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
4:04 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Author discusses the book Wyoming’s Outlaw Trail

Mac Blewer
Credit Photo courtesy Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck spoke with author and historian Mac Blewer about his entertaining book called “Wyoming’s Outlaw Trail.”  It’s about the outlaws that frequented Wyoming in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  For instance he says Baggs, Wyoming was a popular hangout.

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Open Spaces
5:09 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

May 31st, 2013

Uranium yellowcake powder

Wyoming missed out on last uranium boom, but planning for the future

Wyoming Public Radio has for years reported that the state is on the verge of a uranium boom. It turns out the state missed the peak of that boom, and is now betting on slower, more conservative growth. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.

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Petition
4:57 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Petition to restore powers to State Superintendent fails

The Wyoming Secretary of State’s office says a petition drive to repeal a law removing powers from the State Superintendent has fallen short. 

State Elections Director Peggy Nighswonger says she notified the Wyoming Constitution Party that the referendum will not be placed on the ballot.

“The petition filed on May 28th did not have the number of signatures required by Wyoming’s Constitution in Article 3 section 52,” Nighswonger said.

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Open Spaces
4:31 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Wyoming Trails Summit hopes to improve communities

For the first time, non-motorized trail enthusiasts will gather formally to discuss ways that communities, land managers, and others can improve trails across the state. Tim Young of Wyoming Pathways and Angela Emery, the Director of Casper’s Platte River Trails talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck about the Wyoming Trails Summit.

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News
5:09 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Despite moisture officials still worry about fires

Wyoming fire officials say the wet spring this year has been helpful, but they’re still unsure what it will mean for the fire season this year. 

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News
4:54 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Lots of interest in Wyoming Education Director post

A search firm says there is a lot of interest in Wyoming’s opening for a new Director of Education.  The position was created by the State Legislature to take over day to day operations of the State Department of Education. 

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News
4:43 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits will be reduced

Emergency unemployment compensation program benefits will be reduced under the federal government’s budget sequester. 

Wyoming Workforce Services Director Joan Evans that the program provides unemployed individuals who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits.  Evans says the reduction will likely be noticeable.

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Open Spaces
6:27 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

New Northern Arapaho Business Council resolves to fix tribe’s poor financial management

The Northern Arapaho Tribe is a mess, financially. They’re behind on their audits, past audits have not been flattering, and change has been slow to come. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov has been looking into why the audits are less than ideal and the status of the Tribe’s future financial solvency.   


BOB BECK: To start, why is a federal governmental agency even auditing a tribe, if the tribe is supposed to be pretty much sovereign?

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Open Spaces
6:20 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

UW’s Native American graduates are important to the Wind River Reservation

In the mid 1990’s the University of Wyoming made a conscious effort to attract more Native American students to the University. Over the years recruitment and retention of students from the Wind River Reservation has been challenging.  New efforts could change things and many believe that will be important for the long term health of the Reservation.

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Cutthroat
6:34 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Study: Cutthroat decline means grizzlies eat more elk

A new study shows that the decline in native cutthroat trout has had dramatic impacts on the migratory elk herds in the Greater Yellowstone Area. 
 

Lead Researcher Arthur Middleton and others were studying the decline of elk herds in the region, and they determined that grizzly bears were playing a greater role in those deaths than they realized. 
 

The illegal introduction of lake trout into Yellowstone Lake has harmed the cutthroat trout population. 
 

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Open Spaces
5:22 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

May 10th, 2013

Pollutants including benzene and diesel-range organics have shown up in water wells like this one in the Pinedale Anticline for several years.
Credit Courtesy Linda Baker

Pollutants detected in water wells in Sublette County’s gas fields
Sublette County has been in the news a lot because of its air quality problems, which largely stem from natural gas production. But there’s another issue too: Pollutants have been showing up in water wells. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Open Spaces
4:50 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

The Cheyenne International Film Festival begins May 16th

Next week the Cheyenne International Film festival gets underway. The event begins May 16th and runs through the 19th.  The producer of the event is Alan O’Hashi who’s been active in helping Wyoming movie makers and this venue gives them a chance to showcase their work, but as the title suggests, International films will also be shown.   O’Hashi tells Bob Beck the event was started five years ago and continues to grow.  He says they will be showing a wide range of films.

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Open Spaces
4:46 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

New website features Wyoming history

Former Newspaper reporter and author Tom Rea has a new venture, he is the Editor of WyoHistory.org. It is a history website about Wyoming.  He tells Bob Beck the idea for the website came as he was doing a job for the Natrona County School district.

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Open Spaces
4:21 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

UW graduates praise their education

Credit Courtesy of University of Wyoming

This weekend a new set of graduates are leaving the University of Wyoming.  For some, they are facing an unknown job situation, but others are ready to jump into their careers.  The graduates also talked about Wyoming’s efforts to keep them in-state. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck sat down with three graduates from U-W’s College of business and found that two are leaving and one thinks he’ll hang around a bit longer.

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News
6:40 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Gov. Mead says GOP Central Committee acted too quickly judging Hill bill

Governor Matt Mead says the Republican Central Committee acted too hastily when it approved a resolution endorsing a petition drive to repeal the state law that removed powers from State Superintendent Cindy Hill. Several members of the committee also wanted three Republican legislators who were instrumental in passing the law to leave the party. Mead says a court challenge to the law will be heard by the Supreme Court and the Wyoming Attorney General’s office is also concluding an investigation into how the Department was run in Superintendent Hill’s first two years in office.

