Jack Hall Blog
ESCANABA, MI---MAY 27, 2016-2:35 A.M.
It was a very busy Thursday for me as I bounced around Delta County covering baseball, softball, track, and tennis. Plus taking care of my news duties in the RRN News Center.

It was busy, but a lot of fun. I started out by broadcasting the afternoon news, with word that UP Health System broke ground on its brand new hospital in downtown Marquette.
Then, it was off to the Great Northern Conference tennis championships, which were co-hosted by Escanaba and Gladstone for the first time ever. And that was at several sites: Escanaba High School, Ludington Park, and Gladstone's Pfotenhauer Park. Menominee was your winner, and I took a bunch of photos and even a couple of videos at the tennis event.

As the skies darkened, I headed to the Gladstone High School softball fields in time to catch the Braves take on Manistique in a district tournament game. I was able to take some photos and videos of a big Gladstone rally in the second inning, highlighted by a home run by Taylor Hunter. Then, it poured, turning the field into mush. So with the score 10-1 Braves, I headed back to Escanaba to get ready to broadcast the Eskymo baseball game.

But wait, there's more! I was driving by the Escanaba high School and I remembered that the Great Northern Conference track championships were being held there. So, I made a brief appearance there, taking photos and shooting video of the 800 girls relay and the 1600 boys run. Yep, Marquette won them both. But I got to see several teams before leaving.

Then, it was to Al Ness Field, for Senior Night for the Eskymo baseball team. It started a half hour late because of earlier rain, but it was sunny at game time. Then, as luck would have it, we had some technical problems. But thanks to our Chief Engineer, Justin Poquette, for racing to the field with a new piece of equipment for me to broadcast with. Kingsford ended up winning the game, 2-1. When that game was over, it was back to the radio station.

When I got there at just after 9:00, there was poor Justin, and his sidekick Cory, continuing the process of moving our new RRN station, Eagle 107.3, into the building. And unfortunately, my newsroom computer system would not work. So there was Justin, leaving his duties again, to help out Jack. He got the newsroom hooked back to the server! Problem solved!

Still not done, though. It was home for me to cook up a Lean Cuisine dinner, and start uploading all the videos I took throughout the day. I edited and E-Mailed them to Mike Ludlum at TV6 to get our kids some publicity. Softball, track, and tennis on TV, thanks to my handy dandy camera that people like to tease me about. Haha. So, that was 10:45 p.m., and still not done.

It was time to update all of this onto RRN Sports.com. First, track. Second, softball. Third, tennis. Fourth, baseball. And fifth....the Great Northern Conference golf championships, whih I could not attend, but Eskymo Coach Brian Robinette was kind enough to send detailed results of, and those "trophy shots" of the Eskymo GNC champions.

I also took time to upload a lot of the photos and videos onto my personal Facebook page, and tagged as many kids as I could, so their families could see them and like them.

And then, I check my inbox and find that the U.P. unemployment rate dropped in April, so I added that story to our Local news section at radioresultsnetwork.com. And then, one last thing: E-Mailing the sports results to Ron Plum for his use on the morning sports.

Yep, just another day at the office. It was a fun day!

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---MAY 24, 2016-2:22 A.M.
A quick blog entry here because my AT&T U-Verse Internet service keeps cutting in and out.

It got so bad that I couldn't get on-line to send Gladstone Braves baseball highlights to TV6 for their 11:00 p.m. newscast. I was able to stay on-line long enough to get www.rrnsports.com updated with the Braves baseball games against Houghton and the Eskymo tennis match against Iron Mountain. Couldn't get videos for the Braves' second game, however.

Want to welcome all of the World War Two and Korean War veterans to Escanaba! They will be arriving here throughout the day ahead of Wednesday morning's U.P. Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Here's hoping that local businesses post welcomes to the veterans on their street signs, and here's hoping that many of you will line the streets of Escanaba at 5:00 Wednesday morning as the veterans head to the Delta County Airport for their flight.

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---MAY 23, 2016-1:33 A.M.
Had my first overnight trip for baseball broadcasts of the season this weekend as I went with the Gladstone Braves to Traverse City and Cadillac. A big thanks to he Coopers for putting up with me for the weekend! The Braves played some pretty decent baseball, but little mistakes continue to cost them and they lost two of three games. The pitching is quite good, though!

