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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News
4:58 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Shoppers encouraged to buy local on Saturday

The Wyoming chapter of the U.S. Small Business Administration is asking shoppers to think local and think small this Saturday.  Wyoming District Director Amy Lea says they’re hoping that state residents will consider purchasing holiday gifts from local merchants first.

"These are our friends and our neighbors, when we live in small towns in Wyoming, and even the larger ones," Lea said. "And we want them to be able to stay in business."

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News
5:01 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Jobless rate stagnant

The Wyoming unemployment rate continues to stay the same, and job growth is also flat.  The October rate rose slightly from the September rate of 4.5 percent.

Economist David Bullard with the Department of Workforce Services says counties such as Laramie, Converse Natrona, and Teton continue to see steady job growth, but statewide job growth is not strong.

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News
5:51 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Mead: Wyoming businesses doing well

Governor Matt Mead says Wyoming is seeing growth and success among businesses in the state.

During the governor’s business forum in Cheyenne he noted that Wyoming ranks high in a number of pro-business categories and that leads to growth in a variety of business sectors.  He says it will only get better.

“We have a great future ahead of us,” Mead said. “And it is not because we do everything right every day, it is because a common commitment and love for Wyoming and a care for the citizens and families in Wyoming to do everything as well as possible.”

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Open Spaces
4:16 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

November 15th, 2013

UW Board of Trustees President talks about Dr. Sternberg’s resignation

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees announced UW President Bob Sternberg’s resignation on Thursday. The Trustees spent Thursday and Friday in meetings, but President of the Board David Bostrom sat down to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about what comes next. Bostrom says the Trustees didn’t try to convince Dr. Sternberg to stay.

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Open Spaces
3:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

In Laramie, those in the drug court are finding the benefits of yoga

Hot Power Yoga
Credit Bob Beck

Lots of people enjoy the calming and relaxing benefits of yoga, but in Laramie a group is trying to use yoga to help those in the drug court program.  And the early returns are good.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more. 

BOB BECK:  It’s Friday night at Laramie’s Hot Power Yoga.  The lights are down and the room is lit with candles.  Nine people connected with the Albany County Drug Court program are here holding various poses in an effort to relax and focus. 

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News
6:14 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

UW President Bob Sternberg says he's available to discuss concerns

The President of the University of Wyoming, Bob Sternberg, says he understands that the turnover of several administrators is unsettling, but says that most of the resignations have been coincidence.  Sternberg says he was directly involved in the resignations of Provost Myron Allen and Education Dean Kay Persichitte, but other administrator resigned on their own. 

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Open Spaces
4:11 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

UW President Bob Sternberg responds to criticism

University of Wyoming President Bob Sternberg

It’s been a rough week for UW President Bob Sternberg.  He’s been taken to task by several UW faculty on University list serves over his handling of a number of issues, but people have expressed the most concern over the turnover of some U-W administrators. 

Most recently the dismissal of the College of Education Dean and the resignation of the Law School Dean.  Sternberg gives Bob Beck his perspective on the controversy.

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Open Spaces
4:08 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Lawmakers still worried about Wyoming’s revenue picture

Cheyenne Capitol Building
Credit Bob Beck

The main revenue forecasting arm for the state of Wyoming called 2013 a solid year economically.  Thanks to investments it means the state raised almost 350 million dollars over projections.  But the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group or CREG says while this is great news, problems may be on the horizon. The legislative committee tasked with developing the state’s budget wants to be cautious.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…

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Open Spaces
3:50 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Grand Teton Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott leaves her post with issues remaining

Mary Gibson Scott
Credit NPS

In her nine years as Superintendent of Grand Teton National Park, Mary Gibson Scott has overseen a number of park improvements from Transportation to a new Visitors Center.  But issues from funding for Parks to protecting wildlife continue to be a concern.  Gibson Scott retires this weekend, so we asked her about a few key issues, such as reforming the Endangered Species Act.

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News
6:33 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Report recommends spending more, accommodating UW student athletes

A new report suggests that University of Wyoming Athletics can excel with a few big changes.

UW President Bob Sternberg wants to improve UW athletics, and his office funded the $35,000 College Sports Associates study. 

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News
7:47 am
Tue October 29, 2013

JAC votes to improve courtroom safety

The Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee has voted to support setting up a matching fund to help pay for courtroom safety.

Counties could apply for matching funds and the money would be approved by the state loan and investment board. 

Wyoming Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kite says there are serious safety concerns in some of the state’s courtrooms and it’s a matter of time before there is an incident.

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News
6:17 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Coal declines could seriously impact education funding

The recent Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, or CREG, report indicated some positive things for Wyoming's revenue picture, but within the report there are also concerns. 

Campbell County Representative Sue Wallis says one serious concern stands out.

"There's a very strong potential of a time...not very far out...when we've got a real problem with our education funding."

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ECA
5:14 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Appropriations committee supports cost adjustment for school salaries

Credit http://townmapsusa.com/d/map-of-buffalo-wyoming-wy/buffalo_wy

After a lengthy discussion, the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee voted to support a two-percent external cost adjustment for public schools. 

The external cost adjustment would address inflation issues within the school funding model, and is used by most districts to pay for salary increases.  Lawmakers have been reluctant to support an ECA over the last several years due to budget concerns, and the appropriations committee was told that spending for education in Wyoming remains among the top 10 in the country. 

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Open Spaces
5:24 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Hot Springs County High School is hoping that technology will lead to better results

As schools look at new ways to improve education, in Thermopolis they are hoping that new technology and the access it brings to data bases, videos, and better access to the outside world will improve learning and teaching.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more. 

