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.

U-M/SNRE Detroit GHG Inventory Project Team.

A detailed inventory of the sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Detroit has never been done - until now.  A team of University of Michigan graduate students in the School of Natural Resources and Environment spent over a year measuring carbon emissions in Detroit and identifying their sources.

 

vfp93.org

Tuesday is Veterans Day, a day to reflect on the sacrifices members of our armed forces have made to maintain our freedoms.  It's also a day to remember members of the military from Michigan who've died in the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Veterans for Peace Chapter 93 Tuesday holds is annual Arlington Michigan display and Veterans Day Peace Ceremony. 

Chapter vice-director Bill Shea says 226 white crosses will be erected at Veterans Park in Ann Arbor to honor those who've fallen.

emich.edu

Tuesday is Veterans Day, and Eastern Michigan University is honoring those who served with an open house at the school's new Military and Veterans Resource Center.

The center will offer guidance, counseling and veterans services to those who qualify, as well as a lounge area, a meeting room and several computers.

Mike Wise is EMU's Assistant Director of Veterans Services. He says the school has a significant number of students affiliated with the military.

Bob Eccles

The Salvation Army of Washtenaw County kicked off its annual Red Kettle campaign Friday at Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor. 

Major Kris Wood is Washtenaw County Salvation Army Coordinator.  He says the money dropped into the kettles goes toward providing food and shelter, including help for families who find themselves without a home.

wikimedia commons

Local marriage equality advocates are gearing up for a petition drive.  The action follows Thursday's federal appeals court decision to uphold anti-gay marriage laws in Michigan and three other states.

Sanndi Smith is Board President of Ann Arbor's Jim Toy LGBT Community Center.  She says the court's decision is devastating to the LGBT community.

Andrew Cluley

With the elections over, attention is swinging back to an issue high on most motorists' list of concerns:  Michigan's crumbling roads.  More than 20 organizations across the state are banding together to demand Michigan legislators take action.

The Local Matters Coalition argues getting some sort of road maintenance measure passed during the lame duck session would allow major construction and repair work to start as early as next spring.

wikimedia commons

Autism's causes remain a mystery, but researchers at the University of Michigan could soon have a better understanding of it. The school is getting $1.6 million in federal funding to determine what social and environmental factors cause autism.

The college has committed to a 3-year study of the disorder.

Marie Lynn Miranda is the dean of U of M's School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

She says none of the existing autism databases contain significant information about social or environmental exposures.

twitter.com

The cost of parking at a meter in Ann Arbor is going up on January 1st.  The board of the Downtown Development Authority has approved new rates that include a hike for metered parking of ten cents per hour.

Parking garage rates will stay at $1.20 an hour. Monthly permit parking will also cost more next year.

Susan Pollay is the DDA's Executive Director.  She says a lot of information went into the decision.

http://gaudioracademy.org/

Eastern Michigan University won't renew its charter with an academy in Inkster when it expires in June.  The university says the decision not to renew Gaudior Academy's charter stems from concerns about the school's effectiveness as a public school academy.

Malverne Winborne directs EMU's Charter Schools Office

ycschools.us

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education will have a much different look following Tuesday's election, and there are a couple of reasons for that.

For one, the board will be comprised exclusively of women.  The five men serving on the original board were not elected. 

And only two incumbents will be returning - Maria Sheler-Edwards and Dr. Celeste Hawkins. 

Ann Arbor District Library

Technology associated with libraries is constantly changing, but  one thing remains constant: Ann Arbor District Library ranks among the best library systems in the country.

For the seventh straight year, the library system has earned a five-star ranking in the Library Journal's yearly Index of Public Library Services. 

Bob Eccles

Voters in Ypsilanti approved all but one of the proposed charter amendments on Tuesday's ballot.

 

Voters rejected a proposal to give city council the power to have ordinances take immediate effect with a two-thirds majority vote (Proposal E).   Nine other charter amendments passed.

Bob Eccles

Incumbent Brian Robb will continue to represent Ypsilanti's third ward on City Council.

 

Robb beat challenger Tyler Weston Tuesday, garnering 59 percent of the vote to Weston's 41 percent.

Nicole Brown will represent the first ward. 

She beat Sigrid Melvin in the race for the seat left open by incumbent Ricky Jefferson's decision not to seek re-election. 

