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.

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Environment
8:14 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Michigan's Renewable Energy Efforts Paying Off

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Michigan's investment in renewable energy is paying off, according to a new energy efficiency report from Governor Rick Snyder's office

WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

Click to listen to Bob's report.

Community
8:12 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Yankee Air Museum Holding Ceremony and Tour at Willow Run Airport Saturday

We should soon have a better idea of how the Yankee Air Museum is doing in its effort to raise enough money to buy part of the former Willow Run bomber plant for its new home. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

Click here to hear Bob's report.

Ypsilanti
6:16 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

EMU Police, Area Law Enforcement Agencies to Collaborate on Patrols

Credit Eastern Michigan University Police

Eastern Michigan University and area police agencies will immediately begin collaborating on patrols of the LaForge Road area north of the EMU campus. 

The university says the EMU Department of Public Safety will work with Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township police and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, with each dedicating officers specifically to patrol the area. 

EMU Police Chief Bob Heighes says each evening, assigned officers will meet at the university's Public Safety headquarters to coordinate their efforts. 

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Community
5:27 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Students, Others March at EMU to 'Increase the Peace'

Credit Steve Rhodes / flickr

About 250 people are taking part in a "Increase the Peace" march across the Eastern Michigan University campus this afternoon. 

Among those in attendance - the mother of 20 year-old EMU student athlete Demarius Reed and several other family members.  Reed was found dead in his apartment complex suffering from several gunshot wounds, the victim of what investigators say may have been a robbery. 

Also marching today are family members of Julia Niswender, an EMU student who was found dead in her off-campus apartment almost one year ago. 

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Public Health
8:36 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Ann Arbor Council Member Proposes Public Smoking Law

One Ann Arbor city council member says it's time to change the law so that the city can crack down on smoking in public areas legally designated as no-smoking zones. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story:

Bob Eccles Reports

Local News
8:33 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

EMU College of Education Carries On Despite Boycott

The Washtenaw County Education Association has called for a boycott of Eastern Michigan University student teachers, citing EMU's affiliation with the state's Education Achievement Authority. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

Click here to hear Bob's report.

Local News
2:04 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

EMU President Addresses Safety with Students

EMU Police Chief Bob Heighes and President Susan Martin
Credit Taylor Pinson

Eastern Michigan University officials continue to meet with representatives from the city of Ypsilanti and others to discuss ways to improve safety in response to a string of off-campus attacks on students, including the death of Wide Receiver Demarius Reed. 

To reach out to a wider group of students a public safety meeting was held in the middle of the food court at lunch time at the Student Center Wednesday. 

EMU President Susan Martin says they're working quickly to improve security off campus. She says a meeting with campus police and department leadership was taking place today. 

Martin says a meeting with Ypsilanti officials took place yesterday, with another planned for Friday.  She says they're "moving as quickly as we can".

EMU Police chief Bob Heighes says students are safe on campus, but they need to get involved by calling the police when they see things.  He says they are working with the city to improve safety off-campus as well. 

Students are leading a Stop the Violence march, rally, and vigil Thursday.

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports.

Ypsilanti
7:39 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Ypsi DDA Adjusting Nicely to New Home in City Hall

Credit Ypsilanti Downtown Development

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority is adjusting to its new location in City Hall.

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Local News
7:38 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Plans for County Recreation Facility on Water Street Moving Forward

Work on a proposed Washtenaw County recreation facility on Ypsilanti's Water Street property is rolling along. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story. 

Hear Bob's report here.

Local News
6:10 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Police Say People Heard Gunshots, Did Nothing to help Demarius Reed

Ypsilanti's interim Chief of Police says at least six people heard gunshots the night Demarius Reed was killed, but didn't call police. 

Tony DiGiusti's comments came at a community forum in the Eastern Michigan University Student Center ballroom Tuesday afternoon. 

Chief DiGiusti says at least one person walked by Reed lying on the ground and did nothing, thinking he was drunk. 

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EMU
3:08 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

'Back to Bowen' Moving To Convocation Center

Credit EMU Eagles

Eastern Michigan University's planned "Back to Bowen" basketball games are being moved back to the Convocation Center. 

The university cites "unanticipated issues" with Bowen Fieldhouse as the reason for the venue change. 

