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 76 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 has covered the Wyoming Legislature longer than any broadcaster in the state.  He 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, walking his dog or cheering on his beloved Packers, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs and Salukis.

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News
7:47 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Board Of Education Takes No Action On Science Standards

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.

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News
7:17 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Board Of Education Takes No Action On Science Standards

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.   

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Open Spaces
3:48 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Cindy Hill Discusses Return To Office, Standards

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.

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Open Spaces
3:43 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

UW President Reflects On Legislative Session

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.

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Open Spaces
3:31 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

UW Center Seeks To Improve Literacy

Credit 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.

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Open Spaces
4:23 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Wyoming Looks To Do More Than Transport Minerals

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.

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Open Spaces
3:57 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Effort To Grow Support For Same Sex Marriage Is Underway

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.

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Open Spaces
5:01 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Lawmakers Reflect On The 2014 Legislative Session

Credit Bob Beck

The Wyoming legislative session wrapped up this week and three issues dominated.  One was the state budget.  Another was the legislature’s decision to reject federal dollars to expand Medicaid, and the final issue was the Supreme Court Decision that said that it was unconstitutional for the legislature to demote State Superintendent Cindy Hill. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck asked lawmakers about some of those issues and has this report.

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Speaker Of The House Tom Lubnau Speaks Out

House Speaker Tom Lubnau
Credit Bob Beck

Outgoing Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau says he is wrapping up his legislative career.  The Gillette Republican is a fierce advocate for coal and the extractive industries. 

Speaker Lubnau also has had some strong views recently about the University of Wyoming and got national attention over his reaction to the infamous Carbon Sink sculpture that was placed near old main. He speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck

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News
6:42 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Legislature Passes Grand Teton Land Swap Bill

Credit Wallpaperslot.com

After considerable discussion, the Wyoming legislature approved a bill that would let the state and the federal government move forward with finalizing a deal to swap state owned land in Grand Teton National Park with the federal government.  Some senators expressed concern that the federal mineral land won't match the estimated $100 million value of the state's park land, but Jackson Senator Leland Christensen says the bill was changed to ensure the trade will be fair.

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News
6:25 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Legislative Session Wraps Up

The Wyoming House wraps up work
Credit Bob Beck

Members of Wyoming's Republican leadership raved about the legislative session that wrapped up Thursday, praising the state budget and lawmakers' support of business.  The GOP leaders said the budget will do a lot for the state, but they noted that they were also able to put a lot into savings.  Although the Senate Appropriations Committee was criticized for focusing too much on saving, Chairman Eli Bebout says in fact they probably spent too much. He says the energy industry could face tough times in Wyoming and it's important to be prepared.

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News
4:54 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

“Cowboys” The Story Of The 1943 National Basketball Champions Hits The Big Screen

The University of Wyoming won the national college basketball championship in 1943. Shortly after their triumph, several Cowboys started training for a bigger fight: World War II.

A new movie about the Cowboys’ epic championship game victory over St. John’s University in fabled Madison Square Garden premieres tonight, March 6, in Laramie at The Wyo Theater at 7pm.

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News
12:10 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Hill Announces Intention To Resume Superintendent Duties

Credit Cindy Hill Superintendent

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill says she intends to resume her job leading the state department of education on Monday.

Lawmakers stripped Hill of many of her duties last year and removed her as the head of the department, but the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that the move was unconstitutional. A District Court still must certify the ruling, but Hill told reporters today she’s ready to go back to work.

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News
6:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Grand Teton Land Swap Bill Heads To Conference Committee

Credit Wallpaperslot.com

A bill that would set up a land swap with the federal government for state-owned lands inside Grand Teton National Park is still a ways from being resolved.  Senators are leery that the state may not get fair value for state trust lands inside the park. 

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News
6:10 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

DNA Compensation Bill Hits A Snag

A conference committee is trying to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of a bill that compensates people wrongly convicted of a crime.  The House version of the bill says that someone exonerated of a crime via DNA, still has to return to court and prove their innocence in order to get compensation. 

The Senate rejected that notion.  Bill Sponsor Keith Gingery says he doesn't like the House version, but that the bill is important and he doesn't want to lose it.

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News
6:04 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Lawmakers Approve Cody Loan Bill

A bill that establishes a new large state loan program and also benefits a Cody business has passed the legislature. 

The House made final touches to the bill that will give a $24-million state loan to Lannett Co. Inc., which is considering a nearly $100 million expansion of its Cody lab.  In final debate, some in the House questioned the state giving such loans.  Evansville Representative Kendall Kroeker says all businesses need loans.

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News
5:45 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Halliburton Donates $3M To University Of Wyoming

A conceptual drawing of the University's proposed 'high bay' research facility.
Credit University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming is getting a major donation for its new energy and engineering research complex.  Halliburton is giving $2 million to be applied towards a 'high bay' research facility.  

