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 76 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 has covered the Wyoming Legislature longer than any broadcaster in the state.  He 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, walking his dog or cheering on his beloved Packers, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs and Salukis.

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News
7:04 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Senate approves education accountability measure

The State Senate gave final approval to a major Education Accountability measure.  It provides testing and other procedures to keep students, teachers, administrators and parents accountable for a child’s education.  The Senate approved an amendment that would allow school districts to better track how students are doing throughout their entire career. Senator Chris Rothfuss says it’s a different approach. “Tracking a student’s growth year to year -- how good are they one year, the next year, the following year…in K-12.  And that’s what we are trying to track from the growth standpoint,” Ro

News
6:57 am
Tue February 28, 2012

House denies funding for developmental disability services

On the final day of budget debate, the Wyoming House of Representatives denied funding to try and remove some of those on the waiting list for developmental disability services. Jackson Representative Keith Gingery says there is a need to get people off waiting lists as soon as possible and asked the House to approve 3-point-five million dollars to make a difference. “The quicker you can get to a child at an early age, the better they are going to do," Gingery said.

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It's All Politics
11:46 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Wyoming's GOP Caucuses: The Process Is Drawn Out And Confusing

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:53 am

Republicans in Wyoming pick delegates for the national convention in a process that stretches from early February to mid-April. Besides being time-consuming, the process is also hard to understand.

In Wyoming, precinct caucuses are the first round of the political playoffs. Republicans from throughout the state meet in county caucuses to discuss issues, suggest platform ideas and decide whom to endorse.

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News
6:23 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

UW Building Receive Legislative Attention

Two proposed University of Wyoming buildings were the focus of considerable amount of debate on the final day of the state budget. 

The House will focus funding on the top building priority of UW and build a new performing Arts Center, but the State Senate voted not to fund the Performing Arts Center and will instead spend money to pay for an upgrade of the College of Engineering building.  Laramie Representative Cathy Connolly said the Performing Arts Center will guarantee certification for the Arts program at U-W.  She says it’s important to the state.

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News
6:18 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Senate votes to add HIV/AIDS funding

The Wyoming Senate has voted to add $500-thousand dollars to continue to fund a program that provides drugs for those with HIV and AIDS.  The money was restored by the House, but voted down by the Senate. However, Monday the Senate reconsidered the funding.   Senator Charles Scott says without it those with HIV and AIDS might have trouble getting the necessary drugs.

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News
7:55 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Meier's Senate seat could be in jeopardy again

The Chairman of a Committee redrawing state legislative districts admits he is not pleased with a House Amendment that preserved the seat of a State Senator from Goshen and Platte Counties.  Senate Corporations and Political Subdivisions Chairman Cale Case says he may try and remove that amendment. "That long strip that goes up along the Nebraska border and captures the prison and puts it down with a district in Cheyenne -- we are legitimately open to a little criticism on that and I will probably try and remove that in the Senate," Case said. That amendment keeps Senator Curt Meier from ge

News
7:36 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Bill would encourage companies to make workplaces safer

A measure intended to increase workplace safety is making its way through the Wyoming House of Representatives.  The bill is intended to encourage companies to contact OSHA to determine if they're doing what they can to ensure workplace safety.  Grants will be provided to help companies implement safety programs and buy necessary equipment.   Cheyenne Democrat Mary Throne had wanted stiffer penalties to ensure compliance, but she is hopeful that this approach will work. “I certainly think we need to provide more resources to employers and to OSHA to help those folks who want to engage in th

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News
5:30 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Legislators Consider Higher Speed Limit

The Wyoming House of Representatives is considering legislation that would allow drivers to legally travel a little faster on interstate highways.  Gillette Republican Tom Lubnau is pushing a bill that would allow state highway officials to increase the speed limit on interstates to 80 miles an hour and says this is currently allowed in some other states. 

He cited a Utah study during floor debate on Friday.

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News
5:26 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Senate Gives Approval To Funding For Uranium Cleanup

The Wyoming Senate has given initial approval to a Joint Resolution asking Congress to increase funding and monitoring at the Riverton Uranium Mill Tailings remediation site.  Mill Tailings at the site, on the Wind River Reservation, constitute contaminated materials left over from the former Susquehanna-Western uranium mill that operated in the 50’s and 60’s.

