MENOMONIE — Later this year, live closed captioning on sports or news events being broadcast on television and watched locally could be produced by a retiring Dunn County court reporter.
Cory Crandall, 57, of Menomonie is retiring as a court reporter effective Oct. 4. His last day in court is Thursday. He has been with Dunn County as a court reporter for 26 years and has been in the vocation for nearly 35 years, working in Cincinnati and Kentucky before moving to Dunn County to be closer to family.
Crandall, a graduate of the court reporting program at the Minnesota School of Business, decided to become a court reporter because it looked interesting and paid fairly well at the time.
“You really have to focus,” said Crandall who is married to wife Susie and has four children and three grandchildren.
Court reporters use a stenotype machine to take down what is said word for word in a courtroom.
Crandall has no idea the number of cases he has heard over the years.
“I know there are people I saw as juveniles in court and am now seeing their children come in to court,” he said.
He realizes he only sees a part of people’s lives in the courtroom.
“I have to remember it’s not their whole life,” he said. “They have other things going on in their lives that are very positive.”
After retiring from the county, Crandall is going to work from home doing closed captioning for live events. That could include live sporting events, news broadcasts or special reports or political debates.
“I will be working remotely,” he said. “I will be getting live feeds from broadcasters over a telephone line and captioning it that will go over computer to the broadcast.”
It will be more challenging than court reporting because the language in live broadcasts is broader and could include worldwide events.
“My job is to be somebody else’s ears,” Crandall said. “My job is to be a substitute for their hearing.”
Captioners work on air about 25 hours a week but spend much of their time off air preparing a dictionary for on-air jobs including names they expect to be used, Crandall said. His goal is to be closed captioning for live events by the end of November.
Dunn County Judge Rod Smeltzer said Crandall will be missed at the Dunn County Judicial Center.
“We’re kind of like a family,” he said of the judicial department. “When a part of the family leaves it is always difficult.”
Crandall is a talented court reporter, Smeltzer said.
“He is in the top tier of reporters with his ability,” Smeltzer said, adding he believes Crandall will be an excellent captioner.
“I’m excited for him and his new venture,” Smeltzer said.
Contact: 715-556-9018, firstname.lastname@example.org, @MenomonieBureau on Twitter