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
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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Cowboys baksetball
8:55 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Cowboys take on Western Michigan tonight

The Wyoming Cowboys will face a Mid-American Conference team in the second round of tonight’s College Basketball Invitational tournament. 

Western Michigan had 21 wins and 12 losses this year and features two solid inside players in Junior Shayne Whittington and Freshman Darius Paul. 

Wyoming Head Coach Larry Shyatt says they will have to be contained.

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College Basketball Invitational
9:08 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Sobey leads Cowboys to last-minute victory in first round of College Basketball Invitational

Nathan Sobey, Wyoming Cowboys Basketball
Credit University of Wyoming

Wyoming’s Nathan Sobey made a three-point shot at the buzzer as the Cowboys rallied to beat Lehigh 67-66 in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational. 

Wyoming trailed most of the second half, but rallied to tie it, only to see Lehigh take the lead with six seconds left, setting up Sobey’s game winning shot.

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News
4:45 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Administration says raising the minimum wage would be good for Wyoming

The President wants to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour.  Wyoming’s congressional delegation quickly opposed the idea, saying it will force Wyoming’s small business community to hire and retain fewer workers.   But the U-S Labor Department’s Seth Harris says his office has studied minimum wage hikes extensively and he says such an increase would help the economy, not hurt it.

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Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

March 15th, 2013

Emissions from drilling rigs and other production equipment can cause ozone to form.
Credit Willow Belden

DEQ releases ozone strategy for Sublette County
The Department of Environmental Quality has released a plan for tackling the ozone problem in Sublette County. Emissions from the energy industry there have combined to form a type of pollution called ozone, which can be a health hazard. Ozone levels have been so high that they violate federal standards, and the Environmental Protection Agency has given Wyoming three years to fix the problem.

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Open Spaces
3:34 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

DEQ releases ozone strategy for Sublette County

Emissions from drilling rigs and other production equipment can cause ozone to form.
Credit Willow Belden

BOB BECK: The Department of Environmental Quality has released a plan for tackling the ozone problem in Sublette County. Emissions from the energy industry there have combined to form a type of pollution called ozone, which can be a health hazard. Ozone levels have been so high that they violate federal standards, and the Environmental Protection Agency has given Wyoming three years to fix the problem.

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Open Spaces
3:24 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Wyoming Social Workers play an important role

Social workers play a big role in Wyoming and the month of March honors their work. Kimberly Harper is the Executive Director of the National Association of Social workers.  She tells Bob Beck that like a lot of organizations, they are dealing with budget cuts.

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Open Spaces
3:18 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

C.J. Box discusses his career and new book Breaking Point.

The 13th Joe Pickett novel by Wyoming author C.J. Box has hit the stores.  Box is both a bestselling and award winning author for both his Joe Pickett series which surrounds the trials and tribulations of a Wyoming game warden and for three additional novels.  Box says he writes a book and a half a year.  He joins us to discuss the latest novel Breaking Point, but also reflects on his career.  Box tells Bob Beck that it took awhile before he had success as a writer.

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News
3:15 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Casper City Council considers repealing or changing smoking ban

Next month the Casper City Council will vote to remove or change the city’s smoking ban.  At the very least, councilors are considering exempting bars, health care facilities, and private clubs from the ban. 

The smoking ban was implanted last summer. 

Anna Edwards of the group Smokefree Natrona County says her group will fight to keep the ban in place.  She says they are trying to protect the health of a lot of people, including employees.

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Sequester
7:31 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Wyoming’s sequester impacts remain unclear

Anne Alexander

A University of Wyoming Economist says it’s difficult to say how Wyoming will be impacted by the federal sequestration.  Anne Alexander says that’s because federal officials are still sorting out the federal cuts and agencies need time to figure out how to deal with them.                  “This is a matter of an 85 billion dollar cut that has people involved with it.  So you have to give notices to contractors, you have to give notices to civil service folks, and so a lot of the actual dollar amounts and the effects won’t be felt at the very least until the end of the month.”   Governor Ma

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Open Spaces
5:08 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

March 8th, 2013

UW Economist Anne Alexander discusses the potential effects of the federal sequester on Wyoming
One thing everyone is trying to get a grip on is how the federal sequester will impact Wyoming.  Anne Alexander is an economist at the University of Wyoming.  She joined Bob Beck in the studio to discuss this.

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Open Spaces
4:56 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

UW Economist Anne Alexander discusses the potential effects of the federal sequester on Wyoming

One thing everyone is trying to get a grip on is how the federal sequester will impact Wyoming.  Anne Alexander is an economist at the University of Wyoming.  She joined Bob Beck in the studio to discuss this.