Senator Cale Case told the Senate that the federal government had expected the site to naturally clean itself up after the company ceased operation in the area.  However, he says that hasn’t been the case…

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News
5:24 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Wolf Management Bill Approved

A Wyoming wolf management bill has been approved by the State Senate.  The compromise measure that allows wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state and hunted in a small area of the state in western Wyoming, is the first key step in allowing the state to join Idaho and Montana in managing wolf populations located within state boundaries.  Senator Bruce Burns carried the bill and says citizen feedback has been mostly positive.

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News
10:18 am
Fri February 24, 2012

House gives initial support to drug test legislation

A bill that would require people receiving state benefits to be drug tested has received initial support in the Wyoming House of Representatives.  Bill Sponsor David Miller of Riverton says the measure is intended to help addicts.

“It’s not a really complex bill," Miller said.  "We made it as simple as possible, we made it as simple as possible for people to get help if they positive with drugs, to get in a program and then when they produce a clean drug test they can get these benefits for their family.”

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Medicaid
6:16 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

House and Senate increased Medicaid funding

Members of the Wyoming legislature made a major change to the state budget.  

The House and Senate both supported adding 43 million dollars in the Medicaid program in the State Department of Health.  The money is provided with the understanding that the Department will look for ways to reduce its budget in the future. 

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AML Money
6:12 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

House AML spending bill would fund UW upgrade

University of Wyoming Arena Auditorium
Wyoming Athletics

The Wyoming House finished work on a bill that lines out how the state will spend Abandoned Mine Lands Money.  On the final day of debate, the House restored money to be used to rehabilitate the University of Wyoming’s Arena Auditorium.   The money was removed from a previous amendment that used the money to pay for upgrades at UW’s Engineering College.   Kemmerer Representative Kathy Davison expressed concern about the construction money being given to UW. “Every year we put a lot of money into UW, every single year.

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News
7:05 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Senate committe kills Laramie aquifer legislation

After hours of testimony, the Senate Minerals committee killed a bill that would have allowed the City of Laramie to acquire a parcel of land to protect the community’s water supply. The city said it wanted the state to spend 15 million dollars to buy the land, but members of the committee questioned city and county officials over whether they had considered other options.  In the end the bill died when Senator Chris Rothfuss of Laramie offered a due pass motion that failed to get a second. Committee Chairman Eli Bebout told community members he’s sympathetic, but urged them to look into ot

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News
6:15 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Open Records Approved

The Wyoming Senate gave final approval to an updated Open Records law, but in the process they removed a controversial amendment.

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News
6:14 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

House Debates AML Funds Again

For the second straight day,the Wyoming House of Representatives has hotly debated how the state should spend its share of Abandoned Mine Land Funds.  The money is allocated for reclamation efforts, but the state may also use it for other projects.   Some were concerned that the bill would spend ten million dollars to upgrade the University of Wyoming Arena-Auditorium,and voted to instead spend the money on an upgrade of the UW College of Engineering. 

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News
6:12 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Initial Approval Given To Wolf Management Plan

The State Senate voted to give initial support for a wolf management plan for Wyoming today/Thursday. The multi-year compromise was developed by the Governor and Federal officials over the summer and involved a number of public meetings. 

Senator Dan Dockstader  of Afton says there are 2 key components in the bill….

“Under the legislation the plan calls for ten breeding pairs and at least 100 wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park.  The second main point trophy game management area will go from October 15th to the final day in February.”

AML Money
4:54 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

House discusses AML funds spending habits

Rep. Mark Semlek

Some members of the Wyoming House of Representatives are expressing concern about a bill that would change how the state spends its share of Abandoned Mine Lands money. 

The funds traditionally have been collected by the federal government and returned to states to reclaim abandoned mines.  The state has used AML money to pay for some energy related building projects in the past. But this year, the Joint Appropriations Committee wants to use it to fund other projects, such as ten million dollars for the renovation of the UW Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. 

