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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Open Spaces
4:18 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Wyoming State Parks Celebrate 75 Years

This is the 75th year of State Parks in Wyoming.   Dominic Bravo oversees State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails.   He tells Bob Beck that state parks have an interesting history.

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Open Spaces
4:17 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Symphony: Michael Griffith previews the season

The University of Wyoming Symphony opens its season next week.  Director Michael Griffith joins Bob Beck.

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Open Spaces
4:08 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Laramie sets stage to attract tech industry

The City of Laramie has not been famous for its economic development success.  Laramie has seen a growth in technology jobs, but didn’t have the infrastructure to attract at least narrowly two large mega data centers.  In an effort to change that city leaders are going all out to purchase property and develop what will initially be a 160 acre technology park.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that officials are hoping for a big splash.

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Football
9:40 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Cowboys lose to Toledo, Christensen says team needs to turn around

UW Coyboys Football Coach Dave Christensen

The Cowboys lost to Toledo Saturday 34-31.  It was a game that saw Wyoming turn the ball over three times, struggle on key third downs, and on defense. 

Head Coach Dave Christensen says the turnovers were the key to the loss and it’s something the team has to get corrected.  

But fans of the team were equally concerned about Quarterback Brett Smith who left the game in an ambulance after getting dragged down violently from behind late in the fourth quarter.  The play is a penalty and it’s called a horse collar.  On the play, Smith also took a shot to the head. 

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News
5:22 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Governor defends Wyoming’s wolf management effort

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead defended the state’s wolf management plan this week, saying it’s been peer reviewed by scientists.

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News
5:11 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Wyoming football prepares for its home opener

Cowboys Head Coach Dave Christensen
University of Wyoming

The Wyoming Cowboys football team is hoping for its first win of the season Saturday against Toledo.  Wyoming lost last week to nationally ranked Texas and while Toledo lost to Arizona. Wyoming Head Coach Dave Christensen said that the Rockets are well coached and will will present a number of challenges. “They are gonna come in with two very good Quarterbacks, both do an excellent job of executing their offense," Christensen said.

Open Spaces, Wyoming Public Media
4:12 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

August 31st, 2012

The creeks that Orville Johnson’s cows would normally drink from are dry this year.
Willow Belden

Drought, hay shortage mean tough economic times for Wyoming ag industry
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says this year’s hay crop will be the worst in decades, because of the drought. Hay is already in short supply, and prices have spiked. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that the hay shortage is forcing ranchers to make tough choices and could have a lingering economic impact on the state’s ag industry.

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Open Spaces
3:53 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

DKRW secures contract for coal-to-gas plant

DKRW plans to build a coal-to-gas plant in Medicine Bow.
Bob Beck

Earlier this year we told you about an effort to turn coal into gas in Medicine Bow.  Today DKRW Advanced Fuels has announced that it has secured a contract to its Medicine Bow project with the Sinopec  Engineering Group in based out of China.   Bob Kelly is Executive Chairman and co-founder of DKRW, and he tells Bob Beck that getting an actual bid on the facility puts wheels in motion.  

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Open Spaces
3:47 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Cowgirls Volleyball team has high hopes

UW Cowgirls pause during a match
Bob Beck

The University of Wyoming Cowgirls Volleyball team believes that this could be their year.  18 years after their last NCAA tournament appearance and coming off two strong seasons, the Wyoming squad believes it will take a big step forward this year.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.

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Open Spaces
3:37 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

AFL-CIO discussing worker safety in Wyoming

It’s Labor Day weekend, which means there will be a lot of discussion surrounding workers in the state.  Kim Floyd is the Executive Secretary of the Labor Organization the AFL-CIO.  He tells Bob Beck it’s an interesting time for many workers

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Bison
7:58 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Wind River Tribes Want Bison to Return to Reservation

Jim Schulz, AP Photo/Chicago Zoological Society Associated Press

The Wind River Reservation is actively trying to acquire some 160 bison that will be moved from one of Ted Turner’s ranches.  Federal agencies are helping ranch managers determine where they should go. 

Eastern Shoshone tribal member and wildlife scientist Jason Baldes says both the Northern Arapaho and Shoshone would like to acquire at least some of the Bison.  Federal lands and refuges are being considered as other possible locations. 

Garrit Voggesser of the National Wildlife Federation likes the idea of putting the animals on the Wind River Reservation.

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Sports
5:58 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Cowgirls defeat Presbyterian College

The Wyoming Cowgirls volleyball team got off to a fast start and defeated Presbyterian College three games to one in the first round of the UniWyo Wyoming invitational. 

The Cowgirls won the first two games handily by scores of 25 to nine but lost the third game 20 to 25 before winning the match 25 to 14. 

Head Coach Carrie Yerty says her team struggled in the third game because she played a number of new players and combinations.

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News
5:25 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Legislative panel proposes gas tax hike

This week the Legislature’s Joint Revenue committee agreed to submit a bill to the legislature that would increase the gas and diesel tax by ten cents a gallon, raising the tax to 24 cents.  The money would go to the Wyoming Department of Transportation and local governments to pay for road construction.  

