Bob Beck

News Director

Phone: 307-766-6626
Email: btwo@uwyo.edu 

Bob Beck has been News Director of Wyoming Public Radio since 1988.  During his time as News Director WPR has won 94 national, regional and state news awards.  Bob has received the WEA School Bell Award for education reporting and was honored by the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving for his reporting.  He was also the voice of an Emmy award winning documentary on memory.  He has covered the Wyoming Legislature longer than any broadcaster in the state and is a frequent political guest and host on Wyoming PBS.   

Bob also taught broadcast news at the University of Wyoming for 20 years and his 1998 television reporting class won a regional Emmy for reporting excellence.  He also was twice given a Top Prof award by the UW Mortar Board.   Bob is also active in community events and co-chaired the 2009 Albany County United Way Campaign with his wife Debra. 

Prior to coming to WPR, Bob worked as a News and Sportscaster at stations in Wyoming and Illinois.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio-Television from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and is a native of Wheaton, Illinois in suburban Chicago.  When he is not working he is running, mountain biking, doing CrossFit, walking his dog, or cheering on his beloved Packers, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs and Salukis.

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Politics
9:21 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Gosar Charges That Mead Has Not Provided Leadership

During a debate last night in Riverton, Democratic candidate for Governor Pete Gosar said that governor Matt Mead has lacked leadership. Gosar pointed to the failure to expand Medicaid among other things.

“We have gambled with our economy on one commodities price, the price of oil. And as we benefited as it went up it is now at 80 dollars and looking to go further south. I hope that the governor has a plan. I look at education policy,  under this governor’s term we have stopped teaching science in our schools.”

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Politics
9:11 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Superintendent Candidates Spar Over Common Core

Candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction agree on several issues, but Democrat Mike Ceballos says his experience as a CEO of QWEST gives him the edge, while Republican Jillian Balow says her background as a classroom teacher makes her the best choice. 

One key difference is over the Common Core education standards which were adopted by Wyoming, but are now under fire. Ceballos says he’s a strong supporter of the standards, but charges that Balow has waffled.

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Mead And Gosar Discuss The Wyoming Economy

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is seeking his second term in office and one of the things he is touting is growth in business and the state’s overall economy. Democratic challenger Pete Gosar admits that on paper the economy looks good, but he says it lacks diversity and says if you aren’t working in the energy sector…things might not be so great. Bob Beck spoke with both candidates about the economy and has this report.

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Open Spaces
4:27 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Democrat Charlie Hardy Says It's Time For A Change

Credit Charlie Hardy

The Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate says the first words out of his mouth were Mommy, Daddy, and eminent domain. Charlie Hardy says he’s always had an interest in politics and in helping the poor. He did this as a former Roman Catholic Priest and he wants to do this as the next U.S. Senator. He speaks with Bob Beck.

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Politics
6:33 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Candidates Disagree Over Same Sex Marriage

Democratic Wyoming gubernatorial candidate Pete Gosar.
Credit gosarforgovernor.com

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says it’s the duty of the state attorney general to continue to defend state law in the court that says marriage can only occur between one man and one woman. But his Democratic opponent Pete Gosar says the state should drop the case and allow gay marriage to occur in Wyoming.

"I think there are no differences in citizens in our constitution and in the U.S. constitution and what’s afforded to one, must be afforded to all."

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News
4:39 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Shepard Foundation Director Says The Country Has Come A Long Way

The Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard foundation is delighted that the Supreme Court appears to have opened the door for gay marriage across the country. Jason Marsden notes that 16 years ago tonight/Monday, Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, tied up, and beaten to within an inch of his life. He died a few days later. 

Marsden believes Shepard's murder helped ignite a new discussion on gay rights that's ultimately led to growing support for same sex marriages.

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News
1:24 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Wyoming Same Sex Couples Have to Wait Out A State Lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear appeals from states seeking to prohibit same sex marriage this term. But a Wyoming lawsuit may still need to go through the system before gay marriage is allowed in this state.

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News
4:28 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Wyoming Loses Latest Wolf Battle And Could Ponder A Congressional Fix

Despite an emergency rule that put Wyoming’s wolf management plan firmly into law, a federal judge refused to change an earlier ruling that placed Wyoming wolves back on the endangered species list.   

Washington D.C. based U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with environmental groups who argued that Wyoming’s management plan, which allows wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state, failed to adequately protect wolves. 

