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February 18th, 2022

State Senator Cale Case Speaks in front of the State Capitol, standing behind two banners.
Jeff Victor
Wyoming Public Radio
State Senator Cale Case of Lander speaks in front of the State Capitol. Case said Medicaid expansion could be added to the budget bill itself if a standalone bill fails introduction.
Listen To The Full Show
  • On this episode, the campaign for Medicaid expansion is gaining steam, although it’s still having trouble in the legislature. Plus a preview of the upcoming state budget debate. We’ll hear about the latest wild horse roundup in Wyoming – some people find it controversial, but many residents in southwest Wyoming say it’s a necessity. And we will look at population growth in Sheridan. Those stories and more.
  • Medicaid expansion has been a hot-button issue in Wyoming for years. Activists are pushing harder than ever to make Wyoming the next expansion state. And while expansion is popular among Wyoming residents, the state legislature has consistently opposed it. If it fails this year, activists say they'll make their voice heard at the polls and make another push in 2023.
  • The Wyoming Legislature is shifting into budget mode as it begins work on its $2.8 billion budget. The budget is about $200 million less than the one it approved two years ago, but it also benefits from the federal American Rescue Plan or ARPA money that state lawmakers have used to strategically replace some cuts and invest for the future.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences hired a new dean last June. Before Dean Camellia Moses Okpodu came to the University Wyoming (UW), she was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana. She's trained as a plant physiologist. Due to restructuring, the UW College of Arts and Sciences is projected to become the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Wyoming Public Radio's Ivy Engel sat down with Dean Okpodu to talk about her deanship thus far and the future of the college.
  • Wyoming's Bureau of Land Management recently wrapped up one of its largest wild horse roundups in the southwest part of the state, and while controversial, many who live in the area said it is necessary.
  • The Greater Yellowstone Coalition, a conservation group that focuses on maintaining the Yellowstone Ecosystem, now has an office in Fort Washakie. Their goal is to strengthen the tribal influence on conservation efforts in the Yellowstone area. Wyoming Public Radio's Taylar Stagner spoke with the head of the Wind River office Wes Martel about preserving treaty rights.
  • The 2020 census showed that several areas in the state saw population growth. Some of these communities were Cody, Jackson, Gillette, Casper, and Sheridan. One of the reasons is the popularity of remote work in the past two years. But these communities are struggling to supply enough housing for this new growth. Wyoming Public Radio's Hugh Cook focuses on how the population growth in Sheridan is impacting the community.
  • A new theater project in Boulder, Colorado hopes to get communities to reach a consensus over divisive subjects through the power of music and the spoken word. "The Empathy Theatre Project" is the brainchild of Laramie native Cordelia Zars. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards starts by asking Zars how the idea came about.

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.
Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.
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.
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.
Hugh Cook is Wyoming Public Radio's Northeast Reporter, based in Gillette. A fourth-generation Northeast Wyoming native, Hugh joined Wyoming Public Media in October 2021 after studying and working abroad and in Washington, D.C. for the late Senator Mike Enzi.
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.
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