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Open Spaces
5:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

April 26th, 2013

Cost of substance abuse in Wyoming is higher than expected
As it addressed issues concerning substance abuse, one thing the state never had were Wyoming specific numbers on the financial impact of substance abuse.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that a recent study has found that the cost of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse is staggering.

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Open Spaces
4:54 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Cost of substance abuse in Wyoming is higher than expected

As it addressed issues concerning substance abuse, one thing the state never had were Wyoming specific numbers on the financial impact of substance abuse.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that a recent study has found that the cost of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse is staggering.

BOB BECK:  This is the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center or WYSAC  today people in the state are being asked about their tobacco use.

“And how old were you when you first smoked at least one cigarette every day for 30 days in a row?  16? All right…”

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Open Spaces
4:24 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

State prepares for the fire season

For the last month, state officials have expressed concern about Wyoming’s dry winter and the possibility of another bad fire season.  But with the moisture the state has recently received, the question is whether that concern has been reduced.  Bill Crapser is the state forester and he tells Bob Beck that having more moisture has helped.

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Open Spaces
4:12 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

April 19th, 2013

Wyoming's Senators Help Defeat Gun Control
After weeks of intense lobbying on Capitol Hill gun control advocates suffered a stinging defeat this week…in part because of opposition from Wyoming’s two Republican senators. Matt Laslo reports from Washington. 

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Open Spaces
3:46 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Coal to liquid projects have uphill climb

Over the years, many researchers have looked at a variety of research and economic development projects using Wyoming coal.  The idea is to open up new markets for it and to make it more viable for businesses and the public to use.  Much of this has surrounded coal gasification.   There has been a belief that coal could be used as a form of liquid fuel.  That was especially useful when oil supplies appeared limited in the United States…but as the country entered a technology revolution and opened up more resources…the interest dropped.  Experts say that the other reason interest has waned i

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Open Spaces
3:40 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Acclaimed author and historian David McCullough discusses his work

Credit University of Wyoming Foundation

Author and historian David McCullough is a two time winner of the Pulitzer prize, he has twice won the National Book Award, and has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his books on American History. He spoke about history, education and a number of topics at the University of Wyoming this week. I was able to catch up with him following his talk.

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News
5:52 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Hill threatens to sue over libelous white paper

A lawyer representing State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill is threatening to sue over comments by legislators that appeared in a white paper explaining why lawmakers removed much of Hill’s power.  The white paper was crafted to respond to non-legislative members of the Wyoming Republican Party who expressed concern over the law's passage.  It was distributed in an email by Big Horn Representative Rosie Berger.   Hill’s Attorney Robert DiLorenzo wrote Berger saying that the white paper appeared to be defamatory and he demanded that Berger provide proof for several statements

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Casper smoking ban
7:43 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Survey: Casper residents support smoking ban

A survey of registered voters in Casper has found that the majority do not want the city council to overturn the city’s smoking ban. 

When the Casper City Council began to discuss overturning the law, the American Cancer Society Action Network and the American Heart Association hired a firm to survey Casper residents about the efforts. More than 600 Casper voters supported the smoking ban.

Jason Mincer of the Cancer society says the law is popular, with 62-percent of public support.

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News
5:56 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Legalizing pot? Mead says no

While Colorado has legalized marijuana, Governor Matt Mead has no interest in seeing Wyoming do the same.  During a recent conference call with reporters, Mead was asked if he would support legalizing marijuana in the state.  His answer was no.

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Open Spaces
3:56 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Cheyenne author discusses the life and death of Wyoming Senator Lester Hunt

A long time Wyoming Public official has written a new book about the suicide of former Wyoming U-S Senator and Governor Lester Hunt.  Hunt was a democrat who was Wyoming’s Governor for six years, before getting elected to the U-S Senate, where he served from 1949 until his death in 1954.  In his book called Dying for Joe McCarthy’s sins, Rodger McDaniel says that Hunt was well thought of in Wyoming…

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Open Spaces
3:50 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Laramie children learn to relax with yoga

Study after study says that children are not as active as they used to be and many groups and organizations are promoting various ways for children to develop a healthy lifestyle.  In Laramie, a young woman is trying to do this with yoga…for kids.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.        

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News
6:12 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

UW Nursing School chosen to participate in initiative to better nursing education

The University of Wyoming’s Fay Whitney School of Nursing has been chosen to participate in a $3 million initiative aimed at transforming nursing education.  The initiative is called the Future of Nursing State Implementation Program.  UW School of Nursing Dean Mary Burman says the effort is intended to address issues that include health care access, quality and cost.  Burman says in Wyoming, they will look at three key issues.

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Basketball
8:53 am
Tue March 26, 2013

W. Michigan defeats Wyoming, ends Cowboys basketball season

The season is over for the Wyoming Cowboys basketball team.  Western Michigan defeated Wyoming 75-67 in the College Basketball Invitational. 

The Cowboys had a chance to ice the game, but Wyoming’s Josh Adams made only one of two free throws, allowing the Broncos’ David Brown to tie the game with a three-point shot in the closing seconds and send the game into overtime.

In overtime, the Broncos pulled away.

After the game, Wyoming Sophomore Larry Nance Junior gave Brown credit for making a tough shot.

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