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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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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News
2:37 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

UW Receives Help For Casper And Cheyenne Family Practice Programs

The University of Wyoming Family Medicine Residency programs in Casper and Cheyenne have received an important new federal designation that will help both the programs and patients. 

UW Health Sciences Dean Joe Steiner says it will mean enhanced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and better recruitment and retention of doctors—and will allow the programs to serve more patients.                

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News
2:30 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Is Dismayed

A Holocaust survivor says efforts to stop people from committing atrocities against others still has a long ways to go. 

Eva Schloss and her family were held in the Auschwitz Concentration camp during World War Two and her father and brother died there. Schloss plans to speak about her experiences Thursday night in Jackson.   Schloss has worked hard on causes aimed at reducing prejudice and bigotry. Her goal has been to prevent events like the Holocaust.

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News
5:02 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Group Hopes To Bring Attention To Cancer

University of Wyoming Athletics, the American Cancer Society, Wyoming Community Foundation, and Cameco resources kicked off the Cameco Teams for Dreams partnership that is attempting to fight cancer through prevention.   

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Sports
4:54 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Kirkegaard Is Ready To Lead The Pokes

When the Wyoming Cowboys football team plays Saturday, the Pokes will have a new starting quarterback. While Colby Kirkegaard has played in several games…it will be a new experience for him to be start the season as the number one quarterback.   

Coaches say that Kirkegaard has played with a lot of poise during fall camp and they hope that continues. While he is excited about being the starter, Kirkegaard says he doesn’t feel any pressure, because it will be a team effort.

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Open Spaces
4:40 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Revamped Cowboys Look To Improve

Wyoming Cowboys during football practice.
Credit Bob Beck

The Wyoming Cowboys football season fell apart last year. The Cowboys finished with five wins and seven losses, but lost five of their last six games. After the season ended the Cowboys also lost their Coach, and watched their starting quarterback AND his backup leave the team. New Coach Craig Bohl had a lot of success coaching at North Dakota State where he won three National Championships in a division below Wyoming. The question is whether he and his coaching staff can turn things around in Laramie. 

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Open Spaces
4:20 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Holocaust Survivor To Speak In Jackson

Eva Schloss

On August 28th Eva Schloss who is the step sister and childhood friend of Anne Frank will give a talk about her time in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. She will appear at the Center for the Arts in Jackson at 7 p.m. at an event hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center of Wyoming.  She tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck about how she met Anne Frank.

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Legislative
5:24 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Mead Continues Working On Medicaid Expansion

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says he continues working with federal officials to craft a Medicaid expansion plan for Wyoming.                  

Mead says that he’s concerned that the federal government will not be able to afford the program, but he says it could help people in the state and so he is moving forward with a good faith effort.

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Sports
4:21 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Wyoming Football Team Continues To Improve

With a little over a week to go before the start of the University of Wyoming football season, Cowboys Head Coach Craig Bohl  likes what he sees. 

Bohl says the offensive line continues to be a work in progress, but he says that unit has improved—and believes they’ll continue to get better.            

“I think we are on task.  You see developments during fall camp as far as guys understanding our system, certainly all the nuances on offensive and defense and certainly the kicking game has taken a positive step since spring ball.”

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Elections
4:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Wyoming Primary Turnout Was 46 Percent

The Wyoming Secretary of State’s office says that Tuesday’s primary election had an average turnout of registered voters.

State Elections Director Peggy Nighswonger says that it was comparable to previous primaries.                           

“Voter turnout for the primary elections was 46 percent of those registered to vote. Turnout is generally much higher for the general election. So if history repeats itself, we’ll likely see a lot more people at the polls on November 4th.”

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Elections
12:29 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Mead Wins GOP Primary

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead overcame strong challenges from Superintendent Cindy Hill and Doctor Taylor Haynes to win the Republican primary. 

Mead won the race despite upsetting the Republican base over his support of legislation that removed State Superintendent Cindy Hill as the supervisor of the Department of Education. Mead says it helped to be able to travel the state and meet with people.

To have a chance in small groups, one and one, and some large groups, take questions and have people hear firsthand from me. I thought that was extremely helpful.”

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Elections
10:47 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Turnout Could Make The Governor Sweat

Due to the summer, turnout may not be high during today’s primary election. That will mean that fewer people will decide some key races. 

One of the hotly contested races involves Governor Matt Mead and challengers Taylor Haynes and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill. University of Wyoming Political Scientist Jim King said the governor needs his supporters to vote.

“The concern I would think in the Mead camp right now would be making sure that people don’t just assume that everything is fine and find something else to do that day.”

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Open Spaces
5:16 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

August 15th, 2014

In Jackson, Seasonal Workers Struggle To Find Affordable Housing

The town of Jackson has long struggled to find enough affordable housing for its seasonal workers. Right now, the average rental property there is going for 2800 dollars a month.  But lately, the popularity of house sharing websites have transformed the housing problem into a housing crisis. And that’s got local business owners looking in new places for their for seasonal hires.

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