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
12:06 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

State Reps Rutledge And Rogers Address YCS Board Of Education

State Representatives David Rutledge (l) and Bill Rogers address the Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education.
Credit Bob Eccles

Democratic State Representative David Rutledge and his Republican colleague Bill Rogers addressed the Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education at its organizational meeting Monday morning.  Click below to hear their comments.

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Local News
11:33 am
Mon July 1, 2013

YCS Born As Board Members Sworn In

State Representative David Rutledge administers the Oath of Office to trustees of the Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education.
Credit Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Community Schools district was officially born this morning, as the Board of Education held its organizational meeting.

The Oath of Office was administered to trustees by State Representative David Rutledge.

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Education
7:16 am
Mon July 1, 2013

A Look Back At The Process Of Forming The New Ypsilanti Community Schools

Credit Patrik Holubik / WEMU

It's been three years in the making: The unification of the Ypsilanti and Willow Run School Districts becomes official today. WEMU's Bob Eccles has been covering the merger since the conversation first began, and takes a look back at the process that brought us to today.

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Education
6:27 am
Mon July 1, 2013

The New Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Holds First Organizational Meeting

  An organizational meeting this morning wraps up eight months of intense work and preparation for the creation of the Ypsilanti and Willow Run School Districts. Bob Eccles has a preview of today's first-ever session for the new Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education.

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Local News
6:20 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Ann Arbor Superintendent Semi-Finalists Identified

  The Ann Arbor school district has identified the six semi-finalists to be the district's next superintendent, and a couple of them are local. 

Dr. Henry Hastings is a full-time instructor at Eastern Michigan University, and Dr. Benjamin Edmondson is principal of Ann Arbor's Roberto Clemente High School. 

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Education
8:25 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Ypsilanti Community Schools Consider Name Changes for Buildings

Unified School District brings several new changes preparing for the start of the year.
Credit Patrik Holubik / WEMU

 The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run School Board Thursday night discussed changing the names of several district buildings. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the potential changes aim to better reflect the mission of each facility within the new Ypsilanti Community Schools.

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Education
8:18 am
Fri June 28, 2013

EMU Early College Alliance Wins Recognition

Credit Flickr/Chelsea Foster Design / Eastern Michigan University Early College Alliance

The Engineering Society of Detroit on Thursday evening, recognized  the Director of the Eastern Michigan University's Early college Alliance for his program leadership. 

For more details, listen to the podcast above.

 

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Local News
4:10 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

EMU ECA Director Receives Award

The director of Eastern Michigan University's Early College Alliance has been named a recipient of the Engineering Society of Detroit's David A. Skiven Leadership Award. 

David Dugger says he's honored to receive the recongition.

He says the Engineering Society of Detroit likes the kind of work EMU's Early College Alliance is doing. 

Dugger says area high school students have taken 25-thousand college credit hours through E-C-A since 2008, attaining a grade of C or better 86 percent of the time. 

Local News
4:12 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

More Advising Options For EMU Students

Eastern Michigan University students have a new place to turn for a wide variety of advising issues.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more in the new advising center, funded thanks to a donation from a member of the Board of Regents.

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Local News
4:53 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

U of M Health System Reports Record Number Of Patients Served

Credit www2.med.umich.edu

A record number of patients were served by the University of Michigan Health System in the last year, and their satifaction with their care was at a record high, as well. 

The U-of-M Health System briefed the university's Board of Regents today, saying it should break even financially when the fiscal year ends June 30th, with revenue of $2.37 billion. 

Hospitals and Health Centers C-E-O Doug Strong told the regents that patient care activity was up 4.1 percent, revenue climbed nine percent, and and surveys indicated record-high patient satisfaction. 

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Local News
3:02 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Public Weighs In On Ann Arbor Superintendent Search

The Ann Arbor school board has received a lot of input on what the community is looking for in the district's next superintendent.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, input has come in online, and through a series of small group meetings Wednesday.

