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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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.

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.

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