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
4:20 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Casper mayor opposes smoke-free ordinance

The city of Casper is considering a ban on smoking in all public places.   It’s an issue that supporters have been pushing for a number of years and next week there will be a public hearing on the issue.  In the past, supporters of the ordinance have been on board with the program, but not everybody is in love with it.   So today we will hear from an opponent.  Former Mayor Mike Reid is the co-owner of Poplar Wine and Spirits in Casper that includes an adjoining smoke free bar.  Reid tells Bob Beck the smoke free approach has worked well.

Open Spaces
3:59 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Gov. Matt Mead discusses proposed budget

Bob Beck recently spoke with Gov. Matt Mead in his office about a number of topics including proposed state budget cuts.

Education
5:34 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Wyoming students' NAEP scores above national average

The 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP  shows that Wyoming eighth graders continue to outperform the national average test score in science. 

The Wyoming Department of Education says that Wyoming students also increased their science scores from those reported in 2009.

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News
5:03 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Teton County and Jackson approve comprehensive plan

A five year effort in Teton County has come to an end.  County commissioners and the Jackson Town Council have voted to adopt a new comprehensive plan that will guide future development in the county. 

Under the plan most new development will occur in existing neighborhoods and communities.  Jackson Mayor Mark Barron says that will protect open space.

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News
7:32 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Barrasso worries about end of wind tax credit

Some in the wind energy industry have expressed concern that the wind production tax credit might expire at the end of the year. 

U.S. Senator John Barrasso says he shares that concern and blames the on-again, off-again nature of such tax credits on the lack of a federal energy policy. 

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News
6:44 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

State senator wants Wyoming data to be stored locally

A State Senator wants Wyoming to look into why important state data is being stored in Data Centers outside the Cowboy State.   Republican John Schiffer says that while the state is heavily invested in recruiting and creating data centers, he wonders why important Wyoming data is not stored locally. 

He says two highly-regarded data centers are already located in the state.

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Open Spaces
4:32 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

April 27th, 2012

Bob Beck

 

Douglas residents react to Chesapeake Energy gas leak
This week, there was an explosion at an oil rig near Douglas. Natural gas spewed from the well, and about 50 people were evacuated from their homes. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden visited Douglas shortly after the accident and put together this montage of residents’ reactions.

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Open Spaces
4:11 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Barrasso defends position against environmental regulation

U-S Senator from Wyoming John Barrasso has been very critical of the Obama administration because of its position on such things as new air standards as it applies to the coal industry… and a number of other EPA-led provisions that, he says, will just kill jobs.  Senator Barrasso joins Bob Beck from the cloak room just outside of the U-S Senate.

Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Workforce Services Director says a wide range of jobs open in Wyoming

 

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has been hosting a number of job fairs across the state presumably because there are jobs to be had.  Joan Evans is the Department Director, she tells Bob Beck there are jobs for just about every type of worker, but it might require job training or relocation.

Open Spaces
3:49 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Data centers meant to diversify state economy

Bob Beck

 

Wyoming has long been thought of as a state that focuses on energy, tourism and in some circles ranching.  But the state has been trying to also make itself a player in technology.  It started in earnest a few years back that the National Center for Atmospheric Research or NCAR was coming to Wyoming.  The latest push has centered around Data Centers.  Wyoming is offering sales tax incentives and grant money to try and attract them to the state.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that many believe they could be an important piece in diversifying the economy.

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News
5:25 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Mead: Budgets can be cut without layoffs

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says he wants state agencies to look at program reductions but not job cuts when they come up with plans to reduce the state budget. 

Because of declining natural gas prices, the governor is asking all state agencies to be prepared to reduce their budgetseight percent by July first of 2013.  Mead said during a news conference that many of the reductions can be done without layoffs.

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News
5:23 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Game and Fish approves wolf plan

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has approved the state’s wolf management plan.  It allows wolves to be shot on site in most of the state, with hunting seasons scheduled for an area in northwest Wyoming.

Governor Matt Mead says they are awaiting another peer review by scientists, but they have made some adjustments to hunting regulations that he hopes will make the plan more palatable to critics. Mead remains hopeful that Wyoming’s congressional delegation will keep the management plan from being delayed by the courts.  But he believes the plan will stand up to any scrutiny.

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News
5:18 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

ALEC gives Wyoming high marks

The American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC has given Wyoming high marks for its economic policies.  The state was ranked number one for its economic performance over the last ten years,and ALEC ranks Wyoming as having the forth best economic outlook.  

The group’s Jonathon Williams says some of the reason for this is obviously due to Wyoming’s energy industry.  But he credits the state for having the initiative to utilize itsresourceseffectively.

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News
6:53 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Governor tells agencies to be ready for big cuts

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says all state agencies should be prepared to cut budgets by eight percent next year.  Falling natural gas prices are to blame.  Wyoming House Appropriations Chairman Rosie Berger said it’s due to Wyoming having a minerals based economy.  When natural gas prices drop, the state loses millions.  Berger said the good news is that agency heads have awhile to prepare.

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News
10:14 am
Mon April 23, 2012

STDs on the rise in Wyoming

Sexually transmitted diseases have been on a rapid rise in Wyoming and a number of health organizations want to do something about it.  In Casper, the local chapter of Planned Parenthood is offering ten dollar STD testing this week in an effort to get people to learn their status.

Casper Health Center Manager Melody Meanor says they want all residents to make STD testing part of their regular medical routine.  She says they also want to encourage communication.

