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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Education
3:35 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Head Start Services To Be Offered In Ypsilanti

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education last night approved a contract with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District to provide Head Start services in the district.  

Bob Eccles Reports

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Education
1:48 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Higher Than Expected Enrollment means More Teachers for YCS

With a couple of weeks of school in the books, Ypsilanti Community Schools is seeing something it didn't really expect: class sizes large enough to warrant hiring some additional teachers. 

Community
6:25 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Clean Energy America Visits Michigan College Campuses

Energy Northwest engineer Desirée Wolfgramm
Credit cleanenergy4america.org

A group called "Clean Energy America" is touring college campuses across Michigan this week, speaking with students about the role nuclear power will play in the country's energy future.  

WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with Desirée ' Wolfgramm, an engineer with Energy Northwest who's traveling with the group.

Bob Eccles reports

Local News
5:14 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Go Beyond the Badge with Washtenaw Co. Sheriff's Office

Credit beyondthebadge.tv

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's office has a new community outreach tool - an online video series called "Beyond the Badge". WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke about it with Derrick Jackson, Director of Community Engagement for the sheriff's office.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Local News
3:38 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Ypsilanti Police Chief Amy Walker Announces Retirement

Ypsilanti Police Chief Amy Walker is retiring. 

Walker's October retirement was announced today, and follows more than twenty years of service to the city. 

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Local News
2:11 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

EMU Students Scoff at Friday the 13th

Most Eastern Michigan University students don't seem to mind that today is Friday the 13th.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

Hear Bob's report here.

Local News
6:26 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

EMU Professor Tests Self-Publishing Waters with Novel

Credit Smashwords.com

Eastern Michigan University professor Phillip Arrington's novel "The Serpent's Sage" has been released through Smashwords and Amazon.com. WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with Dr. Arrington about is novel, and his decision to take the self-publishing route with it.

Find the novel here:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/323554

And here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Serpents-Sage-ebook/dp/B00DTGF5UW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378938742&sr=1-1&keywords=the+serpent%27s+sage

Click here for the interview.


Elections
7:13 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Byrnes Gets Early Start In Bid To Win 7th Congressional District Seat

Pam Byrnes

The election isn't until November of 2014, but Pam Byrnes is working to make in-roads with the 7th Congressional District constituency now.  The former Democratic State Representative is seeking to unseat incumbent Republican Tim Walberg.  

As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, Byrnes yesterday wrapped up a three-day tour of the seven counties that comprise the 7th district.

Democrat Pam Byrnes Campaigning early to win support in bid to unseat 7th District U-S Representative Tim Walberg.

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Education
6:53 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Eastern Michigan Is Fastest Growing University In The State

Move in day at Eastern Michigan
Credit Eastern Michigan University

With record freshman enrollment for two consecutive years, Eastern Michigan University is, by far, the fastest growing public university in the State of Michigan.

As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the statistics show, it's not even close:

Record freshman enrollment helps affirm EMU as fastest growing public university in Michigan.

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Local News
9:56 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Ypsilanti Township Votes to Join AAATA

The Ride CEO Michael Ford addresses the Ypsilanti Township board.
Credit Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees Monday night voted to seek membership in the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Hear Bob's report here.

Local News
8:46 pm
Sun September 1, 2013

Grizzlies Fall in First-Ever Football Game

Grizzlies QB Marquis Smith scans the field for an open receiver in Friday's game against Milan.
Credit Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti Community High School lost its first-ever football game to Milan in a contest that took a couple of days to decide.  Friday night's game was suspended in the third quarter due to lightning, and continued Saturday afternoon.  The final score: Milan 13, Ypsilanti Community High 6.  The Grizzlies scored on a 34-yard pass from Mike Caldwell to Jalen Maxwell.  The extra point attempt failed.

Click here for Bob Eccles' report on the game.

Sports
7:27 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Ypsilanti Grizzlies To Host First Ever Football Game Tonight

Last year at this time, the football teams for the Ypsilanti and Willow Run School Districts were preparing to open separate football seasons. Now, the districts have consolidated.

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the newly-formed Ypsilanti Community Schools will field its first ever football team tonight as the Grizzlies host the Milan Big Reds. 

Tonight marks the first-ever football game for the new Ypsilanti Community Schools Grizzlies.

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Arts and Entertainment
4:57 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

EMU Marching Band teaches Football Team the School Fight Song

EMU football players and marching band members come together at Rynearson Stadium.
Credit Bob Eccles

Eastern Michigan University's marching band taught the football team the school fight song Thursday afternoon at Rynearson Stadium.

