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.

Find Bob on Google + - Facebook - Twitter

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.

Pages

WEMU News
7:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Ricky Jefferson Will Not Seek Re-Election To Ypsilanti City Council

Ypsilanti City Council member Ricky Jefferson.
Credit LinkedIn.com

Ypsilanti City Council member Ricky Jefferson says he will not seek re-election.

Jefferson has represented Ward One since winning election in 2010, and told WEMU news earlier this month that he was interested in another term.

In a statement to supporters, neighbors and business owners, Jefferson said he has pondered the decision for months with his wife, his Pastor and his advisors, and came to the conclusion that "this is the best decision for my family, my supporters and me."

Read more
community
5:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Debbie Dingell Visits EMU, WEMU Studios

Credit Patrik Holubik / 89.1 WEMU

Debbie Dingell is running to fill her husband, Congressman John D. Dingell's 12th district seat.  She stopped by the WEMU studios Thursday and spoke with WEMU's Bob Eccles.

Read more
Health News
3:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

HealthyStuff.org Tests Walgreens Products

Credit healthystuff.org

The Ecology Center says many of the products it tested from Walgreens contained potentially harmful chemicals.

Healthy Stuff Dot Org Research Director Jeff Gearhart says plasticizers were found in 13 flexible vinyl products.  He says the substance has been linked to asthma and liver toxicity.

"So what we're asking is for Walgreens to actuall implement a comprehensive chemical policy," Gearhart says, "get these hazardous products off the shelves and sell products that are healthier and safer for consumers."

Read more
WEMU News
3:32 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Presidents of UM, EMU And WCC Support Transit Millage

Credit theride.org

The Presidents of the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College have thrown their support behind a transit millage that'll be decided by voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township next month.

Read more
WEMU News
3:04 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council Member Pete Murdock Running For Mayor

Ypsilanti city council member and mayoral candidate Pete Murdock.
Credit Pete Murdock

Ypsilanti City Council member Pete Murdock says he's filed nominating petitions to run for Mayor.

Murdock says Ypsilanti has done a lot to "right its ship", and he'd like to help maintain that direction.

"We've done a lot of things financially and things are looking a little better than they were four years ago, six years ago," Murdock says. "I think I have the experience and knowledge to provide that leadership."

Murdock says public safety and economic development will continue to be big issues, and he's hopeful the AAATA transit millage will pass next month.

Read more
Community
2:34 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ypsilanti Residents Glad Road Repairs Are Coming

Prospect Road across from Prospect Park.
Credit Bob Eccles

People who live and work along Prospect Road in Ypsilanti are glad to hear the city has approved spending some money to patch up the road and improve driving conditions until the road is completely re-built next year.

Jim Mufarreh owns Prospect Party Store at Prospect and Forest.

"Long time coming," Mufarreh says. "It's well-needed. It's terrible out there. It's a terrible road. It's been needed for years."

Mark Naess lives in the area, and he says the road is almost undriveable.

Read more
WEMU News
8:41 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Ypsi Community Utilities Authority Monitoring Possible Privatization Of Detroit Water And Sewerage

Credit flickr.com

Detroit's emergency manager is thinking about privatizing the city's water and sewerage department, which provides water for the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority and scores of other communities in southeast Michigan.

YCUA Director Jeff Castro says the proposal is still in negotiations, but could have a local impact.

"The local suburban communities might not have as much say in certain aspects of the Detroit water and sewer system as we do today," Castro says.

Read more
WEMU News
8:33 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Former St. Joseph Emergency Facility In Saline Now Urgent Care

Credit stjoeshealth.org

St. Joseph Mercy Health System's former 24-hour emergency care facility in Saline is now a 12-hour-a-day urgent care facility.

The health system made the switch because the number of patients during off hours didn't support a 24-hour operation. 

Health system Chief Operating Officer Robin Damschroder says urgent care hours at the facility on Russell Street are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"There's also going to be phlebotomy lab draw and general x-ray services available approximately those same hours," Damschroder says.