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Open Spaces
7:12 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

April 20th, 2012

 

Increase in coal exports on the horizon
There are more new ports designed for coal export being proposed in the U.S. and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coal producers are training their eye on the developments. With some of the most efficient economies of scale in the world, a larger percentage of PRB coal could be making its way across the ocean soon. What would that mean for Wyoming and the global community? Irina Zhorov reports. 

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Open Spaces
6:53 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Natrona County plans to revolutionize education system

Bob Beck

As most know, school reform is far from novel.  It has been a catch word for many years.  But at a time when Casper was looking a building a new high school, school officials thought that a new approach in education should be part of new construction.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…

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Open Spaces
6:49 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

STDs on the rise in Wyoming

It’s Sexually Transmitted Disease awareness month and in Wyoming this is a serious issue.  Statistics show that STDs in the state are on the rise.  A number of health care organizations are trying to get sexually active people tested for STDs and to check their HIV status.  Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is engaged in a campaign called GYT – get yourself tested.   Melody Meanor is the Manager of Planned Parenthood’s Casper Health Center.  She says the sharp increase in STD’s in Wyoming is alarming.


 

Open Spaces
6:42 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Laramie program offers theater experience for those with disabilities

For the last several years ARK regional services in Laramie has run a program called the Cooper Center for Creative Arts.  It offers a multitude of experiences for those with disabilities.  Next month those in the program will be putting on a performance where students will be involved in all aspects from performing to set design.  Cheyenne Christian is the Creative Arts Coordinator for the Center and she explains the program…

News
11:58 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Sleeping Giant ski area to expand

The Shoshone National Forest is considering public comments on a proposal to make the Sleeping Giant Ski area near Cody a year-round facility. 

The Ski area is hoping to take advantage of new federal rules that allow ski areas to operate in the summer months. 

Forest Service Spokeswoman Anita Harper says the ski area wants to expand in three areas.

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News
5:27 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Virtual conference will address Wyoming's equal pay issue

 

      Wyoming women make 64 cents to every dollar a man makes.  That ranks the state at or near the bottom when it comes to national wage gap rankings.  But a conference is hoping to change that.  Diane Wolverton of the Wyoming Smart Capital Network says the conference, SHE! a virtual business conference for Wyoming women, will discuss ways women can create their own business opportunities.

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News
7:42 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Fewer Wyoming teens smoke

New numbers show that Wyoming teenagers are smoking less.  New Kids Count Data shows that in 1995 nearly 40-percent of high school students smoked a cigarette once in the last month.  That number dropped to 22 percent in 2011.  State Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Joe D’Eufemia said Wyoming increased its spending in preventive efforts in the late 1990’s, but he said two other actions may have had a greater impact.

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News
4:31 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Nine Wyoming school districts fall short of federal graduation guidelines

Wyoming’s on-time graduation rate for 2011, a calculation of how many students graduate in four years was 79-point-7 percent. That’s slightly below the goal of 80 percent. 

The Wyoming Department of Education says that  while the 2011 average is slightly less than the year before, the Department is also quick to point out that Wyoming graduated 59 more students than in 2010.  The Department added that 39 of Wyoming’s 48 districts had on-time graduation rates higher than the state average. 

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News
4:40 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Highway Bill Remains Stalled

The U.S. House of Representatives still cannot reach an agreement on a new federal highway bill, and the Speaker of the House cancelled a vote to extend funding for transportation projects for three more years. 

If the issue is not resolved by Saturday, some members of Congress say it could lead to the cancelation of construction projects and a loss of jobs in every state. 

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News
5:53 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Conservation Groups Ask Court To Release Fracking Chemical Secrets

A Wyoming court is being asked to rule that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been too liberal in giving industry the opportunity to withhold what chemicals are involved in fracking.  Laura Veaton of Earth Justice says that of the 52 requests to withhold trade secrets, 50 have been granted.  Veaton says some were granted even though some companies did not comply with state requirements.

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Open Spaces
1:36 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Regulators to collect feedback on wolf management plan

Next week the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will begin a series of public meetings. They’ll gather public input on the rules and regulations the department will use to manage wolves in the state.   The rules will be finalized by the Game and Fish Commission in April. Chief Game Warden Brian Nesbit and the Department Director Scott Talbott talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Open Spaces
1:11 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

What’s next with Wyoming’s Health Care?

Earlier this month the state legislature ended funding for an experimental program called Healthy Frontiers, it was Wyoming’s latest effort to save the state health care money.  The idea was also supposed to reduce costs to Wyoming’s Medicaid program and reduce the numbers of those who drive up costs by depending on the more expensive emergency room to cover their health care needs.  Some say Wyoming’s problems will be solved by the federal health reform plan known as the Affordable Care Act, but the future of that plan is unknown.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

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Open Spaces
1:08 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis praises water quality dialogue

State Representative Cynthia Lummis joins us to talk about a number of issues affecting the state. The Wyoming Republican most recently had a discussion with the head of the EPA concerning water pollution in Pavillion.  She tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck the good news is that there seems to be a dialogue.

News
4:46 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Congresswoman wants to protect Wyoming from lawsuits

Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis will once again ask for congressional support to keep people from suing over Wyoming’s ability to manage wolves. Such legislation was approved on behalf of Montana and Idaho.  Lummis failed in a previous attempt in December, but she is more optimistic following the Wyoming legislature’s passage of wolf management legislation.  Lummis says she will also be watching closely to make sure that federal officials support the state. 

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