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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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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Education
3:25 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Ypsilanti Community School Teachers Given Assignments

Teachers who'll be making the jump from the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts to Ypsilanti Community Schools have been given their building and grade assignments. 

Willow Run Superintendent Laura Lisiscki says trying to place teachers where they wanted to teach was a daunting task. 

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Education
10:21 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Calendar and Schedules Set for New Ypsilanti Community Schools

   Bell times, bus scheduling and an academic year calendar are now in place for the Ypsilanti Community School District that  begins its official existence on July 1st. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the decisions were finalized Monday night.

 

Education
7:26 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Farewell Party for Ypsilanti Public Schools Scheduled for Saturday

 A party on Saturday will serve as a farewell to the current Ypsilanti School District. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports After 164-years, the district will cease to exist when it officially merges with the Willow Run district to become Ypsilanti Community Schools.

 

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Local News
6:17 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Huron River Watershed Council Holds Resident Conversations

Credit hrwc.org

The Huron River Watershed Council is embarking on a series of "resident conversations" to hear concerns and answer questions from those who live along the water's edge.  WEMU's Bob Eccles interviewed HRWC Executive Director Laura Rubin about the effort.

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Safety
4:31 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Local Support For State Effort To Limit Fireworks Use

An Ypsilanti City Council member is applauding the state legislature for considering a measure that would allow local governments to restrict the hours during which consumer fireworks can be used. 

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Local News
6:43 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

ReImagine Washtenaw Holds Public Workshops

Credit washtenawavenue.org

ReImagine Washtenaw is holding a series of public workshops.  WEMU's Bob Eccles interviewed project manager Nathan Voght.

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Environment
8:02 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Insects Threaten Michigan Hemlock Trees, May Face Similar Fate as Ash Trees

Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), commonly abbreviated as HWA, is a true bug native to East Asia that feeds by sucking sap from hemlock and spruce trees.
Credit Agricultural Experiment Station / © Bugwood.org / CC-BY-3.0-US

Hemlock trees in Michigan face an insect threat similar to the bug that wiped out most of the state's ash trees.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story. 

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Education
8:12 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Ypsilanti Community Schools Schedule and Transportation Plan Near Completion

The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board last night talked about proposed bell times, transportation details and a district calendar for Ypsilanti Community Schools.  WEMU's Bob Eccles was there, and filed this report. 

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Business
5:54 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Locally Sourced, Bike Delivery Ice Cream to come to Ypsilanti

Credit goicecreamgo.com

Soon Ypsilanti residents will be able to have ice cream delivered at  home, with future plans to expand to Ann Arbor in the near future. WEMU's Bob Eccles sits down with Rob Hess,  of Go! Ice Cream to talk about his passion for ice cream and cycling.

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Public Safety
5:01 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Ypsi Firefighters to Present Hybrid Police/Fire Concerns to City Council

Credit cityofypsilanti.com

It looks as though Ypsilanti City Council will go ahead and allow the city's firefighters union to make a presentation on why it believes a hybrid police and fire model is wrong for Ypsilanti. 

City Manager Ralph Lange has recommended cross-training police to also respond to fires as a way to make the best use of city employees. 

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Transportation
6:27 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Ypsilanti Makes Request To Join AATA

Credit Facebook/TheRide

The City of Ypsilanti has made a formal request to join the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the details in his report. 

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Business
7:22 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Moratorium in Ypsilanti Delayed

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

As of today, there are six medical marijuana dispensaries in Ypsilanti and one grow facility. Some on city council believe that's enough. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, a proposed moratorium on new dispensaries went before city council last night, but no decision was reached. 

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Local News
4:44 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Washtenaw County Emergency Services Ready For Severe Weather

Credit eWashtenaw.org

Severe weather season is here, and Washtenaw County Emergency Services is making sure the county is well prepared for any nasty weather.

Emergency Services Director Marc Breckenridge says Washtenaw County is better prepared than most Michigan counties.  He says the county has around 400 trained SkyWarn severe weather spotters, and also works closely with area broadcasters to get the word out about severe weather.

Breckenridge says the county adds outdoor emergency sirens every year.  By the end of this year, he says 75 percent of Washtenaw County will be covered by sirens.

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Community Support
4:37 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Washtenaw Red Cross Ready To Help In Oklahoma

Credit facebook.com/RedCrossWC

The Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter of the American Red Cross is preparing for possible deployments to Oklahoma, following Monday's tornado that devastated the city of Moore, just outside Oklahoma City.

Executive Director Donna Duvin says the local chapter hasn't yet received any direct requests for assistance, but stands ready to help.

Duvin says in the event local volunteers are called upon to travel to the tornado-ravaged area, the Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter will still be ready to offer any help necessary to residents in this area.

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Marijuana In Ypsilanti
9:19 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Question Before Ypsilanti City Council

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

There are several items on the Ypsilanti City Council agenda tonight. AS WEMU's Bob Eccles explains, among the more interesting is consideration of a moratorium on licenses for new medical marijuana dispensaries.

Make sure to catch "Morning Edition"  with WEMU's David Fair on Wednesday for a full wrap-up of this evenings Ypsilanti City Council meeting.

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Local News
6:13 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

WCC Hosts House Subcommittee Hearing

Democratic State Representative Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor listens to testimony
Credit Bob Eccles

Washtenaw Community College hosted a hearing of the Michigan House Community College Subcommittee on Appropriations Monday afternoon.


WCC President Rose Bellanca told the subcommittee that it would be helpful if the state would help community colleges pay for developmental programs for students who aren't quite ready for college. 

She also thanked the panel for a proposed two-and-a-half percent increase in funding for community colleges.

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Local News
6:25 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Ann Arbor In Concert To Hold Inaugural Performance

Credit A2ic.org

The new performing arts group Ann Arbor in Concert holds its inaugural performance Saturday night at 8 at the Michigan Theater.  WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with a couple of the folks involved.

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Community
8:26 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Local cyclists organize 'Ride of Silence' in Ann Arbor, Ypsilani

The "Ride of Silence" takes place tonight, locally and around the country. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, cyclists from Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor will take part in the event honoring riders who have been hurt and killed.

For more info: RideofSilence.org

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