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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Humane Society of Huron Valley
9:31 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Cats Make Spring a Busy Time for Humane Society

The Humane Society of Huron Valley is almost always a busy place, but things really pick up in the spring.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Washtenaw County
9:03 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Washtenaw County Second in SE Michigan for Organ and Tissue Donor Registry

Credit Creative Commons- M. Martilla

When it comes to the percentage of adults registered as organ and tissue donors, Washtenaw County is second only to Lenawee County.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/clerk_register/gift-of-life  

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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
9:31 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Consolidated District Sets Schools Configuration

Unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board member Tony VanDerworp
Credit Bob Eccles

High school students in the new Ypsilanti Community School District will attend Ypsilanti High School next year.  Middle school students will attend classes at what is now Willow Run High School and the adjoining Willow Run Intermediate Learning Center.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Gay Marriage
10:11 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Local LGBT Community Closely Watches Supreme Court

Human Rights Campaign's logo, which is usually a yellow "equals" sign on a blue background, has been changed to a pink sign on a red background to support gay marriage.

The local LGBT community is closely following the U.S. Supreme Court's tackling of the issue of gay marriage.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Local News
5:43 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Movie with Local Connections Opens Friday at Michigan Theater

Credit Deep Blue Pictures, LLC

"Love and Honor", a movie with many connections to the Ann Arbor community, opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.

The movie marks the directorial debut of Danny Mooney, an Ann Arbor actor and filmmaker who graduated from Pioneer High School and the University of Michigan.

Much of the film was shot in Ann Arbor.  It tells the story of a soldier who gets a "Dear John" letter while serving in Vietnam.  He and his buddy decide to travel halfway around the world to return to Ann Arbor in the hopes of changing the girl's mind.

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Ypsilanti
2:22 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium Proposed in Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson
Credit Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson thinks it's time for a moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. 

Talks are underway which could lead to a new dispensary on the east side of South Huron street, just north of I-94.  Richardson says the city doesn't need another dispensary.

Richardson says Ypsilanti Township limits medical marijuana dispensaries, and the city should, too.  She has not made an official proposal to limit the number of dispensaries in the city, but she appears to have support from at least two of her colleagues on city council. 

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Local News
3:19 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Meeting Saturday on Building Use and Small Learing Communities

Unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board
Credit Bob Eccles

This weekend you have the chance to learn more about the Small Learning Communities educational model chosen for middle and high school students in the Ypsilanti Community Schools. 

A public meeting Saturday will also help to determine which school buildings are best suited for Small Learning Communities, and which might not be used next year.

Saturday's meeting runs from ten to noon at Ypsilanti New Tech at Ardis, 2100 Ellsworth Road. 

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Developing
4:42 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Witnesses to Fatal Crash Sought

Credit eWashtenaw.org

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office hopes someone who witnessed a deadly crash in Ypsilanti Township Wednesday will come forward to help investigators piece together what happened. 

The crash happened around 6:10 Wednesday evening on Hewitt near Valley when one vehicle crossed the center line and hit an oncoming vehicle head-on.  The driver of the car that crossed the line was killed. 

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Parks and Recreaction
2:16 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Pieces Of Border-To-Border Trail Falling Into Place

Credit eWashtenaw.org

The Washtenaw County Border-to-Border Trail is a step closer to completion, thanks to an easement obtained by the City of Ypsilanti from Fischer Honda on Michigan Avenue. 

Ypsilanti City Planner Teresa Gillotti says the easement will clear the way for a pedestrian bridge to be built from Riverside Park to a corner of the Fischer Honda property, with an improved Michigan Avenue crossing then linking the trail to the Water Street re-development area. 

Gillotti says the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission is covering the $38,000 cost of the easement.

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Local News
10:15 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Generational Differences Evident At Mascot/School Colors Forum

Some of the animal-related mascot suggestions for Ypsilanti Community Schools
Credit Bob Eccles

A group of about 35 people, most of them students, got together last night in the Ypsilanti High School media center to talk about mascot and school colors suggestions for Ypsilanti Community Schools. 

The generational divide between the students and the adults was obvious, as most of the adults favored a mascot with historical significance, such as Bombers or Liberators, and the kids preferred something new, like Royals or Grizzlies. 

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Ypsilanti City Council
2:37 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Urban Gardening Measure Approved

Credit Creative Commons- Sown Together

Ypsilanti residents can plan for nice vegetable gardens on their property this summer, now that city council has approved an ordinance text amendment to allow for urban gardens in residential yards and vacant lots.  

City Planner Teresa Gillotti says gardens can be grown in front, side and back yards, but must be set back three feet from the sidewalk and cannot obstruct the view for motorists. 

