Bob Eccles

Host

Bob Eccles has followed an interesting path to - and through - the radio business. After graduating from Howe Military School in Howe, Indiana in 1980, Bob went to Michigan State University for one year. He transferred to Central Michigan University the following year for the school’s Radio and TV program, and landed a shift at the campus radio station, known then as "Rock Stereo 91". Unfortunately Bob focused more on his radio shift than his studies, and CMU asked him to take his 0.00 grade point average and go to school somewhere else. So Bob joined the U.S. Army.

Bob spend three years in the Army, serving in the Military Police in what was then West Germany. The first half of his tour was spent as a tower guard at a nuclear physical security site. Bob then was chosen to be the chauffeur for the commanding general of the 59th Ordnance Brigade. This gave him the chance to see much of West Germany from behind the wheel of an armor-plated and bullet-proof BMW 733i. Bob was honorably discharged from the Army in early 1985, and enrolled at the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts to continue his pursuit of a career in radio.

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A couple of months before graduating from Specs Howard, Bob landed a job as a disc jockey at WBRB radio in Mt. Clemens. The 500 watt AM station had been off the air for several years, and was put back on the air with a staff consisting entirely of Specs Howard grads. The owner of the station had a background in real estate, not radio, and is said to have chosen the people he would hire by playing their audition tapes for his kids and asking them which ones they liked most. Bob is glad the kids liked his tape.

Bob’s next job came at Tower 98 in Monroe. It was at Tower 98 that Bob made the transition from DJ to news guy. Tower 98 was also where he met his wife, Tina, who worked as Traffic Director at the station.

Next on Bob’s resume is a stop at WSPD/WLQR in Toledo. It was there that Bob covered stories like the mayor’s tearful apology for having suggested that the city’s deaf population might enjoy living near the airport. Toledo is also where Bob discovered Mudhens baseball and Tony Packo’s Cafe. Ask Bob sometime about how he nearly knocked Jamie Farr over once in the hallway at WSPD/WLQR.

From Toledo, Bob went to Detroit, where he worked at all-news station WWJ for six years. While he was working there, he also nearly knocked over Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, but that’s another story.

One day Bob was sent to the home of a Detroit police officer who had been killed in the line of duty. His WWJ bosses wanted him to interview the officer’s friends and family who were coming to the house to grieve. Bob told his bosses he felt uncomfortable sticking his microphone in the faces of grieving friends and family members. This was considered insubordination by his bosses, and he was fired. But that’s OK, because that's when Bob found WEMU and public radio.

Bob joined the wonderful staff of WEMU in May of 2003. He really enjoys not having to chase ambulances and fire trucks all the time. He loves having the flexibility to spend seven-and-a-half minutes telling a good story if he needs the time. And he is thrilled to be able to serve WEMU listeners in the amazingly personal way that working in public radio makes possible.

Bob, his wife Tina and their daughter Samantha live in rural Monroe County.

Congress is halfway toward extending the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for another five years.  The U.S. House has approved the legislation that authorizes funding the initiative at $300-million a year.

Vlastula / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

People upset with the recent eviction of residents of a homeless camp at the end of Burton Road in Ann Arbor are launching a campaign to recall City Council member Stephen Kunselman.

body cameras
Throwawaysixtynine / Wikimedia Commons

Ypsilanti City Council has approved spending about $55,000 to buy 15 body-worn cameras for the police department.  The money will also pay for an upgrade to the department's in-car video system.


emich.edu

An Eastern Michigan University professor is doing research designed to help prevent the sort of power failure that affected Detroit Tuesday afternoon.

 

Dr. Samir Tout is with the EMU School of Information Security.

He worked with researchers at the University of Michigan and the Merit Network to secure a grant from the National Science Foundation.
 

  "To study, basically, anomalies that may potentially happen in the power grid such as the one took place today," Dr. Tout says.

hivaidsresource.org

Organizations across Washtenaw County encouraged people to get tested for HIV Monday for World AIDS Day.

The number of new HIV cases grew sharply in the county last year, reaching a 15-year high.

Jimena Loveluck is the president of the HIV/AIDS Resource Center.

She says it's incredibly important to get tested and know your HIV status.

Body CAmera
Wikimedia Commons

Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday night will consider paying for body-worn cameras for the police department.

 

Chief Tony DiGiusti is asking for $54,634 to not only pay for 15 body-worn cameras, but to upgrade the department's in-car video system. 

City Council will also consider transferring ownership of two parcels of land to the Ypsilanti Housing Commission to be used in part as offices where low-income residents can have access to the Internet and Family Empowerment Program counselors.

Bob Eccles

Three people filed paperwork by Monday's 5 p.m. deadline to be considered for appointment to Ypsilanti's vacant Ward two City Council seat.

 

Council member Susan Moeller resigned to spend more time with elderly family members. 