Going out of town and staying in a hotel gave me a preview of what the summer is probably going to be like for me. Our local high school baseball and softball teams are good, and could keep me busy well into June. And we always have a couple of Little League teams that keep winning and send me on out-of-town trips. Maybe another World Series for me?

My eyes seem to be operating OK. The drug injections that I have had over the past few months have, if nothing else, stabilized things. That is, my eyesight has not gotten worse. So, I am thankful for that, and I am thankful for the many friends who have helped me!

Have a good Monday everyone!

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---MAY 20, 2016-12:44 A.M.
On the road again. I will be saying that a lot over the next few weeks as the high school baseball regular season comes to an end and the playoffs begin. This weekend, I will be with the Gladstone Braves downstate. Today, it's a game against Traverse City St. Francis, and then on Saturday, it's two games at a tournament in Cadillac. First opponent is Beaverton.

Congratulations to the Rapid River High School boys track team. The boys won the Division Three regional championship in Munising. Nice job by Dan Blair to win three distance events. Mason Berglund was strong in both running and in the hurdles. And Logan Hardwick got first place finishes in both the discus and shot put. Solid afternoon, boys.

Also, congratulations to Escanaba High School tennis player Christer Carne. He is a freshman, and he went up against a tough Menominee boy on Thursday, and beat him for the second time this season. The Eskymos may have lost, 7-1, to the very strong Maroons as a team, but this freshman at least had something to smile about.

On the air on AM-600vat about 5:00 from Traverse City. Have a great weekend!

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---MAY 19, 2016-1:33 A.M.
It's heartbreaking to me to have to report almost every single day in my newscasts about people being arrested for drugs. In particular, for meth. That seems to be the nastiest problem that we have in the Upper Peninsula right now. So many people think that they're just having a good time, and then they get hooked, and things go downhill from there.

I'm hoping that everyone who was at the Upper Peninsula Drug Awareness Conference at the Island Resort and Casino on Wednesday were able to put their heads together and come up with some ideas to help people who are addicted...and prevent others from getting hooked.

As I write this, we're getting word of a plane crash in the Mediterranean Sea that sounds suspciously like terrorism to me. No distress calls at 37,000 feet. A plane with 66 people aboard doens't just disappear. It left France's duGall Airport, one of the most secured airports in the world. None of the passengers were Americans.

Just think about all the times that you have gotten on an airplane, and everything went fine. Those people all thought it would be fine too. My prayers go out to them.

But on a happier note...how about those Rapid River Rockets? The girls softball team followed up their upset over Escanaba with two wins over Marquette Wednesday. George Kanyuh has that team playing some great softball. They are beating teams from schools much larger than them: Escanaba, Sault Ste. Marie, Neenah, and Marquette, just in the last week.

Look for Rapid River to make a long run in the Division Four tournaments!

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---MAY 17, 2016-1:42 A.M.
It was a very long night at the Escanaba Junior High School Monday as the Escanaba School Board heard a presentation from Superintendent Michelle LeMire on the district's budget crisis. The district expects to be $957,000 in the hole for the next fiscal year.

As I heard the presentation, and the comments from employees and parents who spoke, I was happy to see so many people passionate about our school district. Many people who spoke were also, rightfully, worried about their jobs. And others worried about educational or sports opportunities being taken away from their kids.

I believe that Superintendent LeMire is truly trying to make the cuts without effecting classroom instruction. No cuts would come to programs, although they would not add seven new sections of courses they were going to offer. Her plan also avoids completely cutting freshmen sports, or completely eliminating busing to away games.

Yes, there are new fees of $60 per sport for kids who play sports. I understand Board memeber Dan Flynn's concern that cutting these things will lead to more kids leaving the Escanaba Schools for neighboring districts. I'm not sure I buy his argument that safety would be compromised, however, because there will be more than enough volunteers ready to help out the kids.

One big theme to the three-hour-long meeting was the fact that Escanaba is losing kids to Bark River-Harris. Why are families choosing to send their kids to Bark River-Harris? LeMire says it's geography...kids who live outside of Escanaba and are closer to Bark River. But that doesn't explain the number of kids who are picked up by a BR-H bus on Ludington Street in downtown Escanaba every morning. Something is not right here. Flynn is right.

I was disapppointed to hear several people blast LeMire personally, and attack her because she lives in Menominee. Where she lives doesn't mean that she can't do a good job. And asking her to personally take a pay cut wouldn't solve the problem. She doesn't make $957,000 folks.

