colorado River Basin already this year. And the situation could get much worse for the water that 40 million people across seven western states rely on. From KUNC, Luke Runyon explains the current drought conditions in five numbers.

University Of Wyoming Professor Transforms Soil Into Art

Many people think of science and art as complete opposites, but one University of Wyoming researcher is working to combine the two. Wyoming Public Radio's Ashley Piccone spoke with Karen Vaughan, a pedology professor who is using the soil in her research to make watercolor paint. She said soil is more important than you would think.

Laramie Company Helps Develop New COVID-19 Rapid Test

Quick and accurate COVID-19 testing is a key part of getting the pandemic under control. And a Laramie company is part of the effort to make that a reality. Wyoming Public Radio's Ivy Engel talked to CellDrop Biosciences founder, Ben Noren.

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.
As KUNC’s reporter covering the Colorado River Basin, I dig into stories that show how water issues can both unite and divide communities throughout the Western U.S. I produce feature stories for KUNC and a network of public media stations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada.
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.
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.
Ivy started as a science news intern in the summer of 2019 and has been hooked on broadcast since. In the spring of 2020, she virtually graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in biology with minors of journalism and business. She continues to spread her love of science, wildlife, and the outdoors with her stories. When she’s not writing for WPR, she enjoys baking, reading, playing with her dog, and caring for her many plants.
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!