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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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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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
1:34 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Group Hopes to Expand Camp Scholarship Program

An organization that helps send low-income kids to summer camp hopes to reach out to more children through the unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti City Council
9:38 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Council Members Appointed to Collaboration Committee

New committee formed between local government's and Eastern Michigan University should provide a pathway for more efficient collaborations.
Credit Creative Commons- giveawayboy

The city of Ypsilanti will be represented on a committee created to make collaboration between the city, Ypsilanti Township, and Eastern Michigan University more efficient.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti City Council
9:41 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Council Backs More Urban Gardening in Ypsilanti

Disagreement Tuesday night over the issue of hoop houses and greenhouses nearly scuttled legislation before Ypsilanti's city council designed to expand urban gardening opportunities.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Local News
1:17 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Unified Board Discusses Superintendent Options

A large crowd gathered for Monday night's unified Ypsi-Willow Run school board meeting at the Ypsilanti district administration building.
Credit Bob Eccles

The board representing the unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district last night discussed the superintendent selection process.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Eastern Michigan University
9:57 am
Mon February 18, 2013

'Live Ypsi' Gets Second Year of Funding

A pilot program designed to encourage more Eastern Michigan University employees to live in the city of Ypsilanti has been so successful, it's getting a second year of funding.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Local News
6:26 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

EMU Astronomy Professor Talks About Meteors And Other Celestial Hazards

Sherzer Observatory, Eastern Michigan University
Credit Bob Eccles

WEMU's Bob Eccles speaks with Eastern Michigan University astronomy professor Norbert Vance about Friday's meteor over Russia and asteroid fly-by.

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Local News
10:25 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Board Interviews Internal Superintendent Candidates

Willow Run Superintendent Laura Lisiscki
Credit Bob Eccles

The school board for the unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district last night interviewed three internal candidates to be the district's superintendent.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Local News
5:20 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Water Quality Monitoring In Huron River Watershed

WEMU's Bob Eccles speaks with Watershed Planner Ric Lawson about results of the Huron River Watershed Council's 2012 water quality monitoring.

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Eastern Michigan University
9:25 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Gaming for Good

Gamers Outreach Foundation

An Eastern Michigan University marketing student is getting some pretty high-profile attention for a charity he created.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

Gamers Outreach Foundation

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Public Safety
11:06 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Training to Respond to Tragedy

Credit Bob Eccles

It's a scenario no police department wants to be called to respond to, but one for which they must be prepared.  WEMU's Bob Eccles joined officers from the Ypsilanti and Eastern Michigan University police departments this weekend for "active shooter" training.

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Postal Service
8:43 am
Thu February 7, 2013

USPS to End Saturday Mail Delivery

Credit Steve 2.0/Creative Commons

The United States Postal Service's plan to end Saturday mail deliveries is getting mixed reviews in downtown Ypsilanti.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Local News
6:02 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Website Helps Celebrate University Of Michigan History

WEMU's Bob Eccles has a conversation with the folks behind the University of Michigan's Heritage Project.

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Ypsilanti City Council
9:05 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Ypsi Backs Withdrawal from Regional Transit Authority

Ypsilanti's city council has approved a resolution supporting Ann Arbor's efforts to have Washtenaw County excluded from the regional transit authority for southeast Michigan.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
9:29 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Layoffs Required to Start New District

  The school board representing the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts has adopted resolutions to lay off both districts' entire workforce effective June 30th.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Education
1:48 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Unified Board Meeting Decision

There are a couple of big decisions to be made at tonight's meeting of the school board representing the Ypsilanti, Willow Run and unified school districts.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
9:07 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Name Choices Narrowed to Two for Unified District

We're getting closer to having a name for the unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Local News
5:44 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

100 Candles For Hill Auditorium

Hill Auditorium celebrates its centennial this year.  WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with Facilities Manager Shannon Rice and Senior Performance Hall Operations Manager Barry LaRue about Hill's past, present and future.

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Crime
8:43 am
Wed January 30, 2013

EMU Student Death Ruled a Homicide

EMU students, faculty and staff join friends and family of Julia Niswender to remember her at a candlelight vigil back in December at the EMU Lakehouse.
Credit Bob Eccles

The death of Eastern Michigan University student Julia Niswender has been ruled a homocide, but investigators are still not saying what caused her death.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Developing
2:51 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Niswender Death Ruled a Homicide, No Suspects Identified

The death of Eastern Michigan University student Julia Niswender has been ruled a homicide.  That's according to final autopsy results from the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner's office, which says toxicology results did not yield any conclusive information.  Niswender was found dead in her off-campus apartment December 11th.  A suspect has not been identified, but a press release indicates that Ypsilanti Police, State Police and Federal agencies "continue to utilize all available tools and investigate all possible sources of information" regarding the case.  Anyone with information that c

Politics
10:02 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rutledge Says Part Time Legislature Would Hurt Citizens

David E. Rutledge 54th District State Representative (D)

State lawmakers are considering whether they could get their work done on a part-time basis, but one local legislator doesn't like the idea.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Local News
5:14 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Dealing With Email Phishing, Viruses and More

WEMU's Bob Eccles recently spoke with Eastern Michigan University's Chief Information Officer Dr. Carl Powell about dealing with phishing, viruses and other hazards of the online world.

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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
8:38 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Working Groups Formed for Unified School District

Early Childhood working group meets at Willow Run Intermediate Learning Center.
Credit Bob Eccles

There was a good turnout Thursday night for a meeting to set up working groups that'll help move the process of unifying the Willow Run and Ypsilanti school districts forward.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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