The facility's size will allow for large scale experiments.  Halliburton is also giving UW an additional $1 million for research into unconventional oil and gas reservoirs.  The gift will be matched by the state.  Governor Matt Mead says it was an exciting discussion with Halliburton.

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News
4:58 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Bonding Bill Gets Final Approval In The Wyoming House

The Wyoming House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that would raise the bond from $2,000 to $10,000 for oil and gas drillers seeking access to privately owned land. 

The bond is used to repair damage to surface land when a use agreement can't be reached between the landowner and the energy company.  Opponents says that the increase is too high.  

Casper Republican Tom Walters said increasing the bond wages war on industry.

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News
4:53 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Proposal To Increase Speed Limits Passes

Texas 80 mph speed limit sign
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Wyoming Senate has given final approval to a bill that will allow people to drive 80 miles per hour legally on certain sections of the state’s highways.  Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau said the idea came to him from a constituent who noticed similar laws had been approved in Texas and in Utah.

“And I started looking at the statistics and found that the statistics show that the fatalities have either not increased or they decreased both in Utah or Texas," Lubnau says. "And it just allows people to go 80 miles an hour in those places where it’s safe to do that.”

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Legislative
7:18 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Hill Bill Fix Dies In The House

Credit Cindy Hill Superintendent

The Wyoming House of Representatives will not debate a bill that was supposed to resolve issues arising from a Supreme Court ruling concerning the duties of Superintendent Cindy Hill.

House Floor Leader Kermit Brown decided to let the bill die, saying it was premature and would take too long to debate. 

"The courts are not done with the process, the audit's not done, there are a lot of things not done.  The bill's premature and it was gonna take a lot of time we didn't have, so I just stopped where I stopped."

The legislature is scheduled to wrap up this week. 

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News
6:49 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Senate Gives Final Approval To Cameras On School Buses

The Wyoming Senate gave final approval to a bill that sets aside $5 million for school districts to place cameras on school buses to catch motorists who illegally pass stopped buses.

Several senators opposed the bill saying  the focus should be on prevention.  One idea was to add more lights to the buses, so that motorists can't ignore them, but Sheridan Senator Bruce Burns says that won't do much. 

"This is happening 50,000 times a year in this state," Burns says. "I cannot believe that those people are not seeing those buses.  I think they are ignoring that law. "

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News
6:45 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

House Gives Initial Approval To Economic Loan Bill

Representative Sam Krone (H-24)

The Wyoming House of Representatives has given initial approval to a bill that sets up a state loan program and also helps fund the expansion of a Cody business. 

The bill allows loans to be used for large economic development projects.  It would also provides $24 million in state money for a company to expand its operation in Cody.  Officials say it will create over 100 jobs.  Cody Representative Sam Krone says these types of loans will help diversify Wyoming's economy.

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News
6:41 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Budget Goes To The Governor And The Senate Debates Medicaid

The Wyoming House and Senate have agreed to changes in the state budget bill.  The bill gives public employees a roughly 2.4 percent pay hike, provides money for improvements at community colleges and the University of Wyoming, and $175 million for local governments.  Senator Eli Bebout called it a responsible budget.

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Legislative
6:26 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Budget Committee Votes In Favor Of Medicaid Expansion Proposal

Lawmakers finishing up work on the state budget have accepted a compromise amendment that encourages the Governor and other members of state government to figure out a way to expand Medicaid under Wyoming terms. 

Conference Committee members accepted a version of a House amendment that now says the state may work with federal officials on an expansion plan, as long as Medicaid Expansion doesn't harm Wyoming businesses.  Dan Neal of the Equality State Policy Center credits the public for convincing lawmakers to do something.

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Legislative
6:14 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Game And Fish Funding Bill Survives Another Day

The Wyoming House of Representatives again discussed whether to provide money to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for health insurance and for management of grizzly bears. 

Wednesday the House voted down an attempt to remove the Grizzly funding and Thursday the House defeated an amendment that would have removed health insurance funds.  House Floor Leader Kermit Brown says the additional money is needed because lawmakers won't approve license fee increases.

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Legislative
5:55 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

House Approves Data Safety Legislation

Many parent groups across the nation are expressing concern about the data school districts collect on students and how it’s used. 

Wyoming’s House of Representatives has approved a bill requiring the development of a plan that would help keep data confidential.  Laramie Democrat Cathy Connolly said that parents have expressed a number of concerns.

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Legislative
5:51 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Money Restored To Add Cameras On School Buses

The Wyoming Senate gave initial approval to a bill that would place cameras on school buses. The idea is to capture motorists who illegally pass buses while they are stopped.  The bill allocates $5 million to purchase and install the cameras, an expense the Senate Appropriations Committee opposed.  Senate Appropriations Chairman Eli Bebout suggested that money be spent on prevention and not enforcement.  Education Chairman Hank Coe, of Cody, says prevention hasn't worked.

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