Jefferson ran an unsuccessful campaign for Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education.

ycschools.us

Voters Tuesday chose to return just two of the incumbent Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education to the panel.

 

One of them was Maria Sheler-Edwards, who says the district needs to "stay the course."

“We put some great programs in place,” Sheler-Edwards says, “we have a balanced budget this year, and we need to make sure that we continue being financially responsible, bring up our achievement and stabilize our enrollment.”

Debbie Dingell
Dwight Burdette/ Wikimedia Commons

Debbie Dingell is going to Washington, where she'll take her husband, John's 12 Congressional District seat.

Dingell defeated Republican Terry Bowman in Tuesday's election.

Speaking live Tuesday night on WEMU, Dingell said her priorities will be Michigan's priorities.

amandaformayor.com

Amanda Edmonds has given a victory speech to supporters at the Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery.

The founder and Executive Director of Growing Hope is leading write-in challenger Steven Taylor by a wide margin in early un-official results. 

Edmonds says she told supporters she's looking forward to moving Ypsilanti forward.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Early results out of Ann Arbor have the Ann Arbor Schools annexation of Whitmore Lake schools failing. 

With nine of 74 precincts partially counted, the issue is failing 56 to 44 percent.

No results yet from Whitmore Lake.

SEE ALSO: 

Ann Arbor Voters Reject Plan To Annex Whitmore Lake Public Schools 

The Associated Press is reporting that Democratic US Rep. Gary Peters has defeated former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land for US Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Carl Levin.

The Detroit Free Press projects Republican Governor Rick Snyder will win re-election, defeating Democrat Mark Schauer.

Bob Eccles

Tuesday is election day, and Washtenaw County officials are getting ready for higher-than-usual turnout. About 48 percent of eligible voters are expected to participate this year.

That's two percent more than the last mid-term election.

Washtenaw County Director of Elections Ed Golembiewski says they're also expecting more voters to use absentee ballots than ever before.

Bob Eccles

There were a couple of big celebrations Thursday at Willow Run Airport.  The airport re-dedicated its re-built main runway, and the Yankee Air Museum closed on the purchase of part of the former bomber plant.

After a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, the Yankee Air Museum's B-17G bomber "Yankee Lady" made the inaugural take-off and landing on the runway.

Airport Director Chris Mullin says the runway replaces the original strip, built in 1940. He expects the re-built runway to last 35-40 years.

Bob Eccles

It's an historic day at Willow Run Airport on two fronts Thursday.  The airport is re-dedicating it's re-built runway 5R/23L, and the Yankee Air Museum is closing on its purchase of a section of the former bomber plant for its new home.

Yankee Air Museum Executive Director Kevin Walsh says the re-opening of the runway will mark the first new runway at Willow Run since the airport was built. 

Bob Eccles

With a new 'friends' group, the future of Ypsilanti's Peninsular Park is looking up.  And there's more good stuff happening in the park.

If you've ever canoed or kayaked the Huron River in Ypsilanti you know that getting your boat out of the water to portage around Peninsular dam can be a challenge.  The dock was falling apart.  But on Wednesday the Huron River Watershed Council celebrates the installation of a brand new dock in Peninsular Park. 

Bob Eccles

You may not know much about Peninsular Park in Ypsilanti, but a newly formed "friends" group hopes to change that.  

 

Friends of Ypsilanti's Peninsular Park meets for the first time Wednesday evening. 

Bob Krzewinski is a member of Ypsilanti's Parks and Recreation Commission, which established the group.  He says the group's goals will include organizing volunteer clean-ups at the park off Leforge Road.

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The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority thinks an express bus route between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor would be a great idea.  The DDA is working to have the route included in the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's five-year plan.

DDA Executive Director Susan Pollay says the highest bus ridership for downtown workers currently is on the number four route along Washtenaw Avenue, and the number five route along Packard Road.

hauntedhousemichigan.com

If you're looking for a haunted attraction to get you in the Halloween spirit, you don't have to look far to find one of the best, anywhere.

  

By day families flock to Wiard's Orchards and Country Fair to pick apples and pumpkins, check out the cider mill and buy delicious baked goods.  But as 89.1 WEMU's Bob Eccles found out, when the sun goes down, Night Terrors begins.

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