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Open Spaces
4:43 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

September 26th, 2014

State Scrambles To Fix Wolf Plan

This week a federal judge placed Wyoming’s wolves back on the endangered species list after ruling that the state’s management plan did not offer adequate protection for the wolves. The plan that the state and federal government negotiated would keep the number of wolves that are outside of National Parks to over 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs. But the Judge ruled that Wyoming’s plan was not binding.

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Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

State Scrambles To Fix Wolf Plan

This week a federal judge placed Wyoming’s wolves back on the endangered species list after ruling that the state’s management plan did not offer adequate protection for the wolves. The plan that the state and federal government negotiated would keep the number of wolves that are outside of National Parks to over 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs. But the Judge ruled that Wyoming’s plan was not binding.

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Open Spaces
4:18 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Democrat Mike Ceballos Makes His Bid For State Superintendent

Mike Ceballos is trying to make a major career change. After leading the massive telecommunications firm Qwest, Ceballos returned to College to get his doctorate and now is the Democratic candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Ceballos has served on the Governor’s P-16 council which is intended to improved education in the state.

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Natural Resources & Energy
6:44 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Federal Protections Restored For Wyoming Wolves

Wyoming’s wolf management plan has been rejected by a federal court. 

It means that federal protections will be re-instated for gray wolves in Wyoming. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson sided with environmental groups who say that Wyoming’s management plan that allows wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state, does not provide enough protection for wolves. 

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Sports
7:48 pm
Sat September 20, 2014

Wyoming Rallies To Stun Florida Atlantic

Shaun Wick runs against Fla Atlantic.
Credit Associated Press

The Wyoming Cowboys used some late game heroics to defeat Florida Atlantic Saturday by the score of 20 to 19.  Trailing 19-17 with just over two minutes to play, Wyoming ran out of downs and turned the ball back to Florida Atlantic at the Wyoming 11, giving the Owls a chance to run out the clock.

But Wyoming defender Mark Nzeocha forced a fumble that the Cowboys recovered on their own nine yard line and on the very next play Wyoming’s Colby Kirkegaard connected on an 88 yard pass play to Dominic Rufran that set up the winning field goal. 

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Open Spaces
6:07 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

September 19th, 2014

Credit Bob Beck

Wyoming Lawmakers Battle The Feds Over Water

There's a water war going on in the nation's capital that has Wyoming lawmakers and land owners worried the federal government is soon going to be regulating most every drop of water that falls from the sky.

37-Year Lawsuit Settles Issue Of Tribal Water Rights

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Open Spaces
5:04 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Wyoming Debates The Future Of The Death Penalty

Defense Attorney Vaughn Neubauer.

Recently a legislative committee gave its support to a bill that would have Wyoming use firing squads for the death penalty as opposed to lethal injection. For a variety of reasons, States are finding it difficult acquire the drugs that have traditionally been used to put people to death. Some states have tried to replace the drugs and it has led to some botched executions. One issue that could come before the legislature this year is whether the state should get rid of the death penalty all together.

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Sports
4:52 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Cowboys Hope To Bounce Back Against Florida Atlantic

The Wyoming Cowboys football team will try and bounce back Saturday. The Cowboys were thrashed by Oregon last week and Saturday/today they play host to Florida Atlantic who is coming off a 50 to 21 win over Tulsa. Head Coach Craig Bohl says the Cowboys will have to stop another solid quarterback in Jaquez  Johnson.

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Sports
12:28 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Wyoming Looks For Improvement On Defense

The Wyoming Cowboys football team struggled last weekend against Oregon in most facets except one. The Cowboys ran for a surprising 155 yards against the Ducks, a week after having little success against Air Force. Head Coach Craig Bohl said that the coaching staff spent last week focusing on improving the running game and the team made it a priority in the offseason. Oregon featured a very athletic defense, so Bohl was especially pleased with the results.                 

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Legislative
4:37 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Committee Endorses Death By Firing Squad

Wyoming’s Joint Judiciary Legislative Committee has voted to support a bill that would allow for execution by firing squad, but voted down an attempt to abolish the death penalty altogether. 

States nationwide are being forced to find alternatives to executions now that drugs for lethal injections are hard to come by. Abolishing the death penalty altogether generated considerable debate. Baggs Senator Larry Hicks says the death penalty provides justice for victims. 

But Laramie Representative Cathy Connolly says the issue is greater than that.

