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Fun time comes to an end/Michael H. Babcock

April 16, 2011
By Michael H. Babcock - DMG Sports Writer , The Daily Mining Gazette

It was fun. Nothing but fun and that's a testament to the great people that call the Copper Country home.

Thank you Keweenaw residents.

I've been at The Daily Mining Gazette for 27 months now, and in that time I've met hundreds of great people from all four counties covered in our local area.

Now it's time for me to move on. I've accepted a position with a company in Minnesota.

Don't take this job the wrong way. I love it here, I want to be here, and hopefully someday I'll portage in the Copper Country again, but for now it's the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

In my time here I've seen first-hand two of the most significant events in that time: the fire in downtown Hancock in the summer of 2009 and the Michigan Tech women's basketball team.

Both of them were intense, and both of them caught the Copper Country by storm. I was there as family members shed tears as they stood on Quincy Street, and I was there when two Huskies teams in a row shed tears in St. Joseph, Mo., over a missed opportunity to win a championship.

However, along both rides I saw some awesome things, just like I did all along at the paper.

During that fire, I saw a community come together to mourn the losses of those they haven't met. Every day when I drove by the memorial put up on the street I stopped by, I helped keep those candles lit.

I talked on the phone to the parents, family and friends as we all tried to get a grasp of what happened. In the end, no one was happy, but together we battled through it.

For basketball, the Huskies had a great run each of the last two seasons. Both times I was there for every step of the way. I was there before the season started talking to coaches and players as they prepared.

I was there at the last moment as they sat in the press conference room, everyone fighting off tears as historic seasons in Michigan Tech athletics history were put to rest.

In a way, those are the two things I'll remember the most; they were both amazing acts in life.

However, what I'll miss more are the day-to-day things about this wonderful workplace.

Heading down to Baraga County, where people on village, school and county boards were trying with all their might to make a difference, going to high school sporting events where every game, athletes know it could be their last chance to make a difference against local rivals, and especially at special events that are hosted all around the community to bring in tourism and get us locals to spend our dollars in the area.

That's all in the description of someone working in media in the area, but for me it was an experience I never thought I'd really get. I didn't think I'd be working that heavily in the community, and I really didn't think I'd enjoy it so much.

People here are trying to make it a better place, and I really wish everyone would realize how much they are, and help them to do it.

In sports and in the news world the same things are going on, and I hope as we all move forward people can aim toward the future, aim to bring those unemployment numbers down.

Build off the momentum, don't use excuses and keep working hard. I'll be watching, all the way from Minnesota, hoping sooner or later to call everyone here my neighbor once again.

A special thanks to those that have made the biggest difference to me, including my editors: Brandon Veale, Larry Holcombe and Jane Nordberg; as well as everyone else as the Gazette, and those in the community who fielded my phone call at 8:55 a.m. when I said: "I need this for today, meaning, within the next 10 mintues, can we make that work?"

Most of the time they did, and I most of the time I was just another part of the Copper Country spreading the good word, trying to make progress a reality.

Thank you Copper Country, it was fun.



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