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.

Pages

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. 

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.
Fred Williams
Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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?

Read more
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.

Read more
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.  

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
health care
6:40 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Legislators consider Medicaid expansion options

Credit okpolicy.org

To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Wyoming lawmakers still have to determine whether they want to provide more health insurance to people who cannot afford it, and what such a plan would look like. 
 

The legislature soundly defeated a proposal to expand the current Medicaid program, so the Wyoming Department of Health has pitched a new proposal where people could purchase a scaled-down version of Medicaid Insurance. 
 

Department Director Tom Forslund said that users would have to participate like consumers who have private insurance.

Read more
News
6:41 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Study examines ways to improve international education

A two year study seeks to help the University of Wyoming develop ways to improve International Education.

UW International Programs Director Anne Alexander says the first recommendation in the report involves training faculty to teach students about international issues.  Another recommendation involves teaching the entire state.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:14 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Wyoming considers increasing the Beer Tax

Alibi Pub in Laramie
Credit Bob Beck

Wyoming is not a big tax state, so it might not be much of surprise to learn that Wyoming’s Beer Taxes are the lowest in the country.  Beer is taxed two cents a gallon and according to the Tax Foundation that amounts to a penny a six pack for a consumer. 

There have been several efforts to raise the tax in recent years, but those proposals are typically dead on arrival.  In a few weeks the Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee will re-vist the issue as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

Read more
News
7:57 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Rep. Lummis wants to reform Endangered Species Act

Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis will be involved in the latest attempt to reform the Endangered Species Act.  Lummis will take testimony on how the law might be reformed during a hearing in Casper on September 4th.  Lummis says the goal is not to get rid of the Endangered Species Act.

“Our goal is to make the endangered species act work.  And we have a law where only one percent of the species that have been listed have been de-listed.  To me that indicates a law that is failing,” says Lummis.

Lummis says too many species have ended up on the list due to court cases. 

Read more
Open Spaces
4:19 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Wyoming’s Congresswoman wants to reform the Endangered Species Act.

In September a Congressional subcommittee will hold a hearing in Casper as Congress takes another crack at reforming the Endangered Species Act. 

Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis has for years been supportive of reforming the ESA.  While she is quick to acknowledge that it has been a good law, Lummis is frustrated that once something gets on the endangered species list it rarely comes off.  She joins Bob Beck to discuss this.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:16 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

New Education Director sets sites on improving education in Wyoming

Wyoming’s newly appointed Director of Education Rich Crandall is busy getting acquainted with Wyoming’s Education system.  Crandall began his new duties August first. 

He was heavily involved in education as a politician in Arizona and he’s now running the Wyoming Department of Education and working with legislators to implement education policy in the state. 

Read more
Open Spaces
4:10 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Small business owners face challenges

Credit Bob Beck

It has never been easy to start a small business or to keep it going.  Acquiring startup money is always one of the challenges.  In Wyoming, officials say they want to develop more businesses, but unless you are a technology company, it can be difficult to find the necessary support.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

BOB BECK:  Laramie Economic Development Director Dan Furphy says funding small businesses is scary for lenders.

Read more
Luke Martinez
6:40 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Martinez will serve time and pay restitution for misdemeanor battery

Luke Martinez

Former University of Wyoming basketball player Luke Martinez has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and is serving a sentence of 45 days in the Albany County Jail. 

 

 

Read more
Open Spaces
3:34 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

New UW President wants to take a holistic approach to admissions

University of Wyoming President Robert Sternberg
Credit www.uwyo.edu

Last month, Bob Sternberg took over as the new president of the University of Wyoming. In recent weeks, has explained that he wants UW to attempt to be an inclusive University that doesn’t focus on things like a student’s ACT scores, and rather looks more at the whole package. 

President Sternberg tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it’s more important to make sure students are properly prepared for higher education, and their future is much more important than test scores. 

Read more
Open Spaces
3:26 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

College Bound Latinas continues to make strides

From left to right: Aurora, Kelly, Letty, Emmy, Laura
Credit Rebecca Huntington

Roughly three years ago, two women undertook an effort to take a group of middle school girls in Jackson under their wing with the goal of helping them get into college.  The effort is called College Bound Latinas and the program has had some early success.  But a recent interaction with a University of Wyoming Professor is taking the girls even further as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

Read more

Pages