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Local News
4:15 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Future Of Historic Bomber Plant Discussed

Later this week, bids to demolish most of the former Willow Run factory originally built to produce bombers during World War II will be opened.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, future environmental actions and redevelopment of the factory were the subject of a public meeting Tuesday night.

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Local News
4:11 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Ypsilanti On Verge Of Joining AATA

The city of Ypsilanti is on the verge of becoming a member of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authortiy.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Education
5:13 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

EMU Professor Planning Fundraising Bike Trip At Age 70

Credit courtesy/ Fike/ facebook

  An Eastern Michigan University professor is undertaking a 450-mile cycling trip starting June 29 in order to raise $4000 dollars to support Study Abroad programs at Eastern.

Even more amazing, he will making the 12-day journey at age 70, something many people in their 70's could not undertake.

John Fike is a part time lecturer in Eastern's political science department. He says Study Abroad programs are important because students who go to other countries to study come back more mature, more focused, and more rounded in their understanding of the world.

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Higher Education
3:06 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

EMU Regents Approve Budget, Set Tuition & Fee Rates

  Full time undergraduate students at Eastern Michigan University will spend about $340 more in tuition and fees next school year. 

The board of regents today approved a 3.75 percent increase in tuition and fees.

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Local News
2:23 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Greenway Along Western Edge Of Ann Arbor Moves Forward

Ann Arbor City Council has adopted a resolution committing to funding a project at 721 North Main.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the move means a proposed greenway along the city's western edge takes a couple of steps forward.

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Education
3:33 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Ypsilanti New Tech High School Hires New Principal

  A principal has been named for Ypsilanti New Tech High School beginning with the creation of Ypsilanti Community Schools on July 1st. 

Kelly Mickel most recently served as Health and Wellness Facilitator with Willow Run New Tech High School.  She has a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Health from Eastern Michigan University, along with a masters degree in Educational Leadership.

Mickel fills a position left open when Cory McElmeel accepted the position of principal at Ann Arbor's Skyline High School.

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Local News
2:52 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

ACLU says Ann Arbor Schools Should Not Charge For 7th Hour Classes

The ACLU of Michigan recently deemed an AAPS proposal to be unconstitutional
Credit aclu.org

  The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan wants Ann Arbor Public Schools to to re-think charging high school students for seventh hour classes.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has the story.

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Environment
2:49 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Michigan Researcher Suggests Shifting Greenhouse Focus

Credit RambergMediaImages / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

  A University of Michigan professor says improving the fuel efficiency of cars is a good thing, but he warns that alternative fuel vehicles are not the greenhouse gas "silver bullet" some make them out to be.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Education
10:31 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Progress in Ypsilanti- Willow Run Consolidation

The unified, Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board continues the march towards the July 1st, official launch of the district merger. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the board on Thursday night took care of some contract business.

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Local News
2:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Street Performances Encouraged In Ann Arbor

Downtown Ann Arbor sidewalks may become low-key concert venues more frequently.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more on a proposal to encourage street musicians.

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Local News
2:13 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Local Motorists Talk About High Gas Prices

With gas prices soaring, local motorists are as baffled as anyone else as to why we're paying so much to fill up our tanks.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Education
7:26 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Public May Purchase A Bit Of Ypsilanti High School History

In less than a month, the Ypsilanti Public School District will cease to exist, and the merger with Willow Run Schools will become official. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, those wishing to purchase what will soon be district artifacts, will have that opportunity this weekend.

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Public Safety
3:07 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Ypsi City Council Hears Fire Fighters' Presentation

Credit twitter.com

Despite warnings from the City Manager that it amounted to negotiating Ypsilanti fire fighters' contract in public, city council Tuesday night heard a presentation on why fire fighters don't like the idea of a hybrid police and fire department.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Health & Business
12:21 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium Fails in Ypsilanti

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

It was a split vote, but Ypsilanti City Council has turned away a proposal to put a hold on any new medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the 1st Ward Representatives on council failed to get passed their requested emergency moratorium on new licenses for such facilities.

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