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.

Pages

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
Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
News
6:26 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Make Superintendent Appointee

The Wyoming legislature will consider asking voters if the State Superintendent should be an appointed position instead of an elected one.  

Lawmakers will consider a Joint Resolution that would place the proposed constitutional change on the ballot.  If approved it would turn the State Superintendent into an appointed position by 2015. 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Kermit Brown says there is a benefit to having an expert run the office instead of a politician, especially with the importance lawmakers have placed on the Department of Education.

Read more
News
6:23 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Wyoming To Deal With Shell Corporations

The Wyoming Senate is working on a pair of bills intended to give the Secretary of State more power and authority to deal with shell corporations. 

Those are companies without active business operations or significant assets and sometimes viewed as tax havens. 

Senator Cale Case says there are a number of loose ends the state is trying to tie up.

Read more
News
4:15 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

House votes down legislative districts amendment

 The Wyoming House of Representatives voted down an amendment to protect some legislative districts in northeast Wyoming in giving initial approval to a bill that redraws  the state’s legislative districts. 

A proposal by Republican  Hans Hunt of Newcastle tried to prevent changes in Weston and Niobrara Counties by making one of the districts include eastern Campbell County’s population. 

Read more
News
12:44 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

House shoots down gun bill

The Wyoming House of Representatives narrowly defeated a bill that would have kept local government from banning guns from open meetings.  It surrounded a ban implemented by the Casper City Council. 

Evansville Republican Kendell Kroeker offered a bill that would have led to sanctions for entities that implemented a gun ban. 

News
7:26 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Redistricting amendment could save a senator's seat

A House Committee has approved a new plan for Wyoming’s new legislative districts, which would restore Senator Curt Meier’s seat.  Previously the committee told Meier that despite having two years left on his term, he would have to give up his seat and be moved into a district with Senator Wayne Johnson who lives in Laramie County.  But Meier offered an amendment that was adopted by the committee incorporating the non-voting prison population in Torrington to grab the necessary population.    Casper Representative Tim Stubson noted that it not only preserved a Senate seat, it achieved other

Read more
News
5:12 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Bill To Enhance Graduation Requirements Fails

An effort to enhance graduation requirements has failed.  Lingle Republican Matt Teeters, who chairs the House Education Committee, offered a bill that would have added some graduation requirements for those in high school.

“This bill would suggest that we would have four years of math and four years of science added to those requirements.  Just the fact that of having that student enrolled in those extra classes  their senior year, prevents that institutional loss that we see when seniors take their senior year off.”

Read more
News
4:56 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Collective Bargaining Rights For Public Employees Survive

The Wyoming House of Representatives defeated an attempt to remove collective bargaining rights from firefighters and other public employees. 

Evansville Republican Kendall Kroker said that it was unfair that not all employees had the same benefits,and was the primary reason for his bill. However, Green River Democrat Stan Blake strongly objected to the move.

Read more
News
4:37 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Nicholas Backs Off Of Aquifer Bill

Senator Phil Nicholas has decided to remove himself from sponsoring a funding request for the Laramie Aquifer leaving Laramie Democrat Chris Rothfuss to oversee that effort.  Nicholas was accused of having a conflict of interest in brokering a land deal for his client, former legislator Doug Samuelson.  The proposal was to have the state buy Samuelson’s land and turn it into a state park.  Laramie citizens then could have access to the property and it would prevent development from occurring above the Laramie aquifer. 

Read more
News
6:22 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

State Of The State: Cut Budgets, Improve Education, Manage Wolves

Governor Matt Mead told lawmakers that the state needs to slow its budget growth, mainly due to the downturn in natural gas prices.  But in his state of the state message, the governor mentioned some other priorities.

The governor said that the state is in good shape and is much better than other state's that are forced to make more serious cuts.  But he asked lawmakers to look closely at some other measures.  One is to approve common core standards to enhance education at the K-12 level.

Read more
News
6:20 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Democrats Respond To State Of The State

Wyoming Democrats say they were mostly pleased with the governor’s State of the State message. But while they agree the state should be cautious with spending, they don’t favor reductions.  House Minority Floor Leader Pat Goggles wishes Gov. Mead had spent more time on worker safety.  Goggles says it is time get serious about the situation.

“We’d like to see more positions in compliance in terms of worker safety and work to change the culture of safety,” says Goggles.

Read more
News
6:17 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Hedonic Model Fails

Keith Gingery

The Wyoming House of Representatives has failed to introduce a bill that would have changed the way that schools are funded.     

The bill adjusted the way districts are funded, but the controversial portion of the bill concerned the Hedonic funding model.  It was a new formula used to compute cost of living adjustments.  If approved, that would have cost Teton County four million dollars. 

Read more
News
6:15 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Lubnau Says Wyoming Will Have To Think Globally

The Majority Floor Leader of the Wyoming House of Representatives says that for the first time, lawmakers will need to think about the world around them when they vote on energy issues. 

Gillette Republican Tom Lubnau says that markets are suddenly available for Wyoming energy and technology is a big part of this. 

Lubnau says he was pleased Governor Mead mentioned thinking beyond our borders in his state of the state message, because he believes that needs to be a focus.

Read more
News
12:10 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

In State of the State address, Mead says Wyoming must curb spending

During his state of the state message Governor Matt Mead said that Wyoming is doing well.  He said Wyoming does not have the severe budget constraints that other statesface, but that a downturn in projected revenue means that the state has to curb its spending.

“I have not recommended deep across the board cuts to agencies,” Mead said. “Instead I used a targeted approach identifying those areas where we could slow or even reduce growth.  Some cuts have been made, but we should distinguish between cuts and reducing growth.  There is a real difference.”

News
7:43 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Governor Mead to give his State of the State message on Wyoming Public Radio

Governor Matt Mead says he will try and stay upbeat when he gives his State of the State message Monday morning.    While the state has over a billion dollars in reserves, the governor is worried about falling gas prices and the potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars from the state revenue picture. Those potential losses, along with the fact that Wyoming will also have to make up for the loss of some federal stimulus money has led the governor and legislature to recommend some budget cuts.  The governor recommended against giving State, University and Community College’s pay rais

Read more
Open Spaces
7:20 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

February 10th, 2012

Engineer Yulong Zhang shows off a vial of pure methanol in the board room at the Western Research Institute, with Vijay Sethi (left) and Thomas Barton (center).
Methanol Vial/ credit: Rebecca Martinez
Read more
Open Spaces
5:56 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Energy Journalist weighs in on DKRW

Listen to the Interview

The Editor and Chief of the on-line publication WyoFile has been busying covering the D-K-R-W project since it was first proposed.  Dustin Bleizeffer has also written about other clean coal projects and he says this one actually might come to fruition.

Open Spaces
5:47 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Medicine Bow readies for a boom

Land Deal
5:17 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Laramie Council supports land deal

The City of Laramie is urging the state to pay for the purchase of some 11,000 acres of land east of Laramie, so that the community can protect its water supply. 

The state has been asked to spend up to $20 million to purchase the land from former State Rep. Doug Samuelson, who many believe wants to use that money to in turn purchase a larger piece of land called the Y Cross Ranch in Laramie County. 

Read more
Open Spaces
5:25 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

The Coal Industry discusses the reasons for its positive safety record

Listen to the Interview

While the Oil and Gas industry has had a number of workplace fatalities, that has not been the case in Wyoming’s Coal Industry. Tim McCreary is Safety Manager for the Thunder Basin Coal Company.  He tells Bob Beck workplace safety is a focus.

Pages