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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Local News
8:25 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

EMU College of Business Makes It 10 Straight Years on Princeton Review List

Eastern Michigan University's College of Business has done it again - making the Princeton Review's list of top business schools in the country for the 10th straight year. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Hear Bob's report here.

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Local News
7:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Free and Reduced Cost Lunch Program Unscathed by Government Shutdown - So Far

The program that offers students from low-income families the chance to enjoy a free or reduced cost lunch has not been affected by the partial federal government shutdown - yet. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Local News
7:30 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Ypsi Police Chief Hiring Process Moving Forward

The process of finding Ypsilanti's next Chief of Police is moving forward, with the application period closing Monday. WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

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Local News
7:54 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Michigan AMBER Alert System OK Despite Partial Government Shutdown

Michigan's AMBER Alert system won't be affected by the partial federal government shutdown. WEMU's Bob Eccles has more. 

Click here to listen to Bob's report.

Arts & Culture
7:51 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

New Public Art Dedication In Ann Arbor

A new piece of public art that hangs in the second floor of the Justice Center lobby in Ann Arbor is being dedicated Thursday evening. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Hear Bob's report here.

Local News
7:49 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Local Boards and Commissions need Volunteers

If you've been itching to do your civic duty, this may be the chance you've been waiting for.  As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, more than a dozen Washtenaw County boards and commissions are seeking volunteers who'd like to serve.

Click here to hear Bob's report.

Local News
6:31 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Ann Arbor-Saline Road to get Face-lift

Ann Arbor-Saline Road between Oak Valley Drive and Eisenhower Parkway is getting some much needed attention. WEMU's Bob Eccles has a look at the upcoming construction project.

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Local News
6:24 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

U-of-M Launching Most Ambitious Fundraising Campaign in its History

The University of Michigan next month will officially launch the most ambitious fundraising campaign in school history. WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

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Local News
6:22 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

HSHV Named Best Large Shelter by Michigan Pet Fund Alliance

The Humane Society of Huron Valley is being hailed as the Best Large Animal Shelter in the state by the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the award recognizes the shelter for having the best "save rate" in 2012.

Hear Bob's report here.

Education
2:26 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Ypsilanti Community Schools Approve $158k Alarm Systems; Hires Gibelyou As Facilities Director

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education last night approved replacing the alarm systems in several district buildings.  Superintendent Scott Menzel maintains that most of the new systems are being installed in former Willow Run school district buildings.

Bob Eccles has the full story:

Bob Eccles Reports

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Local News
8:28 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

National Solar Tour comes to Ypsi This Weekend

The National Solar Tour is coming to Ypsilanti this weekend.

You'll be able to visit nearly a dozen buildings - including a few homes - that have solar panels, and learn about solar energy at each site.

The event is organized by SolarYpsi. Founder Dave Strenski says says the sites on the tour will include the Corner Brewery, the Ypsilanti Food Co-op, Adams STEM Academy, and City Hall.

The tour runs from 10am to 4pm Saturday.  For a complete list of tour sites or more information visit SolarYpsi.org.

http://solarypsi.org

Local News
8:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

EMU and Thomas Cooley Law School Team Up

Eastern Michigan University and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School are now offering four joint degree programs.

The schools have formed a partnership allowing students to take up to six masters level course credits from either institution's program and apply them toward their degree. 

Programs will be offered in educational leadership, health administration, business administration, and human resource and organizational development.

Community
11:51 am
Fri October 4, 2013

4th Annual City-Wide Open House In Ypsilanti

If you've been thinking about buying a home in Ypsilanti, this weekend is your chance to find out more about what's available. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles has more:

Bob Eccles Reports

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Local News
7:29 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

U-of-M Boasts New Online Sustainability Journal

A new online journal launched this week by the University of Michigan's Graham Sustainability Institute makes academic sustainability research easier to understand and use. 

Institute Doctoral Fellow and and Michigan Sustainability Journal Editor Nicholas Rajkovich says the journal grew out of a conversation between students on where they could publish their research.

Rajkovich says policy makers and stake holders in different communities can use the Michigan Sustainability Journal to help them make decisions.

Hear WEMU's Bob Eccles' report here.

Government
10:20 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Ypsilanti Firefighters Contract Approved

Credit City of Ypsilanti

The president of Ypsilanti's fire fighters union says with last night's City Council approval of a new contract, the proposed Public Service Officer model is dead.  

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story:

The new contract for Ypsilanti Firefighters wins city council approval.

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Local News
5:16 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Ann Arbor-based Organization Counts Stray Dogs in Detroit

Credit wa2s.org

The Ann Arbor-based World Animal Awareness Society recently completed a census of the stray dog population in the city of Detroit. WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with WA2S Executive Director Tom McPhee about the effort.

Click here for the interview.

Public Safety
5:39 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Pittsfield Township Fire Fighters Practice Plane Crash Response [PHOTOS]

Pittsfield Township fire fighters practice responding to a small plane crash at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport
Bob Eccles

Pittsfield Township fire fighters this week are training for a scenario they hope they'll never encounter in real life - the crash of a small plane at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport. WEMU's Bob Eccles tagged along. 

Bob Eccles reports

Public Health
4:54 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

HSHV Removes 88 Cats from Ypsilanti Township Home

A vet examines one of the 88 cats taken from a home in Ypsilanti Township
Humane Society of Huron Valley

Cruelty investigators with the Humane Society of Huron Valley found horrendous conditions in a home in Ypsilanti Township from which 88 malnourished, flea-bitten cats have been removed. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Click here for Bob's report.

Transit
12:36 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Pittsfield Township Considers Expanded AAATA Service

Credit TheRide / Ann Arbor Transportation Authority

Pittsfield Township is considering a new five-year agreement with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority that would include expanded service.   

Bob Eccles Reports

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Community
2:36 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

EMU Students Say They Don't Text and Drive

Credit ItCanWait.com

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office wants drivers to pledge not to text and drive.  As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, students attending Eastern Michigan University's Homecoming football game this past weekend seem to already be on board.

Click here for Bob's report.

Technology
2:56 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Drivers Would Pay More for a Car with Carbon Capture Technology

Credit umtri.umich.edu

Would you be willing to pay more for a car that comes with a carbon capture system?  As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, drivers responding to a University of Michigan survey said yes, they would.

Click here for Bob's report.

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.

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