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Politics
7:37 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Senate to consider House-approved redistricting bill

The Wyoming House of Representatives gave final approval to a new legislative redistricting plan Friday.  It makes subtle changes across the state,and House members voted to accept a plan that also keeps Senators Curt Meier and Wayne Johnson from being combined into one Senate seat. 

Representative Pete Illoway oversaw the House effort and he admits he has mixed emotions about what they did to preserve the Senate seats.

Legislature
5:46 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

House votes down worker safety measure

Rep. Mary Throne

An effort to give OSHA the authority to increase fines for worker deaths has been defeated.  The Wyoming House voted down the measure by Cheyenne Democrat Mary Throne. 

Throne says increasing fines could improve worker safety. 

"If a moose is killed out of season you might face a fine of 15-thousand dollars.  If a worker dies on the job, for instance a worker died on the job in 2006, a catwalk wasn’t in place.  A worker fell to his death.  The penalty was 7-thousand dollars.”

Open Spaces
5:39 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

February 17th, 2012

County10.com Editor Ernie Over (left) and Pitch Engine CEO Jason Kintzler sit in Over’s office at the Pitch Engine headquarters in Lander. County 10 offers hyper-local, to-the-minute news updates about happenings in Fremont County.
Rebecca Martinez
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Legislature
5:23 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Senate bill would protect Laramie aquifer

WY Sen. Chris Rothfuss

    The Wyoming Senate has voted to introduce a bill that would establish a mechanism for Laramie to acquire a parcel of land above the Casper aquifer.  The state could spend up to $15 million.

Laramie Senator Chris Rothfuss notes that the land purchase has generated some controversy, but he says the process would begin with the Director of the State Land and Investment Board negotiating to acquire the land.

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Legislature
5:15 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

House committee wants welfare recipients to pass drug tests, ACLU objects

Linda Burt, Wyoming ACLU

A Wyoming House committee recommended approval of a bill that would require drug testing before someone can receive state aid. 

Riverton Representative David Miller says the bill would allow the state to take away benefits for a month if someone tested positive.  Miller says he is trying to encourage users to get drug treatment. 

Linda Burt of the American Civil Liberties Union says such bills have been declared unconstitutional in other states.

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Open Spaces
4:53 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Wyomingite and National Geographic writer will speak at UW

Listen to the Story

Noted Wyoming author Mark Jenkins is currently writing stories for National Geographic.  He will be discussing a recent article called the Healing Fields, the legacy of war and the search for Miss Landmine Cambodia during a lecture in Laramie on February 27ths at five in the UW classroom building.  Jenkins will also make some additional appearances in the state.  He talks with Bob Beck.

Legislature
4:17 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

State Superintendent will remain an elected position

Rep. Frank Peasley

An attempt to change the constitution to make the State Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed rather than elected position has failed in the Wyoming House.

Casper Republican Steve Harshman brought the idea due to the importance the legislature has placed on the State Department of Education.  He noted that very few states have an elected Superintendent. But others disagreed with the idea.  Douglas Republican Frank Peasley argued that the current system works best.

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News
4:27 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Changes Made To Shell Corporation Regulation Bill

The State Senate continues working on a pair of bills intended to give the Secretary of State more power to regulate shell corporations or those who operate without significant investments or operations in the state.  Senator Phil Nicholas successfully lowered possible penalties for people in Wyoming who act as registered agents, and says that’s because they are not the people likely to commit fraud.

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News
3:39 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

School Finance Bill Returns

The Wyoming Senate has revived a school finance measure with onesignificant change:The bill removes the controversial regional cost adjustment known as the hedonic model that caused the measure to fail in the house.

That provision would remove funding from communities with amenities and could have cost Teton County four million dollars. 

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News
3:37 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Retirement Bill Fails

The Wyoming House of Representatives has defeated a bill that would have changed the state retirement system.  Cheyenne Republican Bryan Pedersen wanted those hired after July first 2014 to be entered into a 401K style retirement plan versus the current defined benefit plan. 

The reason for the defeat is because Pedersen believes the current state plan will run out of money. 

However, opponents questioned Pedersen’s numbers and his timing, and Casper Republican Steve Harshman says it’s too big of a change in a short budget session.

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