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Legislative
5:11 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Police May Need Warrants For Drones

A Wyoming legislative committee has voted to support a bill that would require law enforcement to get warrants to use drones to gather evidence in criminal cases. The Wyoming Liberty Group and Wyoming ACLU are both strong supporters of the bill. ACLU Director Linda Burt said restrictions are appropriate.

“These can be very intrusive means of searches with drones, they can be very small, and they can go into your homes without your knowledge, so we think it’s very important that there should be a warrant for any searches with drones.”

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Natural Resources & Energy
7:06 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Wild Horse Roundup Will Be Allowed To Move Forward

The U.S. tenth circuit court of appeals has overruled wild horse advocates and will allow the roundup of nearly 800 wild horses in southwest Wyoming. The Bureau of Land Management will round up the horses in an area where private, state, and federal lands intermingle. 

The Rock Springs grazing association had demanded the roundup because they say the horses are depleting resources from other wildlife and livestock in the area. 

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News
6:59 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Traffic Deaths Have Driven Workplace Deaths And Injuries

The latest report on workplace death and injuries in Wyoming shows the transportation sector continues to lead in fatalities. Wyoming's overall numbers declined, but that was due to a decrease in traffic fatalities. State Occupational Epidemiologist Mack Sewell  says Wyoming is starting to make progress in reducing workplace deaths and injuries. But in a prepared statement, Sewell says more needs to be done.

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Open Spaces
5:36 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

September 5th, 2014

Wyoming Lawmakers Fight For Conservative Health Bill

During the last two elections Wyoming Republicans campaigned on repealing and replacing so-called Obamacare – but House Republicans have yet to vote on a replacement. Matt Laslo has a look from Washington on the debate dividing Republicans in Congress. 

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Sports
5:10 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Wyoming Begins MWC Play Against Air Force

The Wyoming Cowboys look to remain unbeaten against one of their oldest rivals.   Air Force comes to Laramie Saturday night in the opener of the Mountain West Conference football season.   Cowboys Head Coach Craig Bohl  says Air Force was impressive in its 44 to 16 opening win over Nicholls State.     

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Open Spaces
4:57 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Wyoming Democrats Need To Overcome Obstacles

It’s been 8 years since Wyoming has elected a Democrat to statewide office. This year candidate for Governor Pete Gosar and Superintendent Candidate Mike Ceballos are hoping to break through. But it won’t be easy. The Executive Director of the Wyoming Democratic Party is Robin Van Ausdall. She’s worked on several campaigns in Colorado and she says Ceballos and Gosar and great candidates. 

"If people are willing to consider these candidates individually on their merits at least if not one will be elected."

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Open Spaces
4:48 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Democrat Pete Gosar Says The State Needs A Leader

Credit gosarforgovernor.com

The Democratic Candidate for Governor is Pete Gosar. Gosar is a Pinedale native who is the former chairman of the state democratic party and he currently serves on the state board of education.

He is a state pilot, a former school teacher, and in college he was a star defensive player for the Wyoming Cowboys. Gosar has been critical of Governor Mead’s leadership when it comes to issues like Medicaid expansion and has accused Mead of playing politics with his decisions. He joins us to discuss some issues.

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Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

UW American Heritage Center Looks At Immigration

University of Wyoming American Heritage Center
Credit Bob Beck

On September 18th and 19th the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center and a number of sponsors will be hosting what should be a fascinating symposium on Immigration. Leslie Waggener with the American Heritage Center explains the purpose of the symposium.

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Legislative
5:34 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Legislative Committee Will Consider Abolishing The Death Penalty

The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee will consider a bill next week in Laramie that could end up abolishing the state’s death penalty law. 

Currently states are having difficulty acquiring the chemicals to perform lethal injections, so the Judiciary Committee has been looking at other alternatives…including firing squads. But House Committee Chairman Keith Gingery says another alternative is to abolish the death penalty.

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Sports
6:50 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Cowboys Get Ready For Air Force

The Wyoming Cowboys football team will open Mountain West Conference play  against Air Force and its vaunted option attack. 

Under the option the Quarterback can run the ball, pitch it to a running back, hand it off, or fake the run and throw it. It’s an unusual offense that teams rarely use and Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl says that make it difficult to defend.

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Sports
9:57 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Bohl Era Is Set To Start

The much anticipated Craig Bohl coaching era begins Saturday (today) as the Wyoming Cowboys football team hosts Montana.

The Grizzlies are led by Senior Quarterback Jordan Johnson and Bohl says they will be difficult to stop. 

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