Jack Hall Blog
ESCANABA, MI--APRIL 28, 2016-2:00 A.M.
I've never been much for awards. In my line of work, lots of us media people have inflated egos and sometimes judge their worth based on how many awards they've won. So, I never really cared to enter contests over the two decades-plus that I have worked here.

But our new owner has a different perspective. He says that entering awards contests like the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Excellence Awards allows you to be judged against your peers. He says that I and my colleagues are all putting in the time to do the work that we do, so why not put what we do up against others in our field?

So, we at the Radio Results Network entered into the MAB's in a number of categories.
 
I'm proud to have won awards for our news coverage of the Escanaba Power Plant explosion and for an on-line piece I wrote on the tragic death of St. Ignace Football player Mitchell Snyder. I'm proud of my co-worker, Tommy K, for winning an award for his weekend 80's show on Kool 105.5. And most of all, the fact that our radio stations are being recognized for Community Involvement is the best award of the bunch, because we really are an extension of the Upper Peninsula cities and towns that we serve.

Winning these awards sets the bar even higher for the future. So, even though I personally am not a huge fan of awards, I can now see the value in having these contests. And I hope to do a good enough job to be recognized again in the future.

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI--APRIL 27. 2016-2:01 A.M.
Time for me to see the doctor, and for my Ford Escape to see a doctor.

Yep, I have to go in and have a review of my medications and see just how well I am dealing with this lovely thing called Type Two Diabetes. And then, my vehicle goes into the shop to get the brakes checked out. They are making more noise than a 6 a.m. garbage truck right now.

A quick shout out to Escanaba eighth grader Hunter Larson. He's been voted as the U.P. Youth Wrestler of the Year by all of the Upper Peninsula's eighth grade coaches. Hunter did well at both the MYWAY State Finals and the NUWAY National Finals, finishing third in his weight class at both events. Congratulations to the future Eskymo.

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---APRIL 26, 2016-1:21 A.M.
It's now exactly one week until Delta County voters have to make a decision. Do we agree to a tax increase of $19.9 million to build a new county jail? Well, I am not in a position to tell you how to vote. My job is to report on the issues so that you can decide for yourselves.

There's a chance for you to get all of the information you need at a meeting Tuesday evening at the Bay College Besse Center. The county prosecutor, sheriff, and administrator will all be there. I urge all of you who are interested to show up at that meeting and ask tough questions. I have tried to anticipate some of your questions and have asked them in my radio interviews.

But this meeting, at 5:30 Tuesday evening, gives you the chance to find out what you need to know before casting your ballot on May 3rd. I hope there is a good showing at this meeting so that as many people as possible have what they need to make an informed decision.

Before I go...a shout out to the Escanaba and Gladstone High School FIRST Robotics teams. They are both getting ready to compete in the World Finals in St. Louis, Missouri, starting on Wednesday. I have no idea how these kids do what they do, and how they make these machines do certain tasks. I can tell you, though, that they are pretty darn smart!

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---APRIL 24, 2016-5:23 P.M.
A scary story about prom in a community not all that far from us...
Officials in northern Wisconsin say the teen suspected of opening fire outside a high school prom Saturday night has died after being shot by police. Police say 18-year-old Jakob Wagner was pronounced dead about two hours after he shot two students with a rifle as they left the building. The victims did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
 
Officers were outside Antigo High School patrolling the prom, and fired at the shooter once they heard shots ring out. Wagner was a former student at the school. A female victim has been released from the hospital, while the male victim was undergoing surgery.
 
Folks...it can happen anywhere...

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI--APRIL 21, 2016-1:56 A.M.
It was good to be back at Al Ness Field. Sitting in the chair that I have sat in for more than two decades, broadcasting Escanaba Baseball (both the Cubs and Eskymos).

The Eskymos pulled out a 3-2 win over the Marquette Redmen, and it was fun to call Justin Popelka's game-winning hit. I enjoyed being in a place where I didn't have to hear about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I feel comfortable there in my booth! It's like a second home. 
 
Speaking of the Marquette baseball program, it is one that has made huge strides over the years. I remember when Tracy Henrikson battled just about everyone in Marquette to get the chance for kids at MSHS to be able to play for their school.

That woman wouldn't take no for an answer. She got help from Don Lauscher to get things set up to where the people up there couldn't keep telling her "no". Then, after the Redmen program was created, it was handicapped for years because there was the feud with the Marquette Blues American Legion team. Kids were told not to play Redmen baseball.

Well, that was wrong, and now that the two programs are getting along better, the Marquette kids are the winners. Although, happily for me sitting there in my booth, the Redmen weren't winners on the scoreboard Wednesday night!

