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
2:33 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

April Is National Safe Digging Month

Credit Bob Eccles

April is National Safe Digging Month, and as 89.1 WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, anyone who plans to do any digging associated with spring projects should find out about buried utility lines first.

For more information:  http://www.call811.com/

Read more
WEMU News
2:32 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Washtenaw County Holds Skywarn Training

Credit Bob Eccles

Nearly 100 people participated in Skywarn training Saturday in Chelsea, learning how to properly identify and report dangerous weather conditions.

89-1 WEMU's Bob Eccles took part in the training.

Edward Vielmetti has a nice resource for following Skywarn networks via amateur radio:  http://vielmetti.typepad.com/vacuum/2014/04/tune-in-to-skywarn-nets-in-50-states-when-severe-weather-threatens.html

Read more
WEMU News
8:30 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

A2Y Chamber Highlighting Local Retailers In Fashion Show

Credit A2YChamber.org

The Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Regional Chamber hosts its first-ever fashion show Friday night.

Fashion Forward features community members as models, spotlighting clothing, jewelry, hair and makeup from local retailers, and starts at eight tonight at the Ann Arbor City Club.

Find more information about Fashion Forward online:  http://business.a2ychamber.org/Events/details/fashion-forward-a2yconverge-spring-fashion-show-4293

Read more
WEMU News
1:58 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Town Hall Tonight On Elementary School Configuration

Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education President David Bates (l) and Superintendent Scott Menzel.
Credit Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti Community Schools tonight holds a town hall-style meeting to discuss plans for reconfiguring the district's elementary schools.

The district is considering three options for next school year, and public input will be taken into consideration in making a recommendation to the Board of Education later this month.

The town hall meeting is scheduled from 6-7 p.m. at Perry Early Learning Center, 550 Perry, in Ypsilanti.

Read more
WEMU News
12:50 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Ypsilanti Elementary Students Learn Real-Life Economics Lessons

Kids gather around Enchanted Florist owner Laura Lanzon.
Bob Eccles

Thursday morning presented third and fourth graders from Ypsilanti's Holmes Elementary School with a chance to compare what they learned in a project-based unit on economics to what happens in real-world businesses. 

89-1 WEMU's Bob Eccles tagged along with the kids and their teachers on a visit to Depot Town.

Read more
WEMU News
10:05 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

EMU Lights Student Center For Autism Awareness

The Eastern Michigan University Student Center Wednesday evening.
Credit Bob Eccles

Eastern Michigan University's Student Center was bathed in blue light Wednesday night as part of the annual Autism Speaks "Light It Up Blue" campaign.

The lighting of the Student Center also spotlighted the university's non-profit Autism Collaborative Center, a resource for families across southeast Michigan dealing with autism.

Autism affects one in 68 children, and is more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.

Details on Autism Speaks can be found online: http://www.autismspeaks.org

Read more
Community
7:55 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

New Bike Share Program Coming To Ann Arbor

Trek bicycle that will be used in the ArborBike program
Clean Energy Coalition

Ann Arbor bike riders will have a new option for getting around the downtown and University of Michigan campus areas starting this summer. 

The Clean Energy Coalition plans to install 14 bike sharing stations this spring, with the operation up and running in June. 

Nick Helmholdt is ArborBike operations manager.

"We're working closely with the city of Ann Arbor and with our vendor, who is B-Cycle, to make sure everything comes into place to fit that timeline," said Helmholdt.

Read more
WEMU News
6:12 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Sketch Of Assault Suspect Released

Credit Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office has released a sketch of a suspect in the Monday evening assault of a woman in Ypsilanti Township. The victim indicates she was targeted because of her recent marriage to a same-sex partner.

From the Sheriff's Office: 

Read more
WEMU News
1:58 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

President Obama In Ann Arbor To Talk Minimum Wage

The crowd awaiting President Barack Obama's remarks at the University of Michigan Intramural Building.
Credit Andrew Cluley

President Barack Obama is in Ann Arbor, where he'll push his proposal to increase the federal minimum wage.

The President stopped at Zingerman's on his way to the University of Michigan's Intramural Building, where he is said to have ordered a #2 Rueben sandwich.

The President backs a proposal to gradually hike the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley is covering the President's visit.  Stay tuned for details throughout the afternoon.

Read more
WEMU News
11:57 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council Approves Same-Sex Marriage Resolution, Park Improvements

Prospect Park basketball court
Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday night adopted a resolution asking the state to withdraw its appeal of the federal court ruling that says Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

The vote was six to one, with  Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson voting "no", arguing that the issue should be allowed to finish its journey through the court system.

The resolution will be forwarded to Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette.

City Council also approved improvements at two city parks requested by council members Brian Robb and Pete Murdock.

Read more
WEMU News
8:17 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Ypsilanti New Tech Students Winners In Writing Contest

Ypsilanti New Tech High School students (l-r) John Castro, Adrienne Lee-Walker and Orodney Jones.
Credit Ypsilanti Community Schools

Three students from Ypsilanti New Tech High School have been chosen as winners in a writing contest that focused on African American History Month.

The contest sponsored by Kroger asked students in 4th through 12th grades to write about how they can make a difference in their communities, or how they were inspired by an African American.

Read more
Education
12:58 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Ypsilanti Community Schools Considering Balanced Calendar, Elementary Reconfiguration

Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education trustees (l-r) Dan Raglin, Celeste Hawkins and Tony VanDerworp.
Credit Bob Eccles / 89.1 WEMU

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education is considering three options for re-configuring district elementary schools, a move tied to plans to offer a balanced calendar at one school building next school year.

 The board Monday night was briefed on the options, which include three options.

