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
7:10 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Trick-or-Treat Hours for Local Communities

Credit therapycatguardian / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

It's Halloween, and while many communities in the area are holding trick-or-treat hours from six 'til eight tonight, there are a few exceptions. 

  • In Chelsea and Dexter, trick-or-treating takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
  • Manchester's trick-or-treat hours are 5 p.m.  to 7 p.m.. 
  • Kids in Ann Arbor get an hour more than ghosts and goblins in most other communities to gather treats: five 'til eight. 
  • In Ypsilanti, trick-or-treating starts at dusk, with no specific end time.

Special events planned tonight include:

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports

Eastern Michigan University
7:07 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

EMU Officials Meet with Students Again to Talk Safety

Eastern Michigan University has launched a new website with information about off-campus housing as part of its ongoing efforts to improve safety on and around campus. 

The website includes neighborhood crime stats and questions students should ask when apartment hunting. 

EMU Vice President of Communication Walter Kraft says it's very important that the university provide the information and resources to help students make good, wise and informed choices on where to live.

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Safety
7:05 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Police offer Halloween Safety Tips

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports on Halloween safety tips

Local police want you and your kids to be safe if you'll be out trick-or-treating Thursday night.

With low visibility, awareness of your surroundings is key.  Choosing a costume that doesn't inhibit your vision, and using a flashlight are two tips from Ann Arbor police.

Officer Candace Dorsey of the Eastern Michigan University police department says being visible to drivers is important.

And officer Dorsey says monitoring your intake of alcohol is critical to having a safe Halloween.

Community
8:28 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

A Day in the Life of an Arbor Hospice Therapy Dog [PHOTOS]

Bob (l) with Jean VanFaasen (c) and Helen Buccella-Costa (r)
Jaclyn Klein

Back in July we introduced you to Arbor Hospice volunteer Helen Buccella-Costa and Alpine, the therapy dog. Helen was a finalist for the Governor's Service Award for Volunteer of the Year.

WEMU's Bob Eccles spent a day tagging along with Helen and Alpine as they made their rounds in the community.

Click here for Bob's report.

Music
8:19 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

A Preview of the 37th Ann Arbor Folk Festival

The 37th Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Credit The Ark

One of the biggest music weekends in Ann Arbor is just around the corners. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the 37th annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival is just three months away. 

Click here to hear Bob's report.

See below for a selection of musicians from the festival lineup:

Local News
8:16 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Halloween can be Dangerous for Pets

Halloween is a time for candy treats and fun costumes, but as WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, it can be a frightening and potentially deadly time for pets.

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Politics
6:46 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Local Reaction to Michigan Senate Approving Common Core Funding

The Michigan Senate has restored funding to implement the Common Core educational standards. WEMU's Bob Eccles has reaction from one local school district.

Click to listen to Bob's report.

Public Transportation
6:41 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

The Ride ready for Transit Center Demolition with Temporary Location

Credit Facebook/TheRide

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's Blake Transit Center is being torn down soon, so riders will be directed to a new temporary location. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports.

Click here to hear Bob's report.

Community
6:39 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Ypsi Community High School Sign finds Ypsi and Willow Run Grads Working Together

Ypsilanti Community High School can thank graduates of the former Ypsilanti and Willow Run high schools for a new electronic sign.

   

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Click here for Bob's report.

Community
8:22 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Cold Weather Especially Difficult for area Homeless

Credit Creative Commons/ moriza

Life is difficult enough for Washtenaw County's roughly 4,500 homeless residents, but as WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, when overnight temperatures start to drop, things can get downright dangerous.  

Bob Eccles Reports

Local News
8:17 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Ann Arbor Justice Center Hosts Drug Take-Back Program Saturday

Credit Virginia Guard Public Affairs / Foter / CC BY-NC

Ann Arbor police and several other law enforcement agencies are partnering with the DEA for Saturday's National Prescription Take-Back Program.  

WEMU's Bob Eccles has details.

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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.

Read more

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