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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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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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
9:28 am
Thu January 24, 2013

New District Forming Advisory Committees

Attend a meeting tonight at Willow Run High School to form Advisory Groups and an overview of the unification process.

  If you have some time to spare helping create the unified Willow Run-Ypsilanti school district, you'll want to attend a meeting tonight at Willow Run High School.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
9:22 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Name Choices Down to Three for New District

  A committee has identified the top three choices for a name for the unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Business
8:47 am
Wed January 23, 2013

City Approves Sidetrack Tax Abatement

Exterior of Sidetrack

Ypsilanti's city council has approved a tax break to help with renovation and expansion of the Sidetrack Bar and Grill in Depot Town.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles. 

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Education
9:27 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Process for Naming New District Continues Tonight

Credit Creative Commons/ Public Domain

The process of identifying a name for the unified Willow Run-Ypsilanti school district takes another step forward this evening.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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State Government
9:34 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Rutledge Wants More Help for Local Governments

A local state legislator says he'll be closely watching Governor Snyder's state-of-the-state address tonight, hoping to hear a plan for more help for struggling local governments.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Health
10:49 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Flu Outbreak Prompts Some Hospitals to Restrict Visitors

This winter's flu outbreak has prompted three Grand Rapids hospitals to ask visitors who are sick to go home and come back when they're well.  There are no such restrictions in place locally so far.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Education
8:42 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Technology Audit for Ypsi-Willow Run Schools

The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board has approved a technology audit.  Hear more on the audit's findings from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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State Government
8:39 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Zemke Says Education and Jobs are Top Priorities

Newly-elected 55th district state representative Adam Zemke says he's ready to get to work in Lansing, with education and jobs topping his list of priorities.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti
8:41 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Better Buildings Program Reaches Milestone in Ypsilanti

The city of Ypsilanti is the first community enrolled in the Better Buildings for Michigan program to reach 200 homes that have had an energy audit through the program.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Developing
5:16 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Ypsilanti Police Update Julia Niswender Death Investigation

Investigators say they're still waiting for toxicology results, forensic laboratory analysis and a final autopsy report as they continue their investigation into the death of Eastern Michigan University junior Julia Niswender.  Niswender was found dead in her off-campus apartment about a month ago.  Her death is being investigated as a homicide.  Police say they continue to "investigate and interview a number of subjects", and are working closely with Niswender's family.  Anyone with information that could be useful to investigators is urged to call Detective Sgt.

Ypsilanti City Council
10:04 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Benefits Reduced for New Hires in Ypsilanti

A resolution adopted Tuesday night by Ypsilanti's city council reduces benefits new city hires will receive compared to current workers.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti - Willow Run Schools
11:36 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Neighborhood Elementary Schools to Stay Open

Parents with kids in Ypsilanti and Willow Run neighborhood elementary schools can breathe a little easier.  The unified school board has adopted a resolution keeping those schools open next year.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti City Council
10:26 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Council Sets Goals for 2013

Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange (l) and Mayor Paul Schreiber
Credit Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti's city council has set its list of priorities for 2013.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has details on council's goal-setting session.

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Education
8:51 am
Thu January 3, 2013

New Name Needed for New District

Now's your chance to suggest a name for the new unified Ypsilanti and Willow Run School district.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Eastern Michigan University
10:26 am
Thu December 27, 2012

EMU Reaches Contract With Lecturers

Eastern Michigan University and the union representing about 100 full-time lecturers have reached tentative agreement on a four-year contract.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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University of Michigan
9:14 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Updates to Animal Research Website

A University of Michigan website used by students and researchers around the world has been updated to improve its appearance and ease of use.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

Report on Animal Web

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Education
8:48 am
Thu December 20, 2012

State Poised to Help New Ypsilanti-Willow Run School District

Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Mensel met with state Treasurer Andy Dillon earlier this week, seeking assistance in wiping out an operational deficit in the newly combined Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district.   Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Ypsilanti City Council
9:33 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Ypsilanti Stays with Chamber of Commerce

Council members Susan Moeller and Brian Robb joined Pete Murdock in voting to leave chamber.
Credit Bob Eccles

The city of Ypsilanti will maintain its membership in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce.  A resolution to withdraw form the organization was defeated Tuesday night.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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