Read more
Michigan News
8:29 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Study Suggests State Of Michigan Not Sharing Fairly With Local Governments

Credit wikimedia commons

Local governments: Tax Day study shows state not paying fair share

Local officials say not enough of the revenue Michigan takes in around Tax Day goes to cities, towns, and counties.

The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council released a study Tuesday that shows state revenue grew by more than $1 billion between 2009 and 2012. At the same time, local government revenue dropped by about the same amount.

Read more
WEMU News
1:04 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council To Consider Funding Road Repairs

Ypsilanti City Council tonight is expected to consider a resolution to spend $249,000 to fix some of the city's worst roads. 

Council member Ricky Jefferson says the city has already had to pay on a couple of claims of bent wheel rims, and the problem is only going to get worse if it's not addressed.

The resolution up for council's consideration would target four specific sections of city streets:

Read more
WEMU News
11:49 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Yankee Air Museum Welcomes Spirit of '45 Express

Credit spiritof45.org

With less than a month to go in its fundraising effort to buy part of the former Willow Run bomber plant, the Yankee Air Museum today welcomes the Spirit of '45 Express to Hangar 1 at Willow Run airport.

The Spirit of '45 Express crosses the country to remind Americans how the people of our nation came together and helped each other during World War II.

Read more
WEMU News
7:34 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

ACLU Sues State Over Same-Sex Marriages

Credit aclumich.org

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking a judge to force the state of Michigan to recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed in March.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of couples who say their constitutional rights are being violated by Gov. Rick Snyder. He won't recognize the marriages for the purpose of benefits until federal courts decide the status of Michigan's ban on gay marriage. 

Jay Kaplan is staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan's LGBT Project.  Kaplan says the Governor is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Read more
WEMU News
3:20 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Michigan Student Group Report Critical Of University Response To Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Credit en.wikipedia.org

A student task force has found that the University of Michigan failed to explain a years long delay between the alleged sexual assault of a student by former football player Brendan Gibbons and his expulsion in December.

The Central Student Government examined the school's student sexual misconduct policy and released its task force's findings Sunday.  Central Student Government President Michael Proppe says one finding really stuck out.

Read more
WEMU News
2:59 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Clouds Likely To Block View Of Lunar Eclipse

Credit wikimedia commons

There's going to be a total lunar eclipse tonight, but with our cloudy weather forecast you probably don't have to worry about getting up or staying up to see it.

Professor Norbert Vance is Director of Eastern Michigan University's Sherzer Observatory. 

He says the deepest part of the eclipse will happen just before three Tuesday morning, and the event will be over by 4:30 a.m. or so.

Professor Vance says the media is calling this a "blood moon", but he doesn't think the moon will be as red as some have predicted.

Read more
WEMU News
1:21 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Amanda Edmonds Files Nominating Petitions

Credit www.facebook.com/amandaformayor

Amanda Edmonds has filed the required number of nominating petitions for her name to appear on August primary ballot in the race to be Ypsilanti's next mayor.

The Growing Hope Executive Director submitted her petitions Friday, according to Ypsilanti City Clerk Frances McMullan.

Mayor Paul Schreiber is not seeking re-election. There are no other announced candidates to replace him at this time.

Municipal candidates have until April 22nd to file nominating petitions with their local clerk's office.

Read more
WEMU News
8:20 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Solar Ypsi Ready To Get Busy Installing Solar Panels

Credit solarypsi.org

Solar Ypsi is close to kicking off another season of work trying to expand the use of solar power in Ypsilanti.

Solar Ypsi founder Dave Strenski says their first project will be to install solar panels on the roof of the Freighthouse in Depot Town.  After that, they'll turn their attention to the building that houses the city's fire department.

"They need a new roof," Strenski says, "and so we want to try and figure out if they can integrate solar with that."

Read more
WEMU News
8:13 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

EMU Honors Leaders In Community Collaboaration

Credit emich.edu

Organizations and individuals who've gone above and beyond to promote collaboration between Eastern Michigan University and the surrounding community were recognized at an awards luncheon Friday afternoon.

Awards were presented by EMU's Office of Academic Service-Learning and Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. 

Claudia Petrescu is campus director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.  She says the honorees all have something in common.

"Community engagement," she says. "We all believe in the community, and giving back."