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Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

October 18th, 2013

Left to right, Tara Heaton, guide Fred Williams, and Crystal Mayfield pose with their antelope on the second day of the hunt.
Credit Fred Williams
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Homecoming
5:55 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Cowboys will host New Mexico homecoming weekend

In College football, the Wyoming Cowboys return to action Saturday to host New Mexico.   The Cowboys will be facing a team known for running the ball nearly 80 percent of the time. 

Wyoming Coach Dave Christensen says that the Lobos offense is difficult to stop.

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assessments
6:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Board of Ed wants new assessment oversight group

State Board of Education Chairman Ron Micheli

The Wyoming Board of Education has written to the Legislature’s select committee on educational accountability, asking to set up a group of stakeholders to develop or choose a new educational assessment for the state. 

Assessments will be used to determine such things as student progress in some key subject areas.  State Board of Education Chairman Ron Micheli says in Oregon, stakeholders included state board members, teachers, administrators, higher education officials, and parents.  He says they’d like to do the same thing here.

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Boag
6:03 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Historian: Cross-dressing was common in the "Old" West

Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past by Peter Boag (University of California Press, 2011)

A noted historian says that cross dressing was common in the historic old West. 

Washington State University Professor Peter Boag spoke on sexuality and gender issues of the American West at the University of Wyoming.  Boag says it was a man’s world in the 19th century, so it was not unusual to find that some women dressed like men.

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News
7:14 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Wyoming’s health insurance marketplace opens

Mike Fierberg

Wyoming residents will get to choose from roughly 16 health insurance plans as the new federal health insurance marketplace opens up today.  While Wyoming premiums will be higher than the rest of the country,  Mike Fierberg of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid says that tax credits will help offset the cost.  He says credits will be available to low-income people, all the way up to salaries that are four-times the federal poverty level. 

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Football
6:46 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Mountain West Conference recognizes UW QB Brett Smith

UW Quarterback Brett Smith
Credit Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette / Associated Press

Wyoming Quarterback Brett Smith has been named the Mountain West Conference Offensive player of the week. 

Smith set Wyoming’s single game yardage record and broke some other school records as the Cowboys crushed Air Force Saturday 56 to 23. 

Head Coach Dave Christensen says he was happy with Smith’s performance.

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

September 20th, 2013

Natural Gas producers are concerned about the future

More than 500 industry people gathered in Jackson this week for the 17th Annual Wyoming Oil and Gas Fair. Wyoming Public Radio’s energy and natural resources reporter, Stephanie Joyce was there, and she joins us now to talk about the event.

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Open Spaces
4:40 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Natural Gas producers are concerned about the future

Stephanie Joyce

More than 500 industry people gathered in Jackson this week for the 17th Annual Wyoming Oil and Gas Fair. Wyoming Public Radio’s energy and natural resources reporter, Stephanie Joyce was there, and she joins us now to talk about the event.

BOB BECK: So, what are the biggest issues on the mind of Wyoming’s oil and gas industry right now?

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Open Spaces
4:36 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

State Senator explains the reason for Developmental Disability Waiver cuts

Senator Charles Scott

Last week we ran a story concerning proposed cuts in the Developmental Disability waiver program.  The belief is that there are some in the program getting more money than they need. 

Advocacy groups and those in the program worry that cuts could actually take money away from those who need services.  Senator Charles Scott is the Chairman of the Senate Labor, Health and Social Services Committee.  He joins Bob Beck to explain the legislature’s position on the issue.

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Open Spaces
4:30 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Education expert will speak about emotions and learning at the upcoming Ellbogen Symposium

Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang

On October 2nd, the University of Wyoming College of Education will be hosting University of Southern California Professor Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang who will be the keynote speaker at the annual Ellbogen Symposium for teaching and learning. 

She will discuss how emotions shape learning, motivation and self.  Dr. Immordino-Yang is an expert on neuroscience and education.   She tells Bob Beck that emotions and our social experiences are a big part of learning.  

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Open Spaces
4:20 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

National AARP President wants sensible discussions about Social Security and Medicare reforms

Rob Romasco

National AARP President Rob Romasco is in the state this week for some activities with the Wyoming Chapter of the organization.  He tells Bob Beck that Social Security and Medicare remain important issues.

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Sports
7:12 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Wyoming's offense is not where it wants to be

Credit Courtesy UW Athletics

The Wyoming Cowboys football team beat Northern Colorado Saturday by the score of 35 to 7.  But the Cowboys offense is disappointed that it has not been more consistent.   After another slow first quarter, Wyoming scored 21 second quarter points to lead 21 to nothing.

But the offense only scored one more touchdown and failed to connect on several additional scoring opportunities. 

Despite the win, Head Coach Dave Christensen complained for the second week in a row that the offense is not executing like it should.  Quarterback Brett Smith says that he has similar concerns.

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Open Spaces
4:54 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Developmental Disability waiver changes cause concern

Credit Ark Regional Services

Two years ago the Wyoming legislature asked the Wyoming Department of Health to look into the high costs of Medicaid services in the state.  The legislature wanted them to find ways to reduce those costs and see if there were also ways to reform Wyoming’s Developmental Disability waiver program, which costs the state 151 million dollars a year.

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Open Spaces
4:42 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Jackson author discusses his new book Death Canyon

Former lawyer turned fly fishing guide David Riley Bertsch has written a book dealing with both of his passions.  Jake Trent is the main Character in the book called Death Canyon. 

Trent is a former criminal lawyer turned fly fishing guide who runs a bed and breakfast in Jackson, Wyoming.  But some a late season avalanche kills a skier, a French couple may have suffered a bear attack, and Jake himself finds the body of a tourist in fishing gear. 

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