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.

Find Bob on Google + - Facebook - Twitter

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.

ypsilantidda.org

The last few months have seen the opening of a downtown Ypsilanti office of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and the Ypsilanti Running Company on W. Michigan Ave., and that's being viewed as a sign that people understand the value of being in downtown Ypsi.

 

emich.edu

Eastern Michigan University's student body president says the improvement in safety on and off campus from a year ago is "100 percent."  Desmond Miller and his fellow students return to class Wednesday.

Miller says EMU and the city of Ypsilanti have made safety a priority in the wake of the off-campus murder of student-athlete Demarius Reed last October and the un-solved homicide of student Julia Niswender in her off-campus apartment in December of 2012. 

wikimedia commons

Ypsilanti is gearing up for a celebration of the honey bee, but it comes at a time when the very existence of bees is being threatened by pesticides and other problems.

Estimates are that honey bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of our food supply, so local bee keeper Jamie Berlin doesn't even want to think of a world without bees. 

Bob Eccles

A family housing project proposed for the Water Street re-development area would bring with it roads and other infrastructure improvements that could lead to mroe development.  But Water Street Flats is still about a million-and-a-half dollars short of the state funding it needs to break ground.

Bob Eccles

The future of the Water Street Flats affordable housing project is very much in doubt.  It has received a little over half of the state funding needed to make it happen.  On Tuesday, developer Herman & Kittle will ask city council for more time to secure the additional funding.

 

flickr.com

If you have the day off Monday there's no shortage of events you can participate in to help celebrate working Americans.

The Detroit Jazz Festival wraps up Monday, as does the Saline Community Fair, being held at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds. 

Today's also your last chance to visit the traveling Vietnam Moving Wall at East Bennett Park in Whitmore Lake. 

Bob Eccles

Most college students will be back in the classroom next week, and many have been moving into their dorm rooms over the last few days.  Even before that, the Resident Assistants who'll be watching over students in  Eastern Michigan University's dorms were on campus, getting ready.  Part of the preparation involved fire safety training, and the Ypsilanti Fire Department was on campus Thursday to help with that.

a2gov.org

Repair work continues on the Ann Arbor Senior Center.

The center was closed earlier this month and its programs temporarily relocated when the building's drywall ceiling started separating from the rafters.

Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation manager Collin Smith says they should finish repairs soon and have the center reopened early next month.

a2gov.org

If you've been looking forward to one last cannon ball or belly flop at Veterans Memorial Park pool in Ann Arbor, now's your chance.

The city has completed repairs to the pool and it's been re-opened.  Problems with the filtration system kept the pool closed since Saturday.

Bill Meeks is the park's Recreation Supervisor. He says they'll be closing the pool for the season on Monday.

Bob Eccles

With the start of classes just a few days away,  Ypsilanti Community Schools would still like to hire  five to seven more bus drivers.

 

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District handles transportation for Y-C-S students. 

a2gov.org

Three of Ann Arbor's fire stations will be temporarily closed over the next two months.

Stations 3, 4 and 5 will each be closed for renovations, although only one will be closed at a time.

Assistant Fire Chief Ellen Taylor says each station should only be closed for a few days.

ycua.org

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has hiked the rate it charges the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority for water by 5.2 percent, and YCUA customers are being asked to help cover the increase.

The YCUA board Wednesday will consider water and sewer rate increases that are actually well below the 5 percent imposed by Detroit. 

emich.edu/publicsafety

As students return to Eastern Michigan University, they may notice some of the safety enhancements the school has put in place.  Other enhancements won't be so obvious.

 

EMU spokesperson Geoff Larcom says one of the more visible items is improved lighting in the campus perimeter area.

dteenergy.com

About 6,000 DTE Energy customers in Washtenaw County are without electricity this evening.

High winds that accompanied our afternoon thunderstorms brought trees and utility lines down across the area. 

DTE Energy did not have an estimate as to when the electricity might be restored, but suggested the number of customers without power might go up before it goes down.

eWashtenaw.org

If you have some time this week, Washtenaw County would like your input on what to do with the former juvenile center property at Platt Road and Huron Parkway.

 

Suggestions have ranged from affordable housing to public gardening space to business incubation, but the county Board of Commissioners wants the public to be part of the design process. 

ymow.org

Delivering meals to 200 homebound people across eastern Washtenaw County each day puts a lot of miles on delivery vehicles.

 

Some relief is on the way for Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels in the form of a brand-new Ford Transit Connect delivery van, thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund

letsbanfracking.org

Environmentalists planned to gather in Belleville Thursday to protest a shipment of radioactive waste being brought into Michigan.

The material was generated by a fracking operation in Pennsylvania.

It's being processed and diluted in a Belleville facility and then disposed of at a hazardous waste landfill operated by Wayne Disposal.

The protest is being organized by the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan. LuAnne Kozma is the Committee's Campaign Director.

Bob Eccles

Pam Byrnes wants Congressman Tim Walberg to denounce a website she describes as a fake news website, where her record in the 7th Congressional district is being smeared.

Byrnes says the website is typical of what people don't like about what's going on in Washington. 

The Democrat says she's also challenged Walberg to a series of debates.

Bob Eccles

A fleet of half a dozen vans and a cadre of dedicated volunteers make it possible for about 200 homebound eastern Washtenaw County residents to enjoy a hot meal every weekday. 

89.1 WEMU's Bob Eccles rode along on an Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels route Wednesday, and found out that many of the organization's clients are like 94 year-old Cecil Waters.


wikimedia commons

State approves loan for Detroit Public Schools requested by emergency manager


City of Ypsilanti Non Motorized Advisory Committee

Ypsilanti's Non-Motorized Advisory Committee wants to know how residents would define a "bicycle-friendly" business.

 

It's part of the process of developing a bike friendly business program, where businesses that cater to bike riders and employees who ride bikes to work would get a sticker to put on their store window and be listed on several related websites. 

ycschools.us

The principal at Ypsilanti's Holmes Elementary School says they're making progress toward climbing out of the bottom 5 percent in the state's top-to-bottom rankings of schools.

 

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education got an update from Charles Raski and other school staffers at Monday night's meeting. 

graham.unich.edu

The University of Michigan Water Center will be working with NOAA to help protect our coastlines.

The center has been awarded a five-year, $20 million contract for the job.  

In addition to being director of U-of-M's Graham Sustainability Institute, Donald Scavia is principal investigator for the project, which will find researchers doing work in a number of areas.

ypsilibrary.org

The Ypsilanti District Library wants to know what sort of technology services patrons expect from the library, but if you want to offer your thoughts on the subject, you've only got today to do it.

The library system is wrapping up an online survey, which Communication and Development Director Gillian Ream Gainsley says it's part of the library's strategic planning process.

Bob Eccles

Cameras are everywhere these days.  On building corners, utility poles, cell phones, you name it.  And starting this fall, you'll also be able to find cameras in Ypsilanti Community Schools district busses.

Superintendent Laura Lisiscki says putting cameras on busses is being done for the safety of everyone on that bus.

 "It's just about making sure that we understand that it's just one more tool in the toolbox for keeping kids safe in this day and age," Lisiscki says. "That's it."

Pages