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.

Ways To Connect

Bob Beck

The Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships are taking place in Laramie this weekend. Shot Putter and Discus thrower Mason Finley is certainly a headliner. While Finley wants to do well this weekend…he also has his eyes on some upcoming meets. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

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.

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.”

A report says that Wyoming is well positioned to be a leader in the liquefied natural gas industry or LNG for what are called high horsepower industries.   

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says the plan by the Environmental Protection Agency to require carbon pollution limits on new power plants is too limited and hurts the state’s economy.  During a news conference, Mead was critical of the E-P-A for not following Wyoming’s lead and look at ways to develop clean coal technology.

“I think everybody should have an interest in how we do it in the most environmentally friendly way possible, but when you set a standard that nobody has done yet…to me it looks like you are just shutting off coal completely.”

University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity says he will soon be looking to find permanent replacements for a number of interim administrators at U-W. 

McGinity says he is currently searching for a new Dean of Engineering and will soon try and fill the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs.  He says the Interim Vice President Maggi Murdock has decided to resign and return to her faculty post after the two had differences on some issues.  

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.

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.

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.”

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

A Wyoming legislative committee will decide if it wants to reconsider the powers and duties of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction this Friday. 

State Superintendent Cindy Hill returned to lead the Department of Education this week, after the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that a law stripping her ability to oversee the department was unconstitutional. 

Governor Matt Mead says he doesn’t know what the legislative committee will try to do.

The Sinclair Refinery is being cited with seven safety violations and over 200-thousand dollars in fines for an explosion and fire at its refinery near Rawlins last fall. 

Wyoming’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA says that two of the violations were willful.  The company has been fined numerous times in the past for a variety of fires, explosions, and other issues. 

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.

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.   

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.

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.

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.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says that he wants the State Board of Education to adopt rigorous science standards.

He recently signed into law a budget footnote that prevents the State Board of Education from adopting a set of national standards called Next Generation Science Standards. The governor says his only objective in doing that was to get the board to consider a variety of options as it develops Wyoming education standards.                

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.

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.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill made a brief appearance at the State Department of Education in an effort to reclaim her job.  The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that a law that removed many of Hill’s duties is unconstitutional.  

Hill walked into the Department Monday morning with two of her staff members.   After those staff members met with Education Director Rich Crandall she left the building.

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