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June 4th, 2021

Albany County Sheriff Appelhans.jpg
Albany County Sheriff's Department
Albany County Sheriff Aaron Appelhans
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  • On this episode, this week the Albany County Sheriff's Officer who killed an unarmed man in 2018 has resigned. The sheriff says the incident has led to changes. The University of Wyoming sheep program is transforming their wool into a new product, and they're using blockchain. A major wind project has been proposed for Albany County and it's the subject of our latest "I Respectfully Disagree" series. Those stories and more.
Segments
  • This week Corporal Derek Colling from the Albany County Sheriff's office resigned. Colling shot and killed Laramie resident Robbie Ramirez during a traffic stop in 2018. Ramirez was unarmed. Colling was hired after having been fired from the Las Vegas police department following an altercation with a photographer. He had also killed two people while working for that department and many objected when former Sheriff Dave O'Malley hired him.
  • Wyoming's climate is known to produce fine wool, perfect for spinning into yarn and creating high-quality products. And the University of Wyoming's Department of Agriculture has its own herd of sheep to study that wool. This year, they're trying something new.
  • Farmers in parts of the West are experiencing some of the worst drought conditions in nearly two decades. The dryness presents challenges in keeping a farm or ranch viable, and in how farmers deal with mental health concerns.
  • During the first week of June 2021, Albany County commissioners held a meeting for public comment on the Rail Tie Wind Project south of Laramie. Over the last couple of years, it's been a controversial subject that’s divided the community and led to hurtful attacks on social media.As part of our series "I Respectfully Disagree," Melodie Edwards sat down with folks on each side of the issue for a civil conversation. Kelly Schroeder with Better Wyoming is for the project and Peter Bishop with the Albany County Conservancy is against it. They came together in our conference room and started things off by sharing a meal.
  • "It feels exciting because a year ago today, we didn't even have a vaccine. And now, I'm just getting closer to the second dose day by day and I won't have to live in constant fear of catching the virus or spreading it to my family."
  • Wyoming-based mother and son duo published their first fiction novel, titled A Divided Mind, together back in 2019. The book largely centers around topics and impacts of mental health. Now, Mary Billiter and Kyle Thomas are back with a sequel and shared how they got started as well as why this was important to them.

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.
Lucas Brady Woods
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.
Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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.
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