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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News
5:58 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Wyoming Looks To Congress For Highway Funding

The Director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation is hopeful that a bipartisan attempt in the US Senate to pass a transportation bill will be successful.

Congress has not been able to agree on similar legislation in recent years, but Thursday a Senate committee approved a measure that ensures Wyoming’s share of the distribution will pay for repairs to hundreds of miles of highways across the state.  Without a highway bill, Wyoming Department of Transportation Director John Cox says things get put off.

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News
6:26 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Wyoming Hosts Track And Field Championships

The University of Wyoming is hosting the Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships this week.  Head Coach Bryan Berryhill says the home meet is special for the Cowboys and Cowgirls and that both squads have high expectations. Sprinter and school record holder Kereston Thomas says she and her teammates are excited.

“Especially since this meet is here on our track I know that we will come out here with a lot of fire and a lot of excitement," Thomas says. "I know that our team is going to put on a show and I hope we will place in the top three for both our teams.”

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News
5:43 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Historic Steam Engine Returns To Wyoming

Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014

One of the World’s largest steam locomotives is traveling across Wyoming this week.  Union Pacific’s Big Boy number 4014 is being moved to Cheyenne for restoration. UP spokesman Mark Davis says 25 so called Big Boys were once used to carry heavy loads over mountains. This one was built in 1941.

“It’s a 132 feet long and weighs about 1.2 million pounds.  They were a heavy load locomotive.”

Davis says the locomotive will arrive in Laramie around eight tonight. There will a public ceremony in Cheyenne tomorrow at 1 PM.

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News
6:32 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

UW Overhauls General Studies Program

Credit University of Wyoming

For the first time in many years the University of Wyoming is changing its general studies program, the coursework required for all students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at UW.  Faculty Senate Chair Ed Janak says it should simplify the course selection process for everyone and simply transfers to the university. 

“There’s no longer this giant alphabet soup, this is going to be really straightforward, it’s this and this and this and we are really happy about that,” Janak says.

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News
6:42 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Wyoming Recruits Freshman Shooting Guard

A Swedish shooting guard will join the Wyoming Cowboys basketball team next season.  Alex Aka Gorski was given a scholarship by Wyoming. He's expected to provide an offensive boost to the team right away.  Head Coach Larry Shyatt calls him the kind of deep shooter that UW needs in order to compete in the Mountain West Conference.

“He’s mature, he left home as a 9th grader and went to Stockholm to play at the highest level in his country," Shyatt says. "He’s been extremely well coached, he knows how to play off the dribble as well as within the game.”

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News
5:16 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Albany County Attorney's Office Is Under Investigation

The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation is looking into allegations of criminal misconduct within the Albany County Attorney’s office. 

D-C-I Deputy Director Kebin Haller says that no charges have been filed, but D-C-I investigators have confiscated electronic devices and smart tablets as part of the investigation.  He says the criminal investigation has been ongoing for for a month. 

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Open Spaces
4:25 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Crude-By-Rail Accidents Spark Concern In Wyoming

Credit Alan Rogers, trib.com

BOB BECK: When a crude oil train derailed and exploded in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia this week, it wasn’t the first or even the second time that’s happened this year. As growing domestic production of oil strains pipeline capacity, railroads have been picking up the slack. Crude-by-rail, as it’s known, has grown 500 percent since 2011. But a recent string of accidents has led to concern about its safety. Wyoming Public Radio energy reporter Stephanie Joyce joins us now to talk about how those concerns are playing out in Wyoming, and what’s being done about them.

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Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

UW Football Coach Has High Hopes

University of Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl has been a winner at a number of places.  While an assistant Coach at Nebraska the Cornhuskers won two national championships and his last three teams at North Dakota State won the last three Football Championship Subdivision titles. 

He is taking over a Wyoming team that has struggled with consistency in recent years, especially on a defense.  Bohl is friendly, but businesslike.  Unlike most football coaches he wears a jacket and a tie to work.  He told Bob Beck that the transition to Wyoming has been a good one.

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News
5:43 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Committee Decides To Weigh Options Before Voting On A Hill Bill Fix

Credit Cindy Hill Superintendent

A Wyoming legislative committee is in no rush to re-visit the controversy over who should run the State Department of Education.

Joint Education Committee members asked that a bill be drafted to restore all powers to State Superintendent Cindy Hill after the Supreme Court ruled that the legislature erred in taking away her ability to oversee K through 12 education in the state. 

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Open Spaces
3:49 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Education Standards Are Facing Opposition In Wyoming

Members of the public attend the State Board of Education meeting in Casper.
Credit Bob Beck

For years parents and educators have been looking at ways to improve elementary education. Recently many states, including Wyoming, adopted common core standards that supporters believe will give students and schools goals to shoot for in Math and Language Arts. 

The state is also in the process of adopting other state standards, including a set of controversial science standards.  But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports there is a growing movement against any standards that are not developed by local school boards. 

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Open Spaces
3:44 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Governor Mead Discusses Wind River Reservation Boundary Dispute And Education

It’s been a few months since we’ve had Governor Matt Mead on the program.  He joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck to discuss a dispute over boundaries in Riverton and Education.