Read more
WEMU News
5:40 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

White-Nose Syndrome Seen In Michigan Bats

Credit Wikipedia Commons

White-nose syndrome is deadly for bats, and the disease has now been reported in bats that hibernate in Michigan.

Eastern Michigan University biology professor Dr. Allen Kurta is a nationally-respected bat expert.  He says Michigan is populated by nine species of bats, five of which spend their winters in caves or abandoned mines here.

Read more
WEMU News
8:10 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

EMU Students Compete In Climate Change-Themed Art Contest

Credit https://www.facebook.com/emuamp

Eastern Michigan University students are eligible to enter an art competition with a climate change theme and a $750 prize. 

EMU's AMP! student organization is sponsoring the contest, called "The Elapsing City".

Graduate student Mei Mei four phenomenon of climate change are offered as themes: Desertification, Loss of Arctic Sea Ice, Sea Level Rise, and Ocean Acidification.

"The artwork must reflect at least two of the four phenomenon," she says.

Read more
WEMU News
12:12 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Garden Ridge Ready To Move Into Kmart Building

Credit www2.gardenridge.com

The Kmart store on Washtenaw Avenue in Ypsilanti Township may be closing, but the building won't be empty for long. 

Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo says Plano, Texas-based home decor chain Garden Ridge is ready to move in.

"The fact that someone came in and asked for a sign permit is a good sign, no pun intended," Stumbo says. "We look forward to this new company coming in, hopefully it will be very successful and will hire the people from Kmart to work there."

Read more
WEMU News
8:40 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Organizers Hold Meeting On rCredits Community Currency

Credit www.rcredits.org

Proponents of a community currency that would be used to encourage local trade are holding a meeting Wednesday night to explain the system to Ann Arbor area residents and businesses.

Adam Konner is one of the lead organizers of the rCredits local currency system.  He has a background in the co-op movement.

"I see this as another way of sort of expanding the democratic economics of co-ops to the broader economy," Konner says.

The rCredit community currency system is already in use in Massachusets. 

Read more
WEMU News
8:33 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Michigan League Of Conservation Voters Leery Of Drilling Plans

Credit www.michiganlcv.org

A Traverse City-based company's plans to drill for oil or natural gas in Scio Township is setting off alarm bells with the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

Deputy Director Jack Schmidt says drilling operations bring with them problems like construction, trucks, and fumes and odors.

"The fact that this is occurring so close to potential residential areas, or could potentially be occurring close to residential areas is a concern," Schmidt says.

Schmidt says if oil spills, it can cause problems for local waterways.

Read more
WEMU News
8:20 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Ypsilanti Community Schools Tackling Charter Schools, Schools of Choice Challenges

Credit Patrick Holubick

The Superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools says his district is working in the face of challenges such as charter schools and Schools of Choice to become a top option for cradle to career education.

Scott Menzel says Ann Arbor Public Schools' Schools of Choice push poses a challenge, as does the legislature's removing the cap on the number of charter schools in Michigan. 

Menzel says choice is good - to a point.

Read more
Arts
3:15 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Ann Arbor Summer Festival Announces 2014 Mainstage Lineup

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has announced its 2014 Mainstage lineup.

Executive Director Amy Nesbitt sat down with WEMU's Michael Jewett Monday afternoon to talk about the schedule and hear some music from some of the acts scheduled to appear.

See the complete schedule here: http://a2sf.org/desktop/

Read more
WEMU News
2:32 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Ricky Jefferson, Daniel Vogt Seeking Re-Election To Ypsilanti City Council

Ypsilanti City Council member Ricky Jefferson
Credit LinkedIn

The terms of three Ypsilanti city council members expire in November, and at least two of them are seeking re-election.

Ricky Jefferson represents the city's first ward, and he tells WEMU news he'd like another term in office.

Daniel Vogt represents ward two. He says he'll file for re-election soon.

Council member Brian Robb's term also ends in November. He hasn't indicated whether he'll seek re-election. 

Mayor Paul Schreiber won't seek another term, and Growing Hope executive director Amanda Edmonds is running to take his place. 

Read more

Pages