Where should the cuts be made? I don't know. I am not smart enough to be able to go through all of those numbers. My job is to report on the plans so that you can decide for yourself, which is why I stood through that three-hour-long meeting. I have posted a full report on the news section of our web site www.radioresultsnetwork.com.

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---MAY 16, 2016-1:11 A.M.
On Friday, President Obama announced that all public schools in the United States will have to start allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. If they don't, they will lose their federal funding. What a complete joke.

First of all, the president does not have the authority to do this. The Congress would have to pass a law that says the federal education dollars have that as a condition.

Second, the money the president is threatening to withhold is mostly used by schools to pay for the reduced and free breakfast and lunch program. There is no way that they will tell a school that flips their middle finger at the president's plan that they are getting no money to feed poor kids.

Third, the president's policy makes no practical sense. Are we talking about, let's say a boy, who feels that he now identifies as a girl...but still has "his" male genitals? There's no way parents will stand by and allow their kids to use the bathroom with someone in that situation.

Fourth, this kind of thing would lead to a massive amount of bullying and violence if "Kevin" now starts using the girls bathroom. It shouldn't. We should let people be themselves. But kids are kids, and some of them will take matters into their own hands, whether we want them to or not.

Fifth, this is a state's rights issue. And even beyond that, a local control issue.

On a personal level, I think this was a solution searching for a problem. While there may be some kids who identify with the other sex who would like to use the "other" restroom, there's certainly not a flood of them. Local school districts can deal with these situations as they arise.

President Obama is trying to cement his legacy by taking action on things that have no chance of making it through Congress. You know? Congress? The people we chose to represent us?

Have a good Monday, everyone.

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---MAY 12, 2016-2:05 A.M.
Well, I took three needles to the eyeball on my "vacation day" Wednesday. Not exactly the way I would recommend spending a day away from the office. But, it is part of my treatment to recover from the damage that the diabetes has done to my eyes.

Dr. Kohli and his staff go out of their way to make it as painless as possible, and the good news is that the treatments over the last few months have led to a reduction in swelling within my retina, and my sight has been stable recently. Still improvement is needed, but I'm in good hands.

Thankfully, those hands are pretty steady. I mean, one "oops" with the needle could have ruined my day! Yep, I snapped a picture of the needles, so those are the ones they used. Gotta keep a sense of humor, you know! Have a good Thursday everyone.

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---MAY 11, 2016-2:13 A.M.
I am on vacation today, although it is not to a big shopping mall or to a baseball game.

I will be getting another drug injection in my eyes to try to counteract the damage that diabetes has done to them. I have full confidence in Dr. Kohli (as well as Dr. Wang in Green Bay) to help me improve my vision. They've both treated me well, and been very blunt and honest about everything. I don't like doctors who try to sugarcoat things to make the patient "feel good".

Thanks to everyone who have given me good comments about my weight loss and so on, and thanks to people who have asked me about my health and how I'm doing. I feel that I am doing pretty good right now. It's good to know that people care.

Go to RRNSports.com to see stories about the Escanaba Golf Team's win at the Ishpeming Kiwanis Tournament, the Escanaba girls softball wins over Kingsford, and the Eskymo tennis match against Kingsford. I went to the tennis match and took photos and videos of the #1 and #2 singles, and #1 doubles match. And Mary Gauthier took photos at softball for me.

And one last thing. Congratulations to Gladstone Braves softball player Tasi Martinez. She hit three home runs yesterday in the Braves' doubleheader sweep over Rapid River. Tasi is one of those tough, blue collar workers that I enjoy watching play high school sports.

Have a good Wednesday.

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---MAY 9, 2016-2:02 A.M.
I consider myself lucky to have my mom still alive with me. Quite a few of my friends and co-workers have lost their mothers. And I see it every Mother's Day on Facebook when people remember their moms with pictures and stories So on this Mother's Day, it just reminded me that I should never take my mom for granted! Hope you had a good day with your moms/wives.

At work, my colleagues are working hard to include Eagle 107.3 into our Radio Results Network family. Our engineer, Justin Poquette, is the guy who is in charge of the nuts and bolts of making it happen with all of the wiring and electronic things. Our operations manager, Mike Daniels, is busy looking at ways to design a program schedule to will build on what Smitty and the team have done there. It's exciting to see all of this going on.

Hope you tune in this afternoon for more baseball on NewsTalk 600. I will be in Bark River for the Eskymos-Broncos game at 4:00. Have a good Monday!

---later, Jack

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