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Open Spaces
4:50 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Lawmakers reflect on unusual session

Senators debate a bill during the legislative session, 2013

It’s been over a week since the Wyoming legislature wrapped up the 2013 session.  It was a session that many lawmakers called unusual, mainly due to the unexpected legislation that removed powers from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.  The other surprise was that the interaction between legislators and the public got heated at times, especially during debate on gun bills.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck spoke with a number of legislators about the session and has this report.

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Open Spaces
4:13 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

A conversation with incoming UW President, Dr. Robert Sternberg

Doctor Robert Sternberg is the incoming President of the University of Wyoming.  Sternberg is a noted Psychologist who is currently the Provost at Oklahoma State University.  In other interviews Sternberg has made it clear that a key focus of his will be on improving academics at UW and he is also a big supporter of athletics.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck asked him to talk about a few other issues.

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News
1:09 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Bob Beck reviews the Wyoming Legislative Session

The Wyoming legislative session ended this week.  Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck joined me to talk about it.

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News
5:16 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

WY legislative session wraps up amid mixed feelings of success

The Wyoming legislative session wrapped up Wednesday. Lawmakers leave with mixed emotions about the session.  Most agree that the one thing that they will remember about the session is the vote to strip State Superintendent Cindy Hill of many of her duties.  Senator Cale Case says that set the tone for the first part of the session.

“It’s been a very different session I think.  That whole Senate File 104 that Cindy Hill…Department of Education bill…that was a different way to start.  And I’m not sure I’ve recovered from that I think,” says Case.

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Bison
5:27 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Senate approves bill to thin bison herds

The State Legislature passed a bill that would allow hunters to try and thin wild bison herds in northwest Wyoming.  But an amendment added in the Senate led to a lot of debate in the House. 

The Senate amendment would give $250,000 to the Wyoming Attorney General’s office to defend the second amendment rights of Wyoming citizens “to possess and use any firearm” that is useful in hunting bison.  Many saw this as a way to add a gun rights law to a bill that deals with bison hunting. 

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Legislature
5:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Gov. Mead wraps up 2013 Legislature

Gov. Matt Mead addresses the Wyoming Legislature
Credit Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Legislative session has ended.  In his closing comments to lawmakers, Governor Matt Mead acknowledged that lawmakers had a difficult

“I asked in my state of the state for 6 percent budget cuts and you delivered that,” Mead said. “I asked in my state of the state to provide some flexibility in terms of where we go in the future in large projects.  You provided that.  I asked for in my budget to fund landfills, a Gillette-Madison water project, the School of Engineering.  You addressed all of those.”

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Hathaway
5:16 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Senate approves bill to allow Hathaway Scholarship applicants more options

It came down to the final day, but the Wyoming legislature finally approved a bill that would require students to take vocational or arts classes in order to qualify for the Hathaway Scholarship.  The idea was to remove a foreign language requirement in order for students to be able to take other courses. 

But Senator Phil Nicholas argued that it was important to allow students who wanted four years of foreign language to be able to have it.  Bill Sponsor Sam Krone says it was a good idea.

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Governor appointments
5:12 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Senate backtracks, confirms Mead's PSC appointments

The Wyoming Senate changed course and voted to follow Governor Matt Mead’s recommendation, confirming two attorneys to become members of the Wyoming Public Service Commission.  The Commission regulates utility rates for consumers. 

On Tuesday, the Senate opposed the appointments of Kara Brighton and William Russell because they believed that too many attorneys have been appointed to the
PSC, and because they lacked qualifications. 

But Senate Majority Floor Leader Phil Nicholas asked Senators to reconsider their votes.

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Lottery
6:49 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Legislature approves state lottery bill

The Wyoming legislature has agreed on a bill that would allow the state to be part of a multi-state lottery.  

Under the deal, the first six million dollars that’s raised from a lottery each year will go to local governments, while the rest goes to a permanent school fund. 

Many in the House were concerned that local governments weren’t getting enough money, but House Floor Leader Kermit Brown says there is no way of telling how much it will make.

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Eminent Domain
6:18 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Legislators work to level the playing field in energy development cases

The Wyoming House has passed a pair of bills that ag and landowner groups say will level the playing field when it comes to energy development. 

Under one bill, entities that are seeking to use eminent domain to condemn private property will have to pay court fees if the court determines that they didn’t offer a fair price for the land.  The other bill would raise the damage bond for seismic companies from two-thousand to five-thousand dollars. 

Bill Bensel of the Powder River Basin Resource Council says the bills should help protect landowners.
 

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Governor appointments
6:15 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

State Senate shoots down two governor appointments

For the first time in many years, the State Senate has failed to confirm two appointments by Governor Matt Mead. 

The Senate voted no on Wyoming Public Service Appointees William Russell and Kara Brighton after Senator Cale Case complained that they appear to be unqualified attorneys.  He’d like to see economists and others considered.

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