Game dates and times are unchanged.  Ticket prices for the men's game are also unchanged, while women's game tickets will cost eight dollars. 

Apparel pre-orders will be automatically refunded, and those who bought tickets in advance for the November contests will be contacted by the ticket office about exchanging their tickets.

Local News
8:42 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

YCS Board Approves Coordinated School Health Team

Credit Bob Eccles / WEMU

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved the creation of a Coordinated School Health Team. WEMU's Bob Eccles has details.

Click here for Bob's report.

Local News
6:57 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Community Forum, Anti-Violence Rally Scheduled at EMU

As police continue to investigate the death of EMU student athlete Demarius Reed, another campus and community forum has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. 

Reed was found dead in his off-campus apartment complex early Friday morning.  Investigators say the 20 year-old had suffered several gunshot wounds, and my have been the victim of a robbery. 

Tuesday's community forum begins at 4:00 p.m., with Ypsilanti's interim Chief of Police giving an update on the investigation and answering any questions he can. 

Local News
6:54 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Funeral Arrangements Made, Memorial Fund Established for Demarius Reed

Credit emich.edu

Funeral arrangements have been set for the Eastern Michigan University student athlete found dead in his off-campus apartment complex Friday morning.

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Local News
1:49 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Police Treating EMU Football Player's Death as Homicide

Demarius Reed
Credit emich.edu

Ypsilanti police say Eastern Michigan University student and football player Demarius Reed suffered multiple gunshot wounds. 

The 20 year-old was found dead in and apartment complex and LeForge and Clark Roads this morning. 

Investigators believe Reed may have been the victim of a robbery, although no-one is in custody at this time. 

An autopsy has been performed, but results won't be known for some time. 

The junior from Chicago was a Communication, Media and Theater Arts major, and a wide receiver on the football team. 

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Local News
8:21 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Ann Arbor Attorney Sues State over Prison Abuse of Teens

An Ann Arbor attorney is suing the state on behalf of seven teenage boys who said they were sexually and physically abused in prison. WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

Click here for Bob's report.

Environment
8:18 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Recycling Drop-off Station now accepting Textiles

Recycle Ann Arbor's Ellsworth Road drop-off station now accepts textiles, including clothing, curtains, bedding, towels, belts, shoes and soft toys.  

WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

Hear Bob's report here.

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Local News
8:16 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Another Big Gift for U-of-M's 'Victors for Michigan' Campaign

The University of Michigan has received another generous donation toward its "Victors for Michigan" fundraising campaign. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Click here to hear Bob's report.

Local News
8:14 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Is Recent Auto Sales Slump Due to Government Shutdown?

Auto sales fell in the second week of October despite expectations to the contrary. WEMU's Bob Eccles has a look at one local dealership's take on the sales slump.

Hear Bob's report here.

Local News
8:12 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Argo Cascades Public Art Project down to Two Finalists

The Argo Cascades Public Art Project is down to two finalists, and each artist presented their design concepts to the public Thursday afternoon at Ann Arbor City Hall. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Click here to hear Bob's report.

Local News
12:04 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Water Street Family Dollar Sign Crisis Averted

The crisis that could have derailed plans for a Family Dollar store in the Water Street Re-Development Area has been averted.

City Council on Tuesday approved a development plan for the store that removed a provision to allow a so-called monument sign on the property – something a representative of the developer suggested could be a deal-breaker. 

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Local News
11:58 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Ypsi Planning Commission approves Master Plan Revision

The Ypsilanti Planning Commission last night approved the city’s revised master plan.  WEMU’s Bob Eccles has the story.

Bob Eccles Reports

Local News
3:15 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Washtenaw Health Plan gets help from ACCESS as HealthCare.Gov irons out Wrinkles

Washtenaw Public Health gets help from ACCESS as the website HealthCare.gov irons out wrinkles thast have made it difficult to enroll in health care plans. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Local News
3:11 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Faith-Based Program Celebrates with Stewardship Dinner

A new faith-based program serving in Washtenaw County holds its first stewardship dinner Thursday night. WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

Click here to hear Bob's report.

Business
10:17 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Proposed Dollar Store On Ypsilant's Water Street In Jeopardy

Action taken by Ypsilanti City Council last night may put the Family Dollar store planned for Water Street in jeopardy.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story. 

Bob Eccles Reports

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