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April 9th, 2021

Bob Beck

Listen to the full show here.

After A Legislative Session Of Budget Cuts, What Happens Next?

The Wyoming Legislature just wrapped up a session where $430 million was cut from the existing budget to make up for major losses of revenue connected with COVID-19.

How Local Governments Fared Through The Legislative Session

Local governments watched the 2021 legislative session closely. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Wyoming County Commissioners Association's Executive Director Jerimiah Rieman about how county governments fared in two issues the association was keeping an eye on throughout the session. Rieman began by discussing what changes lawmakers were considering on how local governments get revenue.

State Education Official Reacts To The Demise Of The School Finance Bill

One of the top priorities of many legislators was to reduce spending for K-12 education. Governor Mark Gordon has mentioned it in his last couple of State of the State messages and the legislature was just a conference committee away from passing a bill to do that. But a major disagreement between the House and Senate over whether there should just be reductions or reductions that included some revenue led to the bill's demise.

It led Casper Senator Charles Scott to claim that the House was a bunch of tax and spend liberals. That overreaction probably won't help future discussions go any smoother, but it's also likely the issue isn't off the table. The good news for school districts is that they won't see cuts this year. Brian Farmer is the Director of the Wyoming School Boards Association. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck asked him to break down what happened.

What Anti-Asian Sentiment Looks Like In Smaller, Rural Areas, And Why It Matters

The past year has shown evidence of an increase in Anti-Asian violence in major cities. All of that escalated when six Asian women were murdered in last month's Atlanta spa shootings. But has that anti-Asian sentiment permeated into smaller, rural areas in the U.S.? If so, what does it look like?

Ordinance On Wind River Reservation Aims To Help Dogs And Concerned Community Members

While we all love our pets, in Fremont Country there's more dogs than the local shelters know what to do with. Activists on the Wind River Indian Reservation are looking into ways to make the local community more safe for owners and pets. Wyoming Public Radio's Taylar Stagner has more.

Wyoming's Congressional Delegation Scrambles To Protect The State's Energy Industry

It's a new day in Washington in terms of energy policy - and that has Wyoming's congressional delegation scrambling to protect the state's fossil fuel industry. Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

A Warmer Climate May Spell Doom For Western Butterflies

Many know that the monarch butterfly is declining. It's linked to human expansion and the rise of global temperatures. But monarchs aren't the only butterflies dealing with these threats. Wyoming Public Radio's Ivy Engel has the story.

The Birds Are Back In Town: Spring Migration Underway In The Mountain West

If you go outside and take a walk, you might sense it's finally spring. If not from the temperatures, or budding grass, you can certainly tell by what you hear. The Mountain West News Bureau's Madelyn Beck reports.

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.
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.
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.
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 ever since. Her internship was supported by the Wyoming EPSCoR Summer Science Journalism Internship program. In the spring of 2020, she virtually graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in biology with minors in journalism and business. When she’s not writing for WPR, she enjoys baking, reading, playing with her dog, and caring for her many plants.
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.