Read more
Ypsilanti
4:15 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Ypsilanti Attorney Challenging Debbie Dingell

Ypsilanti Attorney Raymond Mullins.
Credit attyraymullins.com

Ypsilanti Attorney Raymond Mullins wants to be elected to John Dingell's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and part of the reason he's running is that Dingell's wife Debbie is running.

"I think that we should have a chance of giving the public a different choice," Mullins said. "I don't believe in straight out inheriting a position."

Mullins says if elected to the 12th Congressional District seat he'll work to improve educational opportunities for everyone, and fight for a criminal justice system that's equitable for all.

Read more
WEMU News
1:23 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council To Ask State of Michigan To Withdraw Appeal Of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Credit Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council is poised to send a message to the state on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Council Tuesday night will consider a resolution asking Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to withdraw their appeal of a federal judge's ruling that Michigan's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.

 If adopted, copies of the resolution will be sent to the offices of the Governor and Attorney General.

Ypsilanti City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, One S. Huron St., downtown. 

Read more
WEMU News
12:04 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

WISD Helping To Mark Autism Awareness Month

Credit liub.autismspeaks.org/welcome

April is Autism Awareness Month, and the Washtenaw Intermediate School District will be helping to "Light It Up Blue" to spread the word.

High Point School and the Teaching and Learning Center on the WISD campus are participating in the campaign this year.

High Point teachers are posting information on bulletin boards to raise awareness of the Autism Speaks campaign, and the standard light bulbs in the building's main conference room - which are visible from the outside - will be switched out with blue bulbs.

Read more
Transportation
11:35 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber Backs Transit Millage

Credit www.a2ychamber.org

The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber is throwing its support behind the Ann Arobr Transportation Authority transit millage.

AAATA is asking voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township to approve a .7 mil issue in May to expand service.

In a statement supporting the millage, the A2Y Chamber said it has been its policy for many years to support increased regional mass transit.

Read more
WEMU News
8:57 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Ypsilanti Community Schools Board To Consider Balanced Calendar And Elementary Re-Alignment

Credit Patrik Holubik

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education holds a special meeting Monday evening to consider a preliminary balanced calendar recommendation and three proposals for re-configuring district elementary schools.

The district wants to institute a balanced calendar - basically year-round school - in select buildings next school year.  The Balanced Calendar Study Team will present its preliminary recommendation to the board Monday evening.

Read more
WEMU News
8:45 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Health Plan Enrollment Deadline Approaching

Credit flickr.com

Monday is the deadline for enrolling in a health care plan under terms of the Affordable Care Act.

Locally, Washtenaw Health Plan has been helping people sign up for health insurance for several months. 

Program administrator Ruth Kraut said she hopes folks not already enrolled try to sign up on their own over the weekend.

"If you have trouble signing up," Kraut said, "you'll be able to testify to that and get a special enrollment period. But you need to have at least started the process."

Read more
WEMU News
8:36 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Study Points To Need For More Affordable Housing In Washtenaw County

Credit nlihc.org

A report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition says Washtenaw County renters pay more than renters in any other Michigan county toward their housing.

The "2014 Out of Reach" report says the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the county is around $740, while a typical full-time worker can only afford to spend $665 a month toward rent without forking over more than 30 percent of their income. 

Carole McCabe is Executive Director of Avalon Housing, which operates low-income housing projects like Pauline Apartments in Ann Arbor.

Read more
Minimun Wage
1:21 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

President Obama To Visit Ann Arbor Wednesday

President Barack Obama
Credit en.wikipedia.org

President Barack Obama will visit Ann Arbor next week to tout his plan for hiking the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Read more
WEMU News
8:42 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Washtenaw County Tops in 'Health Factors' among Michigan Counties

Credit eWashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County finds itself at the top of the list of Michigan's healthiest counties for the fifth straight year.

The "health factors" rankings compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute consider things like the availability of parks and recreational facilities, along with social and economic factors. 

Susan Cerniglia is Public Information Officer for Washtenaw County Public Health.  She says they know there's a strong foundation for good health in the county.

Read more
Environment
7:36 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Study To Help Residents Of Great Lakes Region Deal With Changing Water Levels

Donald Scavia, Director of the University of Michigan's Graham Sustainability Institute.
Credit graham.umich.edu

The University of Michigan's Graham Sustainability Institute is launching a study to determine how best to help people in the Great Lakes region deal with changing water levels.

Institute Director Donald Scavia said two main areas of concern came out of this week's conference of the Environmental Law and Policy Center at U-of-M:  If lake levels keep dropping, how to stop that; and, how to help residents deal with changing water levels.

Read more
WEMU News
3:02 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

WISD Holding Playground Improvements Fundraiser

Credit wash.k12.mi.us

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District is holding a charity event to raise money for upgrades to the playground equipment at High Point School.

The first annual Run, Walk and Roll event takes place April 19th on the WISD campus, 1819 S. Wagner Road in Ann Arbor.

Katrina Stewart, a teacher for special needs students and avid runner, is organizing the event.

Read more
WEMU News
1:17 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Grant to help Ypsilanti Community Schools with STEM Education

Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Scott Menzel
Credit twitter.com

Ypsilanti Community Schools is getting a $1,000,000 grant to help prepare students for careers in science, technology, enginnering and math.     Superintendent Scott Menzel said the money from the U.S.

Read more
WEMU News
12:40 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Ypsilanti Adds Three Fire Fighters Through SAFER Grant

Credit cityofypsilanti.com

The city of Ypsilanti has used a grant received in January to hire three more fire fighters.

The $800,000 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER grant has helped the city hire five dire fighters this year. It had been seven years since any new hires were financially possible.

The most recent additions to the Ypsilanti Fire Department include Justin Massey, who graduated from Eastern Michigan University this past winter and has worked part-time with the city of Riverview's fire department.

Read more

Pages