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.

Ways to Connect

Former Democratic U.S. House Candidate Gary Trauner has announced that he will run for Wyoming’s U.S. Senate seat. The seat is currently held by John Barrasso who is up for re-election. Trauner who calls himself an organizational and financial entrepreneur most recently served as the Chief Operating Office of St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Jackson. He said he’s running because government is no longer working.

 

endowyo.biz

  

  

  

On Monday the group ENDOW, which stands for Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming, will release its preliminary findings on ways to diversify the state’s economy. 

ENDOW has been working while many have been quietly skeptical, but those involved in the effort think they will finally break through.

Bob Beck

This week the legislature’s Revenue Committee pushed off a number of tax measures until the end of January.

The committee has been trying to find revenue to offset losses in revenue that led to massive budget cuts, including a renewed effort to reduce education funding. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard speaks with News Director Bob Beck about this. 

Public Domain

  

The longtime President of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Jerry Blann is stepping down next year. He has overseen major changes at the resort since 1995. He joins Bob Beck to discuss how his vision to make the ski area a destination spot became a reality.

Courtesy: Sabrina King

A new report says Wyoming’s prison system is growing, which is driving up costs and the culprit is the lack of prison reform and new legislation that could lead to more people being placed behind bars. ACLU of Wyoming has released a report called Bucking the Trend: How Wyoming can reverse course through reduced incarceration and lowered costs

State Policy Director Sabrina King says they’ve given the legislature some ideas.

 

Photo by Magnus Fröderberg via Attribution 2.5 Denmark (CC BY 2.5 DK)

Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the former Prime Minister of Denmark and the former Secretary General of NATO. Rasmussen made his first trip to Wyoming this week discussing the topic of America’s will to lead, or perhaps not lead, when it comes to world affairs.

Rasmussen thinks it’s essential to return to being the world’s leader. Bob Beck asked him what he thought about the Trump administration’s approach. 

  

Bob Beck

It’s Open Enrollment time for health insurance and for those choosing their insurance on the federal marketplace there is interesting news for Wyoming residents. Subsidy payments for those in the marketplace have increased and so in many cases, people can get more affordable and possibly better coverage.

University of Wyoming

It’s been a rough couple of years for the University of Wyoming where budget cutting, layoffs, and reorganization have been themes. Lately, the focus has been on less stressful ventures like enhancing STEM teaching, diversity, and a variety of initiatives.

One issue for University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols is to try to address that lack of faculty and staff pay raises. She tells Bob Beck that those raises should be here by July.

centerofthewest.org

  

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is in the midst of a major upgrade of the Cody Firearms Museum. The Museum’s Robert W. Woodruff curator Ashley Hlebinsky says it’s more than just a western firearms museum. She discusses the museum with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Bob Beck

Wyoming’s revenue forecasting arm known as the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group or CREG had some good news for state officials. CREG says Wyoming’s general fund will see an increase of $141 million from January projections, but state lawmakers and the governor say it’s good news, not great news.

Legislative Service Office

Wyoming’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group says that Wyoming’s income is slightly increasing and is $141 million over its January forecast.   

The report indicates increases in such things as interest income, sales tax, and oil revenues. Lawmakers use the CREG forecast to craft the state budget. A lot of that increase is already in hand due to end of the fiscal year revenue collections. 

Wyoming Retirement System

Lots of people look forward to retirement, but the majority has not set aside enough money to retire. Much of that has to do with unexpected costs. 

University of Wyoming Extension Specialist Cole Ehmke has looked at a lot of studies surrounding personal financial management. He said some of the numbers are alarming. 

Courtesy NWF.Org

It’s been quite a year for major forest fires, in fact it’s been a major few years. The fires are impacting wildlife and communities. The issues range from climate change to poor forest management due to the lack of proper funding. National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O’Mara recently testified on the issue before Congress. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that he’s optimistic that members of Congress are interested in finding a solution. 

Credit Courtesy MedicareSupplementplans.com

It’s open enrollment time for Medicare recipients. This is when you should review your drug coverage and sign up for a plan. Kelly Wicks is the Wyoming State Health Insurance Information program manager. She helps people review their coverage and she tells Bob Beck it’s not uncommon for people to need to switch plans. 

 

The Equality State Policy Center has launched a new effort called The People’s Review. It’s intended to let the public know how their legislators voted on key legislation supported by social justice, conservation, and labor groups in Wyoming. The Director of the ESPC is Phoebe Stoner. She tells Bob Beck that the effort is focused on increasing transparency.

 

Bob Beck

Earlier this month Callie Mae Bishop was crowned Miss Wyoming USA. The Casper native had sought the title for a number of years.

In real life, Bishop is a yoga instructor, rock climber, and serves beer, in other words the perfect Miss Wyoming. She told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that the victory is a dream come true. 

Courtesy of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

A new study shows that more Wyoming teens are overweight. The National Survey of Children’s Health says that Wyoming young people have the 14th lowest obesity rate in the nation, but the obesity rate is still higher than it was ten years ago. 

The report was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Trust for America’s Health. 

Report spokesman Albert Lang said Wyoming children between the ages of ten and 17 have an obesity rate at 27.1 percent, an increase from over a decade ago. Lang added that they see a similar trend with other Wyomingites.      

Bob Beck

Cities and towns are terrified about their financial future especially when it comes to having a stable source of revenue. Years ago legislators removed direct funding to local governments, preferring instead to fund them on a bi-annual basis from the state general fund. But Lawmakers have been engaged in budget cuts and communities in particular fear they will lose their general fund money. One solution is to have the ability to raise their own revenue.

Scott Ratliff

This month the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame will introduce a new class on September 23. The Hall of Fame honors Cowboys who have spent of a lifetime working in the profession. Hall of Fame President Scott Ratliff joins Bob Beck to explain what the Hall of Fame is all about.

More information on the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame can be found at wyomingcowboyhalloffame.com

 

Bob Beck

  

On Tuesday, City Council members and others will converge on the legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee to suggest ways that communities could raise more money for themselves.

Lawmakers are worried about maintaining local government funding due to the downturn in the energy economy and because of education funding needs. Wyoming Association of Municipalities Director Rick Kaysen joins us to say that if local governments could raise more money internally, it could address budget uncertainty. 

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