Due to decreases in federal funding, the legislature has been forced to find other money to pay for roads. But with the downturn in energy prices, less money will be available in the future. 

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News
5:25 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

UW to ask trustees for pay raises

The University of Wyoming will present its proposed supplemental budget request to the UW board of trustees Thursday and the request will include money for a pay hike. 

Even though state budgets could be trimmed from four to eight percent, UW wants the Governor and Legislature to set aside five million dollars that can be used for merit based pay raises.  The average increase would be about three percent. 

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Healthcare
5:58 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Gillette Residents Debate Future Location of Long-Term Care Facility

A group of Gillette residents is hoping to put an end to a long dispute over where a long term care facility should be located. 

The state-of-the-art facility is supported by the community and state, but while some in the community want it located at the site of the former recreation center, a group of community members are pushing to have it placed across the street from Campbell County Memorial Hospital where some former school facilities were located. 

Tom Johnson of the group For All Of Us-Citizens United says the recreation center would be a poor location.

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Open Spaces
3:33 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Republican Candidates Debate Conservative Values

During Tuesday’s Republican primary election a large number of so called conservative candidates in the state are hoping to make a dent in legislative races.  These are candidates who believe that some office holders have forgotten their Republican values.  Organizations known as WyWatch, Conservative Republicans of Wyoming or Crow and the Tea Party are supporting these candidates who they hope will make changes in how government is run and get more conservative legislation such as anti-abortion measures passed.  A race in Casper appears to be the headliner of this battle between conservat

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Open Spaces
3:26 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Cheyenne Independent Runs for US House of Representatives

One candidate for the US House of Representatives wants your help to get on the ballot.  Cheyenne Resident Charlie Hardy got into the race after he found it difficult to communicate with our current congressional delegation.  He’s also concerned that the country remains at war.  Hardy wants to run as an independent.  He’s long written and spoken about issues surrounding foreign affairs and has served as a Catholic Priest and missionary.  Hardy tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that while he opposes the country’s continued war effort, he is not anti-military.

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Open Spaces
3:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Medicare and Medicaid Forecast

We are joined now by Mike Fierberg who works for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services for the US Department of Health.  He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck what seniors can expect from Medicare this year, but we start by asking him how competitive the insurance marketplace will be now that the U-S Supreme Court has approved most of the Affordable Care Act.

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Open Spaces
5:20 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Former Bush Administration official says EPA is improperly affecting energy market

A Bush administration official has been speaking to members of the media this week about his concerns that the Environmental Protection Agency is overstepping its bounds.   Bud Albright is the former undersecretary for the Department of Energy.  Albright’s main point is that the EPA is unfairly making it difficult for energy companies to operate.  He says they are unfairly impacting the energy market.  He speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Open Spaces
5:13 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Enthusiasm for wind energy high outside Wyoming

Next on the show is the a Wind Energy expert and the author of the book Harvest the Wind:  America’s Journey to jobs, energy independence and climate stability.  Phil Warburg tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that while it appears that enthusiasm for Wind Energy has slowed down in Wyoming, that is not the case in the rest of the country.

Open Spaces
5:07 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Hospice offers end-of life dignity, families say

In seems that most people are afraid of a Hospice.  Statistics show that if they are used, people will wait until the final days of someone’s life until they are called upon.   But those who run Wyoming’s 18 Hospices would like to change that.   Hospice care is a less expensive option than a nursing home or hospital that is focused on helping the patient die with dignity while also healing the family.  Most who have been through the process say it actually is a positive experience.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.

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News
5:11 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

UW symposium to examine climate change in National Parks

The University of Wyoming will host a panel discussion Thursday on how climate change can impact planning and management at national parks. 

Researchers from around the world will discuss how environmental changes can impact tourism.   UW Professor Patricia Taylor is one of the organizers.  She says it’s important that those in running parks consider how stakeholders are impacted by decisions park managers make on topics concerning climate. 

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News
6:16 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Another Big Fundraising Year For UW

The University of Wyoming just finished its second straight year raising over 40 million dollars in private donations.  U-W Foundation President Ben Blalock says the support the University gets from the state leads to donations from the public.

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Open Spaces
6:09 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012

BAER Teams Check Extent of Damage After Wild-land Fires
Irina Zhorov

BAER Teams Check Extent of Damage After Wild-land Fires

The fire season came early to Wyoming this year. Usually, Wyoming doesn’t see its biggest fires until late July but already there have been 10 fires that have burned over 265-thousand acres of land. Wet weather and the efforts of thousands of firefighters have contained the larger blazes …So what happens after a fire? Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.

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Open Spaces
3:51 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Yellowstone Superintendent Offers Update on Winter Use Plan

Listen to the interview

This week Yellowstone National Park has held a series of meetings discussing its new proposed winter use plan.  Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck and they discuss the fact that after several years of reduced numbers, more snowmobiles may soon be allowed in Yellowstone.

News
4:15 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

The University of Wyoming receives record grant

The National Science Foundation announced today (Friday) that the University of Wyoming will receive a 20-million-dollar grant to study water resources in the state.  It’s the largest grant ever received by the University.   U-W Researcher Steve Holbrook says they hope to answer a number of water related questions and help future water managers.

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