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports on this annual tradition:

Bob Eccles reports

Education
5:46 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Ypsilanti Community Schools To Lease Out Building, Two Others Unused

When classes start in Ypsilanti Community Schools next week, there will be some buildings that won't be in use. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles has a look at what'll happen with those buildings:

Newly formed Ypsilanti Community Schools won't use all of he buildings that comprised the individual Ypsilanti and Willow Run districts.

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Education
7:46 am
Wed August 28, 2013

YCS Looks Forward To Better Transportation For Students

The newly-formed Ypsilanti Community Schools begin classes next Tuesday. The district results from the merger of the former Ypsilanti and Willow Run districts. Last year, each district faced bussing and transportation issues, in large part due to student crossover in the separate districts. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the transportation system for students is expected to run more smoothly this academic year.

Transportation expected to run more smoothly for students in the newly-formed Ypsilanti Community Schools.

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March on Washington
5:43 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

EMU to Mark 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights March

Eastern Michigan University will mark the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington Wednesday with a ceremony at Martin Luther King Jr. Gardens. 

President Susan Martin will welcome guests to the event at just before three o'clock Wednesday afternoon.  At three, bells and chimes will ring on campus, and Dr. King's speech will be played. 

Following the speech, closing remarks will be offered by State Representative David Rutledge and EMU professor Donald Woods.  Dr. Woods teaches in the university's Department of Africology and African-American Studies. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gardens are located near Welch Hall, off Cross Street on the south side of the EMU campus.

local news
6:27 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

EMU Professor Reflects on 1963 Civil Rights March

Dr. Ronald Woods
Credit www.emich.edu

WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with Dr. Ronald Woods, an Eastern Michigan University professor and the first head of the school's Department of African-American Studies.  They talked about the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, D.C. and more.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Community
10:53 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Ypsilanti's Mayor Pro Tem Marks Civil Rights March Anniversary

Ypsilanti Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson.
Credit Bob Eccles

As marchers descend on Washington, D.C. this weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march, Ypsilanti Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson is among them.

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Click here to listen to Bob's report.

Community
9:31 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Medical Marijuana Conference this weekend in Ann Arbor

Credit “Caveman Chuck” Coker / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

The city of Ann Arbor is hosting the fifth Michigan Medical Marijuana Conference this weekend.


The conference is designed to help educate medical marijuana growers and activists, and will include a variety speakers, panel discussions, and classes.

Conference director Ed Gorski says they chose Ann Arbor to host the event for the third time because of the city's progressive nature towards medical marijuana.

Gorski expects around 500 people to attend.

Community
9:28 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Parkridge Summer Festival is Saturday

The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development will be hosting a community day in conjunction with the Parkridge Summer Festival this weekend.

Those who attend the festival will also be able to get information on free or low-cost services offered in the county.

Community and Economic Development Director, Mary Jo Callan says there will be around forty tables and booths with information on programs and services that range from youth services, to senior services, veteran's services, health services, eviction prevention, job training programs, and many more.

The Parkridge Summer Festival and Community Day happens Saturday, August 24th, from 11:00 am to 8:30 pm at Parkridge Park.

Education
9:26 am
Fri August 23, 2013

More Ann Arbor Teachers Recalled

Credit AAPS

The Ann Arbor public school district continues to recall teachers laid off in the spring, but as WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the pace has slowed to a trickle.

Andrew Cluley Reports

Community
9:23 am
Fri August 23, 2013

New Ann Arbor Shopping Center draws Big Crowds

Ann Arbor's newest shopping center may not be completely finished, but it had packed crowds for its grand opening Thursday. WEMU's Andrew Cluley has the story.

Click here to listen to Andrew's report.

Community
10:57 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Ypsilanti Restaurant to Shine in National Spotlight

Credit Bob Eccles

The national spotlight will be shining on a fixture of our local restaurant scene this weekend, as Haab's is featured on the QVC Network. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story:

Hear Bob's story here.

Education
10:03 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board Approves Participation in Washtenaw Education Options Consortium

Credit AAPS

Andrew Cluley Reports

The Ann Arbor School Board has approved an agreement on participating in the Washtenaw Education Operations Consortium.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the board has some concerns, but unanimously approved the deal so that students will be able to participate in three programs this year.

Local News
10:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Ann Arbor Voters to decide School Millage Renewal

Hear Andrew's report here.

The Ann Arbor School Board has voted to put a renewal of the district's sinking fund millage on the November ballot. WEMU's Andrew Cluley has the story.

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