Episode 12 — For the People with Don Taylor

Bob and Alexis welcome Weston County Commissioner Don Taylor to the program to discuss the often daunting challenges they've faced in bringing transparency and accountability to the county commission, and acknowledge that there are still plenty of battles to fought in the quest to make local government more responsive to its citizens. No punches are pulled in this episode, and the case is made for more progress in tackling problems that have plagued Weston County and Newcastle for decades. Is the key to successful local government taking on issues publicly and working to find solutions through compromise?

Who knew?

Episode 11 — Sticker Shock Showdown with Walter Sprague

News Letter Journal Photographer/Videographer Walter Sprague returns as our first two-time guest to discuss this month's marathon city council meeting and what it may mean for the relationship between residents and the council moving forward. Bob and Alexis weigh in on the newspapers role in getting information out to the public, and the NLJ trio explains why they believe citizens in a democracy have a responsibility to be informed about their local governments.

Check us out at newslj.com to keep tabs on this story, or for more news from Newcastle, Weston County and the Black Hills of northeast Wyoming!

Episode 10 — Newspapers and You with Darcie Hoffland

Bob and Alexis welcome Wyoming Press Association Executive Director Darcie Hoffland for a special one-hour long discussion about Wyoming newspapers and the important role they play in the battle for government transparency.

We invite you to go off the page for this in-depth bonus length episode where we discuss the First Amendment of the US Constitution and what it means to newspapers from Newcastle, Wyoming to Marion, Kansas. Our special 10th Episode Celebration gives you a behind the scenes look at the state of community newspapers in Wyoming and across the country as they confront a changing financial landscape and government's inherent desire to eliminate the independent third-party that is supposed to hold them accountable.

Episode 9 — Off the Page with Kim Dean

Managing Editor Kim Dean joins Bob and Alexis and three of Wyoming’s longest serving journalists take you WAY off the page to talk about the changes they’ve seen in their industry and in their small community over the course of their careers at one of the nation's top newspapers. They touch on how busy life has become in the little towns in rural America - and how it is impacting our schools and children. They take a deeper look into a strong turnout for the Weston County Fair and a big presence from the Sturgis Rally in downtown Newcastle, and how that compares to the rest of the summer tourist season — and recall the News Letter Journal’s long tradition of promoting Weston County and its treasures!

Episode 8 — Seize the Dogie with NLJ Sports Editor Sonja Karp

Newcastle's veteran sports reporter Sonja Karp (we call her the "Ruler of the Sports Galaxy") goes off the page with Bob and Alexis to bring Dogie nation up to speed on the state of Newcastle High School athletics. The award-winning Karpe Dogie columnist talks about the year that was and the year to come at NHS, including some memorable campaigns for some Lady Dogie athletes last year and the high hopes parents, fans and coaches have for the incoming group of athletes. While we were at it, we talked about how hard it is for Middle School success to translate into high school championships in Newcastle, and the newspaper's job to look for the positives in our programs and young athletes to encourage support from the community. Hopefully that won't be a challenge in the coming year, as Sonja throws out some promising reviews (spoiler alert!) of the Dogie/Bobcat wrestling team, and hints that good things are coming for Dogie hoops and swimming programs as well. Alexis also brings us up to speed on a really big week at the hospital — and the budget to match. We also talk about modern cows and new-fangled ranching...not that we really know anything about that stuff!

Episode 7 — Keeping Your Eye on the News with Walter Sprague

Bob and Alexis go off the page - er, the camera - with News Letter Journal photographer/videographer Walter Sprague. The NLJ News Team takes you behind the scenes of Weston County's newest news scene - our rapidly expanding YouTube Channel. Walter and Alexis talk about the personalities behind the local news, and the way they've reacted to having themselves on camera every month.


Episode 6 — Weston County GOP Chair Kari Drost

Bob and Alexis go off the page with Weston County Republican Party Chair Kari Drost, who is also an elected official (hospital board) and was one of three citizens who joined the News Letter Journal as co-Plaintiffs in the successful lawsuit against the Weston County Commissioners over the use of an illegal secret ballot to fill a vacant seat in the Wyoming House of Representatives. Drost talks about her role as county party chairman what is arguably the most Republican county in the most Republican state in the United States, and takes a stand for the rights of "the People" to be active and involved in government — and to expect their representatives to acknowledge them and their concerns. We also play a recording of the county commission meeting in November of 2021 where citizens first confronted the commissioners over their secret ballot, and Drost talks about her ongoing efforts to get the commissioners to fix an inaccuracy in their minutes from that meeting that falsely claims the use of a secret ballot is legal.

Episode 5 — Talking Trails with Caleb Carter

Caleb Carter of the Weston County Natural Resource District joins Bob and Alexis to promote the Cave Man Fun Run and Flying V Trails Day on May 20, 2023 a few miles north of Newcastle. Caleb talks about the growing popularity of hiking and biking, and about the wealth of trails and outdoor recreation opportunities available to locals and visitors alike in Weston County. Caleb also helps Bob and Alexis dissect the motor boat ban at the LAK Reservoir and the zebra mussel invasion in general. The hosts also discuss the financial and staffing difficulties faced by the board at the local hospital as they search for a new CEO, and we bid a final farewell (perhaps) to the long-foundering FOCUS family violence and victim services organization.

Learnin' Bout Learning with NMS Principal Tyler Bartlett

It's been a wild school year, but Newcastle Middle School Principal Tyler Bartlett said his staff and students are sprinting to a strong finish, and hoping for a peak performance on the annual WyTOPP State Assessment. As a single mom, Alexis is ready for the school year to end too, but said it has been a surprisingly productive and satisfying year for her little family despite some of the challenges the district has faced this year.


Episode 3 - A Moment With the Mayor

Mayor Pam Gualtieri becomes our first-ever guest on the Top of Main Podcast, and discusses the recent lockdowns at local schools and the impact those incidents (and the response of officials from different agencies) may have on the dispatch control issues that have plagued Newcastle and Weston County for decades. The mayor also gets to Grill the NLJ (don't worry, she goes pretty easy on us), and find out why Bob is looking for a new Bud in our Over It segment.

News Letter Journal

News Letter Journal
14 W. Main St.
P.O. Box 40
Newcastle, WY 82701
Ph: (307) 746-2777
Fax: (307) 746-2660

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