Gillotti says area churches have been among those anxious to put vacant city lots to good use by planting gardens.

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Ypsilanti City Council
12:56 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Council Delays Family Dollar Plan for Water Street

Ypsilanti's city council has put off a decision on a purchase agreement that would have a Family Dollar store built on the northeast corner of the Water Street redevelopment area.  The delay is due, in part,  to the city's master plan update.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Local News
5:01 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

New York Times columnist speaks at EMU

New York Times Columnist addressing the audience during his "Times Talk" at the EMU Student Center
Credit Patrick Holubik

New York Times  columnist Joe Nocera spoke Tuesday afternoon at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center auditorium. The EMU Student Government brought Mr. Nocera to campus to talk about "How to fix big-time college sports". WEMU's Bob Eccles had the chance to speak with Mr. Nocera before his appearance.

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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
8:35 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Board Acts on Layoffs and Schools of Choice

Unified board President David Bates
Credit Bob Eccles

The joint Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board approved layoffs and schools of choice designation at its meeting Monday night.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Local News
4:10 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Mascot, colors forum for unified district Saturday

The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district holds a public forum Saturday morning to give the public a chance to talk about suggestions that have been received for a district mascot and colors. 

Board member Maria Sheler-Edwards is co-chair of the committee looking into mascots and colors.  She says the process will be similar to the way the district's name was chosen, with a pair of public forums to narrow the options down.  She says a final recommendation is expected at the board's March 28th meeting. 

Local News
3:13 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Dexter Marks 1 Year Anniversary Of Tornado

It's been exactly one year since an F-3 tornado tore through the Village of Dexter, damaging some 400 homes, with 36 of those homes suffering major damage.

Dexter Village Assistant Manager Courtney Nichols says there 's still some repair work going on, specifically at the car wash and the laundromat.  She says most of the homes have been repaired or re-built. 

Nichols says it was very fortunate that the financial cost to the village was only $45,000, which mainly went to cover clean-up and tree removal service.

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Local News
11:01 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Year-Round School Recommendation Accepted

Unified school board members Dan Raglin (l) and Tony VanDerworp
Credit Bob Eccles

The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board last night accepted a recommendation that the consolidated district move toward a year-round educational model.  The board's High Quality Teachers and Teaching Advisory Committee believes year-round school will help keep students from losing much of what they've learned over an extended summer break.  The board will now establish a work team to look into the different types of balanced calendar models and figure out which is best for the district.  The public's input on the idea will also be sought.  Year-round school wouldn't begin until the 20

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Ypsilanti
11:05 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Opening Gathering for Master Plan Update

AECOM Liveable Transportation Engineer Ian Lockwood addresses Tuesday night's opening gathering.
Credit Bob Eccles

About 30 people got together Tuesday night at the Riverside Arts Center to learn more about the process of updating the city of Ypsilanti’s Master Plan.  WEMU’s Bob Eccles has the story.

shapeypsi.com

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Local News
3:16 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Boil Water Advisory Lifted

Credit Bob Eccles

The boil water advisory that had been in effect for Ann Arbor's northeast side has been lifted.  The city says tests have confirmed the water is safe to use.  The advisory was put in place after the system lost pressure during routine valve maintenance.

Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
9:08 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Public Forum Saturday for New School District

The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board holds a public forum Saturday at noon to update progress toward merging the districts, and to address questions and concerns from the public.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti
9:38 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Schreiber Delivers State-of-the-City Address

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber gives his State-of-the-City speech
Credit Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber gave his state-of-the-city address Tuesday night.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles. 

Full interview:

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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
9:59 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Now Hiring: Teachers for New School District

Credit creative commons- mag3737

Teachers in the Ypsilanti-Willow Run school districts who would like to work in the new unified district have between now and March 15th to apply.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Aviation
5:17 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

A Conversation with Yankee Air Museum Executive Director Kevin Walsh

The Yankee Air Museum's B-17G bomber, "Yankee Lady".
Credit Bob Eccles

WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with Yankee Air Museum Executive Director Kevin Walsh about the museum's "Fly Me To The Moon" exhibit and other museum happenings.

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Ypsilanti City Council
10:54 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Council Considers Street Lighting Assessment

Ypsilanti's city council held a work session Tuesday night to discuss a possible special assessment for street lights.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
9:28 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Crowd Boos Superintendent Plan

Former Ypsilanti school board member Floyd Brumfield urges the joint Ypsi-Willow Run board to hire Ypsi Superintendent Dedrick Martin to lead unified district.
Credit Bob Eccles

The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board voted Monday night to have the Washtenaw Intermediate School District provide superintendent services during the transition period.   Not many in the audience were happy with that decision.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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