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News
7:47 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Board Of Education Takes No Action On Science Standards

The state Board of Education met in Casper today to adopt some state standards, including a controversial set of national Next Generation Science Standards. The legislature prohibited the Board from adopting those standards. Bob Beck joins us to talk about what happened at the meeting.

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News
7:17 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Board Of Education Takes No Action On Science Standards

The State Board of Education today deferred taking action on the Next Generation Science Standards for Wyoming students. The legislature, during the last session, barred the Board from adopting the national standards wholesale and today’s meeting left no clear resolution and no clear plan on when Wyoming might see science standards and what they would look like. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck was at the meeting. He says many people came out to support the standard’s passing.   

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Open Spaces
3:48 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Cindy Hill Discusses Return To Office, Standards

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill will soon be returning to lead the Wyoming Department of Education.  Unless you’ve been under rock, you know that the Superintendent had her ability to oversee the department removed by the legislature and the governor last year.

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Open Spaces
3:43 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

UW President Reflects On Legislative Session

University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity wrapped up his first legislative session last month and he calls it quite a learning experience.  He joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck to review the session.

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Open Spaces
3:31 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

UW Center Seeks To Improve Literacy

Credit courtesy UW

Last month the University of Wyoming opened a Literacy Research Center and clinic that should enhance literacy at all levels across the state.  It will allow face to face tutoring, train tutors and teachers, and use technology in interesting new ways.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.  

VICKI GILLIS:  “I see this as being on the cutting edge of work in literacy, K-12, and beyond.

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Open Spaces
4:23 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Wyoming Looks To Do More Than Transport Minerals

Governor Matt Mead and a handful of Wyoming legislators are excited about an idea that they hope will create more jobs in the state and finally do something locally with the minerals and other sources of energy that the state harvests.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

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Open Spaces
3:57 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Effort To Grow Support For Same Sex Marriage Is Underway

This week a new statewide public education campaign was launched called Wyoming unites for marriage.  The idea is to get support for same sex couples.  Earlier this year a lawsuit was filed to try and make same sex marriage legal in Wyoming.  Jeran Artery of the group Wyoming Equality tells Bob Beck that the lawsuit seems like the quickest way to get equality.

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Open Spaces
5:01 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Lawmakers Reflect On The 2014 Legislative Session

Credit Bob Beck

The Wyoming legislative session wrapped up this week and three issues dominated.  One was the state budget.  Another was the legislature’s decision to reject federal dollars to expand Medicaid, and the final issue was the Supreme Court Decision that said that it was unconstitutional for the legislature to demote State Superintendent Cindy Hill. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck asked lawmakers about some of those issues and has this report.

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Speaker Of The House Tom Lubnau Speaks Out

House Speaker Tom Lubnau
Credit Bob Beck

Outgoing Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau says he is wrapping up his legislative career.  The Gillette Republican is a fierce advocate for coal and the extractive industries. 

Speaker Lubnau also has had some strong views recently about the University of Wyoming and got national attention over his reaction to the infamous Carbon Sink sculpture that was placed near old main. He speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck

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News
6:42 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Legislature Passes Grand Teton Land Swap Bill

Credit Wallpaperslot.com

After considerable discussion, the Wyoming legislature approved a bill that would let the state and the federal government move forward with finalizing a deal to swap state owned land in Grand Teton National Park with the federal government.  Some senators expressed concern that the federal mineral land won't match the estimated $100 million value of the state's park land, but Jackson Senator Leland Christensen says the bill was changed to ensure the trade will be fair.

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News
6:25 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Legislative Session Wraps Up

The Wyoming House wraps up work
Credit Bob Beck

Members of Wyoming's Republican leadership raved about the legislative session that wrapped up Thursday, praising the state budget and lawmakers' support of business.  The GOP leaders said the budget will do a lot for the state, but they noted that they were also able to put a lot into savings.  Although the Senate Appropriations Committee was criticized for focusing too much on saving, Chairman Eli Bebout says in fact they probably spent too much. He says the energy industry could face tough times in Wyoming and it's important to be prepared.

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News
4:54 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

“Cowboys” The Story Of The 1943 National Basketball Champions Hits The Big Screen

The University of Wyoming won the national college basketball championship in 1943. Shortly after their triumph, several Cowboys started training for a bigger fight: World War II.

A new movie about the Cowboys’ epic championship game victory over St. John’s University in fabled Madison Square Garden premieres tonight, March 6, in Laramie at The Wyo Theater at 7pm.

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News
12:10 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Hill Announces Intention To Resume Superintendent Duties

Credit Cindy Hill Superintendent

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill says she intends to resume her job leading the state department of education on Monday.

Lawmakers stripped Hill of many of her duties last year and removed her as the head of the department, but the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that the move was unconstitutional. A District Court still must certify the ruling, but Hill told reporters today she’s ready to go back to work.

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News
6:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Grand Teton Land Swap Bill Heads To Conference Committee

Credit Wallpaperslot.com

A bill that would set up a land swap with the federal government for state-owned lands inside Grand Teton National Park is still a ways from being resolved.  Senators are leery that the state may not get fair value for state trust lands inside the park. 

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