---later, Jack

HERMANSVILLE, MI--APRIL 20, 2016-12:26 A.M. CT
It was great to be back in "baseball weather" Tuesday night as the Bark River-Harris Broncos visited the North Central Jets for a doubleheader. And just like two neighbors should do, they shared. The Jets won the first game, 4-0, and the Broncos won the nightcap, 7-3.

It was a sunny evening, 65 degrees, slight breeze. My perfect kind of weather! I even treated myself to a barbequed hamburger...I like to tell myself it was just my way of donating $4 to the NCA Baseball team, and that I was forced to eat the burger. Haha. It was tasty indeed!

Hopefully the weather holds for the Escanaba Eskymos home opener Wednesday night against the Marquette Redmen. The Esky baseball players who also play football, basketball, and especially hockey...all owe the Redmen a little payback before the school year ends!

I plan to sign on at 5:00 from Al Ness Field on NewsTalk 600 AM and on-line at www.rrnsports.com. By the way, I invite you to head to that web site right now to see the photos and videos that I took out here in Hermansville.

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI---APRIL 19, 2016-1:01 A.M.
Yep, I have been neglecting by blogging duties. But thanks to all of you who still click on this page for my opinions on things, which really don't matter all that much!

Anyways, I have been starting to get into the "swing" of things as far as spring sports goes. On Saturday, I journeyed down to Mauston, Wisconsin, to watch the Escanaba baseball and softball teams, and the Gladstone baseball team, all play at a tournament. It was a blast!

That Woodside Sports Complex is absolutely beautiful, with eight ball fields (four baseball, four softball). And they are all artificial turf surfaces, with not a blade of grass nor a speck of dirt to be found. It's different, for sure, from what we play on up here, but that was kind of the point of going to the tournament in the first place. The kids had a great time there.

For me, it was a last-second decision to go, because I was still recovering from my recent eye injections. Thanks to Grant Garling for letting me hop in with him for the trip. Yep, it was 75 degrees down there. It kind of made me feel like summertime baseball was here to stay.

Ah, but then Monday night, I went to Rapid River. I came crashing back down to earth with 41 degree tenperatures and a brisk 20 mile per hour wind. It was downright nasty, but the girls still managed to get their two softball games in. And believe me, they were bundled up with hoodies and blankets in the dugout!

So, Tuesday night, I'm heading out to Hermansville to watch Bakr River-Harris play North Central in baseball. And then Wednesday night I plan to be back in the booth for Escanaba baseball against Marquette. Can I wish for a Mauston, Wisconsin-like weather day???

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI--APRIL 15, 2016-1:10 A.M.
It's never fun to have a needle inserted into your eyeball, but having it done here in the Upper Peninsula is better than having to go to Green Bay to get it done.
 
I was able to get my latest eye injection done at Dr. Kohli's office on Wednesday. It went well, and I am already seeing a bit more clearly. I am hoping the improvement continues, which will let me return to a more normal schedule of high school baseball broadcasts!

By the way...good luck to the Escanaba High School baseball and softball teams, and to the Gladstone High School baseball team...who will all be competing at a tournament in Mauston, Wisconsin, this weekend. Those facilties look to be very nice, and I'm sure our kids will enjoy playing there. I wish I could make the trip!

---later, Jack 

ESCANABA, MI--APRIL 11, 2016-1:40 A.M.
Ah, vacations never seem to last long enough. It's time for me to go back to work, so this Monday will REALLY feel like a Monday. The past week down in Wisconsin was relaxing, even though there was lousy weather on a couple of the days.
 
But it looks like spring is coming, with the forecast calling for temperatures in the 50's by the end of the week. That should melt away most, if not all, of the snow that's still hanging around.

That also means that local baseball season is on the way, too. I have to let you all know that I will have a limited broadcast schedule for the next few weeks, with just some home games and short road trips. It's just that my eyes have gotten worse recently, after having improved last month. Right now, especially my right eye, is kind of like looking through a piece of Scotch tape constantly. Truly sucks!
 
But I will be going in for drug injections in my eyes this Wednesday, so hopefully, this will help to turn things around. Don't worry. God willing, you will hear my big mouth a lot this summer!

---later, Jack

DEPERE, WI---APRIL 8, 2016-1:31 A.M. CT
Another cold and dreary day here in Wisconsin.

But it's better than the nasty snow and wind that you've been getting back home. I drove in the snow on Sunday to begin this vacation, and then watched the radar screen to see Delta County get socked again the other night. We got just rain and a few snowflakes down here.

This weather has forced the cancellation of today's Eskymo baseball games in Appleton, the Braves baseball games in Traverse City and Kingsley...and the postponement of the Eskymo softball games set for next Monday against Manistique.

I will just stay inside the hotel and chill out. Take care, all!

---later, Jack 

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