Beth Bashert, Gail Wolkoff and Anne Brown will now be interviewed by City Council at a special meeting on December 9. 

emich.edu

Social media is a valuable marketing tool for businesses, and expertise in the field is a highly sought after commodity.  Eastern Michigan University's new Center for Digital Engagement is taking students and clients to new online heights.


Bob Eccles

The holidays can be a sad time for the elderly and the home-bound, but Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels is making sure they can look forward to a hot meal and some good company.


Bob Eccles

Local efforts to restore Ypsilanti's historic Freighthouse have entered a new phase.  Ypsilanti City Council Member Pete Murdock is calling on the city and local organizations to help finish restoring the building.

Those efforts stalled after a State Historic Preservation Grant fell through.

Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority, city government and other local groups had previously pledged to contribute to the project if the grant was awarded.

Bob Eccles

It'll be late next summer's Thunder over Michigan airs how before the entire squadron is here, but the Blue Angels' number seven plane touched down at Willow Run airport Monday morning for an advance visit.  

 


michigan.gov

Michigan is saying goodbye to the MEAP test this coming spring.  Washtenaw County school districts appear ready to roll out the new online Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP test.

 

Naomi Norman is Executive Director of Achievement Services for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. 

She says M-STEP is more than a bunch of multiple choice questions - students are going to have to answer some questions in writing.

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District is holding a Bus Driver Job Fair Saturday with a goal of finding 15-20 additional drivers.


It may feel like winter outside, but organizers of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival have summer - and the 2015 edition of the festival - on their minds.

Festival board president David Nickerson says they need lots of help from the community in order to put on a successful event.

insurancemarketplace.org

The new open enrollment period for Michigan's Health Insurance Marketplace has begun, and efforts in Washtenaw County are off to a good start.


annarborshelter.org

Washtenaw County is expanding its shelter services this winter.  Starting in January the county will begin operating a second warming center.

The county's shelter services routinely exceeded their capacity last year, particularly during January-March.

Ellen Schulmeister is the Executive Director of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County.

She says several local groups have offered to act as the site of the second center.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti renters having trouble with landlords have a new ally.  The Ypsilanti Tenants' Rights Association recently formed to advocate for renters having trouble with issues like harassment, neglect, or landlords who won't perform maintenance requests.

Alex Upham is a member of the Association, which was to introduce itself at Tuesday night's Ypsilanti City Council meeting. 

He says they're asking council to do what it can to help.

Bob Eccles

If you live in Ypsilanti's second ward and think you might like to serve in city government, now's your chance.  City Council is taking applications from people interested in filling the vacancy created by Susan Moeller's resignation.

wikimedia commons

Governor Rick Snyder has said that the 300 or so same-sex marriages performed in Michigan back in March are void.  Local marriage equality supporters are not happy.

Sandi Smith is President of the Jim Toy Community Center. 

She says they held a community meeting Sunday night where about 50 people gathered to talk about the situation.

"It really throws them into chaos," Smith says, "and I think that the Governor ought to consider that before making sweeping statements."

recycleannarbor.org

Recycle Ann Arbor hopes to raise awareness of what sorts of things can be re-used or recycled at a special "America Recycles Day" event.  Saturday's celebration at the ReUse Center will focus on helping people understand what sorts of things can be reused.

 

Christine Chessler-Stull is Outreach and Zero Waste Coordinator for Recycle Ann Arbor. 

She says lots of stuff that ends up in landfills doesn't have to go there.  And Saturday is your chance to help give those items a new life.

wikimedia commons

Eastern Michigan University is being recognized for its continuing efforts to prevent suicide and promote mental health.

 

The recognition comes in the form of a federal grant.

EMU is getting a three year, $300-thousand grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

hrwc.org

The Huron River Watershed Council has released a watershed management plan for Honey Creek in Scio Township.  The state has labeled the Huron River tributary as "impaired" due to high levels of bacteria.

 

soscs.org

Ypsilanti parents with kids up to five years old can now get some help making sure they're ready when they hit school age.  S-O-S Community Services is launching a program called Parents as Teachers.

 

Rhonda Weathers is Executive Director of S-O-S Community Services

She says the program pairs families with Parent Educators, who come into the home to "play work" with families.

Bob Eccles / Veterans Day, Veterans for Peace, Veterans for Peace Chapter 93, Ann Arbor, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare Center,

Veterans for Peace Chapter 93 Tuesday held its annual Arlington Michigan ceremony and display at Veterans Memorial Park in Ann Arbor.

226 white crosses were erected, each representing a Michigan military member who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. 

On each cross:  a small photo, along with information about the service member and details about how and where they were killed. 

Vietnam vet Mike Muha is a member of Veterans for Peace Chapter 93.  He says the display reminds us of the cost of war.

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